Updated: May 17
Welcome to Fratire Publishing's FRATIRE BLOG! So what is fratire you ask?
Fratire is a combination of the words "fraternity" and "satire" and represents a new genre of literature that uses in your face satire to make a point and at the same time do it from a tough love approach that respects the fraternal kinship of human nature. It's also about common sense books for common sense people and places more emphasis on the practical side of changing human behavior for the better, even if our feelings get hurt a little along the way.
I think an excellent example of fratire in action is the movie Crash. If you were to show a movie to a sociology class--this would be at the top of my list. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. To quote the movie trailer: “This compelling urban thriller tracks the volatile intersection of a multiethnic cast of characters struggling to overcome their fears as they careen in and out of one another's lives. In the gray area between black and white, victim and aggressor, during the next 36 hours, they will all collide.” The movie has an all-star cast of Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Thandie Newton, and Ryan Phillippe, as well as other notable cast members.
In the movie, there is a fraternal bond between the two criminals--one blaming all his problems on the "Man" and the other more open minded who likes country western music. Then you have two cops on patrol, one more seasoned and bitter and the other more youthful and hopeful. There is the district attorney and his wife--the DA is pragmatic and political—but his wife is short sided and judgmental. We also have a paranoid shop owner and the ex-gangster locksmith who repairs his back door lock. Toss in two dating detectives of different backgrounds and preconceived notions about each other, insert the upwardly mobile couple that are harassed by the bad cop at the beginning of the movie and then have to deal with their own concepts of blackness and the injustice they experience, and you have a thrilling and provocative movie with elements of "fratire."
As each sub-plot plays out, each intertwined with at least one of the other characters’ sub-plots throughout the movie, you come to realize, like all human beings, each one of us is unique in many ways and cannot be stereotyped (although at the beginning of each scene--that's everyone's first impression). As we see each character's personality come into sharp focus, all of their assumptions, biases, and prejudices are exposed and dealt with--from within and from without. There's a different side to each character, story, and internal conflict that in one way or another gets resolved in the movie. This is one of those movies where you cannot predict the outcome of each scene.
In the end, the baddest hoodlum frees a van load of sweatshop slaves and takes the driver, after previously being run over by the hoodlums in their stolen SUV, to the hospital which saves his life. The nicer hoodlum is picked up hitch-hiking by the good cop and shot to death by the cop who as it turns out, has his own prejudices. The shop owner almost kills the locksmith's daughter with a handgun in revenge for his store being vandalized through forced entry from his back door. The DA's wife is rescued after a fall on her stairs by her immigrant housekeeper and her DA husband handles race and politics at the LAPD by the "racial' playbook. Probably the most emotional scene is when the bad cop saves the life of the woman he manhandled during a traffic stop, and her husband overcomes the way he failed to stand up to the way she was manhandled. As for the two detectives, they share and resolve their own prejudices towards each other in a comical and sad way.
If you have another great example of fratire, I'd like to read about it. Just make sure it is intellectually stimulating from the waist up. And for those who haven't seen Crash yet and think I ruined it for them, rent the movie anyway. I promise you it will warm your heart and touch your soul and keep you thinking about the movie for days.
Fraternally and satirically yours!
Corey Lee Wilson