Saturday, January 5, 2019

Tchalla's "Wakanda First" philosophy looks a bit like Donald Trump's "America First" approach


Oh no you say, pilgrim. Yes, I say. Why not? Let's look at the case, then review the movie "The Black Panther" a bit. Let's see- most know the general story outline. Wakanda is a secretive African kingdom blessed with the magic metal vibranium, which enables them to develop advanced technology. They are suspicious of the outside world and "cloak" the kingdom from outside observation- all a flyover foreign aircraft could see for example is lush jungle, not the imposing spires of Wakanda. In the movie, antagonist Eric Killmonger wants a more activist, militant approach- as king he intends to ship weapons all over the globe so that "oppressed peoples" rise up and overthrow their oppressors. The first shipment is set to go out to spies in Hong Kong. Others will follow around the world. Killmonger's father N'jobu had originally tried this liberation scheme, and revealed Wakanda state secrets to racist mercenary Klaw, so as to smuggle vibranium out of the kingdom for weapons-making. The Black Panther's father, T'Chaka, killed N'jobu for this betrayal, setting up his son Killmonger on a combination revenge mission/redemption of Dad's plan pathway.

King Tchalla rejects the Killmonger vision. He wants to preserve Wakanda from all the horrific problems in surrounding African countries, which implies keeping out refugees or migrants from as Trump would say, those shi%$le countries. Hmm, sounds, at least indirectly implied, like the Donald. Check. He is against adventurism and far-flung interventionism, like the Trump. Check. King Tchalla wants to put Wakanda first, rather than save the world. Again, this sounds a bit like Trump who is says he is tired of America having to be some sort of nanny or street cop to everyone else. Check. And King Tchalla is willing to do what it takes to eliminate disruptive "Black Lives Matter" style agitators like Eric Killmonger. Hmm, the Trump likewise has railed against BLM "hate" disruptions and demonstrations. Check. Oh and for good measure, he would not be weeping if the police deal out a little kindly "curbstone justice" to designated gangsta baddies. When you look at it, Tchalla seems like a conservative, status quo guy- compare his "corporate" demeanor to the fiery BLM style "black militant" Killmonger. If Tchalla went to certain venues, he would be staying at one of the upscale Trump Properties no? And why not? Things have changed and said properties no longer banish black peoples from the premises. And finally, both Tchalla and Trump are rich guys who don't do much for the struggling or poor. Check.

So there you have it pilgrim, Tchalla and the Trump.

Vibranium floss?

Hold it there. This movie has dangerous effects on black people? A view from the right.. A number of the usual right-wing suspects like racist author Paul Kersey have attacked the film as a dubious fantasy that will badly influence black people, and divert them from depressing black realities such as Haiti and Zimbabwe. Shocking.. Oh you pathetic bleks. Kersey does not mention depressing white realities like the Bosnia, the Balkans, or perennially crime-infested southern Italy, the Holocaust, or the violent, oft drunk white Irish both in the US and Britain. Apparently only black people have "Depressing" histories or problems. The film will also have an evil influence too opines Kersey. It will be introduced in skools and cause white kids to be "ashamed" of their heritage. Geeze.. all this from a comic book based movie? What the white kids gonna be ashamed about? That they lack white superheroes like oh, let's see, Spiderman, Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, and golden boy Captain America? Uh huh. They gonna be sad because they don't have the super-cool (but fictional) vibranium technology? Right... And could it be that all these cool white super heroes divert the attention of white people from depressing realities?

Now I don't recall most white kids having any substantial or long-term "guilt" attacks during the "blaxploitation" era on into the late 1970s with the popular "Shaft" or "Super Fly" films and numerous others that were much more heavy on black pride and militance, during an era with plenty of school curricula introducing black studies, etc etc including "Black History Month." Where were the legions of white kids cringing in "shame"? Yes to be sure ,depressing things like genocide, lynching, harsh worker exploitation, and massive theft of Indian land happened, but most of that is just quickly glided over as boring "content" to be covered and checked off in an already overstuffed curricula. Once that particular "content area" is covered, alleged "guilt" (if any) is rather thin.. Academic studies of the same circa the early 1970s couldn't find much "white guilt" among young whites back in the day. Same pattern today.

Fast forward to the "rap" era. Where are these legions of psychologically "crippled" white kids right-wing fear-mongers invoke again and again? Even the wannabe "wiggers" just like the beat, the style, and the disapproving grimace on Mom and Dad's face at the tenth rendition of white rap superstar Eminem' is played. At the end of the day they go to schools full of thin "Black History Month" activities, salute the US flag, and enjoy comfortable suburban lives. The more "ashamed" among them may take up Nascar. And speaking of Emimen, what's with those "reload" and gunshot sounds in the background of his song "Go To Sleep"? Another school being "taken out" by allegedly more virtuous white people?


A second coming and new fabulous outfits? On the liberal side of the fence, there is so much commentary, its a veritable ocean- Slate, Salon, Esquire, Daily Beast etc etc. For some liberals the "Black Panther" movie was greeted like some sort of epiphany, a veritable Second Coming of Abraham, Martin, Bobby and John.. Cue musics.. Some taken in by the hype were even buying new outfits to go to the grand opening. A Time Magazine reviewer wrote that the film is about “the revolutionary power of Black Panther.“ Another Time reviewer, doubles down, writing that Wakanda is “what America looks like when it’s allowed to be its truest, freest self. ” Wow. Really? So America would be a tropical, hereditary monarchy where regime change is by lethal single combat? Scratch head.
The queer, gay Afro-punk, and certain other black subcultures seem overjoyed by the movie. And why not? They are part of the cultural picture, and will appropriate what they want to. In the contemporary print comic, various lesbian contacts between members of the all-female bodyguard force, the Dora Milaje are depicted or hinted at. Indeed, the film, did have a lesbian styled scene but it was deleted for the final cut, a decision deplored by various gay and lesbian groups and commentators. For example one critique complained about ".. the engineered disappearance of Black queers in BP, and the concurrent insistent reproduction of stale forms of heteropatriarchy..

Yah.  But then huge turns of pressure are being ratcheted up for more gay depictions in movies and other popular culture media, a mainstreaming trend. Perhaps future Black Panther movies will continue to push the queer trend for the black side of town. Its a great way to desensitize young people to certain traditional values and lead them along the path, using popular movies as a vehicle. So far Disney has used a "pinkwashing" strategy, seemingly friendly and progressive with little gestures, but cautious about offending mainstream audiences. Marvel has walked back the lesbian thing a bit, saying that its only gal pals in view. Other critics are miffed that Marvel did not depict a bisexual Valkyrie in Thor, Ragnarok. Interestingly Valkyrie was played by a black woman in Ragnarok, a shrewd strategy for increasing acceptance, since potential negative feedback can be blamed on racism. But in any event, the print comic will be incorporating a new title called World of Wakanda with gay lead characters in new stories developed by aptly black feminist writer, Roxanne Gay.

One interesting angle: perhaps "Wakanda" was hyped so much because it seemed to finally give gay-themed blackness or black gays some greater media visibility, and Wakanda seems to provide a (fictional) "safe place" for gay coloreds. A common complaint of this group is of a white gay culture that dismisses or ignores gays of color, a pattern that extends into gay business establishments apparently, where blacks may be asked for 2 or 3 forms of ID, (a way to discourage them) while whites are waved through. The other common complaint is being commodified as an object, or being ignored and made to feel invisible. As one scholarly analysis (Han 2007) puts it- QUOTE:


Explicit racial bias in public accommodations and equal treatment of business patrons- QUOTE:

"Sometimes racism in the gay community takes on more explicit forms. Like racism everywhere, these forms tend to operate with the goal of excluding, in this case, men of color from gay institutions. Perhaps the most notorious has been the events surrounding Badlands, a popular bar in the Castro district in San Francisco. In the summer of 2004, Badlands became the site of weekly picketing after a group of racially diverse Bay Area residents filed a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Department claiming racial discrimination at the bar. Among the complaints were that not only was the owner practising job discrimination at the bar but also that non-white customers were being either turned away at the door or were being expunged from the bar. According to complainants, people of color were routinely denied employment and promotional opportunities and entrance into the establishment. Most obvious incidents were the fact that black men were required to provide two forms of I.D. at the door while white men were required to only show one... "
--Han 2007.

Gays of color as invisible or fetish objects for white consumption- QUOTE:

"Even the most perfunctory glance through gay publications exposes the paucity of non-white gay images. It’s almost as if no gay men of color exist outside of fantasy cruises to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, or the ‘Orient’. And even then, they exist only to fulfill the sexual fantasies of gay white men. ‘Exotic’ vacations to far away places are marketed to rich white men and poor colored bodies are only another consumable product easily purchased with western dollars. As such, gay men of color, whether found within western borders or conveniently waiting for white arrival in the far off corners of the globe, are nothing more than commodities for consumption.

Invisibility of gays of color (Han 2007- QUOTE:)

"Not surprisingly, allusions to invisibility are common in the writings and media productions created by gay men of color. For example, in Tongues untied, black film maker Marlon Riggs had this to say about San Francisco:

I pretended not to notice the absence of black images in this new gay life, in bookstores, poster shops, film festivals, even my own fantasies. Something in Oz was amiss, but I tried not to notice. I was intent on my search for my reflection, love, affirmation, in eyes of blue, gray, green. Searching, I discovered something I didn’t expect, something decades of determined assimilation cannot blind me to. In this great, gay Mecca, I was an invisible man. I had no shadow, no substance, no place, no history, no reflection. (Riggs, 1989)

Likewise, Joseph Beam (1986) in his work, In the Life wrote:
Visibility is survival . . . It is possible to read thoroughly two or three consecutive issues of the Advocate, the national biweekly gay newsmagazine, and never encounter, in the words or images, Black gay men . . . We ain’t family. Very clearly, gay male means: White, middle-class, youthful, nautilized, and probably butch, there is no room for Black gay men within the confines of this gay pentagon. (quoted in Manalansan, 1996, p. 402)

--FROM: Han, C.-S. (2007). They Don't Want To Cruise Your Type: Gay Men of Color and the Racial Politics of Exclusion. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 13(1), 51-67.


Wakanda uncloaking devices..

But rather than try to cover every aspect- only 2 or 3 points about the movie will be discussed here, before a final summary.

1) The naive Killmonger "plan" 
Before discussing Killmonger, it should be considered that perhaps his primary purpose is to get some interesting Afro-American characters into the story mix. More on that in final words below. 

Revolutionary Killmonga? Michael B. Jordan does a great job as the main villain Killmonger, and virtually steals the show from Tchalla. His over the top alpha male vibe seems to have resonated with some viewers over against what they claim is too much feminization or Afro-punk appropriation. They may be disappointed, but nevertheless there seems to be a brisk pro-Killmonger movement online- even a hash tag for some supporters styled #TeamKillmonger, with most lamenting that his radical vision was not developed more into a truly revolutionary depiction on film. I find such laments questionable- for Killmonger himself, for all the character's loud, strong screen presence, is only the latest in a long line of depictions of radical or "militant' blacks as na├»ve and/or incompetent. But even a would-be contemporary "voice of black revolution" doesn't seem to have grasped the corporate manipulation- opining on Youtube that "It doesn't matter if Killmonger's "lets give arms to the oppressed" plan was sketchy on the details. All that matters is that he was "doing something" to help liberate "oppressed peoples."  Give it a good try- that's the ticket.

A case of naivete? OF course even the most casual viewer can see the laughable naivete in Killmonger's "plan." First, who exactly are "oppressed people"? Let's just stick with Africa for a moment. There are a massive number of seething conflicts between clans, ethnic groups, religious cults and authorities etc etc, and then there are the seething politics. All of them feel aggrieved. Would Killmonger's super-vibranium arms (of which we see little in the movie) go to the thousands of displaced, exiled and resentful Hutu in the refugee camps of the Congo who want another crack at a little genocidal action? How about all those assorted ethnic conflicts now festering in country after country? How about all the political conflicts just waiting to blow up? Multiply the same in various corners of the globe? Oh boy, let's just insert all these super efficient Wakanda killer weapons into those festering sores and poke. "Justice" for the "oppressed" will appear. Really?

Then there are internal Wakanda folk who feel oppressed- and indeed the recent print comics have episodes of a civil war in Wakanda. Will these oppressed and aggrieved parties INSIDE Wakanda get some of those super-weapons?

Huey: original "Killmonger"..

Huey P. Killmonga? In the original Marvel comic, Killmonger was a native Wakandan born in the country before being exiled by Tchalla's father. He comes back for revenge. In the movie, he is yet another fatherless child in an Oakland ghetto. This is supposed to create some sort of link with the 1960s Black Panthers in Oakland, and allows a brash American character to be inserted into the mix of what could be an otherwise tedious depiction of African elites - complete with stilted dialog. The "Huey Newton" style link seems a stretch but it does serve to highlight the naivete of Killmonger's character, just as the Black Panthers were so often naive, spending most of their resources in legal battles with "the pigs" and "the system" while efficient organization and their much touted "free breakfast program" and others such small scale efforts were shortchanged. In any event, such programs only served a few score kids or people in certain areas. They were a minor sideshow- always subordinated to political theater. Even sadder, tens of thousands of dollars raised for the Panther or various projects went to support Huey's drug habit, according to his own lieutenant, David Hilliard. And alas, even former "Minister of Information" Eldridge Cleaver, ended his days addicted to crack, according to ex Panther Marvin X, himself an author, poet and contributor to the Black Arts Movement.

One only has to read the biography of an ex-Panther like David Hilliard's "This Side of Glory" to glimpse the ludicrous "logic" of "The Party." Rather than build a tight, disciplined revolutionary organization like Ho, Mao or Cabral, the Panthers were almost comical - putting hapless "soldiers" in easily found locations for the police to raid, conducting no-win armed confrontations with more numerous and better armed police on the streets, and staging flashy media "events" and stunts to "raise consciousness." Hilliard notes that this was Huey Newton's contribution to revolutionary "strategy," - event staging, heavy on rhetoric and PR, but accomplishing few long-term results given the grievous expenditures in lives and resources- even as significant slices of his membership in some cities were made up of FBI and police informants, agents and provocateurs. It is also a fact that most of the Black Panther's funding came from white people on the left, who used various Panther trials as public spectacle, but left individual members to bear the brutal costs. Once their symbolic usefulness became inconvenient for a white anti-war left that was going mainstream and anxious to shed "fringe" associations, the Panthers were eventually ditched by these same people when it became convenient, save for small marginal elements like the Weather Underground. The above being said, it must be admitted that without a doubt Huey P. Newton was a brave man, as some of his confrontations with the police show, but while his bravery is undeniable (some call him pathological), it is an open question as to the practical results he accomplished, or the tactical wisdom he demonstrated. 

A bit of signaling? Kilmonger's plan also conveniently skips addressing Africa with its corrupt strongmen, kleptocrats, and predatory governments in many parts (not all of course). If anything, the shipment of weapons should start right within the continent to get justice for the downtrodden masses. But the first shipment of weapons is to Asia ha aha aha.. But let's say other shipments of super-weapons are bound for Oakland and other black locations in the US. What they gonna do there? Shoot "the pigs" like Huey so often jawboned in between snorts of coke? What's the plan after the establishment adjusts and deploys full military forces with countermeasures? Eat purple heart flowers? Killmonger is supposed to be this super-smart MIT grad, Navy Seal guy. Where’s the organization? What's the backup plan? The first priority of cats like Mao, Ho and Stalin as to build solid local and regional bases, like the base camps Ho and Giap used across the Chinese border, and clandestine cells and structures among the people inside their territories, boosting numbers and organization over time. This is what you do first for several years. Mao spent years building clandestine bases in remote areas, and bases embedded deep within peasant communities, until he had enough land controlled and manpower to make a move on Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek. This is Revolution 101.

Killmonger's father N'Jobu apparently wanted to start arming oppressed peoples in Oakland California. As he says in the movie:
"I observed for as long as I could. Their leaders have been assassinated. Communities flooded with drugs and weapons. They are overly policed and incarcerated. All over the planet our people suffer because they don't have the tools to fight back. With Vibranium weapons they can overthrow every country and Wakanda can rule them all the right way."
―N'Jobu to T'Chaka[src]
OK but strangely missing from the above is one of the most oppressive forces on black communities, black criminals and street gangs. The same pattern also appears in the 1960s Panther "Ten Point Program" which among other things, called for the release of all blacks from prison. It sounds cool, and great for black criminals, but when do their black victims get justice? And since settling of old scores, and competing visions among groups is part and parcel of most revolutions, what happens when assorted Crips, Bloods and other competing "gangbangas" get their hands on the super-weaponry?

