Right and Wrong and Right and Wrong…

I’ll cop to being wrong about my post “An Observation”; it seems that even those who express a legitimate issue with the Shield Maiden as role model for women genuinely don’t see Wondie in that precise role. Hey, cool, fine. I’ve been wrong before, I’ll be wrong again. I’m trying to admit it more.

Consider this post a hashing out of thoughts. I’ve thought about it, and I still remain very much unconvinced that “Wonder Woman” is the sort of film we should be supporting. Each time I explain it, I feel as if people don’t get it. Maybe I’m not being clear enough? For example, I’m honestly not sure why my opinion on whether or not “Harry Potter” is pro-consequentialism matters. I don’t think it is, actually, but if you think you can convince me, I’ll hear you out when I (or you, if you have your own blog) get around to discussing Harry Potter. And then we can go from there on whether or not the HP franchise is something we should be giving money to. I think all sorts of different things differentiate the two franchises, in ways that are actually pretty complex…but I’m talking about “Wonder Woman”, not Harry Potter.

Zippy brought up Harry Potter, but he’s just one of a few people now, and it makes a good example; he’s not the first person to go “Well, haha, you supported X property, now why won’t you support Y property!”. I am admittedly confused as to why people think this matters so much to my argument, such as it is, about “Wonder Woman”. If you want to discuss whether other properties would also fall under my “Wonder Woman” arguments, go right ahead; I’d be happy to join you…on a thread not about “Wonder Woman”. Whether I am a mean old hypocrite is really besides the point of these posts.

As for not supporting the creators of the work…I am sure Gal Godot and Patty Jenkins love their mothers and have wonderful families. I am also sure that even if the movie *on its own* (except it’s not on its own, of course) failed as attempted propaganda, I think the video I linked to earlier, along with the marketing campaign, makes it pretty much undeniable that they were absolutely attempting to make propaganda – propaganda pushing feminism, and thus propaganda promoting the effective end of western civilization. I am not giving those fools money – and nor should any of you. It is exactly the same reason I didn’t give “Rogue One” my money – they came out explicitly against me and what I stand for. Very well; I am now against you too, and whether or not your movie is good matters not a whit to me. This is, of course, just one factor, and not necessarily a large one (people I don’t agree with are going to make stuff I nevertheless enjoy, and there’s not much I could or should do about that), but it is a factor.

Okay. So let’s pivot, and take a look at the Hugo Awards. The arguments underlying the Puppies campaigns in the Hugo Awards were that conservative works (works by conservatives or with an unmistakable pro-conservative, or at least American right wing, ideology) were basically unofficially blackballed from being nominated or winning the award; the Sad Puppies was an attempt to get conservative properties nominated to see if, once they were there, people would be willing to judge them fairly.

The answer, of course, turned out to be no, and those conservative works were consequently Noah Warded.

Now let’s look at what I’m proposing with “Wonder Woman” – a boycott. I support a boycott of “Wonder Woman” because it is the head of a Shibboleth that’s a part of the crusade to take down western civilization.

One point I’ve come around to over time is that many of the things we scream are bad, bad, bad are, in fact, necessary, to the point that we do them all the time without thinking. Of *course* there are philosophies so terrible we should never be supporting them, no matter how well written they are. If a brilliant movie comes out – really brilliant – that is ultra-pro-Marxist, I think the majority of my readers will agree that the movie should die a fast and well-deserved death. Literally everybody I know agrees with this to an extent.

The question, then, is this: Were the SJW’s right to think that conservative ideologies were so horrible that they should be blackballed for the good of society? Or were they completely insane?

I believe the latter.

And I think feminism is such a rotting, bleeding, soul-sucking cancer that we should be doing what we could to avoid supporting propaganda machines designed explicitly as feminist message vehicles.

Some disagree. Go ahead. But there you go.

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The Societal Vacuum

I want to make it clear that I’m not really responding to anyone specifically so much as trying to explain myself here. I’m not sure how well I’m getting my thought process through.

How well “Wonder Woman” works as feminist propaganda *in a vacuum* is besides the point to me, because we don’t live in a vacuum. It might be (I haven’t seen it, though multiple people have told me this who I generally trust) true that the movie itself, taken *completely* on its own, is poor propaganda. Which is good, I suppose.

But the movie was not made in a societal vacuum. It was made in a society where men are emasculated more and more by the day and female eunuchs are being declared praiseworthy. That we don’t see this in the movie proper isn’t really the point, because that is what people are going to read into it – what they *want* people to read into it, and – and this is critical – *what people are in fact reading into it*.

The marketing and advertising and framing of the movie is a big deal here. If “Wonder Woman” were marketed as a superhero movie celebrating femininity qua femininity, masculinity qua masculinity, how traditional sexual roles are important for a healthy society, and how feminine virtues can be utilized for their proper – or if it were made in an environment where such a thing wasn’t really questioned at all, like “Nausicaa” – we would be having an entirely different conversation. Ditto if we were in a society that understood implicitly that such a thing was an exception, not the rule, and should remain one.

But we don’t live in that society. We live in a society where Wondie the eunuch is being celebrated as a role model for women to aspire to, and the helpmeet role of women is being continually denigrated. Then there’s a movie out with a message that’s ambiguous enough that feminists, SJW’s, and even neutral non-conservative-but-not-radical mainstream folks watch and see exactly that, because they are being told – when the message isn’t explicitly stated otherwise –  that it *is exactly what they’re supposed to see*. Hence you get Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins staring in awe at burly man-women rushing into battle as feminists burst into tears, walk out of the theater with strange feelings of ferociousness, and girly men cry over it with their girlfriend. It’s another case of weaponized ambiguity.

How do I know it’s ambiguous without watching it? Because I know people who see it as promoting conservative values AND people who see it promoting leftist values, each of them absolutely convinced they’re looking at it exactly the right way. The execution is flawless. “Wonder Woman” in that sense is one of the great feminist propaganda achievements of the modern age.

There is another way “Wonder Woman” could work. That would be if the feminist marketing and advertising was so poorly done that nobody took it seriously anyway – but that’s not the case now, in the real world, either. And we have to deal with reality.

 

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Totally Not a Feminist Movie

I apologize a bit for the snark; people I know who are smart, who are Christian, who I respect, and who think quite a bit like I used to (and assuredly still do on certain things) love and defend “Wonder Woman”.

But, yeah, I’m going to mock it and arguments defending it, because it deserves to be mocked.

With that said:

But it’s totally not a feminist movie you guys.

(If you want to have a laugh, look up Patty Jenkins’ first movie, and then look at *this* movie, and ask yourself again why people are thinking of her as a “woman director” first. Why, it must be sexism, surely!)

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An Observation

I think I hit on something important with “Wonder Woman”. And something scary:

The reason conservatives don’t see feminist propaganda in this movie, despite the fact that it is being marketed and promoted as feminist propaganda, is that they genuinly don’t see the concept of female warriors as “feminist”.

It’s the pattern I’ve been seeing. People go to the movies expecting feminist propaganda and come out and say “It wasn’t that at all!”

“Well, was the movie lead by a warrior woman who proved she can hack it with the men?”

“Yeah.”

“She was portrayed as a role model for young women? A person to emulate?”

“Yeah.”

But I think I get it. Female warriors were never the problem. Women who kick ass like men were never the problem. This is what modern society has turned into – that we should be cheering on women invading male spaces (again, lest people are tempted to go “She’s just an Amazon, not a real woman!”, Gal Gadot is promoting this movie by literally showing men how to properly beat people up) because the movie talks about other pretty good things and also because it doesn’t bash men outright.

These are our standards now.

Do I think there can be such a thing as a good female superhero movie? Indeed I do. Here’s a good example of how it could work.

And “Wonder Woman” is not that.

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Wonder Woman What?

I considered posting this on Superversive SF, but it’s probably too political and too controversial. So here it goes.

After having a discussion on Facebook yesterday I woke up today baffled – absolutely baffled – that conservatives could possible defend “Wonder Woman”. It boggles my mind.

And I mean, we’re talking real conservatives here. Christians who have been publicly attacked and slandered by SJW’s, who take issue with writers like Neil Gaiman, who are devout fans of Chesterton and Lewis. These are the folks who are totally committed to defending “Wonder Woman”.

And again – maybe I’m just being a jerk here, or arrogant, or condescending, but to me it’s just s obvious that “Wonder Woman” is inherently anti-civilization. The trailers are structured to make “Wonder Woman” look like the feminist answer to “Captain America” – “See, women can lead bands of brothers too!”. She is given a shield and dressed in vaguely patriotic colors, and is shown in every trailer going into battle with her men. The movie knocks the natural and respectable order of things; in one trailer a woman who describes herself as a helpmeet to a man, and a paid one at that, is immediately classed as a slave by Wonder Woman; lest you think we’re supposed to be uncomfortable with Wonder Woman’s faux pas, the secretary immediately takes a shine to Wondie’s feminist bona fides. Ha, see, she gets it! Women don’t need to be stuck in no office! They can be leaders just like the menfolk!

But no, what are you talking about, the movie isn’t being marketed as a feminist movie! It was only one trailer, and they didn’t air it much! And okay, maybe it was being marketed as feminist Cap early on, but it’s really not! It’s just you! Just watch the film! The kick-ass Amazon warrior who rushes into battle and classes helpmeets as slaves isn’t feminist at all! She’s awesome!

And she’s an Amazon, so you know, we already know we can’t be like Wonder Woman! Never mind Gal Godot going on the Conan show and literally attempting to prove that women can kick ass just as well as the men can – nay, better. All as part of the marketing spree for “Wonder Woman”.

Here’s the thing: Those feminists who cry when Wonder Woman goes into battle? Those feminists who see her as a shining icon for her cause? Who interpret liberal and progressive themes into the film? They’re the ones who are right. They’re not crazy, they’re reacting exactly how the director *wanted* them to react. This whole thing reminds me of similar discussions I’ve had with fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, who tried to claim that people who read feminist themes into the show were just reading what they wanted into it – this despite the fact that Joss Whedon has gone on the record explicitly stating that yes, “Buffy” is intentionally designed as feminist propaganda. It’s the feminists who get it. We’re the ones reading what we want into it, because “Buffy” is a fun and well-written show that we don’t want to feel guilty watching.

