April 16, 2015

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he had an 'honest, frank conversation' with Spike Lee to let the movie director know..."

"... that he doesn’t like, 'Chiraq,' the working title of Lee's coming movie on black-on-black violence based in Chicago’s crime-ridden Englewood community."
Emanuel didn’t say whether he asked Lee to change the name.... But the mayor made it clear that he had used the Hollywood pipeline provided by his brother, super-agent Ari Emanuel, to make his feelings known directly to Spike Lee. The face-to-face meeting took place in the mayor’s office prior to Wednesday’s City Council meeting....

In an apparent attempt to soften the blow of the title, "Chiraq," Lee... noted that gun violence is “not limited” to Chicago. It’s happening in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, where he’s from. He even talked about the derogatory name used to describe a part of Brooklyn where he’s from. He talked about how similarly insulting names applied to Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Well, apparently "Chiraq" is a great title. It's getting such high level attention. You can't buy that kind of PR. Obviously, it's also negative PR for the city, but Rahm is trying to squeeze good PR out of the bad (on the theory that Chicago isn't really that bad and even if it is, other cities are also bad... or worse).



ADDED: From a year ago: "How Chicago Became 'Chiraq'":
President Obama may have gotten our troops out of Iraq, but the gunfire in his hometown of Chicago is still earning it a searing nickname coined by young people who live there.

Chiraq.

69 comments:

Gahrie said...

I can't wait to see how Lee blames Black on Black violence on Whitey.

MayBee said...

I'm tired of Spike Lee, who had a few successful movies but seems to have an outsize profile. Maybe it was the sweet Nike money.

The title isn't quite clever enough because I kept reading it as having something to do with Chiquita, then reread it and thought it was about Jacque Chirac.

YoungHegelian said...

But the mayor made it clear that he had used the Hollywood pipeline provided by his brother, super-agent Ari Emanuel, to make his feelings known directly to Spike Lee.

Just imagine the outrage if a major Republican politician had tried this nonsense, using the moxie of his well-connected brother in the industry to put the squeeze on a well-known movie director. The headline in the NYT would be:

ARTISTIC FREEDOM UNDER ATTACK
Republicans try to quash controversial new film.


But, when it's Blue on Blue, it's like "hey, can we clear up this misunderstanding, buddy?", because, you know, Mayor Emmanuel is always such a calm & reasonable guy, just like his role model, Genghis Khan.

Film at 11.

Jason said...

I've heard that very theory forcefully and repeatedly asserted on NPR. The Tavis Smiley Show. Literally, and without irony, the host and a panel of other shitheads went in at length about how whites are responsible for black on black crime. The notion that blacks should take done responsibility for their own communities wasn't even broached as a possibility. It was amazing.

Peter said...

Spike Lee may have something interesting to say, but I'm just not willing to immerse myself in his odious political stew to find out.

As for Da Mare, shouldn't he be savvy enough to understand that he's just giving "Chirac" free publicity?

"Banned in Chicago." Or something. But why isn't the title the more-obvious "ChIraq"?

Seeing Red said...

The War on Poverty's casualties.

John said...

A year or so ago Chicago greatly loosened up its gun laws. It didn't want to but the courts said it had to.

I recently read an article on the Chicago crime rate. It is down this year.

Could be a coincidence but it is a coincidence that seems to occur awfully frequently. More Guns, Less Crime to coin phrase from the title of John Lott's book (Available at Ann's Amazon portal)

John Henry

Skipper said...

Perhaps Hiz Honor da Mayor should pay as much attention to his cultural hell hole as he does to Hollywood's bs.

robother said...

Chi-iraq. I get it. The chaos in Iraq is a consequence of the Sunni/Shia/Kurdish war within the Iraqi power elites.
The chaos in Chicago's black neighborhoods is a consequence of the war on blue collar white ethnics by insulated white liberal upper class elites like Rahm and Bill Ayers.
Spike Lee may be onto something, assuming that is the analogy his film is making.

lgv said...

The term Chiraq exists whether it's the movie title or not. Just like Target saying not to call it Tar-shay.

I think it would be the perfect title for the movie. Rahm can't change reality.

