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Terminator 2 (1991)



*


It’s a perennial theme on this site that what is called “wokeness” today and was called “political correctness” when this film was made has existed for a long, long time—so that it is the case that someone in their early 30s makes the inevitable shuffle towards conservatism (and towards the end of the proverbial mortal coil, as their beginning ends) when they notice that some beloved childhood media experience, such as Doctor Who, has “gone woke” (whereas, circa, 2006 it was still “sane”); and yet if you examine the “experience” in question you find that the basic worldview is constant from the start but just goes through various iterations—and that these follow a basic logic, flow from certain premises.


“I didn’t leave the left, the left left me,” except to notice the drift is to leave—what you noticed, in material terms, is entropy (the tendency for things to fall apart—and you noticed because you’ve just had the first intimation of your own mortality; and you want to conserve now, not go with the drift d-o-w-n-w-a-r-d-s). Hence the old rainbow LGBT flag is better—more aesthetic—than the new “brown circle flag”. There’s degeneration in degeneration—you’re “LGB without the T”, you’re for Doctor Who from the 70s. And yet what if there was something even grander than that before that? What if you’ve just noticed they’ve put faeces in your drink—but you don’t know you’ve been drinking urine all along?


Hence Terminator 2—massive blockbuster at the time—contains what people today refer to as “woke ideology” in a fully elaborated form. Never mind Ron DeSantis as he intones that “the woke” want to get American kiddies in their pre-schools—doubtless they do, but it has been like this for a long time.


The example I bring up time and again in this regard is that in the RKO B-movie adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, with Basil Rathbone as the archetypal rail-thin pipe-smoking cocaine addict; we find, in the 1940s, “kick-ass” girl pilots whisking Holmes into Nazi-occupied Europe in daring night flights. The only difference today would be that Holmes would be an incidental character, a bungling incompetent, and the kick-ass girl pilot would get 85% of the screen time and would rescue the useless old “white duffer” (who had been falsely promoted by a cabal of white men as a super competent detective)—oh, and the kick-ass girl pilot would be black (Sheretta Holmes—natch).


Anyway, take this scene from Terminator 2—it sounds like some agitational rally by Andrea Dworkins delivered outside a Cruise missile base somewhere in rural England to the resident “Women’s Peace Camp” just beyond the barbed-wired fence, complete with calls to “snap these phallic symbols of death” (grotesque plastic Reagan and Thatcher masks are mandatory).


Terminator 2 is a feminist film, no doubt—Sarah Connor, the actress in question, is an action hero in her own right; highly competent with guns and cars and explosives—you may recall that in this universe she was impregnated by a time-travelling soldier from the future sent back in time by her own son to prevent the android menace he fights in, well, about 2023 from assassinating his mom back in 1984. Said time-traveller dies in his attempt to terminate Arnold Schwarzenegger Mk. 1—Sarah is left to cope on her own.


To cope on her own—if you want to get technical, Connor is a widow (widowed by the killer cyborg from the future, that’s late-20th century widowhood for you) but it’s fairly clear to me that the semiotics around her in Terminator 2 say “single mom”—it’s single moms who, you know, “struggle to cope” in the feminist imaginary, having been left to “sort it out” by “that pig” (but, you know, thanks to the friendly lesbian collective over the hall in her apartment block she’ll learn how to fix the u-bend herself, because dykes are good with things like that—autonomous gyn/ecology).

So Terminator 2 has this whole “men, eh—they teleport in from the future, impregnate you, and then get killed by a cyborg that wants to kill their son—like, could you just not bother, actually…once again us girls are left to clear up his mess—like he thinks I’m his mother or something”. So here Connor vents against techno-science itself—invented by the giant penis (cf the near-contemporary Alien—the giant penis must be killed by the feminist Ripley) that can only take life. A feminist theme: only women know how to truly create—to create life. All men know is how to create sterile machines that destroy everything.


To be technical, it takes two to tango—in other words, the act of the creation of a child requires a sperm and an egg; so men actually have a co-equal (co-eval?) part in the creation of a child. What is true—what feminism expresses resentment about, I suspect—is that men aren’t lumbered with “it” for 9 months and don’t experience the symbiotic relationship with what they’ve created that women do; and so, yes, men are in this sense alienated from the creation of life.


Otherwise, men are much more creative than women…“What have men ever done for us?” “Well, apart from the public sanitation, the art, the law and order, the science, the economy, the philosophy…”. And, this is just a fact, men also play a role in the creation of children—it might be short in temporal terms, but it’s still essential. So women have to cling on to “those 9 months”, and if we ever have artificial wombs (not a feminist fantasy really—though self-impregnation with a turkey baster is) it will be men who invented them.


But let’s not grant feminists too much—I don’t think women resent being saddled with “it” for 9 months that much. I think it’s that feminists are unimpregnated, being ugly, and they complain that men just “flash in from 2023, impregnate you, then get killed by a cyborg” so leaving you in the lurch precisely because no handsome man from the future has done just that (to them).

By the way, Sarah Connor—the woman who plays her—is not attractive, is she? She looks Australian to me—she has that criminal cast of face you find on Australian women, slightly Neanderthal and dark (and masculinised). Is that because she’s “typical everywoman”?


In the first film she works in a burger franchise (“I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar…that much is true,” as they said in the 80s)—I mean she’s plain Jane, right? Some “asshole” knocked her up and now it’s up to her to protect her son and save the future of humanity from the mess that men—with their machines—have created. It’s deep, it’s 80s feminism, it’s Tracy Chapman (black lesbian) intoning over her guitar, “Why are the missiles called ‘Peacekeepers’, if they’re aimed to kill?”.


Deep, Tracy. Have you heard that old Latin saying, “If you want peace, prepare for war”? Maybe that’s why the missiles are called “Peacekeepers”?—it’s called enantiodromia, the paradoxical reversal of opposites. “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to step away from Ms. Chapman, or I’m going to have to call the police.” Actually, you’ll never believe this, but I’m really from 2023 and the cyborgs…


**


This scene suffers from “inadvertent racism”—this occurs when the white man is cut out and yet the usual complaints against white men are levelled at the now minority character. So Connor has this explosive outburst against a man who she has just tried to kill (with some elaborate sniper rifle which looked too big for her puny female arms to hold—and, of course, no reflection on girls, but she missed…totally, hence this plot development). Now I chuckled at this scene because, if you come at it with a racial consciousness, it’s ridiculous. Black men can be castigated for many things, but the invention of the hydrogen bomb and the nuclear dilemma just isn’t one—that’s squarely on the Jews and the Europeans.


“Men like you”, now it must be understood that everyone in the audience, I myself a few years ago, would automatically make the “mental correction” necessary. “Men like you” means “scientists”. It’s the old trope, the old complaint by women that goes right back to Frankenstein (Mary Shelley): men misuse science to create “monsters”—and the ultimate feminine fear is that men will create life, “the monster”, without women; and this is the “evil” and must be stopped, female redundancy (although, you must understand, Mary Shelley was totally turned on by Frankenstein’s monster—the great hulking child-killing brute that is mentally unstable and chases people remorselessly across continents; in other words, pantalette status: wet—the monster is even sexier than Andrew Tate).


So we, the audience, read “men like you” as “scientists”—because anyone can be a scientist, right? Anyone can be a computer scientist, a nuclear physicist, etc—it’s a democracy, right? And yet when the black genius is first introduced as the head of the project to reverse engineer “the neural net computer” from the hand of the Terminator from the first film (time spirals, time spirals) the camera cuts to him in a *surprise* movement—i.e. the filmmaker wants us to slightly catch our breath and go, “Oh…he’s black. Well played, well played—you got me. I expected an old white guy, the typical eccentric prof with fuzzy hair, but he’s a young black guy. You got me. Well, I am surprised.”


We have another moment like that, not as pronounced, when we realise—as Sarah Connor realises—that Schwarzenegger, T-800, the villain from the first film, has been “reprogrammed” (“Ja!”) and has become “the good guy”; and, as it happens, the robot to watch out for is now, courtesy then-advanced CGI, this totally liquid and mercurial machine, the T-1000, that can morph into any identity it chooses (it’s aqueous, in fact—and James Cameron, director, has always liked his water, from Titanic to The Abyss).


So it’s played on multiple levels—you are meant to be surprised the lead scientist is black, not just for political reasons or to feel proud about it but because it’s a genuine way to make the film that bit more of a “summer blockbuster” (thrills, spills and chills, remember—novelty, something to keep them interested; it’s no good dragging out a dancing dog with a little paper cone hat on its head—that was old in Queen Victoria’s time). That’s entertainment, baby—and, yes, you felt a bit disorientated when the scientist was introduced and it perked you up a bit and that’s why you’re in the cinema (circa 1991—or today, in fact).


Yet, in political terms, in this scene, it’s expected that the audience will “park” race and deal with the character solely as a “scientist”—he’s that archetype now. If you used the previous “semantic shortcut”, what you see is a scenario that progressives like to imagine happens a lot (but I suspect hardly ever happens)—the proverbial “Karen” excoriating some hapless black man who happens to be in a subordinate position to her (in this case, under the gun).


Read flat, the scene is this obnoxious and angry white woman screaming at a black man and blaming him for all the world’s problems. Except he’s *white* here, in semiotic terms—he’s the Western phallocentric scientist who practices “the white man’s magic” (Derrida) and brings about the techno-apocalypse through high technology.


This is what I mean by “inadvertent racism”—when the minority character, whether woman or black or gay, inhabits the position (for example, James Bond) held by the white man the progressive still reads the position as “hierarchic-exploitative” even if occupied by the “oppressed” (who then are subject to what white men are subject to—genuine abuse and hatred because they achieve things; replace the “white scientist”, Viktor Frankenstein, with a black man and the hatred implicit in the progressive position is all too apparent).


And yet the film relies on and knows that the audience will flip—jump through the semantic hoops—from “oh! black man” when the character first appears to “scientist” in this scene. You do the mental operation automatically, right—because you’ve been trained…


Hence the term “politically correct”, now redundant, though very current in 1991, reveals its power—it is like a “mental check”, the Orwellian analysis, hackneyed as it is, remains true; the conscious mind corrects contrary “inegalitarian” readings that could be given to the scene—it’s not a white woman verbally abusing a black man, it’s a feminist woman challenging masculine science and its cult of death. You have to make that adjustment for the film to make sense (“I don’t see race…”).


***


Other themes in the film: Sarah Connor has one man she can rely on in her life—a Mexican immigrant (in California—at the time referenda were in the works to “stop immigration”; they passed, the populists won—but only technically, since Hollywood won in the end). Connor’s son, John, relates how Sarah has run through (or been run through by) various men since his father died—and they all seem to be (single mom theme again) “dead beat dads”; or, as we said in the 1990s, “total douches” (except one who was “pretty cool, taught me about engines”—a bit like with the dykes and the u-bend). Anyway, a single mom can at least rely on a Mexican immigrant—the white dead beat dads might have come and gone, but this rather greasy and badly shaved Latino gentleman has remained solid.


The character in the film fulfils the “armourer archetype”—you know the sort, from the “I’m-going-on-a-mission-scene” (sometimes accompanied by the montage—as parodied by Team America: World Police; everyone works out and preps for “the mission”, time is compressed…in a montage). “Ah, since you’re going on a quest you’ll be needing the magic bread of Quosor, the halberd of Mintoth, and the cloak Cherabii—but I warn ye, use the cloak but once…or terrible things will happen.” It’s a role played by Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings—she gives Frodo a phial of star liquid (he picks up a coat from Bilbo Baggins too—same role). Well, that’s the archetype in the fantasy idiom, but since we’re in techno-science territory the Mexican “armourer” provides mini-guns, clips of ammo, and other “cool shit” with which to “blow off (blow up?) these dickwads”.

The point is made: all the single ladies will rely on Mexican immigrants to deal with this bullshit that the white man has put them through (pregnancy, cyborgs, nuclear apocalypse—the usual things the white man inflicts on his womenfolk).


There’s even a little scene where Connor confides to her Mexican male friend (it could be black bff, per Sicario—or a gay bff, per multiple films; it’s a narcissistic conceit in mass entertainment that all “minorities”, particularly minority men, are not sexual partners for white women but rather provide unlimited understanding and a shoulder to cry on—being mutual victims of the white man, aka “dad”). Anyway, Sarah confides to Miguel (or whatever his name is) that the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as reprogrammed and sent back to protect her son, will be “more of a father to him [her son] than any man ever could. He’s always there—he’ll never leave [not a total douche, the T-800].”


Well, there you have it—the cry of single moms and divorcees, “You were never there for us!” [I was working to pay the mortgage, the mortgage doesn’t pay itself]. You were never there for us—you were always at work, hence I will remove myself and my child from you permanently (makes no rational sense, “I just don’t understand her,” as men say in these situations—and yet it’s an appeal to be spanked, perhaps metaphorically, or set in line in some way; it’s not literally about “whether he’s there or not”—don’t take human communication literally [!], and yet most do; “But I was there!”, “You never were!”—not to get into existential analysis, but where is “there” in these sentences?).


****


Yet is Schwarzenegger white?—well, again, I think he’s coded as “cyborg”; it’s a contradiction in the narrative, Sarah Connor hates techno-science (male) but Schwarzenegger, the ultimate techno-science product, would be a better father to her son than the actual biological father (ironically a man actually selected by her son—he chose his own father for a suicide mission to save his mom and create him; his beginning was his end—to invert Kant’s definition of an organism).


Why is the Terminator better than “dad”? Because he’s always there. I’ll be pedantic: Schwarzenegger’s character in this film is a bodyguard, basically—he’s programmed to save John Connor (was programmed by him in the future), to save him at all costs from Skynet (evil cyborg overlord). That’s why he sticks close to him, is always there (takes him to Little League ????).


So he’s not a father—he’s a bodyguard, only a bodyguard would “be with you all the time” (and would you really want that, especially as a man? It strikes me as the worst thing about being a Royal or a politician or a celeb, being followed by this human fridge—even when you go to the toilet); anyway, isn’t Sarah Connor really after the reassuring presence of a man at all times to reduce her anxiety? It’s not so much about “a father for my son”, since sons don’t need a bodyguard, but “a husband for a wife”.


Strangely, John Connor, future hope of mankind, is an insolent delinquent youth who steals credit cards using “hacks and tricks” picked up from mom (gotta be tough to survive—she’s been prepping him, like a prepper, from birth—ready for the machine apocalypse). Yet Connor isn’t so much a kid who you need to protect but more the kid we need protection from—he’s insolent, he swears, he commits crimes (he’s in foster care). Um, is this kid really leadership material? In cut-scenes from the future he’s a chisel-jawed all-American hero among the burnt-out ruins of Los Angles—in 1991 he’s…a punk.


Well, that’s in line with the film, right? You think single moms raise kids that end up in foster care and steal credit cards, but actually these kids are uncut diamonds (“If we could just help them realise their potential, boost their self-esteem,” says the archetypal social worker, a man who specialises in turning street gangs into basketball teams and vice versa). Connor is an audience surrogate—and that suggests this film, rating notwithstanding, is aimed at…12 y.o. boys. Message: it’s good to be bad—Connor’s bf seems to be a pint-sized Jonny Rotten, a ginger punk with “an attitude”.


That may be true—I was way too young for this film but it existed (long before I was 12) as a film “older brothers” watched (on VHS, naturally). The great secret was to understand that Schwarzenegger’s immortal line, “Hasta la vista, baby,” stood for, in Spanish, “Goodbye, you sexy baby.” I had no idea what “sexy” meant, but in playground lore this was a very grave point that had to be discreetly explained to you (because my older brother has it on video and I was allowed to watch half of it—or “X” had a party and their parents let us watch all of it; oh, if only I had been at that party—if only I wasn’t ill).


Who is this film aimed at? I’m not really sure—I don’t believe women have a natural interest in this film, unless they find Schwarzenegger to be sexy (baby); and yet there’s no romance in this film and mostly it’s violence—so it’s aimed at young men, right? Young men should aspire to be…should identify with…not John Connor, he’s too young; not Sarah Connor, though she acts like an action hero (de facto trans)—no, not them but Arnold. What is Arnold? An emotionless robot—apart from the few “humanising” witticisms John Connor teaches him, like “Eat my shorts” (the advent of The Simpsons being contemporary with this film). Arnold is an emotionless robot who sacrifices himself without limit for women and children and is always there for them.

You sometimes see contemporary Christians talk about their life of Christ-like self-abnegation and service to their wives and children—well, these men are Die Terminator. Really? It doesn’t seem like a film Ned Flanders would watch…and yet…the Terminator is always there for his “wife and child” and sacrifices himself to an unlimited degree for them (at the end, Arnold must make “the ultimate sacrifice” and auto-terminates in the lava pit of a steel foundry to eliminate any trace of his perfidious cybernetics that could be reverse-engineered to spawn the misanthropic Skynet that seeks to kill us all, post-nuclear apocalypse, in the ruined wastelands of 2023).


The ultimate sacrifice—you must sacrifice yourself for your “women and children”. You must auto-terminate so that black people, gays, and women can enjoy what you always enjoyed.


There are some who were surprised that ultra-masculine Arnold S. could “turn” so progressive in recent years. Turn? It was ever thus. The Terminator sacrifices itself for its “wife and child”—and that’s what you, white man in the audience, better do as well. That is your moral prime directive, as programmed into you by…(well, let’s not go there)—she took the kids, but it’s just something I’ll have to deal with; immigration is very high but these people have had hard lives (man-up…say the feminists).You need to think more like Our Lord and Saviour….What, Jesus Christ?…No, I mean Schwarzenegger—auto-terminate (it was his crucifixion)…


Hence the Terminator, while you may think it is some proto-SS machine, played by a man whose surname sounds suspiciously like it means “black nigger” (no, I don’t speak German), is in fact “slave morality” personified. This is the ultimate moral found in Terminator 2—full title Terminator 2: Judgement Day; itself a strange idea—since it is the machines that stand in judgement over us and find us wanting, it’s a hint that the film doesn’t quite buy its own conceit (Sarah Connor, single mom, needs to be judged); and, really, as with all Hollywood products, space aliens and advanced AIs stand for “the gods”—the “alien invasion” is the last judgement, Kalki on his white horse (or Jesus—also said to ride a pale stallion).


*****


There is one exception to the progressive themes in Terminator 2—when Sarah Connor is locked up in a psychiatric institute she is tormented by a psychiatrist, Dr. Silberman, who is obviously Jewish. Sarah insists that “Judgement Day”, nuclear war unleashed by Skynet, is mere years away—in 1997—and that “everyone here is dead”; and she rants about the robot from the future that tried to kill her in the first film.


Silberman persecutes her in a sadistic way and, eventually, the tables are turned and Connor takes him hostage with a syringe of blue cleaning fluid inserted in his neck (I didn’t used to understand what people meant when they said Hollywood has turned violent and grotesque, but today these things actually shock me).


“You didn’t see anything at Hartsfell—you’ve been in a mental institution for years. It was a dream, a hallucination—now take your meds, and report for group therapy.”



Connor has to fight her way out past a rather dyke-ish guard. So the whole scene seems to break progressive rules and to briefly segue into rightist themes—Jewish headshrinkers, sadistic lesbian prison guards (no, these are real tropes—“Trust me, duderino,” as John Connor might say). I don’t know why Cameron broke protocol here—although the entire psychiatric institute scene is consistent with the general anti-technology message in the film; for Cameron, ultimately, women are more important than Jews as victims (or even lesbos)—and if the Jews are smart, involved in psychiatry, then that’s a demerit for them against Mother Nature.


If you’ve seen Cameron’s more recent films like Avatar, his basic worldview is even more apparent—it’s always technology (male) versus nature (female) for Cameron; and, per Titanic, plucky Celts versus aristocratic Anglos (or militaristic Anglos, in Avatar)—evil corporations abound (Cyberdyn, Weyland-Yutani, RDA). It shouldn’t escape your notice that the protagonists are the Connors in this film—plucky Irish heroes (like the Bidens, perhaps?) in a struggle against the techno-science system imposed by the Nordics (and the Jews). The Irish aren’t white, the Irish aren’t white—they’re all at sea with computers and so on.


It’s odd because Cameron loves his tech—this is a man who designed his own deep-sea submarine, or was involved in its design, to explore the ocean at its deepest point; and all his projects, such as Avatar, with its 3D glasses, rely on high technology—but the actual plots are always anti-technology, take the female side (supposedly).


It could be that technology itself is feminine, the matrix is matter—matter is feminine, spirit is masculine; it’s why men give their cars and boats female names—and yet it’s not the real feminine, so that what is extolled in these films as “female” really constitutes technology itself which is idealised as these “strong, independent women” (as in Ripley in Cameron’s Aliens—another film with anti-capitalist, feminist themes despite Cameron being a multimillionaire director).


So when Cameron thinks technology (male) and nature (female) he is quite mixed up—matter is feminine (that’s technology), spirit is masculine (that’s magic). Yet, today, most men are involved in technology to pay the bills (plus it’s high-status), so there’s romanticism that nature is spiritual and feminine—like astrology, once the domain for very able men but now debased into a hobby for teenage girls. This is why Cameron is mixed up—he’s charmed by the feminine; and matter would make out, through technological mediums, that women are the ur-victim whom we should serve and protect at all costs. That’s how you end up with “Terminator Jesus”—Christ died for you already but you need to auto-terminate, to be materialist robo-Christ, to save the women, the kids, and the minorities.













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Some guy with no plan
Some guy with no plan
06 июл. 2023 г.

James Cameron is an avid atheist who lives in his bunker full time in New Zealand with the other elites because he is afraid of guns. He just isn't likable and it shows in Avatar films which are boring garbage.

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