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What To Make Of The Recent Ad Hominem Attacks Against Spike Lee...

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 17, 2013 7:39 PM
192 Comments
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Ok, so what's going on here folks?

I have absolutely no problem with criticism of any artist's work, that's well-supported and argued. But these recent ad hominen attacks against Spike Lee, I just don't quite get! Maybe you guys can enlighten me...

I initially wasn't going to post this, but I've received enough emails from readers about the matter that I opted to go ahead and at least mention it, especially for those who may not be aware of what's happening here.

Some of you might recall Clifton Powell's 2011 rant against Spike Lee, right around the time the supposed "conflict" between Spike and Tyler Perry was in the news, culminating with Tyler Perry saying publicly that Spike Lee can "go straight to hell."

A summary of what Powell said on the Russ Parr morning show follows: 

"I don't like Spike, for real. I'm just saying it publicly on the radio. Spike is a hater. Spike need to go sit his punk a** down, and stop talking about Tyler Perry. Spike is the worst. If you got a problem with it Spike I'm right here and I'll beat your punk a**."

There was a lot more to it than that, but, overall, as I said at the time, it was the wrong forum for Powell to express his frustrations. I have to ask where Antoine Fuqua was at that time, to tell Powell that he should've approached Spike privately to handle whatever problems he had/has with him, like he said Spike should've done with Quentin Tarantino regarding his feelings about Django Unchained

Most recently, regarding Spike's public reaction to Django, a handful of public personalities (other than Fuqua) have been vocal about their disagreement with Spike on the film, or their support of Tarantino.

We did post Farrakhan's last week I think it was.

But like I started this post stating - sound, healthy criticism is one thing; but some of these read as very personal in nature - appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect. Instead of attacking as an answer to the contentions made by Spike, they are instead attacks on his person/character. And I'm not sure to what end.

In the last couple of days or so, Dick Gregory and Luther Campbell (of all people) have joined the conversation, both publicly chiming in on the matter, sharing their disdain for Spike, for his opinion on Django Unchained.

First, from Dick Gregory (which actually really surprised me, as I didn't expect this from the activist) during an interview with YouTube channel, W.E. A.L.L. B.E. T.V.

"That lil thug ain’t even seen the movie, he’s acting like he’s white…so it must be something personal, because when I looked at all those black entertainers, that know Spike Lee, how are you going to attack this man and don’t be attacking them... You’re saying, ‘everybody’s a fool but me?’ [Talking about] ‘it offended my ancestors,’ but when you did ‘She’s Got To Have It’ and some of those other thug movies you did… when you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him, red hat…did that offend your ancestors, punk?"

In response to Gregory, I'd offer the argument that Spike has indeed challenged his fellow black entertainers; he's been doing it since the 1980s.

And from Luther Campbell, who actually penned an op-ed for the Miami New Times:

"Screw Spike Lee... Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee’s directed in his lifetime..."

I'll just let you meditate on the absurdity of that sentence for a minute before I continue with the rest of his statement...

Alright, here's the rest of it:

"Lee needs to get over himself. He’s upset because Tarantino makes better movies. The man who put Malcolm X on the big screen is Hollywood’s resident house negro; a bougie activist who wants to tell his fellow white auteurs how they can and can’t depict African Americans... Spike is upset because Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the movie is just like him: a conniving and scheming Uncle Tom."

The first thing that'll likely come to some of you is, who gives a rat's ass what Luther Campbell has to say about anything? I know. I'm just the messenger, feeding you the information. But some people do; I can't dismiss what the man says completely, even though I think it's inane. 

There have likely been others that I'm not yet aware of, and there might be more to come, since it seems to be open season on Spike Lee right now. And again, I'd have to ask where Antoine Fuqua has been, to tell these folks that they should be handling these issues privately, instead of in public, as he said publicly that Spike should've done in the case of Django.

Look folks, long-time readers of this site would have read many of my reviews of Spike's recent films - most of them what you'd call "negative" critiques (see my reviews of Red Hook Summer and Miracle At St Anna as examples). So I'm not even exactly what you'd call a Spike Lee "fanboy."

But I'm not a "hater" either. My critiques have been of his work, and not of him; or critiques of his work, and how they might be a reflection of his sensibilities. I don't know him personally to offer any judgement of his character. And even if I did, I don't think I'd get on some public platform and discuss them.

He's a filmmaker who's made a handful of films that I really love, and others that I don't. It's as simple as that for me. 

From Clifton Powell's rant, to those we've highlighted since then, there just seems to be a deeply-rooted animus against Spike that's maybe been brewing for a long time now. 

However, on the other hand, some might argue that Spike's reputation and history as the vocal, brash young black filmmaker (the proverbial "angry black man" label became his very own Scarlet Letter) precedes him. After all, he's had his own share of public battles, instigated by him. Remember Spike versus Whoopi Goldberg; Spike versus Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall; Spike versus Clint EastwoodSpike versus Samuel L. Jacksonand of course, Spike versus Tarantino.

The side you take on any of those "battles" will obviously depend on whether you feel his reasons for his invectives were justified.

But I suppose some would argue that recent events are simply par for the course. He IS Spike Lee. Maybe he revels in this kind of controversy! I don't know.

However, in closing, I'll remind you that all this really started when he was asked for his opinion on a film, and he gave it. My problem with that interview was that the interviewer didn't follow-up Spike's response with a very necessary question, asking him to further elaborate on why he felt the way he did about Django Unchained. Because the audience is left to speculate. Spike doesn't strike me as someone who just spouts without support for whatever it is he's arguing for or against. So, I'd like to hear Spike have a more in-depth discussion on his feelings about the film, instead of just a 40-second soundbite.

If the interviewer did ask Spike to elaborate and explain his stance, and I just missed that part of the interview, please enlighten me.

But feel free to share you own thoughts on this...

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192 Comments

  • Tony Butler | January 24, 2013 11:04 AMReply

    Spike is a big boy. He can take care of himself. He chooses to be a flame thrower when he wants to. What goes around, comes around. If he wanted to be more articulate about his critique of Django, he wouldn't need an interviewer to prompt him. I believe I have seen every Spike Lee movie, including his NYU films and have "grown up" with him. I respect him as an auteur, as one of "our" few. But lately, I have been open to the critique of him as a bit of a "hater" in this stage of his career and, by evidence of Red Hook Summer, perhaps a bit spent. Having said that, I would certainly wager that Spike believes and lives by the twin dicta, "Any publicity is good publicity; just spell my name right;" and, in the words of the immortal Melvin Van Peeples, "Early to bed, early to rise; work like hell, and advertise."

  • MsWilliamsWorld | January 24, 2013 10:42 AMReply

    I stepped away from this post/thread for a bit, come back, and see THIS? You guys... Come on, now. Geez...

  • Onyx | January 23, 2013 4:35 PMReply

    Before Django, there was Lola Falana as Lola Colt, in a 60s Italian Spaghetti Western that featured a black female gunslinger. There was Woody Strode in Sergeant Rutledge, directed by John Huston. In 1972, Buck and the Preacher, starring Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte and Ruby Dee, in a story line about them helping freed slaves. Sidney was a gunslinger in Duel at Diablo in a 1966 western with James Gardner. I'm not sure why Dick was so heated, but this truly pains me to see one of the great activists not recalling the westerns that came before Django. http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/we-are-not-in-control/ And though it wasn't a western, Max Julien's Thomasine and Bushrod was life on the run for a male/female duo in the early 1900s.

  • Anton | January 26, 2013 10:38 AM

    Yeah, I'm not a fan of Tarantino myself, but he always cited Elmore Leonard as his biggest influence, especially on Jackie Brown. In fact, I think the main reason why Jackie Brown is such a superior film to all the other films he has made is due to the fact that he remained pretty faithful to the novel Rum Punch. The characters were more fully drawn out rather than just "types." He proved in that film he could go scale down his comic book heightened style and make a film that's completely different, one closer to realism than film pastiche.

    That's not to say he isn't egotistical -- I agree, he's definitely that.

  • Charles Judson | January 26, 2013 9:39 AM

    As Rasheed said, Tarantino has always been clear that he adapted JACKIE BROWN from Elmore Leonard. He's also been very upfront that Elmore Leonard as a writer influenced his entire writing style. From a 1998 Creative Screenwriting interview:

    "How exactly have Elmore Leonard's books influenced your writing style?

    QT:Well, when I was a kid and I first started reading his novels I got really caught up in his characters and the way they talked. As I started reading more and more of his novels it kind of gave me permission to go my way with characters talking around things as opposed to talking about them. He showed me that characters can go off on tangents and those tangents are just as valid as anything else. Like the way real people talk. I think his biggest influence on any of my things was True Romance. Actually, in TRUE ROMANCE I was trying to do my version of an Elmore Leonard novel in script form. I didn't rip it off, there's nothing blatant about it, it's just a feeling you know, and a style I was inspired by more than anything you could point your finger at."

    "How did the writing of JACKIE BROWN differ from PULP FICTION?

    QT:It was kind of funny because when I wrote PULP FICTION I wrote that by myself. The middle story I adapted from a script that Roger Avery wrote, but you know it was me at page one and it was me at the end. It wasn't like we weren't doing it together or anything. I adapted it myself and I made all these changes I was gonna do. My name alone is on the script for JACKIE BROWN, I'm the guy that did it. But, I think more than Roger Avary, Elmore Leonard almost deserves credit on the script. We never talked about anything but there was a real collaboration . . . actually I was the one doing all the collaborating. So much in fact, that I kept a lot of his dialogue exactly the way it was and I wrote a lot of my own and now as time has gone on, I don't really almost remember what was mine and what was his. I don't think his stuff stands out or my stuff stands out. I think it works like a really happy marriage."

  • Rasheed | January 26, 2013 9:18 AM

    Actually Donella, Tarantino was very clear that he adapted Jackie Brown from an Elmore Leonard novel. He has always given the author his propers.

  • Onyx | January 24, 2013 2:47 PM

    Hi Donella,

    Jim Brown's "100 Rifles" in 1969 was a ground breaker back in the day, because not only did he headline the film, but he was paired with one of the sexiest women in Hollywood at the time, Raquel Welch. Along with Burt Reynolds, "100 Rifles" was groundbreaking during that period. The poster with Raquel nearly naked, hugging a bare chested Jim Brown caused waves, to put it mildly.

  • Onyx | January 24, 2013 2:36 PM

    Thanks Sergio,

    I posted it as Ford on my blog but had a senior moment here, putting down Huston. Thanks for catching that.

    My apologies Zebra, I'd meant to post the response here but ended up posting on yours in error. Sorry about that.

  • Donella | January 24, 2013 12:02 PM

    I'm glad for your statement, Onyx. It really disgusts me to see Tarantino attempt to portray himself as the sole provider of slave/westerns. I have zero respect for a writer who doesn't give credit where credit is due or acknowledge work that has come before. Many people still do not realize that Jackie Brown is based upon original work by Elmore Leonard because Tarantino has a hard time shouting out anyone out but his own narcissistic self. You really don't see that problem with Frank Darabont and Stephen King. You say Shawshank Redemption, the first words out of Darabont's mouth are "Stephen King." The next time someone says Jackie Brown, Tarantino's proper response should be "Elmore Leonard" instead of "MeMeMeMeMeMe." My past list of westerns with a slave motif or strong African American presence includes: Sidney Poitier’s Buck and the Preacher (1972); Larry Spangler’s (Fred Williamson) Legend of N-ggr Charley (1972); Soul of N-ggr Charley (1973); Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles (1974); Jack Arnold (Fred Williamson) with Boss N-ggr (1975); Mario Van Peebles’ Posse (1993); Mario Van Peebles’ Los Locos (1997); Bogart’s Skin Game (1971) with Louis Gossett Jr and James Garner; Chaffey’s Charley One-Eye (1973) with Richard Roundtree; Gordon Parks’ Thomasine & Bushrod (1974) with Max Julien and Vonette McGee. I'm gonna add Lola Colt and Sergeant Rutledge in because I didn't know about those. Thanks! But in general, people would do well to stop letting other people rent the empty spaces in their heads.

  • sergio | January 24, 2013 11:04 AM

    That was John Ford not John Huston

  • Zebra | January 23, 2013 3:37 PMReply

    Zebra's critique of the critique of the critique of the conversation of a fellow filmmakers opinion of an expensive film called DJANGO UNCHAINED.

    DJANGO UNCHAINED was an entertaining film in which a guy helps another guy rescue his wife after he agrees to kill people. The film takes place in America at a time when people could own other people based on superficial qualities. The film has many well known actors playing characters, some of these actors I like a lot. Anyway the guy finds his wife but before he can save her, he must kill many people who don't like him. In the end the guy gets his wife and they live happily ever after. Many other people die and don't live happily, the end.

    That is the gist of the film to which many people have shared their opinions on. I for one was happy I was entertained. Any reflection or association of past events whether in history or popular culture of this century or the previous 2 centuries are completely stylized for the purpose of telling a story. The story reflects an idea of how a history could go. The story is not real. All the characters in the movie are not real, the actors portraying the characters are real. The director and entire crew of the film's production are real. The experience one has watching the film is real. So does that make all these opinions of the film real? Yes, but it does not make anyone opinion more relevant than another. Including my own. So fuck off and remember you're a real person and this movie will not produce a physical change for the good or ill in your life as long as you remember you're real and the movie is not. Peace to anyone whose opinion is not shared by their peers. It's still valid, but only as much as all other opinions are valid.

    When you die, no one will remember your opinion about this movie. Not even Quentin Tarantino will be remember for his opinion.

    Zebra

  • Onyx | January 24, 2013 2:38 PM

    My apologies Zebra, I'd meant to post on my comment above yours on my original response but ended up posting on yours in error. Truly sorry about that.

  • Onyx | January 24, 2013 2:34 PM

    Thanks Sergio,

    I posted it as Ford on my blog but had a senior moment here, putting down Huston. Thanks for catching that.

  • terryscott | January 23, 2013 3:24 PMReply

    I am working on a film about Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 told through a blacksploitation framework where using a "tarantino" ie sodomy as a form of torture by the Ethiopians as retribution to the I talians in their counter defense. #dagothiswop O and it's a comedy

  • Agent K | January 23, 2013 7:59 AMReply

    I'm just amazed how Luther and Dick Gregory didn't do this with tap dancing shoes.

  • D | January 21, 2013 11:04 PMReply

    "when you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him, red hat…did that offend your ancestors, punk?"

    Um, Malcolm X DID wear a Zoot suit...

