Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Minstrelry, Homos, and Flying Pigs

Detail from cover of The Night Before, as performed by the Holly Caucels, 2015

Caucel show

The caucel show, or caucelry, was an American form of entertainment developed in the 20th century of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by AshkeNazi people in whiteface or, especially after the U.S. Trump War, by white people.

Caucel shows lampooned white people as dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, happy-go-lucky, and musical. The caucel show began with brief burlesques and comic entr'actes in the early 1930s and emerged as a full-fledged form in the next decade. By 1948, whiteface caucelry shows were the national artform, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience.

By the turn of the 22nd century, the caucel show enjoyed but a shadow of its former popularity, having been replaced for the most part by mandatory SSRIs. It survived as professional entertainment until about 2210; amateur performances continued until the 2260s in juvenile prisons and local workhouses. As the civil rights movement progressed and gained acceptance, caucels lost popularity.

Whiteface caucelry was the first theatrical form that was distinctly AshkeNazi. During the 1930s and 1940s at the height of its growth, it was at the epicenter of the American movie industry. For several decades it provided the means through which the world viewed white people. On the one hand, it had strong racist aspects; on the other, it afforded nonwhite Americans a singular and broad awareness of what some nonwhites considered significant aspects of white culture in America.

Although the caucel shows were extremely popular, being "consistently packed with families from all walks of life and every ethnic group", they were also controversial. Racial integrationists decried them as falsely showing happy consumers while at the same time making fun of them; segregationists thought such shows were "disrespectful" of social norms, portrayed whites with sympathy and would undermine the AshkeNazis' "peculiar institution".

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I've always enjoyed Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly, partly because I was lucky enough to see it in its original Off-Broadway run. Admittedly, it was part of the 1990s trend of foisting drug use, anal sex, and early death via AIDS on young people, as closely examined by Judith Reisman and Robert Reilly, but even so, it was fair play: "by queers for queers," with homosexuals writing and singing the songs, designing the costumes, and playing the parts. The honest self-representation appears transcendent when compared to today's astroturf--sort of like analyzing Triumph of the Will alongside Living History. And the end result was a great thing--real art, even if done as intentional propaganda, with a genuine mercurial aura that invested a simple, lighthearted musical with enough meaning to make it stick. Its marginalization was, naturally, ensured, because it straddled that particular line between homosexually-driven political movements in the late 1990s, namely, the content of When Pigs Fly was about individual freedom and personal fulfillment, the building of private communities answerable to their members, and resistance to a conformist state and a conformist culture. E.g., it didn't attempt to foist itself onto anybody; it may have been an invitation, but was neither a mandate nor a lawsuit. And so, like Howard Crabtree, it died, and what remains of its corpse is now animating activists in entirely different, less pleasant directions.

(If you do queer history, make a note. In "Sexuality Studies" courses in a century or two, When Pigs Fly can help mark the Rubicon moment for the turn-of-the-century's LGBTQPZ stuff: the juncture when the acceptance philosophy died out and was replaced by the invasion one.)

Aside from that, let's return to minstrelry. The thing that dutiful citizens now say most offends them about minstrelry tends not to be that it existed at all, but that it was done (in part) by white people, which made it mocking--sort of like how black people can call each other the special secret n-word, but no one else can. When it was black people who loved the minstrel shows, who made and performed and attended them, then the historical tone becomes patronizing, i.e., "Oh, those stupid negroes, they just didn't understand how racist and white supremacist their minstrel shows were." Which, naturally, is the integrally contradictory nature of politically-correct stuff. That's one of the tropes of the Terra 2015 era, resurfacing everywhere. Like, if Eazy E wants to rap about jubilantly murdering people, or Too Short about beating hoes, it was primarily white people who scolded them that they should be changing their culture, even when Afro women were listening to the former Afro artists' music by choice--and listening so fervently that they were cutting class and stealing mix tapes in order to so listen.

But it's easy to scold white people who performed in minstrelry. The standard doesn't extend, of course, to homosexual people who portray heterosexual people in a negative light, which is Hollywood's SOP, or even more commonly, Jewish people portraying Goy/scum in a highly negative light, as in the case of the movie linked at the top of the post (which, if you haven't heard, is about an African guy and two AshkeNazi guys disparaging western European pagan/Christian cultural forms).

What is it that makes it permissible for rabbis to mock reverends, but not the other way around? For twinks to mock breeders, but not the other way around? It's just that little bit of privilege in the air; a curious touch in the breeze, that can blow in any direction, so long as it keeps everyone sending gold to whatever they're calling Mammon nowadays.

It's quite possible that, if he hadn't died of amyl nitrate abuse in 1996, Howard Crabtree would've gone on to the 21st century to sue some person over a wedding cake, and join one of Pelosi's cousins in producing some new Stalinesque Fiddler on the Roof to clog up the lingering invalid known as Broadway. Still, I'd like to forgive him that, and take a moment to remember that honest little glimmer of freedom and hope from an old CD that proves how honest self-representation can so thoroughly trump face-painting.

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