The Smurfette

Smurfette-Smiling

Who is Smurfette?  As most people know, Smurfette is the lone female Smurf in Smurfville originally created by the evil Gargamel in order to sow discord and jealousy among the other Smurfs.

In 1991, writer and cultural critic Katha Pollitt coined the term “Smurfette principle” to describe the trend of narratives in media overwhelmingly male focused but with one female character.  As she describes it,

“Contemporary shows are either essentially all-male, like “Garfield,” or are organized on what I call the Smurfette principle: a group of male buddies will be accented by a lone female, stereotypically defined… The message is clear. Boys are the norm, girls the variation; boys are central, girls peripheral; boys are individuals, girls types. Boys define the group, its story and its code of values. Girls exist only in relation to boys.”

The Smurfette principle is based on the main theory of Simone de Beauvoir’s analysis of women’s subservient role in society in her seminal work The Second Sex, but applied to our media.  The two videos below provide an even more comprehensive analysis of how this has played out.

In the two and a half decades since Pollitt coined this term, I’m pretty sure most people with a least a minor understanding of media theory are aware of this trope and why it’s an issue.  But I bring up the Smurfette principle in order to bring up a similar issue that I think a large chunk of our current-day #staywoke political landscape still has a blind spot to.

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The Smurfette

Sausage Party – Review

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I’m a year late, but I finally watched the notorious adult animated feature Sausage Party.  It’s the first American animated feature aimed at adults to achieve financial and critical success since South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut.  And here’s my take on it:

*movie begins*

*gratuitous profanity*

*more gratuitous profanity*

*a teenage boy discovers a Richard Dawkins lecture on YouTube and realizes he may not believe in religion*

*gratuitous profanity*

*gratuitous profanity*

*food orgy*

*movie ends*

Y’know… CUZ ADULTHOOD!!1!!!1!

Sausage Party – Review

Standards of Beauty… and the Beast

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The star of the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast film Emma Watson has caught a bit of flack for a recent photo shoot she did with the magazine Vanity Fair.  Watson has been known for the past few years as an outspoken feminist and her recent photos have been met with cries of hypocrisy from some circles.  How could she take photos like these when she once criticized Beyonce for doing the same thing?  Doesn’t taking sexualized photos like these undermine her feminist message?

The short answer is no.

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Standards of Beauty… and the Beast

Off-Topic: The Conspiracy!!11!!1!!! #illuminati #fakenews

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In light of the proliferation of fake news in the past several years, I wanted to take this time to address a pernicious rumor that the conspiratorial radio show host Alex Jones is the same person as the believed to be departed stand-up comedian Bill Hicks.

Let me just spell this out as bluntly as I can.  Bill Hicks is really dead and has been for 23 years.  He is not living on as some persona he made up that he calls Alex Jones.  C’mon, people.

I mean, how is it not obvious to everyone that Alex Jones is actually Andy Kaufman?  Geez!

Off-Topic: The Conspiracy!!11!!1!!! #illuminati #fakenews

Ralph Wiggum 2020

ralph-for-prez

Back in 2008, there was a Simpsons episode called “E Pluribus Wiggum” that poked fun at the presidential primaries.  In the episode, Springfield pushed up its primaries before New Hampshire so the candidates in both parties and the press descended onto the town.  Disillusioned by the phoniness and cynicism of the presidential candidates, the citizens of Springfield elected a write-in candidate, Chief Wiggum’s eight-year-old son Ralph, as a mass protest vote.  In response, both the Democratic and Republican parties badgered Ralph in order to convince him to run for president in their party.

The absurdity of the situation is obvious, right?  Both of America’s major political parties seeking to pick not just a second grader, but this second grader as their presidential candidate is obviously ridiculous to everyone, right?

I have to pose this as a question because it feels like a lot of what would have been considered over-the-top absurd sitcommy scenarios back when The Simpsons was at its peak are now within the realm of reality if not already reality.

Who remembers The Boondocks episode “Return of the King”?  Remember the way that episode ended?

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Ralph Wiggum 2020

Pissing People Off as a Political Ideology

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 I may not show it very much on this blog, but I have a sense of humor.  As a matter of fact, my sense of humor is often very dark.  A couple of examples of my dark sense of humor were in the short animated films I created for my undergraduate and graduate degrees in college.  One of those films was about an old tiger in a zoo bitterly retelling the story of her tumultuous life and the other was about an artist’s dive into madness through his dogged attempts to impress a critic with his painting.

I got interested in dark comedy in my early to mid teens.  Around this time, I started watching South Park, I rediscovered Family Guy when it began airing again on Adult Swim, The Boondocks TV series premiered, and I started to get interested in stand-up comedians.  Some of my favorite comedians became, but aren’t limited to, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Sam Kinison, and Rodney Dangerfield.

Some of the examples I’ve brought up have found humor in subjects like murder, suicide, dismemberment, rape, bigotry, psychological abuse, addiction, etc.  Who in God’s name would look at subjects like these and find something to laugh about?

Without getting into comedy’s history or Aristotle’s definitions of it, one would have to understand where this kind of sense of humor comes from.

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Pissing People Off as a Political Ideology