mardi 22 janvier 2013

Revisiting Our (American) Roots DJANGO :UNCHAINED

Finally got up the nreve to see it at the Cinema Rialto in the rue de Rivoli in Nice:






What did I think of it ?

Ridiculous.  But then so was Jackie Browne, Kill Bill 2 & 1.  So was Pulp Fiction. So was Killing Zoe.  So you see….I’ve been a fan of the ridiculous for quite some time.  In my opinion, Quentin Tarrentino has a unique way of blending the serious with the ridiculous which I enjoy and admire.

Writer and director ,Quentin Tarantino

The movie was way too long…but then, that’s probably his point.  Some things just go on way too long.
Filmmaker Spike Lee, Upset about something as usual; ajnd Jamie Fox

Historical accuracy?  Who cares.  Maybe there was no slavery. No European Holocaust.  No Bubonic Plague wagons. No Crusades.  Just a long history of loving warm populations all over the world inspiring one another toward greatness.  Cumbaya and all that.
Jamie Fox and Leonardo DiCaprio


In other words, I would highly recommend this movie to people …adult people…with strong stomachs AND a twisted sense of humor.
Leonardo with the fabulous Samuel L. Jackson
I would also say that this is his best movie so far.



mercredi 5 décembre 2012

Three Tips For Aspiring Writers


(google image)


1) If you are looking for commercial success, study the books on the bestseller lists.

2) If you are an artist, write what you want and study the craft.

3) Before publication studymartial arts because there will be all kinds of folks out there waiting to beat you up in dark alleys.



jeudi 7 juin 2012

AGING GRACEFULLY?


This is a reprint of a blog I posted last year:


Berlin

Recently an acquaintance of mine who lives in Germany commented on my blog concerning the “Chic of French Women.”

Rome
To encapsulate his quite lengthy response which was sent to me through my private email, he basically stated his opinion on what he felt was the self -deprecating tendency of American women to use facelifts as beauty enhancements in order to combat the aging process.


What came to mind was how ironic his opinion was considering the fact that we both live among the antiquities of Europe.
Paris

Image what living here would be like without the nips and tucks of European restoration efforts. The way I see it is that we’d all be living as if we were in the bowels of the slums of Cairo.

Cairo



  Anyway....on another note:

                                                           

"Never let a man tell you "you look so beautiful stirring the soup'"

                     ~Josephine Premice

 

 

 

 

 

samedi 19 mai 2012

DIVIDE AND RULE

(google images)



So, today I rand across this headline:

"CANNES FILM FESTIVAL SLAMMED BY FEMINIST GROUP LA BARBE FOR EXCLUDING WOMEN DIRECTORS"



The feminist group La Barbe which started several years ago in response to the sexist media treatment of Segolene Royal in her race against Nicholas Sarkozy, has taken on one of the most sexist film establishments, the Cannes Film Festival for its exclusion of female directors from this year's competition. They are kind of like the Guerilla Girls in that they dress up in beards and as they say "crash high level meetings to protest male supremacy.")

This is my assessment of the situation:

Divide and Rule:

In politics and sociology, divide and rule (derived from Latin divide et impera) also known as divide and conquer is a combination of political, military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up.

Elements of this technique involve:

creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects in order to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign

  • aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
  • fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers
  • encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending

Historically this strategy was used in many different ways by empires seeking to expand their territories.

As a Black American let me give you Mother Africa as an example:

art by Ben Heine

The divide and conquer strategy was used by foreign countries in Africa during the colonial and post-colonial period.

Germany and Belgium ruled Rwanda and Burundi in a colonial capacity. Germany used the strategy of divide and conquer by placing members of the Tutsi minority in positions of power. When Belgium took over colonial rule in 1916, the Tutsi and Hutu groups were rearranged according to race instead of occupation. Belgium defined "Tutsi" as anyone with more than ten cows or a long nose, while "Hutu" meant someone with less than ten cows and a broad nose. The socioeconomic divide between Tutsis and Hutus continued after independence and was a major factor in the Rwandan Genocide.

