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by Ron Right
Saturday, Jul. 09, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Bad Teacher is ?gratifying? as eye-candy and verbal shock. It is an enjoyable movie precisely because it is not lame?at least not as lame as many of its movie reviews. And in the final analysis there is little subtly to this dark comedy?how might we say?as Andrew Breitbart?s description of a certain Anthony Wiener cellphone photo he so nobly withheld as: ??beyond the beyond?? And there is nothing wrong with comparing the ?psychology? of this new release to a maybe-to-be-released movie about Anthony Weiner?s downfall and destruction within America?s misandrynous climate. But brain cells are not what Bad Teacher is about?even if some missed this point entirely. Has the American movie industry produced a movie that has enhanced anyone?s brain cells?
Bad Teacher: An Alternative Movie Review
By Ron Right
Bad Teacher’s “in-your-face” newspaper advertisement of a sex-pot of a teacher with yellow sticky posty-note on her teacher’s red apple yelling: “Eat Me!” pretty much says it all. It’s a blonde babe’s twitter tweet of a photo op that only an American “business” enterprise can get away with in these randy days of Weiner-gate; and so this is one “lesson” we come to behold.
Bad Teacher is “gratifying” as eye-candy and verbal shock. It is an enjoyable movie precisely because it is not lame—at least not as lame as many of its movie reviews. It has some sarcastic bite. So despite any begrudging pudgy/ frowsy critic’s lack of appreciation for more worthy moments (of course not due to any jealousy of Diaz’ “ass”ets) the movie does function as a provocative fantasy—especially if your heart is still somewhere on the adolescent side of life (for shame!). At least some men and some boys will find some “entertainment” value in hormones tickled a bit—even if this is what makes some so mad—the idea that men find a “natural” value in prurient titillation from “physical” manifestation such as that of a camera eye-googling a woman’s body—irrespective of whether there is any awareness or appreciation of her personality and psychological conditions. (How deplorable boys don’t grow up to become saints and ascetic angels?)
Yet more to the point, and not just an aside, this show is merely “another” example of how education movies in general bespeaks of an American “culture” that never knows how to teach such a truly screwed up civilization as that of the United States of America. There hasn’t been any movie about school that has actually taught anyone on how to think or learn.
And in the final analysis there is little subtly to this dark comedy—how might we say—as Andrew Breitbart’s description of a certain Anthony Wiener cellphone photo he so nobly withheld as: “…beyond the beyond…” It’s a replication of Howard Stern’s formula for pubescent eroticism—only the real shock value is in the blatant lines Cameron Diaz fusillades (there ought be a prize for the bitch of the year award).
We note here Bad Teacher could never have been so American-apple-appetizing had the main character been a male teacher playing a seductive and inappropriate part while functioning as junior-high schoolteacher. An American audience would likely have questioned that idea feeling rather uncomfortable, but hey no double standard here to the American psyche.
And there is nothing wrong with comparing the “psychology” of this new release to a maybe-to-be-released movie about Anthony Weiner’s downfall and destruction within America’s misandrynous (male-phobic and male-hating) climate. The contrast of these two “exhibitionist” episodes are striking—but then again it was not obvious as grist-for-the-mill to America’s mainstream media or movie culture. Nevertheless the Weiner story did become the number one looksy for voyeuristic viewers prior to his forced and humiliating retirement. (But then the “poke” joke in Bad Teacher is more pants poignant than photos of Weiner’s skivvies. Here we have unambiguous evidence of a 7th grade teenage boy’s erection while watching Cameron Diaz (as Miss temptress Elizabeth Halsey) do her evil best to imitate Paris Hilton washing a car as like a strip tease actress as tad lascivious.)
And you know Cameron Diaz can arouse interest—even if her acting would have been slack—which it was not. She played the part and satisfied the film editors and investors. Furthermore this movie is full of good acting from the main characters—despite nitpicking shots slung around by some critics—such as assuming the actors were supposed to be partly themselves—like how coy or nebbish was Justin Timberlake in his goody two shoes role. (Stock stereotypes sometimes work even if not meant to be an English classic about an English class.)
