01/08/2013 05:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Big Up: Let Down (India, Spike, Downton and More!)


Every week (unless I can't for some reason find the time to) I give you the "Big Up:Let Down." Basically I give props for good ish and knocks for foolishness. Feel free to agree or disagree right down there in the comment section.

This week's Big Ups go to a people speaking up for a change, a young girl with warrior strength, and the return of a bunch of turn of the century British snobs to my living room.

In the wake of the violent and fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in India in December, people angry and fed up with the country's treatment of women have taken to its streets in protest and are seizing justice with their own hands. The young woman's rape and death -- and the many who came before her -- are a tragedy and tragically one that happens far too often. The pot is boiling over and just this week a member of India's Congress accused of raping a woman while staying at her family's house was stripped and beaten by women in the street. I am not condoning violence as a solution, however, with the severity of the issue, at present, it seems the most potent option of revolt. India and the world have a long way to go in the embracing and practicing of women's equality but to see both men and women gathered side by side rallying against India's seemingly non-existent justice system for rape and the culture of degradation and indifference towards women and their rights as human beings is one that incites hope, and at the very least, a big up.

Amazingly, astonishingly, and thankfully the Pakistani 15-year-old girl's education advocate Malala Yousafzai who was brutally shot in the head by the Taliban in October has left the British hospital where she was recovering from surgery to recuperate further with family in Britain proving you can't keep a good man down, or a warrigirl with an unfinished mission!

OMG the Dowager countess and her folks are back!!!!!!!!! Uppity accents, period costumes, and of course that fabulous palace of a house. Yes, Downton Abbey made its return to Masterpiece Theater Sunday at 9 p.m. Two hours of aristocratic bliss! To say I'm overjoyed is an understatement. Not just because I love the show but because I'm so pleased that regardless of what my hyper-enlightened Toms-wearing "I don't own a TV" friends say, there is still a lot of great programming to watch on the idiot box, if you're not an idiot and seek it out. The lives of those at Downton are far more interesting than any reality show, the acting is superb, and let's be real, everything just sounds better with a British accent!

This week's Let Downs go to an angsty director and an uniformed culture critic.

Spike Spike Spike. This guy. I'm not saying that Spike Lee should not have his own opinions about his peers be they positive or negative but the let down goes to the manner in which he delivers them! This week Director Lee spoke out publicly against Quintin Tarentino and his film Django Unchained admitting that he will not be seeing the film and saying, "All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors. That's just me... I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody else" and later tweeting, "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." [sic] Guess what I totally get it! He's not even totally off base here. However, first the constant Tyler Perry stabs, and now this? He's becoming that annoying kid in my African-American literature class who held his own non-silent protests against novels written before his grand parents even went on their first date, griping about the stagnant themes of racism and the disproportionate yada yada yada then turned in shitty paper after shitty paper and barely made it out by the skin of a C-. Spike used to be the short outspoken talented guy and he's teetering rather precariously on being the short annoying washed up guy. No dice. Spike is one of the greats but in my opinion these days, he could do less talking and more walking... to a computer... to write a new screenplay... and direct a film... that people. Want. To. See.

Me, for after reading several articles, watching several pundits, and asking my several "smart" friends to explain it to me, still not understanding what the hell the fiscal cliff is and if I should be concerning myself with procuring some sort of financial parachute for an impending involuntary base jump. From what I gather, it's similar to Inception. It involves wealthy white guys, money being taken, folks planting ideas in other folks' heads, a drop of some kind, and I doubt I'll ever truly understand what it's really all about but people are really really obsessed with it.