|Fresh from the fappening.|
by Andy Nowicki
In Mockingjay Part 1, the latest cinematic installment of the futuristic sci-fi dystopian Hunger Games saga, civil unrest in the kingdom of Panem has flamed into full-fledged civil war. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, duly topful here, unlike in her now quite ubiquitously-ogled homemade modeling portfolio) has been rescued from peril by leaders of a resistance movement intent upon deposing the cruel and ruthless President Coriolanus Snow (a scowling, smirking Donald Sutherland) and his regime of oppression and terror.
For the first time, however, we see that the resistance is hardly a ragtag, insignificant, or underfunded outfit. In fact, led by ambitious District 13 President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and her right-hand man Plutarch Heavensbee (the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman), the rebels dwell in a massive, state-of-the-art underground facility, and have access to a sophisticated apparatus of weaponry. If they aren't nearly as powerful as the military forces which serve the Capitol and faithfully execute Snow's murderous orders, neither are they Ewokian spear-bearing nomads hanging out in the woods, living in thatched huts and fashioning slingshots out of tree branches. While certainly outnumbered and outgunned, this rebellion is nevertheless poised to create considerable mischief and raise unholy hell.
Not only are the rebels a military force to be reckoned with, they also have access to high-tech broadcasting equipment, including something like a "green screen" studio with which they sometimes send dissident messages to the public by hijacking the Capitol's television signal for a few well-timed minutes here and there. In fact, as we find out, this was why they first rescued Katniss in the first place: as the highly conspicuous and superbly photogenic emblem of defiance for her bravery in the Hunger Games tournaments, Coin and Heavensbee reckon that she'll provide a propaganda coup, and help to bring about a swelling of their ranks.
Katniss, of course, isn't thrilled about the notion of being used in such a manner, nor can she forgive Coin and Heavensbee for their callousness in leaving Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) to be tortured by Snow's goons, on account of his allegedly being expendable to their "cause." Yet she reluctantly agrees to become the covergirl of the revolution, allying herself with the rebel forces for the purpose of achieving the greater goal of defeating a common enemy
As the action progresses, however, an ever-greater sense of doubt is cast upon the trustworthiness of the rebel leadership. This momentum culminates in a heartbreaking final scene, in which the audience's desire to thrill to a stirringly Churchillian "never surrender"-style speech delivered by Coin – and ghostwritten by Heavensbee, who mouths the words proudly from his seat – is brazenly undermined by the purposeful intrusion of an excruciatingly somber montage sequence, forcing us to reckon with the physical and psychological damage down to poor Peeta, thanks to the combination of establishment cruelty and rebel indifference. There are clearly no "good guys" here among the leadership of either warring faction; indeed, Coin may in truth prove to be no less an unscrupulous tyrant than Snow has always been.
|Moore of the same? Yep. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.|
Tactical alliances are always a tricky affair. At what point does one's desire to "win" overwhelm one's concern for integrity? When does taking a stand for what is right become a cynical justification for a mere brazen power-grab?Mockingjay Part 1 – taking its cue from the third book of Suzanne Collins' trilogy – depicts these issues with surprising narrative sensitivity and dexterity. In doing so, it also, perhaps unwittingly, touches on a major dilemma faced by "alt-right" types today: Given the lateness of the hour, and the undeniably alarming encroachment of the enemy into nearly every nook and cranny of our existence, is it not best to join the dissident "movement" in some official manner, becoming a party member, as it were, in order to lend our strength to the needful struggle? Or should one instead remain a free agent, to keep one's integrity intact even while our world burns around us? And to complicate things still further: could it be that there are somecircumstances that justify joining, and others that mandate the maintenance of a stubborn and stalwart spirit of disjointedness from one's ostensible allies? If so, how do we tell the one from the other?
This question comes most conspicuously to mind when one considers alt-right wrangling over the prospects of Putin's Russia, a matter which I have written about elsewhere. The Vlad-man certainly has his alt-right fanboys, and Aleksandr Dugin – Vlad's own personal Heavensbee – has even gone so far as to claim that opposing Russia's designs on the Baltic region is as good as signing on for the prolongation of Western decadence; if we are not "with" Putin, we are presumably "with" Lena Dunham, Pussy Riot, and the gay/lesbian/transgender/pedophile/bestiality-polymorphously-perverse/tree-fucking/dirt-sucking "marriage equality" mavens who rule contemporary Western cult-marx gutter culture. Dugin makes a dubious and obviously self-serving claim here, but there are many others who voice similar sentiments, and insist on the crucial need for "joiners," while castigating free agent third-positionist dissenters for being uber-purist, chronic malcontents whose lack of cooperation only gives aid and comfort to the repugnant and relentless enemy.
If we "join," then there is admittedly solidarity, which makes us more formidable in number, and unified in purpose. But – the question must and does emerge – is solidarity itself really desirable? I have argued before that the accomplishments of mass movements are only superficial, and that consciously uniting with the "herd" really amounts to purposely dehumanizing oneself; moreover, as there cannot be rabble without a rouser – be he Mark Antony, Benito Mussolini, or Al Sharpton – "joining" thus really means putting yourself at the command of those who wish to use you to help obtain power for themselves.
|A stark either-or? Not so fast, Mr. Manichean.|
This latter aspect isn't necessarily bad, if you would like to see such men in power, or at least think that they would be preferable to the wretched lot which currently holds sway, but such a prospect ought at least be approached with extreme caution, since it amounts to a kind of whoring of oneself: no matter how bright, articulate, and seeming-virtuous, one's chosen pimp is still a pimp, and if you really think he's not ultimately going to bitch-slap the shit out of you for his own sadistic enjoyment, then you truly are one deluded bitch.
Finally, it must be inquired whether we truly fight oppression, or if we simply wish to replace the current odiously oppressive ideology with another one more conducive to our own interests? As one who loathes the enforced and entrenched anti-morality of the left-liberal Zeitgeist with a hot passion and a cold fury, I sometimes wonder if all of my fellow dissidents oppose it for the same reasons as me.
In fact, an intimation I sometimes entertain is to envision a scenario in which current conditions are suddenly reversed, wherein white nationalism and race realism come to be the default ideologies of the day, while racial egalitarianism is widely recognized as a discredited sham. In such a circumstance, might political correctness still linger just as malignantly as before, just in a different manifestation? That is to say, will people still be getting fired from their jobs,"outed" for their unacceptable opinions, driven into social exile, fined, and even thrown in prison, the only difference beingwho is doing the outing, fining, and imprisoning and who, conversely. is being victimized, humiliated, and driven to repent under extreme coercion?
In short, do we fight the principalities and powers because they are corrupt and unjust, or because we covet their power and wish to have it for ourselves, the better to lord it over our enemies? It is a question raised by Mockingjay Part 1, and one well worth asking ourselves.
(originally published at Alternative Right, November 2014)
Andy Nowicki, co-editor of Alternative Right, is the author of eight books, including Under the Nihil, The Columbine Pilgrim, Considering Suicide, and Beauty and the Least. He occasionally updates his blog when the spirit moves him to do so. Visit his Soundcloud page.