Cawfee Talk III

Happy Monday (Don’t slap me for that)!

The Queen was swamped all weekend and didn’t get a chance to post. Please forgive! So there’s lots to talk about over the Entenmann’s and coffee (Yay, hellkell put an order in–thanks oh fabulous one!).

Sorry for Sarah?

So at the end of my busy weekend the Queen kicked off his shoes (after making sure there was enough Febreze around to handle the funk), and watched Game Change on HBO. If you have Cable, I’d be very interested to hear y’alls opinions.
What I was most surprised by was my empathy for her plight. Don’t get me wrong–the thought of Sarah Palin as the Vice President (much less President) chills me to my soul. However, Julianne Moore’s portrayal was uncanny and had much pathos. And while I’m pretty sure that many of the viewers who lean far to the Right probably had a hard time acknowledging the subtleties of Ms. Moore’s interpretation, there were moments when I was actually moved by Sarah Palin, the person. While the producers focused on a very small part of the book, I really appreciated a chance to peer into–albeit dramatized–an insider look at a fascinating person during a momentous moment in American History.

What about you Miss Things? Do you think there is any reason to feel sorry for the former Governor of the great state of Alaska, dont’cha know?

The Trouble With Tyler

Some friends of the Queen (sounds like the name of a philanthropic organization) asked me to go see Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds this weekend. While I could honestly say I had too many things to do, I was secretly relieved that I didn’t have to tell them the real reason for declining their invitation: The fact is, that as a black man and artist, I don’t respond well to Tyler Perry productions.

Please don’t get me wrong: Not only am I in awe of Mr. Perry; I also think the man is FIIINE. He is, in my humble opinion, a genius. For a black man–hell, ANYONE–to go from homelessness to creating and running a major entertainment empire is no less than visionary. However that doesn’t mean I have to like the products that he puts out.

While I’ve finally come off of my elitist high horse–and accepted his franchise as art–I still see his aesthetic as promoting stereotypes. I feel he has failed at elevating the perception of blacks in Cinema and Theatre. I can’t deny that his pieces are engaging and at times insightful and very very funny. But in some ways I can’t help but feel that they set us back. I love the fact that he writes for black folk. I love the fact that he has shown that you can build an empire on the backs of a very specific community. I just hate the fact that I don’t believe that our community is educated or more diverse in thinking after coming from one of his works. In fact I think we become much more insular and segregated. And that hurts.

What do you Miss Things think of Tyler Perry and his enterprises? Now you white Miss Things: don’t be afraid to voice your REAL opinion. You’re among friends. Us Miss Things of Color won’t run you out of town on Amtrak.

Fierce Feedback

Finally, the Queen is REALLY enjoying these daily conversations that we’ve been having, and wants to continue discussions that are relevant to you. Here’s a little poll to get some more feedback about the kinds of things you’d like to talk about. If you don’t see topics you are interested reflected in the poll contents, fill it in the space provided and/or let the Queen know in the Comments section. Thanks in advance for your FIERCE help!


6 thoughts on “Cawfee Talk III

  1. Funny you should mention Tyler Perry. Previously the closest I came to seeing one of his movies was when I watched ‘Precious’ which he was credited as an ‘after-the-fact’ Producer – so he does not get credit for that films brilliance (and for all the films haters out there, I do not care, this movie shook me to my core).
    So this weekend the husband was out with a friend so I decided to finally sit through ‘For Colored Girls’.
    Now that movie is FLAWED and an overly melodramatic version of a brilliant and un-filmable stage play. But he tried, and judging by the performances from some of the most underrated actresses working today, he succeeded. Seeing what Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Loretta Divine, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson and Macy Grey are capable of just outlines the untapped brilliance of these actors. They elevated the material and should all be at the top of the pile for casting directors. So for that, thank you Mr Perry. Just please work on your story cohesion, writing and tendency for melodrama so the movie does service to the talent you assemble.

    • hellkell is not the only one behind the movie curve – somehow I missed that Tyler Perry wrote the screenplay for & directed the movie version of ‘For Colored Girls.’ That’s been on my LOOONG list of movies to catch up on since it came out. I confess I’ve been reluctant to see it in case it disappointed, having first seen it in my mid/late teens, that play was definitely a force in shaping my emotions (even more than my ideas) about theater, race & feminism.

