Star Wars: Nexus of Failure

A recent exchange in Gab:

Naturally, Rivers didn’t respond: why gainsay a solid argument that nobody read? After all, his entire modus operandi is to attract attention (and subsequent subscriptions) by paraphrasing what his readers already know with scant if any elaboration. Much of his initial contention is correct (though the notion that Star Wars was exclusively intended for or enjoyed by white males is pure poppycock), but its querulence and his response once again substantiate that the naysayers of Disney Wars have done nothing to significantly oppose it or the noxious trends it represents.

My calculated distance from most sects of the dissident right was measured equivalent to that from mainstream conservatives, and for the same reasons: most of them are either conformable, culturally nescient incompetents who achieve nothing of worth, or controlled opposition bought with our elites’ pocket change. Whether the general public discountenances them offensive or otherwise unacceptable is as pissant as any other consensus. In the Anglosphere, lumpen, psychotic and volatile leftist coalitions are sustained at exorbitant expense and exhaustive effort by those same elites simply to maintain a corrupt status quo. That fissiparous, squabblingly internecine rightists are scarcely more united than those dupes bodes ill for the future of their nations.

Nobody possessing an I.Q. exceeding room temperature expected features in this franchise helmed by Abrams (an uninspired, perpetually propagandistic fortunate son) or Johnson (a twee mediocrity) to be at all good. Any sensible theatergoer who suffered their first ten minutes of Jar Jar Binks twenty years ago realized then that Return of the Jedi was the last episode of this series that was worth watching. Lucas ruined Wars years before Abrams, Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy’s coven of cat ladies conjointly debased it and cost Disney untold fortunes. (That a movie concerning the early exploits of Han Solo would be misdirected by godforsaken Ron Howard, then rightly flop would’ve been unimaginable to those of us who adored Lucas’s world in our formative years!)

Conceit is the only reason why critics of any political persuasion pay money to view Disney’s latest vitiation of what was once the greatest phenomenon of popular culture. They arrive early to their local theater to sit through this dreck, then produce scathing textual or video critiques to feed their egos. I haven’t seen one of these pictures, and certainly wouldn’t condescend to pay for them. Rivers’ declamation was easily presaged by The Force Awakens, wherein Solo was dispatched and the unappealing leads were cast to represent a propagandistic dyad embodied by so many televised news anchors. If anything, rightists who pay money to view this trash should be ashamed of themselves — if not for viewing pictures in which most of the original heroes are senselessly slain or stultified, then for patronizing a rapacious and obdurate corporation that coerces its terminated employees to train their inept foreign replacements.

Lucas, Kasdan, Kershner, and their collaborators wanted boys and young men to dream of adventure, spiritual fulfillment and a righteous republicanism; Bob Iger and his minions only seek to crush those dreams and indoctrinate their most impressionable patrons with fecklessly recycled concepts, pedestrian craftsmanship, bloated productions, thematic insipidity and a hopeless poverty of invention. However, those who bemoan this for years with periodic jeremiads have for hits and hubris chosen to overlook what’s obvious. If you want Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, the droids, Lando, et al. — you can have them any time! Whoever hasn’t the trilogy’s original theatrical cuts on VHS or DVD can obtain video files, or DVD or Blu-ray images of Harmy’s Despecialized Edition. Scores of novels based on the films have been penned and published since 1976, and many of these — Alan Dean Foster’s adaptation of A New Hope and his original Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a trilogy of Han Solo Adventures, and Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire/Thrawn trilogy — are as enjoyable as any popularly marketed pop novels. That so many fans submit to Disney’s morbidly revolting perversion of this property rather than disregard such drivel to concentrate on its far more engaging, imaginative expanded universe (or any number of other properties) only confirms that the fretful defeatist, ever more prominent and clamant among boomers, Xers and millennials, would rather whine than act constructively.

Further, sweeping anti-Semitism in this instance can’t survive even cursory examination. Nobody can reasonably contest that Iger, Abrams, Shearmur and the rest share a common, destructive sociopolitical agenda, and that it’s partially meditated to quell an unhinged collective neurosis. Nevertheless, this notion that “Jews destroyed Star Wars” is as singularly risible as enduring, since most of the “creatives” in this endeavor are gentiles, and this series wouldn’t have attained its greatness without Jews. How do these people neglect how Irvin Kershner, selected by Lucas to direct The Empire Strikes Back on the strength of Eyes of Laura Mars, produced the rare exceeding sequel with a slick yet deliberate emulation of Lucas’s idiom? How do they disregard the histrionic contributions of Harrison Ford, Frank Oz and especially Carrie Fisher, all of whom are partially Ashkenazic? Finally, Zahn’s aforementioned novels demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of Lucas’s spiritual and political themes with a complexity that the filmmaker failed to similarly dilate in his prequels. As usual, we can only conclude that the institutional problem inheres not in “Jews,” but in “those Jews.”

Progressives cant fatuously of “white male fragility,” exhibited not in the strain but tone of widespread reprehension against Disney’s maliciously substandard products, and the overtly recreant, peevish or tearful comportment of public figures such as Jordan Peterson, Kevin Smith, Christopher Cantwell, Michael Moore, Matt Forney and many others. (Over 1K predominantly white disputants wept pettishly at Ian Miles Cheong for this objective criticism of Peterson’s ludicrously lachrymose behavior regarding mean tweets during an interview.) Be it bigotry, illiberality, thuggishness, calumny or intemperance, progressives regularly indulge in every vice or frailty that they impute to others. Nobody is as petulantly “fragile” as progressives, who can’t cope with even the insinuation of dissent from their dogmas, bleat over fantasies such as “hate speech” and contemporary “fascism” or “white supremacy,” and demand “safe spaces” hermetically free from counterargument and heterodoxy. If white, right-wing males are emotionally fragile (and they often are), then a fortiori are progressives doubly so.

In the course of the past 130+ years, hundreds of thousands of features and shorts have been produced. At least 50,000 of French, American, Japanese, British, Korean, Italian, German, Russian, Iranian, Austrian, etc. provenance are worth watching. Perhaps 8,000 of them are masterworks. For whoever’s read, heard and seen their fill of Star Wars, as many as 200 successfully marketed alternatives in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and space opera are readily available, and many more obscure, akin works are waiting to be rediscovered. With this overplus of options available via books, videocassettes, optical discs and streaming services, one can be certain that nobody needs Star Wars so much as Disney needs them to perpetuate their abuse of oligarchical power.

Those addicted to their geeky furor would be wisely counseled to stop whining, withdraw from what’s left of mainstream popular culture, and seek fictions that reflect, affirm and enlarge on their values, culture and society.

Herbalife and OnePoll Partner to Feed You Bullshit

Yet another survey as biased in execution as results emerges from a private, foreign firm specializing in gainful disinformation:

Survey: More Americans Eating Less Meat, Opting For Plant-Based Options Instead
by Ben Renner

“New research shows “flexitarian” diet growing in popularity as more adults prefer to eat meat only on occasion.”

Starving gruesomely to emaciation in your suburb or city of the first world, baizuo? Flexitarianism will save your life by permitting you to ration yourself essential nutriments, only reducing you to mere etiolation!

“NEW YORK — Cheeseburgers, steaks, and hot dogs are synonymous with American cuisine, or at least they were at one time.”

Renner cuts to the chase, immediately confirming his professionalism by opining baselessly.

“According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, if these dishes are a common part of your diet, you’re now in the minority. Less than half (47%) of the survey’s respondents said meat is a major part of their diet.”

Not an abject sap, I’m minded to question information deficiently detailed in this article. Where were a majority of these respondents located? Were American citizens in every state or most states canvassed proportionally? What’s the specific range of their ages? How many of them reside in metropolitan areas, and in which districts thereof?

This old ruse scarcely illudes anyone anymore: feed baizuo statistics about baizuo.

“The survey, commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition, found that many Americans (23%) are adopting a ‘flexitarian’ approach to eating. This means eating mostly vegetarian foods with the occasional inclusion of meat. Another 18% of respondents said they were fully vegetarian.”

Gallup also skews their polls, but here’s another they’ve produced just a few months ago asserting that “5% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be vegetarian.” Furthermore, it predicates:

“Though plant-based diets and meat alternatives have been featured in some recent high-profile forums, including the United Nations and Democratic presidential debates, and are becoming a staple even on fast food restaurant menus, the percentage of vegetarians has remained stable over the past two decades. A 1999 Gallup survey that asked the same question found that 6% of Americans identified themselves as vegetarian.”

That’s quite a discrepancy, so why should this poll be at all rated reliable?

“So, what’s fueling this shift in Americans’ eating habits?”

Widespread dysgenics spanning four generations that have engendered plummeting IQs and attendant credulity.

“Among survey participants, flexitarians were the most likely group to say their food choices stemmed from trying to be more environmentally friendly (40%) or ethical (31%).”

Slavishly trendy, baizuo still immediately believe everything their teevees and pundits feed them — forever Boomerist cattle to their trough. Ugh! Of course, the overharvest that veganism, vegetarianism and “flexitarianism” compels is hardly sustainable, and the unintentional mass slaughter of animals eventuating from such harvests exceeds that of any abbatoir, but so long as baizuo feel righteous — and especially supercilious in their unblemished, imaginary integrity — what else matters?

“Young people are also a factor; 36% of surveyed flexitarians said they adopted their new diet because their children encouraged them to do so.”

I won’t read anything more repugnant this month. If you’re actually changing your dietary habits at the advice of your glaringly inscient, imbecile offspring, you’ve failed as a parent and a human.

“Even among those still regularly eating meat, the survey shows that more Americans than ever are willing to experiment with more plant-based food sources. In all, 71% of respondents expressed this sentiment.”

How many of them were only humoring obtrusive pollsters? Given the evidence above, this percentage is as improbable to credibly relate such a majority’s inclination as any other.

“But, what about protein? For so many of us, meat is our primary source of protein, but the results of the survey make it clear there are plenty of other ways to build muscle.”

Sure, you can also victual eggs. Without consumption of meat, one omits from their diet thirty to fifty essential nutrients that can’t be otherwise obtained.

Also, who permits these doltish hacks to initiate a sentence with a punctuated conjunction? It’s the worst common solecism known to me. Just read it aloud.

Among survey participants not regularly eating meat, 65% get most of their protein from shakes and protein bars,

To live this way is to entertain supreme malnutrition. Whenever you publicly observe some gaunt, slumped, balding, barbate, misshapen goon grimacing at his iPhone or purchasing his weekly surplusage of 400+ fruits and vegetables, you can wager reliably that his protein’s derived from some saccharine swill.

“and 56% just eat other foods known to carry lots of protein like rice,

Now this article veers into pure falsehood. I love rice, but it never contains “lots of protein.”

“beans,

Why not just consume a daily allotment of plaster, if you’ve such contempt for your digestive tract?

“and soy.”

Of course! Diurnal consumption of every baizuo’s favorite protein can nearly castrate preteen boys and ensure in men enervation for dangerously low testosterone. Thanks, but some of us still expect a functioning libido, penile tumescence and procreation.

“‘Protein is an important component of every cell in the body, helping to support healthy bones, muscles and organs,’ says Susan Bowerman, senior director of Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition, in a statement. ‘So whether you obtain your protein from shakes, bars, animals or plants, your focus should be on the quality of the source, to help ensure your body is receiving maximum benefit'”

She can’t help but overstate by anteriority the nutritional prominence of shakes and bars. After all, Herbalife doesn’t raise cattle, and needs to shift those units!

Get it?

“Generationally speaking, millennials are the most likely age group to try out more plant-based foods,

That’s to be expected from the most ignorant generation of dupes the developed world has ever beheld.

“but across all ages more people than ever before are open to the idea.”

Oh, no overestimated percentage noting that millennials represent only 200% of all vegetarians?

“Interestingly, the survey also noted that Americans living in the West (20%) and Northeast (19%) are the most likely to frequently eat “meatless” meat.

These numbers are even more ludicrously distorted than those precedent, especially when collated. “18% of respondents [in the U.S.] said they were fully vegetarian,” but 19% of northeasterners are most disposed to eat faux flesh? If vegetarians represent 18% of the population, wouldn’t that percentage skew higher in leftist regions, where greater numbers of vegetarians are indisputably concentrated? As corporate propaganda comes, this is as sloppy as most.

“Individuals from those areas were also found to be the most open to trying plant-based foods as well (51% in the West, 55% in the Northeast).”

Yet precisely how are “plant-based foods” defined? Do these include salads, perhaps a regularly munched apple or pear?

“It’s clear that meatless meat is here to stay, with 70% of all respondents stating they believe it will continue to grow in popularity moving forward.”

We’re supposed to believe that a significant majority replied to the question of sham meat’s future popularity not with an insouciant, “Oh, I don’t know,” but positive affirmation? Sure.

“Of course, there will always be some resistant to change.

That fatuous, lordly insinuation is galling enough, but the statement is true: plenty of people, in this instance an overwhelming majority, are resistant to imprudent, unhealthy, asinine trends.

“For example, 16% of respondents said they “never” eat meatless meat.

That’s almost certainly false. I personally know only two people who’ve sampled it, both only once.

“Perhaps, though, these respondents are so hesitant because they don’t know what is inside meatless meat. Less than half of respondents (45%) knew that meatless meat usually contains soy, and only 41% knew that wheat gluten is another common ingredient.”

