On colorblind casting, and specifically the weird tension that colorblind casting can cause, e.g. in Ex Machina:
“The fact that the film is so self-aware about its most brutalized characters being robotic women of color becomes even more unnerving considering the audience is expected to forget Isaac is himself Latino.” (Angelica Jade Bastién, The Atlantic)
I just found out that Oscar Isaac is Latino! I feel a little sad for him as a fellow person of color…if I became famous and somehow the fact that I was Chinese got hidden in the process (not that this could ever happen, since I don’t have white-passing privilege anyway, but regardless) I would feel ashamed. Like Esther in the palace of Xerxes or something!
NPR has a really good and brief commentary on that.
In the day-to-day experiences of these two characters — notably both created by writers of color — sometimes race matters very little, and other times, it matters quite a bit. Just like in real life! Race is not the focus of Creed and Master of None, but neither is it treated as a coincidence without consequence — and both works are far more textured and richer viewing experiences for that honest, straightforward acknowledgment. (Gene Demby, Code Switch/NPR)
And on an utterly unrelated note, here’s another piece from The Atlantic from my friend Andrew on the “new warfare,” aka the information/propaganda war that’s going to be, the author proposes, the warfare of the future. Unfortunately, liberal democracies don’t do well at this kind of war:
While it is relatively easy for authoritarian regimes to fuse the efforts of military, media, and business entities, in democracies the interests of these groups are often diametrically opposed. For example: When the U.K. government signed a deal this fall allowing China to invest in a new British nuclear reactor, the money men at the Treasury were delighted; the moral men in the media appalled by the United Kingdom selling out on human rights; and the military men worried by Chinese penetration of British energy and telecommunications infrastructure. Of course, Western powers can unite money, media, and the military to devastating and diabolical effect when a war is declared (the lead-up to the Iraq campaigns being the most obvious recent example), but they are more at a loss when responding to not-quite-wars that are undeclared. (Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic)
This is especially fascinating to me, because of late I’ve been obsessively and guiltily cutting into my expensive London time to watch The Newsroom, a show that hubby introduced to me and which is honestly excellent. I’m really sad it’s over already! (And now that you know that, if you start watching and feel similarly, at least I didn’t pull a Firefly prank on you)
I guess John Oliver is the closest thing we have to this amazingness: