The Listener 2.0

MY BEEF WITH TYLER PERRY!!!

 

I’ve been working on this post for some time now and I think I have it down to a science. Many of you may know me for my intense aversion of Tyler Perry and his Madea character. Well I’ve been doing some thinking and watching some of his work a little more closely and I am happy to admit that my opinions have changed.

My historical preference

It all started for me back in 2002 (I think it was 02…maybe 01) when I watched the Tyler Perry production “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” for the first time. I can remember watching it at my cousins house and thinking to myself ‘this is trash”, how could people like this?”. At the time I was coming into my own and learning more about black history in Africa and America. I couldn’t help but to connect the play to minstrelsy and the history behind it. Ya’see what made minstrelsy so bad is that blacks began to think it was comedy too. Its one thing for whites to make fun of us with blackface, I mean they’ve found ridicule in our race and other races for years. But what made me upset was that other black comedians of the day (like Steppin Fetchit) began to mimick black face and adopt the comedic tactics that whites once used in an effort to earn “white dollars”.

Steppin Fetchit

The first time I saw Madea walk on stage shuckin’ and jivin’ like the comedians of the past…I lost my moral cool and launched a verbal attack against Tyler Perry and anything he put his name on. For years I protested his plays, movies, and whatever else he did. I remember watching the switchboards light up at FamFM WSUW as people called in to tell me how stupid I was for my opinions and feelings. However, I was not alone in my convictions. I was joined by my brother Rodney, an actor and a playwright, who taught me about the chitlin’ circuit and the white actors and musicians who misused the name and culture for the public ridicule of blacks. I became more defensive with people and found myself unwilling to talk about it in order to avoid argument. What I noticed early on is that many people seemed to be emotionally connected to this man for reasons that I wouldn’t understand until some time later.  

What’s the big deal anyway?

Honestly I didn’t see what the hype was about.  Here you had a man dressed as an old woman who spoke with broken English and smacked people around all while contributing to her extremely high volume. He seemed to represent “down to earth” black grandmothers around the United Stateswho raised their families in a similar way. Well neither of my grandmothers, the late Recie M. Daniels (pop) and June Bradley (moms), were in any way close to Madea. They weren’t the classic “Big Mama” who (by history’s definition not mine) was slightly overweight, had at least three children, cooked everyday, went to church four days out of the week, and held the family together when the single mother of two was out of money, the grandson was selling drugs, and the little girl was being molested by some drunk uncle. Was this really the black family image? Why did his work seem to have a plot that was similar to that description or even worse? I didn’t grow up like that, I didn’t live that life, and I thought it was unfair and ridiculous to categorize the black family in that particular light. So for years I was a loner, never participating in the conversations of people who loved Tyler Perry’s work and always the one guy who dared not to laugh when a preview for his latest movie came on TV or someone did their best impression of a scene from his plays or movies. But one day that would all change.

A new respect

In February of 2008 I boarded the bus to travel with other students of the Black Student Union at UW-Whitewater to UW-Platteville to attend their Ebony Weekend. While on the bus someone asked if the driver could play the film “Why Did I Get Married.” The passengers on the bus sat up in their seats, some eager to see the film for the first time and some eager to gain attention by quoting each and every line (you know how some people do when they watch movies with a group of people, acting like they know all of the lines lol). Being that I had nothing else to do and only a fool would talk on the phone with a bus full of black people, I decided to pay attention to the film. I mean after all, Janet Jackson was in it and I’d watch her read a book in real time lol. After the movie I couldn’t help but admit that I was in fact entertained by the film. The acting was good and the message was awesome. I went home and told my folks (who also disagreed with me on most of my views) that I had found a new respect for Tyler Perry and this film in particular. I then went on to watch “Meet the Browns” this past Independence Day. And I once again had to admit that I was entertained and inspired by the message. I sat and watched the special features which included the making of the film and the adaptation of the popular play. It was then that I came to an emotional epiphany.

I realized that Tyler Perry was nothing more that a decent human being with a talent of spreading inspiration and God’s message of faith to people of all ages all over the world. Ya’see where I failed was the comparison of Madea’s family to my family. My problem was that I only compared her to my grandmothers and other characters to members of my family. I grew up in the suburbs (for most of my life) and my family was never the “traditional” black family. So that only led me to compare it to one family…mine. I realized that Tyler Perry was just exposing a life that I had never known and the reason people are so emotionally attached is because there are grandmothers who are just like Madea and people who actually do compare to the other characters in the film. The characters in his work were not fictional but were real people just like me. I was ashamed of the many tirades I went on. I wanted to call everyone and apologize to them for being so mean and radical about the subject. I was so much younger back then. Now don’t get me wrong, Tyler still includes a little more shuckin and jivin than I can take sometimes lol but I recognize the message and the purpose that his art holds in so many lives.

So that’s my confession. I want to know what you think. Do you like Tyler Perry’s work or do you think it’s a modern day minstrel show? Let me know what you think.

