Spoiler alert: Obviously, don't read this if you haven't seen the movie yet and would like to be surprised
i had been looking forward to the new Black Panther movie FOR AGES
And not because it's populated by almost all black people
Because i'm addicted to fast action propaganda-fueled, emotionally manipulative superhero films
i literally get high
They are another drug in this emotionally manipulative world we live in
I use the world's manipulations to benefit me
So now they've truly opened the flood gates to allow women and blacks the opportunity to star in their own blockbuster solo endeavors (because there were films in the past that cast black men and women in superhero roles, but those films are now mostly culty and were not greeted with as much revolutionary fanfare; timing is everything and perhaps the times were not into political correctness as much. The release of Wonder Woman ( which I refused to see) and now Black Panther has happened at the right moment, when both women and black people understand and have finally accepted that to get ahead, they have to beat "the white man" at his own game; the goals of capitalism have collided with the liberation of historically oppressed individuals
I thought the movie was so-so
The trailer was better
There were some good scenes, of which the trailer was composed
The street scene and there are like SO MANY WOMEN INVOLVED
I have a girl-crush on the female general. She was the best character quite frankly; the most dedicated, the most honorable, the most with-it, the most athletically impressive
THAT SCENE where she observes that "guns are so primitive" and then alights to the top of a moving car, hunkers down with a spear and wreaks havoc upon her enemies. T-chella's love interest is driving the car, and the three of them together, in combat and camaraderie, was very heartwarming and comforting to me; it was truly a beautiful scene
I felt cushioned and safe
i think T-chella's love interest is pathetic and barely-there though, and so is he, in the typical tradition of fantasy main characters (think Harry Potter - utterly useless)
Then there were simply other actors who had more expression, like the Jabari rival ( who was fucking HOT), and the evil white guy played by Andy Serkis (The Hobbit's role was really that of an automaton)
i HATED the villain
He was not put together well AT ALL
He's supposed to be a super competent CIA agent-military graduate-whatever and then he gets what he wants and acts like an ignoramous ghetto punk American against the more sophisticated African-Africans ( who are more sophisticated in the way that white Europeans are more sophisticated than white Americans)
It was jarring, it was awful
He was awful, and i didn't buy it. i wish he had stayed sophisticated, ( I liked it so much when he was in the museum) and then he would have won one for Americans in general too
And would have made the movie better
The movie was not well put together
It was hesitant, it tread water at points, I found myself dragging and getting impatient which should not happen in addiction-inducing instant-gratification fluff superhero movies
My drug should not have failed me! Not even in this iteration ( but this was a hyped up movie, so you knew it wasn't gonna be as good)
They should be fast and smooth and glide and gleam and jump and shine and ride and bam bam bam you should be on this emotional roller coaster where the bad guy enrages you and the good guys sacrifice and you're bawling into your hands and wringing your own hands at the enemies of your own life and your heart is sizzling and sparking and you're getting high at the amazing scenes where the good guy(s), on the point of defeat and/or death, drag themselves back from the brink, inspired by some last minute revery, and show the world what he ( or she) is really made of and defeats the enemy
You feel chills run down your back, and up and down the spine of your soul, your scalp is on fire, your eyes are stinging, you're out of breath, you're cheering, your heart is pumping, you're breathless, tears are streaming down your face, the music is pumping and you're sailing to victory in your heart of hearts, the fantasy good-place in your soul!
You ARE Thor, you ARE that guy from Guardians of the Galaxy, you ARE Captain America, you are you are
It's PORN!!! it's MY PORN!!!! You're the one fucking!!!!
