Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The End of Identity Politics (1960s – 2013ish)

Our fringes, left and right, won’t like this, but there is more evidence all the time that identity politics is a dead issue with the public. I wrote about this last year and the proof just keeps on coming. Observe.

For those who don’t know, identity politics is a political strategy pushed originally by the left to drive a wedge between minorities and the rest of America so the left could secure their loyalties. The idea was to make these groups paranoid so they would identify only with others of their own kind, who would then band together and vote for leftists who promised to protect them from whites, males, straights, etc. Hence, black leftists told blacks that whites want to return them to slavery. Women were told that males want to take away their jobs and their right to control their bedroom lives. Gays were told that straights want to criminalize their lifestyles again. And so on. And each group was told they were oppressed to make them feel like victims. Talk radio hosts then brought this same tactic to the right and told whites/males/heterosexuals that they were the real victims and that everyone else was out to get them.

Both of these sides now spend their time scaring their own audiences with quotes from obscure idiots on the other side and with boogeymen tales to keep their audiences paranoia of the enemy... "Did you hear about that one guy who said that thing? You know THEY all think like that, don't you?"

But the public at large has rejected all of this. How do I know?

Well, for starters, there was the shocking poll from Rasmussen that I mentioned last July. Rasmussen found the following:
● 37% of Americans think “most blacks are racist.”
● 18% of Americans think “most Hispanics are racist.”
● 15% of Americans think “most whites are racist.”
These numbers were shocking because they were a total repudiation of everything the left and right had been saying. The left routinely claims that all whites are racists, even those who fight racism, because it is inherent in our natures. The talk radio right counter that blacks and Hispanics are racist militants who are determined to oppress whites and turn America in a Browndystopia. Yet, the public clearly rejects this: 8 in 10 reject the liberal claim and more than 6 in 10 reject the conservative claim (this number is likely higher because of the near-constant use of false racism charges by blacks who get into trouble).

Then there’s this. Even though a Pew poll found that women earn just 84% of what their male counterparts earn, only 15% of women say they have been discriminated against personally because of their gender. So much for accepting the idea that all women are oppressed.

But the best evidence comes from other sources. As I’ve always pointed out, the problems with polls are threefold: (1) bias by the pollster, who coincidentally is never held accountable if they are wrong, (2) bad methodology, including limitations of the questions and poor sample selection, and (3) the fact that people don’t tell the truth. And in terms of telling the truth, I don’t even mean that they necessarily lie. When confronted with polls, a lot of people will tell the pollster what they have been told is the appropriate answer, whether they believe it or not. Others will respond with their aspirations rather than the reality. So we need to look somewhere else.

To give you an example, people tell pollster that they have nothing against fat people. That is the “politically correct” answer. But this isn’t borne out in reality, where voters willing vote for things to try to force fat people to lose weight (like the 16 oz. tyranny), where surveys have shown that fat people earn less and are held in lower esteem than thinner colleagues, and where neither Hollywood nor Madison Avenue (advertising central) cast fat people as anything other than comic relief.

If you think about it, you will realize that Madison Avenue (and to lesser extent Hollywood) are the ultimate source of information about the state of our culture. Why? Because their livelihood depends on them correctly diagnosing cultural trends. If they misunderstand a prejudice and cast a fat guy to sell their cologne, sales will tank or even worse they might spawn a negative meme or protests by outraged groups, and they will be fired. Get fired a couple times and you’re done as a company. So getting it right is vital... unlike with pollsters and talking heads.

So why am I talking about advertising? Because I’ve seen two fascinating ads lately that relate to the issue of identity politics. In the 1990s, when identity politics was in its heyday, you took your professional life in your hands if you made a woman or a black the villain or the butt of a joke. The Nazi-like forces of identity politics proclaimed not only that all films ads must include blacks and women, but they must always be shown in positive, stereotype-rejecting ways. Thus, women and blacks were portrayed as bosses, professionals, leaders and winners. If two people competed, the black or woman won. They could never be portrayed as stupid, out of touch, or as the butt of jokes nor could be they be cast as criminals, racists, sexists, or as nasty people. Was. Not. Done. Television and films were the same way. Heck, even if the film was about gangs, the gangs were typically shown as multiracial, with a white businessman ultimately being behind them and with the white gang members being the psychotics.

