Bassist Ron Carter’s tribute to the high-priest, Ahmad Jamal.
Samara Joy appearing with Terrell of the Terrell Show, giving us the most sublime tribute to Mahalia Jackson! So glad to have Samara in the world at this time, pushing Jazz, Black culture, forward. Jazz has its roots nowhere else but in Black culture; it is the very soul of who we are. Say what? Jazz has it’s right in Klezmer? Listen to you; obsession and lies will never eradicate a people.
1. Cambodian Crown Jewels, British Art Dealer 2. Koh-i-Noor Diamond, Imperial State Crown of UK 3. Benin Bronzes, British Museum 4. Elgin Marbles, British Museum
Like the Cambodian Crown Jewels, the Kohinoor, the Benin Bronzes and the Elgin Marbles, the rapacious barbarians of the island kingdom must have them. If it is of value then it is theirs for the taking as it has been for 1.5 millennia, most especially so for the last century with regards American awards and the last half millennium through enslavement of African peoples, the spoils of Apartheid at the dehumanising expense of South Africa’s millennia aged original inhabitants. Justifying that rape and pillage has occurred with a reanimation of Brahminism.
When Will Smith walked onstage at the 94th Academy Awards and slapped Chris Rock; he kicked opened the doors for a sea-change; however, at the time, no one could quite perceive the event for the golden opportunity it actually is. Within days of the shocking event, the violent Black man who to that point had the squeakiest image in Hollywood, at least for a Black man, was dealt with. The Academy board of governors decided to ban Will Smith from appearing at the Oscars for ten years.
Back in the autumn of 1983, Merlin and I were holding up in actor, Joe Morton’s Upper West Side one-bedroom apartment that looked south. It was there that we took vows and became committed to each other until one of us passed… we kept those vows. Joe was off in England filming a television series whilst I nursed an injury caused when in a nasty car crash. We looked at a lot of film from Joe’s library, one of which was Black Orpheus. One evening, Merlin cooked a chicken paprikash and had two other couples over, both Black. There was talk about the Oscars earlier that year and how exciting it was that Louis Gossett Jr. had one best-supporting actor Oscar for An Officer And A Gentleman, which was a landmark first. After dinner and more great sex, we returned to the discussion about the Oscars that year and Hollywood politics. I had failed to see anything exciting about winning a best-supporting actor rather than best actor Oscar. Merlin in his charming way made an analogy after he declared that not in our lifetimes would a Black woman ever win best actress Oscar; Merlin was also just brutality pragmatic and honest that way.
Hollywood, Merlin stating the obvious, was a business of make-believe where one staged the desired outcome. In that sense, Merlin shared it was the greatest propaganda tool. It is a world where reality is made in the image of what those in control, would want it to be; in such a reality, Blacks could never be seen to be triumphant. Merlin then touched on the 1936 Olympics in Berlin where Jesse Owens won four gold medals before the debased terror, Adolf Hitler, thereby shattering his belief and propaganda of a master race that’s superior and always the winner. That event, said Merlin, was a real time event which could not be manipulated to achieve the desired outcome as Hitler would have it. Then, said Merlin, Hollywood and its awards are the antithesis of real time events like the Olympics. In the world of Hollywood, even if nominated, Blacks simply were never going to be allowed to win Oscars, just being nominated was good enough and a show of Hollywood elitists’ largesse. Hollywood said Merlin is a Jewish town, after all, and thus Blacks could never be expected to win Oscars, unlike winning Grammys or even Tonys. Besides, said Merlin, Hollywood elites were obsessed with making it in London society and were in bed with royals and getting to play in the truly big leagues. At the time, that angle escaped me; however, he had made the reference to Ben Kinsley winning best actor Oscar that year for his phenomenal performance in Gandhi which Merlin and I had seen the autumn prior at the Ziegfeld Cinema on West 54th Street at midnight, which I then thought the height of sophistication.
The following afternoon, Shawn Kerwin dropped by whilst we listened to the marathon live matinée broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera Centennial Gala. Shawn had designed the golden rolodex which was on display at Lincoln Center and dropped by as she would soon be designing a play back in Toronto that Merlin would be directing. The concert was mind-blowing; we made more love, napped into evening, made more love and then had dinner in the neighbourhood, came home and talked long into the night after he finished devouring another book. As was customary in those nightly discussions, we revisited the talk of the Oscars. Merlin apologised if he sounded pessimistic but he assured me that not during our lifetimes would a Black woman win best actress Oscar. Alas, that proved true for him and just about true for me; truth be told, if 9/11 had not occurred, Halle Berry would not have won best actress Oscar at the 2002 Oscars.
