Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Precious Debates: Stanley Crouch, Sheril Antonio, and Howard Stern

I was going to label this as a "Saturday Afternoon Funny" but I decided not to. To my detractors: I do in fact have a sense of self-restraint and good taste.

Listen, watch, and laugh as 2 black intellectuals try to make sense of that pseudo-monster movie Precious. Yes, I called that "cultural" document a monster movie because what is Precious, if anything, but monstrous?

First random thought: did Stanley Crouch's position on this film surprise you?

Second Random thought: How well will the movie Precious age? I predict not so well. Like others, I still argue that it is pathology porn. Moreover, I also suggest that it is part of the black pathology, black female suffering is by its very nature a noble enterprise, that is all in vogue as a counterpoint to the ascendancy of Michelle and Barack Obama. And yes, that ordering was intentional.

Not to be overlooked, some folks are hating on Howard Stern for daring to comment on the movie Precious and its star Gabourey Sidibe's health and weight issues. I submit that Howard is saying what so many of us are thinking in least many of the black and brown folk with whom I pal around with. There is something horribly wrong with Precious, and doubly so with how so many people of color--and interestingly enough some white conservatives--have flocked to it as some type of exemplary "art," and its star as offering an alternative beauty and health standard for women of color. I will continue to argue that Precious is both literally and metaphorically unhealthy and should be critiqued as such. I have neither read nor heard anything to dissuade me from that position.

I must ask: With Precious who is playing who? Are Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey playing all of us for fools? Alternatively, while black folk in film may no longer always be Bucks, Mammies, or Coons, are we somehow liberated and freed by the pathos that is Precious? Or is Precious a new/old form of typecasting prison?


Shady_Grady said...

It is just amazing to me that some folks line up to consume poison.

But whatever.

The fact that so many of the black female images shown are of incredibly large, obese women is problematic for me. But you know what, let people do what they like. Just don't ask me to drink the Kool-Aid.. =)

I think Crouch just wanted to be in opposition to what Reed or Armand White was saying.

Shady_Grady said...

Also, obesity kills.
Howard Stern is a racist a$$ but the Precious star is beyond morbidly obese. That's dangerous. Stern could have made his point differently of course but that's not who he is.

Anonymous said...

Did Stanley Crouch actually say "Po-locks"?

MilesEllison said...

Sure, she's fat. But for all of Stern's insults, she's starred in as many movies as he has.

Constructive Feedback said...

My friend Chauncey:

Do you find it ironic that the female commentator feared about what EXTERNAL people would do to the imagery once it "escaped from the screen writer's hands" yet we don't hear the same construct applied to Hip Hop - Voice Of The Street Pirate?

I WOULD STAND WITH THIS WOMAN if there was an all out assault upon those who made ignorant lyrics intended for sale to WHITE FOLKS.

Instead there are pieces of artistic and literary works that represent Black folks that are PROTECTED and then there are those which are seen as an embarrassment which must be attacked.

All I ask for is consistency.

Instead the sense of "racial protectionism" has certain people fearing their loss of control of our imagery.

Son of Baldwin said...


I have entered the "Precious" debates: