SO Lily Allen released a video .
Right after I saw 12 Years A Slave..
Buckle up chums it’s about to be a ride.
Predictably someone declared it a feminist anthem
And folks have come out on all sides some saying no
Here’s what slapped me in the face and yes spoilers ahead.
Patsy a female slave starts as a young girl making dolls and humming and for her small and lithe frame picking Herculean amounts of cotton
Master Bass develops a stunningly devastating infatuation with her that results in her begging and stealing and bargaining for someone to kill her
( I am with this good riesling and some good folks going to get into that later)
Outside of the beating that had me in the theater going No NO NO and squirming.
The real incidences of violence are between Mary Epps and Patsy. One where she is hit with a tumbler and one where Miss Epps
Digs her nails into Patsy’s flesh and scratches after engineering a moment for Patsy to be embarrassed and downtrodden.
After Solomon Northup is sent away to pay for Bass’ debt . When we come back we see a close up of Patsy’s face .
She has cuts and bruises and bleeding in her eyes that were not there before , that let us know WHATEVER happened , she’s been marked forever .
MIchael Angela Davis argues that we must come to an understanding through this and talks about complexity and privilege.
What i get is this.
It doesn’t matter who did what. It doesn’t matter how Miss Epps feels about it.
Those scars are still on Patsy , they still hurt Patsy and Patsy is the one whose marked.
Let’s fold in Lily.
Lily Allen claims that it’s a commentary on the music industry. Mary Epps is made at her husband.
The venues both take to express that anger involve digging visually or tactilely into black flesh and pulling.
The excuses are cruelty or self-consciousness but the result is still that black women’s bodies are the battle ground for them to work out their issues at not being entirely content with a system that served them just fine when it elevated them to the position to abuse Black women.
The most start;ing act of violence to me is the attack with the decanter. Patsy is struck and laid out as an example weeping and sobbing of finding joy in dance.
After Master Epps who pays Miss Epps no mind wakes his slaves who have been picking cotton for days up from their good sleep to dance for him.
Patsy has a beautiful moment of enjoying the music and paying no mind what so ever to anybody , enjoying her body as her own.
When Mr Epps salivates over her , the FIRST THING Miss Epps does is strike Patsy then as Patsy bleeds on the floor she argues with her husband.
Black women tweak , dance develop our own ability to move and for “satire purposes” Lily Allen Miley and I am sure as the sun will rise someone else use that to attack an amorphous industry .
Which the only engage in directly after Black women moan and scream loud enough to force them to.
The nitwit and yes I say nitwit who said ” It would be interesting to hear what the dancers thought” conveniently ignores the power dynamics. What working dancer who wants to continue working is going to critique the video that just came out.
When Miss Epps feeds all of the slaves but Patsy and then has Patsy beat and drug out ( to be presumably raped by her husband). Patsy looks down and looks heartbroken .
She’s insolent , she’s awful she is evidence of the problems that HAVE tO BE ADDRESSED of the world will fall around their ears .
That can only be addressed by publicly abusing and harming Patsy
And for all the equivocating about why and what they feel . They don’t bleed like we do .
Miss Epps could leave, she could. She could leave Patsy alone.
Lily Allen could have had one scene about the people who make the decisions that lead to broadcasting, publishing , and developing the entire music climate and not just hip hop.
Hip hop which is now the entity of Jay-Z Magna Carter. Frank Oceans’s coming out, Macklemore ( much to my chagrin), Kendrik Lamarr and is global and diverse has evolved far beyond the tiny dated loop in Lily’s mind.
Lilly Allen is ill equipped to confront a world where her art may have moved so far beyond her she is left shouting at it’s back to remember she exists.
Just as Mary Epps is unwilling to take her rage out any rather than the destruction and abuse of Patsy in hopes that she can once again compete.
They could do any manner of things , they could change themselves , the way they look at the world . They could extend basic analysis
Instead trout out black bodies. and dig in our nails and pull the world will apologize for you anyway.
But you never bleed like we do