Monday, August 4, 2008

Dart Adams presents That's Kinda Racist © Norbit Part Two

I'm gonna do another installment of my new segment entitled "That's Kinda Racist" where I use Norbit as a gauge to determine how racist I think something in recent popular culture is or happens to be (as opposed to if it is or not because 'cism is in the eyes of the beholder). There are three different levels of perceived 'cism in my opinion. Here they are below:

I'm not so sure about that © Norbit

This can be construed as racist via a knee jerk reaction or quick glance/once over but you'd be reaching like Reed Richards to call it flat out racist (no Fox News).

That's kinda racist © Norbit

It isn't beyond the realm of possibility that this is either borderline racist or a product of ignorance leading to the perception of 'cism. Whether or not if you get the benefit of the doubt is up to the individual to interpret but now you've made "the list", asshat(s).

That's racist! © Lil' Black Kid

No doubt about it, folks! This is some good ol' down home authentic 'cism you're seeing here. Just like great great great great great grandma used to make! Mmmm! Damn, that's ignorant!

Let's start with the New Yorker magazine cover featuring the Obamas from a while back. The New Yorker tried to be satirical, edgy and tounge in cheek but they failed miserably in all three departments. The theme was called "Politics Of Fear" but by evoking the images that the talking heads on Fox News allude to/infer with a cover illustration all it did was put the New Yorker in a bad light.

I don't think that the New Yorker is a flat out racist publication. I do, however, believe that they tried to make a point and made an epic fail instead. This cover is extremely insensitive and in poor taste. It's a Bad Idea Jeans commercial come to life. My take:

Regarding the frontman of the legendary punk band The Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten's alleged comments after a performance at the Summercase Festival in Barcelona, Spain around July 19th/20th that led to a fight/assault with Bloc Party frontman Kele Okerek, members of Bloc Party and several other bands/performers which he vehemently denies ever happened or the altercation simply didn't happen in the manner in which it were portrayed in the media. He's been painted as a racist following the events that took place there not too long ago.

Johnny Rotten (Lydon) is a reputed asshole and he recently left people dumbfounded with another recent stunt at a show where he began chanting "Praise Allah!" as a protest to the American presence in Iraq. When he got a less than favorable response (read: boos) he switched it up (I wish I was making this up...I really do). Kele (of Bloc Party) asked Johnny Rotten a question (as a legitimate fan) that he (Rotten) felt he didn't need to answer for whatever reasonand in return he said something borderline racist to him (regarding his "Black attitude") and his goons then began to wail on Kele Okerek like he intended to do physical harm to Lydon or possibly deeply offended him with his question. Bullshit!

If you listen to the people that were backstage at the time of the attacks they all back up Bloc Party's story and NONE of them are riding with Lydon as several members of other bands were also injured in the ensuing fight/brawl with Lydon's entourage trying to defend Okerek and/or stop the attack altogether.

Is Lyndon a racist? I don't know for sure but sending/co-signing your goons attacking someone who wasn't threatening you in any manner whatsoever after spewing out a racial epithet makes you look hella guilty in most people's eyes (even if your grandchildren are Jamaican!). If John Lydon isn't a flat out racist it's a given that he's clearly an asshole of legendarily epic proportions (ask Duffy or Amy Winehouse why). Here's my verdict (subject to change as more facts come to light):

One of my favorite spoken word artists/poets Beau Sia had a poem that was extremely funny because it was so true when he performed it on Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He also did another one that let people have some insight into the frustrations that an Asian actor faces in the entertainment business. I opened with this because there has been a trend of Hollywood studios adapting films and ideas from Asia (Korea, Japan and China) and remaking them with Caucasians in the lead roles. The Ring, Dark Water, The Departed, The Eye, Shutter and the list goes on. These films are never as good as the originals either.

The international trailer for The Forbidden Kingdom versus the North American version shows the difference in the way the film was marketed to audiences. To film fans the world over they couldn't wait to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li starring alongside each other. The selling point to the American audience was the story of an American boy who fetishizes Martial Arts films and Asian culture (plus he has a crush on an Asian chick) who gets whisked away to the magical land of China (where everyone speaks English!) where he's in the Son Wukong/Son Goku role from Journey To The West as the "chosen one". *rolls eyes*.

Speaking of adaptations of "Journey To The West", the new Dragon Ball film features two Caucasians in the roles of Bulma and the lead role, Goku. Nothing annoys me or incenses me more than when shit like this happens. Of course, the studio is only using the rule of thumb that if you have someone that audiences can "relate to" in the lead role then chances are more people will come to the movie and it will have a "broader fanbase". Whatever man.

In the upcoming fim "Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li" instead of opting for a bankable Asian actress/martial artists like Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Q or a gang of other women that could easily play the role the studio instead cast Kristin Kreuk of TV's Smallville for the lead role. You're fucking kidding me, right? I know she's part Asian (half Chinese) but there are so many other actresses that are better for this role than she is.

If you endured years and years of seeing Asian actors that are worldwide box office draws and international legends come to Hollywood just to be relegated to sidekick status what would you think? How about watching some original films with an all Asian cast just to have that movie get released on DVD to little fanfare just to see the same flick years later (often with the same director) just with a White person in the lead role when there are PLENTY of talented Asian actors and actresses that deserve a lead role in a major studio film? Come the fuck on! I'm sick of this shit, son.

The hypocrisy surrounding the whole Manny Ramirez matter versus the Brett Favre one is driving me borderline crazy. Why is Manny Ramirez a malcontent that was destroying his team and being selfish by wanting management to treat him fairly and make a decision considering what he's meant to the team after years of service that led them to championships when Brett Favre in effect takes the entire NFL hostage and few people are calling his antics detrimental to the Green Bay Packers for doing pretty much the same thing for the same reasons?

Manny is supposed to "stop complaining" or "shut up and play" rather than fight for his right to fair compensation or just have his option picked up/get a definitive answer from management. Brett Favre retired, changed his mind, asked to be reinstated and then started a damn circus all by himself. Manny didn't leg it out for a few plays that he was already out on but in Boston it was blown up like you wouldn't believe by the media.

The Boston newspapers, "fans" and sports radio dickheads all called for Manny Ramirez to be shipped away and they talked bad about him like his .312 batting average, 274 HR's and 868 RBI's over seven plus seasons that includes a 2004 World Series MVP Awards, 8 All Star appearances and 2 World Series championships never even fuckin' happened. The fans seemingly forgot all about Manny and embraced Jason Bay (who only costs about $7 million and he isn't uppity) immediately while displaying signs that frankly made me want to walk to Fenway Park and start slapping the shit out of fools.

Why is Manny Ramirez painted as an asshole athlete my the majority of the media while Brett Favre is instead seen as the ultimate competitor who wants to get back on the field and do what he loves? Why is this hypocrisy allowed to continue year after year? I dunno? Could it be...'cism?

See ya around next time for another rabble rousing, dander raising episode of "That's Kinda Racist"! Bye kids!



Anonymous said...

Dude are you from the Boston you have any idea the way Manny has jerked around the Boston management and fans the last 7 years....I'm a huuuuuuuge Manny fan and a Red Sox fan from the womb, but it was his time to go, especially when giving up on his "family-team" and bad mouthing the people that pay his obscene checks....let me ask you, if he started playing extremely poorly, can management then re-negotiate his contract and pay him less.....didn't think so...get your facts straight bro, stick to entertainment, something your good at, not sports.....

Dart Adams said...

@ Bryan Ferris:

I was born in Boston City Hospital and have lived in the South End my entire life (33 years come August 17th). I see things one way and you see things your way regarding Manny and drinking the Kool Aid that the local media was serving Red Sox Nation. I'm not buying it and I KNOW the facts thank you very much.

Regarding your last statement I can write about Hip Hop, entertainment, film, sports or whatever the fuck I feel like at the moment EXTREMELY WELL. Get a late pass, Bryan.

Oh...thanks for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it.


elgringocolombiano said...


this new post category is good shyt.

I'd like you to explore what I call "relative racism" in the US, where the same shyt said against some groups means getting fired, while against another group it's no big deal.

In 2008, the group that has it the worst is prolly Arab-Americans and Muslims. US House of Reps douche Virgil Goode openly said he doesn't want Muslims in Congress, when commenting on MN's Keith Ellison, a black guy who happens to be of Muslim religion. Imagine the backlash instant demand-to-be-fired if some douche said that he doesn't want Jews or Christians in Congress.

Close contenders for "groups that it's OK to be racist against & you won't get fired" include gays & illegal immigrant Central Americans.

OTOH of the spectrum, is prolly Jews. A small minority of neo-con Jews conflate not agreeing with their crazy foreign policies as being "anti-Semite" or a "self-hating Jew" (if the prson is Jewish). Fock that shyt, having a sane non-neoclown foreign policy has nothing to do with racism, many Israelis in Israel happen to agree with my statement, & those cats are not "self-hating Jews" either.

Anonymous said...

Dude the New Yorker cover was a parody, making fun of the portrayol by many of Obama as a terrorist and so on. Its a cartoon making fun of the prejudices towards Obama by a variety of American halfwits, and is thus insulting towards these bigots. So how exaxctly can it be kinda racist?

Moreover the New Yorker is a high brow magazine, and the only mistake the magazine made was assuming that people would have the necessary humour and intelligence to grasp the cartoon and its context. Honestly condemning the cartoon as 'kinda racist' (when its intentions are blatantly the opposite) and as 'insensitive', (well of course it is, its a parody and a cartoon, its supposed to be) is extreme.

Dart Adams said...

@ orizio:

I "got" it regarding the New Yorker cover. The problem was that regardless of the intention and the absence of malice behind it rather than make it's point and accomplish it's intended goal, the cover instead became a black eye on the New Yorker Magazine.

My initial knee jerk reaction was "fuck the New Yorker!". After actually calming down and assessing the situation I was left with "Wow, they just executed that horribly and at the absolute wrong damn time". Since they are now on the metal "watchlist" I went with "kinda" even though I don't think it was intended in a racist manner. I explained that in the blog.


Anonymous said...

Good Post. To me, it seems like their are unwritten rules in Hollywood for Black, Asian, Arab characters. You ever notice how Black/Asian/Arab bad guys in some films get humiliated or die in the most funny/messed up ways? But, when the white guy plays the bad guy, he almost never goes down without a huge fight.

The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and 300 were all great films but, all of them pulled this same type of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Lovely drop as always, Dart. While I don't share your feelings on the Manny situation, we got solidarity on the whole minority movie characters thing.

And Johnny Rotten has, and always will be a fucking joke. Dude has no business being on a stage anywhere, much less a shred of relevancy.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Brett Favre and find the media's deification of him even worse but his situation and Manny's aren't very similar. Manny Ramirez pushed down a team employee, reportedly because he couldn't get enough complementary tickets for Manny. Manny Ramirez doesn't play hard very often. He might be a beast when it comes to taking extra batting practice and preparation but he rarely runs to first base on outs and thinks his terrible defense is comical. I think Brett Favre has been overrated for 10 years or so but he does play hard. He also plays hurt. Manny Ramirez just took two games off in a pennant race because the pain from his knee is just unbearable. Yet MRI's revealed nothing and he never asked for or received extra treatment leading up to those games. Whether or not the rumors that he couldn't remember which knee he had claimed was bothering him are true, the effort put forth by Manny Ramirez should certainly be questioned. I feel like the Red Sox went out of their way to accommodate him over the years and he was protesting the fact that they were waiting to decide if they should pick up the club option of $20 million for 2009. Manny basically quit on them in 2006 which was his last great season. Since then his OBP and Slugging numbers have plummeted. Coupled with his terrible defense and lackadaisical play, it's debatable whether or not he's worth that much money even if he were fully committed to playing.

Jason Bay will make far less money than Manny and is more than 6 years younger. He is also likely to outperform Manny because of the age difference even before taking defense, baserunning, and attitude into account.

Basically, Manny Ramirez is the opposite of everything that made the Celtics great and made Kevin Garnett such a wonderful acquisition for them.

Anonymous said...


But if it wasn't intended to be racist, and the New Yorker isn't a racist magazine, then I don't see how you can apply a term like racist to it, 'kinda' or otherwise. If their wasn't a racist intent, context or aim, then terming it as racist in anyway seems harsh. Its almost as if people are holding peoples misguided reaction to the cartoon -rather then the cartoon itself - against the New Yorker which is hardly fair.

Mored generally, do you think using the term 'racist' so frequently weakens the value of what should be a powerful term? I might be wrong, but it seems like you use a very liberal or all encompassing definition of the term 'racist', that can be applied to many different subjects without proof of intent, like possibly insensitive or misguided issues (like Resident Evil 4 or the New Yorker for example) to hateful, ignorant and overtly racist issues. Use the term so often - and I can't say putting 'kinda' before racist changes much - and towards rather pedantic issues, and you create a situation where the term becomes weaker and maybe even unable to do its job, that is point out situations, actions etc of prejudice against a race of people.

Maybe you'll consider using the term 'racist' a little less frequently, and use different more accurate terms for matters like RE4, New Yorker etc rather then the compromise of 'kinda' racist.

Beyond that, keep up the good work, particurly the Hip-Hop reviews, put me on to a lot of good stuff.


Dart Adams said...

@ orizio:

The point of these posts is that the INDIVIDUAL based on their own set of personal experiences, tolerance levels for "ig'nant shit" and belief system dictate what offends them and what they see as "racist". Some people are so used to things that are seen as "kinda racist" or "perceived racism" that it was it's water off a ducks back. We pick and choose what to get REALLY mad at...we merely reserve it for things that are FLAT OUT RACIST (to us).

What I think is "kinda racist" is a complete reach to other people. If I got angry every time I saw something or heard something "kinda racist" I'd stay mad 24/7. What raises my eyebrow may not register a thought with you...hence the way the series of drops got started. To give you some (further) insight into how my mind works and to create a dialogue about real shit with my readers.

Thanks for reading this, by the way.


Yellow Rebel said...

more brilliance from the mind of dart. bravo homey

Anonymous said...


Concerning the asian white-washing, all I can recommend is films from Dragon Dynasty.

Numbs the reality of another live-action Dragonball movie.