PDA

View Full Version : Just ran across this: Is this drag performer racist?



Elspeth
06-22-2008, 10:27 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Q._Liquor

I ran across a book at the university library today that really threw me for a loop: here is the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Like-You-Blackface-Whiteface/dp/1585425931/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214187574&sr=8-2




Product Description
A refreshingly clearheaded and taboo-breaking look at race relations reveals that American culture is neither Black nor White nor Other, but a mix-a mongrel.

Black Like You is an erudite and entertaining exploration of race relations in American popular culture. Particularly compelling is Strausbaugh's eagerness to tackle blackface-a strange, often scandalous, and now taboo entertainment. Although blackface performance came to be denounced as purely racist mockery, and shamefacedly erased from most modern accounts of American cultural history, Black Like You shows that the impact of blackface on American culture was deep and long-lasting. Its influence can be seen in rock and hiphop; in vaudeville, Broadway, and gay drag performances; in Mark Twain and "gangsta lit"; in the earliest filmstrips and the 2004 movie White Chicks; on radio and television; in advertising and product marketing; and even in the way Americans speak.

Strausbaugh enlivens themes that are rarely discussed in public, let alone with such candor and vision:

- American culture neither conforms to knee-jerk racism nor to knee-jerk political correctness. It is neither Black nor White nor Other, but a mix-a mongrel.
- No history is best forgotten, however uncomfortable it may be to remember. The power of blackface to engender mortification and rage in Americans to this day is reason enough to examine what it tells us about our culture and ourselves. - Blackface is still alive. Its impact and descendants-including Black performers in "whiteface"-can be seen all around us today.


Then I looked up one of the guys mentioned in the book on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Q._Liquor



Chuck Knipp is an American and Canadian (dual citizenship) drag comedian best known for his controversial alter egos, the black-face character "Shirley Q. Liquor" and "Betty Butterfield." His other characters are also what he calls "absurdist" - "Dr. Williams," a Valium-over-prescribing Texas family doctor, and "Narth Dakota Marge" who tends to run over "fat babies" in her Cadillac.

Knipp is a citizen of both the United States and Canada, active in the ACLU and Libertarian Party and was nominated as their candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. (Texas, District 2). He is a commissioned notary public at large for the State of Kentucky...

Shirley Q. Liquor

Knipp's best known character is Shirley Q. Liquor, a cariacature of a black southern woman. Knipp performs the character -- an Ebonics speaking, welfare-collecting mother of 19 children[1] -- in blackface. Knipp speaks in a dialect of stereotypical broken English when he is performing as Shirley. Her conversations are often riddled with malapropisms, as when she suggests that her cat needs to get "sprayed", or when she goes shopping at "K-Mark" or 'Wal-Mark". The character attends Mount Holy Olive Second Baptist Zion Church of God in Christ of Resurrected Latter-Day Saints AME Hallelujah Jesus (a reference to historically African-American churches). She also references the Macademia Jubilation Congregation and the Reese's Peanut Butter Choir. On a few skits, she refers to herself as The Reverend Doctor Shirley Q. Liquor.

Liquor's best friend is the seven-foot-tall, 400 pound Watutsi Jenkins, who struggles with mental illness and needs to get "her head shocked" on a regular basis. Jenkins and Liquor are fans of Barry White as well as soap operas, which they refer to as "stories". Both are also fans of Schlitz and Colt 45 malt liquor and menthol cigarettes. Jenkins usually appears in "Happy Hour" skits which mimic a radio broadcast.

In addition to live performances, Knipp has produced several spoken-word CDs. Knipp's "Daily Ignunce" morning radio routine, usually 90 seconds long, is syndicated and heard on radio stations throughout the United States. Most recently, the character of Shirley Q. Liquor made an appearance in cartoon form on the pilot episode of Laugh Out, the first interactive, gay-themed comedy show. Shirley often addresses people by saying, "How you durrin'?"

Knipp's routines were consistently among the top downloaded comedy category mp3 files on mp3.com prior to its shutdown in 2003.

Betty Butterfield

Knipp spun off a new character in 1998: "Betty Butterfield" a large, drug addled, church hopping southern white woman. Butterfield's character was first referenced in a Shirley Q Liquor skit entitled "Telemarketing" in which Liquor mimics the sound of a white woman answering the phone: "mm'hellooo?"

