Thursday, February 24, 2011

Socializing w/ Episcopalians

Let's be honest with ourselves--why has this reemerged and why has James Earl Jones (once King Lear) taken this role? Are we still so infatuated with this sort of 'love' story? It is perhaps one of the most perverse of American fictions. This is a story of unfounded masochism and impressed solitude. There is a certain complexity and beauty that reveals itself as the play unfolds and the characters begin to develop their personalities. And I've never, personally, been quick to condemn the play, but it strikes me as just another piece in a reactionary resurgence of American race anxiety (see: 'The Change', by Tony Hoagland; see: Claudia Rankine's response to this poem). Driving Miss Daisy was once an excellent vehicle (no pun intended) for understanding race relations, especially between African-Americans and Jewish-Americans, but have we not come to a different point in American history? Where are the contemporary voices of Broadway? So much has to be said of the present.

What are some of your thoughts on Driving Miss Daisy and Broadway and discourses on Race Relations?

--Andrew E. Colarusso


  1. Ever see Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing? Beautiful, complex film. I hope you watch it.
    I think it's general opinion that it should have received more recognition when it was released in '89. Miss Daisy came out a year later or so, was easier to swallow, acclaimed by Hollywood, won academy awards.


  2. Funny timeline. Daisy is a good film/good play. The play came out on broadway a couple of years before Do The Right Thing. Both stand as great American dramas. Both still challenge and provoke redefinition.
    As well Spike Lee's persona has always been a challenge to the academy. But I want to know where the new voices are? Where are the new August Wilsons? Certainly not Tyler Perry--though I can't be mad at the chap.

    Thoughtful comment. Thank you K.

  3. I love Madea.
    Ok, so I read what you wrote more closely, and dang...that Hoagland poem?! (Funny coincidence, I thumbed through D.F.Wallace's copy of 'What Narcissism Means to Me' yesterday before reshelving it. It's always weird to me to go through his library...) But anyway, I didn't read that poem.

    Where are they? They're out there. : ) It's a good question. And I agree, I think the time is different, Daisy is nostalgia?
    But I think we both understand it's a matter of who/what controls visibility and the conversation. Tyler Perry is visible because he produced the money to make him so.

    And then even if an artist is visible, I think most media/sponsors/heads of organizations are typically going to avoid new, complicated conversations. Conversations that don't have answers, maybe conversations they don't understand yet, right.

    Like even with Kanye West's album. I haven't had, heard, or read much dialogue about the issues he raises on race in Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Granted, I think even he is encoding a lot of it, but still. That album was pointed at times. Sampling Comment #1 on Lost in the Woods, "in a white man's world", the George Condo cover (I want that painting), and more, I think you know. The album was successful and popular, but not in the context of those conversations, those were ignored...kinda made me mad. I wanted to talk about it.

    Old story. Fresh voices are usually contrary to marketability, so they're harder to find and probably won't be on Broadway for a while. But there's gotta be venues where this is countered right?


  4. No I don't.

    Digging through artichokes for the heart when they're still too hot. I hate that. Why didn't God make artichoke hearts grow by themselves.

    70 degrees fahrenheit in March. That's despicably too hot for March.

    Toms shoes. Even though they're for a good cause.
    They look stupid. I don't care about the children.


  5. Toms do not look stupid katie.

    The children care about you.

    shame on you.

  6. I do not love the children.

    Ok fine. I'll buy you some Toms. These stunning red ones. For these affectionate children. Your birthday is not too far away.

    Yes. Thank God for Toms. I don't know what the hipsters would do without children to buy shoes for.