Dear White People: Watch This Trailer

Can we get a movie with, you know, characters in ‘em instead of stereotypes wrapped up in Christian dogma?

I realize that there is a huge fundraising effort going on here for the SSA, and I strongly encourage you to participate, but I would like to bring your attention to something else.  I am, admittedly, quite biased in favor of helping people get good scripts turned into films — because it’s good to help the arts and, more selfishly, in the hopes that this will somehow lead to someone making *my* atheist script into a film.  There are major minority representation issues in film and independent productions are often the only way to combat this.

It has been a long time since I’ve seen a trailer that managed to grab me as much as this one did, the actors are superb, and there are a couple very funny jokes.  Impressive for a film that hasn’t even been shot yet.

Remember when Black movies didn’t neccesarily star a dude in a fat suit and a wig? Or have major plot twists timed to Gospel numbers for no apparent reason? No? Damn…

Well believe it or not there was a time when “Black Art-House” was a thing. When movies like Do The Right ThingHollywood Shuffle, and Boyz In Da Hood were breaking box office records as well as making us laugh, cry, and think in ways movies hadn’t before.

The humble producers of DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, a satire about being a black face in a white place, long to bring those days back. But we can’t do it without you!

They also have a very funny tumblr, twitter feed, and facebook page.

And, if you’ll allow a brief indulgence, can we talk about how pretty this is?  This is a trailer shot specifically to be a trailer, which is to say, this is not cut from a larger movie — they shot this, probably on a very low budget, to sell the idea of the film.  With that low budget they’ve gotten a talented cast who all manage to come across as complex, even in a short trailer, and got a cinematographer, editor, and production designer who made almost every shot look professional.  Film is tricky when it comes to representation, it relies on stereotypes and visual shortcuts to tell stories efficiently and effectively.  It’s a shallow medium.  So can I just say that I now have a crush on basically every single cast-member who has a line in the trailer?

Dear White People: Watch This Trailer

No Atheists in Foxholes

I wrote this a few weeks ago with the intention of polishing it up and posting then.  Since I’d bothered to write it, I’m just going to post it as is.

Recently, Leonard Pitts wrote about Jindal embracing big government when it was convenient. In doing so, he casually threw out the old canard that there are “no atheists in foxholes.” When contacted by atheists, who explained that that was both untrue and offensive, he offered a non-apology saying he was just using an old saying and that wasn’t even the point of the article.

Saying that there are no atheists in foxholes is no better than saying that all black people like fried chicken and watermelon, jews are greedy, or muslims are all terrorists. I don’t understand how he can fail to see how offensive that is. Not only does he insult the thousands of men and woman who have in fact been atheists in foxholes, serving in the military and dying for his country, he’s also insulting people’s whole approach to life by flippantly charging them with being either wishy-washy or cowardly.

It’s exactly the same as if he’d said “Jindal loves other people’s money but hates spending his own, just like a Jew.” Oh sure, the point isn’t about the Jews, but does relying on a terrible stereotype to make his point do anything but undermine his legitimacy? That he can’t even see the bigotry in the statement and refuses to apologize or correct it makes it so much worse.

No Atheists in Foxholes