Friday, December 02, 2005

King Kong...

A bitch is ready for the weekend! This bitch woke up today in frenzy. My ass has been invited to attend a ritzy event and, of course, waiting until the very last minute to decide what to wear!

Shit!

Somewhere between drama and meltdown a bitch remembered why my ass is usually anti-social.

2 cups coffee with Splenda and organic milk, followed by 1 Claritin, 2 pseudo Sudafed and cigs…

As a bitch jumped through the morning television in a desperate attempt to avoid multiple viewings of the Oprah/Letterman reconciliation (give a bitch a break, people) something caught my eye.

Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame has remade King Kong.

Immediately, a bitch got pissed.

Why ABB Hates the King Kong story…
A bitch has no hatred for Peter Jackson or his team of amazing folks. What this bitch hates…fucking cannot stand and thinks should be relegated to the same dark, murky hole in Hades that hopefully holds the entire body of black-face entertainment is the story.

King Kong, which was made famous as a 1930’s film, is the story of a white, very white...extremely white and Aryan the way Ann Coulter wishes she was Aryan...woman who some how ends up on a tropical, very tropical, WILD and untamed island populated by…NATIVES! Yep, natives who become entranced with this Aryan representation of civilized female beauty even though they have never set eyes on a white woman. Depending on the version, they either have always worshiped white women or simply begin to worship them once they set eyes on the blond bombshell that plops down on their island.

Now, they have a secret. A big fucking secret! There is a giant highly sexualized primate lurking on the island! Oh no! Jesus, why would a loving Gawd ever create such a beast? In the words of Wolf Blitzer…he’s so black!

In order to pacify said giant black primate, the natives offer up sacrificial women. The giant primate then takes the women and leaves the natives alone for a while. ‘Cause…well, you know…he's getting his freak on. And everyone knows that giant sexualized primates are soothed and calmed by the company of a terrified nubile woman.

Even though the regular offering of native women has pacified the giant primate, the natives know that this stunning white woman will put his ass over the top. Shit, they started coveting her right from the start! No way is their giant highly sexualized primate going to turn down a tryst with an unwilling blond beauty.

So, they capture the girl, tie her ass to a stake and offer her.

The giant primate, who represents society’s notion that black men are obsessed with white women and are driven into uncontrollable frenzies by them, comes upon the blond and…well…becomes obsessed with her and is driven into an uncontrollable frenzy.

It gets better!

The blond, at first disgusted and terrified by the giant black primate, begins to fall under its spell. This is vital, because EVERYONE knows that the black man…oh, shit…no that would be the 'giant black primate' has skills and, given enough time, can seduce pure untouched blonds with his sexual prowess!

Lets see...ummm...oh yes...blond is freed, primate is captured, marketing blitz hits New York, blond feels sorry for primate, primate is obsessing over blond, primate gets loose…city is terrorized, blond is kidnapped by obsessed primate, they get to the Empire State building and somehow the primate gets to the top. Makes sense since we’re talking about a GIANT primate who just has to be used to climbing tall buildings and shit like that. Anyhoo… the primate, with blond in hand, is shot and falls to the bottom. Terrorized blond cries and primate dies with one...

large...

extremely large and black...

...fucking GIANT and BLAAAAAACK hand reaching out towards said blond symbol of white pure beauty.

Sigh.

Yeah, a bitch fucking hates this story. My ass knows that Hollywood can’t and/or won’t get its shit together regarding portrayals of minorities. But fuck this fucking shit!

Fuck everyone involved in bringing this historic insult back to the screen…to insult the fucking shit out of me again! Fuckers!

And as far as the portrayal of women…oh shit, that requires another post. Suffice it to say, King Kong is a revival of the pedestal and blondie sits right on top of it. Virginal, untouched, coveted…she is the ultimate possession…a literal theatrical attraction.

Between the portrayal of women and the resurrection of antiquated racial stereotypes, this black woman can find little good in the King Kong story. Which means that this remake will join the other blockbuster films of 2005 on the 'this bitch won't even watch it on cable' list.

Happy Friday, chil'ren...

76 comments:

notfornothin said...

so, just for myself to be clear on things...you hate this story? :)

tigerlilly said...

Thank you baby. You are so right. We had countless discussions about this in undergrad and grad school. It's amazing that the mere mention of this can make our skin crawl, but most of the world has no idea how offensive and demeaning it actually is. Don't get me started on beauty standards. I had to stop watching television completely. It bothers me almost as much as Gone WIth the Wind. ALMOST.

By the way, I made the decision to stop relaxing the hair a few days ago. Gonna be calling on you for support!

Gigi said...

I AM NOT ALONE!! I have hated the King Kong story since I was a child -- before I could understand the racial undertones to the story. Now that I'm all grown up and know what's really going onm it makes me furious that Hollywood is still foisting this crap onto the public. Thanks for allowing your little light to shine w/mine.

Shark-fu said...

