In the name of trying to come up with a clever title for this blog spot, I never considered how what I put together for a title was actually just a bunch of nonsense. The bottom line? There’s a point, even when reading about the city that I live in, where I will literally ignore the bad news. I realize that now more than ever with various tragedies abound, that we should pay attention more than ever.
I however, can’t.
Since last year I have been able for the first time in my adult life, as an African-American, hold down a job that is full-time and takes care of a list a portion of the bills that I have. I still have a ways to go with my finances and need to gain more skills to gain more money. I live in a place of my own and have done so for a few months.
This is my life. A new life.
I can write pieces regarding the tragedies and controversies of the world, but only so much. When I disconnect, I’m dealing with managing my own existence.
The Oscar boycott that was sparked by Jada Pinkett-Smith’s recent video on FB and released on Martin Luther King Day this week had me considering something rather unheard of in the black community: the fact that maybe, just maybe, we just aren’t putting out good enough content. This is a matter of opinion and ideas of what makes an Oscar worthy film vary, but this is something we should really, really consider.
Even bigger than whether we as black people are putting out good content worthy of the Oscars is whether anyone in any culture is putting out content worthy of Oscar buzz. To me, the well is dry creatively no matter what shade of color you are. Not to aid in Janet Hubert’s never-ending battle against Will Smith, but Concussion didn’t strike me as a film that seemed worthy of an Oscar.
Why? Because it’s a football movie, a genre we have saturated to death. Same reason I feel Selma didn’t win, it hails from a genre we have done to death. “But Matt, white people make the same movies too!” is not a good counter to what I’m stating because we never have to do the same films that everyone else does, nor do we have to do the same films that we are used to doing because of what black entertainment has supported in the past.
Black history reaches far across the United States, and even beyond; why limit ourselves to the same tropes all the time? If you can come at James Cameron for making essentially a white-man-saving-ethnics film, then we should be able to come at our own for making literally the same damn thing every single year. Do I expect such a criticism directed towards our own? I’m hearing crickets in the distance as I type this.
All I’m stating here is that caring about not being at an awards show is one thing, making content worthy of an Oscar is another. For the last few years, with some exceptions, it’s just been business as usual. No point in crying if you never wipe your tears and do anything about it.