Little by little though, this seems to be breaking down. The first sign was the return of white male managers and smart white males. Suddenly, not every woman on television was automatically smarter than the males around her. Girls being shown playing sports have vanished too -- a trend that was pushed heavily by feminists in the 1990s.

Then came the Microsoft tablet ad. In this ad, a white guy(and white woman) are upset to hear that the new guy got a great new tablet simply because the new guy spilled coffee on the older computer they gave him. In the abstract, this makes the new guy sound clumsy. But there’s more. The new guy is shown essentially bragging about the event in such a way that the commercial suggests that the coffee spilling was intentional. That makes the new guy a bit of a villain. Here’s the catch. The new guy is black. Showing a black guy as either clumsy or a villain or "working the system" and bragging about it would have been impossible in the 1990s... but there is it.

At the same time, in the remake of Red Dawn, there is one collaborator shown... the mayor. Guess what? He’s black. It has long been a stereotype that blacks are of questionable loyalty to America -- this was the counterargument to desegregation of the military. Portraying a black character as a collaborator in an invasion would have brought screams of racism in the 1980s or 1990s... but there it is.

Then came the Jack in the Box ad. In this ad, Jack is walking to a meeting and the woman walking next to him is a real dingbat. She doesn’t know how to complete words (she speaks in text speak) and she doesn’t know what a watch is. Essentially, this is a dig at young people. But had this been done ten years ago, the assistant would have needed to be male... this was a woman.

So what you have here is advertisers, who need to be at the forefront of culture and need to be right in their diagnosis of culture, are no longer afraid to poke fun at women and blacks. This tells us that they are no longer worried about the public freaking out about identity politics.

Finally, we have this. The two most popular female characters among women right now, without a doubt, are Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey, a woman who is submissive and needs a strong man to take control of her life and make her happy, and Stephanie Plum... a horribly incompetent bounty hunter who can’t compete with the much more competent men in her life. Both characters would have been savagely attacked by feminists in the 1990s and probably suppressed. Similarly, fat and incompetent Melissa McCarthy and incompetent Kristen Wiig are quickly becoming the two most bankable female stars of the moment. And don’t forget, this is a country that elected a black man as president and may elect a woman soon. This is a country that has happily embraced a large number of black leading men and several tough-gal leading women in action films. News readers can be male or female, black, white or other, as can athletes. None of this would be true if the public was as obsessed with race as the fringes are.

All of this above strongly suggests that the public at large has rejected identity politics and is “moving beyond” race and gender. That’s good for the country and ultimately great for conservatism.

48 comments:

Kit said...

Amen.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, What's interesting is that I'm seeing evidence of this everywhere really, especially with young women. There has been a real sea change in the past 5-10 years in attitude and you can actually feel the change in tone.

Kit said...

I just realized something when you mentioned Kristen Wiig.

In the 1990s movie Space Jam they introduced a character named Lola Bunny.
A hyper-competent, basketball playing female rabbit. She was also not allowed to be the butt of jokes or have any flaws whatsoever. In fact she was perfect. Perfect body, perfect mind, perfect perfect perfect. In fact all of her "jokes" revolved around the male characters reactions to her.
The result was a near-universally hated character.
Here is her introductory scene, to give you a hint. Warning, its painful. You might need something to bite to make through it. 1min 8sec:
LINK

Fast-forward to 2011 and the Looney Tunes Show. Here Lola has been radically changed. Voiced by Kristen Wiig, she is a ditz obsessed with Bugs Bunny to near stalker-ish levels. Resulting in a character that is funny as hell and a far better written.
Here is a scene with her that sums her up, especially the last 40-60sec (2min 25sec in all):
LINK

Individualist said...

