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Birthdays Was The Worst Days

By Jesse Taylor
Sunday, January 18, 2009 13:41 EDT
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imageI’m sorry, but I’m obsessed with Big Hollywood. Andrew Breitbart managed to assemble the ur-wingnut site, and then focus every single contributor on the most inane topic imaginable – their own victimization at the hands of people who entertain intentionally. It’s like assembling the greatest minds of the Renaissance to figure out the nature of existence, except the exact opposite of that.

Debbie Schlussel, who you make recognize as every racist relative in your family, wonders when Hollywood will, and I quote, “stop glorifying hip-hop thugs“. Keep in mind that she also loved Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which may actually be a worse offense than racism.

There’s a long history of making movies about people who were in gangs, from West Side Story to American Gangster. For some reason, a movie about a compelling, larger than life figure, however imperfect, can’t be a continuation of a cinematic tradition going back to the very beginnings of celluloid – it’s got to be affirmative action:

I walked out thinking that I guess this is the new civil rights: If you’re gonna make a hero out of a White (Larry Flynt) and Latino (Ernesto “Che” Guevara) scumbags, then I guess the new “equality” is to do the same for a Black scumbag . . . on the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Makes sense – why else would you make a biopic out of a multiplatinum recording artist’s life unless you made a movie about free speech rights for a white guy thirteen years ago? It’s sad that we won’t get the Wutang movie until Nazis Come To Skokie gets made, but them’s the breaks, kid.

After Schlussel bares her id, it’s time for the killer right hook – there was a shooting at a movie theater which was showing Notorious this weekend! Surely, with a white Iraq vet shooting another moviegoer at a showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which may contend for the whitest movie ever made, they wouldn’t go straight to the Savage Negro theory, would they?

Would I be asking that question if they didn’t?

Local police say that they cannot be certain about whether there is a link between the shooting and the movie Notorious, which is playing on three screens at the complex, but let’s be honest. Every theatre that opened this movie had legitimate security concerns given that Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls aka Notorious B.I.G. lived and died violently.

Right, just like movie theaters had legitimate security concerns over, among other movies, 300, Monster, Cinderella Man, The New World and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, all of which featured people who lived and/or died violently. Since we heard no major concerns over a string of homicidal woman-on-woman killings in 2003, this can’t just be about people whose lives were filled with violence – you could barely show a movie in this country! Well, Christopher Wallace was obese, so maybe that’s it. Hollywood’s never produced anything about someone with a high BMI who committed a crime before. Makes perfect sense.

Oh, and the reason police can’t be certain about the link between the movie and the shooting? The shooting happened in a hallway, outside of any theater. The only reason there’s even a connection between the shooting and the movie is because the theater decided to reopen, but stop showing Notorious – and only Notorious – in the shooting’s aftermath. Here’s a list of the movies showing at the theater, Notorious being the only one involving violence, bad language or anything less than saints feeding starving children. Oh, and Marley and Me, but fuck that piece of shit. Patrons noticed the problem:

Keisha McMillan of Greensboro showed up Saturday at the Grand 18 to watch the movie, only to find it wasn’t showing.

“I think it’s stereotyping,” she said. “I think it’s because it’s a black movie. If it was another kind of movie, they wouldn’t have canceled it.”

McMillan questioned whether the shooting had anything to do with the movie in the first place.Police said it was unclear if there was any connection.

Tyrae Ellison , who had been at the theater Friday to watch another movie, said the building was packed and the argument might have had something to do with long lines of people waiting to get a seat.

Regardless, what happened shouldn’t be blamed on “Notorious,” he said.

“It’s not the movie’s fault,” Ellison said.

With names like Keisha and Tyrae, though, well…you know. Probably went to see Bride Wars, and you know you can’t trust those people.

This is already being turned into a Notorious shooting, based on little more than the theater’s seeming overreaction to the event as it relates to the film. No story I can find actually links the shooting to any showing of the movie – there’s not even a patron willing to say they saw or heard a connection, and local news can usually get eyewitnesses to blame gangsta rap for everything from osteoporosis to excessive cleavage in high school. Betcha Notorious gets attacked for this far longer than Benjamin Button gets blamed for the shooting that actually happened in the theater. It fits a narrative, after all.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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