Chi-Raq's Spike Lee 'Joint' Just May be Spike-Lee 'Wack'
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Ok, so. . . . right up until 'self-inflicted genocide' I was almost, almost ready to see the light in this. The closer to the date of this movie release, the more interesting the focus of the film becomes for me. I ponder that we must be carefully clear about our understanding of a subject before speaking, writing a book, and producing a movie. There are many things we can perceive, surely there is a ghetto in every community however, not everywhere is a hood in Chicago and it simply belittles a city to think that there are no niches present within them. Everyone wants to be from the 'hood' but very few can actually be from the Chi and throw too much shade. The most you will get is, 'keep your eyes open because you will get shot'. People who were born and raised in Chicago are far more keenly aware of the cycle of violence and where it originated. We innately understand that our people were dropped in the midst of lemons and made the most bitter lemonade money can buy. To 'make it out' the hood is a unique kind of blessing as anything a blessing could be called in today's society. Live in it, breathe in it, walk amongst it, become enthralled in it.
It is hard to know every angle so in most cases, it's best to live it, to know it. Wikipedia defines: "Genocide is the systematic elimination of all, or a significant part of, a racial, ethnic, religious, cultural or national group." Inflicted on oneself? Today's cycle of violence in Chicago is not what it appears although, seeing a child killed in Chicago everyday can send the chilling and seemingly realistic message of 'self-inflicted' so for some of you, so yes, I do get exactly why this would appear self-inflicted. Of course there is accountability to be had but, let's not pretend that Chicago citizens have somehow brought the current state of genocide on themselves. Where did the genocide originate in Chicago? Is there a range of time on 'self-inflicted' or are we just speaking on what it 'looks like' today? Is that issue, or any issue which speaks to how today came to be, addressed at all in this film? Anything related to drugs and gangs in Chicago has a political, immoral, and segregated agenda directly related to systematic injustice. This is a sensitive subject matter, especially looking at the number of inboxed messages riding on the subject. I am waiting to see the movie to hopefully have my greatest concerns dissolved - this of course will be a billion dollar film because everyone will want to 'see'. I guess that a 'congratulations' is in order. Then after we all 'see' the movie, what will be our perceptions, that of our neighbors, those who know nothing about the Chi but think they know? What proper historical context will the 'born and raised' community be left to clean up, clarify, and socially be held accountable for within the associated perceptions? Is this cycle of genocide ours to break? ABSOLUTELY!
Someone posted this on another site. ". . . You do realize that the film is based on Lysistrata, the ancient Greek comedy where the central female character attempts to end the Polynesian War by persuading the women of Greece to withhold sex from the men? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysistrata Please do some research before publicly stating incorrect things. Referencing that play is a smart way to address the situation in Chicago without repeating what has already been said and done before. Satire is intentionally over the top, and this fits perfectly into Spike's legacy of thought provoking satire. I suggest watching Bamboozled before checking this film out. If you find Bamboozled to be offensive or funny (i've heard people say one or the other), then you most likely will not understand the goal of satire in general, and Spike's approach to satire in particular." I just hope this satire point of view within this film will speak VOLUMES to the untold story. Wikipedia defines satire ; "the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues." It is my assertion and need to ask this unfortunate question, Humor at whose expense? Irony from what original canvas? Exaggeration of whose ideals? Ridiculing whose lifestyle? Whose views are being exposed and criticized? Whose stupidity? Whose vices? While we are on the phrase of contemporary politics, what aspect of politics plays a role in the actual storyline. . . . or are the politics of this movie, more prevalent in the influence of its funding?
Within the same breathe of the previous statements, I greatly admire and respect the work of Spike Lee and he is truly the renaissance man of film in America. I have always perceived him to be a man of great depth and value in helping to tell a gritty, raw yet, authentically true at it's core, story. Although satire has always been included within the creative model of his art form, I could always recognize the underlying truth as it most often systematically related to its painfully, decomposing reality of misplaced accountability. This reality of Black on Black Crime can easily be masked by the overwhelming thickness of wool pulled over the pain in our currently broken, bewildered, global, racial, and indeed bamboozled society.
If I intentionally derail a 10 mile train journey within the 1st mile, but you don't learn about the derailment until mile 8 - it's going to take you quite a while to figure out how the train derailed. You would have to follow it all the way back to the start. It is true that every person can change a cycle of violence but it requires the same intricate, systematic, educational, financial, spiritual dedication by the community to do so. If it is true that you can only do what you can do, the enslaved mindset only knows to do one thing, what it is taught and has had to do to survive. Physical enslavement and mental enslavement are two different things.
Teach a man to fish. . . . that's what pushing past this ignorance is all about. If a man does not want to fish, his mind has to change yet, will never change unless a different motivator for survival is presented and a set of extenuating circumstances motivating him/her that change is necessary. How do you change the enslaved mind? It begins with a changed heart. Broken hearted people hurt people, those made cold and callus from decades of injustice and then handed the ounces and pounds of opportunity to crab barrel their way to a sense of success, which lack of opportunity could not provide. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. For today, I'm done.
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