there are so many words that disagree with each other in this sentence
This, ultimately, is Inman’s real failing: his inability to write comics that are his, from him, about him, by him, and not just comics that fill a space he’s identified in the impossibly huge audience for content online. The Oatmeal doesn’t feel like something from its creator’s brain, marked by its creator’s obsessions, driven by its creator’s passions, the way even the worst newspaper strips do. It feels like something written by a committee. Or an algorithm.
Inman doesn’t appear to realize this, though. “You seem to be confusing pandering with just making funny shit,” he writes to Stuef. In Inman’s mind, people don’t laugh at good jokes, they laugh at things they relate to. This is sometimes true, but it’s a bad theory of comedy. You can tell that Inman isn’t a comedian when he attempts to defend his “fourth-grader filling out Mad Libs” joke strategy by claiming he “only did this when I used to write grammar comics, because it’s REALLY goddamn hard to make a topic like semicolons or apostrophes funny[.]” But good comedians start with the jokes. They don’t pick topics and then try to fill them out.
But that’s how the Oatmeal works. Stuef found a presentation given by Inman in which he explained the six principles that he uses to pick ideas for Oatmeal comics:
- Find a common gripe
- Pick things everyone can relate to
- Create easily digestible content
- Create an infographic
- Talk about memes and current events
- Incite an emotion
"You don’t watch much standup, do you?" Inman asks Stuef, sneeringly, about the six principles. “Most of this is basically just comedy 101." Not quite. It’s maybe the way an alien would reverse-engineer the dynamic between a comedian and her audience.”
— and this isn’t even bothering to touch the actual problematic aspects, like the layers of ignorant racist bullshit in that recent Colombus strip (via cutehappybird)
Holla at that last bit though, I hate that comic
— Albert Camus, “An Absurd Reasoning”, in The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)
O.K. let’s see if this makes sense.
No doubt, one of the most talked about films so far this year is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. The film has gotten its share of rave reviews, though there are those who have major problems with it. However, one cannot deny that it is truly an ambitious, unique and original film - the kind of risk-taking movie you wish Hollywood would make more of, like they used to.
However, there is that one thing; That one thing that stuck out in my mind when I saw the film: “Hey, where are the black folks or people of color in the film?”
If this film had been made back during the epic “Biblical film” era, in the 1950s, well then, yes, you would expect that.
But even Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments has black people in it. So, here we are well into the 21stcentury, and Noah is populated with nothing but white people, many who speak with British or Australian accents.
Well, in a new interview on the website The High Calling (HERE) the co-screenwriter of the film Ari Handel, who wrote Noah with Aronofsky, was asked about the lack of diversity and addressed by saying:
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise.”
He goes on to say:
“You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, “Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.” Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, “Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?” That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”
Really? That’s the best he could do? Why not just say, we just didn’t want to be bothered? I would have bought that.
So let me see if I understand this. In other words, if we put black people or POC in the film, then people would notice it, and that would have been like really, really distracting, taking people out of the film. So instead, we got a whole bunch of white British, American and Australian actors to represent all mankind, because it‘s just a lot easier?
And, furthermore, putting people of color in the film would have somewhat diminished the biblical Noah, making it look, God forbid, like some kind of Star Trek movie?
Sorry I’m all confused here. I was thinking that, if you want to represent all mankind in a film, then wouldn’t it make sense to have a cast that did actually represent all of mankind, in every color and hue, instead of having an all white cast, and telling audiences to just squint their eyes, and pretend that he’s another race, because it’s all just a myth after all? So black people can’t be mythical too? Nope, I guess we’re too real, too urban.
Am I wrong here, or is Handel? You tell us.
One more argument for not seeing this movie
because we’re trying to deal with everyman
oh, because PoC and somehow not the everyman? White supremacy at work, people: defaulting to whiteness as the norm.
Not that I was going to watch this pile of horse shit anyway, but here we, one more reason to ignore it.
jackmeoff182 asked: Do you feel like in the black community there's favoritism over "light skin" rather than "dark skin"? Btw I love your blog. :)
Hi, thanks for the blog compliment!
