Behind the News with Doug Henwood, for March 7, 2013 - 12:00pm
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I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild last week, and I'm not sure it lends itself to as simple a dismissal as can be leveled at Django Unchained, which I haven't seen. It didn't seem like much was being glamorized at all there. It spoke to the resistance of people to sometimes buy into what most of us feel are obvious advancements. But are the advancements of our society really so obvious for a female black child, especially one from that region, who probably grew up hearing stories from her elders about what happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? Granted, a lot of this movie's viewers probably didn't hear everything this station's listeners heard. Anyone remember the woman who testified before Congress about how the authorities sometimes handled the citizens of the flood-stricken portions of New Orleans? Anyone remember "The Causeway Concentration Camp"? But I'm sure a whole lot more people heard about the formaldehyde campers. Our system does not know and seemingly rarely cares to learn how to make people on the margin feel they have much to gain by doing differently than they have been. I'm not at all sure that posing this amounts to no more than a lumpenproletariat sideshow as Reed suggests. Though he makes sure to tell us he'll resist using those terms, because goodness knows those who fish with their bare hands weep a bucket into their soup every time someone calls them lumpenproletariat. Yeah, that's the real injustice here. :P
I can't really blame the filmmakers for exploiting the iconic character of their medium - in other words Myth creation - is it possible to have large groups know one another without some sort of ontological/out of context framing so the audience can imbed it's own "logic" . Tarantino said that his goal was to have everybody indentify with the Django . Mcluhan might say "Entertainment is the new teacher". We shouldn't be surprised that the filmmakers think social consciousness is a part of their art, after all they drank the kool aid and in fact they mixed it up and put it in the punch bowl
The first interview regarding innovation was very insightful. How many of us can even imagine a technological breakthrough as important as indoor plumbing? If his is the view of mainstream economics, then the mainstream, too, is blocked from policy decisions. Our politicians, knaves and fools all, need to be held to account for their failure to invest in what should have been a great civilization. Instead, we have a bunch of useless millionaires and billionaires mucking about making noise about how other people have to tighten their belts. What a foolish bunch of voters we have been.
Nicely put, Expat. Knaves we have aplenty, but any fool can mean well. Now I'll have to listen to Doug's show with two sets of ears.
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