Well I guess the new identity politics will have to be based on blood type then.....

It is the one difference in people that the activists have overlooked to it is fresh territory!

Although I am thinking Sheldon Cooper's assignation of the emotional state of loneliness to the color Orange may have a better chance of catching on!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Great example of a direct comparison of how things have changed. That's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. In the 1990s, at the peak of identity politics, you didn't dare make a protected character into the butt of a joke. But that's come to an end. Things are much more open again and seem to be getting more open all the time. Like I said, the only exception is on the fringes, where this stuff has become a religion.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, LOL! Good luck with that. Somehow I can't see blood type becoming a real rallying cry.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Let me add this. The point isn't that PC is 100% dead. It's not. The point is that it's lost it's power. So while in the past, the only acceptable presentation was the one in Space Jam, today the things that were not allowed in the 1990s are allowed. That's the key. That means fear of the PC is gone.

DocWhoa said...

Andrew, I think you make a great point, especially about advertisers needing to walk on that edge without making any missteps. That makes them much more reliable than pollsters.

I also have noticed a serious relaxing in the public. Comedians are telling dirty jokes about everyone again. And no one gets tense anymore when a minority character is made to look like an idiot. I remember back in the 1990s, if someone poked fun at a black or woman or some other minority, even if no one was actually upset, there was always some liberal at hand who got upset that others MIGHT be offended. "You could offend someone, you shouldn't say that." I NEVER hear that anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Great point. That seems to have changed too -- insult by proxy. In the 1990s, there were tons of people who were prepared to be insulted for others even if they weren't insulted themselves. You almost never hear that anymore. The one exception I see is liberal sportscasters, where the key to fame is still to find some "injustice" and expose what everyone already knows, e.g. gay athletes, the Redskin name, "lack" of black quarterbacks/coaches, lack of women referees, etc.

Interestingly though, the public doesn't seem to care about these issues.

Koshcat said...

Interesting. I'll have to keep my eyes open.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, There are signs of this everywhere. It's been a noticeable change lately, just in terms of tone alone... not to mention content. If you watch, you'll see that the adversarial attitude has vanished; strong men are suddenly back in vogue -- something feminists did not allow in the 1990s; women are again allowed to be feminine in appearance, attitude and behavior; they've dropped the attempts to push girls into sports... boys are doing the sports again; men can be bosses again as can whites; women and blacks can be the butt of jokes or villains; stay-at-home moms have returned to the world of commercials, etc.

Look at how few people turned out to support Sharpton during the Trayvon Martin rallies or Jess Jackass in his attempts to latch onto the Duck Dynasty thing... where again, note that profits trumped identity politics, something that wouldn't have happened in the 1990s.

Again, I'm not saying that the politically correct have totally vanished, but the fact they are no longer controlling is what is key.

What's interesting is that as the public rejects these things, the two fringes are getting more and more aggressive about it. That actually makes sense because people tend to be most defensive when they are on the ropes and once they lose these people, they probably won't get them back, but it makes for an interesting disconnect. As the public moves beyond race/gender, the fringers are getting more and more paranoid about seeing the world as being all about race/gender.

Anthony said...

Andrew said:

Thus, women and blacks were portrayed as bosses, professionals, leaders and winners. If two people competed, the black or woman won. They could never be portrayed as stupid, out of touch, or as the butt of jokes nor could be they be cast as criminals, racists, sexists, or as nasty people. Was. Not. Done. Television and films were the same way. Heck, even if the film was about gangs, the gangs were typically shown as multiracial, with a white businessman ultimately being behind them and with the white gang members being the psychotics.
----------------------
You and I were really watching different stuff in the 90's. In Living Color was massively popular in its day (censorship and talent going their own way killed it). In Living Color was hilarious and popular, but hard on everyone including women and blacks (who were the majority of the cast). Below is a sketch involving Jesse Jackson selling a line of books which tailored to black kids.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l73yg77ufsk

Its also worth noting that black sidekicks didn't go anywhere in the 1990s. Think of Walker Texas Ranger, the Lethal Weapon series, Die Hard 3 and even Unforgiven (my favorite Western). For that matter, neither did the black guy dies first trope (common in horror and action movies).

