Age, Playa Hatn, & the FCC
It’s a Sunday morning and I’m forced to catch up on all the tv shows I’ve taped in the last month. Why?? You ask. You did ask, didn’t you? I suffer from migraines. So for two days I drugged myself and covered my right eye (because of the office light glare) so I could continue to operate. Life stops for no one. Only to discover once the migraine was gone, that I had the mother of all sinus headaches. So now my left eye is patched and starring at a computer screen for more than ten minutes makes the pain excruciating.
But when the spirit hits you have to write. And three spirits have hit in the last hour as I watched the Oprah Winfrey Birthday Bash Show. So sit back. When I feel like crap, my patience is very very thin.
Age Isn’t Just a %^@$!~) ####
I don’t discuss age. Mine or anybody else’s.
If you want to piss me off quick, and I mean real quick, ask “How old are you?” or “How old do you think …?” Or worse, say, “Oh my God, you’re/she’s/he’s how old!” or “Did you know she/he is that old?”
And don’t surreptitiously find it out. That’s up there with my first name. A friendship ender.
By now you’re saying, ‘she has issues.’
And you’re daggone right.
Because age isn’t just a %^@$!~) ####, it’s a method of discrimination and that’s why I don’t ever discuss mine or anybody else’s.
You pick up a magazine and an article can’t discuss someone without mentioning their age – Oprah Winfrey, 50, has donated millions to Spellman College. Randy Jackson, 47, has gastric bypass surgery. Why do they mention there ages?
All the time.
Because we’re programmed that it means something, when it means very little.
Sure at 16 we can get a license. And by the way, why is it 16 and not 15, or 18?
At 21 we can vote. Like I knew more at 21 than I did at 19, or even 22. Which in hindsight I didn’t. It took seven more years before the rose-colored glasses were yanked off and I actually started to get it – which I’ll get to in a minute.
Madison Avenue tells us 18 – 35 are the important demographics. If a show doesn’t pull these demos, buh bye, you’re off the air. But I watch more tv than any of my friends and that includes the Wiggle-phlias.
It’s all stereotyping used as another form of discrimination.
And I want no part of it.
I don’t care if Oprah is 50 and Randy is 47. I’m still watching Oprah and American Idol.
I don’t care if John Kerry is older than Bush who is older than Edwards. Actually I don’t even know. I’m more concerned about the issues.
I don’t care if a 50 year old man dates a 25 year old woman, or a 40 year old woman dates an 18 year old boy. Unless it’s taking bread off my plate.
I don’t care if my grandma is 55, 65, or 85. I just wish she were still alive.
I don’t care if I’m suppose to be grown at 21, married by 28, career settled by 35, and over the hill at 40.
Life is too dysfunctional to follow a formula.
Some of us bloom early, while others never do.
What we don’t need are insecure a$$holes who, if you don’t ‘act your age’, feel the need to throw age in your face because it makes them feel better. Have I said KMA yet? How about KM %^@$!~) A.
Everyday I have to deal with the stereotypes from being black, a female, vertically challenged, and overweight. The ones you can see. Throw in being an attorney and a CPA and having worked for the IRS, as well as living in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, and loving Europe and folks think they have enough info to tell you how to run your life.
They don’t. And I refuse to give them any more information.
So age isn’t just a %^@$!~) #### for some of us. It’s our desire to have a little more freedom to live. On our terms. Not yours.
But then again, doesn’t the denial give you control too?
Before You take the Cheap Shot, Just Shut the %^@$ Up
A perfect segueway. Yes, I’m dogging and to make it worse, now I’m going to tell some folks to shut the %^@$ up.
I read a column on Oprah’s birthday party way before I viewed my tape. And although the column sounded complimentary, by the end I had this nagging thought that the writer can not stand Oprah. No, take that back, it wasn’t nagging, it was clear. Between the lines, in the lines, this writer didn’t think Oprah was all that.
For instance, Oprah was commended on turning 50 when she doesn’t look 50 (again the age thing). But then the writer goes on to say …
“You may have genes to thank for that. Or maybe the fact that you are among the richest women in the world. Or maybe it’s because you have achieved such great success you don’t have to worry about what people think. Worry can put a lot of lines on a face.”
