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ebogjonson's April 2006 archive

April 29, 2006

UPDATED: the day after immigrant-free day

The immigration rallies yesterday were a beautiful, inspiring thing. I have to confess to being a little unclear as to what happens next. Quotes from organizers like ""Now we have to reroute all of the energy and momentum " inspire a mild anxiety about agenda (good luck turning that speeding aircraft carrier around, dude), but overall the marches have impressed me as organized, spontaneous, live things, exactly the stuff of which (I imagine) movements are made. Thousands of people trekked up and down my Downtown LA street looking to get to the action on Broadway, and in several hours of watching I saw only American flags, a minor detail in the grand scheme of things that spoke to the discipline and effective message-management the march organizers had brought to bear. Black civil rights leaders have been trying to pull just these kinds of power moves for decades with nowhere near the results.

Perhaps owing to that aforementioned discipline, yesterday was also Nuestro Himno free (on my block at least), a victory for grown-adults everywhere. Although the reactions to the so-called Spanish National Anthem by Michelle Malkin and her ilk are disgustingly racist and absurdist, there really is no "there there" to this fracaso. Nuestro Himno is a lame crap "We are the World"-type confection, hardly worth anyone's time either way, hardly any kind of threat to the actual National Anthem.

(How do you threaten a song, anyway? The NA isn't a "protectable" state symbol or object like a flag, no one has framed this as any kind of copyright issue, and last I checked there was no official US language (yet), let alone a specific national singing language. Anyone who acts like the Dodgers are suddenly going to start playing it before games is either smoking crack or trying to incite a riot.)

As if this this bullshit story couldn't get any bullshittier, it turns out Neustro Himno is the work of producer Adam Kidron: Brit, Internet fuck-up and hustler-of-ethnic culture extraordinaire. If you're gullible, you may remember Adam Kidron as the man who killed Urban Box Office, but me, I remember him as an engineer of the biggest ethnic media con of all time. Either way, Neustro Himno is a cynical, bandwagon-jumping piece of piece of shit wrapped in corny race/identity rhetoric, just like UBO was. After a period of initial fanfare, expect a bunch of Latino people to wake up in six months realizing Kidron owes them money.

###

UPDATE: So it seems the Preznit had Jon Secada singing the National Anthem in Spanish at his inauguration. Since the Malkinites (can anyone spell "self-hatred"?) are all in snit about how the Dear Leader is betraying them on the immigration front, don't expect this revelation to have much of an impact on their thinking.

Posted by ebogjonson in race and other identitiesvideogames and other cracks at 1:40 PM | Permalink

all these revolutionaries will only break your heart

I stumbled across some Battlestar Galactica-themed Boondocks fanfic this morning, which is a fine way to start any lazy Saturday. The story is much more interesting in theory/title than in execution, but strangely warming nonetheless. This particular except concerns the game of pyramid:

"I'm coming for yo' ass, Starbuck!" Riley hollered. "Tellin' me I ain't big enough to play your jacked-up fake basketball game."

"Kid, I am going to beat the living crap out of you on the court this week, if the toasters don't frak you up first," Starbuck hollered back. "Get your trash-talking ass home before curfew."

"I don't have to listen to you! You ain't my mom!" Riley said.

"I can kick your ass, though," Starbuck answered. "So you wanna play, we will play, Riley Escobar."

"You'd beat up a little kid? That ain't right, Starbuck! You hear this crazy ho? She's sayin' she's coming for my ass!" Riley protested as I sighed and started walking away. "N*gga, I'm eight!"

Posted by ebogjonson in afrofuturismscreened at 12:53 PM | Permalink

April 28, 2006

i am the most worstest movie audience ever

I never went to go see Phat Girlz and I never blogged about it. I mean, despite what I said on the blog (I think it was: "I am going to see Phat Girlz") the whole thing really just bored me. I just couldn't get it up to go see a movie I didn't care about beyond its possible critical/theoretical use value to my work. It's not like I thought I was going to be entertained, as the flick really did strike me as destined to disappoint, and why choose to be disappointed by a fellow black creative when I can be out being underwhelmed by white folks?

