Sticks and stones may break my bones, but at least they’ll know I was offended.
Trends can be scary. Trends can make people spend their money, invest their time or even coerce somebody to harass others for failing to keep up with what is current.
To me, there is a fine line between iconic and idiotic when it comes to trends, and most of the recent ones lean toward the latter. For instance, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video is iconic. Somebody who decides to film themselves attempting to eat enough cinnamon to incapacitate an elk is not. There is one out of one ways that is going to turn out, and it isn’t going to be iconic.
From my perspective, there is one major trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in its expansion. This recent trend is called “pretending to be a victim.”
I am in no way trying to patronize anybody who is a real victim of any type of affliction. However, there are enough fake people out there to justify this accusation.
For example, I recently watched a video by a man named Rob Dyke titled, “This Movie is Pretty Much a Hate Crime,” where he explained the recent controversies of the new M. Night Shyamalan movie “Split.” More specifically, he explained why he believed there shouldn’t be any controversy in the first place. Dyke’s video uses language that is not appropriate for everybody.
This horror movie depicts two girls held against their will by a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder, or having multiple personalities, as it’s more commonly referred to.
From what I’ve gathered, there are two main “issues” with this movie.
The first issue is that the actor, James McAvoy, is wearing a dress in the movie trailer. This has caused thousands of people to accuse the movie, cast and crew of being transphobic.
The second issue is that the movie is “demonizing” mental illness. There is an online petition against the release of this movie for being transphobic, and too insensitive to those with mental illnesses.
Dyke shares his views on why people have ignored the premise of the character having multiple personalities. He questions why a personality that is more feminine than the others is so offensive, and combats the claims of demonization of people with mental illnesses.
Dyke pointed out that there are countless movies are hinged upon one of the main characters having some sort of mental affliction. He said “Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear” from “Toy Story 3” was a cartoon character that was very purposefully made out to have PTSD. The character in this children’s movie manipulates, tortures and even attempts to murder the other characters specifically because of a traumatic event he had experienced in the past.
The point is that the people claiming to be offended are hypocrites because they have singled this movie out amongst many other movies that could be considered just as taboo.
Why hasn’t anybody freaked out about “Forest Gump”, where the main character is cognitively delayed and gets sent to Vietnam? Why haven’t movies like “White Chicks” been scrubbed out of existence for being too transphobic?
These movies are blatantly victimizing everybody they portray, right?
No, no they are not. That would be idiotic. Why would a screenwriter sit on their tower of money and devise ways to offend people who have any sort of commonality with the characters they’ve created? That would be like taking money, dropping it on the ground and watching it sail away in the breeze.
The answer is because it’s a brand new trend. We have a whole new breed of people in a world that is already confusing enough. People are so desperate to be part of a marginalized group of people to make themselves feel better about who they are.
This is a society that lives for a pat on the back. For some reason or another it has been melded into some people that they are owed attention by any means necessary. Being a victim of a fabricated illness doesn’t make for an interesting or complex person. It makes for a person with no respect for what people who really suffer go through.
Simultaneously, people with real life afflictions are in disgust at those who strive to have the struggles that they are forced to carry. This “victimized” character portrayed by so many is truly appalling.
Remember, there are people in this world who would gnaw off their own foot to have what others pretend not to have. There are real people who spend thousands of dollars out of desperation to find their way through their ordeals.
Don’t be that person. Don’t flaunt what has to be faked, and don’t get triggered when a character in a movie doesn’t coexist with an undeserving set of tender sensibilities.
Andrew Ward can be reached at email@example.com