So, I was having a conversation with someone the other day, and they were railing on about ‘woke’ media and ‘SJW’s and ‘Mary Sues,’ ‘political correctness’ and the whole nine yards.
Then he said something that got me.
He said, “Why do they have to have all these political agendas. Why can’t they just tell a good story without politics like in the original Star Trek.”
I burst out laughing. I couldn’t stop it. It just came roaring out of me. One second, we’re having a conversation, the next second, I’m bent over laughing uncontrollably. I was just taken by surprise.
Because the original Star Trek has an episode all about racism, involving white/black people being racist to black/white people. They did stories about racism. About sexism. About overpopulation. Pollution. The Cold War. They did everything.
Not only did they have all these political agendas, but they were absolutely ham handed about it every step of the way. They were totally anvillicious. Star Trek always wore its politics on its chest, and was as subtle as a bull in a china shop.
So, I’m just laughing helplessly, I can’t stop it, and he’s looking at me like I’ve grown an extra head. He’s trying to decide whether he should be offended.
And I make it worse. I say….
“Have you actually ever even watched Star Trek?”
That’s it, he’s offended.
I’m trying to explain just how political Star Trek, the original series was, how blunt its messages were, how they basically picked their issues off the day’s newspapers, and how they were ridiculously ‘woke’ in their day in ways we’d find ludicrous today.
He’s not getting it.
And I’m becoming more and more convinced that he’s never actually watched Star Trek, or understood it.
The thing that gets me about all these angry angry guys railing away against ‘woke’ this and ‘woke’ that and the awful ‘sjw’ menace is how astonishingly little that they actually have to say. They don’t have any arguments. What they have is a speech. Not speeches, just the one speech, trotted out, for every occasion. One single speech. And it’s not even a speech, it’s just a rant. One single, invariable, all purpose monotonous rant.
You can’t talk to them. You can’t reason with them. You just trigger them, and you get the rant.
So he goes from ranting about Doctor Who, and it’s on to the laundry list – the all female ghostbusters, the all female ocean’s eleven, the feminazi terminator movie, Star Wars, Batwoman, on and frigging on, a long list of grievances amounting to an incoherent rambling scream of rage. “Get woke, go broke!”
Look, I’m going to lay it out. It’s not about Wokeness, or Political Correctness, or SJW’s that’s ruining your movie franchises.
Women didn’t ruin Ghostbusters. The movie failed, and it failed because it was a mediocre sloppy production, that’s it. That’s not on the actresses, or ‘wokeness.’ That’s on a Director who followed through on an outline he wrote on a napkin, without ever bothering to refine it. That’s on a weak director who decided that plot and dialogue wasn’t all that important since he could just turn on the camera and record improv. It would have been helped by actual script development, by actual editing, vetting, rather than just let people flounder.
Terminator Whatever. It’s not feminism that ruined it. It’s the fact that we’re seven entries into a franchise that has only one single idea – evil skeleton robot comes back from the future to kick ass. It’s not a bad movie at all, it’s just been done to death.
Batwoman? That’s just a bad show. It’s terrible. The fight choreography is ludicrous. The actors are blocks of wood less expressive than leggo. The dialogue is atrocious. The scripts are terrible. Everything about it is cheap, incoherent and half baked. But so what, there have always been bad shows.
Star Wars? The problem with Admiral Holdo is that she’s got six lines and no personality, and actually, that’s a problem for the entire franchise because they keep shoving non-characters into the movies so they can peddle action figures. The problem with Admiral Holdo is the same problem with Boba Fett. And really, the problem with this current Star Wars trilogy is that it’s an utterly incoherent mess of people working at cross purposes. The previous trilogy, by the way, was also an incoherent tin-eared mess.
The issue with Star Wars is not that people are trying to be woke, or that social justice warriors have taken over, or that feminism and political correctness hold sway. The real problem with Star Wars is that it was one really good, groundbreaking, paradigm-changing trilogy forty years ago, and it’s been coasting ever since. Coasting. Coasting for forty years.
The problem is that Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Terminator, Charlie’s Angels, Ocean’s Eleven, Star Trek, James Bond… these are all franchises that are forty or fifty years old, they’re all long in the tooth, they got whiskers, there’s iterations, and reboots, remakes, sequels. A lot of this stuff is just worn out, it’s not political correctness, it’s just corporate greed trying to squeeze a few more dollars from the product, trying to figure out a way to pump a few more lungfuls of air into tired old hacks, trying to figure out how to do something new while being terrified of doing anything different. But the corporations have invested so much into these things, they can’t let them go.
There are plenty of bad movies, and plenty of reasons why movies are bad. There’s endless ways that a film or franchise can go wrong. It’s not about the one thing!
And there are plenty of good movies, and plenty of movies and television series that have good things in them. But this doesn’t matter to the Ragers against the Woke. Because all they care about is their idiotic litmus test.
In the end, they’re unable to distinguish good from bad, they can’t evaluate the bad or identify problems, they can’t acknowledge the good. All they can do is scream about their hobby horse.
But no, we can’t discuss any of that.
We can’t discuss just how overtly political and politicised, all the old stuff they venerate is.
We can’t discuss anything.
Instead, we just have to endure the ‘Anti-PC’ Rant. Doesn’t matter that it’s the same, one size fits all, tedious rant that they seem to have for every occasion.
I’m bored with these whiny babies and their creepy sense of entitlement. I’m bored with their incessant outrage, their perpetual screaming. I’m bored with the fact that they only have one single thing to say, but they never stop saying it. I’m bored with the fact that their personal fixation overrides every other consideration, good or bad. I’m bored with their endless search for validation, and the pathological insecurity behind it.
The problem with these screamers is that they insist on sucking up every last molecule of oxygen in the room. And I’m sick of it.
I want my oxygen back.
So, if I hear ‘SJW’ then screw it, I’m deducting 25 points from their IQ. If I hear ‘woke’, 30 points. ‘Get woke go broke’ then 50 points.
And if they say something obviously, blatantly, profoundly stupid, I’m going to laugh.