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Tag Archives: fantasy

Michael Medved: Black Panther’s Misleading Utopia

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“Black Panther” has made movie history as the first smash hit about a black superhero. But even as international audiences savor this splashy entertainment, it’s worth noting some necessary reservations.

 

The dialogue is full of clunky clichés, the plot is convoluted, the lavish sets and costumes look tacky and sometimes tawdry, and the special effects often fail to convince. Despite strong performances from a distinguished cast, the movie creates a totally fictitious African utopia that ignores fundamental truths about civilizations. The story centers on the fantasy kingdom of “Wakanda,” which, in carefully guarded isolation, has developed technological advances that lead the world.

 

In fact, isolation invariably produces stagnation, not progress. Moreover, Wakanda in the movie is a medieval, tribal society, choosing all-powerful rulers through trial by combat and magical incantations. In the real world, advancement and wellbeing grow reliably from democratic, free market institutions, not from authoritarian societies based on brutality and sorcery echoing Game of Thrones.

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Michael Medved: When Political Correctness Tops Personal Decency

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The New York Times recently reported on allegations of shameless sexual harassment by Oscar-winning movie mogul Harvey Weinstein from dozens of young women.

In his bizarre response, Weinstein acknowledged that he “caused a lot of pain” and planned to temporarily step back from corporate power in order to concentrate on therapy. He also promised to compensate for his wrong-doing and “channel that anger” by launching a major campaign against the NRA, while pledging “to make a movie about our president” in order to force Trump’s retirement.

In other words, the guilt-ridden executive hoped for redemption by bashing political opponents rather than improving himself, implying that however badly he behaved, conservatives are worse. He thereby embraced the classic leftist fantasy: that political correctness matters more than destructive personal behavior, no matter how loathsome.

Emphasizing public posturing above private conduct can’t deliver either personal happiness or societal decency.

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