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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 604: Maleficent

I refer to the new film, of course, starring Angelina Jolie.

I have been finding it more and more difficult to tolerate the absolute manure that is being produced. Movies and TV series recycle the same ideas over and over, and when one of them does just one thing a little differently it is called unique and visionary, but all the while it's the same old story. The thing that I find most intolerant is the outright cruelty and lack of concern and compassion for life that is promoted in the media. Maleficent is no different - it's just another Disney movie that promotes all the same garbage as always.

  • There is always a hero and this hero is the most important person ever.
  • All the other people & things are brought across as being expendable and unequal to the hero (how many soldiers die in a battle fought for the sake of the storyline and/or protagonist?)
  • There is good and there is evil
  • Revenge is an acceptable and natural reaction - even if it causes death and misery for countless beings - it's all good if you're really sorry afterwards
  • Collateral damage is acceptable in the hero's quest
  • Scenery, dialogue, music, etc is used specifically to manipulate viewers into emotionally investing in the characters of the show
  • Innocence is best nurtured in a remote location

There is another show which tries to justify evil actions by giving the character a "story" that somehow explains and makes right all the bad things that they consequently did. Funnily enough, this could be considered a show for younger viewers, which leads me to question the integrity of the media industry even more: Once Upon a Time. In this show the "evil" character is slowly but surely brought into the main cast, creating the idea that she is "just human" so that viewers connect with her emotionally in an attempt to win the viewers over. No attention is given to the pain and death of so many people for which she is solely responsible, quite possibly numbering in the thousands.In this story as well, there is one point of "love" that slowly turns her from evil into good (her adopted son). Now this is teaching our kids that you need some outside reason to be reasonable and compassionate to other living beings, especially if you were a dickhead before.

In recent years there has been an interesting development in the creation of male characters: Evil characters are being made to be attractive to female viewers, so that women now have a conflicting idea about "bad guys" - sexy and dangerous. Even if the male character is a mass murderer, as long as he has sex appeal then he's fair game for the ladies.

Maybe my standards are just too high for this world. Maybe South Park was right - the bar has been lowered too low. I shudder to think of the beliefs that children are developing from growing up with these ideas being fed into them without any real understanding that it's not how the world really works - and you wonder why there is so much more violence in society than 50 years ago.

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