Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hamilton HipHocracy

I have watched clips of "Hamilton," and I may be the only person in the universe to proclaim this, but:

I don't want to see it. Ever!

Okay, the dancing looks good, and the music as music may be nice. I hate rap, but that's not it.

It's the "color blind casting."

Look, I know it's politically correct, and perhaps I shall be forced to register as a neo-con Republican for saying this, but Hamilton is HISTORY, and there is a family connection for me.

The Man grew up in the neighborhood that was recently described in a NY Times real estate piece as "Hamilton Heights."  He went to the library near Hamilton's house. Hamilton's home itself, the Grange, was a museum then too, only it wasn't being flooded by tourists.

Because when the Man lived there, Hamilton Heights looked a lot like the cast of the play did. Predominantly black and Hispanic. It wasn't a "safe" place, and white people didn't go there.

Now gentrification has moved in, and in the last years that my in-laws lived there, we saw more and more white people. Starbucks was replacing the bodegas. 

So as the cast of Hamilton pretends that the Schuylers and everyone else except for Hamilton himself and the slaves weren't lily white, the neighborhood where Alexander Hamilton and his family lives is becoming more and more lily white again. How's that for irony?

In most situations color blind casting wouldn't bug me. And I could get it if this were a school play. But this is fucking history turned into a Broadway musical!

It's like Disney doing "Pocahontas" and making her a full grown young woman with all her clothes on instead of the naked tween she was when John Smith showed up, and for that matter, making him a tall handsome heart throb instead of the squatty little twerp we know he was from the records.

Why are we sugar coating history in a society where we are damned ignorant about our own history to begin with--and in the case of a good percentage of the population, pretty PROUD of that?

So I don't care how good it is. I don't care how cute Lin Manuel Miranda is.

Thank you, no thank you.

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