11.15.12 Links Roundup

As I have watched “The Walking Dead,” however, I have been disappointed to discover that, while the writers occasionally take a moment to comment on the state of gender — and of race — in this new world, in the end they leave these issues to die and reconstitute a world in which white men rule. Men of color are reduced to occupying a nebulous space, and women (with rare exception) are to be protected. Even more pernicious, any power that women have usually comes to them in the old-fashioned, stereotypical way of manipulating the men in their lives into doing what they want them to do.

I’m not sure if it is a failure of the writers of the TV show (and yes, I know, the show is based upon previously written graphic novels), but surely, if the writers could take time out for the characters to constantly question and talk incessantly about how they are supposed to live a civilized life in a world that has risen from the ashes, couldn’t the characters have spent more time trying to figure out how to behave, now that gender and race should no longer be factors? Why has the world of “The Walking Dead” turned into a white patriarchy?

After Rick is rescued by Morgan and Duane, it’s as if racial reality disappears. Rick leaves to search for his wife, Lori, and son, Carl. Despite the fact that Atlanta is 54 percent African-American, when Rick arrives in a deserted Atlanta, he is swarmed by an all-white mob of walkers — in downtown Atlanta. That was my first moment of cognitive dissonance — in Atlanta, where were the black walkers? — but I let it go as I let myself get more into the story.

To be honest, the locations are not too bad. Buildings are similar to those in Iran, the houses are not that different, the bazaar is quite like the actual shopping centre in south Tehran. Banners, placards and signs are in Persian and many characters actually speak the language, although some with accents.

There are silly mistakes, however. In one scene, for example, the protagonist Tony Mendez (Affleck) says “salam” at the end of his conversation with an Iranian official. Salam means hello in Persian, not goodbye.

Minor mistakes aside, the film takes a black and white view towards Iranians, like many other western films about Iran. It portrays them as ugly, poor, strictly religious, fanatical and ignorant – almost in line with the young revolutionaries behind the hostage-taking at the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic revolution, which the film is about. The only nice Iranian in the film is the Canadian ambassador’s maid.

The whole experience is like asking an Iranian who has never been to the US to make a film (let’s say in Cuba) about the Columbine high school massacre. You’ll probably end up watching a film in which all Americans are crazy, have a gun at home and are ready to shoot their classmates.

During an interview on “Democracy Now” West criticized Al Sharpton, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, and frequent guest host Michael Eric Dyson for “selling their souls” in exchange for insider access to Obama.

“They want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way, given the kind of critical background that all of them have had at some point.”

The activist also made a shot at the MSNBC personalities lack of dedication to black interests by inviting “them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves.”

West didn’t hold back when it came to Obama either. During the interview he called President Obama a “Rockefeller republican in blackface.”

If the move out of New York has softened the glow on Lin’s celebrity, it hasn’t softened the ferocity with which the sport comes for him. From the playground to the Ivy League to the NBA, the eyes on America’s breakout Asian-American basketball player felt the same.

“I’ve always been a target,” Lin says. “Everyone looks me and says, ‘I’m not going to let that Asian kid embarrass me. I’m going to go at him.’ That’s how it’s been my whole life. This has been different, though. Now, I was on the scouting report. People started to pay attention to what I could and couldn’t do.

“But a target? I was used to that. I’m not saying I get everyone’s best shot, but I would say people don’t want to be embarrassed by me because of my skin color.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Vandivere/650258206 Derek Vandivere

    Obama never really presented himself as particularly progressive. Cornel West seems to be one of those fundamentalists who perceives anyone who disagrees with him to be not wrong, but evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Vandivere/650258206 Derek Vandivere

    Obama never really presented himself as particularly progressive. Cornel West seems to be one of those fundamentalists who perceives anyone who disagrees with him to be not wrong, but evil.

  • http://twitter.com/SomeProfessor Tenure Hell

    Melissa Harris-Perry did an extensive discussion about poverty and unions during the election cycle, including in the last few weeks.

  • Anonymous

    At the core, you have to admit Cornel’s statements are pretty spot on. We hate to admit it and whatnot, but… I consider myself a fan of President Obama overall, but as a progressive he’s been quite weak.

  • Anonymous

    Sharpton has done more, and is still doing more than West has ever done, or will do, as he and his bff Tavis run around the country, doing, well, nothing. except talk about what others should do.

    also find it funny which publications he tends to runteldat to

    • Keith

      Sorry but you are just being reactive. What has Al Shaprton actually done for the black community? Tavis and West are spot on their critique of Sharpton and others like him. Let’s not forget that Sharpton has been in support of busting teachers unions and promoting charter schools, because he is being paid to do so.

  • Anonymous

    Sharpton has done more, and is still doing more than West has ever done, or will do, as he and his bff Tavis run around the country, doing, well, nothing. except talk about what others should do.

    also find it funny which publications he tends to runteldat to