“My plan wasn’t just to show it to executives, but to show it to the world so that the people could have a voice in this as well.” -Lena Waithe
I’m sure many of you have seen people talking about Lena Waithe recently and perhaps you’ve seen some of the other work she’s done (Dear White People). Maybe you haven’t - you should change that. I watched the four part pilot presentation and it wasn’t until the fourth part that I was completely sold. Now don’t confuse that statement, I really loved and laughed at the first three parts, but it’s (intentionally) in the fourth part where we see the heart of the show, the honesty, the realness.
Waithe wrote & created TWENTIES, a single camera comedy about three black women in their twenties, and shopped it around to networks.
A lot of networks read the script and loved it, but they either thought there wasn’t an audience for it or that it already existed. Of course I became extremely frustrated because I knew neither of those things were true. So I realized I had to show these network executives that TWENTIES was one of a kind and that there was nothing on TV like it. And I figured the best way to do that was to shoot a pilot presentation, which meant we would shoot a few pivotal scenes from the script, edit them together, and give people a sense of how the show would look and feel. Lucky for me, Justin Simien (writer/director DEAR WHITE PEOPLE) offered to direct it and Flavor Unit was willing to pay for it. Now I had the opportunity to show people what I was going for instead of trying to explain it to them. My plan wasn’t just to show it to executives, but to show it to the world so that the people could have a voice in this as well. And just so we’re clear: this is not a web series! I repeat this is not a web series. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing a web series. I’ve done one. My goal is to partner with a network that understands what I’m going for.
Spread the word about this show.
The good news is I don’t want your money. There’s no Kickstarter or IndieGoGo attached to this project. All we want you to do is commit to sharing TWENTIES with twenty of your friends. The more you spread the word the better chance we have of getting it on TV. We’ll keep pitching. You keep sharing. Let’s do this!
When my international friends ask me what I eat for breakfast in Indonesia, I say “Fried Rice.” Some might consider it a heavy meal for breakfast, but why not start the day with a burst of flavor? Nasi Goreng is rice stir-fried with vegetables, chicken, and sweet soya sauce. It’s usually served with a sunny side up egg and chips, and I like to add some chilis into the dish to make it even more tasty!
Ketika teman-terman internasional saya bertanaya apa yang saya makan untuk sarapan di Indonesia, saya menjawab “Nasi Goreng.” Beberapa mungkin menganggapnya terlalu berat untuk sarapan, tapi kenapa nggak memulai setiap hari dengan ledakan rasa? Nasi Goreng adalah nasi aduk goreng dengan sayuran, ayam dan kecap manis. Viasanya disajikan dengan telor keplok dan krupuk, saya suka menambahkan sambal biar rasanya lebih lezat!
Nasi Goreng—oh how i miss thee! Mau makan nasi goreng sekarang
You’re All Using The Term ‘Throwing Shade’ Wrong and Need to Stop Immediately
“The limits of my language,” wrote Ludwig Wittgenstein in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, ”means the limits of my world.” I was exposed to this quote as a freshman in college, and I understood immediately what it meant: words, phrases, and idioms have very, very particular meanings. Every construction we employ in our daily conversations has a whole body of history behind it, and that history defines how we use different phrases and aphorisms, what they mean, and what they might mean to us in the future.
I cite my single experience with Wittgenstein for only one reason, really (well, two, if you count wanting to sound like an insufferably pretentious asshole, which I do): to justify why I’m so put off by how people use the term ‘throwing shade’ online.
