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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Right-wing idiots shouldn't review movies

A Wrinkle in Time Sells the Cult of Oprah

Armond White — Armond White, a film critic, writes about movies for National Review and is the author of New Position: The Prince Chronicles, at Amazon.


Hollywood preps for 2020, pushing social justice, self-worship, and girls-are-smarter-than-boys bromides.
Um. . . okay? I don't know why you say justice like it's a bad thing. And self-worship is kind of what right-wing heroine Ayn Rand was pushing. And girls probably are smarter than boys as a general rule. (I, obviously, am one exception to this rule, being a former boy myself who is almost as smart as I think I am.)
But anyway, let's talk movies!

What are you?” a stupefied child asks the apparition standing overhead in A Wrinkle in Time. And Oprah Winfrey answers back, “I am a part of the universe!” Oprah’s fame has cost her the transparency to be a believable actress (which she so movingly was in Jonathan Demme’s Beloved)

Seriously? Beloved was 1998. Do you think Oprah has only achieved superstardom in the last 20 years? You think that in 1998, Oprah wasn't too famous to be a believable actress but now she is?

 yet she achieves godhead in A Wrinkle in Time, a Disney film devoted to pagan self- worship.

Yeah. . . pagans don't worship themselves. It takes about 5 seconds to type "what do pagans worship?' into Google and you'll find a variety of answers, but the one answer you will not see is "themselves."
Or, you could ask a pagan. There are a lot of them and some of them have really terrific blogs. They would probably be willing to explain a bit about their belief system to you if you ask nicely. Or, I guess a third option would be to just assume that they follow a religion based on narcissism. I guess you could do that if you want to be a dick about it.

It is the second phase of Disney’s black-enslavement program this year (following Black Panther)

kanye west what the fuck animated GIF

What. . . what does that even mean? What. . . what does Black Panther. . . and how is A Wrinkle. . . . I mean. . .what the hell, man? Enslavement? I don't even understand what you're even trying to. . . What the hell, man?

I don't even know how to refute that. How would one respond to such a statement? Are you saying these movies are about the experience of black slavery? Or that they are somehow designed to enslave black people? Or some third thing? How do you not offer a single word of clarification here?  Like seriously, this is how the paragraph ends:

It is the second phase of Disney’s black-enslavement program this year (following Black Panther), and black female Ava DuVernay joins Oprah as director of this big-screen secular parable.
And then it's right on to this:
Although A Wrinkle in Time comes from a children’s novel by Madeleine L’Engle, the movie itself talks down to adult audiences as children.

Um, it's a PG-rated Disney movie based on a children's book. I don't think the target audience is adults.

This updated Oz, where Meg learns self-esteem, resembles other oases of children’s literature, but it’s primarily a setting for Oprah’s New Age religiosity, now folded into #Resistance feminism.

You know Oprah didn't write this movie, right? She's not the director. She's not the producer. She's just an actress reciting dialogue someone else wrote for her character. This is not a platform for some sort of Oprah message.

Not simply a family film meant to appeal to children, A Wrinkle in Time has as its real purpose world domination.


World domination? How the fuck is a movie supposed to even try to achieve world domination?

A Wrinkle in Time has as its real purpose world domination. Its homilies amount to a manifesto, the same airy-fairy, social-worker generalities about insecurity — and resentment — that built Oprah’s media divinity.

Okay, pretty sure you don't know what a manifesto is.
The Unabomber had a manifesto.
Karl Marx had a manifesto.
Unless you think Chicken Soup for the Soul is a manifesto, it's pretty safe to say that manifestos, as a rule, do not contain "social-worker generalities about insecurity."

Liking this movie depends on one’s tolerance for drivel (or one’s reverence for Oprah), because DuVernay cannot visualize the ineffable or the commonplace.

How could one visualize the ineffable? Isn't that kinda what ineffable means? Like indescribable? Is there a director out there that could visualize that which can not even be described?

The awkward performances by Witherspoon and Kaling suffer from DuVernay’s inability to integrate different acting styles. These actresses come off as less amusing than that trio of witches in the Bette Midler–Sarah Jessica Parker–Kathy Najimy Halloween movie Hocus Pocus.

Um, I haven't seen A Wrinkle in Time, but I 'm pretty sure these actresses aren't trying to be "amusing." It's like complaining that Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis weren't nearly as much fun in Black Swan as Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy were in Bridesmaids.

If this video-game-style hagiography doesn’t expose Oprah’s calculating arrogance, nothing will.

Okay, we'll add hagiography to the list of words you think you know but don't.
You know this isn't an Oprah Winfrey biopic, right? You know she's playing a fictional character, right? You know your obsession with Oprah is unseemly at best, right?

The story is rooted in unsubtle feminism that makes Meg more resourceful than boys she knows. 

 Whaaaaat? The main character is more resourceful than the supporting characters? In a movie? Oh, that arrogant Oprah Winfrey!

  There’s a real element of misandry here, with Pine’s affectless dad, Michael Peña playing a demonic male, and Zach Galifianakis as the effeminate Happy Medium wearing a man bun.

 Or, to put it more succinctly: Waaaahhh!!! There's a movie in which the heroes arent't the men! Waaaahhh!!! The smartest character was a girl! Waaaahhh!!!

 “Be a warrior. Can you?” Oprah asks Meg. Mrs. Which’s self-improvement lessons are dissociated from old-fashioned, Judeo-Christian humanism.

 Judeo-Christian humanism?
Humanism is pretty much the polar opposite of Judeo-Christianity.
Were you not paying attention during the culture-war 80's and 90's when Christian conservatives were constantly denouncing "secular humanists?"
 So, I guess we'll just add "humanism" to the list of words you do not understand.

 This is just bastardized Buddhism (venerating the “unseen energy that moves through us all”)

 Wait, I thought it was paganism?

Given DuVernay’s rudimentary filmcraft, FX teams take over the fantasy sequences (Meg’s fearful flashbacks seem depersonalized). Yet, through media hype, DuVernay has achieved undeserved esteem, parallel to Oprah’s. Cinema visionaries Fritz Lang, Leni Riefenstahl, Jean Cocteau, Jacques Tati, Karel Zeman, John Boorman, Wes Anderson, and Zack Snyder created stirring images, but DuVernay’s image-making is perfunctory.

Well that's a hell of a high bar to clear. If you aren't in the same class as Fritz Lang, Jean Cocteau, or Leni riefenstahl, we're supposed to think you just suck? That's like slagging a baseball player for not being on a par with Mays, Ruth, Aaron, Musial, and Williams. You can still be a damn good hitter and not be in the pantheon with those legends. It's not a valid criticism.

DuVernay makes A Wrinkle in Time a mawkish, inspirational fable about empowerment. It lacks the poignancy one hears in Dolly Parton’s shrewd, ebullient new “children’s” album I Believe in You. Instead, little Meg is a social-justice warrior in a parable about the personal acquisition of influence: That’s what Oprah symbolizes. 

For God's sake, what is it with you and Oprah?  Javert wasn't this obsessed with Jean Valjean!

And what's wrong with acquiring influence? You write for National Review. Surely your intent is to influence readers. But if this movie tries to do the same thing (and I haven't seen it, so I don't know if it does try to or not) suddenly it's a problem? You say shit like this?

The Disney corporation’s ongoing political correctness has warped into something unreliable — a feminist Hillary Clinton resistance that has become part of the way liberal Hollywood corrodes escapist dazzlement. It intends to influence minds.
 So what if it does?  Artists are allowed to try and influence people who view their art. Do you object to artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D. or Toby Keith having an influence? Or is it just Oprah you have a problem with?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Found the right video

Okay, I somehow embedded the wrong video in my last post which kinda made me look like an idiot. I assure you, I am NOT an idiot. Well, not entirely. I mean I am the guy who loudly predicted that no one would want to see a movie about the Titanic, but overall, I'm usually fairly bright. At least of average intelligence.
Okay, it took me like a dozen viewings of Monty Python & the Holy Grail to figure out that when the French guy called them "Ki-nig-its," he was just mispronouncing the word "knights."  So, maybe not quite average, but still.

So anyway, here is the correct video. Hopefully this will make the previous post make more sense.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Worst Campaign Ad Ever?

If you'd've asked me yesterday, I would have said the worst political ad of the year was this Ted Cruz nonsense: in which a man named Raphael who goes by "Ted" takes a shot at a man named Robert for going by "Beto" while "singing" a third-rate "country" "song" about how you can't be a liberal in Texas as if no one remembers Ann Richards or Jim Hightower or Molly Ivins.

But today, I heard this crime against humanity:

Watch it if you want, but it will be the longest 44 seconds of your life.
Actually, yeah, go ahead and click "play" or you won't get what I'm talking about but don't be a hero. Bail out when you start to feel your brain collapse in on itself.

Okay, first of all, what the hell?
I mean, seriously, what the hell is this supposed to be? Someone got paid to make this thing?
And where did they find this poor kid to "sing" this atrocity? I don't want to be the kind of person who gets shitty about kids but for fuck sake, this kid couldn't carry a tune in a bucket with both hands duct-taped to the handle.
And someone, presumably another small child, is tentatively picking out the tune on one of those plastic recorders they give to kindergarteners to instill a lifelong hatred of music in them and their entire families.

 I mean, presumably they would want you to watch the entirety of this ad, right? Yet it seems designed specifically to drive you away. If this was my child playing her very first recorder recital while my other child who had just overcome some disease that had kept her from singing was bravely singing along with her, I wouldn't last more than a minute before surreptitiously pulling the fire alarm  and running out of  the school auditorium straight to the Hallmark store to buy apology cards for everyone I had dragged in to hear this performance.

And they don't even bother to make the lyrics rhyme or even fit into the metre of the song.

AND, in case someone watching this ad still had a shred of sanity left, they top it off with constant "boing boing" sound effects which, if they would have drowned out the "singing" or recorder "playing," might have had some value, but it doesn't even do that.

This seems like it was designed less as a campaign ad and more as something that would be played on a loop to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to force false confessions.

It's really bad.
Just really, really bad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I'm back.

Well, things have been pretty crazy around here lately. After a week in wonderful Mexico, during which the Missus came down with bronchitis and strep throat as she is wont to do, I was home for all of 2 days before getting a call from my sister telling me my dad was in the hospital. And it wasn't looking good. So it was a last-minute flight out to California where I did get a chance to see him before he passed away. So after spending the better part of two weeks in Cali, I returned to work to find that my supervisor had been promoted and sent to a different location and his boss's wife had just had a baby so he was out on paternity leave, so needless to say, I've been working a bunch of overtime.And I really haven't had the energy or the inclanation to make fun of jerks on the internet.

But then I heard about this:

Liberals and Conservatives Are Unhappy for Different Reasons

Dennis Prager


They talked about this on one of the podcasts I was listening to and I had to see it for myself.

Here's the thesis:

One of the most important differences between the right and the left -- one that greatly helps to explain their differences -- is the difference between unhappy liberals and unhappy conservatives.    
Unhappy conservatives generally believe they are unhappy because life is inherently difficult and tragic, and because they have made some unwise decisions in life.      
But unhappy liberals generally believe they are unhappy because they have been persecuted.    


Riiiiiiight. "liberals" are the ones who always claim they are being persecuted. That's exactly right.


Ask unhappy leftists why they are unhappy and they are likely to respond that they are oppressed. This is the primary response given by unhappy leftist women, blacks, Latinos and gays.       
And conservative actors.

Tim Allen Says Being Conservative In Hollywood Is Like Living In 1930s Germany

James Woods retires from acting after saying he's blacklisted because he's conservative

And conservative college students.

Free speech on college campuses shouldn’t just be for liberal students

It’s no secret that college campuses have a liberal bias, but few people understand how that bias affects the treatment of conservative students — even a year after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. Conservatives and Republicans are shamed for their views on college campuses. . . 
“College Republicans are routinely targeted by professional agitators on campus and extreme leftists who refuse to acknowledge free speech when they do not agree with it,” said Ted Dooley, the executive director of the College Republican National Committee.

Oh, and also this columnist who seems awfully familiar somehow. He also seems to have a bit of a persecution complex.

Conservatives: The New Marranos

Image result for dennis prager

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Marranos” was the name given to Jews in medieval Spain, especially in the 15th century during the Spanish Inquisition, who secretly maintained their Judaism while living as Catholics in public.

Oh dear God! You're not seriously comparing Jews fearing for their lives to American conservatives fearing being snickered at? Are you? You can't possibly.

There is, of course, no Spanish Inquisition in America today – no one is being tortured into confessing what they really believe, and no one is being burned at the stake. But there are millions of Marrano-like Americans: Americans who hold conservative views – especially those who hold to conservative positions on social issues and those who voted for Donald Trump for president.

Millions of Americans who hold conservative and/or pro-Trump views rationally fear being ostracized by their peers, public humiliation, ruined reputations, broken families, losing their job, and being unable to work in their field. 

 Yes, the fear that having voted for the president will result in ostracization, broken families, and being barred from employment, that fear is toooooootally "rational!"

 In terms of the percentage of the population affected, there is no parallel in American history. Coming out as a homosexual prior to the 1960s or ’70s, or publicly announcing that one was member of the Communist Party in the 1950s, would have often led to similar dire consequences in one’s social, work, and family life. But gays and Communist Party members comprised a tiny percentage of the American population. And one of them, Communists, supported true evil.

 Oh my God. Oh my GAWD! Seriously? Right-wing idiots are more oppressed than LGBTs in the 1950s? Or Communists? Who were literally blacklisted?

 Of course, American conservative Marranos don’t live only in the world of music. They are in every profession. We know about the high-profile cases, the conservatives whose careers have been ruined by saying the “wrong” thing or supporting the “wrong” candidate or ballot proposition;
Um, I think you mean we know about racist misogynist  and/or homophobic dicks who have had their careers damaged by being huge dicks in public and embarrassing their employers. But sure, that's totally like having to hide from the Spanish Inquisition.

  But we don’t know about the millions who are just afraid to speak up, who remain silent in a business meeting or at a dinner party when someone casually expresses a view that they strongly disagree with. 

Have you ever been in a normal workplace? Because I can tell you that it's generally the "liberals" or "progressives" who are biting their tongues. But they don't think of themselves as being persecuted like Jews by the Inquisition, they just would rather not have their coworkers roll their eyes at them.

 And honestly, in the real world (and I can say from experience that this goes for both California and Atlanta) if there's one group who never hesitates to tell you their idiotic viewpoint on any issue whether you want them to or not, it's conservatives. They won't fucking shut up about it.

Unhappy Americans on the right blame the problems inherent to life, and they blame themselves.

 Riiiiiight. Because one thing you'll often hear a conservative say is "you know what, I think I was at fault. I must try to do better.

National Opposite Day – January 25, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Out of Town

We're headed sown to Mexico in the morning and we won't be back until we get them to agree to pay for the dang wall!