Worth a Click

Mike Judge’s Idiocracy is the funniest movie that you probably haven’t seen yet. Hell, if the studio had anything to do with it, you probably never even heard of the film. The man who brought you Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill and (one of my favorite movies of all time) Office Space, has come out with possibly the funniest thing he’s ever made.

The film stars Luke Wilson as Joe “Not Sure” Bauers, and Maya Rudolph as Rita, a streetwise hooker with a heart of gold (really, is there any other kind?), who winds up getting frozen in a military experiment. They wake up 500 years in the future, when Americans are significantly stupider than they are today.

Everyone’s favorite show on television is called “Ow, My Balls.”

The dude in the middle of this photo is President Camacho, the anchors for Fox News are scantily clad model types, and Starbucks sells sexual favors in the form of “full body lattes.” Mister Scarface makes a hilariously unexpected cameo.

The film is crude and crass and pointed and clever all at once. It’s definitely NOT for kids, although some of the humor is juvenile. You really need to see it for yourself. I hope lots and lots of people buy the DVD, just to send a message to the studio heads who tried to kill it.

Idiocracy made me gain a whole new appreciation for Maya Rudolph. I’m so used to seeing her as these over-the-top, fill-in-the-ethnic-blank impersonators on Saturday Night Live, but she really made an endearing hooker — I mean, artist.

Seeing her in this role made me want to find out more about her; all I knew before was that her mother is the late, great Minnie Riperton (she sings Maya, Maya in the refrain for Loving You), and she’s got a beautiful family with auteur Paul Thomas Anderson.

But I’ve discovered that like many of us, Maya struggles with afrobella hair issues, and has experienced many hairdresser horrors. I feel ya, Maya! And I’m looking out for you in movies to come.

Quite a few of you have suggested that I name Rebecca Walker Afrobella of the Week. I am far more familiar with Alice Walker than her daughter, so now I really want to read Rebecca’s first book, Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.

I love a good autobiography, and this sounds like a doozy.

This New York Times article about Ms. Walker fascinated me, but I’m not quite ready to read her latest book. Idiocracy already made me want to have babies. I already know how Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence is going to make me feel! Almost all of my friends are having babies, so the questioning eyes are already turning to me. And having a niece as cute as I do already makes me want to have a little cousin for her to play with. But I’m not ready yet! Talk to me in a year or two.

The Sopranos is probably my favorite show on television. So I am very, very, very excited about this. Three weeks, baby!

Of all the things for my country to make headlines for… As a proud Trini, I am completely embarrassed by the recent attention the archdeacon of my country is getting.

I am not Tobagonian, so I can’t speak for the feelings of Tobagonians. But the Trinidad that I know is as open and welcoming and do-your-own-thing as Caribbean islands get. I grew up there with gay relatives and friends, who are happy and live successful and fulfilling lives. We have a flamboyant culture of Carnival, theater, fashion, and music. This website pretty much says it all. I’m not saying that super fabulous gay tourists would not be harrassed or at the very least stared at, but I am confident that incidents like the recent, horrifying almost-stoning in Jamaica would never happen in my country. And I am confident that Elton John will come to the Tobago Jazz Festival, put on an amazing show, be feted by locals, and have a great visit.

On Thursday, one of Trinidad’s calypso legends died.

The Mighty Terror had a golden voice and sang songs deliciously loaded with double entendre. My dad is something of a genre historian, so that generation of calypso really is the soundtrack to my childhood. Only a few are still alive — The Mighty Sparrow still tours and performs, and some of the seventies’ generation, the Mighty Duke, Chalkdust, Shadow, Lord Relator and Black Stalin are still keeping the history alive.

If you’ve never heard vintage calypso before, check out this amazing video of the late, great Lord Kitchener. Calypso is notoriously spicy music, even some of the earliest songs simmered with sexual innuendo and syncopated rhythm. Reggae has managed to make its way off the island and into the American mainstream, but calypso has never fully made the jump. (Kevin Lyttle’s Turn Me On and the Baha Men cover of “Who Let the Dogs Out” didn’t do much for me, sorry).

American audiences only got the slightest taste with 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P, and the video for Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin gave only a brief glimpse into my country’s culture. But perhaps Trinidadian rhythms are about to get some worldwide attention.

One of my musical favorites, M.I.A, recorded tracks in Trinidad for her new album. I’m looking forward to seeing if there’s any chutney soca influence in her already-ridiculous beats. And I was very pleasantly surprised to notice both a strong reggae and calypso influence in Akon’s latest, Don’t Matter.

Part of the song’s refrain reminds me of Bob Marley’s “Zimbabwe,” and the calypso breakdown at the end made me feel like I was back home at my family’s Old Year’s Night party. So props to Akon for giving soca a little crossover airplay! As a Trini, I appreciate it.

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Comments

  1. Baby talk two posts in a row! I’ll go ahead and check out Idiocracy, although I’m a little suspect. A quick look at my Netflix reveals that three of my friends have rated it 4 stars. And the people I’ve talked to claim that although Idiocracy is good, that it’s no Office Space. So, I’ll have to judge (no cheezy stretch for a pun intended) for myself.

  2. One correction my dear. Trinidad and Tobago is one country. We are a twin-island state. We are not Trinidadians only nor are we Tobagonians only. Got it?
    The issue with Elton John is a non-issue. The Archdeacon is a fool and his views are NOT those of our country as a whole.Elton will have a ball, if he stays long enough.

    The oldest surviving calypsonian is the Mighty Bomber. He sang songs such as ”Joan and James”, two tots playing ”mammy and dady”.
    The Roaring Lion , Growling Tiger et al were the first set of calypsoniansto record in the USA in the forties, I believe. Lion made friends with famous movie stars of the day like Rudy Valley and indeed, calypso was very, very popular in your adopted country long before reggae. I believe that Marcel, Destra and Shurwayne will take it mainstream soon.
    Love you,
    Dad

  3. Thanks, E-Fresh and Dad! I love when you guys comment. E-Fresh, can’t wait to debate Idiocracy with you.

    Dad, you are correct — T&T is one twin island republic. But we’re definitely different islands with different outlooks. I agree that the Archdeacon is a fool, which is why it’s so embarrassing that this is the international press we’re getting! I read about this Elton John thing on AOL.com, MSNBC… it makes me so angry that his foolish (and shamefully naive and old school) beliefs would reflect on all of us.

    And I also dream of Machel Montano, Destra, and Shurwayne making it bigtime. I think collaborating with hip hop artists could be a great first step. Machel and Kanye on a track could be fire!

  4. Good Morning, all!

    I loved your post. I have read “Black, White, and Jewish” and LOVED it. It’s very frank; she doesn’t leave anything out. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t belong anywhere, you will feel her pain. Speaking of gay (R. Walker is openly bisexual), I don’t like the idea of someone using God to hurt people, since that’s the opposite of Jesus’ message, so I find it especially disturbing that someone like the Archdeacon would say and do such things. I’m confident that Sir Elton will just let it roll off his back and put on a great show (he should perform “The Bitch is Back” first :)

  5. thanks bella for the recommendations.. i def have to give idiocrasy and r. walker’s book a run, esp. since i studied a little on jewish and african american relations. have a great day!

  6. the archdeacon’s willful and hateful ignorance is a stain on the reputation of trinidad a tolerant nation. its hard to believe that his ludicrous scare tactics could have the effect of banning someone from the country because of their sexuality.

    as for rebecca walker, she’s impressive on a myriad of fronts: from being a candid and forthcoming author, to being on the forefront of third wave feminism, and to being openly bi-sexual (she and meshell ndegeocello made a pretty cute couple). i read “black, white, and jewish” a couple of years ago, and i loved how real she was in the book. there was even controversy about the way she depicted her mother in the book, but i’ll let you be the judge. and i’m looking forward to reading her new book and finally meeting her at her book signing in nyc. i would definitely recommend her for afrobella of the week.

    i think the most interesting thing about maya rudolph is that she plays any and all ethnicities on snl. there’s something subversive about it that i can’t put my finger on. i’ll check out idiocracy.

  7. afrobello says:

    Maya Rudolph’s brilliance goes far beyond the impressions on SNL. Even her minor participation in a sketch elevates it. I watch for whatever she will do next.

