Tuesday, December 23, 2008

UPS Tracking is Evil

I have been watching Christmas presents make their way across the country. Three days ago UPS tracking was my best friend. It was nice daily assurance that the things I ordered were making steady progress to my door. Today, though, it's just evil because now, instead of making steady progress, UPS tracking shows me that my gifts arrived in Charleston at 4:12am yesterday and THEY ARE STILL THERE. Without UPS tracking I could imagine that my gifts, which are not under my tree, are in a truck somewhere in Georgia or North Carolina making their way here. But no. UPS tracking gives me the ability to know that my gifts are sitting just a few miles away in a warehouse. Evil.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Things I Don't Know About Being Black--the Black Santa edition

Last Christmas on NPR's Tell Me More, the Mocha Moms talked about their efforts to have Christmas reflect their identities--so that means there are only black angels on the tree, a nativity scene with brown-skinned wise men and a brown baby Jesus, a black Santa, etc. Only one of the moms even bothered with a black Santa because the other moms insisted on no Santa, stating that they didn't want their kids to think it was okay for a strange white man to come into their home at night or to think that a white man could give them something their parents couldn't. I dismissed this as typically goofy Mocha Mom foolishness (there is rarely a Mocha Mom segment on Tell Me More that doesn't make me roll my eyes), but during this holiday season, there have been a flurry of media stories about black Santas. Check it out:

It was this last one in particular that got me thinking because here were people who were like me--educated, culturally savvy, middle class black folk, trying to raise healthy, responsible kids. I thought everyone would see the Santa thing as a non-issue. Boy was I wrong. Almost none of the numerous commenters wanted their kids to believe in Santa. Many, in fact, were quite hostile to the idea, especially on racial grounds. The implication of the comments are that black parents are participating in the cultural oppression of their black kids by letting them believe in a white Santa. Some also commented that having your kids believe in Santa and then find out the truth sets kids up to not believe in other things they can't see (like Jesus).

Apparently being deeply suspicious of the whole Santa enterprise is a black thing I knew nothing about. There seem to be a lot of these things. For instance, I didn't know until three weeks ago that waiters and waitresses think black people tip worse than other people and that black people assume they will get worse service in a restaurant than other people. When I told Brian this new fun fact, he just laughed at my cluelessness.

For the record, our kids have seen lots of different Santas. We tell them that Santa uses his Christmas magic to look like the kids he's visiting. This seems to be a sufficient explanation for them and when they need a better explanation, they'll probably be too old for Santa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Inappropriate Thoughts About Our New President

Time posted these pictures of Barack Obama along with their article choosing him as person of the Year.

Black Snob said it best when she wrote: "He's Sammy, Dino, Frankie Blue-Eyes and Joey Bishop, Kool and the Gang meets a hot black nerd sandwich, hand-rolled into a ciggy and smoked."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Afrogeek A-Z Film Meme: H-Z (mostly)

Finals and finals grading have interrupted our love of obsessive list-making. So here is the rest of the admittedly incomplete list. If anyone knows of any endlessly watchable movies that begin with the letters N, Q, Y, or Z, let us know.

Conseula: Hair Spray (the movie version of the Broadway version of the original movie)
Brian: Hudsucker Proxy
Conseula: Independence Day
Brian: Jurassic Park
Conseula: Knight's Tale
Brian: Knight's Tale
Brian: Lord of the Rings
Conseula: Muppet Christmas Carol
Brian: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Conseula: Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Brian: Oxbow Incident
Conseula: Philadelphia Story
Brian: Pulp Fiction
Conseula: Rain Man
Brian: Ran
Brian: Saving Private Ryan
Brian: 2001: Space Odyssey
Conseula: Unbreakable (I still think this is the best superhero movie ever made.)
Brian: Usual Suspects
Conseula: Viva Las Vegas (my favorite Elvis movie)
Brian: What's Up, Tiger Lily?
Conseula: Malcolm X