Thoughts Roundup 8/8/22 — I Wish My Brother George Was Here, Tropical Black Tea, Bangkok Love Stories, Comedy Night

Previous in this series: 8/1/22

Last year in April, I was part of a zoom focus group. I was being paid to participate in a discussion with other black males about how we feel about police brutality and various related questions. I was on camera for most of this discussion, there was a diverse set of responses from other black men about how we feel generally feel about police.

“Diverse” is a kinda funny word sometimes. It’s often inherently positive. But not to sound like a tyrant, but “diverse” responses about something like american policing from black men isn’t a good thing. For the most part, we came into agreement about how police target black men more aggressively and how their behavior needs be reformed in some way.

I was one of the few who said policing needed to be completely abolished while most said that policing needed radical reforms. I’m not judging those who weren’t completely aligned with me, especially the ones who saw a safer future with reforms that I think sound good but won’t help. But I did judge the few ones in that zoom who said they completely trusted police. You what?

But of course, I kept it professional. I wanted my $100 — which a major portion went towards getting myself an office chair to use while working from home. I wasn’t there to debate or finger wag at anyone. But I did lay out a few points to everyone regardless. I did say that society needs to reimagine societal ills being “fixed” by violent state enforcers and that something like a mental health crisis should be solved by…a mental health professional.

I think me simplifying my views down to that level got me a few nods, and even a “facts!” from a gay black man on the zoom who had told the group about a scary life or death encounter he had with police previously that began with his white woman roommate.

But even with a nod from the fellow black male individual who went out of the way to say he trusted police, I kept thinking “what the fuck is wrong with that guy?”

On a slightly related note, one time I talked to a south african woman on Omegle. She was white — mind you — but I was interested in learning more about South Africa from her anyway. The little I knew was that South Africa’s black population was around 60% in poverty, as expected from a state only a few decades removed from white supremacist racial apartheid, similar America and Jim Crow.

But I didn’t want to immediately get political, so I asked her about the food there. She didn’t have much to say about that. She mentioned being unemployed and said South Africa’s economy was struggling. I offered sympathy for her situation. Sympathy that I would regret. She later said “I don’t want to sound racist but…it’s much harder for white people here. Especially when it comes to finding a job.”

Let’s be real. I wasn’t shocked. I do not have high expectations for white people. But imagine knowing the previously-mentioned stat (not including the fact apparently 1% of white South Africans are in poverty) and hearing a white woman say that. All I could say was:

“Oh.”

I told myself to hide my disgust. I told myself I did not want to debate or “correct” a white woman because I would only find myself annoyed and whatever I said would not supersede white supremacist programming. I told myself end the conversation as soon as possible.

Apparently I did not do a good job of hiding my disgust. The white South African woman said “Oh, judging by your face it looks like you didn’t like what I said. I’m sorry!”

“I was raised by a black woman. She was a maid in our household and she took care of me my whole life! I love her! I’m not racist!”

I didn’t try keeping my face neutral there. I couldn’t believe that shit. Jesus fucking christ. I very quickly told her “I gotta go.”

And she had the nerve to ask if I had Snapchat so she could send me pictures of herself where she looks “better than her current state.”

I told her “I have to go. I have no social media at ALL.”

Mission accomplished. I had self control to not tell a white woman overseas that I think she’s vile and I look forward to the day she dies or anything like that. I’m honestly not too big on “dragging” people online. I’m not judging people who do. But what do I get out of it? Just gets me annoyed.

Anyway, I tell that story to lead back to my original story. When the fellow zoom focus group attendee went out his way to say he trusts police, I thought I was putting on a neutral face to hide my disgust. But I wonder if the “what the fuck is wrong with that guy?” was jumping out from my face the whole time and I didn’t realize it. Woops.

Tea:

Tropical Black— Old Barrel

K2

I enjoy drinking cold black tea also, especially mixed with lemonade, and this tea advertises itself as a good tea to do that with. Unfortunately, it tastes only slightly better than more generic and cheaper black teas and I would much rather go in that direction than order this and its higher price tag again.

