Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Vast White-Wing Conspiracy Uncovered

Not the only guy in whiteface
As awful an ideology as nihilism is, it can make for riveting entertainment in capable hands. Consider the tremendous success of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. The creators of these shows appear to have learned from Macbeth’s authoritative summation of nihilist story-telling: tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. By replacing the idiots with skilled narrative craftsmen and cranking the volume on the sound and fury, they can sustain the audience’s rapt attention until the inevitable soul-crushing conclusion. Exciting means justify bitter ends.

Perhaps those of us worried about the conquest of pop culture by so dark a worldview should be encouraged when an intriguing anarcho-nihilist premise like that of The Purge: Anarchy (and its 2013 predecessor, The Purge) is bungled so spectacularly. Instead of pushing the mainstream another inch closer to A Clockwork Orange, writer-director James DeMonaco stumbles backward into a more benign era of ham-handed B-movie liberalism.