Another message from the Hollywood time machine

Yesterday, someone shared this article with me:

Detroit Firefighter Fired for Bringing Watermelon to Station.

And the comments were depressing. The part I hate the most is the self-delusional stuff. I can handle vigorous back and forth about substance, but virtue signalling and needing smelling salts is where it stops for me.  From all the milquetoast, whitey white genteel “conservative” stand-for-the-anthem types it was all the same stuff. “My word, I just can’t believe that a watermelon has anything to do with race! The world is going crazy!” It’s important to note these are mostly late baby boomers and GenXers.

They are like Scarlett O’Hara lying on a couch being fanned after a fainting spell. They have no idea the purging pogrom that is coming if this stuff is not stopped. No one will escape it. If you have ever posted something online that looked like a watermelon, smelled like a watermelon or had the word “black” in it, you will be dismissed from polite society. It’s just not your turn yet.

Scandalous!

Then, after the kids went to bed, “Die Hard” came on. And like a clarion call from the past, another 80’s movie was declaring–“there was another time.”

Let’s take a look, shall we. We will analyze the characters themselves.

Lets start with the white characters:

NYPD detective John McClain. Hero/protagonist. NY Cop, comes out to see if maybe he can patch things up with the estranged wife, Holly. He is a rebellious cop (“that’s what my captain keeps telling me”) but he gets the bad guys. He is probably less educated than his wife. John was most likely “wrong” in the argument that resulted in Holly moving out to the west coast, because stubborn men or something.

Holly. Most likely has an MBA (as evidenced by her job) to her husband, who as a cop in the 80s before college all the sudden mattered for police hiring, could be a cop “anywhere.” Holly is smarter, more sophisticated, more cool headed than her lug husband.

Hans Gruber. Gruber is one of the most badass bad guys in American film. An “exceptional thief” and cold blooded murderer who will do whatever it takes to get his hands on those bearer bonds.

Hans Gruber

Karl. Hans’ right hand man, and even more psychopathic than Gruber. Used a chainsaw to cut the phone lines. Carries a Steyr Aug.

Karls weapon of choice

Special Agent Johnson, (the other one).  Crazy, older Vietnam veteran stereotype FBI agent who is the subordinate of his cool headed supervisor, Special Agent Johnson (the black one).

Deputy Police Chief, Dwayne T. Robinson. Basic, white incompetent peter principle asshole.

Richard Thornburg. TV Anchorman. Asshole who frightens children and illegal aliens.

There are others, but those are the main and ancillary ones.

Now, the black characters:

LAPD SGT Al Powell. Die Hard is essentially a cop/partner movie with two cops who have different personalities–the twist being that the two “partners” never actually meet face to face until the end. And SGT Powell delivers the perfect yin to McClains yang in the film. The chemistry is superb, even though all they do is talk on the radio. Powell is conscientious, thoughtful, and smarter than his stupid asshole boss, Robinson. In the end, Powell saves the day. Having regained his confidence through the ordeal, he blows Karl away (still apparently pretty mad after his brothers unfortunate fatal neck breaking injury in the stairwell) with his .357 magnum hand cannon.

Argyle. Probably the most stereotyped black guy in the movie. Street smart. Likes hip hop music. Drives a limo which he plans to pick up his girlfriend with later.

Special Agent Johnson (the black one). Straight arrow, no nonsense, cool headed FBI agent. We get a pretty funny racial joke out of him. “No relation.” Get it? Ha ha ha!!!!

Theo. The only guy in the movie smart enough to crack the vault. Kind of nerdy, kind of cool.

Then, there are the Asians.

Joseph Takagi. A little bit stereotyped, but man I wish I was stereotyped like that. Super rich, overcame the adversity of being in a WWII Japanese internment camp. Seems like a really nice guy. Dead early on.

And of course, Uli. (Played by Al Leong). You’ll recognize this guy because he ALWAYS plays the bad ass martial arts villain who dies. My brother actually used to spar with him at the same dojo in LA.

Al Leong

The one Hispanic character, Paulina, is the nanny for the kids. She is likable and we have empathy for her because of her station.

And that’s how “we” saw “race” back then, folks. Complex, but ultimately NOT IMPORTANT.

I grew up in and around LA, and the characters in that movie were very realistic. In the sense that you might actually meet people like that, from all walks of life each and every day in southern California. And get a long with some of them, and others not so much. That’s what made the movie work.

Its why people from my generation are having fainting spells over the racialism we are experiencing now. I guess we’ll see which way works best. It’s coming and I don’t think we can stop it.

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13 thoughts on “Another message from the Hollywood time machine

  1. The watermelon thing always amused me, being a black, Southern gal who hates it. I’ll add that our oldest daughter doesn’t like fried chicken, either. Southern food and soul food are pretty much synonymous. Regional, not racial. Hasn’t anyone ever read a Paula Deen cookbook? Oops. Maybe I should have used Trisha Yearwood as my example.

    I am vaguely familiar with the history behind the watermelon trope (see image here):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watermelon_stereotype

    However, I don’t expect that most people are familiar with it. Most black people of a certain age aren’t even familiar with it, including our kids. I for one, just wish people (on the right as well as the left), weren’t always on the lookout for a reason to be outraged or offended, assuming the worst of every person, word, and gesture. I

    The vast majority of the latest outrages I learn of, I learn of here. I need to be ale to see people as individuals, and found doing that means completely tuning out the mainstream news media.

    I don’t know how you all do it and keep any kind of sanity.

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  2. E-

    I was actually aware of the origins of the watermelon thing. The funny part is I learned about it reading “Those Who Can See” blog.

    I don’t like watermelon either. Everyone around me does.

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  3. Before my parents moved our family to the US, we lived in Central America. On Saturdays during the dry season, we used to walk down to the river to swim and have a picnic lunch. Guess what my mom packed? Fried chicken and watermelon.

    Seriously, who DOESN’T like fried chicken and watermelon?

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  4. 80s action movies are great. I got stuck in the hospital a few months back for a week (pancreatitis) and while there one of the channels was showing a “Lethal Weapon” marathon. I’ve seen the movies plenty of times before, but watching them again was really refreshing. Here you had two cops, a black one and a white one, and all that really mattered was that they had great chemistry and the action was good. I like your Die Hard breakdown, and have actually been planning on watching the first two with my son. Looks like Ill have to plan it for the weekend, since now you put a bug back in my ear.

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  5. Those Who can See? They perpetuate the worst and often demonstrably false stereotypes about black people that one might find anywhere, ignoring cultural reasons for behavior among a certain subset of black people which they attribute to almost all black people. That’s not offense or outrage on my part, either. My outrage meter broke a few years ago. That’s just facts.

    @ Oscar:

    Seriously, who DOESN’T like fried chicken and watermelon?

    Watermelon is tasteless. I like fried chicken, but our daughter only eats it if she takes the skin off first, which defeats the whole point of fried chicken, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @ SnapperTrx
    OCTOBER 11, 2017 AT 2:23 PM

    “Here you had two cops, a black one and a white one, and all that really mattered was that they had great chemistry and the action was good.”

    And the black guy was a loving, married father with a solid family.

    @ elspeth

    “Watermelon is tasteless.”

    Tasteless? It’s delicious! Goes best with BBQ. I agree with you on fried chicken, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. E-

    The stuff I find most interesting on TWCS is their analysis of the ethnomasochism of people of European descent. The falling over themselves to annihilate their own distinct cultures (Irish, German, French, Swede, etc) into one big, evil, bland “whiteness” that deserves oblivion.

    Its why I am growing less and less interested in calling myself “white” because I think it has been an ultimately destructive force. It made all of the amazing tapestry of the different ethnicities and cultures of Europe disappear. I won’t let Serbian-Scot-Irish die with me, so my kids get a pretty big dose of all three.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As you said, “It” is coming, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. What baffles me still is the people who don’t understand. “What do watermelons have to do with race?”
    I am shocked, I would say, that people are still shocked, by anything being racial.

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  9. I am firmly camp watermelon. Also fried chicken, though I will admit that mine gets finished in the oven, because I get a little OCD about making sure chicken is cooked all the way through.

    People get offended because Tuesday.

    I think it’s funny (no, I think it’s sad) when I hear what my idiot state gov’t is up to from Chris, Scott, and Deuce rather than in the news, when I live IN California. Hey, did you know we just reduced intentionally giving someone HIV (or donating HIV+ blood) from a felony to a misdemeanor? I’m going to develop a concussion from -headdesk- at this rate. :p

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  10. Ha, ha! Danny Glover’s character when he finds out his daughter is in a condom commercial! Priceless! I love that guy, what a great character he was! Tried watching the new TV series and its pretty good. Haven’t seen it a log, but it seems to be working whenever I catch it.

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  11. It just seems like they have been convinced that THEIR conquering of other nations and lands is the epitome of evil, while the conquering of native blacks throughout Africa, native Americans all across North America and the natives of South America are ignored. Why? Noble savage, maybe? All of humanity has been cruel at some point, it was required for survival. Only in our recent “enlightened” world has the cruelty of “whites” been picked out. The only reason I can see is jealousy, really. Whites, overall, fare better than the rest of the known world, but that seems to be due to other races/cultures resistance to being brought into this century or the governments of certain countries refusing to allow their people to be brought into this century. The US has been giving aid to third world countries for decades, but it rarely reaches its intended recipients. Not our fault, yet the donations are overlooked in favor of the “inhumanities” of white people. I don’t know how to fix the problem when the latest generation of white European and American kids agree with the idea that they are “white devils”.

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  12. Pingback: Der Kommissar | Donal Graeme

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