“Sam Bacile”‘s “Movie”

Now they’re saying there is no Sam Bacile, may not even be a whole movie, just some dude who used stereotypes of Jews (who of course control Hollywood) and of Americans (who of course watch blasphemous crap) to end up endangering Egyptian Coptics by pissing off Muslims with a long movie trailer.

I have a lot of thoughts, most of which are ill-formed and ill-informed. But the Butcher watched the trailer last night and we were both howling at how bad it was. But it strikes me that it apparently seems utterly plausible to a great swath of people that we would watch crap like this in all seriousness. Which, you know, on the one hand, we as a country totally would, but on the other hand, if we are going to make a movie about how blood-thirsty and perverted non-Christian religions supposedly are, we’re going to get Mel Gibson to direct it, you know? It’s going to be a spectacle of offensive stereotypes, terrible but beautiful to look at.

But maybe not. Maybe a strange truth to come out of this is that most of the movies we export are so awful that it’s not immediately clear to people that this is obviously a con job of some sort.

Situations like this tear me. Obviously these folks have a right to make whatever kind of movie they want and I don’t want the government to step in and stop them. But this was specifically designed to insult people and piss them off. And obviously, the people who were insulted and pissed off to the point of violence? Their actions are on them. It’s not like this is “Bacile”‘s fault to the exclusion of the people who actually did it.

But “Bacile” reminds me of those guys who put ads on Craigslist setting up encounters for their wives or girlfriends to be “raped” by someone when really, surprise!, they’re having their wife raped. It’s not a direct analogy, obviously–the husbands/boyfriends have more legal culpability, for one thing–but there’s something about folks who not only know what a potential outcome will be but seem to be instigating that outcome that is really fucked up.

Something like this seems designed to see how many people it can hurt.

7 thoughts on ““Sam Bacile”‘s “Movie”

  1. “But it strikes me that it apparently seems utterly plausible to a great swath of people that we would watch crap like this in all seriousness.” Well, yes, since we DO watch crap like that in all seriousness, which is why Birthers continue to be an issue, why a non-trivial number of people think that 9/11 was a government set-up, and hell, why people think the moon landing was faked. It’s plausible BECAUSE IT HAPPENS TO BE TRUE. A LOT of people in this country would watch the “movie” and swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

    Hell, we’ve got people who don’t know that the Onion is satire and who are circulating links on Facebook, right now, about Obama’s “secret son.”

  2. I’m in a discussion presently about this on Facebook. (I know. I know.) I’m apparently “morally confused” because I believe that when you poke a sleeping dragon you have some culpability for what the angry dragon does next.

  3. I’ve been trying to write something along those lines a couple of times and can’t make it come out right. But I think that someone who expected (as evidenced by the use of false names, etc.) a violent reaction, and wanted to channel that reaction into certain paths (as evidenced by the appeal, by use of specific false information, to stereotypes that are widespread among the audience it was hoped would react), is at least morally guilty of incitement. It would have been much better if the incitement had failed, and the guilt for the violence is on the heads of the people who carried it out. But that doesn’t mean that the hands of those who incited it are clean.

  4. Rachel, fair point.

    NM, exactly. It’s a terrible film (I’m assuming that, honestly, the trailer is the film), but it’s a really effective piece of propaganda. And, yes, I expect adults to use their critical thinking skills and not be incited to violence based on propaganda, but I also know, if it were as simple as that, propaganda wouldn’t be so effective. And what you say, about wanting to channel that reaction into certain paths is exactly what I was attempting to say, but not so clearly.

    It’s really scary, that kind of “let’s watch the world burn” attitude.

  5. Several websites that I’ve visited have posted how similar sounding “Sam Bacile” is to “imbecile”. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not.

  6. What’s very interesting is that Harretz originally reported that Hollywood Jew’s had paid 5 million for this film to be made what has happened to this story.

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