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April 19, 2006


Mike Smolinsky

You should check out Shirley Q Liquor's Web site (www.shirleyqliquor.com) for a twist on this. The character of "Shirley Q" is a black woman from the south, performed by a white guy in drag. She plays in drag clubs around the country, and there is a lot of debate in the gay community about whether this is offensive or liberating or what. Some of the guys that I work with on Pride magazine rave about her, and others despise her.

Brendan Wolfe

I checked her out, and I can imagine how people must go both ways on Shirley Q. Personally, I don't see the attraction, but I like stuff that is on the edge. Have you ever seen Black People Love Us! (www.blackpeopleloveus.com). I wouldn't call it dangerous, exactly, but it sure confuses the hell out of people. They have a letters section that features this bit of scolding:

I viewed your site today. Someone sent it to an e-group I belong to, comprised of "conscious", proud African-Americans. It is my sincere hope that you somehow find this to be your sick sense of humor. I hope that your aren't truly serious . . . because then I would have wonder if you are ignorant, as well as insensitive.

I really don't care that you found a group of disillusioned black people, obviously dealing with internalized racism, to consent to this crap. You are the very reason that we have so far to go, this is the new-age racism. Your comments, and your "friends" comments, sound like something straight from the old black-face comedies. This ridiculous display of self-righteousness is exactly the kind of white privilege that keeps mistrustful of "your type". You should be disgusted with your self. You are an embarrassment to the human race. I will try not hold your behavior against all White people.

Get some counseling! However I am a lover of free speech and realize that, unfortunately, stupidity is free too.

Hetep Pu,
Dr. Imani

Mike Smolinsky

Wrong Pride magazine. I had no idea what you were referring to. I work for the official magazine of all the gay pride parades every year.

Brendan Wolfe

Must be misunderstandings all around, Mike. Sorry about that. I wasn't referring, or at least didn't mean to refer, to any Pride magazine one way or the other. I only meant that I can understand how some people would love a character like Shirley Q. Liquor and others would find her distasteful. For my part, I admire performers and artists who don't play it safe with stuff like this, who risk being called racist. Of course, it could be true that they are, in fact, racist, but that can sometimes be a worthwhile discussion to have.

Mike Smolinsky

I realized that after I posted, sorry. Anyway, I tend to agree with you. I think Dave Chappelle, for example, is excellent. His show (is it even on anymore? He seems to have gone AWOL) often ends up as you describe, with everyone confused. In one great bit, called the "Racial Draft" different ethnic groups recruit different celebs for their "team": the Asians draft the Wu-Tang clan, whites steal Tiger Woods from both Asians and blacks, etc. Serious pop culture for sure.


Man, Brendan, you write brilliant posts like this and I just want to cry "uncle" and hang up my blogging hat for ever.

You sure do know how to "play the keyboard" ... .

Brendan Wolfe

Thanks a lot, reader. You just made my day.

How dare u call mi white im azn


Man, Brendan, you write brilliant posts like this and I just want to cry "uncle" and hang up my blogging hat for ever.

You sure do know how to "play the keyboard" ... .

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