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Spike Lee: "I Am Not an Anti-Semite"

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With movie director Spike Lee much in the news for denouncing whiteness in the entertainment industry, my Taki’s Magazine column points out that Spike got in all sorts of trouble way back in 1990 for making too clear that his resentment of whites being in positions of power over black entertainers is especially focused on Jews.

Here’s a 1990 New York Times article that’s fairly explicit about what can and cannot be gotten away with:

Critic’s Notebook; Spike Lee’s Jews and the Passage From Benign Cliche Into Bigotry
CARYN JAMES
Published: August 16, 1990

In Spike Lee’s ”Do the Right Thing,” there is a scene he refers to in the published screenplay as ”The Racial Slur Montage.” One by one, a range of ethnic characters stare into the camera and spit out vicious, stereotypical descriptions of some other ethnic group. … The variety of types demonstrates that all bigotry is interchangable, all equally harmful.

There is nothing that reasonable in the stereotypical portrayal of two Jewish characters in Mr. Lee’s new film, ”Mo’ Better Blues,” the story of an obsessed and troubled black jazz musician.

Mo’ Better Blues from 1990 is probably my favorite Spike Lee movie. Here’s a pleasant musical interlude from the film:

Although, like most of Lee’s pictures, it’s chaotically plotted. (Spike has numerous talents, but plotting isn’t one of them.)

Denzel Washington plays a jazz musician (presumably inspired by Lee’s father), with the movie featuring lots of other star power, such as Wesley Snipes as a rival musician, and in a small but important role toward the end, a young Samuel L. Jackson. The film nominally takes place in the present, but looks like it is set in his father’s younger days. (That kind of ambiguity could be considered sloppy, but I like it.)

Because it’s a movie with an almost all-black cast, it has a conservative family values message.

However, the brothers John and Nicholas Turturro play two white club owners, and that wound up causing no end of trouble for Lee:

In creating the minor characters of Josh and Moe Flatbush, club owners who exploit the black musicians in the film, Mr. Lee has elicited charges of anti-Semitism from many critics, a charge the film maker disputes.

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In his review in Newsweek, David Ansen called them ”Shylocks.” In Newsday, Mike McGrady said they are ”craven” caricatures. Garry Giddins in his review in The Village Voice labeled the roles ”undoubtedly anti-Semitic,” but went on to say, ”Don’t let that lapse keep you from seeing” the film. When I reviewed ”Mo’ Better Blues,” in The New York Times, I described the Flatbush brothers as ”money-grubbing, envious, ugly stereotypes with sharks’ smiles.”

The Anti-Defamation League said last week that the characterizations ”dredge up an age-old and highly dangerous form of anti-Semitic stereotyping,” and that the organization ”is disappointed that Spike Lee – whose success is largely due to his efforts to break down racial stereotypes and prejudice – has employed the same kind of tactics that he supposedly deplores.”

And so what began as Mr. Lee’s least overtly controversial film may become one of his most controversial nonetheless. The depiction of Jews in ”Mo’ Better Blues,” as well as remarks Mr. Lee has made in recent interviews, distills two questions: When does a fictional character become an offensive stereotype? How do an artist’s public remarks reverberate and shape an audience’s perception of a film? These questions are acute in the case of Mr. Lee, whose work always has a political undercurrent and whose career is rooted at the crossroads of art and publicity.

The difference between the intelligent analysis of bigotry among blacks and Italians in ”Do the Right Thing” and the disturbing Jewish stereotypes in ”Mo’ Better Blues” is more than the difference between an artistic success and a failure. It’s true that ”Mo’ Better Blues” is muddled in its conception of the musician-hero, who must lose his art to gain a family, and its portrayal of women is pathetically shallow. But Josh and Moe, mirror-images whose repetitions of each other’s opinions are meant to be comic, are not merely stylized or failed characterizations.

The Flatbush brothers (played by real-life brothers, John and Nicholas Turturro) are so loaded with despicable traits typically used to disparage Jews that they might have been invented by someone in the Racial Slur Montage. They become rich by gouging others; they are deceitful; when challenged they threaten to sue. In thick New York-Jewish accents they accuse the underpaid black musicians of ”trying to take food from my children’s mouth.” And when the hero is seriously injured in a back-alley fight, Moe demands that the rest of the band go back onstage. Josh objects, in a tone that has little to do with human sympathy and much to do with the businesslike recognition that the star cannot go on. These caricatures are wildly out of synch with the film’s other roles. …

But the Flatbush brothers are the film’s villains, their greed inseparable from their Jewish identity. And because there are no other Jews to offset them, they become tokens of an entire ethnic group. In ”Do the Right Thing,” the Italian characters are fully defined and represent a fair range of qualities, from Danny Aiello’s ambiguous pizza-parlor owner to his two sons, one an unbiased peacemaker and the other a trouble-making bigot played by John Turturro. In that broader context, Mr. Turturro portrays an individual who is Italian and who has offensive ideas – a clearly conceived role far from his simplistic stereotype of Moe. …

Mr. Lee, among others, has cited the black chauffeur played by Morgan Freeman in ”Driving Miss Daisy” as a demeaning throwback. The charge carries a great deal of validity. The chauffeur, Hoke, exudes an older generation’s sense of ”knowing his place” socially: it is far beneath that of his imperious employer, Miss Daisy, who is Jewish but indistinguishable from any Southern, Protestant white lady. Both characters, however, have sympathetic features that rescue them from being insulting stereotypes. Hoke has a strong sense of self-worth; Miss Daisy’s hidden emotions surface when her synagogue is bombed. They are simplistic throwbacks, but they were not conceived in one-dimensional or malicious terms.

… Whether the Flatbush brothers were born of artistic carelessness or intentional malice, they leap off the screen as such strongly offensive types that they have taken on meaning beyond the film itself. They have moved into the realm of public controversy, where Mr. Lee’s personal opinions come into play.

In a great flurry of interviews given before and after the release of the film, in newspapers and on morning, afternoon and prime-time talk shows, Mr. Lee has denied being anti-Semitic yet sent a contrary message about Jewish control of black artists.

Mr. Lee told Daily Variety that his father, the bass player Bill Lee, ”worked for a majority of jazz club owners who were Jewish; this is not an indictment of them.” He went on, ”When I wrote the film, I wanted to put in how black artists had to fight against being exploited.” But because the exploiters in ”Mo’ Better Blues” are stereotypical Jews, Mr. Lee does make an ethnic indictment. (He also ignores the fact that Jewish club-owners like Max Gordon and Barney Josephson were important promoters of black jazz performers).

In the same interview, Mr. Lee said: ”I am not anti-Semitic. Do you think Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg or Tom Pollock would allow it in my picture?” He was naming the heads of the parent company, MCA, and Universal Studios, which made the film. And when asked on ABC’s ”Prime Time” whether his films can express any message at all as long as they make money – a wide-open question that did not refer to ”Mo’ Better Blues” – Mr. Lee answered, ”I couldn’t make an anti-Semitic film.” Asked why not, he said that Jews run Hollywood, and ”that’s a fact.” In such statements, Mr. Lee is taking on an issue that heated up last month when a panelist at the N.A.A.C.P.’s annual conference charged that ”Jewish racism” is holding back blacks in the film industry.

Watching ”Mo’ Better Blues” with these comments in mind, viewers are likely to find that Mr. Lee’s sense of Jewish control informs the Flatbushes far more than his disclaimers about good intentions. The characters seem even more loaded with the weight of his public opinions, even less forgivable as misguided artistic failures.

Mr. Lee’s use of his public presence has sometimes been greatly effective; on- and offscreen, he has done a great deal to combat the racism that undoubtedly still exists in Hollywood. But in his remarks about Jews he seems on an inflammatory course. And ”Mo’ Better Blues” suggests that attitude has done his art no good.

Poor Spike had to reply in the columns of the NYT with an op-ed with the self-defeating headline:

I Am Not an Anti-Semite

by Spike Lee

August 22, 1990

In 2012, Spike looked back on this turning point in his career in a profile by Ariel Levy for New York:

“B’nai Brith and the Anti- Defamation League, they were on my ass,” he says. “You don’t know what it is for someone to get on your ass until B’nai Brith and Anti- Defamation League …”

Eventually Lee placated his persecutors by writing an op-ed piece for the Times, but the whole thing still makes him mad when he thinks about it. And the truth is, he’s not sorry about portraying Mo and Josh Flatbush as Jewish bloodsuckers, feeding off the talents of black musicians. “Here’s the thing, though: It’s more than being a stereotype,” says Lee. “In the history of American music, there have not been Jewish people exploiting black musicians? In the history of music? How is that being stereotypical? For me, that’s like saying, like the NBA is predominantly black. Now, if that makes me anti- Semitic …” For a minute, he actually engages and sort of laughs. “I’m not writing any more op-ed pieces,” he says. “I did it once. I’m not doing it again. Seriously. I’m not doing it again.”

My Taki’s column, “The Oscar Grouches,” puts all this in wider perspective.

 

118 Comments to "Spike Lee: "I Am Not an Anti-Semite""

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  1. Wait a minute.

    If one were to meet a couple of bad Jews, it would be wrong or ‘antisemitic’ to assume that ALL Jews are like that.

    Fair enough.

    So, how does it make sense to assume that Spike Flea believes that ALL Jews are bad because two Jewish characters in his film are negative?

    So, if I make a movie with two nasty Japanese characters, it means I hate all Japanese?

    If anything, the Jewish critics are the real bigots because they wouldn’t have raised a fuss if the two baddies in Mo Worse Jews were Polish, Irish, Italian, Chinese, or etc.

    This stirs up some memories.
    In my city school in 6th grade, there was one Jewish kid named Ted. Rest were black, white, Asian, and etc. Around that time, the Viet Boat kids were coming in.
    And one had a name Chieu but he pronounced it as ‘Joo’.
    One day, I did a cartoon where everyone’s killing and destroying one another, and I titled it “Jew’s World”. I really meant “Chieu’s World” but since he pronounced his name as ‘Joo’ or ‘Jew’, I just used ‘Jew’. Since Vietnam was associated with war and violence, my cartoon was all about people killing and blowing each other up in the most horrible way. Anyway, Ted sees my cartoon and gets all angry and starts fuming.
    So, I tell him it’s not about his people. It’s about Chieu’s people. “Jew’s World” is really “Chieu’s World”. And then Ted was all smiles and thought the images were pretty funny. It no longer mattered that it was ‘offensive’.

    We see the same pattern in all this bitching about Spike Flea.

    Worse, didn’t Hollywood give us so many movies with bad Russians, bad Arabs, bad Asians, bad blondie ‘aryans’, etc?

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  2. My favorite Spike Lee clip from “Do the Right Thing.”

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  3. Spike Lee had a similar clip in “25th Hour.”

    You reviewed that movie.

    http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2003/01/09/Film-of-the-Week-Spike-Lees-25th-Hour/13491042132616/

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9 (UPI) — What would you do if your son had one day left before his 7-year prison term began? Or what if he were your oldest buddy? Your boyfriend? Your subordinate who could rat you out to the Feds? What if he were you?

    In Spike Lee’s “25th Hour,” Edward Norton portrays a 31-year-old New Yorker on whom the prison doors are about to slam shut. After weak performances in “Death to Smoochy” and “Red Dragon,” the two-time Oscar nominee is back on form.

    Norton plays a thoughtful, rather likeable yuppie who has messed up badly, leaving himself with three choices: go on the lam forever, kill himself, or endure an over-crowded maximum-security prison where his boyish WASP looks will likely attract unwanted attention.

    There are three basic types of male lead roles. The first is the masculine icon: the enviably but impossibly strong (Arnold Schwarzenegger) or attractive (Tom Cruise) movie star whom every fellow in the audience would like to be.

    Norton isn’t cut out for that. He pumped himself up to play a massive skinhead in “American History X,” but his natural body is wiry and his face resembles an overgrown chipmunk’s.

    The second kind is the character lead, the interesting personality that the audience enjoys watching, but wouldn’t want to be. Norton claims his model is Dustin Hoffman’s loveable loser Ratso Rizzo in “Midnight Cowboy.”

    In “25th Hour,” though, Norton delivers a fine version of the third archetype, the easy-to-identify-with regular guy (what Tom Hanks plays). In classic cowboy movies, this would be Jimmy Stewart’s part, not John Wayne’s masculine icon or Walter Brennan’s character roles.

    Most men can relate a little to Norton’s situation. We’ve all given some thought to just how we’d manage if — God forbid — the time ever came to hop into the proverbial white Bronco and make a break for the border. I hated “Thelma and Louise” when I first saw it because the women botched their escape to Mexico so badly (they started in Arkansas and fell into the Grand Canyon). Obviously, they didn’t have a plan worked out years before, like any red-blooded American man would.

    Before our felon makes his final decision, though, there are people he wants to see:

    – His heartbroken retired fireman father (Brian Cox, the screenwriting guru in “Adaptation”), an on-the-wagon alcoholic who blames himself for letting his beloved son go wrong;

    – His best friend, a brash Wall Street broker (Barry Pepper, Roger Maris in HBO’s “61*”), who thinks Norton deserves what he’s getting.

    – His next closest friend, a pudgy, shy English teacher (the great Philip Seymour Hoffman) paralyzed by a potentially catastrophic crush on his 17-year-old student (Anna Paquin of “The Piano”).

    Paquin is lively and Hoffman (best known as rock critic Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous”) once again disappears into his role. (In good news, Hoffman is rumored to be the first choice to play Ignatius J. Reilly, the quixotic anti-hero of the famous comic novel “A Confederacy of Dunces,” which may finally be emerging from 23 years in development hell.)

    Then, there is Norton’s pampered girlfriend (Rosario Dawson), whom he’s not sure he wants to see, since she may have sent him up the river.

    Finally, there are the people desperate to see him: a strung-out ex-customer and the scary Brighton Beach gangsters who supplied him heroin. (In his movie debut, 340-pound NFL noseguard Tony Siragusa makes a surprisingly credible Ukrainian enforcer.)

    And that’s the problem with the “25th Hour.” Just as Hanks’ role as a good-hearted hitman in “Road to Perdition” was misconceived, here the protagonist’s crime is too vicious, too sustained, and too vivid to harmonize with Norton’s portrayal of an everyman who made a mistake.

    The heroin business is not a one-time screw-up. It’s a career. Heroin dealers kill their customers by facilitating overdoses and AIDS. And, if the junkies don’t pay what they owe, the dealers kill them with guns to encourage the others to pay up. Novelist and screenwriter David Benioff should have assigned Norton’s character the Wall Street job, where he could have embezzled millions from abstract victims, while telling himself he was still an OK guy.

    This oversight is unfortunate because Benioff’s dialogue provides the expert cast with some ferocious scenes. And no one is better at staging harsh arguments between New Yorkers than director Spike Lee.

    His visual choices are more questionable, however. Lee imposes a stuttering rhythm on the editing, with lots of gratuitous cuts, some jumping forward a second in time, some backward to replay a moment from a different angle. This might have added interest to a weaker screenplay, but the situation and dialogue here is so strong it seems a distraction.

    Rated R for strong language and some violence.

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  4. Mo’ Better Blues from 1990 is probably my favorite Spike Lee movie

    lol, what a coincidence… Never let it be said that requirements to obtain the Sailer Seal of Approval were ambiguous.

    As an experimental low-budget piece “She’s Gotta Have It” was his most interesting effort, imo. As a movie-movie I liked “Inside Man.” X is a bit turgid, overlong, and “Summer of Sam” was an obvious tacky cash-grab. I’ve heard good things about “Get On The Bus…” it’s over there in the high 3-digits of my rental queue

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  5. Here’s another movie called “Jungle Fever.” It’s about a romance between an Italian-American girl and a black man. I think “Whiskey” would like it.

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  6. For a minute, he actually engages and sort of laughs. “I’m not writing any more op-ed pieces,” he says. “I did it once. I’m not doing it again. Seriously. I’m not doing it again.”

    Spike learned well that attention must be paid.

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  7. Spike Lee has always had a lot of animus against Italian-Americans. You can see that in “Do the Right Thing”, “Jungle Fever”, “Summer of Sam”, and “Miracle at St. Anna.” For some reason, that’s not brought up much.

    Sort of how like Rev Jeremiah Wright said that Italians have “garlic noses”, but it was his comments about Jews and Israel that got him (and Obama) in trouble.

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  8. Spike Lee also made a movie about attractive lesbians who pay a handsome black man to impregnate them.

    Lee doesn’t have much respect for feminists either.

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  9. On their first date, Barack and Michelle Obama went to “Do the Right Thing.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/obamas-do-the-right-thing_n_5543275.html

    Interesting first date.

    They recorded a message honoring the 25th anniversary of the movie.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2WLOKdH7BM

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  10. More recently, Lee has made a movie called “Chi-Raq.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4SmubIP8Y4

    He really loves trolling feminists.

    By the way, as Steve Sailer has pointed out, Obama never seems to have had much respect for feminists.

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/11/obama-as-feminist-avenger-huh.html

    Obama has never taken white feminists seriously. The only bit of feminist boilerplate I noticed in Obama’s 150,000-word memoir was a single clause within a long sentence. Indeed, resentment of his working mother and grandmother is a constant theme running through his pointedly entitled Dreams from My Father. You can tell how un-African-American Obama is by upbringing from his passive-aggressive sniping at his mother and grandmother, something that a normal black man just wouldn’t do.
    Over the years, Obama’s treatment of his pioneering female bank executive grandmother, who paid for the bulk of his posh education, has been noteworthy in its nastiness. In his celebrated 2008 Philadelphia speech, for instance, he compared her to Rev. Jeremiah Wright over her supposed racism for wanting a ride to work because she feared being mugged by a black drifter who had been hassling her at the bus stop. This hurt the strapping youth’s feelings. Over a decade later in his memoir, he described the emotional impact on himself of his grandmother’s worries about her safety as a “fist in my stomach.”
    In 2011, Obama took the opportunity of his one meeting with biographer David Maraniss to call attention to his grandmother’s “alcoholism” (see p. 287 of Barack Obama: The Story.) Thanks, Mr. President, glad you pointed that out for us so we can remember her that way. Classy.

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  11. I don’t care about some woman I’ll never meet sleeping with someone not like me. Thiugh Jungle Fever is a leading indicator f anti White behavior. Why would I since it doesn’t affect me?

    I ***do*** care very much when White women move the culture so I am not hired, or given a raise, or fired simply because I am a White man. Anti Whitism was unthinkable in Jewish run Hollywood, back when Jews made Yankee Doodle Dandy and Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street. So too in the 20s when Zane Grey and Dashiell Hammet pulps often contained unironically “mighty White of ya.”

    There is a reason Tancredo, and Brimelow, and Sailer, and Coulter, and Sessions all failed to move public opinion on immigration/immavasion. Brimelow in articular has been failing, for almost thirty years. Why?

    Because he failed to account for the female support for immavaders. Period. Trump moved the window because he’s been the funny Alpha male boss on tv for thirty years. That simple. Alphas can do nearly anything they want.

    Bill Gates can buy or sell Trump. But its not money. Look at their respective wives. Alphadom is charisma, presence, persuasion.

    And in six months a reality tv star with Alpha status dud more than Tancredo did in thirty years. But hey charge right into those machine guns. Pretend they are not there and they will go away.

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  12. Did he grow up in an Italian neighborhood?

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  13. Hah, the Lysistrata thing. Kind of like Empire trying to do King Lear. I’m going to check it out, though the whole withdrawal of sex thing is predicated on an assumption of social mores enforcing faithfulness and reducing incidences of rape. It might have worked better for middle class clerical workers with mild manners, not gangsters.

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  14. Yes.

    http://nymag.com/anniversary/40th/culture/45772/

    The reason for this is very simple: My family, we were the first black family to move into Cobble Hill. At that time, it was predominantly Italian-American. The first day they called us n******. But after that, it was cool.

    By the way, the Turturro brothers are of Italian ancestry.

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  15. Anonymous
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    Maybe he got beat up a lot by Italians growing up in Brooklyn. He’s a short, wimpy nerd with a big mouth.

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  16. I never saw the allegedly anti-Semitic parts of Mo’ Better Blues, because I had fallen asleep by then. Like a number of Spike’s early movies, it was soporific. I think scripts like that one held back Spike’s career more than the ADL. Spike made better movies (25th Hour, Inside Man) in the oughts when working from better scripts, and one of those, Inside Man, was also a commercial hit.

