I am at my wits’ end. I have been trying to find work for a couple years, now, and I cannot so much as get a response from the employers to whom I am applying. I am hitting rock bottom, financially. Additionally, my perspective on the world around me is increasingly negative and I am losing focus. In short, with the exception of my love life, which is suddenly amazing (although I fear misstep in that area, too), I feel like I am going about life entirely wrong, and that I need some guidance.
Hollywood, I am going to say it outright: I need you to send me a magical negro. A magical negro would fix everything. Nobody gives out life advice and guidance like a magical negro. Obviously, Sidney Poitier and Joe Seneca (see: Crossroads) are no longer available, but I would certainly love the services provided by Morgan Freeman or Whoopi Goldberg, and I would absolutely settle for Will Smith, because, you know: Bagger Vance. Djimon Hounsou is a real up-and-comer, too—and we all know he is extra magical because of his accent—so if he’s looking to expand his magical negro resume, I’m down to help.
Now, normally I’d ask for a fairy godmother. However, while she might fix everything with a wave of the wand, I don’t know how I will learn all the wonderful life lessons and find whatever I need to find in my soul without a journey by the side of a magical negro. Also, I have plateaued on my guitar playing lately, and I just don’t think anybody could help me with that like a magical negro, preferably one in a battered hat and clothes that were in style somewhere between 1860 and 1960. And Hollywood, you know as well as I do that the kind of wisdom magical negroes offer sounds better when they look and sound like they stepped directly off the plantation or out of some ramshackle blues club in Mississippi or Louisiana. That is, of course, unless he’s a displaced African tribesman (also totally acceptable but probably less helpful for guitar).
Admit it, Hollywood: you know this is the obvious and best solution to my problems.
Please get back to me with your plan and method of delivery (e.g. wall of mist, pretend janitorial staff, surprise trip to Africa or the Crusades).
We only send magical negroes to white people. Negroes don’t need magical negroes because you are all inherently magical or criminals who either cannot benefit from advice or who need a helping hand from some upper middle class WASPs. We have faith that you will figure it out despite the handicap of also being part Native American, and therefore likely incredibly naïve and in desperate need of protection by white people, who will also play you in whatever movie we make of your life. Best of luck in your endeavors!
Dear Stephen King…
I was walking from my friend’s apartment to the BART station today, when I saw a couple who looked alike and had matched outfits. My first thought was, “Oh, look. It’s the Bobbsey Twins.” It was a sarcastic, unfriendly thought, but what immediately followed was a moment of confusion.
Okay, I thought to myself. I’m 33 years old. I’m mature enough to admit that I have no fucking idea who the Bobbsey Twins are.
Normally I can let this sort of thing go. But the whole train ride was spent mulling over the fact that I had been hearing about the Bobbsey Twins my entire life and I had no idea what it was actually referencing. (I suppose these days, people reference the Olsen twins instead. With any luck someday people will have no idea who the hell the Olsen twins were, too.)
Well, it turns out the Bobbsey Twins are characters in a 72-volume series of books begun in 1904. They are two perfect sets of twin children named Nan and Bert & Flossie and Freddie, with pets named Snap and Snoop. Together, they fight crimesolve mysteries even when there are no mysteries to be solved. Brilliant. At least Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys had actual crimes to handle.
(Flossie, btw, is a delightfully dental Victorian nickname for Florence.)
72 volumes of this? Are you fucking kidding me? 72 volumes of some master-race-modeled twins solving non-crime mysteries and hanging out with Snap and Snoop? I’m so glad that when I was a child a friend of my mom’s skipped this shit and just handed me Skeleton Crew. Sure, reading Stephen King at age 7 might have ensured that I will never go out on a lake in a raft ever ever ever. But ultimately, I prefer that to Merry Days Indoors and Out.
Before you ask—not that you were going to—no, my life is not enriched for knowing this. Neither is yours. Moreover, you know that fact you really needed to remember for that thing that you need to do? That’s been replaced. Surprise!