The Revolution Will Be So Raven

8 Oct

Raven-Symoné‘s comedy was the first time I felt the comedy of Bugs Bunny, Lucille Ball, and Carole Burnett belonged to my generation. Comedy in that regard isn’t just a way of delivering a punchline or making a joke, but a way of moving and talking that embraces absurdity.

What’s Up Doc?

“Waah Ricky”

Carole Burnett’s Tarzan Yell

Ya nasty

I showed my little sister That’s So Raven and we straight up bonded over it. I don’t remember the plot lines, but the way the characters on the show talked is marked on my soul. To this day, 2014, I look at things (like my poop happy kitten) and say “YA NASTY” the same way Raven said it.

I took that love into my adult years. When my sister paid me a visit in New York I took her to watch Raven star on Broadway in the Sister Act musical. It wasn’t the greatest musical, but Raven killed it, buried it, it came back to life, then she killed it again. Just as recently as a month ago my fiancbae and I watched Cheetah Girls on Netflix just on the strength of her presence.

Raven the real life actress said some things recently that pissed people off. She said them about the perception of herself. She, apparently, said the wrong thing. I can’t keep up with the hate she received, and I don’t see it or agree with it. I’m too far deep into the comedy she started. Raven isn’t gay and isn’t African American. She stands, stage right, chewing on a carrot sayin’ “Ain’t I A Stinker?” and not only do I understand her, I need her to be there.

We need Raven’s rebellion, her not wanting labels. We need her talents and her comedy and her subversion. My generation was drafted into a war we didn’t ask for, and handed a script by people with an addiction to solidarity. Well I’ll tell you here that race solidarity never did anything for me. When I escaped to Bugs Bunny, Lucille Ball, and Raven, I escaped to a world where absurdity and intellect could save the day.

Back here in reality we had the never-ending suffering of our ancestors, of our parents, of our skin colors, of our orientation, of our genitals.

I’m not saying Raven is right to say what she said. I’m saying she’s right to express what she’s experiencing NOW, and that she has the right to change her mind later. If your movement (whatever it may be) rejects Raven for what she said, then it rejects my generation and the questions we bring with us.

If you will not have Raven then you will never have me.

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