A Free Comedy Talk Show With the Motto - Nothing's Wrong If It's Funny

1675: This Is America

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Rod and Karen discuss Karen going to the movies and then This Is America. That was all we talked about. No segments. No nothing. That’s it. Alright see you tomorrow.

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  1. HvyWght

    At this point, denying Donlad Glover’s genius is denying Black excellence. One of the things I’ve Loved about Atlanta from jump is the way they broach serious subjects and then…move on. In that 2nd episode of season one, a mentally ill man is dancing and drinking out of the toilet. Everybody is laughing. The cops are greeting him like friends. He spits a little toilet water on the white cop and the cop IMMEDIATELY pulls his stick and starts beating the man. Every Black man in that room looks traumatized. And then they move on. And that’s an aspect of everyday Black Life that we don’t often see explored on tv or movies. This qualification of Black artists really bothers me because there is no one way to be Black. You’ve pointed out the many hypocrisies of the critiques. And i understand art won’t be consumed the same by all. But it feels like another hurdle we have to jump that no one else does.

  2. Kyle

    The best part of the This is America controversy? It seems like Donald won’t give an explanation anytime soon, if at all.

  3. Charles

    I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ opinion piece “I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye”. I think it was a pretty well considered meditation on what fame at the level of Michael Jackson or Kanye, or the lesser level that Coates himself enjoyed, can do to humans. I think the main point is that as humans we’re not evolved to and haven’t developed the tools to deal with the level of scrutiny that is possible in the mix of the internet, television, social media especially when combined with money and power. Was it kinda’ contrived? Maybe a bit of a stretch? Yeah. Am I fan of Coates? Yes. And of course it is fine for you, Rod, to have been really turned off by the article, if I understood you correctly. I just thought I would comment since the topic came up on the show. I’m not mad or going in on you, we just took different things from the same bit of writing.

  4. ebibebi

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I personally liked the video, but I’m always up for criticisms. Not everybody likes or feels the same way about art. Subjectivity and all that. But Twitter was UNBEARABLE for like 48 hours. It was thread after thread of people who clearly just don’t like Donald Glover going off about how we shouldn’t like the video because it’s violent and omg how dare he talk about Blackness. As if Donald Glover ain’t been Black his whole god damn life. Like he just woke up yesterday and went “aw, damn…I think I’m a nigga???!…” I’m not here for this weird thing we do where a Black person does Black art and some Black people start accusing that artist of trying to speak for all Black people. Unless Donald Glover starts saying his artistic vision speaks for ALL Black people that’s a really unfair thing to assume and a hell of a stretch.

    The other thing I saw that was really weird was people sharing the link to a blog that literally seems to exist only to list all the negative things celebrities have ever done. What does that list have to do with the video, exactly? And who has the time to sit there and curate a whole ass blog dedicated to everything bad a person has ever done? That’s just…weird to me. If I don’t like a person I just say I don’t like they ass and go. Ain’t no need to drop a convenient link to everything bad they ever did. Chances are, if they did something that caused me not to like them I remember it and I can say it myself IF SOMEBODY ASKS. I’m not going to drop that in people’s mentions randomly like I saw folks doing. I guess I’m just surprised to see that people actually keep track like that? And confused about why you’d weaponize the link and drop it in a stranger’s mentions because they seem to be enjoying something…

    Anyway, thanks for this episode. I was just as frustrated as you and it was nice to hear somebody NOT being ridiculous about the video.

  5. bamil73

    Hi Rod and Karen

    Let me do what you expressly requested we don’t do; produce an exhaustive list of everything I find problematic with Childish Gambino’s new video. Just kidding.

    I loved your discourse on the ‘This is America’ video. Allow me to say that I love the way you two are unabashedly exuberant about shit you like. Whether its Donald Glover, Infinity Wars, our lord and saviour Beyonce (praise be her name) etc. In this world where expression of love for a thing will invite a slew of uninvited commentary detailing the reasons why you shouldn’t like such and such, you let us know what gives you joy. I have always loved this about the podcast because hate is so exhausting. You know what I do with art that I don’t like? I don’t consume it, but I don’t shit on it either.

    I too loved the video. The first time I say it, I frowned, mostly because his facial expressions and tics were so intense that they were jarring. Also his movements served to keep me off balance. There was so much going on that i had to watch it again. Honestly speaking I have watched the video at least four times and I still couldn’t sing the song, because my brain can’t process the imagery and the song at the same time.

    One thing that I can never gauge, is the line where black artists stop presenting their truth and start performing for the white gaze. Where does one start and the other end? I mean, the art from Donald Glover from the past few years has been black as fuck. Some of it is inscrutable to me because it so rooted in american southern blackness, so I miss some of the references because of my Jamaican blackness. I don’t see him pandering to the white gaze.

    Thanks you for another great episode, and keep exuberting.


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