Been gone from this blog for a while, but I’m back now. And there will be more. Let’s start here:
Just re-watched MEN IN BLACK (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_in_Black_%28film%29) and noticed how politically conservative it is. That is, it’s against big government — in fact, against government of just about any kind.
Agent Zed, to the military men who have just flunked their screening to become Men in Black: “You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of government training.”
Agent Jay: “What branch of the government do we report to?”
Agent Kay: “None, they ask too many questions.” (Immediately after this criticism of nosy government bureaucrats, Kay reveals that Men in Black get their funding from patents — a government-protected arena but one that’s all about capitalism and the private sector.)
Whenever people from a government agency appear, something is wrong with them, from the hapless and easily outclassed immigration agents at the beginning of the movie to the bored city morgue clerk who tells someone (an alien bad guy, but whatever) looking for a deceased loved one to fill out a bunch of forms.
The only truly competent government workers in the move are Jay (formerly of the N.Y.P.D.) and Dr. Weaver (the morgue’s medical examiner) — and both of them quit to join the Men in Black.
The movie’s also big on using unregistered, unlicensed guns. There are no background checks when the people carrying the guns have no backgrounds.
I don’t think that the filmmakers deliberately set out to put conservative messages in the movie. Conservatives have attacked Barry Sonnenfeld, the director, for the liberal messages that they see in his pictures (http://libbyquotes.blogspot.com/…/barry-sonnenfeld-hollywoo…; http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/…/9311180019_1_charles-…). And Insidegov.com says that he leans Democratic (http://individual-contributors.insidegov.com/…/Barry-Sonnen…).
The same is true of screenwriter Ed Solomon (http://individual-contributors.insidegov.com/d/c/Ed-Solomon). Producer Walter Parkes has often given to Democratic politicians (http://littlesis.org/enti…/96152-walter-parkes/relationships). And executive producer Steven Spielberg is a longtime supporter of liberal politicians and causes.
Yet the conservative messages are in the movie.
Their presence cuts both ways. On the one hand, conservatives can say, “See? Even Hollywood liberals acknowledge how idiotic government bureaucracy is.” On the other, liberals can say, “Conservatives claim that liberal filmmakers always put liberal messages in their movies; well, the conservative messages in MEN IN BLACK show that their claim is wrong.”
And all that in a picture about giant bugs from outer space.