Off Topic Messages

Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:41 am

I can't disagree TJ as I haven't seen either movie and I appreciate your well thought out defense of "Crash". Due to the passion of "Brokeback Mountain's" ardent admirers I thought this might have happened especially since it's happened many times before. "Driving Miss Daisy" over "Born on the Fourth of July" and the unnominated "Do the Right Thing".

Your comments make me want to see "Crash" even more than I did previously.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:06 am

Agreed: I've not seen any of these '06 Oscar flicks. :oops: I usually wait awhile anyway and I'm still mining the great movies of the past. To me,
it's all parlour game anyway.

As an aside, I don't think the Blues Brothers was laugh-out loud funny come to think of it. It was entertaining and probably brought a smile to my face when I first saw it.

Some critics have been (or had been) especially hard on "Crash"- saying that it was too cliched or tidy or had some lines that were howlers. (The clip of the black woman telling her black friend that the only thing he knew about black people was from the Cosby show was probably one example ..)
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LTB wrote:
A lot of people are complaining about that (Oscar-winning) song. However, nobody said great music is supposed to be moral. Look at Pat Hare's "Gonna Murder My Baby". The untold story about the pimp's song win is that nobody writes exclusive original songs for the movies anymore. So, you pretty much have to take what you can get if you want to have an original song category. This year the pickings were so slim the category was cut to three nominations. You could pretty much just burp in tune and get it nominated because there is no competition


I agree. But why not just not give out such an award until a good song is found?

I happen to own and enjoy the music of Pat "I'm Goin' to Murder My Baby" Hare (and he later did, infamously) but he's a true footnote to blues history and main claim to fame was backing Muddy Waters as a guitarist at Newport. He never won a grammy or an Oscar. While violence certainly was and is part of the blues tradition, there are few songs as overt as Hare's number for Sun, and those that do exist normally have their critics.

So, LTB, I say you're too charitable about the Oscar-winning "It's Hard Out Here for A Pimp" by "Three Six Mafia." (Tell that to black working and middle class folks who are teachers, cops, bus drivers, etc. who have to put up with the menace of drug dealers and pimps all too often. Is this the type of song to champion? Oscar's out of touch, again. It's liberals living in suburbs who are championing this song as "art."

The only spark of talent is the female singer - the only one who isn't shouting at you and is actually singing. (I find that part reasonably catchy.) I really can't take rap at face value anymore as being "from the streets." It played into the "aren't we liberal?" cliche of Hollywood to award this "song."

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The Oscar-winning makers of "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp"

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By the way, for those who don't already know, that's Pat Hare on the left (behind Elvis) in this great shot of the King with Junior Parker, Bobby "Blue" Bland, etc. on Beale Street in the '50s.


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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01461.html

Oscar Winner Hits Angry Chord
'Pimp' Song Denounced for Exploiting Negative Stereotypes


By Avis Thomas-Lester
Washington Post Staff Writer,Tuesday, March 7, 2006; B03

When Christine Smith heard the song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" announced as the Oscar winner for best original song on Sunday night's telecast, she almost fell off the sofa in her Arlington, Virginia living room.

Deborah Veney Robinson of Silver Spring, Maryland had pretty much the same reaction. So did Juaquin Jessup of Northwest Washington, D.C.

"It was just like during the time when all the blaxploitation films were coming out with African Americans being portrayed as pimps and hos and gangsters," said Jessup, 51.

"It was another example of how they pick the worst aspects of black life and reward that. There are more important things in our culture that need focus more than the hardships of a pimp," he said. "The only place many people see our culture is through movies and on television, and at the same time, this country is experiencing an influx of people coming over here from all over the world, and the only thing they see of black America through the media is . . . pimps and gangsters and all of that. It's always some low-down brother or some welfare mother."

Particularly offensive to Robinson, 36, was the performance by hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, featuring men dressed as pimps and women in the hot pants and rabbit furs of streetwalkers. "I have no problem with movies and songs being gritty," she said, "but I have a problem with something that falls just short of a minstrel show."

In many parts of the Washington region yesterday, debate was raging about the motion picture academy's selection of the theme song from the pimp saga "Hustle & Flow," starring Terrence Howard, to win the Oscar.

The song -- written by Three 6 Mafia members Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard -- beat out songs from "Crash" and "Transamerica."

The subject was topic one on black radio. Radio host Tom Joyner, whose show is heard on WMMJ (102.3 FM), fielded calls from listeners who debated the merits of the song, in which a pimp named DJay laments his lack of success as he struggles to make it as a rapper.

On BET.com, a discussion was posted minutes after the Oscar was awarded. By yesterday, dozens of people had posted comments.

"This was an exceptional night at the Oscars for Three Six Mafia's Oscar win," wrote one. "I am soooo happy as well for them. Barriers have been broken, as well they should be. " Not everyone agreed. "While you are praising this 'great' accomplishment we are being laughed at, mocked with an I told you so grin on their faces. I'm not being negative, I'm being a realist," another wrote.

Retha Hill, vice president of content for BET.com -- whose audience is largely African American, college-educated and urban -- said her Web site began posting discussions soon after the song was nominated because her staff knew it would be controversial.

She said the Oscar selection and the song should be put in context. It was rapped in the film by the pimp as he struggled to make it as a hip-hop artist, she said. He was telling the story of how he hoped to rise above his circumstances and improve his lot -- a classic underdog story.

"In the context of the movie (it's always the "context" :roll: ) , the song makes perfect sense," Hill said. "But if you have not seen the movie or are just watching the performance on the Academy Awards as members of middle America and you hear someone talking about being a pimp, it is very difficult for you to understand."

Smith, 41, said the performance, along with an interview she had seen before the program, where members of the Three 6 Mafia members wore metallic "grills" on their teeth, were particularly disturbing. "It was like 10 steps back for us," she said. "White folks like that. It makes white Americans feel more comfortable with us when they don't have to think of us as their equals."

Several people interviewed said they found it ironic that the academy -- praised earlier in the evening by actor George Clooney for breaking down barriers for African Americans with an Oscar to Hattie McDaniel in 1939 for her role in "Gone With the Wind" -- would glorify the travails of a man who earns his living exploiting women.
Erika Scott, 17, a Largo, Maryland High School eleventh-grader, said she was a little shocked. "Growing up where I live, you see, all the time, people who are wanna-be pimps and aspire to be pimps," she said. "Knowing that there is a song that tells the world about what goes on with people like that was surprising, and I was surprised that it won. It made me wonder what the world has come to."

Robinson, who along with two friends runs a blog, "What Do You Know," with a regular feature cheering on African Americans who achieve in nontraditional areas, said she, too, was concerned about the stereotypes.

"It was a struggle for us last night because we wanted to root for the blacks, but the blacks were pimps and hos on the Oscars, so it was confounding," she said. "Image is everything, and we have to be so careful about the way we position ourselves in front of larger audiences."


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Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:17 am

I didn't necessarily mean my comments as a compliment. Just more of a "In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king" type deal.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:27 am

Can you ever cut loose and call outright call something "garbage"?

It's very liberating and many times hard to disprove. :lol:

Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:50 am

Sure I can but even amongst garbage there has to be a relative "best". When nobody's writing good movie songs you have to take what you can get if you want to give an award for "best".

Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:56 am

Ummmm :roll:

"Walk The Line" was chock full of SONGS

how come none nominated for "Best"



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Last edited by Graceland Gardener on Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:04 am

Actually, as you'll see in the article above, would-be members of the NAACP actually don't like seeing rap like that being honored.

For those above 35 and trying to do the right thing, such songs are taken as a step backward for quite a few African-Americans, who see it as modern-day minstrel act.

Are they wrong? I don't think so.

I also don't think many people tune into the Oscars for the songs anyway. Production numbers maybe, but outside of a few tunes, it's a category few would miss.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:57 am

Those songs are 30-50 years old. Are we supposed to nominate "White Heat" next? That's a great movie.

I think there is a certain level of hypocrisy in the criticism that comes from sub-quarters. For one of the posters there was an incredible of pomposity in determining how white America wants to see black America. There is also hypocrisy that when Mick Jagger or Pat Hare write songs about the seamier side of life we celebrate them for keeping it real. Yet we get all in a tither over a rap song depicting the same life. There's legitimate questions about whether celebrating that side of life is wrong and there are questions about whether those topics should dominate the ballgame.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:28 am

likethebike wrote:Those songs are 30-50 years old. Are we supposed to nominate "White Heat" next? That's a great movie.

I think there is a certain level of hypocrisy in the criticism that comes from sub-quarters. For one of the posters there was an incredible of pomposity in determining how white America wants to see black America. There is also hypocrisy that when Mick Jagger or Pat Hare write songs about the seamier side of life we celebrate them for keeping it real. Yet we get all in a tither over a rap song depicting the same life. There's legitimate questions about whether celebrating that side of life is wrong and there are questions about whether those topics should dominate the ballgame.


I think your last point sums up the raised eyebrows. People are getting sick of hearing the same tired themes in rap music, especially when it has moved beyond commentary and on to glamourising (intentionally or not) gang violence, pimping etc. When a representative of a black organisation speaks out against this, it's because they are sick of the most powerful and influential black artists celebrating the negative stereotypes. I don't blame them.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:31 am

likethebike wrote:I can't disagree TJ as I haven't seen either movie and I appreciate your well thought out defense of "Crash". Due to the passion of "Brokeback Mountain's" ardent admirers I thought this might have happened especially since it's happened many times before. "Driving Miss Daisy" over "Born on the Fourth of July" and the unnominated "Do the Right Thing".

Your comments make me want to see "Crash" even more than I did previously.


Rent it. You won't be disappointed :)

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:08 pm

The problem is that is what the people want. Dr. Dre had a revelation about a decade ago and renounced the gangsta lifestyle and vowed to focus on only positives in his work. His album dive bombed. Next album he was back to the old stuff. I don't know whether it's a walk on the wild side fantasy or whatever but the demand is there for stuff and it's huge. My sister's kids are teenagers and they feel cheated if they don't get this kind of stuff in the music as do all their friends. We didn't teach them to like it, they learned it through peers and MTV. Out of all the things they've been exposed to on MTV they like it much better than anything else.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:07 pm

likethebike wrote:The problem is that is what the people want. Dr. Dre had a revelation about a decade ago and renounced the gangsta lifestyle and vowed to focus on only positives in his work. His album dive bombed. Next album he was back to the old stuff. I don't know whether it's a walk on the wild side fantasy or whatever but the demand is there for stuff and it's huge. My sister's kids are teenagers and they feel cheated if they don't get this kind of stuff in the music as do all their friends. We didn't teach them to like it, they learned it through peers and MTV. Out of all the things they've been exposed to on MTV they like it much better than anything else.


I'm aware of that. Bloody sad isn't it?? Kids from all corners of the globe are walking around speaking like they have grown up in South Central L.A. Lame!!

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:13 pm

Elvis' Babe -
Given that your taste in movies includes gothic horror I recommend you pick up some of the Hammer films and the Dark Shadows Revival Series.

Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:00 am

likethebike wrote:The problem is that is what the people want. Dr. Dre had a revelation about a decade ago and renounced the gangsta lifestyle and vowed to focus on only positives in his work. His album dive bombed. Next album he was back to the old stuff. I don't know whether it's a walk on the wild side fantasy or whatever but the demand is there for stuff and it's huge. My sister's kids are teenagers and they feel cheated if they don't get this kind of stuff in the music as do all their friends. We didn't teach them to like it, they learned it through peers and MTV. Out of all the things they've been exposed to on MTV they like it much better than anything else.


To me, it's a chicken or the egg thing. It's a lowest-common denominator situation, enough to think the US in particular is doomed to have (for a lack a better term) an anti-social, degenerate credo evident in today's popular culture.

I know, I know, people said that about Sinatra, or Elvis or Muddy Waters (in Chicago taverns for the local crowd, he used to do this beer bottle bubbling over routine that even today would not be shown on MTV)...


Absent cultural balance and yes, morality and some sense of "push back" and decorum, it's really hard not to sink to the gutter in terms of language and musicality.

It's not that we have to re-construct old up-tight senses that Elvis experieced in the '50s, but didn't art come out of such constraints? It's funny but when you get rid of all constraints, it's not as exciting and ultimately lacks soul. When you can whip your schlong out, it's no longer risque or "daring" - but just pornography.

Not to get too cosmic :shock: , but I'm reminded of the yin-yang symbol of the east. It's something we don't have for too many today:

Image

We have a very non-judgemental sense in the USA, and one risks being seen as a fuddy-duddy in calling this stuff crap, nevermind being called a racist.

I have faith that the creme may yet rise again, and that the yearn and beauty of music of days gone by may return (it's not entirely gone anyway) but "crap in, crap out."

Sooner or later, you'll have kids saying "yes, give me a scoop of that crap."

It's sad and I wish (and hope) I'm very wrong about the future of our culture, which to me is uglified by the acts like Three Six Mafia winning an Oscar.