J. Farmer said...

Lee wants to take advantage of a tax incentive that Chicago provides to filmmakers who film in the city.

Coupe said...

What a [expletive deleted] [n-word deleted].

The only good thing that could happen to Chicago, is if we sold it to the Chicoms.

EMD said...

Makes me think of vodka or former French Preezys.

Rocketeer said...

Dumb me: I was pronouncing it as "Chiraq" as in "Jacques Chirac" in my head throughout most of the post. Took me awhile to figure out why Emmanuel would find it so objectionable. Without news of this "protest" to Lee, I would not have given the title a second thought, but now the notion hat Chicago is like Iraq is firmly planted in my head. So...great PR move for the city, and hooray for Rahm, I guess?

Anonymous said...

What someone quipped about Garry Trudeau the other day applies to Spike Lee too: Forgotten, but not gone.

traditionalguy said...

Chi-Raq City. Where armed Police are everywhere, and the bandits and gangs control areas outside of the Green Zone.

Sebastian said...

Rahm is not playing this right.

He should have insisted on getting the analogies straight.

Iraq under Saddam (1M dead, people fed into shredders) = Chicago around 1990

Iraq post-Saddam = Daley crime decline

Iraq post-surge = Rahm crime decline

Iraq post-Barry-pullout = risk of disaster post-Rahm.

So: it's me or ISIS-on-the South Side.

Brando said...

It's not a very useful portmanteu (or whatever you call a Frankenstein-word). "Chiraq" just brings to mind former French president Chirac, not "Chicago + Iraq."

As for the film, it'd be nice to see a thoughtful documentary on black on black crime, exploring what has caused it to be so depressingly common and what might fix it. But nothing about Spike Lee's former work suggests we'd get something thoughtful. It'd be nice to be wrong about that, though.

Bay Area Guy said...

MayBee,

I had the same mental association with former French PM Jacque Chirac, so the name didn't work for me. Too jumbled: Chicago -- Iraq -- weasel french politician. I can't make sense of it, so I will side with Spike Lee, under freedom of speech/creativity principles.

alan markus said...

At least this guy from Milwaukee went to Chicago to do the right thing:

Suspect kills himself after double homicide that followed crash, sources say

MadisonMan said...

"Chiraq" just brings to mind former French president Chirac, not "Chicago + Iraq."

Agreed. I figured the movie involved him somehow.

n.n said...

It sounds more like a Palestinian (a la Hamas), or perhaps Zulu (a la Mandela) conflict, where competing factions throw each other's guys out the window, or lynch them with burning tires. This could be bad for Emanuel and others who have controlling interests in Chicago.

Michael said...

Chicago is a great city and I visit it often. I don't, however, go to Chiraq when I am there. I stay in what Traditionalguy appropriately calls the Green Zone.

Kyzernick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

Funny how guns were a very common sight where I grew up and gun violence was extremely rare. Almost makes you wonder if cultural changes pushed by liberals who know better than us hicks have something to do with it? Naaah!

Kyzernick said...

Greg: "Yo . . . yo . . . Kyzernick, I think we gotta turn around. We're not going the right way."

Me: "What do you mean? GPS says keep going straight."

Greg: "We don't wanna go that way man. Let's turn around and find a different club."

Me: "What's the matter?"

Greg: "Next street is MLK. And if I don't wanna be anywhere near there, damn sure you don't either."

An exchange 4 years ago between myself and my friend (recent groomsman even) Greg, who is 6'5" and black as the night. We were driving around Chicago looking for a new club to party at. I picked one off the list without paying much attention to the map. We were both fairly new. I know better now.

tim in vermont said...

Vermont has virtually no gun laws, and yet very little gun violence. We had a case a couple of years ago where a kid took a bead on a guy on his tractor a couple hundred yards away and killed him for no reason other than sport.

Coupe said...

tim in vermont said...Funny how guns were a very common sight where I grew up and gun violence was extremely rare.

Different guns. Back then people bought a gun that would feed them, or they could plink with. I even took my 22 to school in the 60's, as we would shoot the rats during recess.

