Don’t Feed Me BS… It Tastes Funny or Taking the Interwebs Seriously

So… After my Monster Teen(* patent pending*) made his YouTube Harlem Shake video, I actually started looking up some others. Didn’t impress me, but maybe that’s because it’s not my egg up there. I wasn’t into planking, because that’s just some special moment helmet and cape stuff to me. I liked Gangnam Style because I was over in Asia when it happened, and had been there for so many years that I couldn’t help but immerse myself somewhat in their culture.

But back to what people are already saying is played out. You know, one of the first things I asked my M.T. was if he knew what the real Harlem shake was. “Yeah, but this is just a fun thing that people are doing.”

Bam! Out of the mouths of babes, or monstrous teenagers.

But some people, my brown crayon color people, are completely upset! It’s a mockery, it’s peach crayon people stealing what makes us, us! As on the YouTube video interviews of the people of actual Harlem say: the Harlem shake is a way of life!” It’s *gasp* racist!

For serious?

Are we for serious here?

One comment I read in an online discussion about Harlem Shakemggedon says it best:

“The Black American Legacy is anger with no resolution. That needs to change.”

Let me clear something up real quick before I go on. I am proud to be black. I like my skin, I like my big lips, I love all the things I can do with my hair, I love my smooth voice, I love that my genetics keep me looking young (or as a white coworker likes to say “Black don’t crack!”). I love the way my Ma taught me to cook, and I love my badonk, no matter how “ignant” it may be right now after I gained a couple of pounds. I was raised to be open and understanding of all cultures, while loving my own.

But a dance doesn’t define me. My people’s history is in my genetic chain, but learning that knowledge and then putting down great works here on this planet until I die defines me. If a dance only created 10-30 years ago in your city (the accounts change with different articles) is the only thing you know of your history, along with a story of Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and MLK that you learned in school during Black History Month… Well I pity you.

In fact, I hear Ursula from the Little Mermaid singing the words “Poooor Unfortunate Soullllls!” (which by the way is the same thing that plays in my head when I see ugly babies).

You want to know who you are? Pick up a daggone book. I remember falling in love with 2 books in Elementary school: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and Elie Wiesel’s Night. Which opened my mind to the plights of my past ancestry and another’s (yes, I read them in Elementary. The nerd is very strong in this one). You want something rooted in your ancient people? There are SO MANY great books on Egyptian/Ethiopian/Kush mythology. You want to know your people? Turn around and speak with the Nigerian braiding your hair that still has family in the “motherland” and watch those awesome Nollywood movies just because they’re awesome. Instead of heading out to the club on Saturday and nursing your headache on Sunday as you are in your finery at church, why not visit one of the many museums that populate the nation that showcase black history, artistry and culture? Or… Just continue to complain about someone stealing your dance, which is somehow a derision of an Ethiopian shoulder dance, while you continue to bump songs about the strip club, and post videos of Lil Boomquisha twerkin at 2 years old. My God.

I’ve seen videos of the Ethiopian shoulder dance. Beautiful, joyful, and steeped in ARTISTRY.

The “original” Harlem Shake, well, I ALWAYS assumed it was thought up after seeing some local crackheads shaking from needing a fix. That’s why seeing my teen in the video have what looks like convulsions in the background… I just said “Meh, close enough.”

My son is going to grow up rich in the history of the people who share his color of skin, along with those who don’t. What is your child going to grow up like, when you tell him/her that their culture was a dance that’s looks like a broken crackhead?

Pooooooooor unfortunate soul!

Diary Entry 42.0000A: Internet Rule 34 and the Dirty Fanfiction Addiction

This post is a confession.

I’m addicted to reading. It’s a healthy addiction I think. I read alot of books, mostly urban fantasy and horror. But there’s a seedy underbelly of my healthy addiction. It happened when I stumbled upon fanfiction.

It was around 2002-3 timeframe. Buffy was in its 6th season I believe. And I just wanted more in the story-line about Spike. Because Spike was hot. You know, they showed a lot of James Marsters’ skin the 6th and 7th season. Nummy. Siiiigh. Ahem, anywhoo, I wanted more with my characters. So I’m spending the military’s money cruising the internet at work, looking for stuff on Buffy (you know, like little tidbits, maybe some spoilers, pics of J. M. with his shirt off and such) and find this website with stories. Huh?

Is this… heaven?

It was a frackin ultimate high.

It was like… remember the What If Marvel Comics? I still have somewhere one from right after the Phoenix Saga. It was taking your favorite characters and continuing the story, or changing it so that what you wanted to happen, happened! It was GREAT!

And then… I found the dirty stories. Of course I did. And hey, my mind is already pretty perverted, but now, where in Season 6 when Buffy and Spike first get all HBO on the screen and it fades to black, now, I had the full story! This was back before I had my own computer and there was such a thing as the government blocking sites or monitoring a regular office’s computer (or I think, no one ever said anything to me, so meh). So I would read all day long. I would print off some chapters to a long fic I was reading, and take it back to my barracks room to finish. I read through the daggone internet all the Buffy fanfic that I could get my hands on until… I couldn’t find anymore to read. It was like, my crack ran out. Sure there were still some stories here and there, but not enough to feed my beast. People weren’t writing fast enough. I’m a frickin speed reader and they weren’t producing! So… I left it for a while… breaking myself away from the addiction.

