Political Correctness, in Film Reviews!
One of the writers on Crooks & Liars goes by the alias karoli (before you get nervous, no, I am not going to defame her in this piece), and she's a culture warrior of sorts. She holds a staunchly anti-corporate position on many issues, and one of the issues she's most passionate about is that of the growing for-profit, privately-controlled school system. A spearheading figure in the trend of education reform is one Michelle Rhee, the CEO of Students First.
Said organization is billed as a non-profit political lobbying organization to push for education reform. You can read their Mission page for yourself to get an idea of what they do. Bill Cosby is even on the Board of Directors, what's not to like?
There have been allegations and criticisms levied against Michelle Rhee and her organization, plus her affiliations (Rick Scott of the state of Florida come to mind) have drawn some heat for her as well. The aforementioned C&L contributor karoli has written multiple articles about Ms. Rhee, with borderline vehement distaste.
With that all strewn about before you, let's get down to the subject of this here piece (common Southern-USA colloquialism, in my Superbious?!) and talk about why it sucks.
On Thursday, March 21st, Karoli wrote what is titled, "Netflix CEO's Education Reform Views Sneak into House of Cards." If you have yet to be introduced to House of Cards, it is a Netflix-exclusive (indeed, it is being distributed by Netflix themselves), fictional, political drama starring the marvellous Kevin Spacey. In the show, Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a Democrat & a Machiavellian schemer on a quest for revenge and triumph. It is an adaptation of the BBC program of the same name, with a number of liberties taken to distinguish the two. Anyway, on the topic of the C&L post, Karoli wrote this gem:
"Nothing screams corporate like the storyline about education reform. After Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) forces his colleague to abandon education reform because he's "too left", Underwood finds himself negotiating a package with union representatives that feels a lot like Reed Hastings' dream "reform package."
Adam Bessie introduces Ms. Reform, Hastings' dream girl of education reform:
"Ms. Reform is the Marilyn Monroe of domestic policy. The corporate media – and the President himself – can't get enough of her." (Netflix CEO's Education Reform Views Sneak Into House of Cards)
And it continues with:
"It's true that Hastings didn't write the script, but I can't help thinking he shaped a narrative that lends itself to such a script. The casual treatment and perception of unions as thugs, of teachers as incompetent, of solutions as simply privatizing the effort altogether while using data analysis as the benchmark for nearly everything is characteristic of today's reform discussion." (Netflix CEO's Education Reform Views Sneak Into House of Cards)
It's all very passive-aggressive stuff, since the article is obviously a stealthy jab at Michelle Rhee, who has been the target of karoli's derision in past articles. But, you may be asking, "What is so bad about the article?" Luckily for you, that's what I'm going to dive into right now.
I'm assuming that you've read the piece by now, but even if you haven't, you might have felt something creep into your subconscious. That something is called unease, which stems from the rampant political correctness to be had in the overlying piece. After all, House of Cards is a fictional TV-show on Netflix (and on BBC before it, though there are differences between the two). Sure, it addresses real-world issues like many other TV-shows do. It's a little something called commentary which will always be present in fiction in some form or another. But what you and I need to keep in mind is that these works of fiction are weaving together their own worlds, their own realities, with parallels to ours sometimes serving as backdrops.
Basically, karoli, a contributor to a dye-in-the-wool partisan opinion blog (amongst the myriad of others on the web for sure), is being politically correct because she's taking a plot point from an episode of a fictional TV drama series more literally than necessary.
She is even trying to paint it as a means of subliminal messaging, sneaking points of view into the deepest layers of the viewers' minds. What is even worse, though, is that she's not the only one I'm sure who is doing this. Other people look into works of fiction, grant them more real-world credence than they're often due by taking their plotlines & messages too literally, and post other rather pathetic articles on opinion blogs as well. It never ends this shit.
"Have you kept in mind throughout all of this the fact that House of Cards is a work of fucking fiction?
Have you kept in mind throughout all of this the fact that House of Cards is a work of fucking fiction? Good, now you'll probably make like me and go, "Jesus fucking Christ girl, get a grip!"
I wonder if people like her suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? It would certainly add up, because only one with OCD could get such a rise out of such an insignificant piece of a puzzle. I ain't trying to be mean or anything, but god, such people need to relax a little and appreciate art, decent or otherwise, when they see it. It's all that we've got left before we're rendered indifferent dullards you've probably seen in the most horrifying of dystopia epics in cinema & literature. So let's try and appreciate it while we still can. Or perhaps I missed the entire point of her article and I've been had, and she may just laugh at everything I wrote here.