This greeting would become the trademark of Butterfield's routine. Unlike most Liquor skits, which are audio, virtually all of the Butterfield skits are in the Quicktime video format. Betty Butterfield is most likely to be found discussing her never-ending search for a church she can fit into. She has visited Mormon, Catholic, Pentcostal, Episcopal, Buddhist, and even Scientology churches, none of which were to her liking. Chain smoking throughout, Betty is likely to burst into tears at any moment as she discusses her church escapades, need for better prescriptions, and her abusive double-amputee, Vietnam veteran husband, Jerry. Knipp frequently performs his live shows first as Betty Butterfield, then as Shirley Q. Liquor.


After hanging out at DU where I got accused of racism for merely suggesting that Obama supporters be nice to Clinton supporters (and quit running them off the board for alleged "racism") I was appalled at this drag performer. I mean what this guy is doing looks like racism to me.

But apparently, Rue Paul says otherwise:



Entertainer RuPaul has long been a fan and supporter of Knipp. "Critics who think that Shirley Q. Liquor is offensive are idiots. Listen, I've been discriminated against by everybody in the world: gay people, black people, whatever. I know discrimination, I know racism, I know it very intimately. She's not racist, and if she were, she wouldn't be on my new CD." In her blog, RuPaul adds: "I am very sensitive to issues of racism, sexism and discrimination. I am a gay black man, who started my career as a professional transvestite in Georgia, twenty years ago."



So what the hell is racism again?

SaintLouieWoman
06-22-2008, 10:44 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Q._Liquor

I ran across a book at the university library today that really threw me for a loop: here is the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Like-You-Blackface-Whiteface/dp/1585425931/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214187574&sr=8-2




Then I looked up one of the guys mentioned in the book on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Q._Liquor



After hanging out at DU where I got accused of racism for merely suggesting that Obama supporters be nice to Clinton supporters (and quit running them off the board for alleged "racism") I was appalled at this drag performer. I mean what this guy is doing looks like racism to me.

But apparently, Rue Paul says otherwise:



So what the hell is racism again?

Very thoughtful post. The STL Post Dispatch had an entire section today dealing with racism. Of course it's very liberal, so didn't agree with much they said.

Thanks so much for posting this.

megimoo
06-22-2008, 10:53 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Q._Liquor

I ran across a book at the university library today that really threw me for a loop: here is the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Like-You-Blackface-Whiteface/dp/1585425931/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214187574&sr=8-2




Then I looked up one of the guys mentioned in the book on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Q._Liquor



After hanging out at DU where I got accused of racism for merely suggesting that Obama supporters be nice to Clinton supporters (and quit running them off the board for alleged "racism") I was appalled at this drag performer. I mean what this guy is doing looks like racism to me.

But apparently, Rue Paul says otherwise:



So what the hell is racism again?That's what a liberal calls you when he's lost an argument with you ! And only a black man can tell true racism from false racism !
" "I am very sensitive to issues of racism, sexism and discrimination. I am a gay black man, who started my career as a professional transvestite in Georgia, twenty years ago." boy that guy has a few 'strikes against him even before he gets to bat .

MrsSmith
06-23-2008, 10:04 PM
So what the hell is racism again?

Just about anything some Dim Lib doesn't like...

marinejcksn
06-23-2008, 10:33 PM
**Cues up South Park episode Scott Tenorman Must Die, when cartman can't get into the movies because he's trying to pay with hair**

RACIST! :eek:

Seriously though, I'm pretty darn tired of these weirdo freaks being able to crap all over society in the name of "Art". You know damn well if someone who even LOOKED conservative had done this, Keith Overbite's head would've exploded all over his desk at PMSNBC.:rolleyes:

Gingersnap
06-23-2008, 10:56 PM
Racist? I dunno. Sexist? You bet.

Any man who pretends to be a female for any purpose in this day and age is a sexist pig. Gay, straight, unsure: it doesn't matter. It's infuriating to be told by cross-dressing men what "female" is or should be for the purposes of entertainment.

