“Get Out” – Movie Review

Some horror films have been great in adding a spice of social commentary to the genre. The Stepford Wives was a poignant film about the feminist movement and its male backlash. District 9, which centers around the living conditions of Aliens living on earth really addressed the plight of living conditions for many blacks in South Africa. The latest in this line of cinematic social commentary is Get Out.  It lifts the veil of “post-racial” America to reveal its underlying ugliness. The dialogue is sharp and pointed…culminating in a daring portrait of American society

The story centers around Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, who are going home to meet Rose’s parents for the first time. In any budding romance the trip would be a rite of passage; but, Get Out has an added dimension: Chris is black and Rose is white. While she thinks nothing of the trip but Chris is clearly worried about what her family’s reaction might be.

Upon meeting Chris, her father seems a bit too hip, immediately addressing Chris as “my man” and making sure to point out that he “loved Obama” and “would have voted for Obama for a third term.” The father’s continued efforts to appear “not racist” makes him seem foolish. The mother, a hypnotist, seems unaffected by race but is eager to get her hands on Chris in order to hypnotize him.

The family has two housekeepers, both black. This clearly makes Chris even more uncomfortable. Both of them seem quite out of place, They are extremely subdued in their expressions and attitudes, which seem completely out of place.

Chris’s growing concern throughout the weekend becomes more heightened when a slew of people descend the second day for the family’s annual party. For the most part, the party goers are all white, successful and the take quite a liking to Chris. He is prodded and poked by the guests about typical black stereotypes such as his prowess in bed and his enhanced physical prowess to the point of absurdity.

While the director could have taken the easier and more oft-taken Hollywood route of exposing the racism of rednecks, Christians and Conservatives, he decided to target the underlying bigotry of rich, white liberals. In doing so he has made a bold and original movie. The guests don’t consider themselves racists; but, their incessant comments about how much they like Tiger Woods, Jesse Owens and Barack Obama expose how they view the world along racial lines.

As all of these incidents begin to add up, Chris decides to leave the party. In some ways , Chris’s  experience becomes a sampling of what many Black people experience in their daily lives. But the director isn’t interested in purely making a point, he’s out to make a horror film and he doesn’t disappoint. Chris, by his nature and disposition, calmly and glumly accepts the rampant racism around him before letting his anger take over. NO SPOILER here. But, the film’s combination of racism and control of others is at the heart of this horror movie.

Get Out mentions the presidency of Barack Obama repeatedly and so I want to address the director’s vision of it. Obama was elected, in some ways, as a symbolic gesture to show how far America had come…that we could elect a Black president in a post-racial society. The dialogue in the movie pokes fun at this idea through by the many comments people make about how they voted for Obama and, therefore, can’t be racist.

Some might chuckle and view the comments and message of Get Out as simplistic and far-fetched. In reality they are all too common. A few years ago when I accompanied a rich, white liberal from Boston to meet an Indian client, the head of the financial desk where we worked had to tell the salesman, “For God’s sake Billy don’t tell the client you can relate to him because you saw Slum Dog Millionaire.

Here is the irony: thinking and voting for a candidate because of his color as a testimony to your lack of concern about it. If they (we) were truly color blind, Obama’s policies would have been the deciding factor, not his race. Here is where liberal America fell short while at the other end of the political spectrum even his detractors were afraid of being called racist if  they opposed him on substantive matters.

We were so busy denying racism we made fools of ourselves committing it.

Get Out is a clever movie that speaks to all the subtle forms of racism to which we remain blind and that we dare not mention. In the end, the horror of this horror film is the real, unaddressed discomfort between races and the twisted lengths to which we go to prove it doesn’t exist.

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com

Obama And Biden Award Themselves Medals

Ricky Gervais a few years back hosted the Golden Globes Awards and he joked to the audience about the uselessness of awards “Remember if you do win tonight, no one cares about that award as much as you do. Don’t get emotional, it’s embarrassing. That award is, no offense, worthless. It’s a bit of metal some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you, okay? That’s all it is!” Ricky Gervais had won three of these awards for his past performances and yet he thought so little of the award that they were used as doorstops in his house.

The joke is funny because it is true. Because over time, the majority of awards and titles mean nothing to the general public. They only matter to the people who receive them.

Which leads me to President Obama and Vice President Biden who awarded themselves service medals during the last few weeks in office. President Obama awarded himself the Distinguished Public Service Medal for his own appreciation as his time as Commander in Chief while Vice President Biden won the Medal of Freedom award, the nations highest civilian award.

Many pundits were incredulous at the awards. And on many of the comment feeds on the articles have likened the awards to a much maligned “participation medal” and many others were even more skeptical of Obama giving himself a medal.

In Latin America the practice of the government awarding themselves participation medals is quite common. It is not uncommon to see a general in uniform stacked with medals and ribbons This is especially bizarre given none of them have seen any combat in generations. So self deluded with power and aggrandizement they award themselves medals to let people know how important they are.

Not all medals and awards are useless. Take a look at any serviceman who won the Medal Of Honor and you will get a glimpse if what real heroism looks like. I know many combat veterans here in the U.S who were actively engaged in combat operations and by ways of medals, have very little to show for it. The point being these awards were meant to really mean something.

For example in Mel Gibson’s latest movie Hacksaw Ridge about a Navy Medic, Desmond Doss, the movie depicts the heroism of Desmond as he saved countless lives on the battlefield. For his actions, he won the Medal Of Honor and I can guarantee you that every man in his unit will be forever thankful and indebted to Desmond for his actions and truly honored for him to win such an award.

Contrast this to President Obama winning his award for being an excellent Commander and Chief, the whole sordid notion reeks of desperation. Military awards are always given by their superiors to their junior leaders to recognize their efforts. Being that he is the most senior military leader, he nominated, recommended and awarded himself the award. President Obama winning that award is comparable to a mid level employee at Apple giving an award to Steve Jobs for his leadership abilities. That is how pathetic this whole thing is. In the military a junior officer can never recommend or award his superior an award, it is not the protocol and it is not conducive to good leadership.

The whole ceremony reminded me of the the famous line from Shakespeare: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” from Hamlet. The saying  has been used as a figure of speech to describe someone’s overly frequent and vehement attempts to convince others of some matter of which the opposite is true, thereby making themselves appear defensive and insincere.

These two must know how desperate this whole scenario reeks of so they award themselves medals to hide their incompetence.Since no one else will give them the credit they so rightly deserve, they award it to themselves. They really really want to let people how good, heroic and noble they were. And yet we have Benghazi.

During an attack on a U.S embassy in Libya, the president and his staff would not support Americans actively engaged in combat during the firefight where Ambassador Stevens was killed as well as four other Americans.The participants on the ground repeatedly called for help and even though there were Marines ready to go in, they were denied. We as a country had no problem putting Americans lives in harms way, and yet the Obama administration would not protect them when called.

With the Benghazi story as the backdrop of how not to behave in combat, during the invasion of Iraq, I remember reading a story about a Marine General who was relived of his duties during the attack quite simply because his units were moving too slowly causing other units in the attack unnecessary risk. I called my former Company Commander to see if he knew the story and if he could add clarity to the article. My former Company Commander said it was a highly unusual move for a commander to be relived of duty during combat operations as the General’s honor would forever be destroyed. He said “Most marine commanders would rather commit suicide than to face the eternal shame of failing in combat.”

His comments did not shock me as they rang true.For many not acquainted with military culture, this is exactly how mature military leaders think, and yet when President Obama had the chance to help fellow Americans in combat, he reportedly slept through the night.

Add this to his recent pardon of Bradley Manning who Obama commuted the sentence of a solider who went into a war zone, stole tons of classified files, and gave them to WikiLeaks. Manning released hundreds of thousands of secret documents relating to national security, during a time of war, with no regard to how it would undermine our war efforts and put lives at risk.  In any other time, Bradley Manning would have been shot for treason.

The whole thing is so outrageous that words don’t do it justice. The pardon of Manning along side his own award for leadership stand as juxtaposition of a man gone mad. A truly despicable finale to his presidency.

 

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com

Sarah Palin vs Barack Obama

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.” Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Barack Obama-SarahPalin

In the 2008 election, the power of ridicule was out in force and on full display.  It was the main tactic used by the left to help Barack Obama ascend the Presidency. During that presidential season, John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, was mocked relentlessly by the main stream media concerning her qualifications, demeanor and intelligence. It was done in order to destroy her party’s chances of winning.  Democrat advocates who produced and starred in the comedy show Saturday Night Live went to great lengths to her with the infamous Tina Fey impersonations.

The viciousness and scope of these attacks were so pointed and over the top that even commentators began to question the relentless assault. The hubris of the media and leftist Hollywood in thinking that it was their duty to educate the American voters on how unqualified Palin was and, to be blunt, what an ignoramus they deemed her to be.

Personally, I thought that the attacks on Sarah Palin were so extreme as to be indicative of the fear the Left had regarding the danger she presented to their chosen candidate, Barack Obama. Plain was actually quite an accomplished person. She had been a newscaster, small business owner and governor of a successful state. She had held real positions of power and  done well in every venture that she undertook.

Normally the focal point of any presidential election is the Presidential candidate themselves given that they are the one who, if successful, will wield the power. For all intensive purposes the Vice President has no real responsibilities and is seen more as an aide and, in some cases, advisor to the President And yet the most pointed attacks were directed at her and not McCain. Given the fact that she was not running for President but rather Vice President,  the attacks seemed disproportionate to the role she was playing in the campaign and would play as VP.

Knowing that Barack Obama, by any measurable standards, was untested and unqualified for the office, they attacked Plain for the qualities that their candidate did not posses. And it worked. In the end, Palin was branded as “not qualified” by the public. Ironically Barack Obama, with zero experience, was seen as infinitely better prepared to handle the office.

In order to elect Obama, the media did their part to bring down Sarah Palin. Obama’s lack of qualification was stunning and apparent for all to see; yet, incredulously, he was not the subject of their scrutiny.  Any halfway decent journalist could have scratched the surface of Obama’s history to find a paper thin resume.

  • Although Barack Obama’s academic institutions’ credentials are impressive, Columbia undergraduate and Harvard Law, he has refused to release any of his transcripts. His actual performance is unverifiable. If his claim was that he should have been elected President due to his extraordinary intellectual  acumen, then why not release the transcripts in support of that claim?  In addition there have been real questions raised about his time at Columbia given that no students in his program have vouched for him. Not one student or professor has gone on record to say they knew him or saw him there.
  • After Harvard Law School, he worked as a professor and a community organizer.  That was followed by a term in the Illinois State Senate and a term as a U.S. Senator whereupon he immediately ran for the Presidency.
  • The Lefts’ attacks on Sarah Palin were relentless because they feared her. By shifting the focus and the narrative to Palin, the Right was put on the defensive without ever having had the chance, or media support, to investigate and bring up Obama’s lack of experience. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.” Again….Saul Alinsky.

History is written by the victors. This has always been the case and recent history is no different. In many minds, the 2008 election was between Palin and Obama. Obama was smart…or his handlers were. He/They knew that Palin was the threat… not McCain

Irony is that Obama obtained the qualification he desperately needed but at the nation’s expense. His was clearly a case of on-the-job training. We erroneously put so much emphasis on the status of being President as an unparalled accomplishment that we bestow upon those who get there gifts and skills they may or may not have. Remember candidates for President are first and foremost better at one thing more than any other: getting elected.

The Left is not stupid. Far from it. They are focused, organized and take the long term view of things. They knew Barack Obama had not accomplished much in his life prior to winning so, upon assuming the Presidency, they bestowed upon this unaccomplished individual the Nobel Peace Prize for the “hope” that he brought to the world.  Not accomplishment. Just a feeling.

The Left doesn’t trade in facts. It trades in emotion.

This is not revisionist history and the Left knows it. Immediately following the 2008 election, the  Arizona State Board of Directors rescinded an honorary degree given Obama because they felt he was not a sufficiently accomplished person to speak at the event they were holding. They knew that the merit in the Presidency come from what you do once you are in office…not what you claim you’ll do while on the way there.

The consequences of the 2008 and 2012 elections will be with us for a very long time. I know politics is a blood sport but there should be boundaries.  Any rational person who observed what happened to Sarah Plain in 2008 understands the great personal risks involved in seeking the White House.  Its easy to conclude that only power hungry sociopaths would ever want to subjugate themselves to such madness.

The Left’s motto is “the means justifies the ends.” They lived it in 2008 in getting rid of Sarah Palin, and McCain in the process. But take a moment to think about the price paid. Think about the decent and qualified leaders who will never run for elected office because of what the Left did to her.

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com

Go Away Dave Chappelle

“We want you to go away.”

davechapelle

This was  Senator Barack Obama’s response to Dave Chappelle in 2007,  when asked how he could help his campaign. How do I know this?  Chappelle told me…and about 5,000 other people at a concert series he had a few years back in Austin.

I had heard rumblings through a variety of internet sites about Dave Chapelle being banished to the wastelands by Barack Obama, but I wanted to hear it for myself.  When I did, I was blown away by what Chappelle said.

First, a bit of history. Dave Chappelle had his own cable show, The Dave Chappelle Show on Comedy Central. The show was a mixture of stand up and skits that made fun of everybody.  The humor was over the top and, unlike other comedians, no topic or person was sacred…Blacks included.  Some of his most memorable skits were on the problems within the Black community.

At his stand up show, he let the audience know that, over the years, he had gotten numerous complaints from different ethnic groups. Blacks, Asians, Whites etc…the complaints never stopped. But he didn’t care because he felt his jokes were fair. As he put it, his parents were of mixed race and he was married to an Asian so he identified with many races. This gave him more comedic freedom in poking fun at various ethnic groups. As he saw it, nobody was off limits.

I think Barack Obama saw the fearlessness of Dave Chappelle and it scared him.

Barack Obama was an astute student of Saul Alinsky, the first original community organizer. Obama knew that Alinsky believed that satire and ridicule are the organizer’s greatest weapon. There is no doubt in my mind that Senator Obama saw the devastating effect of Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin (the Republican Vice Presidential candidate) on Saturday Night Live and how quickly Palin went from media darling to punch line on the national stage. There was no way Obama could let a comedian of Dave Chappelle’s stature and scope go unchecked lest he lose the election. In fact, Dave Chappelle actually had a skit where he parodies what it would be like having a Black man as President.

Because of Obama’s phone call, Dave Chappelle walked away from a multi-million dollar contract with Comedy Central and  disappeared from the national stage.  As he put it, his appearance in Austin was only because Barack had been re-elected to his second term and he, Chappelle, was no longer a threat to the President.

Chappelle said the media had portrayed him as someone who had gone mad and could not handle the fame.  In reality, he had walked away for reasons directly related to his, and his family’s, safety.  As Chappelle said, “I might be crazy but not crazy enough to walk away from a multi-million dollar contract.”

He had been exiled.

After seeing the show and hearing what he said, I thought his performance would have been all over the news; but, there was nothing. A complete blackout. Once the comedians saw one of their own taken out, Barack Obama was never really targeted by the comedic class.

Given that George Bush was relentlessly mocked by Saturday Night Live for the prior eight years , I would have thought  Barack Obama would, at least, have been the brunt of the show’s writers; but, that was not to be. Once Dave Chappelle was forced to disappear, Saturday Night Live got the message and fell in line.

One of the the first skits Saturday Night Live ever did on Obama was… get this… a skit showing how “cool” Obama was. It was really one of the most pathetic skits, and examples of cowardice, I have ever seen. Fred Armisan, the actor who played the President,  played Obama as an iconic media figure in the image of James Dean.  This was meant to be a skit on satire and comedy. It was anything but. It was, in fact, a marketing tribute!

When Saturday Night Live started receiving  criticism for the fawning portrayal of Obama during subsequent skits, the writers responded that the hard part in mocking Barack Obama was that he had no distinguishing traits or tendencies that they felt were funny. Like the skit, he was too cool to be made fun of. Really? Barack Obama can barely speak without the use of a teleprompter and has a noticeable stutter, or brain freeze, when off prompter; yet, Saturday Night Live did not find that to be funny?

Oddly enough, the main highlight of the two hour comedy movie, Anchorman, played by ex-SNL alumnus Will Ferrel, is the downfall of Ron Burgundy’s reporting career due to his inability to ad lib any time the telepromter failed. This SNL alumnus was able to make a two hour, comedy mocking the foibles of not being able to use a teleprompter but Saturday Night Live was unable to do so for ten minutes!

Many believe Dave Chappelle wasn’t the only victim of Obama’s wrath.  Jay Leno left the Tonight Show even though he had the number one rated show at the time and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon.  Jimmy Fallon was not able to replicate Leno’s ratings. However, looking deeper into the story, I’d speculate why Leno was replaced.  Jay Leno was a constant critic of President Obama and he was replaced by the sycophant Jimmy Fallon…who does nothing but praise the President.

This is the environment we live in. Its become a nation where all the media is scrubbed and cleaned, by and for our masters, lest the truth be told.  Anything and everything, no matter how immoral or unethical, is fair game in the Alinsky-founded Progressive movement to keep the people from seeing that the emperor has no clothes.

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com