[November 23, 2022] The Critical Drinker, aka Scotsman Will Jordan, is someone I like to listen to for informative reviews of movies. I wrote about him in March this year when he critiqued modern movies, saying those films teach people to be “arrogant, complacent, narcissistic, and selfish.” Link here. Nicely put, Will.
Will believes the producers of movies believe that “modern audiences” – the term used by studios to identify their idea of moviegoers – can’t handle characters occupying traditional gender roles, such as men tend to make decisions and go off to war and women tend to stay behind and keep everything running.
He says this is unacceptable to the woke moviemakers, so these “outdated stereotypes” had to change. New shows now need “diversity and lots of it.” Does this mean exploring different cultures and locations to expand the movie’s depth by looking at cultures in exciting new ways? Nope. It means dropping a bunch of diverse characters into the story at random points with no explanation and then pretending that it makes total sense and has always been that way. Genius!
Since women are the new men for “modern audiences,” Will says, Hey, let’s crowbar them into every major leadership role and position of authority that we can possibly get away with. Oh, these women are also warriors now who can magically fight men twice their size – because conquering armies of the past had diversity and equity departments too. And, naturally, the men are conveniently moved aside to make way for them and relegated to the roles of weak, indecisive, insecure, and clueless buffoons who know their place, deferring to their female superiors.
Don’t you know, Will asks sarcastically; that’s what “modern audiences” want to see, don’t you know? And on that subject, male characters are getting more than their share of reimaging these days.
He uses the James Bond movies as an example of this appeal to “modern audiences.” James Bond is the absolute pinnacle of everything that is, was, or ever will be a man; tough, cold, ruthless, charming, sophisticated, and even dangerous, a man of action and intrigue, a man that every woman wants but none can ever truly have. Not anymore. “Modern audiences” don’t want to see strong, capable, confident, assertive men because that might perpetuate the harmful stereotype that men should aspire to be that way.
Instead, “modern audiences” want emotion, vulnerability, and respectfulness in their men. You can’t have them come across as too threatening or dangerous. But James Bond was a success precisely because he didn’t evolve into an emotional, vulnerable heap of a wimp. Bond’s traits never changed; they didn’t change because they didn’t need to. James Bond represents the ultimate masculine ideal, and that ideal hasn’t changed, no matter how much people might want it to.
Putting some androgynous pop star into a dress isn’t redefining masculinity any more than downing a pint of vodka is redefining sobriety. It’s trying to replace one thing with another but keep the same name in the hopes of eventually gaslighting everyone into believing it’s always been that way. Remember this:
“If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.” – Joseph Goebbels, German WW2 Propagandist
The Critical Drinker makes the point that James Bond’s unique combination of intellect, physical power, and emotional distance makes him compelling. Trying to alter that combination undermines the very foundations of who he is. You would be changing such fundamental elements of who that character is that you’re creating a whole new person with the same name. That’s not modernization; that’s bastardization.
But hey, that’s what “modern audiences” want. The myth of the politically progressive, emotionally fragile, and easily offended modern audiences, which must be carefully catered to, is exactly that, a myth. The myth is a scapegoat created by writers of these projects to deflect blame and criticism away from themselves. It’s a chance to indulge their narcissism to impose their own worldview to undo the things they don’t like and replace it with what they want to see.
It’s not about respecting and building on what came before. It’s about sweeping it all away and consigning it to the ash heap of history and replacing it with their ideas, their ideology, and their view of how the world should be. It’s the shallow, arrogant, self-absorbed mentality of people who have been coddled and praised their entire lives, never struggled, never experienced hardship or danger, and never ventured outside their own carefully controlled echo chamber.
These people see the past as an enemy to be defeated instead of a rich tapestry of ideas and experiences they can learn from. The irony here is that for all their posturing and virtue signaling and unwavering belief that they’re on the right side of history, ultimately, they’re undermining the very cause they claim to care so much about. Battering somebody over the head with your ideas and opinions until they eventually give up and leave isn’t the same as winning them over to your point of view.
All you’re doing is pissing off and alienating people who might otherwise have been receptive to what you said. Instead of catering to some imaginary modern audience that doesn’t actually exist, all you wind up doing is pushing away your actual audience, and that’s something that no business can afford to keep doing for long.
Modern movies … well, they do suck!
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