Monday, 23 January 2017
Show, don't tell...
There is an adage in screenwriting that is as easy to say as it is hard to do; show, don’t tell. Many a budding scriptwriter has found it impossible to avoid jarring exposition in their dialogue: “Oh hey, Marjorie, who was that you were talking to just now?” Marjorie replies “That was my brother. He’s just returned from an expedition in Borneo, where he contracted malaria...” As you reach for the remote control any interest in the story has faded away; the audience has to do its part and having the plot handed over on a plate is of little use to anybody other than teenagers and devotees of the one-dimensional Fast and Furious franchise. What you don’t have to work for, at least a little, is often worthless.
Shouting about your ‘rights’ and demanding that your first-world grievances be heard isn’t showing, it is telling, only louder. And it’s not very endearing. At the #WomensMarch in Washington Madonna declared (screeched would be more appropriate) a ‘revolution of love’ and then went on to say “Fuck you!” to all the people whose cooperation the women’s movements will need in order to get anywhere, namely men. Even while appropriating and monopolising loving and caring as the exclusive preserve of womenkind she was encouraging the sisters to disrupt, disobey and disavow the democratic process.
So, a mixed message then? It seemed so. For one thing, what was it they were really marching about? Women in the first world already have pretty much all the rights that are going. Granted, the abortion thing is a difficulty in the US but you have religion to blame for that. Cure yourselves of those irrational beliefs and you’re sorted, to which end eliminating islamic extremism would rather seem like a bloody good idea. Oh, but no, some of you donned impromptu hijabs to show how very little you understand about the modern feminism you claim to espouse.
But really, what is their beef? As Katie Hopkins wrote: “... a shared sense of victimhood is not sufficient to make change happen. And at its most fundamental the unifying cause for these collected individuals is that they are not men.” And that really did seem to be all there was to it, an opportunity to utter some primal screams, dress up as vaginas and generally make the place untidy; which is a tad ironic, when you think of it. As for those glass ceilings, they’re not going to smash themselves and there’s no point in expecting the men to do it for you. But we still don’t know what they were really protesting about, or why.
The almost entirely left-leaning fanatics seemed to be incandescent with rage about inequality and division and every other imaginary slight they could shoehorn into the proceedings. But would they have been protesting if all the things they demand were already in place? Surely if the ill-defined equality they seek, if they were already safe and secure, there would be no mob offensive. Surely, if after eight years of the Lord God Obama all their prayers had been heard and answered, they would be content? Show, don’t tell, ladies; who really let you down?
Wall of vaginas? Or queue of cunts?
For all the rhetoric, when you look beyond the hotch-potch of hypocrisy and imagined hurt what you see is a mob that appears to be protesting about the impotence of their own anger. They were showing that, no matter what, they will demand more and if they ever get their hands on all that is tangible, they will further demand the nebulous. Whatever they imagined they were telling us, the message was lost as we just saw a parade of angry, mostly privileged women protesting for the sake of protesting. Never mind bringing down Trump, the only thing destroyed here is their own credibility.