Friday, July 2, 2010
Another chapter in black politics (actually just social issues): THE BOONDOCKS
Yeah, just by the way this post sounds somebody will read it and roll their eyes almost immediately. However, the Aaron McGruder-created series is quite realistic in a satirical and parodist manner about how society is. I've been a fan since the beginning, but isn't exactly a fan of the overt usage of the n-word though understand the context of its usage.
The Boondocks speaks upon many things that black and white Americans does in such a foolish manner yet doesn't realize how crazy it is from another perspective. In particular, the ongoing theme of the show's first 2 seasons were racial issues involving black and white Americans in suburban areas. You would have the already established white citizens living in that area then the influx of non-whites into the neighborhood with the sudden suspicion that there is "unwanted elements" arriving. Interestingly enough, those non-white formerly "new arrivals" become suspicious of more non-white new arrivals to that same neighborhood they were just looked down upon because of their difference in lifestyles. It's just a vicious circle, yet McGruder exploits this for the world to see in his now-defunct comic strip and current TV series.
McGruder ridicules the ostentation nature of intimacy involving interracial relationships such as the character "Tom", who epitomizes the idea of an "uncle tom". "Tom" has a white wife, who is wild for any good looking black male. The point of the satirical representation whom is "Tom" isn't interracial relationships itself rather the idea that being in one removes one from the issues involving race in our society. That's far from the fact because there are many situations where "Tom" would fall back into the web of issues associated with being black although he has an interracial familiar unit.
Another thing, McGruder exploits in particular in the second season of his series is hip-hop and its surrounding urban culture. He focuses on obsession with the hip-hop and urban culture by suburban whites. McGruder shows that although these youths listen to and attempt to imitate such cultural icons and quirks (although most are only figments of fantasy and exaggerated by the media), they don't suffer the consequences of their actions as would black when they exercise such behavior. He made quite clear that although these youths are truly aren't malevolent in intent with their actions, they can get away with these antics.
In addition, McGruder focus on the hypocrisy within the hip-hop on homosexual behavior. He points that out with a rapper in the series who denied to the very end that he wasn't engaging in homosexual behavior although it was proven time and time again. It goes to show that some will engage in such behavior and still live in denial. He also satirizes the foolishness of some rappers like 50 Cent, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, and such on the glorification of being shot various times and obtaining "street cred" from such incidents.
The current season of the TV series parodies the bandwagon effects of black Americans. He pointed out with the election of sitting president Barack Obama, many blacks felt that was a "game changer" in the state of race relations and the idea of "one of us" in the White House. However, the storyline revealed this to be far from the truth with the notion that 2 of the main characters were rejected access to the inauguration and following festivities. Another character, Huey, knew from the beginning this was far from the fact, but it was displayed that his ambivalence was "outsider behavior" and "treasonist" in nature by many black characters in the episode. Now this isn't saying that all black people have group mentality, but it is obvious that many exhibit such even in my past postings.
The most recent controversies the series has pointed out is the foolishness of now Viacom-owned BET. The BET network executives pushed to have the 2 episodes ("The Hunger Strike, "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show") satirizing the network's poor representation of modern black culture. The parodies of the network was quite accurate since there is practically no news, public affairs, or informational programming in its line-up since Viacom acquisition in 1999.
The most recent stir-up is the recent episode "Pause", where McGruder satirize the plays of Tyler Perry and his "Madea" character, and consistent message of the works. He also exploited the alleged culture that exists behind the scenes with Tyler Perry's professional and personal life. This includes the exploit of Perry being a closeted homosexual who uses his religion and usage of Jesus to deflect the discussion of his personal life while furthering the allowance of homophobia amongst black religious circles. There are a number of works by Perry where he has ridiculed LGBTs, particularly black males in his plays and films. Especially while in character as "Madea" mentioned black LGBT males as "tambourine players", but the irony is "Madea" is black male dress in women's clothing also "drag" himself.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Perry apparently is furious with Turner Broadcasting, who owns the Cartoon Network and ironically parent company of TBS where he airs his 2 sitcoms. The execs at the network are now trying to coddle Perry to keep him from possibly pulling his shows off the TBS network. However, Perry knows other networks would give him the time or day with his corny ass shows though. Most critics (including myself) sees most works of Perry as examples of the sanctimonious nature of some black folks,
To sum it up, the Boondocks depicts the issues surrounding the black people and to certain extent society itself...
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