Archives for posts with tag: white supremacism

gorillas-in-the-mist

Forget Runaway Slave (2012) or Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (2016). Gorillas in the Mist (1988), starring Sigourney Weaver as mountain gorilla specialist Dian Fossey, is the ultimate liberals-are-the-real-racists experience on film.

Fossey is a sixties feminist freakazoid whose work with handicapped children fails to satisfy her attraction to the dysfunctional and the grotesque. Instead, she travels to the African jungle to subsist all alone on a mountain with wild gorillas and nobody but mostly unfriendly blacks for miles around. One of the zanier heroines in eighties cinema, she is something of a thematic cousin to the protagonists of Werner Herzog’s Aguirre (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982).

Disregarding her mentor’s warnings, Fossey, after first being spooked by one of the rampaging apes, slowly gets close and personal with a particular group of gorillas. She crawls around on the ground with them, learns to imitate their grunts, and gets to know each one of them individually. In one of the movie’s breakthrough moments, she even holds hands with one of the things and practically swoons with schoolgirl languor.

Her interactions with the black natives are far less promising. A group of soldiers ransacks her belongings and scatters her scholarly papers. The local Batwa tribesmen offend her sensibilities with their traditional hunting techniques, prompting her to sabotage their traps. Fossey capitalizes on their superstitious conviction that she is a witch by encouraging them in this impression, making them afraid of her with devilish exhibitions of voodoo.

dian-fossey

Dian Fossey, gorilla supremacist feminist icon

Eventually, after a party of poachers cuts off the head of one her apes, Fossey loses her mind and practically goes Col. Kurtz on the “wogs”, as she calls them, setting fire to grass huts and even staging a mock-lynching (!) for one of the culprits.

Gorillas in the Mist, on its surface, may only be the story of one woman, Dian Fossey. On the subtextual level, however, what is at stake is race relations. The overly optimistic idea is that, if this miracle worker, Dian Fossey, can even tame the savage heart of a wild mountain gorilla, then surely, too, there is hope that whites can live in peace with primitive blacks someday.

There is, too, an implicit imperialism of the heart about Fossey’s presumptuous shouldering of the white woman’s burden to teach the ignorant Africans how to conserve their wildlife. Maurice Jarre, most famous for composing the score to Lawrence of Arabia, was tapped to create the soundtrack to Gorillas in the Mist. Just call her Fossey of Afro-Apia!

The film’s depiction of Fossey as a woman of mingled passion and bigoted misanthropy seems to have been rather on the mark. The L.A. Times, in its notice of Fossey’s unsolved murder in 1985, noted:

“What is important is that she was the first to ‘habituate’ gorillas” to the presence of humans, said Belgian ecologist Alain Monfort, an adviser to the Rwandan Park Service. “Before that, people thought gorillas were highly dangerous,” Monfort said.

But the naturalist’s sometimes-eccentric behavior irritated both the Rwandan government and the international wildlife community. […]

In an interview at her camp in May, one of the last she gave, Fossey defended her policy of encouraging the apes to fear black Africans because nearly all poachers were black. She conceded that the policy could be branded as “racist.”

The Wall Street Journal also says this:

Fossey, who was hacked to death with a machete in her bed 16 years ago – by whom, we still do not know, though it could have been poachers, a disgruntled Rwandan servant, or even an American colleague – saw herself as a benign earth-mother to the highland gorillas she helped protect. There can be no denying her path-breaking achievements, and had it not been for her, and for the attention she attracted to the cause of the mountain gorillas, it is possible that we might, today, have been talking of those animals in the past tense.

But Fossey was also a racist alcoholic who regarded “her” gorillas as better than the African people who lived around them. Her anthropomorphization of the apes was matched by her unceasing belittlement of the area’s natives. Arguably the world’s first eco-colonialist, she habitually referred to Rwandans as “wogs,” never in all her time recruited a single black African as a researcher and even burned the crops of neighboring peasants whom she suspected let their cattle graze in the reserve.

As extreme as Gorillas in the Mist makes Fossey’s obsessiveness appear, the film constitutes a positive sanitization of her activities if her fellow primatologists Bill Weber and Amy Vedder are to be believed when they claim that Fossey “pistol-whipped a man suspected of poaching on her reserve, and then supervised his prolonged torture at her camp, including the rubbing of stinging nettles on his penis and testicles.”

The feminist conservationist icon might have missed her calling shoveling Shlomos into the ovens in a Spielberg epic, sounds like. At least Madison Grant never messed wit muh dik.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Prick Cadillac

Oozing down the street, indeed. Make no mistake, fellow social justice warriors: Bruce Springsteen is pure, unadulterated pink slime.

[Ideological Content Analysis is both pleased and privileged to bring readers this thought-provoking and patriarchy-challenging guest post by Rokuro “Rocky” Roth-Hideyoshi, roving pop correspondent for Beat/Down: A Journal of Queer Quriticism and Aural Experience.]

Does any circumstance better illustrate the unrepentant heteronormative and intra-racial supremacy of corporate radio than the fact that “Pink Cadillac”, Bruce Springsteen’s hate-saturated 1984 B-side to the disturbing “Dancing in the Dark”, continues to receive occasional airplay on nominally non-Aryanist networks and to be hosted on YouTube and other popular websites without censorship or content disclaimers? As Kevin Ransom writes, it is one of those “songs that have practically been pounded into cliché by super-heavy radio rotation.” Springsteen’s ersatz protestations of anti-racist commitment are never convincing – a case, one suspects, in which, as Hamlet would put it, “the hater doth protest too much” – and even assuming the “Boss” has the best and most progressive of intentions, his social justice eruption insurance premium is always going to be on the high side in view of the unforgettable wreck that constitutes his “Pink Cadillac”.

An unabashed paean to European-American sexual exclusivity as well as a puerile celebration of priapic chauvinism, “Pink Cadillac” concerns the leering interest of its self-aggrandizingly amorous protagonist in the “back”, i.e., posterior, of a womban’s “Cadillac”, or objectified, dehumanized, commercialized, and customized “crushed velvet” body – conceptualized in this instance as an empty vehicle-vessel requiring a licensed (i.e., privileged) driver – which is, of course, to say an owner. “But my love is bigger than a Honda, it’s bigger than a Subaru,” he insists, betraying his insecurity while at the same time perpetuating the adolescent cruelty of the miniature Asian male sexual organ stereotype. Springsteen is one of those white men who only feels adequate when he has succeeded in making the other – in this case, the “yellow man” he fantasizes about killing in “Born in the U.S.A.” – feel small and marginalized.

The economic context, one must also remember, found the American worker and music consumer – Springsteen’s primary audience – uncertain about the future of their country’s industrial base in the face of Japanese electronics and automotive competition after nativist propagandists had largely succeeded in riling white Americans into a paranoid frenzy about global trade and the opportunities this presented for economic development in an increasingly interconnected and justice-seeking planetary order. The butt-wiggling braggadocio of the “Boss”, then, must have provided a powerful salve to the chafed egos and bruised sexualities of a generation of self-absorbed and privileged white males in desperate need of perpetual reassurance. Losing at one game, he plays another: reproductive protectionism.

Bruce Springsteen

In 2016? Really?

“Honey, I just wonder what you do there in the back of your Pink Cadillac,” he declares, hovering hairily over the listener, who feels herself almost compelled to detect the beer that is undoubtedly on his breath. He positively belches a pushy, intrusive curiosity about the sexual history of an unnamed female-gendered person, and one is left to glean from the rapist protagonist’s later reference to Eve that Springsteen is addressing a womban. Invading her mental and physical space, he commands her to “come on over here and hug me” in an attempt at projected volition so as to facilitate his intention of sexual assault and simultaneously implicate the victim as an accomplice in his own act of non-consensual violation. His invocation of Eve, too, serves to shame the target of his transgression into complicity by establishing a useful correlative with the temptress of myth.

The song, which Springsteen wrote in its first version under the rapey title “Love Is a Dangerous Thing” in 1981, took on anti-Semitic and white supremacist overtones as it devolved into what would become the honky-tonk clunker “Pink Cadillac”. In an erratic aside, the “Boss” – knowing he has the undivided attention of his impressionable audience – actually interrupts the assault to address his male listeners specifically, wishing to issue a warning to them about an imagined Jewish peril. “Well, they tempt you, man, with silver, and they tempt you, sir, with gold,” he rants, going on to espouse the canard about how the Joooooooz also “tempt you with the pleasures the flesh does surely hold.” Honestly, Mr. Springsteen? In 1984? The “Boss” confirmed for the world the depth and grossness of his anti-Semitism and sexism when he forbade peerless diva Bette Midler to include a cover of “Pink Cadillac” on her 1983 album No Frills.

Springsteen also revealed his frightening adherence to the white supremacist beliefs of the Christian Identity cult when he prefaced a live 1984 performance of “Pink Cadillac” with these contextualizing remarks: “Now, this is a song about the conflict… between worldly things and spiritual health… between desires of the flesh… and spiritual ecstasy… now, where did this conflict begin?… well, it began in the beginning in a place called the Garden of Eden… now, the Garden of Eden was originally believed to have been located in Mesopotamia… but the latest theological studies have found that its actual location was ten miles south of Jersey City, off the New Jersey Turnpike… now, understand, in the Garden of Eden, there were none of the accouterments of modern living… I mean they didn’t have no Laundromats, they didn’t have no like, like little toasters you could put your Pop-Tarts in and then watch Johnny Carson on TV…”

Relocating the Garden of Eden from the geographical Middle East to some presumably pristine white enclave of the American imaginary when it was still free of the tacky consumerist dreck and mass media “brainwashing” peddled by the stereotypical Jewish merchant caricature of anti-Semitic propaganda, Springsteen casts Adam as the progenitor of the Aryans, whom he believes to be the living embodiment of Israel. BDS activists have attacked Springsteen for the singer’s apparent willingness to tour the Zionist state this summer; but these misguided crypto-racist neckbeards miss the point entirely. Springsteen, if the dark history of “Pink Cadillac” is any indication, is venturing to Israel not to entertain the evil Joooooooz, but to conquer and occupy what he, in the fever of his sweaty, race-crazed delusions, regards as the rightful lebensraum of the Aryan Nations of Jersey.

No wonder a 2012 study found that listening to Bruce Springsteen music for seven minutes can turn normal people into racists!

Rokuro “Rocky” Roth-Hideyoshi

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