Absolutely there is preference for light skin over dark skin, and not just in the Black community but globally. The fact that people who are darker skinned in their particular culture tend to be poorer, more imprisoned, have more bleaching products marketed to them, are considered less attractive (or the flip side is fetishized but not truly appreciated), and are regularly dissociated from “beauty” and “goodness” is only the tip of the iceberg with this issue.
Alice Walker defined colourism (also spelled colorism) as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color” in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens. Colourism prevails intraracially and interracially for Black people because of the same reasons; the dominance of Eurocentric beauty myths via White supremacy, external racism by Whites and internalized racism by Black people, and rigid notions of femininity and masculinity as it pertains to race and complexion. White supremacy and anti-Blackness.
In the Black community specifically, yeah, we have a lot to regularly unpack and deconstruct around colourism, how we proliferate it ourselves and how it impacts us when proliferated by Whites and hegemonic norms. Both things impact this favoritism. But to be clear, this is oppression and it is institutional and not solely interpersonal favoritism. Colourism is NOT just dark skinned Black women being “jealous,” not solely about the cishet Black male gaze, not solely about dark skinned Black women being “mean” to light skinned Black women or any obtuse simplification meant to reduce the fact that it is oppression and it is institutional for dark skinned Black people. It is NOT solely about cishet Black men not wanting to date dark Black women. And I get really angry when this complex global oppression is reduced to “jealousy” of light skinned Black women and dating cishet Black men versus the full nuanced picture that it is.
When someone Black says that Black people treat them worse than White people do regarding having dark skin, they are telling a true story. That actually does happen sometimes to some Black people. But…they have to include in that story that White supremacy is the parent of colourism, Whites have the luxury of fetishizing dark skin without consequence, Whites may be interpersonally more nice but still be involved in discriminatory hiring practices, perpetrating stereotypical norms about beauty in media/legislation and supporting a State that regularly commits violence against Black bodies, especially dark skinned ones. So them not playing the dozens and insulting dark skin in the way someone Black might (as the latter has internalized White supremacist thinking because of oppression) does not remove their culpability in colourism as a system of oppression. They benefit from anti-Blackness even if they think dark skinned Black people are “hot.”
Something else to consider; while because of sexism and misogynoir, colourism tends to impact Black women more than Black men, colourism does impacts Black men. Like…there’s a reason why when you look at a collage of Black men who’ve been extrajudicially killed, they’re usually dark. While any Black men can deal with racial profiling and police abuse sanctioned by the State, the myth of the “violent thug” and “brute” is more closely associated with dark Black men and their bodies. I also mentioned how colourism shapes Black men in media when I wrote about the film Fast & Furious 6 and discussed Ludacris’ character versus Tyrese’s character. Also think about the Black men in Black films like Sprung and Poetic Justice; who were the “good” ones? Who’s usually “good men” in Tyler Perry films?
Check out some of my past essays and posts specifically on colourism or ones that include its impact with other factors mentioned:
- 6 critical reads on colourism [X]
- Dark skinned models and short hair [X]
- Beyoncé, colourism, success and the music industry [X]
- Black Women Do Not Need Black Men’s Permission To Control Our Hair/Bodies
- Colourism and young Black girls [X]
- "Preference" for dark skinned Black women [X]
- How Anti-Blackness Shapes Heterosexual Black Men’s Dating “Preferences”
- A Review Of The Documentary “Dark Girls”
- Black Women Do Not Have To Reject Any Mention Of Beauty To Be Womanist/Feminist
- Black Couples In Television/Film - Casting and Colourism
- F*CK Nude And Flesh-Toned
- Black Women and Erasure
- Before Whites Wag Their Fingers At Colourism and Black Hair Politics…
- Black Girls, Black Women and TV Commercials
Also see this essay list: On Beauty Politics
(There’s a good HuffPo article by @blkgirlwithapen: "You’re Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl": The Continuing Significance of Skin Tone in "the Black Community" that mentions not just beauty politics/media which I discuss a lot, but has some links to CJ issues, marriage etc.)
Hope this information helps! Take care. ❤
Fidel Castro leaps of a tank during the Bay of Pigs Invasion - April 17, 1961
Star Wars AU: Everything is the same, except R2-D2 doesn’t make beeps and whistles, and is instead voiced by Kayne West, who is given no script but is just reacting to all the crazy space shit going on around his little robot homie.