Today, people buy guns that can't feed them, and look like the type of guns that military forces use to invade countries with. It's more a mental issue than a stomach issue.

Even today, people want their own drones, so they can have one too.

Since there are no more insane asylums, the combination of military weapons, and insane people, has changed American life forever.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'd never heard the term Chiraq before in my life.

holdfast said...

"noted that gun violence is “not limited” to Chicago"


Because death by shooting is so much worse than death by other causes - damn those guns for rust randomly attacking folks all on their own!

Sam L. said...

Took me a bit to understand Chiraq. Maybe this time Spike Lee will do a movie that we could appreciate, if not like.

tim in vermont said...

I was in England some time around 2000 and there was a documentary on Hillary Clinton. They interviewed the woman who played Louise in the famous "Harry and Louise" ads against Hillarycare. The actress claimed that Hillary told her that she needed to make an ad repudiating the Harry and Louise ads, and that Hillary said she had friends in Hollywood and that she could greatly help or greatly harm the actress's career.

This kind of abuse of Hollywood connections is SOP for Democrats.

tim in vermont said...

The Hollywood Left's only problem with blacklisting was that they didn't control it.

rhhardin said...

Somebody is saying something unflattering about blacks.

The public opinion divides between those who think blacks can do better and those who don't.

The latter are not so much racist as pessimist.

The optimists think that the democrats are causing it.

Brando said...

To be fair, for the past few years the Left has been going about as though "white on black" shootings were out of control, and the Right has asked why leftists seem to gloss over far more prevalent "black on black" shootings. If Lee is indeed focusing on these shootings, then good for him--there should be more focus on the stubbornly high number of blacks being murdered each year.

Sadly, I don't see a simple answer to the problem--the Left seems to think if we closed the gun show loophole (or some other lame measure) it would do the trick; the Right seems to think the problem is cultural but who knows how to "fix" culture. On the plus side, crime rates as a percentage of population have been well down since the '70s, but we still can't agree on what caused the drop (that began in the '90s)--abortion, lead paint, broken-window policing?

Michael K said...

"whites are responsible for black on black crime."

In a way that's true. It's just that LBJ and the white left that destroyed the black family with welfare is the culprit.

For the person who worries that guns nowadays look like " the type of guns that military forces use to invade countries with. "

That is because the AR 15 is the standard military weapon and has been since 1965 and the guys who served like it. They buy guns that look like the one they got used to.

Personally, I like the Garand better for looks but it is heavy as hell.

lemondog said...

Label for Chicago been around for a while:

Urban Dic

Videos

Clothing

And now a movie....

lemondog said...

PhilaIraq, Baltiraq and New Yiraq

Rusty said...

For the person who worries that guns nowadays look like " the type of guns that military forces use to invade countries with. "

That is because the AR 15 is the standard military weapon and has been since 1965 and the guys who served like it. They buy guns that look like the one they got used to.


Military, M16

Civilian, AR15

The M16 can go full auto. Lucky bastard.

Rusty said...

Rahm wasn't asking. He was ordering.

robother said...

holdfast said: "damn those guns for rust randomly attacking folks all on their own!"

Just like how people always cut themselves with a dull knife, a rusty gun is always the most dangerous. (Actually, I once traded someone for an old beatup 38 revolver that had a cylinder so misaligned, it sheared lead back at me when I took it out shooting.)

Bill Peschel said...

Have to chime in that I was confused about Chiraq, too. I thought he was referring to a specific neighborhood in Chicago.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Today, the AR 15 is advertised as a home defense weapon. That is part of its appeal.

Manufacturers of this rifle have also discovered a new market--women. That's why if you don't like black, you can get this rifle in pink or blue.

But I'm with Michael K on the aesthetics of the Garand.
True, they are "heavy as hell", but they're also accurate as hell.

ken in tx said...

Black on black crime has been rampant for at least as long I have been old enough to read the newspapers. In the 50s, they used straight razors and ice picks. Now they are more prosperous and have more longer range weapons.

Michael K said...

"Military, M16

Civilian, AR15"

Yup. Except the Army f**ked up the ammunition and got a lot of guys killed in Vietnam with jammed rifles.

