Skip to main content

'BOON' SHOCKS
By DON KAPLAN

'THE Boondocks," probably the most controversial comic strip in newspapers right now, is poised to become the most controversial animated show on TV, too.

The comic and the cartoon, both written by Aaron McGruder, follows the experiences and reflections of a black family - two kids, Huey and Riley, and their grandfather - who move from the inner city to the lily-white suburbs.

Since 1999, when "Boondocks" first launched in newspapers as a syndicated strip, McGruder's musings on racism, politics and popular culture have frequently drawn fire from critics in all corners - and gotten the comic strip tossed out of some papers. In many cases, it runs on the editorial page instead of with the funnies.

His new show faithfully brings the same shock-tactics to Adult Swim, the Cartoon Networks' popular late-night programming block for grownups.

In it, his characters use the N-word frequently ("I think every episode is about racism," says Cartoon Network's Mike Lazzo, the programming executive who oversees Adult Swim), and an episode about searching for love includes Granddad's bizarre fling with a busty 20-year-old prostitute named Krystal, "like the champagne," she coos.

"But Granddad, she's just a lazy ho!" cries Huey to no avail.

"There's no doubt in my mind that some people are going to take offense, but you have look at things in context," says Lazzo. "Aaron has a strong point of view, and we want to support him as an artist. We think he's a voice that is sadly lacking in popular culture in general and television specifically."

Like the comic strip, "Boondocks" resembles Japanese anime and features young Huey Freeman, McGruder's alter ego, who for years has treated readers to a steady diet of indignation, paranoia and hatred.

Huey, whose world view could most easily be described as "black nationalist," is a self-proclaimed practicing member of the "church of self-righteousness."

He opens the pilot episode with a narrative of his recurring dream in which he attends a stodgy garden party for rich, white people and causes a riot when he takes the stage to inform them that: "Jesus was black, Ronald Reagan was the devil and the government is lying about 9/11."

Riley, his younger brother, is a wannabe thug who loves guns, while Granddad is a grouchy cynic. All three represent "different facets of the sort of angry-black-man archetype," McGruder, 31, told a reporter.

"Someone said to me the other day that in some ways this is filling a void that Dave Chappelle left behind," Lazzo says, invoking "Chappelle's Show," Comedy Central's super-hot sketch-comedy program that tackled tough racial issues with a smile. The program burned so brightly last year, its star quit.

Lazzo says that the network has given McGruder almost no limits in terms of content, except sex.

"We let him make the show he wants to make," says Lazzo. "We told him what the company [Turner Broadcasting] said to us: 'You can do what you want as long you make money.' "

Popular posts from this blog

Bi History Moments: Anything That Moves, Spring 1994 (bisexual manifesto and cover)

Anything That Moves was a literary, journalistic, and topical magazine published in the United States from 1990 to 2002.[1] It was created as an expansion of the San FranciscoBay Area Bisexual Network (BABN) newsletter by BABN member, Karla Rossi, in collaboration with bisexual and bi-friendly editors, writers, and artists to become a full 64-page magazine with an international subscriber base. The complete title of the magazine, Anything That Moves: Beyond the Myths of Bisexuality, was purposely chosen for its controversial nature, while its tag line indicated a clear intent to challenge stereotypes of bisexual identities and behaviors. The magazine took its name from the stereotype depicting bisexuals as willing to have sex with "anything that moves".[2] The magazine's mission was to confront and redefine concepts of sexuality and gender, to defy stereotypes and broad definitions of bisexuals and to combat biphobia. - Wikipedia

Anything That Moves and other bisexual med…

The Memorist That's Me!

Just call me the memoirist.
People often say they remember me.
And I can't forget sh**, and just filled out a new HSAM research request UCI had sent me, so...

via GIPHY

Reality for me? Just temporarily misplacing, or actively trying to forget, more things than the rest of humanity, and nonetheless it just comes back screaming to life over and over again like Groundhog Day (the movie remains a small personal comfort).

via GIPHY

But. Living with hyperthymesia is fine, useful even. I hunt those oppression would use with it some days, on others I work on sharing a new sys with the public featuring my library of screenshots, and those like mine for my various cases in a new and innovative way. Partly book, partly website, all me. A lot of white people need to read themselves NOW I think, what they said THEN, ya know?

For the last year and half, I've also been working with a therapist who's diagnosed me with hyperthymesia. Which has led to realization after realization and I'…

Faith Cheltenham Bio

Faith Cheltenham

activist/writer/speaker

There are so many different aspects of Faith Cheltenham’s life and career––writer, community organizer, advocate, activist, lecturer, poet, social media expert, digital strategist––that she is currently working to develop a single unifying “theory of Faith.” (It might be easier if you keep in mind Faith lives with hyperthymesia, or the inability to forget her own memories.) Then you too might be able to “keep thefayth” and learn to live in a future where gender and sexuality quite easily bend and every single Black life matters. 

Faith got her start in LGBT advocacy as a Human Rights Campaign intern on the Gore 2000 campaign, and in 2002, she co-founded UCLA’s BlaQue for LGBT/SGL students of African descent. In 2006, she appeared in the Emmy winning reality series on race in America, “Black. White.” produced by Ice Cube. 

After spending time working in corporate America doing digital strategy for Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and co-creating …