I just discovered the easiest money I have ever made or ever will make. I'm not going to B.S. you or exaggerate here: It boils down to a couple hundred dollars per hour, depending on your outlet, and there is virtually no research involved. You can absolutely do this too. Let me explain ...
The Washington Post recently made headlines when it came out that Dr. Stacey Patton, who co-wrote a strongly worded article denouncing Amy Schumer as a racist, had never actually watched Schumer's television show, Inside Amy Schumer. Nor had she seen any of her stand-up beyond short, specific clips of Schumer delivering what Patton decided were racist jokes.
On a similar note, Joni Edelman, a writer at Ravishly.com, recently wrote an equally strongly worded condemnation of the Pixar movie Inside Out for the crimes of body-shaming, sexism, and, according to the headline, "Well, Everything." Again, the writer conceded that she hadn't actually seen Inside Out and based her strongly held opinion solely on images from the film she'd seen in the media.
And then it hit me. This is the single most brilliant money-making idea ever conceived. I, too, write about entertainment, but it's often hard to find the time to invest in watching the actual content that I'm reviewing. That time is precious. If I could eliminate that aspect of entertainment reviews and just write them based on extremely brief trailer glimpses -- or maybe just their titles -- all of my efforts could be focused on the review itself. So that's what I'm going to do here. After all, once you've heard the title of a movie, you pretty much know what it's about. For instance ...
The most jarring scene in Ant-Man, by far, takes place within the first two minutes of the movie, when Paul Rudd's character watches a video and, breaking the fourth wall, says directly to the camera, "Well, I was skeptical about the Holocaust being an elaborate hoax designed to get people to feel sorry for Jews, but that video offers damning, conclusive proof that the so-called 'genocide' of the Hebrew race is the greatest fiction ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. It is now my sacred mission to debunk this grotesque and hurtful fiction and tell the world that Hitler wasn't such a bad guy after all. A little misunderstood, sure, but otherwise an OK bloke."
"That's why I wear the red and black of his flag. Strong colors. Pure Colors."
Rudd's Holocaust denier then travels around the world shrinking himself so that he can sneak into various secret libraries and collect even more proof to support his theory. You'd think that the scene where Ant-Man directly tells the audience that the Holocaust never happened would be hard to beat for sheer offensiveness, but Ant-Man tops it shortly afterward with a jaw-dropping sequence where Ant-Man presents his damning evidence before the Israeli congress and the Israeli people, who sheepishly concede that they were, in fact, faking the Holocaust to get people to feel sorry for them.
Just when you think the film could not be any more abhorrent, the people of Israel then agree to leave en masse so that the country can become a new homeland for displaced neo-Nazis, who, along with Ant-Man, are depicted as the real heroes of the movie.
But not before Ant-Man has to defeat the evil Yellowjacket, whose suit is powered entirely by Jewish gold.
The strong Holocaust denial at the center of Ant-Man is even more repellent and unimaginable considering star Paul Rudd is Jewish and supporting player Michael Douglas is half Jewish. I cannot imagine what could have induced these proud members of the religion to lend their talents to a project largely devoted to Holocaust denial. Ant-Man may be a tiny little dude when he's doing his thing, but in this cinematic vehicle his message is all-encompassing.
I for one feel that the makers of Ant-Man, whomever they are, should take responsibility for their ridiculous implications and outright fabrications on this subject and apologize to the world. Ant-Man is a bane to our societal evolution, and we as an audience will not be satisfied until their careers are ended. I strongly urge all of you to take to Twitter and voice your outrage.
These are wonderful times for LGBT rights. Gay marriage has been legalized throughout the country. Between the popularity of shows like Orange Is The New Black and Transparent, and the publicity surrounding Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover, transgender people have never been more public or talked about in our society.
And that's why I was so disappointed and offended at the subject's treatment by Avengers: Age Of Ultron. We all know that Bruce Banner's transformation into the big green rage-monster known as The Incredible Hulk is triggered by anger. But in what I can only construe as a horrifically misconceived attempt at timeliness and political commentary, The Hulk's rage is fueled exclusively by his anger at the legalization of gay marriage and the increased visibility of transgender people in American life. This isn't just speculation or me misinterpreting a metaphor. He actually screams as he transforms, "I am so angry at the legalization of gay marriage and the increased visibility of the transgender in American Life! RAAAAAHHHG!"
"HULK UNCOMFORTABLE WITH EQUAL CHOICE BATHROOM ACCESS!"
A lot of the audience for Avengers: Age Of Ultron are children, and it disgusts me that their fragile, impressionable minds will have to suffer through the poisonous conditioning of scenes where Avengers leader Tommy Stamps, aka Metal Man, tells The Hulk, "The fact that homos can now get legally married anywhere in the United States cheapens the marriage you share with Mrs. Lady Hulk and marriage in general. It is a slippery slope until gay marriage leads to people marrying their dogs or group marriage involving human beings, appliances, and tractor-trailers."
It turns my stomach knowing that kids who look up to The Incredible Hulk as a paragon of wisdom and maturity will spend part of the film's eight-hour running time watching a setpiece where a rage-filled Incredible Hulk rampages through San Francisco's Castro district during Sunday brunch pummeling homosexuals while yelling things like, "Hulk made uncomfortable by two men in a committed, legally recognized marriage. Hulk smash! Hulk no allow sacred, Christly ordained institution to be destroyed by people who hate our values! Hulk think U.S. Christian nation, time it start acting like one!"
"IT'S PEGGY AND STEVE, NOT BUCKY AND STEVE!"
