Friday, February 20, 2009

A Jive Studio Audience

This week, our dusky desperado polls the town's prosperous population, soliciting opinions on the nation's new HNIC.

I hired you on at the Morning Timber, Beau, so that our news staff would reflect the diversity of the new presidential administration.

I appreciate you appointing me as the token, Chief.

But the articles you’ve been producing are, well …

“Life of the Party,” about common caricatured conceptions of black masculinity … “Forty Acres and a Fool,” addressing still-latent racial divisions in our conceptions of labor roles.

And—jeez—“Look Who’s At Dinner,” about the inadequacies of a white couple attempting to raise a black child??

Too hard-hitting?

Frankly, Beau, you’re starting to raise some eyebrows.

But this is prime material that never gets talked about … What else would you have me write?

You know, the usual: Extolling the virtues of mass-capitalism-enabled vegetarianism and fake leather sandals, propping up middle-class complacency.

… Right, the usual.

I’m going to take you off the editorial board and have you do some straight up reporting … namely, on the local enthusiasm over the Obama inauguration.

That’s doable … I just have two questions.


I’m still kind of new in town, so could you direct me to our most well-to-do neighborhood?

Kilgore Avenue, the block between Lacuna and Pine Streets … Why?

And of the houses on that block, which yard displayed the fewest McCain/Palin advertisements during the campaign?

... Come to think of it, the McKinley residence only had one yard sign, mostly obscured by bushes, not even a bumper sticker on their Lexus … Caused quite an uproar around election time.


… You don’t mean to suggest that the McKinleys are closet Obama supporters??

Chief, there’s a token in every community.

The McKinley Residence

Knock knock knock


Mr. McKinley? B. Jangles with the Morning Timber. I’m reporting on the local reaction to the Obama inauguration. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?

Do you want to ask me a few questions, or ax me a few questions?



J/k, j/k … lol … Come on in.



This is … quite a setup you have here.

I know, I know … As soon as I get that Adinkra duvet shipped in from Accra, the living room will be complete.

What led you to collecting African art and home furnishings, may I ask?

What else? OBAMA! … His inauguration has turned my whole world around … My household feels complete once again.

… I’m sorry?

You see, in the early nineties, when The Cosby Show went off the air, I—and many folks like me—lost something substantial: our primary link to the black community.

Bill Cosby was more than a father to me; he was a teacher and mentor—my proverbial Snuffleupagus instructing me in the ABCs of the Negro race.

Hmm, I never thought of it that way—

Yes, from lip-synching Ray Charles singles to introducing me to African American baseball legends like Frank Robinson to teaching me how to win back a girl through the seductive cadences of gut-bucket blues …

Bill Cosby was there for me—indeed, there for my whole community—elucidating the dark, mysterious reaches that make up the flip side of American life.

… Fascinating.

And now, every evening, all I have to do is turn on the 6 o’clock news and, voila

… There’s my new Heathcliff and Claire Huxtable!

… My new Rudy and Vanessa!

With Theo being played by a rotating cast of John Legend, Kanye West, and a holographic projection of!

Oh, and Denise … lovely Denise … portrayed by the oh-so-bootilicious Beyonce Knowles!

Since the inauguration, I’ve learned the words to a Motown classic: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” … And I’ve learned that it’s OK to unapologetically ogle Shakira’s midsection as she shimmies to one of Usher’s hit singles.

The comprehension of black culture is within my grasp once again!

But, you know, the black side of town is, like, three miles south of here. If you want exposure to the black community, all you have to do is go chat up some folks at the grocery store down there, wash a couple loads at the Laundromat—

No, Mr. Jangles … That’s the beauty of it! Once I’ve gotten my fill of black entertainers on my HDTV, I can safely and contentedly put all other issues affecting African Americans out of my mind!


Yes, now I can go back to uncomfortably edging my cart around harmless black shoppers in the aisles at Trader Joe’s to avoid engaging them in any type of conversation, even one as unsubstantial as “Excuse me” …

You know—

Clutching my wife closer to me anytime we cross paths with an African American male—those charming bastards—strolling innocently through the mall …

That’s not—

And sequestering myself to off-putting, avant-garde music and art venues that I know only likeminded whites will attend, and then glorify my participation in these events by calling myself—paradoxically—“cultured.”

Yet you’re so comfortable talking to an African American right now … in your own home, no less.

Yes, well, this is an interview … about me … There’s no danger of you mentioning any of those atrocious buzz words like funk or soul or reparations that, like no others, agitate the stick that’s stuck so far up my—



Affirmative Action.

My word! Sir, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to—

Legacy of Jim Crow.

Please, my good man, there are children in the house!

White privilege.

Huuaack! Huuaack! My Lord, I’m actually dry heaving! … I’m afraid you’ve crossed the line, sir … officially worn out your welcome—

We interrupt this program for breaking news from the White House.

Phheeww! Barry Obama to my rescue …

My fellow Americans … A fist bump to you all.

I’m with you, my brother.

I wanted the American public to be the first to know of my newest Cabinet appointment.

Special Advisor to the White House, Beyonce Knowles, will serve as the nation’s first Secretary of Collegiate Affairs, ensuring that our nation’s universities are strong, cutting-edge, and preparing our students for the demands of the 21st century.

Good for her … She deserves it.

While simultaneously pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Yale, Mrs. Knowles will report her progress to the American people through a half-hour, weekly reality series entitled An Indifferent World.

The series will co-star Jay-Z as the hapless, though unflappable love interest; and Marissa Tomei will reprise her TV role as Maggie Lauten.

Oh, word? When does that air?

Friday nights at 7 p.m., immediately following your local 6 o’clock Obama—er, uh—news coverage.

You should come back over on Friday night, Mr. Jangles … We’ll watch it together.

… As much as I’d like to allow Beyonce’s mesmeric, hourglass curves to candy-coat the realities of minority access to and preparation for higher education …

Losing myself in a prelapsarian fantasy of social equality between genders despite her flagrant, self-objectifying wardrobes of stringy tank tops and hot pants …

To be lulled by her soulful alto into overlooking the millions of young, black girls she inspires to market their sexuality instead of their intelligence in hopes of similarly making millions—

Just say OK.



I’ll see you Friday at 7.

New comic on Friday, 2/27!!


Vanessa said...

Awesome. Thank god this is back. Gives meaning to my Fridays. I'm forwarding this post on to our school's Director of Multicultural Affairs (we have one).

PS, Morning Timber! Ha ha!

Marcus Wicker said...

Glad to see your back and still black. Word.

macon d said...

Awesome, thanks. Spot on. You skewered at least one big white whale.

Jackson Brown said...

Thanks, folks. Good to be back.

Nice blog, Macon. Insightful stuff.

Abdel Shakur said...

You are a genius. FA4EVR

marko said...


keep 'em comin


Jackson Brown said...

^^ haha, 99% perspiration, 1% lots of free time.

^ you know it. ;-)

Shawna said...

woooooooo! needed this today. it's all boogers and tears in this household, except for me. i'm lmao. uncomfortably, of course. so happy you're doing this again.