Okay, so it’s many months after all the Oscar hooplah, but I finally sat down with a vodka gimlet,
The Blind Side and some time. In all my work writing tribute songs and considering my Leanne Touhy Halloween costume,I realized I hadn’t fully articulated the reasons I love this film and why it is so Oreo-tastic.
So here’s why.
1. Apart from the snazzy federal investigator, every person of color in this movie is pretty fairly defective. Michael Oher, as portrayed by this film, is a gentle, hulking giant who scares little girls, can’t read and who barely stands up for himself when faced with pretty stark racism and manipulation. His mother is a drug addict, his neighbors are skeezy, his main compadre threatens to rape Mike’s adopted sister, the DMV worker is full of attitude, even the woman at Michael’s laundry would make the average suburbanite uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, there are a variety of white characters in the movie. Some are mean. Some are nice. Some are funny. Some are neutral.
Thus, we have nicely reinforced that white people come in a variety, of colors do not. Watch just the first couple of reels of this film and your average Oreo will be hating themselves and worrying that they are what people seem to think they are.
2. Though Michael shows aptitude for leaning, his family eschews that fact to teach him to play football. Then, they only start reinforcing academics when Mike needs to make grades to get a football scholarship. This serves to remind the audience that even though of colors may seem to be teachable, it’s much better to ignore this fact if there is financial gain to be had.
3. Michael isn’t good at football…but don’t worry. He gets good, thanks to the help of a nice white lady who forces the proper path on him.
4. Michael learns to like school stuff…thanks to the football that he didn’t like in the first place! Mike gets all frustrated that he can’t learn, but then, his adopted dad tells him about how Tennyson was writing about colleges with big football teams…so now Mike likes books and stuff! Hooray!
4. All the shit that happens in the black hood is fucking nuts! I mean, though there are plenty of wealthy of color neighborhoods in the south, thank goodness we don’t see any of them in this film.
5. $250 million! That’s a lot of people who got to see these norms reinforced during the 126 minutes of this film. At least one of them even said when it was done “You know, I have always wanted to adopt a black child.” ABC already has the deal for the television run of TBS in place. So that’s even more people will see all of us in our boxes and ensure that the Oreo way of life survives.
And that’s a perfect Hollywood ending!
Speaking of sports, what do you think is the over/under on how old Sandy’s new son is when he watches The Blind Side and wonders just for a moment…?