Until… I started getting into Naruto. Yes, Naruto. Hey, I’m not sure where in the timeline of my life this is, but I know it had to be about 2003 or later because there were already tons of Naruto episodes out. I remember visiting home, and my young sister going on and on about this silly ninja cartoon that she loved. Now, I remember watching Sailor Moon as a younger dimensionthe5th, an even watching a couple of episodes here and there of Pokemon with my siblings (and remember, I can’t watch the first Pokemon movie ending without shedding a tear). But this, this was straight up anime, and I wasn’t THAT kind of geek yet. Until, I sat and watched a couple of episodes. And saw the character Kakashi Hatake. And by then I had my own computer, and I searched… for fanfiction. Oh dear baby Jesus.

It was the super high all over again, and I hid my addiction because who wants to admit to reading dirty stories about cartoon characters? Ha… there’s many on the internet because there are huuuuuuge fanclubs. I even felt bad sometimes watching the show, getting my memories all mixed up, trying to think “Did Kakashi really do that in the anime? Um, no, because only in the fanfiction world would he do that with Sakura because they aged her up.” And after Naruto, I realized there was fanficition for almost any tv show, anime, any book, move, heck even pop stars! Even my beloved X-men characters. Storm and Wolverine definitely should’ve gotten together. The fanfics SAY SO! The writing was sometimes really good, sometimes written by a 13-year-old that obviously never had kiss let alone understood that nookie just did. not. work. that. way.

And let’s not even talk about the male pregnancy fics. What in the blue blazes O_o ?

My son and I are watching Firefly now (well, I’m re-watching). And my laptop is there. My fingers start a-googling. There’s fanfiction. What if Mal Reynolds had a thing for crazy River? Hmmm. *saves link to Mal/River stories, while checking to see if any new Sandor Clegane/Sansa Stark stories were written recently*

I still say it’s a better addiction than most. I mean, this is my brain on fanfiction. Slightly more perverted than normal. Okay, I’m lying, my pervertedness is over 9,000 with a cherry on top. Not because of the internet. That just enhanced it.

Don’t look at me like that. What’s your favorite character, book or show? I dare you to search for some fanfiction for it. Double dog dare you.

Pet Peeve #52.757 – New Adult Readers Reading Bad Things

I love reading. I love books. Although I have an e-reader now, there’s still nothing like the smell of books. Yes, I smell books. I started reading at 4, had moved to chapter books by five. By 10 I was reading Stephen King, and then stories on the high school list like Elie Weisel’s Night, and Things Fall Apart, all of Isaac Asimov and Shakespeare for the heck of it. A speed reader, I would finish a book of around 3-400 pages in a day if I could sneak in the time. Even when I went through basic training and wasn’t allowed to have any books, I had a small notebook that could fit in the pocket of my uniform that I filled with poetry so I could read over and over again.

That being said, although my reading isn’t always high-end (I’ll read sci-fi/fantasy fiction more than anything else, although I love reading nonfiction about different religions), I do know what well written books are. I do know that it takes a certain skill level. And that even a famous writer isn’t THE BEST writer out there. I mean, my favorite two authors of all time are Stephen King and Anne Rice, and they can go for a chapter about a crack in the wall O_o.

My pet peeve though is those adults that haven’t picked up a book since they graduated from high school or college, and then it was only required reading. And then, this NEW HOT BOOK comes out, and they read it, and want to come talk to me. Argh. Grrr. Ugh. Dear Baby Jesus, it’s not even a GOOD BOOK. It’s reads like the author only had a 5th grade level, does not understand what plot is, and can’t construct a complete sentence. Granted, I’m not the best writer, but I’m a lover of good writing skill. And I’m opinionated. And I’m vocal about my opinion.

Like this: I’m at the car dealership getting my car checked, out smoking a cigarette and reading my e-reader (because that’s what I do: feed my brain while I destroy my health) and this older woman walks up. “Hi, you love reading huh? Me too.” Yay another reader! “You know what I ordered on my Kindle and can’t put down?” Please let it be something good. Not that 50 shades of sh– “That 50 Shades of Grey series!”

Pause.

And then my rant spilled forth without me being able to control it. “You know, I’m so tired of hearing about that horrid series. Who the frack would pay for such bad writing? Why would you read such bad and unrealistic erotica when there’s so much better with an actual plot in it. The author writes like she didn’t pass high school, and even her take on BDSM makes it sound like you’re not into that kind of thing unless something is wrong with you. Her characters are Mary Sue characters…”

The question comes of have I read it. “No, a couple of chapters, detailed synopsis. Did you know this was basically fanfiction that she just changed the names? You’re paying money for fanfiction!”

By the way, I love fanfiction. I just think an author should actually EDIT if they’re going to take a story that they wrote for their vision of someone else’s characters and then publish it. And that’s only my most recent pet peeve about new adult readers. The one before that was of course the “Insert Yourself because the whole main character is a blob just waiting for you” Twilight books. And dear Lord, the Da Vinci Code. That was mostly guys: “I read a book. It was great. I am now intellectual.” Go sit in a corner and shut up dude. That author made me fall asleep 3 times trying to read the first chapter before I gave up.

And I understand everyone has their likes and dislikes. Have at it. But if you’ve only read one frackin book or series, do NOT talk to me about favorite authors, about writing styles, skills, and think that you can bond with me. It’s like a person coming up saying they’re a rap fan because they heard a Black Eyed Peas song. Are you serious?!?!?! It’s like saying you like to cook but all you know is Hamburger helper. Delicious at times, but not really high-end cuisine. In fact, I think I’m cooking Hamburger helper for dinner. Who says I’m too uppity and opinionated?

Rant over.