Friday, October 31, 2008
Alrighty, folks, it's been real, but Beau and Mandy are riding off into the sunset. With, presumably, a minority president being elected next week, I'm placing my Race Card of a comic back on the shelf. I'll probably still post something here weekly, and I'm not sure what that'll be yet, but like Barack Obama says, "The time for change has come."
Please enjoy Black Ops (part 3 of 3) below, and feel free to peruse the archives.
This week, our hueless hero hijacks a stadium's PA system, plunging a university homecoming into unvitiated hysteria.
So you want me to stop black people from heckling … at a football game???
At the university’s homecoming. We have to make sure the returning alumni feel comfortable in the stands.
Look, it’d be easier to just not grant them access to the stadium than for you to expect me—or anyone—to stop black students from signifyin at a sports event.
Yeah—grumble—the Civil Rights Movement got around that option back in the sixties … and I’m sorry? “Signifyin?”
Look, I’ve been thinking about it … this whole campaign to “control black people” is completely ill-conceived. Black students are going to act out on campus despite what little control the Department of Diversity is able to exert upon them.
Uuugh … Here we go. Go ahead; get it all out.
Imagine being accustomed to seeing people of your skin tone living disproportionately in poverty and prisons, and then finding yourself on a college campus where the excess and waste of “use it or lose it” budgeting are the norms.
Speaking of … my desk chair’s a little squeaky; better get some WD-40—awww, forget it! I’ll just order a new one.
Imagine the cognitive dissonance you would feel participating in this system of excess, contributing to it, when deep down you understand that the parade of “bounty” and ostensible “liberality” on campus is an extension of the same exploitative system that that keeps your people impoverished and socially second-class.
Hey, now! We offer minority scholarships! … Paid for by the efforts of our lobbyists at the state legislative offices.
Who says the money would be better used shoring up the under-funded public school system? That handful of token black people we accept on scholarships can catch up on whatever they didn’t learn in high school here!
Imagine all these things, and imagine the overwhelming desire to cry out in the face of these contradictions, the realities of which some of these black students face every time they go home and then return to campus. Could you, yourself, remain silent under these circumstances?
… I’ll take that as a yes.
Mr. Jangles, I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m not as out of touch with the legacy of slavery and its lingering effects as you might think.
I survived a Ph.D. program, for gosh sake—five years of condescension from senior faculty as I struggled as an adjunct instructor ...
... five years of warmed-over Hotpockets and instant coffee Monday through Friday, and cheap pitchers of Pabst’s on the weekends ...
... five years of piddling away time that should have gone into my dissertation, and then being forced to write the entire thing in three months!
Don’t tell me about struggle, Mr. Jangles, or how I should be more understanding of the plight of the socially and economically oppressed!
I, myself, have undergone my own “Middle Passage,” and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t entitle me to assume a myopic view of society, centered on the shallow nuances and comparatively trivial inconveniences of middle-class life!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take my Mercedes in for a tune up. And—hot damn! Why not?—mama needs a new pair of Berkinstocks!!
Onyx! “Operation: Put A Sock In It” sounds like a … a … suicide mission! Blacks’ interpolation at sporting events resides at the very heart of the call-and-response articulation of African American culture!
That’s why I’m going to need your help, Meth.
The mission objective as stated would be impossible to pull off. But rather than attempting to get black students to stop heckling at the football game, we’ll need to get the older, white alumni to participate!
Onyx, I hear you, but you can’t even get white people to stand up and shout at their own church services. And even watching football, they only muster a few cheers after a good play or a touchdown—these black students will be heckling even during the teams’ huddles.
That’s why we have to give the alumni something even more exciting than the sporting event, itself.
Think about it, Meth. What gets older, white adults even more riled up than watching a group of athletic black men perform?
… Uh … I’m drawing a blank here, Onyx … reruns of “Matlock?”
“Murder She Wrote?”
“The Golden Girls?”
No. Ironically, though it’s implied almost ubiquitously across American media that whites are superior to blacks, older, white adults get absolutely infuriated by anything implying the opposite.
Oh, word. True that.
So check it. Here’s what we’re going to do …
At the game
Oh, watch adorable Tommy as he kicks! And spins! And pirouets! And turns cartwheels!
Gotta love that Tommy!
I had my son name my granddaughter after him!
I sure hope this works, Onyx.
Oh! But out of the blue, here comes Tommy’s cousin, charging onto the field from the locker room—Tyrone, the Black Panther!
Hey! That’s no fun!
Yeah! Where does that black … feline get off attacking Tommy like that?!
Hoo-oh! Don’t look now … Tommy’s grabbed a folding chair!
