It seemed like just a lot of cocaine and hair!
September 19, 2019 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I was eventually cool on her, but MMF's won me over. She can be a little polemic, but she really nails down her rationale. And she's frigging funny.

I've thought on and off about doing a Cracked alumni FPP for a while. Small Beans, Even More News, and Gamefully Unemployed are great. Early ex-patriot Adam Todd Brown kinda lead the way. And of course Dan Obrien and Soren Bowie are writing for Last Week Tonight and American Dad, respectively. It's nice to see them all still popping in to each other's projects. And MMFish is such a great part of it.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:47 AM on September 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Anybody know if Daly City, CA was the inspiration behind the suburb in Edward Scissorhands?
posted by panama joe at 9:48 AM on September 19, 2019

Her Robocop video is a really great round up of what a lot of film critics have been thinking about gender stuff in that movie for a long time. I recommend it a lot.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:49 AM on September 19, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've thought on and off about doing a Cracked alumni FPP for a while.

Also Robert Evans and Behind the Bastards.

posted by soren_lorensen at 10:01 AM on September 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I never considered Robocop with respect to gender studies before. She make good point about Lewis's equality. the part about trans icon seems like a force fit though.
posted by hypnogogue at 2:20 PM on September 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Watched the Tim Burton video. It went all over the place. She made some good points about race. But so many of her takes on Beetlejuice are based on the film-vs.-her pre-conceived notions of the film, and its merchandising and spin-offs. Which is an odd tangent to make.

And... she watched all the Tim Burton films? What? She left out his first and best—Pee Wee's Big Adventure... one of my favorite movies of all time. No one else could have made that movie. Burton and Rubens were lightning in a bottle back in the stultifying 1980s.

And she left out many others, too. Which is fine, except... the video was supposed to be about Tim Burton's films in general, based on the title and the introduction. But she only goes into a few of them. Maybe she needs an editor? More direction. Better focus.

There's just too much of this YouTube movie-analysis content. This was nicely produced, presented and edited. But it's not much of a stand out, IMO.
posted by SoberHighland at 2:53 PM on September 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't know, while I do think there are parts that could be tightened up, the main thesis seemed pretty clear to me. Burton's films seem sort of transgressive and are generally treated as if they are against conformity, but in reality the films only seem to allow transgressions by the white male protagonists, and eventually everyone finds themselves finding comfort in conformity (suburbia). Its been a while since I've seen pee wee's big adventure, but people generally don't seem to treat it as a transgressive work the same way. Burton's got a lot of films, I don't think she needs to cover all of them.

The trans icon part seemed like a stretch, and maybe a bit of a clickbait headline (she did come from cracked), but if you're doing something that is about transformation and interrogates binary thinking and gender, I could see how you'd end up there. Personally, it seems to me like Murphy is a cis male unable to attain his desired level of masculinity, because the type of masculinity he and his family has been sold as desirable is unattainable and toxic. And honestly, I think it works better with a cis male Murphy - this masculinity is unattainable for everyone.

I don't necessarily find these videos to be perfect arguments (there's a more interesting video hidden in her one about daddys, I think, especially about the rehabilitation of Howard Stark and how it pairs with Tony being thrust into paternal positions), but they're at least thought provoking.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:42 PM on September 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just watched the Rugrats one (which by the way is here, that link goes to a different one) and really enjoyed it. I've been watching a lot of shows I enjoyed as a kid and realising just how amazing they were (not all of them - but Malcolm in the Middle for example is even better than I remembered). I'd forgotten about Rugrats until now, and I'll have to revisit that next. Can't speak for all her videos but that one is certainly interesting, and a top drawer video essay.
posted by Acey at 11:57 PM on September 19, 2019

I watched the Tim Burton one and feel kind of cold, however at the end of it she says it's her first film analysis video so I'll probably check out some of the others to give her a chance. Based on this one, I have to say I like Lindsay Ellis' videos better. The difference strikes me as similar to comparisons of (old) Simpsons vs Family Guy or zombie Simpsons, where one of them sort of has a heart and a theme and an internal consistency, whereas the other is a vehicle to string together a bunch of zingy pop-culture references in a kind of snarky series of vignettes.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:54 AM on September 20, 2019

And honestly, I think it works better with a cis male Murphy - this masculinity is unattainable for everyone.

There doesn't have to be just one reading - that's the thing about allegory, it can both be that cis men can't attain 80's action hero style masculinity and it destroys them in the trying as well as the body horror of being stuck in the wrong body and being forced to perform violent masculinity for the sake of the patriarchy.

And the point that masculinity is unattainable for everyone doesn't require a cis man. I don't think it's uncommon for trans individuals to try twice as hard to perform their assigned gender roles before getting to a place of being at peace with one's own gender, and may well even be darn good at acting out those roles. Being more painfully aware of the contours of one's assigned gender role by its wrongness can make one better in the performance.
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:29 AM on September 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I guess the part that struck me wrong was that MMF was giving Murphy's inability to perform action hero masculinity as evidence in support for the argument that Murphy is trans. Blaming Murphy's inability to perform that action hero masculinity on transness just seems like the weaker argument. And yeah, this is a personal opinion, other readings are perfectly fine.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:53 AM on September 20, 2019

RE: The bad dads one. I want to introduce her to A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash. The 'abuse is secretly love' message has been coded that way a long time. Of course, Johnny Cash was regularly problematic, as he liked to sing songs with moral messages, most of which were honestly better off without the message. Like the one like in the Wreck of the Old 97 was 'don't yell at your husband because he might kill himself being an idiot for his job'.

I also think she was reaching a bit on the Robocop and Lewis with the matching/mirroring thing, but overall interesting take.
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:51 PM on September 20, 2019

I just watched the Rugrats one too and meh. Like 50% of kids shows features content about 'generic empathy', so the Rugrats was not exceptional in that regard and the Transformers was problematic and among the worst (they battled in a Middle Eastern country called Carbombya once) but just because a show has toys in it doesn't make it the equivalent of a toy commercial and people need to stop it with that take if she wants me to follow along with the Robocop as trans take.

Aside: Carbombya is the same kind of lazy Beavis and Butthead humor that naming a psychologist Dr Lipschitz is, and doesn't deserve praise.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:05 PM on September 20, 2019

Really enjoying these, especially the Fight Club one. Thanks for sharing!
posted by Cogito at 11:55 PM on October 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

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