Big ups to my daughter for helping to plunge me back into the world of blogging. Although I haven’t blogged lately, I always have something on my mind that needs to be said. I have to thank my daughter because of a conversation that we recently shared. I was trying to relay my extreme disappointment and total disgust at the idea that The NAACP has nominated Tyler Perry for 19 Image Awards. That’s not just one, not just a few, but 19. Many. Plural. In my humble opinion, that is just downright preposterous.
To my dismay, my daughter surprised me with the answer “Why is that so annoying? Many people find his plays and works to be a blessing to their lives. They feel that it has helped them to ‘make it through'”. What?? Are you kidding me? Tyler Perry says that. Mainstream media says that. I say that most artists who toots their owns horns cannot be taken very seriously. We all know how the media has a knack for presenting information in a more than distorted slant. So, I posed a question to her: Who do YOU know that feels that way? We danced around that idea for a minute or two, and by the end of the conversation, that question had never been answered.
As true as I am to my own ideals, I like to think that I am not so closed-minded that I cannot fathom that there are those out there who simply adore Mr. Perry. I don’t deny that. However, the numbers that I have seen, which are few and far between, have always come from sources that I, for one, can’t believe. I admit that I don’t have a ton of friends, but, I do have many. I say with authority that none of them – I repeat – none of them – have anything favorable to say about Tyler Perry’s work. Not one of them has said that his art has changed their lives. Perhaps it’s just too true that “birds of a feather” really do stick together. Along with them, I have seen his work and was dismayed, disgusted, and disappointed. Herein lies the problem – I paid the price of satisfying my curiosity and no matter what I thought of the movie, DVD, or play, the money was spent and nothing on God’s green earth can get it back (not to mention the wasted moments that I will never regain). In other words, curiosity caused me to support something that I didn’t like. It’s the blue pill/red pill dilemma all over again, except that there is no blue pill to take back the horror that the red pill has exposed.
I liken the situation to a movie that I saw years ago entitled “Mission To Mars”. It was met with much anticipation. I knew when the movie was being filmed. I watched every commercial with bated breath. I could barely wait for the movie to hit the theaters and was in line the day that the movie debuted. I am an avid sci-fi nut(case), but it was one of the worst movies that I had ever seen. EVER seen. The movie, however, grossed over ninety (90) million dollars. Basically, even though the film was pitiful, once the money has been paid, it’s all over. This is, in my opinion, no different than what Perry defenders offer up – “But, he’s made millions!”. Sure he has. Can it be that, like on so many other occasions, people have satisfied their curiosity, only to find that it wasn’t worth the peek? I say “It can happen”.
I’m not so sure that my thirst for an answer will ever be quenched. Can so many people really like him like that? Do so many people believe that his “art” has been such a blessing to their lives? I doubt that those questions will ever be answered for me because those who hold the answers are those in whom I have absolutely no trust. I wish that I could hear it from the masses. More likely than not, however, when the votes are all in and the answer is a resounding “yes”, I will probably say “Consider the source”.
I will leave you with one last thought: Meet The Browns. Every time that commercial comes on, I get just a little bit nauseous. That is buffoonery and coonery at it’s very best. It saddens me so because too many Mantan Morelands, and Stepin Fetchits did what they had to do to get us recognized as artists, and we moved on to a day when African-Americans were seen in a better light. This generation has embraced this new coonery with open arms. I’m a baby-boomer in the finest sense of the term. In the 60’s and 70’s I was about as radical as one could be. I took every opportunity to take part in any demonstration that was for the betterment of mankind. We, the baby-boomers, fought long and hard to get the “n” word and the “b” word removed from our conversations. We ventured out into unknown, uncertain, off-the-beaten-path movies to dispel the notion that the only thing that African-Americans can do is jig. As The Field Negro says “The jigging must stop”. This generations seems to be taking a step back saying “Oh, it’s not that bad”. “To each his own” is an honorary credo, but there has to be limits. Seriously, though – Meet The Browns???!!! What kind of nonsense has Tyler Perry spawned?
The Tyler Perrys of the entertainment world will never cease to be. Their knack for charming the masses is ever-present. I can barely fathom the idea that the masses are so drawn to them in such a manner. I choose to believe that it is merely a case of ‘pay me first, then see if it’s worth it’. Yeah – I said that I am not so ‘closed-minded’, but truth be told, like an ostrich with its head deeply buried beneath the ground, I will go down fighting believing that this man’s art is worthless.
So, I ask “Who do YOU know”? Peace.
copyright 2011 blackstarr