Showing posts from October, 2017

Scary Socioeconomics: John Carpenter's "They Live" (1988) and Brian Yuzna's "Society" (1989)

In John Carpenter's They Live, Roddy Piper, ripped and rugged, is a drifter wandering through the desolate Pacific Northwest, looking for an honest's days work in the aftermath of Reaganomics America. He finds a gig on a construction site in Los Angeles, where he can shovel dirt, with his muscles glistening in the warm sun, finding refuge in the tent cities that director John Carpenter constructs as a prediction of a future caste system to come to the USA. Casting the Saskatchewan born Piper was a brilliant move, because his tough-guy wrestler shell exuded all that was America at the time, yet his knowing, wearied stare gave him a Gregory Peck quality, he was worn down but not beat down. He wasn't Hulk Hogan ripping his shirt off, but he would kick some ass. And beat ass he did, in a totally awesome fight with Keith David, in which he's trying to convince his friend to try on the sunglasses that allow him to see the creepy aliens disguised as the bourgeoisie upper cru…

All Eyez on the G.O.A.T.z: Diving deeper into (some of) the stories that Benny Boom’s 2Pac bio-pic didn’t tell and much more…

This is the first article that I've published on Medium as well. 

Freedom or jail, clips inserted, a baby's being born
Same time a man is murdered - the beginning and end
~ Nas "Nas is Like" (1999)
There is a new youth culture entering college campuses this fall, as well as 21-year-olds ordering their first drink, who were just being born or not yet conceived when Tupac Shakur was killed in September of '96 or when The Notorious B.I.G. was slain soon afterward in March '97. XXXTentacion, one of the hottest and most controversial of the new generation of hip-hop stars, was born in January of 1998 and by then DMX, Jay-Z, No Limit and Cash Money were taking over rap (but more on that later).

In Benny Boom's long-delayed 2Pac biopic, All Eyez on Me, nostalgia for the innocent era of the Clinton years is spliced with Shakur's own personal protests against social injustices that have become the topic de jour. The film is basked in hip-hop's second golden age…