Janks Morton made a public service announcement a year ago. It was rather cool, and in fact I made a response to that video. It turns out that Morton has made an entire film. The premise is simple. There is a war of disinformation out there in the mediasphere, and one example of it is that blackfolks believe lies about blackfolks which has undermined their ability to sustain healthy relationships, and most importantly, marriage. Far too many have bought into a simple lie and that demonstrates their vulnerability to a host of stereotypes. Yet another generation is deaf to the sound of the drum. Janks Morton bangs out a rhythm of truth in his independent film 'What Black Men Think'. Nice going.
Going behind the scenes in an interview with Brian Lamb, you get to see a couple extraordinary things. Firstly, Morton demonstrates that a little bit of initiative can go a long way. He was simply inspired to do the right thing and address a complicated question head on. He has done so in a way that shames big media and all of their attempts to deal with issue of interest to African Americans. He was able to take a simple misrepresentation of fact, discover how that myth was promulgated through society, and demonstrate how thoroughly brainwashed so many Americans are.
Secondly, as a filmmaker you're tempted to say that he's the rebirth of Michael Moore, except that he's an order of magnitude more intelligent and one eighth as shameless. By using the power of technologies once only available to pros, he has put together an excellent piece of work single-handedly. He shot a very sweet rip of Morpheus, and of course he was smart enough not to say anything like that, just to set up the red pill of an investigation he was ready to throw down.
Morton strikes me as a guy from my generation who just simply knows too much to stay shut up. He did the math and couldn't let the myth stand. If you're like me, you wonder how it is that we manage in this society of ours to pay millions to Heath Ledger and not get much to a man with a simple question who has a simple answer. Are there more black men in jail or in college? It may not take much to answer that question, but at least the answer takes us somewhere away from dangerous fictions. What good does it do our society to ask if Batman can beat The Joker and provide that answer? Spending on mindless fictions and sustaining dangerous fictions undermines the social contract. We all pay sooner or later.
James Burke says that we are perhaps on the very brink of a revolution of knowing. He has an XRepublic-ish linking factotum he speaks about to Dan Carlin. When enough of these are built, we will come to discover what Burke already knows: our system of education is truly outdated, and extraordinarily inefficient way of getting the billions of minds in our world working with the right set of ideas and facts. It will start with texts and audio and video, and some of us 'amateurs' are going to be stars for asking the right questions and giving memorable, reasonable answers. Janks Morton is one of those stars.
As for the controversy itself, I'm somewhat addressed to it and somewhat beyond it. It is a horrible shame that so many African Americans are not proponents of strong black families. On the other hand, I'm just as likely to buy more Wynton and not give a rat's about who's buying Tupac, if you catch my drift. I'm not sure which is best. Saving the 'black' race from itself is a matter of soul conservation, but I cannot assume that what I'm doing and where I'm doing it is inaccessible and beyond 'their' consideration. I just have to keep writing that which compels me. Begging the question of whether black families are coming apart also begs the question of exactly whom is susceptible to statistical morality BS game that Janks deconstructs. If you will believe the hype, how long should I cry about your ignorance?
But perhaps what Carlin said in another podcast is the right way to go about thinking, and that ties us in with Nulan. Carlin asks with his liberal brain, who is is looking out for the losers? How many losers can our society sustain until they drag us all down too? Put economically, if we do fine with 8% unemployment OK, but what happens when it gets to 16%?, 24%? Sooner or later the whole economy crashes. When African Americans are born 70% without two parent households, some tipping point for the entire nation is imminent. I know it sounds callous to put it in national terms, where is the black love? But black love is already in survival mode. We're already fighting the orientation that challenges the premise of married families. What am I talking about? We're already past the national tipping point. We're already thinking of a National Defense of Marriage Amendment. We're already fighting the Unmarriage Revolution. Sometimes I forget.
This ties us in with Nulan because he's sniffing the air for moments and inflections that signal the collapse of Western Civ, and now that I'm getting more world historical and less political, I'm inclined to hear more of that out, especially given my focus on Plato and other ancient history this month.
Anyway, Janks was over at Booker Rising today and I'm going to add his blog to the roll. He's clear, he's present and he's dangerous to ignorance. I'm on board for sustaining the dialog, of course, and it's always good to welcome another mind into the meld.