— When comments are better than the article, Atlantic edition (“The Cheapest Generation: Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy”)
Oh holy cow, I remember reading about this during its original installation last year- I HAVE to see this while I’m in New York in June.
two millennials are barreling towards adulthood at 95 miles per hour. one of them has been coated with the most extravagant paint money can buy, but their steering apparatus is locked up until that coat’s paid off; the other’s breaks have been ripped out mid-trip, the thief yelling, “what, did you think you were entitled to these?” over their shoulder. half the tracks have been torn away to build second, third, and fifth garages for trains that are no longer running. solve for x.
tell me again how the song goes — i’m so inadequate i might forget. if we’re not informed enough then we’re apathetic morons, but if we’re too informed we’re oversensitive reactionaries; if we think we deserve more then we’re narcissistic cutthroats, but if we’re happy where we are then we’re passionless layabouts. if we’re making money then we’re materialistic automatons who only care about stuff and don’t value the important things in life, but if we’re broke then we’re disgusting, spoiled children who expect everything in life to be a handout. if we spend too much time with technology then we’re antisocial, soulless zombies who spell the end for human interaction as we know it, but if we spend too much time together we’re a dangerous, unstable element who should get real jobs already. we’re a disgrace; we’re a embarrassment; we’re a mistake; we’re a disappointment; we’re not what you wanted, however you slice it, and all of it’s our fault, right? right? oh, god, am i getting the melody wrong?
here’s what i propose, everyone who wants to open their twenty-four-hour news cycles or their pork-barrel mouths, who wants to use their filthy fucking hands to tear this generation a new one: you try it. you come up with a picture of the generation you seem to want: one that’s neither apathetic nor engaged, one that’s neither ambitious nor content, one that’s neither rich nor poor, one that’s neither technologically connected nor interpersonally involved. don’t forget to factor in the variables — the years of economic instability; the globalization of everything from communication to art; the hugely stratified individual experiences we’ve had based on things like race, sexuality, gender, and socioeconomics, on things that come with whole histories of systemic bullshit; the overwhelming burden of student debt that so many of us face; the fact that hindsight is 20/20. you write the formula for the millennial that will shut you the fuck up about all the things we should be and aren’t, about all the ways we’ve failed you, and then you bring it to me. i promise you, i will try it. anything for a little peace and quiet, right? anything to stop hearing it everywhere i go: that voice saying that, at twenty-three, i might already have flunked out of life.
(both millennials crash, spectacularly and yelling for help, into the station that never built a platform for them to pull into. onlookers stand by and shake their heads, wondering about the deplorable state of trains today. that’s what happens when nobody does the fucking math.)
And that’s why the role has been taken away from actors of colour and given to a white man. Racebending.com has always pointed out that villains are generally played by people with darker skin, and that’s true … unless the villain is one with intelligence, depth, complexity. One who garners sympathy from the audience, or if not sympathy, then — as from Kirk — grudging admiration. What this new Trek movie tells us, what JJ Abrams is telling us, is that no brown-skinned man can accomplish all that. That only by having Khan played by a white actor can the audience engage with and feel for him, believe that he’s smart and capable and a match for our Enterprise crew."
Marissa Sammy on Star Trek: Into Whiteness.
perfect commentary which parallels what Rawles was saying earlier about the possibility of Moriarty being a person of color:
- “…The actual issue is that black people aren’t often allowed to play full and complete characters, and an antagonist who isn’t unintelligent, thuggish cannon fodder is just as much of a rarity for black men as the stubbly hero who saves the world or wtfever. “
- “…The stereotype in no way intersects with brilliant geniuses who choose to step outside of the boundaries of society in order to exercise their intellect while having no concern for lesser beings.
Or to break it down further: the problematic stereotype regarding black people is that of being, in essence, subhuman. Characters of the Moriarty (and Holmes) archetype are rooted in being superhuman.”
You see? It’s more complicated than “people of color get typecast as villains.”
Black people get typecast as an extremely specific type of villain - they’re thugs, brutish and animalistic. South Asian actors are similarly typecast as scary oppressive (usually coded Muslim) terrorists.
But when your villain is of the superhuman archetype? When they’re brooding antiheroes, when they’re nuanced, when they’re multi-faceted?
(And check out this post on the glorification of white criminality in shows like Dexter, Breaking Bad, Weeds, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, etc.)