      I don’t see how he could reduce Ms. Shange’s play to the level of his film comedies. Not without being beaten to death by the actors involved. So will probably be even more internally divided in my feelings about Mr. Perry’s work. (See my comment, below.)

  2. Happy Monday back!

    Here goes:

    1) Sarah Palin. No, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for her. Anyone who has lived in this country for 5 minutes knows what a circus politics have become. So unless she was living under a snow bank, she knew what she was getting into. I think Sarah is all about Sarah, and it just speaks to Julianne Moore’s acting skills that she was able to portray her as anything else. …and the thought of her in any public office that will impact my daily life frightens me to the tips of my white girl toes. Which brings me to –
    2) Tyler Perry. Not a huge fan. All I can think of is Medea – and I’m not sure that’s a great legacy to leave behind. However, I have watched the trailers for ‘Good Deeds’ and thought that I might go to see it, it looks like it is a departure from his usual schtick. I’m sad you didn’t go, I would have been interested in your opinion.
    3) Feedback. I’d love to see some movie reviews from you. Scripted TV? Don’t know – what are your favorite shows? I didn’t comment on your question about the new ‘Fashion Star’ show – I think you should definitely blog about it. I think it is a disaster waiting to happen, but it would be fun to get your take.

    Must now go back to work. Enjoy your day!

  3. I can’t find it in my heart to feel sorry for Sarah Palin. Yes, she got used but by God she undermined the hard work of many deserving female politicians and made it that much harder for every attractive woman to be taken seriously in their chosen profession. She exemplifies the worse form of media/marketing manipulation and it embarrasses me that my fellow citizens fell for it even briefly.

    Much of Tyler Perry’s work has roots in vaudeville and the old minstrel shows. I recognize the tradition while finding it deeply unsettling. Just as I find The Three Stodges and Keystone Cops form of slapstick outdated and disturbing. Laughing at the misfortune of others just doesn’t seem that amusing to me.

    Mr. Perry’s work is certainly better than the old depictions of Mammys and Popeyed chauffeurs played for broad laughs in the supposed Golden Heyday of Film. He has shown is is capable of real brilliance. I understand the need to balance artistic vision with commercial viability. If you fail to make a profit to quickly find yourself out of business. I
    just think someone as capable as Mr. Perry doesn’t have to reach for the low laugh.

  4. Oof. Feeling sorry for Palin–maybe a smidge, because she got used so cynically in that McCain thought all us ladypart having ladies would just looooooooove to vote for her based on that. But she let it happen, and wanted the power, so no, I don’t feel too sorry for her. Like julaine said, she made it harder for all of us in the long run.*

    I have never watched a Tyler Perry movie. Jesus, between this and Body Heat, y’all must think I am a troglodyte. I can order the coffee again, and if you have special requests, let me know!

    *For the conservatives out there, “long run” isn’t just an Eagles song, it’s that way y’all don’t think, leading to some of the pickles we’re in now. xoxo

  5. Sarah Palin: If you know enough about any person (but have not personally been hurt by them) you can have some sympathy for them. Even (especially?) the most rotten people act out of their own hurts and/or ignorance. But “sorry for her?” Nah. She’s gotten a good run out of her looks, an abundance of what appears on the surface to be self confidence, and a pretty shrewd ability to communicate with/manipulate people. I think she got used, but I also think she’d have ridden that horse into the ground given the opportunity, happily letting herself be used.

    Tyler Perry: I’m a blonde woman who laughs at dumb blonde jokes. So I’m not *that* discriminating. (Though it partly depends on who’s telling them and how they’re telling them, ifyouknowwhutImeen.)

    When it comes down to individual real life encounters, I’m not convinced that persons of color can as easily dispense with others’ stereotypes about them as can blonde women. I have laughed at the two Tyler Perry movies I’ve seen, & I appreciate the overall positive message his story arcs have, but I do think his portrayals of women border on the misogynistic & I bet they’d bother me a lot more if I were a black woman. And most of the black men in his movies come off as bad or worse, most of the time.

    Polls: Write about what you’re moved to write about. It takes time & energy & you have to be moved to do the writing. You can always weed out topics that don’t spark as much discussion as others if you want to do so.

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