The meritocratic feminist society which allows Keaton's character to rise to her proper place in the corporate workplace has left the traditional woman's work of childcare to defectives. Social progress toward equality has evidently eliminated Mammy as well, while Bubbie belongs to an alternative New York. Baby Boom did not invent but greatly popularised this gimmick of the parade of caricatures presented to the audience positioned in the point of view of the protagonist. Spike Lee's first film She's Gotta Have It made famous use of this with a parade of "dawgs". Below, a later example which developed, in a critical way, the implications of the "series" as form in which a crowd, community, or population is presented.
Usually, however, as in Baby Boom, the gag is reactionary:
The Wire- "Kunta Kinte, yabba dabba dabba do"
envoyé par Ridwan_Osman. - Regardez plus de vidéos comiques.
The writer/director aiming at pleasing a white middle class audience who thinks of itself as enlightened and cosmopolitan cannot in his own voice pour contempt on people just because they don't speak English. In his own voice, directly, he cannot just find Chinese and Indian speech ridiculous. But The Wire finds a way to deliver that forbidden pleasure to the audience (and to teach a new generation the imperialist, white supremacist codes and topoi) complete with a license. The white anglophone audience's shameful desires which the white writer/director seeks to stimulate are systematically gratified by this programme with the same alibi: the white writer/director and audience are merely innocent witnesses to the truth of black behaviour (violence, criminality, vulgarity, homophobia, corruption, misogyny, and of course above all, racism).
In this scene above, as is typical of the series, the white writer/director and the audience do not seem to be responsible for the idiotic parochialism, contemptuousness and sneering of which the scene is wholly composed. The frustration of Americans (and British) with inferiors who do not speak their language is a familiar comic routine whose ideology has been exposed for some time now, but this favourite old exchange between white author and the white audience specifically addressed appears to be imposed on both by some reality beyond their control. The ridiculous Orientals themselves are responsible for this familiar scene and the recognisable types of ridiculous Orientals they are, pretending not to speak English, inventing themselves as ridiculous Orientals but as a ruse to further the genuinely nefarious global Oriental purposes of their truly fiendishly wicked and ruthless Oriental masters which include the importation of the harem of "white slaves" who arrive by sea draculesquely as corpses in a container, to dramatically announce the landing in Baltimore of the Swarthy Oriental Conspiracy of Villainy that is Simon's vision of "raw unencumbered" (uncivilised) global capital.
As the depiction or revelation of the nature of Oriental childish buffonishness, murderous patriarchal misogyny, and snarling evil is attributed to the Orientals themselves rather than to the white author who provides these visions for a white audience directly addressed as white, the contemptuous enjoyment of the ridiculous comical Oriental servants of the mysterious, sinister Oriental villains is also displaced. Surrogates for the white creator and consumer of this thousandth (and most vacuous and simpleminded) replay of an ancient gag are provided in the racist black cops whose point of view on the ridiculous incomprehensible Orientals is adopted. These Orientals are not ridiculous because David Simon wishes them to be in the assumption his principally anglophone white audience enjoys seeing such figures demeaned and debased, the scene suggests, but because the clownish black cops enjoy demeaning and debasing them. And the black cops appear as ridiculous foul-mouthed xenophobe hicks, the audience is to understand, because David Simon is constrained to tell the truth (morally, professionally and aesthetically obliged to verisimilitude) even in the face of political correctness terrorists.
The black cops act as blinds behind which the writer/director and audience may conceal themselves, but - comical, typed and raced themselves - they are simultaneously offered to the audience as additional objects of the white creatives' and the white audience's contempt and scorn (it is their mugging reaction to the sound of Chinese and Arabic, not the sound of Chinese and Arabic directly, at which the audience is invited to laugh or to believe it is laughing) even while the effects of their contemptible and unenlightened minstrel-act conduct toward the incomprehensible and risible Orientals are enjoyed with impunity. The black cops take responsibility for the old racist joke the white writer director is telling his anglophone white audience and which they may desire and enjoy. But the black cops are not only the ideological factotums for the writer/director and audience's disavowed supremacist pleasure, staring and cussing in David Simon-and-fans' other-loathing, other-ridiculing stead; their taking on this role gives the white audience the additional thrill of a sense of superiority to the black proxies of their contempt, (see who are the real racists!* still racists, incorrigibly backward, not caught up with the advanced tolerant white folks) and the yet further delight of unchallenged mastery, of seeing the black cops used with such authorial entitlement as representations and figures of Simon's own (and his targeted audience's own) 'dark side' and unenlightened barbarism even while these black characters are deployed as spectral slaves carrying out the sadistic wishes of audience and creator.
