Monday, February 27, 2017

"You'd be a Beast": Get Out and Race

As most people reading this already know, the central story of Get Out begins when Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) brings her boyfriend Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her parents. What begins as a racial comedy of manners, a satire of well intentioned liberalism, quickly descends into horror, but the question is what kind of horror? what is the dark secret waiting for Chris? The question of narrative is inseparable from the theme of the film. What kind of horror movie it is cannot be separated from what horror of racism it will depict.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Undercover Worker: Workers Inquiry after the End of the Working Class

An afternoon reading in San Francisco

If it is possible to learn one thing from the various invocations of the "white working class" that were summoned after the election of Trump, the more the term is invoked, the less one actually knows about work, class, and race. The "white working class" exists as a kind of hobgoblin of bourgeois conscience, as a creature both hated and pitied, the racist who cannot help being one. It appears in a few soundbites and pull quotes gathered by journalists and a few stock photos of construction and factories. Against this spectacle of the working class, a hardhat and a few stereotypes about attitudes, there stands the tradition of workers' inquiry, the examination of the conditions, perspectives, trials and tribulations of the working class.