August 31, 2017

Fly buzz.

How to go viral with the boring news that you're doing a remake of the old teacher-made-me-read-it book "Lord of the Flies"? Announce that you're going with an all-female cast.

And the once-orderly internet dissolves into chaos. A top-notch feminist (Roxane Gay) tweets: "the plot of that book wouldn't happen with all women."

Now, you've got something — a raging debate about whether a couple dozen girls would attempt to establish order and then descend into brutality the way the (fictional) boys did.

I clicked through to Roxane Gay's twitter feed and was amused to see that the tweet she's got "pinned" at the top (from 2015) is: "It's fucking bullshit that Jack dies. There is plenty of room on that door. I am going to bed." Now, that's a movie debate. I don't know how long we can talk about what the "Lord of the Flies" — Lady of the Flies? — girls are going to do on their island and how convincingly they're going to be cruel to each other, but the old question of why Rose hogged the door in "Titanic" will go on forever.

99 comments:

Beth said...

I had the same question about the book when I read it in high school 30 years ago. But isn't Mean Girls dort of the same thing?

BarrySanders20 said...

Top knoch feminist sounds sexist as it implies there are tiers of betterness which only perpetuates the patriarchy or something.
Plus we know the feminist from whatever knoch she resides is right that girls would never get clicky and treat other girls -- even ones named Piggy -- horribly.

Sebastian said...

As if confirmation were needed that feminism is the theory that women are special.

gspencer said...

tweets: "the plot of that book wouldn't happen with all women."

Now, you've got something — a raging debate about whether a couple dozen girls would attempt to establish order and then descend into brutality the way the (fictional) boys did.

-----

Au contraire. See Mean Girls (2004), written, directed, produced by through-and-through lefties which has been praised and praised as insightful. Gag me with a spoon.

rhhardin said...

The point isn't descent into barbarity but how naturally order is restored once adult authority turns up. That doesn't happen with girls.

Jersey Fled said...

Women are exactly like men, except when men are worse.

rhhardin said...

I have noticed a spate of uninteresting recent DVDs.

I think it's that the writers don't actually know anything.

Matthew Sablan said...

Mean Girls isn't Lord of the Flies. It is a movie about how civilisation is uncivilized. Lord of the Flies is about how people fail to make a modern civilisation because the boys are flawed. At the end, we're led to believe that the boys can be returned to civilisation thanks to their rescue. With Mean Girls, we're told that this is a phase for children who can grow out of it on their own. No outside force civilized the girls, the boys need authority.

It isn't an apt comparison at all.

Ralph L said...

Who was the feminist who admitted that they'd still be in grass huts without men?

rhhardin said...

There should be a lord of the flies about writers.

rhhardin said...

Paglia. She wasn't admitting it but claiming it.

Matthew Sablan said...

In Mean Girls, the adults are useless. In Lord of the Flies, they're rescuers.

Henry said...

If the plot wouldn't happen with all girls, does that also preclude the dreamer Simon?

Essentially, what Roxane Gay is announcing as axiomatic for women is a lack of extremes.

Which I don't think she intends to apply to mathematicians or Google programmers.*

---

*Nor should she, but that's the trap she makes for herself.

Ralph L said...

I think it's that the writers don't actually know anything.

Like the music industry, proliferation has taken the money out of it for individuals. How many network TV shows still use writers? Rose Marie is 95, but she ain't getting paid.

rhhardin said...

Feminism is women nagging. It isn't about anything.

Women nag. It's estrogen connecting the brain weirdly.

traditionalguy said...

Chanting "Kill The Pig" has a BLM/Antifa ring to it. The Olympics needs to add a Power Chanting competition.

rehajm said...

If you've ever battled with a makeshift float it is easy to buy into James Cameron's buoyancy explanation.

How Han Solo makes the Kessel Run in under 12 Parsecs is the tougher debate. The Lucas explanation is lame.

Matthew Sablan said...

I think the plot could happen with all girls. Battle Royale has a whole section where the girls are shown to suffer the same flaws as the boys. If we can't believe that young girls can be driven to violence, then The Hunger Games should never have happened.

Henry said...

Forget mean girls. Watch Glee. All the strongest characters, the ones who move the plot forward in every season, are women. Glee is Lord of the Flies, except with show tunes. And it's set in a high school, so no one is ever rescued.

Sally327 said...

