Last week, I took BuzzFeed’s “Which Boss Ass Rap Chick Are You?” quiz. I got Trina: a rapper from Miami whose albums include, among others, Da Baddest Bitch
, Diamonds are Forever
, and Back 2 Business
. Sure: Trina. Not mad at that. I don’t mind being called a bitch by certain people; I do like diamonds; and, I like to think that I take care of TCB.
And like Trina’s ex, Kenyon Martin, maybe someday an NBA player will walk around with my lips tattooed on his neck. They broke up and the tattoo is gone; but, damn, Trina: that’s ballin’.
This morning, I took the “Which Downton Abbey
Character Are You?” quiz. I got Mr. Bates. According to BuzzFeed, “In spite of the facts that you have a limp, are a little doughy, were accused of murder, and are much older, you still got the young hot maid to marry you. Basically you’re a baller.” OK. Why not? I don’t have a limp, but am a little dou ghier than I’d like to be. I haven’t been accused of murder but I was suspended for drawing pornographic images with a bunch of friends in 3rd grade. And if I may return to the topic of the NBA for a minute, I wouldn’t mind if Golden State Warriors’ hot Stephen Curry, eight years younger than I, said yes to an impromptu proposal.
Don’t worry: I hear that voice saying “Girl, you crazy,” too.
I know all kinds of good and well that Curry’s married. I don’t know a damn thing about Mr. Bates or his young wife. I’ve never seen Downton Abbey
. I do know for a fact that people usually hate quizzes, at least the kind we used to get in high school when the teacher knew we weren’t prepared for class. So, BuzzFeed addicts, what’s up with all the quizzes, our sharing them on Facebook, and our hash tags?
My friends listen to NPR. I watch E! News. As a poet who travels around doing poetry readings and lectures, I’ve learned that I — the once shy kid who’d barely talk to anyone but her mother — love a stage and microphone. In the shower, I pretend the shower head is my recording studio mic. Damn right I sound like early ’90s Mariah Carey. I’ve accepted numerous Oscars on numerous Oscar nights. Plan to do it again next Sunday. I learned some Bob Fosse moves; and, though I almost sprained my ankle performing them for my full-length mirror, I looked good.
I don’t think we envy celebrities for their money. We know how much attention they get: We know how much attention we give them. No shame. Psychoanalytic theorist D.W. Winnicott said, “Jealousy is normal and healthy.” He explains that it comes from our capacity to love. I’d add unrequited love. Theorist Jacques Lacan notes, “Nothing can be grasped… except in a symbolic way, as one says, in effigy, in absentia.”
All kinds of absentia. I don’t know the celebrities inspiring BuzzFeed’s quizzes. I know their effigies: their public image and persona. But, for a second, I am them when that answer pops up.
“Girl, you still crazy.”
Still, maybe existing in a world where everyone is just a representation of themselves is appealing. Maybe I just want to walk around in my work mask, my party mask, my I’m-around-my-grandmother mask and avoid what’s beneath: I really want to feel like a fucking boss but I don’t. I wonder if anyone actually does. But if you get a buzz off of a ridiculous Internet test, work it. It’s a change of scenery, a new look, even if it’s only through your screen.
Is it time to get off BuzzFeed?