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I ain’t even mad

I think we’re getting too tetchy, white people. It’s a comedy. I doubt I’m the intended audience, so I doubt the jokes would land for me, but I can stand having the piss taken.

The director’s whole reason for making the film hinges on his definition of ‘magical negro’

I think of the Magical Negro as a kind of stock Black character; a Black best friend character who is only focused on helping the white hero. They don’t really have an inner life, and they don’t have their own things going on. They’re just relentlessly focused on helping this white character grow in most cases, and I always thought that was so funny.

So he made this movie because “the idea that there’s a white writer who pictures the thing we do in the morning is getting up and trying to help them.”

But that’s not my definition at all. To me, a magical negro is a movie character who pops up at a critical moment and can magically do absolutely anything. He’s usually something humble like the janitor, but turns out he can hack computers or complete fantastically complicated equations or do a field appendectomy – whatever the plot requires. And he does it while dispensing folksy, homespun wisdom. Or ghetto smarts.

And now that I squint and look at it, both definitions do describe the same character. He fixated on the idea that the black guy’s only purpose in the film is to help the white guy, I focused on the idea that to do it, the black guy is given fantastically improbable powers. And the movie makes fun of both.

I guess people are feeling rubbed raw at the moment, but I can stand it. I won’t go see it, but I can stand it. Feel the outrage here (and you can also watch the trailer at the link).


Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: December 18, 2023, 9:42 pm

I remember in 2008 the phrase “Magical Negro” was used to describe Barack Hussein Obama.

Look how that turned out!

Barack was going to right all the wrongs of “Dubya”… 🤣🤣🤣😄😃🤣

Anyhoo, now that I have cracked myself up, I wonder if “Magical Negro” applies to Michael as well. I think not.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: December 18, 2023, 11:21 pm

They might as well name said negro
La Treyus Exmachina.

It would be amusing except for the concerted and deliberate effort being made to turn us into the disUnited States.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: December 18, 2023, 11:56 pm

With all due respect, I am going to avoid this one. In these days when our national Social Contract is gone, when treating any Leftist client protected class in the US as anything less than the epitome of human evolution is considered public proof of racism/sexism/name-your-ism, and when not being one of those protected classes automatically publicly defines you as inferior as far as our media is concerned; being involved with this at all, even as a paying customer, is a risky position to be in. When you toss in the use of the “N-word” in any of its variants, the safest thing to do is to pretend you never heard of it.

For the record, I am not a “techy White”, but rather Chinese. However in the American culture being Asian is considered to be the equivalent of being a White collaborator because our Chinese culture helps us be successful here and not dependent on the generosity of the State.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 19, 2023, 6:57 am

I don’t see the Magic Negro as able to “do absolutely anything”. Rather the MN has deep wells of “authentic wisdom” which translate into the particular extraordinary abilities needed for the white protagonist to triumph (or when imparted to the white, enable the white to triumph).

This is on contrast to another trope: the black tech wizard. It started, I think, with the original Mission: Impossible TV series. Later instances were in Die Hard (as a Bad Guy, intriguingly) and the film of The Hunt for Red October.

Comment from Jon
Time: December 19, 2023, 6:02 pm

I’m not mad, I’m simply not motivated to see it. Bad marketing.

See also “Civil War” where somehow Florida and California agree on *anything*.

Dune 2 Spice Boogaloo is the only one currently on my list I gave a darn about, because the first movie was a lot of fun and Christopher Walken as the Emperor is absolute perfect casting.

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