A truly intriguing, and more realistic plot twist would be Killmonger actually having a useful scheme, like starting to build a larger land and population base by dominating other countries near to tiny Wakanda, and kicking some regional ass before far flung adventurism. In the print comic, an animated TV series, the neighboring "Niganda" (chew on that name pilgrim) was a troublesome corrupt place in stark contrast with Wakanda. It would have been a perfect foil, but it makes no appearance in this movie.

The N'jobu/Killmonger actual "plan" (or rather non-plan) in the movie is so dubious that one wonders what the black director of this movie is doing by passing off this stale trope of the naive militant. What perchance he is "signaling"? Of course it could be argued that movies are filled with naive plotters planning the impossible, and being foiled by the heroic protagonists. 




2. Who’s handling whom?
At the very end, the corporate man Tchalla addresses the United Nations in flowery prose. A smiling CIA agent looks on approvingly. One cannot escape the feeling that Tchalla is being "handled" by someone else. And indeed, in the 1990s print comic, white guy Everett Ross is a close confidante of King Tchalla, who even serves as the king's regent. Hmm, a CIA agent as regent of an African kingdom? Talk about "handlers"..  a point made even more ironic by negative CIA involvement in Africa- in the Congo, in collaboration with the South African apartheid regime, and in variousother destabilization and disinformation campaigns, Nevertheless, Agent Ross plays a heroic role in the movie- stopping the shipment of vibranium weapons outside the country. Despite life threatening injuries the white guy gets healed and becomes the hero. But the radical black guy, Killmonger, is killed off by another black man. Sweet..  In the Marvel Universe Tchalla is a helper of the globalist order. He gives Iron Man (Tony Stark) and Cap America vibranium for various weapons. He shows up when called by the Avengers and so on. In the print comic Killmonger is apparently killed, yet in various ways is brought back. I hope he is brought back- Killmonger makes a great villain, but this time, give him a credible world domination plan will ya?


Fabulous..

3) Then there is the corporate Tchalla.

Mr. Corporate. He is certainly competent, and his role stays somewhat true to the comic. As king for example, it simply won't do for him to go around in a hoodie, and using phrases like "y'all". He has to keep that African-accented proper English. Thus of necessity there will be some stiffness. He can't get away with many of the silly wisecracks the free-roaming Thor or Iron Man get away with. The female character - his sister- Shuri- is there to provide comic relief. This works to point. But in the print comic Black Panther was a walking ball of testosterone. In the movie he seems more carefully controlled. Women are given a much more prominent place in the movie than in the comic- prominent in military and science. His bodyguard is all female (this did not exist in the original Panther comics) including commanding general of the military. Its a girl power thing, and it works to some extent, although some feminist complain about how "patriarchy" still appears in the film. Well yes, its a comic book tale about a male king with a still traditional kingdom to run and defend. Deal with it.
Other apparent "feminists" re #TeamKillmonger, appear distressed that Killmonger killed women in the movie- members of the bodyguard. Well cry me a river. The bodyguard are military personnel- they will take casualties in battle. Equal privilege to serve, equal risk and sacrifice when engaging in combat. And said complainer had nothing to say when the female bodyguards rack up a body count of several men in the movie. That's OK you see- but heaven forbid when a female dies. Roll eyes..



Gee, more social services for black folk Mr Tech? One of the most laughable parts of the movie is near the end, where Tchalla, a billionaire, decides to buy some old buildings in Oakland to open various rec/youth center. Really? You are a billionaire, high tech king and all you can do to help black people is open another boys and girls club in the hood? Hell present youth programs have enough trouble attracting kids, many of whom are not thrilled about structured programs, alongside the usual problems of attracting youth once they hit the teen years. On top of that, some programs in place are already seeing male alienation due to issues associated with feminization. In essence Tchalla becomes a smiling neoliberal non-profit manager. The book The Revolution will Not be funded has excellent analysis on elites use of non-profits in control, co-optation and diversionary dead-ends in communities of color. Meanwhile, real wealth, skills and assets are being consolidated elsewhere. The ending has an eerie parallel with some 1960s venues: the liquidation of "irresponsible militant elements" followed by "cooling off programs" managed by  a comprador class.

Why not be different? What about a factory or network of makerspaces using some of that vibranium technology that can provide solid jobs for hundreds of area residents? You don't have to reveal your secrets- you can run assembly facilities using prepackaged components for example, in addition to more independent creative design projects. Or direct skill training programs in technology, medical etc etc for promising kids that don't have all the formal credentials, helping to end-run the bureaucracies and gatekeepers that stymie their opportunities? I mean, do you really need "Algebra 2" to get into nursing school or law enforcement, or is that just another dodge to keel-haul students through another semester, so the school tops off its revenue, and banks double down on the debt young people are saddled with? Decent technical skills are built every day by the regular US military- taking low-end young men and women and making them useful, without a lot of the top-heaviness that may have little relevance to the skill being taught. Indeed one study suggests that the much hyped "skills gap" is bogus, a partial product of employers demanding excessive qualifications.

