Tuesday, April 2, 2013


"The word Nigger cuts deep into the root of this country and should not be banished or ignored.  The term Nigga,' so deeply embraced by current hip-hop culture, is the result of a generation in need of new intellectuals."-Troi "Star" Torain   

 Let's talk about hate.  No, I do not refer to just some reckless sense of playerhating. Rather, I mean full, pure, icy, burning Hate.  Clear your mind of concerns about your shine getting confiscated or someone smudging your new shoes.  Hate is similar to gravity: a weak force yet it still is capable of keeping your backside on the face of the Earth. If you haven't already done so, you ought to understand how this emotion is best showcased on a YouTube screen near you (while the videos are still available).    The "Unforgivable" series and companion videos like "The Visitor" and "The Long Afternoon" also produced by the videomakers Logan W. Hodge, Gunnar Fritz Stansson and RandallHaworth are responses to the current cultural climate where filth and the freshness of awareness strive to coalesce. At first glance the videos might send a shiver up your spine, arouse a twisted, toxic chuckle or just provoke a knee-jerk disapproval of the material altogether.  The character Ricky (Stansson) a young male of color, spews Nigger Nonsense simultaneously with references to arcane and/or critically acclaimed artists and athletes and/or works and publications in the name of comedy. What is displayed is actually a boisterous, subtle and vicious critique of male-female relationships entangled with race relations.  According to these videos, youths today seem to yearn to reach higher planes of thought. If viewed uncritically, however, the content might merely show members of an imperiled generation acting up, yelling out, and grasping at vapors in a foggy, dark abyss of doubt and uncertainty.    The existence of Ricky is an exercise in starting with the display of familiar and  appropriate behavior ("Visitor" and "Afternoon" serve as exceptions) such as eating at a restaurant in the mall or heading out on a camping trip or attending a Christmas party. This premise is then mixed with extremely coarse language, outrageous threats of violence, acts of force, and discussions of outlandish drug use and wanton sexual situations.  While it is not clearly stated in the videos, Ricky's "girlfriend" could be of any race or ethnic or socioeconomic background.  Regardless, Ricky relegates her and her comrades to the classic derogatory titles found in the world of hip hop. He frequently references female reproductive parts in the most explicit and derogatory of ways.  Any male Ricky encounters, no matter the skin tone, is a "Nigga" or a name reserved for a weak man or a slur related to male homosexuals.     Amidst the trash, he refers to the films of David Lean, Federico Fellini, and Woody Allen. Author Johan August Strindberg's Ms. Julie and Plato's The Republic seem to be among Ricky's literary favorites.  He brings up tennis players MarionBartoli and Roger Federer. Ricky apparently enjoys Frank Sinatra's finest recordings and acknowledges tunes by the Cocteau Twins. With all of this said, Ricky appears to be an educated hooligan hell bent on corrupting others and destroying his own mind.     Aside from Ricky's bluster and rage, non sequiters , atrocious diction, terrible grammatical phrasings, and misdirection, it's his esoteric knowledge and gnarled logic that is missing from unofficial video remixes posted by some of the millions of viewers.  Interestingly, however, most of the responses to the videos are from young women. The presence of these creations including female alternatives to Ricky at least compliments the videos ironically.  While Boundless Productions puts effort into portraying Ricky in a vulnerable light and as an example of the names he hurls at his victims, no other production teams or performers can match the underlying cogent boldness of the original HodgeStansson crew.  Not to mention, indications of the intellectual undertones and satirical intentions show up in scant comments pages and blogs.  Still, virtually no discourse covers how debasement is a reflection of Ricky's poverty.    Perversion arises out of Ricky's financial desperation.  What's sad is that Ricky feels that he is licensed to wreak chaos when and wherever he pleases merely because he is low on funds.  Ricky growls and grumbles about his money woes but fails to remember that he must first produce in order to generate a single penny.  Instead of trading with other men, he at one time or another intrudes, brandishes a knife, and steals or does both on his whims without conscious.  Instead of attempting to develop an adult, proper relationship with his girlfriend, he forcibly demands that she hand over her cash, her respect, her virtues.  Instead of regarding himself as a man capable of rational thought and therefore enabled to seek and fulfill a purpose, he stifles his abilities and slouches ever closer to degeneration.     To find Ricky to be an overgrown adolescent would be an insult to young people at the brink of maturity who hold on to their childish yet more innocuous ways.  Really, he is the archetype of the schooled buffoon and no more than a low-rent thug. Anyone willing to produce such fair reflecting the ultimate in where the gutter and high brow meet ought to do so just as  Hodge, Stanssonand Haworth have: with great lampoon and without saying sorry.

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