I generally see about one movie in the theater each year. I don’t like the expense, the crowds, the noise nor the inability to pause the movie. So, when I do go to the movies, it’s got to be something pretty spectacular like “Gone with the Wind,” “Star Wars” or “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
So, of course, the first and probably only movie I see in the theater this year is … “Barbie.”
Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that, either. When I found out they were making a Barbie movie, I wondered, sometimes aloud, “What kind of idiot is going to see that stupid movie?”
This kind, apparently.
Even when the glowing reviews came in, I wasn’t interested. My wife wanted me to go with her even though she thinks I hate every movie. That’s not true, of course. I only hate 99 percent of them. I told her I’d take a hard pass on watching it, but she was welcome to go with other folks.
Then the right-wing snowflakes began falling. (They’re now offended by something new every 20 minutes, so it’s hard to keep up and reminds me of this 4-second audio clip from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”) It’s woke! It’s anti-menfolk! It’s the work of the devil! The basement of Barbie’s Dreamhouse is the gateway to hell! (Or for us Southern folks, hay-yull.)
Anything that gets right-wing snowflakes so riled up that they quit pulling the stuffing out of their Mickey Mouse and start setting their Barbie dolls on fire, well, I gotta check it out!
I knew that it would use a lot of humor and silliness to make some valid points about issues women have faced through the years and even today. And I knew that Ken would be the butt of most of the jokes. What I didn’t know, though, was that the movie would actually be good.
Folks are really setting Barbie dolls on fire — most notably conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, a person who occasionally makes some valid points on his radio show. (And, yes, I listen to multiple points of view. Understanding rarely happens in a bubble, where most people spend their lives now.)
Unlike Ben, I don’t have Barbies. Granted, my little sister had a whole bunch of them. They usually wound up naked and lifeless on the floor of her closet, leading me to suspect that my folks had accidentally purchased Serial Killer Ken for her.
The kinds of folks who are furious at the “Barbie” movie and are burning dolls are the same types who destroyed Beatles records in the 1960s and who love to ban books even today. Here’s an idea: Don’t watch it. Don’t listen to it. Don’t read it.
I recently stirred up some folks and ignited a 50/50 debate with a post about Jason Aldean’s song and video “Try That in a Small Town.” Most folks missed my point that the boy ain’t small town, while I am. The fact that his music stinks was more of a throw-in comment. Clearly, the offended folks didn’t read the whole piece or they would have seen that I defended his right to assault our ears with that bad song and did not tell anyone to not listen to it. I wouldn’t advise it, but have at it if you can stand the sound of modern country music.
(And before some right-winger attacks me with some off-topic comment like, “Well what about today’s rap and that song ‘WAP’ that liberals celebrate?” Yeah, I hate those, too.)
One thing Jason Aldean and Barbie have in common is that the “controversies surrounding them lately have been quite profitable. Even when a lot of folks play as though they are victims of cancel culture, they really appreciate the attention. It’s the best advertising.
There are some conversations worth having and debates worthy of thoughtful discussion, such as whether trans girls should be able to compete in girls’ sports. There are some fights worth fighting. There also are some worth sitting out from time to time. Even Fox News Barbie, Tomi Lahren, thinks this latest right-wing outrage is ridiculous.
If you’ve been offended lately by rainbows, Target, beer or Disney, you’re going to be offended by “Barbie,” too. If you just like good movies — and, granted, there are so few — you’re going to like it. You might even learn something or gain some perspective.
I know Ben Shapiro thinks that the movie version of Ken makes us guys look a little ridiculous. However, Ben, you do a far more effective job of that yourself.
And now you don’t even have your Barbie dolls to play with.
The first 40 seconds is all you really need to see here: