BREAKING: Black men are moochers, vaunted film says!

MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2018

The shape of tribal warfare:
The most remarkable moment in The Shape of Water occurs rather late in the film.

We refer to the scene in which Guillermo del Toro detonates his three millionth cultural stereotype, the one in which we get to see that black men are lazy moochers who shamelessly live off their wives.

In fairness, the black husband in question doesn't say "Yassuh, boss," as he betrays his wife in deference to The Man. But he comes amazingly close in this amazing film.

We went to see The Shape of Water for several reasons. We were stunned by the tribal messaging the heinous mess contains. Also, by the number of critics who managed to sit through the film without noticing this part of its brief.

Most mainstream critics did mention the heavy-handed stereotyping found all through the film. For the most part, they tended to review the film favorably anyway. (Fairly clearly, David Edelstein didn't.)

We think the stereotyping in this film almost defies belief. We'd say it offers a remarkable look at the way human brain cells die in times of "cultural revolution."

We expect to discuss the film in detail next week, but that scene with the black husband really took the cake. In fairness, he didn't say "Yassuh, boss." But he came amazingly close.

It seemed to us that Sally Hawkins really was extremely good, just as everyone says. It seems to us that Guillermo del Toro needs a lot of help, as does our deranged, drowning tribe, which increasingly seems to be maybe half human, half monster.

8 comments:

  1. "We refer to the scene in which Guillermo del Toro detonates his three millionth cultural stereotype, the one in which we get to see that black men are lazy moochers who shamelessly live off their wives."

    C'mon, Bob. It's a decent film, which is extremely rare these days.

    And really, you should do something about that lib-zombie mentality of yours, striving to find an 'offensive' angle in everything.

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  2. How do you blame a film for stereotyping and then turn around and blame that film itself on our entire tribe?

    "It seems to us that Guillermo del Toro needs a lot of help, as does our deranged, drowning tribe, which increasingly seems to be maybe half human, half monster."

    I didn't make the film. I haven't even seen it.

    I suppose Somerby thinks it is clever to refer to liberals as half human, half monster, given the theme of the film, but that strikes me as majorly offensive. Isn't the point that an amphibian boy is human, not half-human?

    Guillermo del Toro's strength has always been his visual imagery. Loved Hell Boy. How do you stereotype an amphibian boy?

    Films are mostly about the specific, not generalizations, unless intentionally satirical or social commentary. There have been enough films about specific black people that it can be assumed that depiction of one black man shamelessly living off his wife is not intended to represent all black men, any more than depiction of yet another black rapper or athlete or super hero is intended to represent all black men. Haven't seen the film and may not, but it strikes me that Somerby is confusing a comic book with literature. Or maybe he is upset that the critics like the film when it is a comic book and not literature. Would be nice to see them recognize something different -- that wasn't garbage like Lalaland.

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  3. Why does Somerby think we are in the midst of a cultural revolution?

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  4. What does it say about a reviewer who sees a scene where a black man is depicted as a moocher and then claims that the film says "black men are moochers?"

    What does it say about a reviewer who finds confirmation of his own narrative bias in a film, and who draws political and tribal lessons from one work of fiction?

    Does Somerby believe del Toro thinks black men are moochers?

    Is Somerby half monster?

    'I saw a film today; made me think how f*ed up our "tribe" is.'

    " our deranged, drowning tribe, which increasingly seems to be maybe half human, half monster."

    There's that imprecision...who exactly is Somerby talking about here?

    Does Somerby need help?

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  5. This is a terrible movie from the cultural stereotypes to the story itself. The story isn't new, I've seen ET and Starman. The acting was excellent. But 13 Oscar nominations? Please.

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