Joni Mitchell the Undercover Brother Totally Gets Blackness
Old people be olding sometimes. You know when you get to a certain age and all your filter has gone down the toilet and you give so few dambs that you’re constantly on a No Fucks Given IV drip? Well, I feel like that’s partially what we have in the case of Joni Mitchell, legendary Canadian singer.
Joni was interviewed by New York Magazine’s Carl Swanson and she dropped some interesting tidbits that have been circulating. And the world collectively facepalms.
“When I see black men sitting, I have a tendency to go — like I nod like I’m a brother. I really feel an affinity because I have experienced being a black guy on several occasions.”
When she was asked to clarify, she pointed them to the cover of her album “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter”, where she is pictured as a Black man in an afro and 3-piece suit, complete with blackface.
Apparently, she was inspired to do that because (according to Junkee.com):
“I was being butchered by a dentist who was capping my teeth … and one day he said, ‘Oh, you’ve got the worst bite I’ve ever seen. You have teeth like a Negro male.”
I just wanted to pause here to ask what do the teeth of a “Negro male” look like? What part of the game is this?? Lemme just move on. And the Blackface. The answer if you want to ask if it’s ever appropriate is: HELL NO.
And then one day when she was walking down the street, she saw a Black dude “diddy bopping” (which apparently refers to the dude’s walk being kinda weird because one leg was shorter than the other). Homeboy told her “Mmm, mmm, mmm, you looking good, sister, you looking good.” And so she smiled and tried to imitate his walk and then went as him for halloween and got the idea for the cover. And this is basically the reason why Joni Mitchell thinks she’s down with Blackness.
Cool story, bro.
We can play a game of “count the problems” here. She got one too many compliments from a Black man and now she thinks she understands the struggles. Ma’am, you weren’t with them shooting in the gym! You don’t even GO to the school!
Joni Mitchell is old, white and probably has someone she lovingly calls her “dear negro friend.” I don’t even know what to say because she seems to be so earnest with it. You can tell that in her heart of hearts, she really thinks she’s Undercover Brother.
Brother Mitchell will be having “How to Tap Into Your Blackness” webinars. Please sign up for the newsletter at DownForTheBlack.co. Maybe she’ll use Baratunde Thurston’s How to Be Black as a textbook. Because on the inside of every white folk singer is a Brothaman itching to come out to diddy bob (WUT!).
Canada, can you talk to Joni? Because I can’t even. Y’all still owe us for Justin Bieber and now this. Please send all the maple syrup with some waffles so we can talk about this and work on fixing our relations.
#FixItJesus. #AppendItAllah. #SolveItSamsonsSavior.
Everybody is so damb ridiculous.
She has dementia. I don’t know this for fact but I’m going to go with it and send her one “Bless its heart.”
As much as I can’t stand Joni Mitchell (and never could, even tho so many of my heroes LUV!HUH!), she does NOT have dementia, she has Morgellon’s syndrome.
(Sorry for the double post, I put it in the wrong place first)
I’m Simone and I approve this message…
I actually didn’t know that Joni Mitchell was still with us. I thought the Lord called her home by way of a drug overdose in 1975. Nope. Apparently, she’s been in Quebec City entertaining the citizens on the streets with her one-woman play “Huggy Bear: My Man. Myself.”
If someone trips and ends up doing a ‘ditty bop’, don’t worry. My burdens have just been laid down and got in the way. Someone push them over to the side for me because Miss Tiffany here done got me slayed and I’m gone on to glory with “Huggy Bear: My Man. Myself.”
“Huggy Bear: My Man. Myself.” kilt me!
Tooooo weakkkk *fainted from laughing*
Ma’am you have no behavior! I’m do glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that.
this is sooooo funny to me! i honestly thought she had gone home to glory too. i usually hold my life together until i get to the last sentence of many comments on this blog and yup, lost it at >>>>> “Huggy Bear: My Man. Myself.”
Ms. Tiffany, I want you to know because of you my supervisor is giving me the side eye. She not in Tyler Perry’s play “Huggy Bear: My Man, Myself”. D-E-A-D. I can’t breeve.