Another example:

During British rule of Nigeria from 1900 to 1960, different regions were frequently reclassified for administrative purposes. The conflict between the Igbo and Hausa made it easier for the British to consolidate their power in the region.

  • Regional, ethnic, and religious splits remain a barrier to uniting Nigeria, today.

So, you see, my analysis of the Cannes film festival situation and the film industry in general is this: perhaps if we women weren’t so bogged down in ideological wars between Lesbians and Straights, none of this kind of thing would be happening... on such an international level, no less!.

Afterall, women are a majority group, right?



Talk to you later...









dimanche 13 mai 2012

CULTURAL VERTIGO





Just finished reading the debut novel of Korean American author ,Y. Euny Hong. It had me in stitches…as they say. I highly recommend it...a cautionary tale...especially to recent University graduates.
Then I ran across the German translation.   As you can see, there is a dramatic difference in the cover interpretation of the story.
I have become convinced, over the years, that foreigners have a keener understanding of the cultural nuances of societies than we Americans have ofourselves.
German edition

Which brings to mind a quote from one of my favorite American actresses,Sesame Street's Miss Piggy...
On Chinese food and Chopsticks:
"You do not sew with a fork, and I see no reason why you should eat with knitting needles."

~Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life (1981),

vendredi 11 mai 2012

ALL UP IN MY KOOL AID AND DON'T EVEN KNOW THE FLAVA'


Recently, a person wrote me asking how I handled racism in the South of France.  This person claimed they had lived here and found the people extremely racist to the point of driving him out of the country.  The writer claimed that they were East Asian and Caucasian. 

When I asked him to describe  his experiences, I never heard from him again.

He ran away.  Puff!

Numerous persons of color…all kinds of colors, let me tell you… have asked me about French racism assuming that I would be qualified to discuss racism in France simply because I’m Black.  




I am an American.

 I consider myself an expert on racism in America as an eighth generation (on my Mom’s side, even more on my Dad’s), Scots, Irish, Seminole, African decent American citizen, but am not arrogant enough to believe I am able to discuss something that exists in France between it’s Caucasian citizens and its immigrants from the former colonies….somebody’s former colonies, anyway.

Whatever racism which exists in France I’m sure is being worked out among its citizens as it was in America over a 500 year period of racial terrorism inflicted on a small racially mixed minority group called Nig___rs, Negros…uh, Colored people…um Afro…um Blacks Ummmm……




Anyway, the Black people of America who were imported in chains to build the very infrastructure of a new Western, Eurocentric society had to find a way with very little help from the outside world to assert its humanity in their own country.  No one ever threatened American with divestiture, for example, due to its human rights violations of the Negroes of the US. 

We had to do the work all by ourselves.

Racism in America, is violent, institutional, simultaneously blatant and subtle and is incredibly, incredibly Butch!  You know?



"Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men—how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?"”


                                                                  ~Ernesto "Che" Guevara



Why ask me about French people?  Ask the colored French people about French people.

Perhaps there is certain air of nobility which surrounds people who have risen above oppressive regimes the way Black Americans have, which might elicit envy among others, who have no idea of who you are except for Will Smith movies, Mike Tyson, Martin Luther King speeches and Jazz music.  As a result they try to *“bite offa yo’ history” with a “high five.”


*BITING:
(Definition: Copying in a plagiaristic context, though mainly just unoffical fad-related things; such as made-up words, clothing styles, types of music, etc.
ie: "Dude, those kids are totally biting on my style!"
                                                                      ~The Urban Dictionary)

What bothers me in France is far more complex than the so-called racial issues.

My problem is, why do the people in the North of France look at those of us who choose to live in the South of France, as right wing country bumpkin imitations of residents of the 16th arrondissement in Paris? 
Answer that one, instead of trying to “steal my kool aid”.