Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet Potato Queens and the Zippity Doo Dah Parade: Yam? or Yawn?

Various feedback regarding the first annual SPQ Zippity Doo Dah Parade is anywhere from "I wish the Sweet Potato Fools would just strut their stuff right out of Mississippi", to "Amazed at the vitriol toward the SPQs. They have been very good for Jackson."

No one actually came back to post after the parade, probably because the post was so far down the line by that time. Jill Conner-Browne's daughter Bailey, however, did come to the defense of her Mom and the SPQ dynasty:

" I wonder if any of you have met my mother, read her books, or have any idea who/what you are actually passing judgment on? The books have a positive, uplifting message amid the humor. Just because the humor is not in your taste does not mean you have to publicly bash her. She and Kyle do not drink and none of the actual Queens do at the festivities. Also, my mother and Malcolm are not having some childish, egotistical, power struggle. It's not really any of your business what went into the decision process for the creation of a separate parade and none of it was really broadcast for that matter. If you're a resident of Jackson, one would think you would appreciate the money they ALL bring in. No one is on bad terms with anyone. I still go in Hal & Mal's all the time and get treated very well!"

I am very glad to hear there is no rift between Jill and Malcolm. I do hope that statement is true. I believe there is more to the story concerning the actual "break" between the two, but it's all supposition on my part. I perused the photos of the SPQ parade online at the Clarion Liar website, and it looked as if everyone had a good time. I would love some feedback on the parade and activities from those who attended. Please post and let us know. Was it largely attended? Were the wannabes drinking and drunk? Do we really need two parades back-to-back?

I'm all for raising money for Blair Batson, but I'm still not convinced the SPQs are really thinking about sick and terminally ill children. Maybe publishing the financials of the ZDD parade would convince us all. If they advertise giving "all" money to Blair Batson, let's see it.
Let the comments begin................................

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

JCB got her panties in a wad last year when Malcom asked the SPQ's to march at the back of the parade instead of the front. JCB then said "eff it, we quit".

Ann Onimous said...

I have not read any of her books, nor do I want to. The way they present themselves at the parades is enough testimony for me. They need to stop advertising both parades as "family friendly," because they certainly are not.

Anonymous said...

I know I tried to eat lunch in Fondren Friday but couldn't because all of the restaurants were packed with women in town for the SPQ festivities. I think it's great to have two weekends in a row of fun events and activities for people who live in Jackson and people who come in from out of town. (I don't really understand why people are so angry if they claim not to care about the SPQs.)

paul mitchell said...

I am not big on either event, but to trash the SPQ because they do not want to be in the Mal's is kinda dumb. To each his own.

What Jackson really needs is more LEADERS.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Queens are being trashed, because Mal took them as relatively unknowns way back when.

When he wanted the parade to run more smoothly by having them last in the parade instead of first, so they could take their time, they bailed on him.

Anderson said...

Silly me, I would've thought last in the parade was the position of honor, like "now, what you've all been waiting for ...."

In the Macy's parade, Santa doesn't come first, does he?

Anonymous said...

Ate at Nick's during parade (forgot about parade when I decided to eat there for my birthday). I saw the whole parade. Ok, let's say Nick's is the "east" heart of Fondren. Literally dozens of people in attendance between Nick's and the Quiznos. From what I saw, very lightly attended. The word "sad" comes to mind since all the broads came from God knows where to walk around an empty Fondren.

Anonymous said...

Are the financials for Hal's parade published?

Anonymous said...

Malcolm and Harold did the right thing, I have been a long time parade attendee and found over the years that the SPQ's remained true to their original theme, but the plethora of "Wannabeeeeeeees" really sucked, weren't here to support anything than a three day buzz and ruined the start of a good parade. Putting them last put them in there place and you see what happened, like a bunch of drunked spoiled brats, they left. I didn't attend the Jeff Goode/SPQ/vaginafest in Fondren, but the self serving BS I saw in the media and the "I am woman, hear my vagina roar" themed testimony from one of the out of towners made me glad I stayed away.

Anonymous said...

The financials for all donations are included in the receiving charity's Form 990.

reximus said...

"SPQ/vaginafest in Fondren" & "I am woman, hear my vagina roar" made my morning.
I avoided that thing like the plague. It will be interesting to see what it draws next year.

Anonymous said...

I think they made a bad mistake having the actual parade at night. Plenty of people were out during the daytime at the carnival and street fair, but I think a lot of people didn't want to get back out to the same place that much later in the day. It didn't flow.

