Friday, February 6, 2009

Racial Awkwardness

I don't know if its coincidence or proof of a benevolent God that I should stumble across this video after watching part of Bamboozled on IFC last night.   If you haven't seen it, and I haven't seen all of it yet, Bamboozled is Spike Lee at his provocative best.   At turns the movie is brilliant, shitty, angry, insightful, too loud, really fucking funny, overdone, and/or dead on.   I would not have guessed  that actors in black face playing Step-n-Fetchit characters would resonate with me.   Lee is very hit and miss for me anyway and when he misses  its painful but the hits are works of genius.  Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X are two of the greatest American films of all time in my book and if they aren't in yours then you might want to reconsider your book.  I gotta chew on Bamboozled for awhile though.

As for the video, and this is where it gets awkward, Read A Book Nigga clearly is meant to grab you by the short hairs and command your attention.  Mission accomplished.   Honestly I find it funny and enormously challenging but in the same way  that Chris  Rock's riff on "low expectation havin' mutherfuckers" isn't really intended for me my  response seems  beside the larger and more important point. Im observing a conversation I have no entry point in to so my reaction strikes me as superfluous and maybe even unintentionally offensive.  Sins of the fathers.

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