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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

the violence inherent in the system



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maryann buzz
  • Rose

    Because a disagreement about a film is worth being shot for.

  • MaryAnn

    No, it’s worth shooting someone else for. :->

    Big difference.

  • Rose

    Aye, I guess it is. Dumb people. Well, I’m off to defenestrate a young child because they didn’t like the Muppet Movie.

  • char

    And some people think that sexism and misogyny are no big deal. Shooting a woman (because let’s face it, the comment wouldn’t be there if you WEREN’T a woman) over a movie review? No big deal!

    I can only imagine what kind of bad mental hygiene that asshole is practicing. Ten bucks says he still lives with his mother, even though he hates her entire sex.

  • JoshDM

    Wow, how do you pronounce that last name?

    I’d hit ma?

  • Dr. Facebookery
  • amanohyo

    There’s also an annoying (and slightly troubling) trend on youtube comments lately (since they changed their rating system) of mentioning the number of people that did not like a particular video and then stating they are all idiots and should be shot, physically abused, etc. as in “The 54 people that didn’t like this should be shot.”

    But when I suggest that we should also take the parents of all the people that don’t like their favorite breakfast cereal and force them to watch their children being raped before burning them alive and tossing the kids into the gas chamber, suddenly I’m the one who doesn’t know how to “take a joke.” How am I supposed to take a “joke” about executing everyone who disagrees with you? It’s sick.

  • Jurgan

    Wow… I really just don’t have anything to say. I guess it’s not that unusual on the net- anonymity and an audience- but still, it’s just insane to get that angry over a movie.

    Rose: I got a chuckle from your post, especially since it used one of my favorite words in the English language.

  • Knightgee

    because let’s face it, the comment wouldn’t be there if you WEREN’T a woman

    While I don’t doubt that there’s an element of sexism involved in his grievance, it’s the internet, people threaten to shoot you over something as simple as not liking their favorite band on here.

  • Rose: young children have windows?

  • Lisa

    I’m embarrassed by most of the comments on the Scott Pilgrim thread. These are my people at their ugliest, densest.

    I don’t know what kind of school system you are running over there where it’s like people read that a car is blue but then can’t answer the question what colour is the car. Basic reading comprehension skills are sorely lacking.

    These are the people that give fandom a bad name. In the words of Shatner get a life. Or some form of psychiatric help. Go for walks in the sun. Shower. Meet people with opposing views and learn to cope with it.

    I blame Bush.

  • Rose: young children have windows?

    maybe they don’t, but it’s easy to drag them to one!

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    Defenestration is a particularly Muppet-like punishment. As are being devoured whole and spontaneous annihilation.

    Violence can be funny, but it has to come from a position of safety. A close friend promising improbable bodily harm for a minor infraction might be funny, especially if it’s against their character. If a belligerent paranoid threatens you that way, it’s going to be fucking horrifying.

    Which is a wordy way of saying WHAT”S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!? This shit should be instinctual.

  • leontineg

    God, I’m sick of the “you just don’t get it” school of criticism. Mainly used by hipsters to defend faux-edgy films which have been so uber-successfully marketed to them as to become part of their identity. I myself “liked” Scott Pilgrim on Facebook, and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY.

    cf. Kick Ass

  • Shoot her…. a dollar donation please. Thankee. :)

  • Lady Tenar

    While I don’t doubt that there’s an element of sexism involved in his grievance, it’s the internet, people threaten to shoot you over something as simple as not liking their favorite band on here.

    Have you read the review that this tweet links to? Mary Ann criticized the Scott Pilgrim movie for what she perceived to be its regressive attitudes towards women and heterosexual relationships and all hell broke loose. I’d like to say that it drew out every anti-feminist douchehound on the internet like moths to a flame, except I know that there are many, many more out there. This comment was almost certainly made my one of them. I’d say that sexism isn’t so much “an element” as it is the entire motive behind this piece of hate speech.

    Mary Ann-If I may get sappy for a minute, my heart goes out to you, it really does. It’s surely not easy being an out-of-the-closet feminist and dealing with all of hatred that’s directed at you for simply suggesting that it might be a good thing if society and popular culture didn’t marginalize and belittle 50% of the population is extremely painful. You have serious guts posting feminist critique on an unmoderated forum on the internet, where the anonymity seems to make people quite comfortable being at their most disgusting. I used to joke (bitterly) with one of my college philosophy professors that all feminists are also existentialists–we’d have be to engage in what, a lot of the time, seems like a downright Sisyphean endeavor.

    But I hope you know that you have a support of a lot of people out here and a lot of us really appreciate your work. Personally, as a female geek who constantly felt torn all through college between my feminist views and my desire to participate in a subculture that all too often is extremely male-dominated with misogynist undercurrents, I was thrilled to find a website that focused both on the pop culture that I loved and on navigating it as a thinking, feminist woman. There’s not much else out there like it. And on behalf of the community of geeks who like to analyze Doctor Who plots AND gender depictions in pop culture, thank you. We need websites too. Also, your “romantic comedy” reviews are chicken soup to my soul after I’ve been condescendingly told for the billionth time that I just need to “lighten up” teach myself to enjoy 2 hours of brainless, offensive, unfunny, unromantic, obnoxious drek because it’s “just for fun.” Reminds me that I’m not crazy. And that matters. We all need reminding now and then, that our task is not as Sisyphean as it often seems.

    So come on readers, show Mary Ann some love! I think she could use it after this and that godawful comment thread on her Scott Pilgrim review. I practically wanted to cry myself after reading it and I wasn’t even the one being repeatedly verbally assaulted.

  • when trollers want attention, they go with the “X should be shot” meme. Or Godwin’s Law. Whichever gets them the most traffic.

    Look, I disagree with MaryAnn sometimes, and sometimes I deploy lame-ass snarkery on her, but violence? That is clearly a line too far. If I get her to like Scott Pilgrim, I would prefer doing so on the merits. Also pie, you know, flat out bribery.

  • @PaulW: Exactly. Furthermore, there are laws that cover threats of actual physical violence against individuals, even when those individuals are *gasp!* women.

  • isobel

    All of this really gives credence to MaryAnn’s comment that Scott Pilgrim is Twilight for boys, though. The only other time I’ve seen people get so upset about a review was an essay a college student wrote about the terrible sexism and dysfunctional ‘romance’ in Twilight. I was amazed then by all the ‘you don’t deserve the right of free speech, I hope you choke and die’ comments (and that was not an exaggeration). MaryAnn has had the same response from Scott Pilgrim fans – ridiculously immature personal attacks.

    Good for you, MaryAnn, for just going out there and saying what you think and rabid fans be damned. If they can’t understand that criticism of the film isn’t criticism of the comic books and/or themselves, they need to go and find a less intellectually challenging place to visit.

  • Tom H

    All this hullabaloo over the Scott Pilgrim vs the world movie has left me feeling incredibly ignorant. I hadn’t even heard of the filmcomic until i browsed the Guardian website this morning. So, naturally I was stunned by the mind-boggling stupidity and insecurity of some of the commentson your review. Some people need to remember that not everyone has the same taste in films and music as they do, and more importantly that it is ok. A review that someone disagrees with is not wrong, it’s a different perspective and the trolls’ and this twitter kid in particular, need to grow up because, if nothing else, an idiot screaming “your WRONG!” isn’t fun to read.

  • Steve Godwin

    This Twitter guy is Hitler.

    (Thread Complete; Fatality!)

  • Mo

    MaryAnn, I think you may have been the target of a textbook 4chan raid. Some numbskull in the Pilgrim thread had a mindfart and broke the first rule of the internet. (There’s no way I’m going there to verify, but it does look like half the comments in the Pilgrim thread are theirs rather than fans.)

    So congratulations on surviving for this long with whatever sanity you have left intact. Please, put your feet up, have a cup of tea, take a deep breath, eat some icecream, watch some Doctor Who, whatever will help you relax and get your mind off of it all, because you so deserve it. I wouldn’t wish one of their raids on most enemies. At least, not anyone who responds to things emotionally.

    …..

    When that’s done with, since no one around here seems to be able to distinguish between types of trolls and since it’s gotten as bad as it has, a virtual page from my fieldguide I’ve been working on:

    In the reactions to the Pilgrim review, there are two main types of trolls that you’re dealing with: anarchists and inarticulate fanboys. The distinction is very important because it changes how you interpret what they’re saying. (If it doesn’t, you’ll eventually go mad and lose all your faith in humanity, which would be sad and unnecessary.)

    Anarchists fall into two groups. One of them thinks upsetting people is funny. Upsetting people in a group is extra funny. They follow the second group around for a laugh. They should be banned.

