Saturday, December 05, 2020


I see over at Althouse that the idea of a straight actor playing a gay person is called "gayface" and is now forbidden. It is rapidly becoming clear that there is only one solution.  As an actor, you can only play yourself. Everything else is insulting.


james said...

How much deception does the role need?

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Those are called documentaries.

Donna B. said...

I would not be insulted if a slender female actress portrayed me, or even a slender male who identifies as female. They just need to get the sarcasm right.

Grim said...

Once again, Barack Obama shows us the way. He has now written three books, all autobiographies.

DirtyJobsGuy said...

I saw a really well done revival of “The Music Man” at Goodspeed in CT last year. Marian the Librarian was played by a talented Black actress, so I guess white librarians in 1900 Iowa can be played by non-white people? Is it still OK for non-Asians to play the old Fu-Manchu villains of the 1930’s?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Grim - and Obama has told us very little about his actual life in those books.

Sam L. said...

I wouldn't read Obama's books, nor would I BUY any of them. He don't need my money; I do.

RichardJohnson said...

I wouldn't read Obama's books, nor would I BUY any of them. He don't need my money; I do.

I haven't purchased any of his books. I have read Dreams from My Father, which gave me insights into Obama's thought and behavior that I wouldn't otherwise have had.

From his Occidental College days (page 57 in the PDF I have):
"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets."

"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout" told me that Obama was a poseur. Not my favorite kind of person. By age 19, I had already taken some flack for my political stances. As a result, I couldn't respect someone who at a similar age chose political stances to impress others. Yes, choosing "Marxist professors" for friends is a political stance of sorts.

Choosing "Marxist professors" for friends didn't impress me. That indicated to me that as a college freshman Obama was an ignoramus. As a college freshman and unhappy with the war in Vietnam, I attended some SDS meetings. I sat in on a conversation in the quad where a senior in SDS informed us that Lenin should be added to college curriculum. The gushing tone she used in saying Lenin informed me that she viewed Lenin as a great thinker, on a par with Plato or Freud. She most definitely wasn't suggesting that we should read Lenin in order to know our enemies. That finished SDS for me.

I had taken a politics course in 9th grade. From reading A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, I learned that Communism was evil. From having written a term paper on Soviet agriculture, I learned that Communism was a failure as an economic system. I also grew up with a number of Iron Curtain refugees and their children. While they didn't say much about their experiences behind the Iron Curtain, their being here was evidence enough. (One refugee, when she was a child in Estonia, had experienced both Stalin's and Hitler's rule. Her husband told me she didn't want to discuss those days.) As such, I had nothing but contempt for an ignoramus who would seek out Marxist professors. If one replies that Obama just wanted to get a broad-based exposure, my reply is that in Dreams, Obama reported attending conferences on socialism when he was in NYC. He didn't attend any conferences on libertarianism.

RichardJohnson said...

Second installment on my reaction to Dreams from My Father.

During his activist days in Chicago, Obama worked with an activist named Ruby Styles. Kyle, Ruby's 14 year old son, expressed interest in attending the Air Force Academy to become a pilot. For Christmas, Obama gave Kyle a book on airplanes, so to Obama's credit, he was encouraging Kyle's interest.

Two years later, Kyle had some problems.
And what about Kyle: How did one explain what he was going through? I leaned back in my chair, thinking about Ruby’s son. He had just turned sixteen;...Some nights, Ruby would call me at home just to talk about him, how she never knew where he was anymore, how his grades had continued to drop in school, how he hid things from her, the door to his room always closed.

Don’t worry, I would tell her; I was a lot worse at Kyle’s age. I don’t think she believed that particular truth, but hearing the words seemed to make her feel better. One day I volunteered to sound Kyle out, inviting him to join me for a pick-up basketball game at the University of Chicago gym. He was quiet most of the ride up to Hyde Park, fending
off questions with a grunt or a shrug. I asked him if he was still thinking about the air force, and he shook his head; he’d stay in Chicago, he said, find a job and get his own place. I asked him what had changed his mind. He said that the air force would never let a black man fly a plane.

I looked at him crossly. “Who told you that mess?”

Kyle shrugged. “Don’t need somebody to tell me that. Just is, that’s all.”

“Man, that’s the wrong attitude. You can do whatever you want if you’re willing to work for it.”

Kyle smirked and turned his head toward the window, his breath misting the glass. “Yeah, well…how many black pilots do you know?”

Note that Barack Obama did not reply to Kyle that there were black pilots in the Air Force from WW2 on. Obama made no mention of the Tuskegee airmen to Kyle- because he didn't know about the history of black pilots in the Air Force. Ignorant. I knew about the Tuskegee airmen when I was in high school.

One might reply that Obama could be excused his ignorance. Perhaps, but a reply is that when Obama knew that Kyle at age 14 wanted to fly for the Air Force, Obama might have taken the time to research the history of black pilots in the Air Force. Which informs me that Obama had a touch of laziness to him. Or am I being too harsh on him? Be that as it may, lazy or ignorant, I found it disturbing that at in his 20's in the mid to late 1980's, Obama hadn't heard of the Tuskegee airmen from 4 decades before.

In conclusion, reading Obama's autobiographies can be useful. Just don't buy them and justify his $65 million payout. After all, Obama has made enough money.