Sunday, May 19, 2013

Jesus Does Not Approve of Your Reality Show Shenanigans...At Least I Don't Think So

Now, that we've recovered from our Scandal hangovers (Dad???!!!!!), let's talk about new television foolywang that has left me verklempt and outdone to the point where I've decided to write...wait for open letter.Yes, it's that serious. If Hov can do one on Cuba, I can write one on this hot mess waiting to happen.  

What hot mess you ask? Oxygen, a network trying way too hard to out-ratchet VH1 (Uh, "Bad Girls Club" anyone? Remember the "All My Babies' Mamas" fiasco?) has decided to move forward with "Pastors of LA." Um, say what now? See, this is why we can't have nice things and advance as a people. Anywho, back to this letter.

Dear Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson, and Pastor Jay Haizlip:

I don't live in L.A. and have never visited your churches,but as a person of faith and regular church goer, I feel it's my Christian duty to tell you that diving into the messiness that is reality TV is a TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD idea.

Now, I know you're probably saying that I'm jumping to conclusions. I mean the press release announcing the show suggests an enlightening and revealing series:

"Pastors of L.A." will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world renowned mega-pastors in Southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives, from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit.
That sounds all well and good, but I know you've watched a reality TV series or two. I've sampled more than my fair shame, and I can confidently say that no one comes off well on reality TV. NO ONE (except Tia and Tamera, maybe)! Even television producers realize that reality TV is code for coonery, so that's why they're trying to use Jedi mind tricks by referring to this as a "docu-series." Hopefully you see what they did there.

From my vantage point, people sign on to reality TV for a few main reasons: to make money, get famous, sell some kind of product, or revive a stalled career. That's what makes your choice to participate in "Pastors of LA" so baffling. You've got everything that NeNe lacked before she got on Real Housewives: money, fame and influence.

As a pastor, bishop, overseer, etc., your job is supposed to be bringing souls to Christ and helping them understand the word of God. How do the values of reality TV align with that?  The goal of reality TV is magnify the cray cray and dysfunction to maximize the ratings. But you already knew that, right? I mean, have you seen "Basketball Wives"?

Also, you do realize that if this show is a success, your personal life will suffer, right? I mean, Bishop Jones, if you really want to have a successful relationship with LisaRaye "Diamond" "First Lady" McCoy, why put your business out there for the world to see? Reality couples generally don't do well under the harsh the "docu-series"spotlight. Isn't it enough that your congregation and all of LA will be up your business?

Deitrick Haddon, is this about promoting your music? Dude, there has to be a better way, one that won't require you to become a "character" to be more successful.

Can I be really real? Please put "Pastors of LA" out to pasture and concentrate on feeding your sheep. You guys are church leaders. You are held to a higher standard by people, you should hold yourself to a higher standard.

I don't know what your reasons are for doing this show or your intentions. But trust, whatever you're trying to do will be remixed into some mess that won't help you or your congregation and give more ammunition to people that give Christianity and pastors the side-eye. Don't be those people. Heck, encourage your fellow pastors not to be those people. Please!!!

Well, that's it. Hopefully you'll reconsider, but if not, you can't say I didn't warn ya.

Sincerely, respectfully and randomly,


Friday, May 3, 2013


Oh Scandal and Black Twitter, what would I do without you at 10pm on Thursdays nights? Well if you watched the latest episode of Scandal, it was a doozy. If you didn't watch it, stop reading now, because it's about to get spoilerific up in here.

The mole is still running loose, and Byron from A Different World is still showing up at the end of each episode saying something cryptic, but let's talk about the real news of evening: Olivia got a backbone, Fitz put his presidency on the line, and Mellie basically told everyone, "You gonna learn today!"

Basically, Fitz pissed off both of his women in this episode. Mellie decides that she's not here for the Liv-Fitz whoredom anymore, so she throws down the gauntlet by telling Fitz to either end it with Olivia, or she will end his re-election bid before it starts with a TV interview exposing the affair if he doesn't get some sense in 36 hours. Ultimatum game proper.   

Olivia finally gets tired of Fitz bossing her around in the name of "love," and after being summoned for sexy time at the White House one too many times, she yells at him, "If you want me, EARN ME!!" She said it with her chest, with bass in her voice and everything. I hate to generalize, but I'm pretty sure that viewers everywhere said a collective "FINALLY!" after Liv stormed out of the Oval Office, white gloves in hand (and she left without having anger sex with Fitz. If that ain't progress, I don't know what is).

What makes Olivia so complex, frustrating and relatable is that she's powerful, beautiful, glamorous, and brilliant in her professional life, but a complete mess in her personal life, especially her romantic relationships. Fitz is a spoiled, controlling, selfish man-child, but that doesn't stop Liv from being hopelessly in love with him. I think many women can relate to casting their pearls before swine at least once, and for way too long.

Fitz being Fitz, he thinks Mellie is bluffing. However, once it's clear that she's not playing, he goes to Olivia's place and basically runs out the clock on his marriage waiting for the interview. When the clock strikes 9 pm, it's done: Mellie starts the interview, and Fitz basically kills his chances of getting re-elected for the woman he loves. Wow. Liv said he'd have to earn her love, and he did, right?

Eh, I'm not so sure. Did Fitz really do anything? Here's a couple of ways to look at it:


He ain't bring no wine. No chocolate turtles. No Beyoncé tickets. He ain't earn sh**.

In the case of Scandal, Fitz half acts like he wants to be president, so the possibility of being re-elected isn't a big deal, at least I think so. What he did took minimal effort. He didn't "earn" anything because he didn't put in any work. 

The same principle applies in real life (see how this works). If Walter the accountant says he's giving up something for you, that sounds nice, but if what's being given up isn't all that important to him, then isn't Walter just being dramatic? Don't we all have enough drama in our lives? Doesn't Walter have some books to keep?

The last time I checked, earning something valuable takes hard work. So, what did we learn from these latest Scandal shenanigans? "If you want me, EARN ME!" is a great t-shirt slogan, but it's meaningless if lower your standards for sorry sacrifices.

If you want someone to "earn" you, what would you want them to do?

Chew on that and stay random,