The Garand is probably the best military rifle of all time although the WWI 1896 Mauser was the best at the time. The Garand was for the period of marksmanship. Now, the M 16 style of full auto has taken over but I'm not sure it is a better rifle.

Char Char Binks said...

The title is almost as clever as "Crooklyn".

Roughcoat said...

The Garand was indeed accurate but it was too heavy, too big, limited to semi-auto fire (a huge limitation), and limited to 8 rounds per magazine/clip. Fire 8 round and you have to pause to jam a fresh clip into the mag. Not so good in a firefight against Germans, particularly later in the war when Wehrmacht infantry was increasingly armed with the StG 44 which was unquestionably the best rifle of WW2. The Springfield Aught-Six was more accurate than the Garand and better than the Mauser and the Enfield three-oh-three was better than both; but all were bolt-action meaning slow rates of fire and only 5 rounds in the mag. Accuracy is overrated anyway. The vast majority of firefights take place at relatively close ranges where sheer output plus rate of fire not accuracy is key. If you want accuracy put a few snipers in with your infantry. It's fashionable I know among gun/rifle afficionados (I am one) to love the Garand but it's a museum piece and has no place on the modern battlefield.

The best military rifle ever made is the AK-47. Period.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have released it if a guy like Harold Washington was running Chicago.

Roughcoat said...

Re "The vast majority of firefights take place at relatively close ranges where sheer output plus rate of fire not accuracy is key":

I should add "high magazine capacity" to that calculus.

n.n said...

Chiraq is an imperfect metaphor for the factional fighting in Chicago, since the mayor has not ordered strategic withdrawal of forces. A better metaphor would be Kenyago, or Palestago, where factional fighting has left bodies in the street, and a press directing attention to serve their special interests.

Roughcoat said...

In World War I from its very start in August 1914 German infantry armed with bolt-action Mausers were trained to adjust their sights to fire mass volleys in arcs across the battlefield at enemy formations fighting in the open. There was no attempt at aimed fire, the goal was to lay down down curtains of fire on the enemy. Similarly the British veteran "Old Contemptibles" professional army that went to France in 1914 as the BEF were trained to fire as fast as they could as much as they could at an advancing enemy formation. They were phenomenally good at doing so. At the Battle of Mons they put out so much fire so fast with their bolt-action .303 Enfields, the Germans (who suffered enormous casualties in that engagement) were convinced the Brits were using machine guns. There was no attempt by the Brits at aimed fire: the goal was to work their bolts as fast as they could manage and put out a wall of fire that no enemy unit could penetrate.

Such was the disutility of aimed fire by even the very accurate Mauser that the Germans, at one point in the unfolding course of the Battle of the Marne, conducted a bayonet charge against the French by an entire army numbering in the thousands. Prior to the charge the troops when the troops received the order to fix bayonets they were also ordered to unload their rifles and surrender all ammunition to their officers.

Even a century ago in WW1 firepower--output, rate of fire--was everyting. Accuracy? Meh.

exhelodrvr1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exhelodrvr1 said...

Roughcoat,
The Garand was clearly better overall than any of the bolt action rifles that were the basic rifles of all the other nation's infantry.

exhelodrvr1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Re "The Garand was clearly better overall than any of the bolt action rifles that were the basic rifles of all the other nation's infantry."

Agreed. But not better than the StG, not even close. My observations concerning the Garand were made in response to the statement that it was "the best military rifle of all time." It wasn't. It wasn't even the best of WW2. As stated, the StG was the best. And the Soviet PPsH-41 and Finnish Suomi KP/-31 were the best selective-fire submachine guns of the war.

Todd Galle said...

The SMLE .303 has a 10 round magazine, fed by a pair of 5 round charger clips. Early WW1 versions had a cut off flange that could be closed to allow single cartridge loading while retaining a full magazine for when things got close. Still, in my mind, one of the best battle rifles for size, solidity, punch, and "handle-ability". The Mark III bayonet also doubled almost as a short sword.

Roughcoat said...

