Ugly Realities vs. Ridiculous Fantasies


An ugly reality will lose out…

Not that it matters, but 12 Years A Slave was awarded Best Movie of the Year at Sunday’s Golden Globes awards.   That’s nice if  you care about that sort of thing.   It was even nicer Armond White didn’t show up to drop any F-bombs and pull off his pee-pee and take a whiz in public.   Probably too busy licking his wounds over being expelled from the NY Film Critics Circle and that matters even less.

In the 18th century, William Wilberforce said of slavery, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

In 19 words Wilberforce hits on what makes 12 Years A Slave must viewing for any conscious human being who wants a realistic, unflinchingly honest and terrifying brutal two-hour trip through the American Holocaust.    You may have to watch it peeking through the fingers of your hand in front of you face, but you can never say again that you did not know.

The story of Solomon Northrup is based on fact. Django is nothing more than an Italian spaghetti western relocated to America so Quentin Tarantino can film his fetishes and fantasies about slave-fights, Black bounty hunters roaming the South killing Whites with impunity and his desire to say “nigger” as many times as he damn well pleases.

12 Years A Slave is a movie. Django Unchained is a cartoon.

...vs fantasy.

…to a ridiculous fantasy.

12 Years A Slave was the best movie of 2013. Period. End of sentence. I do not need the official stamp of awards and I don’t need the consensus of the crowd who line up like lemmings for a Tarantino masturbatory fantasy but go mental when a Black director and a Black screenwriter tell the true story of a Black man taken and held against his will by a vicious slave owner.

If others prefer cartoons like Django Unchained, fine. I ain’t mad atcha and where you spend your movie-going money doesn’t phase me in the slightest.  It’s fine by me if anyone really believes a Black bounty-hunter could wander around the antebellum South shooting and killing as many White men he wants with impunity and without punishment.   It didn’t happen and it’s a joke, but Tarantino is quite the joker.   He made his best film with Pulp Fiction  20 years ago and has floundered since trying to follow-up with a second act he doesn’t seem to have.   Say what you will about Jackie Brown, Kill Bill 1 and 2, Inglorious Basterds, and Django Unchained (we’ll forget Death Proof because even Q.T. wants to), but you can’t say Tarantino is challenging himself as a filmmaker or the public as an audience anymore.


Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor may have Oscar gold in their future.

But don’t get all up in my grill telling me I don’t know my history and that I’ve been brainwashed by Whites and I’m some sort of self-hating dupe because I prefer movies that challenge me and force me to think and not simply sit there like a spastic drooling in my popcorn at the stylized and vulgar bullshit of a race pimp like Tarantino. Comparing Django to 12 Years is like comparing a Bugs Bunny cartoon to The Godfather.  It’s not a serious comparison and we can’t’ have a serious conversation about it.   Seriously.

Given a choice between a harsh reality and an amusing fantasy on slavery, I’m not at all surprised most opt for the fantasy. Just a bit disgusted.  There may be an intelligent, reasonable and rational argument to be made that Django Unchained is a superior and more honest depiction of slavery than 12 Years A Slave.   I just haven’t found an intelligent, reasonable and rational person make it yet.

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11 thoughts on “Ugly Realities vs. Ridiculous Fantasies

  1. I don’t know if you’ll receive this Jeff. Why not do a piece on Amiri Baraka-he recently died. Sounds like he was an interesting guy-jazz critic, writer, poet, contrarian and more. Just a thougt. Good blog. Keep writing.



    • I’ll have to give that some thought. Amiri Baraka was never one of my favorite poets, but I do like the fact the brother never sold out or copped out to make himself mainstream or accessible. If I can figure out the right way to give him props, maybe I’ll write something. Thanks for the suggestion.


    • There was an old 70’s film called Soldier Blue that depicted the Sand Creek massacre of the Native Americans. It’s not great, but it is worth a watch. I read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and it both opened my eyes and changed my way of thinking. While Blacks have suffered horribly at the hands of White racism, the indigenous people of this country were nearly exterminated by the evils of Manifest Destiny. 😦


      • I’ll look up the film- thanks for the tip! Native history is heartbreaking. My people once thrived in a huge area that consisted of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Now they’re in a tiny reservation in one of the worst bits of Oklahoma.
        It is crazy that in school we barely touched on Native history- not even a mention of the trail of tears.
        Sometimes I get this awful feeling that I’m the ultimate success story, coming from the euro-american perspective regarding the Natives- the Osage has been almost bred out of my line, and despite belonging to the tribe, I still have white skin. My grandmother left the reservation in the 30’s, and I’ve never been back (most the rest of my family has, and several relatives have retired there).
        Anyway, my heart is with the Black community, and I feel like there should be more interactions between the Black and Native communities.


  2. So what Django was a farce that the beauty of art and artistry.
    I like the idea of a super slave seeking revenge and winning in the end complete with the girl. We are just as varied as our truth and our history, some of the unimagined ways my people escaped slavery but appear un real but they were. The man who mail himself to freedom in a box. Harriette Tubman tales.
    Our strenght and resilience is part of the unimaginable.
    I loved Django and 12years. I loved seeing black faces on the big screen. Does it have to be either or? Why not both.
    Was Shaft real?… ijs.


  3. Pingback: Twelve Years A Slave Isn’t “History” – It’s Now… | Dark Acts Bible: Glass Half Empty, Base Cracked...

  4. I enjoyed both films and your review is pretty on point. Any two films with similar content can be compared and 12 years and Django can be too. Cinematic expression has gone too far in its representations too ignore any depictions of black people. My main point is, harsh realities can be harmful to the already rotten stereotypes of all races. Amusing fantasies (so long as they are not full of degradation) can at least lift the negativity surrounding how a certain race is seen. The unconscious is a powerful tool and black people being at the bottom of every shit pile, need as much uplifting as possible right now. Every time we get whipped, raped and beaten it sticks whether we like it or not.


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