Sunday, December 4, 2016

Not all patriarchal archetypes...

Bit of a follow up to both the Whedon and Alien discussions.

Joss Whedon is certainly not the only artist to hit on the "enemies in law, enemies in chaos, we're stuck in the middle" theme. Hell, even all give five Alien movies use this. Oh look, the weakest of those, Alien Resurrection, is a Joss Whedon movie.

But it's not a universal theme you see in every work, only one that you see in every Whedon work, and one that plays well with his constant delivery of anti-dramatic sarcasm.

Another significant difference is the attitude of the lawful-enemies. In the Alien franchise for instance, they are inhuman entities whose key trait is they do not give a fuck about you. In the first movie the key phrase is "Crew Expendable" typed out by a remorseless AI. In Prometheus, order is somewhat represented by a grasping Weyland who doesn't care if an alien was just cut out of your body, only if you're standing between him and immortality - but more it's represented by the Engineer race, this angry male god who sees you as little more than an accidental blot on a clean galaxy. Generally all of these forces are willing to ignore you when you don't matter, and expect you to die for them when they desire something.

Whedon's order is a much more human patriarchy. It cares about you, it wants you to submit, and it wants you to be grateful for their beneficence. It wants to change you, into something more useful and obedient (hence why Whedon's Alien movie is the one about biologically manipulating and controlling Ripley.)

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