/ Social Epistemology / Sentience & Semiotics /
Twisted opens. Ashley Judd (yum, yum) is getting raped.
A guy holds a knife to her throat. A rivulet of moisture runs down her perfect cheek: her tears? His sweat? Bird shit from the sky? The guy murmurs “intimacies” in her ear … but it’s not intimate, it’s a rape: it’s the opposite of intimate. The guy gropes her bosom, probes lower, encounters something, says, “What’s this?” “It’s my gun,” grunts Ashley Judd as she cracks her skull back against the guy’s nose, flips him hard onto the pavement. She knees the small of the guy’s back, cuffs him, flips a phone, announces she’s caught “Culter”, requests “back up”.
And it’s a rape alright, she, a cop, has just raped the rapist: a man manhandling a woman is dreary-sad small potatoes compared to institutionalized power orchestrated against lesser powers, here, some sap of a brute. Better maybe than beating some pallid Jew whose only physical exercise has been to hold his prayer shawl closed, but in all cases the brown shirts pat themselves on the back: they stand for god and country.
Entrapment is OK so long as it’s the goodguys doing the en-trapping: the law is to serve good-guys, not bad guys: and we all know, in advance, without thinking, who’s good and who’s bad.
Ashley Judd’s cop has overpowered the guy, her cop disguised as a woman, a kleptocrat disguised as a human bean, a brutality-flaunter disguised as a victim. She tells him to get up on his knees. Pleading, begging her not to hurt him, he does, this lost soul, he’s completely helpless, the shoe’s on the other foot, ha-ha, That’ll show ya whose woods these are. And she says, “Oh, one more thing” (clearly a woman wrote this): and kicks him in the face. Audience practice for a fascist coup. (A promising opening instantly degenerates into police state propaganda.) Of course if the audience doesn’t scream for blood the fascists can make do with less blood. This is populist morality: count the profits, then decide the law, the right, the god: and then write the “truth”.
I bailed out. I’m truly sorry: I like liking Judd, not hating her. (Ashley has had more than one terrific role: Mrs. Cole Porter, fer instance.)
So what does that have to do with my title? my now revised title? Where’s “Oprah”? Who or what is the “Miss”?
It’s there, gliding along in parallel. My girlfriend’s beautiful house, where I love to be, has stacks and stacks of magazines piling up, no one’s looked at a single page of a single of of them that I know of: I certainly haven’t. Oprah Winfrey is on the cover of every damn one: that is to say a PhotoShopped-to-hell-and-gone Oprah Winfrey is on each cover. Oprah? pretending to be a model? A role-model maybe, for fat black girls with an hour in at the community “college”. (More about me and Oprah will follow) (and more about college hours), but now:
However many hundreds to thousands of millions of dollars, however many billions, US media and the Fortune500 funnel to Oprah for lying about her appearance on magazine covers, her appropriateness as a manikin, it’s not enough. Thomas Jefferson was the poster boy for Americans pretending to be interested in liberty and equality while we murdered the natives, grabbed gold and land, and prepared a launching pad for WASP imperialism, dangling our future like a carrot, Oprah is the poster girl for sanitizing our past, pretending that we were equal. We weren’t racists, we never lynched anybody, why some of my best friends have always been n-words (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 31), we WASPs always had a spade over for dinner … There are no real differences between a Yuppie and a ghetto wife-beater: differences are only skin deep.
Jeff still gets to me, but Oprah makes me puke.
I watch movies for pleasure. I write for pleasure. I love irony, I love sarcasm, I love to create a persona the opposite of actual-me.
There’s more than one kind of pleasure.
Ensnarement for police brutality is not a pleasure for me, quite the opposite as you see. Ah, but writing I can try to say what I’m about to attempt: ain’t easy, here’s goes:
This movie is pretending to be entertainment, actually it’s test marketing: for the police state. The rapist-raper pretends to be a woman.
Run it up the flag pole, see if anyone salutes.
That’s what Madison Avenue ad men were famous for saying in the Eisenhower 1950s of my teen years. Don’t ask if something is what God wants, don’t ask if something is sane or healthy: ideal normal; test whether it will serve profit. (Then confuse this approach with “science”.)
redrafting screwed up my order: I suck in another film reference:
a week ago I watched the opening minutes of a piece of tripe called Odd Thomas. Some kid says that “Odd” really is his name, he also says that he sees the dead, the dead communicate things to him. Some girl is apparently telling him that she’s been raped and murdered. Next thing we know Odd Thomas is chasing some guy as the murderer. Apparently he not only listens to the dead, he believes what they tell him too. Odd Thomas fights this guy, then the cops cuff him, arrest him. Brutality triplet: first the rapist is violent, then Odd Thomas is violent, then the cops bring their own vilence, stacking theirs on Thomas’s.
