Category Archives: racial profiling

“It’s a Hard-Knock Life… for Us”

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Yes, this is another in a series of reviews from the Uncritical Critic where I gush endlessly and almost mindlessly about movies, TV, books, and other sorts of stories that I love.  And just like other reviews that I have done, writing mainly to myself, this will probably bore you to the point of having to sandpaper  your tush just to stay conscious through it.  But I do, in fact, have a social conscience.  I do care about things moral and ethical.  That’s why I’m not going to talk about this Annie;

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I want to talk about this one;

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I am not sure how any of my white, conservative friends can work up such an angry fizzyblackengrrr about the remake of the musical using black actors as the principles.  I am not saying I don’t see color and I don’t notice the changes in the basic story to make it fit a more different-race-friendly cultural magnetism.  I am saying I love the changes.

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Quvenzhane Wallis is one of those little girls that, if she were actually an orphan, would be adopted in record time.  She sings, dances, and exudes a personal charisma to a degree that is not only perfect for this particular musical, but is not an act.  It is obviously her real, perky, upbeat self.  I would adopt her instantly even though I don’t have the finances, energy, or good health necessary to make that kind of commitment any more.  And the changes made to the songs, setting, and themes of the basic story I think are not only brilliant, but so very appropriate to our times.  The story of an orphan connecting to a lonely, power-hungry billionaire is transformed by the idea of finding the best way to connect the family that you not only want, but desperately need.  The Daddy Warbucks character, played brilliantly by Jamie Foxx, is able to realize his connection to his own lost father as he transforms himself into the father figure that Annie needs.  Songs are added and dialogue is changed in ways to bring out these complex themes of love and need.  It is a very different story from the one found in the Aileen Quinn/Carol Burnett film of the 1980’s.  And it is a story that needs to be told.

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“You are never fully dressed without a smile!” is an important theme for any person of color, or any outsider in our American society today.  The troubles and strife related to race tension, violence, and the American struggle to rid itself of racism are best faced with a kind of confident optimism that this musical was always intended to be a vehicle for.

It is a statement about the basic goodness of human beings.  This version of the musical even redeems the vile Miss Hannigan, leaving her at the end with a change of heart and a Hispanic boyfriend.  So, I really think that anyone who has a problem with this remake of a beloved musical made by Jay-Z, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith ought to examine the real reasons they feel troubled by it.  I think they really ought to let go of all baggage, especially the alligator-skin bags of racism, and just immerse themselves in this wonderful movie full of singy and dancy stuff.

 

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Filed under humor, movie review, music, racial profiling, red States, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Sincerest Apologizes, Mr. Mohamed

This picture is from Ahmed's sister's cell phone... I think.

This picture is from Ahmed’s sister’s cell phone… I think.

Dear Ahmed Mohamed,

I am sorry that Texas is what it is.  Land of the big white lie and home of the brave-if-you-don’t-confront-them-with-people-they-don’t-understand sort of cowboys.  I am a veteran Texas teacher with a lot of English as a Second Language teaching experience.  I am quite familiar with kids like you.  You built something wonderful that worked and showed off your electrical engineering skills and your future promise as an inventor.  It was a clock.  And you wanted to show it to your engineering teacher… which you did.  And he was impressed.  But he told you not to show it to your other teachers for a very good reason.  Some of them are white people.  Some of them are Texas conservatives.  And you had no way of knowing how they would see a Muslim kid with a strange wired-up device in his back pack.  The rest of the world does not look at such things with the fearful eyes of a cowboy conservative, or automatically make the assumptions that were made.  You see, these people love guns and shooting stuff with a deep abiding passion that they really can’t believe other people don’t share.  It is an unfortunate feature of being a cowboy conservative that they are addicted to Bubba-thinking.

In case you forgot about what actually happened I have included some YouTube videos to refresh your memory.

Bubba-thinking allows cowboy conservatives to convince themselves that the solution to violence in schools and terrorist threats is a “good-guy with a gun”.  They think that some clear-thinking hero-type (white guy) can make a correct assessment of a possible threat in a split second, and quickly react, taking out the threat with a well-placed shot that would never miss the intended target and do damage somewhere else, thus rendering the “bad-guy” (usually brown or black) sincerely executed without the need for an expensive trial that might only have let him walk away from his crime, or intended crime, a free but wiser (also living) man.  Bubbas believe with the fervor of religion that “bad-guys” need to get what’s coming to them.

So, this is why they arrested you.  To prevent you from killing innocent school children with your clock which might’ve somehow turned out to be a bomb, because you are from the same part of the world as those evil, icky ISIS guys that cut people’s heads off.  They suspended you from school because, even though no bomb squad was called to diffuse your clock, and they soon learned that it was only a homemade clock, they were convinced that you were trying to scare people and become famous with a hoax bomb, the law they actually invoked to cover up their mistreatment of you.

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I hope you are happy in your new school.  I hope you appreciate that you have the last laugh in all of this because the notoriety and viral Facebook fame you have achieved will open more doors for you and take you to places far beyond the simple teacher’s approval you were seeking for your inventive talents.  And I hope in your new school you will have fewer encounters with the Bubba-thinking of some Texas teachers.

Sincerely and with apologies,

Mickey

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Filed under commentary, humor, racial profiling