 

Rick Daniels

 

July 8, 2008 Posted by | had to do it, Things that make you go hummmmmm! | 4 Comments

PHARRELL GOING INTO OUTTER SPACE!!!

No this isn’t a joke or some new song he has out with Keisha Cole or somebody. I was reading MTV UK this morning and they reported that Pharrell Williams is traveling into outter space this year. The rapper/producer/coolest clothing line owner paid an undisclosed six figure amount to travel on the Branson space craft which will be launching later this year.

I think this is so cool. I mean he didn’t pay 25 Million like dude from N’Sync did so that’s a plus. I have always wanted to travel to the moon so I actually admire him for this. If I had the money I would do it to ya know. Anyway I’ll keep you posted. If he were a real producer he would take some albums out there and release them (literally) so that the marchains can cop them LMAO. Ok that was corny I know.

Holla

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Things that make you go hummmmmm! | Leave a comment

EGOISTE!!!


To all my faithful readers (all four of you) don’t mind this post. It’s for a presentation in my Marketing class and I thought it would be a good time to promote the blog. I’m going to make it a hyperlink in the presentation and then say “oh my…let’s take a look at the blog for a second shall we” lol.

Anyway this is one of my favorite  commercials (yall know I’m an advertising major right?). Back in 1990′ Chanel released a men’s fragrance called “Egoiste” which means in other words a selfish person. The guy in the commercial is a womanizer and all of the ladies are reciting a french poem about hatred for men. Long story short the campaign was a success and like a million ladies bought the fragrance for their boyfriends (go figure).

Anyway check it out and let me know what you think. Holla!!!

April 10, 2008 Posted by | had to do it, Things that make you go hummmmmm! | Leave a comment

SERIOUSLY???

Not cool LMAO.

That’s all I have to say about the Carter III album cover. I checked around to see if this was real and Amazon has it up on their site which means a lot. I’m mad he had the same tatoos when he was a child (not really I’m sure). I have MUCH more news today but I’m on the way to class. Stay tuned I’ll be back around 2pm. In the meantime, have a good laugh with this picture.

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Aww naw hell naw, Things that make you go hummmmmm! | Leave a comment

JAY-Z “I KNOW” OFFICIAL VIDEO!!!

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OK this is sooooooo going into the “things that make you go hummmmmmmm” category. I watched this video twice and still didn’t get it which kills me cause’ I’m usually pretty good at that stuff. I think it has something to do with Ecstasy but that’s only because homegirl was trippin at the end.

Nevertheless I’m happy Jay didn’t make some off brand regular video just to get on 106th. Thanks Jay. Even though I don’t get it I appreciate artistic intelligence.

Take a look and let me know what you think

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6KhSjWZIhDQ

March 5, 2008 Posted by | Things that make you go hummmmmm! | 1 Comment

TYSON COMING BACK FOR SECONDS!!!

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Wow. I didn’t see this coming. I know this isn’t about music but Mike Tyson used to own his own record label so I guess I can get away with it. Mike Tyson and Evander (the real deal) Holyfield are in talks to have a rematch. Many of you may remember the infamous ear biting incident during their last fight in 1997 (I was 12 at the time serving cats on the drumset at church the night it happened). Anyway if the fight goes down it could be worst than the NPHC party in 05 (whuddup Whitewater). Some say it will be the most controversial match in boxing history.

Gaurdian.co.uk reports: Evander Holyfield has revealed that he and Mike Tyson are considering the possibility of fighting each other for a third time in a bout that, should it proceed, would be the most controversial in boxing history. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Holyfield, who has been the world heavyweight champion a record four times, said that Tyson had approached him, through an intermediary, to discuss a rematch after their infamous second fight in 1997 ended in disgrace.

Well I’m not sure what to say about this one…but I (like most people) am still wondering why the hell Mike Tyson EVER owned a record label LMAO. I’ll keep you posted on the details.

March 3, 2008 Posted by | Things that make you go hummmmmm! | 2 Comments

LET ME GET THIS STR8

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So you killed her but it was an accident right? Not buying bro. Homeboy is now talking about how he killed his girlfriend but he didn’t mean to…then he buried her and went on with his day. If Arsenio were here he would put this in the “things that make you go hummmmmmm” section of the show.

BET.com reports:In a tearful, two-hour testimony Monday afternoon, a former Ohio cop told a stunned jury how he killed his pregnant girlfriend, accidentally, before loading her body on the back of his pickup and dumping it in a local park.

WOW! I remember in the summer when homeboy damn near laughed it off tombout some “I aint killed a muh-effin thang”. Now he sounds something like “aight aight aight I killed her a lil bit”. What’s got me buried is the jury is in their second day of deliberation. Someone let me know what they think because I’m lost on this one.

February 13, 2008 Posted by | Things that make you go hummmmmm! | Leave a comment