  8. I saw idiocracy and it was hilarious , hilarious in that stupid funny kind of way but still hilarious . Glad I’m not the only one who liked it.

  9. Once again Akon has redeemed himself from one of his sexually explicit, very offensive hits (i.e. Smack That) by releasing a smooth jam like this one (and Lonely). I really liked the video and even though I don’t always agree with what he does, I must admit that after this video, I have formed a little crush on him.

  10. Adrianna says:

    I loved Office space it is hilarious.Maya rudolph does killer impressions on SNL, my favorite being Donatella versace.I can’t believe they want Elton John in Tobago. That angers me. I found out about Lord Kitchener via Lilly Allen, she sampled one of his track for the single LDN my favorite on the album. It reminds me of being back on the beach at home in Haiti.

  11. Adrianna says:
  12. I love this post!! First of all I am happy that you are planning on reading Rebecca Walker’s bio. I am going to see her the 27th at Barnes and Nobles here in Philly(cant wait). Also when I was in Junior High I played Pan for Lord Kitchener!! I was so nervous!! And lastly I recommend getting Rachel Ray’s 365 cookbook. I completely sympathize with you when you said that the food “magically” appeared on the table. I didn’t learn to cook until I moved in with my boyfriend. Anyways I love this website!! I even got my fellow bellas at work hooked. ***teehee giggles***

  13. That break down in the akon song made me mis Trinidad too bad. I know exactly what you mean about old years night :)

  14. @ Tabitha, A. Walker admitted to having a relationship with Tracy Chapman during the ’90s. She has wrote about and has said that she was totally in love with Tracy back then:

    http://www.celebitchy.com/2435/color_purple_author_alice_walker_admits_affair_with_tracy_chapman/

  15. Miss Bella, I read that book by Rebecca Walker 3 times. I enjoyed reading it and the way she writes is beautiful. Hope you’ll like it.

  16. OK, I am loving the fact that your Dad reads your blog and comments. That really makes me love your spirit and this blog, hope to meet you soon. And yes it is pure foolishness wanting to ban the man for being gay, much less for fear of him spreading “gay” to the natives.

  17. hey bella,
    im so glad u mentioned Rebecca Walker. The book’s good, she gives great insight into her life in a way that makes u feel like u are right there with her. I’ll bring it for u when i come out next month. Great post bella!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Recent Blog Posts Akon – Lonely.mp3 Akon – Lonely.mp3.Worth a Click I?m looking forward to seeing if there?s any chutney soca influence in her already-ridiculous beats. And I was very pleasantly surprised to notice both a strong reggae and calypso influence in Akon?s latest, Don?t Matter. WPvideo 1.02 …NZ Top 10 Singles – Monday 19th March ?07 Akon. 4, I Wanna Love You Akon feat. Snoop Dogg. 5, This Ain?tA Scene (It?s An Arms Race) Fall Out Boy. 6, What Goes Around Justin Timberlake. 7, Lips Of An Angel Hinder. 8, It?s Not Over Daughtry. 9, Say It Right Nelly Furtado …GWEN STEFANI FEAT. AKON // THE SWEET ESCAPE -US- AKON // THE SWEET ESCAPE -US-????????????????×???????!!!!!! ?????????????? ???????THE SWEET ESCAPE??????????????????????????????????????????????? …Akon'i Mania – Mademozely MADEMOZELY Caricato da hayora72. [...]

  2. [...] As second nature I headed online to see what reaction, if any, this was getting from the blogosphere or internet at large and only found a mention via Afrobella. [...]

  3. [...] I was so happy and proud when you incorporated Trinidadian rhythms into your video for “Don’t Matter.” So you can imagine how disappointed and disgusted I was to see this article in the Trinidad Express. And then the video of you practically mauling a fourteen year old girl before a cheering crowd at a Trinidadian nightclub made the rounds of the blogosphere. And then the comments began. Let me backtrack for a second here. [...]

  4. [...] Mike Judges Idiocracy is the funniest movie that you probably havent seen yet … . The man who brought you Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill and (one of my favorite movies of all time … horrors. I feel ya, Maya! And Im looking out for you in movies to come. Quite a few source: Worth a Click, afrobella [...]

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