In most of the movies centering around gangs and drug dealers, whites weren't a big factor. Think Boyz in the Hood, Juice, Menace 2 Society, New Jack City and Fresh.

Pop culture is a massive space with a lot of things going on. Its not too hard to pick a bunch of movies, books, tv shows or videogames with a common characteristic and call it a trend, but its also pretty easy to look at a bunch of other pop culture products and see evidence which supports the opposite conclusion.

Anthony said...

Andrew,

Its also worth noting that physically powerful/capable men were actually a bigger thing in the 1990s than they are nowadays. In the 1990s the popular action stars were muscleheads and martial artists who could barely act but who could probably kick most people's asses in real life (with Bruce Willis being a notable exception).

Nowadays action stars are people like Liam Neeson, Christian Bale and Robert Downey Jr. Muscleheads and martial artists still star in action movies sometimes, but they are niche (sorry Expendables).

tryanmax said...

...hard on everyone including women and blacks (who were the majority of the cast)...

Anthony, your parenthetical is actually the key. ILC was a black-centric show, which is why they could get away with that. The 90s also enjoyed the dual-phenomenon of the Fresh Prince and Steve Urkel. Both shows confronted black stereotypes in a safe, all-black environment.

As for the gang movies, again, the key is that they were completely black-centric. Black villains were safe only if the entire context of the film was black. Hollywood took a real seperate-but-equal turn in the 90s.

I'm not sure which Lethal Weapon series you watched, but Glover was hardly the sidekick. I'm not going to sit with a stopwatch and count screentime, but buddy-cops are generally opposite equals, and LW is no exception. Glover actually got to be the butt of a few jokes, remarkably!

As to the other sidekicks examples, you'll note that they weren't bumbling as they might have been at an earlier time. Also, I think the black sidekick trope took off a bit in the 90s as a way to show that the white hero was racially inclusive and sensitive and to grant license to deal with other than white villains.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, I think you're getting your timeline a little muddled. The musclehead action hero heyday was definitely in the 80s. Let's look at the big ones:

Schwarzenegger turned to films like Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way in the 90s. His action roles were either parody (True Lies) or reprise (Terminator franchise).

Stallone wrapped up all the Rambo and Rocky films by 1990 and, while he still did straight action, nothing from the 90s is memorable save Demolition Man and Judge Dredd. (I will grant that Wesley Snipes playing the villain undermines the general theory, though Simon Phoenix was an especially competent villain.)

Chuck Norris similarly had fizzled out by the 90s. Sidekicks was his last big movie in 1992, in which he played himself with full acknowledgement of his 80s career. He settled into Walker the next year. Note that Norris isn't traditionally considered a muscle head.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is about the only 90s action hero that fits your claim, and he was a bit of a joke in his own time. One could maybe consider Dolph Lundgren, but that barrel scrapings, frankly. (And I like Dolph.)

Others that come to mind are Steven Seagal, but he isn't exactly a muscle head. Neither is Mel Gibson. Nor Jackie Chan. Nor the aforementioned Snipes. I'm out.

Kit said...

And Seagal did mostly low-budget movies, to my recollection.

Anthony said...

Tryanmax,

Martials artists and muscle heads are categories that sometimes overlapped, but often didn't (Seagal was pretty chubby most of his career, but he is a master of Aikido).

I agree that the height of the musclehead and martial artist era was the 80's, but it extended deep into the 90's (nods towards Cliffhanger and Eraser).

I'd say it wasn't until the dawn of the new millennium when we started seeing lots of successful action movie stars without slabs of muscle or years of martial arts training.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, true. And I do note that I missed where you had said "Muscleheads and martial artists" earlier.

