The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

iPhone warning, and a question

An honest question: we’ve discussed regime change through military action. In Iraq, it seems people are surprised that there were high civilian casualties. Fair enough. Does anyone out there know of a regime change caused by a war that didn’t have high civilian casualties? My sense of history may be off.
##
Watched “The Unit” last night. Third season opener. It is a threshold show for a number of reasons.
1) Dennis Haysbert is the lead (name appears first in the title)
2) He is dynamic and highly masculine.
3) As of last night, he also has slimmed down. In the first two seasons he was noticeably chunky for a television warrior. Note that every other military guy was lean and ripped. As were their wives. Note that Haysbert’s television wife is Mammy-sized. She’s slimmed down as well. Nice. Still, if you look at the opening credits, his white subordinates kiss their wives passionately, while Haysbert and wife hug each other in a spiritual, non-sexual way. Sigh.

This is important, because my definition of a successful show involves staying on the air more than two seasons. It’s made it, even if it gets canceled next week. I believe Chi McBride starred in an ensemble show—in which he was the only overweight character. Of course, Anthony Anderson stars in “K-Ville” or something, playing a tough New Orleans cop. His partner is half his size.

Man oh man. And don’t you folks dare say “it’s Hollywood.” Hah. If Hollywood is that bigoted, the rest of the country would be Nazis. Everyone knows Hollywood tilts to the Left. Hollywood executives don’t grow here—they come here from all over the country, and if their tastes don’t match the taste of the average viewing American, their careers die.

So the Unit suggests that America is becoming more accepting of a black man presented as…a man. Not safe behind fat padding. Not merely a sexless second banana. Not a spiritual guide. A guy. THAT I find very promising.
##
Someone misinterpreted my attitude toward Halle Berry’s interracial sexual liaisons. I get pissed at her, but know that that’s my junk. She’s just doing the best she can. And for those who point out that she’s biracial, I say that you’re being blinded by the discomfort of acknowledging your cultural advantage. Are there any biracial MALE stars who are as sexual as Berry? No. And damned sure not with white women. Vin Diesel might come closest, and he’s so light he can play an Italian. What I am angry about (other than the overall situation) is that black women don’t criticize Berry (or other black women) for sex with white men the way they criticized Denzel or Wesley on the occasions they had screen sex with white women. Back in the 70’s, in college, I had black men telling me that having sex with white women was some kind of revolutionary act (!!) but that black women shouldn’t cross the color line. I told them they were full of shit. That people should be free to find love (or lust) where they will. I know black women who will seriously contend that it is somehow BETTER for black women to date white men than black men to date or marry white women. Better for the race, they claim.

They can’t really argue with me, because I have the contrary rather than the opposite position. And if you put them across the table from a group of black men claiming the opposite right for their gender, it would simply devolve into a screaming match.


To me, it’s simple hypocrisy: everyone wants the greatest freedom and latitude for their group. I’m quite sure these women have their reasons. As black men would have theirs.

Separate and equal lies.
##
iPhone warning: if you don’t have a 2.0 USB port on your computer, the iPhone gets wonky while synching. And there seems to be nothing I can do about it for my old iMac. Sigh. Well, I’ve ordered a MacBook, so it will sync better there. Wish I’d known that, though.
##
I have been playing around with David Swenson’s ashtanga yoga “short forms” DVD over the last months, whenever I can’t make it to Bikram. I REALLY like Ashtanga (vinyasa yoga) and plan to increase the amount of it I’m doing. I need to be doing yoga three times a week. On yoga days, ALL I do is yoga. I try not to think about martial arts. Do too much M.A. and your subconscious will try to turn you into a weapon. And that’s not necessarily healthy for you, Bubba. But I find the balance between yoga and M.A./weights to be very, very nice.

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