Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Much is being made as to why there were no black and/or female nominees to such prestigious pictures as Selma, Unbroken and, of course, The Lego Movie. To be honest, the one true snub of those mentioned is the later as that one was one of the best pictures of the year (and should have been up for Best Picture let alone animated feature). Some have speculated about "race fatigue" as last year saw 12 Years a Slave win and a black actress win for best supporting female performance. The honest truth is however, that maybe black films were not as great as last year, and truth be told, were not.
Take Selma for instance. David Oyelowo was missing from the best actor category this year. And while this snub may seem harsh, the cold reality is that there were a lot of great performances this year. Can anyone not deny the fact that Steve Carell disappeared into his role, a drama at that? Or that Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne nailed their period piece biographies? And say what you will about Birdman or American Sniper, but both of the actors there gave top shelf levels of acting in those. So while Oyelowo was ignored, you can't say those that got it in his place were less deserving.

The one place I think the Academy may have gotten it right is snubbing female directors this year. From what I've read, as I have seen neither movie, Unbroken was directed not all that well and Selma made LBJ into a racist. That I find unforgivable. The director, Ana DuVerna, is her first directing job and it shows. The fact that she says her film is "only a movie" and that truth is subjective is disingenuous at best and dangerous as worst. I have hated some movies in the past that play fast and loose with the truth.
Take Gladiator for example. This won best picture that year and was by and far the worst movie I saw. If I hadn't gone with someone else, I would have walked out on it. They took one of the most evil emperors ever, Commodus, and turned him into a sniveling weasel who would beg his sister to sleep with him. In reality, this prick married several of his sisters, as that was the custom at the time, and they had no say in the matter as he was, theoretically, a God and had they behaved like the woman in the movie, would have been executed stat. He also fought in the Coliseum against gladiators which would have been a far better movie if they used that for him to fight against Russell Crowe instead of him cowering in the stands. None of this was even close to real life and some are going to see this movie and think that's how Rome really was, instead of a Hollywood invented reality.

Thus my problem with Selma. The younger generation which is already a group bordering on retardation will come out of this movie thinking LBJ was a racist dick who fought against black rights. For that alone, I think it never should be nominated for Best Picture. I hate when movies distort reality that makes people think things that never happened. My biggest problem with the first god-awful Transformer flick wasn't the stupid story of mindless plot but a scene that takes place during a tour of the Hoover Dam where every single thing they tell the audience about the structure is wrong. It's like the writers have no concept of how the Internet works. How many kids saw that movie and come test time about the dam, flunked because of nonsense they heard from films like this?
Facts matter and there was no good reason to slam LBJ except for the fact that maybe we should leveling racism charges against the director. Why is a white man, who in reality fought hard for black people, made into some sort of KKK leader? How is this acceptable?

To show how racism, when it doesn't exist, permeates our society I give you this example. While reading the news the other day, I came across a story about how people were calling a restaurant racist for serving fried chicken, collard greens and mac and cheese for MLK day. Even I thought at first, that's a little racist. Then, as I read on, I found out those were actually MLK's favorite foods and the owner of the restaurant was a black woman. That is the type of knee jerk reaction we seem to have lately where even the perception of racism is making people stop and think where none exists and that is a serious problem.

We have got to start integrating our societies better and a good start would be to eliminate all black colleges that seem to fly in the face of reason. Growing up, I went to a school that was 99% white. In college, I met many black people some of whom are still my friends today. My exposure to the black community demonstrated that much of what you hear is myth and most of them are fine people. But if you go to all black college, you do not get that exposure and, as a result, may become just as racist as a KKK member. Black people need to stop white shaming and start looking at a lot of problems caused by their own. White people are not killing black people in huge numbers. Other black people are. But until they stop with blaming white people for their own problems, nothing will change.
Al Sharpton is calling for some sort of protest against the Oscars this year for not having more black nominees. Maybe he should be looking at directors of films like Selma for making her film more racist that it needed to be.

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