NFN...yes, a bitch HATES this story! Hates it!

Ms. Tigerlilly...cool! Make sure you condition your hair a lot and feel free to experiment with products. A bitch likes a cream moisturizer, because my hair gets weighed down easily. Oh, and Hair Milk is cool too!

So, dred or an Afro? A bitch has to know!

Anonymous said...

PREACH, my nubian sistah! And while we are on the subject of Peter Jackson, can we discuss WTF was up with those dreadlock coiffed Uruk Hai?!

-A

Hammer said...

Your analysis of King Kong reminds me of a discussion I had in graduate school regarding the racism of pool.

The white ball is used to knock the other colored balls off the table. The black ball is saved for last as the most elusive and troublesome ball on the table...you get the idea!

Eeek. I wonder if we over-analyze or if racial sterotypes and other 'issues' are played out in these unimportant aspects of culture.

I'm not saying it's bad to analyze and interpret...I mean, fuck, I'm a scientist! I am just going through a phase where I want to enjoy life. I want to watch a movie and NOT analyze it. I want to play pool. I think we should continue to focus on the real issues, the evident issues. King Kong has some similarities to life/race, etc. but are they intentional?

"Intent" to me is the important question. Did the writer of King Kong sit down and say, "let's make a story about a big fucking ape (that will represent black men) and have him terrorize stupid, blond, nazi-esque white women!" ?? I'm not sure. However, after typing it, it seems like they may have....

Hmmmm, anyway. I love the analysis. Don't mean to sound horribly critical!

Peace ABB!

Che

Shark-fu said...

Hammer/Che...

A bitch, being a bitch, doesn't give much slack for intent. However, the King Kong story's intent is pretty clear. Just watch the original film, honey...clear as a motherfucker.

Anyhoo...a bitch hates this fucking story and my ass doesn't give a shit what the intent was.

Fuck it!

This bitch hopes the intent was to link to America's fear of a sexualized black man getting busy with fair maidens...because doing that by accident is fucking pathetic.

Chris said...

I agree with your assessment ABB. It also crosses my mind that Kong in general terms represents society's obsession with and fear of sex. It's also a cautionary tale about what happens when male sexuality is unleashed. Of course, this doesn't happen by chance. A woman tempts a man, he gets hard and loses his mind and in the end he is destroyed. This of course presumes that men can not be held responsible for their own actions. It's the white woman's fault. Society!!!

Uccellina said...

Sometimes a cigar may be just a cigar, but in this case, the cigar is a big black penis. ABB is right. King Kong is one of the least subtle racist films out there.

I was actually surprised that they dared to remake this. Did they think we wouldn't notice?

Anonymous said...

King Kong (the 1933 version) was Adolph Hitler's favorite movie. I'm not making this up.

jOoLz said...

ABB, you need to find a friend in california who will send you real sudafed... that PE shit sucks a box of cocks.

that aside, love the blog!

Lady K said...

You know, I never thought about it that way until now...consider my mind blown!

Thanks ^_^

Sangroncito said...

Your take on King Kong is right on.
I'm not spending a f*cking dime to see that sh*t.

Have a great weekend, ABB! Love ya! (and when are you coming down to Salvador...we got a hammock with ABB written all over it...)

Maureen O'Danu said...

It will be interesting to see what Peter Jackson does with the story. He didn't seem in any way sensitive to the racism inherent in LOTR, (very subtle and British, but clearly there), so I don't hold high hopes that he was able to recreate Kong as a different sort of morality tale. Have a great weekend, ABB.

Just to let you know, this post of yours uncovered one of those "white privilege" moments I have. Growing up white (well, Irish, but close enough) I never noticed that the racism was inherent to the Kong story rather than a part of the Hollywood of that time. Thinking back over my dusty memories of the movie (I was never fond of it either, perhaps subconsciously for the same reason), you are absolutely right. Thanks for the insight.

Anonymous said...

Never thought about it except as a movie about a gigantic gorilla with some eye candy thrown in to sell movie tickets $ $ $ back in the 1930s. It is possible to project and read anything into just about anything if you invest the time and effort. In extreme enough cases it is called paranoid ideation.

Anonymous said...

During a pothazy viewing of the original Kong back in the '70's my friend C.J. asked what did Kong do with the Black women offered to him. I remember saying if he was anything like my mother he brought her back in a week with an offering for the natives to keep her. Whether he ate them or grew bored after playing with them the fact that Miss Ultimate Maiden caused him to lose his mind freedom and life seemed just as important as the Umgawah racism of the flick. Great raw sex destroys the sailors lynch mob who attempted to rescue the Ultimate Maiden. Only one type would satisfy Kong as the doomed New York woman awakened from her sleep to Black Sex and is destroyed finds out. The conversations of a slow pothazy evening in the summer. I'd rather watch King Kong though than any Johnny Weismuller Taezan epic though now that was racist and haven't you noticed Tarzan was impotent! Jane and he "adopted" Boy. A jealous Cheta bit him on his wood once too often?