You could look at it both ways, besides. John Rambo was not really a dope, but he became the prototype for all the knuckleheads who followed. They got really dopey by the 90s (e.g. Van Damme). The underlying message could be taken as "it's okay to be a physically dominating male so long as you're stupid." I personally know a lot of people in my age-range who received that message--if not consciously--and took it to heart.

Of course, it's easy to put false contexts on the past through the present. I think there was just a strong desire for a lot of beat-em-up action at the time.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, The things you are talking about were black films and black sitcoms. Political correctness has always made an exception for minorities to mock themselves in any way they see fit. It's the same way blacks can use the N-word without reproach. A white cast could never have done the things In Living Color did. Even using a black guest to do them would still have brought howls of racism.

And the films you mention may have been mainstream for blacks, but few whites saw them. They were niche films in that regard. In fact, I saw the movie Friday with a black friend when it came out and I was the only white person in the theater. And to this day, I doubt one in whites has seen any of the films you mention.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, You've misunderstood the word "powerful." Powerful does not mean musclebound... it means strong personality. It means males imbued with leadership ability, strong minds, strong personalities, and strong wills. Outside of a few actions films aimed directly at the macho contingent, the 1990s were an age of wimps who followed the lead of stronger wives and girlfriends. The 1990s were the age of the fat incompetent dad in sitcoms, the pathetic boyfriend who let the woman find her own life in romance films, and the wife-beating rapist in dramas. Judges, bosses, professors, professionals were all wise blacks or strong women who needed to rein in the white guys. And commercials were packed with fat/balding/out-of-touch white guys who worked for women/blacks and became the brunt of all jokes. That is what has changed. The limitation of those roles has broken down.

Anthony said...

Tryanmax,

IMHO black centric movies tended to have a broad range not because they were insulated from criticism (though that was part of it) but because a movie made up of loyal sidekicks or what have you wouldn't be much of a movie.

In good movies and tv shows one needs a range of characters. In most most Hollywood movies there is just a role or two for blacks (sorry, the position of the black guy has already been filled).

Furthermore, there is a fairly narrow range of roles on offer and there are guys and gals that everybody thinks of for certain types of roles (Morgan Freeman is hardly the only old black guy in Hollywood, but he is the go-to guy for those that can afford him).

Along those lines, there was never really an era where Hollywood was casting lots of black villains who weren't working for white guys outside of black centric movies and tv shows. Pickings were very lean for black actors prior to the 1970's.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The black sidekick thing in the 1990s was a way to respond to Grease 2 of all things. Grease 2 was a turning point in films because it was widely protested by black groups because it contained no black characters. After that, Hollywood decided that it needed to include black characters no matter what. Thus, they started showing up in all films, mainly as extras. This wasn't enough, however, as black groups demanded quality roles for these characters. Enter the age of the black sidekick. Not only did including one satisfy the race groups, but it showed that the white hero was no racist because his best friends were black.

(As an aside, this also led to the silliness of things like U-571 including a black character who helped capture and control a German U-Boat even though there would have been no blacks involved historically.)

And as you note, unlike prior sidekicks whose job was comedy relief and giving the hero a platform for explaining the plot, "Duh... what's happening?", the new black sidekicks were typically presented as flawless and highly competent.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Black films have always been separate. They have done their own thing. To a degree it mimics what was going on in white films, but always with a black-centric view. Thus, blaxploitation films were the black version of things like The French Connection. The "hood" movies of the 1980s and 1990s were a response to the teen/coming of age movies done for poor blacks. Black comedians often took white films and simply did them with black humor or, like the Wayan Brothers, they poked fun at white films from a black perspective. Etc.

And I think the broad range they have is because they cater to blacks as a group, who has as wide an interest in films as whites or anyone else.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Here's a test. As yourself how people would react if:

1) Thelma and Louise or some other high profile wife beater film came out today. Would it come anywhere near garnering the attention it did in the 1990s or would it be dismissed as out-of-date and critic bait?

(For those who don't know, there were about a dozen high profile, mainstream films in the 1990s about women who were beaten by their husbands.)

2) Hollywood announced a film about three white guys stuck in a space capsule... no other cast. Would there be a national debate about the failure to include any women or blacks?

I think the answer is no to both and that represents a significant change in attitude since the 1990s.

Kelly said...

Andrew, What is your take on the knock-out game? I see talk radio turning it into the next stage in the war against whites, but I think that's pretty stupid. Thoughts?

BevfromNYC said...

There has been a much longer arc of this change going back to the '60's and '70's when believe it or not, Hollywood dealt with interactive racial issues much more openly and honestly (and humorously).

The significant change was in the rapid rise of "political correctness" in the '80's to now with the "I can say X, but you cannot". It rapidly shut the visual and verbal conversation down. People began to catch on to the perfect racial mix of little children - one white girl, one black boy, one Asian girl, one [random] child. And the visual became obvious and annoying.

I think the internet has helped too. There is no way of determining the race,creed, weight, marital status etc. of anyone on blogs/interwebular mosh pits unless one tells you. So the world becomes more about what one thinks than what one looks like or any other physical identifying marker.

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, You mean "THE KNOCK OUT GAME!!!! The thing that blacks are using to wipe out whites while our uncaring government doesn't do anything about it because they want this to happen???!!! Arm yourself! Don't go into public if THEY are around!!!" You mean that one?

Let's go through this logically shall we? There have been about 20-30 such attacks reported over the past 4-5 months. By comparison, there are about 700,000 aggravated assaults in the US each year. So these will account for 0.00005% of aggravated assaults and they will effect 0.000000009% of the public. Does that seem significant to you?

Moreover, several of these have been white on black, so if there is a racial element, it works both ways. This is just a thug thing.

MOREOVER, in each case, the attacker was charged with the crime they committed. In three instances, they were charged with a hate crimes as well (two blacks and one white). So the idea that the government does nothing is false.

This is just the latest "the browns are coming to get us" meme talk radio has bought into. Before this, it was blacks on crack selling uzi, then gang initiations involving car headlight, then drive-bys, then home invasions, then flash mobs, and now this. Blacks turn this around and create white lynch mobs and Trayvon Martin situations.

tryanmax said...

...and the wife-beating rapist in dramas.

Can you say, "Lifetime Original Movie?"

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree. Hence, my title, which starts in the 1960s. From what I've seen, all of this started in the 1960s when feminism and the Civil Rights Movement took turns away from equality and started demanding privilege... separate and unequal. This led to things like affirmative actions, calls for reparations, quotas on admissions, and talk of the equal pay laws (the failed ERA).

Then in the 1980s, they came up with the idea that words are power and they adopted political correctness with a vengeance. And with it came a real adversarial tone.

All of that peaked in the 1990s and has since collapsed. And everywhere you look today, average people simply no longer follow those rules. Cries of racism and sexism no longer resonate. People don't identify with "their group". Young women in particular have rejected the rigid rules set for them by the feminists. And society at large is moving beyond all the restrictions political correctness imposed.

Are we completely done with that? No, but there has been a real sea change and each week seems to bring new examples that the forces of political correctness no longer control the culture or the people.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's where those films are now relegated to, and even that channel has had to pick up more mainstream films just to maintain their audience. But in the 1990s, they were the cause celebre films. There were honestly about a dozen, each was up for awards and most were hits.

And even apart from those, films like Jurassic Park were openly feminist and were packed with feminist messages that wouldn't sell today... they would seem out of place.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, You misunderstand my point about insulated black show. Of course a show full of sidekicks would suck. But once one establishes that the story takes place in an all-time or predominately-black world, it takes race out of the equation and gets down to basic storytelling. Whereas, in the 90s, the spectre of race hung over a "white" film such that even if one were made without so much as a single dark-skinned extra in the background, that would be a problem. Anything that could be interpreted as a slight was so interpreted. But a "black" film could rest solely on its narrative merits once the setting was established. And many were very good. Boyz n the Hood is one of my favorites.

tryanmax said...

