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May 21, 2007

Joss Whedon: Idiot

This is the vile video of the stoning of a woman of the Yazidi faith for suspicion of mixing with a Sunni. Correction: I wrongly guessed Yazidi was a Muslim sect. It's not, it's an pre-Islamic religion.

Whedon references this murder in his screed. Here's the horrifying stoning by primitives:

Truly horrifying. Not merely horrifying in that a woman was murdered -- which is always horrific, but murders are sadly common -- but positively disgusting in the apparent support for this very public murder. Murderers are common; but fans of real-time murder? That speaks not a single demented killer but an entire society infected with viral psychopathy.

On to Wheedon's moronic commentary. And yes, trust me: It is moronic. Give the idiocy a chance to breathe.

This is not my blog, but I don’t have a blog, or a space, and I’d like to be heard for a bit.

Last month seventeen year old Dua Khalil was pulled into a crowd of young men, some of them (the instigators) family, who then kicked and stoned her to death. This is an example of the breath-taking oxymoron “honor killing”, in which a family member (almost always female) is murdered for some religious or ethical transgression. Dua Khalil, who was of the Yazidi faith, had been seen in the company of a Sunni Muslim, and possibly suspected of having married him or converted. That she was torturously murdered for this is not, in fact, a particularly uncommon story. But now you can watch the action up close on CNN. Because as the girl was on the ground trying to get up, her face nothing but red, the few in the group of more than twenty men who were not busy kicking her and hurling stones at her were filming the event with their camera-phones.

There were security officers standing outside the area doing nothing, but the footage of the murder was taken – by more than one phone – from the front row. Which means whoever shot it did so not to record the horror of the event, but to commemorate it. To share it. Because it was cool.

I could start a rant about the level to which we have become desensitized to violence, about the evils of the voyeuristic digital world in which everything is shown and everything is game, but honestly, it’s been said. And I certainly have no jingoistic cultural agenda. I like to think that in America this would be considered unbearably appalling, that Kitty Genovese is still remembered, that we are more evolved. But coincidentally, right before I stumbled on this vid I watched the trailer for “Captivity”.

A few of you may know that I took public exception to the billboard campaign for this film, which showed a concise narrative of the kidnapping, torture and murder of a sexy young woman. I wanted to see if the film was perhaps more substantial (especially given the fact that it was directed by “The Killing Fields” Roland Joffe) than the exploitive ad campaign had painted it. The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is “I’m sorry”.

“I’m sorry.”

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.

I try to think how we got here. The theory I developed in college (shared by many I’m sure) is one I have yet to beat: Womb Envy. Biology: women are generally smaller and weaker than men. But they’re also much tougher. Put simply, men are strong enough to overpower a woman and propagate. Women are tough enough to have and nurture children, with or without the aid of a man. Oh, and they’ve also got the equipment to do that, to be part of the life cycle, to create and bond in a way no man ever really will. Somewhere a long time ago a bunch of men got together and said, “If all we do is hunt and gather, let’s make hunting and gathering the awesomest achievement, and let’s make childbirth kinda weak and shameful.” It’s a rather silly simplification, but I believe on a mass, unconscious level, it’s entirely true. How else to explain the fact that cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on one issue? That every popular religion puts restrictions on women’s behavior that are practically untenable? That the act of being a free, attractive, self-assertive woman is punishable by torture and death? In the case of this upcoming torture-porn, fictional. In the case of Dua Khalil, mundanely, unthinkably real. And both available for your viewing pleasure.

Standard Liberal Operatiting Practice (SLOP): take an utterly vile incident perpetrated by the barbaric medeivalists of the Religion of Peace (TM) and immediately liken it to our own cultural shortcomings, putting it on the same continuum of evil.

Dua Khalil was murdered in cold blood by a crowd who enthusiastically became the cinematographers of her real-life snuff film; Elisha Cuthbert is paid north of $1 million to appear in a movie in which she pretends to be abducted. Same thing. Same cultural malady -- "Womb Envy" -- infecting us both.

I've got my problems with Captivity, but I'm pretty sure Elisha Cuthbert is still, you know, alive. I think I'd've heard about it had they killed her.

But this is how SLOP works. True evil is constantly trivialized by the narcissistic impulse to see that same evil in people who simply don't vote the way you do -- the thirst of liberals to flatter themselves is never sated, and this all-consuming need drives them to constantly both excuse the evil of barbaric psychopathy (can't judge these People of Another Culture of Peace, after all) and slander their fellow Americans (why, Elisha Cuthbert's new exploitation movie is just like a real murder!).

Fuckin' idiot.

I got that from Pandagon, by the way. Guess which part of Wheedon's rant -- the bit about the real-life snuff film created by adherents of the Religion of Peace, or the silly nonsense about the Cuthbert abduction/revenge movie (you guys do know she gets vengeance on her tormentors, right?) -- she chooses to quote and focus on?

Because, you know, she's a serious feminist. She's very concerned about the big issues affecting women, like Elisha Cuthbert's oevure.

BTW: From what I know of Captivity-- which is not much; just the images from the campaign and the basic plot -- I consider it irresponsible film-making. I may be wrong in jumping to conclusions, but it does seem to be a snuff movie type of movie. (Except the heroine won't get snuffed, but will rather snuff the would-be snuffers.)

But I despise movies like this. I don't mind violence in movies, God knows, but I think it's irresponsible to make "horror movies" like I Spit On Your Grave where there is a high danger of encouraging psychopaths to actually emulate what they see in the film. There's no distancing element of fantasy in such films; it's horrible actions the average psycho really could do in real life, if he had a mind to do so.

I think that's why I've always been uneasy with Death Wish. James Bond and Lethal Weapon movies feature more killings, but there's that distancing element of pure fantasy in such fare. You really couldn't be James Bond or even Martin Riggs. You could, however, easily decide to be Paul from Death Wish and start plugging people in the subways who "looked suspicious."

So really, I'm no fan of Captivity, and I could slam this sort of dangerous exploitation flick with the best of them.

What I cannot abide, however, is the SLOP being fed to us by Wheedon that this crappy movie somehow puts us -- all of us; all men, the "half of" the world population he spoke of -- on the same continuum of evil, murder, and "Womb Envy" with Dua Khalil's killers.

It's just your typical liberal, elevating murderers to the status of those merely needing some PC education, and lowering those who (it is claimed) need some PC education to the status of murderers.

But Wheedon and Marcotte speak bravely for women. Just ask them.

Related: The new Terminator TV series. How is this related? Well, just keep looking at this strangely-familar female face:

Huh. A female (appearing) Terminator gets thrown through a wall by a (male) appearing Terminator. Truly this means we live in a sick society that enjoys seeing women beaten and murdered.

Via Hot Air. Since I swiped that, let me recommend watching their clips from the 1/2 Hour News Hour. The Lorenzo Lamas bit (first clip) is quite funny, and I'm not saying that merely because it was long my plan, never gotten around to, to make my own "Truther" website featuring the shocking theory that Al Qaeda Muslims destroyed the Twin Towers with planes. The Dennis Miller stuff is okay, but it's kind of standard.

Come To Think of It... Didn't Joss Whedon pay Summner Glau a lot of money to pretend to have been abducted, tortured, violated, and mind-raped by the Alliance?

What is wrong with him? Doesn't he realize that's showing off his vicious misogyny and his belief that women are "expendable" and "inferior" and ergo good subjects for filmed torments for us evil men to jack off too?

What's that? He was just telling a fairly standard story about a super-hero's origin, an origin featuring, as many do, superpowers bequeathed via nasty government experimentation?


Gee, and I thought for a moment there he was no better than Dua Khalil's killers.

I'm not sure how I feel about Buffy so frequently being karate-punched and head-butted by warlocks, though.

digg this
posted by Ace at 09:47 AM

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