Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Unlikely Discovery

The freakiest thing happened 10 minutes ago.

I was in the middle of watching The Color Purple (I just finished reading the book a couple of days ago) when all of a sudden I thought to myself, "This Celie girl reminds me of Tracy Chapman." I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm pretty sure it's not her looks. Maybe it's her somberness, or the way she always manages to see the small good things in life in spite of her suffering.

Of course, as a potential sufferer of adult ADD, I paused the movie, opened up iTunes and put on Fast Car, my favorite song of Chapman and probably one of the greatest songs ever written. Somehow when watching The Color Purple, I could almost hear Fast Car playing continuously in the background, since the lyric is all about pain, hope and dreams. While humming along to the song, I looked up Tracy Chapman on Info Concert to see if by any chance she had a concert coming up in France (which she didn't). I also looked her up on Wikipedia just to know what she's up to these days.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that sometime in the mid-90's, she used to date Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple!

Yes, I was watching a movie based on a book written by Walker, and somehow made a possibly far-fetched connection between the theme of the book and that of the music of Tracy Chapman, and found out that both of them actually used to date. Coincidence? Don't think so.

This either means my eyes are so perfectly in sync with my ear that I  can be a Hollywood music supervisor (the one choosing which song to be played during a scene of a film), or that I spend so much time looking up crap on the internet that I'm starting to get good at the 6-degrees of separation game thing.

post-scriptum : If you're into feminist literature or just curious about the lives of black people in the American South around the turn of the century, you should definitely get this book. Of course one can't help but be reminded of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird when reading it, but The Color Purple doesn't only talk about segregation and racism, it also deals with the patriarchal black community where women are expected to get abused and take the back seat in everything. A very interesting read for me (and pretty light too, as I finished it in a day).

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