13 August, 2008
Another Humorless Feminist Rant
Tropic Thunder opened in theaters today.
It is a satire of adventure/war movies and self important actors starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. What's not to like?
This morning, when I was watching Good Morning America and drinking my coffee, Ben Stiller assured me that the frequent repetition of words like "retarded" and "retard" are meant to make fun of actors, not intellectually challenged people. I suppose I'm just too tight assed to "get it," Ben. When you use the word retarded to make fun of people, you are not making fun of actors. Retarded means "slow development." It is comparable to nigger, kike, or faggot when used as an insult. It's not funny.
This is very much like the discussion we all had when Don Imus opened his big mouth one too many times. There are many people who are arguing that "political correctness" has robbed us of our sense of humor and made us a nation of uptight maiden aunts. After all, it is only satire. Don't you have a sense of humor?
As a matter of fact, I do have a sense of humor and it is often bawdy and silly. Have you ever read Chaucer? Nothing but scatological, sexual, and fart jokes. But making fun of intellectually challenged people is not funny, Ben. Making fun of college girls (calling them whores) is not funny Don.
Here's what I understand about satire. Satire is used to illuminate the faults of people in power and institutions of power. It is amusing when satirists make fun of the president or the congress or the church. That's why Jon Stewart is my secret boyfriend.
It is not satire when you make fun of people who aren't in power--people who need our protection--it is just mean.
I know that this movie will make a ton of money and will probably become a cult favorite, but I am going to follow the advice of my local news anchor who said, "If you don't line the 'R' word, stay home."
I think words are powerful. Use them carefully.