How to redefinine anything as “Conservative”: Movies edition February 15, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in Uncategorized.
So the National Review Online, in it’s ultimate quest to never be taken seriously, has released its list of “The 25 Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years.” You might expect thaet it is every bit as thoughtful and serious as their previous classic of wingnuttery, the Best Conservative Rock Songs list. The difference is that, unlike Rock and Roll, which always wants to be seen as rebellious even when it is the establishment, it’s not at all common to see genuinely conservative (and, often, reactionary) films come out of that evil “liberal” Hollywood.
I’ll leave it to my readers to identify their favorites from the list. Rather than pick on their poor choices, I’m going to do NRO a favor and help identify the template they use for this piece to help them save time in the future. As you will see, you can just plug anything into it and make it conservative! The recipe for this particular brand of wingnut silliness goes as follows:
- Start with a base of a few geniunely conservative (films/songs/plays/novels/thinkers). Select, say, Red Dawn and 300. Avoid the temptation to shout “WOLVERINES”–you’re nowhere near this recipe’s climax.
- Mix with widely-enjoyed works from obviously conservative creators: The Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings should do nicely.
- Now that you have a nice base prepared, it’s time to blend in your other ingredients so your readers will be less likely to notice how delusional you are. Add a few films with arguably conservative elements and ignore evidence that would contradict your theory. Include The Dark Knight, for example, and fail to notice that Batman gives up his police-state-esque spy program and that what defines him is his refusal to stoop to a terrorist’s level. Juno works well too: conveniently ignore the fact that the film hinges on Juno’s choice to carry a pregnancy to term, and you can pretend the film is “pro-life” despite its obvious mockery of anti-choice idiots.
- Now it’s time to add some films with messages that every American can get behind, and claim all the good elements of them are somehow “conservative.” Pretend, for example, that liberals aren’t opposed to totalitarian states, and you can claim The Lives of Others as a conservative film. Spread the slander that liberals don’t want people to succeed and don’t value the contributions of individuals, and The Incredibles is transformed! Easy, no?
- Proceed with the next step carefully, for haste can ruin your hard work. Carefully and slowly fold in a few obviously non-conservative films, making sure to mix them in with the others carefully, so your audience, desperate for affirmation of their worldview, won’t notice what you’ve done. Claim the nihilistic Team America: World Police is conservative, but be careful–someone might hold this over your head the next time your reactionary beliefs are mocked on South Park. Carefully claim that Gran Turino is conservative by ignoring its obvious critique of the protagonist’s racism and rewriting his bigotry as “blow[ing] away political correctness” and its hard-hitting look at the nature of violence as an affirmation of the conservative family ideal. Make certain to assume that any revelations about the ugliness of your ideology is recast as praise for it.
- Throw in some choices that are just silly, so that you can hide behind them should anyone attempt to seriously critique your work. Claim Ghostbusters is conservative because the villain is from the Nixon-created EPA. Take a shot at “liberal” Hollywood while simultaneously mentioning that somehow Forrest Gump beat out the vastly superior Pulp Fiction for best picture. Identify films by Monty Python member as conservative (this works well in combination with (4) above.
- Season with a disclaimer to further insulate yourself from the mockery that will inevitably come your way. Something along the lines of “Once in a blue moon, Hollywood releases a conservative movie, or at least a film that resonates with conservatives in a particular way” should do well.
- Cook overnight. For best results, serve on a weekend.
And there you have, it folks! Now you too can be a conservative media critic!
[h/t for the inspiration!]