Archives for posts with tag: BLM

i was lorena bobbitt

On Memorial Day 2020, the Lifetime network honored one of America’s truly inspiring heroes when it premiered I Was Lorena Bobbitt, a docudrama about the woman who, in a fit of temporary insanity, “attacked the instrument of her torture – that is, her husband’s penis.” It had been quite a while since I subjected myself to a Lifetime original movie; but, judging from this one, they haven’t altered the tried-and-true formula of prurient man-bashing in a quarter of a century. Lorena herself, now a blonde, appears onscreen periodically to convey her emotions in key moments, but for most of the movie is portrayed by Dani Montalvo, with Luke Humphrey hulking out in the role of her husband. Never having taken a particular interest in this case, I really can’t say whether or not the events are accurately depicted; but viewers will certainly come away with the impression that John Wayne Bobbitt was nothing but a hate-snorting psychotic monster with no redeeming qualities apart from his good looks – a man who, in short, fully deserved to be relieved of his dick. This guy flies into a childish rage over anything: if his wife buys a fake plastic Christmas tree; if his mother-in-law wants to watch a Macy’s parade instead of a football game; basically given any pretext he turns into a woman-hating Mr. Hyde, berating Lorena, beating the shit out of her, and even anally raping her. He doesn’t even let her decide where they eat and expects women to pay for his drinks while commenting on how fat their asses are! If you ever wanted to spend ninety minutes watching a guy being an intergalactic champion jerk to his wife, seeing her cry and yield and perpetuate the proverbial cycle of abuse before finally standing up for herself as a woman and chopping his manhood off … boy, are you in for a treat!

1.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that I Was Lorena Bobbitt is:

Police-ambivalent. Early during their marriage, a black police officer intervenes when he witnesses her abuse through a window. Later, however, she claims to have contacted the police six times without any results. “I can’t breathe,” she implores while being raped by her husband – a choice of words perhaps contrived to evoke an affinity between Lorena as an oppressed minority and abused spouse with blacks ostensibly ground beneath the heels of a similar unfeeling authority.

Abortion-ambivalent. Mr. Bobbitt pressures Lorena into getting an abortion and even taunts her beforehand about how big and scary the needles are and how painful the procedure is going to be. Viewers are invited to sympathize with Lorena because of the coercive nature of her husband’s insistence as well as her resignation to go along with it and thereby prevent another Bobbitt from being brought into the world.

Anti-military, with the Memorial Day broadcast date probably an intentional fuck-you given that Mr. Bobbitt, a Marine, is more than once depicted being abusive while in uniform.

Anti-drug. Mr. Bobbitt’s alcohol abuse exacerbates his temper tantrums and puts others in danger when he drives drunk.

Media-critical, with paparazzi nihilistically hounding Lorena for lurid coverage of her story and putting her “on trial by society” while refusing to seriously address the “millions and millions of people” experiencing the same traumatic abuse as Lorena.

Pro-immigration, presenting a sympathetic portrait of a vulnerable (legal) immigrant whose husband cruelly threatens her with deportation, thus associating immigrant-unfriendly attitudes with sexism and violence against women. “What the hell do you know?” John demands, striking his wife. “You’re not even from this country.” “I wanted the American dream,” declares the idealistic Lorena, who came from Venezuela.

Christ-ambivalent. Lorena, who always wears a crucifix, is moved by her Catholicism to persist in trying to make her marriage work. This at once gives her the air of a suffering saint and militates against the wisdom of Christian faith as a guide for liberated women.

Misandrist and anti-marriage. Lorena’s employer, a tough, attractive, single, self-reliant woman who runs multiple nail salons all by herself and also furnishes comfort to Lorena, clearly stands for the Lifetime network point of view and represents a feminist ideal. While Lorena’s old-fashioned mother encourages her daughter to endure Mr. Bobbitt’s cruelty and try to be nicer to him, viewers are encouraged to understand that a younger generation of empowered women will have to educate their elders and teach them the error of their ways in continuing to indulge men’s erratic and beastly whims. Violent, vengeful penis removal is, of course, the ultimate, most admirable and audacious act of feminist heroism imaginable.

