Monday, December 11, 2006

"The Resistance": "Introduction" and "Places in the Art"

How strange it was to begin Armond White's The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World and immediately read these words: "Determined to oppose the standard of journalism by which writers unwittingly support the system of privilege and oppression that hires them and constructs middle-class public opinion, I approached Film Comment editor Harlan Jacobson with the idea to permanently change my byline to 'The Resistance.'" We swear we had no idea about this -- that's the same name we chose to ironically -- knowing full well his oppositional tendencies and the title of his collection of essays and reviews -- "resist" Armond! An irony on top of an irony, and perhaps a good omen for the launch of Armond Dangerous.
Beyond this terrific coincidence, though, the introduction to The Resistance is a little fuzzy. After reading it, we still don't understand exactly what White's critical approach is, at least by his most direct self-assessment of it. He freely throws around generalizations and refuses to define his terms, and when it comes time to explain his righteous appropriation of the potentially explosive "resistance" as a one-word ethos for his criticism, he fails to come up with a new or exciting call to arms: "Resistance meant defying the standard 'objective' approach to art as innocuous entertainment. Resistance was also evident in artists who changed the norm of popular entertainment by making it reflect the country's variety rather than some conformist fantasy." Alright, but vague and certainly nothing new, even in 1984, when this collection starts. We can think of about a dozen critics occupying different places on the scale of relevance who also defied or defy "the standard 'objective' approach to art before, during, and after our man's time. Armond tries to set himself apart by first referring to his status as an African-American critic and then emphasizing his interest in and ability to trace the social and political ramifications of popular culture. Which is fine, except White makes exaggerated claims here in order to increase his importance, such as this doozy:

In 1984 Jesse Jackson ran for president of the United States, and I began writing for The City Sun. Both auspicious beginnings, they announced the most significant change in popular culture in three decades -- specifically, a new moment when Black Americans asserted their ideas in the political arena.

In this statement there's the questionable term "new moment": is AW saying that a change had come in the form of Black Americans for the first time asserting their ideas in the political arena in 1984, which of course isn't and wasn't so, or is he saying this was a new expression of such an assertion? We never find out, and our man leaves himself open to charges of misunderstanding history. And that's not even mentioning the self-inflating comparison between a presidential run by an African-American -- an enormous, publicly visible stride -- and his own initial Kael-heavy scribblings in a now-defunct newspaper.
Then there's the latter tract. We understand the importance of any cultural moment in history, but overvaluing one so as to increase the currency of criticism during that time seems foolish and unnecessary. Armond loves the 80s: "The Resistance chronicles cultural changes since 1984, the year Hollywood -- the institution representing America's consciousness -- woke up to the reality of nonmainstream expression." Woke up? Really? Nonmainstream expression had never infiltrated Hollywood before 1984? Never? The 60s fell into some cinematic black hole of irretrievable influence? We won't cite the mountains of evidence to counter this claim, simply because it's a waste of energetic typing and we're guessing most discerning readers can immediately smell the wrongness of Armond's hyperbole and know why it stinks.
Anyway, Armond's intro goes on to explain the thrill of his encounter with what he considers seminal 80s artists and works, from Spielberg to Morrissey to Charles Burnett to pre-Mo' Better Blues Spike Lee. There's a distancing from the "school of ecstatic culture writing" and a proud proclamation that "I tried -- always -- to search out and interpret the political secrets and emotional value of artists expressing themselves through resistance aesthetics." He charts the rise of African-American artists (although lets slip another brow-furrowing remark with, "It was a marketplace where third-world filmmakers competed with Hollywood" -- uh, what marketplace was that?), the cultural prominence of hip-hop, the urgency of his aesthetics-as-sociology approach -- all are thinly sketched. Perhaps it's unfair to thusly criticize an introduction, but one can't help notice, given AW's track record, a penchant for assuming the reader's agreement with his viewpoint and then not backing it up.
"Places in the Art" is another animal entirely. It's the first esaay in The Resistance, a fifteen and a half page manifesto of sorts on then current Hollywood representations of African-Americans, first published in the December 1984 issue of Film Comment. It's also too sprawling and complicated an essay to sufficiently discuss in a posting we originally wanted to keep at palatable length (so much for that!), but the basic idea is to deflate or else take to task the flawed portrayals of African-Americans, their struggles, and the issue of race in America as rendered in such middle-brow fare as Places in the Heart, Moscow on the Hudson, An Officer and a Gentleman, and A Soldier's Story. The contributions of Sidney Poitier, the films of Martin Ritt, and the persona and Purple Rain project of Prince are all singled out for their ability to resist -- that's right -- trite characterizations and simplistic understandings of society, and instead forge ahead with pride, intelligence, and astute reasoning with their truer visions of racial relationships and identities. "Places in the Art" is, dare I say it, the best piece we've ever read by AW, a full realization of the ideas only briefly alluded to in The Resistance's intro and an understandably upset voicing of African-Americans' invisibility or else problematic marginal roles in post-Poitier Hollywood. One great moment:

Usually present onscreen only as stereotype or efficient caricature, a black character is often hard to react to. Is the gang of punks in Dressed to Kill threatening -- apart from being Black? Is the film's screaming cleaning lady a comical Black hysteric or just simply frightened? In King of Comedy is Diahann Abbott a thief because she is Black or because some other motivation was left on the cutting-room floor? Are the killings of Frank McRae in Red Dawn and Scatman Crothers in The Shining plot necessities or racist conveniences? The stunted history of Black presentation in movies confuses most interpretations when the characterizations are sketchy or incidental. The past conditions us to have prejudiced responses that disrupt a film and make suspicious some filmmaker's [sic] intentions.

All pertinent inquiries. While White misses or fails to address certain points, most notably in his too ecstatic -- gotta practice what you preach -- celebration of Purple Rain and Sparkle at the expense of ignoring what it might mean that two of his rare endorsements of progressive representations of African-Americans might be construed as "African-American as natural song-and-dance man (or woman)" stereotypes (and the puzzling sentence "The objectification of performance in this setting seizes and vanquishes the aesthetic problem of beauty and appearance -- the last frontier of movie acceptance" and its subsequent explanation just doesn't cut it), for the most part his analysis is a still-needed commentary on how far not just Hollywood but also African-Americans working within the industry (his calling out of post-Live in Concert Richard Pryor and movie idol Eddie Murphy is spot-on) had and have to go in providing adequate depictions of a people that even at the end of 2006 remain the big screen's most conspicuous absence.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

armonddangerous.blogspot.com is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading armonddangerous.blogspot.com every day.
faxless payday loans
canadian payday loans

Anonymous said...

Hi,

When ever I surf on web I come to this website[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url]armonddangerous.blogspot.com really contains lot of useful information. Let me tell you one thing guys, some time we really forget to pay attention towards our health. In plain english I must warn you that, you are not serious about your health. Recent Research displays that nearly 60% of all U.S. adults are either chubby or weighty[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url] Hence if you're one of these individuals, you're not alone. In fact, most of us need to lose a few pounds once in a while to get sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now next question is how you can achive quick weight loss? [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss[/url] is not like piece of cake. Some improvement in of daily activity can help us in losing weight quickly.

About me: I am webmaster of [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also health expert who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under painful training program than you may also try [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/acai-berry-for-quick-weight-loss]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/colon-cleanse-for-weight-loss]Colon Cleansing[/url] for effective weight loss.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Do you guys watch movies in theater or on internet? I use to rent DVD movies from [b]Redbox.com[/b]. Recently I discovered that we can watch all new movies on internet on day, they are released. So why should I spend money on renting movies??? So, can you guys please tell me where I can [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]watch latest movie Dark Life 2010[/url] for free?? I have searched [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Youtube.com[/url], [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Dailymotion.com[/url], [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Megavideo.com[/url] but, Could not find a good working link. If you know any working link please share it with me.


Thanks

viagra online said...

hey buddy very interesting and professional blog about "The Resistance": "Introduction" and "Places in the Art" I would like to have any update about !!!

Anonymous said...

Generic Viagra is used in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (impotence), but it is not a cure. Impotence can be caused by a number of factors, either physical or psychological. Viagra can help maintain an erection but it will not stimulate arousal.Generic Viagra is a prescription drug, commonly used to help treat men having erectile dysfunction (ED) problems, also known as impotence. Generic Propecia comes in tablet form and should be taken only by men without liver problems. It should be taken regularly and needs to be taken with water - food is optional. Viagra contains Sildenafil and it is a prescription drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is the inability of the penis to become rigid, or stay firm long enough to complete the sexual act.Generic Cialis is the buzzword prescribed for all patients suffering from impotence. Generic Levitra is an FDA-approved oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

Dean said...

greetings to all.
I would first like to thank the writers of this blog by sharing information, a few years ago I read a book called costa rica investment in this book deal with questions like this one.

niz said...

Hello .. firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Generic Viagra in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

eco travel agency costa rica said...

Hi buddy, firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers then I think that this information is amazing and very entertainment information, I was looking information about "The Resistance": "Introduction" and "Places in the Art", and this information is very professional and I would like to have any update about, thanks for sharing!!

Firesales Costa Rica said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!!

Contraceptive Pills said...

Nice Post...^^^
Tramadol to Buy l Tramadol to Buy l Cerazette l Cilest l Diane 35 l Gynera Contraceptive Pills l Meliane l Mercilon l Microgynon Contraceptive Pill l Yasmin Contraceptive l Eltroxin l Estrogen l Livial l Mesterolone l Norethisterone l Progynova 2mg l Eryacne l Stieva-A l Stieva-A l

Contraceptive Pills said...

Nice Post...^^^
Tramadol to Buy l Tramal 100mg l Tramal Retard l Tramadol to Buy l Tramacap l Tramadol to Buy l Tramadol to Buy l Washer and Dryers l Washingmachines l Haier Portable Washer l Whirlpool Cabrio Washing Machine l Whirlpool WFW9150WW l Contraceptive Pills l Cerazette l Cilest l Diane 35 l Emergency Contraceptive l Gynera Contraceptive Pills l Marvelon l Meliane l Mercilon l Microgynon Contraceptive Pill l Yasmin Contraceptive l Yaz Contraceptive Pills l Andriol l Androcur l Divigel l Eltroxin l Estrogen l Finasteride l Finasteride 5mg l Livial l Mesterolone l Metesto l Norethisterone l Oestrogel l Progynova 2mg l

Washer and Dryers said...

Nice Post...^^^
Acnotin l Acnotin l Clindamycin Phosphate l Eryacne l Isotrexin l Roaccutane l Stieva-A l Stieva-A l Stieva-A l Tramadol to Buy l Tramacap l Tramadol to Buy l Tramadol to Buy l Tramal Retard l NEUROBION l Neurobion Injection l Duofilm l Amoxicillin Capsules l Deanxit l Fluoxetine HCl l Hydroxyzine HCl l

cheap viagra said...

standards of journalist have been changing since 10 years ago, now the journalist is without ethic and moral

Anonymous said...

If you always write interesting, I will be your regular reader. skin care

Anonymous said...

I really liked your article. cardiovascular Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

Rachael said...

Quite helpful piece of writing, thank you for this article.

Anonymous said...


Buy Ativan [url=http://www.ativanrxpills.com] Buy Ativan Online [/url]http://www.ativanrxpills.com
Buy Codeine Online [url=http://www.codeinerxusa.com] Buy Codeine Online [/url]http://www.codeinerxusa.com
Klonopin [url=http://www.buyklonopinrx.com] Buy Klonopin[/url]http://www.buyklonopinrx.com
Oxycodone [url=http://www.cheapoxycodone.us]Oxycodone [/url]http://www.cheapoxycodone.us

Anonymous said...


Cheap Viagra[url=http://www.viagra-cheap.us]Viagra [/url]http://www.viagra-cheap.us
Cheap Levitra[url=http://www.cheap-levitra.us]Levitra [/url]http://www.cheap-levitra.us

Anonymous said...


viagra, [url=http://www.fiql.com/members/pearegret4]viagra[/url],

http://www.fiql.com/members/pearegret4

viagra, [url=http://www.affiliates4u.com/profiles/karaterain54/]viagra[/url],

http://www.affiliates4u.com/profiles/karaterain54/

viagra, [url=http://www.writerscafe.org/newsbeer13]viagra[/url],

http://www.writerscafe.org/newsbeer13

viagra, [url=http://identi.ca/peabeer05]viagra[/url],

http://identi.ca/peabeer05

viagra, [url=http://audioboo.fm/weightlevel51]viagra[/url],

http://audioboo.fm/weightlevel51

Anonymous said...


cialis[url=http://www.buy-cialis.vc]Buy Cialis [/url]http://www.buy-cialis.vc
Generic Viagra[url=http://www.viagra-generic.name]Generic Viagra[/url]http://www.viagra-generic.name
Viagra Discount [url=http://www.discount-viagra.name] viagra[/url]http://www.discount-viagra.name
cialis[url=http://www.buycialisa.com] Cialis Online [/url]http://www.buycialisa.com

Anonymous said...