Anyone who's worked in an office full of women knows that Lord of the Flies is way too tame a story. If you want calm, hire men. If you want jealousy, treachery and hysteria, hire women.

Not all women, just some women. Too many, unfortunately.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Sablan said...

I wonder how they'll approach Piggy.

MathMom said...

What, exactly, is a "top-notch feminist"?

Gabriel said...

Oh good Lord. It's not a question of if there's space on the door for Jack to fit his body; it's that two people weigh too much and the door can't keep them both out of the water.

Pretty basic physics.

Laslo Spatula said...

Brooke Shields: "The Blue Lagoon."

Phoebe Cates: "Paradise".

THAT's how you make a Girl on an Island film.

I am Laslo.

Michael P said...

I came to all about "Mean Girls", and was glad to see I wasn't the first.

Part of the twist of Golding's book was that the boys-descended-into-barbarity was that they were rescued by sailors during a war (grown men descended into barbarity, or at least violence).

Who would rescue a batch of girls-descended-into-violence? The Monstrous Regiment?

Swede said...

Quoted from Twitter: "They'd just be mean to each other, fat shame one another, then die from hypothermia because they don't know how to start a fire".

Laslo Spatula said...

Re: Phoebe Cates: "Paradise".

Phoebe Cates was seventeen when she filmed "Paradise".

So don't go searching on the Internet for her nude scenes.

Don't do it.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

If it was Phoebe Cates on the door in Titanic there would've been room for Jack.

Because Phoebe weighs a lot less than Kate Winslet.

They have both done nude scenes, so that is verifiable.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

The best you can hope for with male barbarity is domestication. Kerrigan lists football, rock, humor, happy marriage and a good prose style.

Women don't like humor or football. Their prose tends to chatty.

rhhardin said...

I bailed out of Blue Lagoon. Too stupid to finish.

Kate said...

When Hollywood remade Ghostbusters it tamed the characters. Akroyd, etc, were lunatics in the original (in the best sense). The actors went into very strange comedy, which made the movie a classic. The remake kept the actors in a very narrow lane. It was bland and unfunny. Women were stifled and kept on a leash in the name of feminism.

I wouldn't want to watch Lord of the Flies even if Daniel Day-Lewis played Piggy. I certainly don't want to see controlled feminism do a remake.

Lyssa said...

It wouldn't happen in the exact same way with an all-female cast, but it would still happen. They should look to reality shows that start with male v. female teams for inspiration.

Laslo Spatula said...

If seventenn-year-old Phoebe Cates was in "Lord of the Flies" all the other girls would hate her because she was so pretty.

She would need to find solace in showering naked under a waterfall.

Did I mention Phoebe Cates was seventeen when she filmed "Paradise"?

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Snatched with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn was okay, by the way.

There's a tit in it that's not the high point, but the crotch humor is good.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Women were stifled and kept on a leash in the name of feminism."

I thought it was the opposite: they weren't stifled, they kept talking and talking and ad-libbing and talking. They thought it was funny.

I am Laslo.

C Hayes said...

THIS: "Anyone who's worked in an office full of women knows that Lord of the Flies is way too tame a story. If you want calm, hire men. If you want jealousy, treachery and hysteria, hire women.

Not all women, just some women. Too many, unfortunately."

Things would still collapse with girls, but much faster, and the excluded girls would kill/harm themselves from the psychological trauma.
So, are girls "better" than boys? Absolutely not. Just different, and not always in a good way. (PS--I am female. yay.)

Larry J said...

A bunch of women on their own on an island? It has been tried.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLFLORx6xsU&spfreload=5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqfAt7TshLw

tim in vermont said...

Wait a minute, it's settled science that whenever girls are different than boys, it's in a "good way"!

tim in vermont said...

Snatched didn't suck as much as I thought it would. But the next movie I watched was Masterminds, and I realized that Snatched wasn't all that good by comparison.

Laslo Spatula said...

Jenny Agutter was seventeen when she filmed "Walkabout."

She was naked in that.

It wasn't on an island, but it WAS in the Australian Outback, which is close enough, I guess.

I am Laslo.

William said...

I'd be interested in reading the review for the female Lord of the Flies, but I would take active steps to avoid actually seeing the movie. I'm sure the reviews will be full of witty put downs, and the movie will be execrable. I'd even avoid the trailer......Spitballing here. I wouldn't go with schoolgirls. How about a plane load of Sports Illustrated models are forced to crash land on a tropical island. I'd be interested in watching them try to establish a social hierarchy and in their attempts to fashion civilized clothing out of palm fronds. Perhaps some of them surrender to verboten sexual desires. You could make a movie worth watching if you tweak the premise a little.

rhhardin said...

