boondocks16 Jan 2006
Sarcastro notes how much he likes the Boondocks. I have to say something that has really been bugging me about this show: I think it’s a little stupid. Don’t get me wrong, it’s often funny – the episode with the Samuel L. Jackson/Pulp Fiction/Donald Rumsfeld mash-up was genius.
But obviously it’s intended to be more than merely comedy, doing double duty as some pretty sardonic social commentary. The tone so far in the other two episodes I’ve seen (that’s all I’ve seen, and I rarely read the strip, so those disclaimers apply) is very much that the show exists as a humorous satire of the oh-so-depraved state of African-American culture. I get the impression that I’m supposed to be deriving some sort of vicious, brutal truth about how deplorable (and self-inflicted) the state of African-American culture is. And I think that’s a little fucked up, really. Totally off the mark, at best, and at worst, dare I say it: racist.
It’s hard for me to put my finger on what specifically bugs me, but I find myself wondering if this guy imagines that the hyperbolic, hyper-violent, ignorant hip-hop thugs he’s so fond of caracituring are really an accurate cross-section of African-American culture. The last episode involved MLK Jr. rising from a coma to gloomily condemn this deplorable crisis as a speech he holds turns into a replay of the 2000 Source awards. What larger point are we supposed to be deriving from this? It would be one thing if the satire was simply limited to the scope of, say, hip-hop pop culture, but to have Martin Luther King, Jr. – the icon of the civil rights struggle’s achievements – condemning such an unrealistic caricature as if it represents the entirity of the progress in civil rights and the African American community: that, too, I think, is a little fucked up. To be really worthwile, satire has to have a biting edge of truth, and I’m not convinced that the Boondocks has it. At the very least, I’m just not getting it.