I'm just sayin'., self-care/self-aware, wisdom

Solid Saturday: Speak UP!!

Here’s a little something from way back when.

There’s nothing like hearing your old sense of ambition falling from your lips to remind you of who you are.

For the time being I’ve put my podcast aside. (NOTE: No matter what anyone else says, there’s no such thing as FREE podcast hosting. I mean…sure. Some sites offer “free” plans. But they don’t come without limits.) Meanwhile, somehow I still feel compelled to craft content. This notion really got to me this week. That’s when I got curious…

But, Claire,” I said to myself,”where can I get my stuff hosted for free?”

And almost immediately, the answer came:

Looks like I’ll have to start making videos!!”

Oy vey. Cue the anxiety and excuses.

I took a few test shots yesterday. The lighting was almost as hideous as it was in the video above. I kept struggling with where to put my eyes.

Then, earlier this afternoon I took a look at Jam Gamble’s Facebook page. Jam and I know each other a bit through social media, and she’s an amazing woman. Her pinned post on public speaking really struck a chord with me.

If you feel inspired to do something for your own growth or good, pursue it! Fear exists only to get in the way of your greatness.

Standard
wisdom

You know what to do.

WorkHarder

You have a dream for your life that’s been with you since childhood. The thing is, though, fear always has you asking for permission instead of stepping forward.

I figure someone out there might need to hear what I’ve been grappling with. It’s a daily struggle–being willing to get out of my own way and do my work. But it’s gotta happen. There are signs everywhere. I have the feeling that only good things can happen.

Photo by Jordan Whitfield
Standard
PodPost

Episode 7.0

Tomorrow I’m off to record my next podcast episode. Meanwhile, I realized that I forgot to post something–my last show! I shared it on Twitter, but forgot to post it on my blog. Last month I had a lovely chat with Amandah Wood and Matt Quinn of Ways We Work. I apologize for not sharing this with you sooner!

Standard
diversity, Television

#ThronesYall

In this episode,  Jamie of Black Girl Nerds offers her listeners brilliant commentary on the idea of hashtag ownership. I’m about halfway through, and I have nothing to add.

…Except for a little something about online behaviour.

When I follow people on social media, it’s because their content interests me, or I like them, or both. Either way, I’m not connected to them by accident. Most importantly, if an individual is rude to someone that I follow, I notice.

Be careful of how you treat others online. Your behaviour may cause your brand more harm than good.

Standard
Television

The “Other” Woman

 

sleepyhollowabbieforward

Cuties.

 

This post is useful, not only for Sleepy Hollow, but other shows. I’m talking about Abbie specifically. But what I have to offer is also a commentary on love, and the depiction of marginalized characters.

A writer of color who used to work on Sleepy Hollow once insisted that contrary to what fans thought, the people behind the show weren’t opposed to interracial relationships. To support his argument, he pointed to the fact that they gave us Joenny (Joe + Jenny).

Joenny

In Google, Joenny gifs are hard to come by. Meanwhile Ichabbie…? *sigh*

 

So when it comes to Crane and Abbie, what gives?

On Twitter, Roberto Orci mentioned a decision to be “chaste” in an attempt to avoid disrespectful tropes relating to Black women in relationships. This is a bit of a response.


I appreciate the producers’ concerns. However, I would like to urge them not to be so preoccupied with doing a character justice, that they forget she’s human.

As a Black woman, it’s true: I exist in a space where racism and sexism collide. However, that doesn’t mean that this space should be removed from the fullness of human experience.

In some ways, the Mills sisters have been written like normal women. Take the scenes with them at the local bar enjoying a beer. In those moments I’ve nearly squealed, “That’s something I would do!” (Maybe I need to watch more TV. I’m just not used to seeing Black women on my screen in a blue-collar setting, with a drink.)

There are other things that have felt realistic to me–costuming, dialogue, the ability to kick ass...

Those examples are a part of why I’m confused. If Sleepy Hollow is able to get certain things right about Abbie, how could their portrayal of her in a relationship be so tone deaf?

I used to believe the writers were a bunch of immature dorks who thought Abbie had cooties–or worse. Now, I realize they avoided giving her a relationship with Crane because they were afraid to get “it” wrong. Nevertheless. The “chasteness” that producers have employed isn’t respectful. It’s been insulting.

When approaching the writing of Black women in love, I need the show’s writers to think: How would you write a relationship for the average woman with Abbie’s characteristics? (I’m referring to her personality and lifestyle.) Why should her being Black make any difference? (There are factors worth considering when writing a Black woman or an interracial relationship–like having to deal with bigotry. I’m not referring to those. I’m thinking of the general picture.)

IchabbieCoat

*double sigh*

 

Promising and refusing to deliver on love for Abbie with Crane has done nothing more than mock the show’s audience. There are times when a television romance seems forced. There are also times when a relationship is a natural next step in a couple’s evolution.

Consider Sleepy Hollow’s timeline, and the characters’ rapport. Given those, I think a show about a couple who shared the same race would have had them dating by now. Hence, hesitating to follow up on romantic innuendo out of concern about offense when depicting a Black woman isn’t wise. It looks like a cop-out, whether intended that way or not.

Normally, I’d advocate this for simpler reasons, but under these circumstances, let me make a recommendation: If someone’s feeling insecure about writing relationships for characters of color, then hire writers of color. Or for God’s sake, talk to us!

