Archive for November, 2010

false promises

November 5, 2010

pop culture contains an extensive record of sacrificing realism for the dramatic. arbitrary everymen outwit expert espionage agents, average joes beat down gigantic bodybuilders, underachieving dweebs turn out to be techno-messiahs, and so on. every so often such plots incorporate enough ingenious strategy to lull even active intellects into the requisite suspensions of disbelief, but more frequently they seem to rely on the pure energy of people’s need to indulge entertaining fantasies, and these unqualified dolts win out through any kind of convenient coincidence just because they must because they are the randomly selected hero at the center of the story.

this unfettered idealism is particularly frightening in its penchant for promoting absurdly idiotic supposedly heroic behavior as when our valiant protagonists ignore all the obvious imminent risks to maintain the righteousness of grossly outweighed agendas, plunging head-long into burning buildings to save a little girl’s goldfish, almost capsizing the over-full boat to show mercy to the villain, letting WMDs tick down so as to save their girlfriend first or even just to give her an extended passionate kiss, etc.

however, this far-fetched positivism and the desperate drive towards fantasy which motivates it are quite simple to understand and even sympathize with. thus, it is not completely out of the question for a discerning mind to kick back and simply enjoy the ride.

rather, what i find utterly exasperating and outrageously abhorrent is the widespread support for deceit in the pervasive deployment of false promises:

“You’ll be ok… We’ll be together forever… I’ll never leave you (again)… I won’t let anything happen to you… No one gets left behind…”

for all the implausible serendipity of such narratives, it is still not uncommon for such oaths to be almost immediately followed by not being ok, being separated, something very bad happening, and many people being left behind. the primary question then is why hollywood writers appear almost unanimous in the impression that that’s how heros talk.

a complementary question is whether if you were bleeding to a certain death, you would prefer to be told you’ll be alright, or would you rather get the facts straight so as to perhaps pass along a few last dignified words. personal opinions on this extremely personal topic probably vary extremely so under certain circumstances the cliche hero’s hackneyed phrase may well be warranted, but the apparent total absence of the opposite advocacy of truth, which I am partial to, leaves me rather despondent.

in fact, having reached the point where i can barely tolerate these trite anti-truisms, i am practically at the point where there’s hardly a single movie or tv show that i can conscientiously appreciate.


racist smokescreens

November 2, 2010

given the facts that fiscal responsibility from war-supporting republicans appears incredibly disingenuous and tea-party supporters do not appear to be offering any other more original suggestions, it is difficult not to conclude that the passion which right-wingers are displaying in the lead-up to the current election is primarily based on racism and homophobia.

the postured emphasis on financial conservatism is nothing short of duplicitous when seen in the light of rampant conservative moves persecuting homosexuals and latinos.

regrettably, a long-term media narrative associates supposedly unfair demands for entitlements with minorities while Halliburten and Blackwater scandals or the absence of GE and Exxon tax payments (to the US, in 2009) fail to tarnish the myth of free markets.

the smoking gun is of course obscured by this professed financial emphasis and evasive maneuvers as severe as expelling Mark Williams for responding to the NAACP’s pleas to repudiate racism with his “We Coloreds” letter which explicitly makes the link between bail-outs, welfare, and what “Coloreds … strive for”. call me foolish for attempting to respond seriously to a satirical piece, but i can’t help but wonder how many minorities came across any TARP dollars.

in fact, tea party consistency on constitutional rights such as free speech vs. political correctness can also be seen to be quite convoluted or just selfish when considering Palin’s calls for Rahm’s resignation in the face of his “retard” comments while vehemently supporting Schlessinger’s “nigger” comments. [to echo a Daily Show commentator on Schlessinger’s comments, using the N-word wasn’t even as offensive as all the other stupid racist crap she said.]

(another great moment in the tea party’s supposed support of the constitution and traditional american values came when Christine O’Donnell asked “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” Uh, that would be the 1st amendment.)

on the other hand, the malaise that has seized liberals is quite easy to explain on the basis of discouraging compromises and lack of progress on health care, financial reforms, wars, illegal detainment, homosexual rights, etc.

still, it really isn’t that surprising that an event touted as evidencing the end of racism in America (i.e. the election of a black president) has in fact released a torrent of racist fury.