On The Craft and Value of Art

Yesterday, I saw Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Sometimes it's a good idea to watch the train wrecks. Understanding what doesn't work and why is just as important as understanding what does and why. And... wow. That film could've been totally cool if the scriptwriter had even a passing familiarity with the Civil War and Lincoln's life.* If you're going to make parallels between a struggle with preternatural creatures and a real war it kind of helps if you actually are familiar with the real war in question. Slap-dash doesn't cut it. I know this from experience. And dude, there's a hell of a lot more undisputed information on the American Civil War and Lincoln's life. So, you didn't even have to read both sides of the debate and draw you're own conclusions. Talk about lazy. Holy crap. I'm stunned no one bitched about how it belittled the war and the fight against slavery.** Because it flat out did. I'm so glad I stayed away from that one until it hit cable. Because damn. I had to watch Cold Mountain after that to clear away the clunky storytelling. Seriously.

Which makes me think of the Thanksgiving Day parade and the first act I saw. It was a sniplet from the musical version of Bring It On. What floored me? The original was about how an all white cheerleading squad (unknowingly for the team, knowingly by their unscrupulous team captain) ripped off their prize-winning routines from an all POC cheerleading squad. The new squad captain (for the white upper class school) aptly named "Tori" inherits the mess from the unscrupulous captain, discovers the injustice, and attempts to set things right. She fails, but the POC cheerleading squad does finally get a chance to set things right for themselves. The thing I adore most about that film is how on one hand, it's a silly story about cheerleaders, and stereotypical feminine high school behavior--but on the other, it's about racism and classism. It mirrors, on so many levels, almost perfectly the things that happen in today's American society. It's brilliant for that reason. Brilliant. And then some one makes a musical out of it and apparently white-washes the crap out of it. No shit. There were exactly two POC actresses on that opposing team. Two. They even re-named the school they came from. Because nobody is going to believe that mostly white cast came from a school named "East Compton." Yeah. That. It made me want to throw things. Before I'd had coffee, even.

And now for something completely different. An article by Rachel Cohen about the intersections between the world of finance and fine art called Gold, Golden, Gilded, Glittering. It's a long, thoughtful, and deep piece. Read it when you've got time to think on what she's saying. Really amazing stuff there. 
* You know, for example: Lincoln had more than one son.
** Those were two separate issues. And while most American school kids are told the Civil War was about slavery, most historians would agree that the causes of the war were far more complicated and financially-related than that. Although, I have to say that the unintended similarities between what was going on in the film and certain recent thoughtless declarations for secession weren't lost on me.
everyone has their thing when it comes to what turns us on. [shrug] personally, i'm turned off by politically conservative men.
my friend Andrea was the costume designer for the Broadway version of Bring It has absolutely nothing to do with the original film. It could have been just another sequel to the first film, they don't have any story continuation at all. I'd suggest you not watch any of them, I'm pretty sure you'll hate them all.