Now, here’s the parallel to Twisted: Cops are always shown holding a detainee by the top of his head as he’s escorted and guided into a car, right? Here in this offensive nazi-fascist movie the cop slams the detainee’s head onto the car top on the way in! Utterly gratuitous violence. And the audience is being fed this stuff, gearing up for more Hitler, more Big Joe, etc. Let the punishment commence with the arrest: evidence, trial, judgment comes later. Bad guys don’t deserve any rights.
Before my teens I was taught morality the way we’re all taught it, by being steeped in the culture. God says we should worship God. Everyone seems to believe it, you should believe it.
We’re a free country, we love justice, believe in law. Did the law prescribe slamming the guy’s head on the car top? Isn’t he supposed to be assumed innocent until proved guilty? Shouldn’t the cops have to wait until he’s been tried and convicted before slamming his head?
Ditto Ashley Judd: should she have the judge sign off on her kicking the guy in the face?
She kicks the guy in the face, we cut to a bar: Ashley Judd is going through a dress-drill of hip slaps and funny brother handshakes, showing that she’s just as at home with the brothers in the force as she is knocking rapists about. Ashley, one of the bloods. Hip hop.
God prescribed this and that. No where did Moses tell the Jews that they should prefer opinion polls to the word of God (through Moses, through Jesus …)
More Opra: https://pknatz.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/oprah-gull-wing/
I said I’ll tell of my oldest relationship to Opra: The first time I ever heard of her was the early 1980s. I’d gone to Hilton Head to let my patron help me write my novel, she treated me as a boytoy, wouldn’t let me work, I fled. But I was determined to write, and sell, the damn novel. I ran to FL, lived in a backpackers tent, looked for places to plug in the typewriter, wrote homeless. I sold enough art out of my trunk to revisit NYC, called my friend Madge, black Jamaican gal, Polish aristocracy mixed in. When I met Madge she sublet rooms in a big upper west side apartment; now she was renovating a whole floor loft. I was welcome, ah, and I’d get laid again, Madge was magnificent: but Madge wasn’t alone. Diane Reeve, the jazz singer, still in school, not yet famous, was camped with her. Before I knew who Diane was, I took out my flute, played Jobim’s Wave, and Diane warbled right in beside me, I was astonished, amateur me, imposing my ineptness on Madge, treated decently by Diane, I withdrew, Diane kept singing.
So then Diane told what she’d been up to: she’d just tried out for a film of The Color Purple. We wished her luck, but she said she hoped she did not get the part of Sofia: a radio talk gal, Oprah Winfrey was also trying out. Diane said that Oprah was perfect, she was rooting for for herself but for Oprah.
Now that was impressive. And Oprah has conquered the world.
But: to get rich in a culture you have to belong to the culture, you have to approve it to some degree. I haven’t spent thirty seconds listening to anything Oprah has said since The Color Purple, I don’t know if she’d recognize what I’m saying. The ad men design the set to show a raceless, classless, friendly, free, fair culture … the folk who were terrorized by lynch mobs a few decades ago sit with white folks at sports commentary desks as though second class were almost first class, as though they always been there, as though there were nothing to explain.
Crock of Paradise
Jan and I are watching another TV flattering fiction, the British bit of tripe, The Paradise. The attractive blond country girl comes to the city, Edwardian times, gets a job in The Paradise, an early department store, maybe the first, its owner the inventor. The costumes are nice, etc. Jan eats that stuff up and I’ll love it in her company for her sake. She agrees that it’s clumsily written, bumpy of plot … never mind, here’s the parallel:
In the second episode some rich wife has an attack of nerves while on a shopping bender. Stephen Wight plays Sam, a draper who improvises a cover to conceal her embarrassment: he breaks her shoe heel so he can escort her out of there as she leans on him. She invites him to her house so she can give him wine, jewelry, and nice note, and get a nice kiss, squeeze, etc. But somebody walks in … The next cover is her invention: she slaps poor Sam. Now the hero is a common rapist, a home-breaker-into.
Now we have the necessary setting. The itchy wife’s host is a lord of some sort. He demands that Sam be fired. The Paradise owner isn’t so sure. So: it’s a struggle between class (automatically with the upper hand) and justice (automatically in kleptocracy with very little hand at all.)
QED: The Paradise displays a pleasing flattering-fiction in which class battles with justice as though on level ground! Harrumph. Horse shit. England has sold its soul for class, for privilege: but, to pretend to be a democracy, to pretend to be-and have-been Christian, it had to pretend to be more interested in justice than in class.
And if you believe that …