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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, November 09, 2008

"Blackie O"

I was emailed by a Sundries reader last night:

Have you heard the name Michelle Collins [comedienne/writer/contributor] called Michelle Obama?

Wait for it....








Blackie O.

I told my mother, who did exactly what I had done: first gasped, then started laughing.

I thought to myself, if people can't make jokes about the Obamas (and some comics have gone on the record saying it'll be a lean four years of White House comedy) then we're lost as a people.

But I was surprised, upon researching this nickname online, that "Best Week Ever's" Collins wasn't the first to say this out loud, as people can come up with exactly the same idea, without being accused of poaching, you know.

According to Google, it was stylist Philip Bloch and Mrs. Forest Whitaker who first labeled Mrs. Obama, Blackie O!

You might remember Philip Bloch from his various fashionista television show appearances. With his vague John Waters-like air, and David Nivens attire and moustache, he is unsparing of any national figure's taste.

"Blackie O." coming from anyone else might provoke paroxysms of rage against racism, but apparently it's okay when it's coming from a waspish, effeminate stylist and the black wife of an Oscar-award winning actor.



Nevertheless, in Stylelist magazine, one has a sense that not all Americans are on board with Mrs. Obama's style.

1- Blackie 0 is more then she deserves. Video of her at the polls this morning show her looking very sloppy. Nasty uncombed hair, and the children looked as if they just tumbled out of bed. No class ( or should I say , no class)

2- I could not believe it when I saw her at the polls yesterday. SHE WAS A MESS!!! It was as if she was saying " what you see is what you get" She does not have to act anymore!! That is the way she is... To me it was a very special day! and she tried to look her worst ! I could not believe it..... she knew the cameras were going to be there!! Jackie O, OH NO!!!!!

3- Michelle isn't even close to Jackie O. Michelle needs to hide figure flaws big gut, big butt, which Jackie didn't. Maybe she could try understated elegance something she hasn't figured out. The black and red thing she wore for the O's acceptance speech was horrible and very unflattering.

4- I don't think Ms. Kennedy would have come near that hot mess of a dress michelle wore last night... not to mention go out in public looking like she just rolled out of bed. You would think she would take a little more care about her and her girls' appearance yesterday morning when they went to the polls.

5- Hmm. yeah, ok. Blackie-O. I guess it's supposed to be some kind of joke. But, I'm not laughing. As an American citizen I'm disgusted by it - but not surprised. Stuff like this makes me glad I left the country 10 years ago.


[ed. vbspurs: What are the chances this last commentarist doesn't at all mind, "Caribou Barbie"?]

It's interesting, this harping on how she looked when she went to the polls. I had heard that her eldest daughter, Malia, was sharply criticised by African-Americans for having badly combed hair. I myself hadn't noticed it, which should tell you something.

(That for one, I'm not looking to tear her down at every opportunity, even subconsciously)

Similarly, her dress for the Grant Park speech didn't make me wince, as it unfortunately did my more fashion-conscious mother, who furthermore later heard from a friend of hers that black and red were symbolic in Africa.



(Via Stilakuten's Weblog)

I thought that was absolute claptrap, but I searched around for some justification for this nutty view.

I found it.

And to this historic moment in time, the new American President’s wife, Michelle, presented herself to the World at the side of her husband as both the United States new First Lady and a ‘visual warning’ to her, and her husbands, enemies that she would not become the ‘black widow’ they fully expect her to be.

Though virtually unnoticed by the American people, and totally ignored by their propaganda media, Michelle Obama stood confidentially beside her husband on this historic night garbed in the ancient African Bantu ceremonial ‘Royal Robe’ meant to signify that that which they most feared would not hold power over them, and which in this case was her dress of black doused with the reverse triangles of red upon her breast and abdomen like the ‘black widow’ spider [2nd and 3rd photos on left] she has called to have power over.

The history of the ancient Bantu peoples of Africa has been nearly entirely erased from Western history other than the mention of their mass migration in 1,000BC (still considered one of the largest in human history) forced upon them by the new ‘gods’ of the Middle East seeking domination over our human race and fearing our peoples ever becoming united against them.

Oh My God. I don't think I can stand four years of Michelle Obama criticism along these lines.

Blackie O. is one, rather giggle-inducing, slap-producing thing. But people seeing black spider code in her choice of clothing, based on Bantu history, is quite another thing.

It makes me want to overcompensate, and in terms of fairness admit that Sarah Palin's wardrobe, after the disreputable $150,000 clothing leak against her, made me wince at the end.

Remember her iconic red top, made famous by Tina Fey, and entirely her own from Out of the Closet in Anchorage? Well, that is fine. But coupled with jeans? No Sarah. Bad Sarah. NO.



Whew, there I feel better now about "Blackie O". Heh, it is a funny name though. I really liked that email bringing this to my attention. That's when it hit me about all this brouhaha:

Americans will be just fine.

IN THE COMMENTS: Bekah references Palin's pink Eskimo garb, with matching "mukluks" (the reindeer hide leggings worn by them).

LOL! We joke that Michelle always looks like a woman from our former church, who would take a midday face-down nap and come back for evening services with her hair sticking straight up.

I hope Sarah never again wears that pink...dress?...she had on in a couple of older photos, of her talking with someone in the grocery store while holding newborn Trig. It had a drop waist and was like a horrible sack. She had leggings on with it, I think.

TV Guide showed a pic of her in it (at least I hope she doesn't have two of them!) from the front. I would wear Garanimals if they were available in my size, and even I was like, "Oh, you poor, beautiful, confused woman...."

Beks, she was talking to a lady shopper, but I've seen another one of her at some rally, wearing the same one.



Some of the funniest, and yet, most anti-Palin commentary I have ever read was in the HuffPo post about this, in September:

What the eff is on her feet? Moose skin?

love the whale earrings! (not)

I can't help myself -- the grocery store outfit IS truly bizarre. But when you remember her spiritual guru is into routing out witchcraft and demons, it kind or makes sense. Both the Pigly-Wiggly I'm-shopping for-Styrofoam get-up and the speech-before-millions outfit say: "No, demons here!"

I'm concerned about the "Everyday Foam Cups" in the woman's basket!

I have never seen anyone hold an infant like Sarah is in the photo. Why isn't she supporting the baby's head with her hand?

I noticed that before her outfit.

Actually I'm gonna throw her a bone...she looks like a Mom whose holding baby # 5...the more you have the less you worry about the asthetics. Kinda like you wouldn't dare let your first child put a nuk in their mouth that dropped on the floor but by # 3 you lick it yourself and stick it back in without missing a beat...and they don't die or catch a disease!

What is that pink thing anyway?

You know that pink outfit is still in her closet!


It's horrible.

I'd question her judgement right there. I wouldn't even wear that in the house.

I absolutely detest Palin, but this post is pretty ridiculous too. Palin is wearing traditional Inuit clothes (the native people of Northern Alaska). That photo is at a grocery store in Barrow, the northernmost city in America, so its definitely not a big fashion place.

Obama 08


As commenter, Rose said, no one can deconstruct, and criticise women like other women -- especially about fashion.

ADDED: Oh what the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound. Here's another less than flattering photo of Governor Palin I had seen, but never wanted to publish.



According to the AP, this is dated July 2008, at the Philadelphia Zoo with Piper. Trig had been born in April, but I tell you, for a woman who didn't "show" that much for her pregnancy, she certainly doesn't look like the svelte perky miss we know and love, here.

Those shorts and that black "Army" T-shirt...no, just no, Sarah. And what is that HANDBAG! That looks like something out of TJ Maxx' Clearance rack!

[Correction: That handbag is TRIG in a kiddie sling. My God, someone spank me]

Okay, see, I can be critical towards Palin. Bite me.

UPDATE: Guess what a local, Leftist blogger who attracts a very misogynist audience with disgusting jokes about Sarah Palin has written about this post?

