Edward curtis erased whites and froze Indians in the past

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

edward curtisFascinating article about Edward Curtis, whose photographs of American Indians are instantly familiar to us all. (Hat tip to Newspaper Rock!)

Curtis’ images of Indians are burned into the hearts and minds of many Americans to this day. They are also at the center of controversy.

The photos are so luminous and exquisitely composed that it is impossible to imagine the disputation that rages around them. Curtis started as a society photographer in Seattle, and his portraits of Indians are as stunning as those he might have taken of big-wigs…

Curtis’ images have not been universally welcomed in Indian country. Many Indians — and non-Indian scholars — object to Curtis’ methods, even if the results are stunning. For instance, Curtis arranged many of the photos carefully and at times ludicrously. His Hopi women ground corn in ceremonial dress, and he sometimes clothed individuals in items from other tribes.

Still, as UCSD scholar Ross Frank and Heidi Wigler, the Wangenheim librarian point out, Curtis’ legacy is troubling on more serious grounds. Curtis “collected” people, their dwellings, and their material culture (baskets, clothing, cradleboards, for instance). Anthropologists shelved Indians and their artifacts in museums — thousands of Indian remains rested in museums until repatriation — but Curtis froze them in images. “His approach was anthropological, he wanted to capture an ideal in a pure form, as if the outside world didn’t exist,” says Wigler. Continue reading

MadTV spoofs Korean dramas

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Hat tip to Angry Asian Man and Mike Kang for this one! Apparently MadTV did this spoof of Korean dramas awhile back. Even as someone who hasn’t watched any (though I’ve seen plenty of Hong Kong and Japanese dramas, and I have a feeling they are somewhat similar stylistically) this is pretty damn funny. Love the long subtitles whizzing by. :) And Bobby Lee and Sung Kang are hilarious.

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links for 2006-11-21

Kramer drops the n-bomb repeatedly in racist tirade

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

kramer racist tirade n-bombApparently Michael Richards, who played Kramer on Seinfeld, went on a racist tirade on Friday at Los Angeles’s Laugh Factory after a black audience member heckled him.You can check out a really grainy video (must’ve been on a cell phone or something) here, but below is the gist of the tirade. From TMZ.com:

The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass.”

Richards continued, “You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger, look, there’s a nigger!”

The crowd is visibly and audibly confused and upset. Richards responds by saying, “They’re going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger.”

Ah yes, the good ole days when we could casually assault or kill blacks without fear of punishment or social ostracization.

But hey, I’m sure Richards didn’t really mean it. He was probably just drunk or something.

Update: Check out what other bloggers are saying about the tirade.

“Kramer” Launches into Racial Tirade During Comedy Set – Jack and Jill Politics
“Kramer” drops the N-word – Reappropriate
Ku Klux Kramer – The Assimilated Negro
Seinfeld Will Never Be The Same – TheThink

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Caption this!

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

george bush ao daiI know it’s customary to wear the national costume of the hosting country at these summits, but I still find this photo hilarious. Thanks to Ji In for sharing!

President George Bush (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin wear ‘ao dai’ Vietnamese tunics at the APEC summit in Vietnam, Nov. 19, 2006. (Source)

I think we can come up with a better caption than that, don’t you think? Post a comment with your own caption! :)

Mike Tyson literally cashes in on big black buck archetype

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Wow. Not only is Mike Tyson willing to fight women for a paycheck, now he’s signed up with Heidi Fleiss to become a prostitute. (Cue inappropriate Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo jokes here.) From Star Pulse:

Former boxing champion Mike Tyson is to become a male escort after agreeing to work at legendary Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss’ new legalized brothel for women. Fleiss bought 60 acres of land in Nevada, and his work is scheduled to begin on Heidi’s Stud Farm.

She has high hopes for Tyson, once heavyweight champion of the world – despite the fact he is a convicted rapist.

She says, “I told him, ‘You’re going to be my big stallion.’ It’s every man’s fear that their girlfriend will go for Mike Tyson.”

Tyson, 40, adds, “I don’t care what any man says, it’s every man’s dream to please every woman – and get paid for it.”

Kanye West: mixed race women are “mutts” and exist solely for music videos

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

mutt kanye west essenceThank you Kanye! Just when I was questioning the purpose of my existence, you came along and let me know exactly why mixed race women like me were put on this earth: to shake our asses in your music videos! From Media Take Out:

You knew it was coming. Kanye West seems to have put his foot in his mouth again. MediaTakeOut.com has learned that in an upcoming interview with Essence magazine, the hip hop star came down with a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth.

According to a person close to the Essence story, Kanye reportedly told the magazine, “If it wasn’t for race mixing, there’d be no video girls.”

Then, as if his first comment wasn’t offensive enough, Kanye referred to biracial women as dogs. The rapper told, “Me and most of my friends like mutts a lot … Yeah, in the hood they call ‘em mutts.”

Thanks to Barbara and MzDmnr for the tip!

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links for 2006-11-20

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World