Apparently this lack of interest of mine, my "lack of support" for a film that (according to writer-director Nnegest Likké) is "in so many ways a first," makes me the worst black audience ever. I know this because Likké was just on Ed Gordon's News and Notes going on about how the black community didn't support her ground-breaking romantic comedy starring Mo'Nique.

I'll reserve comment until I see the thing, which is still holding on for dear life at the Magic Johnson Crenshaw. I will say, though, that that shit better surprise me, otherwise I'll be forced to concede that our dear sisthren-directress is thoroughly gassed on her own fumes. That's kind of sexy pre-release, but it's not a good look after numerous critical spankings and a paltry $6MM box office tally.

Posted by ebogjonson in mediascreened at 12:47 PM | Permalink

stop the madness nancy and whitney

Uh, this, my friends, is a 1985 anti-drug video starring Nancy Reagan and whole gang of future crack-heads, most notably Whitney Houston. Anybody remember it? (via Boing Boing)

Tim Ried (among other things, creator of Frank's Place) is credited as a writer/creator for the video, and if press your warm cheek against the cool surface of the screen, you can about feel his hopeful, good-vibration belief in the power of mass media to transform the inner life of a passively consuming viewer. So innocent! So gentle!

Posted by ebogjonson in memoryscreened at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

remember the Claude Allen evil twin theory?



Something I made back during the Claude Allen thing, but never used.

Posted by ebogjonson in talking androids at 10:24 AM | Permalink

random screened notes 1 & 2 (Brangelina Galactica)

1 - First there's the jealousy. Why didn't I come up with this headline?! Then the horror:

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie To Star in 'Atlas Shrugged'

After years of delays, Ayn Rand's famous novel "Atlas Shrugged" is being made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, according to media reports. Lionsgate Films bought the rights to the film version of the 1957 novel, considered in many polls to be one of the most influential books in history.

According to Hollywood trade paper Variety, the Mr. And Mrs. Smith co-stars, who are both fans of the Russian novelist, would play the lead roles of Dagny Taggart and John Gault. The story revolves around the economic collapse of the United States sometime in the future and espouses Rand's philosophy of objectivism. [Hat tip Bookslut]

2 - Regarding the story clipped below, Mike V. writes "I think we are missing our historical moment."

SCI FI announces Galactica spin-off!

By the Lords of Kobol ... The SCI FI Channel has stunned fans today with the announcement of Caprica, a spin-off series from its top-rated Battlestar Galatica. SCI FI calls the potential new show "television's first science fiction family saga," centering on the history of the Adama family and the birth of the Cylons.

Set more than 50 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica, Caprica takes place on the capital world of the Twelve Colonies. There humankind thrives, living in a peaceful society with the benefits of high technology. But the development of an advanced, robotic, artificial life form is about to change everything.

Posted by ebogjonson in screened at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 27, 2006

BP, BV, BET and the CBC 3

I tooled around this morning to see if any of the major black web properties - Blackplanet.com, BET.com and AOL Black Voices - were covering the recent net neutrality committee vote or the curious votes by Congressional Black Caucus members Edolphus Towns, Albert Wynn, and Bobby Rush.

Not suprisingly, after clearing a few navigational hurdles (dudes, fix that header) I found no mention of the story on BV's news page. Nor was it on BET's new page or BP's. One bright note was that BP's new beta site (nice work, BTW!) now includes a user-powered news sharing tool.. I added the story; we'll see what the crowd does with it.

(Not to brag, but the first deployment of digg/slashdot/plastic-style news sharing tools on a black site was on my late, great Africana.com, the last of which has apparently been finally and completely deleted from AOL's servers. Pour one out for the A-List and the Africana Racism Threat Index; you will not see their like again, except for maybe, like, here.)