Sorry, that "all-time" above should just say "all-". Stupid auto-correct.

tryanmax said...

BTW, speaking ofBoyz n the Hood, did you know that Laurence Fishburne was billed as "Larry" in that film? I find that humorous. Fishburne also played Cowboy Curtis on Pee-Wee's Playhouse. As a testament to how optimistic children's programs in the 80s were, it never occurred to me that Curtis was black--or anything at all for that matter. And while I'm still on Fishburne, his role as Morpheus in The Matrix rather bolsters the original premise.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, sorry to jack the thread, but this just occurred to me. I think the convergence of what you and I each are observing is that those who cried racism, etc. in Hollywood whenever a minority was portrayed in any way but glowingly positive are the root cause of there not being very many roles for minorities in mainstream films. I think even the lack of leads could be so attributed for various reasons; a minority lead seems out of place without similar support (see Elysium); producers don't want to seem"obvious"; you still must avoid flawed heroes, etc.

What do you think?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've said this for some time. You couldn't cast them in any role that resulted in them being seen with flaws or you would face the wrath of the race/gender crowd (and Heaven help you if the flaws aligned with a negative stereotype).

So the end result was that all but a few very select roles were closed to them: (1) infallible lead/sidekick (see Will Smith), (2) noble conscience (see Morgan Freemen), (3) wise boss/leader/judge who can't really be involved in the story because they cannot face hardship and still be seen as ideal, or (4) extra. Since most of Hollywood is about dirty cops, criminals, adulterous spouses, addicts, comic relief, badly flawed heroes or psychotic criminals... they were simply excluded from most roles by the very rules imposed by the forces of political correctness.

That's why I think the things I mention above are so fascinating -- they show the breakdown of that system as formerly "protected" minorities are suddenly starting to appear in roles they would not have been allowed into 10 years ago.

Tennessee Jed said...

I'll feel better about this if and when women, hispanics, and blacks quit voting for socialist entitlements

Anthony said...

Andrew,

Training Day was 13 years ago. Compared to the stuff Denzel Washington did in that movie, breaking one's computer to get a nicer new one isn't a big deal :).

Anthony said...

Tryanmax,

Did you ever see the in Living Color sketch made right after Paul Reuben got caught in the theater? 'Hey kids! Pee Wee's been on a new adventure!'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbt-XHqpqoE

tryanmax said...

LOL, I did not see that one. I've only seen ILC in reruns (hard to find).

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Some point related to your comment...

1. This is a significant change that is worth noting. It is an opportunity, and must be exploited. It is not a 100% victory. Conservatives need to drop the idea that anything less than 100% equals 0%.... an argument that gets used over and over whenever anyone talks about trying to reach out to new voters.

2. Less than 20% of the public voted for Obama. The problem was that even fewer voted for Romney. And many who voted for Obama simply voted against the Republicans who are doing their best to scare the hell out of people. So it's not accurate to say they are voting for socialist entitlements.

3. Reagan won women and we used to get 40%+ of Hispanics until our side decided that "we want to criminalize your sex life and deport your friends" was the ideal party slogan. The blame is on us for this. As I said, this is a rejection of the left. The right will only win these people if they embrace them and stop trying to drive them away.

4. No matter what else, this should be enough to make people realize that they are being fed a line of bullshit from the likes of Rush who is still pimping the 1990s. The public is not as he described it. He is describing his counterparts on the left and trying to scare you into thinking they are the public. They aren't... and this is just one bit of proof of that.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, True! LOL!

But again, that's a film that is basically a black film with a couple token whites. It stars a good number of rappers. The good guys and bad guys are black. It's got a hip hop soundtrack. It's a little more mainstream because Denzel has crossed over, but fundamentally, it was a film aimed at blacks more than whites. It's not the type of film where anyone would complain if the villain was a black guy.

I use to watch In Living Color when it was new. I enjoyed it a lot because they went places SNL didn't dare. And I've since enjoyed most of the Wayan's Brother's careers.