If so, those hitherto unaware would likely be even less apt!

“In fact, only 55% of respondents knew that meatless meat is intended to taste just like real meat. Puzzlingly, 38% incorrectly said meatless meat is grown in a lab.”

Not “puzzlingly,” but “mendaciously,” these are teetotal fabrications purposed to image for typically moronic baizuo some construct of whoever hasn’t embraced bogus beef — their mean grandfather or Richard Spencer salivating over a hamburger. “Just envision the stupid Natzees, too dumb to know that meatless meat isn’t supposed to taste like meat! If they’re so dumb, you must be real, real smart!”

“The survey was conducted by OnePoll.”

Nota bene: OnePoll‘s a British subsidiary of South West News Service whose market research consists primarily of online survey. They’ve only expanded their research to poll American, French, German, Italian and Spanish respondents in the past few years, and only do so via an iPhone app. So in light of the firm’s provenance (after Australia, the second most vegan country worldwide), the demographics who most commonly use the hardware by which they poll, Herbalife’s obviously emporeutic imperatives and the contrariety between the figures of this survey and those more reputable, as well as others which are blatantly absurd, I can’t help but speculate that this surreptitious promotion of cheap products and a slave’s diet is no more convincing than artful in its artifice.

Third-wave feminism: exhibit #3 — Vaginal Vainglory

Whenever baizuo document their own phenomena in their inimitably artless and obvious fashion, their titles always portend pretense and idiocy alike:

How vaginas are finally losing their stigma

It’s yet another pseudo-rebellious posture assumed by charmless, cretinous women desperate for attention to exploit nonexistent controversy, from the epicenter of Western Civilization’s ebb.

This weekend, a new museum opens in London dedicated to female genitalia – helping to lift a taboo that runs all the way back to the birth of Western art, writes Holly Williams.

If this museum’s subject is currently assigned such an infandous taboo, why was its opening met with such scant interest?

In 2017, Florence Schechter discovered that Iceland had a penis museum, but that nowhere in the world could its female equivalent be found. And so, the science communicator decided to do something about it. This month, in London, the Vagina Museum will be born.

Whatever a “science communicator” is, her activities clearly have no relation to sciences applied or theoretical.

In fact, it’s a pretty different proposition to the penis museum. “That’s kind of novelty, penises in jars,” Schechter explains. “We’re going to be much more thoughtful and actually explore the topic.”

For baizuo, exploration in all undertakings connotes ideological contextualization so that their audiences may know how to appropriately adjudge their presentations, lest any dissent occur.

First up, a note on the name. Schechter acknowledges the frustration at how the word “vagina” is often used when people are really talking about the external vulva (the labia, clitoris and vaginal opening) – but they needed a term people were already familiar with.

“A lot of people don’t know the word vulva, and people are not going to engage with something they don’t know,” she says. A Vagina Museum is, frankly, more eye-catching and conversation starting.

One hardly auspicates by acknowledging and catering to her prospective patrons’ inscience.

The museum will look at the entire gynaecological anatomy – the inside (uterus, cervix, ovaries) as well as the outside – and consider its representation in culture and history. But the fact a Vagina Museum needs a bit of a glossary in the first place is proof of its purpose.

Isn’t every instance of common ignorance imputable to the machinations of that dastardly patriarchy?

“The gynaecological anatomy is a very stigmatised part of the body,” points out Schechter. “A museum is a place where conversations can happen – the best way to fight taboo and stigma is with knowledge.”

I agree. Moreover, the best way to learn about anatomy — sexual, reproductive, and otherwise — is by reading illustrated anatomical literature. That alternative’s far less tacky or abashing than Schechter’s endeavor.

We are still crushingly bad at talking about all the bits between women’s legs – often ignorant or euphemistic, vague or embarrassed, even if we have a vagina ourselves.

Pray, who are “we?” Who, precisely, is so ignorant? Why is (often decorous) euphemism necessarily negative? When and why are the subjects broached in polite conversation? This statement was meant to postulate these notions and instruct its credulous readers on how they should feel, but it’s not terribly plausible.

And wider culture attitudes to them run the gamut of sniggering, censorious, disgusted, objectifying, or actively oppressive.

To which “wider cultures” is she referring? Earlier, she adverts to “Western art,” but nowhere in the west is the vagina subject to any particular oppression. If there’s sniggering, it’s from those who regard Schechter and her ilk mortifying for their superficiality, calculatedly low threshold for criticism and trite conception of recusancy. As for objectification of the vagina, the human species couldn’t be happily propagated without such a perspective!

A culture of fear

Feminists have projected their pathological trepidity regarding everything either to men or broader culture and society for decades. Never mind how often others have observed this compulsion; they won’t stop until the movement gracelessly collapses.

This inability to talk about female genitalia has certainly had its impact on Western art and culture.

Piffle. Those organs simply aren’t anywhere near so visually as functionally intriguing.

Taboos can make an image more powerful – but they can also lead to fearful depictions of the unknown

Hence the defamatory insistence that anyone west of Turkey concerned about unlimited, unsustainable, indiscriminate and destructive migration is a “white supremacist.”

or to the erasure of a huge part of lived female experience.

“Lived experience” must be the dumbest tautology of of the leftist parlance and this era.

Let’s start at the beginning: birth. Where are the paintings of birth in Western art? They don’t exist, prior to the 20th Century. This curious lack has been pointed out by the novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt. “It is a stunning absence,” she says, adding that the suppression of gestation and birth has to be “related to the suppression of women and the fear of women.”

Childbirth has historically been a private affair in those societies and therefore not a painterly topic, partially in respect for the mother in accouchement. Hustvedt — a nearly unreadable, stereotypically Minnesotan third-wave hack who almost reflexively attributes to misogyny nigh every frailty and misdeed common to the human condition — unsurprisingly relates this to “the suppression of women.” Again, “the fear of women” is merely more shrewish projection, and even more incredible: before the advent of second-wave feminism, few among even the most timorous men were at all gynophobic.

It’s also surely to do with a religious tradition of painting where the female figure is a virgin: distaste for the visceral elements of reproduction have been coded into art right from the start… “It is an example of the vagina getting written out of a dominant cultural narrative,” agrees Emma EL Rees, Professor of English at the University of Chester.

Among the innumerable popular outlets of propaganda in the Anglosphere, few are so egregiously tendentious as the BBC. Guess what: neither is the penis too explicitly prominent in those “dominant cultural narratives.”

Of course, such absences in, say, Muslim art can’t be mentioned.

As the author of The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History, Rees literally wrote the book on the depiction of vaginas – and its chapter on birth shows that, even in modern times, public attitudes to seeing women’s private parts during childbirth are fraught.

