Ghetto Pass correspondent The Assimilated Negro weighs in on yesterday's groundbreaking NYT coverage of black people who listen to white people music (which, the paper helpfully informs you, was actually invented by black people. His report follows.
If you're still giving A Tribe Called Quest CD's to your black friends for
Christmas Kwanzaa, you may want to take a look at the latest racial profiling-cum-journalism report in this Sunday's NY Times Style section.The subject? "Blipsters."
While illuminating the general populace to the fact that some of us with melanin actually cop to enjoying Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a noble cause worthy of a national holiday, we think the piece is not diligent enough in playing devil's advocate with these stereotype-busters. For example, take Douglas Martin, 23. After using him to represent the Nirvana-loving Negro demographic the piece goes on to say,
For a long time I was laughed at by both black and white people about being the only black person in my school that liked Nirvana and bands like that," said Mr. Martin, now 23, who lives in Seattle, where he is recording a folk-rock album.
See, this is where the Times shirks their responsibility and we step in to shoulder the burdensome task of informing Mr. Martin that if you're 23 years old and recording a folk-rock album, you deserve to be laughed at now, and retroactively, by everyone, regardless of race religion or creed.
Not all counter-culture is good culture, and this is reinforced when we're informed about the East Harlem clothing boutique Everything Must Go which caters to "young people who wear tight jeans and Vans." To which we predictably agree, yes, Everything. Must. Go. And hopefully it will never ever, forever-ever, come back. By the time we get to the part about the Fro-Hawk maintenance message boards we realize this is a lost cause: Obviously, if you can't find a contrarian quote about Fro-Hawks you haven't even stepped out the house to research this story.
That said, we do get a modest touch of fair-and-balanced race reporting near the end:
Nelson George, author of "Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Boho's: Notes on Post-Soul Culture," suggested that the rock 'n' roll aesthetic had been a major deterrent. "Black kids do not want to go out with bummy clothes and dirty sneakers," Mr. George said. "There is a psychological subtext to that, about being in a culture where you are not valued and so you have to value yourself."
Of course, I go out in bummy clothes and dirty sneakers all the time, and I'd say the subtext to that revolutionary decision is more economical; I'm broke. So I'd tell Nelson George, and the Times, it's not just the Buppies, Baps, and Boho's, don't forget the Blomedians, Blancers, Blunk-rockers, Bloths, Blezebels, Blultural Blapists, and um, Bloggers. We may all be walking around with dirty shredded jeans, but that doesn't necessarily make it cool. Blool maybe, but not cool. Not at blall.