Monday, January 12, 2009

Tabloids and the White Man's Burden

Oh the the holidays! Time well spent getting fat off of momma's cooking, drankin' with the drunk uncles, catching up with old neighborhood friends, and ,making New Years resolutions. New Years resolutions are always a lot of pressure. Who wants to think about the things you feel you came up short on this year, or even worse straight up failed at? But a funny thing happened to me this season. I realized that I had achieved so many of my resolutions from the year before that I decided to add a vice, therefor I can have something to kick by the end of 2009. I considered possibilities: sexaholic (too cliche plus, what is too much sex..really?), shopaholic (too lazy to be up in somebody's store for hours and not collecting a check), drugs (man I'm 30 plus! What the hell do I look like starting a drug habit now? That's just childish)! Tabloids? Bong, there it is! I'm always so out of the loop whenever caught in a conversation about the latest celebrity gossip. Not in 2009 jack! From now on I will be able to tell you in what restaurant Paris slapped the taste out of lilo's mouth (a real tabloid reader refers to the celebs by first name or nickname if you're a real fan).

The first thing I did was check out the various gossip sites to bone up on my celebs and their shenanigans. It's crazy the stuff that's considered newsworthy. I swear I saw 5 pictures of Jerry O'Connell eating! Eating salad actually! OK, maybe I'm not up on why that's a big deal. Well, dude was the fat kid from "Stand By Me", so perhaps it's a celebration of the positive effects of a healthy diet. He's in pretty good shape these days. I can dig that. There's a lot of talk about Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie. Jealousy, deceit, infidelity uuuhmm about 4 or 5 freaking years ago! They have been divorced for years. I'm so confused. I also found a lot of little tidbits about the kids from "High school Musical" and "Twilight". Boy those kids like to party! You can find pictures of them at everything from the opening of a club in Vegas to the opening of an envelope in Omaha. I came across a few pictures of Jessica Alba and her mom walking in Central Park, Amy Winehouse doing what she does best...drugs, and Michelle Rodriguez looking quite sexy on a beach in Honolulu. Then I came to a perplexing picture of Cacee Cobb digging a thong out of her ass crack. Who is she again? The description said she is a famous celebrity assistant. Famous huh? You sure?

After about 2 hours of "research" (gossip can be quite time consuming) it occurred to me that, save for a few blurbs of Oprah or the occasional shot of Beyonce eating Popeye's chicken, there was no mention of a single black celebrity. Tabloid surfing was feeling more and more like my history classes in grammar school. Let them tell the tale, black people don't exist. Tabloids equate to white folks at parties, white folks eating dinner, white folks shopping, white folks with black eyes, white folks with stains on their shirts, even white folks sitting cross legged! Initially I was offended. Why didn't I see Will Smith coming out of the local sushi spot? Isn't it conceiveable that Kim Porter (the mother of Diddy's kids) and Kimora Lee Simmons may have some play dates with the kids? I hear Jamie Foxx likes to party. No shots of him with Asian twins in a three way kiss at the Mirage in Vegas? And if we MUST have the shot of a young "celebutante" digging her thong out of her ass, my vote is for Christina Milian! Why are black folks so underrepresented in the tabloids? Is this a throw back to the 60's when the only news printed in white papers regarding black people involved murder or mayhem? Or is the white community really so self-involved that they just don't care about what anybody else is doing?

Eventually I calmed down and put a halt to the mass email I was typing urging my black friends to boycott all non black media. Good thing I cooled my heels, because I hate infomercials and that seems to be the advertising of choice on our negro entertainment sources. The thought of only watching chittlin circuit TV on TBS still gives me the chills. Don't get me wrong, 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there every now and again should be the standard requirement to keeping your "Black Card" current. But that's all I can really take. Then somebody put me on to the black celebrity gossip sites. OK! Here we go! Black people on the red, good start. Oh snap...Tyra's shopping again...well she is rich. There go Mekhi Phiffer eating lunch on Melrose...uhhm ok. Damn with all these rappers beefin', you mean to tell me NO black celebrities caught a black eye this month? I see Christina Milian went to Miami again. Can I get a thong shot or something? Finally a picture of Jamie Foxx....with his daughter (who's very pretty BTW). OK if you scroll down: there he is humping a stripper from the back! I knew my boy wouldn't let me down! Get it! Aside from that, I have to admit, black celebrities seemed to be pretty tame. Can it be that they just don't get mixed up in shit? Do they really "Keep it in the house?" as momma would say? Can it be, that as a whole, black celebrities have managed to demonstrate good old fashioned Home Training? If you let the tabloids tell the tale, the answer is a resounding "YES!" Not since Barack won the election have I been prouder to be black (psudeo-celeb at that)! Check us out! Knowing how to act and shit!

I once had a white celebutante tell me that her publicist joked that she should skip our outing and go on a date with a white actor who was arguably as (un)known as myself as it would make for a better publicity move. Although I laughed it off at the time, I wish I knew then what I know now. I would've told her to tell her publicist that hanging with me is a guarantee she won't get publicly drunk, a black eye, high on cocaine, or caught in a three way kiss with another chick involved (at least not on camera). Truth be told, I do think the white media is self involved. Granted you won't find a single black celebrity smoking crack on home video singing "Kill Whitey" songs, nor will you find paparazzi parked outside the home of and waiting to catch a glimpse of Angela Bassett taking the garbage out. The simple fact that the media is largely run by white people means that their priority is going to be those who represent them. Good for black celebs, sorta shitty if you’re a white celeb who has any desire to privacy. I know brothas get into messes (I’ve had my fair share of scrapes and scuffles), but by and large, the tabloids don’t care very much. If you’re white in Hollywood, I guess you can call it a gift and a curse.

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