Mutha@#$% Him and John Wayne!

A line in the sand was drawn Sunday night as episode 9 of the final season of “The Boondocks” did what I’ve been waiting three seasons for it to do. Aaron McGruder used his animated alter-egos in an episode named “Pause” to explore homosexuality, the state of Black Hollywood, the cult-like nature of (some) organized religion, Black manhood, our intra-community race war, Ice Cube's standing in Black Hollywood (before "Are We There Yet?") and the biggest fish of them all, Tyler Perry.

Under the thinly veiled guise of a fictitious character named “Winston Jerome”, McGruder squeezed everything I’ve said for the past five years into 20 minutes of live action animation as he explored Perry’s fascination with light-skinned protagonist against dark-skinned antagonist, the redundant nature of his productions, cost cutting measures, and the stereotype laced material he perpetuates all under the pretext of positivity and religion. But that’s not where the show stopped; he essentially outed Perry by having his character lust after a male lead and having him stay surrounded by a buff entourage, while claiming that Jesus is his co-writer and giving him these ideas.

If you’ve never seen an episode of “The Boondocks”, you have to understand that its creator toes the fine line of social commentary with blatant ignorance and for most of the episodes this season have missed his mark, but this week’s episode, while offensive to some, is by far superior to each episode this season. There’s a scene that reinterprets The Rocky Horror Picture Show that I believe is pure genius, as is the inclusion of Kadeem Hardison of “A Different World” fame to drive the point of the lack of options in Hollywood home, as well as Perry’s penchant for cheap labor. Equally hilarious were the kool-aid references to illustrate the cult-like trance Perry’s legions of fans seem to be in by not seeing through his ruse.

The other running theme was the “pause” game made famous by the hip hop community and practiced in our neighborhoods in which the word “pause” or the phrase “no homo” is used as a misnomer when something that can be considered homoerotic is uttered. It’s become commonplace in the dialogue of our youth and even those with close ties to hip hop culture, further widening the gulf between Black male imagery and the understanding of homosexuality. The fact that simple words misconstrued imply homosexual intentions and they could be excused immediately is just as silly as the thought that everyday words and phrases are being linked to being gay. It’s just another example of how far we’ve got to go.

However, there is one area of the episode that I pretty much don’t discuss in these pages and not readily converse about personally, religion. This is not the first time “The Boondocks” has probed religion, but it may be among the most offensive as “Jesus” was uttered just as much as “Nigga” any other weeks, and may drive some folks away. I’m pretty sure Tyler Perry will take a break from wrecking Ntozake Shange’s classic “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” to send an e-mail to his cult, decrying Aaron McGruder and “The Boondocks” as misguided haters, then he’ll stand on his wallet and take the high road while throwing subliminal darts and vow to keep providing the quality, positive, spiritual productions as he has for the past blah, blah, blah”. I don’t want any of you to forward that e-mail to me…I don’t want read that shit!

There are plenty of one-liners and moments that are memorable. As a matter of fact, judge the episode for yourself…

1 comment