The daily buzzwords are constant and without content as they bombard readers. The gospel of diversity, multiculturalism, privilege, triggers, universalism, the list goes on as do the sermons, all in the name of progress. This is a broad and endless subject worthy of discussion, but it is art that is caught in the cultural crossfire these days.
For the sake of discussion, I use the word ‘art’ to signify a form of media used to convey an artist’s meaning. It is not my intention to answer the eternal question “what is art?”, rather discuss the popular forms in culture ie film, literature, comics, video games, scripted TV series, and so forth.
Freedom of speech is praised in the West, and attacks on that are condemned as barbarous evil. Yet at the same time there is a constant ‘softer’ and no less tyrannical force in public discourse that attempts to castrate fictional works, in the name of progress of course. A recent example is the attack on comic book sexism. While there are lesser known comic series which are explicitly sexual, it would be blameworthy ignorance to claim there are no powerful female characters in comics worthy of respect. The comic female has evolved drastically since the cheesy days of Batgirl appearing in Adam West’s Batman series. The Batgirl today, Barbara Gordon, is a force to be reckoned with and is vicious when avenging her loved ones. Or Batwoman, the stoic Kate Kane, both proud lesbian and iron willed soldier. I could continue with a list, from DC’s Huntress to Marvel’s Jean Grey or Emma Frost. Not to mention the classic female contemporary to Conan the Barbarian, the fiercely savage Red Sonja. Even Harley Quinn, the tragic victim of ‘battered wife syndrome’, has developed past her self-destructive dependency on the Joker, and has come into her own character. None of this fictional characters would tolerate the present day glorification of victimhood put forth by progressives and pseudo-feminists. A common argument is the uniform or sex appeal, which is a terribly weak argument. Many male heroes wear the ‘leotard tight’ costumes, and there are a fair share of male comic eye candy as well! If anything I wonder how the male heroes can protect their ‘assets’ in such a tight costume. If we must rant against the sex appeal of female characters, then we should equally rant against the ‘boy band’ hottie that is Jason Todd or Wolverine/Logan, and the plethora of sexy built male characters. In regard to female characters, a guy dare attempt to infantilize or sexually objectify such a character would be met with a few broken ribs if they are lucky. If anything, female heroes and villains seem to be inadvertently inspired by film ‘Ms. 45’ or ‘The Girl with One Eye’. Hardly the sexually objectified and pitiful depictions that progressives attempt to frame them as. It is as if they are so consumed with their self-righteous sermons that they are incapable of analyzing past the superficial. It does not matter how things are, only that their ‘moral’ goal is accomplished to fulfill their crusading endeavor.
Another example is forced diversification for the sole sake of diversification. The atrocious and neglected 2014 remake of ‘Annie’ comes to mind, which was casted as mostly African American. It is confused in intention. The premise of a mistreated little girl being adopted by a saintly rich man is cute and heartwarming story in itself, it really needs no reference to the original Annie. Putting this into perspective, the Little Orphan Annie was an 1882 comic strip by Harold Gray which was later turned into the now famous Broadway musical ‘Annie’. For the sole sake of diversification, a classic theatrical work is essentially exploited, and into a terribly reviewed movie at that. This has occurred plenty in various media forms. There is a lack of ‘literary authenticity’, for the sake of a better term. It has little to do with diversity, and everything to do with respecting the original work as it was written and presented. It must be noted there is also a difference between artistic interpretation and quota diversity. It is an insult to cast a person for the sole sake of the diversity of it. It is tokenism under the guise of ‘social justice’. Likewise an original work should be respected enough not to sacrifice it in the name of progress. Again this is simply treating it as a means to an end, no matter the damage, as long as the ‘moral’ goal is fulfilled, the rest be damned.
The censoring and castration knows no bounds. Be it violence, misogyny, racism…are we to have fiction without villains? This is in no way justification of these vile things, and I find few who defend that. It is depiction of the world we live in or came before us. Yes people can be and have often been xenophobic assholes, they can be misogynist bastards, and a list of other nasty traits. At least fiction allows us a vehicle to explore and question it, display it nakedly in public, and hold up a mirror to ourselves and see the brutality. This cannot be neutered because it hurts feelings, or offends, or is aesthetically ugly. Fiction is often successful because it disturbs and invokes feelings we purposely ignore. The world itself, humanity itself, is quite offensive and ugly, and while there is fun escapist fiction which plays its part, there is also fiction that is not there to cater to ones sensibilities. The above are only a few examples, and this censorship has reached nearly every part of Western culture.
The progressives on a crusade to silence, neuter, censor all in the name of their vapid definition of ‘social justice’ may not bomb artists as Jihadists have or stockade free thinkers as the Church once, but within their flowery rhetoric they are utterly intolerant of anything they have deemed a ‘sin’ according to their ‘secular progressive doctrine’. Any individual is immediately branded a blasphemer or heretic if he speak against that.