June 30, 2015

The #SJW world and #InsideOut spoiled

Inside Out PR release poster,
via Wikipedia
Joni Edelman, a "body positivity" feminist, claims that the hot new movie, "Inside Out" (hot enough to have trumped "Avatar" for best opening weekend in history) promotes "body negativity."


Because the "Sadness" character is ... "fat."

Well, she is heavier than the others, but ... watch as I prepare to rip Joni Edelman to shreds.

First, this must also mean that "Anger" is an attack on short people. In addition, since the Anger emotion for the character "Riley" is played by a guy, I guess Pixar was also saying that women's anger is unfeminine or something. Got it.

And, "Fear" looks awfully anorexic. Must be an attack on them there.

Plus, Anger is red, Sadness is blue. I guess there's a political message for today's America hidden somewhere?

And, of course, which even Edelman is compelled to mention, Sadness is different in other ways. She has what Edelman calls an "emo" haircut. She wears glasses.  Guess that's a huge bias.

She wears a turtleneck, for doorknob's sake! And, yes, Edelman actually latches on this, as though it's proof of nerd bias or something.

No, really:

Joy doesn't wear glasses. She probably had Lasik. Because she is probably also rich. Rich, white (well, white-ish) people are also joyous. And she gets to wear a cute little dress, which she probably bought at Nordstrom, while Sad is shrouded in what is probably an itchy-ass thrifted wool sweater. Maybe that's why she's named Sad.
Oh, they're all "white-ish."

What? Edelman's not bitching that none of Riley's emotions look like a stereotypical minority? (Rather, I think a legit bitch is that neither Riley nor her parents sound even close to native Minnesotan.)

Beyond that, Anger is about the same build as Sadness.

Finally, Edelman, aren't you promoting body-negativity yourself by fixating on Sadness' weight and other things and presuming that Pixar is sending a message? Hmm, maybe we need to create an Implicit Bias Project test for weight and see if you have a high degree of unconscious body negativity yourself.

Of course, when you say this near the start of the review:
I can't write with any real authority about Inside Out, because I haven't see the movie, but I'm pretty much 100% positive that seeing the movie isn't required to make this judgment.

Ahh, so we’re judging a book by a cover you invented and then straitjacketed on to it. Got it.

(Oh, and while I just read this by Edelman, I'm sure she is far from alone in social justice warrior land.)

On the surface, the New Yorker, in an opinion that sounds like Richard Brody is Woody Allen at a primal scream therapy session from the 1970s, sounds better.

But, in reality, his idea of introducing half a dozen additional emotions, along with, say, "existential angst," would kill "Inside Out" dead as a kids' movie. And, it might kill it dead as an adult movie for three-quarters of the adults who are seeing it for themselves. Beyond that, you would have had a 3-hour movie or more if Pixar had tried to go inside the brain of multiple people for the whole movie. (It DID, though, Brody, look briefly at least at Mom and Dad.)

On the other hand, I largely agree with his idea that it could have used more complexity. But, I would have made Riley 13 or 14 in that case, to put her in the post-puberty world. If we're going to re-engineer a movie plot, let's do it right.

I would have "shoehorned" one more emotion into the mix: Guilt. It's semi-core. (Jealousy and the others Brody mentions are generally not considered "core" emotions.)

He is right that Pixar movies can be insipid. But, if one wants an adult movie about complex adult emotions, a number already exists. "The Brothers Karamazov," on screen, comes immediately to mind.

Besides, there are some more subtle angles. This reviewer notes, as did I and surely many others, that Joy is a control freak and that the other four "Cores" also have personalities.

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