Who Watches Out for the Children?!

Is it better to be stupid and judgmental than a moron, vapid, indecent human being?

Truth be told, I try and avoid Debbie Schlussel as much as possible.  Whenever I have watched her participate in discussions on the cable talking head shows or read her columns, her lack of knowledge and understanding of the issue at hand often leaves me with a headache.  She is the type of person that makes a mockery of people with morals.

And now she is taking on the straw man of the marketing of Watchmen to children.  Because, I mean, what with the happy meals, cartoon tie ins, toys, etc…oh…uh…never mind, really there has not been a promotion to kids.  The advertising for the movie makes it clear that this is an ‘R’ rated film and nothing indicates it is for children.  I do not doubt some parents will bring their kids, because some people are not actually paying attention.  Parents bring their kids to horror movies as well, it is not because Hellraiser is actually marketed to children.  It’s because parents do not always make good choices.
Debbie is really understanding though…

If you take your kids to see “The Watchmen,” you’re a moron.

If you see it yourself, you’re also probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being. The movie arrives in theaters at Midnight, Thursday Night. It’s rated “R”–which should kinda sorta be a hint–but it really deserves an “NC-17,” at the very least. And plenty of clueless parents brought their young kids and kept them there for the entire almost three hour “experience” at the screening I attended.

You got that?  Not enjoying the movie-merely actually setting foot into the theater to watch it makes you “probably” a “moron and a vapid, indecent human being.”  Wow.  I supposed she allows some leeway if you hate the movie as much as she does.

In fact, as a movie critic who sees most new releases, I haven’t seen a more violent, depraved movie in years (not to mention a longer, more boring movie with a more preposterous and silly plot). This movie makes the graphic bloodshed of the recently released “Friday the 13th” look like “Cinderella.”

I am sorry…I do not buy that this is more violent than the Passion of the Christ.

At the same time, the Soviets are about to nuke America. It’s 1985 and Nixon is President. We’ve won in Vietnam. Oh, and Henry Kissinger has a Russian accent. And Ronald Reagan is thinking of running for President in 1998. Wow, isn’t that cool that they got it wrong on purpose? I’m so amazed at this “high-brow art” of deliberately getting dates and timelines wrong, you know, just to be “artistic,” and get the drooling of the critics. That is sooooo genius. Like way totally cool.

It’s called “alternate timeline”, Debbie.  Look into it.  They did not “get it wrong”.  It’s an alternate fictional history.  You know, like when you conservatives write about “What if Al Gore had been president for 9/11-whew we sure dodged a bullet there!”

Maybe if I make a movie about how Eisenhower was President in 1972, we “lost” World War II, and Bin Laden was gonna bomb the World Trade Center then, I’ll be cool, too. . . so long as it’s “dark” and I include a bunch of rape, torture, explicit sex scenes, and extremely graphic killings, and oh, write a “graphic novel” a/k/a comic book about it, first.

Based on your columns?  No, it would suck.  If Alan Moore or Grant Morrison wrote that story?  It might be gold.  But your version would just be…crappy fan fiction.  You are not that talented.  This is especially clear in the fact that you confused the worth of an overall story by singling out events as if they are the core of the book.

You know what other popular bit of literature is full of rape, blood soaked violence, torture, sex scenes and graphic killing?  The Bible.  Clearly, anyone who would read that is probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being.  What kind of sick person would subject themselves to such material?! (I know this is a cheap response, but honestly, the tactic of attacking a movie or book based on single events, ignoring the story as a whole is pretty unworthy of being taken seriously)

Yup, this is the garbage that Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and Warner Brothers and Paramount are marketing toward your kids. All of these studios have a piece in this movie. And even thought the budget was just $100 to $125 million, because of a long legal battler between WB and Fox, the legal fees and pay-out make it such that they must recoup at least $200 or 300 million and make a profit. To do so, they are pimping the movie to all niches, especially your young kids.

But just because shameless whores and crack dealers of Hollywood deal this stuff out, doesn’t mean you have to buy it and poison your kids’ minds with it.

