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Haleth's avatar

Have you ever read/watched something, and totally disagreed with the message?

Asked by Haleth (19546points) August 13th, 2014

I’m specifically talking about fiction.

In a super roundabout way, it started with the Objectivist Harry Potter series. If you’re not familiar, objectivism is a political philosophy that advocates pure capitalism in its most extreme form. In books like Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead, Ayn Rand drops long, pontiferous speeches about it into the text, plus creepy sex scenes and disdain for one’s fellow man. This series is what would happen if she wrote Harry Potter. It’s so great.

So I was delighted when they did one for The Devil Wears Prada. But weirdly, I found myself nodding along with objectivist Andy. And then it was like, oh right, I fucking hated The Devil Wears Prada.

Pretty much the whole book/movie is Andy’s friends and her sad, drippy boyfriend whining about how she is working too much and not spending enough time with them. The whole story is a conflict between career and personal life… but her friends and boyfriend are never supportive or understanding. In the end, the protagonist tells her boss to fuck off, storms out, and flies back to New England to live with her parents and hang out with her best friend. At the end of the novel, she’s a barely-employed freelance writer.

The author portrays this as the right thing to do. A lot of lite fiction in our pop culture has that conflict, where a protagonist has to give up a fast-paced career to embrace the “real” things in life (family, cute puppies, old-timey homespun values, finding yourself.) (As if you can’t have both.) It’s almost an aesop fable of our culture.

Weirdly enough, reading a silly parody was what it took for the lightbulb to go off. Any time I saw a romcom or whatever where the ~fast paced career woman~ needed to ~find herself to find love~ it made me feel vaguely queasy. I think that plotline is 1)trite and 2) it’s a harmful message, because the woman so often gives up her career.

When is the last time you felt that way about something you read/ watched?

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9 Answers

Mariah's avatar

It’s my own fault for subjecting myself to this nonsense, but the fuckin’ Twilight series.

The moral of that story is that having a boyfriend is the only thing you need in life, and it’s totally reasonable to throw yourself off a cliff if he leaves you, oh and also abortion is evil.

It makes me so sad that teen girls all over America read that shit.

talljasperman's avatar

Requiring Canadian members of parliament to giving an oath to the British queen.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Name anything by Oliver Stone.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I don’t always disagree with what I see/read, but I have to say I disagree the most with the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Come on, this isn’t an ideal world. There are people out there whom you can’t change just by forgiving all their mistakes like nothing has happened. Sometimes they can’t even realize the mistakes if you do that. They need to learn the lessons the hard way too.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Anything Rush Limbaugh has ever said or written, anything he is saying or writing at this very moment, and anything he will ever say or write in the future. Anything that emerges from that fatuous fucking pig’s mind, including his latest revelation that Robin Williams killed himself because of his liberal world view _ and some ancient _survivor’s guilt complex because he outlived his pansy, liberal, drug-abusing colleagues: Belushi, et al. Once again, it goes to show that twelve million dollars a year, every year, for many years, can’t buy class.

Also, anything that Ayn Rand ever wrote.

Thammuz's avatar

For me, it was Atlas Shrugged.

It might be just my experience, what with Italian values being more family-oriented and a lot more “old school” but to me the whole “waah, you’re never at home, pay attention to me” thing sounded completely unrealistic, as did the idea that the main character’s his best friend, who he repeatedly helped out with “loans” that were basically presents, would plan to kill him.

I’m from a country where if your best friend pimps out women from eastern Europe you’re expected to help instead of going to the police in some areas, you can imagine this didn’t fly much for me.

Then you realize that the whole thing is in service to the moral of the story that the best are held down by everyone else, and it all falls to pieces, because if you have to make shit up that badly to make a point, you know you’ve got no point.

cookieman's avatar

Bridges of Madison County
Or any story where a married character having an affair is basically celebrated. If you’re that unhappy, divorce the guy first, then go fuck whoever you want. And please, don’t try and sell me on the idea that the affair is your “one true love”. That’s bullshit and you’re just justifying bad behavior.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The narrator and main character is so concerned with figuring out what “quality” is, but he is dismissive and pissy toward his young son through much of the story. How about working on being a “quality” father first you pompous, self-involved windbag?! Oh, and by the way, stop romanticizing your obvious mental illness. It’s embarrassing.

cheebdragon's avatar

Almost every Disney movie and Dr Seuss book.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Plenty but I can always find something of value in just about anything. Atlas Shrugged was not really one of them but I got a completely different message out of it. (I ignored the glorification of laissez-faire capitalism and other bullshit) I read stuff from all over the political landscape and take out what I like. The meaningful message I got out of it was that collusion between gov’t and corporate is very bad. There are a few things about objectivism that I like such as the idea of an objective reality, a complete rejection of religion and respect for individual rights. That’s about it though. I would hesitate to call it an actual political philosophy. Rand in life was kind of a C – - t. For whatever reason it’s hip to hate Atlas though. I’ll read Chomsky, Zinn and other more liberal authors and I do the same thing..take out what appeals to me and leave the rest. I basically disagree with all of the talking heads these days, especially the more conservative ones but there are more of them and they are louder. That said, they are doing it on purpose. They are not speaking for normal conservative folks who are mostly closer to the center like me. The writings and rants I despise the most…Michael Moore. What a douche bag.

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