Every week Carl Wilson looks at the events of the past seven days in the mirror of art and culture. This week: The only one who could ever reach us was that sunuvabitch of a preacher man. (Or, The Rotten of the Patriarchs.)
The News In Art
The most remarked upon feature of the latest Rob Ford video is his attempt at Jamaican patois, or “fratois.” But Ford's Ja-fakin’ is just another instance in a long line of people rasta-playacting. We look back at our history of ethnic-dialect humour, racial stereotyping for entertainment, and that itch to mimic.
The United States has a long and ugly history of spying on its own citizens. Last week, as the surviving members of a daring 1971 operation to expose FBI dirty tricks finally went public, revelations about present day NSA spying continued to mount. A tour through some of the art inspired by America’s obsession with enemies-within.
Thamsanqa Jantjie’s sign-language gibberish at Nelson Mandela’s funeral stole headlines, offended many, and raised real alarm, but isn’t there something to be gained from seeing the tablecloth yanked out from beneath settled social consensus?
While Nelson Mandela sat in prison, cultural authorities in South Africa clamped down on “subversive” music, banning albums and raiding gigs. Warrick Sony’s Kalahari Surfers, however, found a way through.