Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Gosh, look at all the Negroes
Originally uploaded by jonnybutter.
As a video editor, let me let you in on a little secret (if you don't know it already). The best way to watch tv - most especially commercials (or RNC conventions) - is to watch with the sound off. Whether it's live tv or a post-production-type item, watching with the sound off lets you understand the real, underlying logic and narrative of the piece (in other words, the visual logic), whatever it is (try it! Mute a commercial break and watch carefully; you will discover a much more focused storyline. It's how editors usually work: sound off or sound-ignored). Every shot is a choice - and, as I say, this can be true even with live tv, if it's elaborately staged.
Now that overt racism is only marginally useful to the modern Republican party, they have enlisted every black person they could find: to be in crowd shots; to be creepy pseudo-reporters; of course to be at the dais - you name it. EVERY OTHER SHOT TONIGHT - on average - has been a black face. It's official! Black folks are now officially welcome to disdain poor or semi-poor people (including themselves, if applicable), and are further welcomed - by the GOP itself - to be bamboozled by the razor-thin hope of getting rich, just like everybody else. From the 'B roll' of tonight's convention, the message clear: we're all equal in the ability to get screwed the same. No more pitting poor white or brown folks against poor black folks (unless it's momentarily 'handy' later). What a long way we've come!
[UPDATE: Obviously, my pointing out the GOP's cheap spotlighting of the few people of color at their convention is hardly a novel insight (and, as I hope I made clear, race itself is not the issue; nauseating as the metaphor is, race has always indeed been a mere 'card' for most politicians, Republicans most recently). However, it's precisely because their presentation is so obviously shallow again this time that I felt compelled to comment. Even notwithstanding the moronically slow pace of our country's political development - literally 'retarded', and totally on-purpose - this is 2004 after all. You'd think they could come up with something better. I guess the vaunted racial and ethnic 'outreach' program hasn't worked out all that well....]