". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, February 12, 2018

It's A Comic Fer Pete's Sake!

     . . . . How can any film, even if it weren't merely part of a superhero COMIX franchise, fulfill the astounding amount of hype-aspiration-inspiration-political-cultural significance that has been piled upon Black Panther?

See the New York Times Magazine article earnestly explaining in detailed personal terms how this is the messiah of the second coming of the brave new world in which, finally African Americans are taking their more than well-earned position.  

URL rather than link presented since this is NY Times pay wall article: 

No matter that Black Panther surely is more imaginative and beautifully designed than the general dreary samey-same muddy brutality of the general superhero comix movie -- it is still a superhero comic movie, which means it must follow the endless arcs of blow it up, beat it up, zoom it up, throw it down, all to a howling decibel sound track, and do it for 30 minutes at a time.  Especially when the movie leaves the Panther's Wakanda kingdom and goes to hum drum superhero mundane 'white' cities . . .  as evidently it must?

Which, the Black Panther soundtrack, brings us to the accusations that British-Liberian artist, Lina Iris Viktor has brought against Kendrick Lamar -- already well-known for grabbing hold of other people's work and passing it off as his own -- has stolen her work for a sequence design of a music video that goes along with the Black Panther music album. A description of the problem is covered in this New York Times Arts section article:

The sequence in question shows up about 3.03 in this Youtube of the Vevo video:

Viktor's standing in the art world  is  high enough that she can have one woman exhibitions well reputed venues-- one at the New Orleans Museum of Art is scheduled for October. To some eyes her work actually looks like graphic superhero panels anyway, so her work would be a natural to be considered for Black Panther on that level alone. Then, the work's got all that gold on it, providing weight and -- cheap? -- authority, or so it appears.  Viktor's work can be seen easily via Google Image.

In any case the rabid puppies - alt right - white supremacist - racist - sexist conspiracy to destroy Black Panther's record breaking, record setting ratings from fans and critics alike, as they did with the female Ghostbusters (they did do damage to this Ghostbusters, I fear) and Wonder Woman has failed miserably. As with Wonder Woman,the advance ticket sales are through the roof, and beating Wonder Woman all to heck -- there's never been anything like it before for a comic book movie. There's not a single person who lurves superhero comic movies who is going to stay away from this one. Not to mention how the hype machines of every media platform going has been cascading ooooo and awwwwwwwwwwwwsume! and life-changing for over a year already. 

On the other hand, this is Black History Month, all month, and there's not much happening on the main stream media platforms with that this year. So at least Black History Month has a comic book superhero as a platform on which to speak to and perform Black in this nation's current actively vicious virulent racism roiling south and north, from sea to shining sea. 

I'm such a cynic. 

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