Get Smart - All Seasons

I had fond memories watching reruns of this as a child and I caught a couple episodes at 2:00 AM when working a graveyard shift a few years ago. It seemed funny and inoffensive so I decided to watch the series through.

Wow is this show racist! I don't mean standards-of-the-day racist. I watch a lot of old-timey sitcoms and this one is unusual. Mchale's Navy used a racial slur almost every single episode, and still managed to be a lot less racist than this. Even Love Thy Neighbour had a faint pretence of give and take. This is mocking and smug, like one of those cartoons from the 30s. It's a shame, because the non-race episode are often pretty good, but there's a certain point where I just can't enjoy it knowing what kind of people are behind it.

(too busy this weekend for links, sorry. enjoy these queued up posts and see you next week)


Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh

I got to the racist chapter, and that was a it for me.


Why bother trying to decode the author's intentions? Maybe he didn't mean it and was trying to say something about his characters? I tried to convince myself of that for the first few pages, but by the end of the chapter telling myself that would be nothing but wilful blindness. Maybe it was more acceptable back then - I almost always get a 'standards of the day' lecture when I write something like this - but does that mean we should shrug it off? Five years later Hitler was a quite popular writer and normal by the standards of the day.


Trash is trash, no matter how much you analyse it or pretend that seeing it through ten layers of witty detachment makes it any better.



Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

I sat down planning to write a good review, except now I'm remembering John Hughes' other movies. It's hard to sympathize with the cheesy sentimentality of someone who publicly mocked visible minorities and whose heroes sexually molest teenage girls.

Let's just pretend John Hughes never existed. Want a 80s road comedy? Midnight Run is a hundred times funnier, has just as cheesy an ending, and doesn't leave such a bad taste in my mouth.