Hope against Hollywood

Letters to the Boston editor, March 26, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  March 24, 2010


Mr. Keough’s “Is There ‘Hope’ in Hollywood” article (January 29) makes my own point. Precious, The Blind Side, and The Princess and the Frog were strategically released to detract from the positive image of President Barack Obama.

Remember the movies released after 9/11? They were designed to keep the public in a state of vengeance. This kind of propaganda would make Joseph Goebbels blush.

I am not at all surprised that “Pernicious” nor The Blind Side won an Oscar. Remember the Oscar-winning song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”? And Disney adds insult to injury by portraying the prince in The Princess and the Frog as a Caucasian or an Arab (though obviously not black, his race is indeterminable). Do they believe in cultural cohesion for a black prince and princess?

The worst is yet to come from Hollywood. Despicable films like Death at a Funeral and Our Family Wedding will further the cultural onslaught. The question shouldn’t be: is there hope for Hollywood? The real question is: is there hope for black Hollywood and black people?


I have read the Phoenix on and off now for about 40 years. Usually, I like the Phoenix even if I find myself disagreeing with it. In jazz, that is almost never the case; in rock and classical, we could say I have my opinion and you yours.

I read the Patti Smith excerpt from Just Kids (March 5) out of morbid curiosity more than anything else, because it brought me back to a time in which I found myself truly alienated from what was gaining critical currency. This article brought back those horrible memories.

This was the most pretentious piece of work, bar none, I ever read or hope to read in your publication. I must admit that I was never a fan of punk or what it spawned, and I was quite mystified when it started being touted as a serious musical movement. But I was expecting something far better from someone who named William S. Burroughs as one of her influences.

I was truly astonished at how her choice of clothing became a focal point aimed at what “a boy from New Jersey” would like. Instead of being a musician or serious poet, Smith comes across as a “scene maker” only — someone with minimal talent who insinuated herself into a scene. This is not unusual in a cultural milieu established by Andy Warhol, but she sets herself as someone not to be taken with any level of respect.

The article was a waste of space, effort, and energy, much like most of the musical environment to which Smith attached herself. The only positive thing I can say about it is that it beats listening to her sing.


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  Topics: Letters , Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Precious,  More more >
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