No excerpt from the book is provided to instance how, but for the commonplace, contemporary feminist, insinuation suffices in lieu of substance. I honestly don’t know why parturition should be publicized, but neither why most people would care either way.

In 1997, UK artist Jonathan Waller’s life-size paintings of women were apparently considered so distressing by the gallery who represented him that they removed one of them from a show;

To epitomize: provocateur compensated for his shortfall of talent with garishly tasteless imagery, was satisfactorily “repressed” as expected, and consequently enjoyed remuneration for his little incident. Yawn.

later, the images prompted the Independent on Sunday to ask ‘Is birth the last taboo subject in art?’

The question should’ve been, “Why were such amateurish, sophomoric paintings exhibited in a gallery?”

Rees shares another, more recent example: at a 2009 exhibition of the Birth Rites Collection – work dedicated to the artistic depiction of birth, first displayed at Salford University before moving to various galleries and science centres across the UK – a photograph by Hermione Wiltshire of midwife Ina May Gaskin called Therese in Ecstatic Childbirth, which shows a mother’s joyful expression at the moment of crowning, was apparently repeatedly covered up by visitors.

When a crowning is photographed in a pornographic idiom specifically to incite outrage, that’s to be expected. Nowhere in this article is the gender of the offended mentioned.

“There is still a cultural paradox and hypocrisy around vaginas,” Rees tells me. “The same people who will criticise seeing a baby crowning potentially consume porn – [then they are] perfectly happy with vaginas, but when they start doing stuff like pushing another human being out of them, that’s somehow obscene.”

This is an unalloyed falsehood. Nearly no one — certainly not viewers of pornography — is concerned in the slightest about public depictions of delivery, or any implications of obscenity. She clumsily insinuates that “The same people” are men wholly familiar and therefore comfortable with the sight of a vagina, but knows full well that those solicitous scolds are much more likely to be women.

Rees was drawn to documenting cultural depictions of vaginas for the same reason Schechter wanted to make a Vagina Museum:

They were both desperate for their next thrilling, lucrative fix of delectable attention.

because there’s still so much silence and ignorance around them.

If so, that’s only for indifference.

One of the spurs was an encounter, outside a church in Kilpeck in Herefordshire, with a stone carving of a woman holding open her vulva – and the fact that a 19th-Century guide to the church claimed that it was a fool holding his chest open. “That’s not a fool, and that’s not a chest!” Rees recalls, laughing.

This reads like so much apocrypha that’s really happened. Surely.

In fact, what she was looking at was a ‘sheela na gig’ – figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva

I like sheela na gigs — inter alia, because their existence belies nearly every assertion advanced in this article.

the word for which is familiar to PJ Harvey fans thanks to her song of the same name (“Look at these, my child-bearing hips/Look at these, my ruby red ruby lips”, she sings – not the first or by any means the last time a pop song has capitalised on the dual meaning of lips).

Indeed. It hasn’t really been an unspeakable subject for ages, has it?

The carvings are found in Norman churches all over Europe

So much for the falsity that vaginal depictions were absent in Western art.

and while their purpose isn’t entirely understood, it may be to do with promoting fertility, healthy births, or warding off evil.

How was their ecclesiastic construction possible in an allegedly misogynistic era? Well, never mind.

The autonomous vagina

Here’s your mom’s feminist insubordination, obstreperously embarrassing friends and family before the whole neighborhood.

Still, compared to male genitalia, depictions of the vulva are pretty rare until the 20th Century. Of course, female sexual organs are more hidden compared than their masculine counterparts – and this, combined with the lack of non-sexualised discussion of, and language for, the female genitals seems to have had a real impact on the depictions that do exist.

Only lonely, homely white women would regard perceived pretermission as such a grave affront.

I was struck, reading Rees’s fascinating book, how many examples present the vagina either as autonomous – rebellious, or oddly divorced from its owner – or as a terrifying, dangerous thing.

One mythic image goes way back: the vagina dentata – a vagina armed with teeth, that damages or castrates the male. It’s a myth that has a history and currency in cultures and civilisations that could not have communicated with each other: in the Indian subcontinent and in south America we get the same stories emerging, at a time when there wasn’t any transatlantic travel,” says Rees. She adds that in many of these myths “the fear of the unknown-ness of the vagina becomes a rationale for acts of extreme brutality – knocking the teeth out through rape or serious sexual assault.”

What Rees quite deliberately omits is that in most (and all European) of the folkloric cultures in which it was related, vagina dentata was concocted to deter rape and the dissemination of STDs. Further, these Hindu, Guiana, Maori, Ainu and other tales are somewhat similar, but hardly “the same.” Many of these stories are triumphalist, some blackly comedic, and still others are sheer horrors. As “someone who wrote the book” on vaginal depiction, Rees is demonstrably inept.

Rees also references several modern manifestations of this Freudian fear, not least US director Mitchell Lichtenstein’s film Teeth. In the 2007 horror, the young innocent Dawn’s crush Tobey tries to rape her, only for her vagina to chomp his penis off. Dawn goes on to learn how to use her vicious vagina to wreak revenge on sexually predatory men.

If your horror flick barely breaks even and is overshadowed by better contemporaneous features of the genre, don’t worry — that feminist context will ensure positive reviews and enduring mention in hackery of this rubric.

The myth of the vagina dentata played a part in performance artist Annie Sprinkles’s droll work, Public Cervix Announcement. Performing it live during the 1990s, she’d open her vulva with a speculum, and invite audience members to shine a torch inside her and speak into a mic about what they found. You can now experience the work on her website – where she comments “One reason why I show my cervix is to assure the misinformed, who seem to be primarily of the male population, that neither the vagina nor the cervix contains any teeth. Maybe you’ll calm down and get a grip.”

The only substantial reason why Ellen F. Steinberg so sillily stultified herself was to procure the attention of and insult those few men who noticed her trashy exhibition. Evidently, her previous careers as a peculiarly dumpy prostitute and pornstar weren’t terribly successful.

Sprinkle let others speak about – for? – her genitals, but there’s also a long history of the chatty vagina: an organ that speaks a truth its owner can’t, won’t, or doesn’t want heard.

“The idea of the autonomous vagina was one I began to see a lot of [in my research],” says Rees, who believes that our general inability to discuss vaginas has led to women often feeling separated from their own anatomy.

Though inadvertently, Rees is essentially an author of fiction.

But there’s also a tradition in art and literature of men controlling women by forcing their vaginas to mutter…

As always, feminist parapraxis tells all: they always want control, no matter how oppressive, irrational or plenary it may be.

Rees’s examples go as far back as Medieval French poetry, and the story of Du Chevalier Qui fist les Cons Parler. After a magical power is bestowed on a knight by three witch-like women that allows him to address women’s private parts, he uses it to cause much mischief at a castle. The women have no control: whatever he asks, their vaginas will reply with the truth.

If they’re honest women, why is this so unfortunate?

Truth-telling vaginas also appear in the 18th-Century French writer Denis Diderot’s Les Bijoux Indiscrets, in which a genie provides a sultan with a magic ring that can command “the most honest part” of women to speak the truth. He mostly uses it to question women’s fidelity – a clear instance of how male anxiety about women not being truthful has long been bound up with anxieties about their sexual appetites.

If it’s “a clear instance” of anything, it’s the Gallic proclivity to infidelity and especially advoutry. Isn’t the truth just devastating to these misandrous mythomaniacs?

And, of course, another example of a man forcibly controlling a woman’s body.

Which is preferable: selectively communicative coercion, or infidelity…?

More recent examples of blabbing genitalia include the 1977 US film comedy Chatterbox, in which the heroine Penelope’s vagina – dubbed Virginia – starts to speak and even sing. Although Penelope worries her vagina is a “foul-mouthed little beast” who just wants to have sex all the time, Virginia soon becomes quite a star. Once again, there’s a disconnect between a woman and her vagina: the film riffs on the idea of it being more liberated and honest than its owner, while Penelope silently suffers shame.

This film is dreck, but also sporadically admirable for its candor.

And it’ll surely come as no surprise that South Park has animated various talking lady parts, usually in order to undermine women of power.

Nobody’s “undermining women of power” by satirizing odious public figures.

One episode saw Oprah Winfrey given an autonomous vagina that was dissatisfied and demanded more attention. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, had a vagina dentata which ate a man’s head. Then again, the South Park movie, made in 1999, did feature a more benevolent talking organ: the mystical, near-mythical clitoris.

Maybe Parker and Stone don’t hate women who aren’t reprehensible.

But vaginas can also speak for their owners, not against their wishes. Artist Carolee Schneemann’s infamous 1975 work Interior Scroll saw her undress, pull a scroll out of her vagina, and read it: the text recounted a discussion Schneemann had about her work with a patronising filmmaker who thought her work was too messy, too concerned with feelings.

Most of Fluxus’ output is pretentious drivel. From Eye Body through Flange 6rpm, Schneemann’s oeuvre is as consistently ugly and vapid as she, and characterized by a unifying theme: the quest for attention.

The pleasure principle

From the serious to the silly: Netflix’s Big Mouth is another cartoon about teenagers featuring plenty of chatty body parts. But in contrast to South Park, Nick Kroll’s comedy about middle schoolers going through puberty is good-hearted, level-headed, and actually full of sound advice. Pubic hairs, raging hormones, and vaginas all get personified. But it’s notable that the while female lead Jessi’s vagina is separate from her and very much its own character (as voiced by Kristen Wiig), when she talks to Jessi it’s to encourage her to discover how much fun they could have together. “It’s an honour to be a part of you,” she says, toasting Jessi after their first orgasm. This vagina is promoting unity through pleasure, not shame or separation.

Eventually, all wretched women find their way (back) to Netflix. What was all that about art?

Pleasure: a pretty important function for any owner of a vagina – and yet depressingly not that often the focus of art. With the vagina having been largely hidden, pornography aside, for centuries, just achieving visibility seems to have been a real challenge – and the most famous works have tended to attract virulent criticism from both men and women. Take two of the most famous examples: Judy Chicago’s 1979 installation The Dinner Party and Eve Ensler’s 1996 play The Vagina Monologues.

Yes, the latter’s remarkably obnoxious. Do any of these women meditate on why such exposure is a challenge? I’m fond of many paintings, photographs and sculptures in which penes and pudenda alike are visible, but tangential to these works’ aesthetic substance or thematic import. Why is visibility per se at all important? The answer is as sharp as simple: most of these ladies need attention, and lack the relationships, intellect or allure by which they’d otherwise secure it, and which others take for granted.

Chicago laid three tables for an imagined party of 39 women, among them goddesses, queens and 20th-Century icons including Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe (whose own flower paintings have often been interpreted as evoking vulvae, although she denied that was her intention). Alongside gold chalices, embroidered napkins and runners, it features plates shaped as individual, abstracted, butterfly-like vulva.

It’s a monumental work, but attracted scorn from male art critics when it opened and for years after (the Los Angeles Times art critic called it “a lumbering mishmash of sleaze and cheese”; the New York Times later deemed it crass, vulgar, and didactic). The work also attracted the ire of some feminists who claimed it reduced women and their achievements by focusing on their genitals. Museums cancelled showings of it, Chicago struggled to find a home for the work (happily at the Brooklyn Museum since 2007), and its notoriety overwhelmed her career.

It’s not remotely “monumental,” but I’ll readily concede that The Dinner Party is quite cleverly contrived for its triangular accessibility and an artful appeal of which most feminist installations are destitute. Never a great work of fine art, it nathless deserves its success, and initial reprehension of the installation was largely undue.

And yet the work has always been wildly popular with the gallery-visiting public, and especially women. Chicago was surely feeding a hunger, a need, with The Dinner Party. And you could argue the same for Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, a work drawn from interviews Ensler conducted with women ranging from a six-year-old to a septuagenarian, from Bosnian war survivors to a sex worker for women, that touches on sex, periods, body image, rape and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Monologues is truly extraordinary for treating of such a topical sweep in a manner as facile as grating in such address.

It’s not all bleak: the monologues also feature joyful sex and multiple orgasms. Ensler’s show has become an international phenomenon, performed all over the world on 14 February each year, also known as V Day, an initiative started by Ensler raising money to end violence against women. It’s a feminist text that’s proved palatable to celebrities too: everyone from Alanis Morrissette to Glenn Close to Oprah Winfrey has had a go at appearing in it.

Constructed camaraderie will never be as satisfying as family.

Still, the hyper-visibility of Ensler’s show has also drawn seemingly endless criticisms: it’s been deemed too smug, narrow in focus, insufficiently radical, essentialist, colonial, or maybe even simply – whisper it? – too successful. But whatever swipes people take at Ensler, the play genuinely did help bring conversations about vaginas into the mainstream.

Alas, all of those conversations are peeving and shallow.

And it does feel like we might be moving into an era where we’re seeing more depictions, not just of female sexual organs, but also female sexual pleasure. Artists in the 21st Century seem to be able to depict vaginas without it necessarily having to be traumatic or taboo-busting.

Many of these paragraphs read as though they were written for publication in 2019, circa 1962. In every established medium, female sexual pleasure has been on open display for a half-century!

Take UK writer and actor Bella Heesom,

Please! Ha, ha!

who the Guardian suggests “might be considered Ensler’s millennial heir” thanks to her show Rejoicing at Her Wondrous Vulva the Young Woman Applauded Herself, which encourages women to love themselves too. Staged in London earlier this year, the show includes a light-up clitoris headdress, and puts the joy of masturbation and orgasms onstage.

This is what a feckless narcissist might do after her cinematic career quietly fizzled.

In visual art, New York-based Ghada Amer uses embroidery in her colourful, outlined images of women masturbating; she hopes the needle-and-thread can bring a tenderness to such images that “simple objectification ignores”. Tschabalala Self’s bold, colourful work also blends collage and sewing, presenting powerful, confident black women, often opening exaggeratedly wide thighs or curvaceous buttocks to reveal their genitals – a colourful heart, perhaps, or a burst of rainbow.

This wouldn’t be of any interest if it weren’t so hideous:

Pop music has done its bit too: music videos have always been sexually suggestive, but more recently female artists have been playing with knowing visual innuendo to make it clear they’re singing about their own pleasure. Take Ariana Grande’s video for 2018 single God is a Woman, for instance, where she writhes around in various suggestive pools, flames, and (lady) caves – and is at one point backed by a choir of actual screaming beavers. No wonder the video is one of Schechter’s favourite pop-culture depictions: “it’s obvious enough for everyone to be like: that’s an ode to the vulva,” she says.

I do agree that for this audience, it needs to be obvious. If pre-packaged to placate them, nothing’s too tawdry, egotistic or corporate for contemporary feminists.

Why can’t vaginas be funny?

Or take Janelle Monae’s fantastic video for last year’s Pynk, her hymn to “self-love, sexuality and pussy power”. Monae and her female dancers perform in vulva-like trousers, and the video is loaded with pink visual stand-ins for vaginas: milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, oysters, and grapefruits.

This substantiates my point.

She’s not the only one getting fruity: LA-based artist Nevine Mahmoud makes gorgeous sculptures out of marble and alabaster that somehow look warm and sensual: peaches split to reveal a peek of stone, softly folding lilies (which Mahmoud deems “the most erotic flower”), and a cleft shape called Fig/Vagina.

These and most of Mahmoud’s other works are well worth seeing, as in my post on Superaggregation.

The erotic potential of fruit is also brilliantly exploited in the videos of American multimedia artist Stephanie Sarley: she gently rubs halved pieces of fruit in a circular motion – then inserts her fingers till they squirt. They’re glorious and ridiculous, and yet reveal that, even now, the mere suggestion of female ejaculation can be controversial. In one month in 2016, Instagram suspended and restored Sarley’s account three times – a blood orange in particular attracted vitriol – although Sarley’s stated aim is to promote greater acceptance of female sexuality via humour.

It’s a modestly amusing idea, not executed very well.

But artists at least trying to say that women’s sexual bits can be funny – in the same way that penises certainly often are – is surely a cheering development. British performance artist Lucy McCormick has also garnered a reputation for eye-poppingly explicit, eye-wateringly funny shows, that send up the ridiculous expectations of performative female sexuality.

“Women’s bodies are so often offered as purely sexual, it can be a liberation to celebrate the grotesque, the weird and often hilarious functionality of the body,” she has said. Her current show Post-Popular, for example, sees her taking the idea of searching for a hero inside yourself very literally: she pulls a Cadbury’s Miniature Hero out of her vagina, and eats it.

This is what that fumid, single aunt might do to slake her thirst for attention at a holiday’s dinner that didn’t end well. It was shocking and amusing the first time.

Another visual artist who’s been explicit about using humour is Megumi Igarashi, best known as the maker of the “pussy boat”: a canoe modelled on a 3D scan of her vulva. But in 2014, when trying to raise funds to make it, she got in hot water: Igarashi was arrested in her native Japan after selling data enabling people to make 3D prints of her vagina. She was fined 400,000 yen – then about £2,575 – for distributing obscene images, despite insisting she was innocent. Her defence was spot on: she refused to accept that “artworks shaped like female genitals are obscene.”

She also refused to accept that she hasn’t any talent whatsoever, which has been patent to witnesses of her antics among both Japanese and gaijin since they first rolled their eyes after glancing at Decoman.

Such censorship proves we’re still far from being as comfortable with vaginas as we should be,

Once more, who are “we?” Britons aren’t Japanese or American or Canadian; therefore, such a statement concerning censorship doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

even if creative depictions of vaginas and vulvas in all their varied glory – messy, silly, funny, sexy, beautiful, and empowered –

Nothing is more important to a third-wave feminist than empowerment, even though they seldom attain it. What most of them resolutely refuse to realize is that liberation is neither a concomitant nor a guarantee of empowerment. More often than not, empowerment necessitates labor and aptitude.

do seem to increasingly be able to take a place at the table. Not to mention, at last, being given a museum all of their own.

At long last, wymyn have something that almost nobody (including them) ever considered, much less wanted! As for taking a place at the table, that of the aforementioned Dinner Party is forty years old…nearly a decade younger than the cessation of a condition Williams pretends persists.

Third-wave feminism: exhibit #2

While viewing horrors on Asiancrush, I beheld an advertisement far more ghastly than even the most morbid among that service’s features or shorts:

It’s an amalgamation of clichés:

  • Mannish physiognomies
  • Hideous habiliments
  • Quasi-macho postures
  • Emblematic violence
  • Fatuous smirks

Since when were strong, empowered women so insecurely obsessed with exogenous opinions, averse to sensible discernment and disposed by shallow values to cosmetic surgery? Since the movement was appropriated by covetous, opportunistic political organizations driven by corporate greed, selective vanity, misandry and envy. Popular appeal of social justice to the decerebrate has enabled corporations (esp. those of big pharma and big tech) to co-opt nearly every major leftist movement, shunting to obscurity any dissenters — mostly intellectually alert (if innumerate) socialists.
Not one feminist of the movement’s first generation wouldn’t be appalled by such artifacts of its overt declension.

Ten reviews of no albums by Robert Christgau

THE CURE: Disintegration (Elektra)
With the transmutation of junk a species of junk itself, an evasion available to any charlatan or nincompoop, it’s tempting to ignore this patent arena move altogether. But by pumping his bad faith and bad relationship into depressing moderato play-loud keyb anthems far more tedious than his endless vamps, Robert Smith does actually confront a life contradiction. Not the splintered relationship, needless to say, although the title tune is a suitably grotesque breakup song among unsuitably grotesque breakup songs. As with so many stars, even “private” ones who make a big deal of their “integrity,” Smith’s demon lover is his audience, now somehow swollen well beyond his ability to comprehend, much less control. Hence the huge scale of these gothic cliches. And watch out, you mass, ’cause if you don’t accept this propitiation he just may start contemplating suicide again. Or take his money and go home. C PLUS

Obviously, this album is a classic; like The Pixies and Depeche Mode, Robert Smith’s mutable outfit contemporaneously enjoyed a concurrence of of artistic and commercial apotheosis. Christgau almost fathoms cynical marketing, but seldom music, hence this momentary meditation on Smith’s presumed careerism. The album? Who knows. Speaking of the boys from Basildon…

Violator [Sire/Reprise, 1990]
Fearing the loss of their silly grip on America’s angst-ridden teens, who they’re old enough to know are a fickle lot, they forge on toward the rap market by rhyming “drug” and “thug.” And for the U.K.’s ecstasy-riding teens, who God knows are even more fickle, there’s the techno-perfect synth/guitar sigh/moan that punctuates the easily rescinded “Policy of Truth.” C-

Somebody’s pettish dad heard a few lyrics during a strictly perfunctory spin and clumsily supposed something about “the hip-hop.” Policy of Truth is so unequivocally disposable that it was a radio staple and concert favorite for fifteen years, and nearly three decades later, oldies stations from the rancid northeast through the ‘murkun midwest to the left coast persist to broadcast it.

The Mix [Elektra, 1991]
best-of with the bass boosted–very funktional, meine Herren (“Pocket Calculator,” “The Robots”) ***

Can you imagine receipt of a paycheck for the indolent authorship of an unfunny sentence? Note that scamsters like Boesky or Madoff were actually punished. That’s a not a review. It isn’t an epigram.

Loveless [Sire/Warner Bros., 1991]
If you believe the true sound of life on planet earth is now worse than bombs bursting midair or runaway trains–more in the direction of scalpel against bone, or the proverbial giant piece of chalk and accoutrements–this CD transfigures the music of our sphere. Some may cringe at the grotesque distortions they extract from their guitars, others at the soprano murmurs that provide theoretical relief. I didn’t much go for either myself. But after suitable suffering and peer support, I learned. In the destructive elements immerse. A-

Nota bene: this maladroit fustian was penned by a man who constantly censures pop acts for their pretensions. One might surmise that it’s easier than apprehending MBV’s musicianship. As for (very little about) noise…

Daydream Nation [Enigma/Blast First, 1988]
At a historical juncture we can only hope isn’t a fissure, a time when no sentient rock and roller could mistake extremism in the defense of liberty for a vice, the anarchic doomshows of Our Antiheroes’ static youth look moderately prophetic and sound better than they used to. But they don’t sound anywhere near as good as the happy-go-lucky careerism and four-on-the-floor maturity Our Heroes are indulging now. Whatever exactly their lyrics are saying–not that I can’t make them out, just that catch-phrases like “You’ve got it” and “Just say yes” and “It’s total trash” and “You’re so soft you make me hard” are all I need to know–their discordant never-let-up is a philosophical triumph. They’re not peering into the fissure, they’re barreling down the turnpike like the fissure ain’t there. And maybe they’re right–they were the first time. A

Moore oughtn’t have fretted about Christgau; at least he was amusing when he slammed Sonic Youth, whereas this uninstructive, sophomoric, logorrheic claptrap beggars belief for a middle-aged man. He’s never worse than when he agonizes with all his little might and fails to wax profoundly florid. Whenever I read something tolerable from Christgau, my integrity itself recalls “a philosophical triumph,” and I giggle.

Heart in Motion [A&M, 1991]
Xian Xover queen: “What’s the difference between a PMS’ing woman and a bulldog? Lipstick! See, only a woman can tell that joke.” Don’t be so sure, lady. And note Hits‘s gnostic riposte: “What do you get when you cross an atheist with a dyslexic? Somebody who doesn’t believe in dogs!” C

He might’ve been generous enough to warn her fans that amid all the catchy, snappily produced hits, Hats is among the worst clunkers she’s ever recorded. Of course, the Village Voice was far too kewl and edgy to accommodate a Christer with a review, even if this consistently popular bestseller circulated far more successfully than the paper. Do consider Christgau’s recycled irreverence if you notice that year after year and album after album, he actually takes Kanye West seriously.

The Final Cut [Columbia, 1983]
Though I wish this rewarded close listening like John Williams, Fripp & Eno, or the Archies, it’s a comfort to encounter antiwar rock that has the weight of years of self-pity behind it–tends to add both literary and political resonance. With this band, aural resonance is a given. C+

I’m a Floyd fan who’s dismissed this album for decades, and terse adversion to its burden doesn’t consititute a review.

Cosmic Wheels [Epic, 1973]
Yellow Jell-O, or: didn’t you always know he’d go bananas? C-

Everyone who’s heard three to thirty-eight minutes of this knows it’s heinous, but this gibber isn’t clever.

The Bends [Capitol, 1995]
Admired by Britcrits, who can’t tell whether they’re “pop” or “rock,” and their record company, which pushed (and shoved) this follow-up until it went gold Stateside, they try to prove “Creep” wasn’t a one-shot by pretending that it wasn’t a joke. Not that there’s anything deeply phony about Thom Yorke’s angst–it’s just a social given, a mindset that comes as naturally to a ’90s guy as the skilled guitar noises that frame it. Thus the words achieve precisely the same pitch of aesthetic necessity as the music, which is none at all. C

It could be the last great sensitively posturing rock album, not that Christgau noticed — like any teenage quidnunc, he’s primarily concerned with industry scuttlebutt; whatever residual allusion to The Product he might tender results from whatever was heard in dereliction during routine playback in an adjoining room.

The Very Best of the Doors [Elektra, 2001]
Shaman, poet, lizard king–believe that guff and you’ll miss a great pop band. Ass man, schlockmeister, cosmic slimeball–that’s where Jim Morrison’s originality lies, and he’s never been better represented. Right beneath the back-door macho resides a weak-willed whine as El Lay as Jackson Browne’s, and the struggle between the two would have landed him in Vegas if he hadn’t achieved oblivion in Paris first. Compelling in part because he’s revolting, Jimbo reminds us that some assholes actually do live with demons. His three sidemen rocked almost as good as the Stones. Without him they were nothing. A

As an encapsulation of Jimbo’s act, it’s at least adequate, but he might’ve mentioned something about this (sixth? seventh?) studio compilation’s particular transposition. Even capsule reviewers aren’t paid to blithely expect, “They’ve heard it all, so they pretty much know what they’re getting, I guess.”

Egregious ideas: A Night at the Theater

Imagine, if you will…

…this portrait of a puerile, etiolated manchild. Weaned on soy formula and redigested popular culture, Breighdyn bears every peculiarity of the “soy-boy”: the hypersensitive and effusive disposition, receding hairline, patchy beard, ponderous spectacles and a rictus agape in every photograph for which he postures. Tonight, Breighdyn feels secure in the society of his fellow sub-nerds, in attendance at a screening of the latest cinematic spectacular adapting for the silver screen a Marvel comic published during his infancy.
What he doesn’t expect is that at this particular showing, Breighdyn alone will bear witness to an event of unprecedented, toxic masculinity and its repercussions, which may well shake the very foundations of his convictions and psyche, here in the the most offensive recesses…

…of The Twilight Zone.

