Comment Of The Day: “Thursday Ethics Thirst-quencher, 8/20/2020: Actually, This Doesn’t Taste So Good….”

Well this is confusing: Humble Talent appended his Comment of the Day, a timely review of the controversial Netflix film “Cuties,” to yesterday’s ethics warm-up, even though that post contained nothing even vaguely related to “Cuties.” It was really a comment on the post above from August, though you won’t find it there.

In that post, I noted that conservative pundit Rod Dreher  had written, before the Netflix production was available to subscribers,

“Twerking their way to stardom. Eleven years old….These are little girls, and this Netflix show has the acting like strippers as a way of finding their way to liberation. What is wrong with these Netflix people? Do they not have children? Do they think our daughters are only valuable insofar as they can cosplay as sluts who are sexually available to men? ….There is nothing politicians can do about this…I hope sometime this fall a Senate committee calls Netflix CEO Reed Hastings] to Capitol Hill and forces him to talk about how proud he is that he has 11 year olds twerking on his degenerate network.”

Now the film is available, and here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day, as he watched it so you don’t have to:

We talked about this back in August, but it released today, and the responses [ on the film review site Rotten Tomatoes] are…. predictable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a drastic reviewer/viewer ratio. It’s heartening, maybe that the top reviewers are much more mixed than the (in my opinion) ideologically driven proletariat reviewers, but not by much.

I watched “Cuties” because I figured if I was going to hate it, I should watch it first and hate it from a position of knowledge. Pro tip: Make a drinking game out of it. Maybe a shot every time you see a preteen’s underwear. Because if you’re going to decide to watch something that makes you feel like an awful perv, you might as well end up blackout drunk.

Addressing the elephant in the room, it seems like a fundamental lack of self awareness that led someone to make a movie that ostensibly addresses the difficulties of childhood and the sexualization of young girls by overtly and continuously sexualizing young girls. The message, believe it or not, isn’t a bad one, and especially the juxtaposition of old world/new world values was almost interesting, but it could have been achieved without resorting to softcore pedo porn, and it’s really hard to get past that. The cinematography was ridiculous, particularly around the “dancing” (and I use that term ever so loosely) scenes where the camera inevitably focused on the ass, crotch or chest of girls too young to have an ass, crotch or chest. It was so obvious and egregious, that for one scene, I timed the parts of the scene where you could see a face, and the time you could see an ass, and the ass won. It was not close.Put plainly, the film delivered on both the hopes or fears of the trailer, depending on your point of view.

Moving past that though, the film was… bad. I found the plot criminally disjointed. It feels like either there was either a whole lot more film or that the film was supposed to flow differently than the finished picture, and it was absolutely massacred in the cutting room. Transition between scenes was always at least awkward, and were often outright jarring, I found myself continually asking “how the hell did I get here?” and I hadn’t even started the shots yet. There was also a problem with buy-in: the plot seems fundamentally unable to demonstrate consequences to actions, even as the protagonists behavior devolved into more and more extreme acts, both from the position of the cultures she was superficially a part of, and the culture of the audience (unless, it bears noting, your audience is comprised mainly of pedophiles).

As to things that were OK; The acting was passable, the actors did as much with the source material as they could have. Although, (and I realize that despite writing “moving past that” a paragraph ago, I really haven’t) that starts to beg some really uncomfortable questions like: “How long did these girls have to spend with how many adults, over the course of how many cuts, to say those words right or do those actions “properly”? The other thing that I can’t really find fault in is the OST [that’s the soundtrack, for those not up on the latest jargon]. Throughout the film, the soundtrack either clapped (as most booty music does), or adequately framed the scenes in a way that didn’t make it any worse than the contrivances were in and of themselves. That’s really it.

I find the ratings of the professional reviewers to be nonsensical. There’s no universe where someone watches this film and objectively thinks that the film delivered anything good in any meaningful way. Even if you were able to CGI the girls in to remove all the ethical considerations of having 11 year old girls twerk-whore themselves out of trouble (that happened), the movie failed every aspiration it could possibly have.

I give it 1 out of 17, which is the number of full and empty shot glasses I had when the film was done, and may God have mercy on your soul.

***

I’m back only to note that when I type “Cuties” into Google, it asks, “Don’t you mean “Cooties”?

20 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Thursday Ethics Thirst-quencher, 8/20/2020: Actually, This Doesn’t Taste So Good….”

  1. I fail to understand how teaching or showing little girls how to act like sex workers liberates them at all. If for some reason they decide that sex work is for them, then they should have to wait as long as for alcohol, cigarettes, and be considered adult enough to join the military. Enjoying sex with others of similar age bracket is nothing like marketing children as sexual objects to older people. Liberation only applies to consenting adults who understand more, so this is a total fail.

    • This movie wasn’t a how to or a glorification of sex work. I maybe should have spent more time on the plot, because it’s actually a very moral story arc.

      The main character lives with her mother, and we’re told very early on that her father is coming home from the middle east with his second wife, because they’re fundamentalist Muslims, and a good chunk of the movie is dealing with that. The protagonist then falls in with a group of bad girls that do very bad things. At the end of the movie, the “Cuties” have this concert, where they dirty dance for their parents, and the camera keeps cutting to the audience; At the beginning, the audience starts laughing and clapping, and then quickly devolves into horror as they realize what’s happening. The protagonist stops dancing, starts crying. That moment is supposed to represent a rejection of both the fundamentalist Islamic life (because she refuses to attend her father’s second wedding) and the hypersexualized one. She ends up leaving the stage, and the last scene is her trying to reclaim her childhood by doing normal kid things.

      It’s actually a moral story arc, in a way. And it deals with issues that Democrats don’t like dealing with: How Islam is anti-woman and how we oversexualize kids are just the obvious, low hanging fruit.

      The problem is that in order to make the film, they abused children, and it ended up being a product that might have gotten people arrested if it was found on a laptop 5 years ago.

    • Marie Down writes: “Liberation only applies to consenting adults who understand more, so this is a total fail.”

      Actually it might be said that liberation does not apply even to ‘consenting adults since they may not be able to describe what liberation is’. It is true that an adult should technically be capable of making informed, responsible and ethical choices, yet this is entirely refuted by the fact that *they* (a certain plurality of *us*) do not and cannot. In fact we do not know any longer what these choices are nor what they should be.

      The largest issue — the ur-issue as it were — is the loss of grounding and the issue of being *spun-out of control* by Manipulating Influence. Who is standing behind this influence? Who puts it in motion? Who directs it and for what purpose? It is not a ‘random non-human force’.

      What appears to us on our TeleScreens (Richard Weaver uses the term The Great Stereopticon) did not simply appear from out of nothing. It is all created content. It has function. Or perhaps I should add *many levels of function*.

      An outline of the contents in the chapter The Great Stereopticon in Ideas Have Consequences.

      Chapter 5: The Great Stereopticon Those below the level of philosophy are ones to make the first effort to repair the damage. But their efforts have no effect because they attempt the repair by a physical means. Disintegration brings about, for our leaders, a problem of how to persuade to communal activity people who no longer have the same ideas about the most fundamental things. There can be no reconciliation between authority and individual will. The solution these leaders chose was to replace religion with education which was a systematic indoctrination through channels of information and entertainment. In comes the Great Stereopticon. This machine serves the function of projecting selected pictures of life in the hope that they will be imitated. It is today a machine of three parts, having been progressively improved. The three parts are: The Press, The Motion Picture, and The Radio. It is an ideal servant of progress. The problem with this machine is that the data it gives takes its significance from a sickly metaphysical dream. The ultimate source of evaluation becomes the dream of psychopathic, fragmentation, disharmony, and nonbeing. “The Great Stereopticon keeps the ordinary citizen from perceiving ’the vanity of his bookkeeping and the emptiness of his domestic felicities.’”

  2. The lengths some people will go to fact check! Good for you, H.T. Hope the hangover wasn’t too bad.

    I was going to add a comment on the same audience, including the complainers, watching child pageants (a particular hate of mine) and saying nothing … but I couldn’t get past the cooties.

    • Should’ve known better. DuckDuckGo – the search engine I’m supposed to be using but don’t because of this typical response to a direct question: What’s the difference between Cuties and Cooties? – didn’t react to the question at all, but went straight to “the difference between Cuties and Haloes (the tangerines!) and stayed there for the entire page except for a dictionary definition of “cooties” at the bottom. But Google justified it’s rep on this one. It went directly to the question, and the answer may explain how you got the hilarious response. The Googled page went into a Teachers’ blog called: (wait for it, as they used to say in vaudeville):

      Unlock the Love – A Modern Teacher
      http://www.amodernteacher.com › unlock-the-love
      Feb 9, 2017 – Here is another awesome Valentine’s Day idea from Jessi of Cooties and Cuties. … Hi, it’s Jessi from Cooties and Cuties, and I am so excited to share my favorite … What surprised me most about this game was how incredibly … was such a success, I have since adapted it for different themes and topics.

      I think we have an answer to an entirely different subject which is why kids don’t get no edjukashun no more.

  3. Ben Shapiro must be reading EA. On his show last night – well after HT’s comment – he said basically the same thing.

    I for one find all the shows featuring little girls dressed up as painted ladies terribly wrong so I neither watch nor comment on them.

  4. As per normal — I hope I will be forgiven and if not forgiven then respectfully tolerated — what I notice in Humble’s exposition is its complete shallowness and superficiality.

    The phenomenon of deliberately creating sexualized material that seduces people has been in the works for a long time. When I researched The Culture Wars of the 80s and 90s it was all spelled out clearly there: the sexualization of children in advertising. That is to say: systemic-economic use of sexualized imagery to sell products. It seems to stem from Sixties counter-cultural ethics but actually goes back further. It is wise to remember that fascism in certain aspects — that is, extreme social conservatism — developed in reaction to the sick excesses of twisted Liberalism. You know, the Weimar Republic and the extremely deranged social conditions in Berlin (and in Europe generally). On the Dissident Right they refer to Weimerica. And of course there is the reference to the Globo-Homo Culture. (Though the term has two inflections: globo homogenization and global homosexual culture).

    The Homosexual Revolution — the assertion of *rights* and *privileges* for homosexuals and other classes of sexual pervert (cross-dressers, sex-changers, and a whole range of bizarre *choices*) has also a connection to the increasing manifestations of sexual sickness and obsession now dominating the cultural awareness. So, this cannot be excluded from a conversation that deals on causation.

    So, yes, many people (on the Left as well as the Right) take issue with the open sexualization of girls. It reminds me of what E Michael Jones said about the tactic used to overcome the Hay Code Restrictions. In one particular instance they combined showing a woman’s naked breasts in the context of some presentation dealing with the Holocaust! It takes the Jewish genius to pull such a thing off.

    Here, the creator of Cuties does a similar thing. Ostensibly, it presents itself as an exposee of a sort. An analysis of the conflicts between Muslim conservatism and French libertinism. Showing the sociological dimension, the struggle of people, children, to bridge the divide. But in the end — and M. Humble says — it becomes a form of Kiddie Porn Lite. But it fits, of course, into an already primed society that had long ago been penetrated by the imagery and by all its possibilities. This all has to do — of course — with the perversion of the Woman-as-Symbol — of the fruitfulness of life and the possibilities of fruitful increase originally linked to the fruitful soil And of course to Demeter — into a pleasure-stimulus for the Male Gaze. Once you begin the process, once you allow it, it is inevitably that all the sickness that we now see so clearly will be manifest. And all of this is mirrored and mimics by children. You cannot avoid it.

    Sexuality and sexual obsession indeed seems to be a tool of political and social control. In any case Jones and numerous others are exploring the depth-issue here.

  5. Am I the only person on Earth who finds twerking, by anyone — adults, eighteen year-olds or twenty-one year-olds, or otherwise — incredibly offensive? I’m going to assume twerking has been popularized by black dancers and pop stars? A new term and operations manual for “shaking your bootie?” This is how black culture enriches the larger culture? This is why diversity is so wonderful and essential? This is a good thing?

    • Allow me to assist with your question:

      Twerking

      Here’s something from MetalFloss:

      “The movements involved in twerking show similarities to several traditional West African dances, most notably mapouka, hailing from the Cote d’Ivoire. Known colloquially as “la dance du fessier,” or “dance of the behind,” mapouka is said to exist in two forms: A tamer, more traditional dance performed ceremonially, and the newer, more scandalous version popular with young Ivorians.

      “The more modern version—and the one most closely related to twerking—is considered obscene and suggestive by some, and its traditional roots haven’t immunized it against controversy. In fact, the public performance of modern mapouka by groups such as Les Tueuses (The Killers), was outlawed in the 1980s; the Ivorian government cited lewdness as the reason for the ban. After that government was toppled by a military coup around 2000, mapouka performances were rendered legal once again. However, despite (or possibly due to) its prohibition, the infectious dance style had already spread throughout coastal West Africa and even taken up roots in the U.S. And so, in 1993, it twerked toward Bethlehem—err, New Orleans—to be born.”

      I am pretty sure you get the ‘twerked toward Bethlehem’ reference. But if not … let me know.

      • Wonderful. What an unappreciated continent Africa is. I’m sure someone’s Ph.D. thesis is in the works right now on the intellectual underpinnings and social and philosophical significance for Western cultures of Ivory Coast dance traditions.

        I don’t think something has to be the Anti-Christ to be objectionable, does it?

        • Here are some images from my former country in which the pagan religions have become even more powerful and ubiquitous. It’s the national religion of the country in fact.

          The dance- and the music-forms are the first steps. You can trace the effects back to the Cuban Santaría rhythms. These rhythms were originally used in rituals of invocation of the gods of Santeria: Oshun, Yemaja, Chango, Eleggua, etc.

          These are related phenomena.

      • The inhabitants of the Ivory coast also introduced human bondage to the Americas.

        It should also be noted that wealth among those people determined how many butts could “dance” just for him. Obviously, western culture modified that whereby a great number of attractive women seeking social and financial advancement believe it acceptable to allow men with such social standing and resources to touch them as those men saw fit.

        Where have I heard thay before?

  6. I saw where Senator Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter to Attorney General Barr, requesting investigation of possible violations of certain laws in the making of “Cuties.” Cruz has young daughters, so I can’t blame him for taking the matter personally. When will Netflix fess-up to its microaggressions, repent, and sin no more?

    The closest thing I ever got to watching kiddie porn was “Little Miss Sunshine” a few years back. But I watched the movie several times, despite the proto-porn, because I was so impressed with a couple of the actors’ performances, and because of a one-liner (I won’t repeat it) that is absolutely, immortally and side-splittingly funny to me (it’s personal).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.