Get him, Tommy!
Kill him, Tommy!
Yeah! Show that black … ni … nincompoop who’s boss!
Oh!! But Tyrone counters with a CO2 blast from a handy fire extinguisher!
Sob … Tommy …
Alright, Sam, you’re on the mike now. I’ve gotta hit the field for Phase II.
Shake it off, Tommy! Get back in there!!
Oh! But now here comes the Northend University mascot charging the field …
[Marcus, the Mangy Magpie …]
… delivering a thundering elbow drop to a prostrate Tommy, the White Tiger!!
Hey, you all, Tommy needs our help!
Yeah, I say we charge the field!
Charge them what?
No, not like charge them a fee … like run out there!
Well, you guys go on … I’m taking service elevator down.
Uh, oh! And here come the angry alumni!
Oh crap! What’s the plan now, Onyx?
Creeps! We’re surrounded! I didn’t foresee this contingent.
Well, start thinking! Even though most of them are morbidly overweight and/or using walkers and canes, they will have reached the sidelines in no more than, like … two minutes!
Leaving plenty of time for a daring rescue from above!
Gasp! Diamond Light! Where did you come from?
Good work, you two. I knew you’d switch to the winning team eventually.
Uhhh, we didn't exactly—
Latch on, you two. The chopper will lift us all out of here.
What do you think the boss'll say about all this?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Because of your reckless performance and highly unorthodox approach to achieving your mission objectives at tonight’s homecoming, my superior wishes to reprimand you in person.
Who’s that, the Dean of Diversity?
Not the president of the university??
Nope. Even higher.
But who …???
Hello, Beau. I am the Architect. I created Southpaw University. I’ve been waiting for you.
You have many questions, and although your employment with the Department of Diversity—
Hold up. You run the register at the local convenience store … what are you doing here?
So I have trouble sleeping and moonlight among the townspeople on nights and weekends. Is it really all that unbelievable that I also happen to be the most powerful man at this university?
Yes … it is.
Although your employment with the Department of Diversity has altered your cultural perspective, you remain irrevocably African American; ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not.
What the heck is that supposed to mean?
My point, exactly.
OK, anyway, I have to ask: Why is controlling black people so important to you?
The university system, as you may have realized by now, is in many ways an extension and bulwark of institutionalized hierarchies, including racism, sexism, and classism ...
... a system by which a minority of white, upper-class males is able to maintain its socioeconomic status due to the administrative, pedagogical, and scholarly efforts of a variegated, and dare I say diverse, multitude of individuals.
And not the least parts of these efforts are dedicated to the deliberate and sustained critical and organizational subjugation of the African American race, including the suppression of its various cultural tropes, nuances, and grotesqueries.
Including call-and-response participation at football games.
Precisely. This evening, we witnessed a broach of those established hierarchical divisions, which, if left uncorrected, will systemically threaten to destroy the entire university system.
I don’t follow.
It begins with a few white, upper-class alumni rushing the field at a homecoming game. Next we’ll see groups of white students holding their own freestyle battles in the campus brickyard.
Before we know it, black and white fraternities will be co-sponsoring campus fish fries and Spades tournaments and hip-hop dance competitions to raise money for the local chapter of the Urban League.
Boy … wouldn’t want that to happen.
Once everything unravels, we’ll have students collaborating on creative assignments rather than working individually, undercutting the university’s long-established fetishism of iconic individual genius.
What a loss …
Students would be publishing their own web pages containing interactive video, vernacular diction, and—Lord forbid—comics to display what they’ve learned in college rather than competing for the recognition and status of having their scholarly articles placed in respectable, peer-reviewed academic journals.
I couldn’t imagine.
Division, hierarchy are at the very heart of what fuels the university system—heck, fuels our very nation …
… the scratching and clawing to fight one’s way to the top of the heap for the pleasure of looking down one’s nose at the ones below who didn’t make it.
Very enlightening, Architect Larry. But how on Earth do you plan to prevent all these things from happening?
By simply rebooting the system.
That’s right … systematically firing every university employee—staff and faculty—expelling every student currently enrolled, and starting completely from scratch!
How will you get around tenure?
There are ways … believe me, there are ways.
So I suppose that means you’re handing me my walking papers.
Was there ever any doubt?
And also my partner, Mandy, in the Business Office … my colleague, Charley?
They are the next ones on my blacklist.
Good, at least they’ll be out by the time your whole whacked-out worldview begins to crumble.
What are you talking about?
Predetermined hierarchies. White, upper-class male superiority. Covert suppression and manipulation of the democratic inclinations of American people.
Yes … and?
Starting next week, November 4th, the world you know is at an end.