Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Frustration 101

I’m going to take advantage of my recent stank-di-dank-dank mood to get a few things off my chest. Normally I prefer not to write a post in anger but I think that’s precisely what I need to do, because walking on eggshells, trying not to offend or upset other people, diplomacy and playing politics can all kiss my ENTIRE high-yellow, flabby new booty.

In 2005 I decided to pursue writing as a career. I figured I’d get some lowly job at a cheesy paper, magazine or website, and then on the side I’d write a few stories that I’d submit to some journals, that would in turn publish the stories and I’d have a quiet little career- writing my little articles and publishing my little stories.

While in graduate school, and especially after my divorce, I got these lofty ideas of doing greater things, like maybe starting my own magazine or publishing a book or teaching a creative writing class to inner-city youth. I didn’t really speak these things out loud because honestly, with the exception of a few people, I knew I was surrounded by Doubting Thomases and Negative Nellies, and it was just safer to dream big only on the inside.

Then I began to meet with other creative types (and the people who claimed to love us) who shouted from the mountain tops that it was okay to dream out loud and whatever ideas I had YES! AWESOME! PURSUE THEM! WE’RE BEHIND YOU AND SUPPORT YOU 100%!!!

Well a funny thing is happening on the way to that big dream- some of the people who shouted the loudest turned into Doubting Thomases and Negative Nellies, and Lazy Limabeans to boot! And all the support and enthusiasm they touted turned out not being worth the price of tube socks.

I understand that my dream is mine and it is in fact my responsibility to make it happen if I wanted bad enough. I get that and am okay with that. I suppose it just would have been more helpful to know who was really in my corner and who just wanted to jump on the bandwagon once things got rolling.

A light bulb went off in my head and I started to get why there are "sellouts," and why our local creatives rarely come back to the ‘hood. Because for all the hootin’ and hollerin’ that there’s no good entertainment in the Black and Latino community, that same community is the first one to NOT support one another. I used to do the same thing, but now I get it. Now I know why it happens. Mine eyes hath seen the light!

One trillion people will break their necks to view and complain about Keri Hilson gyrating in a video, calling her all kinds of names and saying she’s what’s wrong with entertainment today, but only a handful will show up to an open mic, music showcase, off-off Broadway show or indie film screening. Shame on you. Shame on ALL of you (myself included!) who complain about shit you don’t do anything to change.

And let me just say this: I dare one poor unfortunate soul say one contrary thing about me doing business with The Others when I finish putting The Jaded Empire together. I tried working with my people but y'all are like crabs in a barrel and I can't let myself get caught in there. Talk out of place about Brad or Skip being executive VP in charge of shit and I will forget my degrees/home training and Suge Knight your ass. Trust.

* you some harsh truths on a Wednesday*
this, of course, does not apply to the people who DO make an effort to support independent movers and shakers. Y'all know who you are. On behalf of creatives everywhere, THANK YOU!