Diaz does a marvelous job playing a jerk. (And even if we are less prone to use the word “jerk” to describe women—even if beautiful and cruel—or self-hating—yet the vernacular jerk seems most apropos. Still, given Miss Halsey’s rather “consistent” career of acting like a jerk throughout pretty much the whole movie—in the end she still gets her man and she still has a job! And she still walks into her new counselor job wearing provocative clothing. I guess this is art imitating life—because blonde women often enough do get “extra” breaks—so this too seems another “lesson” to behold, or so it seems, as we are quickly, if not inexplicably, left with a simplistic, happy ending—so Hollywood and male-permissive.
Yet it is refreshing to watch the beautiful blue-eyed goddess act cruel and cold—because that is a male experience one can relate—as opposed to the ever-so-nice and tolerant “cutesy” girl Cameron has often played. (Surely she has had to deal with uninvited advances at times during her career—or like how a certain blonde porn star might be solicited by a horny U.S. Congressman—you just kind of know Diaz could not have been kind to all her admirers at all times?) There must be a dark side there somewhere and here we can begin to see such possibilities.
But what character Diaz plays here as Elizabeth, had the gym teacher (Jason Segel as Russell) known, if he had doubled to teach health and mental health was some recognition of a serious personality disorder—even this is what makes the movie edgy in Miss Elizzy’s hostility to all people. Her social IQ is seriously retarded and her moral IQ is equally damaged. (But damn she is such a fricken hotty and a fast talking sociopath.) No wonder movie critics were slow to “fail” this work—given that America’s mainstream media’s culture equally has difficulty distinguishing moral issues and stories worthy of reporting and “not” censoring.
Nevertheless we all have our biases. It is not difficult to imagine one might have a special place, in at least the lust part of one’s heart muscle, if not the fleetingly less developed love side, for Cameron Diaz—knowing she is has a Sharon Stone flash point.
(After all what is wrong with being an unabashed lecher and having certain erotic desires—even in this mind-muck of a society expects a man’s career to ignobly and shamefully disintegrate if he so much as gets “dirty” with his cell phone?)
Whereas Diaz is the kind of women a man might wish he could take home to meet the parents as some serious catch—like a Cadillac deluxe—and not simply as sex object. After all like any good looking Anglo-Saxon woman would more readily get a high-tip waitress or bar job because she can speak and write English, and act civilized and courtly courteous for the public—with or without extra diamonds—she therefore has the right creds. (And she might even have a brain cell or two!)
But brain cells are not what Bad Teacher is about—even if some missed this point entirely. Has the American movie industry produced a movie that has enhanced anyone’s brain cells? One is hard pressed to remember. Certainly not Michelle Pheiffer in “Dangerous Minds.” Nevertheless misfit Lizzy Halsey, despite showing such movies in her classroom instead of teaching, doesn’t have a clue what school is suppose to be about. It is just a job to make money.
Ironically David Brooks of the New York Times recently wrote a piece on Diane Ravitch (the nation’s most vocal educational historian) who argued that “… teaching is a humane art built upon loving relationships between teachers and students…” (while Brooks summarizes her arguments against America’s “testing” mentality). Nevertheless testing scores is an important part to Bad Teacher and competition between teachers for the best scores.
What we get is a crass gold digger who teaches to make money so she can afford a boob job as “her” motivation for doing this kind of work. Nevertheless she finds more motivation within herself to perform the job better when “extra” financial incentives can be gained—like earning an extra big paycheck prize if her class does best passing the state exam! (Now there’s an argument for money-grubbers out there—cause don’t yah just know it takes financial incentives for good people to come into the profession! You simply adopt the psychology of corporate marketing vice presidents looking for sales people who are “money motivated”. And as long as you have lust for money you will find the right talent. (At least this is the intellectually bankrupt American answer—passed around by politicians and people wanting to decimate any comfortable living standards of those teachers being paid “too” much on the public dole. (Don’t they realize tax revenues ought keep going to banksters and investors of the military industrial complex?) Never-the-less this subject of a school’s educational policy and political idiotology didn’t come up in any reviews I read?) And granted, this porn-light movie seemingly never meant to include any deep philosophical points. Still its creators did touch on one of the big debates of American education.