Klavan says that, in review jargon, when an actress is said to come of age, it means she's about to take her top off.

rhhardin said...

At 40 an actress becomes the driven district attorney, and at 60 driving Miss Bess.

William said...

A female Tarzan might be interesting, an all female Magnificent Seven not so much.

rhhardin said...

The guys get the good movie parts. The girls are just there to have something to rescue, or long to return to in the case of war movies.

tim in vermont said...

Goldie Hawn's boob never pops out in the movie, though it's said that it happened. I guess she's come and gone of age.

Laslo Spatula said...

When people think of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" they probably. think of Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool and removing her red bikini top.

Or Sean Penn as the stoner Spiccoli.

They probably don't remember Jennifer Jason Leigh as the young girl who has an abortion.

Jennifer Jason Leigh was naked, too, but she was twenty. Twenty isn't as good as seventeen, sometimes.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High": a comedy that has many storylines, including one about abortion.

Nowadays they'd make the movie all about the abortion, and they would leave out Phoebe Cates.

The Best Friend cannot be prettier than the Lead Actress.

And you certainly couldn't have a scene where the Best Friend gives fellatio instructions on a carrot. That has no place in a movie about abortion.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

I've seen but don't remember Ridgemont High or Masterminds.

Achilles said...

"Fly buzz."

It will not be made honestly.

"You can't handle the truth."

Laslo Spatula said...

"Fast Times" was directed by a woman, Amy Heckerling.

Thirteen years later Heckerling also directed "Clueless", which did not have an abortion, or nude scenes of Alicia Silverstone, who was eighteen.

A lot changes in thirteen years.

I am Laslo.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger traditionalguy said...
Chanting "Kill The Pig" has a BLM/Antifa ring to it.


Damn! You beat me to it.

Richard Dillman said...

"Ladies of the Flies"? It seems to me that many leaders of the Evergreen State rebellion of 2017 were women (or girls). We know how that turned out.

Laslo Spatula said...

Phoebe Cates, coming out of the pool and taking off her bikini top, is one of the Most Iconic Nude Scenes ever.

AND it was directed by a woman.

THAT's Talent.

Phoebe Cates, coming out of the pool and taking off her bikini top, is one of the Most Iconic Nude Scenes ever.

AND it was directed by a woman.

THAT's Talent.

Also: A Thoughtful Investigation Into Whether Or Not There Will Ever Be Another Phoebe Cates

I am Laslo.

Ralph L said...

"Clueless" was based on Emma. They could only take it so far before the Austen fans beat them senseless.

tcrosse said...

A female Tarzan might be interesting,

Here she is.

Sheena Queen of the Jungle

Hagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

Wonder what the reaction would be if they remade "Lord of the Flies," or "Queen ...", with an all Black cast?

D said...

The HS essay I wrote argued that the reason it all came apart was because the boys were English. That would never happen to Canadian boys or girls eh. Our smugness would see us through. I got a B, cause I forgot to criticize the US.

I suppose Hollywood can mine the gender reversal thing for a decade or two. Some films may be harder to re work than others. Glengarry Glen Ross or Snatch on the list yet?

Saint Croix said...

"The female-led Lord of the Flies wouldn't ever happen because women would just branch off into their own respective groups peacefully".

And Camille Paglia adds, "and they would still be in grass huts today" and everybody gets mad at her.

James Pawlak said...

Such females as Congresscritter Waters would have prolonged the torture.

Static Ping said...

According to Mythbusters, if the life jacket had been tied to the door to provide more buoyancy the Titanic pair could both have shared the door without issue and would have survived long enough to be rescued. James Cameron's response to this - he was on the show - was Jack was going to die. You can complain that they should have used something besides the door that could only accommodate one person, or you can chalk it up to poetic license and move on, but Jack is fish food regardless.

As to the all-women Lord of the Flies, it does immediately sound like an excuse for a porn movie. I am fairly sure that a casual search of such titles will find many "nubile women stranded all alone on remote island encounter a man washed up on the shore" plots. Going with an all girl cast is a bold choice as it does reduce the audience somewhat.

Saint Croix said...

Lord of the Flies is about how people fail to make a modern civilisation because the boys are flawed.

