Some Things Just Aren't For You
Listening to the latest episode of the T.I. podcast Expeditiously, I was struck with a thought. Today’s message is, some things just aren’t for you.
Let me explain. Recently, Panama Jackson, one of my favorite writers, released a podcast called What If Tyler Perry Had a Writer’s Room? The podcast delves into a comment made by Perry himself earlier this year where he somewhat bragged about not using a writer’s room, to which a collective resounding “Um, duh” arose from anyone who has ever seen a Tyler Perry film. Personally, either as a person who has seen most of Perry’s films in taking a family member that actually enjoys them or just to laugh, I love Jackson’s podcast. It’s witty, with guests who are some of the most interesting writers of my generation, and is able to dissect the films without belittling them. I find this so important because Jackson manages to toe a line that many cross which is the understanding that sometimes you are just not the audience for certain types of art.
It is okay to look at something and say you don’t like it or agree with it. Critique in this world of free speech is absolutely warranted and welcomed. However, disparaging things that you don’t understand or that just weren’t really made for you is not. Which brings me back to T.I.’s podcast and today’s guest, Kenya Barris. Barris, if you don’t know, is the creator of art such as Blackish, Mixedish and the box office topping Girls Trip. Recently, he released #blackAF to Netflix to lukewarm reviews at best. Barris admits on the podcast this is the most polarizing thing he’s done to date. The show is basically to Blackish what Curb Your Enthusiasm was to Seinfeld. Barris breaks the fourth wall to play himself in what often comes off as a shallow and somewhat detestable human. I, however, love this show. I find it hilarious when people are able to bare themselves in a way that shows their flaws as well as their attributes. It’s extremely difficult to put yourself on display to be picked apart and Barris and cast do this very well. Black Twitter has almost broken itself dragging Barris’ acting skills as well as the show itself. I would stretch to say those people were just not the intended audience for this show. AND THAT’S OKAY. It is absolutely fine in this world for there to be art that you observe, deselect and move on. It does not mean that art should not exist; it just means it’s not for you.
When the whole world was deep down a Tiger King hole a few weeks ago, full of Carole Baskin accusations and gay love triangles, I watched 30 minutes of one episode, determined it was not for me and moved on. I didn’t take to Twitter to speak to the cruelty of how the animals were treated or how ridiculous I found the show overall. Nope, just turned it off and watched a repeat of an episode of Snowfall. A show that is very much for me, yet may not be someone else’s cup of tea.
I say all this to say, we do not want to live in a world where everyone feels forced to conform to one-dimensionality. It’s boring and stale. We’re in the midst of a damn pandemic, if never before was there a time to discover what you like and what actually is for you, this is it. Read that book, watch that show, take that class, write that script, cook that meal, build that table, meditate like a boss, run that mile, sleep all day, wash those baseboards, build that business, take a whole deep breath. Whatever is for you,DO THAT.
No need to tear anyone else down in the process, because some things just aren’t for you.