Obligatory post on “The Help”
Lots of online discussion about this movie, notably from Melissa Harris-Perry and Nelson George. I'm with Jill on this; above all other things, the idea of this movie makes my eyes close with boredom. Another story that puts a white person at the center of a story about racial injustice in order to assuage the white guilt of mainstream American audiences? Oh boy! After that, I plan to think about how even though I'm too good to do something icky like get an abortion, I'll generously allow that others should have that right, and after being so exquisitely self-sacrificing, I'll reward myself by listening to some country music renamed "bluegrass" to make it more palatable.
If for no other reason, I'm angry at "The Help" for raising the usage rates of the words "well-meaning" and "problematic" online, causing me to seriously consider logging off the internet until the euphemism rates get back to normal levels.
Movies like this, no matter how vigorously anti-racist on their surface, exist to give people an excuse to believe racism is something that happened in the past but is no longer a real problem. At most points in time, this urge is fucked up, but since we're in a current cycle of—to use euphemistic language of my own—strained racial relations, it's especially fucked up. I suppose I'll be mewled at for drawing this conclusion without seeing the movie, and in my defense, I'm going to say one thing. Sitting in a crowd of white people clucking their tongues at how bad the South was in the 60s while ignoring shit like this is bad for my mental health. I have a doctor's note. So I'm going to take a pass on this one and not even feel remotely bad about it.