    The main group believes that political correctness in any form is wrong. They will say absolutely any vile, hateful, graphic thing in existence whether they mean it or not (usually not, I’ve found) specifically to upset anyone who practices any form of political correctness. The point is to show you how powerless you are over their thoughts and actions. If you get upset in any way, according to their rules they have won. Ban them. They are the internet equivalent of the criminals at the G20 in Toronto who thought the best way to make their point was to torch police cars and break windows, and like the G20 it’s the peaceful protesters in the vicinity who get blamed for their actions. They do not deserve any of your time or respect.

    If you are going to try to engage them in any way (goodness knows why), don’t sink to their level. Treat them like you would a psychiatric patient. Be perfectly calm, and perfectly polite and patient no matter what. Don’t respond to any of their barbs. Don’t even acknowledge the filth’s existence. Focus on the acceptable points they make. It’s not a courtesy to them, it’s to drive them nuts, because it means that they’re losing.

    These people are not fans. They probably don’t even care about the topic, they just want to make their point: that you have no power over them. If you let on that you’re upset, you’ve just told them that they have power over you. That’s why you need to stay in control of yourself and your space.

    This quote pretty much sums up my point:
    posted by I get to pick my own name? Cool. (Sat Aug 14 10, 1:44PM)I wasn’t going to see this movie. Now, I’m going to see it. And let me tell you, I will enjoy every frame of this film knowing that by seeing and liking it, I will be pissing you off. Doesn’t matter if the movie is good or bad, it will be quite enjoyable knowing that I am seeing something that you don’t want me to. Childish? Of course I’m childish! And I will continue to behave in this way. There is nothing you or anyone else can do about it.

    But non-fan and specifically 4chan posts are more likely to look like:

    posted by lolololol (Thu Aug 12 10, 9:28PM)lol i bet she wrote this while being drunk. she said herself that she drinks too much wine. stop reviewing movies… and i hope you were not paid for this..

    For goodness sakes, if you’re not going to delete those sorts of posts, at least disemvowel them. They don’t speak for anyone except themselves as a group.

    Inarticulate fanboys on the other hand may have learned some of their attack techniques from the assclowns in anonymous, but they still actually care about the topic, and will talk about the topic somewhere in the middle of all the sewage spewing from their mouths. At the very least, they will get upset about the rotten tomatoes rating. They’re the ones at conventions who ask stupid questions like “are you a chubby chaser?” and generally just embarrass everyone else around them. Ban them if you like, but if you want to engage them make sure you make it perfectly clear which behaviour is acceptable and which isn’t. Disemvoweling usually works pretty well with these ones. Some of them do learn eventually.

    There is some crossover. Some anarchists will research a topic to try to look like fans. Some fans are also anarchists, and are probably the ones who posted about your review on 4chan. But generally, there is a huge yawning gulf between the two types of trolls.

    I hope some of that helps. If you want proof of how much I got right, see how many of them attack something I said here. Just please, don’t take any of this personally and don’t let it get you down. These people don’t represent humanity, youth, fandom, or even the general internet (although they think they’re the internet). They are the dumb white blood cells of the internet, they rush to attack anything they set their gaze on as though it were an allergen.

  • Mo

    And some people think that sexism and misogyny are no big deal. Shooting a woman (because let’s face it, the comment wouldn’t be there if you WEREN’T a woman) over a movie review? No big deal!

    Actually if this were directed at a guy the comment probably would have been more along the lines of anal rape with a rusty object, dismembering, unspeakable horrors I won’t name…

    Merely shooting is sexist because it’s so passive. It’s asking someone else to do something that doesn’t take a whole lot of effort or hatred, (compared to more violent standbys) as though she wasn’t worth the effort, she just needed to be expunged.

    You could call it the violence inherent in humanity. I prefer to think of it as the violence inherent in the assclowns. (May they die off soon. :P)

  • Martin

    Mo, not wanting to tear down your research but it’s an insult to call these people anarchists. True anarchists simply aim to be able to live their own lives without being ruled. There’s rarely any violent thought or action, it’s just someone with a need to live ‘off grid’.

    Unfortunately, anarchy appeals to douchebags, dicks and immature idiots that want to live outside the law so they can do what they want without reproach. They’re not doing it to seek a peaceful existence, they’re doing it to fulfil some kind of Peter Pan fantasy where they can do what they like and there’s no mummy to stop them.

    Unfortunately anarchy has been appropriated, like Che Guevara’s face, by people that want a simple symbol to hide behind. To many it’s about being contrary, rebelling against whatever it is that the establishment as ‘got’. The irony being that these people define themselves by whatever it is they are rebelling against. If they think certain words will offend, you can be sure they’ll use them.

    Internet trolls are just little kids revelling in the anonymity the internet provides in order to say contrary things.

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