A long time ago, when I was a journalist, one of my colleagues was the excellent arts writer Ernest Hardy. Looks like he’s still doing it. Google shows him writing about film for the L.A. Weekly.
Around that time the movie Soul Man came out. This wasn’t just a bad movie. This was a vile movie. The whole thing rested on the wacky humor of “reverse racism” in which a white guy tries to be black in order to get a full scholarship to Harvard. That’s painful to think about for 10 seconds; imagine it as a 90 minute movie.
Ernest gamely went off to review the thing. I wish I still had his review around. The part I remember is that he said another audience member summed up the film perfectly about 10 minutes in when he yelled “THIS SHIT AIN’T FUNNY!” to the general murmured approval of the audience.
I’ve been thinking about that review a lot lately. Every day I read something here, or in a news source or something, and I find myself yelling the same thing at the screen:
THIS SHIT AIN’T FUNNY!
It isn’t, none of it is. And it’s far worse now than in 1986. We’re going fucking backwards in time.