MOC #25 – “Wonder Woman: 1984” Is Neoliberal Garbage

  1. There’s propaganda with the wishes and the ending. Don’t wish for anything to change because only bad things will happen. Everything is just perfect with the world as it is.

  2. Hi Lee,

    Happy New Year! I mean, come on, be happy.

    I watched MOC Wonder Woman 1984. I’m writing to take issue with your criticism of the casting in Hamilton (and you can see the same diverse, aka history-flipping, casting in BRIDGERTON, new on Netflix). I think there might be something else going on here, at least in part.

    Miranda’s point in casting black people to play famously white historical figures could be his way of teaching white people that black lives matter but skin color does not. Maybe he (and Shanda Rhimes… BRIDGERTON) hopes that the more that white people are invited or possibly forced to see black and white as interchangeable, the more the idea will subliminally sink in. The more white people can see black people in all media presentations as leaders, intelligent, noble, accomplished, good-hearted, and just as good as the white people they have ever admired, the more they may accept black people they know or have seen at the mall as possibly like that, too: just people, same as anybody else. Miranda may also want to open the casting floodgates to people of color who have been kept outside throughout the history of Broadway, with few notable exceptions. Diverse casting has been ongoing quietly for some time, but the outrageousness of casting well known actual persons as another color is what brings it so much attention. It’s a Hail Mary, for sure, but nothing else has much worked in 400 years of efforts by people of color to be seen and appreciated, never mind treated equally. Maybe this will work. In the end, when people of color are the majority and more and more stories being told are from their perspective, maybe we’ll see white people always portraying white people again. I am not worried that the children in the Hamilton audience are going to be permanently confused and think Thomas Jefferson was black. They’ll figure it out.

    And while diversity does make for fewer roles for white actors to play, I for one am all for affirmative action. (I don’t know if you knew about me that I am a trained actor and spent 10 years in NYC in my heyday performing in musical theatre, including Broadway. So it is significant that I welcome casting changes that will impact the likes of me.) It’s funny though, it seems like white people have already tired of that method of righting the wrongs and are pretty much ready to go back to being first in line for everything. The current violent push-back is of course all about the impending fall of white folk to minority status in, what, 20 years? White people are rightfully nervous about what could happen… knowing that if you treat people badly it is not unreasonable to think they may try to seek revenge. Instead of doubling down with white supremacy, however, I think the 74-Million would do better to make amends, adopt a starving black family until the Covid crisis is over, or do SOMEthing open-hearted, instead of shouting ugly things, supporting gun wielding in capital buildings and praying for a civil war. Talk about a Hail Mary!

    Anyway, Miranda didn’t want to take on the slave issue; he was focused on the relationship between Hamilton and Burr, on Hamilton’s personality and the delicious ironies of history. His use of historical facts was almost gratuitous… sidelights only. He missed a lot of things. Churnow’s book was really thick, and he spent an irrational amount of time on the sister who didn’t get to marry Hamilton!

    Anyway, Lee, I had to say something this time. I usually agree with your take on things, but I just realized myself what this diverse casting is really about, and I love it!

    Take care,
    Vickie Patik

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