Even more seemingly illogical is the fact that Wakanda chooses Oakland, USA, where there is no shortage of social services, or food, or transportation, etc. to do "outreach," rather than Africa where needs are much greater, where thousands of people are actually starving, where hundreds of thousands languish in refugee zones or camps. Yet you goona go to Oakland to do youth center basketball? This in principle is exactly what some neoliberals of the globalist establishment would do- fob off the negroes with the chump change of social services, or nice rhetoric of "African Renaissances" which barely scratch the wealth of elites, and ensure favored rent-seeking bureaucracies get paid. It looks and sounds so progressive, so cool, so Mandela-like. But it's chump change. A truly interesting scenario would have been not the foolishness of KIllmonger, but a Wakanda that began to export some of the allegedly "advanced" technology - putting it to work to truly help the poor, not via more social services, but in agriculture, industry, technology and transportation. Imagine microscopic grains of vibranium mated to solar cells to produce small, cheap motors- good for everything from powering well pumps, to small farm machinery, to generating electrical power, to powering clean automobiles, quality cellphones, web servers, or small factory looms and gearing.

An expansive effort like this, putting real dollars and tech "on the street," in the hands of the poorest people, would have been a truly significant development. But what do we get? Exactly what some affluent Silicon Valley liberals Western-based NGO rent-seekers, or native elites would expect- a few beads tossed to the ghetto or rural natives, while the vast bulk of the resources are siphoned off for the already well-off. The implication of this is all too true in the real world: the black kids get social services and self-esteem, but the white and Asian kids move ahead elsewhere with science, math, engineering, tech, medical etc... Couldn’t the black director do better than this? This "NGO ending" is symptomatic of some of the problems with this movie.


Note I do not criticize a cautious "opening up" approach by Wakanda in principle. It is better than the "militancy" of Killmonger- which is "the message" the film creators want us to "get" right? Wakanda in a way is a bit like real-world Switzerland- sitting on a mound of wealth, and playing everybody for a profit. The real Switzerland of course had no problem receiving and profiting from the stolen goods and looted wealth of Nazi victims all over Europe, including Jewish Holocaust victims during the Ww2 era. Wakanda is different on that count to be sure. Still, we don't expect Switzerland to solve all the problems of white people. So why should Wakanda be this messianic hope for blacks?

Nevertheless, all the hype about how "revolutionary" Panther is- whether in terms of style or "message" is just hype- the ending message is a conservative one, and Tchalla is another cog in the globalist order. It could also be argued that the "NGO ending" was inevitable, and in terms of marketing the "Oakland" tie-in is not so illogical at all. For the Black Panther franchise to continue its prominent success, and maintain faith with the American fan base, it certainly needs hip, black Anglo-American "urban" protagonists or antagonists or tie-ins. Perhaps Marvel's fan base of still mostly white males would not have been too enthusiastic about stilted "Afrilish" dialog, so-called "masculine looking" female bodyguards, and exotic outfits of the African Wakanda. A dose of American hipness, best embodied in the many black rappers whose sales are heavy with white patronage, was needed to balance potential negatives. Hence we have Killmonger and his semi-trash talking "urban"  hip-hop style. That being established, Disney/Marvel needed some way to link him into the Wakanda universe, hence his "militant/revolutionary" persona. Maybe it is marketing after all.

Expect to see Killmonger resurrected and/or similar "urban" types appear. But why are we surprised? To get his movie made the director has to play ball with the Hollywood establishment and produce what they want him to produce. The surprise is how so many people have lapped up this movie as something so profound or meaningful..  I mean, it is curious but telling, that neither Killmonger or Tchalla's "outreach" actions do much for African people desperately needing help. Tens of thousands languish in refugee camps, or in utter destitution and starvation, or in poverty. Yet Killmonger gonna do war and violence with the "super-weapons"  for all disgruntled groups with the first shipment to Asia (ROFL) and Tchalla gonna do youth basketball in Oakland? Really?



SUMMARY- Bottom line- "Black Panther" is nothing special, but hey, everybody got paid

I rate the flick a "3" out of 5- having good individual performances by most of the cast. The characterization of the major players sparkles, from Killmonger to Shuri. Even Klaw throws in some fun, rather than play a standard grim-faced baddie. The outfits are certainly nice. However the special effects seem mediocre. The early "flyover" scene is routine, a spacy craft moving over land and water- like old cutscenes from video games of the early 2000s. Fight scenes benefit from the eye-catching waterfall location, and are adequate, but nothing exceptional. The car chase scene is not bad, but about average these days- a few flips and crashes, some jumps from car to car. Same with the vibranium ore trains- colorful but nothing to write home about. The two CGI armored rhinos in the melee fight are an interesting special effect, but their cgi is rather obvious, and they make a too brief appearance to be meaningful (even then one gets killed off easily), and they don't seem to fit a hand to hand battle.

And where is the supposed super-duper Wakandan weaponry all the fuss is about? Shuri's lab is thin on showing much of the gee-whiz Wakandan technology. True, there is the form-fitting Panther battle suit that absorbs external hits but it is a passive mechanism, and without any attached cool gadgets. The girly kimoyo beads are cute and offer 3D holograms for communication, but its output is small flickering images- nothing special considering the sharp 2D Video Telephone feeds and images we now get today PLUS attached data, downloads, cloud storage and links in our high-end smart phones. The same pattern appears in Avengers- Infinity Wars. The main Wakanda tech is passive- force fields. Wakandan armies go into battle with spears, whereas all the non-Wakandans have the cool high-tech stuff- from Hulkbuster suits, to flying mech battle armor. Even Bucky has a high powered rifle that the Racoon wants to buy, with which he mows down alien baddies. Why not do something interesting like giving the troops powerful sonic-type weapons, since vibranium works on the principle of vibrational frequencies? And the inner workings of Wakanda are strangely thin once one gets beyond the royal palace walls. What economy sustains the skyscrapers and high tech facilities?  Who keeps the ore trains running? On the flipside of course it could be rejoined that Dr Doom's Kingdom of Latveria is not exactly bursting with inner revelations either. Oh well, the sequel may tell us more.