A check of Tom Joyner's BlackAmericaWeb.com also produced bupkis on net neutrality and the CBC 3. It's sad, actually. If African American web professionals don't care enough about net neutrality to push a single button on their content management systems, how can we expect black users to care?

Posted by ebogjonson in politricknal sciences at 10:02 AM | Permalink

April 26, 2006

does the CBC hate net neutrality?

A Democrat-sponsored bill protecting net neutrality was rejected in committee today by a 34-22 vote. Said House committee has a Republican majority, so the amendment by Ed Markey (MA-D) was unlikely to make it out alive, but five Democrats - including Congressional Black Caucus members Edolphus Towns, Albert Wynn, and Bobby Rush still felt the need to cross the aisle and vote with the Republicans. Throw in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' Charlie Gonzales and four out of five of the ATT Five are members of the Hill's civil right's caucuses. What gives?

What gives is that these four made the cynical and depressing calculation that black and Latino folks don't care about or follow telecom/internet regulation issues, giving them a free vote to toss the telecom lobby's way. Besides being gutless, this vote puts Towns, Wynn and Rush's constituencies at greater risk for higher internet bills and poorer service. Lots of folks have explained net neutrality better than I will be able to, but suffice to say that if telecoms are allowed to pin premium pricing schemes to the delivery of services they currently treat "neutrally" (delivering you this blog page vs. a video download vs. an e-commerce site vs...) black consumers will be among the first to get fucked.

That prediction isn't idle conjecture on my part, but a projection of current patterns in how telecom, cell, cable and information services are marketed to black audiences. After decades of being redlined and underserved, the African American market has become highly attractive on the thesis that we tend to spend heavily, first and freely on premium telecommunication services, and that where we go youngish, crossover audiences tend to follow. (Where you at, indeed.)

Advertisers and providers have all kinds of shiny jargon and sociology to account for these behaviors: we are "luxury conscious." African Americans "enjoy feature rich environments." We're "trendsetters." Black folks like and understand bling. What all this boils down to practically is that the media, advertising and telecom bizzes expect black folks to enthusiastically pay for any old "extra" shit that comes packaged as a premium, style or luxury add-on. In my experience, study after focus group after sales presentation has enshrined this counter-intuitive fact as ethnic marketing 101, and any rep worth their pillar of salt can toss off related factoids like how, compared to the average white cell phone customer, a demo-comparable (age, sex income level and so on) black cell customer will tend to sign up for more initial minutes or text messages or photo uploads. (Sure, they may dial it back after a few bills, but the initial deviation still makes for pretty spreadsheets.) The same goes for black new car buyers choosing between stereo systems, cable subscribers picking standard, bronze or gold plans, and, of course, no one needs me to rehash the long history of hijinks associated with high end sneakers, a story whose only silver lining is the near ubiquity of cheap knockoffs.

This counter-intuitive spending pattern (in so much as black people are simultaneously imagined as having less) is the dirty little secret of all black consumer media and no business plan proposing a black magazine, website, telecom, MVNO, cable channel or radio station is complete without it.

Which brings us to net neutrality. Do you imagine that in a post-net neutral world AOL or Time Warner Cable, for example, is going to deliver AOL Black Voices the same way they currently deliver competitor BlackPlanet.com? Or taken from another angle, imagine the epic buffets of pointless feature-sets, packaging hustles, and junk "premiums" that will be hawked by SBC in a post-net neutral world, the byzantine universe of hidden deals and associations. For-pay BET branded chat for the teens? Creflo Dollar paying to slow down TD Jake's sermon streams? Conglomerate A paying to stream crap music at superspeed while everyone else's beats crawl along or queue up at the entrance to the thin, slow pipes? These are precisely the kinds of scenarios that should inform the thinking of representatives like Towns, Wynn and Rush, but I guess that telephone money was just too good to pass up.