I remember an old interview where one of Sleepy Hollow’s producers was asked about the program’s (first season) diversity. His reply suggested that it came naturally to him–it reflected his reality. If that’s the case, why don’t the producers ask friends and colleagues what they think of Black people in love on TV? I’m sure they’d get an earful.

(I know some of the show’s creatives are reaching out to fans, and I appreciate it. But they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they’d listened to us sooner.)

Lastly, I’d noticed someone on Team Sleepy Hollow mentioned that he’d been taking in our ideas, including those about “romance”. And no, that wasn’t a typo. “Romance” was mentioned. I’d wanted to shoot him one of these:

LeoCuriosity

That type of talk suggests Sleepy Hollow’s people may have a plan that depends on whether or not Nicole Beharie (Abbie) returns. If that takes place, and intimacy is, finally, pursued, I hope we’ll finally get to see Abbie and Crane not only battling bad guys, but juggling the ups and downs of a relationship. Again, I don’t know every show out there. Yet I think their romance would be a one-of-a-kind.

I’m not asking for an apocalyptic, less-cheesy Hart to Hart…But then again, maybe I am.

Lord knows. The way things have been, Abbie Mills really does deserve better.


Want more of my thoughts on Ichabbie, and Abbie as a love interest?

No chance for romance? A word about Ichabbie.

Crane’s Angels?

Standard
Television

FOX’s Kobiyashi

This morning I noticed something.

Here’s FOX’s 2016-2017 schedule.

Sleepy Hollow isn’t returning until the middle of the season. (From what I can remember, that’s when…? January?)

Although upset over Abbie’s elimination, I’ve been thinking. Last night, I came up with what I think is an appropriate analogy.

In my opinion, this season’s finale was Sleepy Hollow ’s Kobiyashi Maru.

For those of you who don’t know Star Trek, give me a minute. In the Star Trek universe, the Kobiyashi Maru is a test that Outer-Space Explorer School Startfleet Cadets have to take in their journey to graduate from Space Explorer Camp the Academy.

I’ve read a definition that says the Kobiyashi Maru exists to test a cadet’s character.

However, I’m not referring to it that way.

I’m speaking of something every Trekkie knows:

The Kobiyashi is a no-win scenario.

Now then. Get your head out of Star Trek and step into Sleepy Hollow.

I wish everyone involved good luck, and there’s a side of me that has faith in the show’s original team. But they need to know that my wishes are conditional: I do not see Sleepy Hollow succeeding without Abbie.

PensiveAbbie

Fans’ and critics’ reactions have made things crystal clear. Talking about this elsewhere, I once said, “They can’t make things any worse.” That wasn’t a complaint, but a statement of fact.

In my most positive moments, something inside keeps saying,”They can’t make Sleepy Hollow without Abbie, and they won’t.” But I don’t hold the keys to this show’s destiny.

Ultimately,  I’m convinced that the only way for Sleepy Hollow to improve is through a complete change of course. Season 4’s scheduled appearance gives them time to make corrections.

I’m going to watch and see how things unfold.

Standard
Television

Imagining Underground – What’s next?

For those who missed that last scene:

Yesterday I saw a prompt to discuss what people think will happen on season 2 of Underground. My mind went in several different directions…

Rosalee will be working as Harriet Tubman’s apprentice (for lack of a better word). I’m glad to know that Harriet is a character in a television series. There’s so much about her to celebrate and even more that the audience will learn from Misha and Joe’s decision to bring her to life. I look forward to seeing her relationship with Rosalee unfold.

Noah won’t stay in jail for long. I can’t wait for him to escape. As I drafted this post, I wondered if Noah, John, and Elizabeth would continue to work together. Specifically, in what capacity? Would Noah be employed in a free area as both a blacksmith and Railroad liaison? Would he have to pretend to be the Hawkes’ slave?

I’m concerned about James’ fate alone with Ms Suzanna. Will we see anything of the Macon plantation on Season 2, or will our focus be elsewhere…? And if we still see their plantation, will Bill still be around? (A bottle to the neck couldn’t stop him.) Who knows?

Ernestine. I can’t help but fear for her safety. She’s a compelling character. By the time season 2 premieres, Stine will probably have been sold to a new owner. There’s no telling who she’ll end up with. She could be facing a situation similar to the one she encountered on the Macon plantation, or things could be even worse.

I predict that August will change his mind about his profession, but I don’t know if we will see that take place in S2. I’m glad that Ben is alive, and I hope he and Jay are still around to question Mr. Pullman’s lifestyle.

What will life be like now for Boo? Will she still be living with the Hawkes’ family, or somewhere else? Meanwhile, I predict Elizabeth and John’s “station” will be fully up and running as a regular stop on the Underground Railroad. I want to see the stress they experience as they live double lives.

Hell, I want to see that for all of the characters. Underground invigorates me, like an action-packed spy thriller.

Also…

I’m glad Cato‘s alive! Watching him in Undergound‘s first episode, I never thought I’d say that, but here we are. He has a trunk full of money, so I imagine he might try to buy his freedom, or simply make a way for himself among free Black people. (The nerd in me wants to research what would have been possible.) Meanwhile, I assume Cato thinks the worst of Noah for leaving him to face that Patty Cannon Gang alone. When they cross paths he just might have vengeance on his mind.

Speaking of Patty Cannon, will she be Season 2’s new villain…?

How about you? What do you think will happen on next season of WGN’s best series?

Standard