In a world where you really can't complain that almost all trailer voiceovers are done by men, because they're almost all done by one guy (as noted at everything2.com, which I've forgotten my password to. . .), it's nice to see there are some constants while all else falls apart, the centre cannot hold, and mere anarcho-syndicalists are loosed up the 'net:
Using OJ as any sort of race-proxy makes no sense. Tony (though I love 'im) is just WRONG on this. OJ Simpson didn't remember he was black until he got arrested - and then it was a concerted effort to cast the trial as US vs. Them. Sadly the stupid jury bought it, and I'll never forget the absurdity of OJ running out to a "black" church right after the verdict. Of course, he's back to living his pre-murder life, looking for "the real killer" on the golf courses of America.
OJ Simpson is as guilty as sin.
Oliver Willis will always be there to restate the mainstream position in the most hackneyed fashion imaginable.
This particular piece of Vogon essaywriting (like their poetry, only without the interesting bits) comes in response to Eric Olsen writing about Tony Pierce.
This is the first race-specific thing I have ever heard Tony say, and it shows how deep racial identification goes, even in someone as race-neutral as Tony. I understand it, and I can certainly empathize with it, but I still find it startling and a little bit scary. Here's why:
OJ isn't The Black Man - no one is - he's just A black man, who, based upon a mountain of admittedly circumstantial evidence, had a real bad temper, had real ownership issues with women, and in a fit of rage, killed his wife and her hapless male companion. It's as ugly as it gets, but for all of its societal overtones, is still just the story of a handful of specific people and their interrelationships - happens all the time, unfortunately.
As Tony admits, he believes OJ because he wants to believe OJ, so he's not really deceiving himself, but the remarkable thing is that his desire to believe is the overriding factor in the matter. We still have some issues to work out in this country.
White people have no race, and therefore no issues to work out. Must be nice.
Want to know more? See the why-not-link-it-from-the-front-page-too? article The reason why there's no white expo for more on the non-existence of certain groups.
I mention this for the benefit of Mr. Abell's U.S. history class. He's an Indiana teacher who told me in an e-mail that students at his ''predominantly white, upper class suburban school'' have been asking him a question I probably hear once a week, in one form or another. In this form, it goes like this: ''Why is it OK for them'' -- meaning black people in Indiana -- ``to have Indiana Black Expo? If we had Indiana White Expo, we would be called racist and politically incorrect.''
Mr. Abell wants to know what I think. What I think is that it's time to parse a troublesome word. ``White.''
Historically speaking, white is an artificial construct, perfected -- if not invented -- in the USA. It was, and is, less a race than an Anglo-Saxon ideal. Fairness of skin alone did not allow one access to that ideal.
To the contrary, Irish immigrants, Jews from Eastern Europe and others who came to this country in search of better lives were given instead dirt, degradation and discrimination, because Anglophile America did not see them as ``White.''
That's why many of the newcomers changed their names, cast off distinctive styles of dress, hid their religion.
They understood that if they were to be accepted in America, to have their best shot at success in a racially stratified society, they would need to embrace the ideal. Find a way to assimilate. Become ''White.'' Because white was privilege sanctioned by law and entitlement enshrined in custom. White was manifest destiny.
And some fool had one of them old Make Me Maxi's Blogger banners up, and Heather Corinna has a ChickClick banner up cuz she fuckin' represents the Old School, and. . . I dunno, the hate came flowing back.
Have lost the essay on how few film trailers have voiceovers by women (although Angela Lansbury does get some jobs that Don LaFontaine passes on), because I suck.