Kim said...

King Kong always creeped me out and I hated it. As an adult, it always pissed me off that it was a blatant example of woman as object. I had never thought of it in a racist context, that one flew right over my head. Now...well duh. If it was possible to hate it more than I already did, I do.

Cheetarah1980 said...

I never saw the movie, nor did I know what it was about. Since I've always had a love for primates, I found the big gorilla to be absolutely adorable. Now it's all ruined for me. I'll never look at King Kong the same way again. And he seemed like such a sweet ape in those commercials.

Qivan said...

I never thought of it like that, but your dead on. I have no desire to see it and I'm confused why Peter J. would choose this.

Qivan said...

How come you can't get real Sudafed, did the Christians ban that along with evolution?

Hammer said...

Daaaaaaamn!

My dad used to watch King Kong all the time when I was a kid. But, before law school, he was a film major...whatever.

I guess I stand corrected. Sorry if I offended. Like I mentioned earlier, I am choosing my battles more carefully these days. Clearly racism is one of those battles. I just never thought that the intent of the film was to enforce racial sterotypes. Not saying that it doesn't, but to assume that was the intent is dangerous, wasteful, perhaps too aggressive and militant. (Not that I'm against being dangerous, aggressive or militant!).

I just want some peace Papi! Damn! Damn! Damn!

Anyway! Thanks for the stimulating conversation/topics!

In peaceful struggle,

Hammer

It's Me, Maven... said...

Being the resident pervert here (I'm sure there are others:), and trying to inject a little levity... I vaugely recall Nancy Friday writing about gorilla lovin' in one of her books.

So I've heard, of course.

Red said...

Lawd girl, you hit the nail on the damn head. I've been so hyper-sensitive about racism since Katrina swamped New Orleans (my hometown now and forever, damn straight) and especially since it's hit home just how short the attention span of this country is when it comes to shit we don't want to admit to. You know as well as anyone that when that fucking piece of shit movie comes out all of America will frolick to see it and won't even CONSIDER the racial implications portrayed therein. But ya gotta love the good old U.S. of A, right? Fuck.

bold as love said...

This posts reminds me of a joke I once heard- What do you get when you cross a chicken with an elephant- answer- a dead chicken with a asshole 8 inches in diameter.
There is some shit that just won't work -regardless how you try to make it.

How the hell was king kong screwing these women- This is a reach ABB, physically and metaphorically. The racial treatment of blacks in movies back then was just plain fucked up. I just don't see the the sexual undertones/overtones you are talking about. Could it have just possibly been the "white woman" was a novelty, say like a albino tiger, that would distract Kong even more so than the local sistas?

I don't think the writers were thinking about black people at all when the story was written-if they were, it was in terms of the black natives being sterotypical (and those thoughts were racist)Remember, we are talking about the 30's, we were the last thought on white peoples minds at that time.

Later'

Anonymous said...

Hey, Angry Black Bitch. Has it every occurred to you that YOU are the one being racist here?

Why are you assuming that the black ape represents a black man? You are racist in equating apes to black people. Note how easily you made this connection. "Big black ape equals big black man," you thought.

Well aren't you a bigot! Since when does an ape have to represent a black guy? Why couldn't the ape simply represent a primitive animal with human characteristics?

Keep in mind that there are few available alternatives. I suppose the island could have an enormous, lighter-skinned chimpanzee. Or maybe a large orangutan, or proboscis monkey. But only the ape has the look of ferocity that makes him an effective monster.

Peter Jackson chose to remake "King Kong" because it was his favorite and most formative childhood film. It filled him with awe and wonder and he wanted to try to recreate that for new, modern generations. I doubt he has any subtext in mind. Whether the original creators did is another story. Perhaps they didn't think an albino ape would look as good in 1933 black-and-white.

Just to make things doubly clear here: You are the one equating apes with black men. Nobody else even brought it up. I think what you are saying is horribly racist. Maybe you need to look deep within yourself and ask why you think black men resemble apes?

Jeff said...

I have to admit, I never liked King Kong because I just thought it was a really fucking dumb story. I mean, a giant ape? Come on. Who's gonna buy that crap?

Giant radioactive lizards that breathe fire, though, now that's a completely different story....

nvr4money said...

Seems as if many have found a bandwagon to hoist themselves upon. It's as Anon said, we have equated the ape to the black man. When the movie originally opened, society did not care about sparing our feelings. If the movie represented the societal role of the AAM (African American Male, ie. me) they would have made it plain for their preferred audience. There would be no guessing or thinking needed. As far as the black male (me) being an outstanding sexual partner, feared yet craved, well... you're damn right!

the beige one said...

As far as the black male (me) being an outstanding sexual partner, feared yet craved, well... you're damn right!

As a mixed male, I'll go along with this sentiment.

In re: King Kong, I've always thought it was a good story about a giant monkey.

As Dino DeLaurentiis said while making his version: When monkey die, people cry.

Also, Hitler was fond of Wagner's Ring Trilogy...should we deride that as well?

Club Omega Lives! said...

Or...dear anonymous one...she could NOT be a racist and you could have totally missed it. She is not the only one to ever let it slip that some white people equate black men to apes...Visit various parts of this country and talk to your fellow anonymous brethren that spew hate when it is not needed (read - guys that cover their faces with nicely pressed hoods). No I am not saying that you are a racist but maybe anon... you get the point. ABB told you what her thoughts were based on her life experiences. Life has taught her if it is a big black agressive pseudo sexual object...that usually equate to Black male. But then again what do I know...I am just a big black agressive psuedo sexual object myself.

BobDobbs said...

Love, love, LOVE the blog. The King Kong post was great (I bet you are going to get a TON of traffic from Salon), but I also really appreciated and forwarded around the Kanye post below. Props props.

Anyway, the people saying that you are off base here on the Kong thing are just idiots. They are missing your point. The question of any art is NEVER artistic intent. The purpose of authors/creators has nothing to do with how art is taken by an audience and how it is used and how it affects us in subconscious and subtle ways. I recommend some Edward Said about Orientalism and how these "savage native primitives" in their "exotic tribal culture" can reinforce our methods of imperialism and colonialism. You don't have to be a grad student to make the connection. And YES, it IS about Kong's penis and the tiny woman's vagina. It is a sexual relationship. Is it impossible? Sure! That's the genius. He'd split her open. OBVIOUSLY. I hear that about black men ALL THE TIME. It's a metaphor and it's on point.

Keep rocking ABB. Good shit.

Angelo said...

I don't mean to be an asshole (I am clearly one however.)

Don't you find it a tad ironic that you are irritated by the sexist and racial generalisms within Kink Kong but yet you yourself with jest reinforce generalisms (like perhaps about angry black bitches) with your mannerisms, manner of speech, and content?

Not that it wasn't entertaining or insightful; but that you hardly have a right to complain about the kind of shit you yourself are helping to propagate.

Just a thought.

Joolya said...

That was great - you made my day. Reminds me of the racist/sexist/ethnically insulting fodder that was the first of the new Star Wars films. I couldn't even see the other two, that film pissed me off so much. (Although at least it didn't stop at insulting just one ethnicity . . . )

Hammer, I kind of see what you're saying but projecting racial analyses onto pool is not quite the same as analyzing a film that was written and rewritten and made by hundreds of people who are products and regurgitators of culture. The subtext (the unconscious intent) is important to dissect, because it tells us what our culture thinks about things. Sometimes ya just want to watch the film, but being a passive viewer allows you to be unwittingly infected with these cultural subtexts.

Chris: women and "coloured" people need to be protected from themselves by Big White Daddy, dontcha know?

LOTR totally had those nasty scheming Arab types who were the bad guys, also. I think it's interesting that films do so reflect cultural attitudes (if they didn't a lot of critics and academics would be out of work) but that's also exactly why people like Peter Jackson and us have to take such a hard look at them, and at ourselves.

Great blog!

Joolya said...

Never thought about it except as a movie about a gigantic gorilla with some eye candy thrown in to sell movie tickets $ $ $ back in the 1930s.

Case in point.

Joolya said...

Remember, we are talking about the 30's, we were the last thought on white peoples minds at that time.

No way. America in the early 20th c was just as paranoid about race as it is now - more so. You can tell what a society is thinking about by the art it makes. No one would say that all those atomic mutant movies in the 50s weren't because of the dangling threat of nuclear annihilation. That is a dangerously naive view of history.

dave bones said...

Very interesting debate. I am aware of racist metaphors in filmland. I'm not sure if they are deliberate from the screenwriters or read into by those who study film.

I fell in love the 70s remake of King Kong after watching it on magic mushrooms. Especially John Barry's soundtrack. To me the ape is the innocent hero a corrupt society can't deal with.

bluemonster said...

ABB--I found your blog via Salon after seeing the preview for King Kong on Sat. I was dumbfounded by how obvious, and scary, the racism was in the story, and really heartened to see that you spoke out about it.
Have you read any of Donna Harraway's work? Your reading of KK reminds me of Harraway's book Primate Visions: Race, Gender and Nature in the World of Modern Science.
Thank you for being a bitch!!

nvr4money said...

Remember, we are talking about the 30's, we were the last thought on white peoples minds at that time.

I erred. I should have said whites couldn't have cared less about our reactions or what we thought about a movie. If they wanted to make a racist movie, they didn't have to be subtle about it.

I ask everyone, when is a movie, just a movie?

Thanks for the blog ABB, stay strong!

Anonymous said...

nvr4money:

I ask everyone, when is a movie, just a movie?

My answer to this would be when a person is "just" a person - existing outside of any social context whatsoever.

In other words - not for a long, long time.

Kim C said...

Beige one -- Yes, Wagner is ugly music -- almost all of it.

Steve said...

Thanks ABB, never thought much about Mr. Kong there, but there it is. While we're on stupid movies, what the fuck's up with Gone with the Wind? Where the hell are all the mulattos? And don't get me started on The Merchant of Venice, me being full blooded Pharisee and all.

Anonymous said...

Instead of immediate indignance, maybe we should question whether the intentions of the original writers/directors were to question society's racism. Perhaps this was intended as an indictment on society. In which case, job well done because we are discussing the issue.

But from the looks of these posts, many of those reading this blog simply are looking for the angle that gives them the greatest reason to unleash a form of furious petulance. It is no wonder sensasionalism sells.

Anonymous said...

Paaaaaranoid!

You can take pretty much anything you want and "find" racism/sexism/ageism/any kind of ism you want in it. I suggest you relax, have a stiff drink or two, and save your outrage for things that actually matter.

Anonymous said...

It is a movie about a giant ape.

Just. A. Movie.

Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Let me ask you, who are we simpathetic towards when the movie is over? The ape. Who are the true monsters? The men who killed him. Perhaps race is an underlying theme, but it's not racist. If anything it's an allegory for the struggle of the oppressed. It's not as if they killed the ape and said "That'll show that uppity monkey!"

Some people love playing the martyr so much that they manufacture slights against them in everything they see.

Anonymous said...

This calm white asshole wonders how you can complain about negative stereotypes in a movie when you apply a negative stereotype to yourself. I would not have known you were black or a bitch if you had not mentioned it several times in your entry. Am I to assume that all black women are angry bitches?

It is not the fault of the filmmakers that the vast majority of indigenous native populations are darkskinned. The tribes of natives in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Polynesia are all mostly dark, and this includes where King Kong Island is supposed to be. It is also known that a number of indigenous cultures have rituals that Westerners consider barbaric. The Aztecs sacrificed virgins up until the 1600s. The Iroquoi scalped their foes until the 1800s. Certain African tribes make drinks out of the blood and milk of cows, and some New Guinean and South American tribes practice ritual cannibalism. Some, for example, believe that eating the brain of an enemy defeated in combat will allow the victor to gain the powers of his foe.

The fact that the filmmakers decided to portray these particular tribesmen on the island as vicious savages says nothing whatsoever about black society as a whole. Assuming that it does makes no more sense than trying to use The Godfather as an excuse to generalize all white men as violent criminals and gangsters. This white asshole would hate such a mistaken idea.

It's even more ridiculous to apply such stereotypes to Kong himself. He is an ape. A primate. Not a man. Gorilla, to be precise. Gorillas happen to be one of the few creatures that humans share a close bond with. Not black people, or whie people, or hispanics, Kurds, arabs, chinese... All of them. Humans. The fact that gorillas are black has nothing to do with the choice of them as Kong. It is the manlike build, the hands, the expressive face. A purple tentacled pincer beast or giant spiky green lizard could not hope to win the affection of the chick, much less the sympathy of the audience. I know of the racist statement calling black people monkeys, but Jackson's Kong tries to accurately portray a gorilla as gorillas act. There is nothing inherently Negro in gorilla behavior.

I agree with you about how films like this objectify women- the raging animal lust of the beast. But lust and objectivity are colorblind. White, black, and gorila men all feel it.

A wise man once said not to criticise others for the speck in their eye when they did nothing about the stick in their own. Perhaps Angry Bitch could use a chill pill? Calm asshole doesn't need his any more.

Anonymous said...

Uh, gorillas are black. Should they have made it a giant ALBINO gorilla or something, just to avoid offending people? Also, the natives were probably so entranced by whatsherface because of her blond hair. None of them had ever seen someone with blonde hair before, so it's an oddity. Which is why they give it to Kong, and which is also why Kong was so interested by it.

Also, the movie had a black guy in it that wasn't in the original film. So they purposefully put in a black character who was competant, intelligent, self-sacrificing, well-read, and a veteran.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. Because they used a gorilla, which is typically black, this is a racist movie? What color would you have liked for it to be? Yellow? No, that would be offensive to the asians. How about purple? Purple's a nice neutral color.

It's a giant monkey for crying out loud. I doubt that they meant anything by it being black. Simply put, the gorilla was the most popular primate at the time of the original movie, so they used it since most of the viewers would know what it was. I HIGHLY doubt that the writers of this movie sat down and thought to themselves "Let's make this movie have racist undertones. Won't that be fun?"

Please.

Anonymous said...

SPOILER!!!

Hey, I like being angry and racist as much as the next < insert racial explitive>, but the first person that KONG kills on film IS a black man! A well-read, rightous, honorable, protective Black Man!

I'd say the most racist thing was that all the black feral native girls were ripped limb from limb, but the one blonde white girl survives, what, a full day? Yeah, I guess that's racist. But then agian, she was the only vauville entertainer the ape had ever had.

