Re: The Visitor


Since you brought it up, I hope it's not racist to say that I know exactly what you mean about the "winning immigrant personality," which might contribute to why immigrants are often used in film as a means to the enlightenment of Establishment Whitey. IME, the "winning immigrant" tends to be not only funny, confident, helpful, emotionally open, and all that, but also deeply invested in stereotypes of American culture as a place of freedom, justice, creativity, economic reward, etc. The criticisms they'll offer of the US, when asked, range from (Pakistani student) "I wish it were easier to find people to play cricket with" to (Lebanese student) "I miss having people to speak French with, but it is a lot easier to get laid [wink]." In the end, the "winning immigrant" is not only just really damn likable, but he also reinforces our sentimentalities about the excellence of American culture, which is hard to do in times like these. I'm not sure that's a good thing, though it feels satisfying.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 1:23 PM
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Only semi-relevant, but since you mentioned The Wire ...I just saw the third season (had only seen the first two before that). This will make me even less popular than my rapidly fading soft spot for Hillary Clinton, but...

Omar is an absurdly sentimentalized and melodramatic character. Almost all of his plotlines are eye-rollers. Hard to believe the writers chose him over Stringer Bell, who was one of the most interesting characters on the show (and therefore one of the most interesting in the history of television). Dampened my enthusiasm for the next two seasons.

I only criticize because I care.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 2:43 PM
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We've been over the Omar thing many time, noob.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 3:07 PM
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And here I thought I was being provocative.

There was some PTSD there, too. I just watched Stringer die in front of my eyes!

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 3:14 PM
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I just watched Stringer die in front of my eyes!

Good riddance. Omar is awesome, you homophobe.

Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 3:16 PM
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Omar is just the hipster version of a Magic Negro.

But Hamsterdam had by far the saddest death scene in Season 3.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 3:28 PM
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Seriously, PGD -- all of Omar's stories? You didn't like the "you've-got-the-briefcase-I've-the-shotgun" scene? Get thee behind me.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 3:31 PM
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I liked him in the first season, but then it got tired. He's street! But he's also sensitive! He's gay! He had magic ninja powers! etc.

I reserve the right to change my mind after watching more.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 3:55 PM
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And he has such beautiful boys.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 4:01 PM
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PGD's totally right. I like Omar, but the briefcase-shotgun scene is not nearly as awesome as the crossword-helping scene just before (I mean, 'we're all leeches on this system' is not exactly a new insight) and if one more white yuppie explains to me that Omar has a code, I'm going to lose it.

But that's not the fault of the writers.

I was a little sad about Stringer, but the episode was so incredible that I didn't care as much as I think I should have, and it was the episode before that with Prez that really made me sad. shivbunny was teasing me about it, but he had the same look on his face at the end of season 4 with Bodie, so neener. (We both hardened our hearts towards the kids because we knew that no good would come of it, knowing the show.)

Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 4:11 PM
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Of course Stringer had to die. He was educating himself. Everyone knows that educating is the key to a fast death.

Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 4:13 PM
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we just finished watching season 4 the other night and I still can't believe bodie got shot just like that. like it was nothing!

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-24-08 11:14 PM
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David patterson for president

Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05-25-08 2:30 AM
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Friday, we watched the ultimate Magic Negro: Poitier in The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn. At least, though, he gets some benefit too from the Confused White People he enlightens.

The wife pronounced last night's offering, Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge, the worst movie ever made. I don't agree, but if they got rid of all the balloon scenes, the film would be improved.

Posted by: NĂ¡pi | Link to this comment | 05-25-08 6:27 AM
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