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December 03, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 5A

The MthgnDiy- m c i a d i y o~d e d y eebr3 04-5
}iMNOEOO ___________________________

One of Spike Lee's earliest film proves its timelessness.
Still learning to.'Do,
the Right Thing'

'I don't know how to say this, but this glass is literally stuck to my face.'
'Faking It' midseason
finale forgoes subtlety


the si
it app
to Bro
of Col
what i
on cur
film a'
of ou
to exat
that to
is the
"Do th
us life
in the
Sal Fra
just as
the pas
he's s
shift d
Black a
Sal ac
and hi
of the
son Pi
the re
with a
about t
on th
and en
a large

ike Lee classic of a white police officer. The
film explores racial and ethnic
sited in wake f relations, the factors that drive
conflict and the challenge to do
'guson decision the right thing.
The present controversy
ByZAKWITUS surrounding Michael Brown's
DailyArts Writer death can be understood
largely as one that resulted
now possess more from poor storytelling. How
ce regarding Michael far back does the story begin
's death, and so one - when Brown stole a pack of
think we'd have a better cigarillos, to Officer Wilson's
ive understanding of childhood, to the Civil Rights
tuation. Unfortunately, Era, to slavery? Who instigated
ears we're still having the conflict between Brown
even beginning to and Wilson? What were the
ehend what happened personal antecedents in both
wn, what's happening Brown and Wilson's lives?
en police and People What situational factors
or across America and influenced the event? Films
s=still happening in the like "Do the Right Thing" offer?
osmic city of Ferguson, us a narrative framework to
ari. help us answer these sorts of
a film reviewer, my questions and, in turn, more
ty for commenting deeply understand the issue.
rrent events is usually The police killing in "Do the
limited, but sometimes Right Thing" is eerily similarto
vails itself for the task, the killing of Michael Brown,
g light into the darkness and the film does not offer any
r present issues. Art, simple moral explanations for
ally film, has the power this type of violence; the film
mine the world in a way asserts that Radio Raheem is
akes the confusing and not entirely innocent. Indeed,
it understandable - as he did instigate the conflict by
case with Spike Lee's provoking Sal with his boom-
e Right Thing" and the box and then assaulting him.
of Michael Brown. But why did Raheem provoke
the Right Thing" shows Sal? Because Radio Raheem
on a hot summer Sunday believed that he had the right
e Bedford-Stuyvesant to play his boom box as loudly
t of Brooklyn, New York. as he wanted wherever he
gione opens his pizzeria wanted, including in the White
he's done every day for Man's pizzeria, where Sal did
st 25 years. In that time not want Raheem playing his
een the neighborhood boom-box.
emographics to a more The fundamental point here
nd Hispanic community. is that any particular conflict
cepts this fact without between African and White-
ment: He sees himself Americans exists within a
is restaurant as a part much larger framework of
community. His elder race., relations that goes back
no, on the other hand, through the Civil Rights
it there and hates the Era, slavery and beyond. The
iers who are primarily contingencies that lead to the
Pino wants Sal to move particular conflict between Sal
staurant to their own and Radio Raheem (the hot day,
orhood. What begins the poverty in the community)
Black patron somewhat were produced by an economic
rently complaining system and a history much
the lack of Black people larger than the particular
e restaurant's wall of "actors" immediatelybefore us.
devolves into violence Social psychologists often
ids with the murder of talk about what's called the
e, unarmed Black man fundamental attribution
Raheem) at the hands error, as Wikipedia defines:

"people's tendency to place an
undue emphasis on internal
characteristics to explain
someone else's behavior
in a given situation, rather
than considering external
factors." The first lesson I
draw from "Do the Right
Thing" is this: Ranging from
the current sociological
factors that maintain our
respective statuses as well as
the historical factors that have
led us all to our current places
in the world, appreciating and
accepting the complexities of
one another's identities and
how these identities interact
to produce a community
is imperative for resolving
interpersonal and intergroup
conflict when it arises.
Broadening our minds in this
manner can prevent us from
committing the fundamental
attribution error, which too
often fosters hate, violence and
destruction, and instead can
lead us to understanding, love
and creation.
The rioting in the film and in
Ferguson pains me personally
for many reasons, not least of
which is its thoughtlessness.
In "Do the Right Thing," one
line by the owner of the market
across from Sal's speaks to the
absurdity of the often self-
destructive nature of rioting.
When the mob has finished
destroying the pizzeria, they
turn on the Korean-owned
market across the street. The
Korean owner waves his broom
side-to-side in vain, trying to
deter the mob, and he says to
the mob in broken English:
"I Black. You, me: the same."
Despite what mightbe the more
salient differences between the
groups in the community (skin
color, accents, etc.), they are all
more or less the same, as we all
Looting local businesses
only perpetuates the shared
economic deprivation of the
community. The end goal, it
seems to me, should be creative
local initiatives to address
the community's issues. This
approach will lead to more
constructive and overall better
But what do I know? I'm just
a film writer.