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  17. In 2011, Obama took the opportunity of his one meeting with biographer David Maraniss to call attention to his grandmother’s “alcoholism”(see p. 287 of Barack Obama: The Story.) Thanks, Mr. President, glad you pointed that out for us so we can remember her that way. Classy..

    Because Granny often got on your case over you being a lazy pothead. (100% my opinion)

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  18. Maybe he got beat up a lot by Italians growing up in Brooklyn. He’s a short, wimpy nerd with a big mouth.

    Also was (and still might be) a huge freakin pothead so keep this in mind when you evaluate his movies that may seem chaotic. His father was a jazz musician who had heroin problems. I remember dad getting arrested for this circa 1992. It was all over the news.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/10/26/nyregion/spike-lee-s-father-is-arrested-in-heroin-case-and-is-freed.html

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  19. > Spike Lee: “I Am Not an Anti-Semite”

    Oh good.

    I was so worried about that.

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  20. Spike Lee also including unflattering and stereotypical brief Jewish roles in Summer of Sam and The 25th Hour. Has he ever had a positive, or moderately human Jewish role in any of his films?

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  21. Spike isn’t bad at dialog, but his plots are poor. That seems like a soluble problem, but he largely hasn’t solved it.

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  22. Spike Lee is currently being tolerated because he succeeds to sell tickets to blacks. The blacks’ money is plenty green enough to go into our banks.

    Once his sales go down, he’s on his own.

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  23. Here’s my review of Spike’s lesbian movie:

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmConservative-2004aug30-00028

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  24. Does Spike sell tickets to blacks?

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/people/chart/?id=spikelee.htm

    I think I bought a ticket to his first five movies, back in 1986-1991. I think it frustrated him that yuppie whites like me liked him so much.

    He’s an interesting guy. I’ve thought about how he thinks a fair amount over the decades and I think I got pretty good at putting myself in his shoes.

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  25. I wonder if the 1990 Flatbush Brothers inspired the stereotypical music agents in the sequel to the highly memorable 1992 British advert for Heineken beer (both ads are in this video). IIRC the singer is bluesman Lonnie Brooks.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_UgPipskFU

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  26. Where have all the decent negroes like Spike Lee and Chuck D gone?

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  27. Spike Lee is a one note race hustler that people take seriously as a film director, not because he is another Stan Kubrick or David Lean but because his films are preachy social commentary more than entertainment.

    Guys like Robert Redford dabble in the same genre and enter their ”projects’ in film festivals to burnish their ‘serious film’ maker and political credentials but no one considers them a Fellini or Bergman. Why pretend Spike Lee is some cinematic genius?

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  28. OT but interesting in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of way:

    As Steve briefly mentioned, Edward Norton played Will Graham in Red Dragon (2002), based on Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name.

    Brian Cox played Norton’s father in 25th Hour (2003).

    Well … Brian Cox also played Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter (1986), also based on that same Harris novel. Lecter was Graham’s nemesis, to whom Graham reluctantly turned in his hour of need.

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  29. I think any analysis on the portrayal of ethnic groups is incomplete without outing it in the context of white privilege.

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  30. By the way, the Turturro brothers are of Italian ancestry.

    No shit, Sherlock.

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  31. Thus, white people are left with two options:

    - they dare not agree 200% with Jews; they are anti-Semites.

    - they don’t want more Jew-haters a.k.a. Muslims; they are like Hitler*.

    What’s not to like?

    *Steve, you noticed this incongruity only a couple days ago, and yet once again, are proven right.

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  32. His article reminds me of the ‘Struggle Sessions’ from the Cultural Revolution.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session

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  33. Hey Guys, a “racist” and an “Uncle Tom” get they comeuppance from 20:00 to 27:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGRycEC_E2s#t=1553

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  34. Spike’s early movies were electric. He plainly enjoyed writing and casting interesting white roles and black roles both. He tried for nuance in attacking “black on black” criminals or welfare mothers less out of ideology than because that’s beating a straw man — no black people, and only aging white Trotskyites, actually defend that misconduct. (To see how his vision has blurred over time, compare the wit and edge of “Get on the Bus” with the broadness or “Chi-Raq.”)

    If he seems less relevant now as a racial commentator it’s because his animating resentment — intentional lawful white oppression of cultured, smart, ambitious black men — is so far in the rear view mirror. When he was growing up, the adult men of that description all had suffered great pain from that abuse. Now, a black man of that description has been a beneficiary of 50 years of increasing civil rights protection and affirmative action by law, reinforced by culture. Very different picture.

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  35. A genuine black arthouse auteur was a big deal in the late 1980s-early 1990s. In, say, 1993, a lot of people would have rated Spike’s career achievement over that of the Coen Brothers’. Today, obviously, the Coens have the more impressive track record. Maybe the Coens always had the more impressive record and Spike was getting the benefit of the doubt because white America wanted an upscale black auteur. Or maybe the early Spike was actually pretty good, and he ran into problems (e.g., his father’s 1991 arrest for heroin screwed up his dreams of a nepotistic Lee dynastic “joint” that meant a lot to him) that aren’t unrelated to race.

    It would be interesting to hear the unvarnished opinion of John Turturro, who worked twice for Spike and the Coens each before 1993 (first for Spike).

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  36. lolz! I remember watching that movie on VHS circa 1990 with my buddies. We must have rewound that scene 15 times. The best part is still Turturro trying not to laugh when he says “360-degrees-basketball-dunkin’”.

    In the same interview, Mr. Lee said: ”I am not anti-Semitic. Do you think Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg or Tom Pollock would allow it in my picture?”

    That is some world class passive-aggressive trolling.

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  37. The funny thing about Spike Lee and Jews is that he fits some Jewish stereotypes himself, being a short mouthy highly verbal quarrelsome art-house director. You could compare him to a black Woody Allen, although I think Woody Allen is a better auteur/director.

    To some degree stereotypes of American Jews and stereotypes of New Yorkers align very closely; some characteristics we associate with being Jewish in America come from being a New Yorker and on occasion vice versa. Donald Trump is of course not Jewish but in his brash, aggressive personal he comes off as more ‘ethnic’ and ‘Jewish’ than e.g. someone like Ben Bernanke, who is a calm, quiet, polite Jew from the deep south.

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  38. You understand the perspective of making millions from gentrification, but then complaining about it?

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  39. Some of Spike’s beef with Jews comes from his being similarly bourgeois. He’s a third generation college graduate.

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  40. I think Lee uses Italians as stand-ins for Jews. He knows he can say negative things about Italians that he could never say about Jews.

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  41. He shows Jews pretty much the same same way he shows whites. This is why he is called an anti-Semite. An anti-Semite is someone who refuses to believe that Jews are better than whites.

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  42. “Has he ever had a positive, or moderately human Jewish role in any of his films?”

    Can you name a movie that ever had a character who was both 1.) bad or unpleasant, and 2.) obviously or stereotypically jewish? I’m sure there might be a few. But not very many.

