• This installment of our Crazy Chronicles begins with the always reliable Amanda Marcotte of Salon, who believes that “Hallmark movies are fascist propaganda.” No, really—that’s what she thinks:
Running down this year’s schedule of Christmas movie offerings is like a trip into an uncanny valley of shiny-teethed, blow-dried heteronormative whiteness, with only a few token movies with characters of color. It’s like watching “The Stepford Wives,” but scarier, since the evil plot to replace normal people with robots is never actually revealed. None of this should be a surprise, because Hallmark movies, as cloying and saccharine as they are, constitute the platonic ideal of fascist propaganda. . .
. . . even in Nazi Germany, the majority of movies approved by the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, were escapist and feather-light, with a Hallmark movie-style emphasis on the importance of “normality.”
The whole thing offers more of this kind of rarified satire of leftist mind (you’d almost suspect it to be a hoax . . . almost), but deserves a reprise of one of last week’s memes:
• But if you think Hallmark movies are evil, the New York Times is handy to instruct us that “We Can’t See ‘Star Wars’ Anymore.” It’s not worth reading this overlong lugubrious piece, but here’s a highlight:
It’s remembered now as a proto-Reaganesque, reactionary backlash against the morally ambiguous cinema of the ’70s, but it’s also a countercultural, anti-fascist fable about shaggy young outsiders fighting a revolution against the faceless, armored henchmen of a military technocracy. The Empire is comfortably identified with our favorite movie enemies, the Nazis, which helps disguise the fact that they are also, metaphorically, the imperialist invaders of Vietnam, confident in their devastating firepower to crush an ill-equipped insurgency. . .
By the time James Cameron’s “Avatar” made this allegory painfully overt, it felt uncomfortably weird watching American audiences cheer fantasies of indigenous peoples defeating capitalist invaders bent on exploiting their resources, even as our own battle droids were blowing up insurgents in oil-rich Iraq. You could imagine Al Qaeda or Timothy McVeigh identifying with Luke blowing up the Death Star — plucky underdogs destroying symbols of invincible power with dollar-store equipment and an audacious, suicidal plan. How did we end up on the wrong side of this story?
For what it’s worth, I’ve seen the new one. Meh. The real sin of Star Wars now is a total lack of imagination and daring on the part of the filmmakers.
• The New Republic stamps its feet and declares that “Facebook is a Right-Wing Company.” It’s really just an extended attack on Peter Thiel, but Zuckerberg becomes an Emanuel Goldstein hate-figure, too:
For years, Facebook’s public relations team has tried to present Mark Zuckerberg not as the ruthless billionaire he is, but as a compassionate and curious young man seeking to understand the world around him. That has changed over the past year and a half. Facebook has, as many have noted, always been a covertly right-wing company, “hostage to conservative ideas about economics and speech,” as Jacob Silverman wrote in The Baffler.
• But The New Republic outdoes itself!
Just what is an “identity” writer? (Actually, don’t answer that question. Pretty sure I know.) And New York or Washington? Where’s the “diversity”?
Keep it coming, and pass the popcorn.