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Internet Meme Demolition Derby: Mother’s Day Fallout, Blazing Saddles Today

Just a quick spin around the mud spattered fairgrounds today to clear out my “to demolish” file and prepare for The Restroom Wars Part Deux, so here are a couple quick memes to beat up on, kind of a spring cleaning.

We just celebrated Mother’s Day in the US, and I hope everybody had a nice day with Mom if that is your thing. If not, that’s OK too. Being a Mom is not a “get out of being an asshole free” card and no one should pressure you to be nice to people who aren’t nice to you.

But that’s not why we’re here, we’re here because some Moms may have received the following meme in their Facebook feed or Twitter mentions and it might have ticked them off a13061955_10153648268273358_7766986873103354710_n bit.

Mom
Social Secretary
Laundry Goddess
Clean Up Counselor
Dishwasher Diva
Family Manager
Errand Engineer
Road Navigator
Priceless

There are three things wrong with this job description dressed up as a Master Card commercial and all three are sexist.

  1. Expecting Mom to be a combination of maid service, executive secretary and taxi service and implying that all those things she does are priceless plays right into the hands of people who want to ignore the value of unpaid domestic labor, labor largely left in the hands of women even if they work outside the home.
  2. It implicitly shames women who do do or aren’t very good at the jobs listed in this litany of household management. Not a Diva of the dishwasher, hate laundry, and expect your family to keep track of their own social calendar? I guess you aren’t priceless?
  3. It pretty explicitly erases anyone who does all those things and doesn’t happen to be Mom. Believe it or not some families do it the other way around, with a woman bringing home the bacon and the other person frying it up in a pan.

Is it the worst thing I’ve ever seen? Of course not. And I’m sure that there are plenty of Moms who were happy to see that their kids appreciate all the hard work they do when they opened up their email on Sunday. I just wish that didn’t involve perpetuating some harmful sexist stereotypes at the same time.

IMG_1679This one is being tackled by request from Mary, who hasn’t even seen Blazing Saddles, but thought we should examine this through our best intersectional lens.

Still the best movie ever. So SUCKIT.

If you agree they could never make this movie now because we got took over by a bunch of crying bitches.

Click like and share just to piss them off. And if you don’t know what movie this is, Guess who you are. (atrocious grammar in original)

Trippz House of Memes and Tube Socks, where the motto is  “Visitors with no sense of humor are advised to turn back now. Management is not responsible for damage to feelings,” is right about one thing in this meme. Mel Brook’s masterpiece of satire Blazing Saddles is one of the best movies in US cinema history. Released in 1974, the film weaves important critiques of racism, race relations, history, capitalism and colonialism behind a facade of fart jokes, 4th wall shenanigans and enough uses of the N-Word to put the NWA to shame. Go read the synopsis. Better yet, go find a copy, it’s a brilliant and funny film.

What Trippz and the meme creator intend I think is that a movie like this could never be made today because of political correctness or some such nonsense, thanks to the “crying bitches” who have taken over somehow. I really only have one thing to say about that (but I’ll say a little more to drive the point home.)

What the fuck are you dumbasses talking about???

Don’t we live in a world in which Quentin Tarantino has made so much money he probably has a solid gold cock ring collection from making movies like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained? Supposedly political correctness has run amok yet unfunny shockfests like South Park and Family Guy can’t seem to get cancelled no matter how repetitive or derivative they have become. Fuck, they practically did make this movie today  in Seth Macfarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, except without Mel Brooks intrinsic humanist sense of justice and co-writer Richard Pryor’s keen understanding of humor it just turned out to be self indulgent cheap laughs, and really really white to boot.

Seriously people, absolutely no one is telling you you can’t make shitty jokes or memes or even movies. It’s just that you no longer get to do so and expect everyone to laugh along if it hurts people. You can’t zealously defend your satire as if it has the power to change worlds and minds (as Blazing Saddles does in my opinion) and then turn around and claim that those same jokes can’t hurt anyone. Are they powerful or powerless, make up your minds.

No humor or satire is above reproach, no humorist is above criticism. In fact, Mel Brooks had to fight the censors of 1974 to get the film made the way he wanted, and it wasn’t received as an all time classic at first. And there are some bits I cringe at today, some sexism and casual homophobia that I hope they could improve on if they made the film today. But Mel Brooks could make this film today, to argue otherwise is simply pushing an agenda.

Featured Image Credit: Julie Falk on Flickr

 

 

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Lou Doench

Lou Doench

Lou Doench is a 48 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at www.flickr.com/photos/blotz/

3 Comments

  1. May 11, 2016 at 1:13 pm —

    Sandler made <em>Ridiculous Six</em>, which is…just bad. <em>Blazing Saddles</em> is a classic, and a lot of it is not so much racism as satire of racism. (I’ve always assumed the Yiddish-speaking Indians were a knock at Mormons, in addition to Brooks’ cameo.)

    <em>Ridiculous Six</em> is…just another verse in the Sandler swan song. I think <em>Zohan</em> was his last good movie?

  2. May 14, 2016 at 9:30 am —

    Thanks for both of these… I’m not sure anyone but Mel Brooks would’ve thought they could get away with making Blazing Saddles in 1974 either… And I am definitely not a laundry goddess…

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