UrbanRhetoric

UrbanRhetoric

12.31.2012

Most Played in 2012

This is one of my favorite posts to put together. I love seeing what others listened to the most over the year. What about you? What did you listen to the most in 2012?

Gal A Bubble [Konshens] - KevFrumBK
Pure Imagination [Glee version] - MissDTM
Call Me Maybe [Carly Rae Jepsen] - runbprun
Caliban's Dream [Underworld] - johntyodonty
Butterflies [Michael Jackson] - pemora
Even Shadows Have Shadows [Eyedea] - BB
Cherry Wine [Nas f. Amy Winehouse] - jayare20k
La Cura [Frankie Ruiz] - Paj1
Daughters [Nas] - RB
Make it Bun Dem [Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley + Skrillex] - AG_III
Only Wanna Give It To You [J. Cole + Elle Varner] - IMTHATDUDE

12.29.2012

DJANGO UNCHAINED [review]...by jayare20k



I just returned from seeing the latest Quentin Tarantino flick, "Django Unchained" and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.  The movie is both ambitious and lackadaisical... but very Tarantino.  In my opinion the most compelling part of Django is the purpose of the movie itself.

Now... no one will ever confuse Django with the best work QT has on his resume.  Personally, I am a Stan for Reservoir Dogs, the screenplay for True Romance, and the finger chopping vignette from 4 Rooms.  Many people become moony eyed recalling their favorite scenes from Pulp Fiction... but those people are wrong, and should shut their stupid face.  Pulp Fiction was overrated.  There, I said it.

Spoiler time.

Django Unchained is a heartwarming revenge film about a freed slave and a bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz ) on a mission to rescue the wife of the former from bondage.  Along the way we get to see Jonah Hill and Samuel L. Jackson explode, as well as Don Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio get shot.  If you've ever sat through all eleven hours of Titanic then you will enjoy that scene terribly.


If my analysis of Django is coming off as glib, please know that this is intentional.  I’m only aping the undertone of whimsy I detected in Tarantino's examination of slavery in 19th century America.  I expect that a lot of the racial animus being spewed at Tarantino (I see you, Spike Lee) surrounds his handling of slave rapes, beatings, and mutilations.  Or maybe it’s the old trope of a white man acting as a catalyst for the black man's salvation that has people fired up.  Perhaps it’s the liberal use of the n-bomb in this film (waaaay too many times to count).  Despite those reasonable qualms, I think the problem with this movie lies someplace else.



In an opinion voiced by a homie on twitter (shout out to @metroadlib), the problem with Django Unchained is that the subject of slavery is handled with a light touch.  The wacky Klansmen, the valet costume, and the bizarre appearance of a Rick Ross verse all play very comically in a film that seems like it should be serious.  Slavery is America’s "original sin," and it’s the second most malignant tumor in our collective history (if you need to ask which ranks #1, a pox on your house).  This topic shouldn't be taken lightly in ANY WAY.  Or should it... ?

I think Django Unchained should be viewed as an analysis of a privileged, white male in America facing his own sense of race.  Quentin Tarantino is coming to terms with his prejudices, and doing so very publicly.

Speaking as a member of "the other," isn't the dominant culture dealing with its own misdeeds something we want them to be doing?  That you or I don't particularly like how QT is battling those demons isn't really the issue.  It was our ancestor's skin, but those are HIS demons.

I believe we should want the dominant culture to be meta-cognitive.   We should want them to look at themselves and own their past.  If the only way one can cope with the awful things that constitute your reality is to make light of them... then fine.  Make light.  That’s what our imaginations are there for.  According to John Guarre and, oddly enough, Will Smith it’s the examination facilitated by imagination that counts.  Self-analysis calls for counter argument.  It calls for course correction.  It calls for thoughtful expressions of praise or indignation.

I’m no film student, but isn't provoking thought the point of art?  If so, then I believe "Django Unchained" accomplished the goal of its controversial creator.  The film itself is mediocre, but the conversation it can spawn has meaning.



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In order to protect his prospects for employment jayare20k's old blog has been taken down.  To follow his "safe for work" adventures in 2013 visit the blog OCCUPIED TERRITORY.

12.16.2012

Still Hard to Talk About...by pemora

It is still hard to talk about what happened in Newtown.

When I was finally able to peel myself away from my work computer on Friday, I picked up my 5yo son from his after-school program and took him to a holiday party. We parked across the street from the house and waited hand-in-hand to cross. I watched the cars drive past us, my mind still in a bit of a fog about the events of the day.

"Mommy, we have to look both ways before crossing the street because we can't get hit by a car. Don't worry, I'll protect you"

He pronounced it 'protet' because of his lisp.

I'll protect you, he said to his mom.

This is just hard.

Note: We are wearing green and white on Monday, Dec. 17th in solidarity with #newtown

12.01.2012

#shopsmall (6)

Okay, I need to start buying things for OTHERS. But it is so hard...putting a shopaholic in charge of buying gifts for others. I feel like I need a support group or something. An intervention of sorts. But after the holidays.


See the picks for part six. Be warned: this has the MOST picks I have compiled thus far. And check out parts one, two, three, four and five. As always drop us a line here or on twitter if you have suggestions for other local and small businesses.

Happy Small Shopping!