Monday, August 19, 2013

Shameless Self-promotion: Has Picked Up My Essay on How "The Butler" is not a Black Version of "Forrest Gump"

My essay on the racial politics of The Butler--and how it is not a "black" version of Forrest Gump--is (at present) on the front page over at Their picking up the piece is a nice surprise. If you could, do share, Twitter, Facebook, and comment over at Salon so that more folks can get a sense of the interesting conversations and work we are doing here on WARN.

I do have a follow up on The Butler for later today or tomorrow, but I am just gonna let the original marinate for a bit. 

Have any other folks seen The Butler? And what are your thoughts on it?


vintagepeugeot said...

Congrats on the front page post!!

I don't need to pay to see The Butler, especially now, since you've written such a thorough review. My bf and I saw a preview for it before EVERY movie we saw this summer. Can we get a black hero that's not a domestic? You know, we actually did a lot of stuff.

The scene where Oprah is all "everything you have, is because of that butler" I can't help but add to myself "...including this BRAND NEW CAAAARRRRR!!!

chauncey devega said...

That is funny!

Film is about the present. In this case all of these black maid and butler servant movies--it would be interesting to actually make a list--are really about America trying to locate Obama within its own trajectory and collective mind. Likewise, we are seeing this with all the movies/TV shows with Latinas as maids too.

vintagepeugeot said...

Interesting, but really disappointing if that's the best our collective mind can do.

Black Sci-Fi said...

A couple of thoughts:

1) I am reminded of how mindful the producers of ST DS9 were in producing the episode "Far Beyond the Stars".

That DS9 episode was able to capture the essence of the destructive effects of the WRF in destroying the aspirations (soul?) of those AA's who dared to rise above "our place" and dream of a world/life/career different and better than their current circumstances would allow because of American Apartheid.

I wonder did The Butler reach this level of pathos in 132 min. that DS9 was able to achieve in 45 minutes.

"The Dream", so to speak, is being able to be ordinary as well as accomplished without being defined and therefore limited by a set of arbitrary and impossible to overcome social restrictions based on the color of your skin.

2) I wonder why your article on "The Butler" was so threatening to those who chose to comment over at Salon. I am especially tuned into the new "reverse racism" claims by those who seek to return to a more overt WRF and feel the need to subdue any reasoning that doesn't conform to those diabolical standards.

On the one hand I am glad to be made aware of WRF viewpoints. On the other hand I wonder if these Yahoo's, despite being the majority of comments at Huffpost and Salon, really represent the "majority" opinion. Or, does passion drive the numbers?
While I enjoy the no-nonsense approach to WRF comments of TNC over at The Atlantic, I wonder would his approach, applied web-wide, suppress the truth behind the wide spread reality of the WRF?

I'm an AA baby-boomer and I'm becoming enraged by the proliferation of WRF hate and misinformation on the web. I hope to see more "self-correction" and standards policy enforcement by the editors for web publications. I am not advocating censorship, only the proactive reply to hateful comments by the editors of "liberal" web publications.
While it's true that haters gotta hate, it is also true that good people are just as responsible by letting hate go unchallenged.

chauncey devega said...

Sci-fi has been one of the classic ways to explore issues of identity and justice precisely because by being fantastic the genre can be seen as non-threatening to Whiteness and white racism.

Why would you expect the site admins to moderate in such a way? They want clicks and responses they are not interested in any type of social justice or truth seeking-project. Moreover, most are not interested in getting rid of trolls and people who are paid to advance Right-wing talking points. I would bet money that most of the editors--not the sys admin people--don't even know that their boards are populated by paid commenters from PR firms and those doing the cyber racism hustle.

Censorship is not necessarily a bad thing. The State can make such laws, you can do as you like in your own space. The left, progressives, and reasonable centrists and pragmatists need to stop being so damn noble when their adversaries are quick to censor, smack down, harass, and bully anyone who disagrees w. them.