“an issue in itself when it comes to toxic young male culture”
The 1978 classic film ‘Animal House’ turned 40 years old last weekend, if you can believe it. Since its release, it has stood the test of time as the college comedy which defined the genre. Even when it was originally released, it was considered provocative, but back then America had a sense of humor.
In the age of the campus social justice warrior, political correctness rules and you are obligated to be offended by everything. Can you even imagine the reaction if someone tried to hold a screening of ‘Animal House’ at Oberlin or UC Berkeley today? No way. The left has deemed it unacceptable. It was only a matter of time.
Harry Cheadle writes at Vice:
Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of ‘Animal House’ by Tossing It in the Trash
It’s difficult to imagine what it was like when Animal House dropped into theaters on July 28, 1978, exactly 40 years ago. It landed like the opening of a revolution and spread through the country like a virus, eventually grossing over $500 million in today’s dollars and becoming part of the DNA of every campus comedy for the next few decades.
The tropes more or less invented by the film include rebellious frats, disapproving deans, “double secret probation,” and toga parties. “Cult movie” doesn’t do it justice—it’s an entire religion. The poster of John Belushi in his “COLLEGE” sweater was still a staple of dorm rooms when I went to college in the 2000s, and for all I know it still is. Animal House will never die. The question is, should it?…
Just as it’s difficult to imagine watching Animal House in 1978, it’s difficult to imagine coming to it today never having seen it before. Drunken frat boys don’t seem so charming anymore, the film’s gender politics are fucked beyond repair, and there’s no one to latch onto as a sympathetic character, save for maybe Katy, or maybe the women exploited by the protagonists. If you went in knowing nothing about it, you might see it as a clunky piece of Boomer-made nostalgia.
The whole drinking-is-awesome ethos is tired, the nudity is boring unless you’re a horny 14-year-old, and so many of the movies Animal House inspired are terrible. If we didn’t have Animal House we wouldn’t have the American Pie franchise, which should tell you how much of a mixed bag its legacy has been. If you had an Animal House poster on your dorm wall, you were probably a sad, weird loser and if you have one in your dorm today, guess what?
The left has embraced its inner Dean Wormer and his philosophy of “No more fun of any kind!”
Vice isn’t alone in its efforts to apply the ‘new rules’ to Animal House.
Kristi Turnquist writes at Oregon Live:
40 years later, can we still stomach ‘Animal House’?
It’s 1962 at Delta House, the most notorious fraternity at Faber College. A toga party is raging, and the frat brothers are getting lucky. Upstairs, newbie Larry Kroger, nicknamed “Pinto” (Tom Hulce), is making out with an attractive girl.
But just after she removes her bra, the girl passes out, in a drunken stupor. Pinto pauses, as a little devil appears on one shoulder, encouraging Pinto to have his way with the girl. On Pinto’s other shoulder, an angel scolds, “For shame!”
In the next scene, Pinto is rolling the unconscious young lady home, in a grocery shopping cart.
That scene sums up a lot of what makes “Animal House” complicated to watch these days. What was portrayed as simple, raunchy fun back in 1978 can easily look like sexist, racially insensitive boorishness when viewed through contemporary eyes.
The #MeToo movement was launched by allegations of sexual abuse in Hollywood at the hands of creeps like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. Yet somehow, this completely fictional movie which reflects the values of another time must be held up to new standards.
Hannah Yasharoff writes at USA Today:
In the era of #MeToo, is it still OK to laugh at ‘Animal House’?
National Lampoon’s raunchy frat house comedy “Animal House,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary Saturday, is widely regarded as an all-time great movie. But four decades later, it feels less like a comedy classic and more like a toxic showcase of racism, homophobia and jokes about sexual assault.
While parts of the film are still genuinely funny and enjoyable in 2018, the crueler moments beg the question: In the era of #MeToo, is it still OK to enjoy “Animal House”?…
This wasn’t a movie meant to be taken seriously, but that’s an issue in itself when it comes to toxic young male culture: Things found seriously offensive by some are deemed “just a joke,” and those who find it hurtful are berated for not understanding comedy. Using sexual assault as throwaway humor perpetuates the idea that the destruction these people leave in their path is meaningless simply because they didn’t intend to destroy it.
The left’s problem is that they identify with the guitar playing guy in this classic scene. We could all learn a lot from Bluto:DONATE
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