When things got close they used (and preferred) sharpened spades, trench knives, and any sort of homemade bashing weapon such as a short club studded with nails. Often grenades, sometimes shotguns; rarely rifles except in extremis. The problem with using firearms in close-quarters fighting was casualties to your own side: in a close-quarters melee you were as likely to shoot one of your own as one of the enemy. In trench fighting, rifles (including rifles with bayonets affixed) were never used because they were useless: too long and unwieldly for the narrow confines of a trench.

Big Mike said...

@Rusty, another advantage of the AR is that women can handle its recoil, meaning that a man can buy it and expect his wife to be able to handle it safely (after adjusting the length of pull with the adjustable stock). YouTube is full of videos of young, slender women accurately shooting ARs, and also full of young, slender women being knocked on their backsides by the recoil of a shotgun (contra Joe Biden).

It has not escaped my notice that Senator Feinstein's proposed list of guns to be banned included nearly all the semi-automatic long guns that women could use to defend themselves and their families, including pistol-caliber carbines (long guns chambered in 9 mm or .40) along with the ARs and AR look-alikes. Apparently the senator doesn't believe that women should fight back against murders, rapists, and other home invaders.

Michael said...

Took me a while, too. Why name a movie after a former President of France? Actually, there were as many Americans murdered in Chicago 2002-2012 as there were killed in Iraq. At least there was some purpose to the latter, until Obama and Clinton came along and gave it allup.

Big Mike said...

@Roughcoat, I have read that John Garand originally proposed that his rifle use a detachable magazine but the Army Ordnance Corp insisted on stripper clips and a box magazine.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Vermont has virtually no gun laws, and yet very little gun violence."

Vermont has virtually no Black people, and so very little gun violence.

Talk about an uncomfortable truth...

Roughcoat said...

Big Mike:

Now that you mention it, I recall that fact about the Garand's development too. Thanks for the reminder. I also seem to recall that Garand had a somewhat different--i.e., more capable--rifle in mind than the one that was ultimately produced.

Also, it's my understanding that old-line army types were biased against fully automatic assault rifles (as opposed to a semi-auto infantry rifle) and forced compromises to Garand's design accordingly. They were obsessed with the employment of aimed rifle fire even though it had been proven obsolete and, further, they were concerned that "dumb draftee infantrymen" couldn't be trusted with a full-auto assault rifle because they would blow off too much ammunition with negligible results. They seemed haunted by the prospect of battalions of infantrymen running out of ammo on the battlefield because they had fired it all off in the first few seconds of contact.

Evidently American senior commanders were filled with dread at the possible implications (in terms of casualties and duration of the fighting) attendant to the appearance of the Wehrmacht's StG assault rifle. It is widely believed that if this weapon had appeared earlier in the war it would have greatly and negatively affected the Allied effort at the tactical, operational, and even strategic levels. The Germans were proponents of automatic firepower and their infantry small units were generously equipped with automatic weapons--which accounted, in large measure, for their astonishing tactical effectiveness. The widespread use of the StG assault rifle earlier in the war would have dramatically increased their warfighting capabilities.

Note that in the recent movie "Fury" Brad Pitt's character carries an StG assault rifle.

Paul Ciotti said...

I hope Rahm ripped Spike a new one.

the wolf said...

I live in Chicago and I've never heard "Chiraq."

Russ said...

I, too, was confused and thought it was a reference to something french.

They should play with capitalization to make the reference more clear: ChIraq.


Even then, I'm not thinking Chicago when I see that, but I don't think Chicago very often since I'm no where near that city.

jr565 said...

Spike lee is actually going to address black on black crime and make it about black on black crime? Color me skeptical.

Rusty said...

" the StG 44 which was unquestionably the best rifle of WW2."

My argument to that is that the rifle that won is the best, The StG 44 was a tremendous technological advancement, but was too little too late.

Unknown said...

Ironically enough, modern coalition infantry doctrine appears to disdain automatic fire. And to the extent it's needed, "short, controlled bursts."

That said, if the Garand used a detachable magazine, we'd still be using it, if perhaps with a carbon fiber stock and Picatinny rails and all that.

Unknown said...

Hmm, you think Tiny Dancer showed Lee his cock?