Sunday, December 27, 2015

Star Wars, Max Landis and the Thought-Police

So I took my sister and brother-in-law to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. They didn't like it as much as I do. My sister said it was "good, not great. Why are the reviews so awesome?" and my brother-in-law was shaking throughout the movie because he was halfway to a fever and the air-conditioning was turned up to Hoth.

So I went home and killed myself.

I took a shotgun and put to my brain and pulled the trigger. I'm writing right now, covered in blood, brain matter and tears because some people didn't agree with my thoughts on a movie.

Which brings us to Max Landis. Landis went to see Star Wars: TFA and then wrote some snarky comments about the movie, saying the lead character Rey is a Mary Sue because she is good at everything. I suspect he hoped this would condemn TFA to be dismissed as a fanfic, and because of his views, no one would do reboots or remakes or dare to work on any franchise whatsoever from here until the end of time, preferring instead to work on original movies like his failed (at the box-office) American Ultra movie. This is a solid and laudable intention, if not sneaky - if true.

I'm sure it's not true and I'm just blowing smoke up my own ass.

First of all,  from what I gather, a Mary Sue is a character inserted by an author/creator into an existing world that represents the author/creator and beats everyone at everything.

An example would be Wesley Crusher in Star Trek, though he is more of a Gary Stu due to him having a dick, probably. Wesley Crusher is good at everything, smarter than everyone and is an insufferable annoyance. 'Wesley' is series creator's Gene Roddenberry's middle name and he out-thought, out-scienced yet sadly did not outlast the other characters because fans caught on to it and booed him mercilessly or something.

Wesley Crusher grew up to become Wil Wheaton and God help us all. God help us all.

Is JJ Abram's middle name Rey? If Daisy Ridley's character was named Jacob, then maybe yeah. Does Rey have a dick we didn't see in TFA? Does Abrams secretly have a fetish to go into junkyards and scavenge for spare parts he would take to Simon Pegg who would then give him food? Is this some kind of sex thing Abrams does? Then maybe Rey IS a Mary Sue!

I agree with her beating everyone at everything, but so did Luke Skywalker. In fact, Rey is Luke, without the dick.

A farmboy suddenly becoming the best pilot in the Rebel Alliance with absolutely no training whatsoever? I see your farmboy with a scavanger, and raise you a sword-fighting Jedi.

I totally disagree with the Mary Sue insult thrown by Landis. Most of his other points about TFA sucking is okay and I agree with a lot of the flaws. Except for Amri Rohayat's understanding of Starkiller Base.

Amri wrote that if Starkiller sucked a star, then the whole solar system is dead. SO why shoot at planets? Well, the sun they sucked is in another solar system and they wanted to shoot at another solar system. Across the galaxy or some shit.

Starkiller Base as a concept is great if not for the previous existence of the Death Stars. I mean, Starkiller is a sort of (not really) Dyson Sphere, created by a Type II Civilisation. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, you're not nerdy enough so fuck you.

There are tons of cheesy moments in TFA. Tons of things that don't make sense, either scientifically or plot-wise. But Star Wars was built on vague green muppets with dubious grammar and laser swords and space fighters with wings shaped like it was drawn by a 4-year-old.

TFA is not a perfect film, but Abrams only needed to do one thing - not fuck up. And he didn't. If you loved any of the Original Trilogy films, you'd probably love this one. If you want a cerebral character study, or a scathing indictment of how society has oppressed the voices of minorities to further their corporate greed, watch something else. In fact, Mad Max is a far better action movie than TFA. So go see that.

Anyway, so Max Landis, perhaps not content with the few rogue trolls here and there on Twitter, decided to make a series of videos on YouTube lambasting TFA.

So he began to get what he presumably wanted most - attention.

Guillermo Del Toro said that the whole Mary Sue thing is aid by killjoys. Landis jumped at that but GDT moved on to a million other things.

For a while, Landis was happy, it seems, from his tweets.

Unfortunately, what began as a triumph for him soon descended into something uglier. He picked fights, and then trolls started to attack him, and egged him and others to fight each other.

Landis was branded a sexist and anti-feminist because Rey is being lauded as a bad-ass female action hero.

Then Lexi Alexander started insinuating some stuff about someone, probably Landis, and then blocked him on Twitter. Landis tried to contact her but to no avail.

So, in response, Landis unwisely took it further. He made a video asking to talk to Alexander and asked people to forward the video to her.

Landis has about 50K Twitter followers, so Alexander probably get a few hundred people forwarding the link to her. Alexander flipped and started going full on feminist.

She said something like, "No one is entitled to a relationship with anyone else" and blablabla and harassment this and no means no and this is bullying and stuff.

Landis was caught in an unenviable position. He is an American, a Millennial, being called out for being a sexist asshole or something. American Millennials currently don't know how to respond to that effectively.

I'm an Asian who never set foot outside of Southeast Asia. If anyone were to call me a sexist asshole, I could always say, "You're not respecting the nuances of my archaic culture, brooo!". Even if that's total bullshit, accusers of non-liberal thinking often are scared of being branded as bigots themselves.

I don't think Landis is sexist, though he might be an asshole. I think he was unwise in pursuing Alexander's or anyone's approval. He also attacked Rey from TFA as a Mary Sue.

What I do know is, his lead character in American Ultra is a Mary Sue.

The lead character Mike Howell is a stoner. Max Landis, who wrote the movie (if I didn't state this already somewhere up there) likes to talk about doing drugs, sometimes.

Mike Howell is the best at everything. He has the best girlfriend, he is the best sleeper agent who defeated everyone, and he is also the most morally innocent. Howell is just a guy whom you can't blame for all the shitty decisions and mess he's made because he's just an innocent - he meant to do the right thing.

I find Howell to be the ultimate Mary Sue in recent times.

Am I right? Does anyone agree with me? I don't give a fuck. I'm better than everyone else.

So I wanted to talk about how the Thought-Police has come out of the woodwork in recent years as something other. They are dressed in different garb or uniforms, but their function remains the same: policing your thoughts.

If you like or hate a certain piece of art or pop culture, or think of things in a different way, and you honestly do, people like Landis or Alexander or me or any of the feminists, trolls, SJWs, dipshits and any of the fuckheads have no power over you to think otherwise.

They can brand you with anything - sexist, racist, whatever - but you alone know the truth and if you are in line with the truth, fuck everything else. You and everyone else can't change the truth anyway.