Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Capitalist Slugs

Cycling through the archives I was dismayed to find an unfinished post regarding my Hollywood presentation on Will Smith's star persona. I believe I was supposed to be going somewhere with this but unfortunately memory has faded. Real update to follow!

As part of my preparation for my seminar, I decided that I should at least make a token concession to work. Watching Men In Black II beforehand I was struck with misgivings about how exactly to convincingly intellectualise a scene where Will Smith overcomes a giant mutated slug attempting to consume an underground train. Fortunately, numerous ludicrous theories are available to your discerning English and Media student at this point:

MARXIST ANALYSIS: Will Smith's character represents the oppressed masses overcoming the terrifying, all-consuming threat posed by the disgusting 'slug' of capitalism and the business classes.

FEMINIST ANALYSIS: Will Smith's character is a parody of the unconsciously but tangibly patriarchal nature of society, saving the passive female 'passengers' with his superior masculine strength and quickness of thought.

PSYCHOANALYTIC ANALYSIS: Will Smith's character is undergoing an Oedipal trajectory; attacking the father 'slug', defeating the father 'slug' and then replacing the 'slug' in the mother (slug?)'s affections.

GENERAL IGNORANCE DISGUISING BULLCRAP MEDIA JARGON ANALYSIS: Will Smith's transcendent brand identity is particularly apparent in this scene - his charisma, charm, heroism and racial self-awareness all reflect the pre-conceptions created by his constructed image which we as the audience bring to the film.

POST-MODERN ANALYSIS: Will Smith's character resists analysis because REALITY IS FAKE, DUMBARSE REALITY FASCISTS! YAY DISTORTION AND FRAGMENTATION AND ANARCHISTIC BREAK-UP OF EVERYTHING FOREVER AND YAY MADNESS AND DESTRUCTION AND CULTURAL VANDALISM! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO! ANDY WARHOL ROCKS!

My problem was then eased by me conveniently forgetting the tape of this particular scene. This may have been fortunate, since most theories disintegrate dismally in the face of Will Smith standing in front of a six hundred foot worm and uttering the immortal words: 'Yo! People! There's a BUG! IN! THE! ELECTRICAL! SYSTEM!'. I might have spent two and a half years honing my ability to talk absolute rubbish whilst giving the impression of being extremely knowledgeable and intellectual, but that particular achievement would have been impossible even for an English and Media BA (Bullsh*tting Award) student.

Ed's Mood: Cynical

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Kasabian - Club Foot

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