FBQ Cawfee Talk XVI

The Queen wasn’t planning to talk about the Olympics until our brunch this weekend. However with the closing night ceremonies still fresh in my mind, and dealing with a moping Bianca (obsessed with the Games) now going through withdrawal, I thought I’d spend a few moments sharing with you what I learned over two weeks of The Games.

5 Things I Learned From The Olympics

5. Cocky Ain’t Cocky if you can Back It Up

I’ve had several friends poo-pooing Michael Phelps for his attitude during competition and interviews. Personally I think for what this young man has achieved at 27, he is relatively humble. And other than a wild party from time to time comports himself with appropriate dignity. Similarly, the Queen’s diva friends took issue with Felix Sanchez’s display after winning the 400m hurdles. I look at it the same way I do when I see a woman wearing an over-the-top hairstyle or flamboyant ensemble: If she’s got attitude and carries it off? Three snaps in a circle. If she doesn’t, then we talk about her all the way home in the car ride from the mall.

These two men (among MANY others) have achieved milestones in their sports and have earned their place in Olympic history. Confidence is sexy. Saying what you’re going to do, and then backing it up is even sexier. When the haters can do what these guys can do…then we’ll talk.

4. Black folk can do more than Track & Field and Basketball.

In NO way to dis my Track and Field brethren and sisteren. Without the likes of Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix,Christian Taylor, Aries Merritt, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and many others we wouldn’t have had some of most incredible moments of the games (and the U.S. would have been in third place in the medal count). But it is also nice that the world sees that we exist in other sports as well. The world at large gets to broaden their concept of Black Americans, and Black Americans get to confirm their varied interests and possibilities.

which brings us to:

3. After All Of These Years Since the Emancipation Proclamation, Black People Are Still Fucked In The Head With A Horrible Self Image.

Gabby Douglas. The girl (I refuse to call a 16-year-old a woman no matter what the Olympic Committee says. Let her be a girl a little longer) does what no black gymnast has done in the history of the Olympics and all you can focus on is her hair?

I’ve had my Black Card revoked so many times that it doesn’t matter any more. But we’ve GOT to air our dirty laundry or it ain’t never gonna get clean. The Queen has to admit that he joked about all of the barrettes she was using during the competition. It should be noted, however, that her teammates also sported similar hair accoutrements. I said something to Bianca like: “Oooh now that she’s America’s Darling she needs to get a weave, or something.” But I swear it was joking. I couldn’t have been prouder of her skill, grace and beauty if she’d been my daughter. When I found out that folks were on social networks dissing her appearance I was livid. So white people, now you know: we can’t stand ourselves. If you want to see what years of internalized oppression look like? Look at these generations of Ham.

2. People can still surprise you.

You’d think that going into the next half of a century there would be little that would surprise this Queen. However the record for attendance at the Women’s Soccer final did. It’s not that I don’t recognize the fact that the world loves itself some soccer. It’s not that the sales of tickets skyrocketed after two incredibly exciting matches going into the final. It’s that gender seemed to be a non-issue. Europeans love their football, and that’s all that mattered. Two spectacular teams were battling it out for top honors and everyone wanted to be there to see what happened.

And the #1 thing I learned from the Olympics:

1. Some People Will Label You A Failure Before You Even Try. Screw ‘Em: Do It Anyway.

Maybe it was just because it was a slow news cycle, but the press surrounding the G4S Security debacle got on the Queen’s nerves. Would the games in London be an epic fail? Would logistical nightmares and player banning be the UK 2012 Game’s legacy? Would David Beckham show up shirtless, at least once???!!!

Well they bloody well showed us.

Except for the David Beckham thing, dang it.

Not only were the games successful (of course we’ll have to see how much is recouped after all is said and done), they were magical. It is the one time–other than natural disaster–when the planet seems to come together just a little and find the humanity in humanity. Sure there are wars and unrest still going on in seemingly every part of the globe, but there also seems to be camaraderie and good-hearted competition. We all walk around asking “How are WE doing in the games?!!!” We. Like most of us could even GET on a balance beam or swim one lap in an Olympic-sized pool. Yet we find a reason to cheer. As in Ancient Times, Olympians become the true heroes of our society. They prove over and over the unbridled spirit of human possibility and promise. I feel better about myself knowing that I share DNA with these mortals who, for one moment in time (you know what’s coming after the break) become immortal.

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5 thoughts on “FBQ Cawfee Talk XVI

  1. Could someone explain to the clueless white woman what exactly was WRONG with her hair? She’s a world class athletic competing at the highest level in her sport. Was her hair supposed to look like she had just come from a salon? As far as I could tell it was pulled back just like her teammates and no one was was rushing to shame them on social media. In fact, it looked similar to many young girls hairs of all races who are getting ready to sweat and exert themselves. I was more taken aback by the TV ad men who chose to air the gymnastic monkey ad immediately after her win. Without intent, it was a discordant note that Miss Douglas should not have been subjected to anymore than controversy over her hair.

    • I will leave it to the women of color Miss Things to do the heavy lifting. But the short answer to your question is : nothing is wrong with her hair. And for all of the reasons you went on to mention.

      If you haven’t already, take a look at the Chris Rock documentary called Good Hair. He created it because one of his daughters came to him one day and asked him, “Daddy, why don’t I have good hair?”–meaning straight and flowing like the white girls in commercials. He sets out to find out where this all started.

      What he discovers is that there is a multi-billion dollar industry in which, though we only make up about 13% of the population, we buy about 30-34% of the hair product sold in America–with the VAST majority of the profits going to whites and Asians.

      Bottom line is that we, as a people, on the whole are still very screwed up and oppressed when it comes to our perception of beauty and acceptability–and what’s really important in terms of economic development and self-worth.

      Check out Good Hair when you can. It’s not only an eye-opener, it’s also very funny. Chris got his Black Card revoked for that one too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I am going to be honest here: I watched the Olympics to not only see some great sporting events that I rarely get to see during the rest of the year, but to see some *sigh* daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn fine-looking bodies, both male and female (but mostly the men, because I got to see more of them ๐Ÿ™‚ ) The human body in its best form is a work of art.

    Other Olympic notes from my house:
    My husband declared that he thought volleyball was better than beach volleyball.
    Me: It’s the same damn thing, just with two people instead of however many they have. What don’t you like about it?
    Hubby: The HUGGING! They hug after every serve! That’s too much hugging!
    Me: … You have a problem with seeing two women hug each other? There’s men that pay to see that and then some!

  3. I confess, I’m an Olympics junkie. (“Oh, of course I can work, I’ll just put it on in the background.” Um, yeah. Delusional. 80% cut in productivity.)

    And yet, this year, my favorite was the closing ceremonies because they were just so . . . so . . . so INEXPLICABLE. Or, as I’ve said elsewhere, the words “Oh what the f***, why not?” were definitely uttered during the planning process.

    I kept waiting and waiting for it to all pull together into some theme that at least hinted at “Our Glorious Country’s Farewell Salute to International Sport.” And it NEVER CAME. We just got one WTF moment after another – and it was FUN!

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