let's synK, shall we? oKaaay...
Kit Kat!! i love me some Kit Kats :)
recently, we experienced our first official Sync Holiday: November 11th, 2011. a date more widely recognized as 11/11/11. i call this our first *official* sync holiday because the synchronicity of this date was recognized- and in some cases, celebrated- across the globe, rather just among syncheads. personally, i expected much more synchromystic fanfare, especially as far as the movie releases.
as per usual though, it took a while for the weight of the sync to set...
11/11/11 saw the release of Clint Eastwood's 32nd film(!), J. Edgar, a biopic focusing on the infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. this movie immediately got my attention; as a child, my image of J. Edgar Hoover was one of pure, unadulterated evil. worse than Hitler. seriously. why? one word: COINTELPRO
[COounter INTELligence PROgram]
was is a state sanctioned FBI program aimed at protecting national security by preemptively neutralizing potential local threats. in other words, the federal bureau of investigation used counter-intelligence techniques tested abroad by the CIA on american citizens who were seen as 'troublemakers'. as the image above shows, this program struck close to home for me when these efforts were turned against the Black Panther Party, of which my father was a member.
make no mistake- this is not a "conspiracy theory". this is documented fact. internal FBI memos clearly stated that one of the primary aims of COINTELPRO was to -and i quote- "prevent the rise of a charismatic black leader who could serve as a messiah for the black people". seriously.
the obtusely-worded memorandum above is one of the internal documents in which FBI agents discuss intercepting shipments of the Panther Party newsletter in order to disrupt communications and stifle the movement's popularity. Prevent The Rise Of A Black [dark] Messiah.. all for the greater Good.
"..maybe it means you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here... he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."
it has become part of my core philosophy now, though, that good and bad are matters of perspective, and tend to flip when situations get turned upside down, or over the passage of enough time. J. Edgar Hoover believed he was doing God's Work for the good of the nation. the Panthers believed they were doing the only thing they could for the good of their nation.
"..However you feel about the 'politics' of the players involved, the whole show was really about black versus white. Not versus... versus implies one against another... in this dynamic, the two only appear to be at odds. Upon closer inspection, they're moving around one another, in sync, in the same direction.."
in the american story, these two seemingly opposing perspectives are just a sampling of the larger centuries-long story of black-versus-white in the U.S.A... two sides of the same historical coin...
and eventually, the coin gets flipped.
conspiracy theorists claim Lincoln's portrait is facing backwards
because he turned his back on the secret society of his day
by freeing the northern slaves
"..Remember, the Democrats of [Lincoln's] time were the Democrats of secession,
slavery, the KKK and a whole host of other evils that ripple into today’s politics.."
..huh? what's that, Ty? my other half is tryna say somethin..
Eeenuff wit the history lesson, Toure :|
..let's get to the SYNK..
..right. sorry, Ty.
the concept for this post came after i saw the trailer for Denzel Washington's newest action-thriller BADass movie, Safe House;
the initial ads for the movie -shown below- reinforced the existing patterns of dark-hero Denzel by showing mr washington in all black.. and neglected to include his co-star, Ryan Reynolds..
..who has an other-side-of-the-coin comedy now being released on dvd called The Change Up, synchromystically reflecting Two Face double personalities, as well as Change as a slang term for coinage and Change as the basic concept behind the flipping of the proverbial coin..
"..This phenomenon is unprecedented in American politics. Women scream and swoon during his speeches.. Never did George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt. Martin Luther King Jr. or Ronald Reagan arouse so much raw emotion. Despite their achievements, none of them was raised to the rank of Messiah.. He has done nothing outstanding except giving promises of change and hyping his audience with hope. It’s only his words, not his achievements that is causing this much uproar.."http://faithfreedom.org/obama.html
seeing the trailer for Safe House made me snicker though.. as soon as i saw Ryan Reynolds, i knew this was going to be one more in a long line of blackguy-whiteguy buddy/enemy movies..
"but Ty-", you might say, "what do you mean 'buddy/enemy' movies?"
..well, first off- this is toure talkin, not Ty. and second, glad you asked. overlooking Denzel for the moment, we can look back to our J. Edgar star Leonardo DiCaprio for a great example of a black/white buddy/enemy story: Blood Diamond.
aside from getting plenty of attention already on this blog And starring syncstress Jennifer Connelly, Blood Diamond revolves around two characters, one black, one white, and their love-hate, trust/no-trust journey in which they are forced together by a circumstantial flip of the coin, and play at being enemies before they end up finding some reason to be buddies. get it? buddy/enemy story.
now the black/white piece of this puzzle is what solidifies the synk. there are plenty of buddy/enemy stories out there, but the ones that put a white guy together with a black guy are in a special category.
they're fighting but its cool they're friends
"Why is that, toure? Why is the black/white dynamic significant?"
again, glad you asked, but this is Ty talkin, not toure. get it straight.
when the buddy/enemy story features a black guy and a white guy, issues of race become plot points. sometimes this dynamic is overplayed, as it is in Blood Diamond, where there is obvious tension created by the fact that one character is a black afrikan and one is a white afrikan, and sometimes it is more subtle. sometimes it is not addressed at all- it exists only in the eye of the beholder. this is rare though. usually it's pretty blatant. the earliest, clearest example of this in film is Driving Miss Daisy;
the racial dynamic creates a tension that doesn't even need to be spoken to be recognized. think of the moment in The Matrix when Neo first meets Morpheus, and we see the dramatic turn-around of a big black dude. the expression on Keanu's face looks like he wants to say "uh.. i thought you were a white guy..", the same way he does when he meets Trinity.. no fault of his own, though. that's what happens when you grow up in america.
that point brings in another, more conspiracy-theory-ish element; the conscious decision by filmmakers and studio execs to pair strong black actors with white actors in order to counter-act the force created by the power of the image of an assertive black male.
"Okay toure, that seems like stretch.."
Dammit this is Ty not tour- wait.. no, you're right. sorry.
before you object- consider two things.
First: the COINTELPRO objective stated earlier. there was a reason a black messiah could not be tolerated. the galvanizing power of the black voice was more than clear in leaders like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and a mobilized african american population fueled by the anger of hundreds of years of mistreatment is, obviously, one hell of a national security hazard. the "angry black man" is more than just a stereotype. its a very real fear.
king kong and his kulture klub kidnapping lady liberty
Lebron "King" Looking Heated
aaand Second: the film career of Denzel Washington. he's had plenty of amazing roles; he's an amazing actor.. but how many of those roles had to be "tempered" by a white co-star sharing the top-billing marquee with him? can't think of any? i got ya: