October 25, 2010

The NYT finds it appropriate to praise a blatantly racist YouTube parody about President Obama.

I watched the video "Head of the State" because the Times sent me there, and now — in addition to fighting nausea — I'm marveling at the embarrassing writing made possible by the newspaper's perversely politically correct need to appreciate rap music and culture:
It’s first-rate parody, and also untested waters. Mr. Obama was a favorite of comedians even before he was elected president, but typically his stiffness and aloofness are their targets. In reimagining the President as an off-duty, fun-chasing tough guy, Baracka Flacka Flames is a different proposition.

On the one hand, it’s witty and incisive parody, as fluent in Mr. Obama’s tics as in hip-hop manners. The clip was filmed in front of an abandoned house in South Central Los Angeles and echoes the video of Waka Flocka Flame’s original song.

As well, it’s seemingly an acknowledgment by the filmmakers that racial stereotypes still shape how some people perceive the first couple, and that many divergent stripes of blackness can be collapsed into one idea.
As well, you have taken leave of your senses!

55 comments:

Big Mike said...

Isn't it sad when somebody whiter than white bread tries to act as though the "get" Black culture. And even other white folks realize that the fool is utterly hopeless.

Revenant said...

Mr. Obama was a favorite of comedians even before he was elected president

I thought the old conventional wisdom from comedians was that it was impossible to make fun of Obama because he was too perfect?

traditionalguy said...

Are these the NYT guys sensing an invisible racist presence at Tea party events. That music video would have been deemed a Hate Crime if it had been played on Bill O'Reilly's show. The media world is gone crazy. I blame Palin's success in opposing their cozy little thing.

klwong43 said...

This is the most disrespectful thing I've ever seen - disrespecting the office of the President, the intelligence of the viewer, anything and everything I can think of. Is the NYT crazy?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

Well now. I guess the NY Times really wants its readers to know is who is allowed to use the 'N-word,' over and over and over again.

And who isn't.

Otherwise, it was awful.

wv: reful - that's what ice cream is for after saying the 'N-word' too many times to count.

Quayle said...

Unless you were born there, you can't understand it, so you have no basis on which to criticize it.

[I'm actually OK with that.]

But we at the New York Times have column inches to fill, so we'll write a whole bunch of words and paragraphs about it....

....even though, unless you were born there, it is impossible for you or us to understand any of it.

Quayle said...

It only takes a couple of lines tops to say, "We don't understand it, and it can't be explained, but here it is anyway."

edutcher said...

Were there any stereotypes they missed? If anyone to the right of Lindsey Graham had done something like that, the Gray Lady would be demanding everybody in flyover country be exiled to Alaska.

PS Where's Ritmo complaining about the Lefty Vanilla Ices who made that dreck?

Alex said...

Question to Ritmo:

Is Juan Williams the "House Negro" at Fox News?

Maguro said...

I thought it was kinda funny, once you got past the endless repetition of the N word. The physical comedy of Barack and Michelle eating barbecue, drinking vodka and smoking dope with a bunch of gang-bangers in South Central was pretty well done and you gotta give 'em credit for going after his smoking habit. SNL wouldn't dare go there.

garage mahal said...

Oh yes. Concerning.

EK said...

I liked very much your remark about the “newspaper's perversely politically correct need to appreciate rap music and culture.”

Perverse is about the right descriptor to apply to “rap music and culture” as far as I’m concerned. And yet elite media frequently fawn over it. It’s amazing to me the ridiculous lengths to which contemporary liberalism will go in its misguided attempts to demonstrate “solidarity” with the “downtrodden.”

AJ Lynch said...

The NYT is so kewl and hip!

Clyde said...

Well, that's 3-1/2 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

You know that Obama's popularity is down when even black folks are making fun of him. And really, what has he done for them? Unemployment is even higher now in their community that it was under Bush. Hope and change, baby, hope and change.

AJ Lynch said...

Re rap, I saw Eva Longoria made a rap video and she looked smoking hot! [can't say for sure if it even had a sound track]. Heh.

Pogo said...

The NY Times has a perversely politically correct need to appreciate all cultures that are anti-Western.

Hence their love for communism in the 1930s and 1960s, and their love of Islam today.

Quaestor said...

In what sense is that rap crap parody? Please explain.

All I saw was a bunch of gangsta wannabees revealing in their freedom (bestowed by the likes of NPR and NYT) to chant a racist anthem in terms that would ruin the life of a white person

wv: philist - one who adheres to the doctrine of Phil

Drew said...

Newsflash. NPR just fired the New York Times.

chr1 said...

Oh Lord, the squares at the Times know not what they do. Are they still trying to jam 'black culture' into 'we are a great nation' mainstream cultural/political platform...?

They're working the sentiment, but it's just pathetic.

At least NPR goes mainstream highbrow with Leon Russell and Elton John last week.

I think that's the only way a respectable man above 18 (a music historian Ken Burnsy type) could work at NPR for those humorless hags and narrow minded idealists, some creative vision that he's happy to affix to the idealists and those dreaming of honey for the hive.

Revenant said...

I made it about two seconds into the rap routine before I had to stop watching. Ugh, painful.

Quaestor said...

chr1 wrote: "I think that's the only way a respectable man above 18 (a music historian Ken Burnsy type) could work at NPR for those humorless hags..."

I've note this myself but I didn't want to mention it. NPR is totally hag dominated, and I mean hag in the "wouldn't touch that shit on a dare with her head in sack" sense of ugly slutness. Now that Juan Williams is gone there isn't a single prominent dude in the org; it's all chicks now and it looks like nasty weather ahead. The only one who has had even a fleeting brush with babe-itude is Mara Liason. I know she's well past her prime but one can discern some classical bone even now, but she's got that Greek girl unibrow, fuzzy facial mole thing going on. Nina Totenburg? Don't get me started. She looks like an portly, middle-aged transgendered Jew with no fashion sense. And Terri Gross? Gross says it all, man.

I can see where all this crusading libtard feminist shit comes from, these NPR gals were all stood up and/or humiliated on prom night and they've banded together to wreak Carrie-style psychic vengeance on the jocks.

Fen said...

NYTs: Mr. Obama was a favorite of comedians even before he was elected president

No. I still remember all the comedians making excuses for why they were NOT using him for material - they said it wasn't possible to parody him, it wasn't "funny".

That wasn't more than a year ago.

If the Left' Revisionist History is that dishonest now, imagine how much worse it will be after Obama leaves office in two years.

Quaestor said...

"Mr. Obama was a favorite of comedians even before he was elected president"

Could be true. Most comedians use humor as a weapon against those they deem enemies. Obama's their favorite therefore no Obama schtick.

Lem said...

@Fen

That's right.. I remember Jon Stewart declaring Obama fair game:
"You're allowed to laugh at him."

Meaning, Obama was being handled with kids gloves up to that point.

Titus said...

This is completely outrageous.

Quaestor said...

Titus? Outraged? Impossible.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey Y'all, don't forget the video that started it all!

ROTFLMAO!

Welcome to my neighborhood, Ann. No, seriously, that's where I grew up. (The territory of Maxine Waters.) A real dose of reality, huh? Clears the head right up. Kinda puts my whole crusade for sanity in perspective, don't it? (If nobody minds, I'd like to see some before I'm dead.)

"Blatantly racist"? Get out the popcorn - it's projection time!: Ann, what did you think you were being - and who do you think you were joining with - when you voted to create, specifically, the first BLACK president? The Obama video pulls the mask off that shit. But then - like Obama's lack of readiness for the job - if you didn't already "get" that, from Michelle and Oprah and, yes, the president himself, then you're blind.

Think about it another way - not as racist at all, but as a statement of fact: he ran a game on you, nigga. How's your multiculturalism feel now?

These are all issues I bring up, daily, on my blog but the implications of fraud hasn't seemed to interest you since that post where you were all "I get it!" (you know the one.)

I don't think you or the other professors have an answer, for what I or either of these videos represent, as you insist on going on (and on and on) about "race". These videos show you who I think of, when I say "black people", who are you thinking of?

wv - "winesty": I'm working on it, I'm working.

Ann Althouse said...

"real dose of reality, huh?"

No. I don't see the reality. Whatever hardship people, including you, have lived through, it has a tenuous connection to the NYT's need to appear in-the-know about black culture and giving a pass to loathsome stereotyping and use of the n-word in that not-very-amusing video. The high-tone language in that article was ludicrous. The sentence "As well, it’s seemingly an acknowledgment by the filmmakers that racial stereotypes still shape how some people perceive the first couple, and that many divergent stripes of blackness can be collapsed into one idea" is one of the most absurd sentences I have read in my life.

Ann Althouse said...

I mean look how it absolves the filmmakers for stereotyping. It counts as showing how "some people" think. When does that work? Why should that work?

Ann Althouse said...

"many divergent stripes of blackness can be collapsed into one idea"

Yeah, that's commonly called a stereotype, and it's not creative and it's not new in any way.

amba said...