Drag itself is an outmoded and sexist display that needs to be ended. Caricaturing women for the benefit of male crowds (and they are mostly male) is demeaning to genetic women. Period. Women themselves can lampoon other women for comedy these days. Let men mock men for a change. It would be a real change of pace in the entertainment and fashion industry. :rolleyes:

marinejcksn
06-23-2008, 11:08 PM
Racist? I dunno. Sexist? You bet.

Any man who pretends to be a female for any purpose in this day and age is a sexist pig. Gay, straight, unsure: it doesn't matter. It's infuriating to be told by cross-dressing men what "female" is or should be for the purposes of entertainment.

Drag itself is an outmoded and sexist display that needs to be ended. Caricaturing women for the benefit of male crowds (and they are mostly male) is demeaning to genetic women. Period. Women themselves can lampoon other women for comedy these days. Let men mock men for a change. It would be a real change of pace in the entertainment and fashion industry. :rolleyes:

You know what I genuinely find a bit disturbing also, Ginger? The fashion we manly men love seeing beautiful women wear is primarily designed by gay men.:eek:

Just a chicken/egg situation for ya. BTW, I also find drag completely outdated. Rocky Horror Picture Show, this ain't. Just another situation of liberal invasion into distorting what's considered "cool", "hip", or "right" simply because THEY can't fit it. Change the game, not change the player. Complete weakness in my opinion.

PPS: Can we all agree that Gary Cooper, John Wayne, James Cagney, Bogart, Eastwood, Bronson, COUNTLESS others would just wanna smack these weirdos upside the head? I relish in the thought.:D

Gingersnap
06-23-2008, 11:14 PM
You know what I genuinely find a bit disturbing also, Ginger? The fashion we manly men love seeing beautiful women wear is primarily designed by gay men.:eek:

Just a chicken/egg situation for ya. BTW, I also find drag completely outdated. Rocky Horror Picture Show, this ain't. Just another situation of liberal invasion into distorting what's considered "cool", "hip", or "right" simply because THEY can't fit it. Change the game, not change the player. Complete weakness in my opinion.

PPS: Can we all agree that Gary Cooper, John Wayne, James Cagney, Bogart, Eastwood, Bronson, COUNTLESS others would just wanna smack these weirdos upside the head? I relish in the thought.:D

I have long wondered why straight women have bought gay fashion since 1966. Before that - sure. Women by and large couldn't become designers aside from a few who designed for the carriage trade but after that? Weird.

marinejcksn
06-23-2008, 11:28 PM
I have long wondered why straight women have bought gay fashion since 1966. Before that - sure. Women by and large couldn't become designers aside from a few who designed for the carriage trade but after that? Weird.
Exactly. You can't tell me there aren't talented woman's designers out there, I KNOW there are.

biccat
06-24-2008, 08:48 AM
You know what I genuinely find a bit disturbing also, Ginger? The fashion we manly men love seeing beautiful women wear is primarily designed by gay men.:eek:
What I find disturbing is that those designers can appreciate women so much that they can find what is sexy about them and emphasize it in a tasteful and alluring way. But those same designers, whose job it is to find women attractive, would rather have a weiner in their butt.

:confused:

megimoo
06-24-2008, 10:22 AM
Racist? I dunno. Sexist? You bet.

Any man who pretends to be a female for any purpose in this day and age is a sexist pig. Gay, straight, unsure: it doesn't matter. It's infuriating to be told by cross-dressing men what "female" is or should be for the purposes of entertainment.

Drag itself is an outmoded and sexist display that needs to be ended. Caricaturing women for the benefit of male crowds (and they are mostly male) is demeaning to genetic women. Period. Women themselves can lampoon other women for comedy these days. Let men mock men for a change. It would be a real change of pace in the entertainment and fashion industry. :rolleyes:

I can just see you on stage behind a microphone with your eyes flaming and hair in disarray giving them hell !

marinejcksn
06-25-2008, 05:06 PM
What I find disturbing is that those designers can appreciate women so much that they can find what is sexy about them and emphasize it in a tasteful and alluring way. But those same designers, whose job it is to find women attractive, would rather have a weiner in their butt.

:confused:

:D Biccat that made me almost fall off my chair.

Yeah seriously, when seeing how beautiful so many women are on this planet why choose men? Even those of us who take good care and stay in good shape are nowhere near as attractive as the female form. IMO.