Anonymous said...

If Kong is the black man oppressed by whitey, where does the evil cabal of Jew bankers fit in?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please give me a break!I am so bloody tired of the racism and analysis of everything that comes down the pike. Can we not have a story that is JUST a story? Must we drag race into it?

Not everything in the United States or elsewhere is racially motivated. In fact few things are. Racism is usually an additive thrown in after the fact.

Just enjoy the blasted movie. Quit looking for something to whine about.

Anonymous said...

I do believe that YOU ABB, just said that black men are apes. Yes, it's an incredibly sexist movie. The poor little woman can't help herself. In the original, she screams for most of the movie. But no one said the ape was representative of a black man except you.

Jennifer Schantz said...

Thanks for your comments. Entertaining, but more importantly, insightful. I was considering going to this movie, but no longer!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that once again the minorities come up and say, "I'm being oppressed, this movie is specifically aimed at discriminating against me!! Waaaaaah!!!"

Grow up. This movie is meant for eterntainment, not social commentary. When you finally stop looking at every movie with your heavily-one sided, dogmatic perspective, then you'll start understanding that the white population isn't out to get you and you don't need to have the government step in and take care of everything for you.

And I'm going to go see the movie, enjoy it, and buy it on DVD when it's released in that format.

icarusalsoflew said...

The "just a movie" comments raise an honest question but don't dig too deeply for answers. Is Kong "just a gorilla"? Are critics who say he's coded as a black man just revealing their own racism?

Let's see: Kong is God to an anti-culture of dark-skinned savages way out East somewhere, a figment of the filmmaker's imagination (which is governed, just as Edward Said puts it, "not simply by empirical reality but by a battery of desires, repressions, investments, and projections"). He recognizes the difference between a black woman and a white woman, big-time--and if his interest isn't sexual, what is it? (Why not sacrifice old men to him?) Funny that his desire falls in precise line with the lust that white Americans invented to justify lynchings. Anyway, he's captured by white men, chained, and taken by ship to the land of the free. Sound familiar? Then he's turned into entertainment: on stage in New York, he's surrounded by (presumably African-American) black dancers whooping it up in "native" costumes. (A distillation of the minstrel tradition that makes me think of Langston Hughes: "You've taken my blues and gone-- / You sing 'em on Broadway.")

The transformation from captured exotic to classy entertainment for whites probably wasn't "intended" to parallel the history of blacks in America, but that's part of what makes it so scary. This stuff is so pervasive that the writers didn't even mean to tap into it. But they struck a chord with the millions of Depression-era white Americans who were desperate to feel superior to somebody.

icarusalsoflew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
icarusalsoflew said...

p.s. As for why Hitler took to the 1933 movie, it's interesting to take into account that King Kong was released in Germany under the title "KING KONG UND DIE WEISSE FRAU"--"King Kong and the White Woman."

Anonymous said...

It is also known that a number of indigenous cultures have rituals that Westerners consider barbaric. The Aztecs sacrificed virgins up until the 1600s. The Iroquoi scalped their foes until the 1800s. Certain African tribes make drinks out of the blood and milk of cows, and some New Guinean and South American tribes practice ritual cannibalism.

...and Americans, who live in the wealthiest nation on earth, don't provide universal health care for their fellow citizens. Barbarism takes many forms. Bottom line is that the Kong story has serious issues (racism, imperialism, sexism) that Peter Jackson, remaking it for the 21st century, failed to deal with. He just stuck his head in the sand and played with his CGI machines to make what amounts to a 3 hour video game. That shows a serious lack of vision IMHO.

Anonymous said...

King Kong is Beauty and The Beast with a twist.

As previously mentioned, when the film was made, racism wasn't subtle. It was in your face and blatant. The tribes people in King Kong for example.

I think that we are viewing a film released in 1933 based on the perceptions of those living in 2005. A good share of movies contain racist depictions of Black people. However, there is no effort to hide this. There is no symbolism. It's out there and at the time, it was acceptable. People's attitudes were what they were. At that time, nobody felt the need to hide their racism. It was in everything from film to advertising.

King Kong isn't an analogy. It's a movie about a giant ape. Why was the character of Ann Darrow white? Of course she was white. All movie stars were white at that time. Is that racist? Of course it is. Why was the gorilla black? Because gorillas are black. Is that racist? No. Gorillas are actually black.

Is this movie a reminder of how racist our country was and what kinds of attitudes people harbored about Black people? Of course it is. So are many movies of the period. However, there is no pretext in King Kong. The ape is an ape. There is no symbolism.

Was this a story really about a savage Black man falling in love with a beautiful White woman and the only socially acceptable way of telling such a love story in 1933 was to use a gorilla as a metaphor? I have no problem with interacial relationships. Seems a bit too deep for 1933 though. I would like to think it was a tragic story about a Black man who left his home to be with a White woman and tragically ended with his death because people were unaccepting and close minded. I wish there was a deeper social commentary in King Kong. In the end, I think it was a movie with a good looking actress and a primate because that kind of stuff made for good box.

http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/lessonplans/hs_es_popular_culture.htm

/the pterosaur in King Kong was the Jew.
//In the Son of Kong, the ape was albino/white. It was a box office flop.