Anonymous said...

"Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. "

Anonymous said...

The Santa analogy is perfect. They unfortunately do not realize their 15 minutes are up.

Anonymous said...

The reason the SPQ's were put at the back of last year's St. Paddy's DAy event was that JCB abandoned Hal and Mal's to have their event at the Hilton. It took away from the pre-parade activities and H&M lost the income. Mal wanted to show off downtown Jackson. JCB wanted to show off JCB and sell books. Ego is a major factor. Money is a more major factor.

Anonymous said...

Jill Conner Browne's books are read and enjoyed by well educated women who are either successful in their own right or married to successful men. Frankly, those are the women who have the luxury of time to read.
Ms. Browne's son describes her books accurately and I find it quite telling that the bashers bash something they've never read.
Those who have studied literature know that the main ingredient of a well received book of humor is the ability to describe to the human experience...in this case, female social groups...in an amusing way.
IF one reads the books, you know that SPQs are not " different" from any group of lifelong female friends save that their survival/coping techniques and challenges have a Southern flavor.
Reading the negative comments, I'm taken back to high school as they sound like the kind of things said about cheerleaders or the popular male athletes... " how come they get all the attention and get to do stuff when they do things the grownups don't like and I'm better than they are" or " I wouldn't do just a " silly" thing ( translates into uptight stick in the mud who was no fun to be around)...jealousy is a very recognizable emotion.

Kingfish said...

Bailey is a she, not a he.

Bill Dees said...

Well said @9:29. I've read the SPQ books, and they're hilarious. JCB captures the prototyical Southern woman with whimsical grace. What puzzles me is why the bashers are so intolerant. The SPQs and Wannabees aren't hurting anyone with their fun, and they're raising money for a very worthy charity. I've lived in the Jackson area for only 5 years or so (Katrina refugee), and I've never been to either parade (Mal's St Paddy or SPQ), so I can't comment on them, but I can comment on the intolerance I've encountered around here compared to the folks on the Coast. It's really astonishing.

Anonymous said...

I don't think her books are being bashed as much as the spectacle of the wannabes.

Anonymous said...

"...the Jeff Goode/SPQ/vaginafest in Fondren.....the 'I am woman, hear my vagina roar' themed testimony..."

Gave me a big giggle this morning. Thanks.

KF, ?"DWF"

Anonymous said...

DWF used to write frequently when the blog was first started and comes by occasionally now.

Frugal Gal said...

Whether or not the SPQs are your cup of tea is irrelevant, you don't have to go see them. But those women bring a hell of a lot of money into the metro area (not just Jackson) when they come to Mississippi. More power to them.

Do I think a lot of them are tacky? Yep -- but I gather that's their goal. I find rodeo people tacky, but I don't take it personally that the NHRA membership has chosen to come to my town and freely spend their money.

Some of those women are pretty interesting. I had the chance to meet the group from Indonesia a couple of years ago. Most of them are British or Australian citizens, the wives of oil executives living in Jakarta. One of them is America and she happened to pick up one of the SPQ books at an airport. She passes it around to the other wives, they all love it, and end up in Jackson. Other than IBC, how many other area events have groups flying from the other side of the planet to play the tourist in this area?

So if you don't want to read the books, don't (I never have). If you don't want to see their parade, don't (I didn't go). And remember that when you are bitching about them, you are bitching about a pretty decent influx of cash for local businesses.

But, come on, "vaginafest"? Seriously? I prefer to consume my morning vitriol minus the side of misogyny. Unless we want to start referring to the St. Paddy's Day parade as "Guy-so-drunk-they-can't-get-it-up-Fest" -- that's probably just as fair.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, FrugalGal! YOUR last paragraph made MY day.

Anonymous said...

It is a fair and safe assumption to make about the St. Paddy's day parade that a lot of men comsume too much beer and have alcohol induced half drunk whiskey penis syndrome after the parade, which for most of us guys isn't such a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Went to the parade. some feedback:

- the starting time was vague ("dusk") so there was a lot of standing around, everyone wondering aloud when it was going to start

- crowd seemed decent for a first-time event. I was by the strip of old businesses on State Street. The crowd was probably 2-3 deep on the barricade. Looked like more people south of us by the Fondren Corner building.

- The bands (Murrah H.S. and a New Orleans brass band) were good. They need more for next year. Not enough music.

