January 31, 2011

No Snickering When I Say "Impotence," Please

Over the weekend I watched two movies, both of which were "We are drawing your attention to a grim situation you can do nothing to fix" movies. WHYYYYYYYYY?? Either entertain me or educate me, Movies, but don't do Grim Awareness for the sake of Grim Awareness. Yes indeed I WOULD prefer to be ignorant of bad stuff if there is no way I can improve it. This is why I don't watch the NEWS.

The first movie was Good Night, and Good Luck. I'd thought, "George Clooney, what could go wrong AMIRITE?" but he's barely even IN it. This movie says "If our government goes on a witch hunt, EVERYONE IS SCREWED." Then it says, "Look, it's done it before, so it's not a crazy thing to worry about at all!" Then it says, "Okay byeeeeeeee!"

I'd had a little wine while watching it, and this is my explanation for a series of comments on Twitter, beginning with: "Saw Good Night and Good Luck. Am now ready to take on McCarthyism. ...What do you mean, 'too late'?" and ended in "'Anything that ends in -ism is automatically THE DOWNFALL OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT' is dumb. #Anti-McCarthyismTooLate"

So. Message received, Movie! I assume you wanted to hint that the same appalling craziness we just saw about trumped-up fears of COMMUNISM AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA SCARY SCARY COMMUNISM applies to, for example, trumped-up fears of SOCIALISM AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA SCARY SCARY SOCIALISM. But what I got out of it was that nothing can be done about what our elected officials take into their heads to do, and that furthermore even the craziest crackhead politician will find abundant equally-crazy supporters among the citizens. And this is something I have ALREADY NOTICED in our own city, where a certain member of the board is a noisy unpleasant loon and yet he wins way more votes than he needs to stay in office, EVERY SINGLE TERM, so I didn't really need to spend another hour and a half getting schooled.

The second movie I watched was The Visitor, in which the dad from Six Feet Under discovers that the government (again with the government) is mistreating friendly attractive immigrants with cute accents, by putting them in bad prison conditions indefinitely, denying perfectly reasonable requests to live and work here, trumping up fake charges as excuses to send them back to their original countries, etc. Well! This is certainly eye-opening, Movie, at least for those of us who had not already read Little Bee and already ALSO knew about the monetary and physical bribes required in those prisons!

And what is the solution to this terrible state of affairs? According to the movie, NOTHING. Just KNOW IT and SUFFER YOUR OWN IMPOTENCE, movie-viewer! Because in the movie, a United States citizen with ample time and money can hire a special immigration attorney and STILL be unable to do anything about even one single immigrant! But at least he learned how to play the drums, yay!


d e v a n said...

Pretty sure I won't be watching either of those movies, so you have saved one person.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

Two thoughts:

1. "Yes indeed I WOULD prefer to be ignorant of bad stuff if there is no way I can improve it. This is why I don't watch the NEWS." YES. My thoughts exactly.

2. I tend to get riled up at movies like that, too, partially because I am easily riled but partially because that is the INTENT of the movie, no? But - without fail - if I get riled up, my husband will turn to me in exasperation and say, "It's only a MOVIE, gah!" I don't know why I'm telling you this, other than I empathize. And also hope that Paul doesn't do all the eye rolling that I get over here.

AnnetteK said...

I prefer to be ignorant too, that's why I watched Mega Python vs. Gatoroid this weekend. Yep. Reptiles on steroids is waaaay better than reality.

Melospiza said...

Heh. I watched the George Clooney movie on a special kid-free vacation weekend once and I felt SO GYPPED. So gypped, in fact, that I missed/ forgot the whole anti-McCarthy stuff and went straight to borrrring.

I.e.: you're a better viewer/person than I. At least you got the message.

Melospiza said...

Also, this is why so many movies on my Netflix queue remain unwatched. Yes, I'm sure Hotel Rwanda is inspirational blah blah blah. I am also sure it will give me friggin NIGHTMARES.

Nik-Nak said...

Yeah, neither of those movies sound time worthy.

And I totally second your reason for watching the news.
I've only watched the news in order to see school closings...in my entire life.

Superjules said...


On an unrelated note: please don't ever watch Shutter Island.

-R- said...

I really liked Good Night and Good Luck. I saw the message more as It's Important to Stand Up For What's Right.

One message movie I hated was Fast Food Nation. I think it was supposed to be about why the meat industry is wrong, but it was so preachy and was actually wrong about lots of the farm stuff that it just annoyed me. I would have stopped watching halfway through, but my husband wanted to watch the whole thing (though he hated it too).

Stacey said...

I'm right there with you. I watch movies to be entertained. If I'm going to spend 1 1/2 hours+ of my time , let's make it something happy.

DomestiKook said...

YAY! BOO! Wait, what?

AHHHHHH RUUUN!!!! My vord verification ended in -ISM!! hunhism AAAHHHHH!!!!! It IS a global conspiracy perpatrated by microsoft and the national milk consortium! I hear tyhe helicopters abnd the dogs coming..Noooooooo!!!!

Um, yeah, I hate movies like that too, thanks for the heads up.

ccr in MA said...

Oh, I was saying me too to your whole first paragraph, and especially "Yes indeed I WOULD prefer to be ignorant of bad stuff if there is no way I can improve it. This is why I don't watch the NEWS." Amen!

Thank you for letting me know I don't want to see these movies. And if you're ever in the Boston area, we can go see something fun! Not Fraught and Meaningful and Grim. A movie, not a film.

Joanne said...

I loved the Visitor, although I found it ultimately depressing. I loved the performances and the great relationships formed. I didn't see Good Night and Good Luck because it didn't appeal to me in any way. I am much more likely to be depressed about a book like you describe, there is something so pleasant for me to watch a movie that I am much more forgiving. When I am slogging through a book like that, though, I'm likely to through it across the room.

Anonymous said...

I thought The Visitor was GREAT! Sad, but great.


Swistle said...

Livi- I agree, it was great!