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How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

July 13, 2016

The new feminist Ghostbusters can’t catch a break.  First the youtube trailer for the movie was widely panned by feminists and normal people alike.  Then the movie was released and eviscerated by critics, with reviews like Richard Roeper’s ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot a horrifying mess.

“Ghostbusters” is a horror from start to finish, and that’s not me saying it’s legitimately scary.

More like I was horrified by what was transpiring onscreen.

Seeing their high profile attempt at territory marking going terribly awry, feminists enlisted the media to try to turn the tide.  But the defenses of the movie turned out to be far more damaging than the criticism.  Wired lead the way by explaining that even if the movie were actually good, it would still suck (emphasis mine):

The new Ghostbusters will suck. That’s not a value judgement, it’s an Internet-predetermined truth—and come Friday, no matter how funny or smart or entertaining director Paul Feig’s reboot is, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Put simply, Ghostbusters can’t win.

But Wired’s assertion that it isn’t the movie’s fault that it sucks was probably the least damaging defense.  Andrew O’Hehir at Salon lectured moviegoers that right thinking people will find the movie light and funny, and won’t be distracted by the feminist message.  But even O’Hehir has a hard time swallowing his own party line. He doesn’t even make it through the title before questioning his own premise:  The new “Ghostbusters” delivers: It’s a cheerful exercise in feminist nostalgia — except, wait, is that possible?  O’Hehir then tries to recover from his own lack of faith in the opening of the review:

Is Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” remake, supposedly shrouded in supposed controversy ever since its supposedly subversive casting was announced, an exercise in feminism or in nostalgia? If this highly entertaining summer retread proves anything, it proves that those things are not incompatible…

O’Hehir then explains that you will find this movie funny unless you are a basement dwelling Gamergater:

…“Ghostbusters” is a goofy, free-floating romp with an anarchic spirit of its own, a fresh set of scares and laffs and a moderate dose of girl power that is unlikely to seem confrontational to anyone beyond the most confirmed basement-dwelling Gamergate troll. (Did I just indiscriminately slime an entire subset of the male Internet population? Oops.) Whatever the bizarre reaction to the “Ghostbusters” remake in some quarters is really about, it isn’t about the movie, which is relentlessly cheerful, entirely inoffensive and distinctly above the popcorn-movie standard in terms of wit and style. (The screenplay, by Feig and Katie Dippold, has a few unexpected nuggets — the 19th-century mansion with an “anti-Irish security fence” — that will be funnier on repeat viewing.)

O’Hehir reinforces his message that right thinking people will find this movie funny by identifying the other group of movie goers who will fail to laugh when instructed, mouth breathing Donald Trump supporters:

It’s depressing but unavoidable to observe that the “Ghostbusters” cultural divide is like the political divide over Donald Trump, on a dumbed-down and entirely symbolic level. Except, no: Nothing could be stupider or more symbolic than the Trump phenomenon, so maybe “Ghostbusters” is the truly important issue.

This quickly devolves into a rant on how much he despises ordinary Americans:

America in 2016 is like a giant game of hide-and-seek conducted by blindfolded children in a dark room, with broken glass and rattlesnakes on the floor. If we look for the simplest explanation, the one that covers all the available evidence, it might be that Trump has gotten so bored with running for president that he’s spending his time writing hate-blurbs about “Ghostbusters” on the Internet. Sad!

Keep in mind, the point of this SJW lecture is to instruct the faithful that they will find Ghostbusters to be light and funny.  Yet this supposedly relentlessly cheerful movie left him brooding about blindfolded children in a dark room with broken glass on the floor.

If you think the praises for the movie can’t get worse, you are mistaken.  Jen Yamato with The Daily Beast came to the movie’s aid by explaining that Ghostbusters will be a smash hit with the lesbian feminist demographic:  ‘Ghostbusters’ Review: Kate McKinnon’s Probably-Gay Gearhead Steals the Show

In the summer of 1984, crossing the streams was the ultimate male taboo the original Ghostbusters broke to defeat ghoulish evil from another dimension. In 2016, it’s female solidarity among four heroines whom the world has labeled hysterical, defying the odds and historically ingrained sexism…

Yamato explains that it is the quality of the characters that makes the movie so charming.  Kristen Wiig’s character “carries the dramatic thrust” of the plot:

Wiig plays Erin Gilbert, a meek physicist up for tenure at Columbia University who wears her unhappiness with the strict patriarchal establishment on her face and in her stodgy, joyless wardrobe.

Yamato wants us to know this isn’t just a movie with solid lesbian feminist chops.  This is a comedy so funny it is guaranteed to make even the most dour feminist crack a brief satisfied smile:

…laughs come when the Ghostbusters hire a male secretary named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), a dim bulb with a pretty face who Erin takes an unsubtle shining to. It’s a role Hemsworth commits to with relish: Thor, God of Thunder, fetching the lady Ghostbusters coffee and answering their phones. He’s terrible at all of it but they keep him around just to have something nice to look at. The joke is broad and obvious, and yet so, so very satisfying.

But the part that will most endear moviegoers according to Yamato is the lesbian part, even though the patriarchy keeps it repressed:

McKinnon’s Holtzmann, meanwhile, is the secret weapon of this Ghostbusters. Aside from spewing rapid-fire technical jargon as the team’s resident eccentric gearhead, McKinnon oozes visceral charisma with the swagger—sans the womanizing douchiness—of Murray’s Venkman. She flirts brazenly with Erin, emanating cocksure confidence even if we learn very little about Holtzmann as a character. Hemsworth might be the beefcake on paper but it’s McKinnon who’ll leave moviegoers crushing.

…[Holtzmann] may or may not be gay but can’t say so because she’s trapped in a PG-13 summer studio blockbuster.

All of this goes to show that feminists can be funny after all, just not in the way they intend to be.

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Post Information
Title How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
Author Dalrock
Date July 13, 2016 11:14 PM UTC (7 years ago)
Blog Dalrock
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