‘Throwing shade,’ as defined by the authoritative online repository for modern language of the Internet age (the Urban Dictionary), seems like a relatively straight-forward term: “to talk trash about a friend or acquaintance, to publicly denounce or disrespect,” or, more colloquially, “to hate on someone for acting a fool.” The phrase has been in use since at least the early 1980s, but the term has only really enjoyed a serious revival in the past year, peaking two weeks ago with the Gawker article “Watch Michelle Obama Throw World-Historical Shade at John Boehner” which captures Michelle Obama flashing a stink-eye at Speaker Boehner on Inauguration Day
Many commenters noted that the use of the term was incorrect:
While it is a lively term “throwing shade” is not appropriate here. In this instance Michelle is definitely interacting with an Enemy whom she chooses to ignore with prejudice because she is classy and wonderful and because John Boehner is not worth the energy it takes to turn one’s head. John Boehner is the Enemy of All the Free People of Middle Earth and Michelle has no other recourse than to ignore his Necromancerty.
Throwing shade is a perfectly wonderful term of gay-vogue era that Gawker keeps desperately trying to revive with honorable intentions but incorrect usage
My Twitter feed is now full of people who didn’t read into the comments field (pro tip: always read the comments field), have no idea what the term means, and use it interchangeably with ‘shit-talk’ or ‘hate on.’ But, as my gay and lesbian friends have pointed out to me, the proper use of the term requires a bit more understanding.
The origins of the term ‘throwing shade’ can be traced to LGBT ball culture in the 1980s. One of the earliest explanations of the phrase appears in Paris Is Burning, a 1990 documentary by Jennie Livingstonthat chronicles New York City ball culture duringmid-to-late 1980s and the African America, latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. Drag queen Dorian Corey explains the evolution of the term:
“If I’m a black queen, and you’re a black queen, we can’t call each other black queens. That’s not a read that is just a fact. So we talk about your ridiculous shape, your saggy face, your tacky clothes. then reading became a developed form where it became shade. Shade is, ‘I don’t tell you you’re ugly, but I don’t have to tell you because you know you’re ugly.’ And that’s shade.”
‘Throwing shade,’ then, is significantly more nuanced than conventional, aggressive shit-talking. Desson Howe was careful to draw out this distinction in his 1991 review of Paris is Burning for The Washington Post
Corey explains other voguing terminology, such as “reading” and “throwing shade.” To read is to insult imaginatively — in opposition to the blunt gay-bashing taunts of the straight world. Reading is gay-to-gay sparring. Thus, when two black queens call each other “black queen,” says Corey, “that’s not a read, that’s just a fact.”
Throwing shade is reading at a refined level; it’s the curve to the pitch. If someone says they won’t call you ugly because you already know, well, you just got thrown a shade. When enmity reaches fever point and pride is involved, it’s time for voguing. This is direct competition, when contenders take their fight to the ball floor: the equivalent of jousting, dueling or stepping outside the bar.
You’ll notice that throwing shade is defined in opposition the directness and cruelty of gay-bashing. It’s more artfully executed, more dependent on constructing a veiled (or not-so-veiled) insult rather than relying on obvious crudities and innuendo. Throwing shade requires wielding your words like a rapier rather than a cudgel.
So why the sudden resurgence? The second coming of ‘throwing shade’ is likely rooted in mainstreaming of gay culture, but it’s widespread usage is easily tied to the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show, featuring renowned drag queen RuPaul, premiered on Logo in February 2009, coinciding almost perfectly with an uptick in search volume for ‘throwing shade’ (as noted above). But despite the show’s popularity, most outlets continue to conflate throwing shade with the basic act of shit-talking (as MSNBC did after Michelle Obama’s now-infamous eye-roll) Even The Daily Beast, in a fucking post describing ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Dictionary’ in 2011, oversimplified the term:
throwing shade (v.): the art of insulting (see also read)
Example: “Oh, honey. I need to duck and cover because you all bitches be throwing beaucoup shade.”—RuPaul in Season 2
RuPaul explains it *much* better herself on Drag Race (the clip, available at The Daily Beast, won’t embed on Tumblr for some reason). You don’t need Wittgenstein to get your words right. if you’re thinking about ‘throwing shade,’ or even describing something as ‘throwing shade,’ heed RuPaul’s advice: