Friday, April 07, 2006

King Kong Faces Racism Charge

[How did I end up doing movie reviews? - HAC]

A movie about a big black ape abducting a White girl and going on a berserk spree of crime and violence? What could be racist about that? Surely it's just the latest in the Stanley "Tookie" Williams saga? No, wait--it's the liberal reaction to the latest re-make of the classic 1930s flick King Kong.

"Lots of people say it's racist," writes left-wing columnist and movie reviewer Jim Pinkerton. "And, if it is, why does the film keep getting remade? What does it say about us if the new Kong is a huge hit? Any movie that features white people sailing off to the Third World to capture a giant ape and carry it back to the West for exploitation is going to be seen as a metaphor for colonialism and racism That was true for the original in 1933 and for the two remakes: the campy one in 1976, and the latest, directed by Peter Jackson. (In addition, a Kong wannabe, Mighty Joe Young, has been made twice.)"

Uh, yes. That's right. This geek apparently really does want us all to go off on a deep philosophical ponder about the profound cultural significance and inner psycho-sexual symbolism of a giant monkey.

Actually, this isn't the first time the liberal psychobabble crowd has gotten their hooks into King Kong. In 1976, when the Dino de Laurentis re-make starring Jessica Lange was released, there was all kinds of "sophisticated" commentary on why the gigantic ape figure had no large genitalia like actual male gorillas in the wild do. This was supposed to be some kind of deep and dark psychological need to "emasculate the black man." (I am not making this up, dammit!)

De Laurentis was asked for comment and supposedly replied, "Is-a too expensive for de balls. Dino no spenda million dollars on monkey balls."

The question of "Why does King Kong keep getting re-made?" is in fact mildly interesting, because it's a silly movie with a plot that could have been conceived by a kindergarten class. And yet apparently there are millions of people willing to lay down good cash to see a childish picture that one would think loses its appeal to viewers much past age six. The answer has nothing to do with racism. It's just that Americans are silly people who pay good money to see silly movies.

Jewish movie reviewer David Edelstein, writing in SLATE, notes the "implicit racism of King Kong - the implication that Kong stands for the black man brought in chains from a dark island (full of murderous primitive pagans) and with a penchant for skinny white blondes."

Comparing the new film with the original, the Washington Post's Stephen Hunter observed, "It remains a parable of exploitation, cultural self-importance, the arrogance of the West, all issues that were obvious in the original but unexamined; they remain unexamined here, if more vivid."

That proves it conclusively, folks. The American news media is now proven beyond all doubt to be full of reviewers who have far too little to do. (This is probably the same crowd who came up with the insane notion that the character of Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars was a "racist stereotype." Racist against what, for Pete's sake? Tall pink frog creatures who sound like Bob Marley on speed? Oh, by the way, the famous interplanetary bar scene in the first Star Wars was supposed to be racist as well because "it depicts diversity as ugly and threatening.")

Folks--if you'll pardon me for quoting a Jew, Sigmund Freud once said that "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Sometimes a silly movie is just a silly movie.


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