For a start, James Bond isn’t Hollywood. It’s about a British spy, working for Britain’s MI6. And made in Britain. It is a fool who generalises all movies made as being of ‘Hollywood.’
Robert Simms has interpreted this film differently to me. I did not see Silva’s sexuality as having anything to do with the plot of the film. He used a sexual advance to make Bond feel uncomfortable. I’m not concerned that one such technique proves Silva to be gay. His psychopathy and (supposed) sexuality are unrelated. He is driven by the simplest human motivation: revenge. He has no grand scheme of death and destruction and world domination.
Simms is making the argument that cinema, and the media in general, are all-powerful. We are allowing ourselves to be directed by two hour movies, 30 minute sitcoms and 15 second ads. They are forming our opinions for us. Is this really true? Are human beings so weak and feeble that they would be prejudiced against a ‘fag’ until they had seen Ellen or Will & Grace? Is it true that a teenage boy (the most likely audience for a Bond film) is going to come away after viewing this movie with a prejudice towards homosexuals?
This film does not perpetuate stereotypes. I would argue that it challenges them. It breaks the James Bond tradition of ‘getting the girl.’ Simms places too much emphasis on (of all things) a James Bond film for his social critique. These characters don’t even exist. And, as any normal person would realise, have you ever really met a gay psycho or a fashion conscious handmaiden?
Original article: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4413130.html
I find this Alan Jones affair amusing. This is a man who presents the image of an Aussie battler, who is the voice of the silent majority of Australians. This is also the man (along with John Laws) who sneakily switched criticism of Australian corporations to provide favorable comments after certain fees were provided. (Prostitution?) This latest “scandal” is not anything new for Jones. The shock jock earns his listeners and reputation by definition of being shocking. What we are seeing though is a transformation in the media landscape away from traditional mainstream corporate structures to individual, grass-roots style populism and activism.
Populism has always been a dirty word in politics. Not much different in meaning to majoritarian democracy, it is associated with what the public wants rather than what is right. So when Alan Jones comes along with his next public assault on decency, the people get outraged, and an activist mob challenges Jones’ sponsors. I do not use the word mob in a derogative sense; rather, it is a group of people who have no real connection to each other except to see a current action be taken. In this situation, the protestation of Jones’ corporate sponsors on his radio show.
So the “powerless” get their chance to be powerful. But are they powerless? Is a middle class university student who organises an online petition powerless? Is someone with enough wealth to join a petition via smartphone powerless? They are individual, but not powerless. They are tied together by their current beliefs. These activists want Alan Jones silenced, and they know that money is the only way to attack him. It is entirely fair. You can’t expect to whore yourself out for corporate gods and then have them support you out of some magical loyalty when the mob who buy their stuff starts to turn their backs.
But do not fear Alan Jones. The sponsors will come back. Because most of the people who listen to your show are mostly the same people without Twitter, mostly the same people who didn’t like Prime Minister Gillard in the first place, and mostly the same people who don’t care and will keep spending their money. It happened the same way with Rush Limbaugh when he called a university student a “slut.” The money comes back.
Why? Because everyone spends money. You might do it at an outlet of a multi-billion dollar corporation. You might do it at a tiny green grocer. You might do it at a farmer’s market. You might do it online. You still spend the money.
This is just the latest scandal. The next one will come. But do not confuse a change in the media landscape away from corporate to social as a shift of anything to anyone. In this situation, all the players are powerful.