commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Too Drunk To Swing
Those of you who have experienced issues with pot: Have you tried experimenting with sativa versus indica? I mean I totally understand why you wouldn't really bother if your distaste is that acute. But there are major differences, in my experience, with their effects. In our wonderful world of legal weed, you can also walk into a store, tell them the issues you've had in the past, and they will often guide you intelligently and empathetically.
commented on The Most Unforgettable Oscars in the History of the Human Race
It could just be my whiteness speaking (OK, I’m sure of it, actually), but I found Moonlight to very much be about blackness. (spoiler warning, I guess, although this isn’t really a film that can be ruined by knowing the machinations of the plot)
The movie initially confused me with narrative leaps that didn’t appear to make sense. Why is this person, who watched his mother be nearly destroyed by drugs, now a drug dealer? What is the path he took from the violent incident at the school to now? We infer he’s been in prison…for what? Just that one incident? And apparently Kevin was also in prison for some period during the interim. What happened there?
Also, the sexuality of Chiron, or more particularly “Black,” as he comes to be called, seemed odd. After an awkward childhood and fairly traumatic adolescence, he transforms himself, becoming super muscular and model-attractive. And yet we learn that the one encounter he had on the beach with Kevin back when he was a teenager remains his only sexual experience. How is that possible? The guy could have anybody of either gender, and he’s still a virgin?
But then I thought…oh. That’s right. One in three black men go to prison at some point in their lives, the majority of which are from the kind of rough neighborhoods and broken homes that form the background of Chiron’s (and Kevin’s) experience. In that world, I would imagine, it’s commonplace to have a record. The film doesn’t bother to tell us that, or to explain how recidivism happens, or patterns of drug dependency in black communities. We are left to infer all of that as simply part of the black experience in America. It’s a given.
And we’re also left to our own devices in understanding the realities of being black and gay. Cultural norms around hyper-masculinity, particularly in disadvantaged areas, would, I imagine, contribute to more closeted gay black men. Chiron puts up a good front, with the muscles and the grill and the rest, but it’s just his armor, a way to navigate the customs of the world he inhabits.
The way that Kevin and Chiron are challenged by the distance between their mutual desire and what’s expected—and allowed—in their particular world was Brokeback Mountain-esque, which one might say was an extremely *white* movie. So I guess in that way, maybe it’s not even so much about race as it is about class and culture, although those things interact in ways that can be hard to untangle.
Maybe this is all obvious, or maybe I'm an insensitive dope and all the above would be immediately apparent to all but the squarest moviegoers. But it does seem safe to say, from my massively Caucasian standpoint, that the film does indeed say quite a lot about blackness—or at least the experience of being black in America—it just has a particularly subtle and poetic way of doing so.