caliban r & b

At the end of The Tempest, the enchanter Prospero says of his half-human slave Caliban: “This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine.” Caliban, the native slave has really no articulation of character. He is a thing. A primate. Colonized. Shakespeare ( or perhaps Amelia Bassano) did not mean to depersonalize Blacks and perpetuate the basic archetypes of inferiority, but to express how the colonial white imperial project would unfold, the need to extend invidious comparison to new frontiers. There is much to recognize in ourselves in The Tempest.

It seems our laws, religious teachings all serve as weapons of disavowal, who unlike Prospero who admits his complicity, is a  refusal to acknowledge those things of darkness that are almost intrinsic to us. Disavowal seems a particular white man’s quality in the effort to  short-circuiting of ethics, to profit from racism while being repulsed by it. A refusal to take responsibility,choosing instead the path of least resistance: a self manipulative infantile  forms of denial. A phony and artificial conviction of personal purity instead of an engagement with self and a world as it really is.

---Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, center, watches Aboriginal dancers at Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth, Australia, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. Daniel Munoz AP Britain's ...Read More:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/royal-wedding-watch/post/queen-elizabeth-wraps-up-trip-down-under/2011/10/27/gIQAOrCeMM_blog.html

So, while repression seems to split the self into antagonistic sectors of light and darkness, disavowal occupies a weird ambiguous zone,the one we muddle through our day with, its grey hues and tones alternately being mistaken for either mourning or melancholy and to which we tend to use Blacks and other oppressed minorities to do the heavy lifting by mourning for us. Perhaps we are just genetically conceived to be neither fully repressed nor capable of complete acknowledgement.

---James Brown posed for this South Carolina Department of Corrections mug shot in December 1988 after a jury found him guilty of aggravated assault, weapons possession, and failure to stop for police. The so-called Godfather of Soul was nailed for taking cops on a drug-fueled car chase between South Carolina and Georgia. Brown, 55 at the time, was sentenced to six years in state prison, but was released on parole after serving just over two years behind bars.--- Read More:http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/celebrity/music/james-brown-88

In Shakespeare’s Prospero, instead of abolishing dynasties or hierarchy or the pyramid structure, seeks either to replant it elsewhere while taking back what he feels he is entitled to. The utopian new world potential is a means not an end for transformation. His daughter Miranda, does not become a crocodile hopping Jungle Jane or follow White fang in Jack London’s Call of the Wild; no there is a fear of flying and she plays missionary position for the white, handsome European Prince charming and becomes part of his collection, perhaps more valued since she has been “exoticized” . Disney’s Snow White and Fantasia were not invented in a vacuum.

---In Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, the misshapen slave Caliban is promised his freedom by a pair of drunken rogues, Stephano and Trinculo. Although they desire only to use the gullible Caliban to accomplish their own selfish ends, they gain his trust by feigning friendship and equality. In Act III, Scene 2, they gleefully plot with him to take vengeance on his master, Prospero, by destroying his property, murdering him, and ravishing his daughter. Many in the South feared that newly emancipated slaves would violently turn upon their erstwhile masters.--- Read More:http://mulattodiaries.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/sambo-meets-jim-crow/

…Nor can it be forgotten that Prospero and Miranda also have company in their idyll. Their bliss comes at the expense of the dark-skinned native Caliban, for whom the chance to learn English is cold comfort when compared to the dispossession and forced labor to which he’s subjected by the European newcomers.

“This island’s mine” he poignantly insists — as if to suggest Shakespeare himself foresaw the cruel exclusions America would exact on Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos and others, as well as the violent struggles that would result. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11304/1186315-109-0.stm#ixzz1lzPC8Z7I

ADDENDUM:

Mugshots, mugshots
Mugshots, mugshots
I was just a lonely boy
Every day a different toy
I fell in love with Hubcap Jenny
And she fell in love with me
She taught me how to steal a car
And sling a brick
She taught me what the coppers are
And how and where to kick `em
Mugshots
I’m taking her advice
Mugshots
`Cos Hubcap Jenny’s nice
I was just an only child
Running free and running wild
But I stole one hubcap too many
And the law came down on me
They taught me how to give salutes
And take some stick
To know the sound of policeman’s boots
And now and then to lick `em
They taught me how to sleep at night
In the lion’s den
Forget about the dynamite
And dream of Hubcap Jenny
Shoot `em in black and white
Bring me the prints tonight
I know, you know there’s a mug in the shot!
Mugshots
“Where were you on the night in question?”
Mugshots
“I was home in bed M’Lord”
Mugshots
“I submit that last suggestion”
Mugshots
“Puts him in contempt of court”
Mugshots
“I’d give you proof but there isn’t any”
Mugshots
“And there my lord I rest my case”
Mugshots
“There’s no such girl as Hubcap Jenny”
Mugshots
“We have no record of her face in the mugshots”
Shoot `em in black and white
Bring me the prints tonight
I know you know there’s a mug in the shot!
Give me a hint of style
Give me “The Kr

rofile”
I know you know there’s a mug in the shot! ( Godley and Creme)

---Title: The bogus workingman and his lonesome boom Subjects: Corruption Labor leaders Afro-Americans Servants Political cartoons -- United States Source: Medium: Lithograph

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