Dag. And it only got worse. Check out this paragraph …
“I’m glad I don’t know you. I might have been tempted to reach out and touch you myself. Lord knows, I could use one of those makeovers you hand out. One day a woman is living the miserable life of an ugly duckling, and the next day she’s touched by magic hands blessed by Oprah.”
I could go on and mention her dogging Oprah for living with Stedman without the benefit of marriage or just having a man period, which most 50 year old African American women don’t have. But the lick of the iceberg (you didn’t think we’d hit rock bottom) was when the writer said,
“If I could give you a birthday gift, I would give you the one thing you don’t have — a normal life. Oh I know you have the good life. But it isn’t normal.”
Now here’s the sticky part of writing. How do I criticize this writer for criticizing Oprah and not be a hypocrite?
And it’s even rougher because I’m a fan of the writer’s column.
Drum roll please. The answer is I can’t.
So I won’t.
Not because I’m a fan, but because nothing more needs to be said.
I’ll just remind everyone of what our mamas and grandmamas and aunties (why is it always a female) told us … ‘If you got nothing to say, then don’t say anything.’ Translation: “Before You take the Cheap Shot, Just Shut the %^@$ Up.”
Because we hurt ourselves more than we hurt the object of our affection.
For while we and the writer cut Oprah and others down, these people are going on with their lives. Paying absolutely no attention to us.
Hey, that’s a lesson I learned from Oprah.
And we call our lives normal?
Yes Sheniqua, There is Grey
Which brings me to the last subject … not everything in life is black and white. There is a lot of grey. It’s rare that something is absolutely right or absolute wrong. Even in the worst situations. So before we get on our high horses and pontificate about the rightness or wrongness of things, we need to think. And us hearers need to think. We cannot believe everything we hear or read unless we check out the messenger. Spin surrounds us. Worse, spin changes its mind.
A month ago, Howard Dean was the sure win Democratic candidate for President. The media has now appointed John Kerry. Next month it may be John Edwards.
Despite the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it was a good thing we started a war because Saddam was a bad man and had to be taken out. It’s also a bad thing because we went to war on faulty intel. Which is right? Either. Neither. A piece here with a piece there? All I know is I was and still am totally oppose to the Iraq war. But I’m proud of our guys who are fighting. We all have had to do things we’re not crazy about, but it rarely requires us to put our lives on the line. Kudos to the troops. Furthermore, I do feel safer that Saddam has been captured. At least I did until I thought about all the other nuts out there the U.S. has malignly allied and sold weapons of mass destruction to. So war, no war??
Yes Sheniqua, there is grey.
There is also a continuing growth to the abridgement of free speech.
ESPN is not bringing back its critical and viewer success show ‘Playmakers’ because … the NFL objected to content which portrayed the NFL in a bad light. Doesn’t matter if it happens. They don’t want it. ESPN caved. But to their credit admitted they caved because the NFL, their powerful partner, objected to the show’s continuation. At least there was some truth here. That’s more than CBS can say about their lame excuse for not showing the Reagan movie.
Janet Jackson is now the personification of what is wrong with this country. Our morals have all gone to hell, so the media needs to take back control before it goes further. Because a breast showed. And yes, I am one of the few that absolutely believe it was a wardrobe malfunction. If you watch the horror on her face after the cloth is gone, how you can believe she meant the breast to show is beyond me. But the media says she did mean it. And that CBS knew. And the NFL knew. And MTV knew. And we all have to be reigned in because what was on cable is now in our homes on mainstream media.
I am so much less offended by Janet’s boob than the booty videos which are planned, produced, and run over and over and over.
I am so much less offended by Janet’s boob than the reality shows which proliferate the mainstream media channels.
I am much more offended by a few guys, and the number will get smaller if the FCC has its way, deciding my standard of morality. Worse I hate that fact that on the other hand I want standards because parental controls and changing channels is not enough.
Just don’t give me all bland soup. I have to have choice.
The head is definitely throbbing. Maybe I should just shut the heckie up.