Question for the audience: How many of you can remember any salient plot points of the film Porky’s other than the infamous shower scene? I have to confess that I could not, in much the same way that Fast Times At Ridgemont High exists in my memory as “Jennifer Jason Leigh lying down and Phoebe Cates standing up”. Those movies were fairly simple devices: at a time when female nudity was fairly difficult to come by for teenaged boys, they provided a generous amount of it, wrapped in enough comedy to make the consumption of the film respectable. My high school classmates would have had a very low opinion of anyone who went to a peep show or an adult movie booth, but Porky’s was just on this side of being, as the kids say now, “normalized”. You could go see the movie with friends and not feel like you’d just watched a porno together.
Judging from both the critical and public reception to the African-French child-sex film Cuties, available on Netflix right next to all the new documentaries from groundbreaking producers Barack and Michelle Obama, one might think that it’s “Porky’s for perverts” or something like that: a heartwarming, thoughtful dramedy that just happens to feature extended scenes of children mimicking sexual acts, behaving provocatively, and actively soliciting sexual attention from 18-year-olds. All the usual suspects — the New Yorker, the Washington Post — just adore the movie, and recommend that everyone should see it as soon as possible. Anybody who objects to the sexual portrayal of eleven-year-olds is just a stick-in-the-mud fuddy-duddy, essentially identical to the old ladies who didn’t want Porky’s shown at your Main Street USA duplex. The rather hilarious phrase “Stream the child porn, bigot!” has appeared all over Twitter this week as a pithy encapsulation of this viewpoint.
Were Cuties nothing but a glossy wrapper for kiddie pornography, it would be utterly repugnant and unworthy of distribution anywhere in the world — but, as we will see in a moment, it is much worse than that.
God bless Tulsi, who in a sane world would have accepted the Democratic nomination for President three months ago and who would currently be preparing for a vigorous series of debates with Donald Trump — but I digress. Let’s take a moment to review the plot of Cuties. Note that I have not watched anything besides the preview for the film; the mere possibility of child porn is enough to make me physically ill. Therefore, I’ve relied on five reviews from mainstream media sources, all of which were favorable towards it.
Cuties is the story of “Amy”, an eleven-year-old African girl living in Paris. This is fairly normal, and more so every year; although the French government prohibits any gathering of statistics which might indicate the racial origin of its residents, almost sixty percent of the children born in France during 2018 were noted as being susceptible to sickle-cell anemia, a disease which does not affect ethnic French. There’s some nontrivial irony here. France was one of the last European countries to relax its grip on an African colony; now it has been effectively colonized by its former holdings. There are more Algerians in France now than there ever were Frenchmen in Algiers. As French defeats go, it’s not as dramatic or cinematic as the longbow-fueled ass-kicking by Henry V at Agincourt or Heinz Guderian’s Mercedes-Benz-powered end-run around the Maginot Line, but it has the advantage of being utterly permanent and irreversible.
Amy’s family, like the vast majority of French immigrants, practices Islam faithfully and precisely. Her father is gone overseas on a mission; the nature of this mission is initially kept from Amy, but she eventually learns that it is for marriage to a second wife. Amy’s mother is not thrilled about this, but the other women in her Islamic neighborhood have little sympathy for her concerns. A few members of Amy’s family note that they were engaged to be married when they were eleven, and that Amy should expect to be matched up with someone in the near future. This is frightening to Amy, who then experiences her first period. (This is statistically normal for African girls, albeit not for European or Hispanic ones.)
It is easy to imagine a film like this being made fifty years ago, with much the same beginning but a very different middle and ending. Having established Islam and its treatment of women as Very, Very Bad, our eleven-year-old heroine would have been exposed to a Christian church (in an American film) or secular French culture (in a European one). Either of these influences would have essentially separated her from her family, but she would also have been separated from the probability of being married off at twelve. You take the good with the bad, as they say.
In The Current Year, things are different. Amy meets a group of eleven-year-old girls who perform hip-hop dance moves for an upcoming competition. I’ll let the New Yorker tell you what happens next:
As a sort of virtual hazing at school, the Cuties push Amy into the boys’ bathroom to video-record a boy’s genitals. Her membership in the group involves her self-aware misconduct, transgressions that she undertakes quickly and coldly: stealing a cell phone from a cousin, stealing money from her mother, fighting with another girl, making herself an object of social-media scandal, even several acts of potentially grave violence. For Amy, belonging to the Cuties means more than a new activity or a new set of friends—it means forging for herself a new, self-chosen identity, which she clings to desperately, at great risk and great cost.
Her mother slaps her when she finds out about this criminal behavior; Cuties treats this like the “No more wire hangers!” scene in Mommie Dearest. Eventually Amy is accepted into the “Cuties”. What happens after that? None of the reviews bothers to tell us, but who gives a shit? I’m sure they win the dance contest and get to appear on French TV or something like that. The point of the movie is that Amy leaves Islam and joins pop culture.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is the plot of everything from Save The Last Dance to Avatar to the first Fast And Furious movie: protagonist renounces Cultural Group A and becomes an enthusiastic part of Cultural Group B. What makes Cuties especially repugnant is that it changes the plot in one critical respect. In all of the above films, Cultural Group B is
more in touch with nature
and so on
compared to Cultural Group A. In Cuties, Cultural Group B is
…and that’s it. We are given to understand that Amy is horrified at the idea of having sex with an older man as part of Islam — but then she joins a group of girls who, in the trailer to the film, represent themselves as being 14 years old so they can initiate sex with older teenagers. What’s the difference here? Very little — except that in Cultural Group A, sex with older men is disgusting and ugly while in Cultural Group B it’s going to be totally fun and cool.
In Cultural Group A, Amy’s family and their neighbors work hard, save money, take care of each other, and observe a strict code of public behavior. In Cultural Group B, Amy’s new friends perform “transgressive” activities like theft and assault. This is better, because it’s fun. Note that not even the first Fast And Furious movie makes this kind of case for Toretto’s “crew”. To the contrary, Toretto and his friends are absolutely unwilling to kill anyone, while their enemies (the police, Johnny Tran, the truckers) are eager to kill them. It’s contrived and saccharine, but it also firmly establishes the movie as inherently moral.
It’s no wonder American audiences are bewildered by Cuties. Not only is it disgusting to watch, it’s also an explicitly political film for a completely different audience. The purpose is to argue the supremacy of the Global Uniparty Cult over Islam. The Global Uniparty Cult is amoral, violent, pornographic, exploitive, unrewarding, and horrifyingly impersonal — but it’s a lot more fun than Islam, am I right? The world of Cuties is literally the whole Alastair Crowley “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” viewpoint where being slapped for theft is a worse crime than theft by a long shot.
The alert reader will note that child sex is an essential part of both ideologies in the film. This is the most horrifying part of Cuties: it reminds us that children have been used for sexual purposes since the dawn of time, and that apparently we are headed back to that practice as fast as we can manage it. This is, to put it mildly, bad news. Fifty years ago, it looked like the combination of Christian faith and humanist thought had put a permanent stop to this exploitation, at least in Europe and North America, but it’s now apparent that this no-kid-fucking-allowed period was basically the flight of the Venerable Bede’s sparrow through a brief moment in history.
The Global Uniparty has no problem with using children for sex. California Senator Scott Weiner has been in the news lately for proposing what was called a “pro-pedo” bill — but The Advocate hastens to assure us that it is primarily intended to protect 24-year-olds who have anal sex with 14-year-olds, which is of course totally not pedophilia because, uh, actually I have no idea why it’s not pedophilia, but Reuters wants me to know that “the bill is intended to reform the state’s sex offender registry to be fairer to young LGBT adults who may be in technical violation of statutory rape laws.” So if you come home from work to find a 23-year-old on top of your 14-year-old, have no fear — it’s just a “technical violation”. A technical foul, get it? Like hanging on the rim after a dunk in college basketball.
When all is said and done, Cuties is simply a statement of political power: we are coming for your kids, and we have all the tools we need to do it. Doesn’t matter if you’re Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, or a follower of the LOL-IRONY flying spaghetti monster. The deck is stacked and you’re going to lose. It’s also a fascinating view into the Uniparty mindset of what constitutes “diversity”. The “Cuties” are ethnically diverse — they look different — but they all believe exactly the same thing. It’s a nice counterpart to, say, “Twelve Angry Men”, where you had this tremendous difference of opinion and belief among a jury of fellows who were all from about the same background. That was diversity of thought, which is no longer welcome. And you might think that you’re free to have diversity of thought right about something like child pornography, but you’ll eventually be disabused of that notion. In other words:
For Hagerty, I considered the leatherette singularity.