Reasons to Love the Revolution #1: Vajazzle

As many people may or may not be aware, our current concept of western society is slowly coming to an end. Capitalism, like an older brother at a Miley Syrus concert, is slowly dieing on the inside and America as a world power is going to be dragged down with it, probably taking everyone else with them while Cuba looks on and laughs like a Marxist Nelson Muntz on the Simpsons. Along with this, I have recently heard of small groups of American militia men who are preparing for this very eventuality, which will probably lead to a series of terrorist attacks at best and a new egalitarian government, much like the one they had in France, at worst. That said, I believe that the oncoming social apocalypse will also have it’s cleansing aspects. Many of the more hideous aspects of our society will go the way of absolute monarchy and powdered  wigs. Because of this, I will be starting an ongoing feature that will examine all the stuff that we won’t miss once the Revolution comes.

And the first bit is going to be something I’m sure we can all agree on, having rhinestones grafted to women’s vaginas. Yes, you heard me right, rhinestones on vaginas. I’m not kidding. Here’s a link. I’m going to let all this sink in before I take a long hard look at what this means.

Sanity back at a reasonable level? Alright, let’s kick this Bastille down.

Before we address anything else, I will ask the question I’m sure you are all wondering. WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT RHINESTONES ON YOUR VAGINA!? This has got to be one of the most pointless excersizes of sexualized fashion of our times, and that is saying something. I personally find the entire idea of vajazzling kind of disgusting. I am not a major rap star and thus excessive diamond or diamond related items do not interest me. If I was a major rap star, let’s say P-Diddy who isn’t really a rap star anymore but I don’t listen to rap that involves diamonds so bare with me. If I was P-Diddy, I would probably find this attractive. But as I am not P-Diddy, but in fact a white boy with very little money, significant female others or any real idea of how rap works as a format, I find this not only unattractive but a deal breaker in any sexual situation.  If I were about to first make love to a woman, I would be greatly disturbed by the fact that she has what appears to be a diamond encrusted vagina. This would lead to a series of questions:

  1. How am I supposed to have sex with a woman who’s vagina is encrusted with diamonds?
  2. How the hell did her vagina get to be encrusted with diamonds?
  3. Why would she have her vagina encrusted with diamonds, because I’m sure they would have mentioned this kind of thing happening in sex ed.
  4. Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with a woman who has diamonds on her reproductive organs? Do I really want to raise a family with this kind of personality? What kind of role model would she be to her daughters?

So, despite what the proprietors of this desecration of the source of all life say, this is not something guys like. I’m pretty sure even the more shallow individuals would find this slightly disturbing for the most part.

Also, we come to what I believe may be another factor in this, Empowerment. While watching a video of Jennifer Love Hewett, who is a woman many people who are not me consider attractive and/or interesting, dealing with the process of vajazzling, she says she finds the experience empowering towards women. Now, I’m not a woman, but from what I know of the women in my life they are probably feeling similar, if not the, emotions I am feeling right now. Probably similar as they are looking at it from a woman’s perspective. And these are fairly empowered women in my opinion. With their powers combined, they could become a giant robot Rosie the Riveter and defeat the Patriarchy in an all-out battle in the style of Godzilla, all without the help of jazzling any part of their bodies. So I’m going to make the statement that vajazzling does not have anything that truelly helps empower women, which any female readers can argue for or against.

Finally, and the reason that we will all cheer it’s disappearance in the Revolution, vajazzling is just plain stupid. In the grand scheme of things there better things to do to yourself then have rhinestones stuck to your genitals. You could conceivably put that money to more trips to the spa, or even things like feeding the poor, or dressing them, or getting homes built. To be honest, anything would be preferable then getting pretty rocks grafted to a place of your body very few people will conceivably see.

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Post-Colonial Science Fiction: Avatar and District 9

Awhile back my dad took me to see the film Avatar. I found the movie largely disappointing and completely unworthy of the hype that surrounds it. Most of the fun I had regarding that movie, was taking it apart and seeing how I can put it together. Later, I saw another film that I feel is similar in regards to theme, District 9. Both of these movies dealt with what are essentially colonial themes, but in my opinion District 9 is a far superior movie. This is because District 9 meets what I believe to be the criteria of a good science fiction movie, which is that it explores complex ideas about humanity.

First off, I’m going to talk about Avatar. I was very angry at James Cameron for making Avatar. I don’t really know what I was expecting, because I hated Titanic and the kind of movie I would have liked Avatar to be seen as is downright impossible to be made on the scale that Avatar was done at. The entire thing was one long Dances with Wolves rip off recycled in Space and done with characters who are so cardboard a light breeze could through them over. What disappointed me even more was that Avatar could have been a much better movie. A friend sent me an internet article about an early version of Avatar called Project 880, which had more developed characters and dealt with many philosophical issues in the movie that I thought were underdeveloped or completely missed in the film.

However, if the Gods of Science Fiction were to call on me, they’re humble servant, to go back in time and right the blasphemy against them that is Avatar, this is what I would change.

  • Loose Mighty Whitey, you know this story. White guy goes to random group of native people where he proceeds to out native them in every conceivable way. While in modern times this could have something to do with liberal guilt, it is still kind of racist. Not only that, it has been done. I have heard Avatar described as Dances with Wolves in Space and Pocahontas in Space, but unfortunately Avatar cannot be called Avatar in Space. I’m not saying that we don’t get ride of the whole aspect of Sully joining the Na’vi for awhile, I’m just saying we don’t make him their Messiah.
  • Loose the Noble Savages, this is essentially what the Na’vi are. They spend most of their time in harmony with nature when they’re not riding around on flying lizards and whatever the hell it is Na’vi are supposed to do. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with being a Noble Savage, the fact that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with them is the entire point of being a Noble Savage. My problem is that it is just to easy. I’ll probably go into this later in another point I’m going to make, but basically I think we should cut the blue cat people some cultural slack and make them more then just stand ins for our romantic notions about Native Americans.
  • Loose all that Action Movie Shit, I don’t go to movies because I want to see explosions, and as cool a world as Pandora is, I can’t really get into it if I don’t care about the people who live in it. I would basically turn it from an Action Movie into a Psychological and Philosophical Drama.
  • Character Development, get some, The characters in Avatar are very poorly developed and for the most part act as archetypes. Basically, what I’m saying is give them more depth. Especially that psycho Marine guy who’s basic purpose is to be the Military-Industrial Complex on Steroids and Crack. I personally love seeing American soldiers act like total monsters in movies, it’s kind of cathartic, but these days I’m liking it less and less.
  • Ramp up the Philosophical Issues, To me science fiction has always been a genre of ideas, which is something Hollywood seems to translate as “Things blowing up IN SPACE!” There are two issues that I felt Cameron could have concentrated on, issues of identity and the fact everyone is standing on a living freaking God.
  • Questions Regarding Human (and alien) Identity, The first problem is simple and in my opinion should have been a much larger focus for the movie. Jake Sully is sent to planet were he is given handy new alien body. Handy new alien body can do all kinds of things Sully can’t do, such as breath the toxic alien atmosphere and walk. Sully ends up being picked up by the local alien tribe and gets to learn they’re ways. Now we get to my question: Is Na’vi Sully the same person as Human Sully? When Sully becomes one with his Avatar, is he still Sully, is he still human? This could be highlighted in certain rituals of the Na’vi that we could add to this version. Say instead of burying their dead the Na’vi take the body of that dead person and eat it in a ritual similar to that of the Australian Aborigines. This handily gives Sully ethical issues and messes with various ethical issues, and any preconceived Noble Savage ideas we may have about the Na’vi
  • And Finally, God/Eywa. Not once are any theological or spiritual issues raised that the stupid humans are dealing with is a being that could be the closest thing to a God they have ever encountered without being certifiably insane. Now this is just me speaking, but this should have been a much more bigger thing to catch my attention for this movie. What if the entire point of going to Pandora is really that they have found God? Alright, maybe they come for the Unobtanium, but they stay to figure out this God thing.

So basically, for my rewrite of this movie, we leave out most of the action sequences, the basic starting plot, subvert every Colonialist cliche in the book, and end it all with a huge mindscrew instead of an action sequence.

Anyways, on to District 9. This is in effect the exact opposite of Avatar. They both feature a story about a human who becomes an alien, discovers new things about his world and feature colonial themes, but District 9 is probably a much more accurate idea of how things would turn out in the end. Basically, a bunch of alien insects called the Prawns land their space ship a bit above South Africa and overtime are moved into a slum. They are being taken cared of by a weapons corporation that is trying to figure out how to work they’re weapons, which appear to only work for them. The Prawns are also victims to Nigerian gangsters who eat their flesh so they can have the energy weapons and what appears to be a crippling drug problem related to cat food.

Enter Wikus van der Merwe, a young ambitious bureaucrat for evil weapons company who is sent to get all the prawns into a new slum outside the city. He starts of as a fairly unsympathetic character who bribes the prawns with catfood and “aborts” prawn eggs with a flame thrower. No sooner does this happen then he is infected with weird alien fluid and begins to slowly transform into a prawn himself. This disturbs Wickus very much, as he is soon on the run because his former co-workers want to cut him open for the money.

So why is District 9 better then Avatar? Well, for me it’s because I care about the actors and it doesn’t feel as phony. Avatar just seemed like a cheat, were as the guy who made District 9 seems to have done something that I believe has serious artistic merit. Plus, District 9 just has characters I can actual feel for, like Wickus. He starts out as basically a jerk, but when he comes out he seems to be a more developed human being (or prawn). The movie also had a better handle on it’s themes, such as the whole issue of oppression of minorities. Also, if District 9 is a film version in space of Kafka, it does this in a way that isn’t as obvious as Avatar’s rip off.

Anyways, I’ve been working on this blog post for to long, I will publish it and let you, dear reader, decide if I’ve got a point, am just ranting, or both. Excelsior.