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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 48 School Daze

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10 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

My hot take: Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad.

Add me to that list as well.

I was explaining to a friend why the other day. I liked Breaking Bad but they seemingly turn Walter White bad pretty quick. It's suppose to be this slow descent but it doesn't always feel that way. On Breaking Bad Jimmy even when doing shitty thing you still know deep down he's a good person and so conflicted and his relationship with Kim grounds that character and when he does fully turn it is going to be so tragic. Also people are quick to praise Mike and Chuck and that but Kim is the star of the show.

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I'm late to the party and don't think I have that much to add. Like everybody has said I found the movie to be more frustrating than anything else. So many good ideas but they are just kinda peppered in and forgotten or picked up so far apart you forget about them. I was not really interested in the Half Pint stuff because frats and all that are so foreign to me as a Canadian so that stuff went on way to long and I wanted to see more of the other stuff. That said there are lots of things I like. I really enjoyed the football scenes because it was clear they had maybe fifty extras but made it seem like a proper game that you actually never see any of. 

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48 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

Add me to that list as well.

I was explaining to a friend why the other day. I liked Breaking Bad but they seemingly turn Walter White bad pretty quick. It's suppose to be this slow descent but it doesn't always feel that way. On Breaking Bad Jimmy even when doing shitty thing you still know deep down he's a good person and so conflicted and his relationship with Kim grounds that character and when he does fully turn it is going to be so tragic. Also people are quick to praise Mike and Chuck and that but Kim is the star of the show.

I haven't watched Better Call Saul yet but I agree with you about Breaking Bad turning Walter evil too quickly. The majority of the show takes place over a year and a half? Parts of it make sense in that time frame but I guess some of it is television magic.

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As someone who has no idea about this kind of thing, are the benefits you get out of being in a frat worth all the hazing?

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15 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

As someone who has no idea about this kind of thing, are the benefits you get out of being in a frat worth all the hazing?

I was never in a fraternity myself (in fact, one of the things I liked about my school was that it didn’t allow them), but I had friends who were. Ideally, from a social standpoint, I think they help people make friends and give a sense of belonging - which can be important when it’s your first time away from home. Also, Post-college, they can help establish a professional network that you might otherwise be difficult to build from the ground up.

That being said, there’s no denying that fraternities seem to foster a toxicity and elitism.

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1 hour ago, Cam Bert said:

Add me to that list as well.

I was explaining to a friend why the other day. I liked Breaking Bad but they seemingly turn Walter White bad pretty quick. It's suppose to be this slow descent but it doesn't always feel that way. On Breaking Bad Jimmy even when doing shitty thing you still know deep down he's a good person and so conflicted and his relationship with Kim grounds that character and when he does fully turn it is going to be so tragic. Also people are quick to praise Mike and Chuck and that but Kim is the star of the show.

I've been having this conversation in my office a lot.  Everyone loves Breaking Bad so much, and yet only a few have seen Saul.  And I'm like, but it's better!!  I just like a conman lawyer type as a lead character so much.  And Kim too!  To some extent, I've lost interest in Mike and Nacho and all that side of things, and I'm just so into seeing Saul's life unfold.

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Also what maybe this is just me watching the movie late last night but why was it so important for Half Pint to get in the fraternity? Was it just that he wanted to be accepted? He could have easily hung out with Dap and his crew but I guess they don't carry the same clout so it is also a status thing as well. I think that's the other reason I had getting into his story in the movie because I didn't get why it was so important to him.

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18 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

Also what maybe this is just me watching the movie late last night but why was it so important for Half Pint to get in the fraternity? Was it just that he wanted to be accepted? He could have easily hung out with Dap and his crew but I guess they don't carry the same clout so it is also a status thing as well. I think that's the other reason I had getting into his story in the movie because I didn't get why it was so important to him.

My interpretation is just that he's desperate for a sense of belonging. Through the whole movie, we see all these different groups  of people tying themselves to particular identities , and in some way or another, usually for something arbitrary, all these groups are against each other. That's why the "wake up" scene is so important. It's that realization that there's a need for unity. Half -Pint is looking for "brothers," but it's a false brotherhood. At the end, we see Julian and Dap standing together giving hope that if they can finally put all the phoney shit behind them, they can actually start to make things better.

