Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Donald Glover's Succinct Annihilation Of Rhyming, Posing, America....,



NewYorker |  The video, which was released online as Glover performed the track on live television, turned the single into a pessimistic statement on American entertainment—both the making and consumption of it. As such, the artist inculpates himself. In the video, Glover is shirtless and his teeth gleam. He plays a kind of deleterious tramp, all instinct, skitting around an airy parking hangar. Dance is its own language; the choreographer for the video, Sherrie Silver, has taught Glover to contort his body in a manner that induces memories of the grotesque theatre of jigging and cake-walking. Sometimes the movements and how they activate his muscles make him look sexy, at other times crazed. His manic elation erupts into violence at a speed that matches something of the media consumer’s daily experience. Glover strikes a pose, and then, in time for the rhythm drop, shoots a black man in the head from behind.

A moment ago, the victim had been strumming a guitar. Glover carefully places the gun on a lush pillow held out for him by an eager school-aged black child. The awful syncopation of murder and music recalls Arthur Jafa’s seven-minute video “Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death,” from 2016, in which footage of a police officer shooting Walter Scott in the back corresponds to a climax in Kanye West’s “Ultra Light Beam.” This is what it’s like, Glover’s video seems to say, to be black in America—at any given time, vulnerable to joy or to destruction. When his character is not dancing, he is killing. The camera amiably follows Glover and a new set of companions, a troupe of uniformed schoolchildren doing the gwara gwara, and then a slew of viral dances. The reprieve ends abruptly when, in another room, Glover is passed another gun, a rifle this time, and murders the members of a black choir. The ten actors fall down in a gruesome heap, reminding us of the night we got word that a young white man had killed a gathering of black worshippers at a church in Charleston. And then Glover is dancing again—this time, with cars burning and police chaos beyond him. The song ends with an eerie melody from Young Thug, who is almost-singing, “You just a big dawg, yeah / I kennelled him in the back yard, yeah.” At the video’s end, Glover is running for his life, the police gaining on him. I’ve been watching it on a loop.

BostonGlobe |  Diving down into the pop-culture id, Glover plays games with the politics of racial personae, the ways they can be appropriated and reappropriated by a racist culture, and the traps into which a trapped people can fall. He casts himself as the swaggering bad boy here, conjuring a centuries-long history of black male image, self-image, used image. 

The body movements and facial contortions reach back to the mother country, through Jim Crow and Juba and America’s sorry legacy of minstrelsy, through Alvin Ailey and “Thriller” and modern street dance — the dance is many-sided, many-streamed, lethal; it’s beautiful and grotesque. The machine-gunning of a gospel choir and Gambino’s crotch-grabbing, his lyrics sardonically boasting “Grandma told me, Get your money, black man” all taunt rap culture’s obsession with machismo, material success, and the glorification of gun violence — memes that are then taken up, reified, and reiterated both by black audiences and by a panicked, powerful white mainstream anxious to define and diminish.

Taken as a whole, “This Is America” functions as a double-edged machete, slicing into a divided culture’s twinned illusions and acknowledging the cartoon as a further form of bondage. Jim Crow mutates into Bad Mutha, burns the culture down, dances across its ashes, and still he ends up running for his life down a dark alley, pursued by an out-of-focus white mob. For a black audience (I’m assuming) it’s a familiar story, and Glover only connects the dots in fresh, unholy ways. For white viewers, those who have the comfort of rarely, if ever, being uncomfortable in their skins in public, this is history written with a different kind of lightning.

The response to this dead-serious work of satire has been exactly what it should be, confused and conversational, struggling toward clarity. In the words of one Twitter onlooker, “Donald Glover is doing what Kanye [West] thinks he’s doing.” (Arguments ensued.) Justin Simien, the writer-director whose wonderful Netflix show “Dear White People” parses the conundrums of black college life with wry empathy, weighed in with an epic interpretive “love letter” to “This Is America.” A white reader would learn a great deal by simply going online and reading the multiplicity of black responses to this video.

1 comments:

Constructive Feedback said...

I NEED SOME WEED/OPIOIDS / LEAN / SYRUP AFTER LISTENING TO THIS WOMAN


Hey CNu:

CORE VALUES and not HAPPENSTANTIAL contradictions.
This shows a MASSIVE VOID within your girl.

YVETTE CARNELL 1: "We Need BLACK INTEGRATION WITH WHITE FOLKS in order to allow BLACK PEOPLE to gain access to WHITE WEALTH NETWORKS"


YVETTE CARNELL 2: Issa Rye grew up with WHITE FOLKS IN MARYLAND and she is not QUALIFIED to give a viewpoint of BLACK LIFE as Donald Glover who CREW UP IN STONE MOUNTAIN GEORGIA


(REAL WORLD: Dekalb County GA [Stone Mountain, Decatur, South Dekalb] now serves as the VORTEX for BLACK CRIME VICTIMIZATION of METRO ATLANTA, taking the place of Clayton County and Atlanta proper)

WILL ANYONE ASK YVETTE CARNELL, who focuses so much on WHITE SUPREMACY, if the BLACK HARVESTING SCHEME called "VOTING FOR YOUR SALVATION" has any INTENT on DEVELOPING BLACK PEOPLE via the INTIMATE COMMUNITY INSTITUTIONS that they call THEIR OWN?