Pop Culture

Unedited Logo

If ‘Insecure’ Season 2 Episode Two Was a Poem

Since 2005 I’ve narrated my life in journals.  On occasion I like to carefully flip through the well-worn pages, some dog-eared, and gauge how much I’ve grown and how much I am quite the same.  

On a recent flight I flipped through the pages of one of my first journals whose cover affirmed that “I’m too blessed to be stressed.”  I sat in between two men and giggled aloud as though I was engaging in “Remember when…?” conversation with one of my best girlfriends. Because, well, I was.  My journal has been one of my most non-judgmental friends never interrupting my thoughts but apt at confronting me with hard truths reminding me of the times I promised to humble myself and not hide behind foolish pride.  

In a row with extra leg space mourning the end of a vacation gone by too quickly, my journal let me be a young lady of over a decade younger sitting on a twin bed on a spring morning in May reckoning with the idea that even before HBO’s Insecure I was channeling Season 2 Issa with a Tasha lean. 

11:19 am                               May 30, 2005

He doesn’t know that I think of him

or care beyond belief

He doesn’t know I want him even when he doesn’t want me

He has no idea how I would engulf him and wrap him up inside of me

He doesn’t know the songs in which I sing 

or the notes that I can hit

He doesn’t know the arch of my back

or the sway of my hips

the feminine rounds of my body

the softness of my lips

He doesn’t know I am his biggest fan

He doesn’t care that I am in awe

You see, his nonchalance is part of the appeal

not motivation for my withdraw

How could he know?

He’s practiced erasing us from his memory and burning the prologue of our unfinished chapter

He doesn’t know that I am afraid of him having no reaction, no love for me after

He doesn’t know the depths of it all

Nah.

He doesn’t know me at all

not a poem

Please follow and like us:
redemption

My thoughts on D∆WN’s ‘Redemption’ album, which just dropped and is already on REPEAT

Years ago, I used to write music reviews and share them with friends and co-workers. But a strange thing happened: I started writing for a living and my quirky, humorous reviews came to a halt. Crazy, right? Well, the release of D∆WN’s Redemption album has reignited a flame within me that’s been dormant for too long. As I write this, I am currently sitting (sometimes standing) on my couch, blasting the stream of Richard’s “Renegades” through my TV. It’s loud AF because I cannot contain how much I love it and I don’t care who knows it. Not even folks who can see me dancing like a madwoman when I play it while I’m driving, but more on that later…

When I first heard Redemption last week on NPR, I instantly fell in love with it and knew I had to have it come Nov. 18 when it officially goes on sale (which is today, but I already pre-ordered). I listened while working, and accomplishing my tasks while jamming to Richard’s moving melodies made for the sweetest struggle ever.

So, here’s my personal review of Redemption. Needless to say, the entirety of the album is LIT, but I simply highlighted my faves along with a brief summation of Richard’s sonic slayage. Redemption (Intro): DAMMIT, I’M HOOKED ALREADY. It reminds me of a fantasy movie, like this scene out of The Neverending Story where Atreyu came face to face with Bastian at the Magic Mirror gate:

Love Under Lights: This song finds Dawn singing about a woman who is 5’10″/lookin’ real good in her skin/I think her shirt said Zeppelin/boots up to her ass, man,” and then the next verse, she’s eyeing a guy who is also a prospect for some “temporary lovin’.” It’s a pretty clever way to highlight sexuality as a theme. And once again, the beats are BOMB.

LA: This laid-back tune is something you can ride to in deep, contemplative thought. Just when I finally grasped the lyric, “We thought we was above it all ‘cause we’ve been friends since Wayne was a Hot Boy,” the the instruments take over at the 2:00 minute-mark and veer off into New Orleans jazz band territory with a Trombone Shorty feature, and I willingly go with it.

Renegades: I don’t know how I manage to drive listening to this song because this is literally me behind the wheel, only I dance harder:

Then when the beat drops at 3:09, it’s like the spirit takes me OVER and who TF is driving my car ’cause it sure ain’t me:

IF IT ISN’T OBVIOUS, THIS IS MY FAVORITE REDEMPTION SONG…On a more intellectual note, anyone else notice how the lyrics paint a picture of someone who wants to run away with a rebel, presumably towards freedom, yet the enunciation of “Renegades” is so tight and restricted? I need to know if that juxtaposition was intentional or just a sign that I got way too buzzed while listening to this.

Vines (interlude): OK so I see she doing this shit again. Just like I needed A Tell Tale Heart‘s “Vibrate” to be longer and BlackHeart’s “Titans” to be a full-length ass song, I’M TOO DOPE TO WALK THIS EARTH WITHOUT A FULL VERSION OF VINES, DAWN! Thx in advance!

The Louvre: Undeniably soul-stirring. The opening with the strings makes me wanna ugly cry even when I don’t have a damn thing to be sad about. But like redemption, the 3:00-mark will uplift you and have you standing on a roof, fully believing you can jump off and fly.

A photo posted by D∆WN (@dawnrichard) on

Valhalla (Outro) – EFFIN’ LOVE THIS. Why are Dawn’s interludes more lyrically and sonically superior than anything I hear on any random radio station?!

So, from start to finish, Redemption is a beautiful album. Dare I say it’s Dawn’s best one yet?  I just wish there were more SONGS because, ugh, it’s just too good to be a mere 47 minutes long. While I’m sad to see the Hearts trilogy come to an end, I know I won’t stop listening to any of the previous Heart albums anytime soon.

Oh, and I cannot WAIT to see her perform “Renegades” live.

 

.

Please follow and like us:
poise passion

When Your Writing Has Poise But Not Enough Passion

My words don’t sang – they just sing… or so I’ve been told.

According to my partner in Un-edited crime, Andrea, my writing should read less Beyoncé and more Fantasia. (That’s one hell of a metaphor, right?) I should be flattered at the suggestion that someone believes I share stylistic similarities with (almighty) Queen Bey, but before anyone gets the idea that I’m feelin’ myself waaay too much, lemme explain – what she means is my writing mirrors the cool, calm and palpably controlled composure of your expected Beyoncé performance, but lacks the wild, shoe-flinging, damn near reckless abandon that takes place during a typical Fantasia show.  Even though my heart may be caught in a fan, à la Bey’s bountiful Brazilian weave, my words always manage to hold it together so as to not truly expose the emotions brewing beneath the surface.

bey

Bottom line is fancy designer prose, subject-verb agreement and generous use of metaphors may provoke a reader to nod in agreement or have a tempered two-step of a reaction, but they won’t make anyone jump up, shout or come anywhere close to sweating out their fresh perm.  Writing is cathartic, but I don’t think there’s an author out there who doesn’t want to create work that makes a reader feel emotion.

So, why would a writer (or any other creative individual) hold back when expressing themselves?

Fear:

This one’s self-explanatory and could range from being afraid to reveal personal truths, fear of being judged, fear of facing one’s true emotions, fear of not being able to fully execute an idea, fear of Beyoncé giving you a public side-eye for daring to compare yourself to her in a somewhat unflattering manner, and the list goes on…

Concern about offending others:

For example, I have a heartfelt rant in me about the recent rash of women who are hellbent on oversharing about their periods, but I’ve held back because I don’t want to offend anyone who might think I’m being oppressive or anti-feminist when I comment on the ludicrousness of free-bleeding for a cause or posting period blood on Instagram, not to mention how utterly disgusting it is to cook with your own vaginal yeast. (There, I said it.)

Oversharing:

The impact of oversharing feels like a hangover that can strike at any given moment and ain’t no Alka-Seltzer-time machine combo that can ease the symptoms. It passes when it’s good and damn ready. Honestly, a lot of my personal essay pitches are collecting dust in a mental file because of a prior experience with sharing too many personal details in print (I’m still cringing, ugh). I considered this heavily when I wrote about my complicated relationship with my father because obviously I’m not the only one impacted by those words, but I wrote it out of emotional necessity. Fantasia’s father sued her for writing about him, so if my father happens to stumble upon what I’ve written and doesn’t like it, I guess I’ll prepare myself to hear the words, “You’ve been served.”

Not thinking your voice, thoughts or opinions matter:

I say this to myself as much as I say it to anyone else – your voice exists, therefore it matters, even if you’re the only one who believes that.

People can be mean and intentionally harsh towards those who willingly expose themselves with the world.  That said, a part of me doesn’t blame Beyoncé one fucking bit for keeping her shoes on her feet. But constant self-censorship only keeps me stagnant and it also makes me feel a bit fraudulent being one-half of a site that promotes the loose and free usage of words, unfiltered thoughts and raw feelings. 

I am certainly committed to being more transparent and true to my emotions when writing, but unlike Fantasia, I can’t promise I’ll let you see my feet.

fantasia 2

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
Screenshot_2015-11-05-00-01-57_1

How ‘Being Kara’ Reminds Us that Motherhood is a Game of Survival

Every parent damages his or her child in one-way or another. Even the most successful and well-meaning parents do something to their children that will undoubtedly follow them from childhood into adulthood and possibly a welcoming seat on the therapist’s sofa.

The theme of the latest episode of Being Mary Jane was motherhood and survival. The episode, titled, “Being Kara” shows the character Kara attempting to juggle a budding relationship, an entitled Mary Jane, an annoying ex-husband, a demanding career, and two children, one of whom may have a learning disability. We see Kara struggle to be “every woman” and attempt to bring her best self to every aspect of her life, but she soon realizes that shit is just way too trill.

As a full-time employee, mommy and wife with too much gall and too few psychotropic medications to call it quits on the whole blogger-freelance writer shenanigans, I saw glimpses of my life being played out on television. Kara’s feelings of failure, regret, anxiety and trepidation are shared. Her near breakdown after burning brownies and failing to join the ranks of “together moms” who seemingly care perfectly for their perfect children and bake Pinterest-perfect goods for the school bake sale is simply Thursday ‘round these parts. Only none of my friends bake, leaving me to walk the dirty linoleum floors of the nearest 24-hour Wal-Mart searching for the least sugary cupcakes that can be pawned off as homemade. No one is fooled, but I feel like a better mom for having gone through all of the effort. 

1

As I struggle more and more with how I parent, my ability to be a decent role model, and how, without being too abrasive, to teach my daughter valuable life lessons, I wonder what will be the definitive effed up thing(s) I will do or say to eventually be the cause of my daughter’s a) recurring therapy appointment, b) the muse behind her award-winning art, c) the reason my future son-in-law will hate me or d) all of the above.

Being Kara means being a headstrong mommy and an “every woman” who hasn’t quite learned that every hat worn doesn’t complement her outfit. Being a parent means accepting that you will likely be the subject of more than a few of your child’s journal entries. Being Kara, being a parent, being a mother means being a survivor. I survive by unashamedly taking moments for myself.  Kara survives by climaxing and managing her anxiety with prescribed anti-depressants.  We survive. 

So Kara, from one mother to another, you are understood.

Please follow and like us:
BMJ Season 3 Episode 3 (Photo: BET)

How Lamar Odom and ‘Being Mary Jane’ Should Have You Considering an Advance Directive

It has been over two weeks since former Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom was hospitalized following a reported overdose at a Nevada brothel.

But you knew that already. How could you not? Mainstream media has brought Lamar Odom—man, son, father, two-time NBA champion and 2010-2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year—and his woes closer to us than most second cousins. Talk of his health and what many people have rationalized as the “curse” that befell Odom the moment he said “I do” to one of the members of “America’s First Family,” has made it to our dinner tables, our water cooler conversations and social media space.

Since reports of Odom’s alleged overdose and the grim prognosis that followed, it has been clear that the real focus is not Odom’s health and well-being and his rise, fall, rise, and fall again story that mirrors so many men and women we encounter daily.  Instead, the epicenter has been the affairs of those on the peripheral of his near death experience. Media has focused on Odom’s wife and the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Odom’s father and his mottled past, and even former teammate Kobe Bryant. The headlines of Odom’s ordeal have been a regular game of “Where’s Waldo,” Kardashian-style.

But this post is not to lament over mainstream media’s lack of compassion. This post is the silver lining of a medical and mental health situation that resulted in the hospitalization of a man who had been separated from his wife when he was declared comatose and unable to make decisions for himself. Recognize Odom’s health crisis as a learning opportunity and the silver lining of a tragedy that could have been worse.

  In my profession there have been countless times where I have witnessed a comatose, brain dead or otherwise medically incompetent patient’s fate be decided by strangers, unwilling medical agents or family members whose judgment was clouded by guilt, selfishness and pain.   Despite Lamar Odom being nearly divorced from Khloe Kardashian, she is still legally his next of kin and medical decision-maker. This situation is not unique to Lamar and Khloe.  In many regards it was almost repeated on the most recent episode of Being Mary Jane when one of the characters committed suicide…because the black community also falls victim to suicide and mental illness. Had that character’s farewell been botched, or had she avoided death only to fall into a coma, her mother—the mother she hadn’t spoken to for years—would have been the person to decide her fortune. This is often the scenario when individuals do not take the time to educate themselves, evaluate and define “quality of life,” and establish medical advance directives.

If you’re at least 18 years of age and capable of reading this post, then you’re of sound mind and able to decide–in advance–the person or persons you wish to enforce your medical wishes in the event you’re ever incapable of doing so on your own volition.

April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), but today I encourage you to define what quality of life looks and feels like to you. Advanced care planning is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.

1

For state specific resources and information on how to complete an advance directive please visit NHDD.org.

Follow Un-Edited on Twitter @Un_Edited for more #TruthNoBackspace

Please follow and like us:
Screenshot_2015-10-18-23-47-09_1

‘Being Mary Jane’: 10 Lessons I Learned From Season 2

For two seasons, Being Mary Jane has been a guiltless addiction that doesn’t warrant an intervention. Mara Brock Akil’s sensational scripted drama series has upgraded our musical palate with what we consider to be one of the absolute dopest playlists of any television series currently gracing the small screen.   Being Mary Jane has served as the catalyst of some of our best water cooler discussions and Twitter debates, and has even given us some pretty awesome quotes, life lessons and things that make us go “hmm?”

Ahead of the two-hour Season 3 premiere returning to BET on Tuesday, October 20, we present ten lessons from Season 2 that made us either question ourselves and others, reevaluate our choices, or raise a healthy glass of wine toasting to our lives being only half as dysfunctional as Mary Jane’s. Ah, life is good.  And on Tuesday life–scripted life, at least–only gets better.

1 copy 10

1

1 copy

1 copy 9

1 copy 7

1 copy 6

1 copy 4

1 copy 3

1 copy 2

1

Join us on Twitter during the Season 3 premiere of Being Mary Jane as we live-tweet the first episode in between sips of wine and hors d’oeuvres of the moderately cheap and semi-unhealthy variety.

Being Mary Jane  Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT on BET beginning October 20  

Please follow and like us:
black_college

5 Life Lessons From Hollywood’s Fictional Colleges and Universities

Over the next several weeks college and university students across America will be celebrating homecoming: home to football games, tailgating parties, steps shows, Greek letter organizations, drunken nights followed by drunken days followed by more drunken nights and all of the irresponsible subsidiaries of alcohol and underage drinking, camaraderie, alumni mixing and mingling, and for many, a healthy dose of nostalgia.

In celebration of my 10-year anniversary as a Hampton University graduate, Class of 2005, I am beginning to feel uncharacteristically nostalgic–longing for my foregone waistline of early millennium years and questionable morals that could be blamed on and overlooked due to young age and presumably not knowing “any better” (Way to catfish young ‘Drea!).

Before attending college we all have preconceived notions of college life that have been shaped by parents, siblings, guidance counselors and teachers, and for a lucky few, college tours. But for high school students like me, who thought themselves invincible and only half listened to the advice of the ill-advised advisors, none of whom attended college, nothing molded the ideas of college more than that of fictitious colleges and universities seen on television and movies! I all but graduated summa cum laude from Hillman College.

In honor of college students past, present and future, here are lessons learned from our favorite fictitious  educational institutions from A Different World’s Hillman College to Dear White People’s Winchester University.

#truthnobackspace

A Different World, 1987-1993 – Hillman College introduced us to student prototypes we hadn’t yet seen on television. In the primarily black cast we saw ourselves, or who and what we hoped to be, in the bougie southern belle, the future doctor, the musician, the bohemian future attorney, the poetess, the mathematician and a host of other students and staff who made up our hopeful college experience. We learned that college wasn’t merely a four-year vacation where all we’d accomplish was a trial of independence and freedom and meeting friends of diverse socio-economic status. It was a place to learn and explore. The students of Hillman College were thinkers who were shown participating in cram study sessions, eating crappy food and begging for an assignment extension—you know, the real stuff that college is made of.

School Daze*, 1988

We learned that although Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nurture a sense of camaraderie, belonging and greatness, the traces of America’s dysfunctional racial history and divisiveness shows its face even among a sea of brown faces. Spike Lee’s School Daze put a lens on the fact that while at some point there may have once been a single black America with one shared agenda, that ship had sailed.   We learned that the black experience, the college experience, is not heterogeneous.  Mission University is where we stared our issues of colorism in its face—who could forget the “Jiggaboos” versus “Wannabes” scene?  

*Talk of a School Daze sequel, School Daze Too, is said to explore “the same issues that students faced in the late ‘80s, while taking on new subjects such as the pledging process and homophobia at historically black colleges.”

Higher Learning, 1995 – Here, at Columbus University, we learned about diversity and multiculturalism in ways that previous films and television shows based on college life hadn’t explored. We were warned about date rape. We witnessed extreme racism and how the need to fit in could kill or drive you insane, or both. However, a less obvious, but very significant lesson we learned from some of the students at Columbus, was that in order for a black person to be seen, he has to work harder than his non-black counterpart. By the time we entered college we’ve probably heard from loved ones that black people had to be “ten times smarter and work ten times harder” than anyone else to receive our “just due.” It’s been 20 years since Higher Learning was released, but only recently did I learn from Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the best-selling nonfiction book “Between the World and Me,” journalist and one of this year’s recipients of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation genius grant and a once Howard University student,  that working “harder” to receive a reward or payment that amounts to the same as the person who knew less and did less isn’t considered “just due.”  It’s a travesty and theft. Consider that gem as a continuing education credit.

The Great Debaters, 2007

 

Wiley College is not a fictional institution, but a longstanding HBCU in Marshall, Texas. Though the movie about Wiley’s debate team was inspired by true events, like most other nouns in Hollywood, it is embellished and dramatized. The Hollywood-effect of the movie does not distract or take away from the incredible heights the Wiley debate team achieved, including the defeat of the USC debate team at the national championship depicted in the movie as the defeat of Harvard University.   At Wiley, we mentally and emotionally immersed ourselves in the Jim Crow era. But like a diamond is formed under extreme pressure, we surfaced from Wiley bright and shiny, flawed, but unbreakable. We learned that we—black students, black people—are a people whose minds are so incredibly valuable that they were stolen, suffocated and drowned.  And for that reason we must always be on a deliberate quest to “…find, take back and keep [our] righteous minds.”  We learned that despite the many adversities that we as a people have faced and continue to face, our voices and minds will not be silenced.  Much like the #blacklivesmatter movement and its leaders, the act of Deebo-ing politicians’ platforms who ignore our reality with attempts to criticize and attack the legitimacy of the movement, and our call for ownership of our righteous minds and bodies, we cannot be silenced.  Lesson learned.

Dear White People, 2014

When we were granted admission to Winchester University, a fictional Ivy League school where white students entertain themselves by painting themselves hues of brown and black while sipping “purple drank” from Katt Williams-esque pimp cups and black students turn a blind eye to the overt racism and white privilege and accept their place as second class. Go along to get along.   The film was in direct parallel to real life current events. Like our matriculation at Mission University, Winchester University shatters the once held idea of a singular black America. Here we received our master’s in self-identity.

Please follow and like us:
taraji

Taraji P. Henson Was the 2015 Emmy Awards’ Most Unedited Black Girl

This past Sunday evening, I sat on my living room couch and begrudgingly prepared to watch and cover the 67th Emmy Awards for work. To keep it all the way Un-edited, during Andy Samberg’s opening monologue, I was ready to flip over to Basketball Wives, or as Andy said in his intro, any of those other “Wives” shows. At one point I considered pouring me a drank to get through, but that Ernest Hemingway quote doesn’t say anything about editing drunk. So much for on-the-job inebriation…

For me, watching the Emmys started off like how it feels to attend a gathering of lifelong friends — as a plus one. Inside jokes go soaring over your head (slightly above your exasperated eye rolls of alienation). Just when you’re about to throw back your fourthfifthsixth drink of the evening, out of the blue someone you can actually relate to shows up, y’all instantly get your own little party going, and it turns out to be the best. Night. EVAR!

That’s pretty much how I felt when the commercial that needs no introduction aired.  Y’all  already know what I’m talking about and thank gawd someone had the good sense to make a GIF of Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington’s black girl groove session AKA Apple commercial that presented the first relatable moment of the awards show for me.  

via GIPHY

Prior to that, Amy Schumer mentioning her plan to get blackout drunk was the only remote reassurance that this show was intended for my viewing pleasure.

Luckily, the commercial loosened me up like a few gulps of that stiff drink I so badly craved, but then came another major black girl moment: Taraji announced Regina King as the Emmy winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her role in American Crime.  And in true Taraji fashion, she didn’t bother to maintain any stuffy ol’ Emmys decorum. In fact, she cheered Regina on like she was a shamelessly proud mama on the sideline of her child’s first game and took her time greeting her fellow actress with a huge, genuine hug.

via GIPHY

After Viola Davis’ historic Emmy win, Taraji embraced the How to Get Away With Murder star with a warmth that was palpable, like that aunt who replaces the life she squeezed out of you with love when she greets you at the family reunion. Judging by her excitement, a stranger would’ve been hard-pressed to properly identify which of the two was the first black woman to nab the Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Drama. The only girlfriend-in-my-head moment that didn’t involve Taraji’s magical sisterly touch was Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba nabbing her second Emmy. However, her teary, heartfelt acceptance speech made for yet another poignant moment.

This tweet basically sums up why Taraji was every black girl’s best friend at the Emmys:

Overall, the Emmys were full of unedited black girl moments. It was clear that they didn’t think twice about tempering their blackness for the comfort of the masses, which ultimately made me feel like I belonged at the party after all.

Please follow and like us:

‘Orange is the New Black’ Has Plenty Real Life Material to Use in Season 4 & I Hope They Don’t Muck It Up

Screenshot_2015-09-17-14-18-10_1

A second chance is one of the most coveted opportunities, especially considering that the next opportunity—if there is a next–could be the third and final strike.

Hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black (OITNB) delivered in its first season and over delivered when given a second chance with Season 2.  The third season of OITNB was yet another success, raking in accolades, sexy headlines and reviews that dubbed the show as “must see TV,” “captivating,” and “some of the finest television to date.”  The show has been heralded as one of the most, if not the most diverse television cast.  No squandered second chance, no third strike. 

Since its inception, OITNB has been some of the best binge-worthy television shows since The Wire (I double-dare anyone to argue that fact–“Omar comin’!“).  Viewers have laughed, cried, laughed some more and maybe, just maybe, have been reminded that the show is a loosely based narrative from the brilliant mind of creator Jenji Kohan and the misadventures of Piper Kerman.  That reminder serves as a “pinch-me-is-this-real” moment to nudge viewers into the real world where the growing rate of imprisoned women isn’t at all funny or sexy.

So while OITNB doesn’t need a second chance to improve its ratings, as the excellent writing, magnificent acting and throes of loyal fans have pretty much ensured that the show doesn’t need a boost over the proverbial fence, Season 4 will hopefully serve as a second chance for the show to delve deeper in exposing some of the growing challenges women face in America’s broken prison system. 

Okay, so OITNB is just a dramedy whose goal is to entertain, not necessary enlighten, though I think it does a pretty decent job at doing both.  And it’s not lost on me that Season 3 highlighted the prison-industrial complex and some of the consequences of privatization, like the hiring of correctional officers whose only “professional” experience is that of slanging donuts, or the Litchfield prisoners competing for the lucrative opportunity to earn $1 per day to stitch the crotch of lace-trimmed underwear. 

oitnb

These fictional scenes didn’t just manifest from Kohan’s mind to the screen; these scenarios mirror real life events.  Many companies and consumers benefit from the sweatshop-esque work of prisoners who likely will not receive a job offer from the very companies they slave for while incarcerated, rehabilitation and second chance be damned.  Just ask the 4,000 male inmates who fight California wildfires for $2 a day, their compensation for saving lives and California dollars.  The chances of them being hired as a firefighter once they’ve “paid their debt to society” is about as good as my voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election—hell nah, neva, nope, c’mon now…in case you were wondering where I or the state of California stands on the matter. 

Difficult issues of race, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status and even age are addressed in OITNB.  Many viewers were introduced to the concept of compassionate release when one of the members of Litchfield’s “Golden Girls” began showing signs of advanced dementia and was released from prison and taken to the bus station.  That particular episode had viewers Googling the validity of compassionate release and questioning the legality of the concept.  Now that, my friends, is some good TV!  It entertains, it educates, it advocates and it inspires its viewers to educate themselves. 

Departing from the Season 1 theme of Piper’s white privilege and moving on to highlighting the struggles, however vague and in some cases grossly embellished (it’s TV, what are you gonna do?), that women prisoners face has seemingly been a growing theme for writers of OITNB.  In order to maintain its popularity, modest credibility and relevance, OITNB needs to continue to mirror the problems emblematic of a truly effed up American prison system.  Art imitates life.  That said, in the much anticipated 2016 premiere of Season 4, I look forward to OITNB highlighting some of the cruelties female prisoners have and continue to face. Here’s a start (you’re welcome):

Please follow and like us:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)