Thirsty for a Fresh Take on All Things True Blood?

WELCOME! Thirsty for a fresh take on all things True Blood? Pull up a virtual barstool at the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern where sisters Rachel and Rebecca are serving up juicy feminist analysis with a twist and opening a vein of thoughtful sociocultural dialogue on HBO's hit series.

Like the epic literary salons of eras past - theaters for conversation and debate which were, incidentally, started and run by women; where the spirited debate about the issues of the day ran as copiously as the actual spirits did - but updated for the digital age, the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is a fun forum for exploring questions ripe for discourse about the human condition & today's most crucial social issues through the medium of True Blood.

Your salonnières are not peddling liquor per se, but they are offering up new and alternative ideas informed by such diverse influences as pop culture, art, music, cultural history, Goddess studies, transformative theory, literature and poetry, and archaeomythology, filtered through the sieve of their own lived experiences as feminist women of a particular age, background, and culture.

This is a space where you - patrons and passersby alike - can view and engage with these perspectives through the lens of True Blood and contribute your own thoughts. So, no matter if you're a Truebie or a more casual viewer of True Blood, or your drink of choice is a pomegranate martini - one of Rachel's favorite cocktails to drink and Rebecca's to mix - an herbal tea, a frothy double mocha latte, or a can of Fresca (wink, wink) you're invited to join the conversation on the show's complexities in a way that can spark transformation.

Hopefully you'll find something to sink your teeth...err...straw, into! PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY ;-)


The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is dedicated to exploring social issues and more through the lens of True Blood. As such, you may encounter:

related to the often provocative and adult themes presented by the show

If you choose to enter and participate in this virtual salon, please be prepared to do so in a thoughtful, respectful, and mature fashion with the above in mind. Click here to check out our comment policy. Thanks!


No copyright infringement is intended, all rights to True Blood belong to HBO, credit is ascribed to sites where images appearing here were originally found.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tru Blood Tru World: In the Face of a Harsh Economic Landscape for African-American & Latino Men, Lafayette Adapts

It's not often that I send off a quick missive, but here's one.

Listening to NPR as I was driving home from work yesterday (I know, something else out of character for me, right?) I was struck by some disturbing labor and economics statistics. Unemployment amongst African-American men is currently hovering at around 15% and the figures are similar for Latino men. Here's the kicker: most economists agree that these numbers will likely not budge for the next decade!!!

I immediately thought of Lafayette. Yes, I know. He's a fictional character. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics is probably not keeping data on him or his cohorts, the town of Bon Temps where he works as a short order cook at Merlotte's (also fictional), or on Reynard parish and its environs where he plies his various other trades, since these locales, too, are fictional.

Even so, is it really so odd that Lafayette would cross my mind in the context of a news report pointing out that unemployment figures for African-American and Latino men are nearly double those for white men?

We know that popular culture not only shapes, but is shaped by society. Therefore, could the desertified Bon Temps economic landscape and its dried-up job market - one's options for (low wage) work include Merlotte's (apparently the town's chief employer, aside from the sheriff's office), big box stores like the one Tara quit in "Strange Love" (perhaps a stand in for Walmart which just got an enormous class action gender discrimination suit tossed), or the Grab-It-Quik - be an allusion to the U.S. Main Street vs. Wall Street divide?

Is it that hard to see how, in the face of limited opportunities in the mainstream economy, Lafayette or someone like him may resort to carving out a niche for himself in the informal (i.e. underground or shadow) economy?

LaLa the short order cook

LaLa the drug dealer

LaLa the prostitute

LaLa the road crew worker

LaLa the webcam operator

Lafayette is a hustler; a survivor. He's got jobs in both the legit and the informal economies.

He's got to work - hard - to stay above ground because unlike the Stackhouse kids, he hasn't benefited from intergenerational wealth transfer. Sookie and Jason work hard too, but they each inherited the homes they live in from deceased family members. This affords them a certain level of comfort and financial stability that fewer working and middle-class people of color will have access to in the future, given that the sub-prime mortgage and foreclosure crisis has disproportionately impacted their communities. It should go without saying that without homes to either be sold or passed down as an inheritance, families with fewer means have less options available to them as they plan for their heirs' futures.

As a social worker for a non-profit that - amongst other things - provides community development services I've seen the Great Recession's negative impact on first-time homebuyers and homeowners who are upside-down on their mortgages as well on low-income households who are striving for financial self-sufficiency. Disparities across race, class, and gender lines, unsustainable and often predatory lending targeting elders and people of color, and a lack of living-wage jobs are driving the gap between those with a foothold on the economic ladder to the middle class and those without - to say nothing of those who are tumbling from the middle-income rungs every day.

Will the informal economy expand in response to the constriction of the mainstream one? What are the implications if it does, and what kinds of outcomes can we anticipate in key sectors of our society?

It looks like - for the next decade, at least - LaLa's gonna have to keep on hustlin'.

~ Rachel   

1 comment:

  1. I don't watch the vampire shows (I'm about halfway through Eclipse - it's been on my bedside for almost a year now!), but I think it's interesting that you make this connection. I saw a tourist bus go through my neighborhood today with a huge ad for True Blood plastered on the side of it with black faces. I was surprised to know there were black characters on the show and coming from an advertising background I know that ad and the route of that bus was quite calculated.

    I see the informal economy firsthand in my neighborhood and although it's a very different environment from where I grew up in Columbus, OH I completely understand that people need to do what they need to do to survive.

    Now you've got me interested in watching True Blood! *baby steps*