Because of the amazing comics that have been released in 1988, I decided to have another comics section in this theme week. Grant Morrison and Alan Moore are big enough names for this, I guess, but we shouldn’t forget Jamie Delano. I’ll just focus on the issues published in that year, since that’s enough already. Let’s go!
In his reaction to the Grand Jury decision not to put Darren Wilson on trial, Barack Obama again showed pretty well why politics won’t help us change anything unless they are forced. Politicians don’t care, that’s not their job, and Obama is no different in that than anyone before and probably after him.
Read the full post here.
American Psycho is one of those impossible book adaptations that you wouldn’t anyone who knows the book expect to even consider. That book is insane! Mostly in a good way and in a very disturbing way for the rest of the time. But Bret Easton Ellis knows how to write. The movie is relatively harmless in comparison and while it might not be completely successful, it is a worthy attempt that captures some of the spirit of the book. The direction by Mary Harron (a woman!) is excellent and the use of excerpts from the book works well. And Christian Bale of course, he completely sells the movie by his extraordinary performance. But the movie drags for a while in the middle because it doesn’t know what to do after the main jokes are made but the mayhem is not about to start yet, which bored me. Still, the movie, like the book (which I admire but never want to read again) made some great points about society and capitalism we can look at here.
You can also find the full post here.
No gangsta rap analysis could be complete without taking a look former N.W.A.’s Ice Cube (and eventually N.W.A.). As far as I remember, his first album I knew was also his first album, so today we look at the provocatively titled AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, which was released in 1990.
Is it possible to follow the Michael Brown case and not be amazed how things don’t change in our society? The incident itself is reminding us of Rodney King and Trayvon Martin, but also of the countless others who did not get the big media response. But even the “big” cases always ended in an unsatisfying way because as much as we celebrate justice and freedom in our society, it always boils down to injustice. The protests following the shooting are remindful of the 60s and 70s, showing that people’s frustrations can increase and eventually explode. Politicians’ responses are as always embarrassing in their lack of anger and Barack Obama certainly has foregone any chances to react accordingly in such cases, just playing the “calm down and forget what happened” game with fake sentiments and empty phrases, that politicians have played since politics exist. The imbalance that exists between black and white, poor and rich, authorities and citizens that make our culture so inherently flawed is very visible right now and won’t change through ignorance (because ignorance caused it in the first place). We learn that certain ethnicities are worth less and policemen learn that they have power over other people. We also learn that we’re in constant danger of our possessions and life and need to defend ourselves, no matter what, ask questions later. These are all central memes of our culture and they lead to such incidents.
Today we’re going to look at another “real” gangsta rap album, the eponymous and debut Cypress Hill by Cypress Hill, released in 1991. While they are now mostly known for their weed music, their first album was of a different caliber.
Read the full post here.
Punisher: War Zone. I mean, the title alone asks for trouble. Let me just say that as much as I’m a comics fan, even a superhero comics fan, The Punisher is a character I really loathe. Frank Castle’s family was killed by gangsters, so he kills gangsters now as the Punisher. He is the ultimate vigilante, showing that our laws don’t work, because they always let the bad ones go. Most of the time it’s an excuse for lots of violence and shooting and torturing, etc. I haven’t read a lot of his comics, but most of them are like that, even if there are exceptions (Mark Millar of all people seemed to have understood that Frank Castle is insane when he wrote him in Civil War). The first (or second if you remember Dolph Lundgren) movie was as you could have expected, telling the basic story and having lots of cruel violence. It wasn’t great. But now this one wants to take it many steps further. I respect director Lexi Alexander because she is very outspoken about women in the movie business and says things most people don’t even think about. But this movie is awful. This might be due to some difficulties with the studio, so I don’t want to put all the blame on her, but it is what it is.
You can read the full post here.
Because I enjoyed my first re-listening to 90s hip-hop so much, I dove a bit more into it and realized two things: 1) I know a lot of albums from 1990 to 1992, but almost nothing from 1993, making a radical change in course for my music taste (and for the worse since it was time for Eurodance), which also means I listened to all of that rap music between the ages of 10 to 12. That amazes me and will continue to do so when I listen to more albums. 2) I know a lot of albums from that period. And this was the beginning of the 90s without the internet. I didn’t even have a lot of money, so I have no idea how I got all that music. I had a good friend with similar tastes but that doesn’t explain where all the music came from.