Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Bigotry And Sexism Of Low Expectations

The Crtitical Drinker is one of my new favorite Youtube channels. I love his commentary and that he has no patience for social justice nonsense and the forced diversity in films. He is pretty smart although he tries to hide that under his drunken Scottish guy image, so I was pretty excited to see him speaking about scrawny middle-aged girl Natalie Portman taking on the mantle of Thor. I wasn't disappointed.





One of his most important points, subtly delivered, was something that I have been talking about for a long time. Doesn't it seem kind of insulting that women and people-of-color are endlessly appropriating white male characters to make women and PoC more marketable? I am sure you would get a response from Hollywood types about "representation" and "de-colonizing film" and crap about undermining white male patriarchy or some other nonsense but really it just seems lazy and insulting. The Ocean's 11 franchise was fun and successful, let's remake it with an all female cast and churn out a poorly regarded mediocre and forgettable film. Ghostbusters one of the most iconic films of all time, let's do it over with a female cast and see just how many downvotes a single trailer can get on Youtube! Of course once they remake a beloved film and replace the white male characters with clumsy imitations and audiences reject it, they can fall back on blaming da patriarchy and da racism instead of da crappy film-making.

For me, I would like to think that there are women out there capable of writing compelling female characters that you could make into a movie that people would like to see, characters written to be female rather than male characters mutilated into female characters.

Likewise I would like to think that there are black writers out there that are also capable of writing compelling stories about black characters with their own stories to tell, rather than simply appropriating white characters as a way to strike back at white privilege or some other crap. A great example of this is the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood. The story of three black boys who grow up together and take very different paths through life, Boyz was a very compelling film with only a smattering of ham-fisted political commentary but most importantly it was a film featuring black actors who were written as black.

Truth be told, the main problem with women writing female characters or blacks writing about black characters is that their writing is still mostly about white men and how we have somehow done them wrong and are the source of all of their ills. The wildly overrated Black Panther is supposed to be about the king of the mythical African nation of Wakanda but they couldn't resist clumsily talking about "colonizers" and how the challenger to the throne, Killmonger, was going to use vibranium to kick off a race war as retribution for all the naughty stuff white people have done to Africans (the Critical Drinker had something to say about this film: Black Panther is the Most Overrated MCU Movie Ever. Yep.).

In an interesting twist, we are often told that white people are guilty of "cultural appropriation" because some white girls wear hoop earrings but no one says the same when James Bond is turned into a black woman or the Norse god Heimdall is played by a black man. It is part of the repeated tactic of the Left accusing others of doing the exact thing they are up to.

Rewriting white male characters into women and PoCs is not "decolonizing film", it is lazy and even worse it is insulting, not to white men (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, etc.), but to women and PoCs who are basically being told that they have nothing interesting to say as they exist and can only be successful by imitating white men. If women and PoCs are so much more interesting than boring old white men as we are repeatedly told, then have them tell their own stories and if they really are interesting, people will go watch their films. After all, white men are only around 30% of the U.S. population so stories appealing to non-white men should have a huge audience. The alternative explanation is that when it comes to story telling, world building, character development, white men have an inherent knack for that sort of writing. No one will entertain that notion because to do so would undermine the notion that race is nothing by variations in skin tone and once you stop believing that, you start to ask all sorts of naughty questions.

3 comments:

  1. The co-opting of characters is easier than creating new ones, and the theory is the public will be more accepting of them. It's just another way to loot the dominant culture and erase it's history.

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    1. The looting is the big thing, almost all of this hurfing and blurfing about racism and sexism and fighting the man is just rhetorical cover for a massive theft, transferring from the productive to the unproductive. Every city has some version of Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson who exists simply as a grifter but calls it "community activism". Hell, we elected one of these conmen as President but the bottom line is the same: looting.

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