x-posted from tumblr…
One of my least favorite topics of discussion is religion for the following reasons:
– Those who are deeply entrenched in church, mosque, temple, Kingdom Hall, any place of worship always feel the need to preach AT you in order to help you see the light.
– Those who are deeply against church, mosque, temple, Kingdom Hall, any place of worship always feel the need to preach AT you in order to keep you from being ensnared by manmade salvation.
It’s a catch-22, whichever way you slice it. And for me who is neither vehemently for or against religion, it almost always ends up with trying to explain myself & my views. I am a person whose greatest fear is being misunderstood, so I go to great lengths to make sure that I am being as clear as possible when broaching any subject. Today though, I just about gave up.
So I was on FB minding my own, when a status came up asking people their thoughts on Tyla n’em’s…erm excuse me Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls adaptation. My response was the following:
Honest opinion: It was just aight.
I am IN LOVE w/ Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf”. It is probably one of the most influential pieces of literature I’ve read in my life. When I heard that Tyla n’em were adapting it for the big screen, I collapsed to my knees asking the Lord why? Ok well maybe not *that* dramatic, but I most certainly cussed whoever made it possible for him to be the one to do this adaptation. I heard Nzinga Stewart was also attached to the project, so I saw a little bit of hope in an otherwise bleak situation.
Then I remembered every Tyler Perry film that I’ve seen (the Why Did I Get Marrieds & The Family That Preys) and got worried all over again. Tyler has a flare for the melodramatic & heavy-handed preaching and I didn’t want FCGWHCSWtRIE to get that same treatment. Then we heard about the cast. I was elated by most of the choices, but gave a serious side-eye to some others. As much as I love Janet, the sis isn’t a profound actress. And Mariah Carey? As the woman in Orange? LAWD JESUS HOLD MY MULE. Then Mariah got replaced & I thought, “Ok, Tyler has the capacity to do something major here. Please don’t fuck it up.”
After viewing the contrived storylines that he wove around the poetry, I found myself being torn between loving the way the poems were intertwined and hating the way he turned the characters from strong women into downtrodden gals who were worked over by the men in their world. I think that it’s hard for a Black man to accurately portray the nuances of Black womanhood without making a man the central focus.
I said a lot up there that could possibly be construed as offensive, but do you know the next person who commented purposely singled out one line (Tyler has a flare for the melodramatic & heavy-handed preaching…) and then proceeded to preach at me that I was wrong for saying that Tyler shouldn’t preach to the audience in his films and then goes on to speak about the necessity of God.
Girl. Hontea. Chile. Miss. Ma’am. This ain’t that & that ain’t this!
Wherever did I say that the inclusion of God (& by extension church, prayer, etc) was unnecessary? Furthermore, as I express my opinion, who are you to come in and tell me that it’s wrong? Reading is certainly fundamental. As much as I hate generalizations & painting a group of people w/ one brush stroke, zealots like this irk the hell outta me. So of course, I had to let her know that when I talked about preaching, I was referring to Tyler’s tendency to beat a point into one’s brain much like the pummeling of a dead horse. He wouldn’t know subtlety even if it came up, tapped him on the shoulder, & screamed “HAAAAAAY AHM SUBTLETY!”
Her response to that? Preaching at me once-st again. *sigh* Jesus be some sense for the religiculous people walking the Earth.