On our way to buy another ton of Quality Street this week, my wife and I took the end of a radio talk about Christmas movies.
They wondered if Love Actually portrayed women as sex pawns, eternally trapped in a perverse, patriarchal male gaze.
A good question, I say.
I’m generally quite open-minded about hot shots of this nature, acknowledging that several times before I had ended up coming to a grudgingly agree position following an initial choppy revulsion at what I considered to be. an annoying and pedantic point of view.
You know what I mean. What people loosely call “wokeism,” which in my opinion has become synonymous with anything we find slightly defying our cozy little worldview.
But that day, I wasn’t in that mood. After attending Love Actually – a bizarre love letter from Adam Curtis to Tony Blair – I was suddenly offended by people who were offended by it and, indeed, the implication that it was to be considered dangerous as well. in one way or another.
It’s one thing to watch entertainment from a new and informed perspective, recognizing how quickly ethics and values ââhave changed. It’s another to reframe an old movie, song, or book as spooky.
Such a position is based on the naive idea that one can have correct eyesight all the time no matter how fast the sand is moving around them, while the truth is that we are all, one one way or another, destined to eventually become reactionaries of some sort. .
When we find something retroactively offensive, it certainly serves as evidence of the progress we’ve made on issues like gender and racial equality and gender expression.
But given that so many people seem to go out of their way to point out the myriad of ways in which a medium or work of art betrays the apprehensions of the past, it should also make them realize that in the not-so-distant future, the values ââthat ‘they draw about to point out that the misguided tropes of yesteryear will one day be placed under that same ruthless microscope.
What if one day people were offended by the lack of workers in the movies? What if one day the plebs rose up and started canceling every show where someone from a housing program is played by a private middle-class tw * t and this practice is subsequently considered offensive as a black- face?
Say goodbye to your soap operas, prime time dramas and just about everything else on TV.
Isn’t it sheer folly to assume just because you’re right today that tomorrow a new generation won’t be looking to supplant you anyway, with their own hyper-critical interpretations of all the things you currently believe? be irreproachable artifacts of virtue? Isn’t that the very inevitable nature of social progress and something we should applaud – even if it means we will eventually get the call?
Anyway, I’ll see the charming and brilliant kindergarten cop again. It’s a film about an absent father who infiltrates a nursery as a teacher to learn intimate details about the life of the children’s mother for a secret investigation.
In doing so, he reassures a parent, worried that his son is suffering from a disorder because he is playing with the girls ‘toys, don’t worry – he is using them to find the girls’ skirts.
God forgive me – and happy new year when it comes.
Don’t miss the latest news from across Scotland and beyond – Sign up for our daily newsletter here .