At the very beginning of Byron Hurt's new film Barack & Curtis, a guy talks about how black manhood has come to be defined as how many women you have, how many children you have, and how many times you've been to jail. It's actually a voice over by Terrance Dean, the fudge who wrote that DL hip-hop book. And it got me to thinking: Yeah, it's silly that spending time in the pokey has come to be viewed as a sign of black manhood. But the rest of it, I'm not so sure.

Having a shedload of kids doesn't necessarily seem like a good idea, in the sense that, who's got the money to take care of kids these days? Lord knows it's hard enough to put food on yourself, let alone an entire family. But if money isn't an issue, I'm at a loss for how having a lot of kids is definitely a bad thing. Or for why that wouldn't make you seem especially manly. Is that not what makes us men, our balls and hence our ability to procreate?

Similarly, I'm not as willing to dispense with the notion that being with a lot of woman is a sign of black manhood. I'm not saying that a brother should have to score with as many broads as possible in order to be considered a man. I'm just saying. I don't know that a black man having the ability to be with a lot of women, or the fact that a lot of women are interested in being with black men is definitely a bad thing.

Later on in Barack & Curtis, a woman named Esther Armah tries to suggest that the image of black men put forth by the media is typically along the lines of a Fiddy Cent, i.e. shirtless, violent, and oversexed, and so that's what black women have come to desire in a man, and hence black men who don't fit that mold are no longer seen as being as desirable. And honestly, I'm not so sure if I'm buying that.

I mean, basically, what you have here is a chicken or the egg argument. Do black women desire guys like Fiddy Cent because that's what they see on TV, and they have to have everything they see on TV (which they do), or do black women desire guys like Fiddy Cent because that's just what women want?

It strikes me as being similar to the question of whether men like women with lighter skin, longer hair, and a relatively high bust to waist ratio because those are the kinds of women you see on the cover of Cosmo, or because those are all signs of youth and fertility, and men are programmed by nature to seek those traits in a woman. The answer is obviously the latter.

If black men have come to be viewed by society as being especially capable of, erm, fucking, I'm at a loss for how that's definitely a bad thing... except for the fact that it might not be viewed as desirable by corporate America. But what about those of us who aren't of any use to corporate America anyway?

There was a time in my life when I thought I might become a part of corporate America. I went to college, and I'm not completely retarded. So I figured I'd I might be able to find a job where I'm not condemned to a life of poverty. Of course, I didn't. Which is how I ended up here.

The worst part about it though is not so much the fact that I don't get to sit in rush hour every day and have the white man breathing down my neck for hours on end. It's the fact that, not only have I failed to succeed as a white man, so to speak, but I've also somehow failed to succeed as a black man. I should have three or four illegitimate kids by now, but I'm not even sure if I could fuck very many black chicks if I wanted to. They don't really go for brothers such as myself.

Thank god for fat white chicks! I can hardly fathom having sex with one of them, myself. But one of the great untold stories of our time is how many black guys, who might otherwise be in jail or some shit, are laying up with big Sasquatch-looking white women. If we can't get ahead in this life otherwise, even by following the rules set out for us by The Man, at least we might be able to fuck our way into relative prosperity.

But only because a lot of women want to fuck us in the first place. Thanks to the likes of Fiddy Cent. Barack Obama, on the other hand, not so much?

One thing I noticed about Barack & Curtis is that, for all of the time it spent discussing how the image of Fiddy Cent is based in stereotype, they didn't spend any time at all discussing whether or not the image put forth by Barack Obama is just as much of a facade as the image put forth by Fiddy Cent. Which it is.

As far as I know, Barack Obama isn't actually a eunuch. But he pretty much presents himself as one on the campaign trail. Whereas Al Gore damn near raped his wife on stage at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago, just so everyone would know that's how he gets down, the most you might see Obama do is give his wife a terrorist fist jab.

Is there really that much of a difference between playing into people's mandingo fantasies in order to sell records, and pretending as if you don't have a cock in order to be elected president? At least Fiddy Cent had a ghetto he was trying to escape.