(Just making the statement now that this article will contain links to clips that contain foul language, adult content and will generally be NSFW)
The beta personalities over at Buzzfeed are attempting to drum up momentum for the upcoming social justice reboot of Ghostbusters, giving 12 other ways to defeat the haters because making a good movie apparently isn’t an option. That is being prematurely mean, the movie could very well be entertaining. But the trailer isn’t encouraging. What is blatantly obvious is that making the movie entertaining came secondary to making a statement, based on a standard they themselves couldn’t meet.
Compare that with the original Ghostbusters. The now legendary comedians never set out to make a monument to they’re white privileged, hetero-cisgendered supremacy. They just wanted to make a movie people would like. There’s been buzzing of late about Idris Elba becoming the next James Bond first and then being cast as Roland Deschain in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Nothing against Elba, he’s a good actor, but he’s become the go to for white roles.
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This isn’t some place with a whites only sign. James Bond is an orphan from Scottish aristocracy. That’s who the character Ian Fleming created is. If you want a franchise with a black secret agent, make one. If it doesn’t suck, people will go see it. Insisting that James Bond turn black in some bizarre Hollywood version of reparations is silly. It cheapens the efforts of real civil rights heroes and also qualifies as cultural appropriation if we’re being honest.
Leftists quickly sprang into action declaring that Stephen King himself gave his blessing for Elba to play the gunslinger. One, King is certifiable. See his Twitchy catalogue for confirmation. Fictional Roland Deschain is infinitely more awesome than the writer who created him. Don’t take my word for it when King’s can verify it. For those who have not read The Dark Tower saga it will sound weird and it would take too long to explain, but King writes himself into the story. Guess what, his own characters hate him. Two, in true leftist lack of self awareness fashion, they’re oblivious to the atmosphere they have created. Of course King gave his blessing, what do you think would have happened to him if he expressed indignation that a black actor was cast for his obviously white character? He doesn’t want to be ostracized, boycotted, and have Molotov cocktails thrown through his living room window. Three, since we’re using King’s own words in the foreword for The Gunslinger he went into great detail about how 60’s era spaghetti western Clint Eastwood was the inspiration for Roland and all subsequent artwork (all seven novels have illustrations and there are a half dozen graphic novels) followed in this vein.
None of this is about black people or women or transgender platypuses not being able to star in movies. It’s about progressives appropriating the labor of white males, because they’re white males, and sacrificing originality and quality on the altar of social justice.
Chris Plante remarked on his radio program some months ago that Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles is proof that race relations are worse now than they were 40 years ago. Simply put, the movie would not be allowed today, and not because of democrat, segregationist Klansmen but because of democrat, segregationist Black Lives Matter operatives. For decades, leftists fought for free speech, claiming the First Amendment protected every conceivable form of vulgar language or topic in virtually any setting. Fast forward to the present where progressives effectively control the entirety of the narrative and they are singing a very different tune, proposing all sorts of safe spaces, speech codes and thought crime policies.
The effect of social justice pressure is not limited to Blazing Saddles. For the sake of demonstrating the point I dug up some moments in pop culture that would cause leftists today to weep, protest and riot and are not wholesome examples of good Christendom, healthy moral families, conservative values, or “father knows best”.
As a child of the late 90’s/early 00’s, Cheech and Chong were a little before my time for the stoner movie genre. I like older movies but the one time I tried to watch it I couldn’t get into it. The big stoner movie of my generation was Half-baked but in my younger days I preferred How High. I don’t think I would laugh at it today but I was 19 then. The movie starred Method Man and Redman, members of 90’s rap group Wu-tang Clan. The plot involved two potheads getting perfect scores on their college admittance exams, due to supernatural weed (don’t ask), and subsequently going to Harvard and shaking things up.
There are plenty of jokes in the movie at the expense of white people, but if I was supposed to be offended I never was. On the other hand, this stoner/rapper flick had songs in it from Rammstein, Saliva, and even Queen. It also had one scene that would make Shaun King cry the spray tan off his pasty face. In it the pair are being courted by a variety of scouts from various colleges. The first is two black men from “Reparations Technical Institute”, such obvious parodies that sadly would be taken 100% seriously 15 years later, trying to sell them on learning, “(…) hatred for the white devil in a relaxed campus atmosphere.”
This was the short-lived era of rap-metal. True, 99.5% of rap-metal sucked, but one thing it indicates is that at the time race relations were not a big problem. The only reason it is today is that it is too valuable of a weapon for instituting unprecedented control over human interaction. These days, this silly 20 second scene would cause Black Lives Matter types to revoke Method Man’s and Redman’s negro status.
Just imagine what kind of bunker in the third world Ted Danson would have to hide in if the infamous slap fight from Cheers aired today.
The pop culture changes aren’t always due to political correctness pressure. Sometimes it’s merely the shifting of the Overton Window that makes a certain type of situation unthinkable. Dr. Strangelove is often considered a peacenik criticism of Cold War policy, although in fairness the Soviets aren’t shown in any better light. They do blow up the world in the end, after all. The movie is truthfully a brilliant, subtle work with humor so dry, nuanced, and applied so lightly most people today wouldn’t have the attention span to appreciate it.
The film’s running theme is that crucial efforts to stave off catastrophe are stymied by patent absurdity, alternating forms between gruff war lust and bureaucratic red tape. One scene has Captain Mandrake (Peter Sellers) being held at gunpoint and in the custody of Colonel Bat Guano (Keenan Wynn). Mandrake is the only one that knows what is going on and is desperately trying both to convince Bat that he’s not a threat and to get into contact with the president. He convinces the Colonel to let him use a payphone, but of course he doesn’t have enough change. The operator doesn’t let him make it a collect call and Bat Guano doesn’t “carry loose change into battle.”
In his desperation Mandrake tells Bat he wants him to shoot open the nearby Coke machine to use the change inside it. What follows is the line that wouldn’t even come to mind with writers today. Bat Guano looks over at the Coke machine, then looks back to Mandrake with an incredulous and horrified look on his face and replies in total deadpan, “That’s private property.”
Private property? What’s that? If this scene were written today Bat Guano would gleefully empty his clip into the machine before Mandrake could finish his sentence. The film would go into slow motion as Coca Cola sprayed like blood. The notion that a battle crazy soldier would pale at the idea of the destruction of private property is an alien one today. Why? One reason is that he’s probably a baby killer, another is that Coca Cola is a big evil corporation and you shouldn’t feel bad for destroying their property, and yet another is that private property is evil, greedy, capitalist, and destroys the environment.
Truthfully, the examples of how social justice warriors in the progressive movement change what is and isn’t acceptable entertainment could go on and on. These are just a few that have struck a chord with me before. But after so many years clamoring against the oppression of so called moral busybodies, to turn around and now declare a new morality and declare all deviations as progressive blasphemy is hypocritical, not that they care. All they ever cared about was control. A modern leftist, whether a feminist, colorist, or LGBTist will never defend your right to criticize or disagree with them.