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Sergio Valente and the Infield Fly Rule*

April 25, 2010

Class, this is Tommy Lee Jones and he played Deputy Marshal Sam Gerard in a film called The Fugitive for which he won a best supporting Oscar. The film stars Harrison Ford and is a remake of the classic television show of the same name.

It’s hard out here for a pimptress.

Reader email:

Hey, I noticed your comments are off. What’s going on?

My, my, my, my, my – said in my best Tommy Lee Jones as Deputy Marshal Gerard – what. a. mess.

From the picture caption:

Class, this is Tommy Lee Jones and he played Deputy Marshal Sam Gerard in a film called The Fugitive for which he won a best supporting Oscar. The film stars Harrison Ford and is a remake of the classic television show of the same name.

The 1993 remake of The Fugitive was originally envisioned as a vehicle for Alec Baldwin, who turned down the role, I believe for the runaway hit Prelude to a Kiss or maybe Baldwin turned down the second Jack Ryan movie (Patriot Games) for this. In any event, Baldwin no want to play Dr. Richard Kimble. (the fugitive in question)

Now, this might come as a surprise, but the remake made about 183 million domestically, thus could hardly be considered obscure pop culture. I mean, I will admit to seeing the film several – and by several, I mean ten times – in the theater, and even when adjusted for inflation, it still means a few more people than me SAW THE FUCKING MOVIE. Moreover, it means that folks who find themselves too cool to get the references are in fact the oddballs and in the minority! And this makes sense, as they tend to take real delight in saddling themselves with various identities which make them minorities. And no, I’m not talking about legitimate marginalized folks here. Though, legitimately marginalized folks actually know exactly who I’m talking about and are tipping their morning cup in a healthy salute of the “Testify!” variety.

As a person of color it’s real hard to walk the tightrope of white folks expectations. If I go off the so called social justice reservation any mention of race labels me a “race card pulling crybaby”. Meanwhile back on the reservation – I opted to misappropriate a marginalized culture’s experience since too cool white folks, particularly of the self ascribed social justice variety, trade in cultural misappropriation, so it helps if I speak in a language they will understand – I am expected to be someone else’s educational opportunity, regardless of what the fuck I’m talking about.

I suspect they believe regarding my posts with such a discerning eye – e.g. they ask a lot of stupid and obvious questions – means they are giving the material a close reading, when in fact it just means they’re a bunch of fucking idiots.

It’s The Fugitive, people. Not the Rosetta stone. It’s just not that complicated, obscure or challenging. Playa, I could find this movie playing somewhere on cable in less than twenty seconds. And really, how hard is it to use google?

If you’re gonna be a snob about the pop culture you opt to consume and feigning ignorance here is your way of doing so, well go be a fucking idiot snob somewhere else.

A guy’s wife gets kill. Guy jumps a train that’s about to crash. Guy gets chased by snarky other guy who ends up winning an award. Guy being chased solves his own crime. Snarky guy gets Oscar for saying things like, “Think me up a cuppa coffee and a chocolate donut while you’re thinking.” and making the infamous, “Doghouse, hen house, farm house, outhouse or lighthouse.” speech. Things blow up. Believability is suspended beyond belief. Harrison Ford stretches his acting range to include two facial expressions.

Yet, somehow some of the comments act as though all of this is some new shit coming to light (btw, that’s from the Big Lebowski, another obscure film.) and isn’t it interesting that this brown girl knows all this wacky randomness.

Which is like, you know, neither wacky or random.

More email:

I think your post about Milos Forman is intriguing. How does it connect to your social justice work?

WTF? When did I say this blog was about “social justice”? I’m pretty sure I’ve said it’s not about social justice and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned why:

Playa, I did my tour of duty as an online -ism educator and I just don’t know how many more ways I can say, “Shit’s problematic, yo and here’s the fuck why.” Xena bless those new jack citizens who are up to the task, but all that fierce righteousness is a young person’s game. I don’t mean to toot my own clown horn, but do you realize how smart you fucking have to be to drop Sidney Lumet sci the way I do and make people want to read it? Do you not get that I can out Tom Fontana TOM FONTANA? Moreover I can make a way out of no way, taking some shit like, “I wonder what Big and Miranda would be like as a couple. I bet I could sell tickets to that shit.” And guess what, news fans I did and shut that shit down. And that took me like – what – ten minutes, including screen caps! Do you understand what kind of beautiful mind can get a corner of the internet using “chow chow” and “chicken fried fail” in everyday conversations? You better ask somebody. And let’s not even mention the brain power wattage required to deliver daily does of thought provoking lulz. Comics don’t call it dying on stage for nothing.

So it seems I’m not the one with the malfunction. And if folks can’t be arsed to developed a more complex relationship to the writing here, then they need to go find somewhere else to leave their asinine commentary. I want to engage with folks who’ve done the homework and not mutherfuckers who despite having access to the materials opted to comment on that which they have NO knowledge, but somehow think that’s comment worthy. If all you wish to tell me is that you’ve haven’t experienced whatever “obscure” – wait, Falco’s obscure, even with all this tedious 80s nostalgia – I’m dishing, you can save the speeches for Malcolm X.

I’m trying to get paid. (That’s a play on a line from Heathers, but then you already didn’t know that either. Cause Heathers is obscure and weird too.)

I’m not your fucking plantation nigger. Pick your own goddamn cotton.

*A loving send up of the most awesome blog I’ve encountered (besides my own) Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Next level shit going on there. Don’t hurt, yourselves.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2010 8:03 am

    I think Harrison Ford shows some range in that sequence… like the director got him to channel his inner Nolte.

  2. April 25, 2010 8:05 am

    He really stretched himself, though that ass cam footage/ripped bod shot was totally unnecessary! I was already invested in the film. I also enjoyed how they used a fax to demonstrate that Harrison Ford isn’t 5’10.

  3. April 25, 2010 8:07 am

    But seriously, we white folks sure do love our cultural tourism. This country is starting to brown pretty nicely, so we better figure out that there’s a lot more than Japanese sightseers consuming what we used to think of as “our” culture. (Never mind where it came from, once we’ve taken it from you, it’s ours. Go make some more for yourselves.)

  4. April 25, 2010 8:14 am

    Despite adoring Uptown Saturday Night and Let’s Do it Again, there are only so many things to say about them or times to mention them.

    Not that this has ever deterred me from dishing BDeP.

  5. April 25, 2010 1:51 pm

    Are more people getting mad that you’re not “keeping it real” on the social justice tip? Also I’ve been wondering when we started calling that shit “social justice”. I think “social justice” and I think of someone flipping me the bird and cutting in front of me on the 210 and then getting cut off 15 seconds later by a semi.

  6. April 25, 2010 2:31 pm

    I think “social justice” and I think of someone flipping me the bird and cutting in front of me on the 210 and then getting cut off 15 seconds later by a semi.

    That and Charles Bronson standing over a dead thug with a smoking gun in his hand.

  7. April 25, 2010 2:37 pm

    Say what you will about social justice, at least it’s an ethos.

  8. charnoir permalink
    April 25, 2010 3:34 pm

    Did I miss a Charles Bronson post? I love me some Death Wish. 😉

  9. April 25, 2010 4:51 pm

    @charnoir, no but I did just bring him up in the comments on Snarky’s History of Violence post.

  10. April 26, 2010 2:22 am

    I love you Snarky. That is all.

  11. Hank permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:41 am

    I’m so confused. I must have missed a post or something, because I honestly have no idea what the Fugitive has to do with your comments.

  12. April 26, 2010 11:15 am

    Hank – The Fugitive is just an example of the kind of pop culture I might analyze and receive a whole mess of emails from folks who wouldn’t understand what Tommy Lee Jones has to do with being black. I don’t actually think I’ve written about The Fugitive before, but now I’m tempted too.

    Also, it’s essentially calling out folks for their classist stratification of pop culture. Like action movies = bad, devoid of nuance and artsy films = good, right, devoid of fluff.

    If you’re from a “real” (race, ability status, Trans status) minority, it’s my observation folks from “fake” minorities (size, gender, class) feel if you want to keep your most favored “oh pressed” status you better make sure you don’t talk about anything other than how put upon you are.

    Which we both know is a wasted breath! Better to talk to about D-Kick Murphys! Seriously. Like at some point the best form of agency is talking about that which moves you and making people listen and value that.

  13. April 26, 2010 11:18 am

    Essentially, my third paragraph refers to a type of person who doesn’t grasp the concept of intersectionality, which is usually a person a singular, and often non visible oppression.

  14. Hank permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:49 am

    I get you. I followed that part of the rant pretty well (lord knows I get some funny looks when I haven’t seen/have nothing to say about some random trans doc on tv), I just couldn’t figure how where the Fugitive fit in. I’m all caught up now, thank ya. Carry on.

    PS: The newest Dropkicks album sucked, but Do or Die is still a go-to party album at my house.

  15. April 26, 2010 2:09 pm

    I figured you did, but I definitely should have stated the Fugitive was a “for instance”!

  16. May 7, 2010 3:31 am

    Parody sure seems like the sincerest form of flattery in this case, Snarky! Thanks for your extremely kind asterisk too. It is much appreciated.

  17. May 7, 2010 10:03 am

    Dennis, I am the BIGGEST fangirl. Your blog is the best writing on film. Thank you for doing what you do.

  18. Jump to it permalink
    May 19, 2010 7:48 am

    Your blog is so informative and gives me a lot to consider as it relates to privilege. Thanks.

  19. Anotherattemptatidiocy permalink
    May 23, 2010 6:24 am

    There is obviously a lot to know about this.

  20. lotro gold permalink
    May 23, 2010 6:24 am

    Loved this post!

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