At this point Ms Joni has got to be a naturalized US citizen man. Y’all deal with her because we can’t. Don’t know you Canadians don’t see race?
HAHAHAHAHA yes Canadians are colour blind
On behalf of my fellow Canadians, with couth, class and pure intentions I apologize, but unfortunately I can’t send you the waffels and maple syrup, (but I did send the pic of the red velvet oreo cheesecake), about Bieber, we are still confused and many of us consider him to be excommunicated.
But as a black Barbadian/Canadian, Joni Mitchell has left me truly confused, bewildered and befuddled, who told her that it was even ok to dress like Sammy Davis Jr. lite, who told her that because your clearly white dentist told her that she had the teeth of a “negro male” makes you apart of the struggle? In what corner of her brain did those messages combine to make the idea that ‘yes, yes I white woman in my hippie clothes and mentality, know the hardship of being a black man’ She needs not only all of the seats, she needs every seat at the back of every class where they teach you how not to offend an entire race.
I dearly love Rush, Brian Adams, the guy who played Chandler, and the girl who played Olivia Winters on Y&R so…I ain’t mad at you Canadians.
The Canadiens, on the other hand… 😉
I need a Blue Ribbon Commission to immediately find out what sedative her dentist was giving her to cause her to think somebody saying her teeth looked like a negro man’s mouf was a compliment. That’s a lemon to lemonade connection I can’t make. It’s her chronic damb deficiency that’s caused her delusions. I’ma pray real hard for what’s left of her estrogen to spark her back to her female senses before she gets caught in a police lineup for no reason. You said it, Joni: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” Somebody paved your sense and put up a parking lot… Gone girl.
Listen, y’all gotta come get your nana. Come get your aunty, lol. I didn’t even know about the Blackface. It’s bad enough she’s out her faux astral-traveling, having out-of-body experiences with her bad teeth and such. O_o No ma’am. She needs to bust up the floor tiles, open the pipes, and retrieve her dambs. XD
I also need Canada to send some delicious Tim Horton’s coffee, some of their best candies, and that radio TV I saw back in 1989 when I was a child in a Canadian hotel. They owe us!
Not out -of-body experiences with her bad teeth! #iDie
Yes, prolly Brother Joni has seen better days. Well, surely. I have learned that, no matter how sympathetic I may feel to the struggle, Blacks and all, I am a white person feeling for (intended) not for (in lieu) them. And I’m “only” 40, maybe a third of her age.
HowevAH, may I say that an artist of her stature may be entitled to some… some #younameit ?
Unrelated yet related: I’d really like to know whether, for instance, Hozier would have been criticized (albeit in a fun, sort of kind way as you did 😉 ) if he’d chosen to use a Black couple in his Take me to Church video instead? (stating I am gay and I did not feel in the least offended as he used a “gay couple” when he is apparently straight).
lmao @ maybe a 3rd of her age
don lemon assured me that this was all perfectly okay
i just died so hard it smacked the life back in to me.
My face reading this was all kinds of contorted. I can’t… I don’t know why anyone would think that what she did and said are okay. SMH! Love your posts. They get me started in the morning and make me sound crazy when I’m laughing so hard staring at my computer screen.
“How to Tap Into Your Blackness” LOL! I picture her walking in looking like Bogangles tap tap tapping as she teaches me about how to walk with a bee bop!
To be fair, I think her brain might not be right. Age or drugs? Still doesn’t explain the album cover though.
More evidence proving she’s the crazy old drunk aunt at the wedding who no one wants to sit next to:
Mitchell also discussed her battle with a rare and controversial skin condition called Morgellons … which many doctors claim is psychological.
Mitchell said the illness is incurable, adding that “fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm … They cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.”
News reports have criticized the condition as delusional, and the Mayo Clinic is likewise circumspect.
As much as I can’t stand Joni Mitchell (and never could, even tho so many of my heroes LUV!HUH!), she does NOT have dementia, she has Morgellon’s syndrome.
