With another year coming to a close, what better way to bid adieu to these past 12 months than to create a useless list meant to garner website hits? Most of your favorite sites are swept up in list mania, herding together cultural and entertainment nuggets that were previously beaten to death.
In the spirit of the season, Diary of a Genial Black Man (or DogBM — the acronym that the kids will soon be texting) is cashing in; website hits sound awfully nice. Forget the “best” or “worst”: some items combine the two qualities into something I like to call “Blurst.”
So without further adieu (callback!), here is DogBM’s Annual Blurst of the Year List!
Blurst Album Cover: Chris Brown “Graffiti”
2009 was a volatile year for R&B artist Chris Brown. He was charged for felony assault against girlfriend (and singer) Rihanna, embarked on a poorly thought-out “fan appreciation” tour and wore a Louis Farrakhan-follower-like ensemble on TV to apologize for his actions.
Still, if the cover for his new album, “Graffiti,” is any indication, everyone involved in creating the art made similarly bad errors in judgment. Giving Chris Brown a guitar to wield is like giving comedian Gallagher a mallet at a watermelon party — not a good choice for one trying NOT to convince the public that he’s a monster. The space-age theme is nearly as bizarre, but not as much as the return of MC Skat Kat’s gang from Paula Abdul’s music videos. It is truly horrifying. And HILARIOUS.
In light of Christopher Maurice Brown’s turbulent year, this album cover proves that there is a Blurst lining to every cloud.
Blurst Television Network: VH1
VH1’s schedule reads like the exasperated shrieks of mothers trying to romantically match their celebrity children: For the Love of Ray J; My Antonio; Brooke Knows Best — all titles of shows for people who are unable to form thoughts beyond “I’M HUNGRY!” and “SEX NOW!”
VH1 has long been mired in a syphilis-like outbreak of reality shows — heck, most of their “reality” “stars” have probably fought off a few STD outbreaks — and viewers are knee-deep in crap. The people on these “shows” are no better: R&B wannabe Ray J is a lewd Lothario; one of the contestants on the now-shelved I Love Money 3 allegedly killed his girlfriend; and Real (of Real Chance of Love) loves his weave.
While some of the shows are mindless and harmless enough to poke fun at, others (Ray J, Real Chance of Love) shove enough racial and gender stereotypes to choke a Klu Klux Klan member. Even when shows like Tough Love attempt to help women find love, their efforts appear to undermine their worth as equals by reinforcing stereotypes to attract men.
A reintroduction of past VH1 hits shows like Behind the Music and Divas Live aren’t enough to reform the image of a has-been video music network, once considered a mature alternative to MTV. It is now the Blurst television network.
Blurst Profession: President of the United States
Before 2008, the position of the President of the United States was known as the most powerful in the world; the leader of the free world; the Commander in Chief ideal that parents ingrained in their children. That was until THIS guy showed up:
So what happened? Well, there are rumors about his citizenship, staunch complainers about proposed middle-class tax cuts, a damn Nobel Peace Prize award, opposition to his health care plans to give millions of uninsured Americans a basic health care plan and he wanted to close Guantanamo Bay. Oh, and he’s of African and Muslim descent.
If anything can flip ignorant, ill-rationed people on their heads, it is their racism. And a black man like Barack Obama being elected president has freaked people out more than Pearl Harbor and Michael Bay’s movie Pearl Harbor combined. While the election of a qualified minority can be seen as progress for many, the hatred and irrationality of a fringe few paints their rants and perceptions in a negative light. Political powers and pundits have used passive-aggressive and not-so-subtle means to show their dislike for President black man.
Transforming the most powerful position in the world through the lens of hate and derisiveness: This screams Blurst to me.
Blurst Nutritionists: KFC
KFC created an inescapable failure pile of ridicule with their Famous Bowls ploppings of mashed potatoes, corn, gravy and chicken, but they have sealed their containment in a sadness bowl of health-killing, juvenile-looking food like the KFC Double Down. This monstrosity of fried meat, cheese, bacon and Colonel’s sauce (don’t ask) will clog the arteries faster than a Taco Bell toilet. Also sad: needing a napkin to hold onto the greasy chicken fillets acting as the bread.
This type of concoction is the dream of 12-year-old boys and garbage eaters alike. And for that, KFC is the Blurst.
Blurst Entertainment Trend: Twilight
I am happy that females have a book series and movie franchise to geek out to with the Twilight saga, giving them their Star Wars to wait for each installment with bated breath. With that said, I am frightened and intrigued that such an influential and money-grossing series is so irresponsible regarding women and relationships. Written by Stephanie Meyer, the books have an interesting point of view of a socially-repressed woman (Bella) written by a culturally-repressed woman (Meyer) that equate Bella’s worth with her scent to other vampires. In other words, make sure you smell good, little girls!
And while bashing Twilight may be deemed sexist based on intent, it’s hard not to bash other geek magnets like Star Wars, many comic books or fantasy football: they all have their inferior qualities, crazed fans and stupid cash-ins. I’m all for finding female geeks to meet and bond in nerdiness; nerds need love, too.
The beastiality nods are just as interesting, though nothing will be as awesomely bad and freaky as the potential final movie version of Breaking Dawn (contains book spoilers!). For the possibility of this final movie — or movies, as some are speculating — to be made, I wholeheartedly support this franchise — if only to witness the ever-increasing Blurstiness of it all.
If you made it to the end of this list, congratulations! You can now rest up for next year’s possible installment of the Blursties (I call dibs on trademark rights). Until then, soak up those pop culture drippings with your newspapers! They need to be used for something.