HELLO POSSUM. PRESS PLAY, IF YOU DARE.
When mumsy was a child, I would hear this very sound--the sound of the Emergency Broadcast System. Oh you know that sound. Back in the day I would hear this noise and freak. the. fuck. out. I was pretty certain that my life was about to end. At the age of 6, I was paralyzed by the dramatic yet, monotone sound. Man, I would be having a grand old time sitting in my bedroom surrounded by my toys, eating a hot dog and enjoying The Richard Simmons Show on the tv. He always brought me such joy. He was so happy and encour---OOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....Ummm hello? What is this? I don't like this. I don't like this. Wwww...why'd they take off tv? Where's the TV?? Mom? Maa! MAAA! MAMI????
Why are all those colors up there on the TV screen? It looks like my Crayola box was--Oh shit. Everyone knows that monsters take crayolas at night when you sleep--and when they--they they they use the colors to mark us--these colors are the mark of death....
OH MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST THAT'S THE EMERGENCY SOUND-- ITS A WARNING. GRAVE NATIONAL CRISIS IS HAPPENING! OOOH SHIT GATDAMN. I AM ABOUT TO DIE! MAAAAA! NO. Ok. Think. think. I have to save myself--Ma? NO fuck her, she's lived long enough--I have to save myself. Raggedy Ann it's just you and me. I know I'm 6 years old and shouldn't be cussing but I'm stressed---no, fuck you...you're a rag doll, I don't have to explain myself to you during a crisis. Just come on! NOOOO we have to leave Andy behind Annie! Its just you and me! Leave the Barbies and that lame ass game LIFE --fuck who ever bought me that board game for Christmas. I'm only a kid! Now get into the position!
I would move expeditiously to my "fallout shelter" (which was nothing more than the corner of my bedroom) and do my very best to control anal leakage and wait for the sound to pass over.
Oh my god. Oh my god. The world is ending. What in the name of Shadrach, Meshack and the Billy Goats is we gonna do Annie?? Goddamn that teacher, telling us lies! Chicken Little was right---the sky is falling Annie. Those ass monkeys laughed when that acorn fell on his head, but as sure as you have beautiful red hair made of yarn, I KNEW Chicken Little was right! The motherfucking sky is falling! And there are motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!
In that 30-60 second test pattern, my six year old brain would see flashes of the future. I would see flashes of the end of times.
Annie...they coming for us: The Borg. Zombies. Vampires. Daleks. AT-AT's. All that creepy shit in the bible grown ups talk about--land swarmed with frogs, and locusts. Locusts are fucking gross...Oh no Raggedy Annie...there's a two headed monster named Kim & Kanye! It's so scarrrryy! Now I see some obese beauty pageant little girl named Honey Boo Boo. Something called BET will mutate into Tom Coonery. Jesus Fuck! Captain Kangaroo dies!! COME ON! Some Republican who talks about legitimate Rape...reality tv shows where Black women have no integrity causing the spirits of Barbara Jordan and Ida B. Wells to rise from their graves and pour hot grits all over us...Oh FUCK a slug with a teaspoon of salt--there are NO more Saturday morning cartoons?????? Annie. Oh Annie, I don't want the world to end...Annie please forgive me for not combing your hair everyday. And I'm so sorry I kept lifting your dress to see if you were naked underneath--I'm sorry Annie, I'm just a kid in a repressed society that don't teach children about sexuality...I watch a lot of Benny Hill and...
Annie. Annie? Listen--Richard's back on. We're alive. We're alive! Thank you god! I'm gonna be a good girl! I promise.
Eschatology and Apocalypticism don't plague most 6 year olds, but once a week I was pretty certain that every time I heard that sound, life was over.
I haven't had an eschatological break down in a few years. That is until recently I read about a few biographical films in Hollywood---and the "stars" slated to be leads.
ZOE SALDANA as the empress of soul Nina Simone. And in another film MARY J. BLIGE as Betty Shabazz.
*Grabs vodka, and moves expeditiously to the corner.
Now, the zen part of me wants to say "Oooh there's room for all of us. Those are talented actresses with loads of potential" I can't even commit to writing that sentence. I am done. I have NO words. I cannot understand how it is that we are in 2012 and there is still NO ROOM. No room to foster talent. Unknown talent. Unsung talent. Under valued talent.
Zoe and Mary J.
At the risk of sounding like some asshole, I will say bluntly that this really makes my vagina boil. It hurts my heart. Have you ever seen Nina Simone? Winnie Mandela? Betty Shabazz? My intent is not to slander Ms. Saldana, Ms. Blige or Jennifer Hudson---but there has to be accountability.
I know, Zoe Saldana is a very talented actress but she does NOT have the articularity or depth that is required to play Nina. Okay, lets say she does have it--Nina was ostracized because of her dark skin and broad African features. *Facepalm* Hey, maybe Zoe will get to be like the white actresses--put on a wig, prosthetic nose and get an oscar. GO FOR IT BOO.
But Mary J? No. I cannot. But guess what? No one forced me to be in an industry that isn't merit based.
I want to point my fingers to the "them's" and the "they's" that run Hollywood and shout: Why do you guys keep sacking us? It's like paying rent to a landlord who takes your money, and does nothing to better your quality of life. But you're in his building, and until you get your own, it's his way or the high way--but--
Landlord, I like my water hot.
Landlord, why are only a few chosen women considered palatable for your establishment? Is it because they have lighter skin or racially ambiguous features? They have a charming British accent YET you cast them as Americans? Is it because they wore the right dress during award season? They flashed their pretty cunt to the papparazzi and it was featured on the right blog? Sold platinum as a singer and get to star in big budget movies & do the soundtrack because they're a package deal? Landlord, I'm working on getting my own land, but this here? This here ain't working for me.
Increasingly so, no one gives a fuck about the working class actor--artist. My career isn't featured on some Bravo network reality TV series--but it exists. And I have to rob Peter to pay Paul to pay my union dues. I can shit out the names of talented blactresses that could revolutionize stage, film and television all over the world--if they simply had a chance. Also news flash, we have original stories. We don't always have to play singers or historical figures in order to have a role with depth.
I'll not go on too much longer because my intent is not to lament against Zoe, Mary and Jennifer. They are all lovely girls, and I champion their careers...as long as they stay in their lane. Again, no disrespect to those "actresses" cast in those iconic roles. But I'll not go quietly. This is call to action girls. Our noble profession is facing imminent doom.
Ciao for now,
The little fish seem to have gotten together and are nibbling at the body of the whale--Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin.