I am looking for people to make judgment day a reality, and to realize that neither God or anybody else is going to judge humanity. They have to do the judging as to what is proper for them to survive. Now they can judge whether I’m really telling a lie or whether I’m telling the truth. If I’m telling a lie, they have to judge whether the “lie” is more profitable to them than the “truths” that they know. So therefore I am paving the way for humanity to recognize the myth and become part of my mythocracy instead of their theocracies and their democracies and any other ‘ocracies they got. They can become part of the magic myth, the magic touch, of the mythocracy. Because everything that’s unknown is part of the myth. And I’m sure that the myth can do for more humanity than anything that they ever dreamed was possible.
- Sun Ra, A Joyful Noise
(Originally published in the GC Advocate, October 2010)
The Cross of Redemption : Uncollected Writings. Random House, 2010.
Nearly every review I’ve seen of the Cross of Redemption so far has picked up on one particular quote from this new collection of James Baldwin’s writing. It is the first paragraph of a piece titled “from Nationalism, Colonialism, and the United States: One Minute to Twelve – A Forum…
I don’t watch the Key and Peele show regularly, but I happened to catch a rerun earlier today and saw this sketch from last year. It’s a pretty silly routine where they make fun of the difference between white college movies and black college movies using the classic comedy template of “white people do this, black people do that.” I was delighted to run across this bit, which I take as yet another example of academic fiction in the popular consciousness. As someone pointed out in the YouTube comments, the film How High does bust their “theory” that there are no college movies featuring black folks that are all about partying and having fun. Though K&P are still right, because the comic energy in that movie comes from the “fish out of water” story of two young black men (Method Man and Redman) who one would not expect to see as students on an Ivy League campus. (And yes, I know I totally missed How High in my list of academic movies. I finally viewed it a couple of months ago, and was shocked to see Spalding Gray made a cameo in it. Who knew?!)
So anyway, here’s Key and Peele, in the first clip joking about the subject matter of college movies, and in the second clip doing a skit about a couple of black frat brothers performing a branding ritual that goes hilariously wrong.
Check out John Conklin’s Campus Life in the Movies for more (serious) critical analysis of academia on screen.
P.S. The dissertation is mostly done and I’m defending in the fall. I swear!
In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don’t love your eyes; they’d just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ’cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don’t love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they’d just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver–love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
- from Beloved, by Toni Morrison