Have You Been Bullied By Hollywood

Have You Been Bullied By Hollywood

Parents, you’ve all unfortunately felt it. You take the kids out to the latest billion dollar comic book franchise installment featuring a formulaic hero whom you could really not give a shit about and then —


—halfway through the dumbarama circus you find yourself actually, dare I say it, rooting for the cipher of a main character.

You’ve become a victim of narrative bullying. And I feel very sorry for you. Hollywood has beaten you into submission. They’ve pushed you down and taken your lunch money. They’ve given you a wedgie.

Resistance is futile. They spent a quarter billion dollars on this mess, remember. They have all the power. If you even try to complain about it they’ll just call you a baby and make fun of you.

It’s time for us to stand up to the bully.

We need to call Hollywood on this schoolyard thuggery. First, let’s discover, how do they do it?

Joseph Campbell

OK, we know, it’s impossible to resist the “reluctant hero” because Moses. Because Hans Solo. Because, even, Harry Potter. The mind control technicians employed by the movie business have discovered that the human being is helpless against the hypnotic power of the hero who is forced by circumstance into embarking on a hero’s journey he has absolutely no desire to go on.

It doesn’t matter that Hollywood has stuck you in the midst of the most preposterous, irrelevant and frankly unappealing narrative world that they could possibly dream up. Due to the hero’s “dilemma,” we get sucked into his preposterous ambition. And suddenly we actually give a shit about whether that mangy mutt in a Dog’s Way Home actually makes it home.

He was reluctant, see. He didn’t mean to get lost. But because of his virtue he did. Now he has a problem.

Or, suddenly we’re sitting there actually hoping against hope that Clint Eastwood gets away with drug muling (or doesn’t die of old age before the movie ends!).

Remember, he didn’t want to smuggle drugs — he was extremely reluctant to. (I haven’t actually seen the movie, but once you’re an expert like me, you don’t need to — you can spot this shit a mile away).

It stinks, that’s what it does. And that is why the first new law recently passed by the State Assembly of Bitter and Twisted Individuals addresses this deceptive and manipulative act of aggression.

ANTI-BULLYING MEASURE #1 — Hollywood will hereon refrain from using reluctant hero archetypes.

In all future Hollywood stories, the hero will be fully engaged and excited about his or her quest from the very beginning of the story. If it’s a stupid quest, therefore, the audience will be able to recognize it as such, and will be free to root for or not root for the protagonist.

However, removing reluctance from the Hero’s Journey is not enough to protect us from the narrative bullying in Hollywood movies.

Sexy People

Even without the irresistible set-up, we are easily seduced into caring about a stupid story because of our attraction to the lead actor or actress.

I for one would become invested in Scarlett Johanssen doing almost anything for 90 minutes. Painting My Apartment, starring Scarlett Johanssen. Sign me up. Here’s my 16 bucks. Let’s get this party started.

ANTI-BULLYING MEASURE #2 — Hollywood will stop putting such sexy people in their movies and start using ordinary people.

If we want sexy people we can watch porn.

But even without sexy people, and without the narrative hypnosis, we will still be bullied if we don’t do something about the collective aspect of the moviegoing experience.

Dark Movie Theaters

Freud warned us about the dangers of mass hypnosis. But did anybody listen? Thanks a lot, Third Reich. Danke schoen, Donald Drumpf.

If you’re stuck in a dark room with a bunch of stupid people who all think The Avengers is just so funny and exciting, guess what, within five minutes you’ll be drinking the Koolaid too.

Do you notice how they bully us into silencing our cellphones and refraining from talking during the movie? They’re trying to put us in a trance, people! Don’t let ‘em.

ANTI-BULLYING MEASURE #3 — Allow cell-phone and other conversation. Or separate people into separate small booths to watch the film. Or make the screen smaller — how about the size of the cellphone itself, the one that you’re speaking loudly on as you watch the movie — all alone.

Better yet, make books instead.

ANTI-BULLYING MEASURE #4 — Hollywood should publish novels, preferably literary novels, instead of wasting billions of dollars on this inanity.

The book is always better anyway.

Or even better than books. How about a blog?

ANTI-BULLYING MEASURE #5 — Post a blog instead. I for one would have much preferred a few-hundred-word post by Bradly Cooper. It would have saved a lot of time, money and cringes. “Hey guys, wouldn’t it be great if I was an old drunk who pisses himself and made Lady Gaga cry a bunch?”

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