The “Boycott 'Star Wars: Episode VII'” media idiocy
The “Boycott Stars Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” hashtag, concisely named #BoycottStarWarsVII, was trending earlier today (Oct. 19) on Twitter. Shocked? If so, you haven't spent much time on that social media platform, where all sorts of idiotic hashtags and topics trend continuously.
Absolutely no one in their right mind should – or would – take this sort of stuff seriously. Unless, of course, Twitter's trending topics and hashtags can be used as clickbait “news.” And that's what we have with the “Boycott Stars Wars: Episode VII” nonsense.
Manipulating the eager to be manipulated 'news' media
Numerous publications online, from the more serious-minded Salon and the Los Angeles Times to The Hollywood Reporter and The Mary Sue have devoted time and space to “discuss” the Twitter trolls (“twolls,” for short) as if a handful (a couple?) of human beings with too much time in their hands represent a sociopolitical “movement.”
In fact, the b.s. reason for the hashtag is that Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, the most anticipated movie since perhaps The Birth of a Nation (or, at the very least, the birth of The Martian about three weeks ago), features a black hero played by John Boyega. Therefore, it promotes “white genocide.” Now why in hell would any news media outlet take this sort of shit seriously?
The answer is a simple one. They do it because they know that this sort of garbage will elicit a response – or rather, countless responses – from people who, much like their news sources, are ever eager to be manipulated and thus become immersed in pointless, meaningless, reality-less controversies. In the U.S., topics revolving around ethnicity – or “race” – are surefire ones.
Twitter, desperate for more users, is pleased. The Twitter trolls are pleased, as they're getting the attention they crave. Media bosses are pleased. Their readers/viewers are pleased. Most importantly, their advertisers are pleased. And the status quo is pleased, as absolutely nothing gets either resolved or improved.
Giving readers/viewers what they want
True, the Canadian election was trending on Twitter (worldwide) earlier this evening. And so was Captain America: The Winter Soldier's (black) actor Anthony Mackie, after he, while promoting his movie Our Brand Is Crisis on the BET channel, seemingly endorsed the foaming-at-the-mouth racist (anti-Mexican), Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Mackie later took to Twitter to say that his Trump remarks had been “a bad attempt at a joke.”)
Other Twitter trends this evening:
- #DemiNoBrasil (“Demi in Brazil,” about an upcoming Demi Lovato show in that country).
- #MeGustaMuchoQue (“I Love It That”).
- #BuyPerfectOnITunesUSA (about the latest One Direction single).
- #Eagles (about the Philadelphia football team).
- The television show Gilmore Girls.
Just don't expect to find any trending hashtags regarding China selling U.S. government debt at an alarming rate. The United Nations' reported decision not to proceed with a plan that would push for member countries to decriminalize the use and possession of drugs. Or the Syrian refugee crisis, which, a couple of months after the death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, might as well not exist.
Complex issues don't sell. Simplistic, simple-minded ones do. But don't blame the online publications (and, surely, TV newscasts as well) for turning nonsensical imbecility into news events. After all, they're vomiting on their readers/viewers exactly what these people want to soak up.
'Stars Wars: The Force Awakens'
Directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek), Stars Wars: The Force Awakens features the following:
Oscar Isaac. Domhnall Gleeson. Adam Driver. Andy Serkis. Peter Mayhew. Lupita Nyong'o. Daisy Ridley. John Boyega. Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Anthony Daniels. Kenny Baker. Warwick Davis. Jessica Henwick. Mark Stanley. Billie Lourd. Gwendoline Christie. Greg Grunberg. Simon Pegg. Mark Hamill. Carrie Fisher. Harrison Ford. And Ingmar Bergman veteran Max von Sydow (Shame, Hour of the Wolf).
The screenplay is credited to J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill), and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3). Characters created by George Lucas (back in Star Wars 1977).
Stars Wars: The Force Awakens opens in mid-December in much of the world. In North America, the exact date is Dec. 18.
So, will the #BoycottStarWarsVII Twitter hashtag prevent The Force Awakens from becoming as tyrannosaurian a hit as Jurassic World? Ah, the Disney suits must be shaking in their Gucci boots.
Below is a short list of pre-Stars Wars: The Force Awakens controversies of varying degrees of validity and severity involving either films or film people:
Stars Wars: The Force Awakens trailer: Walt Disney Studios.
Dancing stormtroopers gif image via the Stars Wars: The Force Awakens GooglePlus page.