Co-signed. I always felt guilty admitting it, b/c she’s such an icon and everyone seems to adore her — saying you don’t like her would be like admitting you kick puppies for fun. And I acknowledge her writing, but her voice makes me want to jump out a window. I feel the same way about Bob Dylan.
So, let me get this right. Canada owes who for Justin Beiber? Wasn’t it your very own Usher, an American, who plucked him out of YouTube land and pleaded with him to move to the states? Oh that’s right, he didn’t get famous on his own Luvie. Besides, you gave the world Brittney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and Amanda Bynes just to name a few. Oh, and let’s not forget Paula Dean since were talking about older white women vs black people everywhere, I don’t know about you but I think I’d rather have an old white folk singer who’s at least trying to relate (be it in her own weird way) than an ass backwards southern belle who blatently disrespects an entire race and seems completely fine with it. So that being said I think ya’ll owe the whole world a huge whopping apology, don’t you? Oh the almighty and never wrongdoing US of A.
And last but not least, why is it ok for you to stereotype Canadians with your maple syrup comment, guess I should exit my igloo and get right on that for you, smh. Although I’d love to deliver millions of gallons of syrup I’ll need you to fly me to Belgium for the waffles cuz I don’t know where you read that waffles were an all time Canadian favourite (and yes there is a u in favourite, a little difficult for Americans to understand proper English so it was simplified for y’all) another useful tidbit of information for you…the states of Vermont, New York, Maine, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut all produce maple syrup, help yourself..pleeeease!!
Ouch! Not gone lie, we “Muricans” got a lot to apologize for. The Kardashians alone is enough. LOL
Can’t take a joke, huh? Since you are checking Americans on spelling, do check your spelling of Paula “Dean”
Oh shit, Niki mad.
My paean to you, Darling Nikki, is a song by our Lord and Savior Prince Rogers Nelson that happens to be named for you. Or will you make a lame attempt to correct him, too?
Wow!! Idk why…but I love your comment.
Whoa. You mad, Nicki? Clearly you don’t read Luvvie’s post often because, you know, JUST JOKES. Christ…
You need Jesus and hugs. And maybe some of those kitten posters with inspirational sayings like “keep your head up” and “happiness is love”. Maybe we’ll throw in some jellybeans? And Bacon. Bacon makes everyone happy.
Coming on a humor blog to rant like a maniac in order to defend Canada’s honor from… delicious maple syrup jokes??… is a little extra. Like, “somebody needs an prozac slushie” extra.
You need to go collect some chills the same way Joni needs to embark on a personal quest to find her fucks.I swear the chills are out there if you just try. The chills are waiting for you. Just call their name, they’ll be there.
My Lord. Is Tim Horton’s out of coffee up there? This is what I sound like when I am caffeine deprived so I understand. Wow.
ROFLMAO! You nailed it!
Oh dear… Apparently Canadians have lots of grammatical correctness and geographic facts, but are sorely lacking a gatdamn sense of humor. Be blessed, Nicki.
Nikki is gonna have her Canadianness revoked. Y’all don’t get that mad. Also…we know you actually have a maple syrup reserve. So don’t get all mad that we want some.
Note to self: do NOT piss off a Canadian.
love Joni’s music and art. But she is a little bit out there.
i think we now know who sent you that email, Zamunda…
*hitting tha floor* rollingggggg @ “we now know who sent the email”!
……….cannot….even….breathe, Deja Burt!!!!! staaaaapppppp! #sodonewitchall
Am I the only one getting Gandalf realness from that Joni pic? ha ha.
When I read “old people be olding sometimes”, I dropped the Mic and walked off the stage! I think I’m nearing that point! You are so funny and entertaining, God bless you for making me laugh and I’m so “serious minded” to make me laugh is a big deal!!
Well..I NEVER comment on posts like this. Everyone is entitled to their viewpoint about such things. I remember the wisdom of the saying, “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”
Joni Mitchell as a creative artist, has touched the hearts and souls of so many. She has plumbed the depths of spirit to share her experience and to connect us to that which makes us fully human and fully divine.
Is she black??? No. Does she feel deeply and understand more about what it is to be a human on this earth than most of the haters…yes…she does.
I would suggest that before people stand in judgement of her, they ask themselves have they gone within, done the work, to manifest anything of beauty, to share a gift of love that has the power to transform lives the way that she has? The answer reveals so much about the source and context for the comments.
Joni Mitchell can be black to me. I love her and her music. She is human. Her intention is to do no harm rather to share what it is to be fully human, and divine, and alive. Yeah…she’s black.
With gratitude and respect,
– Rodney Jones
I can’t begin to tell you how little her “good” works mean when she makes these kinds of airhead statements. The formula works like this:
100 good works + (1 Oh Shit!) = zero fucks.
Rodney, you are utterly and completely full of shit. To manifest something of beauty and to share a gift of love – Is that really that rare in your world? You must hang around some raggedy-ass heathens and scoundrels. You’re trying so hard to sound deep, bit you don’t said nothing at all. #fixitjesus #menditmoses #betteritbuddha
Thank you! I feel as if Rodney skimmed through a random devotional book on love, cherry picked sentences and then strewn them together to make his argument sound rational – but he comes off sounding 50 shades of ridiculous.
OMG this made my day!
The thing about being an artist is that you can plumb whatever you want, but you have to own whatever you drag up.
I truly, deeply, shamelessly love me some Joni. And I totally think, then (in the 70s) and now, she was trying to pay #AMISH. This is a woman to whom Mingus gave his blessing.
But it’s still appropriation. It’s not about her feelings here, folks – it’s just not.
She needs to pick from a WIDE array of available seats, which someone will kindly escort this auntie to, and then sit and LISTEN for a bit (not talking) to learn what time it is, and why it matters.
Thank you, Mr. Rodney Jones. I don’t normally respond to these posts either. They seem to be places for folks to work out their own issues, and I don’t see the point in interrupting. I don’t know where I would have begun here without your humane response to all this lack of historical awareness and spiritual sensitivity. I felt ashamed reading these posts, and then very sad, until your post returned this whole blog to dignity. Time to look up Miss Joni Mitchell’s music (and painting) and check out who she’s played with and how much she knows and respects about music history and tradition.
And when did it become okay to make fun of older women on the basis of their age? When especially has it become a practice for younger women to attack older women because of their age? We all came from women who, if we are lucky, stay with us on this earth and get older and share their wisdom and their memory lapses and sometimes their craziness with us. If we are blessed, we all will age and have something special to give while at the same time our vulnerabilities will be ever more exposed. Let her be.
And be blessed in your own aging, and daring and generous in your own creative lives.
Oh, Lawd Jeebus, you too? Clowning people is what LuvvNation do. If you don’t like it, go to that blog where they teach you how to make vagina yogurt, with yo deep, spiritually -sensitive ass.
Susan, girl! I am SO glad that no one is at work with me (I close), because I am SCREAMING!!! I was done with that last line. Vagina yogurt though??! Dead. And. Buried.
I am on the golden chariots going home @ vagina yogurt. I couldn’t have put it better even if i tried!
Susan you ’bout to get me fired…..lol @ vagina yogurt. OMG can people not understand satire, humour or anything else???? The woman said some ridiculous stuff & we not allowed to laugh about it?!?!? I’m done. People find some chill in your life
No, for real doe:
Now see… That’s that shit… I can’t even deal with this right now
What does her good works have to do with her black man’s teeth diddy-boppin down the road? All it means is she has provided at least 144 bricks in the road to hell – good intentions, that is.
There is a saying in law that intent follows the bullet; you didn’t mean to shoot the victim but s/he is no less dead. It’s not different for Miss Joni. She didn’t mean to be this ignorant, but nonetheless, she is.
Canada here. We’re not even gonna address, much less redress this until you apologize for Kanye.
Fair enough. o__o
Every day I ask my ancestors why we have been burdened with Ye. Still no answer. I will post if a divination comes.
…..you have a very valid point. Well played Benji…well played.