- The golf cart floats were unimpressive and looked puny on State Street. The Sweet Potato Queens float was a large Mardi Gras style lighted float. It was cool. If they let all the groups do the same, it could be a cool night-time parade - something different for Jackson.

- Most of the wannabee groups had good costumes. They were all behaving (at least during the parade). They were stingy with the beads, though. Maybe require each group by X amount?

Anonymous said...

http://www.clarionledger.com/videonetwork/859514895001/Zippity-Doo-Dah-Parade

I love the roar!!

stilettoGOP said...

Frugal Gal, what do rodeo people have to do with NHRA? As someone pretty involved in NHRA I was just wondering.

Also, HEY DWF! Been 'long time! :)

As far as the parade, I think there are certainly "worse" ones held around here. I'll leave it at that. So why are people getting this upset about the queens? I'm agreeing with the "if you don't like 'em then don't go" people. It's just a PARADE, y'all, not a rolling execution. Although that would be pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Were is Captian Marsupial on this one?

The Diplomat said...

I could be wrong but I believe it was JCB's decision to march at the end of last year's parade. Purely speculative, but I believe she may have been a touch miffed bc parade-goers didn't really stick around to watch the Wannabe's process

Anonymous said...

I agree with my friend, Ramona, who says "I prefer a penis - and not a latex or battery powered one - tucked somewhere on my drag queens."

Anonymous said...

just to put this into some context, particularly the idea that all this fun brings much-needed revenue to jackson: a friend's sorority, AKA, recently met in birmingham -- 2500-women strong -- and the birmingham chamber's own data claims they spent $4 million in the three or four days.

is there a lesson here, jackson? listen up...

Anonymous said...

Interesting... $4,000.000.00 divided by 2500 is $1,600.00 each. Maybe I'm doing the math wrong but that seems a bit of a stretch to think these numbers make sense.

But... the one thing that has always bothered me about the whole SPQ/JKB deal is the comment in her first book about how you can get a guy to do anything by promising him a blowjob (with no intention of delivering).

That kind of dishonest manipulation doesn't fly with me. Nor do I think it makes for a good children's theme.

Oh well... life does go on!

Anonymous said...

I ran those numbers and got the same result. My wife just came back from a 5-day business trip and got reimbursed $2400 for expenses, so $1600 is not unbelievable, although we usually spend way less when it's our money (i.e., vacation) than when it's a reimburseable business expense.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the SPQs don't go to the parade or buy the books, I don't. But to personally attack JCB is very short sighted IMO. This is her business, her "role" that she plays to make a living.
I know Jill and her family, if you see her away from her queen role, she is the same as any successful business woman in America. She has raised a wonderful daughter, took good care of her Mother for many years.
Why is this such a big deal to those that don't take part, I don't and I couldn't care less if there is 1, 2 or 178 parades.

Anonymous said...

10:10 here again - I just realized that figure included ober $800 for plane fare, so the total spent in the city where the meeting was held was less. $1600 per person over 4 days seems like a stretch, at least in the circles where I travel.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the very long post by her daughter Bailey, and a reply or two to it? I swear I saw it this morning but when I search this site now I cand't find it. I think I left it up on the screen when I left for work this morning so I'll check there tonight. Why would it get deleted, if it did get deleted?

Anonymous said...

It's in the March 21 post:

Bailey Conner-Browne said...

