the dark side

on the boombox: mary j’s brilliant new offering ‘the breakthrough’.

i just had a talk with the brilliant professor lester spence…some highlights:

– we need to create a survivor culture, where in addition to any other training, our folks are certified in first aid and emergency response. time to pack our octavia butler bags.
– the new orleans network, one of the orgs i am proudest to have worked with in a small way this year – is one of the best ideas to emerge out of the wreckage of katrina. mapping grassroots orgs with the strongest roots (hold) in the community is a model for how to approach emergency response in the future. we should be mapping every 9th ward in america…you can’t count on a country that sees you as an expendable work/fighting force to make sure you get to come back to your home, even (especially) if its one of the oldest african american communities in america. its america at the end of the sentence, and the money is in disneyfication. you can only fight that with the power of information and people willing to act on that info.
– we don’t know how to move beyond our capitalist socialization, even in our fantasies and in the future. our heros are always superhuman, chosen ones (neo, frodo) or chosen people (jedi, morpheus et al). only the talented 10th can save us? we don’t have enough of a belief in the actual skills and power of normal people to overcome their circumstances, its always a counter human existence we prize – the discipline of the monk, the genius of the superfighter.  but spence turned me on to a socialist sci-fi writer, china mieville – i’ll keep you posted…
– what if darth vader had actually been revealed as james earl jones and the pre-quel was the story of a young black boy maligned by the universe?

this all came about because after watching the very cute ensemble flick ‘the family stone’, jen and i decided to sneak into another movie. first we tried the ringer, but it was too offensive to stay. in the previews somehow i thought it would redeem itself but sitting in the theater as folks all around us laughed every time one of the special olympians came on the screen just felt icky. so we walked out, past all the staff, and went to the king kong that was just starting.

i am hard-pressed to say which of the films is ultimately more offensive, though king kong was much more enjoyable. cut an hour and a half and you would have had something. watching it you can feel peter jackson desperately trying to make up for the absence of tolkien-level writing. the scenes with island savages made me feel sick to my stomach, but i love that naomi ‘my eyes can get yet wider’ campbell just can’t resist king kong’s big old hands. the closing line – it was beauty that killed the beast – made me want to vomit on the first pretty person i saw. luckily i was checked by the fact that it was jen i saw and i would never intentionally vomit on her!

i guess the challenge with a remake is how to capture the spirit of the original story and time period, not give in to politically correct blase, but not perpetuate the ignorance. the movie wasn’t even about racist, it was about general across the board ignance, not to mention the line between badass and fool. i took a nap after the dinosaurs and bugs part, but i am pretty sure they skipped the whole middle passage section where they brought the dark beast for the chain-n-shackle show – somehow he just magically appeared in times square tossing blondes to their death in his search for that soulful white lady who could really hold some eye contact. and juggle. be still dark heart.

started off the day with an exciting meeting with marilyn clement who is heading up the healthcare now campaign, working to get congressfolk to sign on to a single payer healthcare bill (hr 676) that would involve the government paying for healthcare for all which is privately provided. its a smart bill, with a smart timeline, and i hope i can help to get some more candidates signed on and elected to sign on this year.

stay black and sleep!