Only Odd*: the Holiday Edition

27 Dec

“Only Odd” is borrowed from tumblr-speak, as in, “I can’t even… I can only odd.”  Bloggers are often expected to react to major events. And though we often comply, the energy expended for such argumentation could also be used to finish manuscripts, start novels, knit sweaters or make passionate love as if the world wasn’t crumbling under the weight of imperialism. Sometimes we can’t. And that’s ok. Here’s a list of things this holiday that made me say, “I can’t even… I can only odd.”

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

If your nose never helped another soul but yourself, you would still be alright with me.

  1. Sandy Hook, Santa Clause, the NRA and the commodity of innocence. A man killed 28 people. Twenty eight. Himself. His mother. Six school employees. Twenty children. We created hierarchies of these deaths based on notions of innocence, notions exploited by various industries.  “Innocent” gets at our pockets. We buy toys in pastels to protect innocence; we lie to children about a classist, red-clad man who visits them but not their friends, a man who will prepare them to believe in a God who rewards the faithful (read rich) with material things. And when faced with a right-before-the-holidays massacre of innocents, we propose buying more guns to protect innocence. All our hands drip blood.
  2. Django. I can’t. I really can’t. Like, I can’t even post links from people who went to see the movie. Would you like to see a movie about slavery? See Sankofa.
  3. Guess who’s (not) coming to dinner? I can’t with the holiday blues. For those who must explain/ defend their singleness to (sometimes) well-wishing elders who grew up in different times. For those who weren’t able to spend holidays with their chosen (read queer) families because of the biases of their kin. For those who weren’t able to spend the holidays with their kin because of their disapproval of their chosen families (read homophobia). I’ve been in 2/3 of those boxes and I can’t. Even.
  4. Catfish marathons over the holiday. From the introduction to the last frame, American conceptions of beauty are unquestioned and reified. Those who manipulate these conceptions to connect with (shallow) others are portrayed as desperate, deviant and ultimately pitiful. Fat hatred, homophobia and ageism are just a few of the things that go unquestioned in this show  that joins the other MTV train wrecks that track on shame.
  5. Heretical holiday characters—like Rudolph. Rudolph stands for everything that our Lorde deplores. Rudolph was only accepted when his difference was valuable to the colonizer of his folks. If the catchy song seems benign, see The Help, Twilight, “Flipping Out” and every other movie, novel or show where the other helps others get they life their lives together.
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7 Responses to “Only Odd*: the Holiday Edition”

  1. Amanda December 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM #

    I watched Rudolph this year for the first time since critical consciousness. The dad reindeer says “this is man’s work” sooo many times.

  2. Breeze Harper December 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM #

    Reblogged this on The Sistah Vegan Project and commented:
    This is exactly how I feel and instead of blogging about it, I decided to repost the brilliance that is the Crunk Feminist Collective. I have the same sentiment about Sandy Hook and how Santa Claus is fed to children, here in the USA. I have been very frustrated about how the use of Santa Claus obscures where toys and other gifts REALLY come from, most of the time (exploited laborers, many times enslaved children that harvest cocoa to make ‘cheerful’ holiday chocolate treats for children in the USA. There is so much violence that children NOT living in a white USA suburb also experience, but it is masked under neoliberalism and globalized white supremacist capitalism. Thank you Crunk Feminist Collective to speaking truth to power!

  3. Breeze Harper December 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM #

    I have the same sentiment about Sandy Hook and how Santa Claus is fed to children, here in the USA. I have been very frustrated about how the use of Santa Claus obscures where toys and other gifts REALLY come from, most of the time (exploited laborers, many times enslaved children that harvest cocoa to make ‘cheerful’ holiday chocolate treats for children in the USA). There is so much violence that children NOT living in a white USA suburb also experience, but it is masked under neoliberalism and globalized white supremacist capitalism. Thank you Crunk Feminist Collective to speaking truth to power!

  4. jusRhae December 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM #

    first, I totally needed this in that, the holidays really hasn’t meant much to me since my family (read born into) started falling apart, then after my bestfriend, first love – my grandma (gma) died. then of course the world started on its “trip”. also, I dont know how I feel about djano, haven’t seen it (yet) but the fact that Spike Lee is soooo upset by it – does have me in the curiousity side of things. how can I have my opinion if I dont see whats what. And I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of Sankofa since I first heard of it in 2007. gift for self I do believe.
    thank you for the post.

  5. jusRhae December 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM #

    …ah, after watching The Polar Express I decided that when I am asked to be Mother I will not be raising my child on a notion of a white savior in a red suit, just won’t. it’s going to be “I (we) worked our asses off for every gift afforded under a tree (if), and no one spent money but us.” however, I have been thinking of learning more about Kwanzaa for when I was in high school (thank you Mrs. Ball from Big IKE!!! love that woman.) I learned about each day and what it meant but I have to confess thats been a long time ago, lol, most information I did not retain. but yesterday I thought to self…am I allowed to celebrate Kwanzaa so far into my years never knowing or experiencing it before?

  6. Tish December 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM #

    Why is seeing a movie about slavery so bad, now? I’m still confused by that. It’s not glamourizing it. Did you see Inglorious Bastards? Did that offend? He’s just spinning history…and not glorifying it by any means. I personally loved it. I personally loved seeing a slave go buck buck on the revenge front. Did you read Octavia Butler’s _Kindred_? That was about slavery.

  7. liftingasweclimb December 27, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

    I’d forgotten about Sankofa. Great retort. As always, you get the real deal with crunk.

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