Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review of 2009's (or 2011's) The Help

The Help is yet another self-glorifying tale of a heroic young white person, curiously ahead of her time in speech, manner and outlook, who spurns the society of the 1960s in a strikingly modern way, refusing to get married despite overdone, overdirected, obtuse pressure to the contrary, and befriending African-American maids (over their ignorant, short-sighted, cowardly, ebonics-laced objections) to cozen them into telling their tales of waiting on white families, which the young white woman then turns into a novel.

Like most mainstream stories about unlucky artists, this one made it through the money grindery of the Ministry of Entertainment's Non-Twilight Branch (NTB) by someone who lived in New York, and who worked in the publishing industry for years after being (born to and) raised by wealthy white landholders in the south, with the help of their black servants.  Naturally, this wealthy white woman with publishing connections was the perfect person to transmit a story about lower caste black laborers and unsuccessful authors.

Luckily, she had the childhood friendship of one "Tate Taylor," a white boi who was good enough to live on a grand old plantation near her, and agreed to promote, screenwrite and direct her major motion picture.  Aren't these diamond-in-the-rough stories of utterly random success based on talent sumthin', folks?

How daring, for the writer (one Ms. Stockett) to, in 2009, challenge institutional racism in the old American South. What a riveting tale that we so sorely need now.  This one wonders why no one back then did anything to resist racism?  Maybe because they were too busy writing stories decrying something unpopular at the time.  So, Ms. Stockett needs not worry about dead Arab children, which might make her unpopular among the titled set; instead, she can help them all glorify themselves for their shared recognition that the 1960s American southeast was unfair to African-Americans and women.  A much-needed revelation from a courageous soul in these trying times.

Yes, Ms. Stockett may have been sued by a black woman named "Abilene" who claimed--ridiculously, of course--that some of her persona was stolen by Ms. Stockett for her novel--but a federal judge had the good sense to ignore the lawsuit.  Leaving Ms. Stockett with all the money and celebrity for having written such an insightful story about so many people on the toilet (one has to have seen the movie to understand this reference; apparently, showing the insides of people's knees while they are on the toilet is automatically artistic, even if the plot doesn't require it and the camera-work is utterly preoccupied, in the gonzo style, with the location of said toilet and toilet-sitter).

Much like Avatar or Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, The Help is a great way for the deathly culture of now to glorify upper-class whites as the real galvanizing force behind social change.  If not for the heroic Skeeter (the progressive white author and main character in The Help), those stupid darkies would've never figured out how to tell anyone their story and improve their lazy-ass condition.  If not for Skeeter, those blundering crackers in their inherited plantations would've never figured out how to stop having domestic arguments around their paid staff.  Thank God for progressive white girls who used their major-media connections with influential New York publishers to give the real story of black America.

Vomit.  Times ten.  The Help is the perfect self-congratulatory spiel for the generation of Obama-worshipping baby-killers.  Because everyone knows that electing a (partly?) black guy means that things are right with the world.  Or at least getting "better."  After all, Abu Ghraib is, like, far away and stuff.  And didn't they close it, or something?

Obama-worshipping baby-killers.

Obama-worshipping baby-killers.  

There's something to sink your teeth into.  Go look at the dead faces that aren't even entitled to be domestic maids.  Then, go here to look at OMG KATHRYN STOCKETT!!! dispensing advice on how to be accepted into the American publishing industry as she smiles with pride over her post-racial triumph.

The pompous adulation of their 50-years-old sort-of triumph over a single facet of acknowledged, institutionalized U.S. racism is a loathsome example of how the Nazi eugenics doctors could go home to their families night after night, and have calm, reasonable, loving meals.

Rebleat after me:

SPEAK RUDE TO BLACK STAFF IZ NOT ACCEPT!  KILL PAKISTANI KID COLLATERAL IZ ACCEPT!

SPEAK RUDE TO BLACK STAFF IZ NOT ACCEPT !  KILL PAKISTANI KID COLLATERAL IZ ACCEPT!

I IZ GOOD FOR TO KNOW THIS THING!  I IZ SO GOOD!  WHEN IZ HOLIDAY NEXT?

Connected throughout this planet, under this sky.  Pray for the expiration of the malignant growth in our soul--Ms. Stockett branch.  May something good have mercy on us all.

1 comment:

  1. (Archiving a related comment on a blog where deletion is likely. Quote follows.)

    packrat: “In matters of anti-racism, it is important for me as a white person to step back to provide space and support for non-white people to tell their stories.”

    What if “non-white people” could tell their stories without white people making a big show of stepping back and creating space? What would all the white people do, then with their righteous guilt?

    “White” is a fabricated term that once did not apply to Irish people, once did apply to Persian people, and once did not apply to Jewish people. Who gets to decide, at any given time period, who is “white” and who is “of color”? History has shown that those most interested in defining boundaries–who always call it a noble experiment driven of necessity–are those most interested in denigrating and decimating one of the resulting subdivisions.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned children of different colors playing together. Yet now, a generation later, white people are talking about stepping back to “give space” to those they’ve identified as needing special protection–special protection from them. From higher-caste whites. Like the special protection granted from slavery, where space was “given” to African Americans, who needed the provisions of their superiors. What a terrible reversal of priorities: walls in place of togetherness. New categories in place of shared love and sisterhood. “Giving” space that was never “owned” in the first place.

    The “giving” of space is a patronizing, racist act.

    Look how glorious I am, for I have these things that you could not acquire on your own, so I am deigning to grant them to you. Am I not merciful?

    dear lizor, so may it be–I’ve written extensively on the painfully terrible monster that is Hollywood, which destroys the soul of nearly everything in its past. Bad products presented as art, though, do not negate the possibility of art and beauty. Various aboriginal tribes were exterminated and scattered to the wind in old wars, long before western empires began discovering and cataloguing the remains to make per capitas more efficient. Should all those stories vanish forever, merely because all of the bloodline were killed? Should only people whom 2012 westerners decide belong to a particular class be permitted to say anything “true” about that particular class? May Morgan Freeman narrate an IMAX special on Stonehenge?

    It is possible–just a little bit possible, perhaps–that stern maxims of sexual and racial caste are not only inaccurate, but lead one down horribly exclusive, self-contradicting paths, no matter how vigorously popular they may be within any given epoch.

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