Re: Thread for Being Non-Fatalistically Deeply-Worn-Out About Something
So I'm a feminist, left-wing, pro-BLM, pro-LGBT, etc. Proud SJW, is what I'm saying. And I love film criticism that thoughtfully examines how representation falls short. But God, I fucking hate "woke" criticism and internet culture when it becomes a brainless exercise in generating clicks through manufactured outrage.
For instance, this English professor recently attempted to make the case that Lady Bird plagiarizes an earlier movie about a Latina woman called Real Women Have Curves (article here). And all she does is regurgitate tropes common to both regardless of context and say this proves that Lady Bird is a white woman ripping off a piece of Latinx art, claiming that anyone who says otherwise is hysterically defending their white idol. This woman very charitably went through and gave a point-by-point rebuttal, thank God.
This shit is ludicrous, and you see it more and more often. Some of the examples of "plaigarism" cited by the initial article are:
- Both movies feature a young woman who wants to go to college on the East Coast in contrast to her mother's wishes
- Both movies take place in a distinctive city
- Both movies feature a boy with whom the protagonist has a sexual relationship
Examples that are more specific than that are either misread or outright incorrectly remembered by the author. It's this horrendously sloppy piece of criticism that mistakes tropes for theft, and anyone who criticizes it can be dismissed by the author as trying to prop up their white hero.
I just worry that we're heading into an era of online discourse where it doesn't matter how closely one actually reads a film or how well they actually understand the nature of what they're talking about—all that matters is who has the most woke take, and anyone who attacks that take is guilty of bigotry. That makes me sound like a paranoid white guy, and I'm really not—so many of the people who are hysterical about "SJWs ruining my media!" are just infantile children, and they've definitely had a more damaging impact on discourse to this point. But I just can't express how frustrating it is when someone doesn't do their homework but is able to rebuff all critiques as stemming from hidden bigotry rather than addressing the possibility that maybe they're just not that good at this watching-movies thing.
The same thing happened with Noah Berlatsky recently—he published a hastily-written piece, in Playboy, of all places, accusing Phantom Thread of misogyny and Paul Thomas Anderson in general of being obsessed with worshiping white male geniuses. When a bunch of women pointed out he'd completely misread the movie's portrayal of a toxic relationship and that they loved it, he had the gall to dismiss them as being apologists for the patriarchy. A white guy pulling this sort of shit when women are the ones arguing with him is just indescribably infuriating.
Failure to recognize that the presence of tropes does not constitute banality/theft is bad enough in and of itself, as are flagrant misreadings of works of art. Couple that with this attitude that if what I'm saying is "woke" enough it's beyond criticism, you have a recipe for shrill, sloppy film analysis that is useful to precisely no one.
Last edited by DarthPraxus (2018-01-25 20:31:24)