Monday, January 08, 2024

Media: What's The Point Of A YOUTUBE series?

What is the point of doing a YOUTUBE series?

The more we watch, the more we wonder.  This past weekend made clear that truth isn't the point of a YOUTUBE series.

Like today when Olayemi Olurin was the target of BLACK POWER MEDIA.  You read that right, target.  Not topic.  Jared Bell and two other men utilized a lengthy segment to attack her.

Apparently, that's now the BLACK POWER MEDIA way -- tear a sister down.  

Nothing seemingly says "Black Power" like ripping apart a Black woman.

What upset the boyz?  This video by Olay that's had over 36,000 streams in the week it's been up.  (It was posted at THE COMMON ILLS on Sunday, December 31st.)

Some people may not know Olay so here's a bio sketch from her website (it needs to be updated):


Olayemi Olurin is a movement lawyer, political commentator, writer, and abolitionist thinker. Olurin is Bahamian Nigerian, and was born and raised in Nassau, The Bahamas, where she lived until she moved to America in 2008. She received her JD from St. John’s University School of Law and her BA from Ohio University where she studied Political Science, African American Studies; and Law, Justice & Culture. As a public defender, Olurin represented people who cannot afford representation, who unfortunately and uncoincidentally, make up the vast majority of the people churned through the criminal system. Olurin educates people about systemic racism, abolition, and why we should divest from the prison industrial complex.  She’s a prominent voice in the movement to decarcerate and close Rikers, an infamous pre-trial detention center in NYC where 18 people have died in the last year. She’s been published in Teen Vogue, Essence Magazine, The Grio, NewsOne, and appeared on many media outlets like The Breakfast Club, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Hill, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, iHeartRadio, NPR, Yahoo News, VOA News, Brut Media, BNC, The Real News Network, The Law & Crime Network, and more.  She releases essays monthly on olurinatti, where she critically analyzes different issues of our time. She Hosts Olurinatti The Show, where she releases weekly episodes exploring issues and news on Youtube. She also co-hosts The Leftist Mafia as well as her Callin show Tea Time w/ Olay every Thursday night.

If you're someone who visits this site regularly, you're familiar with Olay.  Surprisingly, two of the three men on BLACK POWER MEDIA were not -- Jared insisted in the segment he knew something of her.

That alone was rather sad and shocking.  You call yourself BLACK POWER MEDIA, but you're unaware of one the most prominent media commentators of 2023 -- and a Black woman at that?


That is, after all, why three male hosts previously and outrageously declared RUSTIN -- the film about The March on Washington as "too gay" and said so minutes after saying they wish there was a Black history film released every week.  Apparently, though, one without a gay or lesbian character.  

So no need for films about Gladys Bentley, James Baldwin, Storme DeLarverie, Lorraine Hansberry, Pauli Murray, Audre Lorde, Alvin Ailey, Ernestine Eckstein, Rodney Powell, Barbara Jordan, Marsha P. Johnson, Ron Oden, Phill Wilson, Aaron Henry and many others -- not for the BLACK POWER MEDIA men.  

Olay does a three hour video a week ago.  None of them watch it in full.  But they show up on Sunday to tear her apart in the name of . . .  bitchy?

Now they've already had negative takes on Roland Martin and Karen Hunter, so, no, these men don't see themselves as people who uplift other African-Americans but now they're taking the position that they can ignore a life's work and the bulk of a video in order to rush to attack Olay.  

This comes after Jared's recent live meltdown over Andre 3000 that led him to attack co-host Kim Brown on air -- no, even being a member of BPM doesn't protect you of late.


Nor does it mean you get to speak on air.  SATURDAYS WITH RENEE could be a great show -- could be.  The problem's not with Renee who is the supposed host.  She's smart, she has opinions that make you think.  She just doesn't get much mike time -- on her own show. She's paired with Jared.  Yesterday, it was Jared and a second man and Renee got to speak even less.  (And they should have had Renee on the segment about Olay and not three male jackasses because Renee actually streamed the special and left feedback on Olay's Twitter.) Instead, three men who didn't watch the special in full wanted to 'correct' her and tut-tut over her.  Why is it, for some men, liberation is only for straight men -- not for any women and not for gay men?  That's the message that BPM keeps sending -- intentionally or not.



Does BPM not get how they come off?

It's not a good look.  Nor was what took place the day prior on YOUTUBE.  Philippe Benhamou hosts his own program focusing on the work of various female singers.  

Sometimes we agree with his calls, sometimes we don't.  Sometimes he gets a fact or two wrong about an album.  But we usually appreciate what  he does.

That wasn't the case on Saturday.

His current topic is the albums of Donna Summer.  And worse, Donna Summer's 80s albums.  The great wasteland because Donna peaked in the seventies.  She had five gold albums in the seventies, a platinum live album in 1978 and, in 1979,  two multi-platinum albums.  By 1979, she had 11 top ten singles -- four number ones.  From 1978 through 1979 alone, she put eight songs into the top five on the Hot 100 -- four went to number one.  

From 1980 through 1989, she released 28 singles -- most of which failed to chart.  She never got a number one during this time period (or ever again) and only two made the top five -- "The Wanderer" and "She Works Hard For The Money" (both made it to number three -- and only two others made the top ten -- "Love Is In Control" made it to number ten and "This Time I Know It's For Real" made it to number seven.

Not only were the hits not happening on her 80s albums, the albums themselves were huge disappointments.  In the 70s, she pioneered the concept album for disco.  In the 80s, each album was a mixed bag collection of songs with no theme or consistency.  And the songs didn't work with one another.  