The form is a kind of narrative false flag operation. Again and again, black cops and black criminals - about whom he is obliged as an artist for HBO to be brutally truthful and pull no punches however it hurts him -are the disguise the white writer director adopts to gratify his own and his audience's fantasies of humiliating, torturing, maiming, terrorising and murdering black people, while the genuine agency behind this spectacle - creators and consumers - comfortably adopt the pose of bystanders and concerned witnesses who are present out of a sense of duty. The pleasure of being able to blame the black cops for the imbecile Orientalism of the scene rather than having to be grateful to them for their carrying out of the writer/director and audience's abusive impulses is the most refined enjoyment of cultural and ideological white supremacy. The writer/director's infantile cliché racism, which can produce nothing more clever than the rehashing of a decades old gag scene the content of which is confined to "discovering" the supposedly hilarious sound of Asian and African languages and the modern "dialect" minstrelism "English muthafucka!" (as elsewhere "be civilised muthafucka!" and "mind yo language muthafucka!"), is displaced onto black surrogates whom the audience is invited to scorn even while enjoying the spectacle of their racist abuse which confirms the abjection of others.
As throughout the series, the feel of the scene is less of a television drama than a videogame simulation. The actors seem less to be playing characters who might say these lines or behave this way than avatars through whom the game player Simon and the imaginary game player proxy for the audience, are saying and doing, re-creating and repeating familiar scenes and stock moments.
In their apparently side-splittingly "ironic" display of scorn for those who cannot speak a civilised language, the black cop avatars are made to perform for the audience another familiar, favorite cliché: black men's absurd attempts to behave properly in roles more appropriate for white men - to wield authority and embody mature adulthood. Filling these roles with dignity and competence is so beyond the black cops' capacities, they can produce only a risible inarticulate parody even of the racism of their character-ancestor figures and types. "Kunta Kinte yabba dabba dabba do", spoken hesitantly (clearly Wendell Pierce did not like this scene), is a pitiable imitation of the creative verbality of a long line of racist cops and other characters of that class in cinema and television. It is noticeably a Buffy-style snip of dialogue, a television character's mechanical quotation of other television shows he is presumed to have seen (though he has probably not seen earlier episodes of The Wire) passing for "realistic" human speech. There is no convincing illusion that "Bunk" is a "character" in the standard mimetic sense who might say such a thing to another character, a Swahili-speaking African merchant seaman (the celebrated verisimilitude of the show is left behind often for these formula comic intermezzi); rather "Bunk" appears barely disguised as a game avatar through whom Simon delivers this line indirectly to the audience, confidentially, (the sailor to whom the remark is directed is presumed not to get the references to Roots, Coming to America and The Flintstones, the audience does) as d'Angelo is an avatar through whom Simon delivers remarks about chess which evidently the speaker's on-screen companions do not understand while the audience is presumed to comprehened and to enjoy the "secret" communication, the simply coded communion with the white author speaking from behind the black thug mask, from behind the blackface, a code incredibly simple but still too complicated for the black thugs to catch on to, out in the open. "Kunta Kinte, yabba dabba dabba do"... The white writer even displaces his own talent-less-ness, his lack of wit, his crassness and unoriginality, onto his black surrogate(s).
*In another scene in the series, Bunk, the Wendell Pierce character, makes a prejudiced remark disparaging Greeks. His white partner, enlightened cosmopolitan, scolds him: "Lay off the Greeks, they invented civilisation," to which he, black parochial xenophobe and homophobe, replies " - and ass fucking."
Rona Barrett's show, 1981: