[Marxism] babel

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Mon Nov 13 15:14:59 MST 2006

Saw Babel on Saturday with my ex and son... Anyone else see it? Just a few
first impressions: My ex's first impression was that it is racist and
stereotypical. Portrayals of Moroccans (Berbers) and Mexicans as
unthinking, primal, incompetent "others." Stereotypical portrayals of
Mexicans as irrational. Having seen the previews, my impression (not
contradictory) was that it was imperialist "liberalism." The movie
pinpoints the problem as lack of communication between people and peoples.
For example, bureaucratic bickering between U.S. government and Moroccan
government over whether to label an accidental shooting of a U.S. tourist
by some kids leads to her near death. That's the problem, placing the
Moroccan government -- a colonial puppet regime -- at the same level as
the U.S. government. Or the Mexican babysitter at the same level as her
irresponsible white employer. So, it all boils down to "if only we would
listen to each other..."

Gotta go...

Michael Friedman
Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior
City University of New York

Molecular Systematics Laboratory
Department of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street and Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Office: 212-313-8721

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