The right has been reacting to that viral NYC catcall video with a collective shrugging of the shoulders (while the further right has taken glee in its inadvertent criticism of black and Hispanic men). See here and here. They downplay the idea that the woman was harassed or suffered from anything more than mild inconvenience. Meanwhile the left accepts the terror of catcalling, but claims the video makes minority men look bad; so they strain to bring white guys into it all where they demonstrably weren’t. White men are still awful! Don’t take your eyes off the ball(s)!
My take is that yes, it must actually be annoying and uncomfortable to be the the center of unwanted attention. But then I’m also fairly introverted, as I suspect many of the upper-middle class hipster transplants to New York City are.
I see part of the solution to catcalling to be certain trends in social life that both the populist left and right have bemoaned. Namely the everyone’s-looking-at-their-smartphone trend. A friend of mine who works at Airbnb recently complained to me about the lack of vandals among the younger crowd these days. “Those kids who skate, steal, etc. are the savior of humanity,” he texted. (Just now got the irony of that.) But those kinda kids are the ones who make women feel uncomfortable out in public. I’m old enough to remember witnessing this kind of thing. They’re the kids who loiter in front of the mall talking shit to the fat girl who’d hoped to escape their peripheral vision. Now those young men are at home playing video games that rival the intensity of a 1980s summer blockbuster. Or…looking at their smartphone, alone together.
The shrinking of youth-dominated street life has its upsides.
I’ve written nostalgically about my youth. But it wasn’t all good, for everybody.
As if the notion of a progressive-libertarian alliance needed any more flaying, see the sign-holder below from the recent NYC shindig on capitalism and climate change (screenshot via Reason).
The more thoughtful libertarians like to make a distinction between the free market and capitalism, with some even proclaiming to be “free market anti-capitalists.” And these are precisely the libertarians who’ve attempted to appeal to progressives. Sadly for them, the bright young thing below has latched on to the term “free market” and mashed it all up with “capitalism,” obliterating the subtle distinction between the two some libertarians would like to claim exists – and adding “genocidal” to boot.
The hair-splitting that goes on with terminology is missing a huge cultural element to what animates the left. Profit, business, and all that anti-humanistic bean-counting, “crony” or not, is synonymous with white racism, they believe. And no amount of harping about true, pure and authentically free markets – contra big fat Really Existing Corporations or whatever – will change that.
Kermit vs. the Gulag. Hilarious!
But Nazi docs? Well, there are tons. Here’s a list:
- The Rape of Europa
- The Unknown Soldier
- Nazi Medicine
- The Double-Headed Eagle: Hitler
- The Goebbels Experiment
- Hitler’s Children
- Mystery Files: Hitler
- Forgiving Dr. Mengele
- Orchestra of Exiles
- Inside the Nazi Hunters
- Steal a Pencil For Me
- Bugging Hitler’s Soliders
- The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
- Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State
- Nazi Temple of Doom
- Paper Clips
- Human Lampshade: A Holocaust Mystery
- Hitler, the Tiger and Me
- The Diary of Anne Frank
- Hitler’s G.I. Death Camp
- Homo Sapiens 1900
- Hitler’s Secret Attack on America
- Bombing Hitler’s Dams
- 3D Spies of WWII
- Nazi Mega Weapons
Did I miss anything? This isn’t to mention the more dramatic treatments concerning National Socialism, ala The Pianist.
Now let’s see how many communist documentaries I can come up with, gleaned from the #1 movie and TV show streamer in America…
I type “communism” into the search field and nothing comes up. Ditto for “soviet” and “communist.” Jeesh. Ok, so for “Mao” I get “Mao’s Last Dancer,” but it’s unavailable to stream. For tittles related to communism however I get:
- Inside North Korea
- Crossing the Line (about an American defector to North Korea)
- Camp 14: Total Control Zone
But I also get the Nazi doc “Double-Headed Eagle” again, and “Commune,” about a 1960s hippie commune in California.
What do I get for “Cuba”? Cuba Gooding Jr.
So what’s going on here? Why the apparent almost total disinterest in telling the story of Real Existing Socialism? The bias of filmmakers of course, and especially documentarians, who have an even stronger political axe to grind than directors of fictional fare. This phenomenon was discussed in a Hollywood Reporter piece earlier this year, where one guy working the film festival circuit is quoted as regularly contending with “left-wing propaganda.” On the Donald Rumsfeld doc “The Unknown Known,” he tells THR, “Audiences came with the expectation of wanting to see (Rumsfeld) pilloried and anything short of that happening in the film leaves them unsatisfied.”
(When conservative docs do get publicized and succeed despite progressive bias, they tend to be either superficially partisan or religious. Sigh.)