Critics didn’t notice because they incestuously compare movies to other movies rather than movies to real life; and they were too busy “plagiarizing” references to Bad Santa—as if many just happened to think the same thoughts—and clearly there was some similarity but…).
We can comprehend how this work was meant to be classified by examining what “other” movie trailers are advertised prior to the showing of this movie. You get a pretty good idea of how this movie is positioned within a market. Likely you too will see movie trailers for other upcoming shows that feature explicit sleaze jokes, cheap violence, cars crashing, or Bucky “buckteeth” Larson with his small penis shtick who ridiculously wants to imitate his parents and become a porn star (imagine the enlightenment and genius motivation for these originations).
Then also ask yourself what analyses we have come upon regarding Nazi Germany’s entertainment culture as you watch high-bitch cigar-girl Miss Halsey in her black outfit and red-hot lipstick. It’s OK—this is the great and late United States. (No matter what Cameron Diaz does she still is tolerable as a blonde beast for such “brunettes” as Fredrick Nietzsche. You remember Nietzsche—the man that Hitler quoted and admired because he discussed how the splendid blonde beast could cruelly destroy other weaker creatures as unworthy to live?
But what does love have to do with it? In reality a blonde beauty like Cameron Diaz can make more than enough money for a boob job in various sex industries and glamour model jobs rather than teaching school? So the “only” provocative question really posed: “…How did ‘you’ become such a looser that you ended up teaching school?” (Yet it is funny how so many instances in life seem like “teachable” moments no matter what one does for a living?)
You see normally it is adolescents who have looming issues in regards fitting in society and self-imagine—such as the size of one’s breasts. (Still it is alarming how many adult women get breast implants.) Worst yet big breasts look monstrous and unbecoming—not to mention there is the issue of chronic back pain due to tense back muscles. A truly sophisticated woman would not want such a fetish. Yet it is sad how much emphasis there is on the physical side of self as opposed to psychological self and one’s self-esteem. But are these not precisely the role of learning English and how to read—so that one can develop one’s mind to give more weight to psychological beauty?
Or we might ask what kinds of mind-sets would want to make a movie disparaging a young man with buckteeth and a small penis? Is this to be some English classic like the Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” or Apuleius’ “The Golden Ass?” That is there some redeeming value that one would want to be associated with ridicule of anxiety or is it more the equivalent to high school bullies intimidating and teasing those who don’t “measure” up to their adopted standards?
Yet maybe Bad Teacher could have been not so much a question of bimbo power as a movie about teaching English—reading and writing and therefore verbal and psychological intelligence?
And perhaps good English skills is “not” about reading esoteric novels and other high-faluencies but rather learning how to read serious subjects like politics and economics? Why was Miss Halsey not assigning books like Arianna Huffington’s very witty “Pigs At The Trough,” or even the more sober work from Kevin Phillips’s “Bad Money”? Or why not teach America’s adults on how to read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism or Naomi Wolf’s “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot”?
Probably because if more Americans “could” actually read such works, especially more members of the Tea Parties, and they “did” bother to read such works, we would actually have to worry about real revolutions, and maybe even the reconstitution of the guillotine in places like NYC and Washington D.C.? So maybe it is best that we just have bread and circus kind of stuff rather than addressing the national embarrassment of reading and hence thinking?
No wonder Lizzy smokes dope? And no wonder she drinks booze as if just another lackey Hollywood floozy. And no wonder Miss Halsey is just another porn star that explicitly says more uninhibited things than a man whose brain tissue is being served to him on a platter by Hannibal the Cannibal. Not much civility here.
Still it seems a treat of our shock jock culture—as unambiguous potty-mouth with a foul mind—violating our sense of decency that stimulates (something had to earn the C+ grade rating). And even if we don’t get to see Cameron nakedly spread-eagle like the plethora of X rated porn films readily available—scenes still touched upon neuro-peptides that would register on a CAT scan.
But in the “same” tone of the movie let us be blatantly as in uninhibited social exchange. There is nothing wrong or inappropriate for a person of one gender to get turned on by the eroticism or the “genitalia” of another person, or even of oneself—unless, of course, you happen to have male genitalia—in which case you might encounter such encomiums as “icky” and “distasteful” or read such reiterated in the opinion pages. (After all how could a well-educated Congressman gone so “low” (read “lewd”) as to have had lustful fantasies residing in his heart and pants to the point that he felt a need to share such a reality with others? (Forget the cheating on one’s wife angle for a moment.) You just automatically know such an urge had to have come from the lowest of the low places within the reptilian brain—especially in urbane places like Washington D.C.
Because historically there is no psychological room to imagine one as a sex object with a sex object form of genitalia if male—such as one’s “package” that is automatically classified as obscene—that is “not” to be scene—that is indecent and lewd. That is beyond the beyond and being at best crude. Because according to America’s logic, the erect penis can not possibly be considered properly a part of one’s humanity—at least not by this self-righteous society. (Even if plenty think it macho that a “big” dick is the trick.)
And so there is another lesson to this review—and that is that “all” forms of dress, all forms of cosmetic, all forms of presentation are in some way styles of exhibitionism—even if not so labeled and fetishized to the “gross” idea of a male with nude erection in public display. The male penis and such an urge became “officially” categorized as clearly something bizarre and abnormal by the “experts” –those social dogmatists who were so self-assured their theories were reality itself.
Because what could possibly be more “unnatural” than a man gaining an erection, or being excited in some manner, or relating such a reality to some other person within the world? Something has to account for the stereotyped “flasher” (or twitter “tweeter.?)
According to our history of “officiated” sexual explanation the male exhibitionist displays some manifestation of unmitigated deviance and danger. Thus all explanations were related to some form of perversion—such as historically explained as a need to shock. So obviously it was some “sick” notion—that is the so-called male exhibitionist.
There couldn’t possibly have been some simple or seemingly more obvious explanation such as trying to excite interest in a sexual encounter? No it had to be some convoluted and psycho-analytical theory from PhDs of one kind or another—even if they were basically airheads bowing to a repressive culture. It had to jive with a Judeo-Christian heritage that outlawed erotic notions in general just like when fossils were discovered they still had to fit within the creation story.
But then Nancy Friday came along and started writing about women’s sexual fantasies. And low and behold women too held, at least occasionally, expressed such fantasies about exposing themselves like exhibitionism. Still apparently no one realized “most” pornography was a form of exhibitionism, and that despite the fact that many attractive blonde women could have found jobs doing other things they still managed to find employment as strippers and porn stars, etc? The irony of it all is that practically every porn magazine includes explicit crotch shots with legs widely exposed—but hey nothing deviant here—why—because there was a commercial market—and therefore that made it legitimate. That made it less than sick—especially if it featured sexy women.
So apparently we still have this sexist double standard in this society that few are willing to challenge—like the joke some police officers occasionally told—that if the guy is scene “he” is an exhibitionist—but if a women is scene—then “he” is a voyeur—either way “he” is the culprit. (This is not to argue a complete psychological symmetry to both genders but rather to note how “less” culpable it seems to be if one is woman in this culture as opposed to a man—even as we continuously hear about a double standard working against women.)
Because rape it seems has something to do with psychological humiliation—just like when the mainstream media attempts to allege highly embarrassing accusations against a member of society—such that one would want to immediately deny something took place. This type of cultural rape, such as Anthony Weiner’s teary-eyed confession, is considered acceptable form of smelling for the dirty laundry if it will boost Fox News TV ratings. Whereas Miss Halsey’s one-line humdingers are pure entertainment—why because somebody is making money—which is always considered legal and legitimate in the United States.
Never any hypocrisy here? Take for example a stripper that wants you to “pay” her for a “lap dance” while you’re wearing your pants in the backroom—kind of like faking it in jeans with Justin Timberlake dry running dog style on Diaz’s asset. Yet the stripper might not see this work as any kind of prostitution—because it is “legal” as by the law. (And frankly prostitution should be legal and held in esteem.) Yet she could become offended if you suggest a lap dance at your house without clothing—even though you don’t say anything about money. (Suddenly you are presumed to be soliciting for an illegal form of prostitution.) And despite the fact that strippers, on average, are more open-minded and more sophisticated than other women are on average—still there are double standards clearly operating. You know those poor souls that are just trying to make money to pay the bills from male lust in need. Yeah, just girls trying to make ends meet. (After all doesn’t “he” realize it is just about the money? Apparently no woman has ever enjoyed working in a sex industry since the Happy Hooker back in the 50s? But then she had more than a few brain cells within her humanity.) But whatever, who cares what happens as long as he keeps his pants on. (Except of course if you happen to be a Congressman who somehow concocted lust for a porn star who just appreciated his political views—well then that is clearly beyond the pale—good riddance pervert they yelled and screamed—those holy self-righteous ones!
But what is the point to all this. Well if you were to send some high school boys a picture of an attractive women with a naked crotch shot would they mostly whine about how “offended” they were to see such “raw’ exposure? Probably not. But what if you were to make a movie about 7th grade boys (14 year olds) getting horny because of a provocative female teacher and she doesn’t get fired? Would you say that the movie is socially sensitive and gender fair “if” this “same” culture automatically assumed that if a 17 old girl somehow got “inappropriate” pictures from a male adult it would be thought “damaging” enough (probably for life victim-hood) that he should be expected to immediately loose his job in “shamed” in broadcast circumstances—especially when within that same beltway culture there are those that engage in “many” other forms of high crime financial corruption?
Somehow it is difficult to completely enjoy the double standard that this culture so wittingly engages. It like saying it is perfectly OK if a male goes to yoga class and some of the women “choose” to wear tight spandex clothing and when their derrieres are in the air “you” are “caught” gawking (their word choice) and somehow it is your male lowlife fault for displaying such inappropriate attention to the mere rear of the female species. Don’t you just know how psychologically beautiful are these women so how could you be so crude as to focus on their physicality!)? Or a woman wears the band-aid for a bikini at the beach and you walk up to her (because she is attractive and sexy) and ask her about the book she is reading and she acts soooo offended that you would accost her—as in you being so unworthy—almost like Miss Halsey the jerk.
How can men be such animals when our human brains and spirits are so deliciously enlightened? Heaven spare us all. For shame. For shame. (I’m really surprised that people manage to contain themselves given the nakedness of domesticated animals and their sniffing at leg level? Perhaps we could en acculturate people to have their animals wear clothing in public? But then we would still deal with the poop scoop thing? Oh my how the world turns.
Nevertheless maybe people can realize they don’t need other peoples’ approval or society—not even the blonde bomb’s interest. Because often enough the person who seems to be doing the rejecting is really being self-rejected. She may not have the resources upstairs to deal with life’s complexity and diversity. So instead she isolates herself even as she acts like a snob. Still it is not necessarily an easy lesson to learn in a culture steeped in low self-esteem.
There are two forms of misanthrope. One is the self-hating person who projects outwardly. Secondly there is the person who comes to know human nature, the evil of history, and how man rationalizes his tendencies and therefore learns to have little respect for human nature—even if this same human nature is so deluded as to presume some God would take responsibility for his very creation. Fortunately this second style of a misanthrope is less prone to deliberately act like a jerk—save when such behavior may
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