Sunday, August 25, 2013

history you knew, but don't think about much

It's time.

Today I saw Lee Daniels' The Butler. It's a historical document, condensed and seen through another perspective. It's the perspective of people who were never given an equal break until very recently, and it vincicates Howard Zinn's view of American history.

It's as legitimate a perspective as any other,  and one the history books in my day merely hinted at.

I don't see how Forest Whitaker misses the Oscar for his performance as Cecil Gaines, the White House butler who served thrugh the conflicted Ike, the stoned changeling, John F Kennedy, the shitkicker polititical genius who in the end lacked spine, Lyndon Johnson, the insane Nixon whose mental illness melted him down in office, the bland short timer Jerry Ford, the sincere and ineffectual Carter, and finally Reagan, already showing signs of dementia and suppressed feelings of what?...humanity? empathy?

This is history, and everybody who sees it will know it, though some will be angered by it. History is a true record of real events that actually happened. I say that even though Lee Daniels plays fast and loose with events in Cecil Gaines's life, like for example, he didn't have a second son who died in Vietnam.

This film, along with Speilberg's Lincoln, fills in what have until now been gaps, and ought to forever silence the twatwaffles who say, "Oh, the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery," or "Oh, but those  days have been gone for so long.

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