To all the folks getting all butt hurt about this post, please have several seats. I take it that Ms. Mitchell was being so very hippie and progressive when she donned Blackface and a pimp style outfit for her album cover. What exactly has she done to understand what it means to be a black man? Has she been stopped or harassed by police officers for living? Did she have run away from lunch mobs back in the 50s and 60s? I mean she made some songs that some folks like and now she understands what it means to be black?! Puleeze. That crap diminishes all black that live this struggle every damb day for generations. Being old doesn’t mean you no longer get citiqued. What she said was insensitive and ignorant. And Luvvie nailed it. Don’t like it? Go read another post.
That should be lynch mobs… my bad
Okay, I just have to say something here. Joni Mitchell has been an insufferable pretentious ass for decades. Just insufferable. She suffers from terminal ego-bloat, and I don’t care if she DID write the song “Woodstock,” which of course she did, but from an upstate NY hotel room, far from the dirty hippies and actual music. Besides which, thank God Crosby Stills Nash & Young recorded it and made it listen-to-able so we didn’t have to listen to her ridiculous ululating voice shrieking it up and down the scales. Yeah I’m a ol white hippie woman and I never could stand Joni Mitchell. There I said it.
YES, YES, YES. She is an artist, and she is insufferable. Those 2 things are not incompatible. I can hum along with her songs but still think “WTF you crazy woman” when she starts in about her damb negro teeth.
I’m pretty much just going to be over here saying “old people be oldin” over and over to myself for the rest of the week.
No you didn’t. That ‘the old people be oldin’. Made my life. I am a senior living in a senior building & y’all just don’t know! The drugs and the war from that period is all I’m gonna say. Never heard of that disease. Is it related to advanced syphilis? This experience was Depends worthy. Humor is the cure for aging?
Gandalf the White or whatever the eff that wizard’s name is.
So remember those creepy albino twins in The Matrix. I think she’s their mom.
Im a proud west indian-canadian but..i don’t claim Joni or Beiber. They make me walk with my head down but…i (and other’s) claim Alanis (jagged little pill was so full of angst), real poutine, and DeGrassi……..you know you loved degrassi!!!
Occasional claiming Drake…..occasionally. -_-
And the reference would be: “MY, dear negro friend, (insert name)”.
I’m so glad you posted this. All I could think of when I read her comments was ” man she must have dementia” – I like your ” old people be olding” better
First, I love Ms. Mitchell’s music and in general her neo-hippy mindset.
We all do have some old people moments – I do at any rate. And responding under the pressure of real time as is the case in an interview tends to result in some wacky explanations. It would be far better to say, “I can emotionally relate to the experience of young black men as I hear them telling me what has happened to them. And while I cannot honestly say that I have experienced what they face, I find what I hear them telling me deeply troubling.”
Can a person empathize – albeit really weirdly in this interview segment – with another person’s plight? Yes, they can. Does that mean that I can understand in a deep and visceral way what it is to live their life with the challenges they face? No, not for a moment. What it should do is initiate a dialogue to help determine the true nature of the problem set faced by the group or individual in question for the purpose of overcoming those parts of the problem set in which assistance is both welcomed and helpful.
There is always the risk of projection when it comes to empathy. Empathy entails an immediate emotional affinity, but does not bring the history and nuance that is required to practically experience the state of the other. It makes a fine starting point from which to begin to be of assistance, but without a lot of listening the type of foot-in-mouth responses as epitomized by this one by Ms. Mitchell occur with a great deal of frequency.
Brb dying at “Brother Mitchell ” lmao. Why you do this, Luvvie?
When I first read the story my jaw dropped; good to see I’m not the only one. When I saw the picture and read that it was actually her… I didn’t really know what to think.
The thing is, Joni Mitchell’s always been on the fringe of things. Even back in the day, she was considered as kind of an oddball artist, one we liked but didn’t understand all that well. Course we didn’t have the internet back then, and few magazines wrote about her, so she was pretty much an unknown.
Oddly enough, I’m not upset with her for what she said here, though it’s pretty goofy. The way I see it, she wants to be a black man; much better than wanting to hurt one. 🙂
As a follow Canadian, I just have no words… You are on time IN in America Joni, stay with Justin. If e send you Canadian bacon, will it make up for this foolishness ?