All in all, the movie seems a mediocre vehicle as far as special effects, action and certain plot threads. I really can't see how this flick took 200 million dollars to make, when there are cheaper films with better special effects and just as tight or tighter pacing and plot. I have always felt that some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films have a too bloated, top-heavy feel. Panther, to its credit, did not try to gratuitously shoehorn in a truckload of other MCU characters. The gross take worldwide has exceeded 1.2 billion according to websites that track such things- so assuming another 150 million for marketing and ads, the movie should be turning a profit. Trump would love that ending.



LINKS TO OTHER POSTS:

Tchalla's "Wakanda First" philosophy looks a bit like Donald Trump's "America First" approach
https://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2019/01/tchallas-wakanda-first-philosophy-looks.html

Significant EEOC Race-Color Cases- Covering Private and Federal Sectors
https://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2019/01/blog-post.html

'AsiaRate' Lawsuit against Harvard shows dirty little secret- white quotas used at elite universities
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2018/06/asiarate-lawsuit-against-harvard-shows.html

Some gays find welcome home in the 'alt-right' as nationalist organizations step up recruitment
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2018/05/some-gays-find-welcome-home-in-alt.html

Racial discrimination is alive and kicking in employment, housing and credit markets
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2017/07/racial-discrimination-is-alive-and.html

Sowell 3- new data shows backward tropical evolution? Wealth and Poverty- An International Perspective in Trump era
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2017/07/sowell-3-new-data-shows-backward.html

Sowell 2- Wealth, Poverty and Politics- International Perspective - Trump era to bring these issues into sharper focus?
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2017/07/sowell-2-wealth-poverty-and-politics.html

Sowell- Liberal intellectuals and hard questions about race differences- Trump era may force them to focus?
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2017/07/sowell-liberal-intellectuals-and-hard.html


Trump properties discriminated against black tenants lawsuit finds
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2016/07/trump-properties-discriminated-against.html

Stealing credibility- Dinesh D'souza has prison epiphany- after hanging with the homies- Hallelujah Hilary!
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2016/05/straining-credibility-dinesh-dsouza-has.html

Shame on you, and your guilt too- A review of Shelby Steele's 'Shame'
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2016/05/a-review-wealth-poverty-and-politics.html


http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2016/04/go-with-flow-3-more-dna-and-cranial.html

Go with the flow 2- African gene flow into Europe in various eras
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/11/go-with-flow-2-african-gene-flow-into.html

DNA studies show African movement to Europe from very ancient times
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/09/dna-studies-show-african-movement-to.html

Guilt3- Why the "white privilege industry" is not all there
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/09/guilt3-why-white-privilege-industry-is.html

Guilt2- Media collaborates with guilt mongers - or how to play the white victim card
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/09/guilt2-media-collaborates-with-guilt.html

How Obama plays on white guilt
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/08/how-obama-plays-upon-white-guilt-hilary.html

Blacks oppose free speech- more ramshackle "research" from "the East"..
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/08/blacks-oppose-free-speech-ramshackle.html

Hands off the Confederate flag
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/06/hands-off-confederate-flag.html

Despite much more wealth than blacks, whites collect about the same rate of welfare and are treated more generously
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/06/despite-much-more-wealth-than-blacks.html

African "boat people" ushering in European demographic decline
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/05/african-boat-people-ushering-in.html



The forgotten Holocaust- King Leopold's "Congo Free State" - 10 million victims
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-forgotten-holocaust-10-million-in.html

Are violent minorities taking over California and the West?
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/04/are-violent-minorities-taking-over.html

Presidential hopeful Ben Carson meets and Greeks
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/03/presidential-hopeful-ben-carson-meet.html

Contra "ISIS" partisans, there have been some beneficial effects of Christianity
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/03/contra-isis-partisans-there-are-some.html


The social construction of race, compared to biology- Graves
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-social-construction-of-race_8.html

Why HBD or hereditarianism lacks credibility
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/10/why-hbd-or-hereditarianism-lacks.html

Leading Scientists criticize hereditarian claims
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/08/leading-scientists-criticize.html

Thai me down - Thais fall behind genetically related southern Chinese, Tibetans below genetically related East Asians like Koreans and other Chinese
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/08/thai-me-up-thai-me-down.html

Time for liberals to respect "the south" ... in a way of speaking.. the south of Egypt that is..
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/08/time-for-liberals-to-respect-south-in.html

Irony 2: touted High IQ "G-men" cannot reproduce themselves 
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/07/irony-2-higher-iqs-correlated-with_25.html

Unz and Sowell: Unz debunking Lynn's IQ and Wealth of Nations. Sowell debunking the Bell Curve
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/07/unz-and-sowell-unz-debunking-lynns-iq.html

Irony 1: touted High IQ types are more homosexual, more atheist, and more liberal (HAL)
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/06/irony-high-iqs-produce-more-atheists.html


Elite white universities discriminate against Asians using reverse "affirmative action"
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/06/elite-white-universities-discriminate.html

Deteriorating state of white America
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/05/deteriorating-state-of-white-america.html


Racial Cartels (The Affirmative Action Propaganda machine- part 2
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-affirmative-action-propaganda.html

Hereditarian's/HBD's "Great Black Hope"
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/04/blog-post.html



Exploding nonsense: the 10,000 Year Explosion
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/03/exploding-nonsense-review-of-cochran_8.html


We need "rational racism"- Convicted felon Dinesh Dsouza becomes his own test case
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/01/we-need-rational-racism-proponent.html