Anti-white male. Mr. Bobbitt’s military profession and first and middle names – John Wayne – emphasize his symbolic value as a representative of traditional white American masculinity – a significance reinforced by his red, white, and blue keychain ornament in the shape of a cowboy boot. In unmanning John Wayne Bobbitt, Lorena and the moneyed creatures backing her hagiography strike what they intend as a fatal blow at the credibility and the potency of American man.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism.

Monsters and Men

If someone knew nothing about life on earth, and gleaned all they knew about the New York Police Department from watching Reinaldo Marcus Green’s bitch-burn-downer Monsters and Men – or, as I am dubbing it, Dindus and Dems – that viewer could hardly be blamed for believing that the NYPD exists primarily for the purpose of persecuting innocent people of color. The film is a bit reminiscent of Paul Haggis’s Crash (2004), but updated for the angrier decade of hands-up-don’t-shoot hoaxery. In a story inspired by the death of Eric Garner, a racist white police officer shoots a po innocent brotha jus tryna sell some loosies on the corner – and witness Manny (Anthony Ramos) must now decide whether to keep his head down to protect his family or release his camera phone footage to the internet and risk the repercussions. In another of its threads, Dindus and Dems traces the turmoil experienced by aspiring baseball star Zyrick (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) who, after experiencing police harassment, finds himself attracted to a troublemaking BLM-style organization despite the expectations of his more conservative father. Thirdly, Dindus and Dems follows black police officer Dennis (John David Washington, who has inherited father Denzel’s voice), who finds himself torn between his loyalty toward the force, his firsthand knowledge of discriminatory policing, and his fellow blacks’ perception of him as a race traitor. It’s worthwhile to watch trash like this once in a while, if only to see just how far removed from reality liberals’ understandings of race relations are to the extent that they take their cues from corporate media messaging – and, as Dindus and Dems makes abundantly clear, we appear to be inhabiting entirely different planets.

2 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Dindus and Dems is:

5. Anti-drug. After being stopped and searched by police officers, Zyrick goes home and flushes a packet of weed down the toilet, presumably because he realizes the trouble he would have been in had the police found the pretext to arrest him. Drug use is also mentioned as a potential barrier to professional athletic success.

4. Pro-AIDS. The community organizing horde that Zyrick joins focuses on black grievances but also advocates for “trans women”.

3. Pro-family. Dindus and Dems presents more than one example of caring fathers. As Zyrick’s trajectory illustrates, however, fathers do not possess ultimate moral authority and are subject to rebellion.

2. Anti-capitalistic – but only disingenuously so. “Look around. Just turn on the TV,” insists a black street corner poetess. “KKK walkin’ ‘round here free. No white sheets. White shirts and ties, all lies. Wall Street lookin’ far too familiar like the cotton fields of Virginia,” she conjures, equating the world of finance with southern plantation culture – rather than, say, kibbutzim. Wall Street would look “far too familiar” to writer-director Reinaldo Marcus Green, who, according to Filmmaker Magazine, slaved “for five years as a director of talent acquisitions in diversity on Wall Street.”

1.Woke. Dindus and Dems is set in the “tight-knit” Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which also served as the setting for Spike Lee’s similarly provocative but rather more honest Do the Right Thing (1989). Ironically, this is also the neighborhood where police officers Wenjian Liu and Raphael Ramos were murdered “execution-style” in their patrol car by angry black psycho Ismaayil Brinsley in 2014. As Dindus and Dems would have it, though, it is innocent black men just trying to get home from baseball practice or cruise around listening to Al Green who are hunted by Nazi cops with impunity. “You got a hoodie on, for chrissake,” Zyrick’s father objects before his son heads downtown to participate in a protest – the implication being that this increases the chances that some white person will shoot him a la Trayvon Martin. Inspiringly, the end of the film presents sportsball as a safe and productive means through which blacks can voice their gripes.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of the books Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism and Protocols of the Elders of Zanuck: Psychological Warfare and Filth at the Movies.

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