Even on a basic storytelling level, it seems wrong and hypocritical for a giant green radioactive monster to be so judgmental and hostile toward people whose only "crime" is wanting the love they share with a partner to be legally recognized by society. So, while the creeps behind the strong homophobia of Avengers: Age Of Ultron might still try to portray him as a superhero, in my imagination, at least, he is super wrong in his hateful prejudice against homosexuals and transgender people.
When it was announced that a new Ghostbusters film was to be made with women in the lead roles, a lot of men were apoplectic. How dare women intrude on the holy male territory of the classic 1980s movie starring Ernie Hudson and the three other guys? A whole lot of dudes were threatened by the idea of female Ghostbusters, but they should be angry for a completely different reason. According to a very vivid dream I had after eating a chocolate-covered magic mushroom in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show, the upcoming Ghostbusters movie nakedly agitates for violent religious Jihad against the godless philistine empire of the United States.
The two horizontal lines represent the two towers they helped bring down.
Now, normally if you were to tell me that a big-budget, high-profile blockbuster with huge mainstream appeal was being made with female Muslims as the lead characters, I would hail it as an extraordinary sign of cultural progress. Women who have been more or less invisible in American pop culture will finally be getting some much-needed exposure! But I fear that the kind of rage-filled, murderous religious extremists showcased in the new Ghostbusters movie will only fan the flames of religious hatred.
It doesn't help that the new Ghostbusters replaces the lovable old Ghostbusters logo with one featuring a smiling, grinning caricature of Osama Bin Laden winking and shooting a big thumbs-up. Apparently, the makers of the movie have forgotten that Bin Laden was behind one of the worst acts of terrorism against the United States in American history. It boggles the mind why they thought it would be OK to make a movie where Bin Laden's ghost serves as the kindly mentor of the female Ghostbusters, who bicker good-naturedly about which one of them will get to be his girlfriend when they become a ghost after embracing a righteous death via suicide-bombing.
They use the Ecto-1's P.A. system to declare fatwas as they drive.
And, honestly, the gender politics of the female, militant Ghostbusters movie are beyond incoherent. It's great to see women in strong, lead roles in a big science-fiction action movie, but any feminist connotations are erased by the numerous scenes in which they encounter the high-spirited ghosts of flappers and groovy hippie chicks and angrily insist that these women deserved to die horrible deaths for their immodest dress and immoral lifestyles, and that any indignity they might suffer in the afterworld is too good for them.
It seems strange that the people behind the movie appear intent on disarming sexists hostile to the very notion of a female Ghostbusters vehicle by making their lady spook-stoppers more violently sexist toward strong, empowered women than even the most misogynistic men's rights activists, but I wouldn't put anything past the gleefully offensive provocateurs, masquerading as legitimate filmmakers.
Big Machine Records
We all love Taylor Swift. She's America's sweetheart, which is why we were all pleased when Kanye West was sentenced to death by lethal injection for briefly making her uncomfortable at an awards show. With her doe-like charm, kittenish good looks, and wholesome aura, it sure seems like Swift can get away with just about anything. But should she?
I am enraged that she is now using her extraordinary fame and popularity to bring back a loathsome and rightly discredited institution: the minstrel show, that sorry relic of our Jim Crow past where white performers slathered on burnt cork and bright red lipstick in a grotesque and deeply offensive attempt to caricature black entertainers.
Big Machine Records
You can see her testing lipstick shades in her earlier videos.
Swift began her career in Country and is particularly popular south of the Mason-Dixon line, but despite the fact that when she comes out onstage in blackface she insists that minstrel shows are all about "pride, not prejudice" and "honoring some of the peculiar entertainments of the post-antebellum South," I think it's pretty clear that racism is the catalyst behind Swift's shocking new stage persona.
When Swift tells the audience, "Yankees and carpetbaggers go home; this is old-fashioned, good-time entertainment solely for true ladies and gentlemen of the South, and entertainment with an important message to disseminate about the [four-minute racist tirade censored]," she is being at least partially tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn't make those comments any less tasteless. At long last, Taylor Swift, have you lost all shame?
Big Machine Records
She wears the same outfit on stage when doing "Bad Blood," except with a Klan hood attached to the front.
Sure, I imagine that, halfway through Swift's loathsome replication of one of the ugliest elements of our nation's often brutal and tragic racial past, an extremely expensive hologram of author Nick Tosches takes center stage to read passages from his book Where Dead Voices Gather to provide a greater cultural context for minstrel shows. But I imagine that a lot of Swift's teenybopper fans are going to see a hologram of a writer in his mid-60s discoursing windily about the complicated history of race and performance in 20th-century American society and use it as an excuse to take a bathroom break.
Maksim Koval/iStock/Getty Images
It didn't help that they all mistook him for Old Neo.
Alas, I don't think the context provided by the Tosches hologram will make anywhere near as strong an impact on fans as seeing their beloved icon with her gorgeous but now unrecognizable features covered in blackface and gaudy lipstick as she mugs her way through an hour-long "tribute to the great Al Jolson, my personal hero and yours" that climaxes with Swift on her knees, crooning "My Mammy" in a horrific, ghoulish parody of African American performers of a bygone era.
I would like to personally thank Dr. Stacey Patton and Joni Edelman for the greatest career advice of my life, even though it was only given to me in demonstration. Yesterday, I was worried about whether or not I'd be able to pay my rent this month, but after a few hours spent pumping out a dozen or so research-free reviews like this one, that's no longer a concern. Hell, by my calculations, if I keep writing at this rate I should be able to afford a new house by the end of the week.
For more from Nathan, check out 5 Insane Stunts From The Craziest Record Label Of All-Time. And also check out 6 Deleted Backstories That Totally Change Classic Movies.
Actual impending doom like global climate change or mass extinction just makes people bored.
In some cases, the Marvel source material just did better.