i didn't feel that at all in this movie
It was so boring and anti-climactic
White nationalists and conservatives did provide some ironically accurate observations/criticisms of the film:
- The main character is a conservative. He wants to maintain the traditional ways and the secrecy Wakanda is shrouded in
- The entire nation is an "ethnostate" in the tradition of all these white nationalists and opponents of illegal immigration. It's only ethnic Wakandans, black people with strange radioactive tattoos in their mouths who are allowed to live in it, and there is a literal WALL in the form of a hologramatic mountain that pretends to make up the space where the country actually resides
- The villain could be construed as a leftist, and his aims seem benevolent enough:he wants to share the knowledge and the technology of the Wakandans with the rest of oppressed people of color, but he's doing it in such a pissy and tyrannical way. (He is also the typically abused-as-a-child bad guy who grows up to be a sociopath and must be defeated at all costs; the hero has been loved and pampered his entire life.) Wakandans aren't even an oppressed people
Some of their criticisms ring false though:
Wakanda depicts a country where Africans were given an extremely valuable natural resource and were able to create a vibrant and technologically advanced city and culture with it. Critics laugh and point out that Africa is full of very valuable resources in real life, and Africans haven't made very much of them ( these same critics seem to consistently ignore the influence and power of Western states over Africa, colonization, and the misuse by dictators of financial aid from these same states that keeps the majority of Africans in a subservient, impoverished state). Most African countries are artificial nation states forcing people of disparate tribes and cultures to live together, even groups of people who don't really like each other
Malevolent critics may fault the intelligence of Africans, but more objective observers may find that maybe Africans didn't see the same value in these metals-that-glitter-in-the-sun
I don't think it is "primitive" to be uninterested in colonization and land expansion. I don't think it is primitive to be uninterested in material wealth. All most people want to do is hang out with their friends anyway, in the sun, and maybe have an adventure. Most people just want to have a family. If you have tribes in Africa and other locales where people don't feel the need to fully dress themselves and lounge in front of a TV all day, why are they inferior to polluted Western states who just destroy the environment and further alienate their own people from each other? I would suggest that that situation is primitive and unsophisticated, while so-called "primitive tribes" make due with far less with what could be paradise-like settings and probably have a better time
I'm not trying to glorify OR simplify "primitive" peoples - I'm just suggesting that maybe our Western values are not intrinsically worthwhile, and that the values of others are not intrinsically inferior (in opposition to someone like Paul Joseph Watson's assertion that "some cultures are simply BETTER"). As a matter of fact, if you are just minding your own business, it doesn't even bloody matter
But Black Panther is the story of an African culture that is strangely technologically advanced but not predatory. They have developed "Western culture" further than Westerners have even developed it; they have outdone white men in this fantasy to just bring them up to speed with white men in real life
I'm not saying black people could not have come up with the technology we all have today on their own; I don't buy into this crazy race and IQ crap. But would they really have needed to? And would they have wanted to? And why didn't they progress at the same rate as the ravenous white hordes?
Maybe there were just different priorities
Camille Paglia once stated that if women were left in charge of humanity, we would all be living in grass huts. She opined that women naturally do not have the drive to conquer nature and discover new things. John Zerzan, anarcho-primitivist philosopher would agree, but not because he is necessarily misogynistic. He would mean it in a women-are-better-than-all-this-civilization-nonsense sense
You could say an existence in nature is primitive. I would be one to suggest that an existence in the modern world is not only primitive, but substandard
All the benefits of nature are denied to us. Our food and water are contaminated, and unless we slave away to another human being or corporate entity, it is not even available to us. All the fruits of nature, made possible to us by the price of labor ( according to Leonardo da Vinci), are now made more difficult to obtain because of the middleman of civilization
But because we are all now forced to live in "civilization", it is an insult to be seen as not interested in manipulating technology, and not interested in the conquest of nature and the world
And so to keep your dignity and right to participate in life, you must submit to civilization's rules
And the concept of "superhero" - is this something women and minorities ( I'm talking in the US) would have come up with on their own?
Heroic legends of brave, powerful, righteous individuals, sometimes imbued with supernatural powers, who smite evil doers and save civilizations?
Are not superheroes servants of the civilization narrative? Like the Avengers, they are the guardians of the realm after all ( or you know, Guardians of the Galaxy )?
In order to gain "equality" and "diversity", women and minorities have had to adopt the archetypes and concepts of white men, and excel at them, do better than them. Because while all this superhero stuff is fantasy, and it is just as fantastical for a man to be able to fly and lift cars as it is for a woman or a minority to do so, when women and minorities take on these roles, it's mocked as "unrealistic" by white men
But it's also another ladder the rest of us have to climb in order to be respected, to be perceived. Men don't feel the need to excel at things that are considered "women's work" and when they do take over something that was considered a woman's task ( like cooking or obstetrics), they change into something completely different, leaving very little trace of its original female influence behind
This brings up so many questions as things become standardized in our culture, and I would argue, as race actually disappears. Because there are African Americans out there who resent the hyphenated "African", and consider themselves to be just plain Americans. And given that most people are just where they grew up anyway ( and the language they speak), does it even matter?
Was it really that unique, this film? Was it really that amazing?
Because while it's important to see different kinds of people represented in our media, I think it would be important and really cool if the activities associated with underrepresented groups were held up as goals for others to achieve, not just the activities and cultural accomplishments of white people
So was this a victory? Really such a historical achievement?
Or was it just black people in roles traditionally held by white people?
Regina Corrigan knows that you think she means just white women, but she really does mean all women when she uses the word "women" in her articles