Posted by ebogjonson in next levelishpolitricknal sciencestalking androids at 5:27 PM | Permalink

whitening strips are the new grill


or are grills the new whitening strip?

Either way, a media funny, from GAWKER


What was Amy Larocca doing gallivanting around the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn?

Getting fitted for grills. They'll probably say something non-antagonizing and saccharine like "peace" or "get happy."

How does Mingo's shirt represent "a Muslim looking for a kind of salvation because his family is poor"?

Because punishing Americans by flooding our stores with dumb shit like that is cheaper than Jihad.

What would Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger think of Staley and Mingo?

They're thinking they've finally found promoters for the weekly dancehall and reggae parties they throw for the neighbor kids in the Boerum Hill projects.

How many hats does Staley own? And what's his favorite?

He's got 15. They're all Yankees hats, but the other 14 are in color combinations that compliment his sneakers. How can you pick a favorite among those?

Posted by ebogjonson in mediaplaces at 1:26 PM | Permalink

April 25, 2006

Resolved: LaShawn Barber is some kind of super moron

1 - LaShawn Barber is (by some accounts) the world's most linked-to black blogger.


2 - LaShawn Barber has been enthusiastically directing her rather large readership to a new videoblogging site run by fellow conservative of color Michelle Malkin:

I don't know how she does it.

Michelle Malkin -- wife, mother of two, author of three books, syndicated columnist, speaker, FOX News guest host, and prolific blogger extraordinaire -- has started a new venture called Hot Air, a conservative Internet broadcast network.

and later:

OK. This is very cool. I want to do it, too!

3 - Michelle Malkin's new videoblogging site is sponsored by Those Shirts.com, maker of this conservative t-shirt:


4 - Resolved: LaShawn Barber is some kind of super moron.

I've got pro. Con? (Hat tip Digby.)

Posted by ebogjonson in politricknal sciencestalking androids at 10:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

preval, reduced to a symbol, invents strategies to avoid a deficit

[hat tip 893 for inspiring the post title]

Haitian Prez Rene Preval; can someone giffordize me, plz?

Haitian president Rene Preval is trying to create some synergies with Venezuelan Hugo Chavez.

from Voice of America:

Venezuela's president has invited Haiti to join a program offering inexpensive oil to Caribbean nations.

The offer came during a visit Monday to Caracas by Haiti's President-Elect Rene Preval.

Mr. Preval met with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. They discussed Haiti's inclusion in Venezuela's Petrocaribe program which offers generous payment options to Caribbean countries for the purchase of Venezuelan oil.

During the meeting, Mr. Chavez said Venezuela would also donate diesel fuel for use by schools and hospitals in Haiti.

I think of this (likely largely theatrical) instance of inter-American amity against the backdrop of the small but rising anti-Latino chorus from black neo-cons (hat tip Steve Gilliard) and/or the know-nothing corners of the black blogosphere. The number of folks either directly on the racist right's payroll or naturally inclined to get down on their knees and fellate it (this, no doubt, while gagging out the words "no homo" every other sentence) is, as always, something to behold.

Posted by ebogjonson in haititalking androids at 12:36 PM | Permalink

April 21, 2006

hand and eye of the father

right hand - Over the past year I've been having powerful urges to make stuff, as in with my hands make stuff. As luck would have it, there's an awful lot of easy to follow, maker-related media out there these days, meaning I'm either particularly attuned to changes in the aether or just another trend victim jocking today's iteration of the next.

I'm going to start my solid-state, open source kick small, with a homemade electric cat drinking fountain templated on nicrosin's hack pictured above. (Hat tip to the make blog.) I've actually owned two store-bought electric cat waterers. (Or did my cat own them?) The motor on the first one died and the second broke in transit from MA to LA. Complete ripoffs at 49 or so bucks twice, and me with no receipts. :(

I'll post photos when the thing gets a bit beyond the ideation stage.

###

left hand - This is likely a common chain of association, but the maker meme reminds me of my father.

gerard dauphin in uniform

Although he was born and raised in Haiti, Dad was a fairly typical American/home-ownerish type who believed in the powers of his own ingenuity and hammer. If something could be made from scratch, in his book it must be made from scratch. In his day he replaced car engines with salvage, hacked boilers, cobbled together roofs; he built carports, sheds and bathrooms. I was less than appreciative of his ways (I thought he could be unnecessarily frugal) but I went to the well gladly whenever I needed to, medalling in science fairs, for example, throughout junior high on the strength of his contraptions. My ambitions to, say, make bendable models of "spacetime" in the 7th grade (?!) found their perfect expression in an insight he had had (likely years before) about the properties of solder and thick copper wire, in his habit of buying odd things like magnets and lenses just in case he might need them later, for lord knows what.

His entire life, literally until the day he died, was one long, sisyphean work of home and auto improvement, our house and cars perpetual works in progress. Dad even managed to die with his tool-belt on: The stroke that killed him set in as a mild buzzing in the ears while he was picking up some obscure power tool at the home of a friend. The two discussed my father's worsening headache at some length in dude's garage, but instead of going to the emergency room (or, more plausibly just to bed, given his various anti-clerical temperments) Dad went to the hardware store, likely imagining that the fix for what ailed him might be found there. He bought a drill bit or some such, stopped for chinese, drove home and then promptly dropped dead in the driveway after perfectly parking his ancient, jury-rigged ride in his rigorously chosen, preferred spot.

(The location had something to do with a tree. It grew out of our sidewalk at on odd angle, and for thirty years my father had daily premonitions that it would fall.)

His orderly, suggestive exit aside, my dad's drive to make things was explicitly political. He was not much concerned with the environment as he was American hubris. As an involuntary immigrant he had ambivalent feelings about life in the land of plenty, saw connections between the grinding poverty in Haiti and the blithe excess here. He was a bit disconcerted by his hand in expanding evil in the world (like most Haitian men, he viewed his wife and children as extensions of himself, and my mother, sister and me are all inveterate consumers) and he took great pleasure in short-circuiting what he viewed as an top down directives to consume by making and reshaping existing products to his various needs. He had an analogue of the intuition part of the post-internet generation has come to, gassed as it is on its power to code lots of something out of literal nothing: even a world full of trash can be made anew. Shit, endless supplies of cheap trash might actually be a new-making pre-req.

Whenever my mother or I insisted on the freshly minted or new Dad would sneer that we were "making America beautiful," and it was in that crack that I found my own voice in opposition to him. I've clearly resconsidered my quarrel with my father on the question of making v. buying certain things (you wouldn't be reading this otherwise), but on the crucial question of aesthetics we will likely remain at loggerheads. My dear old dad, you see, did not much believe in beauty. For example, to my great chagrin he made my first bicyle out of a pile of parts he had collected at the no-joke, actual junkyard. The thing worked fine but was a mess to look at - seat, frame, spokes and handle-bars a mish-mash of styles and eras, states of disrepair and decay. I had to force him to put a new seat on (he was going to throw this crazy, gold-speckled banana seat he had found back in the junkpile), and it was another ordeal getting him to paint the thing a single color. I think he could have turned me on to the pleasures of symetrical ownership and sourcing sooner (i.e., pre-posthumously) if he had been less engineer and more artist, but therein lies the tale, right?

All of which is why you can bet that when I post my pics of my cat waterer there won't be tape on the walls like in the hack above. (Will that even stay on?) Part of the reason is that I don't want to mar my pretty walls and part of the reason is that all that tape seems unsafe. Dad would likely have also disapproved of nicrosin's design owing to some insistent disquiet about all that looping wire - just the thing a cat might pull down and chew and electrocute himself in a bowl of water. (Doh!) Now that I think about it, it seems that of the million things my father knew about jury-rigging and hacking and re-purposing, the only techniques he was at any particular pain to pass on concerned the right and wrong way to do potentially dangerous stuff - change a light switch, for example, or how to properly move cars on and off cinderblocks.

I always found his care on these topics somewhat insulting, like I struck him as some sort of moron or incompetent. The lessons took, though, and, if there's anything bitter at all at the bottom of this it's that while he had the eye that looked at left-over fish tank pumps and saw cat waterers, me, I got stuck with the vision that looks at a cat waterer and sees a kitty death trap. Which is to say, I got the evil, deconstructing eye, putting me somewhat at odds with the spirit of the age, after all.

Actually, it really does sting, all of it: the lost patrimony, the uninherited impulses, the need at this late stage for me to bend my knee north towards all those happy, shiny, optimistic, enterprising kids and websites, most of them in San Francisco, most of them very quite nice, just like James Murphy said. But you do what you have to, right? If you don't make your fresh lemonade out of the freely available lemons, you're just another consumer making America beautiful, just like dad said.

Posted by ebogjonson in haitimemorynext levelishsolid state projects at 12:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 19, 2006

photo blog test (and a coffee shop view) (updated)

The view from a table in front of the Bishop coffee shop.

Let me indulge in some random geekery: My mobile photo blogging solution has been to take low-res snaps with my Treo 600, which I then "share" via Sprint's picture mail service. I don't particularly like the results, but I'm locked into my provider (mostly by inertia) and disinclined to upgrade my phone. (Sprint doesn't offer the Treo 700w yet in my area and the camera on the 650 doesn't seem like a meaningful of an improvement.)

The workaround displayed above involves taking a better res snap with my Nikon (at 1024; more pixels take forever to upload), swapping SD cards between cam and Treo, mailing snap to Flickr, which automatically blogs and ta da.

The next gambit I intend to try will involve uploading snaps directly to my server from the Treo. (Using movable type? Is that even possible?) Stay tuned for further updates in random wonkery...

update: the browser I'm using on the Treo screws up the MT publishing interface. any suggestions?

Posted by ebogjonson in city of angelsebog housekeeping at 1:29 PM | Permalink

April 14, 2006

the kids are not so alright

CalArts fashion show; dominant style was French aristo party in the days and hours before the guillotine.

Posted by ebogjonson in city of angels at 11:53 PM | Permalink

negrical eli



Los Angeles Yale '90 reunion; Brian Watt and unknown Yale Negro at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica.

Posted by ebogjonson in city of angels at 3:47 PM | Permalink

too much posse



PF at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica.

Posted by ebogjonson in city of angels at 3:44 PM | Permalink

April 7, 2006

inside man



Finally went to see Inside Man last night. I have been and remain a huge fan of Spike's, so I'll just keep carrying the water Jim Hoberman once accused me of toting and say I enjoyed the movie and am also super glad Spike got his #1 weekend at the BeeOh week before last. Dude really is one of the harder working gents in Hollywood, and I've been infinitely grateful to him not just for the flicks, but for the simple, inspirational example of his longevity and independence.

All that said, though, Inside Man strikes me largely as a competently crafted entertainment notable mostly for its industrial positioning, profit arc and marketing strategy, which is to say, for the ways it is 1000% by, for and about Hollywood. This is exactly the kind of random multiplex cash run I'm sure a thousand people have told Spike that he can't make, and I can imagine him taking enormous, pungent pleasure in proving them wrong. Every artist worth their alienated salt has boasted at some point or another that they can sell out whenever they want to, but the truth is few actually can or do. With Inside Man, Spike clearly, deliberately set out to slay the dragon of the market, and now that he's succeeded I imagine his pimp-hand has been considerably strengthened. Dude is free to go back to his previous concerns or to push the outer edge of the mainstream envelop as he so desires/wishes, and if anyone says peep about anything he can rub their nose in this movie.

I have to say, though, (and I may be talking to you, dear reader) that now that the seeing is done I can't help but think back with some sadness to all the smart, thoughtful people (black & white) who urged me to take in Inside Man on the argument that it was a "real" movie. Now really, what the fuck is that supposed to mean? Folks of good conscience with gripes about the madcap profusion that mars certain S.L. Joints could conceivably talk about how Inside Man is more, say, complete than She Hate Me, but "realer?" That's just code, my friends, for "Wow! I went to a Spike Lee movie, only this time Spike didn't lay any kind of racial trip on me and spoil my date." If mass audiences are willing to enthusiastically surrender to Spike Lee Joints that aren't "about" race, that has noting to be with said Joints being "real" movies and everything to do with that other r-word. Bottom line, folks don't seem to know how to praise/appreciate something like Spike's successful end run around an audience's prejudice without inadvertently re-inscribing that prejudice in their argument.

And anyway, the truly curiouser thing about Inside Man is that there are reasonable points of view from which it can be seen to be actually and completely about race, or at least actually and completely about the ways forms of identity like race can be exploited, reshuffled, spoofed. As a film Inside Man functions much like the bank robbery it depicts, both of them being at the core big, cunningly-crafted, theatrical deceptions whose true arcs are discernable only to their directors and the (black?) men who pursue them. (You can tell a black director helmed this flick because the final reveal leaves the black detective amused and enriched, as opposed to devastated, betrayed, broken, just plain dead.) Clive Owen's heist also easily maps to Spike's Hollywood caper in that both masterminds start with a series of tactical disadvantages - i.e., the cops/mass audiences' ability to distinguish between robbers and hostages, white and black films, non-SL Joints and SL Joints - and then find ways to turn those tactical disadvantages on their heads, allowing Spike/Clive to waltz out of the multiplex/bank with everyone's loot at the time and in the manner of their choosing.

But who is the Inside Man, you ask? Well that's easy: it's everybody who sees through the con, it's Clive and Spike and Denzel and it's, well, me (fuck you very much). And maybe it's you, dear reader if you'd stop spewing that nonsense, shit verbiage about how Spike has matured, and how you're glad Spike isn't writing his own scripts anymore, and how you're glad that Spike finally understands how to get paid, and how it'd be great if black filmmakers and actors didn't have to be burdened by stories about race - and how and how and how.

The Inside Man is, as the title implies, everybody with a dick and a brain, really, which is why although this entire caper turns out to be fun and games at the expense of Nazis and racists, the person I actually feel bad for is poor Jodie Foster. Besides having the thankless job of embodying a certain, powerfully present form of political evil, Foster also gets called a cunt to her face, which to my mind is kind of like taking it in the eye on camera and then having to stay in "character" for production stills while your co-star's fast-cooling seed dribbles down your cheek and drains into the painfully upturned corners of your tightly clamped mouth. As current Hollywood hieroglyphs go, Foster has a specific and powerful mojo that can insulate a film against charges of misogyny. She brings built-in, kneejerk pop-feminist cred to any project ; she can trade thespian elbows with the best male actors; no working, gay-rumor-plagued actress can clack-clack-clack around in hot, stiletto power heels any better than Yale's own Jodie. But man. If someone out there can discern a Trojan horse "Inside Woman" angle to this movie to match the racio-industrial funny business described above, please write in with a graph, a chart, something, because I am like the white cops on this one: I just don't see it.

BTW: I'm going to be doing regular movie chit-chat in this space. Next up is motherfrickin' Phat Girls! (I think I spelled that right.) Not to telegraph a take on a movie I haven't seen or paint myself into a vaguely disreputable corner/schtick, but Phat Girls writer director Nnegest Likké does not seem to be writer-directing from experience.

Posted by ebogjonson in screened at 4:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 4, 2006

on the radio (updated)

I'm on the radio Tuesday 4/4 (I think), doing a commentary on Hollywood and homelessness in downtown LA for News & Notes with Ed Gordon. Check yer local et cetera.

update ---> Actually, make that tomorrow or the next day.

Posted by ebogjonson in me me me at 12:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)