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Disney/Star Wars, Hallmark

Thursday 12/126/19

When I first say The Empire Strikes Back, I didn't think anything about Lando being black. Nothing at all. I thought this was the right actor for the part, he really fit the story, did well, was compelling, how he went from schmoozing ladies man/captain of industry, to betrayer, to ally again, in a short period of time. He was a rogue, and his style of rogue allowed him to be those various things in quick order. But I never thought, "black guy." I never thought "black person" or "white person," ever, in my life. I don't think it was because I played sports or the music I listened to. I simply never cared what color a person was, I cared if you were smart, if you were a good person. My family was that way, and judging someone based on color made as much sense to me as saying some car colors were better than other car colors, as a rule. It was inane, it was stupid, and it was hard to understand how people could be that inane and stupid. Of course, if you were an idiot, I was apt to despise you thoroughly. You wouldn't necessarily know this--and now, all of these years later, I am aided in keeping this out of plain view by the fact that people are sufficiently delusional that almost everyone thinks they are quite intelligent indeed--but there's a reasonable chance you would have been an emetic to me in human form. But color? As a kid I could never understand how anyone could care. I could understand how awful color-based discrimination could be, I was a child who read Civil War histories, who read many books by black artists, dancers, musicians, athletes, just as I read books by white artists, dancers, musicians, athletes. I understood how twisted some people were in their minds.

I find it disturbing and tasteless when I watch a show or film and the creators are clearly pandering. They're not picking an actor because they're best for a part, they're not writing scripts that tell the best story. They're trying to tick boxes, score points, score those Woke points. I don't think they care at all about equality, because equality is not about quotas. I haven't seen the new Star Wars film yet, but the last two clearly were attempts to pander. When you pander like that, what you are doing is objectifying people. Which is a staple of real racism and sexism. Because you are not treating them like a person--you're treating them--and using them--as a box you ticked off. You didn't make a choice for artistic or entertainment reasons--your choice was about pandering, of false sincerity, the appearance of sincerity. Faux-sincerity. Insincerity. Money. Pretend to be good and equitable--it pays.

Of course, you could just be good and equitable, make better work, make better entertainment, and I think that can get you paid, too, when you have enormous mountains of support and backing going into anything as is.

I love Christmas, though it is very hard for me, as I have written in many places. I have not spoken to anyone on Christmas going back to 2011, when I was in my house in Rockport. I have no communicated, then, with anyone on Christmas for eight years. I will watch anything Christmas-related, because I love Christmas so much. (I like it in January when a Christmas episode of a random sitcom in syndication comes on.) I would hug Christmas and shower it with slobbery kisses if I could--I just love it that much. I always have. Now, it's like a knife piercing my intestines, but I still love it. There are no gifts, no trees, no wreaths, no loved ones, no comfy space in which I awake, linger in bed, glad that the season is here. There is aloneness, pain, a war, work, the creation of more work that will not help me and will lead to more hate and envy. This horrible apartment. That's Christmas right now.

I will watch a Hallmark movie, but I know they are awful. They truly are. They're lame and more predictable than a clock and sappy and they have all of these bizarre rules they adhere to in this sexless, Wonder Bread world. There was one on this morning, called 12 Gifts of Christmas. I guess the plot was a little better than usual--there was this woman, a struggling artist, and this would-be boyfriend who went behind her back, used her art for a marketing campaign, and he wasn't a dick, he was both trying to help himself and help her. There was a little conflict.

But my goodness, was this not just white and pro-white, it was lit to maximize the whiteness. They are definitely trying to sell you something with these films that is colorless. White actors in a story, fine, but the mise-en-scene was designed to accentuate that whiteness. Backlit for max Wonder Bread. Two different approaches, between this and the Disney Star Wars films, to objectifying people.


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