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2 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

Also what maybe this is just me watching the movie late last night but why was it so important for Half Pint to get in the fraternity? Was it just that he wanted to be accepted? He could have easily hung out with Dap and his crew but I guess they don't carry the same clout so it is also a status thing as well. I think that's the other reason I had getting into his story in the movie because I didn't get why it was so important to him.

I'm super uninformed on this subject, so please bear with me.  Casual Googling says that almost all of the black members of post-Reconstruction era Congress elected prior to 1985 were members of BGLOs (Black Greek Letter Organizations). Prominent black Americans like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall belonged to BGLOs.  Again, casual Googling says BGLOs were created to unite black students with common principles.  And BGLOs at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) can have different pledging processes than those at PWIs (Predominately White Institutions) too.  So I think there must be prestige associated with being a part of the select few who pledge and get accepted to BGLOs?  

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While I understand the wanting to belong and sense of brotherhood I guess, again maybe partly my misunderstanding of frats, but aren't there other fraternities on campus?  I guess I just stuck on the idea more so of why he had to be a "gamma" and not like say and "alpha" or "delta." He pledges to the fraternity of his cousin's seeming rival and as result puts him on the outs with him and have to interact in private. He is also put through more because of his relationship to Dap. If he went to a different fraternity things would have been different for him I image. Dap would probably still be against him being part of any fraternity most likely. I was just expecting or thought there might have been more to why he wanted to be a Gamma beyond "creates conflict and drama". Like that's where his father went, or a notable person was one or something.

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5 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

While I understand the wanting to belong and sense of brotherhood I guess, again maybe partly my misunderstanding of frats, but aren't there other fraternities on campus?  I guess I just stuck on the idea more so of why he had to be a "gamma" and not like say and "alpha" or "delta." He pledges to the fraternity of his cousin's seeming rival and as result puts him on the outs with him and have to interact in private. He is also put through more because of his relationship to Dap. If he went to a different fraternity things would have been different for him I image. Dap would probably still be against him being part of any fraternity most likely. I was just expecting or thought there might have been more to why he wanted to be a Gamma beyond "creates conflict and drama". Like that's where his father went, or a notable person was one or something.

I think that's part of the failure of the film but it's part movie shortcut because we only have two hours.

I think there are a lot of reasons we speculate on. It could be Half Pint is a virgin and Gamma's slogan is "only a Gamma man is a real man". So we might be expected to interpret that as an attack on masculinity or could be a comment on Half Pint's insecurity.

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2 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I think that's part of the failure of the film but it's part movie shortcut because we only have two hours.

I think there are a lot of reasons we speculate on. It could be Half Pint is a virgin and Gamma's slogan is "only a Gamma man is a real man". So we might be expected to interpret that as an attack on masculinity or could be a comment on Half Pint's insecurity.

Agreed. We can really only speculate, but I'm guessing Gamma was supposed to be the most prestigious.  But really, I don't think it would have mattered much anyway. I would guess that to Lee all fraternities are the same. Dap wouldn't have wanted him to join any fraternities. And the only only reason why Dap hates the Gammas in particular was because of Julian - and that's because, in a weird way, Dap kind of respected him. One of my favorite lines in the movie was when Dap says about Julian: "No, Julian is smart, Rachel. He's confused, but he's smart." It was nice to see a character recognixe that just because people disagree with one another doesn't just automatically assume that they're dumb. Dap recognizes that Julian is smart and that's part of the problem.

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38 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

Agreed. We can really only speculate, but I'm guessing Gamma was supposed to be the most prestigious.  But really, I don't think it would have mattered much anyway. I would guess that to Lee all fraternities are the same. Dap wouldn't have wanted him to join any fraternities. And the only only reason why Dap hates the Gammas in particular was because of Julian - and that's because, in a weird way, Dap kind of respected him. One of my favorite lines in the movie was when Dap says about Julian: "No, Julian is smart, Rachel. He's confused, but he's smart." It was nice to see a character recognixe that just because people disagree with one another doesn't just automatically assume that they're dumb. Dap recognizes that Julian is smart and that's part of the problem.

Yeah. I appreciate that as well. I also like that Dap is intelligent but also wrong/misguided as well. He had very little respect for people he thought were multi-racial. And it shows a lot of ignorance to put that on a person. People literally can't control their ancestry but also the ignorance of going back far enough since he mentions "octoroons" that in the 1980s someone who was that racial breakdown could potentially have been the product of a slave master raping a slave.

There's just something refreshing about our lead character being flawed like this where it's not a huge story point like Indiana Jones biggest fear is snakes so, of course, he encounters snakes. Dap's flaw is pride/ignorance but there's not a scene where someone calls him on it leading to a scene of reflection unless someone wants to argue WAKE UP is that moment for him.

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5 hours ago, grudlian. said:

Yeah. I appreciate that as well. I also like that Dap is intelligent but also wrong/misguided as well. He had very little respect for people he thought were multi-racial. And it shows a lot of ignorance to put that on a person. People literally can't control their ancestry but also the ignorance of going back far enough since he mentions "octoroons" that in the 1980s someone who was that racial breakdown could potentially have been the product of a slave master raping a slave.

There's just something refreshing about our lead character being flawed like this where it's not a huge story point like Indiana Jones biggest fear is snakes so, of course, he encounters snakes. Dap's flaw is pride/ignorance but there's not a scene where someone calls him on it leading to a scene of reflection unless someone wants to argue WAKE UP is that moment for him.

I thought the scenes with Rachel about Dap's ancestry and about her pledging the Gamma Rays (sp?) were there to call him out, and that his willingness to accept her pledging a sorority were part of his coming to terms with his own elitism. 

Also, on Half Pint's pledging - at first I didn't realize he was sincere, but thought the movie was going to have him infiltrate as a favor to Dap. 🤷‍♀️

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"Only a Gamma man is a real man" (or "Stay away from Gamma Rays" -- your choice)

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I watched Do the Right Thing for the first time last night.  If anyone is willing to discuss it with me I have some questions.  Spoiler alerts ahead.

1) First a statement.  This made its points much clearer than School Daze but yet I felt I was being hit over the head with them more explicitly.  Maybe that's a hangover from having seen School Daze first.  I'm not sure.  However this was a more powerful film and left me dazed.  I am honestly not sure I could take another viewing.

2) Was it really necessary for Pino, and then Sal, to go right to the N-word?  Especially Sal.  If he really had been in business there for 25 years, and watched these kids grow up, why did he still think of them as shiftless lay-abouts?  Especially Radio Raheem.  Raheem had probably been comng in there since his birth and NOW his radio was a problem?

3) Did Mookie even have an arc?  It seemed like he was there solely to stir the pot.  Could that have been done differently?

I have more.  That will do for a start,

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i would but I'm waiting to re-watch Do The Right Thing with Unspooled (I haven't seen it since the '90s)

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3 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

i would but I'm waiting to re-watch Do The Right Thing with Unspooled (I haven't seen it since the '90s)

I watched it for the first time last year. I’m not sure I remember it well enough to answer your questions, Cinco. Sorry :(

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6 hours ago, Cinco DeNio said:

2) Was it really necessary for Pino, and then Sal, to go right to the N-word?  Especially Sal.  If he really had been in business there for 25 years, and watched these kids grow up, why did he still think of them as shiftless lay-abouts?  Especially Radio Raheem.  Raheem had probably been comng in there since his birth and NOW his radio was a problem?

That's the point, I think. Sal can cast away his background in the neighborhood, personal feelings towards Mookie, Buggin Out, Raheem, etc. in really just one action. He doesn't have to be thoughtful or premeditated about it. He's white and he has access to all the privileges that entails. Using the N-word makes that clear to everyone. I thought that was best part of the movie, although it's been a while.

As for Mookie, I think he's not supposed to have a plot. He's the narrator, like Ishmael or Nick Carraway.

*Hey guys, taking a break from writing. It's been a while. How are you all?

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I'll do one last post on Do the Right Thing and hold the rest for the Unspooled episode.

I liked seeing some well-known actors in early roles.  Also the relationship between Da Mayor and Mother Sister, knowing they were married in real life.  You could tell they had chemistry.

My favorite: Frankie Faison as Coconut Sid

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Rick Edson (Vito) had fun three years earlier.

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Mookie's sister Jade is Spike Lee's real-life sister Joie.

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Rick Aiello (the cop who kills Radio Raheem) is Danny Aiello's son.  I only know him from another movie with Danny, 29th Street.

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