Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What we learn from TV

My man, The Bimillennial Man, has a very interesting and poignant post up on his blog. It is actually quite similar to a piece I've been working on for quite some time now, that I just never got around to completing. His deals with "father figures" because of his life growing up. My unfinished piece deals with the examples from television and film that formed my style of friendships. I just had an idea: I'm going to stretch this into a series of posts. I figure this will be better so I can go in depth, beyond just the friendship angle, with each example without you reading forever and coming back trying to remember where you left off. So let's start!

NUMBAAAAA 1! Beverly Hills Cop

This movie is one of the single most important films in my film watching experience for my WHOLE LIFE. It is still one of my favortie films of all time, for numerous reasons. First and foremost because Eddie Murphy singlehandedly changed the way Black males acted and were perceived on the big screen. He was NOBODY'S sambo. He was NOBODY'S sidekick. In fact, for the first time in my movie watching experience the white characters, ALL OF THEM, were there to support Eddie as Axel Foley. He was genuinely the STAR of the movie! And he looked like ME! My father! My uncles! WHAT!!!! This was absolutely MINDBLOWING for a 8/9 year old Black boy, who was consciously aware of the racist history and practices of the country he lives in. And the premise of the film is what kind of solidified the sense of loyalty I hold for those I choose as friends. Axel's childhood best friend shows up out of the blue and after a night of catching up, he is knocked out and wakes up to find his friend murdered beside him. He embarks on a quest to find the man responsible and exact revenge for his friends death. AND he achieves it. He actually gets to kill the man who put a bullet in his friends head AND the man who sent that man, Victor Maitland. Now, since Axel got to kill the henchman that actually killed his friend, they couldn't let him kill Victor, the main antagonist, on his own as well. That would be just a bit TOO much progress for the white viewing audiences. So they had Lt. Bogomil, played expertly by Ronny Cox, shoot Victor WITH Axel. They STILL let Axel shoot the big white bad guy just with help, which fit the story anyway. But Eddie was, like, THE first Black action star in a real big budget hollywood film. Absolutely wonderful. See, in depth! But yeah, Axel chasing down the men that killed his friend and not stopping until he got them, despite the obstacles, and there WERE obstacles, was kind of the genesis of how I deal with my friends, the level of loyalty I give.

Like my man Dave asked in his post, what screen media has influenced who you are and in what ways?

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