Thursday, March 14, 2013
Argh! You self-involved BIGOT!
I've just seen "The Help". It was all right - kind of racially simplistic but I like stories about women, so I liked it fine.
BUT: watching the extra features is where the whole thing gets ugly. The author of the book refers to her inspiration, which apparently struck her in the year 2001 - actually on September 11, when in her shock and horror over the World Trade Centre attack, she really wanted to go home to -- get this -- the arms of her maid. [!!!!] She says something like "For 35 years I never saw Demitri [her family's maid] out of her uniform until she was in her casket. Then I started wondering 'what was she thinking all those years?'"
You never thought about what she was thinking all those years? It never occurred to you that she had a life other than serving YOU?? We are talking about RECENT HISTORY here, folks! Recent. Look at how she says those two sentences. "I never saw her out of her uniform" and then "I started wondering what she was thinking." Then -- THEN -- this woman goes on to write a smug, tearjerking glurge novel about what she thinks it might have been like for these black women in Mississippi, totally immersing herself in this greased-lens 1963 South, wherein black people are all 'Lawdy, lawdy, I done made y'all some crispy friiied chicken, Miss Ceee-lya." And when they get sassy to their bitchy Junior League employers we're all meant to nod self-righteously and clap, and admire their quaint accents, and think smugly to ourselves about how times have changed and isn't it so nice, aren't black people so funny and boy, those Southern folks sure used to be racist and ignorant.
The producer, a guy about 40 years old, at the most, has just said "I didn't grow up then [the '60s] but the social structure [when I was growing up] was largely the same." Are you telling me in that in the South white people STILL have black maids which they keep in their service for a lifetime, who are entrusted with raising their employers' children, and whose thoughts nobody even bothers to wonder about? Guess so.
What have the last 40 years been about, anyhow?!
APPARENTLY TIMES HAVEN'T CHANGED ALL THAT MUCH.