The Affirmative Action Propaganda Machine- part 1
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-affirmatve-action-propaganda.html

Two rules for being "really" black- no white wimmen, no Republican
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/01/to-be-really-black-you-cant-have-white.html

The Axial age reconsidered
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-axial-age-reconsidered.html

Cannibal seasonings: dark meat on white
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/12/i.html

"Affirmative Action" in the form of court remedies has been around a long time- since the 1930s- benefiting white union workers against discrimination by employers
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/09/affirmative-action-as-term-appears-in.html

Mugged by reality 1: White quotas, special preferences and government jobs
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/mugged-by-reality-1-white-quotas.html


Lightweight enforcement of EEO laws contradicts claims of "flood" of minorities "taking jobs"
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/blog-post.html

Railroaded 3: white violence and intimidation imposed quotas
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/railroaded-3-white-violence-and.html

Railroaded 2: how white quotas and special preferences blockade black progress...
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/railroaded-2-thow-white-quotas-and.html

Railroaded 1: How white affirmative action and white special preferences destroyed black railroad employment...
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/railroaded-how-white-affirmative-action.html

oh did we mention that the primary beneficiaries of Affirmative Action are white..
Affirmative action: primary beneficiaries are white women
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2011/04/affirmative-action-primary.html

7 reasons certain libertarians and right-wingers are wrong about the Civil Right Act
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/05/7-reasons-libertarians-may-be-wrong.html

https://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/12/better-nutrition-led-to-increases-in.html

Assorted "Role models" debunked- hypocritical heriditarianism
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2009/11/hbd-debunked-debunking-hypocritical.htmll


Social philosophy of Thomas Sowell
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2011/07/social-philosophy-of-thomas-sowell.html


Additional gene flow data... :)


Bogus "biodiversity" theories of Kanazawa, Ruston, Lynn debunked
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post.html

JP Rushton, Michael Levin, Richard Lynn debunked. Weaknesses of Jared Diamond's approach. 
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2010/04/blog-post_1818.html

In the Blood- debunking "HBD" and Neo-Nazi appropriation of ancient Egypt
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2009/11/blog-post_29.html

early Europeans and middle Easterners looked like Africans. Peoples returning or "backflowing" to Africa would already be looking like Africans
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2010/05/blog-post_1754.html

 Ancient Egypt: one of the world's most advanced civilizations- created by tropical peoples
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post_06.html

Playing the "Greek defence" -debunking claims of Greeks as paragons of virtue or exemplars of goodness
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/03/playing-greek-defence-review-of-thornton.html

Quotations from mainstream academic research on the Nile Valley peoples
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2010/04/blog-post_9251.html


http://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/15/basic-database-nile-valley-studies



OTHER LINKS
Race, IQ, and Wealth: What the facts tell us about a taboo subject By Ron Unz


HBD EVOLUTION, BRAIN SIZE AND NATIONAL IQ CLAIMS DEBUNKED
Evolution, brain size, and the national IQ of peoples ... - Jelte Wicherts 2010
http://wicherts.socsci.uva.nl/wichertsPAIDrejoinder.pdf
------------------------------------

Why national IQs do not support evolutionary theories of intelligence - WIcherts, Borsboom and Dolan 2010
Personality and Individual Differences 48 (2010) 91-96
http://wicherts.socsci.uva.nl/wicherts2010.pdf
----------------------------- -------------

Are intelligence tests measurement invariant over time? by JM Wicherts - ?2004
 --Dolan, Wicherts et al 2004. Investigating the nature of the Flynn effect. Intelligence 32 (2004) 509-537
http://www.iapsych.com/iqmr/fe/LinkedDocuments/wicherts2004.pdf
-------------------------------------------

LYNN AND VANHAVEN'S IQ AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS DEBUNKED
---------------- -------

www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/mcbrearty/Pdf/McB%20&%20Brooks%202000%20TRTW.pdf

------------------------

Race and other misadventures: essays in honor of Ashley Montagu... By Larry T. Reynolds, Leonard Lieberman

http://books.google.com/books?id=5DLrgG_MflgC&pg=PA190&dq=r-+k-+selection+races&cd=1#v=onepage&q=r-%20k-%20selection%20races&f=false
--------------------------------

Race and intelligence: separating science from myth. By Jefferson M. Fish. Routledge 2002. See Templeton's detailed article referenced above also inside the book

http://books.google.com/books?id=t9OdPPLIgMAC&pg=PA64&dq=r-+k-+selection+races&cd=7#v=onepage&q=r-%20k-%20selection%20races&f=false
------------------------

http://www.ogiek.org/indepth/what-they-mean.htm
---------------- -------

Oubre, A (2011) Race Genes and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences, vol 1 and 2. BTI Press
For summary see: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-02-18/
---------------- -------

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/course/topics/curveball.html


-----------------------------------------------------------

--S OY Keita, R A Kittles, et al. "Conceptualizing human variation," Nature Genetics 36, S17 - S20 (2004)
http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/pdf/ng1455.pdf


--S.O.Y. Keita and Rick Kittles. (1997) *The Persistence ofRacial Thinking and the Myth of Racial Divergence. AJPA, 99:3
http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/WAURRSZQOE.pdf
---------------- -------

HBD RACE EVOLUTION CLAIMS DEBUNKED BY GENETICISTS
Alan Templeton. "The Genetic and Evolutionary significnce oF Human Races." pp 31-56. IN: J. FiSh (2002) Race and Intelligence: Separating scinnce from myth.

IQ claims and miscellaneous data
HBD RACE AND INTELLIGENCE CLAIMS DEBUNKED
 J. FiSh (2002) Race and Intelligence: Separating science from myth.

