The Gawker article in question
Yesterday, Gawker published this article titled I Haven’t Seen Star Wars Yet But I Bet it Doesn’t Pass the Bechdel Test. Presumably, it was not sincere. It seems to be a response to reports that Star Wars: The Force Awakens passes the Bechdel Test, a standard of gender representation in film that demands two named female characters talk to each other about something other than a man. Gawker contributor Allie Jones argues that although she has not seen The Force Awakens—or any Star Wars movie, for that matter—it is extremely unlikely that the new sequel is Bechdel-compliant. Quote:
Think about it for one second: A Star Wars movie that passes the Bechdel test? Uhh, sure. Not.
I haven’t seen this new movie yet, nor have I seen any of the other Star Wars movies. I’m still pretty confident that there is no Star Wars scene in which two women talk about something other than a man or a male robot or whatever.
I’m going to say she is putting us on. Contradicting the account of people who saw the new Star Wars movie on her authority as a person who has seen no Star Wars movies seems too egregious to be sincere. What we have here is some form of irony, but is it satire? Or what?
First, I’m warning you right now that there is going to be way less Combat! blog than you want this week, yet way more than I actually have time to write. Here’s a pro tip for all you freelancers out there: tell everyone you’re going on vacation. I have received more projects labeled “emergency” since I went on vacation than I had previously gotten in my entire career. The next time you see me, I will be wearing a panda skin monocle. Second, the Theory of Taste promised in the headline is not the useful kind of aesthetic theory. It is a theory of my taste, which is notoriously bizarre. Ready? Yesterday, while inflicting an interpretive rendition of a cartoon I had seen six years ago on my brother, who has long since reconciled himself to such tortures, I realized that there is a through-line in much of the animated humor that I like: ultra-naturalistic dialogue and voice acting in the context of fantastic situations. I think that cartoons in which monsters, superheroes, space cowboys and other fantasy characters have to live in apartments and work at jobs are hilarious. Those of you once forced by the pursuit of English degrees to read the execrable Gabriel Garcia Marquez are familiar with the literary genre known as magical realism, in which key aspects of human consciousness go unaddressed in favor of love turning women into butterflies. That sucks. But what does not suck is the style of humor that I’m going to call Fantastic Naturalism.