Thursday, September 12, 2019

Star Wars 'Last Jedi' Director Rian Johnson Brings 'Knives Out' Against Trump Voters

In his first major motion picture since annoying and disappointing generations of Star Wars fans with The Last Jedi, writer-director-progressive Rian Johnson is poised to do the same to an even larger slice of the American public with next month's Knives Out. And lefty movie critics couldn't be more thrilled, according to the latest from Society Reviews.

SR reports that "critics at the Toronto International Film Festival [are] gushing about the film’s shared hatred for Trump and his voters," which is about as subtle as a knife to the throat.

Never mind that Trump was put into office by working-class voters in the Rust Belt, who switched allegiance from Obama to Trump following eight years of Democratic neglect. Hollywood has its narrative, and it's going to charge you at least ten bucks a ticket for the privilege of getting pummeled by Johnson's version of it.

My wife and I saw the Knives Out trailer on the big screen earlier this summer, and it's being sold as a star-studded, darkly comic, murder mystery -- a sort-of 21st-century Clue. There's nothing overtly (or even covertly) political about the trailer. Some slightly NSFW language, but watch:

Whether or not the trailer makes you want to see the movie, there's nothing in it that tells you anything like this about it, from Collider senior editor Matt Goldberg:

"KNIVES OUT is a total delight from start to finish. It’s also a scathing indictment of American greed in the Trump era. I’ll have more on that when the movie opens in November"

Pro Tip: Any movie advertising itself as a "scathing indictment" is generally not a movie you'll want to see. Which is maybe why Lionsgate has left all the anti-Trump-voter stuff out of the promotional materials. If you want to make an anti-Trump movie, or even an anti-Trump-voter movie, fine. But be honest about it and market what you’re selling. Carla Renata, "The Curvy Critic," thinks the movie will be a "healthy hit," thanks in part to its "constant digs at Trumpites." Lionsgate might make money in the short run, but the movie also might poison relations between Hollywood and Flyover Country even further. If word doesn't get out in a big way before Knives Out is released, a lot of viewers are going to be more than a little angry at having been made the butt of Johnson's joke twice: For two hours on the screen, and for ten or twelve bucks at the box office.

Based on the trailer, I was willing to give this one a chance. The marketing geniuses had me thinking that just maybe Johnson had learned from his Last Jedi blunder, and had made an entertaining movie targeted at a wide audience. Instead, he's given in to his anger and let the hate flow through him, directly onto movie screens in every Red State.

Emperor Palpatine, who will apparently return in some form or other in the next (not Rian Johnson-written-or-directed) Star Wars movie, would be pleased.

Knives Out will be released on November 27. I'll take a hard pass on this one.


Businesses Are Becoming Entirely Too Political

The "woke" business model of catering to every leftist whim is going to turn out badly.

Walmart’s recent decision to stop selling ammunition for handguns and some rifles is the latest example of a shifting corporate culture in which American companies are inserting themselves into political and social issues. This is an increasingly common occurrence that is further harming our public discourse.

Companies do have a responsibility to produce and sell safe products. They also must respond to pubic demand, particularly if they want consumers to buy their products and services. In recent years, however, corporations, led by “woke” CEOs or left-of-center shareholder activists, have been wading into the political fray.

Companies used to stay out of political discourse as a matter of policy. Now, companies that try to stay silent on controversial issues can also face the wrath of the Left. Those that want to avoid embarrassing press coverage, boycotts, and picket lines often overcompensate to please what is ultimately a minority of citizens.

For instance, it wasn’t enough for Walmart to stop selling ammunition (once current inventory is exhausted, of course). Company CEO Doug McMillon also took the opportunity to “encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger.” Imagine a country where we take our guidance on Second Amendment issues from our largest consumer retailer.

Walmart’s reliance on cheap Chinese products has driven many smaller retailers out of business over the years. It keeps a vast number of its employees part-time so it does not have to pay their insurance benefits. It was this business model that for years made Walmart the bane of the Left. Or at least that was the excuse at the time. Now, the Left loves Walmart, just like it loves any company that will push a “woke” agenda.

Whether it be stopping the sales of firearms, shielding illegal immigrants from the law, or promoting social justice, companies are now adding their voice to the public discourse. The problem is that this is the voice of the Left. By leaning on these companies, the Left is using commerce itself as another means of pushing its agenda. Sometimes this is done through the threat of public action, sometimes because activist leftists have wormed their way onto corporate boards and can influence decisions.

The American public does not need the corporate sector to be the voice of the people. People are perfectly capable of voting for their elected leaders at the ballot box. And we can vote for the companies we choose to support by purchasing their products. In short, people can make up their own minds. Leftists don’t like that, which is why they’re so interested in strong-arming American business. Not because they are concerned about the economy, but because they see it as another lever of power with which to enact their socialist agenda.

Companies that decide to go “woke” are merely following a trend. If CEOs choose to take their organizations into the political fray, then they will find themselves as political players. Being a political player may make a company popular with certain segments of society, but it will no longer be neutral in the eyes of the public. And what happens when the political winds shift, as they always do? What will be more important then, popularity with a base of leftist elites or staying in business?


Vegan activist who rescued rabbits from farm accused of killing hundreds of baby bunnies

A vegan activist, who posted online about being attacked by farmers while raiding a rabbit farm in Spain, has been accused of killing almost 100 rabbits and baby bunnies.

The deaths came after the activist, known as “Mythical Mia”, stormed the farm last Sunday night with a group of activists, and stole over a dozen rabbits, some of whom were reportedly new mothers to vulnerable baby bunnies.