Roger Ebert Reviews (Without Viewing) Hellbound

Assessors of motion pictures who are adversely prejudiced against a genre ought to oblige their audiences by excusing themselves from appraisal of movies in said genre. Notwithstanding his jejune dudgeon against horror flicks because they’re mean and all the blood therein perturbs him, petulant, celebrated, overfed hack Roger Ebert ineptly professed to viewing Hellbound: Hellraiser II, for yet another review garners more cash, more cash purchases provender, and fat boy must glut.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of nightmares: the kind that you actually have, and the kind they make into movies. Real nightmares usually involve frustration or public embarrassment. In the frustrating ones, a loved one is trying to tell you something and you can’t understand them, or they’re in danger and you can’t help them. In the embarrassing ones, it’s the day of the final exam and you forgot to attend the classes, or you’re in front of a crowd and can’t think of anything to say, or you wandered into the hotel lobby without any clothes on and nobody has noticed you yet – but they’re about to.

As I’m a cult hero and nonesuch of my trades, most of my oneiric experiences involve erotic, gastronomic, and auctorial indulgences of Caligulan proportions, but Ebert’s dreams are to be expected for a petty, corpulent changeling.

Those are scary nightmares, all right, and sometimes they turn up in the movies. But “Hellbound: Hellraiser II” contains the kinds of nightmares that occur only in movies, because our real dreams have low budgets and we can’t afford expensive special effects.

Ebert’s abject absence of imagination is no revelation.

The movie begins a few hours after the original “Hellbound” ended.

This isn’t a puzzler: Hellbound is the sequel to Hellraiser. Even New World Pictures issued press kits to professional reviewers; those with IQs exceeding room temperature could infer this titular detail.

A young girl named Kirsty has been placed in a hospital after a night in which she was tortured by the flayed corpses of her parents, who were under the supervision of the demons of hell.

In a sane world, any reviewer paid for his output who can’t or won’t synopsize a film accurately would be called to the carpet by his readership and employers alike.

What this girl needs is a lot of rest and a set of those positive-thinking cassettes they advertise late at night on cable TV.

Has she also need of a regale?

But no such luck. The hospital is simply another manifestation of the underworld, hell is all around us, we are powerless in its grip, and before long Kristy and a newfound friend named Tiffany are hurtling down the corridors of the damned. Give or take a detail or two, that’s the story.

It isn’t at all, but this is what proceeds in a review indited from hearsay, because Roger Ebert didn’t watch Hellbound ere he reviewed it, as he’ll promptly evidence.

“Hellbound: Hellraiser II” is like some kind of avant-garde film strip in which there is no beginning, no middle, no end, but simply a series of gruesome images that can be watched in any order.

One can envision Ebert stamping his pudgy foot whilst typing this surmisal. Hellbound‘s plot is quite commonplace.

The images have been constructed with a certain amount of care and craftsmanship; the technical credits on this movie run to four single-spaced pages.

I’m almost surprised that Ebert deferred from his engorgement for perchance a minute to riffle through his press kit.

We see lots of bodies that have been skinned alive, so that the blood still glistens on the exposed muscles. We see creatures who have been burned and mutilated and twisted into grotesque shapes and condemned for eternity to unspeakable and hopeless tortures.

So, the reviewer images what he’s heard of the production for the benefit of teenagers and concerned parents whose regard for it’s expected to be antipodal.

We hear deep, rasping laughter as the denizens of hell chortle over the plight of the terrified girls. And we hear their desperate voices calling to each other.

“Kirsty!” we hear. And “Tiffany!” And “Kirsty!!!” and “Tiffany!!!” And “Kirstiyyyyyyy!!!!!” And “Tiffanyyyyyyy!!!!!” I’m afraid this is another one of those movies that violates the First Rule of Repetition of Names, which states that when the same names are repeated in a movie more than four times a minute for more than three minutes in a row, the audience breaks out into sarcastic laughter, and some of the ruder members are likely to start shouting “Kirsty!” and “Tiffany!” at the screen.

This never transpires in the picture; Imogen Boorman’s character couldn’t call to Ashley Laurence’s repeatedly because she’s mute for the nigh-totality of the film. She literally utters not a dozen lines, all of which are vocalized in the movie’s last fifteen minutes, and not one of which is a vociferation bespeaking her co-star. Ebert substituted pettish conjecture for actual evaluation because he indiscriminately hates horror movies and didn’t even watch this one.

But this movie violates more rules than the First Rule of Repetition.

How did anyone countenance this little imbecile’s “rules?” Nothing’s as evidential of impotence than the compulsion to propound arbitrary rules pertaining to a medium rather than simply assessing a work’s quality and idiom its own terms.

It also violates a basic convention of story construction, which suggests that we should get at least a vague idea of where the story began and where it might be headed. This movie has no plot in a conventional sense.

As those of us who’ve actually watched this movie know, it was written in particular abidance by narrative convention.

It is simply a series of ugly and bloody episodes strung together one after another like a demo tape by a perverted special-effects man. There is nothing the heroines can do to understand or change their plight and no way we can get involved in their story.

During this movie’s second and third acts, its heroines are entirely preoccupied with opposition to preternatural antagonists and phenomena, upon which they prevail with the exercise of some ingenuity. An especially heinous critic wouldn’t know this and couldn’t be engaged by the movie if he hadn’t seen it.

That makes “Hellbound: Hellraiser II” an ideal movie for audiences with little taste

Ebert lauded The Women, Home Alone 3, Clash of the Titans, Cars 2, Escape From L.A. and Knowing, and famously panned A Clockwork Orange, Blue Velvet, The Flower of My Secret, The Tenant, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Taste of Cherry.

and atrophied attention spans who want to glance at the screen occasionally and ascertain that something is still happening up there.

That would connote more attention than that demonstrated in this review, which represents an egregious dereliction of occupational responsibility.

If you fit that description, you have probably not read this far, but what the heck, we believe in full-service reviews around here.

You’re welcome.

Which is most appalling: Ebert’s blatant contumely for his audience, fatuous self-satisfaction or fraud disclosed in penning a review of a picture he clearly hadn’t seen, for which he was paid?

Personally, I love Hellbound, but can’t deny that it’s a deeply flawed picture: its continuity is a shambles (especially in severalty from its predecessor); production design and effects alike are inspired but fashioned and executed with slipshod inconsistency; good performances are squandered on dialogue of equally varied quality, and the entire undertaking was obviously festinated to capitalize on Barker’s hit. Ebert didn’t advert to one of these glaring faults because he didn’t even watch the movie. How does a professional, syndicated reviewer get away with this sort of stupid dupery?