The Totalitarian Prime Directive is simple: Permit no escape. After all, the evidence is copious that oppressed and subjugated people will flee if they can. Therefore, the totalitarian must block all escape routes, station men with guns at each of them, and shoot those who attempt to breach them as an example to others. Stories of such events at the borders of Communist countries are many. Survivors of those regimes often tell stories of aborted escapes. If the regime can keep its subjects despite their enormous desire to escape, its power will be secure against anything but invasion and conquest by a stronger power.
In our era, escape has come to mean something more than physical removal from oppressive circumstances. It often refers to a mental refuge from such conditions. Large industries have grown highly profitable by supplying people with such escapes. Fantasy and science fiction, superhero comics, movies made from such tales, video games and conventions for fans are all examples thereof. They provide a dollop of relief to those who need it…and a fanciful kind of hope, as well.
Today’s mental oppressors march under the flag of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” This has been called “woke” doctrine. Like “physical” totalitarians, they seek to close off all escape, such that there’s nowhere for anyone to turn for a respite from their demands. But the task is difficult, for it involves combatting market forces whose heft is measured in tens of billions of dollars. So rather than destroy those mental refuges, the dictators of “woke” have striven to pollute them.
As you may have heard from our own Lincoln Brown or our friends at Twitchy and Hot Air, a new Star Wars movie is in the works, featuring everyone’s “favorite” Mary Sue, Rey ‘Skywalker’ Palpatine (poor Daisy Ridley, having to play such a hated character).
And of course, its new director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, is a perfect example of DEI: a Pakistani woman who proudly wants to “make men uncomfortable” and somehow forgot several of the most pivotal characters in the Star Wars saga were female (Leia, her mother Padme Amidala, Ahsoka Tano, just to name a few).
As Lincoln said, Disney isn’t trying anymore, just reanimating the corpse of a beloved IP they killed. Not even for the money (every movie they’ve been putting out in the past few years seems to be getting more and more woke, and they flopped harder than FIFA players), but seemingly out of sadism.
It’s not pure sadism. It’s an attempt to pollute the refuge the quintessentially escapist “Star Wars” movies offer to their fans. If the dictators of “woke” can render such hiding-places for our minds as unappetizing as the increasingly oppressive reality around us, they will be better enabled to impose their creed on us. We won’t have a redoubt from which to resist them.
The counter-agent to such invasions is the loss of revenue. Disney has already suffered greatly for its prior sins…but apparently not enough to force its masters to correct their course. Whether Disney will break before “Star Wars’s” fans, we must wait to see.
I could go on, for the examples of this sort of infiltration of heroic and escapist entertainment are many. But the point will stand as it is.
Fortunately, my chosen perch – independently-produced and published fiction – cannot be subverted this way. Indie writers and artists still make escapism and heroism available in quantity to anyone who seeks them. There’s also a steadily increasing community of indie moviemakers, who purvey their offerings largely through the Web. Whatever other sins may lie at Amazon’s doorstep, we have those outlets for relief. Pray that the dictators of “woke” don’t find an effective weapon against them.