This is my favorite scene from a Hollywood film in many, many years. Cloud Atlas is my favorite movie in many years--so I guess that counts as a series of scenes which then in turn constitutes a film. But, I digress.
February is Black History Month. Accordingly, I will be doing some obligatory posts on the meaning of this month in the Age of Obama. As I have gotten older, and finally came to fully embrace my identity as a ghetto nerd, I realized that my youthful obsessions with black authenticity robbed me of many great experiences.
Once more, this race business messes all of us up.
I was lucky to have a range of friends such as the oft-mentioned Bill the Lizard who exposed me to a diversity of music such as rock and punk.
Yet, I was shamed out of my love of Guns and Roses, Metallica, and Motley Crue by friends who kept saying that I was a "sell-out" because of such tastes. I liked hip-hop a great deal. I did not understand how I could defend my rock favorites in a Culture War atmosphere where race polarized pop cultural consumption in my small part of the world.
I laugh now. The visual must have been great: during the 1990s, a group of black ghetto nerds, all destined for college, government jobs, very conservative politically, and who routinely argued over the politics and aesthetics of Tribe, Digital Underground, OC, and Pharcyde, while driving in a used Toyota Camry, going from state to state in the Northeast in search of money and scholarships at random bowling tournaments were on the prowl. If you could find them, and you had enough cash, you too could hire the
Dave Chappelle would have made a career, quite literally, of riffing on me and my friends. I would not exchange such experiences for any amount of money in the world.
Space is cheap on an Ipod. Don't get it twisted: I would not buy such a thing, I found said evil device, on the street, in the snow, and was subsequently able to unlock it.
I really like Jim Croce's song from Django Unchained. I have seen Django several times and the bonding sequence to "I've Got a Name" tears me up every time.
A question from a ghetto nerd with a very narrow musical upbringing: What other suggestions do you have for me regarding songs that I would like that are from Croce or done in a similar style? Can you make a brother a playlist?
As I evolve WARN forward--and I would like to thank those of you who emailed me with their thoughts on the new look and feel of the site--I am going to be doing more short posts where I share found news. Of course, I am going to continue with my long essays that put WARN on the radar. Posts such as this one, where I share a quick thought, or offer up a question, are going to be more frequent as well.
In all, we have such a range of readers, lurkers, and commenters here. I feel freed by the site redesign, and am going to continue to liberate myself from a certain chorus that was problematically limiting the topics I chose to engage. What we discuss here on WARN will reflect that new found openness.
Some of you may be asking yourself, "why does he share this in-house behind the scenes stuff? I just want to read interesting essays online from websites I like."
Well, I enjoy the meta-level game wherein a host or editor is transparent in their thinking about how a project moves forward, and the choices--made or not--in that direction. Ultimately, I am the person who loves listening to the director's commentary track on a movie. Process fascinates me. As such, I will continue thinking out loud.
I hope you continue to indulge me.