I’ve seriously gotten more flack on Tumblr over calling out Cloud Atlas’s yellowface than I have any other view I’ve expressed in recent memory.

Which at first I found weird because just seeing the stills alone, I was shocked and couldn’t see how anyone could see it as anything but racist.

But then I thought, wait a minute, why do The Wachowskis have such fervent defenders of their art to the extent that they’d actually defend something so obviously racist and wrong-headed as what was done in Cloud Atlas? I mean, it’s The Wachowskis. They haven’t done a good movie since the first Matrix fifteen years ago.

I don’t just mean that casually. Every movie they’ve done since has been just awful. And yet the way these kids are writing into my inbox you’d think they were defending Rushdie from the fatwa. But like, guys, they’re so in the wrong here and “Speed Racer” was no Midnight’s Children, you know? And I’m willing to bet “Cloud Atlas” is going to be objectively shitty too no matter how magnificent it looks (par for the course with the Wachowskis).

Speaking of Rushdie, his memoir Joseph Anton, covering the events leading up to the controversy over The Satanic Verses and his years spent in hiding, is out now. He decided to write it in the third-person which I find intriguing if not strangely off-putting. I’m curious if it makes a statement about how detached he felt from events at the time or if it was just an attempt to give the false perspective of an objective bystander.

Reviews are slowly trickling in. Some are saying it’s typical Rushdie: beautiful, elegant, poetic, inslight. Others are saying it’s typical Rushdie: self-indulgent, lacking in self-awareness, meandering, and 650 bloviating pages.

I’m going to pick it up. It’ll take me forever to get around to reading it, but at least I’ll know it’s on my bookshelf.


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