Hells naw I ain’t goin to see that new Tyler Perry flick!!!

I am no Tyler Perry fan.  His movies, his storylines, his choice of actors, his plots (or lack there of), his cross-dressing, his flat-underdeveloped characters, his over-simplification of black male/female relationships, his rather uninspired and pedestrian cinematography…  All this shit is wack.  It does nothing for me.

That said, I don’t have a problem with Mr. Perry per say.  I’m not going to demonize him.  That wouldn’t be fair, or constructive.  On the low, there is a place for this brand of entertainment and I actually believe that he is doing the best that he can do – with what he knows.  And therein lies the crux of the problem.  The above criticisms, are not so much an indictment of Tyler Perry as much as they are an indictment of where we are (are not) culturally/socially as a people.

I believe with all my heart, that if we: 1) where more culturally stimulated and demanding; 2) created better product/content, 3) had real access to or control of the media, the Tyler Perry films (and most of commercial hip-hop and R & B) would not over-occupy as much of our cultural space as they do today.

Tyler P. is a man of his time.  The same is true of his audience.  We are at a cultural low point – a modern day nadir period. Most of our cultural products ooze that dark reality.  Look, I know that more than a few of you might think I’m being hard on ol’ boy.  You want me to acknowledge and give credit to Mr. Perry because his films ain’t “negative” – because his characters are more “positive”.  Hey, given the cultural garbage that we consume on a daily basis, I can understand and even relate to that sentiment.  However, I don’t think that it is effective/fruitful to combat “negative” images/stereotypes with “positive” images/stereotypes.  In the end, they are both stereotypes.  And stereotypes aren’t real. Neither approach captures the complexity of our lives – of our history.  Positive characters can be just as staid, flat, and one-dimensional as negative characters.  So, for me creating/portraying more “positive” images of black folk gets us nowhere.  What we need are films, plays, shows, music etc., that portray us a being more HUMAN.  Wonderfully human.

So again, I ain’t goin’ to see “A Family That Preys”.  Nothing against Tyler Perry.  I simply think we can do better.

Humbly Submitted;

Kdizi kdizo