People aren’t afraid of no ghosts, but they sure as hell are afraid of a whole bunch of other things to do with the new Ghostbusters.
I’ll give you a hint: it involves vaginas.
And yes, the feature image is an accurate encapsulation of what some people actually believe.
By Sam Jones
So, in a WBS first (I’m fairly sure) I’m gonna be whinging about other people whinging about the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot/remake/whatever-the-fuck, because we (by which I mean me, God I’m lonely) here at WBS are always looking for new and innovative ways to whinge.
Because, as Mark Henry once said, that’s what I do.
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock the pas few months, or you’re wise enough to avoid the endless cesspool that is the Internet in general, you’ve doubtless been witness to at least some of the righteous furor that is currently surrounding the upcoming female-lead Ghostbusters. Yes, all over cyberspace, whiny dipshits are crying that Hollywood has the audacity to touch Ghostbusters, the most sacred of cows (apparently), and allow it to be infected by the world’s greatest new evil: feminisms. Well, I say “feminism”, but apparently the massive, venomous, and only vaguely disproportionate outrage over the new Ghostbusters has nothing to do with its all-female leading cast. No, apparently, women need to stop making this latest tragedy all about them, because its really all about the precious childhoods this film threatens to destroy by…umm, existing I guess. That’s how that works, right? By sheer, sheer coincidence, most of these childhoods are men’s. This is a “coincidence” that will become a recurring theme.
So, as you may have gathered already, I’m not overly impressed by this latest bout of ill-directed, impotent Internet rage, because its actually even more poorly-reasoned and illogical than most varieties of Internet manbaby rage. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in to dissecting this stupid outrage!
1. MUH CHILDHOODS
As far as I can gather, the most significant argument in this toxic rhetoric surrounding the new Ghostbusters is that the outrage has nothing whatsoever to do with its all-female cast (which I tooooootally believe, by the way). No, it’s about the children. Its about protecting childhoods, preserving the sanctity of a franchise so that our childhoods and the childhoods of our children can be kept sacred, so they can grow up and enjoy the same things that made our childhood so magical. Well gosh, ain’t that sweet?
So, before I continue on this point, I’d like to note that I’m not all that nostalgic for the original Ghostbusters. I didn’t see it as a kid, and I have in fact only seen it once, a few years back. And y’know what, its a pretty great film.
You know what else is interesting about it? That, even once this new one comes out, the old one will still exist. Well, ain’t that a thought? Seriously, this whole “childhood” bullshit makes it sound as if this new movie as simply cause the old one to evaporate into nothingness, that once this new one hits cinemas, the old one will simply fade from memory and history, like it never happened. Which, of course, it won’t. It’ll still be there, right alongside your childhood that’s apparently purely defined by a movie. Even more nonsensical is the sense of inevitability this line of reasoning carries: as if you’re going to be coerced into having to watch this movie, like its some necessary, grim undertaking as a fan of the original. Look, not to be a Judgey Jason or nothing, but if the only thing of worth and note in your childhood is a movie, then that’s a pretty friggin’ tragic childhood you’ve got there. If you’re so truly, truly concerned about this film somehow tainting your precious memories of the original, then might I suggest you ignore it? Seriously, just don’t watch it. In this hyper-consumerist culture of ours, the greatest form of protest you can make is with your wallet: if you really wanna strike a blow against this “atrocity” (would it be too much to put three more sets of quotes around that?) of a film, then don’t give it, or its creators, your money.
There you go, Internet, I just solved all your film-hating-related problems. You’re welcome. I accept payment for services rendered in the form of death and rape threats.
2. A VEY SELECTIVE OUTRAGE
You know what’s interesting? Ghostbusters isn’t the first fairly significant 80s action film with a strong cult following to get a remake/reboot. In fact, its the fifth of the past 4 years. What were the others? Well, we had Total Recall (2012), which is followed up by Robocop (2014), and just last year, we got a rebooted Point Break, as well as the continuation/soft reboot of Mad Max with Fury Road. A solid list of nostalgic 80s fare to get entirely pointless remakes to be sure, and yet, oddly (conveniently), there wasn’t exactly much of a fuss kicked up about any of these films being remade. Now I’m sure there was much groaning and rolling of eyeballs (myself included) at their existence, but outrage? Hardly. I think the most anyone managed was apathy, and in Fury Road’s case, it turned out be fucking awesome (seriously, if you haven’t seen it, go watch Fury Road right now. It’s okay, I’ll wait).
So, when this new Ghostbusters was announced, one would have figured it would just be greeted with the same reaction of apathy and eye-rolling. Instead, with met with the kind of toxic spewage I hadn’t seen since Bioware went in the very avant-garde direction of having an incredibly shit ending to an otherwise fantastic trilogy of video games. Now, of course I acknowledge that Ghostbusters probably occupies a higher spot on the totem pole of renown and popularity than the aforementioned films, and thus there would likely be a slightly more impassioned outcry, but really, is the supposed reasoning behind this particular outrage not just as applicable to those other films? I mean really what this boils down to (supposedly) is the preservation of something great and classic from the evil hand of modernity, which I would have thought would be pretty relevant to everything other film series I just listed off, and yet those remakes were greeted merely with exasperation, not anger. I wonder if maybe, just maybe, there’s some kind of link here? Perhaps to a fairly notable and significant change in casting? Now look, I’m not generally one to pimp the ol’ “correlation-equals-causality” argument, because for the most part, its generally facile. But can seriously and honestly tell me that this furor over the new Ghostbusters has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that it has an all-female cast, in place of the original film’s all-male cast? Can you seriously say that something championed by geek culture, a culture that has well-documented issues of sexism, being redone with women has nothing to do with the current outrage? At all? Because honestly, I’m having a slightly hard time believing that. A verrrrrrrry slightly hard time believing that.
3. TRAILER TRASH
It should be said that I don’t generally care too much for trailers. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them, but more to say I’ve never regarded them as being particularly strong measures by which to judge the quality of the film they are purporting to advertise. So, naturally, you might not be surprised to hear that, through all this outrage, I’m particularly unimpressed by how quickly and easily this film has been dismissed and trashed online for its trailers not being great.
Here’s the thing about trailers: your standard trailers are typically pretty short, usually 1 minute to maybe 2 or 3 minutes at most. Most trailers are also not usually cut together by the studios responsible for the movie either: that tends to fall into the realm of advertising and marketing firms and studios. What does all that mean? Well it means that trailers have a very strong tendency to end up completely misrepresenting, and in some cases, completely change the intended tone and meaning of a film, regardless of the quality of the trailer itself. Now, is this me defending the quality of the trailers for the new Ghostbusters? It is not: they’re not great trailers, so I’m with people on that. What is this, is me saying that taking a couple of minutes of cut together, contextless footage from a 90-120 minute feature film and decrying it as garbage based purely on that basis alone, is mildy absurd. Especially when what’s in trailers may not even end up in the film. And yet, I can’t remember the last time so little was scrutinized so heavily and so viciously, and weaponised in a seemingly endless campaign to make this film seem like its gonna be worse than…oh fuck, I dunno, whatever the last big stupid Internet outrage was, God knows it’s hard to keep track of all of them.
4. ALMOST DONE, STAY WITH ME
So, what’s the takeaway from this long, rambling, bullshit blog post, you might ask? Well it’s simply this: nothing of what was said here is actually in defense of the new Ghostbusters. Honestly, there’s really not much I can actually say to how this thing is even gonna turn out, but given the amount of boiled piss and congealed salt being heaped on this thing, my guess is its gonna turn out to be perfectly okay. Like seriously, I really like its gonna just be a fine movie, nothing great. Not better than the original, not offensively bad. Just meh. I mean, “just meh” has basically been my reaction to everything I’ve seen of it thus far.
But you know what will be great? When the shit storm all these online piss babies created results in this thing being massively, massively successful. Because really, it’s a perfect storm of elements: a fresh take on an old film, boldly leading the progressive charge against a vile and toxic male-dominated rebellion seemingly couched in increasing archaic and repulsive sexist ideas that aim to keep comedy as an exclusive little boy’s club. I think people will rally around this thing and sing its praises just to spite all this rage, just to render to all pointless, impotent, and moot (as if it weren’t already), and as it rightly deserves to be.
And what’s more, you can count me in on the Spite Express. I am all-in on this movie being a hit. I’m gonna be there opening day, purchasing my ticket and gleefully thinking about all grand tidal waves of tears the will wash over the Internets when the box office numbers come through. Its gonna be great.
But hey guys, if its any consolation, I have actually received a hot tip that, in direct response to this outrage, there will be an additional post-credits stinger on the new Ghostbusters that will consist of Bill Murray furiously masturbating to completion and jazzing all over the camera lens.
Which I know is all I ever wanted from a Ghostbusters movie.