Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mandingo: Boglerizing History and Logic
By Nicholas Stix

Any non-black who attempts to engage in dialogue with American blacks today, soon discovers that black race hoaxes are not merely the stuff of Big Lies, a la the Tawana Brawley Hoax, the 2000 Florida Disenfranchisement Hoax, etc., but central to the most mundane exchanges. Witness the following entry in an IMDB.com discussion of the tawdry 1975 exploitation movie Mandingo, set on an antebellum plantation, and which emphasized white racist savagery and interracial relationships, not only between the brutal old slaver’s son and a slave girl, but between the son's wife, played by blonde, professional sexpot Susan George, and the heavyweight boxing champion (and non-actor), Ken Norton Sr.

chesterrodney: “Susan George couldn't get another major role in Hollywood after ‘Mandingo’. She was reduced to ‘B’ type movies and made for TV movies after that. Hollywood didn't want to see her in any major films or major acting roles after her love scene with Ken Norton in ‘Mandingo’. Hollywood to this day is scared of showing black love. And they don't want to see a big muscular black man with a white woman!”

That is a black racist fantasy. Susan George had specialized in playing sluts before Mandingo, she played one in Mandingo, and she continued playing such roles thereafter. Since Mandingo was itself a trashy B-movie, the notion that her career went downhill thereafter, is ludicrous. Besides, you provide no evidence that she was blacklisted (or is it, whitelisted?). All you have are your racist fantasies.

Sidney Poitier had already crossed the particular color line "chesterrodney" speaks of in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 1967, an A-movie if ever there was one, which was nominated for ten Oscars, and won two.

Jim Brown had his famous shower scene with Raquel Welch in 100 Rifles in 1969. And Raquel Welch is white, was considered white at the time (Hispanic whites are more obsessed with their whiteness than are non-Hispanic whites), and only very recently, for opportunistic reasons, decided to publicly become a “proud Latina.”

And important independent movies, such as One Potato, Two Potato in 1964, had already explored interracial love affairs between black men and white women. Chesterrodney has invented a non-existent issue, in order to vindicate his racist fantasies. If anything, Hollywood, like the mainstream media in general, has an allergy against showing black women in the arms of white men.

chesterrodney (later): “As for Susan George, I never said she was blacklisted from ‘A’ list status in Hollywood. I said she was blacklisted from getting roles in major Hollywood movies.”

Although he never used the word “blacklisted” in his first statement, Chesterrodney obviously meant just that. But he not only uses the term in his second statement, but goes beyond simply contradicting an earlier statement, to contradicting himself from one sentence to the next! Way to go, man! You not only boglerized movie history, you boglerized logic, as well!

To boglerize – my coinage – refers to the practice of film “historian” Donald Bogle of misrepresenting movie history by recounting pictures in which blacks played minor roles, as if the blacks were the stars and the actual white stars were invisible, of ignoring dominant performances by whites in movies in which they co-starred with black performers (e.g., Rod Steiger (or “Stieger,” as Bogle calls him) and Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night), while dishonestly celebrating the black performer, and most pathetically, of routinely misspelling the names of white actors, while never doing so with the names of black performers.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bruno Kirby Sighting!
By Nicholas Stix

On October 6, watching Between the Lions, an entertaining kids’ show that is one of the few (the only one?) that actually helps kids learn how to read with my son, I saw a familiar face under a lot of makeup and with a big mustache and a hammy, generic Eastern/Southern European accent. I’m sure it was a middle-aged, paunchy, Bruno Kirby, may he rest in peace.

The story was about a simpleton farmer and the Lucy-type (from Charles Schulz’ Peanuts comic strip) woman in the countryside who takes all of his money giving him obvious advice. The farmer’s house is overrun with livestock. The woman tells him to remove first this animal, then that, and ultimately all of the animals from the house, each time taking more of his money. In the end, the woman leaves for the big city in a luxurious, chauffeur-driven car, laughing at the (Charlie Brown-based?), farmer. His life is also immeasurably better without a house full of animals, though the (feminist?) writer seems to want us to look up to the scam artist and down upon the honest if dull farmer.

Unfortunately, the story was on the dumb side, certainly below Between the Lions’ usual standards, as was Kirby’s work, but all the same, it was nice to see him working during the long, dark night that Billy Crystal rang down on him, following City Slickers. (Speaking of Crystal, City Slickers II was on TV yesterday, with Jon Lovitz “replacing” Kirby. The pic was so bad that we changed the channel after about two minutes. No wonder critics panned it and audiences avoided it the plague.)

The usually reliable IMDB.com’s page for Between the Lions is worthless, and Kirby’s own IMDB.com page makes no mention of his guest gig, but I was able to find confirmation that Kirby had indeed been a guest star on the show, though without any particulars (episode name, initial broadcast date) at the show’s PBS Web page.

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