TV:

Bangkok Love Stories: Objects of Affection (2019)

Damn! He pimpin!

This is one of the most ridiculous shows I’ve finished. I wouldn’t call it good by any means, but I also do not have any regrets from watching it. It requires a lot of suspension of disbelief and overlooking plotholes. It involves a lot of trauma, unnecessarily dramatic storytelling, and insane coincidence. It’s hard for me to explain the plot honestly, but the main points are that the main character — a woman with multiple personality disorder — witnesses a murder and records it on her phone and the two-man gang that committed murder attempt to track her down throughout the show.

The male love interest ends up being the guy who owns the local phone repair shop, and there’s just all kinds of extremely wacky shit that happens. The main character cycles through different personalities that arose as a defense mechanism for trauma she received in the past and that’s probably not even the wackiest thing about this show. I don’t think I could recommend it to anyone, and maybe because it was my introduction to Thailand TV, but I enjoyed it and it made me want to watch more content with the star.

Music:

I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991) — Del Tha Funky Homosapien

I wasn’t alive when this came out!

Favorite tracks: Pissin’ On Your Steps, Sunny Meadowz, Dr. Bombay

I fuck with Del’s debut album a lot. My issue with a lot of “weirdo” rappers is engaging in weird anti-black self-hatred and simultaneously with this self-hatred looking down on black people. Good examples are Tyler The Creator, who thinks he’s some type of revolutionary pioneer because he snowboards, Childish Gambino, who did some weird performance art about wanting to be white, and whatever the fuck Doja Cat is on.

Del is an 18 year old weirdo rapper in 1991. He also ghost writes for his cousin Ice Cube. But there’s no weird self hatred. On Sunny Meadowz he raps about wanting to return gold to the African motherland while also fantasizing about traveling beyond earth. On Pissin’ On Your Steps, he’s hostile towards white rap appropriator Vanilla Ice, proclaiming:

Ice is cool, but I can’t stand Vanilla
Because he takes a style and tries to mock it
Ain’t nothin’ personal, G, but I’m kinda into chocolate
It’s all about the black, and it’s like that

Speaking of his cousin Ice Cube, on Dark Skin Girls, Del proclaims his love for dark skinned women, and at the end, there’s a weird debate between Del and presumably Ice Cube (who earlier on the song yells out “I disagree homeboy!” when Del chants dark skin girls are better than light skin ones) where they go back and forth about it. It’s really weird because there’s some big time anti-blackness with the other party in this exchange, I’m not sure if that’s meant to be a skit or the actual feelings of Ice Cube.

I guess I wouldn’t be too heartbroken to find out Ice Cube does feel that way, I fuck with a lot of old Ice Cube music, but I never really thought he was some “woke” representative of black culture. Not before and especially not today, where he’s posting anti-Semitic memes and shit. He’s always been rather reactionary.

One last note about this album is the sample on Dr. Bombay. I used to think it might be a combo of P-funk and some type of Sonic the Hedgehog game, especially because Del has proclaimed his love for Sega before. But the sample that kinda sounds like Sonic is this song from Parlet, the P-funk spinoff group. Interesting.

Bonus music: This song from the original Dragon ball soundtrack is so good, they fuckin snapped https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQV_nm8eums

Games:

Comedy Night

I bought this game on sale, so it was even cheaper than the current price of $5. Can I get my money back even then?

I’m not sure what I expected. I think it’s a flaw with attempting to be genuine online. I knew I wasn’t going to get an accurate virtual stand up comedy experience, but god. Just people getting on stage and reciting anti-Semitic conspiracies and claiming homosexuality isn’t real. And yes, plenty of racist slurs. And most importantly: no jokes. These weren’t attempt at comedy, they were attempts to get people riled up, but most people in the comedy rooms were ALSO trying to do that.

Awful experience.

Thanks for reading as always, feel free to leave feedback or share your thoughts with me!

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