Movies like ‘Get Out’ and musical video montages like Beyonce’s “Lemonade” in many ways caused me to limit my pop cultural long-form analysis and dissection. I will attempt to keep this within my framework of US Black Media Trust and just say that it is way too easy to interpret and extend these forms as an interface. What do I mean by this?
Imagine someone so needing of your attention and approval, for insecurity reasons or manipulative ones, that they only discuss your favorite pop cultural artifacts. If you like Future, they now have a thinkpiece about psychological benefits of recreational drug usage. If you say you dislike Future, they now have a thinkpiece about dangers of Black Men who still need closure from failed relationships. Initially, this can be warming. After awhile, it becomes cloying, however.
US Black Media Trust is a framework of tools gathered to question why a Black image was used. In that regard, it has to also be applied when purposes of manipulating attention for any reason employ popular cultural references. Especially when those popular cultural references are saturated with a framing that suggests “pro-Black” messaging. What I have found is that most of these instances are purely profit driven manipulations of vulnerable people.
While I find these movies and media productions entertaining, when they are, I do not want my heritage and social dilemmas used to harness my wallet. Pieces like “Get Out”, this most recent incarnation of “Roots”, “Underground”, “Birth Of A Nation” and “Django” are all selling a revenge fantasy. Some of these aforementioned do it with more panache than others, but they are all exploiting a common desire to alleviate internal pangs for physical redemption. It can be extremely difficult to argue with fanatics of this sort of social reform.
People who live in a social system such as these United States who do not administer power, but left to be its consumers tend towards a complacent view of power. Regardless of who actually gets money, more resources opened for them, and other objectives of power, some people only see a media production with Blacks in decision making roles and think they’ve looked over that mountaintop. They will see messaging in same way creative types see elephants and dancing monkeys when they gaze up at clouds. I am simply sure that I would be taking food away from my family by delving into semiotics of “US Black” films that feed more people that are not US Blacks than they do feed.
This strand of coping with being US Black given its social and political dynamisms can be very easy. Not that OWL is against courses of least resistance, I simply do not wish to exploit people in this particular manner. If I am going to con you, it will be with much more sophistication than fanboy shenanigans. Critiquing and reviewing such works leaves me in that “hater box”. Far from afraid of that label, I am aware of its expenses, and if I am going to be called a hater, I want to it to be for something of greater value.