Image for post
Image for post
Never stop smiling bro!

Tyrese, and The Privilege of Being Too Social With The Media

For better or worse

Tyrese Gibson is having a difficult end to 2017. Signs of distress began about a month ago when he took to his social media platforms to vent about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has been confirmed for a 2019 summer release of his Fast and Furious spinoff — based on his kickass interpretation of Diplomatic Security Agent — Luke Hobbs.

And now Tyrese is back with more drama — except this time it feels a little too personal.

Tyrese has always been an open book when it comes to giving fans an inside look into his life — as well as providing commentary as a favor for those who’ve lost their way. Granted, some of what he has to say makes sense in an eerily spiritual way — and then you have the stuff that is spewed out without reasonable caution.

I’ve written about the shit he advocates to Black women — including his impression of our grooming habits — and I’ve criticized the way he bolsters himself on a pedestal when bestowing himself the permission to be annoyingly over-the-top.

The latest hurricane is embedded in his custody battle with his ex-wife who has since stripped him of his only child, Shayla after the courts issued a restraining order.

Tyrese promptly posted a video where he’s out of his mind with disbelief and frustration at the notion that it’s been two months since he’s seen his beloved daughter. The 2 Fast 2 Furious co-star is riddled with pain — and the wailing followed by the groans for mercy was incredibly hard to watch.

The response to Tyrese’s grief-stricken state has been met with measurable consideration, but there’s also the celebs and excitable users — who are more than happy to shame a public figure — who is filled with enough despair to spread his damn business all over the scorching landscape of the internet.

I will admit that after watching the video a few times — I was astounded at the audacity of Tyrese’s exposure. It was as if he truly believed that his jarringly fragile state would incite the level of empathy it warrants. I also couldn’t stand the fact that he was imposing his personal woes on complete strangers like myself — who can’t relate to his privileged status or the high-priced complications that plague his kind.

A lot of users mirrored my irritation as they begged the still-handsome crooner to refrain from the tools of his imminent detonation — until further notice. Many see his behavior as either pathetically tragic or the resultant of a payback session that was a long time coming.

It took me a couple of hours to assimilate my thoughts and when that was over — I couldn’t help but recognize the hypocrisy in the posturing of social media users — who feel inclined to dictate the proper or acceptable outline of pages that aren’t assigned to their passwords.

Is Tyrese being too social in his quest to utilize his platforms as gateways to the very best and the very worst of his existence?

Why are we readily able to endorse Instagram posts that depict the luxurious ravings of Insta-starlets and the brands that fund them — and yet we can’t stomach the ugliness of tears and the Black men who are dramatic enough to incite a guttural reaction.

For better or worse, the turbulent landscape of social media — didn’t arrive with a rulebook and that wasn’t a mistake. It was expected that we would end up turning on each other with the sentiment of ill-will and insults — as well as the incentive to be a bad as we want to be — without any consequences.

Of course now that the climate has devised an emphatic community that won’t stand for outlandish bigotry — we can ceremoniously banish the traitors with the outcry to our masters who created us for their amusement.

Social media has expertly transformed adults into the version of themselves that was supposed to have been dealt with without the threat of re-occurrence. Suddenly, I’m besieged by a steady of stream of lookbooks that aim to convince me of how much better life should be — when you’re #winning.

Instagram is hashtag city — as my scrolling reveals how users both personal and otherwise seem to be outdoing themselves in the contest of #baecations and the approved stamp of #excellence. Nobody will dare post anything that deviates from the insatiable need to be #legendary before the age of extinction.

Twitter is just as competitive — as overly long threads are strewn for adulation and possible notoriety. Memes are erected fast enough to make the case for the latest bait. Ideas are poached and manufactured with tags that don’t seem to indicate the source of the material.

You can’t thrive on social media — unless you’re offering the ironic foundation of virtual reality that suddenly becomes unreal when you peep how much our humanness has to be stripped away — in order to achieve the mandated verification.

Tyrese is verified.

He has every right to be pissed at The Rock because essentially Tyrese saved the Fast franchise. Most people probably don’t know that Paul Walker pitched the idea for an undercover cop who infiltrates the world of illegal street racing. He did it right after dazzling execs at Universal Studios with his golden boy charisma in The Skulls (2000). Walker helped cast an up and coming Vin Diesel in the now iconic role of Dom Toretto. And when Diesel bailed on the second installment to become an action star — it was Tyrese who stepped in to assist Walker who was the only one from the original — attached to star in the second installment.

Diesel may have been slighted by the idea of remaining the “co-star” behind Walker — because pride eventually gets in the way. Tyrese didn’t mind it. And the two men hit it off so well — that Walker literally refused to consider Fast Five (2011)without the confirmation of the brother who was there for him in need.

Perhaps, that’s why Tyrese is heartbroken at the prospect that despite his loyal ways — he is being abandoned by those who are now swearing allegiance to algorithms.

Yes, his adherence to the island of TMI (Too Much Information) can be overkill and even off-putting — as we’re subjected to his ranting and boastful gestures. And of course watching a grown man cry and whelp with dismay for the whole world to see isn’t the most appealing or comfortable way to spend an afternoon.

But, the underlying symptom is revealed in our impatience for those who are too weak to avoid the disgrace of a broken heart.

If Tyrese can proudly show off a catalogue — showcasing his adventures in exotic locales, movie set antics — and the freshly cropped photos of his new bride (who also happens to be “mostly Black) — then he must be able to display his disposition when the world is tumbling down around him — and somehow he harbors the need to share — without filters or apologies.

Life is ugly and social media wasn’t only meant to capture that fact when the victims aren’t breathing or are breathing again after a dizzyingly spell. We can absorb the bloody body prints of Black victims without flinching, but when a Black man screams from the whips of emotional flogging — we curse him out for being embarrassingly vulnerable.

It’s basically injustice that when your life is turned upside down and you still want to stay connected in the midst of dire uncertainty and the inability to keep from crying — your privilege is revoked until further notice.

My life is far from perfect — and lately I’ve been undergoing the rigorous task of trying to face each day with renewed vigor — maybe that’s why I have enough of me to give. I don’t condone the obnoxious output of over-paid movie stars — but I can court the logic of how none of us perfect.

We are given the power to shape our online presence according to our will. We don’t owe any explanations for our choices — and we don’t have to feel guilty for the decision to walk around stark naked in the cold — even when our dicks and nipples beg for mercy.

Tyrese has earned the right to be messy for as long as he has to be because he’s spent way more time being the real MVP.

That’s why being social is costly. You never what you’re going to be greeted with— and no matter how bad it gets — you keep clicking for more.

Now, that’s privilege.

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store