by RIP RENSE
SPIKE VS. CLINT
(June 9, 2008)
spike it. That's an old newspaper term, by the way, meaning to put
copy that has already been processed on to a metal spike in order that it
not be edited again. More or less.
Spike, you are not only a
buffoon in silly and very
glasses, not only a rather stupid man whose laconic pose does not
disguise shallow thinking, but you are an arrogant racist. Oh, I
forgot---"genius filmmaker." Right. Anybody can point a camera and yell
"action" as actors follow a banal, low-common-denominator-pandering script.
(Which yours happen to be.) But because you are an African-American with a hip(hop) name, growing up in an era of political correctness carefully
policed by pop culture-directed media---a time when African-Americans have
been celebrated, elevated, exalted for writing nursery-rhyme-simple verse
about (mostly) things they hate---you have ascended to the realm of "icon."
This means, Spikey,
that you lead a life that is grander and more luxurious and privileged
than most kings and queens in all of human history! Do you realize that?
Wowee! This would never have happened in the 1960s, or before, when racism
ruled the American roost. But you, Spike, were lucky to come along at a time
when the country is heroically, neurotically trying to atone for past sins,
so the big red carpet not only rolled out for you, it pounded on your door
and dragged you off the can. Harvard-educated (white) film critics
subsequently plumbed out bits of vocabulary that have never been seen
outside of dank recessess of cobwebby stacks in order to describe your
puerile "work." Yow! Are you grateful? Sure you are, every bit as much as
Larry King understands the word, "humility."
Spike, er, that is,
Shelton Jackson Lee (real name), has recently, as this entire planet and
possibly a few others now know, put the knock on Clint Eastwood for making a
movie about Iwo Jima without (gasp) including black soldiers. This is the
legacy of egalitarianism-amok, folks, the caricatured result of bending over
backwards to make nice to minorities. See, you eventually bend so far
back that your head just goes right up your ass, and this is what happened
to Uncle Sam. Not easily accomplished with a red-white-and-blue top hat,
either, but our Sammy has managed it.
In other words:
If you are a
filmmaker/author/artiste who is focusing on any aspect of U.S. history
today, you'd damn well better be sure that blacks/latinos/Asians/Native
Americans/Eskimos/ downtrodden-minority-of-choice are included. Can't just
focus on what minorities and self-hating white liberals like to call "dead
white European males" and/or their descendants (unless you portray them as
good ol' rape-and-pillage slave-owning killing machines.) If you do that,
you're a racist, see. That's what Spike thinks. If you call that thinking.
Dead white European
males? You know, this is the hiphoppy sloppy university worse-ity way of
labeling everyone from Beethoven to Schopenhauer to, pretty soon, probably,
Rutger Hauer. I mean, if you're white and dead and of European ancestry,
you're The Beast. Never mind if you cured smallpox or wrote "Hamlet." This
has long been the starting point in attitude among the reactionary racist
P.C. minority crowd, further promulgated by high school teachers and college
profs looking to "connect" with their pop culture-brainwashed students.
Two articles reflecting
this stunning idiocy come randomly to mind: one, an L.A. Times guest
commentary written by a "professor" (har) at Cal Sate Fullerton asserting
that "Beethoven was a black man" because there are rumors that his mother
had a touch of Moorish blood (hahahahahahaha!); the other, a recent film
review by L.A. Times film critic Carina Chocano (not a food additive) in
which she objected to the "Euro-centric
focus" of the new film, "The Children of Huang Shi." Never mind that the
movie was the TRUE story of an Englishman named George Hogg who almost
singlehandedly rescued 700 children from Nationalists and Japanese in
pre-WWII China. Gawd. Euro-Centric? Try Chicana-Centric, Chocano.
But I digress.
Shelton (let's spike
the "Spike," for the sake of not pandering to celebrity) objected to
Eastwood's lack of black characters (Shelton sarcastically used the term,
"negro") in "Flags of our Fathers." "Apparently," said Shelton, "the negro
version did not exist." This was in the context of Shelton promoting his own
film about WWII, "Miracle at St. Anna," which documents---surprise!---the
story of an all-black outfit in the then obscenely segregated U.S.
military. Eastwood fired back that Lee should "shut his face," as
"Flags. . ." focused on the story of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, which
did not involve African-American soldiers. What was he supposed to do,
write some black characters into it? Have them break into "Thank
You (Fallettin Me Be Mice Elf)" once that flag was a-flappin'? Here is
part of Eastwood's comment:
"I'm playing it the way I
read it historically, and that's the way it is. When I do a picture and it's
90% black, like 'Bird,' I use 90% black people."
Imagine that! And yes,
you guessed it, my Confederate-flag-waving Stepin Fetchit-loving cracker
readers, Shelton also complained about "Bird," Eastwood's great biopic of
the great Charlie Parker starring the great Forrest Whittaker:
"He was complaining,"
said Eastwood, "when I did 'Bird,' Why would a white guy be doing
that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone
ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else."
So in Spike---er,
Shelton Lee's---world, only black people are allowed to make movies
about black people, and only white people are allowed to make movies about
white people. And if a white person makes a movie about white people based
on an historical incident, he'd damn well better invent some black
characters. I mean, Jesus, we've got an African-American presidential
nominee, so how much longer do we have to put up with Superman and Batman as
white males? Hmm? Gosh.
To accuse Eastwood of
racism is so wildly tweety-bird, so bizarre, so off-the-wall, so
twisted---but wait, it isn't. That's the problem. It should be seen as such,
but the media play this Eastwood/Lee exchange as a "balanced" story, giving
equal time to both sides---as if this is a legitimate gripe. Well, it
ain't. Eastwood's fondness for jazz, of course, is famous. But here
I'm getting into trouble. If I say, as a descendant of dead white European
males, that jazz and blues were almost entirely the invention of
African-Americans, I am being racist, or at least possibly patronizing,
right Shelton? Only African-Americans and Ken Burns can get away with such
"generalizations" with impunity. Yes, Eastwood must secretly long to round
up nigras and lynch 'em! Never mind that he digs "Scrapple
From the Apple." Hitler liked puppies.
Well, that's perhaps just
what Shelton thinks, considering his vicious, racist, outrageously
inflammatory response to Eastwood's justified, thrilling instruction to
shut up. The next paragraph of this commentary has been fully fumigated
for your olfactory protection:
"First of all," said Lee,
"the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either."
I see. So if you are
white, and you tell a black person to "shut up," why, you are a racist.
In essence, Lee
resorted to calling Eastwood a slave-owner. Can you believe
it? Where is Mister Rogers when you need him? Can you say. .
Holy Mack'el, Lee, you sure are promoting racial harmony,
understanding, and togetherness. We shall overcome. . . Dr. King
would be proud (probably, to kick your smug ass.)
"We're not on a
plantation" would be the equivalent of Eastwood calling Lee a "nigger," yet
this is perfectly acceptable in "reverse-Racist" 21st century P.C. America,
where gangsta is king and banal black music that holds women as
"ho's" and "bitches" and African-American men as "niggahz" is unassailable.
Don't believe it? Why is Bill Cosby relentlessly attacked by "leaders" of
the "black community" every time he denounces this crap, and kindly calls
for greater literacy and responsibility among African-Americans?
It all brings to mind a
little incident I experienced a few years back. The short version: I found
that the guy running a local copying store (which I used frequently in the
prehistoric times of mailing articles to newspapers and magazines)
was actually turning the clock in the store ahead(!) in order that he could
leave 15 minutes early. What's more, he was chasing people out at the
artificial 6 o'clock closing time---even if they were in the middle of
finishing a job---including me. I angrily confronted him about this one day,
and said, "Tell me your name." He said, "I'll write it down for you." I
said, "Good. Write it down. You've just lost your job, pal." At that point,
Pal, who was in his 30's, blew more fuses than the Pentagon in a power
failure. Oh, did I mention that he was black? Here is what he said, er,
screamed at the top of his lungs: "I'm not your SLAVE! I'm not
your SLAVE!" True story. (And yes, I saw to it that he was soon fired.)
incident: when I could not remember the name of a particular Chinese
director, while conversing with a Chinese-American woman, she stuck her face
right into mine and yelled---I mean yelled, with nearly spittle-releasing
anger---"Yeah, they're all alike! They all look alike! All those Chinese
names just sound the same!" Hey, I got a million of 'em.
This is the poison of
racism, and it is now rampant---among minorities. Despite
well-intentioned, if tyrannical, political correctness. Despite Affirmative
Action. Despite minorities employed by and elected to just about ever
imaginable profession. Despite decades of movies/sitcoms/ comedians/TV shows
belittling WASP America. Despite Barack Obama.
But back to Iwo Jima.
There were about 30,000 courageous Marines involved in that invasion, and
900 of them were black---shamefully relegated to carrying ammunition. These
900 simply did not figure, need it be said, into the story Eastwood meant to
tell. That's all. And even if Eastwood had included a few scenes showing
black soldiers, he probably would have been excoriated for trivializing
them. Rendering them tokens. Hell, I'll bet Shelton thinks that
blacks should have been included in Eastwood's other Iwo Jima movie,
"Letters from Iwo Jima," which told the story of the invasion from the
Japanese side. Why, that racist descendant-of-dead-white European males
dirty Harry bastard---he hardly cast any white people at all in that
version! Let alone blacks!
Finally, I can't let
this pass without noting that little Shelty barked a bit of
gratuitous nastiness of another sort, invoking a healthy dose of what is
known in P.C. land as "age-ism" (I just like to call it plain old-fashioned
cruelty) in referring to Eastwood as an "angry old man." Really. Such is the nyah-nyah retreat of a puny-spirited, small-thinking young man. Young being
a label that no longer fits Spike, considering he is 51 and hardly
an enfant terrible anymore.
More like just an
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