B***h, Have Some Decorum: On Justin Timberlake

    (Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of an essay that originally appeared on the blog TheColoredBoy.com. We found it hysterical and incredibly provocative here at The Shadow League. Well done, Alexander.)



    "Can Justin Timberlake just put out an album of Jacksons covers? We mean all the Jackson songs — Michael, Janet, Jackson 5, all of them. It would be outstanding, and he (and his band!) already know all the appropriate moves." -Lindsey Weber, Vulture

    For the record, a Black person would never need, want, say, or think such a thing.

    And second, watch:

    For the unsure, this was wonderfully terrible. Dreadful. Justin may get my vote from a dance and choreography perspective, while Usher is chasing Chris Brown through the Land of Electro-Trashy Relevancy to be crowned King of Able-To-Sing-OR-Dance-But-Never-The-Two-Shall-Meet. But to even fix your white ass fingers to even hint or joke that you've pondered the imponderable, that Justin ought to cover “all the Jackson songs,” is the type of terroristic, entitled bullshit that keeps the NAACP's fax machine busy all day.


    So far, we have refrained from burning his career down.

    You are welcome, sir.

    We, the Keepers of The Cool, have allowed him to spin and bop and “5,6,7,8” and “ooooh-yeeeeah” and let his little faux soul-light shine long enough for him to be surprisingly adept at Convenient WhiteBlackness, a skill first honed in the aftermath of Super Bowl XXXVIII. As you know, he abandoned "longtime friend" Saint Damita Jo Jackson, the Patron Saint of Perfection, the same woman who gave a then practically unheard-of 'N SYNC a major boost by taking them on the road as part of her Velvet Rope Tour, and who 'N SYNC had just honored as the inaugural MTV Icon a few short years prior. He'd ventured out too deep in the waters of Lake Blackness and opted for that which never lets them down: the White Life Jacket. Sorry Janet.

    More recently, he took part in the biggest televised Convenient WhiteBlackness circle-jerk to date — the 2013 MTV VMAs — alongside other famed blackness cherry-pickers Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, and Macklemore (who, despite the name, I've recently discovered, is not in fact a rapping fish). There, Justin was presented the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. He obviously viewed this as the 10th punch on his Black Card, unlocking Bonus Level Blackness, which has been known to embolden its user to aspire to heightened levels of White Coonery. It is at this level when uncolored persons have reported feeling accepted enough to offer to make THE potato salad and join in the Electric Slide at Colored gatherings and/or refer to loved ones, regardless of color, as their "niggas."

    Anyhow, I say all of that to say this…