Dave Derby: California Nervous Breakdown
52 Movies: Week 22 - Magnolia

Nicholas Kristoff on the Liberal Blind Spot

I'm really glad to hear this from a liberal. I've been saying for years (as you know if you read this blog regularly), that liberals in general are now engaged in the grossest sort of bigotry toward conservatives, and I often think I ought to Just Get Over It, since it doesn't seem likely to change. But it still drives me crazy, because they still congratulate themselves on their open-mindedness, and just don't see the contradiction. Kristof says:

As I see it, we are hypocritical: We welcome people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.

It’s rare for a column to inspire widespread agreement, but that one led to a consensus: Almost every liberal agreed that I was dead wrong.

And that reminds me: one old-time liberal for whom I have great regard is Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone. Somehow or other a few days ago I ran across this very interesting commentary on his life and work in The New Atlantis. Yes, The Twilight Zone was preachy, but in a more healthy and thoughtful way than most current liberal preaching.

Oh, and speaking of that: last night I watched a sci-fi film called Elysium, which is about as heavy-handed in its political preaching as you can get. The premise is that in the year 2154 rich evil white people have abandoned the earth that they've plundered and almost destroyed, moving to an enormous space station where they live in comfort and pleasure. The earth is left to noble brown people who live in desperate poverty and are trying to get to the space station, Elysium.

To say that it's an anti-anti-illegal-immigration message film doesn't really do justice to its heavy-handedness. Apart from that, it's a fairly dumb action movie. Usually I can get interested in that sort of thing at least to the extent of wanting to find out what happens, but either I've become jaded or this one was especially dumb. Looking online for reviews afterward, I was surprised to find that it got positive notices from respectable reviewers like Roger Ebert. Anyway, I dis-recommend it. Maybe the only very remarkable thing about it is its stereotyping of white people as evil, really really evil. As I was saying....


Evil White Person played by Jodie Foster plans evil deed.

Amusingly, though, the hero is still a white guy, maybe only because Matt Damon's presence probably guarantees a certain level of ticket sales.


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" and I often think I ought to Just Get Over It, since it doesn't seem likely to change"

I think I am pretty over it, but really, I also think it's very dangerous.

Yes, in addition to being annoying, it could over time become very dangerous.

Yeah, bad film, for sure. Jodie Foster is horrible -- trying to do a Tilda Swinton or Cate Blanchett baddie and failing miserably.

Snowpiercer goes at the same general idea with much more panache and less predictability.

I wondered how much of that was her fault and how much the director's. I couldn't figure out what her accent was supposed to be. According to one reviewer it was South African, or attempted to be. The evil Kruger guy, also with a weird accent, was apparently supposed to be South African, too. Which all made sense when I saw that it was directed by the same South African guy who did District 9, which was in part a sermon about apartheid. And which was a better movie, I thought, although I didn't think it was a very good one.

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