Along with Will Smith slapping Chris Rock – as well he damn well ought to have, based on the latter’s hideous Netflix special of March 2023 – the unfolding drama of the Sussexes has made total sense of Merlin’s predictions of four decades earlier. I have come to see how Hollywood keeps Black actresses at bay by favouring Britons and other White non-Americans. This is not just a disservice to American cinema but it is also illegal activity. I came to see how in Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s lynching at the hands of the Prince & Princess of Wales in concert with the Courtesan Queen cast greater insights to what causes the embargo on Black actresses winning a best actress Oscar. William is president of BAFTA which has its only foreign branch in Hollywood, which it dubiously called BAFTA North America – it has nothing to do with Canada and everything to exclusively do with Hollywood.
So why after their wedding and their first royal tour to Canada did William and Catherine, now Prince & Princess of Wales, travel to Los Angeles? As the newly minted president of BAFTA he had to be feted in Hollywood where he was expected to continue the tradition of British film artists, being disproportionately represented and winning at an American awards. They had to continue a relationship begun by Prince Philip in 1959 as first President of BAFTA. As a fledging awards, BAFTA desperately needed the cachet that the Oscars afford; old world Hollywood glamour, worldwide brand recognition and star power that remains unsurpassed.
From Prince Philip 1959 to 1965, the baton was passed on Prince Louis Battenberg (Earl Louis Mountbatten 1966 to 1972, Princess Anne, Princess Royal 1973 to 2001. Next up was Lord Richard Attenborough 2002 to 2010; the current BAFTA president, Prince William, Prince of Wales from 2010 to present.
So with the current BAFTA president, we get Tom Hanks sitting in the royal box at a Aston Villa game and we all know that this football team has been BAFTA president, William’s favourite team since childhood. The day after, Tom’s wife, Rita Wilson, attended the 2023 BAFTA Awards where its President, which is customary, rowed with his hawkish wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales. Another example of influence peddling, Mr. Hanks is a multiple Oscar winner, two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas and his Welsh wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones live in an apartment at St. James’s Palace. Again, Oscar winners are favoured and you can bet that these American Oscar winners have been afforded honorary membership in members clubs like Annabel’s as part of the influence peddling as the BAFTA president hobnobs with Hollywood movers and shakers, in a bid to secure work and Oscar nominations for Britons working in Hollywood.
Well, if the angry Black male, Will Smith, is going to be censored for disrupting the Oscar telecast then Tom Hanks and the Douglas Zeta-Joneses should lose their Oscar vote for clearly engaging in influence peddling with the president of BAFTA. The Windsors are notorious for engaging in sketchy business deals, what with the now King Charles III, taking bags of cash from Saudi members of the Bin Laden family. There would also be nothing to stop William and his predecessors from engaging in accommodating Hollywood A listers for the sake of securing nominations for Britons at what is an American awards, the Oscars; of course, in keeping with all that elbow rubbing offered by royals, the Tonys, Grammys and Emmys will gladly favour British talent. It is not America’s responsibility to provide work for British actors and industry professionals. With a populations five times as large as the UK’s, there is clearly a dearth of talent out there, such that America never needs to go courting or employing Britons over Americans. And that it is all about influence peddling and getting to hobnob with royals, where do you see Americans favouring Canadian talent, which relative to UK’s is considerable with a population twice as large as Canada’s should see more Canadian actors being nominated and winning Oscars all this time.
1. The Great Ziegfeld Luise Rainer, 1936 2. The Good Earth Luise Rainer, 1937 3. Gone With The Wind Vivien Leigh, 1939 4. Suspicion Joan Fontaine, 1941 5. Mrs. Miniver Greer Garson, 1942 6. To Each His Own Olivia de Havilland, 1946 7. The Heiress Olivia de Havilland, 1949 8. A Streetcar Named Desire Vivien Leigh, 1951 9. Butterfield 8 Elizabeth Taylor, 1960 10. Mary Poppins Julie Andrews, 1964
Just look at this, 20 best actress Oscars afforded British actresses for an American award.
11. Darling Julie Christie, 1965 12. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Elizabeth Taylor, 1966 13. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Maggie Smith, 1969 14. Women in Love Glenda Jackson, 1970 15. A Touch of Class Glenda Jackson, 1973 16. Driving Miss Daisy Jessica Tandy, 1989 17. Howards End Emma Thompson, 1992 18. The Queen Helen Mirren, 2006 19. The Reader Kate Winslet, 2008 20. The Favourite Olivia Colman, 2018
Naturally, with the House of Windsor involved, acquiring Oscars is infinitely easier accomplished than trying to spirit the great pyramids of Giza to London, which if it were possible, there’d likely be one at the expanded forecourt of the British Museum, one on The Regent’s Park and the other in Hyde Park. Obviously, Princess Anne’s tenure as BAFTA president likely saw her innate disdain for Yanks and general arrogance rule, which resulted in little return on investment. The same was true when Louis Mountbatten was BAFTA president. Of course, with Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg on Epstein’s flight manifests and Roman Polanski being too ‘special’ to prosecute, Old Dickie was in his element in Hollywood. Let’s face it, the IRA had nothing to do with Mountbatten’s explosive demise, born 25.6.1900 Year of the Rat, as ever numbers never lie. 7.4.5 = 7. Two 7s and a 5 alluding to sexual scandal; one or more 7s especially if one is placed in the fourth position, will indicate assassination of a public figure. In Mountbatten’s case, the poor villagers were sick of their sons being preyed on by a known paedophile and that was that.
1. Amorous Prince David, Prince of Wales & Earl Mountbatten in India. 2. David & Louis frolicking in Hawaii. 3. David & Louis playing. 4. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales & Earl Mountbatten. 5. Charles & Mountbatten. 6. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales & Jimmy Savile. 7. Gary Glitter. 8. Jimmy Savile & Gary Glitter. 9. Steven Spielberg & BAFTA President, Richard Attenborough. 10. Steven Spielberg & Harvey Weinstein. 11. Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Woody Allen, Bill Clinton & Donald Trump. 12. Prince Andrew & Jeffrey Epstein. 13. Jeffrey Epstein & Donald Trump. 14. Prince Charles & Equerry Jonathan Thompson. 14 Prince Charles & Valet Michael Fawcett.
Prince Louis of Battenberg aka Earl Louis Mountbatten was human and it would certainly not have been the first time that persons associated with the House of Windsor, have had a preference for minor meat or favoured paedophiles. Sexual predators who are deemed untouchable for being of royal, Queer or Jewish persuasion rule a town called Hollywood and you can bet your bottom dollar that there is no room in their worldview for Black actresses being worthy enough for best actress Oscars. I’ll always remember going to an Upper West Side dinner party in winter 1983 whilst Merlin was in Toronto, working on Fraggle Rock with Jim Henson and talk of Hollywood came up. I was with a dancer who was transitioning to the world of fashion and design and successfully at that. Before then, he had lived for a couple of years with a famous actor in Hollywood; he hated having a sugar daddy so returned to New York. Aaron, who was great fun, died too young of AIDS but I’ll always remember his assessment of Hollywood: the world’s most exclusive escort service successfully masquerading as an entertainment business. “It is nothing more than Mecca if you are a sexual predator.” Two others at that dinner party wholeheartedly agreed with Aaron’s perception. Aaron had the thickest cock I have yet in all my years seen; thankfully, he happened to have been the most aggressive bottom yet encountered.
Indeed, what Merlin implied by not in our lifetimes, would there be a Black best actress Oscar winner, is that the Oscar is the penultimate icon of White female exclusivity and superiority. It is the most racist iconography in American culture. It is also tied to the UK Royal family in a display of American inferiority complex after having fought a war to be rid of Britons and their monarchy. Especially sobering is the fact that the very President of BAFTA, Prince William, Prince of Wales has been outed in his brother, Prince Harry’s phenomenal royal memoir, SPARE, as being the leader of the racially predatory campaign of harassment, mental, emotional and likely physical abuse, all of which was glaringly accomplished with the tacit collusion of the Fleet Street abattoirs and persons like Princess Michael of Kent who happens to be the mother of the Prince’s known closest royal friend, Lord Frederick Windsor.
Meghan, an American actress has been treated like absolute filth, yet no one in Hollywood has spoken up in her defence. Meghan’s articulateness and impeccable social skills are seen as reasons enough to resent the ‘Yank’. Moreover, Meghan is that most unacceptable of propositions not just to the British royal family but to the very core of its collective consciousness, Meghan is Black and descended of slaves of which no nation profited more mightily from the enslavement of displaced Black Africans than the British and its royal family. Of course, Hollywood does not care to get involved because the only sanctioned troubled history that is celebrated by the Academy, is the pain, struggle of Jews in Europe which resulted in the Holocaust. For that reason, it is almost an existential threat to the Academy and Hollywood’s sense of self and entitlement to ever have to acknowledge Black American history in America cinema. Indeed, Hollywood has never even done more than exploit the indigenous American population’s rape and pillage of culture and genocide of a people, because as with Black Americans, it would prove more worthy of American cinematic focus for obvious historic reasons than sectarian European history.
