Amoeblog

Hispanic vs. Latino & Hollywood Brownface

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 15, 2008 02:24pm | Post a Comment

Hispanic Heritage Month


September 15th to October 15th is officially recognized as Hispanic Heritage Month in the USA.The dates of the observance were chosen due to the timing of El Grito, the "cry" that brought the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua's independence (followed closely by Mexico and Chile.).
 

Some fellows celebrating "El Grito"


"Hispanic" vs. "Latino"


I suppose it's kind of interesting that whoever named the month chose the term "Hispanic" instead of, say, "Latino." Hispanic sounds old-fashioned to me, but then again, I know people younger than me who refer to themselves as just that. I still think it's like calling February "Colored History Month" or May being "Oriental Heritage month." The government's choice of "Hispanic" probably owes to the fact that the term "Latino" was in less common usage forty years ago when the observance was instigated by Lyndon B. Johnson (initially as Hispanic Heritage Week). Both terms are considered offensive by some indigenists since they disappropriate Native Americans from their origins and languages by defining people with sometimes no European ancestry with Eurocentric terms.

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An Amoeba with a blog?

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 12, 2008 10:36am | Post a Comment

The punchline includes the phrase "...an amoeba with a blog?" Seinfeld, or "Jer" as I call him, is a loyal reader of the Amoeba Blog.  ...and since I know he's among the dozens of loyal fans out there I just wanted to say "Thanks, B."

And now, if I may, I'll scratch your back, Mr. S...

Jerome Allen (as he used to be known) was born in Massapequa, a hamlet which was also home to Steve Guttenberg, the Baldwin Brothers, Neil Diamond and Twisted Sister's Dee Snider.

His big break came on the television series, Benson, as a mail delivery boy.

Throughout the '80s he appeared on late night chat shows peddling his humorous observations that invariably began with the question, "What is the deal with..." Allow me to have a go... "What is the deal with sporks? Are they spoons or forks? And what's the deal with skorts?" Guaranteed to bring the house down!


He became known for his influential sartorial sense as much as his humor. Frequently he would wear a billowing denim longsleeve with jeans, a suit jacket and high-top sneakers --a look which says, "I mean business, but I'm a kid at heart!" His hair, swept back and bushy, was de riguer for comics of the '80s, from Richard Lewis to the aforementioned Guttenberg and loads of others.


In 1984, he landed a part in the comedy The Ratings Game (available exclusively on VHS).

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Today's holidays

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 9, 2008 09:00am | Post a Comment


St. Ciarán of Clonmacnoise Day - Catholicism



Kiku no Sekku (Chrysanthemum Day) - Japan 

  
Republic Day - North Korea



Independence Day - Tajikistan



Admission Day - California



Synaxis of the Theopatores Joachim and Anna - Orthodox Christianity



Father Laval Day - Mauritius

Senegalese Film

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 5, 2008 01:08am | Post a Comment




During the Colonial era, cinematic images of Africa and its people were entirely the work of Western filmmakers. The Tarzan movies, African Queen, King Solomon's Mines and others were usually filmed on soundstages half a world away from Africa and made little to no effort toward authenticity, instead trading in exoticism aimed primarily at exploiting Western tastes.



Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960. Like most West African countries, Senegal is highly diverse. The Wolof, Peul, Halpulaaren, Serer, Lebou, Jola, Mandinka, Moors, Soninke and Bassari are all long established in the country. There are also substantial populations of French, Mauritanians, Lebanese and Vietnamese. Three years after independence, the first Senegalese film was made by Ousmane Sembene titled L'empire sonhrai, which would set the standards for a uniquely African cinematic language that would establish Senegal as the capital of African Cinema.

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Walter Tetley

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 4, 2008 11:56am | Post a Comment
Walter Tetley, who died today back in 1975, was a renowned child impersonator from radio's golden age. He featured regularly on the Great Gildersleeve and the Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show --two programs unlikely to result in even a flicker of recognition from anyone younger than 60, but very popular in their day. He also appeared on Fibber McGee and Molly, The Jell-O Program starring Jack Benny, The Pepsodent Show with Bob Hope, Suspense, The Burns & Allen Show and other radio programs.

               

The details of Walter's personal life are obscure and mostly drawn from one biography (For Corn's Sake), which was primarily based on his thorough scrapbooks. Walter was born Walter Tetzlaff June 2, 1915 in New York City. His career began as an actual child --appearing on The Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air in the 1930s. By the 1940s he was the most prolific child actor on the radio. His tone and cadence are immediately recognizable and helped to define the mid-20th century stereotype of a young boy. Although radio requires the listener to imagine the appearance of the players, Walter Tetley's characters, with their mixture of adult cynicism and smart-alecky childspeak invariably conjure up (in my mind, at least) images of overall-wearing, slingshot-toting, bath-hating, cowlick-sporting lil' brats.

 

When the popularity of TV began to overtake radio, Tetley still found work by doing voiceover work, most recognizably as the Nerdy Sherman on the Mr. Peabody cartoons. He was 44 years old at the time.  He also recorded a children's record for Capitol and commercials for Sunsweet Prunes. 

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