I’m watching the Critics Choice Awards right now and thinking, “This is a nightmare…we’re all immersed in a benign, thumbs-up, positive-energy horror film…the seed pod wokey-wokes are everywhere and too terrified to think, comment or behave otherwise, and only a few of us have escaped the takeover syndrome — playing it cautiously out of fear of being called out, and yet thinking and assessing like semi-free human beings and secretly sharing un-woke thoughts.
We’re in the middle of a cultural-racialist-genderist revolution and a general consensus that bad white guys need to sit in the back of the bus for a few years, and as long as the revolutionary wheels are churning and crunching and filling the air with aspirational social fables, Hollywood will continue to grapple with the fact that for many in the industry, streaming and theatrical movies will serve the cause of enlightened social propaganda.
Wokeness might be good or (sadly) necessary for social change, but it’s not much of a propellant for the creation of knockout award-season flicks that really reach out and touch Joe & Jane Popcorn.
The bottom line is that the erratic pursuit of sweeping, penetrating, soul-touching art (a rare achievement but one that has occasionally manifested over the decades) has been more or less called off, it seems, because such films or aspirations, in the view of certain #MeToo and POC progressives, don’t serve the current woke-political narrative.
Friendo who’s also watching: “Ugh…Ariana DeBose says ‘no matter how you identify you are unique you are smart you are talented just as you are.’ Isn’t that the problem? This is what we have done to an entire generation — this is how they see the world…that they are special and each of them must be recognized.”
Over the last 65 years we’ve seen four Invasion of the Body Snatchers films — Don Siegel’s 1956 original, Phil Kaufman’s 1978 remake, Abel Ferrara’s 1993 version and Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s decade-old The Invasion.
Now it’s time for a fifth involving the installation of seed-pod mindsets, with the change agents being the Millennial and Generation Z sons and daughters of today.
I’m talking about a scenario in which the Anglo Saxon whitebread gene is regarded as inherently arrogant, criminal and bad for the planet — flawed, cruel, heartless, exploitive. A consensus emerges that the only way to correct this abhorrent culture is to fully indict the historical criminality of whiteness over several decades and in fact back to the beginnings of this nation — what it’s been, what it is now and where it’ll lead if things aren’t turned around.
Alien spores float down from space, affecting only the children and grandchildren of boomers and GenXers. Once turned, the awoken are free to call Anglo-Saxon culture by it’s true name — oppressor, a cancer, a scourge upon humanity. Within days the idea is spread that it’s time for enlightened non-whites to marginalize or dilute or even overthrow white culture so that POC culture can re-shape things and bring in a little fresh air and more fairness, freedom and opportunity.
Gradually seed-pod consciousness spreads to members of the liberal intelligentsia, and more and more of them are suddenly embracing the program. The general idea is “let those shitty old crusty white guys eat some of the shit that POCs have been eating for the last couple of centuries,” etc.
Gradually it becomes accepted that if you’re white and straight you’re kind of a bad person, or at the very least suspect. And that you probably need to re-educate yourself and embrace the new reality…or else.
A clever horror-comedy satire that ten years ago would have come and gone and been forgotten by awards season is transformed by seed-podders into a Best Picture contender, and those who question the validity of this are regarded as cranks or closet racists.
Friends and family members of seed-pod film critics begin to notice a certain robotic manner and a glassy, out-to-lunch look in their eyes.
Liberal-minded film critics Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn declare that they’ve been making sure that POCs are ranked prominently in their year-end awards ballot, partly because they admire their films but also because they’re about or were made by POCs.
Seed-pod urban culture begins to adopt other changes. Millenial and GenZ types begin to regard heterosexuality as a problem, and it’s gradually decided that it’s time to let LGBTQ folks run the culture and push heteros off to the side a bit. They’ll be allowed to walk around and buy groceries, but they need to accommodate themselves to the notion that straight whites are an underclass.
And if educated liberal Democrat white guys complain about any of this on social media platforms, the seed-podders tag them as closet Republicans or closet racists or closet homophobes. Would the seed-podders be delighted to bust these white guys on any of these counts and thereby eradicate or at least marginalize their asses and put them out to pasture? You have to ask?
The transforming of society has never been a gentle process, and to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs.