Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy--Of Easter Eggs, Robert Putnam, and Kung Fu Goodness

Aaron McGruder's last season of The Boondocks is firing on all pistons--it seems that Brother McGruder is indeed leaving it all on the dance floor as the old expression goes. As I alluded to in a previous post, The Boondock's pulling aside the veil and reveling in the Black Superpublic is all sorts of awesomeness.

Tonight's episode--Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy--is rich with these moments--as well as with some fun Easter eggs for those folk whom are part of the cultural narrative that is ghetto nerdness.

Here are a few of the bits of goodness (both obvious and subtle) that I picked up on as Grandpa and family faced off against The Hateocracy:

1. The introduction of The Hateocracy was a wink to such revenge/crime noir movies as No Country for Old Men; Fargo; and A History of Violence.

2. Pretty obvious: The Hateocracy was comprised of Fred G. Sanford, Aunt Esther, and J.J. Walker of Good Times fame. Perhaps McGruder has been reading Donald Bogle's classic book Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks?

3. The opening dream is a restaging of 28 Weeks Later.

4. A second Fargo reference--the secretary at Huey and Riley's school sounds suspiciously like Marge Olmstead-Gunderson, the pregnant Sheriff played by Frances McDormand in that Coen brothers classic.

5. In another synthetic/improvisational moment that is simultaneously a reference to Kill Bill, as well as the iconic Master of the Flying Guillotine, the weapon used by Fred Sanford's doppelganger is the same as that of the titular villain in the latter film.

6. Pretty obvious: Grand Master Bushido Brown is one part Jim Kelly and one part Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.

7. Here is an Easter egg I could not fully identify. Was the musical cue playing during Riley and Huey's fight with The Hateocracy from The Kid with the Golden Arm? Or was it an acknowledgment of 5 Chinese Superninjas? One-Armed Boxer? Or 5 Fingers of Death? One, all, or neither? Help me out.

8. In what is perhaps the smartest hidden gem in Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy, McGruder's detailing of "nigga moments" and "nigga synthesis" is a pretty clear restatement of Robert Putnam's detailing of bridging and bonding social capital in his seminal book Bowling Alone.

9. The concluding dialogue between The Freemans and The Hateocracy is the finest comment on the soft, liberal, "we are all victims," sociological explanations for crime among the ign't, ghetto underclasses I have seen in many a years: Some folks just belong in elaborate explanations necessary. As one of my colleagues once said, "if the prison industrial complex was real, we would all be in jail." Brilliant and pithy.

10. Crabs in a barrel and Black folks. Priceless...and so very true.

What other Easter eggs did I miss? What should be added to the list?

By the way, next week's episode on the trials and triumphs of the one and only Latarian Milton is going to be amazing.


RiPPa said...

Dammit I thought that was a play on Latarian Milton in the promo last night!

I think you broke it all down without missing a beat. Isn't it cool to watch each new episode and break it all down? I also thought "The Hatocracy" was symbolic of the essence of niggerdom fighting to take their rightful and inevitable place in post-racial America. I thought it to be that side of Black culture from which many of us now run away from. But that's just me.

Of course not everyone will "get it". But as I explained to a friend last week: explaining The Boondocks to someone who doesn't "get it", is synonymous with coaching a woman who uses too much teeth while giving you oral pleasure.

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

Yeah Rippa,

It is genius, absolute genius. Everytime I watch an ep. I keep thinking of an article to write about it. Folks are going to be studying the Boondocks for years.

But, how could someone not get it?


Genius slowly going Insane said...

I've always liked. Because it had these under tones of philosophical and psychological issues. But, also because it doesn't just come out and tell you. The show treats you like you some education at least high school.
On the surface The Boondocks is just a coming of age story about two black boys living with there grandpa and trying to make sense of the world.

But, hey then again there are still some people who don't have that ability to look outside the box on a show like this and see it in a different perspective.

Also, I am loving the blog. I just stumbled upon it one day and I am lovin' it...keep it up.

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

@Genius. Thanks for chiming in. I think you are right. So many folks just want to chill and unplug. A show this entertaining and rich is sometimes too much for some to work on.


a i quotes said...

I love the 7 year old boy. He drives a car although he can not see the road but you can clearly see where he is going already. He says it if fun to do fun things and he will only be punish by not being allowed to play videos for the weekend. How can you handle this boy?