Badspock said...

Ya know, I went and saw the movie Christmas eve.

Guess what? Sometimes the 25 foot gorilla is actually just a 25 foot gorilla who is the last of his kind and desperately lonely. Kong doesn't want Anne for sex, nor because she's white. A very poignant scene in the film shows us (the audience) very graphically that all of Kongs pride of giant gorillas has dies out. Kong is alone. Anne, a vaudeville comedian, uses her wits by performing her act for Kong. He is entranced by her act, and especially enjoys the pratfalls. When he takes her to his "lair", he shows her his favorite thing in the world....the huge cliffside resting place where he watches the sunset.

That's right. Kong, who has to fight friggin' dinosaurs every day just to survive, enjoys watching the sunset. And he wanted someone to share that with. Why didn't the tribeswomen make it that far w/him? Who knows. Who cares. Kong isn't in love with Anne, she is (to him) his best friend.

No one can watch the scene of Kong holding Anne while clowning and sliding on the first ice he's probably ever encountered and see anything other than two friends playing and laughing together.

This film isn't about race. Sometimes the giant ape is just a giant ape. A LONELY giant ape who is human enough to appreciate the value of a friend.

The races of this world will never get along, or find common ground of any kind until people quit looking for racism under every rock and frame of film in existance.

Anonymous said...

Yes, KK is a racist movie. and PJ is a racist. Check how he deleted the Chinese Charlie Charecature, yet keeps in the "savage" blacks.
It ok to offend blacks but not the chinese......................

WHY?

Because he is a white racist.

Anonymous said...

I just read ABB's link from above and the linked page's corresponding links: body of black-face entertainment

Embarrassing for all Americans.

http://www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/caricature/

It is difficult for me to discern the line between racism and sheer stupidity. With such horrific and blatant racism in popular culture at the time, I find it hard to believe that King Kong was symbolic of anything. Then again, with attitudes, one doesn't have to go to far to imagine the thought process underlying the creation of the film.

Reading the above links -- particularly the Ferris State University site on racist memorabilia -- made me physically ill.

We have a responsibility to one another to be ever vigilant against these types of attitudes towards any people from ever becoming popularized again. It is frightening to me that people are capable of subscribing to such attitudes and yet they exist to this day. How many of us have downplayed such images representing native Americans being used by sports franchises?

Anonymous said...

So black folks are offended because King Kong is depicting a bad image of a huge black ape. What I fail to see is how an ape is connected to black folks. Unless, of course, black folks themselves consider they look like apes. Which would actually be the only sensible explanation why black people would think this movie is racist..

VictoryCheese said...

Anonymous said:

"So black folks are offended because King Kong is depicting a bad image of a huge black ape. What I fail to see is how an ape is connected to black folks. Unless, of course, black folks themselves consider they look like apes. Which would actually be the only sensible explanation why black people would think this movie is racist."

You're a fucking idiot. Clearly you read nothing of what the lady had to say. And your insensitivity is boundless.

I am 39, white, male, American and not only do I find the story of King Kong offensive, I watched the remake and found it extremely off-putting. Worse even than the original.

Peter Jackson may be great at what he does, but he is clearly clueless when it comes to race issues.

Plus... Plus! It commits the greatest genre cliche crime there is. I couldn't believe it when I saw it coming! I said "No! No! No! You didn't!" Yes [SPOLIER ALERT] a noble black man dies saving the lives of white people.

AGAIN!

VictoryCheese said...

hey... how come all the white apologists on this thread log in as "anonymous", spout the typical "oooh! you're bein' oppressed! boohoo!" right-wing rhetoric and then abscond?

cowards afraid of real debate?

love your blog, ABB. i actually found it by googling "king kong racist" after sitting through five nights of getting through it 30 minutes at a time on DVD (painfully but stoically, so i could know whereof i spoke afterward).

then i saw that salon links to you as a favorite blog. that's very cool. well-deserved -- you're a great writer.

peace.

VictoryCheese said...

Badspock said:

No one can watch the scene of Kong holding Anne while clowning and sliding on the first ice he's probably ever encountered and see anything other than two friends playing and laughing together.

Bullshit. In almost every other scene in this movie, this "ape" is killing things in a rage. No actual mountain gorilla, which Kong is designed to resemble, is this viciously violent.

Remember when they first find his lair? It is filled with the skeletons of human sacrifices that he has ripped limb from limb. Why? Because he is so misunderstood? He's a freakin' serial killer, folks!

This movie is just plain wrong. Stop apologizing for it, dipshits.

Dubhe said...

Andrea Dworkin, in "Pornography: Men Possessing Women", explained (and I have to paraphrase, since I'm at work) that intent does not have to be overt to still be racist or misogynistic.

In a work of art or fiction, the writer can create anything he can imagine. No element of a story or work is "accidentally" included; if an artist does not want something there, it is not there. If something IS there, he likes it there.

Why?

This movie could have had any number of different elements, but the writers chose THOSE SPECIFIC elements. Why? Because they resonated with the writers. For some reason, the writers just LIKED them. That alone says all we need about the minds of the creators.

Why on earth would a writer LIKE the idea of a giant black gorilla that "uses" (use your imagination; we have to) women, and goes into a frenzy over a WHITE woman? What about that theme resonates in the mind of a creator?

Why not use a black woman? Or an old man and a female gorilla? Or a fat Asian woman? Or a small poodle? Why a Gorilla? Why wasn't the T-Rex the star? Or a giant tiger? Or a giant crab? Or a giant parrot? Or.. or... or... any of those would have been just as plausible and just as terrifying.

But for the creator, something about his mindset RESONATED with a giant gorilla surrounded by blackfaced natives. Why?

It tells us something. It doesn't tell us that a group of old fat white men in 1930 sat around in a smokey room and had a meeting on how best to make a subtlely oppressive, hideously insulting movie to help keep the black man down and inferior in the minds of middle-class honkeys, necessarily. But it does tell us something about the inner workings of the artist's mind, as well as the minds of the folks who get defensive over it.

~Dim

pupudoo said...

Whats up ABB Im from saint louis also. Im white, atleast I look white. Im actually mixed but the point is that most people see me as white and I even found this movie to be racist. I hate the fact that the whole time I watched this movie I felt a racist vibe. I defenately dont think that Peter J. is racist but the original story defenately was and it translate into this remake.

esecallum said...

Look white people think of blacks as monkeys and spend most of their time hating them and making monkey noises everytime they see a black.The hatred of blacks is very intense.
This film proved whites are superior to blacks by firing at Kong from planes and using guns.
The black ape representing blacks is thus shot and killed thus proving whites
have technology.
When I am in the street whites give me a look of pure hatred and make monkey noises and throw bananas at me.In football matches bananas are thrown at black players by whites.
Whites hate black people and wish they were all dead.
Jesus lived in the middle east and must be black.In every film he is shown as a white man.
Why?

Unsane said...

Kind of interesting that there was a message in there for women, too: patriarchy may scare you because it is primitive and vulgar -- but if you do a little dance and try to entertain the ugly male, there may be a place, for you women, too, within this system.

esecallum said...

Look you are either lying or self delusional. White people see blacks as apes.Thats why when you see a banana you associate IT with blacks and apes.

On Skull Island blacks were portrayed as crazy drum banging savages.Why?

Why did they kidnap a white blonde girl.The film portrayed them as rapists and kidnappers of white virgen blonde girls.And portrayed blacks as killers, savages,kidnappers and bestial savages.Did you see the bones?

Why?


When you see images of a jungle the mental picture is of black cannibals boiling people to eat them and blacks living in mudhuts or swinging from the trees throwing spears.

When you see blacks on TV you hate them even more because they have a better job then you and you feel even more justification for your intense hatred and loathing of all blacks.

For example if you had a black friend and you fell out and had a fight the abuse you would against the black would be "black bastard" or "nigger".

In King Kong blacks are portrayed as rapists of white blonde women and must therefore be machine gunned to death.

In King Kong the giant ape had no penis?

Where was it? well?

This as an attempt to portray blacks as bestial savages but without an actual penis.

Even when King Kong was standing erect we could not see his penis yet blacks are portrayed as rapists of young blonde virgin white women.

Even when the blonde was between his legs we could not see his penis.

How could she be raped without a penis?



Why?

Why?

I ask you why?

ThatGuyInTheCorner said...

I watched KK and when it was over, i switched channels and I watched "Barney"... It was purpleist ! Im disgusted !

Anonymous said...

ABB, your man left you for a white girl didn't he?

Anonymous said...

Your lack of proper command of the english language only reinforces the black people are animals thing, and frankly, not as many people are impressed with black men as you might think.

Anonymous said...

You really need to get a life. Oh and you should really quit using so many cuss words. It is obvious that you are low life but really you should try and better yourself.

Cynthia said...

Hahaha. I love the comment about her needing to stop cussing so much. Simply because she doesn't need to stop cussing at all. Some say cussing is just a sign of ignorance. I say it's a fucking sign to let everyone know how pissed off you are, and to get you point across. Call me crazy..But, I kind of have to agree with both sides on this issue. Being white, and looking at it in the perspective of a black person I can see what she is talking about...I mean, come on. If you can't see the ape=big ass black dude, then you're retarded. But, at the same time, I never even noticed anything remotely racist about it before I read this blog.

Shannon said...

i like how a slew of anons suddenly popped up and started saying the same things in different ways, coincidence? i think not! lol. trolls