Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dope Queen

Busy weeks turn into busier ones and the next month is going to be nuts.  Not sure if I'll be able to keep up with posting. Fair warning!

You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain, by Phoebe Robinson of Two Dope Queens podcast fame, was not my usual thing, but was pretty damned great.  (At first I wrote darmned, like darned and damned together, and I swear I almost left it in because that's a pretty great new word I invented.  But (as you may have noticed), I digress.) "Funny person writes book" is not always my thing; it's something I loved when I was a kid, but I think most of the ones I read now seem pretty shallow.  This book was anything but.

So take Bossypants, and Yes, Please--these are written by famous people who have relationships to maintain, but from whom you really want the gossip.  So it ends up like when you were a kid sneaking an R rated movie hoping for something salacious and you ended up getting My Left Foot and you're like, wha?

But Phoebe (if I may call her Phoebe, which I can, because we're besties now--hey, Pheebs!) is not boring. She gets personal and she gets real--about a lot of things, but especially race.  And I really appreciated that, because I've found that I have a huge appetite for stories about how this big ol' white world we live in can be super awkward for non-white people to put up with. I like being reminded that yes, being black in America is tough, all the time, if only because you never know where the next microaggression is coming.

This is not all the book is about--not by a long shot. My other favorite thing is her cultural references, because she will drill down to a moment in an episode of a show that you watched--yes you did, you know you did--or a movie that she watched over and over as a kid just as often as I did, and she understands just how I think in pop culture references.  There were a lot of great "Yes! That!" moments in here.

But what I appreciated was how real she kept it--not just about race, but about being a woman comic, and about being insecure and confident at the same time, and about being ambitious in a world that doesn't want to support you.  She shared the real experience of being a black woman in entertainment, and it was funny and sweet and real.

And now I have her podcast to listen to, which I'm super excited about and loving so far.  Yay, Phoebe!

I do have one criticism, though it's not about the book cover but the Amazon listing for the book.  You'll notice the colon in the title? Total misuse of a colon.  I understand that it's traditional to use a colon in a subtitle, but I strongly dislike the practice of a colon followed by an "and."  My only crit.  Sorry, Pheobes--love ya, sweetheart!

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