Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Censorship v.s. Political Correctness: The War on Independent Film

I recently had quite the battle of words recently, which resulted in myself becoming even more aggravated and dumbfounded at the ignorance of others regarding what is suitable in Film. The argument was over a very recent film coming out, Split, an M. Night Shyamalan film starring James McAvoy, and the reason over the argument was over the fact that the movies main character, suffered from DID (Dissociative identity disorder), and if Hollywood was exploiting this and making this specific "dangerous" in the eyes of the public. I disagreed, mostly on the fact, with common sense, that "It's only a movie". I understand that the subject matter may be a bit touchy to those who can't think clearly, blinded by their out of control emotions, but to think you can go out and protest or boycott something in a film that makes you feel uncomfortable was just ridiculous to me. I tried getting answers from these people, but I was left with insults, and even mocked after I tried to explain to them that I also suffered from a mental disorder, Bipolar disorder.

Who gives anyone the right to censor anyones Art, just based on the fact that it makes you feel "uncomfortable". Isn't that what Art is supposed to do? Challenge us? Make us think? Bring us to logical explanations as to what the Artist was trying to convey? In recent years, as I've been getting deeper and deeper into the pits of underground and independent films, and I see more and more of these kind of people trying to censor or even ban these films from being scene from the public. I believe censoring someones work of art based on touchy subjects, only makes the public more ignorant to the subject at hand. If we were to ban a movie like Split, I think that would only stigmatize the disease itself, shying away from what that disorder can do at an extreme level. Did I also mention that this movie is based on a true story? Billy Milligan was the first man to person diagnosed with multiple personality disorder to raise such a defense, and the first acquitted of a major crime by this reason, instead spending a decade in mental hospitals. Just because this one man committed a heinous act, because of his mental disorder, why should we just toss it under the rug and forgot what happened? Censorship is one way of keeping the public ignorant to subjects at hand. In a theater full of 500 people watching a brutal horror film, 5 people will become enraged, and do everything in their power to end that film as soon as possible. That's the mentality I absolutely despise... People who can't control their emotions, and punish those who just want to be entertained.

Both sides are guilty of this, whether it's the Liberal left or Conservative right, both are guilty of trying to censor and ban anything they deem unsafe to the public eye. Coming from the millenial generation, and even being associated with them, makes me sick to me stomach. We lost any sort of backbone we had, and now we have "safe spaces" for people who do not want to learn hard truths in today's society. I know the world sucks, but why take it out on someones zero budget horror film? Aren't there people in Aleppo being bombed everyday? Children starving on the streets? People being slaughtered in the Middle East because they don't practice that regions fundamentalist faith?.. You're really going to take time out of your day to bash a film you haven't seen yet, because you felt the need to be offended by something you can't even relate to. If I had a dollar for every time by mental disorder was satirized, or used as a cause for someone going insane, do I go off the deep end and try to ban material that's offensive to people with Bipolar? NO. I'm comfortable enough to know myself, and that most people suffering with my disorder are good people. If anything, it makes me think about the persons Art at hand... maybe that same filmmaker suffers from the same disorder... if he doesn't... who cares.

If there is one thing I'd like to say to my fellow Millenials is that... you're not special. Millions of people are effected by millions of diseases, disorders, and disabilities, and the majority of them do not go out of their way to punish those exploiting, or bringing a harsh light to those subject matters. You can either sit on tumblr and bash away at your keyboard, calling everyone you disagree with a piece of shit, but at the end of the day, you're no better than most of the people in the world. You preach ignorance, and you deserve nothing. Leave Art to the openminded, and shitty millenial meme's to the ones who know nothing of the world.

- Jake

p.s. I'll never stop sharing this video. John Cleese nails it.

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