Mia made international headlines last week, after sharing videos showing herself bleeding from the face, claiming she’d been shot at by the farmers whose properties she’d entered to “rescue” the rabbits on the evening of September 1.

“This is what has just happened to us, look, I’m documenting the whole thing,” the activist said in a video posted to her Instagram last week.

“I’m covered in blood,” she said. “This is what the farmers have done. They shot through our window and chased us down the motorway. Oh my God, I’m literally covered in blood.”

After the incident, Mia said online she’d been forced to “leave thousands of mothers and babies behind”.

Mia’s group had entered a farm in Osona, in Catalonia, in north east Spain, to retrieve what she claimed was 16 rabbits from the farm.

Since the incident, Catalonia Police have contested details reported by Mia, including that the group’s car was shot at.

A translation of a report from Spanish news website La Van Gaurdia indicated that after the stress of the incident, where the activists took pregnant and nursing rabbits from the farm, further bunnies suffered from ruptured spines, and miscarried their unborn baby bunnies.

A report obtained from a local veterinarian said five of the rabbits who were pregnant died after the incident, killing their unborn offspring.

A further 90 of the baby bunnies, who had been left without their mother rabbits died following the theft.

Catalonia Police also said while the activists’ car did suffer a broken window, it’s unlikely the farmers shot at the car. In their comments, they disputed the number of rabbits taken by Mia, saying the activists had 14, not 16 rabbits, as Mia had claimed in posts online.

“On Sunday, September 1 at 7.30pm, a group of activists entered a farm in Gurb, Osona, and took 14 rabbits,” a Catalonia police spokesperson told The Sun.

“When Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalonia Police) arrived at the site, the activists were outside.

“The 14 rabbits have not been found. There were some farmers at the scene and there was tension between the two groups.

“Mossos separated them and escorted them from the premises to avoid further conflict.

“Just before 11pm, we were informed that one of the windows of an activist’s car had suffered an impact — and that a girl had injuries to her face as a result of the broken glass.

“The window was most likely struck by a forceful object, due to the nature of the impact, rather than a shot from a shotgun.”

Following the incident, Mia set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for vet bills, bedding and food for the rabbits taken from the farm.

“In the end, we managed to save 16 lives and they are all now in a safe place,” the page reads. “We need help raising money for the vet bills, sanctuary costs including transportation, bedding, food, etc, that are currently 650 euros ($A1050)” Mia continued, claiming the rabbits were living in “filthy conditions” and many had injuries, infections and parasites.

The page has raised $A1151 (€715) from 52 separate donors over the last seven days.

Mythical Mia’s Instagram page, where she original posted the video of the incident, has now been set to private. She has over 41,000 Instagram followers.


The strange priorities of Australia's main public broadcaster

Let’s have a look at ABC Life, what Aunty calls a “new digital storytelling project created to reach new audiences in an innovative and engaging way”.

It provides advice on food, money, travel, style, family, work, well-being, sex and relationships.

Some attention came its way last year when former Junkee political editor and former Greens candidate Osman Faruqi was appointed Life’s deputy editor, just when the ABC was cutting 20 jobs elsewhere, apparently to be “fully fit for the modern media environment”.

So what does this “modern media environment” look like, you ask?

This month we saw: “From Aladdin to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is it OK to keep watching problematic old films?”

And: “How do we reconcile the fact that our child or teenage self didn’t pick up on blatant sexism, racism or homophobia?”

What fun these ABC Life people must be, judging every old movie or song on a current wokeness indicator.

Last month, ABC Life told us it was “time to close the masturbation gap”. Yes, you heard correctly, the public broadcaster has finally got me to say ABC and masturbation in the same sentence.

Apparently, Life tells us, only one in every four women is masturbating regularly, and our national broadcaster has hang-ups about that. “Blame the patriarchy … and religion”, it wanks on.

Also last month, this story was produced: “Why we get earworms and how to shake them off”. Helpfully, the author explained: “Although not literally worms, the process of having a song stuck in your head affects most of the population.”

And here I was thinking they were like tapeworms, only louder.

Just a month earlier Life got into fantasies, and no, they weren’t referring to ABC election predictions. “Faking orgasms could be contributing to the orgasm gap” was the alarming spin.  “Men, this is where you can help by being open to honest feedback,” we were told.

Well, we’re here to help, I think, but all that’s a big step up from the gender pay gap.

We’ve also had: “I fell in love with my hairdresser” which makes this site look like a trashy supermarket magazine.

And this week they asked the tough questions about urinating.  “You’re racing out the front door, when you stop and ask yourself: ‘Should I go to the toilet now, so I don’t have to worry about it later?’ Do you head back inside to the loo? Or keep walking?”

I can assure you, this is what they published. This is your tax dollars at work.

They have even given us the incredible health news that if you don’t drink you don’t have hangovers and that makes being a morning person a lot easier. Now that’s sobering information, isn’t it?

We asked the ABC what specific part of their Charter these articles are intended to meet, what the site cost and how many people it employed.

They said their Charter demands a mix of programs and content of wide appeal and specialised interest.

They didn’t give us anything on staffing or budgets but claimed the overwhelming majority of their audience is satisfied with the content and believes it fits with the ABC.

But why are taxpayers dollars spent on generating more of the dross that is available everywhere else, online, anytime, for free?  Isn’t the ABC supposed to use our money to improve the quality of information available, to provide something we would not otherwise have?

This looks for all the world like the ABC playing with itself at our expense.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: