gall and gumption

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Jezebels

Tom sent me this link after he read a clip I sent him, an article about people who collect things in Sonoma County (antique marbles, Oz books, beautiful things, you name it) that mentioned Zulu Lulu.

The piece he found, about Jezebels, is interesting even though it's about a subject that usually doesn't light me up much: sterotypes. But this one was specifically the stereotypes of the sex-mad black woman, especially how slavery helped to propagate that stereotype. That's something I've been writing about as well but, I hope, not in the way this article does. Well, you know me.... This Jezebel article has some nice images though.

In the context of my recent posting about Passa Passa, it's interesting too, I'm not sure what the two things have to say about each other, one thing I mean being the phenomenon of Passa Passa and the other being the phenomenon of scholars writing about the stereotypes of sexually abandoned black women. They probably don't have anything to do with each other. But I wonder how you would fit Passa Passa into an article like this. It would be fun to try. Even (heck, especially) if it sort of broke the article in the process.

And I'm still trying to find out what mythology invented the notion that it was cute to make an ashtray in the image of a little naked black boy sitting on the rim of a giant bedpan. I saw several of these when I was writing about the collectors and just couldn't make head or tail of them. I try, for example, to think, well, maybe there was a story behind it. But I cannot think of where I might find the story. So far the one explanation that I kind of like of all the ones I have pulled out of thin air, is no explanation at all. I just see a bunch of people getting drunk and Fred goes and fetches the little black boy on the bedpan ashtray and the whole crowd of them (they all go to the same church) fall about the living room laughing.

It's interesting, isn't it? I mean, some things need to be understood in terms of their causes. Others only make sense when they are considered in terms of their effects.

That's the moral. Here endeth the lesson (I have always wanted to use that phrase).

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