Sep. 17th, 2010 02:41 pm
selene_13: (Default)
[personal profile] selene_13
I'm glad that week's over: Frustrating days at work when others aren't doing their work as they're supposed to (as in, I tell them we need promotional material at an important conference I'm going to, I even tell them what they can do, but have to trust they will do it because I don't have the time to do their job for them, and then they deliberate over it, and a little more, hem and hum, la di da, and 2 weeks later tell me "oh we actually haven't got anything yet, and now it's too late to send over any shipment so we'll just drop it", leaving me with nothing to show for when I go meet these important people... gah!).

Anyway, I sort of sabotaged myself by leaving a big pile of manuscripts on my desk that I was going to check today (free day, but I'm two weeks out of the office soon so need to finish this stuff), and then getting into my car home without them. So, now I do have a free day after all. Oh well! :D

This week I saw the movie Four Lions, a British farcical satire about four jihadists in London. The guys are thick as bricks and have an ideology that's ridiculous (disparaging Western consumerism even while recording their (blooper) threats on camera, referencing Mortal Kombat and playing with their cell phones in Pakistan), but the film manages at the same time to carry a message that shows how far people, even people who hardly have a clue what they're doing or getting manipulated into, will go. In the end, it was quite tragic - tragi-comic I should say.

The subject is of course a touchy one. During the film five people walked out of the theatre, but I really enjoyed it. It had me in stitches, but it's message in the end was clear, and you have to accept that for what it is. It's a very sensitive topic, and some people might feel it's one too serious to toy with, but in reviews I've seen it compared to Charlie Chaplin mocking Hitler, as in mocking that which is fearsome, to disempower it. And I like that analogy.

I remember reading about a similar anecdote, where a guy infiltrated a white rights supremist group in the US whose membership was on the rise, and then what he'd pick up at their meetings was publicly mocked on the radio: All the ridiculous nick names and safe words and rites and rituals were made fun off, and that caused their popularity and membership to drop. People couldn't take them serious anymore because their little club was exposed as intrinsically silly (despite the terrible things they did besides that). And so by mocking what is threatening, you disempower it.

It doesn't take away the threat per say, but maybe disparages some people from joining what's been exposed as destructive ideology. And anyway, better to laugh than to cry at life.

(I'm pretty sure that last anecdote was from Gladwell's The Tipping Point).

Date: 2010-09-20 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stjra.livejournal.com
I hear you on the work front! Other people not doing their own jobs is so frustrating. It especially annoys im in my job as the people it affects the most is our clients who have come to us for help and what do they get, people to lazy or to worried about getting something wrong to do their jobs to help them. ARGH!!

Satire is one of those difficult humours that timing is supremely important. Time will tell if the time is quite right for this one. Many people still aren't at a stage to see the humour in this topic. Though have medias that give people opportunity to look at the topic from other angles is a good way to get people to that point in the end.

Date: 2010-09-20 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] selene-13.livejournal.com
Argh work. It's so hectic at the moment that it's just so frustrating when others aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing, and you just don't have the time to do it yourself. I guess, just let it go and try to be zen about it. *meditates* *eats chocolate*

Humour (especially based on current events & politics) is always going to be subjective and in a way always offensive; in the end there's going to be many opinions. I very much understand people who think the timing is wrong to be mocking this subject in particular. I'm a wry person by nature, so I appreciated the movie's intent. But surely it's not for everyone!

Date: 2010-09-21 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stjra.livejournal.com
I guess, just let it go and try to be zen about it. *meditates* *eats chocolate*

This! So much! I figure I can only do what I can do and make the best of what I get presented with.

I'm with you on appreciating the movies intent and I'm sure I would greatly appreciate it's humour as just reading the synopsis for it had me snickering. I'm glad to see that this type of humour is starting to emerge at long last as this is something that the grip of proganda and fear mongering needs to be supercede by the public being able to see the humour inheritent in it.

Date: 2010-09-25 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madderbrad.livejournal.com
I'm glad I came across your post. I saw 'Four Lions' a few weeks back and didn't quite know what to make of it. The jihadists were so *stupid* I found it hard to take them seriously. And yet it was a very serious ending, quite tragic.

One of the things I couldn't work out was how the wife and son just calmly accepted the mission of their jihadist husband/father to kill himself. I kept on thinking no, there must be more to it, he must be hiding details, it must be a secret ... but no, they were in on it the whole time. A colleague has explained to me that it's just another aspect of a muslim fundamentalist's brainwashing, that family members accept these suicide missions as Allah's will, etc. Ugh. My mind still can't wrap around it. They couldn't see how *stupid* it was, how wasteful it was of human life (on both 'sides')?

During the film five people walked out of the theatre ...

Really? They approve of suicide bombers? Want them to be portrayed in a positive way?

:-) Sorry, but super-duper-politically-correct people who don't look further than the cover peeve me sometimes.

... in reviews I've seen it compared to Charlie Chaplin mocking Hitler, as in mocking that which is fearsome, to disempower it. And I like that analogy.

I like it too!! Like I said, I'm pleased I read your post and this analogy. Because I couldn't work out exactly what the goal/purpose of this film was.


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