Daily Arts Writer
MTV's "Faking It" continued
its pattern of jaw-dropping
cliffhangers in its mid-season
on Nov. Faking it
25. The Midseason
show has Finale
solidified Tuesdays at
its voice 10:30 p.m.
throughout MTV
the second
season, and it shows in the
finale, "Busted"; the writers
are fleshing out the characters'
backstories, and the actors
are learning that subtlety isn't
their dfrong suit, so they aren't
even trying' anymore - which
actually works. "Faking It"
has found the balance between
being ironically dramatic, and
just real enough to keep people
In "Busted," Amy (Rita Volk,
"The Hungover Games") is
desperately trying to get Karma
(Katie Stevens, "American
.Idol") to stand still long enough
for her to apologize for sleeping
with Liam (Gregg Sulkin,
"Avalon High"), Karma's
boyfriend. The following
scenes fraught with friendship
drama have a comical backdrop
of a holding cell as Karma's
parents get themselves (and
Karma) thrown in jail for
selling "special brownies."
Amy punches a cop to get
herself thrown in jail too,
determined to get a chance
to apologize. Their argument
reaches a climax as she
histrionically dangles half of a
"best friends" heart necklace

over a prison toilet, asking "G.B.F.") purposefully outs
Karma if she's going to literally his secret boyfriend as gay
flush their friendship away. and Lauren (Bailey de Young,
Karma tearfully stops her, and "Bunheads") accidentally
the two begin to slowly repair outs herself as intersex to
their relationship. While this the whole school. The latter
did seem abrupt, the writers is especially interesting, as
ensure the audience knows it it's a concept that has yet to
won't be an easy return to the be explored as thoroughly
friendship the two had before. on television shows. Lauren
The cliffhanger unfolds never meant for the whole
with three quick shots of Amy school to know her secret,
hooking up with her current and she is surprised when
girlfriend, Karma and then she receives an outpouring of
Liam - only to be revealed support for her campaign for
as a dream. The ending is class president. Yet she goes
confusing, as it at first seems along with it, despite the fact
like it's Amy who is dreaming, she hasn't fully accepted that
but it nonetheless gets the point part of herself. This saga sets
across: Karma doesn't have any up an interesting story arc for
better control over her feelings the second half of the season,
than Amy has. Fans rooting for perhaps the most- engaging
'Karmy" -'the official couple subplot of the series.
name for the two of them - As a show with multiple
may still have hope. LGBTQIA characters, "Faking
It" has the potential to
offend, and some of the jokes
'Faking It' works are admittedly less tasteful
than others. But despite
by exploring some hackneyed themes and
e throwawayone-liners, "Faking
fluid aspects of It" simply works by exploring
the more fluid aspects of
teen sexuality. teenage sexuality-in a slightly
more pronounced way than
that of popular shows in the
past ("Degrassi," "Glee,"
While Amy and Karma's "Skins," etc.). The directorial
relationship dynamic has choices in "Faking It" are
stayed more or less predictable sometimes questionable,
throughout the season, as and the only actor with any
the audience knew Karma's measure of subtlety at all is
discovery of Amy's betrayal Volk; but for a half hour MTV
was inevitable, the secondary series, it has enough legitimate
characters are becoming more social commentary thrown in
adept at stealing the spotlight. among the hit-or-miss jokes
The show is explores in depth and cheap one-liners to work,
the concept and consequences and keep people invested in the
of "outing" people, as only slightly farcical lives of
Shane (Michael J. Willett, "Karmy" and co.





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