Monday, May 7, 2018

Um, you sure This is America?

Ramblings post #347
One of the weird things about this critiquing the art of others is hard. When you see something that someone put their blood sweat and tears into come out looking as though there is a lot less to them than you thought, you have a tendency to hesitate. And then you look around and notice you're the only one not applauding? Makes me wonder what movie I'm in. 

"You see the part where he shot the choir, that was supposed to represent the shooting in Charleston, only he's saying that we as black people had a part in that, because he was the one...."

This is how I know I'm old. I just watched the new hot thing that my younger brothers and sisters are feeling, the video of Childish Gambino's "This is America." It moved them. They felt that. And as I watched him, um, creatively, dance shirtless with young black children in an extremely clean warehouse to a song with only semi-lyrics and a beat George Clinton would have left in the studio I was surprised, mystified, confused and in the end left wondering just what the hell did I just watch. But I'm in the minority.

Looking at my various social media I'd heard rave reviews. This was artistic, beautiful, deep and three other adjectives that meant pretty good. So when I got home from the ranch, I found it online and watched. And while it appears packaged as an artistic conceptualization of view of this country from the minority point view, I ain't so sure. It's like when someone explained to me the Future's song Mask off was about masks the slaves used to be forced to wear and us as a people taking them off so we could truly us. Um, yeah, sure, okay.

Okay, truth be told it's taken me a lot less time to grow tired of this iteration of the in-season negro. I enjoyed Glover on Community, he has a couple of songs I like and the first season of Atlanta was pretty good. But since then he's become an artist whose indulgences have...gone beyond my tastes, and my tastes are pretty damn broad. Basquiat he is not. I've grown to prefer his show Atlanta, when he's not in the episode. I'm honestly a little afraid of what he'll bring to Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo film. As Hollywood's in-season negro he's been granted license to explore his own psyche because after all... he's brilliant. Isn't he? 

I must be getting old.

Barkeep, I think that last part where he dances on the dusty car, means that joint he lit was real and we'll be reading "meaning" into this forever.

No comments: