The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

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Random Race-Related Reflections
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The “Society/Culture” category on Snarkmarket is getting ridiculous.

1) This one really isn’t about race, per se, but it’s about Barack Obama, for whom race will be the designated press narrative pretty much through the duration of the 2008 election. And it’s less a reflection than a question: I know Timothy Noah’s been doing the Obama Messiah Watch, tracking Obama hype through the pressosphere, but is anyone doing an Obama backlash watch? I feel like every campaign reporter in America has gotta want to be the author of the Obama Controversy. Someone with a sharper attention span than me should totally be keeping track of the attempts. Wonkette, meanwhile, has a list of valid reasons for a Baracklash.

2) I’m slowly catching up on the first season of the Boondocks, and it’s super-smart. Much higher and more consistent quality than the strip. The cast of characters is just brilliant — unconventional configurations of familiar racial archetypes. And I love the texture of the show, like the recurrent ‘Gangstalicious’ single “Thuggin’ Luv” you hear from episode to episode. Favorite moments?

– The alternate-history Martin Luther King, Jr., episode, where he survives his assassination and awakes from a 40-year coma to witness 9/11. When his response includes an appeal to non-violence, civic leaders immediately distance themselves from the legend, saying, “That’s not the Martin Luther King, Jr., I know!”

– The courtroom party at the end of the R. Kelly episode.

– The news footage of the Gangstalicious fight at the Grammys.

February 21, 2007 / Uncategorized

2 comments

It’s odd that you mention race and Gangstalicious, since I’ve been meaning to promote Racialicious for a while now — the smartest blog/site I’ve seen about race and pop culture.

One note: Carmen Van Kerckhove, the head blogger, sometimes seems a little obsessed with the Tyra Banks show, but she’s almost always right about what’s wrong with Tyra’s approach (e.g., the use of blackface/whiteface, the belief that she can make someone repent their racism/self-hatred on her show, general narcissism, etc.). And maybe Tyra Banks is a fair bellweather of where race and pop culture are in this country right now. What do I know.

Boondocks was one of the best things on tv in the last decade. It’s incomprehensible to me that it was so overlooked. I blame it on an early NPR story that played up white fright, followed by a “Best Week Ever” sketch that asked “Is it okay for white people to laugh at Boondocks?”

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