Monday, May 31, 2004

I was researching a little something on Google when I stumbled across the interesting and amusing Rightwing film geek blog, which led me to something even stranger: the movie review site of the Maoist International Movement. Like Mr. Wing, I thought at first it had to be a hoax, as the reviews are just too boneheadedly ideological to be taken seriously.

Some easy examples (and you can find them by clicking on ANYTHING):

A Bug's Life: "Disney and Pixar's A Bug's Life' has a good side and a bad side. The good side is that it portrays the successful collective struggle of the apparently weak oppressed and exploited (in this case, an ant colony) against the apparently strong oppressors and exploiters (in this case, a band of grasshoppers). So it could be used as a parable about the struggle against u.$. imperialism. The bad side is that it never directly ties its oppressors (the grasshoppers) to the biggest oppressors in the real world, the imperialists.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle: "Overall MIM opposes the pornography that is so prevalent is this patriarchal capitalist society. This is not because of some Christian purism or moral code, but because we can see that pornographic portrayals of wimmin in mainstream culture perpetuate gender oppression and inequality."

On and on it goes, at a level of obliviousness so deep that parody or satire are impossible. Is it sincere? Looks like it, once you investigate the whole site, which is far too elaborate and detailed to be a joke. Then again, maybe that is the joke. Or maybe it's all a plot. Sites like this make you think of Thomas Pynchon or James Ellroy or The Manchurian Candidate -- maybe it's a CIA plot to destroy whatever remains of Maoism from within; either that or it's a backhanded way at striking out at left-leaning Hollywood, by showing they're all in bed with the international Communism. Look at this review of The Day After Tomorrow:

"We have to hand it to Hollywood this time--a very good movie. They even came up with a revolutionary solution that MIM did not think of. If the joint dictatorship of the oppressed nations over imperialism (JDPON) does not come about in time to stop global warming, it's still possible that `what goes around comes around.'"

A 23-year-old movie by Mr. Liberal Hollywood himself, Warren Beatty, gets MIM's highest accolade: a rave -- "'Reds' is a great gift to the communist movement and we heartily recommend it for entertainment" -- and an Amazon link; I guess so you can build your own personal library of films which enoble the proletariat and further the cause of the revolution.

On the other hand, as Mr. Wing also noted, they aren't exactly in love with Noam Chomsky: Power and Terror, as Chomsky hasn't quite fallen in step with the party line. Chomsky ignores both the contributions of "the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary organizations" in the 1960s and "the important history of Maoist-influenced movements within U.$. borders."

"Going further to mislead his audience, in response to a question about Capitalism Chomsky said that Capitalism might be good but we don't have real capitalism in this country. This cop out answer implied that free market capitalism might be better for the people than the state controlled capitalism that we have. This ignores the reality of the capitalist system which is premised on the power and wealth being concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie which profits off of the proletariat. While he was correctly telling his audiences to fight the government and those in power, he was not giving them anything to fight for, only what to fight against. And while he is cheerleading for the dismantling of the system of power, his implication about what to fight for involves reformist movements at best."

I'm reminded in reading this kind of apparently irony-free drivel of the fascinating English language Soviet encyclopedia I used to love poring through back in college, which had a similar level of hilarious predictability. Real or not, the site is definitely good for a laugh; whoever wrote needs a week of enforced self-criticism for sheer witlessness.

No comments: