Every major pop-culture event is immediately seized by the Left and used for political purposes these days, so of course the biggest such event in recent memory – and maybe of all time, if those staggering advance ticket sales are any indication – gets politicized to Naboo and back.
A strong contender for dumbest “Star Wars” story is MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry sobbing over the crypto-racist messages she distilled from the central character of the saga. “I could spend the whole day talking about the whole Darth Vader situation,” she wailed. “Yeah, like, the part where he was totally a black guy whose name basically was James Earl Jones, who, and we were all, but while he was black, he was terrible and bad and awful and used to cut off white men’s hands, and didn’t, you know, actually claim his son. But as soon as he claims his son and goes over to the good, he takes off his mask and he is white.”
Now, the reader – and the reader’s young children, if you have any – might be flummoxed by the apparent idiocy of this rant, based on the widespread knowledge that Anakin Skywalker, his secret wife Padme Amidala, and their children Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa are all whiter than the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
The suit of armor Anakin eventually dons was colored black, and his electronically distorted voice was rendered by the black actor James Earl Jones, in what many consider to be the greatest vocal performance in cinema history. (Is there really a serious contender?) There was never the slightest implication Darth Vader was a black guy under that armor, or that the character’s name was “basically James Earl Jones.”
Furthermore, it apparently escaped Harris-Perry that everything else in the evil Empire, aside from Darth Vader and his fellow Sith Lords, is white. Their troops wear white armor, their ships are spotless white, and their military and political leadership talks like the cast of Downton Abbey. The production designers use whiteness as code for joyless conformity and the elimination of individuality. They use white British actors as shorthand for imperialism, and because they wanted the bad guys to sound like snobs.
But this is how the weaponized idiocy of political correctness works. (“Weaponized” is exactly the right word, not only because P.C. uses mob tactics to enforce its totalitarian agenda upon others, but because it has unquestionably gotten innocent people killed, most recently in San Bernardino.) The core belief of the Social Justice Warrior is that hidden intentions matter more than explicit words and images, and they alone have the power to divine those hidden intentions. It doesn’t matter what the creators of Star Wars, from guru George Lucas to the costume designers, were trying to say. It matters what someone with a black belt in weaponized idiocy decides they “really meant,” or what messages people as damaged as herself might extract from their artwork, decades later.
Liberals love to make cutesy-poo inferences portraying Islamist fundamentalists as “conservative,” and linking them to mainstream conservative thought in the Western world, but the kind of crap Harris-Perry is shoveling is exactly, precisely the same as the logic employed by the Taliban and Islamic State when they destroy historical sites and vandalize works of art they deem insufficiently Muslim. They’re not interested in context or intent – they care only about the contemporary faithful getting the wrong ideas by looking at forbidden artwork.
P.C. does the same thing by insinuating its toxic agenda into every nook and cranny of popular culture, and demanding the obliteration of everything that can’t be adapted to serve their purposes. They’ll stop at nothing to make every popular event into a “teachable moment.” That’s how we ended up with T.V. hosts who are not only illiterate in history, economics, science, and American civics, but even illiterate in Star Wars, for crying out loud.
Runner-up for dumbest politicized Star Wars news item is the George Junior High School in Rosenberg, Texas, which forced seventh-grader Colton Southern to cover up his Star Wars: The Force Awakens T-shirt because it depicted an Imperial Storm Trooper holding a blaster rifle. This violated the new politically-correct piety against glamorizing “violence,” by which they mean guns. Young Colton was lucky to get off with an order to zip up his jacket to cover the offending thoughtcrime image; school administrators told KTRK News he could have been slapped with an in-school suspension.
“It’s political correctness run amok. You’re talking about a Star Wars t-shirt, a week before the biggest movie of the year comes out. It has nothing to do with guns or making a stand. It’s just a Star Wars shirt,” fumed Colton’s father Joe Southern, who noted his son has worn the same shirt to school several times in the past, without any problems.
Joe went on to insist his son is no threat to anyone – “He’s a Boy Scout, active in church, volunteers at Brazos Bend State Park. There’s not a violent bone in his body. He’s just an excited kid for the movie” – and that the weapon pictured on his T-shirt does not, in fact, exist in the real world.
In other words, he’s already on trial, and mounting a defense against the slippery slope that leads to school shootings. The Left has made great progress in its Nation of Criminals agenda, in which decent law-abiding folk are taught to see themselves as either the perpetrators or victims of crime, with nothing in between. Liberals put more effort in teaching this lesson than anything else in school. We have all become defendants awaiting our turn in politically-correct court, where most of what we say will be promptly ruled out of order.
It’s also pointless to argue that blaster rifles, lightsabers, or anything else in the Star Wars armory isn’t real, because the Left is all about symbolism. They fervently believe in using symbols to control thought, whether it’s using sci-fi weapons as stand-ins for “assault rifles,” or Darth Vader as a symbol of white supremacism. With sufficiently foolish and determined people wielding the hammers, any idea can be beaten into any shape… or beaten into oblivion.
The liberals of the Sixties loved to tell each other ideas cannot be killed, but their thought leaders never actually believed it – they were inspired by the success of fellow-traveling totalitarians at purging ideas from their cultures, and couldn’t wait to bring the same tactics to bear on the Western world. The Social Justice Warrior fringe devoutly believes it can kill ideas.
The endgame is a culture without any common reference points except those directly controlled by the collectivist Left, a nation with no communication except what they approve, with a populace terrorized out of casual, unregulated speech. Star Wars is one of the few universal cultural touchstones of the past few generations, so of course it will come under attack.
Its creators wanted to tell a simple and clear story of good versus evil in the landmark original film, followed by the fearsome peril and uncertainty of the even better sequel, and finally the redemptive triumph of the finale. They began working in a time of moral confusion and pessimism, making their marvelous concoction of fairy tale, pirate movie, science fiction, and World War II epic a breath of fresh air amid Carter-era malaise.
The Left has an obvious solution, on the eve of Star Wars’ return: make fresh air illegal, and malaise mandatory. May the Stupid be with you.