For the past few years at least, mostly everyone living in the United States has found a way to politicize everything. Some will argue and say that we live in very heated political times, and in which we do. But we as American citizens made it that way; that’s what we all fail to realize and understand. Why though?
Why does everything have to have some sort of political agenda either attached to it or sought out within something that’s not even remotely political?
Some people are of the mind that everything is political. Everything affects something or someone else in some way, shape, or form. If you have an opinion about it, it’s political. And if you don’t have an opinion about it, don’t care enough about the opinions of others, or just don’t care enough to repeatedly voice your opinion in general or about someone else’s opinions, you are part of the problem. Because you HAVE to have an opinion and argue and fight to the death with others about it! It’s the American way, dont’cha know?
And then others, like myself who just want to enjoy what life, my favorite forms of entertainment, and frivolities have to offer. I love to be able to just get lost in a good movie, TV show, video game, comic, or book. Whether I’m watching or reading my favorite superheroes saving the world, playing my way through a good story with lots of action, indulging myself in fantasy/sci fi, or watching the fallout from a zombie apocalypse.
So yes, I’ll be the first to admit, I’ll choose entertainment over anything political anyday.
Now before you begin to judge and scorn me from upon your high horses for not giving enough of a damn about what the right and left are arguing about on a daily basis, just hear me out on this.
I get why people feel politics are important. At the root of it, everyone’s subjective morals and values are rooted in their political beliefs. Not saying that I don’t have my own beliefs; I just don’t want to be one of the tens of thousands of people voicing their opinions ad nauseum only for it to be shot down mercilessly. There’s enough of that going around and nobody’s willing to listen to the other person without waiting for their chance to make a snarky retort.
And I’m not saying either that I don’t care about other people’s thoughts and feelings; I share varied beliefs of both factions. It’s hearing and seeing it in stereo from both sides is what’s killing me. Not everything HAS to be made into this huge ordeal. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Yet to some, a cigar is an elephant or a donkey on a soapbox in the middle of town square that’s either trumpeting or braying until it’s blue in the face. And on top of it all, you’re not special for having a political opinion that you feel the need to voice every five minutes about something (nor does anyone care, except for those of like mind). Neither am I though, which is why I tend to not.
This article itself isn’t political, nor is it meant to be political in any form. In fact, it’s more or less about the idea of how politicizing everything tends to detract from the value and level of enjoyment we take in our everyday lives and forms of entertainment. One of the latest things that we as hot-headed, red blooded Americans politicized this time was Rogue One, the newest installment in the Star Wars franchise.
See, I love Star Wars. Always have since I was a kid. I have fond memories of my dad and I watching the original trilogy. I remember the excitement of seeing moments like the battle of Yavin 4, the shocking twist of Vader being Luke’s father, Luke’s training on Dagobah with Yoda, and the epic duel between father and son while the battle of Endor took place. And yes, Han shot first. Han always shot first. The prequels were a different story though. I wanted to like them, I really did. And for a little while there, I saw the charm that they had. Upon multiple viewings and the older I got, I myself wanted to learn the ways of the Force so that I could somehow magically force choke Jar Jar Binks and freeze George Lucas in carbonite for the horrors and pain that were Episodes 1, 2, and 3. And then The Force Awakens was released. After this, I knew Star Wars was back! So when Rogue One was announced, I was already looking forward to it knowing how well done TFA was.
In the months leading up to it’s release, of course since people love their politics and political views so much, they had to turn around and politicize it, see what they wanted to within the storyline, and base it off of the personal opinions of the filmmakers and actors alike.
TFA wasn’t immune to this, either. Why though? Why is it necessary to take to heart what these actors, producers, writers, etc. and just run with it and create some sort of pro or anti political agenda out of it? Is this just another case of people seeking out a confirmation or cognitive bias of some sort like most politically minded people tend to do?
I myself recently had the chance to see Rogue One and I enjoyed the hell out of it! It was very well written, directed, and performed by the studio and cast alike. I loved the nods and easter eggs to both the original trilogy and even a couple to Star Wars Rebels, the most recent animated adventure (which is also well done for being a kid’s cartoon). Most of all, the story itself truly felt like Star Wars! It really made me want to go home and pop in A New Hope for how it segwayed into the original trilogy.
Most importantly, I personally saw no political agenda of either pro or anti, right or left within this or The Force Awakens.
Then again, I’m not the type to go out of my way for politics, hang on the every word of people in Hollywood, or seek out political agenda in my entertainment. Even if there is some sort of political or social agenda hidden within the movie, it wasn’t glaringly obvious (to me anyways). And even if it was, I’m able to put aside my distaste for politics for the sake of Star Wars itself.
Point is folks, not everything HAS to be politicized. It is okay to just allow yourself enjoy something for what it’s worth, without being a buzzkill to yourself or your friends and family for seeking out and claiming there’s some sort of pro or anti, right or left wing political agenda. So please, for the love of entertainment (viewers, writers, and performers alike), stop making everything be about politics and seeking your own confirmation biases within your favorite movies, TV, comics, novels, etc. Learn to let it go and turn off your politically brainwashed minds once in a while; at least long enough to enjoy what value entertainment has to offer before you take to the internet in either protest or support for whatever it is you’re looking for this time.
Oh, and may the force be with you.