August 20, 2010

Quileute Chihuahuas okay in spoof?

A woman on Facebook offered the perhaps inevitable defense of the movie Vampires Suck. She claims it's okay to satirize one ethnic group (but not others) if you label it a "spoof."Uhhh perhaps this isn't gonna be a popular response, however isn't it the point of the movie to be a spoof of EVERY component of the Twilight series. I don't think they were isolating and even reflecting what "Hollywood" thinks of Natives....I think they were equally making fun of, everybody....Vampires, teen agers...the whole bit.Would you take a group of black characters in a movie and spoof them by portraying them as apes? When one group represents a race, you should think twice about spoofing them.It wouldn't surprise me if they did...that's the point of a spoof.

It's a SPOOF...not a serious movie...maybe the issue is that Natives have been through enough, and maybe they should be exempt from things everyone else isn't exempt from....Like spoof of culture, but again...that's the point of a spoof.
It wouldn't surprise you if a movie portrayed blacks as apes? When you find such a racist movie, please let us know.

Have you heard of minstrel shows or Polish jokes? Cloaking your prejudice in "humor" doesn't excuse or justify the prejudice.

The point of "spoofing" a culture is usually to denigrate and belittle it. That's why ethnic "spoofs" are usually prejudicial. You can spoof a culture properly--Woody Allen has done it--but most non-Indians aren't smart enough to avoid the usual mistakes and stereotypes.

In fact, mainstream movies aren't spoofing any minority these days. Studios have realized that such spoofs usually end up racist or bigoted. In the rare instances when they try such a "spoof," the critics savage them.

Vampire Sucks spoofs races equally?

If Vampire Sucks makes fun of white people as a whole, then you might have a point. But the only ethnic group it makes fun of is Indians.

There are plenty of white people in the Twilight Saga. Why didn't the producers make fun of the entire white race if their outlook was evenhanded?

What you've apparently missed is that Vampires Suck is "spoofing" the Quileute tribe's religion. It's as if the movie "spoofed" the Navajo's Changing Woman by showing a woman changing a baby's diapers and calling that sacred. Or "spoofed" a Ghost Dance by showing Casper the Friendly Ghost dancing around a campfire.

Catholics believe you're eating the body of Christ when you consume a wafer at Mass. Would it be okay to spoof them by showing cannibals gnawing on Jesus's arms and legs? Why not, if spoofing "everything" justifies cultural or religious "humor"?

The Quileute people honor wolves in their stories and ceremonies. The "Indians" in Vampire Sucks turn into Chihuahuas. The Quileute already have mixed feelings about Twilight's bastardization of their religion. What makes you think they'll appreciate the Chihuahua version better than the werewolf version?

For more on the subject, see Ethnic Humor Suggestions for MTV, Ethical Code for Native Elders Needed, and The Dudesons, Polish Jokes, and Minstrel Shows.

Below:  "It's okay, we're only spoofing blacks!"

"It's okay, we're only spoofing Jews!"

"It's okay, we're only spoofing Mexicans and Indians!"


Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Rob said...

Probably not. I link to only a few Native news and reference sites of general interest. I don't link to most products and services even if they link to me.