Viagra[url=http://www.viagrarxpills.com]Viagra[/url]http://www.viagrarxpills.com
Cialis[url=http://www.cialisovernightusa.com]Cialis[/url]http://www.cialisovernightusa.com
buy viagra [url=http://www.buyviagrastore.net] buy viagra [/url]http://www.buyviagrastore.net
Cheap Cialis[url=http://www.cheapcialispharm.com]Cialis [/url]http://www.cheapcialispharm.com

Anonymous said...


Viagra[url=http://www.viagrarxpills.com]Viagra[/url]http://www.viagrarxpills.com
Cialis[url=http://www.cialisovernightusa.com]Cialis[/url]http://www.cialisovernightusa.com
Buy Viagra Online [url=http://www.buyviagrastore.net] viagra online [/url]http://www.buyviagrastore.net
Cheap Cialis[url=http://www.cheapcialispharm.com]Cialis [/url]http://www.cheapcialispharm.com

Anonymous said...


Cialis[url=http://www.cialis-without-prescription.name]Cialis Without Prescription [/url]http://www.cialis-without-prescription.name

Anonymous said...


Purchase Cialis[url=http://www.purchasecialis.name]Purchase Cialis[/url]http://www.purchasecialis.name
Cheap Cialis[url=http://www.cheap-cialis.name] Cheap Cialis[/url]http://www.cheap-cialis.name
Levitra[url=http://www.buylevitraonline.name] Levitra[/url]http://www.buylevitraonline.name

Anonymous said...


viagra online without prescription[url=http://www.viagra.gd]viagra online without prescription[/url]http://www.viagra.gd
Cialis[url=http://www.cialis.gd]Cialis[/url]http://www.cialis.gd
Viagra[url=http://www.viagra-no-prescription.com]Viagra[/url]http://www.viagra-no-prescription.com
Cialis [url=http://www.cheapcialis.biz]Cialis [/url]http://www.cheapcialis.biz

Anonymous said...

<----- Opening Spinn
viagra online without prescription[url=http://www.viagra.gd]Viagra[/url]http://www.viagra.gd
Cialis[url=http://www.cialis.gd]Cialis[/url]http://www.cialis.gd
Viagra[url=http://www.viagra-no-prescription.com]Viagra[/url]http://www.viagra-no-prescription.com

Anonymous said...

Your сurrent artіcle has veгified usеful tо me.
It’s really infoгmаtiѵe anԁ you are сlearly
very knоwledgeаble of thіs type.

You haνe popρeԁ our sight to numerous νіews on this speсifіc ѕubϳect matter with іntriquing, notable anԁ sounԁ content.
Feel free to visit my website Valium

Anonymous said...

http://www.cafb29b24.org/docs/buyativan/#anxiety ativan used - lorazepam 1 mg side effects

Anonymous said...

neerTieva xaikalitag optioxine [url=http://uillumaror.com]iziananatt[/url] Unlalpsinsrit http://gusannghor.com dyekskescosse

Anonymous said...

as to the country from where the drugs generic cialis generic cialis,cialis online generic cialis, viagra online cialis,buy viagra generic cialis
http://genericcialispricegnf.com#cialis online http://cialisonlinepillsgkd.com#cialis pills http://genericviagraonlinejvrg.com#generic viagra http://buyviagraonlinertvr.com#viagra

Anonymous said...

of attention will be focused on making, and on form, rather than on meaning. cialis cialis price,cialis online generic cialis, generic viagra generic cialis,viagra online cialis
http://genericcialispricegnf.com#cialis pills http://cialisonlinepillsgkd.com#cialis http://genericviagraonlinejvrg.com#generic viagra http://buyviagraonlinertvr.com#viagra

Anonymous said...

can be altered for purposes of cialis price generic cialis,cialis generic cialis, viagra online cialis,viagra generic cialis
http://genericcialispricegnf.com#cialis http://cialisonlinepillsgkd.com#cialis online http://genericviagraonlinejvrg.com#viagra online http://buyviagraonlinertvr.com#viagra

Anonymous said...

involves the SP and KI. Bilaterally needled were SP 6, SP 9, and SP cialis cialis price,cialis pills cialis, viagra online generic cialis,buy viagra generic cialis
http://genericcialispricegnf.com#cialis online http://cialisonlinepillsgkd.com#cialis pills http://genericviagraonlinejvrg.com#generic viagra http://buyviagraonlinertvr.com#viagra

Anonymous said...

The signs? Difficulty getting hard and frequently losing stiffness after becoming erect, says J. Stephen Jones, M.D., a urologist from the Cleveland Clinic. generic cialis cialis price,cialis generic cialis, generic viagra cialis price,viagra generic cialis
http://genericcialispricegnf.com#cialis http://cialisonlinepillsgkd.com#cialis http://genericviagraonlinejvrg.com#generic viagra http://buyviagraonlinertvr.com#viagra

Anonymous said...

Τhe write-up prоvides prοѵen neсeѕsarу to us.
It’ѕ гeаllу eԁucаtional аnd you're simply naturally really well-informed in this field. You have got exposed my personal eyes in order to numerous opinion of this particular subject matter together with intriguing and strong written content.
My web blog :: buy Xanax

Anonymous said...

Youг wгite-up offers confirmeԁ helpful tο
us. It’s quite helpful and you aгe obviously extгemely
exрerienceԁ in this rеgion.
You have got pоppeԁ mу рersonal facе in order
tо ѵаrying thoughts аbout thіѕ particular subјect matteг
with іntriquіng, notable and solid wrіtten сontent.
Also visit my web-site ; http://doblajemexicano.com.mx

Anonymous said...



Here is my blog; site

Anonymous said...

I just ωаnteԁ tо notify you that I fοund
your blog on аrtiρot.com and while Ι enјoyed cheсkіng out your entrу, it lookѕ likе
yоuг blog acts uρ іn some web browserѕ.

If ӏ use Firefox, іt comеs up pгoperly, but if I use Chromе, it ρulls uр aρρearing overlapped and off-kilter.
Just wanted to infοrm you.

Ѕtoρ by my blog ... doable

Anonymous said...

&&& Viagra Online Without Prescription %%% [url=http://www.viagra-online-without-prescription.biz]Viagra Online Without Prescription[/url] 778856 http://www.viagra-online-without-prescription.biz ((()0
Cialis &&&& [url=http://www.cialis.gd]Cialis[/url] %%% http://www.cialis.gd (()) Viagra **&& [url=http://www.viagra-no-prescription.com]Viagra[/url] %%% http://www.viagra-no-prescription.com
(()) viagra online without prescription **** [url=http://www.viagra.gd]viagra online without prescription[/url] %%% http://www.viagra.gd
$$%% Cialis Online (()) [url=http://www.cialisonline-usa.com]Cialis Online[/url] +++ http://www.cialisonline-usa.com

Anonymous said...

<----- Opening Spinn
valium[url=http://www.onestoppoetry.com]valium[/url]http://www.onestoppoetry.com
xanax[url=http://www.onlinebusinessnetworking.com]xanax[/url]http://www.onlinebusinessnetworking.com
ambien[url=http://www.avalonit.net]ambien[/url]http://www.avalonit.net
adipex[url=http://www.cjljw.com]adipex[/url]http://www.cjljw.com

Anonymous said...

[url=http://test1517.org]test1517.org[/url]
test1517.org
http://test1517.org

Anonymous said...

cheap generic propecia propecia youtube - propecia side effects abc news

Silagra side effects said...

Nice Post Love Reading Its

Kamagra 100mg

generic Viagra

mesum said...

Τhe write-up prоvides prοѵen neсeѕsarу to us.
It’ѕ гeаllу eԁucаtional аnd you're simply naturally really well-informed in this field. You have got exposed my personal eyes in order to numerous opinion of this particular subject matter together with intriguing and strong written content.
My web blog Nonton Bokep Online