I’m scratching my head.  I mean she keep saying that the movie is being “pimped out to kids”.  Yet, I have seen nothing to prove this.  Nowhere in her “review” (or column or whatever it is) does she establish proof that the film is being marketed to children.  Every bit of marketing I have seen is aimed squarely at those over seventeen.  In the comments, Schlussel defends her claim about marketing to children against nay-sayers by declaring, “UH-HUH!!!!  THEY ARE SO DOING IT!!!!”

It’s worth noting that Debbie responds to people in all caps-like this:

[S: WOW, YOU ARE SOOOO SMART. PLENTY OF PARENTS WILL THINK THIS IS A SUPERHERO MOVIE. THE TV TRAILER AND TOYS ARE BEING MARKETED TO KIDS. WAKE THE HECK UP. DS]

Calm down, Debbie…chill out.  The TV Trailer is not being marketed towards kids-the trailer is mainly shown during adult television.  If it was showing during Saturday morning cartoons, rather than Lost, Debbie might have a point.  But all she has is “There were ads on American Idol.”  Which is not kids programming.  When they have ads on Nickelodeon?  We’ll talk.  As it stands, the marketing is squarely aimed at older viewers….not ten year olds.

In fact, the only “toys” being marketed are clearly aimed at the collectors market; specifically action figures and statuettes/busts.  These are not aimed at kids, they are aimed at adults.  In fact, all the products available are collectibles aimed at the collectors market.  Watches, clocks, playing cards and even lunch boxes (which have made a nostalgic resurgence) are all collectibles aimed at the collectible market-which again is populated by adults, not children.

Uh-huh, not marketed to kids, right? His son just found out about the movie and wants to go see it . . . by accident?

Wow.  What are the chances that a teenager watching TV might see an ad for a movie?!  That’s so bizarre…how could that happen?!  Ow.  The sarcasm meter broke.

Wake up Debbie.  The film is not being marketed to kids.

Her supporters are not much smarter, as a couple respond to the news of a sex scene by crying about super-hero porn.  And I have to say, a sex scene in a movie?  It’s not porn, people.  Pornography is an actual product.  A porn film is all about sex-from beginning to end.  And it is far more graphic.  A movie with a couple sex scenes in it?  Not porn.

So, let us dump the straw man of “protecting the children” from a movie that is not pursuing them.  I am sure there is plenty to debate and discuss about the film.  But not with the likes of Schlussel and her fans; she has decided those who willing sees this film are morons, vapid, indecent human beings.

But Debbie has a follow-up:

But sadly, there is no instant cure or sudden death for “Watchmen” Fanatic Derangement Syndrome. You can read some of the so infected and diseased in the comments section of my review. But I’ve received a ton of vile, obscene, and just plain stupid and obnoxious e-mails because I dared call this trash wrapped in the guise of a high brow graphic novel what it is: pure garbage.

That is the politest thing she wrote.  Newsflash, here…but if you spew bile while riding a roller coaster?  It tends to hit you back in the face.  If Debbie was less condescending…less arrogant…less painfully unaware of the world around her…maybe she would not be getting this response.

Oh, and by the way, to all of you slacker Watchmen defenders and fanatics–who resemble the many respondents on “Jay Walking,” yet are suddenly the self-appointed intellectual lights of our world–grisly is grisly, and gratuitous, graphic violence serves no positive or useful purpose in our society, even if you read it first in a comic book. You’re a bunch of dummies with no moral compass, but liking this stupid comic book which pretends violence and the depraved is “edgy” or “sophisticated,” makes you feel smart. When you’re actually quite stupid. But now, with this movie, you’ve got pretentious stupidity. You don’t realize you’re still just as dumb, your IQ just as low and probably lower.

But frankly?  If someone such as her feels that way towards folks such as me?  I consider that a compliment.

And maybe your sister should be fed to dogs and your mother raped and your brother should have his arms sawed off.  You know, just to make the point.

The difference between me and Debbie?  I would never suggest anything like that.  Not even to “make a point”.  That’s the stuff of a sick mind.

Posted in: Movies, Politics

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