Thursday, March 28, 2013

Django Unchained and the sad decay of genteel etiquette

The American interpretation of slave management was a brutally violent enterprise. The facade of civility was exactly that - a pathetic attempt to cover, to sanitize, the pall of violence that hung over daily life.
Django Unchained did a great job of capturing the awkward frailties of trying to be genteel and, at the same time, so cruel. Both Don Johnson as Big Daddy, and Leonardo Di Caprio as Calvin Candie, very deftly captured the nuances of the internal conflict.

Life's Hoppin' Bob and Django Unchained's Stephen: Understanding the Uncle Tom complex

Have you ever heardd someone ask why Black people can't "unite" like other cultures, or why there is so much violence within the Black community (I will not digress to observe that there is inner-racial violence in any criminal element, such as Italian on Italian or Japanese on Japanese, except to say that the Black community does not hold a patent on the phenomenon).

Hoppin' Bob from Life, and Stephen from Django Unchained, bring to life characters who, on the face of it, seem particularly reprehensible but, on closer examination, are very understandable and, perhaps even, sadly sympathetic.

Well, almost.