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Strange Fruit: Django Unchained; Puerto Rican Boxer Orlando Cruz Comes Out

"At the university level, when I teach about sexism and racism, I insert humor into a lot of these things, because you have to point out the absurdity that is a part of racism. Racism, sexism, homophobia—these things are not logical processes of thought. These things are taught and socialized. They're not real."Those were some of Dr. Story's thoughts about the movie Django Unchained, and why its use of humor works, despite some horrific subject matter. The film looks at enslavement in the U.S. and one particular slave who kills his oppressors—in classically graphic Tarantino style. We liked the movie, but not everyone feels the same way, so we addressed some common criticisms of the film.We also took a few minutes this week talking about the movie this week, but still took a few minutes to address Fantasia Barrino's questionable Instagram comments about gay marriage, and to congratulate Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz for coming out of the closet.We've got lots of good things planned for 2013, including next week when we look at a local production of the play Topdog/Underdog. Happy New Year, Fruitcakes!

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.