    Now…………why is that?

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  43. “Anti Whitism was unthinkable in Jewish run Hollywood,…”

    As if Hollywood isn’t jewish-run today.

    You know, Jock Ian Seamus Connor McPaddy, I don’t know if you’re a liar or a a nitwit.

    Or just a lying nitwit.

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  44. Obama’s treatment of his pioneering female bank executive grandmother, who paid for the bulk of his posh education, has been noteworthy in its nastiness.

    That is pretty much a microcosm of race relations: the ones on the ground doing things are criticized over the ones in the far distance with promises of greatness if and when they decide to try.

    Occasionally, I come upon someone reciting the sins of White people with great vehemence. I point out that they should recite a few of that groups accomplishments. Perfection is not the alternative to the builder’s mistakes.

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  45. I think I get it.

    John Turturro can play loathsome Jew “Bernie Birnbaum” in the Coen Brothers’ MILLER’S CROSSING without anyone having to mass-apologize via an op-ed because…..oh, I dunno….let’s say “Holocaust”. Because Holocaust.

    Mystifyingly, however, the Coens can lovingly depict nearly every white middle-American gentile in all of their films as either vacuously tasteless boobs or jolly, affable psychopaths (capable of any atrocity in the twinkle of an eye), without feeling the need to explain themselves to the nation at large.

    I suppose you could point out that, big-time corporate media being a wholly-Jewish proprietary enterprise, no public apology is needed. But unless you’re a Jew, you’d have to apologize for pointing that out. (PS: your apology will not be accepted.)

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  46. Anonymous
    says:
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    There was some similar controversy, but not as much, about the depiction of NWA’s agent, Jerry Heller, in “Straight Outta Compton”.

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  47. It’s lonely at the top.

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  48. So, if I understand Spike, if you can find one example of a certain behavior in “history” then you are not stereotyping when you broad brush a group….got it. Now let me check my file on black criminal behavior .

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  49. Cox was great in Manhunter.

    • Agree: MEH 0910
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  50. Burn After Reading was on cable this week. Saw it for the first time. Thumbs up. Could you please post a link to your review of it here?

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  51. anonymous
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    “In the history of American music, there have not been Jewish people exploiting black musicians?

    So if someone in the music business discovers and promotes a black musician who would otherwise spend their career in obscurity then that’s ‘exploitation’? The black musician gains fame and makes more money than they would otherwise have made as a result of being promoted but yet they’re being ‘exploited’? If that’s the case then I’d like to also be ‘exploited’. It’s a common story for black musicians, entertainers, sports figures to earn large amounts of money and then to end up broke later, having blown it all in some childlike manner. Those who didn’t often had white managers see to it that the money was secured in some way. Of course there’s cases of people being shafted, no doubt, but this is just a part of the victimology legend where blacks are the eternal victims of sharpies. Expecting them to have a brain in their head is apparently too much to ask for even as the black musician is extolled as being some sort of musical genius. Despite all his middle class privileges growing up he seems like just any other self-infatuated black. He’s been the beneficiary of heavy promotion because he’s black and has been pushed as being an authority on all things black in America, just blackety-black-black 24/7.

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  52. I’d like to see a comparison of the Coens and Spike.

    I was really struck by Inside Llewen Davis. The entire movie is about a goy desperately trying to make his way among Jews in the early 60′s New York folk scene, whether they are promoters, his few fans, or rival musicians, including a crypto-Jew (nice touch). It’s so blatant that it’s a joke that keeps running through the film. The Jewish characters try to help him and give him a break, but his relentless quest for some kind of warped purity as a musician keeps him shooting himself in the foot. The scene where he visits his father shows that he has an “authentic” folk background as a merchant marine, but he rejects that in favor of the Southern hillbilly style that everyone’s trying to emulate in the early 60′s. In the end he gets angry at having to “appropriate” Southern culture and gets his ass kicked literally for it, while the more subtle Bob Dylan literally makes his entrance, possessing all nuancing will make him rise to the top. One can live with paradox, the other can’t- so he fails.

    I thought the scene where he has dinner with his Jewish friend who’s about to marry a Chinese girl and they start discussing how to have a multicultural name was another funny scene. Paging Amy Chua.

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  53. The fact that Spike’s father’s second wife is named Susan Kaplan might have played some role in the portrayal of the Flatbush brothers.

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  54. TRS has been pushing the term “counter-semetic”

    http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Counter-Semitism

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  55. tp://www.jewishjournal.com/hollywoodjew/item/yo_la_times_you_forgot_to_mention_most_academy_voters_are_part_of_a_minor

    Yo, L.A. Times: You forgot to mention most academy voters are part of a minority group
    by Danielle Berrin February 21, 2012. (ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Danielle Berrin writes the award-winning Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com.)

    So even though it may not seem politically correct to acknowledge that Hollywood’s Jews are in fact a minority (this does not absolve the academy for its lack of diversity elsewhere, specifically in the female and African American population), it is true nonetheless. Complaining that the academy lacks minority voices is actually false; what it lacks is diversity. But then I ask you, who says the leaders of an industry have to represent the population at large? .

    A quarter of a century later, Spike has learned a valuable lesson: You can’t get in trouble for anti-whitism because it isn’t even a word.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_oscar_grouches_steve_sailer/print#ixzz3yYj0v56S

    Very true but the public will never know that complaining about anti- black animus in the Oscar nominations, and boycotting the ceremony, as Lee very publically did has little to do with a non existent majority of generic whites in the Academy. The group being criticised (ie people who are mainly Jewish ) knows it, and they are not without influence. Not a single gentile , including Lee, dared to mention that most of the those supposedly voting bigoted in the Oscar nomination are actually Jewish,, because they will take you down if you cross them. He has learned to avoid Jews and concentrate on attacking a non existent white ascendancy. White people laud and reward Lee for attacking them.

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  56. By the way, the Turturro brothers are of Italian ancestry.

    No shit, Sherlock.

    Not so fast, Watson. The Turturros are indeed paisani, but their surname would not look out of place in a Sephardic synagogue:


    Tagliacuzzo
    Tapiero
    Taranto
    Tarica
    Tastassa
    Taregano
    Tisignia
    Tito
    Tivoli
    Tobali
    Toledano
    Tolicciano
    Toubiana

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  57. In Steve’s review of True Grit he mentions Burn After Reading, but the lack of a link to a review leads me to believe that Steve didn’t review it:

    After a three-and-a-half-year layoff following 2004’s forgettable The Ladykillers, the Coens have been releasing a movie per year. No Country for Old Men deservedly won 2007’s Best Picture. Burn After Reading was a misfire, but A Serious Man was a second-tier Best Picture nominee last year. Although not quite a Best Picture, True Grit deserves a nomination.

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  58. Anti Whitism was unthinkable in Jewish run Hollywood, back when Jews made Yankee Doodle Dandy and Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street.

    Jews in Hollywood were busily flooding the nation with depravity, anti-Christian sentiment and miscegenation. It only stopped when the Motion Picture Production Code was forced on them, largely by the political muscle of Catholics at the time. In fact, what Hollywood was busy putting out is made clear by things the Hays Code specifically called out as unacceptable. Among them:

    - Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell,” “damn,” “Gawd,” and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
    - Any licentious or suggestive nudity – in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
    - Any inference of sex perversion;
    - White slavery;
    - Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
    - Children’s sex organs;
    - Ridicule of the clergy;
    - Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;

    Of course, the moment the Code was lifted, Hollywood went right back to doing what it had been doing in the first place, and those “shalt nots” in the code pretty much look like a list of “must haves” for current film and television.

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  59. Worse is Lee’s depiction of women. Haven’t seen his latest “Chiraq”. But again sounds like women are little more useful than as sexual playthings. That’s true in “Do The Right Thing”, “Mo Better Blues”, “Jungle Fever”, “25th Hour”, “Girl 8″, “School Daze”, Summer of Sam”. In “Clockers” and “Malcolm X” , women were merely cutout saints. Basically he has no idea how to treat or depict women like real people with actual personality.

    As to Jews, Bill Lee, his father, married a Jewish woman after Lee’s mother passed away. And got hooked on or reverted to abusing street drugs. Jump to your own conclusions.

    Wiki-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Lee_(musician)

    Though Bill Lee scored his son’s first four movies, they had a falling out shortly after the arrest on drug charges.

    “I don’t have anything to do with Spike now,” Lee told New York Newsday in 1994. “We haven’t talked for two years.”

    Bill Lee has said their problems started with his son’s intolerance of his interracial second marriage. The family feud began in 1976, when Spike Lee’s mother Jacquelyn died of cancer and Susan Kaplan moved in with Bill. Spike has been quoted as saying, “my mother wasn’t even cold in her grave.”

    Bad feelings intensified with Jungle Fever, Spike Lee’s film on White-Black romantic relationships.[6] “That’s directly talking about me and my wife in a negative way,” said Bill Lee, who has a son, Arnold Tone Kaplan Lee, by his present wife.[6] Mrs. Lee has said, “I’ve never been a Spike Lee fan.”[6] In 1992, when Bill Lee asked his son for a few thousand dollars to cover household expenses, Spike turned him down “and his attitude was very insulting,” said Bill Lee in 1994.[6]

    Asked if he would give his side of the story, Spike Lee stated, “Hell No.Why should I dignify comments my father said, or play it out in a public forum?”[6]

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  60. Adult kids seldom feel warmly toward their father’s next wife.

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  61. He has learned to avoid Jews and concentrate on attacking a non existent white ascendancy.

    Just because he isn’t being very specific, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For Lee, Jew is a subset of white. He attacks (more like indicts) whites because he’s not allowed to specify Jews.

    It’s akin to the campus rape hysteria where males are indicted because women aren’t allowed to specify foreign/black males.

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  62. Adult kids seldom feel warmly toward their father’s next wife.

    Relative to the the warmth they feel for the wife that bore them, “adult” in that sentence is superfluous.

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  63. Surprised no one has mentioned Mars Blackmon yet.

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  64. I thought the scene where he has dinner with his Jewish friend who’s about to marry a Chinese girl and they start discussing how to have a multicultural name was another funny scene. Paging Amy Chua.

    Funny scene:

    What? Like…?

    Like, “Green-fung”? Hyphenated?

    No, no, one word, Greenfung.

    Howard Greenfung.

    You’re kidding, right?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSNvZYuN0mc

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  65. I’ve got a great idea for a movie about a man who capitulates to the unreasonable demands of the ADL.

    It could be called Do The Wrong Thing.

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  66. Is the freaky psychopath who’s the main character in Nightcrawler meant to be Jewish? It looks that way, given that his name is Lou Bloom and he’s played by the Jewish Jake Gyllenhaal.

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  67. I was watching a C-SPAN lecture recently by Steve McWhitey Whiterton White-ingham Inskeep about his book Jacksonland.

    Steve “Running Deer” Inskeep kept up a non stop dialogue of white man diseases and white man maps. It was an over the top case of signaling. Inskeep is one of the good ones, ya know. Inskeep also made a point of praising the first woman to ask him a question and demanding more. I mean, there are too many guys already, can’t they just go die or something, after they buy the book.

    It did occur to me that many consider smallpox to be a white man’s disease, brewed by the Devil’s own, ignoring all the white victims of the disease and its Asian origins. Rather than see them as another example of how heartlessly cruel Nature or the Divine plan can be,trade-offs from Neolithic innovations, afflicting everyone regardless of individual worth, Old World diseases are recast as an important part in the Manichean tale of Colonialism and Empire. Leftist whites have a hard time dealing with the banal, stony indifference of the Universe.

    A much better argument could be made that HIV counts as the black man’s disease. Will Tecumseh Inskeep go there?

    I pray to gods above and below everyday that Soros’ eye turns on NPR and its overpaid old white dudes.

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  68. Somewhat on-topic,

    The Lumpengentsia working their way around The Big Short:

    The white maleness – and the deep bro-iness – of the traders and bankers in The Big Short inform their actions. They are people of privilege, and they are born into a system that supports them, that enables them and that even rewards them for their bad behavior because they are white, male and rich. It is vital that the face of the enemy be depicted correctly, and in the case of the recent global economic meltdown that face was white and it was male.

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/01/28/the-big-short-so-white-so-male

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  69. Is the freaky psychopath who’s the main character in Nightcrawler meant to be Jewish? It looks that way, given that his name is Lou Bloom and he’s played by the Jewish Jake Gyllenhaal.

    It’s allowable because it’s not emphasized. His surname is Bloom, but he exhibits no overtly Ashkenazi traits. And no one describes him as a Jew in the film. Hence, his surname is without dramatic significance.

    Jake Gyllenhaal:Ethnic background

    Ethnicity:
    *English, Swedish, Swiss-German, German, distant Welsh and French (father)
    *Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

    Jake’s father is of one quarter Swedish ancestry, with Jake’s father’s other roots being English, Swiss-German, German, and distant Welsh and French. The surname “Gyllenhaal” originates from Sweden.

    Jake’s mother is Jewish (of Polish Jewish and Latvian Jewish descent).

    Jake’s paternal grandparents were Hugh Anders Gyllenhaal (the son of Leonard Efriam Gyllenhaal and Virginia Philola Pendleton) and Virginia Lowry Childs (the daughter of Geoffrey S. Childs and Olivia Waelchi). Leonard’s parents, Anders Leonard Gyllenhaal and Selina Amanda Nelson, both had Swedish ancestry, although one of Leonard’s five times great-grandfathers, George Fleetwood, was English. Olivia was born in Canada. Olivia’s father, Frederick Edwin Waelchi, was the son of Swiss-German parents, and Olivia’s mother, Elizabeth Elwina/Alena Hawke, had English, German, and distant Welsh, ancestry. Most of the rest of Jake’s father’s ancestry is English, with distant French.

    Jake’s maternal grandparents were Samuel Achs (the son of Morris Achs and Etty) and Ruth Silbowitz (the daughter of Benjamin Silbowitz and Yetta Sklar). Morris and Etty were Jewish immigrants from Poland. Benjamin and Yetta were Jewish immigrants from Latvia.

    http://ethnicelebs.com/jake-gyllenhaal

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  70. “However, the brothers John and Nicholas Turturro play two white club owners.”

    Tell it like it is, Steve: “two Jewish club owners.” As with Donald ‘Sterling’ Tokowitz, they’re only ‘white’ when it’s convenient.

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  71. Anonymous
    says:
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    I always just assumed that the poor plotting was some sort of postmodernist artsy film type thing that he did because he’s not a completely mainstream director.

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  72. Anonymous
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    Also, of the smaller proportion of white-black relationships that feature a white father and black mother, a lot of them, at least the ones you hear about, seem to feature Ashkenazi media or music industry men and black female artists or talent, e.g., Lenny Kravitz, Maya Rudolph. That sort of dynamic probably influenced Spike’s perception as well.

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  73. Speaking of which, is anyone watching Colony on USA Network? The main villain, played by the Der Sturmer cartoon looking Peter Jacobson (the diminutive plastic surgeon from House), is a collaborator, go-between, and all around tax farmer for, apparently, an alien race which has invaded the Earth/US/whatever. There was a scene in episode 1 in which Jacobson explains to the, um, Northern European looking John Holloway that he (Jacobson) is a collaborator because he is smarter than the goyishe kopf resistance. Did I mention Jacobson lives in the Hollywood Hills (I think, not so hot on LA geography, actually). The show’s producer/writer is a Latvian German Catholic Mexican guy named Carlton Cuse. All of which I thought was kind of interesting.

    I assume the season 1 plot arc will have Jacobson’s character join the resistance or otherwise redeem himself, but episode 1 was pretty heavy handed.

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  74. I don’t care about some woman I’ll never meet sleeping with someone not like me. Thiugh Jungle Fever is a leading indicator f anti White behavior. ***Why would I since it doesn’t affect me?***

    Is Whiskey a misogynistic sperg, or is he depending on his audience to be misogynistic spergs?

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  75. Anti-semitism is the one thing that will unite blacks and whites. It will bring the races together. It will heal. It will mend and repair all the hard feeling of the past. It is the one thing above all others, that would do the most good for blacks and whites and Spike Lee is against it.

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  76. A role played yet again by an Italian-American Paul Giamatti who just prior to SOC had played another crooked Jewish music manager in Love & Mercy. He’s in danger of being typecast!

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  77. an op-ed with the self-defeating headline:

    I Am Not an Anti-Semite

    This is what Merrie Spaeth would call a classic “Bimbo”. You just reinforce the charge in people’s minds by repeating it in denial. She’s been giving out annual awards since Gary Hartthrob’s love interest announced “I am not a bimbo!”

    http://www.spaethcom.com/blog/Bimbo

    If the name sounds familiar, yes, that was Merrie co-stalking Peter Sellers in The World of Henry Orient.

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  78. Is Caryn James Jewish? I don’t know.

    But I can see objecting to a scene like that as a form of prophylactic virtue-signaling.

    The more sophisticated way of inoculating oneself to racism charges is to acknowledge the surface appearance of racism and claim that, on the deeper level, the movie or show is really mocking racism itself. The Dave Chapelle Maneuver.

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  79. “Spike Lee – whose success is largely due to his efforts to break down racial stereotypes and prejudice . . . .” Funny, every Spike Lee movie I have ever seen has been filled with racial stereotypes and prejudice. I guess Mr. Lee’s “efforts” have come up just a bit short.

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  80. Ever notice how Hollywood tends to cast Jews as Italians and visa-versa?

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  81. “A Serious Man” from the Coens. Do yourself a favour and read E. Michael Jones’ review of it.

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  82. It tends to work pretty well, which is in line with the geneticists’ finding of a substantial Italian mixture in Ashkenazi from Roman times.

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  83. “It was white men that did this to the world.”

    No debate that Clinton and Bush Jr. very stupidly forced banks to drop lending standards to almost nothing. Zero or almost zero money down, ridiculously long terms (40 year mortgages?), heavily subsidized closing costs, artificially low rates. And that led to a lot of minorities buying more house than could ever afford, and borrow more money than they could ever hope to pay back. Haven’t seen TBS, but my understanding is the only borrower depicted is basically white trash. There’s enough blame to go around;a government that plays games with market forces without considering the consequences, and people too stupid to understand the gravity of their own economic decisions. And there’s no bigger decision than buying your house.

    And Obama is on the cusp of doing the same thing all over again. What could go wrong?

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  84. So you are saying that Lee is an anti-Semite for showing TWO Jewish characters negatively?

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  85. Lee isn’t saying that all Jews exploited all blacks. He said that some Jews exploited some blacks.

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  86. Mr. Lee has smartened up. He now focuses all his hatred towards white people in general. Much safer.

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  87. I dislike Obama very much but I don’t at all appreciate Sailer implying that it’s trashy to be open about the flaws of our kin. If I ever write my autobiography (as my dad’s dad did at the age of 90), it would be simply inconceivable for me to leave out my dad’s alcoholism.

    Not that I don’t have sympathy for him on some level, but it has hurt our family and it has hurt me. I fail to see any value in whitewashing things like this beyond the very limited value of being able to avoid the sarcastic judgementalness of people like Sailer.

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  88. You…SAW…Chirac???

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  89. Nice seeing Kerry Washington.Looking goo d. I have yet to see a black lesbian that looked like those 2! I guess Queen Latifa and Missy Elliot didn’t fit the parts?

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  90. The Coen Brothers are more anti-Semitic than Spike.

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/153484/coen-brothers-inside-llewyn-davis

    Check the link within the link to Hobsrman’s review of A Serious Man. It’s odd that he says Llewyn Davis is of indeterminate ethnicity. It’s clearly stated in the movie that he’s of Welsh ancestry.

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  91. I vaguely recall Oscar Isaac’s character going into some detail about his background, like Welsh father, Italian mother or something. Oscar Isaacs don’t come along every week, so you rewrite a few lines to explain why your character with a Welsh name doesn’t look totally Welsh.

    I’ve seen a little more of that lately where characters have lines added to explain why the actor doesn’t perfectly match the character’s presumed ethnicity. For example, in a movie where Michael Pena, the fine mestizo Mexican-American comic actor, is playing a NYC Puerto Rican, he explains he’s a quarter American Indian: “I’m the Mohican Puerto Rican!” he explains.

    In contrast, in old movies nobody ever bothered to explain Cary Grant’s accent. Sir Anthony Hopkins will likely be the last Brit to play Americans with an unexplained British accent: although in a couple of movies where he played a professor, there were lines added about how he’d done graduate work at Oxford or Cambridge.

