CM Thoughts #1

Brayton,

Some ideas that came to me last night:

1. I remember reading in one of those animated "Introducing Baudrillard" books that in the Order of Simulation, Michael Jackson can be read as "mutantly post-racial"……however, I have yet to see the reference in any of Baudrillard's primary material.

2. The concept is fascinating, however: it suggests that Jackson used advanced technologies to bleach or "whiten" his skin and move beyond the paradigm of "race".

3. What Jackson was willing (and financially able) to do at the bodily level, ie. go from black to white, others (notably "whites") do in the opposite direction via the electronic media of mutable identity — what you are referring to as "cyberface minstrelsy".

4. What do these two acts (ie. Jackson, and let's take Lindh) have in common? What are the differences? I think there is fruitful ground here….and have a list going.

5. Interesting material at Wikipedia on Blackface and Minstrelsy.

6. I am not sure still how you are planning to evolve this idea, but if it goes in the direction that I am imagining, there is material to be unearthed regarding suburban white kids playing characters in sports videogames. With motion capture, you can literally "slip on" Michael Vick's body — cyberface minstrelsy?? — and then slip out of it again once the performance is completed. Is this minstrelsy? Is this a stereotypical or hyperreal performance of "authentic" black culture? I would argue yes. But now the actor/audience dichotomy is erased.

7. What I am saying, I guess, is that "minstrelsy" has a very negative connotation for me. From what I understood of your Lindh thesis, however, you are seeing him as the "post-white, anti-racist male subject", which connotes something positive (in my opinion…!?!). Correct me if I am wrong on this.

Feed me……….

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