The Best Thing I Read This Week Is…

From The Devil Finds Work by James Baldwin in which he writes about the racial subtext of The Exorcist:

James Baldwin, Distinguished Visiting ProfessorFor, I have seen the devil, by day and by night, and have seen him in you and in me: in the eyes of the cop and the sheriff and the deputy, the landlord, the housewife, the football player: in the eyes of some governors, presidents, wardens, in the eyes of some orphans, and in the eyes of my father, and in my mirror. It is that moment when no other human being is real for you, nor are you real for yourself. The devil has no need of any dogma—though he can use them all—nor does he need any historical justification, history being so largely his invention. He does not levitate beds, or fool around with little girls: we do.

The mindless and hysterical banality of evil presented in The Exorcist is the most terrifying thing about the film. The Americans should certainly know more about evil than that; if they pretend otherwise, they are lying, and any black man, and not only blacks—many, many others, including white children— can call them on this lie, he who has been treated as the devil recognizes the devil when they meet.

Baldwin perfectly articulated why I hate most horror movies (although I do like The Exorcist). Besides the fact that most horror movies are just plain bad, they don’t dramatize real horror.  A movie I would consider a horror movie is The Whistleblower, based on a true story of a woman, Kathryn Bolkovac, who tries to do something about sex trafficking.  Why would I watch a horror movie?  To be terrified? I’m terrified that right now women are forced into sex slavery.


(via The Atlantic)


3 thoughts on “The Best Thing I Read This Week Is…

    1. I was reading your most recent post and I thought “If we lived on the same continent, we could be friends.” I feel like I just get you. I wrote this to you before but the things you write feel like things I wrote in my journal years ago, just not as well written. Most of my journal entries read like “Everything sucks!!” But, your writing has allowed me to have compassion for myself at your age. Thanks. I really mean that.


      1. Thank you, too. So many of your posts have resonated with me as well. I know what you mean. I would so love an INFP friend in real life. I mean, it’s great meeting wonderful people like you who probably understand me more than the people I interact with everyday, but it’s not enough. Can you imagine what it would be like, a sleepover with a group of INFPs and dreamers? Imagine the philosophical talk, the shared sentiments! There I go again, dreaming…


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