Anything and anyone who remotely threatens Hollywood’s sense of self and its agendum of focussing almost exclusively on the Holocaust with respect to what is deemed disturbing history and worthy of being focussed on and highlighted, is simply cancelled. Good god, look at Tom Cruise in what clearly is sectarian bias, no matter how much of a box office champ and how compelling his acting chops have been, an Oscar continues to elude him. Apart from his blockbuster actions films, all of them, what I love about Tom Cruise is how exquisitely he captures young soul angst with his acting. From Rain Man (1988), to Jerry Maguire (1996) or the exquisitely cinematic, Eyes Wide Shut (1999) the man’s a brilliant actor and no one but a young soul would so daringly do his own stunts in film after film after action film. All this deliberate denial because he is a Scientologist; just imagine if Jews were being so targeted and overlooked by the Academy but there it is in bold, unmistakable reality.
Similarly, James Cameron, a Canadian, is simply not great enough of be imbued with genius such that his towering greatness must be celebrated. In 2009, that society that serves as a paragon of racialised superior consciousness (Britain) and arrogantly so, did not award a single BAFTA to James Cameron’s 1997 film, Titanic though receiving 10 nominations. In America that year with 14 nominations, Titanic was awarded 11 Oscars. As far as Britons are concerned, it is not a British film, therefore they do not care and their grudge and disdain for ‘Yanks’ is all the more reason why Titanic was shut out of the BAFTAs. How is this even possible when there was a direct involvement with Britain with this very real and ground-breaking film? The Titanic did set sail from Britain for America; Britons were lost at sea when the Titanic sank.
Not wanting to seem like an afterthought and god forbid a third-tier awards, on taking over as BAFTA president, Richard Attenborough had the awards moved up to February, post Oscars April or May, thereby preceding the Oscars. This afforded the BAFTAs cachet as they were seen as a forerunner of how the Oscar winners would be determined. In a bid to maintain relevance and continue its role of influence peddling in an American industry, BAFTA has set up a wing in Beverly Hills and had the balls to call it the North American wing; leave Canada out of your influence peddling racket, the objective is to influence the Oscar nominations and winners. Of course, in turn Oscar winners find themselves being afforded the exclusivity of the royal treatment as with Tom Hanks at the Aston Villa game on the eve of the 2023 BAFTAs and Oscar winners Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones being allowed to live in an apartment at St. James’s Palace. So that no one should go getting ideas, she is a Briton and he, of course, is Jewish Hollywood royalty and it certainly would not be extended beyond such persons. Certainly, not when the current BAFTA president and his wife and known anti-Black racists.
Thanks to Britons’ gross sense of entitlement and flagrant superiority complex, they do not care what the world thinks. Their awards criteria and their members decide who is deserving of winning a British award and you can bet it won’t be a damn Yank. From Beyoncé being snubbed at the Grammys in favour of Harry Styles then having the Brit Awards favour Harry Styles over anyone else. This fruity little drip regardless how flagrantly he swishes his AMS (arse-munching ‘stache) and cross-dresses, above all else, he is a White male and he will not be ridiculed by radio DJs the world over. I’ll always remember my proud First Nations brief lover whilst at a pow wow in Merritt, B.C. saying, “Gay people are first and always White people… people like you and me do not count at the end of the day.” Sage words indeed. Look at this silly photo of the flagrant little industry-used manwhore, I am reminded of the swell little, ridiculously hysterical French-Canadian actor friend of Merlin’s. From the moment we met, it was evident that it was merely a matter of time before we would be carrying on like gibbons en chaleur. A friend of his had approached Merlin and asked if I would step in for him whilst he covered elsewhere for someone whose lover was severely ill and dying of AIDS. It was supposed to have lasted all of two, at the most, six weeks.
Standing in for a friend of Merlin’s, dressing on Cats at the Elgin Theatre, was a memorable experience because Jean-François and I would be sharing the same floor backstage as the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical printed money like it was going out of style. Post intermission, JF and I would have the most fun. As all theatre folk are predominantly sage souls, which he was, he was entertainingly witty and given to reciting dialogue from a range of Bette Davis films. Mostly, Lauri whose wife also did wigs and makeup was fun to be around as JF and I carried on. One Wednesday, after matinée performance, JF and I returned to the theatre off the Victoria Street tech entrance. We had just rushed down from the top of the street where it dead ends into Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, which now goes by whatever name du jour. As we returned, we were laughing hysterically which Lauri with a sly wink declared, he could well imagine what trouble we’d been up to. Truth be told, we were detained by aggressive security as JF, Toronto Dance Theatre dancer René Highway who was a lover of Merlin’s who preceded me by at least two others, actor Denis Simpson of TV’s Polka Dot Door were caught in a stall together being riotously salacious. Little did I know that as I banged on the side of the stall, “Oh fuck yeah, put your fucking tongue right there!” there was a security guard in the stall next door spying on us. His radio went off, giving away the plot and to prevent my raucous laughter, Denis began aggressively kissing me. The damage was done though, because before we could scramble out of there, the security guard’s colleague had come to join him as he braced himself against the door in an attempt to have us detained. In no mood to be messed with, I grabbed JF’s half finished Styrofoam cup of coffee and tossed it over the stall door onto the killjoy guard. Though we tried to bolt, his backup had locked us inside. Denis copped hauteur and feigning outrage, demanded to be let out at once as he had nothing to do with any of this. The cheek! Tall, imposingly debonair, just like that Denis abandoned us with René, who never said more than two words at any given time, slithering out with Denis. Merlin said of René, you have a great fuck then afterwards, there’s nothing there; simply no signs of intellect. You can bet your bottom dollar, I howled at his assessment. After too much silly cop-playing nonsense, JF and I were released and told to never set foot on the campus again… as fucking if.
Stage left alcove with Lauri close by, JF fell to his knees, doing a deadpan Bette Davis impersonation from Jezebel, “Arvin. Arvin, I’m on my knees… I’m pleading to you…” All the while he kept looking from my crotch to my face his eyes large and yearning whilst suggestively licking his lips; Lauri’s laughter in the corner almost drowned out the caterwauling coming from onstage. Next, it was my turn to be witty, removing the band that gathered my recently permed hair, my Bette Davis rebuttal came from Cabin in the Cotton as I giggled and replied, “Well, of course, I’d love to hogtie and fuck you silly but I just permed my hair… bye now.” Turning, I made towards Lauri in the alcove whose laughter was continuous and just then, JF put his hand in my hair, making it an unruly mess. With that, he took off rushing to the back and through the door onto Victoria Street with me giving spirited chase. As it was the mid-1980s the street was a darkened affair with the foreboding sight of St. Michael’s Hospital across on the east side of the street. Facing north on the west side on the street, JF squatted on the kerb and began offering his arse whilst I grabbed his hips and soon we both dissolved in laughter, working off the stress from being earlier held hostage by aggressive security up the street.
Of course, today Victoria Street is no longer a deserted affair after dark. Last year, Massey Hall at the southwest corner of Shuter and Victoria streets reopened after 190$m renovations. Of course, it is just in time for the 70th anniversary of the most phenomenal live Jazz concert recording with the famous ‘Salt Peanuts’ performance. To Massey Hall’s rear and half a block down Victoria Street is the back of the Elgin Theatre. The 60-storey Massy Tower condominiums sit on the east side of Yonge Street and two doors north of the Elgin Theatre’s marquee between Queen Street East to the south and Shuter to the north. Jean-François was devastatingly funny and vulgarly laughed at everyone and everything; he was as intimidating as he was diminutive. He favoured me as ours was a physical relationship that was purely fraternal and nothing more than robust, healthy sexual play.
A couple of years after Merlin’s passing, I was then habituated in the Beaches, one of Toronto’s more glorious neighbourhoods which, like Moore Park, is lorded over by the tallest oaks, and bordered to the south by the boardwalk, beach and Lake Ontario beyond, which proves a putrid malodorous cocktail in springtime. The Beaches’ high street is Queen Street East with its noisy 501 streetcars; I then lived just beyond the end of the Queen streetcar loop at Neville Park on the south side of Queen. To the north the Upper Beaches was the tonier part of the neighbourhood with the most commanding views of the city and lake beyond or below. I really loved living there. About that time, in 1991, I received a call with news of Jean-François. I had last seen JF a couple of months earlier as he came by and visited but we didn’t have sex; Merlin was dead of AIDS, which meant that I had unredeemably become perished fruit. Years earlier when we had just moved to Cabbagetown’s 20 Amelia Street, JF dropped by unannounced whilst we visited with chef Gary Martin who was a source of playful raucous man-loving. Having heard about me JF came calling, whilst we visited in the back garden, Merlin cock-sucking a joint, Gary sharing on it, JF lit up a cigarette and offered it as he tried charming me; grabbing his hand at the wrist, I elegantly moved the cigarette away and coolly stated fact, “Sorry, I never suck on anything less than nine and a half inches… ever.” Jean-François tossed his head back and roared and declared that he was besotted. Gary cooked yet another sublime dinner and after, Merlin continued enjoying a joint whilst onlooking at me ploughing Gary who always had to have the large mirror in the hall on the floor to look at himself being ploughed right; Jean-François leapt in and kept his faced hungrily buried between my pumping buttocks.
Luckily, in a big city, you can nicely experience a new incarnation which has positively nothing to do with your previous existence. Soon enough, lovers aplenty were de rigueur and I began exploring my true metier, the world of S&M. For Jean-François, in a bid not to become HIV-infected, he began going after barely legal youth, freshly arrived in the big city and on the make, whom he enticed with his snazzy motorcycle. So it was as JF brought home a couple of straight boys to his lovely apartment above a drugstore along Eglinton Avenue West just west of Upper Forest Hill, his couple of tricks stole his sporty motorcycle after murdering him, cutting off his cock and sticking it into the gash of his slit throat. There unsurprisingly was blood everywhere and my response on hearing the news of JF’s demise, was to have done as he would have, “Well thank god those fucking forensic guys carry a tweezer in their toolbox…” a quip at JF’s tiny, boyish cock. The laughter the friend and I roared, was a fitting tribute to JF and also the only way to have responded to such shocking news of such a violent passing… Jean-François honestly would have appreciated the humour of the situation.
So there was the BAFTA President, Prince William, Prince of Wales with his combustible wife kitted out in her ‘fist-me-now’ black opera gloves, onlooking as Cate Blanchett won best actress BAFTA for TAR, a film which frankly is much ado about fuck-all. It is about her iconic whiteness – her blondness and blue-eyed superiority which is what the Oscars are about; however, when it comes to best actress the BAFTAs afforded the royal seal of approval. Thus Michelle Yeoh sat there at Royal Festival Hall and watched Cate win best actress BAFTA and that was that. Britons do not give a damn; besides, they are royals and all that, never mind that that blasted uncouth boor will break protocol more frequently than a duck shitting, lui même Madame Plotte-Visage, the Courtesan Queen – more of that later.
1. Kerry Condon 2. Dolly De Leon 3. Carey Mulligan 4. Angela Bassett 5. Hong Chau 6. Jamie Lee Curtis
So the BAFTAs decide that this is a good enough field for best supporting actress BAFTAs 2023. Of course, Kerry Condon is not a Yank and is close to being British for being Irish and that’s that. In this pre-Oscars awards, both Angela Bassett and Jamie Lee Curtis were passed over.
1. Cate Blanchett. 2. Viola Davis 3. Michelle Yeoh 4. Danielle Deadwyler 5. Emma Thompson 6. Ana de Armas
With the Oscars, Cate Blanchett who had been favoured was defeated by Michelle Yeoh. Of course, though much was made of Angela Bassett being a sore loser to Jamie Lee Curtis for the best supporting actress Oscar, Jamie Lee won it for two reasons, she is second generation member of a Hollywood acting dynasty; more importantly, she is Jewish and in Hollywood that trumps everything else. With Michelle Yeoh’s historic win, no one dare levelled accusations that it was mere tokenism or some woke agendum.
1. Ana de Armas 2. Andrea Riseborough 3. Cate Blanchett 4. Michelle Williams 5. Michelle Yeoh
For that matter, there was no talk anywhere of Cate Blanchett having been cheated out of her rightful best actress Oscar award. Naturally, the argument is that Black actresses are just not good enough or worthy enough to be cinematically lauded. Of course, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler, in the case of the latter two, they portrayed not just strong Black women but they were also historical figures. This for Hollywood is wholly unacceptable; American history simply cannot expand to cinematically include African Americans. What’s more, avoiding American history at all costs is preferable, this explains why a film like Everything, Everywhere All At Once fared so well at the Oscars, it had positively nothing to do with American history and did not in any way threaten what Hollywood deems the only history worthy of being cinematically celebrated by the Oscars. As the saying goes, in Hollywood – the land of make believe, Shoah business is the only American history worth celebrating… cartographers be damned. And unlike the unpredictability of Jesse Owens’ performance before Hitler in 1936, Hollywood does not real-time events. Hollywood as 1968’s best actress Oscar tie validated, is about manipulating reality to serve its need and one’s heroic place within the culture: better than, special, innately entitled.
Broadway Actor, Audra McDonald
Though Hollywood would like to keep Black actresses oppressed and give the impression that they are not capable of commanding the screen and thus not deserving of Oscars for best actress, that is all challenged by the fact that Audra McDonald, is the most decorated leading actress on Broadway in its history with 6 Tony awards. Naturally, if Audra were an actress in Hollywood, she would never have been considered for any Oscar nomination above supporting actress. Hell, even Viola Davis won best supporting actress Oscar for a role which was always a lead on Broadway and won a Tony award in that category for the play adapted to film, Fences.
Just look at how Briton, Helen Mirren looks on at Halle Berry during her best actress Oscar acceptance speech in 2002. She was clearly displeased and thought that the award ought not to have gone to some Black upstart, who was making some ridiculous ‘race’ speech or other. There, too, was that blasted little garden gnome whom we know is a favoured inner circle member at the court of the ugly-no-blasted-motherfuck Courtesan Queen, who has time and again made no effort to hide her disinterest in the otiose Persons of Colour the world over.
Maori Dancers Performing Haka at Commonwealth Service, Westminster Abbey, 2023
Just look at the way she walked past the barefooted Maori celebrants outside Westminster Abbey at the Commonwealth Day Service, 2023. It was heart-warming to see the Duchess of Edinburgh bump her left shoulder into HM King Charles III’s right shoulder and humour him as he clearly needed to be pulled away from the displeasure, he no doubt would have been experiencing for being born in the Year of the Rat and disrespected by that blasted Couchon, who has been unrelentingly wrecking the House of Windsor for near half a century. The damage ‘Ugly Duchess’ continues doing to HLM Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year legacy, is incalculable.
The video above is of French colonials in the then French colony of Vietnam. That was in 1900, not 1900 years ago or 19,000 years ago. In less than 6 generations tribal perceptions change little. This is how the White tribe perceives non-Whites with varying degrees of scorn and animus. What most Whites have had to do is aggressively adapt such that this primal perception of their place in the scheme of things, is deeply guarded, camouflaged and made to seem irrelevant. Of course, the power of the gun assures them that this sense of self and place in the scheme of things are little challenged.
Indeed, the House of Windsor has been possessed of this entrenched sense of self and place, in its most recent incarnation, since the reign of Queen Victoria. The two White females tossing grain and coins at the ‘natives’ in Vietnam, were contemporaries of Queen Victoria’s, whose misogynoir was emulated and upheld by Queen Mary who groomed both Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother and HLM Queen Elizabeth II.
One should not be surprised at the Queen’s 1969 documentary in which she tells a racist joke, to which Charles heartily laughed. Charles’s heir, rather than son, Peggalicious & Fisted is an avowed anti-Black racist; of course, so too is the Courtesan Queen, who has made no bones about giving no fucks about the otiose little non-White peoples.
The four minute mark of the above video and on their arrival in St. Vincent, Camilla carries her trusty parapluie and to make sure that she doesn’t have to shake any of the ‘natives’ hands, she carries a handbag in the free hand. This woman is a right piece of work and a true heir of the French colonials tossing grain and coins at the Vietnamese.
The infamous open ridicule of Inuit throat singers, causing Governor-General Johnston to look at her as though she were a lunatic from Mars will not soon be forgotten.
Her most recent I’ve-no-fucks-left-to-give moment: 2023 Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey. She just walked past the irrelevant persons of colour and of course compensatorilly clutched her hat as though it were Dorothy’s cabin about to take off; as if she’s not always got a broom to hand.
There is much that you can glean from the line up of the best actress Oscar winners above. They are an insight into where power lies in Hollywood and one should never be mistaken about that. This power block is whom, much like the two French colonials in 1900 decide what pittance Blacks in American cinema receive. Of course, had 9/11 never occurred, there would have been no need for Halle Berry to have won best actress Oscar in 2002. This was hastily done as there was great fear that if terrorism were to become de rigueur, a guaranteed weekly affair across America, one would need to lay low and not provoke wrath from the American public at large. Of course, by the 76th Oscars two years later, there was no such threat and it has been back to the norm of Black actresses chances of winning best actress Oscar decidedly negligible.
That Hollywood does not have two fucks to give what it looks like, was validated when in 1968, it was speciously alleged that there was a tie and just as with Gwyneth’s Cinderella Oscar, so too was Barbra Streisand awarded an Oscar because one can and did. Obviously, it is not a question of Black actresses not having acting chops, deserving of best actress Oscar, just as with the French colonials of 1900 Vietnam, Hollywood’s elite have long decided that Black actresses are not deserving of any such accolade; goddamn it, they are just not people enough. Goodness, that would make them more than maids, whores, junkies and dumbasses.
