The Bastard Chronicles: Hell Naw! I Ain’t Eat That Damn Chicken Sandwich or Nuance
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
First off, let me start by saying this: I don’t care about any of the things that you care about.
I do not care about the great Popeye’s versus Chick-Fil-A debate of 2019. I am not concerned about Malik Yoba’s admission to being attracted to Trans women and its implication to ashy-lip/regular lip people relations. I definitely don’t care about the latest trash rapper du jour who you give ghost writing passes to only because they got so much swag, or sauce, or drip; while obviously ignoring the fact that the first thing a rapper is supposed to be able to do is WRITE raps! (And yes, there is the Dr. Dre/Eazy E exception; along with some others, but we not talking bout that right now. Most of your rappers are supposed to write their own rhymes. I got too many homeboys who body beats and sing awkward melodies to be praising some sucka with a slew of influencers contributing bits that barely equal a whole verse.) Shout out to Yamin Semali outta East Point and Finale outta Detroit, because they’re doper than any new artist you “discovered” by being directed by social media movement machines.
And there is an almost endless list of things that you care about that mean absolutely nothing to me.
One reason is because I’m a contrarian and I derive joy in moving contrary to what is expected or required. Except in the bedroom. There is no room for ambiguity there. I’m also a bit of a misanthrope, so no matter how optimistic I am, I am prone to feeling like human beings double as stupid, suggestive sacks of existential nothingness. Yes, I do recognize I’m a human. But, I’m God in a human body, so the comparison doesn’t exactly work.
I’m rambling on purpose. I learned my art of attention from old men in barbershops. They never sped to the point of the story. Shit, sometimes I wasn’t sure that there was a point. Back to my not caring. And why it’s important. And what it has to do with all of this. Picture it: Albuquerque, New Mexico. 1996. Prom season. I’d just quit my job at McDonalds due to racist managers and the fact that my acne and French fry grease didn’t agree with each other. My stepfather, Frank, when I was asking for prom money after quitting my job, said, “Some things you care about, I don’t give a shit about.” While he said more later and it definitely impacted me, the wind of the initial statement has kept me stumbling for decades. As a society of honorable mentions and participation trophies, we’ve been massaged into thinking that our shit doesn’t stink and that its color and contents are important enough to share with the whole world. And God forbid if a mufucka isn’t moved by our minutia.
And what I don’t really give a shit about is binary-ass decisions. Left or right. Right or wrong. Up or down. Black or white. Life is never that simple. There are always layers. Yet, in our political discourse, we have been Blood and Crip/Democrat and Republican so much that we don’t know that there is a better way. In fact, there are myriad other ways. There is a fucking multiverse in each and every one of our thoughts, yet we cling; like white folks on the Titanic, to the tiniest of opinionated life rafts. And nowhere does opinion and feigned politics (although all politics are feigned) live larger than on social media.
So, my word of the day is nuance. Say it with me: nuance. Nuance is defined as a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc. Basically, everything we lack in our interpersonal discourses on the Googles. And the problem with that is that these aren’t just naturally occurring issues that grind our gears: they’re planted their through memes, misappropriated information and the fake news. (Literally, the only true thing Mr. Cheeto has EVER said is about the frail existence of truth in the so-called news.)
For the sake of brevity, here’s a list of meme worthy arguments we’ve been having where one side is determined to prove they are right. If only simply to prove they are right.
Popeye’s Chicken sammich versus Chic Fil-A. So, on God, I didn’t even know Popeye’s had a sandwich with this large of a reputation. I go to Popeye’s for three wings with a fourth added for good measure. There’s never enough gravy with the mashed potatoes, and the dirty rice often looks like it contains bits of dirt. But, I also didn’t expect a French waiter at the door, so I’m cool. But the internet goaded us into hosting this digital town hall meeting on the perceived deliciousness of both sandwiches. That became a binary debate. Then; when that wasn’t enough, the woke choir rose to sing about how anyone in this discussion is an automatic coon and deserved a seat next to Mantan Moreland. But, like for real--- it’s just a damn sandwich. How did we become so invested?
Speaking of investments: Apparently Jay Z is either the newest sellout or the newest genius poised to save the hood through the godly gospel of capitalism's and acquisitions. He stood with Colin and he was dope. He rode for Meek in a way that neither Ross nor Nikki would. He gave us 4:44, and with that made grown man rap kinda cool. But now, since Roc Nation has joined with the NFL for some appropriately-worded partnership to trickle-down economics to the good, he has turned his back on the good people he’s served. Although he served crack, so maybe he was never really a people person to begin with. Nonetheless, he hit you with two lines to foreshadow these occurrences. He said, ‘I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” He also said, “And I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them. So, I got rich and gave back; to me, that’s the win-win.” This shit is nuanced, but y’all want an easy multiple-choice response. King or coon, you decided.
Then Dave Chappelle decides to come along and do a comedy routine that pisses everyone off because he references how he’s gonna piss everyone off but no one really pays attention to that opening bit; as such, everybody is pissed off. For a variety of reasons. And I will not defend Dave because he has the millions and Asian wife to defend himself. I will just point out that he predicted the response to his stand-up in the second joke. Telegraphed the punch. George Foreman comedy. And yet, folks are mad. And to be clear, I am not addressing the specific concerns as to appear to minimize the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community. But, I am laughing at folks who aren’t straight allies but chose to jump into the argument because, shit, somebody gotta be right, somebody gotta be wrong.
Malik Yoba also found a way to rekindle his career by confessing that he is proudly attracted to Trans women. Only to be blasted by a Trans woman for some unacceptable behavior. On the heels of that, I skimmed an article that suggested that having a preference to not date Trans individuals makes one trans-phobic. Now, allow me to simmer my pot: I am not jumping into the waters of sexual or gender identity. However, if gender and sexual identity are fluid, how is one automatically anti for having a preference? Is that not essentially the exact same ideology that the LGBTQ+ would be battling against? We have become culturally pre-dispositioned to binary ideas and thoughts. Somebody gotta be right. But even in the gray area, there appears to be no gray area.
So, hell naw, I did not eat that damn sammich. And you can’t bully me into eating it either. In fact, stop trying to bully bullies who are already bullying other bullies. This vicious cycle has to stop. Because, I don’t believe you armchair activists are at all invested in the cause du jour. You just like being heard. And much like politicians, you gain a little extra courage when the question only has two answers. You can never be wrong so long as you agree with people that say you’re right. Primarily because you agreed with them. So, the next time you are inspired by a meme; just remember this, there is levels to this shit and you don’t have to choose the red OR the blue pill. Choosing neither pill is a choice unto itself. Besides, that meme was stolen and Maya Angelou didn’t say what they quoted her as saying and Popeye’s really should only serve whole wings. That sandwich is a travesty and a stain on the Popeye’s brand.
Or. Because every time you structure that argument, folks stand looking at you like my stepfather, Frank. And some things you care about, he don’t give a shit about. And I learned from him.