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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Friday, April 15, 2005
 
Just before I left for work this morning, I had the talking picture box tuned in to the morning news so that I could find out the traffic report (not that I can really change my route, but it's just nice to know for once what lies on the road ahead of me).

One of the stories that was reported (after they had already made two bad puns about a lettuce spill on the freeway. That already had me on edge) was a fight in a South L.A. high school that involved over one hundred students (back in my day, we called that a "clusterfuck"). The reporter said, and I quote, "The fight involved over one hundred Latino and African-American students."

Now I have to question why they felt they had to mention that the students were Latino and African-American. Having been a journalist for a brief period, I know that what you report in a story needs to deal directly with the subject at hand. Stating that the students were Latino and African-American gives me no insight into the story, and instead left an uneasy feeling in me.

It irritates me that we still live in a society where we feel we have to make a distinction between the races. I don't remember during Columbine anyone saying, "Two white students opened fire on more white students." And yet they felt the need to tell us that the school fighting was by "Latino and African-American students", and the only reason I can see why is so that those of us watching can go, "Ohhh, so THAT'S why they were unable to arbitrarily resolve their conflict. Splendid!"

Guess what? Kids fight. People kill other people. Cars are stolen. Convenience stores are robbed. And every day all over the country, people of all races are put into prison for these crimes. Murder, theft, rape, assault are not Latino crimes or African-American crimes. They're human crimes. If you're going to point out the ethnicities of those involved, you should also point out other random facts having nothing to do with the subject at hand. I present to you how the story should have gone:

"Violence broke out at a high school in South L.A. yesterday, when over one hundred Latino and African-American students started fighting. Five of them were gay, though two have yet to come out the closet. One student was wearing a really cute top. Cheese squares were on the school's lunch menu that day. I bet Julie Fowler caused some damage, because that girl's nails are sharp! I wonder if this means Robbie isn't going to be available for prom now. I need to do my taxes. Who wants ice cream?"

And now I jump (BOING!) to a new topic, because I have to tell you about "Sin City", which I saw last night. This, my friends, is why both the motion picture and the graphic novel were made. This is an epic story taken to its visual peak. It is a complex web of stories that is visually stunning, dramatically compelling and has an entertainment value rivaling that of the "Kill Bill" films.

As time evolves, the comic book is becoming more and more accepted as a legitimate form of storytelling. Surprisingly, for something commonly associated with children, the modern comic book is gory, sexy and often unsettling. Recent film adaptations of comic books ("Daredevil", "The Hulk", "Elektra", "The Punisher", etc.) have failed to capture the edginess of a drawn image on a glossy page (the differences between the film and the book of "The Mask" are staggering). Previously, the only movie to faithfully adapt the tone of its graphic novel source was "Ghost World", which introduced its audience to a very low-key kind of humor. However, "Sin City" is extremely faithful to the original Frank Miller books, and nothing is lost in the translation. This is how a graphic novel would look on film, and it is truly glorious.

Plus, you've got Rosario Dawson firing an automatic weapon, Alexis Bledel looking really cute (as Alexis Bledel is wont to do), Devon Aoki wielding samurai swords, Mickey Rourke giving Hellboy a run for his money, Elijah Wood as one of the creepiest characters I've ever seen in a movie, and at the top of the heap, Jessica Alba looking hotter than hot can be. I don't care what gender you are, that shot of her on stage, dancing and twirling a lasso, makes you go "Whoa!" Oh, and I feel obliged to state that the director is Latino, and one of the actors, Michael Clarke Duncan, is African-American.

And now if you will excuse me, I'm going to retreat to the bathroom and read the script to "Thom Pain (based on nothing)" for a second time. Damn, that's some good stuff.

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