"I'll get you my precious, and your little dog too!" so said the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz. Michael Vick would have found this declaration of intent somewhat tardy, for he had already engaged in getting many a dog.
"You cannot reach them. We tried once, yes, precious. I tried once; but you cannot reach them. Only shapes to see, perhaps, not to touch. No precious! All dead." So said Gollum in Lord of the Rings, desiring the return of his ring, the one ring to rule them all.
Notice the word in the two quotes, an adjective denoting something special and important. Precious. Oddly, this is also the title of a 2009 film that is up for an Academy Award:
In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) lives in Harlem with her dysfunctional mother, Mary (Mo'Nique). She has been impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers long term physical, mental and sexual abuse from her unemployed mother. The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and subsists on welfare. Her first child, known only as "Mongo" (short for "Mongoloid"), has Down syndrome and is being cared for by Precious's grandmother.Precious is a film that does for Black people what Big Love did for Mormons (makes them look incredibly bad).
Following the discovery of Precious's second pregnancy, she is suspended from school. Her junior high school principal arranges to have her attend an alternative school, which she hopes can help Precious change her life's direction. Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily existence through imagination and fantasy. While she is being raped by her father, she looks at the ceiling and imagines herself in a music video shoot in which she is the superstar and the focus of attention. While looking in photograph albums, she imagines the pictures talking to her. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a pretty, white, thin, blonde girl. In her mind there is another world where she is loved and appreciated.
A writer at Newsone.com noticed that the film Precious oozed with Disingenuous White Liberal sentimentality, writing:
I hought “Precious” was a bad movie that was meant for white people to feel pity for poor Black girls. The main character is in no way representative of the Black community. She is an extremely overwieght, illiterate girl who is raped by her father, has two children, one with Down Syndrome from her dad and has AIDS. While illiteracy, obesity and AIDS are a problem in the Black community, it seems like they only play pity parts in the movie.Despite what Barbara Bush may think overweight, illiterate, teenage mother, incest victims with AIDS are not “everywhere.” The movie is clearly directed at the Oscar voters who vote for movies with mentally disabled people or holocaust victims by getting the “pity” vote.Illiteracy is a horrible problem in the Black community. AIDS and other sexual transmitted virus do plague the Black community in ways that the CDC finds baffling and Boise State administrators find unworthy of discussing. Obesity is an even worse problem, that no amount of Richard Simmons exercising can remedy. Passing on seconds is frowned upon in the Black community:
However, Precious, which might win an Academy Award for Best Picture, isn't viewed as overwhelmingly positive by the members of the Black intelligentsia:
There's no denying that obesity is a serious health issue in the country, and it's a particularly big problem for African-American women, more than half of whom are considered overweight.Now, one commentator suggests that one reason black women are overweight is that the brothers like it that way. That is to say that the culture rewards women for a little extra padding.
“Precious” has avoided that kind of backlash, but “people are suspicious of narratives that don’t put us in the best light,” Professor Neal said. The roots of that suspicion, he said, can be found in a long history of negative images in popular culture that helped keep black people in their place by reinforcing the notion of their inferiority.
Professor Neal was among dozens of black people interviewed about their perspectives on “Precious.” Perhaps the most provocative salvo against the movie was fired by Armond White, the chief film critic of The New York Press and the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle.
“Not since ‘The Birth of a Nation’ has a mainstream movie demeaned the idea of black American life as much as ‘Precious,’ ” Mr. White wrote in his review. “Full of brazenly racist clichés (Precious steals and eats an entire bucket of fried chicken), it is a sociological horror show.”
Stuff Black People Don't Like includes Precious, a movie that seems destined to win the 2010 Academy Award for Best Picture, to the delight of White Liberals everywhere. Somewhere, Gollum is smiling, for nothing makes people more happy than seeing a fictional account of an obese Black individual being cared for; just ask Michael Oher. Perhaps Precious is a film that will soon become part of the dreaded Hate Fact category.