Most dramatic fiction these days takes places in a world of the color blind, unconscious to the racial contours of society, as if race were incidental, and certainly showing no thought on the character’s behalves of their own whiteness. Here I to look at three films to show a kind of time lapse of a similar racial story tropes, separated by about twenty-five years and all having Sidney Poitier as a symbolic touchstone. These three films all touch a kind of inflection point in white racial awareness in their respective eras – Get Out, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (the boilerplate for these type of movies) and Six Degrees of Separation. These dramas don’t present one-stop answers, nor are they meant to, but they do demonstrate and dramatize the contours of the problems of whiteness with different levels of fledgling racial self-awareness.
White Terror in The ‘Burbs
This Tom Hanks horror-satire is basically a compendium of middle class white fragility, which is the engine of the suspense as well as the humor.
Prisoners of Time: John Hughes and the Cultural Unconscious
At the same time it leaves open the question that perhaps we ourselves are not the bastions of enlightenment that we think we are, but are much the product of our cultural time. I suspect every generation believes that they are the ones who have it all figured out. Until they start to be replaced by a new generation and start to long for the good old days. But the acceptance of this mutability and ambiguity leaves open the consciousness possible directions for the future striving for the wokeness of self-knowledge. A future in which, inevitably, future generations will look back at us as prisoners of this time and see us for the barbarians we are.
A Brief Anatomy of American Gun Culture
In place of political power of an enriched citizenry, the firearm, like God and gold, takes on a totemic power, representing the last stand of individual liberty.
Koch Crusaders III: Vigilantes Unchained
The following presents further where the character form of the American vigilante hero in our cultural imagination, in film, folklore and in real life, is treated as a kind of convenient danger. An angel to some, a demon to others, living in the edges of society where the moral grey areas of the American frontier still exist, where the man of violence waits for another crisis to put his discomfiting skills to use.
The Prophesy of Tyler Durden in Five Acts
The Geist, the specter, of Tyler Durden, fueled by the restless spirit of the office park dystopia, is a force personifying much of the malcontents in this age of anger. It’s interesting to place Fight Club not as fiction, but as prophetic documentary evidence of a time and place, a metaphor of the historical present, a world trapped between McWorld and Jihad, between globalism and it’s blowback.
The Gospels of a Mickey Mouse Kachina Doll
Here I endeavor to explore the kachina cult, and how the influence of the West impacted Hopi Pueblo society. It begins as a simple story of a self-contained culture and its traditions, but soon winds through turns of critical theory and art history, arriving at unexpected places. I effort to explore ways and forms in which cultures have continued transformation in postmodern technoculture by using the Mickey Mouse kachina as a paradigm for cultural syncretism. It is a story which advances through narratives at first familiar, then stranger, and familiar again, arriving at an original move, and final speculation on the future of cultural theory.
Post-Truth President / Post-Truth World: Trump and Life in the Upside Down
The heel is the antagonist who breaks the rules, cheats, sabotages, and nastily takes advantage of his opponents outside the ring. In lucha libre wrestling, heels (rudo) are brawlers fighting with brute forces, often dressing up like devils or tricksters. Trump wears the same suite and tie every day, like portraying this character he invented. And he gets his crowd to boo, hiss, cheer and jeer, to chant “build the wall!” or “lock her up!” and carries on about “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary,” he turns his political opponents into wrestling characters, and brings what might have been reasoned debate to the level of vulgar theater. His opponents were caught flat footed while he stirred the nationalist id. They either never understood what was going on or were not prepared to meet him on the mat.