This week's BIG UP goes to a black pre-Civil War Boba Fett and we of the interwebs.
-I know I'm a bit late but I never got a chance to write about this and I would very much like to write about this. I AM BLACK and I LOVED DJANGO. And so did a lot of my friends for that matter. The one thing we all have in common though, is that not only are we Black we are also purveyors and supports of the arts. They are just as much a part of our identities as is our race. Before seeing Django I wondered if the two sides would find conflict. Would I leave the theater struggling to soothe an offense of my African-American pride with the acceptance of artistic free speech as a platform? Would I, could I somehow possibly shockingly cease to love he who is Leo Dicaprio who plays the role of a smug slave master? Would I be so overwrought with having watched his film of disdainful/disrespectful images of my ancestral brothers and sisters that I'd buy a gown, book a ticket, and sneak into the Golden Globes where I'd stealthily sidle up to Tarantino only to soap box him the entire night on his misrepresentation, misanthropy, missed the bus excuse for a film on my people? Well, I'm happy to say, after seeing Django the two sides found themselves in unison emphatically saying, "Now that was a good mothaf'n movie!"
Here's the thing, I know a lot of folks are up in arms about the film's prevalent use of that five lettered word that hinges on a double "G". I know a lot of individuals are not too keen on Tarantino's previous and present statements regarding the African American characters in his films. And I know many feel simply that slavery, when depicted on screen, should, for a minimum of 24hrs, completely dismantle your spirit, for a white person encouraging you to hate yourself and all who came before you, and for a black person influencing you to hate the white race. In my opinion the "n-word" felt appropriate to the setting, Tarantino's statements didn't reflect on the sincerity/brilliance of the film, and the depictions of slavery and those in support of it were definitely spirit dismantling being redeemed only by the intellect, perseverance, and badassness of the lead character himself, Django.
This film is not Birth of a Nation nor is it Amistad. It is not a commentary on slavery nor an examining of it. It is an excellently acted, meticulously written, superbly shot tale of loyalty, revenge, trial, and triumph that though taking place snugly within the confines of the horrific era of slavery does not seek to redefine it.
However real race has become within our society, it is still a construct originally created by oppressors to oppress. When we allow its presence to distract from the enjoyment and acknowledgement of legitimate, solid, quality art we in turn help to bolster very construct we condemn.
Oh, and as for the discontinuing of the Django dolls after petitions and several statements on their being distasteful. I don't know about you, but I would LOVE a doll of a character of a former slave turned bounty hunter who returns to the South to successfully bring revenge to slave masters and save his wife. But that's just me...
-Big ups to us, for as an Internet community, posse-ing up and using practical means to achieve powerful results. Because of our petitions, Facebook posts, tweets, etc. expressing our outrage and offense at its conception and possible projection, Oxygen has decided to cancel any plans for production of the ridiculous and no doubt classless reality show, Shawty Lo's All My Babies' Mamas about the Laffy Taffy rapper and the 10 mothers of his 11 children. Yuck. Now let's all go get matching jackets!
This week's LET DOWN goes to self-muted mutiny.
There is a time and a place for everything. On stage as a paid performer at an inauguration event and choosing that time to wax poetic on why you feel the incoming candidate should not be president is not revolutionary. It's not rebellious. It's not subversive. It's just tacky. It takes the voice out of a battle cry and makes it more a yell for attention than a call to awareness. No dice.