Tag Archives: Beyoncé

“Hymn for the Weekend”: Appreciation, Appropriation, and the Exotic Black Woman

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop listening to “Hymn for the Weekend” on repeat.

However, before I had even listened to Chris Martin and Queen Bey meld their voices in a divine mesh of harmonies, I was reading about it on Tumblr.

Cultural Appreciation vs. Appropriation

The first thing I heard about the video was that it had some pretty rampant cultural appropriation. Since there have been a number of music videos and performances accused of cultural appropriation over the last few years, I wasn’t too surprised to hear about “Hymn for the Weekend” being added to the list.

The video quickly split viewers into two groups, those who considered it cultural appropriation, and those who appreciated the video’s focus on Indian culture. The clip below highlights a few of the key elements that have been discussed and criticized.

This discussion is tricky for a variety of reasons. For example, there is a time and place when a white person can wear Indian clothing and accessories without coming off as disrespectful. In some cases, it’s actually much more respectful to embrace local dress customs than to ignore them.

There are even music videos where diverse customs and styles have been featured without any backlash about appropriation.

This debate can also seem confusing when Indian fans, or fans with Indian heritage, don’t seem to be bothered by the video’s representation of their culture.

anigif_optimized-20745-1454418987-1 Continue reading

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Banning Bossy

I’ve leveled the accusation a few times now that the contemporary feminist movement is latching on to every passing cause célèbre in a desperate bid to maintain relevance. Unwilling to advocate for radical change, an increasingly large number of people are questioning whether or not feminism has run its course, and things like “Ban Bossy” aren’t helping.

Continue reading

Shame Day: Beyonce, Macklemore and the Grammy Backlash

Apparently I should really start watching the Grammys, primarily because they are THE place to find shameful behavior, or at least that’s what I’ve been hearing from the variety of subcultures that I belong to and/or gather interesting information/perspectives from. So for today I will be shaming three different aspects of the Grammy Awards show:

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “Drunk in Love” Performance

I’ve been reading various blogs and articles on Beyonce’s since she released her visual album as a big surprise to fans. In news that was a little less surprising, it was an instant best seller.


All over the internet, however, feminists were having a heyday trying to figure out if they could really consider Beyonce a feminist. Continue reading

Culture War Correspondence: The Internet’s Disenchantment with Jennifer Lawrence

KAT: Friends, readers, earthmen, lend us your eyes for another Culture War Correspondence. This week Evan and I will be discussing Jennifer Lawrence. It may sound like a broad topic, but maybe Evan can expand for us why she recently came to his attention.

EVAN: Well, in general there’ve been a number of articles, like this one on Salon, that hint at an impending wave of internet backlash towards J-Law [I will not be referring to her like that again]. This has been backed up by comments on popular image hosting website imgur that sum up to, “still?” and/or “okay, we get it.”

But before we really delve into all of that I think it’d be good if we both answered the question: How do you feel, generally, about Ms. Lawrence?

KAT: Well, I’ve written about her in the past and my opinion tends to be generally the same. She seems authentic to me, and while I realize no one can be truly authentic in the public eye, I enjoy seeing a celebrity in the news that I can relate to.

How about you? Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S2E20 “And the Big Hole”: A TV Review

andthebighole

The “big hole” in this episode is courtesy of Oleg, whose leg punches through the girls’ ceiling due to him and Sophie’s vigorous lovemaking. That’s probably too delicate a word to describe what was going on, I mean, they were using a bowling ball. Anyway, that’s the cold open for ya.

Since Sophie and Oleg’s excessively cacophonous copulation leads to Caroline losing sleep [she didn’t strap sponges to both ears and get smashed on booze like Max did] she is 20 minutes late to her shift at the diner, which starts the first real conflict I can remember between the girls and their boss, Han Lee.

Now, I am not a person who enjoys the jabs every single character on the show makes at Han. They constantly attack a) his height, or b) his sexuality, and both types of joke been done to death. I don’t know who thinks they’re funny, but the show’s writers seem to think we live and breathe the stuff. What I do love, and you know this if you’ve been reading these reviews, is when Han dishes it back as good as he gets it. It’s great to see him as more than just the show’s whipping boy, and Matthew Moy almost always nails the delivery.

So when Caroline finally shows up, makes excuses about having to take a nap before badmouthing the diner she works at, Han gets a little upset. He makes a remark at their shop closing, which is sort of in poor taste, but Caroline calls his establishment a “dumb diner,” and he pulls out the big guns. By firing her.

“Well at least my diner is still open and successful, whereas your cupcake shop was so dumb it failed.”

“Oh really, you quit? You must be dumber than my diner because I already fired you.”

Which leaves Caroline unemployed, a change I would have enjoyed more if Max hadn’t gotten her fired in the last episode. She waits in front of the apartment door [like a puppy] for Max to get home so she can start complaining about how unemployed she is. Then the girls head upstairs to return Sophie and Oleg’s sex bowling ball because we’ve gotta keep this episode moving.

Sophie answers the door roleplaying as Beyoncé, which was an image I did not need to see or want to write about. Upon hearing that Oleg was inside dressed as Jay-Z I fully admit that I expected him to be in blackface; this is not a show that has had a very good track record when it comes to race. Thankfully, he was not. The girls suggest that the two get their freak on at Oleg’s, and he worries, for some reason, that she’ll be disgusted by his place, an understandable sentiment if they weren’t already sleeping together. So Caroline offers to give his apartment a woman’s touch, for cash .

I spent actual time making this gif specifically for this blog, and you will appreciate it.

Subjectively, Oleg’s apartment is awesome. Sure, it has skeevy stuff like a sex swing and a sex chair and an anatomically correct “previously loved” sex doll, but it also has a sweet waterbed and some really awesome lighting courtesy of 1,500 tracer bulbs, most of which he tore out of the new Cineplex 14 on Queens. It’s got some good stuff going for it, is what I’m saying, and any logical person would assume that Sophie would be down with the whole deal. But Oleg thought it needed a bit of a change so of course Caroline wrecks it by covering it in beige.

Max realizes that she needs to get her friend her job back [the irony] and tells Han they should go get high and watch movies. In the most obvious plot twist since “they were planning a surprise party the entire time,” she gets both Han and Caroline into Oleg’s newly female-ready apartment to kiss and make up. Minutes later and they are hiding in a closet [cue joke about Han’s sexuality!] from Sophie and Oleg. Their hijinks crouched in a small space with a sex doll aside, we’re also able to witness another turn of events you all knew was coming, that Sophie was actually into the weird kinky sex stuff and “[likes Oleg] a little bit” for who he is! 

Then Han admits that he overreacted and hires Caroline again.

Also the Current Total ends at $205, because apparently Oleg paid Caroline the money to make his apartment look like it was inhabited by a 70-year-old woman.

I guess I should probably talk a little bit about the episode as a whole. Yes, everything turned out exactly the way you thought it would, but what I’m more concerned about is what happened between the characters. Han is the butt of every joke in every episode, and it is fantastic to see him sticking up for himself for once. That being said, it is disappointing to have things resolved on the basis that Caroline “makes everything prettier,” and that he misses her. Caroline apologizes too, of course, but I doubt this will put an end to their sassing the man who signs their paycheques . As I mentioned earlier, it is kind of really stupid for Max to be trying to get Caroline re-hired when she cost her a pretty decent office gig just last week; it’s illogical and thinking about it still makes me angry.

Two episodes away from the car crashing in through their cupcake store wall and we’re still left without any real direction, though Caroline insists that cupcakes are still the dream. We’ll continue to stick around and see  what happens, I guess.

Stray Observations:

  • Max makes a joke about asking Oleg to at least keep it in his apartment, and this one woman goes crazy. There’s this really loud high-pitched “WHOOOOOO!” and she is loving it
  • Han has dubbed his employee handbook “The Han-book,” which is, as he says, super adorable.
  •  So Max actually makes fun of CBS, their very own network, which was very . . . uh . . . I guess I’m gonna go with the age-old “Simpsons did it first.”
  • According to Oleg he has banged 1,684 women in that apartment. By the end of the 4th season of How I Met Your Mother Barney Stinson had only reached 200. I highly contest Oleg’s claim. I contest it so much.
  • Out Of Date Reference of the Episode: Sophie quotes the infamous Antoine Dodson “hide yo kids hide yo wives,” which went viral in 2010.
  • 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: Caroline is once again in her skimpy all-grey sleeping ensemble, while Sophie re-enters this section by dressing up as Sasha Fierce. Though I guess this is technically pre- that album since she kept singing bits of “Crazy In Love.”