Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mini Installment: TGS is in the CHI and I'm Just Saying: BET


Whaddup y'all. The Genius Syndicate has made a jump from one great city to another. I recently moved from Atlanta to Chicago and I'm loving it already. I really missed this city and it's dope all the way around. It's the next step in TGS' evolution and I'm definitely gonna make it do what it do.

Now back to our regularly scheduled installment.


Come On BET!!: I'm Just Saying

Today I had the pleasure of sitting in on BET's 2009 Upfronts and, no disrespect BET, but once again I was disappointed. BET is like the cousin you grew up with whom you love and pray succeed in spite of their trials. Unfortunately, time after time again they keep falling short and letting you down in the process. BET is your crackhead cousin. No, BET is OUR crackhead cousin.

It seems like they are continuing with their "5 year later" plan of re-creating television programs that debuted 5 years ago {on other Viacom networks} for black viewers. I just can't get over the fact that BET has yet to realize their rightful place in American culture. Why hasn't anyone told BET that they are perceived as the expert of the Black way of life in America? Non-black Americans turn to them to learn about Black culture {which includes but isn't limited to music...damn people still don't get what culture is}. You'd think BET would put our best face forward because the world is watching but instead they are comfortable with just "entertaining". Because of this black people who know better {these people are older than BET's core audience which tends to be youth and else could you explain the initial success of Soulja Boy?} are constantly disappointed and non-black people consume half-truths of our culture.

I remember reading articles and listening to discussions about BET's lack of original and quality programming and I'm afraid to say that this discussion is still relevant today. Instead of trying to fill the void the other networks have created by ignoring and/or disrespecting the black viewer {more recently The CW} BET is forcing programs down our throats that aren't as original or authentic as the audience it serves or the culture it "represents". Damn I'm getting more and more depressed as I type.

Don't get me wrong, there are a few decent things coming on BET {shout out to Jeff Johnson and Iron Ring is pretty good} but unfortunately most of these descent things will air on BETJ and if you don't have that channel then you're S.O.L.

I say all of this to say I'm rooting for you BET. I can't turn my back on you because I remember how cool you used to be. When Rap City was the undisputed voice of rap and when Comic View was actually funny or when you could watch BET and get new music months before it aired on MTV or VH1. I hope you get back to what made you great. After today's presentation of the upcoming season of programming I'm starting to think those banned Boondocks episodes were 98% spot on.

And don't even get me started on that "Weggie Wudlin" impression.

I'm just saying.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obama + Enlightened Youth = Yes They Can

Yes They Can: Politics from Future

I was initially going to save this clip for the next installment but it's so freaking powerful that I had to share it with the rest of TGS. Say what you want about
Barack Obama but his presence has turned the face of American politics on it's head. Because he has managed to inspire and involve a younger and more diverse following this race isn't and has never been business as usual. You know what I mean with that phrase-- two politicians that pretty much speak to the same people {middle age, higher income, male and white} on every issue. It's been like that for as long as I can remember.

Barack's impact on the youth is definitely one of his strengths. His relationship with the future of our country is one other political figures envy and they have {on numerous occasions} tried to undermine Barack's supporters. Below is a clip from his website featuring a group of students from the Bronx High School for Performance and Stagecraft in the South Bronx, NY talking about a range of things including their opinion of Senator Obama, politics, race relations and what "Yes We Can" means to them. Two words: its' dope.

More like one word and a conjunction. Anyway, watch it.