Life and Laughs

I recently watched The Incredible Jessica James.

It’s one of my favorite movies now.

The story, the plot, the characters (oh the characters) – this movie just stood out to me in so many different ways. Like I was almost surprised at how much I loved it.

The first time I saw Jessica Williams on The Daily Show w John Stewart, I thought she was witty, awkward, smart, funny – just my kind of bitch. I thought, “I can’t wait til she gets poppin.” Then she left the show and I thought

“Oh shit, she’s making moves. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

I follow her on Instagram and I remember when the movie was on the festival circuit making waves.

It got into Sundance, which – kudos.

Then it premiered on Netflix. I must admit, it took me a while to sit down and watch it. It was always on my mental watchlist but I was in the middle of Narcos so… it had to wait a minute.

But I finished Narcos (dope af) and I finally sat down to watch it and I honestly feel like it’s one of the most charming&funny&quirky&lovable movies I’ve seen in a while. Definitely cult classic material. New generation black art house gold. I loved it.

Even though the world seems to be heading for imminent destruction, I can die in peace having witnessed the last hoorah, the raison d’etre, the final bang in this iteration of a true black arts movement – in cinema, and art in general.

It happened in the 20s, 50s 80s and now. When the going gets tough, the tough create.

I mean like

DWP. selma. Insecure. Awkward black Girl. Issa Rae. Justin Simeon. Lena waithe. 20s. Queen Sugar. Oprah. AVA mf’n DUVERNAY. Fences. Hidden Figures. Fruitvale Station. Black Panther.

Not to mention all the talent on the internet. Niggas are getting paid cash money to parody the bullshit we witness ERDAY.

Obviously, trolls gone troll.

Toni, Rachel, Katlyn, Kylie: I’m looking at you…

But have I been getting my life and my laughs despite them?

Hell yes.

Everybody Has a Breaking Point

The Stanford Prison Experiment. Let’s chat.

Not the real thing, but the movie. I watched it for the first time last night and… woah.

First of all I didn’t even know the shit was based on real life before I watched it. But I did my Googles afterwards. Evidently it won a couple awards at Sundance when it premiered there and that was enough to get me interested enough to watch.

Breakdown: So 24 male college students willingly agree to participate in the Stanford Prison Experiment for two weeks, for $15/day. Peanuts, today, but I guess that was a nice chunk of change for a college student in 1971. They were chosen because they were all supposedly mentally and psychologically healthy, they came from similar backgrounds, and were similar ages – young, white boys of privilege.

One could almost say they were equals – until shit got real.

When you’re an English major, like myself, you read a lot of shit. Thematically, the premise of this story was similar something like a Lord of the Flies (by William Golding) or an Animal Farm (by George Orwell).

The thing with having the “guards” in the experiment wear shades at all times was trippy too because as I was sitting there watching it, I thought about Michel Foucault’s Panopticism and the role that seeing/sight plays on the psychology of “guards” and the “prisoners.”

But I won’t bore you with theory.

The acting in this movie was fucking brilliant.

Fucking Michael Angarano – who plays Chris Archer a.k.a the dude that took that guard shit way too serious with his Captain from Cool Hand Luke impersonation – knocked that shit out of the park. All the actors gave some Oscar-worthy performances.

Moral of the story: absolute power [always] corrupts absolutely.

What started out as an experiment turned into a dangerous example of the human psyche and how fragile it is and once again shows us how if any one of us, if given that inch, can take the whole damn mile.

The experiment was supposed to last two weeks but things went to shit much sooner than expected and was terminated after just six days.

Go fucking figure.