american exuberance

So… In regards to the Unicorn Frappucino… I know that people are making the ‘oh, ground up unicorns’ jokes… 

But wouldn’t it be more economically sound if the things were made from unicorn jizz or unicorn slick? Like… I just want to imagine that each Starbucks offering this thing have a unicorn chained in the back and, every few hours, some poor recently-hired barista gets the task of going to this majestic creature, showing it some smut art of Rarity and Twilight Sparkle from MLP, or Mudsdale from Pokemon (maybe the unicorn in question likes baras, I won’t judge and neither should you), and then giving it one hell of an HJ to collect that sparkly, saccharine goodness that is being peddled off to hipster Americans all over for exuberant prices. 

… What I’m saying is has anyone drawn porn for the Unicorn Frappucino yet.

Although Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a remake of the 1963 version The Incredible Journey  and based on Sheila Burnford’s novel of the same name, the main characters names and breeds have been changed. In the film Chance is a young, exuberant American Pit bull , while in the novel his name is Luath and he is a Labrador Retriever. In the film Shadow is a wise, old Golden Retriever while in the novel his name is Bodger and he is a Bull Terrier. The film has a female Himalayan cat named Sassy, while the novel has a male Siamese cat named Tao.

There’s a uniquely American exuberance for violence or an exuberance for getting ahead in the world and making a name for themselves. I’m talking about the sort of plantation class that fought for the entrenchment of the slave system. That’s not something that can be overlooked when you think about the mythology of what it means to be an American, that one can become a self-made man if one is white and male and able.


I’m a sponge for historical images of black people and black history on film. It doesn’t happen often enough, and it doesn’t happen artfully enough most of the time when it does happen. I came away with this really kind of awful sense that I didn’t want to leave. The texture of the film made me want to stay in this space that would not be hospitable to me. Thinking also about who would see the film, I think about my parents, in Georgia. I think about the theater where they will see the film. People will go to the mall to see one of those Tyler Perry films and action films. Would this film make it there, and if it did, would it translate? My hope was that this film would reach that audience down there and have that sort of complicated space open up for them that wasn’t just an easy laugh or an easy cry.


- Kara Walker on 12 Years a Slave at a roundtable with Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Eric Foner

I was wondering if anyone had thought to ask Kara Walker for her thoughts on this film, did a quick google, and this partial transcription of a roundtable conversation came up. I wish I’d been there in person though because it sounds like there was a lot more to this conversation which didn’t make it into the New York Times