BY BEN PENSANT
Well, I finally did it. After respectfully waiting a fortnight to give the ethnic community of Newcastle the best chance of seeing their lives on-screen for the first time, yesterday I dug out my Cameo t-shirt, stole a tenner from my grandma’s purse, and ventured to the nearest multiplex to see the most important movie ever made.
Sadly, the only screening of Dreamworks’ Latino-centric Cocoa clashed with Judge Rinder so instead I opted for the most micro-unaggressive movie I could find. And boy, did I find it. Because groundbreaking superhero flick Black Panther didn’t merely provide thrills and excitement: it also presented the most life-affirming vision of a perfect society since the joyous adaptation of George Orville’s 1974.
I was initially reluctant to watch the latest DC entry, mindful that my presence in a movie theatre might anger members of Newcastle’s black community. Luckily, that ship had sailed as I heard through the intersectional grapevine that by the end of opening weekend most of the Newcastle Utd squad, the slap-head out of The Lighthouse Family and those blokes who run the car wash on the West road had already seen the film twice each. Phew.
Knowing that the coast was clear was a huge relief. I don’t expect a medal for putting the needs of dark-skinned folk first – especially ones who might throw a fit if they see a white devil chomping popcorn in the back row – but the words of praise I’ve received have been fully deserved, especially the ones from me (i.e all of them). Because there’s nothing more considerate to black people than avoiding them or assuming they’re so irrational they might kick off if they have to share a cinema with a whitey.
Sadly, I spent much of the film on edge as I’d forgotten the handkerchief I’d been planning on hiding my face with just in case a drug dealer in oversized trousers walked in and popped a cap in my ass for watching the story of his life. Luckily, the cinema remained exclusively white for the duration, meaning I avoided the potential embarrassment of sitting alone watching a movie about black people with a white sheet over my head.
But my discomfort was a mere fraction of what black people endure every day. Fortunately, thanks to the film’s awesomeness I soon forgot about the plight of marginalised black people. Indeed, there’s no greater compliment to oppressed blacks worldwide than completely ignoring them while enjoying a piece of art designed to make a handful of rich white men even richer. You’re welcome.
Black Panther is a film so perfect it almost cancels out the offensive ’70s TV adaptation in which the dark-skinned, musclebound crime fighter was re-imagined as this pale, skinny shitweasel:
The dire cartoon ditched the original backstory, replacing worthy endeavours such as killing baddies, foiling terrorists and ruling over a progressively nationalist ethnostate with nude cycling, bodybuilding and helping a retarded stork in a pork-pie hat catch a butterfly for his tea. All set to horrific canned laughter and the most sexually aggressive lounge score this side of the theme-tune from Have You Been Served? I don’t know why they didn’t just go the whole hog and make the Panth’ a blue-eyed Aryan milkman.
Still, we leftists aren’t ones for dwelling on the past, apart from when we’re demanding white people apologise for everything from slavery to segregation. Two things which would have never existed if we hadn’t exported violent colonialism across the planet like a nasty dose of the clap. A point emphasised by Ryan Cobbler’s film which makes it abundantly clear that Waikiki – the prosperous, technologically advanced, ever-so-slightly authoritarian paradise of which Black Panther’s alter ego T’Chadwick is unelected leader – is exactly what every African country would look like had they been spared the horror of imperialism.
That Waikiki’s success is entirely down to the magic meteor that crashed there thousands of years ago is irrelevant. As is the fact that the Waikikans spent centuries extracting magic minerals from the magic meteor to create magic cities, magic spaceships and magic cat-suits for magic witch-doctors.
Because any fool can see the only difference between Waikiki and a real African country is that the black folks discovered the magic before the colonialists did. You think there aren’t top-secret aircraft hangars hidden in the worst corners of the Western world – Washington, Tel Aviv, Seaburn – filled with alien power sources pilfered from every ‘shithole’ between Tijuana and Timbuktu? Please.
For every starving child in Ethiopia there’s a chubby yank brat stuffing his face with pizza fried and sliced using oils and cutlery forged from the purest magical mineral.
For every poverty-stricken mother of ten with a bucket of filthy water on her head there’s a fresh-faced white woman slurping the cleanest liquid on earth from a plastic bottle made out of supernatural meteor dust.
But this film is not about the white folks: it’s all about the Panther and his beautiful kingdom. Because a nation free of white people is the pipe-dream of every modern liberal who learnt their trade not by observing politics or reading history but protesting free speech and threatening people on Twitter.
Now that’s what I call diversity.