Things I Missed Commenting On Because I Was Too Busy

My recent trip to Arkansas kept me from weighing in via the blog with my opinions regarding some things that have popped up in the news and on-line.

Passport Gate
: Not surprising since this administration’s sole goal is to just show how you can fail at government on every level. What’s next? Will the mail stop showing up every day?

I don’t know how the rest of the blogosphere reacted to this because it’s all old news now and I’m too lazy to open my bloglines account and read the rss feeds. That just seems so time consuming. If anyone wants to weigh in on what everyone else thought in, like, three sentences, I’d totally read it and thank you thusly.

LeBron James and the Vogue Magazine Cover of Doom: I get the people saying “racist” King Kong imagery. There definitely is something primitive going on about that picture, but it is also a really ugly ass picture. It’s mostly short on art and long on stupid. Severely unappealing given LeBron’s NOT!terrifying face and model Gisele Bundchen’s giggly grin. This whole cover was a big WTF with me.

Is it as offensive as Ricky Williams in a dress for ESPN? No. Is it as vulgar as Taye Diggs naked on a bear skin rug for Vanity Fair? Not really. Is it amazingly stupid for a guy whose image is everything as his image is what he sells for endorsements and such? Yes. Yes, it was amazingly stupid.

It was one of those things were you had to have some pride and some common sense. Would Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, James Blake or even, my God, Shaq, have ever struck a more ludicrous pose? It’s true that former baller Larry Johnson wore a dress and played a character called “Grandmama” in sneaker commercials, but at least that was funny. This was just an ugly-ass magazine cover of “Mike Tyson face tattoo” stupidity. And black men rarely get to be on magazine covers, let alone Vogue, which hardly ever has men on their covers (let alone anyone who isn’t a skinny white woman).

So I was disappointed. Out of the three black male stereotypes they went with black man as sexual beast versus black man as sexual object or black man as emasculated buffoon. I don’t want to see Bron-Bron naked on a bear skin rug, but beastly is not the best for Vogue’s “Best Bodies” issue.

Have some fucking pride, LeBron. I know you’re not a genius, but I think The League of the Incredibly Rich Black Men of Sports” should hold a meeting and have LeBron go through Charles Barkley “I did shit that was stupid so you wouldn’t have to” seminar.

If you can’t get enough of people debating if this photo is racist, ugly or both racist and ugly, last week Jezebel had a whole fight over it.

7 thoughts on “Things I Missed Commenting On Because I Was Too Busy

  1. Lebron needs to read $40 Million Dollar Slaves,The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden.It might help him avoid these kind of missteps in the future.

  2. LeBron seemed to be really unaware of his own image by doing this sort of shoot. Irregardless of the historical implications of a “beastly” image of black maleness, it was just an unflattering photo. It did not present him in his best light and does not represent his body of work, thus far, as a superstar athlete. Allen Iverson wouldn’t strike that pose. Not because Allen’s some sort of genius, but Allen wouldn’t have wanted to look like a fool. He would have wanted to look in a way that best represented his finely cultivated image as a thugged out, yet dignified baller.And Kobe Bryant, before or after the rape charge, wouldn’t have posed for this pic at all, also because of his carefully crafted public persona and the implications of him looking ferocious next to a lithe white woman.I agree, tallulah. That book should be handed out to black athletes in college so they know the score before they go for pro.

  3. You are exactly right Snob. Like, it’s freaking Vogue. Why was he not in a suit or something? At least a nice knitted sweater set…It just makes no sense to have him on the cover looking like he’s going to a pick up game on Crenshaw…

  4. grown: Someone on either the Jezebel thread or another blog that was in pique over the whole thing said that Vogue tends to have the athlete be in athletic attire for the shoot, but it still doesn’t excuse the shitty picture. There’s other ways to take a shot that says “I’m A Baller” that don’t involve looking like a dumb ass.I mean, that’s not even a basketball/athletic pose he’s striking. When I think of how properly photographed and marketed athlete’s look (Like Nike’s Sparq training ads), they’re supposed to look like mythological, God-like creatures (see any Michael Jordan ads ever created). Supermodels are shot in a similar fashion (when does Naomi not look great and like she could cut a bitch?) With Annie fucking Lebowitz taking the damn picture you’d think she could have come up with something more creative than this. Unless it was made to look this shitty on purpose. Which it likely was.Then we go back with LeBron not having the sense to not agree to any pose that could make him look like a dumbass.Only you can prevent you looking like a dumbass, pro-athletes!

  5. not sure what Lebron was thinking this time. Usually he makes sure his image is fairly respectable/professional looking. Even though the photographer was already well known, you still have to have that part of you that says, “I’m not going to do this”. I think a similar incident happened with Beyonce and Dave lachapelle. he wanted her to do some stuff on a photo shoot she wasn’t comfortable with, and she opted out. I wish more black people had that sense of awareness before taking certain roles and doing certain things on camera.

  6. Lazy art direction, lazy styling ~ the photograph itself actually looks like a light test for the real shoot. Honestly, the whole execution looks like it was phoned in. There are so many ways the tag line could have been illustrated that I bet they could have taken in house suggestions from interns and come up with something much better than this.

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