A friend of mine from college recently sent me a link to an AfterEllen.com article about the movie Bitch Slap coming out in December 2008. She asked me for my thoughts and here they are…
I think I might be the wrong person to ask.
Reason being I love gratuitous sex and violence in movies, within reason of course. I loved Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse movies. A woman with a gun for a leg killing military created zombies – count me in! Sexy ladies exacting revenge on a psychopathic-misogynistic-vehicular-homicide-loving Kurt Russell – more please! I loved these films so much that after returning them to Netflix I promptly ran out and purchased them, and then made all my friends watch the films with me repeatedly.
I know what you’re thinking that I’m a horrible queer feminist of color, right? Well, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. And here’s why…
While I hate the way that closet racist and annoying hipster elitist try to use satire to reinforce their supposed superiority and avoid being called bigoted while doing it, I think satire when it’s done right, or at least when it’s read in a critical way, can be extremely subversive. Smart satire can often effectively challenge concepts of power, race, sex, and gender among other things. Continue reading →
But then, where does that leave Indian Canadian comedian Russell Peters?
This is where I need some help: I freakin’ love Russell Peters. Am I a disgusting hypocrite?
His act is littered with sexism, he’s made a household name for himself with a joke condoning child abuse (somebody gonna get a hurt real bad…), and one of his hottest bits involves mocking South African names. But everyone I know loves him – particularly people of colour, and anti-racist people of colour at that.
Is it because he’s irresistibly likeable? I’d like to think that it takes more than a goofy face to make us abandon our politics. Is it because he’s not only Canadian, but from just outside of Toronto, one of my hometowns? Apparently not, because I was introduced to him by my BFF in Singapore.
I have an inkling as to why it seems ok to like Peters. Last year at VONA, a yearly creative writing workshop for writers of colour, I met the wondrous Junot Díaz who introduced my group to his theory on the Wheel of Tyranny.
Díaz argued that too many books by writers of colour represent only two ethnicities per book: people from the writer’s own community of colour, and white folks. Continue reading →
What responsibilities, if any, do satirists have to their audience? Are they obligated to deliver a message while also making us laugh? McGRUDER: I don’t think anyone can define the rules for satire. We operate with the message — that’s the easy part. Everyone sits at home with their political opinions. The important thing is making it as funny as possible and knowing when to pull back on the message for the sake of the message…. It’s indulgent to turn off the audience for the sake of preaching — the goal is not to turn off the viewer. … But it can never just [be about the jokes] for me. I’m not like a funny person. I’m not like a comedian. I have things I want to say. … Bill Maher does find a nice balance between the jokes and tackling the serious issues. So few outlets [offer] those issues in a serious fashion.
Do you think a satirist can influence public opinion, be it a viewer or a voter? McGRUDER: Good satire goes beyond the specific point it’s trying to make and teaches you how to think critically. Even when your favorite cartoonist retires or Colbert wraps it up, you’re not left believing everything they’re telling you. That’s probably what you’re hoping for as a satirist.
So what’s satire’s role at the end of the day? McGRUDER: It’s still about imparting a message about the lies a society tells itself. We can all live in collective denial. We can lie to ourselves pretty easily. It’s a challenge. Satire is the least commercially viable form of comedy. … There really is a distaste for being preached at. People have a very low tolerance for it — newspaper audiences have a way higher tolerance for it than others. But it’s tough on TV.
— From The Washington Post’sComic Riffs blog. Continue reading the full article here.
Speaking to about 600 donors at a downtown hotel, Mac joked that he did not understand why Obama would want to run for president.
“I’m proud of him because politics is dirty, especially with Republicans,” he said. “People like rumors. They are going to say things like, you know, ‘You was in the club with Lil’ Kim and you and Kanye West got in a fist fight.’”
Mac went on to riff about hope and offering himself as a running mate, but then added that the campaign might not want him because “I cuss,” which he did, according to a pool report of the event.
“Being a president is tough ’cause you’re not just running the country. You got to run your family too,” Mac said. “Having a black first lady is different. You’re still going have to do the dishes and the laundry and all that…’You got to pick up the kids. You didn’t pick up the kids?’ ‘I just came from Korea, talking about nuclear weapons.’ ‘You were on Air Force One and you couldn’t stop to pick up the kids?’”
In this clip from YouTube, we see Gitmo the Puppet’s first appearance, as well as a subsequent appearance. In Gitmo’s first appearance, he’s introduced as a bearded (and presumably Muslim) detainee of Guantanamo Bay with a fakey “Middle Eastern” accent. (He is also an obvious relative of Elmo, for those of you who can’t see the video. – Ed.) Gitmo pleads, “Tell Gitmo’s family Gitmo is aliiiive.”
In the subsequent appearance, Gitmo appears, calling for the execution (and therefore, according to Jon Stewart, martyrdom) of Sheikh Khalid Mohammed and other defendants who admit to planning terrorist activities. When Stewart questions him about his intentions, Gitmo says, “You can’t handle the truth” and then ululates. In retaliation, Stewart “waterboards” him and tells him not to complain or he’ll go back to the “untrained puppy room.” Cut to Gitmo being dragged around by a dog and wailing, “I’m just a cab driverrrrrrr…” Continue reading →
The Korean-American comedian started with the words, ”I don’t really like being Asian, but I’m kind of stuck with it.” That, at least, received a few titters. But when she continues, ”The only good thing about being Asian, really, is it helps you get into college,” the crowd stays silent. It goes downhill from there as she mines the subject of Caucasians adopting Asian babies.
”Nigerian babies cost like 25 cents a day,” says Ku. ”Asian babies cost a lot more because they pay off.”
As the crowd erupts in pained groans and a smattering of uncomfortable laughs, Ku innocently asks, ”Did I go too far?”
I am generally amused by Family Guy, and tend to watch it if it is on television that day though I generally don’t bother to tune in to new episodes. So, when I heard the black character Cleveland was getting a spin-off show, I was intrigued…and wondering what the hell they would do because I find Cleveland kind of boring. I would much rather have watched a Quagmire spin-off.
If you did not see the movie because you found the first H & K too sexist, I am here right now to tell you that you made the right choice because the second movie is even worse. (Though, you do get to see three different men breakdown over their respective lost loves and one of the biggest misogynists get their comeuppance.)
If you have not yet seen the movie, please do not read any further because here there be spoilers. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World