“Climbing out this hole with a frown on my face in the place to be” – Outkast, Ghettomusick (Speakerboxxx)
“That show is so ghetto.”
We were discussing reality TV, as people who work in reality TV are want to do. I had mentioned earlier in the week that the only two reality TV shows that I’m watching that I’m not paid to view were American Idol and Making the Band 2. “I’m not ashamed to watch A. I. this year but MTB2 is terrible. That said…I can’t look away,” I had explained.
“I watched part of Making the Band,” she said later in the week, “and that one girl, Babs. Oh My God! You’re right, that show is so ghetto.”
Now, I knew exactly what she meant. Outside of Ness, and Miss Stokes on occasion, these fools run around like they ain’t got no sense. In the first episode, the men in the group all leave Babs at the venue while they run off with some groupies. Their manager, Jason, who at the start of the season looks early 20s but by the end of this tour will probably look 50 having to coral these fools, just wants the guys to apologize so that Babs can feel like people care about her but they aren’t willing to do it. Not willing to apologize for some stupid shit is pretty ghetto.
In the second episode, the band members split Dylaun’s tour money because he refuses to leave New York claiming it’s a probation violation (and we won’t even talk about how ghetto that is) and what do we see them all doing? Going into clothing stores to buy throwback jerseys and visiting jewelers to get iced out. Ghetto ass motherfuckers.
And finally, in the most recent episode, after Sara Stokes goes on some real diva shit for a minute, these negroids run around a park avenue apartment like it’s the local miniature golf park jumping around and breaking shit. As Teck Money said to Ruthie, “We livin' in this beautiful house. It's beautiful! We gotta keep it nice. What if we have company?”
But this person, this white person, says to me, “That show is so ghetto” and for the next 30 or so seconds my head is spinning like the carousels of a Vegas slot machine. She doesn’t mean anything prejudicial by it, at least not specifically. I can’t really disagree. Da Band is mad ghetto. But. But what?
Maybe it’s my hang up. I don’t want ghetto to mean what it means. Maybe what it means to me isn’t what it means to her. Am I making assumptions? Of course I am. Am I probably right in my assumptions? Of course I am. But there was nothing malicious here. She wasn’t trying to make any sweeping statements about anything other than just what she meant. These 5 fools are ghetto. And if she was black, I would've been like, “You ain’t never lie.”
Maybe it’s not the race thing either, though. Maybe I’m thrown by the assumptive leap she made. I never said the show was ghetto. I said it was terrible. I was talking about the technical merits. They aren’t working with much footage, or at least not enough of the right footage, so the majority of the show is beating a dead horse. Each episode is a one trick pony. One entire episode was built on “Where Dylaun at?” and there was very little substantive there. It was all interview, no footage. The Stokes Hates Smokes episode was mostly interview, no footage. I watch it and, knowing whose editing the episodes (very good editors), I know they just don’t have anything to work with. They do have a great music supervisor, though, and I don’t know how they can afford to license all those top of the charts hip hop hits.
The point, though, is I was talking about the construction of the show. She thought I was talking the behavior of the people on the show. Should I be annoyed with her for going straight to “ghetto” or annoyed with myself that, for me, the “ghetto” behavior was a given. Ghetto was acceptable and expected.
Whoa. That’s way too introspective. Especially when I’ve got a perfectly good white girl that I could call racism on. What did she say again?
“That show is so ghetto.”
Mumbling under my breath…”Cracka.”
Ahhh, that’s better.