Politics & Policy

The Corner

On I, Tonya

I’m not sure I agree with Kyle’s take on I, Tonya, a film I thought was very good. The point of structuring the film as a comedy is to (in the parlance of undergraduate lit-crit classes) implicate the audience in what happened to Harding, which was the transformation of a vulnerable human being into a figure of fun for the purpose of national mass-media amusement. The filmmakers highlight that point by helpfully having Tonya explain it to the audience—2018 is not a time of subtlety.

As for the racial observation, of course there are comedies, celebrated ones, about hardscrabble black life, with unkind gags often organized around disgust for familiar stereotypes. That’s how “Bye, Felicia” became a national catchphrase for contemptuous dismissal.

It may very well be the case that self-righteous Hollywood types are politically more comfortable satirizing the defects of white underclass culture than they are taking a similarly unsparing eye to the defects of black underclass culture (though I am not entirely sure that is true). I don’t think that actually tells us very much about a film such as I, Tonya or why it is interesting.

On a related subject, I rewatched Idiocracy a few nights ago, and would like to here repeat my apology to Mike Judge for originally having judged that film to be too cynical, too uncharitable, and cruel. Turns out Mike Judge is a prophet. Peace be upon him.

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More