  • Agent K | January 26, 2013 8:42 AM

    It's not even that he's saying it but it's that he can't do it right and it comes out goofy just like in Django and Pulp Fiction. Tarantino is just a kid trying to be bad.

  • Donella | January 25, 2013 6:37 PM

    What a lame excuse. Quentin Tarantino added N*gger to Crimson Tide (uncredited screenplay additions), Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Death Proof. All of these movies are set in the present day. Denzel Washington confronted Tarantino about his screenplay additions because Tarantino tried to play the "throw the rock and hide the hand trick." Washington got in his face and Tarantino backed down. Tarantino really just enjoys saying and hearing N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger N*gger and other language degrading to African Americans in movies set in yesterday, today, and tomorrow because it excites him and makes him feel dangerous and hip and edgy. Racial expletives were also used against Jews, Italians, Native Americans, Asians, and Latinos back in the good ole days and today, but Tarantino can't seem to put his back into degrading those ethnic groups like he does Black Americans.

  • Mark M | January 23, 2013 5:31 AM

    That's his point. He did that in the movie because it happened, the same goes for the word n_i_gg_er its was part of the past and if you ganna have a movie that talks about slavery you have to use it. Spike Lee wants to change history to the way he wants it to be like his fued with Clint Eastwood. :)

  • CareyCarey | January 21, 2013 12:25 AMReply

    For the most part, I've stayed clear of the Spike Lee vs. Quentin Tarantino debate b/c honestly, I don't have ill words for either man. But check this, some are clamoring for a film on Nat Turner. Well, I think they might want to consider the following before they make their move too soon. Listen, I am reading a book titled The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion. The author's foreword reads as follows: Nat Turner is the most famous and most controversial slave rebel in American history. And he remains a storm center of dispute in our time, thanks largely to William Styron's novel, which depicts Nat as a celibate bachelor given to masturbating about white women.... Yet because of the quarrels that swirl around Nat Turner today and because of the limitations of historical evidence about American slavery, almost every line in these pages could carry such qualifications as "it seems to me" or "the evidence suggests," or "the best guess appears to be." Out of deference to readers who already understand that history is largely an interpretive art, that the best we can hope for is a careful approximation of what really happen...

    Wow, what do y'all make of that?

    Wait, it gets deeper. Check this--> "At this moment, I saw more clearly than ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both slave and SLAVE OWNER ~ Frederick Douglass

    Hmmmmm.... Now, who should tell those stories and which way will they go?!

  • CareyCarey | January 24, 2013 9:24 AM

    MY MAN TYRONE! Every time I see your name I think of Erykah Badu's song... "You need to call Tyrone. But nawl man, I just love movie conversations, not necessarily reporting on them. Like man, I just saw Paper Boy, Flight, Argo and Lincoln in the last two days. OH BOY, that paper has me giving Lee Daniels the big side-eye. I don't know what others thought but Lee-Lee must have a thang about pee-pees and you know... crazy sex in general.

    Anyway, holla

  • Tyrone Tackett | January 23, 2013 4:01 PM

    CareyCarey-you always on point! You need to roll out the Carey Cahiers du Cinema report.

  • NO BRAINER | January 20, 2013 11:39 PMReply

    "Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee’s directed in his lifetime..." Who the *bleep* is Luther Campbell? Why would he say such a thing? That's total bull*bleep*, just as the backlash Spike is receiving for speaking his mind. Look at these dancing a** n****s, quick to defend the white filmmaker. Where were these maggots when Spike Lee criticized Tyler Perry? Some black people spoke on behalf of Tyler Perry, but they really lined up for miles of city blocks to defend Tarantino. We're an embarrassment as a race.

  • Woody | January 20, 2013 10:20 PMReply

    If you believe for one second that Lee hasn't seen 'Django', then you're as dumb as he thinks you are. He has seen it and he loves it. He wishes he made it. He only said he wouldn't see it so that his legion of followers would do the same. He actually thought he could hurt the numbers. Spike Lee is a crab.

  • NYC | January 20, 2013 9:00 PMReply

    Spike Lee is only human, he is not perfect and his concern shouldn't be criticized so overwhelmingly, Thank God we atleast have him to be somewhat vocal upon the many atrocities that Hollywood have inscribed into our culture, but there is much more happening in black cinema than a few voices... look into the films THE MINORITY & CYBORNETICS, there is much more diversity in black cinema than what the mainstream media reveals to us.

  • BONO | January 20, 2013 5:33 PMReply

    This is great! Love You Spike...keep walking.

