About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Home » Learning Curve » Red Hat Diaries » Reflections on Elections

RAW

Two kinds.


Buy It

Try It

Eddie Murphy'd make a good US president. A lot of people would vote for him. Posh Spice might not like him but a lot of people still do. Eddie's made some fantastic movies over the years.

Trading Places - a classic social critique that's brilliantly written and also hilarious. It juxtaposes black and white, ghetto and upper class stereotypes and puts everything on its head. The opening sequence itself is remarkable for the way it contrasts affluence and destitution in Killadephia, the City of Brotherly Murder. And Eddie's character Billy Ray Valentine all through the movie plays on black stereotypes as Dan Aykroyd's Louis Winthorpe plays on white upper class stereotypes. Jokes like 'when we were kids we had to blow farts in the tub' are classic.

Beverly Hills Cop - again the juxtaposition of black and white, of disenfranchised and franchised is brought out in all its glory. A rough and tumble black Detroit cop in a rickety old car is brought to lush Beverly Hills (mostly) filled with white guys. Save for the one Uncle Tom dude who Eddie castigates and ridicules. It works and it's brilliant and it was immensely popular. Bronson Pinchot also makes a remarkable and memorable cameo as the unforgettable Serge, playing on arabic and gay and arabic gay stereotypes all at the same time. People love Serge and to this day he's probably one of the most memorable characters in any of Eddie Murphy's movies.

Coming to America - a tour de force with both Eddie and Arsenio Hall doing the old Peter Sellers/Meg Ryan thing taking on multiple roles to the point many viewers probably needed the closing sequence to understand just how many characters the two were doing. One of the best sequences comes in the closing credits when the Jew sitting in the barbershop launches into a typical Jewish joke about a waiter and a bowl of soup. It's absolutely fantastic and it might be at this moment some of the viewers finally realise the guy praising Joe Lewis earlier in the movie was in fact Eddie Murphy himself. And both Eddie and Arsenio take turns impersonating cross dressers in the disco. It's a showcase. And it's also a showcase with a deliberate social message: this is about affluent black people; it's about the dejection of Queens; it shows love and passion and long deep kisses between black people; it's trying (and succeeding) to break boundaries much the same say Sidney Poitier tried to do in his movies - movies such as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night. It's a movie that grows on you for every viewing - that improves with age and not the other way around.

But Eddie Murphy also made a movie called Raw. It's a filming of a live standup show he did. And it's raw all right. As Eddie Murphy ostensibly supports Barack Hussein Obama in the Dem campaign it's a good question whether Obama would ever employ the rhetoric and delivery of Eddie Murphy. He wouldn't.

Eddie Murphy shoots straight from the hip. And it's fair to say - and generally recognised - that Eddie Murphy has done more for racial inequality and to ease racial tensions than Obama ever will. Eddie Murphy has influenced people and changed their perceptions of black, white, rich, and poor. And through his humour he's made people relax a bit and not take everything with so much vitriol.

Barack Hussein Obama on the other hand seems not so much interested in bringing people together as in pushing them further apart. All the loonies he attracts - which he tacitly welcomes - talk about hatred of Jews, of Italians, of whites and of Black Supremacy™. That's not exactly the message of Eddie Murphy's movies. It might be what Eddie Murphy's had in mind all along but it's not what people perceived and it's not why people love him.

It's hard to see Barack Hussein Obama get on a stage like Eddie Murphy or Whoopi Goldberg or George Carlin or Richard Pryor and just shoot from the hip. For the first: Obama has decided long ago to cloud his image with obtuse references to all the opiates the people in the US so willingly are addicted to. He'd never miss a chance to sink a subliminal message in.

Barack Hussein Obama never speaks from the heart as does Eddie Murphy or Whoopi Goldberg or George Carlin. He's never there to communicate - he's there to win votes. He doesn't want to make you feel good like Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, or George Carlin - he doesn't care how you feel as long as you're bamboozled enough to stop thinking rationally and just stand there and wait for the sky to open and the light to shine through so you know you must vote for the King.

It's a level of derring-do never before attempted in the US political arena. The fright of course is that it has worked for so long.

Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin: these are great extemporaneous speakers. Great orators. It's no surprise people continually suggest - shout out - 'George Carlin for president'. Because he 'so gets it'. So do Eddie and Whoopi. Her sketch about Ronald Reagan has become a classic.

But they speak from the heart. And that's why they reach people and why people like them. They deliver their message on a carrier wave of laughter and entertainment and it works. And they're loved. They reach people and strike a chord. And people respond.

Barack Hussein Obama is no extemporaneous speaker. He is not a great orator. He's got a baritone voice and he can pretty much memorise a stump speech but that's it. And when put up against the wall - or on a stage - in an unrehearsed situation it's easy for people to see what a ham he is. And this came through loud and clear shining bright in the Pennsylvania debate.

Time and again Obama had insufficient answers he stumbled through. Hillary didn't get thrown a single question she wasn't long ready to respond to. This is because Hillary is a politician and not an entertainer or demagogue. And boring as it may seem to many her job is to know things and show good judgement and find solutions. And always be prepared. And she was and is.

Obama in the meantime has been sunning himself in the Caribbean and taking it easy. And of course attending closed fundraisers where people can make fun of the hicks of Pennsylvania.

Everything about Obama bespeaks 'raw' - but it's not the kind of 'raw' Eddie Murphy's accustomed to.

About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Copyright © Rixstep. All rights reserved.