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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sorry For The Preemption-Afronerd Radio Returns Next Sun.....For Now A Few Observations & Oh Yeah A Centenarian Buys a Camaro!

Usually I'm not one for absolute speculation, but has anyone taken a look at retired baseball great, Sammy Sosa lately? The latest (and lighter) photo was taken at a recent Latin Grammys ceremony and all I can say is.....Didn't he get the memo from Mr. Jackson's demise this summer? Wow. Allegedly Sosa stated that the bright lights and his recent skin rejuvenation treatments caused this change in his complexion. I guess 300 plus years of Western indoctrination (and colonization) really is sticking with some us in this new millennium. And on that note, I guess Chris Rock's Good Hair should be doing well at the box office.

And just when I was thinking I should move on from a diatribe centered on alleged African-American racial/cultural insecurity, I'm reminded that Lee Daniels' epic, Precious was released this weekend. Afronerd reader and film critic, Sergio Mims forwarded an email to our attention a few days ago, linking an alternate review (from critic Armond White) that encapsulated my thoughts to the "t" regarding this film. I've stated my thoughts about this film on Afronerd Radio as well as the blog but I must confess, that I am gratified that someone else also noticed that this film, despite the growing Oscar buzz, may be deleterious to African American imagery. Here's a few words from White's piece, courtesy of the NY Press:

Not since The Birth of a Nation has a mainstream movie demeaned the idea of black American life as much as Precious. Full of brazenly racist clich├ęs (Precious steals and eats an entire bucket of fried chicken), it is a sociological horror show. Offering racist hysteria masquerading as social sensitivity, it’s been acclaimed on the international festival circuit that usually disdains movies about black Americans as somehow inartistic and unworthy.

The hype for Precious indicates a culture-wide willingness to accept particular ethnic stereotypes as a way of maintaining status quo film values. Excellent recent films with black themes—Next Day Air, Cadillac Records, Meet Dave, Norbit, Little Man, Akeelah and the Bee, First Sunday, The Ladykillers, Marci X, Palindromes, Mr. 3000, even back to the great Beloved (also produced by Oprah)—have been ignored by the mainstream media and serious film culture while this carnival of black degradation gets celebrated. It’s a strange combination of liberal guilt and condescension.

Birth of a Nation glorified the rise of the Ku Klux Klan as a panicky subculture’s solution to social change. Precious hyperbolizes the class misery of our nation’s left-behinds—not the post- Rapture reprobates of Christianity’s last-days theories, but the Obama-era unreachables—including Precious’ Benetton-esque assortment of remedial school classmates. One explanation is that Precious permits a cultural version of that 1960s political controversy “benign neglect”—its agreed-upon selection of the most pathetic racial images and social catastrophes helps to normalize the circumstances of poverty and abandon that will never change or be resolved.You can think: Precious is just how those people are (although Cops and the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich shows offer enough evidence that white folks live low, too).

My sentiments exactly, Mr. White. I've had my fill of Black ghetto pathos on the silver screen-there are other stories to tell. Which reminds me.....I finally got the chance to see what all the hoopla was about pertaining to the vampire themed film, Twilight. Never let it be said that Twilight is the new Dracula or that lead actor, Robert Pattinson is a young Bela Lugosi, but it does remind the viewer (of color, specifically) that there is a severe dearth of diverse minority characterization in current cinema. Can you imagine a romantic (and expensive) horror flick with a majority Black/Brown cast that wouldn't be played for laughs? Or as I once posited, A Black Harry Potter-esque film, with its own unique mythos? Perchance to dream....anyway, feel free to check out the remainder of the White article by clicking on the link below:

Pride & Precious

And lastly, I thought that this next clip solidly proves that age really is just a number. While some seniors who may actually be 30 years this gentleman's junior complain about the difficulties and challenges of being advanced in age, others are buying brand new camaros:

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