Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Mailbox Was Haldeman

Remember that episode of 30 Rock with Carrie Fisher playing the ground-breaking Laugh-in writer whose attitudes toward various social issues, though liberal, seemed crude and offensive by the standards of the 2000s? I’m thinking specifically of the scene where the character, Rosemary, is dreaming up a sketch and she says “We open on a New Orleans abortion clinic. A beautiful mulatto—“ only to have Liz cut her off with “I don’t think we’re allowed to use any of those words.” That — that — is what I thought of when I stumbled onto a clip from Hair this weekend.

I thought I’d seen Hair, but I realize now that I actually only saw Jesus Christ Superstar. Hair is different. See, because here’s why: the song “Black Boys / White Boys,” which shoves the awkwardness in your face right off the bat with the opening lyrics “Black boys are delicious.”

You may not know me personally, so I’ll tell you that I have an “Are you serious?” face. Rest assured, the only time I wasn’t making it during this number was when I was making my “Is it okay that I’m watching this?” face or my “Am I going to get in trouble?” face.

I haven’t felt this way since my William Faulkner seminar.

And yes, by the way, that is Nell Carter.


  1. I started out wearing my "is this for real?" face, transitioned to my "it is for real! mind blown" face for a few minutes and then ended with a few side-eyes.

  2. I think this is the normal way to react to apparent casual racism that you can't do anything about.