I should probably not write about “Passing Strange” Mark “Stew” Stewart or The Negro Problem — MY FORMER CLIENT, 2003-2004, TEN YEARS AGO, let the Sunshine Clause in — SUNSET — WHATEVER — but it suddenly occurs to me that there is a newish Spike Lee movie, about Red Hook, maybe called Red Hook Summer and it is about a preacher and a young man, not Youth from L.A. but Yuta from Atlanta or something — and somebody kinda, you know, gay — and Colman Domingo and D’Adria Aziza and maybe Daniel Breaker and how does this not remind you of Washington and Crenshaw are beautiful at night, stoned angels weep and all that?
Stew: Hey, man, do the right thing.
Spike: Please baby please baby please baby baby please.
Why do you think they call him “spike”?
Note: I spent about 100 to 200 hours with Stew (and sometimes Heidi Rodewald) and exactly 2 minutes with Spike Lee (in an elevator, at NYU Film, which is second floor, in Feb. 2001, and DID NOT ask him if he ever got my letter on the influence of Nigger Jim and Huck Finn on his work), so whose side am I on?
Stew has not been my client in about 10 years and I’ve only seen him about three times in the interim — once at Tamarine in Palo Alto in January, 2005 and once at JCC in SF in 2010 — so I should not bother my gray matter, but it does worry me when checking stewsongs.com there is no action. I just assume there is a spat — Stew being Stew, his attorney Steve Nearenberg would term it — and now a certain amount of sulk. Sometimes things grow there. Don’t go there.
“Red Hook Summer” owes a debt to “Passing Strange” you bet.
arlington hill helped him see everything, sho-nuf, ya dig, by any means necessary
Or as Adam Duritz says: there’s a little bit of Maria and every thing I write.
I don’t really talk to Stew and I doubt he reads “Plastic Alto” (puh- lease) but I would advise him to move on and, say, start working on a black and unauthorized (is that redundant) version of Franny and Zoey.