Thursday, February 15, 2007

Murderous Autocracies and Other Delights

I've been told by someone that the Finno-Puertorriqueño Conundrum is getting stale. Thus, consider this throwing some crumbs to my four three loyal readers.

Finally saw The Last King of Scotland last night. Though I'm glad I did, it was really harrowing. I guess that's part of the point when your subject is one of the major bloodthirsty despots of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. However, I could have done without the meathook bit. Goodness gracious.

Forest Whitaker did an amazing job, and in my opinion he definitely deserves the Oscar. I'll be really happy if he wins.

This movie, and other recent events (such as a post on JoeMyGod about serious antigay measures being undertaken in Nigeria) have made me start wondering again about how Africa is viewed by the "average person"... or even by the relatively educated one. Of course, there are entire university courses taught on this dilemma ("Africa in Film and the Media", etc.). Mostly though, I guess I'm of the opinion that the more information out there, the better. I can't worry about whether people have a well-rounded view of the continent, and the idea that if they see a brutal fictionalized biography of Idi Amin (or hear about how terribly Nigeria treats its gays) it may just further cement their conviction that Africa is nothing but barbaric, backward, uncivilized, impoverished, and bereft of whatever.

I guess I know that images, stories, and films about the beauty of Africa are out there too, if people really want to find them. Is Africa a fucking mess? Yes. Is it amazingly wonderful? Yes. Is the same true for practically every other corner of the world? Most likely, yes!

And at times like this, I really, really want to go back.


Huntington said...

Between the stag on the hook in The Queen and "the meathook bit" here, we may have a theme for the opening comedic/muscial number at the Oscars.

copperred said...

My mother traveled to Kenya in the late '70s and has always wanted to return. It was the days when American air carriers flew to the continent, though she'd been through Europe first. Delta has inaugurated a flight to Accra, continuing on to Johannesburg. The only problem with this PR coup, is that as soon as Delta receives its 777LRs, it will likely fly direct to J-burg.

The average person, may not still believe Africa is one country, but I sincerely doubt they can point out any nation except South Africa and whoever has oil AND atrocities, but only at the same time.

And some of us remember both Kano and Ken Saro-Wiva. but we're nerds like that.

Huntington said...

South Africa doesn't even count; it's name should be a dead giveaway.
But wait! That means one would have to able find a. Africa on a map, and b. south. I'm not optimistic.

(But ask me to figure a quadratic equation. We all have our weak points.)