The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, December 17, 2007

If Denzel can't get laid, Obama can't be elected

I keep hearing good things about “The Great Debators.” And someone said that Denzel gets laid? All of that buzz might mean a blockbuster…IF “Debaters” is the product as advertised, AND gets across the 100-million mark, THEN I’ll believe Barack Obama could be elected president. Until some such movie crosses that line, I don’t believe it, no matter what people say on polls. Everyone’s polite in public. But in the secret greasy chambers of their widdle hearts? We’ll see.
Will Smith will have another chance next summer. “Hancock” is a superhero comedy about a washed-up superhero who falls in love with his PR-guy’s wife. The original title was “Tonight, He Comes.” All jokes are obvious and already registered. Be interesting to see how the fifth smartest guy in Hollywood, arguably the most bankable star on the planet, sees his next move. I’m watching, Will. Where does your instinct tell you the culture is?
Dan—good on the yoga. Remember the entire class is just a breathing exercise. Keep the breathing smooth and easy, and don’t go any deeper than you can manage while doing this. THIS is your most important task.
Tananarive is back, thank God. I now have two weeks to get Shadow Valley finished, while simultaneously working on Vin Diesel’s “Hannibal” animated show. Looks and feels like fun. Need to do a bit of research to see where Hannibal might have been serving in his father’s army at about the age of 17…
Saw “Dan in Real Life” over the weekend. Steve Carrell is doing fabulously. Watching him on the “Daily Show” I certainly never expected him to be the break-out talent. The man can act, seriously. And is an extremely pleasing screen presence, likable in the way I think Jim Carrey would LIKE to be likable, and can’t quite pull off.
Today is a yoga day. I’m working my way back into Ashtanga on yoga days. Fifteen years ago, I was doing it every day for 90 minutes. I certainly don’t need LESS of it now. I’m alternating “workout” and “yoga” days with the intent being to master breathing. That’s the common thread.
I created a full creation mythology for my Ibandi that ties together their world—a world where the old “ways” of seeing are intersecting with the new “ways” of thinking—and what I’ve been learning and studying regarding the outer edge of consciousness and experience. I think it works, and now I have to put in the 100 hours necessary to bring the rest of the book up to the same level.


Anonymous said...

I suspect that Obama may well be electable even if Denzel's (cinematic) love life remains dreary.

Because however black Obama may be, Hillary Clinton is ... Hillary Clinton. And she still has to convince people to vote for her in the primaries, which may be tougher than you seem to think.

If Obama rather than Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, his chances of winning the election are excellent, because what's been swinging the last few elections are 9/11 Democrats -- and they're probably more willing to tolerate Obama than Huckabee, who seems to be the Republican Great White Hope.

You heard it here first.

--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...


Have you read Pride of Carthage by David Anthony Durham? I loved the book--but being that it is a fictional account, you may not want to read it--considering the work you are doing on the animated show.But still, it is a great read.


Steven Barnes said...

Thanks, Shawn!
And Erich, you may be correct, I see your point. And hope you're right! But hold to my little cultural litmus test nonetheless. It's served me well for three decades. I think it may hold a little longer yet.

Silsin said...

There is also the novel 'Hannibal' from Ross Leckie, which I think Vin Diesel referred to when mentioning his pet project in the past.
Is there already an air date set for the animated series?
As far as I remember it was already announced for fall 2007...

Frank said...

I firmly believe Obama can be elected President.

Just not in 2008.

Frank said...

Oh and to Erik's point: I predict that Huckabee won't be the Republican nominee. A while ago I would have said it was going to be Giuliani. But now I'm not sure if it will be him or McCain.

Either of these will dwarf Obama in the experience category which will, ultimately, decide the race.

Frank said...

Scratch Erik and replace with Erich.


Anonymous said...

I don't like Hillary, but I am rooting for her, because Obama vs Huckabee is my worst nightmare come true. And it has nothing to do with Obama being black, I would vote for Colin Powell in a New York minute.

Anonymous said...

So far, my vote is for Obama. Really don't like Hillary.


Brian Dunbar said...

Be interesting to see how the fifth smartest guy in Hollywood

I'm curious (in a playful way) about this. Do the stars sit down and take a proctored test? Consensual subjective ranking? Does someone maintain a canonical list?

I can't help but picture the school cafeteria in Oklahoma where I took the PSAT test, complete with the smell of cheap cornbread and okra (yum yum), filled with a-list celebrities, number 2 pencils in hand.

Brian Dunbar said...

Erich Schwarz
they're probably more willing to tolerate Obama than Huckabee, who seems to be the Republican Great White Hope.

It's a long time until November - the more I see of Huckabee the less impressed I become. I don't think he's got the legs to win the nomination.

Look - you might think all Republicans are yahoos but ... we're just folks. No one wants his party represented by a guy like that, not really.

Steven Barnes said...

I think EW chose Smith on the basis of his intelligent career moves.

Mike R said...

I think it all depends upon who he is up against. If he's up against McCain (IMO the most electable Republican, but also one not very likely to get the nomination, again IMO), I think he'll lose, but if he's up against Giuliani and also up against a protest Pro-Life candidate that has split the Republican vote, then he's virtually guaranteed to win. But between those two extremes there is an awful lot of wiggle room.

Steve Perry said...

I saw Will Smith interviewed somewhere not long ago, and he was asked about his choice of science fiction/fantasy movies. He said he and his agent sat down and looked at the numbers and decided that was the way to go.

Apparently it has been keeping bread on his table okay.

Mark Jones said...

Any advice for a yoga newbie? Having read your blog for a while now, I've decided to give it a try. I'll be 49 in January and I've never been especially flexible--and it ain't gonna get any better as I get older.

My wife and I are looking around for a place to take lessons now.

B the II said...

Full Ibandi creation myth, i await giddily in darkness, and here i was pining away for the fourth in the series that i though you ended so i switched my pinings to a third Lion's blood . . . And in relation to both what i envision with the Aubry story, and tangential help on the Hannibal story, check out the book Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian army by Donal Engels, it's a great analysis about how just about every move that Alexander made was based on a THOROUGH understanding and mastery of logistical supply and operations (Sun Tzu/Bin Fa has the theory, this has the analysis, watch out!).

btw: no pun intended, I think Edwards is the 'dark horse' waiting for these two to duke it out and be bogged down by their mud.

and, just ordered the free flow-fit and have been doing some intu-flow and swinging some clubbells with more frequency, thanks a lot for the comment at the end of Firedance, ps: when's the rubber band dvd coming out?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Steve.

I'm not really God, I just play Her in the screenplay I'm writing. :-)

I have good news. A black man is going to get laid and he's not going to be killed off afterward. Just thought you'd like to know.

-- Lynn

Anonymous said...

Now that just isn't as clever as it would have been had "GOD" showed up in the box where I typed it instead of 'anonymous'.

-- Lynn

Anonymous said...

One correction on the Great Debaters. It's not Denzel who gets to have sexual relations, it's Nate Parker who plays Henry Lowe. However, upon thinking about it again, I'm not sure that it is an entirely positive portrayal. He does bed the female co-star, but when the going gets tough, he reverts back to his old ways and sleeps around indiscriminately. -Danny

Steven Barnes said...

Ah. Depending on the scene, it might rate as a "black man getting laid" (I'll check it out) but since it isn't the star--not a clear touchdown. But it would still be nice to see.

Anonymous said...

Cinematic sex scenes are cringe inducing and take people out of the movie which is why there are very few cinema sex scenes in any American movies. However what does cinema sex have to do with institutional racism impacting the possible election of Obama? Institutional racism did not disappear because Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucus. Institutional racism did not end when Jesse Jackson won some Democratic primaries either, in fact, the institutional racism has increased as reflected in wealth statistics by race. There you find something very striking. Most people are aware that African-American families don’t earn as much as white families. The average African-American family has about 60 percent of the income as the average white family. But the disparity of wealth is a lot greater. The average African-American family has only 18 percent of the wealth of the average white family.

Huckabee wants to increase the wealth and income disparity by reducing the taxes of the upper income groups . He has proposed a regressive sales tax that would increase taxes on the poorest while reducing taxes on the wealthiest and destroying the social safety net which is funded by payroll tax deductions on income tax .

The bottom 20 percent basically have zero wealth. They either have no assets, or their debt equals or exceeds their assets. The bottom 20 percent has typically accumulated no savings.

A household in the middle — the median household — has wealth of about $62,000. $62,000 is not insignificant, but if you consider that the top 1 percent of households’ average wealth is $12.5 million, you can see what a difference there is in the distribution.

So Nate Parker who played Henry Lowe had intercourse with his co star. Will having intercourse mean he is equal under the law or in the courts, or in the dark when the white people ran to lynch him. or when he applies for a job competing against a white man or woman ? Only a macho oaf would argue that cinematic sex statistics is a leading indicator of economic equality.