Hollywood as throughout human history, is just another society with its various strata and the one stratum that gets you lifetime membership at LouLou’s, Annabel’s and Maison Estelle is the one that sees you awarded best actress. In the case of best actor Oscar that’ll get you membership at Mark’s, Harry’s and Oswald’s. Alas, Black women need not dream; as Meghan has validated, Black actresses are the one group of actresses who are most undesirable whether for senior royal status or Hollywood’s ruling elite. Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that Hollywood’s elite are a liberal bunch; they are the most vile, racist, royal sycophants on the planet – this is why Oscar winners Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas live in an apartment at St. James’s Palace. They have wanted in, have gotten in and it’ll all culminate with Prince George marrying a nice Jewish girl – actress or otherwise. It will happen; in the meantime, they – royals and Hollywood elites – have seen to it that Meghan’s Cinderella moment could be undone and how handsomely they toiled and won. It’s a perfect business arrangement, Hollywood wants the exclusivity of royal sanction and access and for the royals and their shitty, third tier BAFTA awards, Brits get Oscars in return for preferred Hollywood elites sitting in the royal box at an Aston Villa game, living at St. James’s Palace and everything else in between, including all the minor meat they favour.
Hell, what’s all that to Harry and Meghan; they’ve got each other and are growing richer in spades with every venture they explore. Meanwhile, when the Pegged & Fisted Bourbon bastard finally gets a divorce, the inarticulate Edward Gorey silent era ingenue will draw on her coalminer pedigree and go full Jerry Springer on the House of Windsor. No Sir, Catherine will not go quietly and doe-eyed like her mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales did. She will fight dirty and shake up the pantomime in ways that not even Hollywood could fathom.
Whether Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Oscar Awards or Tony Awards (EGOTs), American awards are about celebrating American culture with the able contribution of American actors and artisans being cited. Clearly, as demonstrated by repeated instances mentioned herein this blog, there is a clear-cut case of influence peddling on the part of the Presidents of BAFTA past and present, resulting in examples cited be it Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones Oscar winners living in an apartment at St. James’s Palace to fellow Oscar winner Tom Hanks, being afforded VIP access to Aston Villa matches. If indeed Armenian-Americans were the most powerful group in Hollywood, American Cinema, then there would doubtless be greater inclusivity and all American actresses being celebrated for their work. Indeed, all aspects of American culture would be celebrated in such a paradigm. As is obvious from Viola Davis winning a best supporting actress Oscar for a role which is a leading role, clearly there is a validated case of discrimination and double-standards at play.
American cinema has to reflect American culture in all its pandimensionality and this is not the case. From the number of British and Jewish actresses who have won best actress Oscars relative to Black and Hispanic/Latina American, there is a definite case for legally challenging the discriminatory practices of the status quo. When is there going to be a film about the human drama that unfolded as a result of the terror attacks on 9/11? When are there going to be historically accurate films, telling the story of Indigenous Americans sacrifices and genocide. Heroic films from varying perspectives have yet to be made that dealt with the human costs of the American civil war. It is incumbent on the actors unions and others in the industry to challenge this discriminatory practice by way of legal action, ACLU, class action lawsuits, hearings in congress and legal action going all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The exclusion of Viola Davis or Danielle Deadwyler at the 95th Oscars is a clear example when they were passed over in favour of a British actress, Andrea Riseborough who appeared in a utterly dismissible film and performance about which no one knew a damn thing. Two Black actresses were passed over at the Oscar nominations for very strong roles where at the BAFTAs they were celebrated by being nominated.
If any practice is an insult to intellect, demonstrates influence peddling and proves a clear-cut case of discrimination based on race and or gender then there is no dearth of lawyers in America, who cannot take on an American actors union class action suit to address and correct so glaring an ugly case of racism in America, to say nothing of that decades long practice being an injustice. Hollywood elites do not fill movie theatres, nor for that matter do Britons seeing American films lead to blockbuster box office results… Americans do! Unlike the Festival International du Film Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival, the Academy Awards, despite tacking on international to the name, is not an international film festival. Furthermore, the Academy Awards are an American film awards and not obliged to be featuring and awarding prizes to Britons as the awards have become. If you want an Oscar then damn well choose to reincarnate an American. Period. Just as if you want to be elected American President, the onus is on you to choose to reincarnate an American born citizen. The House of Windsor has no right to be wielding influence on the Oscars or any other aspect of American society; a damn war was fought and won about being bullied and over-lorded by Britons and their royals. If this is not challenged in due course, the problem of Black actresses being passed over in favour will endure for the foreseeable decades of this century and well into the next. Of course, if Blacks protest this, Hollywood’s elites in collusion with the British royals will simply see to it that all many of non-Black non-Whites will suddenly be favoured and awarded Oscars.
Darling, the rules are very clear; if you don’t like Black people, fuck you!
Samara Joy – Vocals
Ben Paterson – Piano
Felix Moseholm – Bass
Evan Sherman – Drums
At long last, a griot of the highest order has incarnated among us; long live Black high art, Jazz!
Nothing warms the soul like the beauty of the Black voice in musical flight; it is the very essence of who we are. This is why, Jazz has always been and will always be Black culture… know that. Happy Black History month because we matter!