Neither does our own local blogger, Sundries, a proud Republican, who, when she isn't writing about what Sarah Palin is wearing today, composes stuff like this...

I was emailed by a Sundries reader last night:

Have you heard the name Michelle Collins [comedienne/writer/contributor] called Michelle Obama?

Wait for it....








Blackie O.


I told my mother, who did exactly what I had done: first gasped, then started laughing.


Here's another moniker that will make you gasp, then cause you to howl hysterically, Ms. Sundries: Barack's new nickname....wait for it...

Brownie B!

That's some funny sh*t, isn't it?!?

Now run off and go watch yourself some Blackface. Such a kidder, you.

I'm actually very glad this very modest blog (have they ever been linked to by Daily Kos or Atrios, like Sundries has, I wonder?) included a link so that their readers could actually read the full post.

They can't have failed to have noticed that it was hardly a slam against Mrs. Obama, unless you count a gay man and a black woman thinking up that nickname for her as a slam, and I writing about it.

Maybe they were upset that I debunked a myth about her dress? Or perhaps they were upset I made fun of Sarah Palin's wardrobe, or in a post above, praised Condi Rice?

I honestly don't know. I do have some great Michelle Obama jokes planned in the next four years, so perhaps we'll find out.

Labels: , , ,

12 Comments:

  • This needs the new label "Knee Slapping Sundries!"

    Hope you're feeling better Vic! Here, today, in Ann Arbor, we had the first snow...nothing stuck to the ground, but it's just Nature's tap on the shoulder...Winter is coming!

    You're always invited...just for the Zingermans alone!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Nov 09, 04:35:00 pm GMT-5  

  • This needs the new label "Knee Slapping Sundries!"

    Heh, thanks Ron. It can come off the wrong way, especially since I revile Mrs. Obama, but I tried my best to keep it above-board. :)

    Hope you're feeling better Vic!

    90% there, thanks!

    Here, today, in Ann Arbor, we had the first snow...nothing stuck to the ground, but it's just Nature's tap on the shoulder...Winter is coming!

    Ahh, winter. What is that again?

    You're always invited...just for the Zingermans alone!

    Snowy cheesey Zingermann's. Bliss. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Nov 09, 04:47:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Red and black, like the MPLA's flag? Interesting.

    Bantu tribes live in West Africa from Senegal and Niger to the RSA, not East Africa. Kenya is in East Africa. What is the link she was supposed to be trying to establish?

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Sun Nov 09, 06:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Red and black, like the MPLA's flag? Interesting.

    Heh. Or like Flamengo, the Brazilian football club. ;)

    Bantu tribes live in West Africa from Senegal and Niger to the RSA, not East Africa. Kenya is in East Africa. What is the link she was supposed to be trying to establish?

    If you take this for what it's worth (and I don't, neither do you by what you say -- we both rather think it's a lot of stupidity on the part of people trying to strain to make some racist point), I would say the following.

    Most African-Americans do not have a strong sense of their specific African origins. They know they are from Africa, but where, and therefore to which tribe they should specifically link themselves to, is less known.

    So they become pan-African, rather than like Barack Obama, who has a sense of who he is given his Kenyan roots.

    So, then, Michelle may be like the former kinds of AAs -- appropriating whatever African tradition she finds suitable to an occasion, rather than having a logical choice based on her or her husband's background.

    This reminds me, in a way, of when Oprah visited the Maasai of Kenya -- that she felt an extreme ancestral connexion to them (despite the fact that she was later found out to be Zulu, and that her emotional tie would be like an Irish-American going to Sweden, and suddenly feeling a tie to Swedes).

    However, I am drifting away from the topic.

    I don't think Michelle Obama was sending any kind of "African" message, let alone of that of a spider..., in her choice of Narciso Rodriguez dress. If she was, she is far savvier than I take her to be, and I don't mean that in a good way.