Anonymous said...

...films like Jurassic Park were openly feminist and were packed with feminist messages...

I hope you're not basing that on Laura Dern's one joke ("Dinosaur eats man..."). This is one Spielberg film that the talking heads like to dissect, even moreso than some of his other equally-successful (and sometimes openly-political) blockbusters.

I don't get it, but that's just me. (And to be fair, the whole Spielberg "absentee father" motif comes from his own childhood. If you were a filmmaker, I'd expect your childhood to partially influence your work, too.) :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, No, that's just one of many issues with the film. The film is full of swipes at males, and the female characters are the only smart, capable ones who keep saving the day.

Tennessee Jed said...

I don't disagree with your points, Andrew, but what I struggle with is this. Republicans didn't nominate Rick Santorum. Mitt Romey ran a very adult campaign. Republicans traditionally have been the party of a smaller government. Democrats have been very adept at painting Republicans as the party of ruling one's sex life, but I honestly don't think that is what drove the election. The economy has been bad, and even in the boom times, the good life has been limited to those making their money on their 401K. As you say, the middle class has missed out. There are a lot of people who have become dependent on government, and it is not an easy task to win them back when people remember corporate downsizing as a legacy of the Bush administration.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Here's the thing.

First, you can't separate Romney from the right because (1) Romney not only never repudiated the rest, he embraced them. In fact, there were months of debate about whether or not Romney was soft on gays or abortion or illegals, and his response was always: "I'm gonna be as nasty as Rick Santorum... trust me." So to see him as different, a voter would need to assume that he was lying.

And (2) Romney was just one candidate on a team that also wanted the House and Senate. And the ranks of those candidates were the real whackos. So even if you think Romney is ok, how can a rational voter dismiss the fact that the rest of the party looks like seething, hateful idiots? Do they trust that he would control them (when he's already claiming to be one of them) or do they worry that the Republicans will actually try to do the things they claim they want?

Secondly, we offered nothing on the economy. We had no plan... don't do anything! Back to the glory days of 2008! Nor have we shown to have a plan since. In the past two years, state Republicans have passed 157 and then 159 anti-abortion laws. They've done everything they could to stop gays. They passed laws banning sharia law. They've tried to get states to help deport illegals. They obsessed over Obama's citizenship. Etc. The one thing none of them did was actually offer an economic plan. The House shut down the government for no apparent reason except to give the fringe a tingle and keeps threatening to refuse to pay our debts. And every single day on the radio they express nothing but disdain and hate for the American public.

So how irrational is it for the public to pick the guy who says he wants to help things rather than vote for the guy they hope is lying about being like his supports and who is leading a circus of hate, obsession and insanity?

That's the problem.

Tennessee Jed said...

Are you saying you voted for Obama or did you just not vote? (l.o.l.) If you did vote for Romney, were you being irrational? I voted for Romney because I thought he would push for tax revisions that would encourage new small business start ups, and have a better chance of putting people back to work, and I fear a government capable of giving us all we want is equally capable of taking our liberty away. I never felt Romney cared that much about gays, abortion, etc. And, at the time, it seemed like the economy was the big issue, not the other stuff. But my memory of it is fuzzy, and there is no question the R's have a reputation of rich white businessmen. And, I have little confidence the party will squander what should be a golden opportunity to set big government back for a decade or more.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I voted for Romney because I thought he had real potential to change the party for the better and improve the country. BUT to make that decision, I had to do a lot of independent research, a lot of reading between the lines, and a lot of assuming that he was lying when he pandered to our fringe.

On the second part, I have no confidence our party will take advantage of the amazing opportunities staring them in the face because they are still too busy playing the purity game.

Tennessee Jed said...

I , of course, meant I had little confidence the G.O.P. would NOT squander this goldn opportunity. And while I'll admit I probably would have voted for a Black Mamba snake rathr than helping re-elect the socialist ideologue, like you, I thought, Romney could turn out to be a very positive force for the country. Alas, it didn't happen.

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