First off, I would like to say that all of the people writing such nasty comments should at least have the courage to post their names along with their opinions. I'd also like to point out the irony: you portray my mother as some sort of selfish, mean woman yet do you consider your own words? You are deliberately and maliciously attacking someone, and anonymously, to boot. Would you act that way if you met her face to face? Are you really THAT well informed about my family's lives to cast such judgment upon us? I'm guessing you probably don't know as much as you think you do. It's very easy to type something and not realize the impact of your words. Do you consider what it might feel like to read something like that written about you? Do you consider how deliberately offensive and downright hateful YOU yourself are being while writing about how offensive my mother is? How could you treat another person this way? What has she personally done to you? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves and I would think your own mothers would have taught you better. I wonder if any of you have met my mother, read her books, or have any idea who/what you are actually passing judgment on? The books have a positive, uplifting message amid the humor. Just because the humor is not in your taste does not mean you have to publicly bash her. She and Kyle do not drink and none of the actual Queens do at the festivities. Also, my mother and Malcolm are not having some childish, egotistical, power struggle. It's not really any of your business what went into the decision process for the creation of a separate parade and none of it was really broadcast for that matter. If you're a resident of Jackson, one would think you would appreciate the money they ALL bring in. No one is on bad terms with anyone. I still go in Hal & Mal's all the time and get treated very well! A business decision is not the same as a personal one. Speaking of money, let me clear this up for you as well: My parents truly do not make a dime off of the Fondren parade, nor did they make one from Mal's in the past. I would LOVE it if we did because I've got a serious wishlist going on at Shopbop.com. Sadly, this is not the case. Every cent goes to Batson. For those of you insulting my mother's character, I've got a Bible verse for you: Matthew 7:3-5. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." My mother is one of the kindest, funniest, most hard working, generous, and selfless individuals I know. She literally will do anything for anyone. I could give you thousands of examples but she's not asking for recognition, praise, or thanks. She's a talented, amazing woman with a genuine desire to help people and on my best day I couldn't be as good as she. She hasn't written anything ugly about you or your family. I understand that it is so much easier to type something than it is to say to someone in person, but you need to remember that. You need to remember that the people you criticize & cut down are PEOPLE too, just like you. They have friends, families, and people who care about them, just like you. Your words are still just as hurtful. I'm honestly shocked that people would treat another person like this. I'm asking you to please think about how you might feel if it were you, or how you might feel reading this about someone you love.

DixieChick said...

Two parades will ultimately be good for Jackson...it's just going to take a while to work through the mess. Jill is a good person with a good heart. If you know her...have met her...or read her books you will know this. It's a shame that's she's become the target of all this vitriol and anger because of her arrogant, abrasive, greedy husband. It may be about the "chirren" for Jill but its about $$$$ for him. He even calls himself "Bad Dog"....and he means it.

Anonymous said...

Methinks this Fondren queen parade will evolve into
a San Francisco style " Pride " freak show.

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for my mistake on gender but the important thing is this is an adult daughter that clearly loves,admires and respects her mother. I wonder if those criticising are so well regarded by their offspring.

For the most part, the wannabees are just " playing dress up" and being silly together. IF one of a group lets the silliness go too far, the BEAUTY is that her friends are there to save and protect her...as even the outraged person's example noted without insight.

This is no different from the Red Hat ladies or countless groups of women who take time with " girls" with their closest friends away from their communities except in the form of silliness they choose.

To each their own.

Many women have proscribed relationships that mimic friendship as long as they conform to the group's image and please the alpha females in charge. Few women have real friends who love them when they fail and who catch them when they fall and where power is shared.

Anonymous said...

GOOD GOD! PAGE 47 OF THE NORTHSIDE SUN MAGAZINE. SECOND PICTURE DOWN ON THE RIGHT FROM THE TOP.

ONE "BAILEY BROWNE". SHE IS GORGEOUS.

I MEAN DROP FREAKIN DEAD GORGEOUS.

I TAKE IT ALL BACK.

Anonymous said...

Good Gawd. If she would just become an MSU cheerleader!

Charles Jackson said...

It would be really great if people were required to sign their names on their posts. It's interesting to see the people who have the least information and talk the loudest post anonymously. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Charles Jackson said...

Just what I expected.

Kingfish said...

How do we know you are Charles Jackson?

Anonymous said...

I've been a drinker/partier/parade-goer long enough to remember the first St. Paddy's day parade which started at George Street Grocery. After something like 15 straight years I quit going because I was burned out (OK, "old") and it had just become too raucus and raunchy.

I attended the Z-D-D parade this year with my kids, and frankly it had a lot of the old magic I remember from the early St. Paddy's Day parades. Sometimes smaller really is better. Plus, Jeff Goode did a really amazing job putting together a series of events which complemented and in certain respects transcended the SPQ brand. I thought it was all quite cool.

Anonymous said...

DID the old fat ladies fit in with that hip atmosphere?

Anonymous said...

That's Charles Jackson. I know him to be brave enough to post his own name. Me, not so much.

Anonymous said...

I was a sponsor of the parade. I went to the events in Fondren. Every dining facility in Fondren had a waiting list for up to 1.5 hours and that was at 3pm. Ask the owners when the last time that happened.It was the first time to do this event! it is a learning curve but it was GREAT! It will only get better. Dont be such Haters. These women brought money to town for 3 plus days!! How coud this or any other event that brings folks to downtown areas two weekends in a row be anything but good?? As far as Jill goes, She Rocks!!! If you dont know that, then you dont know her! Too bad for you. Hail to the Queen from another Queen.

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