Well, not so brief this time…
Has Fantasia had a busy week or what? The Season 3 “American Idol” champ has got a man in her life. Unfortunately-that man is still married and Fantasia is being cited in the divorce proceedings as a contributing factor in the dissolution of that marriage. The spurned wife also says that Fantasia and her new boyfriend have made sex tapes (to which I say “gross”). A day after this information was made public, ‘Tasia apparently attempted suicide by ingesting sleeping pills and aspirin and was rushed to the hospital. Now, I feel like one of the things that should not be joked or snarked about is suicide, and in a way, I feel for Fantasia. But I can’t help but get my side-eye up. I mean, this relationship (and the fact that dude is married) has been circulating in the Black media for quite some time. Besides, Fantasia got the dude’s name tattooed on her. She had to know people were gonna get wise somehow. It should also be noted that not only were the cameras rolling for the second season of Fantasia’s reality show “Fantasia for Real” when the alleged OD happened, but that Fantasia’s third album, “Back to Me” comes out the Tuesday after next. Look, I’m not trying to trivialize the seriousness of suicide or suicide attempts, but the timing of the event leads me to question whether this was all a publicity ploy (and if it was, then that’s the saddest fucking thing of all).
Of course, despite two successful albums, Fantasia is best known as an “Idol” champ, and that show is going through it’s own growing pains lately. The revolving door of potential judges and current judges continues to spin. What we know for sure is that Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres are gone. Kara DioGuardi’s status is still up in the air (and she’s not too happy about it). Jennifer Lopez appeared to be a front-runner for one of the open judgeships, but rumor has it that J. Lo’s diva antics have turned off “Idol” producers to the point that they’re thinking of giving that vacant seat to country/pop superstar Shania Twain. J. Lo would bring a little Hollywood glamour and glitter to the proceedings (and she would also follow the Paula Abdul template of faded dance/pop star). However, Shania’s the (much) bigger superstar, even though she hasn’t done any recording in over half a decade. Keep in mind that Shania’s “Come On Over” is the biggest selling album by a female artist in HISTORY. Also keep in mind that Shania has much more Middle American appeal than J. Lo does-I’d imagine that Josephine Housewife is “Idol”‘s target audience. Regardless of what happens, I’d imagine the controversy surrounding the show is going to lead to even further erosion of viewership when it returns in January.
Finally, let’s switch gears for a sec and talk this Dr. Laura “N-word” dustup. As much as I think Dr. L is a quack, her justification for using the word isn’t exactly out of line. If you listen to the phone call in question (or read the transcript), you’ll see that she wasn’t using the word “nigger” to describe anyone, she was using the word to demonstrate how comfortable Black folks are using the derogatory term to describe one another. Before we reject Dr. Laura’s thinking out of hand (and I’ve gotta say that the advice she gave the caller was otherwise ridiculous), I’ve gotta say that she *does* have a point.
I’ve covered this before. We as Black folks have gotten way too comfortable with that word and it should be excised from our vocabulary (in addition to everyone else’s vocabulary) as a whole. How do we regulate who gets to use the word and in what context? To bring things in this article full circle, remember the brouhaha that occurred when J. Lo dropped an “N” bomb on the “I’m Real” remix? No one ever says anything about Fat Joe (for example)’s usage of the same word on just about all his records. Lopez is a Puerto Rican/American from the Bronx. Fat Joe is a Puerto Rican-Cuban/American from the Bronx. What’s the difference? Where is this board of black folks who gets to regulate who uses the word and who doesn’t? And how come the only folks that seem to be bitching about the Dr. Laura incident are white folks?
Related to Dr. Laura but unrelated to the racism incident, I found this note on Facebook a couple days ago. Religious hypocrisy and Bible interpretation are subjects for another post, but it definitely is food for thought:
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus
18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.
The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man,
and posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how
do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there
‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also
tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go
to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family
affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.