  • 92nd Infantry | January 20, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    Why all this ruckus?? We gave white folks a pass to use nigger when Hip-Hip made it mainstream-so we have to take responsibility...As for Spike-where is the uproar over "Miracle At St. Ana"??? Spike had an opportunity to tell a poignant story about grandfathers/fathers/uncles etc. WWII experience and he BLEW IT! Negroes are a fickle bunch when it comes to whoopin'/hollerin' about another white person doing us wrong. god dammit! If you want to see a movie about NAT TURNER or SLAVERY that is raw dog-then band together and get it done...ALOT OF YOU KEYBOARD ACTIVISTS are negroes who if the revolution was televised, would stay at home and watch BET...SHUT UP and put your money where your mouth is!!!! P.S. Where were you FUNKY NEGROES when R. KELLY was actin' the pedophile??? WHERE WAS THE OUTRAGE??? THE PROTEST??? FUCKING HYPOCRITES.

  • mawon | January 20, 2013 12:45 PM

    I love it when commenters make fun of other commenters for commenting. Sooooo clever. And when did the black delegation give white people a pass to say nigger? Rappers determine the rules of racial etiquette now? Sit. down.

  • LeonRaymond | January 20, 2013 12:20 PMReply

    Spike should have been smarter, after all these years, I would have thought in his massive upper crust view he would know how to play the game. He could have kept his opinions on the film stated "No Comment" and then publicly came out in favor of Ava DuVernay's MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and gave her accolades and he would have merited mad support and respect from the community.!!

  • Now stop | January 20, 2013 12:41 PM

    Ummm... Spike didn't come out and publicly support Middle Of Nowhere because he probably didn't care for it. I remember he supported Steve mcQueen's Shame. Spike won't support something that he is not fond of. You have to earn his respect as a director. Being Black and getting distribution doesn't overshadow the craft and his regard for it.

  • F.P. | January 20, 2013 11:20 AMReply

    Spike Lee IS a hater. Your list of beefs proves it. And the man that publicly picks fights is due a lot of animosity when he cannot stop hating. And while it's a harsh criticism, HAVING SEEN THE FILM!!!, Luther is right. Spike is the house negro Stephen of Hollywood. He resents anyone having more power over the black narrative than him, and putters and spouts and intimidates in the same manner as that fictional tyrant. Oh sure, Spike helps younger filmmakers and wants them to succeed and fill the ranks of a white industry. He'll help them get started, but when they get too big, he turns on them. Somewhere in that dusty drawer of his in a 40AAM office, there's a slavery script, and man it must piss him off that a white man got to make his slavery script first. Ignorance, like choosing to diss a fellow filmmaker while refusing to see his work, plus consistent failure, like most of his works over the last 10 years, plus imperiousness, like believing that a word which was used by the entire nation is off-limits in a script about the time it was used, equals someone worthy of dismissal and derision. When Spike lets his films do the talking, instead of his ever increasingly hostile mouth, he'll have earned back some respect from his peers and fans.

  • Troy | January 21, 2013 7:56 PM

    House negroes defend white people stupid

  • Rebb the Griot | January 19, 2013 11:22 PMReply

    I admire Spike Lee's discipline. He has, through many years and much criticism, remained true to himself. However, we live in an interdependent, white male dominated society. I'm disappointed that he hasn't learned to "play the game".

  • Ty | January 19, 2013 9:21 PMReply

    I'm sure spike lee downloaded a DVDscreener and watched django unchained on his laptop at home so no one would see him buy a ticket.

    Django is a good piece of fiction the way zero dark thirty is. Both attempt to give graphic authentic visuals of what really happened in a fictional story but django is little more self aware than zero dark is. Django makes the issues more "enjoyable" to think about. I guess. I dunno, i think about it like huckleberry finn.

    Spike lee maybe the more authentic one between the two but for some reason tarantino's fictional world's use of the n-word feels less distant than in spike lee's hyperhoods. The word "nigger" really really stings and i feel even more embarassed now when i hear the word "nigga" used jokingly or sarcastically. Something ive never felt while watching a spike lee movie mostly because even those feel fictional and distant.

  • slb | January 19, 2013 8:05 PMReply

    I made two comments on this post. Were they removed? What happened to them? Just wondering.

  • B | January 19, 2013 7:42 PMReply

    I read very good quote on Django by the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates

    "Slave revenge has the luxury of making slavery primarily about white people".

    We can see how it was manifested in the reviews and who got accolades for this movie.

  • Bondgirl | January 22, 2013 12:55 PM

    Dear Bipolar aka B,

    lmaaaaaao! My friends and I have been cracking up @ your stupid ass for days. Tears coming out of my eyes...damn you're ignorant. Don't forget to take your meds today. Would hate for you to push someone on the train tracks. Gotta run. Byeeeeee!

    XX,

    Your favorite psychiatrist

  • Bum girl & Carlita's Trainer | January 21, 2013 5:47 PM

    Bum girl & Carlita' trainer
    @bum girl
    You snaggletoothed low brow tea-bagging white apologist belly warming bum bitch. You started with me. I am going to train your knuckle dragging ass how to communicate in a civilized society. If you are not forty, you
    must be 39 1/2 with your powered eggs. Btw way I am not a man you dizzy twit.

    @ Carl
    you are a sissy to the tenth power.
    You strike me as the kind of fellow who squats when he urinates. You aren't man enough to talk to me. Please pull up your ruffled pink panties that you probably soiled watching Django and stfu.

    When you decide to insult people with name calling in cyber space for no reason you never know what you will get back. It's my duty to teach you how to act and I am up for the task.
    I am unimpressed with your comebacks. They have lacked imagination. You must do better.
    LMBO.

  • CC | January 20, 2013 11:19 PM

    DAYUM!!! A degenerate immature imbecile whose mother should have swallowed him... punk whose nuts have yet to descend... last word whore who's acting like a bitch... the Ho-ish house wife hussy. DAYUM.... Y'all cuttin' awfully low up in here! But it looks like it's Carl's turn. I wonder if he's up for the challenge. My money says yes :-)

    I wonder what Spike & Quentin would say about this?

  • Bondgirl | January 20, 2013 9:38 PM

    Dearest Blockhead aka B,

    I know you can't stay on the computer long, given the 3rd world Internet cafe you are reading this from, so I'll make it short and sweet.

    Your hut-dwelling, ashy, mud-eating ass WISHES someone like me would give you the correct time of day. The only reason you think me "long in the tooth" is because you're an immature imbecile. I'm not even 40, but your degenerate self likely is, so your comment impugned you more than it did me.

    As for the whore quip, let's leave your mother out of this...shall we? She obviously wasn't smart enough to have swallowed you.

  • B | January 20, 2013 6:14 PM

    @ Carl
    No Carl bitch is for the animal that had you. Please sit your fruity ass down. I guess you are playing Django for Bumgirl's Broomhilda. Now, that is funny. Your homely girlfriend says something rude to me and like the punk you come in to save the day. I see why some of you men need Django because apparently your testicles have yet to descend. LOL..

  • Carl | January 20, 2013 5:38 PM

    @B...Does the B stand for "bitch" because you sure are acting like one? lol Last word whore. STFU! lol

  • B | January 20, 2013 10:35 AM

    Dear Bondgirl (or whatever movie persona you are using today)
    Now, the hussy is offended. You want to name call, so I gave you want you asked for. Poor, girl. A grown woman is still playing fantasy at your age? Bondgirl? Broomhilda Von Shaft? You seem long in the tooth to pretend to be character in movies. Are you still waiting to be recused from your pitiful life. Keep hope alive, who says you can't turn a whore into a house wife. Sorry,I doubt there will be a horse coming through your neck of the woods.
    BTW if you are going to become the resident grammar police, you might want to have ALL your ducks in a row first.
    You should have used a semicolon between the words horseback and right. :)
    Please sit your goofy ass down and get some therapy.

  • Bondgirl | January 20, 2013 1:41 AM

    Dear B, part of having a fully developed brain is learning SPELLING and GRAMMAR, you simple motherfucker.

    Go back to your remedial class, and snatch the degree off your teacher's wall.
    Which bitch am I? I'm the one who rode off the plantation on horseback, right after my husband blew you away.

  • B | January 19, 2013 8:34 PM

    @ bum girl
    Part of having fully developed brain is learning to stay on topic.
    Your comment is irrelevant and has the complexity of a nat's brain.
    I should not be surprised by someone who calls themselves Bond girl.
    Now, which one of the gummy mouth bitches are you that don Johnson refers to in the movie.
    Since you are into name calling.

  • Bondgirl | January 19, 2013 7:56 PM

    Oh please, black actors get an award, you complain. They don't get an award, you complain. I've about had it with you double talking Negroes.

  • Love | January 19, 2013 6:57 PMReply

    Call me Spike lee makes something worth seeing. In the mean time I will be seeing Lincoln and Django. Two great films by directors who still know how to make good film. Miracle at st Anna and red hook summer is a mess.

  • Tonton Michel | January 19, 2013 6:55 PMReply

    You see this? This is the nonsense I'm talking about right here when it comes to this movie. Negroes have lost their mutha loving minds over a revenge/action flick. Spike Lee a Hollywood house negro? Really? Campbell needs his legs broken for coming out of his butt with that junk. The power and value these fools have given to this movie is insane! They're defending this thing like it is actually a real thing its some sort of historical documentary. They tear their black butts apart while Hollywood laughs all the way to the bank. Sickening.

  • Srb199 | January 19, 2013 6:51 PMReply

    I'm on Spike's side because he is the only person challenging the stories Hollywood makes about black with regular, everyday, hard working, non amazing athlete, entertaining, attitude slinging images, and stories. Not just tales of "how it is", but stories. We have those. They're not all jokes, and around the way. They're serious, historic, legitimate, important.

  • Donella | January 19, 2013 3:32 PMReply

    I admire Spike Lee's longevity in an industry that coddles white male supremacy, but savages anyone not part of the club. Lee's endured twenty years of hatred in public and behind-the-scenes, yet still continues to produce content. Lately, Hollywood seems desperate, even frantic, to shut Spike Lee down, to silence him, to make him a pariah and to humiliate him into submission. Lee won't go and he certainly won't go gently. I admire that strength of purpose in him. I cannot think of any Black director who's matched his output or his tenacity.

  • Donella | January 21, 2013 1:09 PM

    Spike Lee's filmography as director consists of 20, not 2 films.

  • Abe | January 20, 2013 7:31 PM

    I sincerely don't think "She Hate Me" and "Saint Anna" made Hollywood desperate, nor frantic, to shut Spike down.

  • Rico | January 19, 2013 3:42 AMReply

    Who cares what spike think anyway. It's not like anybody goes to see his films anymore. I am happy million ran out to see Django for them self and loved it.

  • Dan | January 19, 2013 3:39 AMReply

    So nice to see all these people getting on Spike. It's also great to see Django is doing outstanding. QT and Tyler Perry must be happy as hell. What goes around comes around. And spike wonders why nobody black or white want to work with him.

  • JEFTCG | January 19, 2013 3:07 AMReply

    Spike's mouth writes checks that his body (of work) can't cash, a cardinal sin in the Black community. For years we have listened to Spike start "wars" with other folks (whose stars are brighter than his), which would be fine if his narrative body of work could back up his claims of greatness. That he is admired worldwide by aspiring filmschool directors and hungry actors is not enough to claim A-list legitimacy. Spike is a B-list narrative moviemaker and he looks straight punkish when he picks on the big boys. He movies are just not good enough to back up his mouth.

  • Chris | January 19, 2013 12:30 AMReply

    One are people wasting time on this has been. On a good note Django you know the movie that got 5 Oscar nods will pass 140 million this weekend.

  • Gregg | January 22, 2013 1:45 PM

    @Artbizzy...Thank you for that educated reply. Chris, the accolades and awards and money is NOT what is at the heart of this conversation. Spike Lee has a right not to 'like' a film. Albeit, I wish he would see it then give his feedback, but I respect his right not to. Similarly, I have chosen not to see "Precious"....I simply refuse.

  • Mae Pips | January 20, 2013 5:34 AM

    ARTBIZZY, the Elvis analogy is on point, brilliant! Spike Lee is a freedom fighter or what some would refer to as "an uppity nigger"; and that makes him a threat to both the enslaver and the enslaved.

  • artbizzy | January 19, 2013 12:47 AM

    Yes, because it's all about the money, Chris, oh and Oscar nods. Nothing else matters but these. Spike Lee never said that seeing Django would be disrespectful to his money he said it would be disrespectful to his ancestors. You're not meeting this issue on the same terms it even became an issue. Spike Lee is talking about immaterial things you are talking about material. And why bother to brag about how much money Django is making in a thread about attacks against Spike Lee if it somehow didn't matter to you? And as if what so called "has been" Spike Lee said wasn't actually a threat to the way you've been conditioned to think about a lot of things. You fanboys act like QT is the movie world's answer to Elvis Presley or something. Each movie he puts out with the N-word all over it is like every time Elvis Presley rotated his hips in a semi-circle in that black, sexy, forbidden, but it's white so it's alright kinda way. Spike's comments have gone viral as they struck a nerve with a lot of people, including you apparently. Time for some introspection, Chris.

  • Daniel | January 19, 2013 12:23 AMReply

    One last thing: Spike didn't inspire me to be a filmmaker. Spike showed me that I could do it because when I was introduced to him, all I knew were white filmmakers. Spike became the doorway to discovering black american cinema. He's my grump old distant uncle who I've never met, but have heard countless stories about him and marvel in his amazing and difficult art work. Yeah, he's loud, but I love him.

  • HelarryS | January 18, 2013 11:38 PMReply

    “I had no interest in seeing yet another movie about noble suffering. I wanted to see foot to ass.” - Reginald Hudlin (Producer of Django)

  • Roy | January 19, 2013 8:21 AM

    Yeah, like that boy had any say what the wop was going to put on screen. He was producer in name only.

  • Daniel | January 18, 2013 11:31 PMReply

    I've admired and respected Spike Lee since I read his book "Spike Lee's Gotta Have It" before SGHI opened in St. Louis in 1987. And while I haven't always embraced all of the films he's made since then, I respect him as an artist and I think true artists are always pushing their visions and their exploration of the craft and when that happens, the result isn't always as widely accepted by the audience. I don't think there are many artists who have careers spanning over twenty years of prolific work that don't have a few, shall we say, clunkers in their ouvre. Spike himself has argued many times, for critics, namely, to not judge him on one film, but to look at his entire body work and he has been striving for decades to build up his body of work. And his body of work just doesn't just include feature length narrative films. It also includes documentaries, performances (stage and captured on film), shorts, books, commercials and stints as artistic director/editor, festival programmer/curator etc. The man has done a lot and continues to work. And, as many have said, Spike has always been vocal. He has often spoke his mind when others haven't. And I don't get the impression that he cares too much about what people think of him when he does share his opinions about the industry or basketball. I've often cringed when I've heard some of his comments. Spike, why oh why did you say that? Knowing full well what the reaction would be. But there's almost something fearless about him doing this. Spike is emotional and sometimes not very articulate, but he actually doesn't express opinions too different from other well-known black filmmakers such as Charles Burnette or Haile Gerima. The difference being Gerima and Burnette are not as high profile and the things they say often don't go beyond the college campus or websites like this. I've never gotten the impression that Spike expects us to like his films. I don't think any artist could survive the weight of their ego if they felt that for over twenty years. Spike Lee is entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us are. It's really the Internet-soundbyte culture that makes it almost impossible for anyone to fully explain what they mean and to stimulate progressive discussion.

  • CareyCarey | January 18, 2013 9:37 PMReply

    In defense of Spike Lee and his film Red Hook summer, I am compelled to paste a copy of a comment by the insightful visitor Jaidi Baraka. It's an opinion shared by me and Artbizzy (below). "Leave Spike Lee alone! He has a right, as a filmmaker, to his own Auteur, which is his personal vision. The "flaw", Mr. Seewood speaks of as being the "disaffected" character that can be seen at the end of nearly all of Spike Lee's films...that does not encourage us [to] think about the circumstances as they might be seen operating in our own lives, is Spike Lee's Auteur, his personal vision, which, as an artist, he has the unencumbered right to pursue and express! If Spike Lee is guilty of anything, it is his being one of the very, very few black film directors out there, who according to some people--Mr. Seewood, included--who should be all things to all people, which robs him of his freedom--his uniqueness--to express his inner vision! White film Directors are free to be themselves: Robert Altman (unique); Quentin Tarantino (violent); Jean-Luc Godard (avant garde); David Cronenberg (perverse), John Waters (pornographic); and George A. Romero (dystopian). However, when it comes to Spike Lee he is expected to be 'generic'. He is burdened with having to draw one picture of what a cat looks like, simultaneously, to millions of pairs of eyes! I would argue that if there were more black and Latino Directors making film, Spike Lee would not be so isolated and used a lone example. His vision would be merely one of many, many others! In addition, Mr. Seewood's criticism of Spike Lee's "unresolved issues" appears rooted in the SILLY notion that films should depart from life by tying up all circumstances--no matter how obtuse--into a neat bow. Life is NOT like that, and Spike Lee's films show that, often times, in life, NOTHING is resolved: another day follows; not an ending. If Mr. Seewood was not so prejudiced in his views, he would have recognize that the "disaffected character" that is at the heart of Spike Lee's main protagonists is a reflection of the ambivalence that meets the dysfunctional and pathological acts and behaviors that occurs within the black family. Too often, rape, incest, murder, physical abuse, molestation, manipulation, homophobia, shame, and her sister, guilt, is either ignored, denied, put up with, hushed up, and/or suffered. It is these "unresolved issues" that Mr. Seewood criticizes Spike Lee for not exploring in his films, are actually what Spike Lee is imploring us to think about! Nothing, in life is easy, and he refuses to make it so in his films. Instead, Spike Lee is giving all of us the opportunity to question, hope, and take courage to make the first step towards Deliverance!"

  • Gwendoline Y. Fortune | January 20, 2013 11:46 AM

    CareyCarey, Thank you for your thoughtful, comments, grounded in contemplation, knowledge, involvement and your command of language. I've not cared for Lee's film's, for my own reason's but would never attack him on the bases that many have, here.

    I choose not to see many films because what I learn about them is not appealing to my sensibilities, violence, technology for its own sake (I like my fantasy attached to science and reality) or knowledge that the film ignores, denies, or is ignorant

  • Ty | January 19, 2013 9:34 PM

    I disagree with this, i feel like spike lee's style is hyper realism. He turns up all the colors to 11 so you start noticing the contrasts and problems more. I think he did a fantastic job of this in do the right thing but not so much as time went on in his career.

  • Luc | January 18, 2013 9:29 PMReply

    To publicly denounce a film without even seeing it speaks volumes about one's personal character and true motivations behind their denouncement. I think it's fairly obvious why Spike is getting waylaid. If anyone is going to try to publicly and intelligently bash a film they better well have watched it first or they absolutely deserve to be bashed themselves. Films are films, I've liked some of Spike's, I've disliked some of Spike's, I've LOVED some of Spike's; same with Tarantino's. But I drew these opinions from having SEEN the films and judging them based on their merit and the story the film tells, not a how I feel about a single character or the subject matter. There are racists, Uncle Tom's, murderers, bigots and every other form of unsavoury character out there in the world, but to present these characters in the telling of a larger story in no way means that the story supports the views of these characters. If he hated it halfway through he could have walked out and gotten his money back.

  • Troy | January 21, 2013 8:14 PM

    You are not informed of the situation. But it wasn't a movie you could watch to become informed I guess. How was Birth of a Nation?

  • Agent K | January 18, 2013 9:10 PMReply

    I'm surprised no one mentioned Katt William's response.

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