------------------------------------------





MORE HBD DEBUNKING
-------------------------------- ---------------------


Oubre, A (2011) Race Genes and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences, vol 1 and 2. BTI Press
----------------------------------------------

Krimsky, S, Sloan.K (2011) Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture
-------------------------------


Wicherts and Johnson, 2009. Group differences in the heritability of items and test scores
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2009/04/24/rspb.2009.0238.full


http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/coming-apart-can-murrays-down-with.html


"SELECTION FOR"- "SELECT FOR" HDB CLAIMS DEBUNKED- "SELECTION" IS NOT THE ONLY KEY FORCE DRIVING CHANGE
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/12/demic-diffusion-notes-and-tropical.html

http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/05/7-reasons-libertarians-may-be-wrong.html

http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/08/cro-magnons-are-us-debunking-claims.html

http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/03/exploding-nonsense-review-of-cochran_8.html



--Joseph Graves, 2006. What We Know and What We Don’t Know: Human Genetic Variation and the Social Construction of Race
http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Graves/

J. Kahn (2013) How a Drug Becomes "Ethnic" - Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, v4:1
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1072&context=yjhple

------------------------------------ -----------------

http://evolution.binghamton.edu/evos/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PageProofs-Graves_race.pdf

-------------------------------------------- ----------------------------

Nubian_Egyptian_AfricanAmerican_black_limb_proportions_Niespodziewanski _2014



other links



Evolution, brain size, and the national IQ of peoples ... - Jelte Wicherts 2010
http://wicherts.socsci.uva.nl/wichertsPAIDrejoinder.pdf
------------------------------------

Why national IQs do not support evolutionary theories of intelligence - WIcherts, Borsboom and Dolan 2010
Personality and Individual Differences 48 (2010) 91-96
http://wicherts.socsci.uva.nl/wicherts2010.pdf
----------------------------- -------------

Are intelligence tests measurement invariant over time? by JM Wicherts - ?2004
 --Dolan, Wicherts et al 2004. Investigating the nature of the Flynn effect. Intelligence 32 (2004) 509-537
http://www.iapsych.com/iqmr/fe/LinkedDocuments/wicherts2004.pdf
-------------------------------------------

LYNN AND VANHAVEN'S IQ AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS DEBUNKED
---------------- -------

www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/mcbrearty/Pdf/McB%20&%20Brooks%202000%20TRTW.pdf

------------------------

Race and other misadventures: essays in honor of Ashley Montagu... By Larry T. Reynolds, Leonard Lieberman

http://books.google.com/books?id=5DLrgG_MflgC&pg=PA190&dq=r-+k-+selection+races&cd=1#v=onepage&q=r-%20k-%20selection%20races&f=false
--------------------------------

Race and intelligence: separating science from myth. By Jefferson M. Fish. Routledge 2002. See Templeton's detailed article referenced above also inside the book

http://books.google.com/books?id=t9OdPPLIgMAC&pg=PA64&dq=r-+k-+selection+races&cd=7#v=onepage&q=r-%20k-%20selection%20races&f=false
------------------------

http://www.ogiek.org/indepth/what-they-mean.htm
---------------- -------

Oubre, A (2011) Race Genes and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences, vol 1 and 2. BTI Press
For summary see: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-02-18/
---------------- -------

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/course/topics/curveball.html

-----------------------------------------------------------

--S OY Keita, R A Kittles, et al. "Conceptualizing human variation," Nature Genetics 36, S17 - S20 (2004)
http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/pdf/ng1455.pdf


--S.O.Y. Keita and Rick Kittles. (1997) *The Persistence ofRacial Thinking and the Myth of Racial Divergence. AJPA, 99:3
http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/WAURRSZQOE.pdf
---------------- -------

HBD RACE EVOLUTION CLAIMS DEBUNKED BY GENETICISTS
Alan Templeton. "The Genetic and Evolutionary significnce oF Human Races." pp 31-56. IN: J. FiSh (2002) Race and Intelligence: Separating scinnce from myth.


HBD RACE AND INTELLIGENCE CLAIMS DEBUNKED
 J. FiSh (2002) Race and Intelligence: Separating science from myth.

------------------------------------------




MORE HBD DEBUNKING
-------------------------------- ---------------------

Oubre, A (2011) Race Genes and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences, vol 1 and 2. BTI Press
----------------------------------------------

Krimsky, S, Sloan.K (2011) Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture
-------------------------------


Wicherts and Johnson, 2009. Group differences in the heritability of items and test scores
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2009/04/24/rspb.2009.0238.full


http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2013/06/coming-apart-can-murrays-down-with.html


"SELECTION FOR"- "SELECT FOR" HDB CLAIMS DEBUNKED- "SELECTION" IS NOT THE ONLY KEY FORCE DRIVING CHANGE
http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/12/demic-diffusion-notes-and-tropical.html

http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/05/7-reasons-libertarians-may-be-wrong.html

http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2012/08/cro-magnons-are-us-debunking-claims.html

http://nilevalleypeoples.blogspot.com/2014/03/exploding-nonsense-review-of-cochran_8.html



--Joseph Graves, 2006. What We Know and What We Don’t Know: Human Genetic Variation and the Social Construction of Race
http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Graves/

J. Kahn (2013) How a Drug Becomes "Ethnic" - Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, v4:1
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1072&context=yjhple

------------------------------------ -----------------

Other notes- Africa, Nile Valley- DNA- agriculture, etc



http://evolution.binghamton.edu/evos/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PageProofs-Graves_race.pdf



-

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