Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Cultural Parasite

So the new Ghostbusters trailer came out a few days ago. The distaff casting of the leads has turned into a culture war flashpoint, with its obvious, tedious "girl power" message front and center. Predictably, Salon has slings and arrows for the doubters (an earlier version of the headline apparently called them "angry baby men"). I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the film itself when released may have funny moments in it, but is not funny in its entirety. This is hard to do when one's form is dictated by Maoist denunciation. That this is not likely to produce good results should come as no surprise, and we can pretty readily predict the form of the destructor when it comes to any ensuing criticism:

It seems to me there's a common thread here between this reboot and Anita Sarkeesian, and it is the demand to insinuate oneself in and hijack a successful franchise and inject dogma into it for entirely political reasons. The business of making a film or a TV show or a video game are all acts that require financing and courage, two items culture critics such as Sarkeesian notably lack. Such are also, notably, philistines, which is to say they oppose the very process of making art. But there is no guarantee the public will lap up the output of such efforts. I have a rule that if a comedy can't generate enough good material to make me laugh in a trailer, it's not worth seeing, and this appears to be no exception. The problem with the Ghostbusters reboot is precisely that it has been sold as feminist agitprop, and now that the filmgoing public has figured this out (thanks to an uninspiring trailer featuring bored actors and limp deliveries), the search for villains has begun.

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