So it is with “Wonder Woman”. I never doubted the movie would be great. It looked great in trailers. Gal Godot is an excellent casting choice. Chris Pine is a great actor. The dialogue seemed sharp enough. What wasn’t to like about it? That’s why the movie is a propaganda masterpiece, because it has managed to trick conservatives into seeing “just” a fun superhero film about a character who was created by a polygamist who thought women were literally superior to men, while simultaneously catering to progressives and feminists promoting a liberal agenda.

That other conservatives don’t see this – that they don’t recognize something being waved in their faces so obviously – genuinely upsets me. I like these people. And am I any better?

On certain things, probably not. And that scares me. What’s going on here?

I think I know the answer, but I don’ like it.

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What it REALLY Means to Oppose Public Education

“is that you’re comparing what the government is forcing children to do to what their own families are forcing them to do.”

Wrong. The government is forcing education on children. Parents can choose how that education is delivered. But the parent can’t opt to not educate the child at all. So the only difference between Mom and the school is delivery. Both are forcing government mandated instruction on the child.

For a smart guy like ed, I find a comment like this astonishing to the point of being kind of shocked he said it.

Sure, there is no difference between a mother choosing how to teach her children, where to teach her children, what order her children will learn (yes, that can be chosen, at least to a certain degree), and who her children will specifically interact with, then a government mandated school. Nope. Basically just delivery that’s the difference.

That’s preposterous.

 

“I’m saying “cheaters not only are people we should be sympathetic to, but in fact are correct in a fundamental way we don’t like to admit”.

Yeah, but you don’t want to think of yourself as some cool leftist black beret wearing protester, some ultra-cool hipster who’s got it all figured out. No, you just want to get it out there, cuz boyo, no one has thought before you that cheating is admirable.

  1. I didn’t say that nobody has thought of this before. Quite the contrary. I’m building off of other people I’ve read, specifically Joseph Moore of Yard Sale of the Mind.
  2. I didn’t say I thought cheating was “admirable”. I don’t think they should be in that situation at all.

This is a situation I ran into a lot when I was starting to reject right liberalism: Halfway rejectors.

Ed has an idea in mind of how people like me think, and he’s projecting those assumptions here. This is because he’s trapped in a mindset: School has to be like this.

I know he is, because he just put a post up on how the public school system is totally the way to go.

I don’t think that in the slightest. In fact, I reject it vehemently.

Here’s the thing. There’s a certain type of person who cheats just because they’re not interested in hard work. This is bad for a lot of reasons, and this person needs more fundamental help then “Hey, we need to stop him from cheating”.

Then there are the people – people like my friends, who are now engineers and government level Cybersecurity programmers, among other things – who cheat in certain classes because they don’t care about them. And yet, here we are, forcing them to learn those things. Things they’re not necessarily ready for, or that frankly they’re too ready for and know they can do the work, so don’t want to jump through the hoops (I had a friend exactly like this in a Web Design course. He found the coursework preposterous, cheated on all of it, then when it was time to actually design websites he was the best in the class. But can’t go without that elective!).

You can call this lazy if you want to. I call it real life – we do our jobs as best we can, we go home and learn how to do the things that we want to do, and our jobs fund our hobbies. You can live a fine life this way.

And I call it childhood when our parents decide the best way for us to live our lives.

But wait! We still need to follow the government’s education program!

And that’s exactly my point. This is a bad thing.

School is a preposterous artificial environment. It makes no sense. There is almost nothing in the real world school is comparable to. I don’t admire cheaters, but frankly, for the worst ones, cheating is just a symptom of a larger problem, and for the folks like my friends and I, or those cheaters Ed mentions who just want that A, it’s increasingly unclear why we’re making them do this stuff at all.

That’s not to say that lying is the right way to go. But it is saying we have more fundamental problems here that we need to address, mostly by tearing the entire system down and replacing it with something new entirely.

 

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On cheating and the school system

This is adapted from a response to a post on the blog of the esteemed Ben Orlin, who is awesome and who you should all read.

The wild card when talking about cheating is that students will often be in classes they don’t want to be in, don’t care about, and will probably never make use of again. But they need a good grade in that class to get into the college they want, or even graduate at all.

Look at the whole thing from that perspective – you’re there against your will, forced to do something you don’t want to for a reason you don’t care about and that probably won’t affect your life one way or the other once you’re finished with it.

We’ve admitted now that a lot of the anti-cheating arguments are poor or only apply in rare situations, but we’re afraid to take the next step and admit that students who cheat  at least sometimes have a very good reason, and little incentive NOT to. How on earth can you talk about the “morality” of cheating to a person who has essentially been blackmailed into doing whatever you want them to for an hour each day?

For a larger number of cases than we’d care to admit the only good reason not to cheat is the risk of getting caught.

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