Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Man...what the hell is going on?

I was searching for something to watch on television the other day and flipped to the cable guide. As the endless channels of drivel slowly scrolled by, the "Playas Guide to...." caught my eye. Out of a morbid sense of curiosity I flipped to MTV or VH1. Hell, I can't tell which is which anymore, except I think VH1 actually plays music videos........ Anyway, this show called the "Playas Guide", basically critiques movies, songs, television shows, or actual events that influence "Pop Culture", On this particular day, being that the 20th anniversary of a famous Brian DePalma film had rolled around, they were critiquing Scarface. The panel of sophisticates included none other than, Scarface, Ice Cube, Raekwon (Of the Wu Tang Clan fame), and a few other rappers whose faces blend into the myriad of typecast studio machismo. What was most disturbing was the fact that all of these people talked about this movie as if it was a great inspiration for everyday life.

While the movie was cool at the time, (seeing as I was 11 and should not have snuck and watched HBO), in retrospect the movie was quite cheesy. No doubt Al Pacino is a phenomenal actor and actually did a good job at carrying off a Cuban(hispanic) accent, but the whole premise of the movie was not to motivate the underdog....HELLO!!

Basically the story was of a guy who came over during the Mariel Boat Lift of the early 1980's. Approximately 130,000 Cubans migrated to the United States in a single summer. About 10% of these were either mentally ill, or had criminal records. Enter Tony Montana. A young hustler from Cuba who joins the Miami drug trade and rises from two-bit hustler to major drug kingpin. In the end, he completely alienates himself from his mother, kills his boss, his best friend, causes the death of his sister, drives his wife away, and is finally killed by Columbian Drug Lords.....Inspirational, huh? Don't get me wrong, I would probably watch it when it came on, but I would not join the aforementioned million-dollar idiots in singing praises to this movie as if it were something to live by.

What was unbelievable was how they talked about how Nas and Jay-Z were the rappers who copied Scarface' persona the most in their videos. They also paid homage to Scarface of "Geto Boyz" fame as the one who most copied his style because he chose to copy his moniker. I thought the movie was scary and fun to watch at the time, comical and cheesy in retrospect, and pitiful to think that people actually think about this movie as being spiritually uplifting. Just my opinion though.

P.S. If all you have in this world is "your balls and your word", perhaps you ought to go to church more often, or tell a family member you love them.

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