    Seriously, the things people come up with. Paja mental. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Nov 09, 06:50:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hahaha, indeed.

    Black people in this country call themselves "African-American" (and expect everyone to do so as well), yet they, as you say, have no real connection to Africa. On the other hand, black Cubans call themselves simply Cubans, while practicing what basically still amounts to their ancestors' religion, and in many cases still speak the language (mostly from the Bantu family) and know the dances and customs.

    I have always found this very interesting to say the least. (And yes, I know some of the reasons behind it, I still think it is funny)

    By Blogger ElcubanitoKC, at Sun Nov 09, 06:58:00 pm GMT-5  

  • My first impression was that Mrs. O was preggers. The contrast of light/dark...oy! Light makes things stand out; black makes things recede. So her chest and her abdomen stood out. Preggers.

    But, hey, she dispensed with the flats and wore kitten heels, so she's got dat goin' for her, which is goood.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Nov 09, 07:23:00 pm GMT-5  

  • LOL! We joke that Michelle always looks like a woman from our former church, who would take a midday face-down nap and come back for evening services with her hair sticking straight up.

    I hope Sarah never again wears that pink...dress?...she had on in a couple of older photos, of her talking with someone in the grocery store while holding newborn Trig. It had a drop waist and was like a horrible sack. She had leggings on with it, I think.

    TV Guide showed a pic of her in it (at least I hope she doesn't have two of them!) from the front. I would wear Garanimals if they were available in my size, and even I was like, "Oh, you poor, beautiful, confused woman...."

    By Blogger Bekah, at Sun Nov 09, 07:36:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That handbag is TRIG in a kiddie sling.

    LOL!!

    By Blogger knox, at Sun Nov 09, 08:20:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Whew, Knox, at least someone didn't take me to the woodshed over that and the TJ Maxx slur (hey, I shop there too).

    Yes, poor old Trig, I thought to myself. First photo I had ever seen of Palin relaxing, WITHOUT him. And there he was.

    You know what they say, if you want to hide something really well, do it in plain sight. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Nov 09, 08:24:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ah, thank you for explaining the pink thing to me! At least there was SOME reason for it. I'd asked my sisters, "What the hell good are a couple of teenage daughters if they let you out of the house in that get-up?" (My sisters vet my clothing choices, because lo I am an idiot.)

    And I nearly died laughing at the "Trig in a kiddie sling" update.

    By Blogger Bekah, at Sun Nov 09, 08:36:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Vic...I just thought...between the real person clothing, and even things like the Couric interview, it makes me trust Palin more not less! The hyper slickness of most politicos has made 'jaded' such a default, that I'd forgotten what real looked like!

    I will post on Zings soon just for you Vic!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Nov 09, 08:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I have an alternative, equally plausible, equally ridiculous theory regarding the red and black color scheme.

    Reminded of the title of a song from my partially misspent youth, I was astounded upon googling the lyrics that Michelle Obama is telegraphing punches to Sarah Palin using the Blue Oyster Cult.

    The Red and The Black
    (emphasis mine)

    Canadian mounted baby, a police force that works
    Red and black, that's their color scheme
    Get their man, in the end

    It's all right (repeat four more times)
    Oh yeah my honey knows it's all right
    It's all right (repeat four more times)
    Oh yeah my baby knows it's all right
    C'mon little husky

    Frontenac Chateau baby
    I'll cross the frontier at ten
    Got a whip in my hand baby
    And a girl or a husky at leather's end

    It's all right (repeat four more times)
    Oh yeah my honey knows it's all right
    It's all right (repeat four more times)
    Oh yeah my baby knows it's all right

    Hornswoop me bungo pony, dogsled on ice
    Make a dash for freedom baby don't skate on polar ice

    It's too think to be sliced by the light
    Of long and white polar nights

    It's all right (repeat four more times)
    Oh yeah my honey knows it's all right
    It's all right (repeat four more times)
    Oh yeah my baby knows it's all right

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sun Nov 09, 09:39:00 pm GMT-5  

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