the artificial white man-stanley crouch

“blogging is not writing. it’s graffiti with punctuation.”

i’ve been wondering what soderbergh has been up to. way to pull out some great performances for an ensemble cast, and also to make me think even more that the hand sanitizer is killing us. greaaaat-like i need any help with conspiracy theories. it’s too bad he didn’t cast uma thurman , as stanley crouch waxes poetic just shy of calling her the greatest american actress-shit, she’s not meryl streep. i’m pretty sure toure‘s latest book (the liner credits) is why i decided to read the man that his neighbor deems curmudgeon. i must say i was a bit surprised at the points he argued on authenticity:

“This gesture connects the worst of blaxploitation to the worst of rap, something no other screenwriter realized at that point.
As expressions of the most pernicious side of black popular culture, blaxploitation and rap are the declared enemies of love and romance. The Mack is an example of the blaxploitation films that celebrated pimps for being pure rebels who made their own rules, choosing to live outside of the white man’s laws and beyond his versions of good and evil. Their basic sense of glamour was so boldly overstated that one was supposed to look with awe at the brightly dyed fur hats and coats, the absurd, king-size jewelry, and the rest of the expensive buffoon outfits.
Blaxploitation films told us that we should take the pimp’s code seriously, which was pure, unrestrained worship of material acquisition founded in the cunning manipulation of masochistic women. If life had an alpha and an omega, they were fused in money, which the chumps never picked up on because they were too busy falling in love and working for a living, Pimps did not work, they hustled. The only ones who truly understood the facts of life were the players, the gentlemen of leisure, the runners of bitches and the manhandlers of hos. The pimp had a heart as cold as a meat locker and pockets as deep as the Grand Canyon. He was free of all sentimentality. That was why the white man was always trying to fuck with him. That cracker was nothing but a jealous lame. Hell, he wished he could pimp, but he wasn’t nothing but a flat-backed lame; papa redneck didn’t have no game.
Tarantino takes off the rose-colored pop glasses. His perspective carries some harsh facts about the national life. There is no vitality to the rebel if he is merely a narcissistic criminal whose only power arrives through lying, cheating, and savage disregard for the humanity of others. Pure crime has no relation to rebellion of the sort that improved American life by working against the limitations and prejudices of society.” (149-50, Blues in More Than One Color)

“The Nation of Islam had no serious religious impact on black Americans, but its sustained attacks on the pig were felt as a good number of blacks, even hit men like Jules, ceased to eat pork, which meant beef ribs started to take their place in the Negro world of barbeque. Tarantino’s use of that detail in the character of Jules supplies us with another example of how well he knows the worlds from which his characters emerge.” (175, Blues in More Than One Color)

but then, i become increasingly more suspicious of such claims, as they always come from the mouths of born-again anybodies…


One thought on “the artificial white man-stanley crouch

  1. “Allusions are the food of educated fools.” (181, Blues in More Than One Color):

    “That sense of life gives the film its depth, its sense of tragedy, of violence, of murder, of rape, of passing on the bloody gauntlet of abuse, of girls who become mothers before they become women and struggle with sons who are males but not men. We see onetime teenage mothers trying to get their grown sons out of their houses and into lives where personal responsibility is normal, not rare. Singleton gives us men who once followed the dark tracks of the thug life but finally got themselves together. They find it almost impossible to explain to these young guys that they do not have to repeat a stupid cycle in which nothing is proved and little is learned-other than how dumb the whole hoodlum stroke was in the first place.” (11, Baby Boy Blues)

    “Had that been what we actually got, from hoot to snoot, things might be very different in American fiction. In the past forty years, we have come a long way from the era when there were no black mayors of major cities, when we didn’t think about women in politics or business, when our films and our television shows would give the once proverbial Martian the impression that those who were not white were either servants or victims of society or existed almost solely for cheap thrills or comic relief. But that once proverbial Martian would get a much stronger sense of what the United States is about these days if he or she or it were to spend a week or two looking at HBO or Showtime around the clock instead of reading American fiction. The idea of exclusive cultural property has so taken hold that writers were not encouraged to find themselves material that will ask them to move under the skins of people unlike themselves. Writers are encouraged to never leave home.” (24-5, Segregated Fiction Blues)

    “Yet in this land of nose jobs, trimmed-down ears, breast reductions, breast implants, tanning spas, and the rest of it, Michael Jackson is no more than a neon extreme. Had he taken steroids, gone to the gym, and become monstrously overdeveloped, the singer would have been in the same lane. As for racial identity, he is no less absurd than your run-of-the-mill yellow or bone-colored West Indian black nationalist academic telling you how purely African he is in his soul and how you should let him tell you, the Negro American, how to be black.” (70, Blues at the Top)

    yikes. a really polished journal.


    Like Ernest Hemingway and Duke Ellington, Jorge Luis Borges was born in 1899, which made his centennial year one that rose in the fastest company. Beyond sharing a birth year, Borges had aspects of sensibility in common with those two sequoias of achievement, even though his methods, like those of all the very gifted, were his own. Borges and the two North Americans were wanderers, wily and able to improvise solutions to what their aesthetic dreams demanded of them. Each set out seeking something more than the familiarity treated and found things that they had to bring into fighting form. All three understood that one had to get home the best way possible. Each learned that what was out there in the greater world and what was back where one began were both the same and very different, mutually human in the clearest and most magically mysterious sense of the dual meanings so central to art.” (104, The Novel as Blues Suite)

    “Through the untruth of the artist we arrive, as Hemingway observed, at something at feels even truer than the facts.” (112, The Novel as Blues Suite)

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