Shades of "Airplane" and the jive-talking Barbara Billingsley, RIP.

The Crack Emcee said...

Say "black people" instead:

It’s seemingly an acknowledgment by the filmmakers that racial stereotypes still shape how black people perceive the first couple, and that many divergent stripes of blackness can be collapsed into one idea.

Makes perfect sense now. O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!

The Crack Emcee said...

No. I don't see the reality. Whatever hardship people, including you, have lived through,...

Who said anything about living through hardship? Why would your mind immediately go there now?

Isn't it possible the NYT has someone more in-the-know about black culture than you are? About South Central, specifically?

Come on, Ann, no matter how much I try, what these two videos show ain't part of your regular marketplace of ideas, and you know it. Your anti-nigger campaign - in a supposed free speech zone with a real live person from South Central, Los Angeles - proves it. You're confused about race, which is logical (because it's illogical) and one of the main reasons I keep begging you to quit insisting on tripping about it.

As far as the videos are concerned, you really don't see the reality. Think of the movie "Carrie": They're all going to laugh at you!" Well, they are. They're laughing at you. Obama's election was a deliberate fraud that took advantage of your good nature, and like all good cons, you "willingly" participated but now, rather than do the right thing and admit how you got took - look for some justice like the rest of us yokels - you hide behind raging about "high-tone language" (Heavens!) stereotyping (honestly!) and racism (against who, exactly, since, I think, the only white people in the video are the secret service?) Face it, Ann: Rap ain't American Idol - it's the black CNN**, remember?

Yeah, that's commonly called a stereotype, and it's not creative and it's not new in any way.

And just like the word nigger, it ain't gotta be.

**Public Enemy's Chuck D said that back when their albums were being reviewed in "high-tone language" on the NYT's front page.

Youngblood said...

Crack wrote:

"Who said anything about living through hardship? Why would your mind immediately go there now?"

I was wondering the same exact thing. The assumption that you were referring to hardship is patronizing and actually (Dare I say it?) kind of racist.

Jack Wayne said...

The video is funny. So is the NYT article. Pretend is an SNL skit (the NYT) and you'll laugh at their parody of a parody.

LarsPorsena said...

"..."many divergent stripes of blackness can be collapsed into one idea"

Isn't this how black holes are formed?

DaveW said...

I had to go back and reread the professor's post. Though she expresses disgust with the video she appears to be leveling her guns at the Times. She's right. The Times' writers are stupid. That sentence she's pulled out above is particularly stupid.

There's a lot more you could take on in that article. Try this "After that introduction, there are three more minutes of jarring juxtapositions. Mr. Davis’s Obama raps about his detractors with more curses and epithets, smokes marijuana, dances with a bottle of alcohol, pets a pit bull and more." No, dumbass. It didn't seem to me it was directed at his detractors at all. It seemed clear to me it was directed at you, or perhaps at anyone not black.

As far as the video itself I see nothing special at all, not in the context of rap. It's absolutely typical rap, a perfect example of why I don't like the genre. The only thing that makes it special is the play on Obama and I'm not sure why that's out of bounds.

I mean, rappers have been rapping for years (decades?) about putting a cap in their MF N-word ho and putting her in the trunk, so what's special about this video?

bgates said...

2009 "...presents a real challenge for comedians of any political stripe: how do you make fun of a politician who is, essentially, flawless?"

2010: "...a favorite of comedians since before the election due to his aloofness..."

2011: "...increasingly personal since the President took the unprecedented step of calling out Stewart during the State of the Union address for his late-October rally's interference with Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts. Stewart's retaliatory 'Swing of the Union' segment, in which he invites an LPGA pro to offer a weekly critique of the President's form on the golf course, is said to bother the famously thin-skinned and petty Obama even more than criticism of him for failure to stop Republican repeal of his signature health care initiative..."

2024: "...wondering whether America is ready to elect the first Presidential candidate who is truly representative of the African-American community. Skeptics point to the unprecedented nature of the venom directed at Barack Obama in the heavily race-conscious atmosphere of early 21st century pop culture, despite the fact that he had only fleeting contact with his one black parent - an African exchange student - and was essentially raised as a white person."

Sixty Grit said...
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Moose said...

The video itself, while deeply funny and spot on, is also incredibly disrespectful and a horror to watch.

What I'll be more interested in though, will be the reaction from the politically correct quarters regrading this. The "hood pass" blacks get when doing things like this will be stretched to the limit (ala the comment by Waka Flocka Flame). His comment that it might be "disrespectful" was amusing.

Again, this points to the hazards of identity politics and one of the main issues that people have problems taking black people seriously when they allow this sort of behavior to be representative of their culture.

Godot said...

Watch Head of State back-to-back with...

This video
(linked here at Althouse just a week ago).

Enjoy!
___

Sixty Grit said...
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shoutingthomas said...

I'm afraid that this brought out the schoolmarm in Ann. Don't take it too hard, Ann. My daughter is a schoolmarm, too.

So, the NYT liked it. Fuck them.

It is funny.

And, didn't Obama start his career doing the "blacker than thou" thing in Chicago?

Schoolmarm Ann, try to get your mind around this. Blues, which is now a certified art form among the intellectuals, got its start with the race records in the 1920s and 1930s. And what was the selling point of the race records? Crazy, over-sexed, wild cocaine snorting niggers!

Blues only became respectable when it also became... irrelevant. You know... like Dylan.

My late wife, Myrna, was Filipina, and born in Olongopo, which was the club district alongside the U.S. Navy base at Subic Bay. Filipinos have a sense of humor about this stuff. They embrace the reality of those centuries of whoring, drinking and drugging with a self-deprecating sense of humor. And, in some way, they see that part of their past as interesting, and preferable to the uptight ways of white folks. Sure, it's a sin to whore, drink, gamble and drug... but it's a hell of a lot of fun, too.

Blacks have the same self-deprecating sense of humor, but they've also got a political axe to grind. So, when necessary they pull out the "we're offended" routine for political gain. That doesn't mean we have to take it seriously. When blacks do that, they're just trying to get their hands on the swag.

You're taking this too seriously, schoolmarm Ann.

tim maguire said...

I couldn't watch the whole thing, but it was funny for a little while.

What's objectionable about it? It looks like pretty straight forward rap to me. Boring and generic with the prez throw in as a hook.

If it's offensive, then the whole genre is offensive and frankly I don't care enough about rap to be offended.

Franklin said...

That is the most racist thing I've seen all day! It's despicable that Republicans will stoke racist and racial fears like that in 2010 and it shows how very far we have to go as a country in terms of race relations. WHEN WILL NEWT, RUSH, PALIN, AND BOEHNER CONDEMN BLATANT RACISM?!

Oh.

Right.

Democrats can be racist if they want.

Well, then. It's a brilliant acknowledgment by the filmmakers that racial stereotypes still shape how some people perceive the first couple, and that many divergent stripes of blackness can be collapsed into one idea.

lucid said...

The New York Times is so over. There are just some people who don't know it yet.

Michael said...

I have wondered for a while about the good people of the upper midwest and their understanding of race in America, of the black underclass in America. Here we are down off Crenshaw Blvd.in SC and it is just another street party and the nice white bread people of WisfuckingConsin are troubled at the language, troubled by the disrespect, troubled by this and that. Crack Emcee, dude, I laughed out loud. They were had!!! They are worried about stereotyping!!! What did you expect? These people eat fried cheese.

Sixty Grit said...
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Smilin' Jack said...

Parody? Wait, you mean that isn't really Obama? Hmmm...sure fooled me. I thought it was a documentary the first time I saw it.

hombre said...

This video is disgracefully disrespectful to the President and his Office and to Mrs. Obama.

I don't agree that it is racist. I do think it evokes racism and that is as good an explanation as any for the imbecility of the Times piece.

Jeremy said...

Smilin' Jackoff - Thanks for the daily dose of racism and bigotry via the Queen's teabagger site.

You're a disgusting prick.

Jeremy said...

shoutingthomas said..."It is funny."

What exactly did you find to be so "funny?"

Alex said...

Whenever Jeremy shows up, instant buzzkill.

The Crack Emcee said...

Jeremy,

What exactly did you find to be so "funny?"

There's truth in these videos filled with "racism and bigotry" - towards you - and you, Ann, and other so-called "progressives" voting for those truths is a laugh riot.

One of those truths is Oprah's role in duping y'all (for the umpteenth time) as you continue to worship her for the privilege - hilarious.

And I notice no one - especially not Ann - has touched my final statement and question:

I don't think you or the other professors have an answer, for what I or either of these videos represent, as you insist on going on (and on and on) about "race". These videos show you who I think of, when I say "black people", who are you thinking of?

What's even worse than all these smartypants having nothing - nothing - but PC shit to offer, is the fact they won't invite anyone else (but the worthless Cornel West's, etc.) to the table to solve it either.

As these videos make clear, those pushing such self-referential stupidity, can kiss my black ass.

Shouting Thomas,

Love you, baby!