Africa – Angel City Chorale

This is amazing! Very innovative and very well done. I’d love to see these guys live. However, as I am a critical kind of person, it makes me think of some not necessarily important, yet still pesky issues. The song Africa was written by a couple of white boys and performed by Toto, an all-white band who had a big hit with it in 1982. I saw the video and they had one black girl in it. I mean is that enough? Likewise here is this really good choir singing this song and there are very few African looking members. Is that enough? So the big question for me is: who decides the racial composition of a given group? I mean if black people boycott the Oscars because there are not enough black nominees do we kowtow to them and include some mediocre performances of black actors and directors?

I am not racist nor am I a bigot of any kind (at least I’d like to think so.) I am also not implying that are no stellar black performances and/or directing feats. I wouldn’t know as I think the selection process is secret. Also, I couldn’t possibly have seen all the available films. So, I never really liked Toto and I find any kind of merit awards distasteful. On the matter of Africa (the song) let me just say that the Angel City Chorale’s performance was rousing, inspiring and  I would have never imagined that I could actually like that schmaltzy song, but I do now. As for the Oscars well, there is no measuring stick for the fine arts. so if we introduce a race component into the works it just makes it so much more ridiculous. I agree that there should be no racial bias, but I am not sure how we can achieve that in today’s society. We could break the awards down into race categories” Best black actor in such and such a role, best Indian actor … , best Chinese … and so on. That will actually be quite racist I think. We could also break them down demographically. Meaning that if X is the ratio of black people to the general US population, there should an X% of black nominees in each category and an X% of winners in each category. And then we might have to have a percent of Jews in there which might need to be further broken down into white Jews, black Jews, Indian Jews. And then, we might start to realize how meaningless these distinctions are. We’d have situations in which a really bad movie might win in its category because it was needed to fulfill some kind of quota.

Sometime ago I used to be a civil servant and once in a while, they would have questionnaires about this or that that I would need to fill out. Whenever there was a race choice, I would pick Asian even though I do not think that is how they would have classified me. I was however not lying, I am Jewish and our home is in Asia.

So, if you have read this far, I will actually answer the implied question. We should not break our human race down into separate components. We just need to work on teaching everyone else this tenet. People with skin colors, cultures, religions and customs that differ from yours, are here to provide variety. If I was to walk out of my home and meet myself over and over, there would actually be no point in going out the door. Encountering people who are different looking, who have different customs, etc., is what makes going out into the world an exciting event. Personally, I an a xenophile meaning that I love the strange and other worldly, yes most certainly Sci-Fi.

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