Sunday, December 15, 2013


For millions around the world, the name, "BEYONCE" evokes an image of the most powerful female entertainer in the world.

You may even think of more than one woman; A cinematic daydream of a revolution of women "running the world", through the inspiration of this one, independent woman.

Me personally, I think of a victim of the entertainment industry with an identity crisis. A woman who never had a childhood. A lonely superstar who has never had a true friend outside of the industry. An illusion of feminism concocted by male puppet masters.

VIDEO: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the African writer featured on "Flawless"

I think of a colossal mismatch of messages. One minute girls run the world, the next minute...
She's simply, "Mrs. Carter"
If you're not just "his little wife" then maybe you shouldn't have changed your last name.

In this blog I will tackle the question which isn't suppose to have an answer.

Is Beyonce a feminist?

Wait, do we even know what a feminist is?

According to Merriam-Webster, feminism is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. It is the organized activity on the behalf of women's rights. 

I will start off by addressing my admiration of this survivor of the cut-throat slaughter house that is the music industry. I commend Beyonce for being head strong and taking her own career by the reigns. She's been able to do things most men haven't been able to do. She's got her hands in many pots and created a new word for the dictionary. She's expressed her sexuality in the ways of a man and never settled in the role of the blonde bimbo who waits for a man to jack off to her. She takes the lead, calls the shots and commands the man to dance with her. She's bound together millions of women and gay men alike in a movement of self realization and retaliation against a "man's world."

But does all of this make her a feminist? Or is she actually just a tragic story of a muzzled recording artist, dressed up like a fire starter?

But where are her degrees?
Is she a hypocrite? Does she want women to bow down to her while saying that women to run the world?

You decide.

It's Friday the 13th. Everyone is already feeling a bit uneasy. What do I buy these people for the holidays? Will I get a bonus this year? Is there going to be black ice on the road on my commute to work? Will I have bad luck today? And then she hit us.

Beyonce surprised the world of zombies with her midnight iTunes only album release. Not just an album, seventeen accompanying music videos. Not just music videos, HIGH BUDGET videos with guest stars, special effects and dialogue.

VIDEO: My video version of this blog featuring "Yonce"

Cynical as I always am, I actually enjoyed most of this new body of work, including the videos. I was entranced by her, from the ratchet rhymes to the emotional ballads. It seems that Beyonce has crossed into a new dimension, a deeper identity of which she is willing to share with the world. No more robotic pop star who hides from lyrics too personal. She's giving us MARY J BLIGE, telling us the 411. Who knew that Jay Z skeeted on her gown on the way to a club in the car? Who knew Beyonce didn't feel "pretty"? What was really shocking to me, was when she expressed, though briefly, her feelings about the crooked record labels. With all of this, there seemed to be a conscious effort to appear vulnerable, but most of all, a voice for women. Beyonce always waved the flag of Girl Power with hits like RUN THE WORLD, SINGLE LADIES, INDEPENDENT WOMEN and IRREPLACEABLE. However, now she's taken it to another level by asking "bitches" to bow down, then telling them that they can do anything a man can do. The voice of an African feminist writer seems a bit odd on a Beyonce record. Is Beyonce truly finding herself in her music or is she just becoming more confusing to the masses? One minute she's "Flawless" with a bunch of White grunge trouble makers, the next, she's feeling unpretty like TLC???
She commands women to bow down to her while asking them to empower themselves? It's a lot to take in. WHO ARE THESE WOMEN WRAPPED UP IN THE NAME BEYONCE? WHOEVER THEY ARE, I REALLY LIKE ALL OF THEM!!! It's funny when you step back from Beyonce, you see a beautiful mess, or should I call it, a "Beautiful Nightmare." When you're wrapped up in her beautiful voice and sexy body, you forget to look at the bigger picture, WHAT IS HER OVERALL MESSAGE HERE? Are you a feminist?
Or an egoist?


She's already stated that she's got a big ego, with the help of Kanye West, the self-proclaimed douchebag. Is her message that she's a bad bitch so keep making her rich? Or does she represent women who need to be uplifted? She doesn't appear to be humble, she doesn't appear to strive for anything other than material wealth, so how organic is her "feminist" position? If your idea of measuring up to a man is the accumulation of wealth, then I feel sorry for you actually. It's progressive to not need a man for money, but didn't you and your backup dancers beg a man to "PAY YOUR BILLS" back in the day? Maybe you've matured, no wait, you haven't. In "UPGRADE U" she merely speaks of Hermes briefcases and expensive cars when it comes to upgrading a man.
Why can't you upgrade a man to get beyond materialism in the journey toward humility? Why does a woman need to become rich in order to be heard or valued? Why does a woman need to be "Flawless" in order to "look good"? That's what she said in her song "Flawless"....You know, the same song where she opens up asking women to BOW DOWN. Sorry, not women, "BITCHES". I mean, the African writer, Chimamanga Ngozi Adichie, who talks about the struggles of the woman on the Beyonce track "Flawless", seems random and almost like lipstick on a pig. What the fuck does feminism have to do with being flawless? It's not like Beyonce was talking about inner peace and happiness, she spoke of her physical appearance.
PARTITION: Is this what a feminist looks like in 2014?
I thought a woman was more than her figure, more than what a man deems important. You said that "Pretty Hurts" but place extra attention on your looks in other songs. You behave like a stripper with other scantily clad women in the "Partition" video while your surveying husband smokes a cigar with an erection. Every time you talk about your BIG EGO it's because of your financial success and body? Not because of your character or ability to break down barriers? Merely becoming a millionaire isn't breaking down any barriers as Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Cher, and many before you have already done that honey. I'm not a hater, I'm just confused.

Don't get me wrong, I respect her hustle. I respect a woman getting money. I understand that men think to get women they need to impress them with diamonds, but if Beyonce already has her own rock, then it's implied that they need to impress with their soul. But when she met Jay Z, he made way more money than her and she wasn't as big of a super star. Actually, she left her high school sweetheart for rich rapper Jay Z.

If Beyonce is to sample snippets of the great thinker, Chimamanda Adichie, whose speech touched on gender roles, then maybe Beyonce needs to be an example of resistance rather than a regurgitation. In "Cater to You" by Destiny's Child, she sings about cooking her man dinner and doing anything for her man. She plays the stereotypical gender role to an exact T, even in the way she interviews. If you interview her, you are prepared to speak to a little girl, demure and "so blessed". Interviewers are bored with a woman who refuses to talk about her husband while her husband constantly treats her like a trophy.

He constantly calls her "THE BADDEST BITCH IN THE GAME WHO WEARS HIS CHAIN" in his music and in public. And MRS. CARTER wears his chain and raises the sign of ROCKAFELLA, her husbands company. She is quiet while her man is loud in interviews. She plays the gender role as if she's in a corset, waiting for the horse and carriage to arrive. Is this a feminist who sees a problem with gender relations? Or is she exploiting gender?
Angry about gender roles Beyonce?
I think Beyonce is a talented writer, entertainer, singer and mogul. I just think this "feminist" stance is literally manufactured. She's handled, she's packaged. She's a repetitive contradiction. You can't take her too seriously, she may not even deserve this blog entry. She's a simple pregame for the club. She's a sing-a-long after a heartbreak but she is NOT a voice of a revolution. She's not even a deep dialogue at a dinner party, she's probably still as demure as that little Houston debutante. She is certainly a woman who speaks through her "art" but it's not even HERS. She interprets, she performs and may have a few ideas along the way. She's not a Janis Joplin or an Angela Davis and certainly not a Chimamanda Adichie, even if she puts a soundbite on her record. She's just an entertainer in a black leotard, so why do we ponder her so philosophically? Why am I? Because people seem to take her seriously and so does she. Well, She's not the leader of the free women. How could she be when she is so unfocused. Blonde weave blowing in the fan while she preforms "Pretty Hurts." If it hurts so bad, stop making it look so good.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is the Law of Attraction a Fraud?

Ever look around yourself in complete confusion? 

These people shouldn't be here...

Are these my friends?                                                                                       
Is he as good as it gets? 

Is this my job? 
Why am I here? 


I've read "The Secret" with an admitted cynicism. I understand the power of positive thinking, but after weeks of visualization boards and taking "can't" and "never" out of my vocabulary, it seems that my grass still isn't green enough. You see, the law of attraction, as it's called, kind of makes you feel crazy. It wants you to see things which are not there yet. The four car garage full of Bentley's when your 2010 Toyota Corolla just got repossessed. It wants you to fall in love with a man who doesn't exist, while you shamefully hike your draws up after another bad hookup. 

Don't get me wrong, the basics have always been something which have worked for me. If I wake up in the morning and tell myself that it will be a great day at work, that I will get all of my work done on time and there won't be any drama, the day actually goes a lot smoother. But as far as red carpets and a six foot mass of muscle laying next to me on Egyptian cotton...

I haven't gotten that far yet.

Is the law of attraction something we humans conjured up to make ourselves feel better about our pathetic lives? Is it a source of hope, similar to the likes of the major religions which paint promised lands in the midst of wars and pestilence? Is it a cash cow philosophy for Rhonda Byrne's, you know, just something to keep the drones dreaming while the charlatans get richer? 

The Capricorn in me has always struggled with the unseen. I've always questioned God and as a preachers kid, that questioning always got me in trouble. I've always wanted proof or at least a receipt. I don't like the idea of praying and waking up the next day to the same bullshit. I don't appreciate a God who is too stubborn to reveal Himself, nor a law of attraction which keeps me seeing unicorns in the land of student loan debt. 

What I can always appreciate, is the idea of hope. That maybe I do have control of my own destiny and all I need to do is just believe that my hard work will pay off. However, the poker faced side of me looks at the one percent of America and concludes that success only comes to those who it's chosen for. 

How powerful are our minds? Are we able to bend the status quo and create a matrimony of prosperity and happiness in the midst of corruption? Is this as good as it gets or are we just unwilling to ATTRACT what we want with our positive thinking? 

Ever since I was in first grade, I've seen myself as THE Isayaah Parker. A celebrated entertainer who no longer walks the earth invisible. The writer who wins awards and changes lives. I've seen myself as greater than the boy who was constantly teased for his stuttering, big ears and feminine behavior. As an adult, I see myself as more successful than the minimum wage jobs I've been enslaved to. I've visualized people respecting me, rather than micromanaging me and treating me like a robot.

I used to create worlds in my bedroom and on the middle school playground. My stuffed animals were my audience and my Pink hair moisturizer was my microphone, used for my Academy Award acceptance speech. Every time the family Volvo would stop in front of Church on Sunday's, I would imagine someone opening my door for me, I'd step out onto the red carpet, cameras flashing and fans screaming. I wouldn't hear my dad yelling at me to hurry up and get out of the car, I wouldn't see the steps of the church, All I would see is lights. I've used the law of attraction, over and over again; Not even on purpose. So why now in my late twenties am I not famous and sitting on a beach writing my next timeless classic? Why am I not turning Tyler Perry down for a role in his new film and accepting an offer from James Cameron? 

Pessimistic as it appears, I've always seen my life as a nefarious plot against me. I like the idea of reality transforming as a result of mere imagination; but it begs the question:

Will I ever be satisfied with my life? 

As the advertisements bewitch us with shit we don't need, as we splurge on self help books and overdose on gadgets which make us feel connected to glorified nothingness, What is it that we are after? No matter how much shit we acquire, we will always want more. Apple will always make what we do have, outdated in less than a year. Someone can always be more famous, more beautiful to the masses. The grass can always be greener, so green that it becomes an unrecognizable color. 

Is anyone ever truly satisfied with their reality? 

Why can't we live in the moment?

Why are we chasing conveyor belts? 

We are raised in a society that indoctrinates feelings of discontentment at an early age. Disney assigns roles and injects dreams of being a princess or a king. No child is ever satisfied being plain ole lil Mike or Gabby, they MUST aspire to be Snow White with seven adoring fans. They want to fly on carpets and sing about a whole new world because their current world is unacceptable. We grew up with bedtime stories and begin the assertion that reality is simply not good enough. We go on to school and work to better our lives, but our lives never truly get better. After all, no matter how much more income we acquire, we owe more money to someone, and we have to work even harder. 

What is the true lie? 

The idea that we can change our lives with daydreams? 

Or the notion that our lives need to be changed at all?

We unknowingly suffer in a society based on fear and messages of unfulfillment. 

You can change a life with a blog. You can be famous in your community. You can meet a friend at the park rather than waiting for two thousand friends on Facebook to like a status. 

Maybe what we need to attract is not the lifestyles of others....

Maybe we need to attract ourselves.