One of the tragedies of the October Surprise was the loss of years of scouring the Interwebs for cool photos. This was always one of my favorites. Upside — manboobs is lost.
In the wake of Ms. Knowles’ halftime, er, extras yesterday, figured I’d share an interesting incident on the LA “subway” (quotation marks in deference to my Long Island wife, who mockingly chuckles whenever hearing “subway” outside the context of NYC’s) this past Friday, an experience which still leaves me shaking my head at how far we’ve tumbled in this country in less than 40 years.
Guerrilla-style webcast camera crew (damned if I can remember their call-letters), hopped on-board a few stops shy of Hollywood, and proceeded to interview select people with the none-too-subtle query, “Does racism still exist?” Please bear in mind 25ish years ago, the sound and camera guys could easily have been extras on the set of “Forrest Gump,” fake-bothered by the title character breaking up their Black Panther Party, and the gal doing the interviewing could have been Angela Davis’ stand-in, or one of Black Dynamite’s buxom ladies. Again, none-too-subtle questioning. Clad in my X shirt (band, not Malcolm), straight outta The Cult’s gig a couple hours earlier, I apparently didn’t meet their target demo, and they walked on past me to the other end of the car. Ahhhh, if only they’d known I had been cuttin’ heads with some young bruthas I heard on the corner as I left the concert a few minutes earlier, one of them droppin’ lines from the Fear of a Black Hat soundtrack, then watching their eyes light up to see an O.H. (O-riginal Honkey) like myself interjecting and spittin’ out lyrics from “Fuck the Security Guards,” “Ice Froggy Frog,” and adapting “Bald and Black” to “Balding and black” before signing off with the Rhyme Animal – “Yo, man, fuck Hollywood.” Yeah, content of character and not color of skin, most definitely not the guerrilla crew’s demo.
I truly feel sorry for this generation, millennials who didn’t get to experience a natural and gradual dissipation of racism in the 1970s and ‘80s, following the genuine turmoil and racial upheaval of the 1960s. I’m most certainly not naïve enough to say I haven’t witnessed racism in my life (thanks to my stunningly bigoted grandfather (RIP), my dad has on more than one occasion said he wants to sue Norman Lear over rights to Archie Bunker), but thanks to a time when Hollywood was responsibly attentive to the race issue in a manner befitting Dr. King Jr.’s dream, my friends and I saw people of all colors and religions interacting together because they liked each other – “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “Chico and the Man,” “The White Shadow” — or watched race relations handled comedically and dramatically when the gravitas dictated – “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Sanford & Son,” or the “All in the Family” stable of shows. Nothing was force-fed, no “affirmative action” casting to meet a quota. To bum a line from his Royal Purpleness, black, white, Puerto Rican – everybody was just a-freakin’! Glorious days and good times indeed!
I have confidence we can get back that time, but Lord knows it won’t be easy, not thanks to the last 7+ years of race-baiting being condoned and practiced from the Oval Office and Attorney Generals’ offices, setting race relations perilously back to the nasty ol’ days … and I don’t mean that kinda “doin’ the nasty.”
Keeping on the centurion theme re. Jesus, Sean Been rocks his role in an adaptation of Anne Rice’s “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.” Had the honor of seeing a screening of this a couple weeks ago, and writer-director Cyrus Nowrasteh and his co-writer wife Betsy succeed where far too many Christian filmmakers fail: gifting us with the universal message of Jesus’ words and deeds without bludgeoning us with clichés. Easily will become a annual staple of my Easter movie schedule. Don’t just take my word, though, as here are a few more takes, including one from our RF3D multi-appearance guest Dr. Ted Baehr.
The story of Jesus’ resurrection, told through the eyes of a Roman Centurion.
Stars Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Cliff Curtis. Directed by Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Count of Monte Cristo).
You hear that, MSNBC viewers? That’s what’s known as the truth.
From the YouTube comments: “This video was cut short, they editted out the part where Ben Sasse dropped his mic.”
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