Saturday, Phillipe was reviewing the 1982 album DONNA SUMMER and gushing over "Lush Life."  He seemed to miss the fact that the torch song from the 40s didn't fit anything else on the Quincy Jones produced album.  It's an erratic and unfulfilling  album -- something that could be said about all six of the studio albums she released in the 80s that weren't worthy of her.

So we disagreed about his take on the album?  Yeah.  But that wasn't the problem.  

The problem is he wanted you to know that Donna Summer was "the first victim of cancel culture."

And, worse, he insisted, she didn't say anything bad about gay people.   

Fool, please.

You can fan-boy and gush on her all you want but stop lying.

May 23rd, our "TV: The four stories of LOVE TO LOVE YOU, DONNA SUMMER" went up here.  It was a review of the HBO documentary directed by Roger Ross Williams and Donn'as daughter Brooklyn Sudano.


As we noted, Donna left her kids to clean up her lie.


She did make the homophobic statements -- plural -- including saying that AIDS was a punishment from God.


Now liars like t o point to a claim -- a false one -- spread online that Donna, after a concert, spoke about other things to a group of fans and some silly queen distorted what Donna said and that's how the 'false' tale of Donna being homophobic.  We almost addressed that in the piece we wrote in May.  We tracked down the liar and he begged us not to expose him in the piece.  But he lied.


And you didn't need to know that, you just needed to know history.


First up: Donna canceled Donna.  That can't be pinned on anyone else.


Have you ever given up a vice?  Maybe you smoked tobacco cigarettes and then quit and you couldn't be around people who did because you still smoked?


 Donna was a heavy drug user in the 70s.  She felt, as the seventies wound down, that she'd been born again due to Christianity.

She then got on a high horse and destroyed her career.

"Love To Love You Baby"?  As we noted in our piece, she walked away from it.  Her first big hit and the hit she's probably still most identified with, but she refused to perform it in concert.  It was a "sinful song" and she would not perform it anymore. She started the 80s insisting she would be recording gospel music from now on.  She never did gospel music because no one wanted to pay her for it.  No label wanted to issue it.  It would take a lot of money to sell the "Love To Love You Baby" and "Bad Girls" songstress as a gospel singer that gospel radio would want to play.  So she stuck with pop music and included a 'religious' song (not gospel) that she'd co-written every now and then.  In 1981, she announced in an interview with CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC that she would next be dropping "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" from her act.  She didn't do it because venue bookers made it clear to her that she couldn't tour in prestige venues if she wasn't going to perform her hits.  She saw the songs as "sinful," she saw the title "Queen of Disco" as sinful.  In the documentary, her own sisters explains Donna was rejecting her audience in concerts in the 80s by making remarks like God didn't create "Adam and Steve."  Donna expressed homophobia at fans who paid to see her -- the bulk of which were gay men by the 80s because everyone else had already walked away from her when she left disco back in the seventies.

The documentary claims that the AIDS comment wasn't uttered.

Yes, it was.


And while AIDS was sold as a gay disease and a punishment, Donna was happy to own her homophobic remarks.  She would tell the Canadian press that she thought AIDS was like herpes and, had she known that people were dying from it, she never would have made that statement.

Grasp what that is: It's her confessing to making the remark.

Grasp also that the Adam and Steve comment was offensive as well and that Giorgio Moroder has said repeatedly that Donna was always homophobic -- from the very start when they worked together in the seventies.

She'd make similar remarks to THE ADVOCATE years later (1989).   

In 1989, Donna wants to 'come clean' to ACT UP and THE VILLAGE VOICE and tries to rewrite history insisting she never said and had only recently learned about this false rumor.  Only a fool believes that since she'd been talking about it to the press since 1982.


1989 is when the career is over.  Her 1987 album was her first album to fail to make the top forty of BILLBOARD's album chart since 1975.  Every one of her American studio and live albums had made the top forty (1974's LADY OF THE NIGHT, her first album, was only released in The Netherlands). Eleven albums in total made the top forty.  But her remarks were known and she'd admitted the truth about them and people like the group Bronski Beat were publicly calling her out.  So 1987's ALL SYSTEMS GO never made it higher than 122 on BILLBOARD's album chart.  In desperation, she turned her career  over to British bubble-gum producers and ended up with the wretched 1987 album ANOTHER PLACE AND TIME which could have been recorded by anyone and didn't require a singer of Donna's strength.  All the tracks were disappointments and she'd finally issued something that was nothing but product -- not one damn song on the album showcased her vocals.  And her fans didn't come back.  She was desperate to promote this album and get it to sell but it didn't.

She cancelled herself.

She rode a wave of hit singles and concept albums to create a world of freedom and then she spat on that work.  Stan notes, whenever Sally Field's on an anti-FLYING NUN kick, that he liked that show as a child and it meant a great deal to him.  Smart artists grasp that they might not like a song or an album or a movie or TV show they did but that their fans are the ones who keep them afloat.  

Donna cancelled herself by attacking the hits that made her famous and gave her a following.  She spat on her audience and you don't really come back from that.  Not even a 1999 live album promoted via VH1 concert could give her a gold album.  Her final album, boosted by an AMERICAN IDOL appearance back when that show really delivered an audience, hit the charts at number 17 which might have been impressive if it didn't  immediately drop out of the top forty.  


Did Philippe lie?

There's always the chance that he's just stupid.  But he elected to interject himself and give a homophobe cover for her homophobia and that's either because he wanted to lie or because he was too lazy to do the work required to determine the truth.  

We don't have time for that, the world doesn't have time for that.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }