When the Oscar nominees for best film came out, and Black Panther was one, I knew something was horribly wrong in the world.
I knew that Hollywood, and the critics that hang like leeches from the film industry’s success, hadn’t suddenly gained respect for superhero movies. I knew that those same people hadn’t decided to pay attention and listen to the opinions of the hoi polloi, who are stupid enough to pay for the trash they’ve painted gold.
When I saw they picked an artificial black superhero in a make-believe perfect world without any prejudice over real life black superheroes in Hidden Figures that struggled in a real world with actual prejudice, I thought maybe the Academy had lost its collective mind—or at least forgot the order of intersectionality in the oppression Olympics. Then Spike Lee spoke and made everything clear.
It was Twitter’s fault.
Actually, let me take a step back. Twitter isn’t wholly to blame, but they created the mechanic that gives the Hollywood Mob a benchmark to measure their virtue. That mechanic is called “hashtag.”
It’s just a symbol. It used to represent number (the number sign), but everyone has forgotten what it used to mean, just like they’ve forgotten the OK sign means OKAY. Now it means something else entirely.
The hashtag is the social Post-It-Note that people in the studios and main stream media can, and do, use to take measure of the wind inside their bubble. This wind is created by their own hot air, of course, but it is spread like a virus with a hashtag.
Spike Lee admitted that he wouldn’t have gotten a nomination for Best Director if it hadn’t been for last year’s Oscar hashtag #OSCARSSOWHITE.
And then I understood.
Marvel was savvy enough to make sure that Black Panther was directed by a black man.
Black cast. Black director. Booyah! Oscar nod.
Marvel out maneuvers the entire film industry AGAIN! That’s Three Dimensional Chess, boys… erm. . . and girls and xir and whatever.
You have to admit that Marvel has this game down.
But this game has competitors.
Black Panther is not the greatest film of the year. It’s not even the greatest comic book film of the decade. It couldn’t win a contest against Wonder Woman, which was directed by a woman and was, by far, a superior film. But that came out in 2017 and there was no hashtag to recommend it to the Academy.
But there is now.
The #oscarsowhite hashtag is put to rest with the bevvy of nominations going to black men. A new hashtag has been created–one that DC can definitely take advantage of in 2020 with their Wonder Woman: 1984 release later this year. That hashtag?
Put your 200 dollars on Black Panther to win best picture this year, and if you can swing it, put some money down on Wonder Woman to be nominated next year. You can make some serious bank on some very average movies thanks to hashtags and the strange reactive way the entertainment industry reacts to tweets.
You may think that nominating more blacks in the entertainment industry (and I use “black” because it’s the opposite of “white” as in #oscarssowhite ) is a great thing. That’s not my argument. My argument is that being motivated by a mob behind a hashtag is not a good thing. Being coerced to do something by a hashtag mob has been unquestionably an act of a broken society.
My argument is that Twitter is evil, and I’ll build more of a case next week.
BTW, I use the fabric I’ve just included pictures of above in crafts at my etsy store: Calinor Ink and I’d really appreciate you go and buy stuff from the store so I can keep reporting and commenting.