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  92. TRS ?

    Cripes, don’t be so damn coy.

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  93. I vaguely recall Oscar Isaac’s character going into some detail about his background, like Welsh father, Italian mother or something.

    He explicitly states on a couple of occasions that his father is Welsh and his mother is Italian:

    Oscar Isaac:”Llewyn, L-L-E-W-Y-N. It’s Welsh.”

    John Goodman:” Well, it would have to be something, stupid f…… name like that.”

    John Goodman:” You don’t look Welsh”

    Oscar Isaac:”- – My mother was Italian…”

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  94. Early in Arnold’s career there was exposition in some movies explaining his accent, but by Total Recall I think that had stopped.

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  95. In contrast, in old movies nobody ever bothered to explain Cary Grant’s accent.

    Because nothing could explain Cary Grant’s accent. It was sui generis, a unique combination of Bristol, RP, New York, and California-style General American.

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  96. How many of you have actually seen Chiraq? It seemed, if anything, trying to be pro-feminist in that women are banding together to solve the problem, while men are depicted as being responsible. That said, it doesn’t do too much to counter the critique that Spike isn’t very good at writing women. I can’t say I’d recommend it, but I was impressed by what an unusual film it was.

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  97. >> I think it frustrated him that yuppie whites like me liked him so much

    Who cares about you? It’s the Africans who can be depended upon to spend their entire paycheck every week on dreck.

    Show business is selling one thing only: advertisements

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  98. Some people are movie stars and other people aren’t.

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  99. And John Turturro played the reprehensible Jewish bookie in the Coen brothers’ marvelous ode to Dashiell Hammett, Miller’s Crossing. I don’t see the Coens as anti-Semites…

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  100. Mystifyingly, however, the Coens can lovingly depict nearly every white middle-American gentile in all of their films as either vacuously tasteless boobs or jolly, affable psychopaths (capable of any atrocity in the twinkle of an eye), without feeling the need to explain themselves to the nation at large.

    I think you haven’t watched many of their movies. Lots of their white male non-Jewish leads are basically flawed but nice guys trying to get along with whatever weird shit life is throwing at them.

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  101. Anonymous
    says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    The rabbis are portrayed badly, but the only decently portrayed guy in the movie is the Jewish protaganist, who is a bit hapless but depicted as fundamentally good and decent. The gentiles in the movie like the blond neighbor and son and the Asian man and son are portrayed badly.

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  102. Op-ed writers don’t get to choose the headline. Someone at the New York Times was giving him the evil eye.

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  103. Has Obama talked openly about his father’s alcoholism?

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  104. ““A Serious Man” from the Coens. Do yourself a favour and read E. Michael Jones’ review of it.”

    Or, I could just see the movie.

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  105. C’mon. The whole country loved Frances McDormand’s placid but dogged determination in Fargo.

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  106. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh163n1lJ4M

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  107. Spike Lee average gross: $18 million
    Woody Allen average gross: $17 million

    He IS the black Woody Allen!

    As for the roundly disdained division:
    Adam Sandler average gross: $88 million

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  108. Sure. Like in FARGO.

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  109. Joe, No, just the opposite, no more than showing two blacks negatively would make one a racist.

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  110. The unvarnished truth is that exploiting black musicians is a long tradition. For years, most of the venues featuring blacks outside of the black-run juke joints and the chitlin circuit were mob connected, Jewish run, or both. Most of the small record labels that featured black musicians were also Jewish run. Herman Lubinsky (Savoy) and Bob Weinstock (Prestige) left a trail of resentment from black musicians over their business practices. We can be thankful for their role in distributing some great music that might have otherwise have never been recorded, while acknowledging that they were shysters. Portraying tightwad, grasping, coercive Jewish club owners was merely portraying a facet of reality that it is not politically correct to acknowledge. Spike Lee owed no apology.

    My feelings about Spike Lee are kind of like my feelings about Miles Davis. Great artists, raised in comfort and privilege, with an obnoxious and inauthentic tendency to leverage star power to mouth off in a posture of racial resentment.

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  111. The depiction of Frances McDormand’s character was entirely sympathetic.

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  112. Agree

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  113. “They recorded a message honoring the 25th anniversary of the movie.”

    What a pair of stooges .

    Thank God they never had sex !

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  114. >>> the moment the Code was lifted, Hollywood went right back to doing what it had been doing in the first place

    we invite you to put your money on the table to finance a movie about “great moments in the history of Catholic bishops”…. and then try to sell any tickets

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  115. I’m going to go on about “Fresh” one more time . One complaint I suppose would be that it was amateurish but what kind of sleek professionally done slick turds does Hollywood give us ? Look at the “now playing” and “coming soon” lists at IMDB .
    “Fresh” may not have had the sleek look that we have been conditioned to mistake for quality story telling but it was a story that was engaging , maybe moving . No A-list actors right , in some cases stilted performances who cares ? The drama of the story was compelling .
    I watched the “Oedipus Rex” (http://www.amazon.com/Oedipus-Rex-Douglas-Campbell/dp/B00006674E/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1454145955&sr=8-13&keywords=oedipus+rex) video and while it had low production values and the actors all wore masks the tragedy , the predicament of the characters has never released it’s hold on us in 2500 years . Can we say the same for the melodrama of “Schindler’s List” or the tripe of “Philadelphia” ? I don’t think so . But in the case of Fresh’s struggle and triumph over his circumstances and the forces that he faces I was impressed .
    While I don’t have Sailer’s or other posters facility with words I know the stink of a turd or the fragrance of a flower as well as anyone .

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  116. Shylock in Merchant of Venice?

    By the way, Dylan’s “Dear Landlord” is a complaint to his manager, Albert Grossman. It’s fair to say that Dylan and Lee share some sentiments.

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  117. My favorite of Spike Lee’s movies is 1992 Malcolm X.

    Last year, Chris Hedges claimed that when it comes to understanding White racism against Black, Malcolm X was much smarter than Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Malcolm X, unlike Martin Luther King Jr., did not believe America had a conscience. For him there was no great tension between the lofty ideals of the nation—which he said were a sham—and the failure to deliver justice to blacks. He, perhaps better than King, understood the inner workings of empire. He had no hope that those who managed empire would ever get in touch with their better selves to build a country free of exploitation and injustice,” Chris Hedges says at Truthdig on February 1, 2015.

    Chris Hedges says that Malcolm was against Capitalism (Usury). He quotes Malcolm X: “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck,” Malcolm said. “Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

    However, for obvious reasons, Chris Hedges avoid to mention that for the above two reasons, Malcolm X was hated by the Organized Jewry. Rev. King on the other hand, was, and still is, loved by the Organized Jewry.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/02/04/hedges-malcolm-x-understood-the-us-better-than-dr-king/

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  118. Rehmat says:
    January 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm GMT • 300 Words

    Arabs/Muslims castrated their black slaves. Only Allah knows how many.

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