Thursday, March 17, 2011

Racist Technology

Technology, specifically the internet, is a sign of modern times and progression in the world. With one press of a button, you can activate nuclear weapons, donate millions to help people in need, or if you are me, you can accidentally order 36 ruby-red grapefruits from Texas, and select the $33 express shipping option. Word of advice: do NOT go to fruit wholesalers websites after downing multiple red-raspberry martinis at The Cheesecake Factory. So if your internet is so fabulous and advanced, Mr. Al Gore, why is my computer stuck in 1952? WHY IS MY PANDORA AND NETFLIX RACIST? Pandora and Netflix will not let me delight in the entertainment of white people, and they feel the need to force the arts of my people on me.

So, like anyone with a pulse, I occasionally like to listen to a little John Mayer when I’m feeling a number of different emotions. “Comfortable” is my break-up song. When I do eventually get a boyfriend and then he breaks up with me because he found my Helga Pataki-esque shrine to Justin Bieber in my closet and doesn’t find it endearing or socially acceptable, I plan on curling up in my Little Mermaid sheets, sipping my Nesquick (my comfort beverage) and playing “Comfortable” on repeat. I digress. So I’m in the car driving to IKEA to purchase everything from a spatula to a Russian baby to a brick of coke. Cocaine comes in bricks right? My drug knowledge stops at the Biebs- he’s my drug of choice. Earlier that day, as I was getting winded walking to my car, I saw a 70 year-old sprinting around my neighborhood like a fucking cheetah, and it made me depressed, so it was time to put on a little J. May. What would one expect on a J. May Pandora station? Some Jason Mraz? A smidge of Ray Lamontagne? A sprinkling of Maroon 5, right? WRONG. What was the first song on my J. May Pandora playlist? PUSSY. MONEY. WEED.

If I had to pick the top three things in this world that I know the least about, they would be pussy, money, and weed. What the fuck, Pandora? Why would you think I wanted to hear this?? We all love a lil’ Lil Wayne. I can relate to him because we have a lot in common. His last name is Carter. I happen to enjoy the film Coach Carter. One of his hit songs was “Lollipop”. I have never been known to turn down a Blow Pop. He has a daughter named Nivea. I use Nivea lotion. As much as I love and appreciate his music, there is a certain time and place for it. I applaud some of his messages, such as his promotion of safe sexual health ("Safe sex is great sex, better wear a latex/ Cuz you don't want that late text, that I think I'm late text"), but I was in more of a mellow, wallow in your self-pity and loneliness type of mood.

So I gave that bitch Pandora the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to a glitch. I skip to the next song and I don’t get “Waiting for the World to Change.” I get “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A. I’m done. I’m fucking done. “Pussy, Money, Weed” was one thing, but with N.W.A., Pandora was REALLY sending me a direct message with this propaganda. Compton? John Mayer is from fucking Fairfield, Connecticut. I get it, Pandora. You are trying to toughen me up. I’m sorry that I like to scrapbook, scour E-Bay for the discontinued pink Burberry Nova Check headband, and go apple picking out east. I apologize. I turned off the Pandora. I didn’t even feel the need to weep to J. May anymore. I needed to vent out my rage, so I put on some Linkin Park. Everyone needs to scream it out sometimes.

A few months ago, I experienced similar prejudices from another popular media company known as Neflix. I have had very few issues with Netflix over the years. I thank them that I can watch every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer anytime I want, while reading the Slayers Guide (thank you Dar-Dar and Bobbarino for buying me the guide for X-mas ’98). Because of Netflix, I can play an episode of Law and Order: SVU every night before I go to bed, which always leads to colorful dreams. But like I said, they are not perfect. If you will remember, there was a little gem of a show during the 1999-2001 television seasons known as Popular. That shit was awesome. I moved both seasons to the top of my queue and broke out the butterfly hair clips and power bead bracelets. Two short days later, I ran (I walked) to my mailbox to retrieve the first 3 discs of season one. Season one, disc one= success. Season one, disc three= success. Season one, disc two=FAIL. Instead of episodes 4-7 of Popular, I got The Cosby Show, season 6, disc 3! No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Everyone loves them some Huxtables (except for the light-skinned one), and I am no exception. Do you know how much I wanted to do that dance with them on the staircase for Cliff’s parents for their anniversary? Do you know how much I wanted to play that prank on a drunk Vanessa and pretend to drink alcohol with her during a drinking game, even though it was only tea? Do you know how much I wanted to live across the street from that little fat kid who never spoke and was terrified of everything? Even though I would trade a set of my own grandparents for Cliff and Claire (sorry, Luby and Fred), I WANTED MY POPULAR! Yes, Netflix, thanks for showing me that blacks can actually have jobs and read and shit, but this is unacceptable. To make matters worse, they send me the season with Raven-Symone playing that little precocious jerk, Olivia! Way to rub salt in the wound. Everyone in America knows that Raven-Symone is in my top 20 list of arch nemeses! Fine, don’t invite me to be a member of the Cheetah Girls, even though I look fabulous in animal print.

Denise went to Africa and picked up a kid while she was there. I’d rather go to Africa and pick up Malaria. What an audacious little know it all. I bet she babysits for Suri and they spend their whole time plotting against me. And it’s not like Popular wasn’t diverse. Hello, there was one black student in the whole school, duh. How many more do we need? It was the WB for crying out loud. Unless it’s the now defunct Friday night line-up of urban sitcoms, you knew what you were getting. Felicity? Gilmore Girls? Dawson’s Creek? Need I go on?

I eventually received disc 2 of Popular in October. A few weeks ago, I changed my membership plan and had to return all the discs I had within 7 days, or I would get charged $14.99 for each one. Every single day, I got e-mails from them harassing me for the disc. Get off my ass, Netflix! I’ve only had the disc for 5 months! Relax! How many people in north-western Suffolk County of Long Island are anxiously waiting for that disc to be available? Don’t make me do a door to door survey. I eventually found the disc. It was behind the toaster. Don’t ask, because I do not have an answer for you.


Anonymous said...

You are wicked funny. I wish I were you.

Nat said...

I love you for the Helga Pataki reference.

Sarah said...

popular. was one of my favorite shows ever.

so glad we are on the same page about this.