The Real ‘Lord of the Flies’: "Toddlers" Shows the Daily Life of the Black Undertow

There are two books that I read while in high school that impacted my way of thinking: On the Beach and Lord of the Flies (the most profound book I have ever read is Camp of the Saints).

Toddlers: A movie that captures the savagery of the Black Undertow that required no nuclear war to occur

Both books involve how people cope with nuclear war; On the Beach details Australians waiting for nuclear winter to ultimately bring high levels of radiation to their continent. Reading it, I realized the day will come when the last Whitopia is overwhelmed by the Black Undertow, probably through coerced refugee resettlement or Section 8 Housing.

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies can best be described by this Wikipedia entry:

The book indicates that it takes place in the midst of an unspecified nuclear war. Some of the marooned characters are ordinary students, while others arrive as a musical choir under an established leader. Most (with the exception of the choirboys) appear never to have encountered one another before. The book portrays their descent into savagery; left to themselves in a paradisical country, far from modern civilisation, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state.

It took a nuclear war to destabilize civilization and cause English kids to revert to savagery. Remember though, Golding’s work is only fiction. With this in mind, let’s take a quick look at a director Termaine (M5) Brown’s new movie Toddlers, which glorifies life for the children of the Black Undertow in America. It doesn’t take a nuclear war — though the cities where the Black Undertow reside resemble areas ravaged by atomic weapons — to reduce the Black Undertow to savagery; it just takes the absence of white people:

The streets of Harlem are being run by baby-faced gun-toting kids who aren’t afraid to pull the trigger and leave a bloody trail of bodies in a new independent film that’s quickly making the rounds uptown.

There’s wild shoot outs, drugs and sex in “Toddlers” – shot in Harlem using neighborhood kids as young as 12 making their acting debut.

The DVD, released last month, has anti-violence activists charging the movie glorifies guns. They’re thinking about boycotting the video store selling the film.

Director Termaine (M5) Brown insisted he’s not promoting gun violence, just showing a harsh reality.

“That’s what’s going on, I’m just showing it,” Brown told the Daily News. “You hear about these murders, but people don’t see how it happens. I show how these incidents happen. These are real life situations.

“The parents don’t get to see what these kids are really doing,” said Brown, 29, who was raised in Harlem and shot many scenes on W. 147th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam two summers ago.

The DVD cover features a chubby-cheeked kid holding a gun. In the one-minute trailer, posted on YouTube, kids are brandishing guns; a girl is kidnapped by thugs and a man is shot in the head.

In “Toddlers,” the lead character Pito, played by Jordan Pena, 14 at the time, turns to a life of guns and drugs after his drug dealer father is killed .

Pito, once a promising baseball player, purchases guns with his newfound drug money. He and his friends gun down anyone who gets in their way.

Pena, who said his first-time in front of the camera was a “great experience,” insisted the movie doesn’t promote violence.

“It promotes how to turn into a man; how to take care of a family,” said Pena, now 16.

“It promotes how life is out here. It’s definitely reality.”

He said playing the role of Pito wasn’t hard for him.

“It was basically me acting like myself. It wasn’t hard at all. This was like playing my life,” said Pena, who now wants to continue acting. “I was proud of myself for finishing the movie.”

He said his parents and grandmother were also proud of him for doing something “positive.”

But some anti-violence leaders were stunned by the shoot ’em up’s trailer.

“It promotes how life is out there,” the teenage actor said. Well, he’s right. It does promote how the world out there is for the children of the Black Undertow (unless rich white suburban families adopt the unwanted offspring of Black copulation, like Michael Oher), so Pena succinctly sums up life for your average Black kid in America.

Really, he sums up why white people participate in white flight from areas where the Black Undertow slowly overwhelms.

Remember back in the 1990s when Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers took the country by storm for its glamorizing of gratuitous violence? Toddlers could be the first film that perfectly integrates the concept of natural born killers into celluloid; nothing like Black kids — mind you, no nuclear holocaust was necessary — in their natural habitat to remind people of why they live far away from the Black Undertow:

An ultra-violent movie that features children as young as 12 murdering their way through the streets of New York has been branded ‘disgusting’.

Anti-violence campaigners claim the film, Toddlers, glorifies guns and have called for it to be banned.

Set in Harlem, the movie – released on DVD last month – follows the exploits of a boy who has to fend for himself after his drug dealer father is murdered.

Toddlers looks more like an uploaded video to WorldStarHipHop or a real-life documentary then it resembles a scripted film. Is that due to the directorial eye of M5, or just the realism of the subject matter he turns a camera on? Golding’s story required a nuclear war for the white children to engage in savagery; all it takes for the children of the Black Undertow to engage in savagery is for the absence of white people.

Toddlers and Tiaras this movie on the Black Undertow isn’t; an accurate depiction of the real Black Undertow it is.

Natural born killers indeed.


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