Lord of the Flies is a reference to the devil. You can read the book in a secular way but the title suggests that's a mistake.

Craig Howard said...

Lord of the Flies is about how people fail to make a modern civilisation because the boys are flawed.

Hm. I never thought of them as "flawed." They were just boys.

JMS said...

I read in The Economist that throughout history queens have started 26% more wars than kings.

Static Ping said...

On a more serious note, I always through that The Lord of the Flies plot was not a foregone conclusion. It was quite possible that for a group of boys to get stranded as such but build a stable community. It has been a while since I read it, but it seemed to me that the group's problem was there was no obvious natural leader. It became a struggle between an alpha male who was mentally unstable and possibly a psychopath but had an (insane) plan of action, and a wishy-washy voice of reason who really had no idea what to do. If the alpha had been the voice of reason and knew what to do, they probably would have been fine assuming there were sufficient resources to keep them alive.

I believe in the same dynamic for a group of girls. However, I would expect that if things were to go wrong they would go wrong in a different fashion than with the boys. I would be interested in seeing it play out.

Robert Cook said...

"Lord of the Flies is about how people fail to make a modern civilisation because the boys are flawed. At the end, we're led to believe that the boys can be returned to civilisation thanks to their rescue."

No. The boys are not flawed: they exemplify human nature in its natural state. The book is about the inevitable tendency for power struggles to occur in human society, (as among non-human pack animals), leading to conflict and violence, such that it occurs even among "innocent" boys, on an island lacking any traces of developed civilization, where they are free to arrange their society as they wish. "Civilization" is not civilized: the power struggles exist, but are more widely lethal due to our having bullets and bombs rather than just stones and sharpened sticks. The boys return to society having learned this disillusioning truth earlier than most.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

The Moving in Stereo scene, iconic as it is, isn't about Phoebe Cates; it's about Judge Reinhold and the hilarity and embarrassment when he gets caught whacking off in the bathroom.

Matthew Sablan said...

That's one interpretation, that ignores Piggy, Ralph and Simon's attempts at forming a working society that doesn't devolve into Jack's murder cult.

RNB said...

Phillip Wylie wrote a novel titled, 'The Disappearance.' In it, the sexes are separated: From the men's point of view, all the women vanish from the world. From the women's point of view, all the men disappear. At the end, they are reunited. And we learn that -- in Manworld -- nuclear weapons were used, but not so in Womanworld.

I had to laugh when I read that. Womanworld would have *glowed in the dark*!

Matthew Sablan said...

"It has been a while since I read it, but it seemed to me that the group's problem was there was no obvious natural leader."

-- The problem is that there are two leaders, Ralph and Jack, and that Jack's violent and willing to go further than Ralph. Somewhere near the early/mid part of the book where Jack is hunting, and Ralph is keeping the camp running and the little ones tended to, they've actually got a working society, albeit a very short-lived one, with a very thin veneer.

Big Mike said...

Women without men to civilize them would rapidly spiral down into a handful of cliques murdering the women isolated from any clique, then they'll turn on weaker cliques, then only a handful of women would be left alive.

Gabriel said...

@Static Ping:if the life jacket had been tied to the door to provide more buoyancy

As though one could easily tie a life jacket to a door, securely enough to last without checking on it every twenty minutes, while in the water with said door.

Robert Cook said...

"That's one interpretation, that ignores Piggy, Ralph and Simon's attempts at forming a working society that doesn't devolve into Jack's murder cult."

Hence, the power struggle. Human nature contains within it the drive to violence and cruelty, as well as the capacity for and drive to rational thought, organization, and rule-making. These diverse tendencies arise in the small colony of boys stranded on the island. The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde also illustrates these opposing (or complementary?) aspects of human nature.

All societies use force, in the end, to compel compliance with the rules, internally and externally. We become inured to this, and fail to see it clearly, but we, at the pinnacle of human civilization, are a very violent nation, toward others and toward ourselves.

Robert Cook said...

"The problem is that there are two leaders, Ralph and Jack, and that Jack's violent and willing to go further than Ralph."

The two sides of human nature.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Women without men to civilize them would rapidly spiral down into a handful of cliques murdering the women isolated from any clique."

-- That's... kind of exactly what women say about how men will form a war-based society.

mockturtle said...

Now, you've got something — a raging debate about whether a couple dozen girls would attempt to establish order and then descend into brutality the way the (fictional) boys did.

Attempt to establish order, no. Descend into brutality, yes.

Static Ping said...

Matthew Sablan, the book is a bit hazy in my mind, but I never really saw Ralph as a leader. He had ideas, probably good ideas and certainly better ideas than Jack, but he was a leader in the default sense that no one else had stepped up at that point. He also came across as a wimp. It was less a decision between Jack and Ralph and more a decision between Jack and Not-Jack. If you keep everything the same but make Ralph the crazy one instead of Jack I suspect the story is a lot different. Ralph would have wandered off somewhere and probably died due to his own stupidity.

Gabriel: Your point is well made. What the Mythbusters were trying to show is if it was plausible that they both could have survived with the one door. They could. Whether they could have figured out how to save themselves in that admitted very stressful situation is another story.

Known Unknown said...

What, exactly, is a "top-notch feminist"?

The top notch on my bedpost. ZING!

Gahrie said...

The Moving in Stereo scene, iconic as it is, isn't about Phoebe Cates;

Speak for yourself....that was one of my fonder childhood memories.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

And the once-orderly internet dissolves into chaos. A top-notch feminist (Roxane Gay) tweets: "the plot of that book wouldn't happen with all women."

Men and women are exactly the same, and also women are better. Naturally.

I've posted about this before, but here it is again:
Reddit thread: Dutch Survivor - All Women Island

YT: Dutch Survivor - island swap

For a season of the Dutch version of Survivor they initially split everyone up by gender (oops I mean sex). They had an island of men and and island of women. The men pretty quickly got to work and built communal goods--a nice shelter or two, some storage, etc. The men also divided up the work so they had some guys who specialized in fishing, some who got water or firewood, or tended the fire/cooked, etc. They got along reasonably well and were relatively comfortable. The women, on the other hand, squabbled about who should do what, didn't establish any clear roles nor leaders, and didn't get much of anything done. They didn't even build a good shelter for themselves.

The second link I have is when the producers took two men and two women and switched their island. The men were excited--a whole island of women! The clip shows how shocked and disappointed they were when they arrived and everything was so shitty. The women who switched, though, had a great time--they got tons of attention, didn't have to work much, and enjoyed the nice things the men had built.

It's a TV show, of course--no one disputes that. But as evidence that women are so obviously superior to men in a survival-type situation that it's clear "Lord of the Flies" wouldn't happen with women...

David-2 said...

It has finally happened: Laslo has repeated himself. Sad.

John Nowak said...

I just now realized that tcrosse uses an avatar of El Brendel.

Anyway, there were of course dozens of female Tarzans. Sheena is probably the best known. Most of them didn't get a film, but Jungle Queens is a well established genre.

Michael Guarino said...

There is a very natural way to revamp Lord of the Flies with all women, but I doubt it would be tried.

You simply make the cast all Twitter SJWs.

It would be a trenchant, relevant remake of a classic, and entirely too honest for artists nowadays.

tcrosse said...

I just now realized that tcrosse uses an avatar of El Brendel.

Nope. Fred Allen.

Sam L. said...

Four words: Middle-school girls cliques.

mockturtle said...

I just now realized that tcrosse uses an avatar of El Brendel.

Nope. Fred Allen.


Yes! I remember he was on What's My Line when I was a kid.

Robert Cook said...

Fred Allen was famous for a lot more--and much earlier--than "What's My Line."

mockturtle said...

Cookie, I know he was but that was my only recollection of him.

steve said...

Couldn't happen with women? Ever see a wedding dress sale at Filene's Basement?

kevino said...

RE: "A top-notch feminist (Roxane Gay) tweets: "the plot of that book wouldn't happen with all women."
What a bigot.

John Nowak said...

Fred Allen.

My bad! Never noticed the resemblance before. And me, a Jack Benny fan.

Todd said...

rehajm said...

How Han Solo makes the Kessel Run in under 12 Parsecs is the tougher debate. The Lucas explanation is lame.

8/31/17, 7:24 AM


Wormhole...

Darrell said...

At the end of the new film, the girls should be "rescued" by Muslim refugees.

Feste said...

The new Isle of Lesbos femicide thriller will feature equalitarian, socially distributed loving pacifism, not revealing the non-cued anarchist bitching sessions between the all female cast departing their scripts and demanding to write their own lines - the new movie needs only one, but an ultra-competent serial femicide perp, a hidden and unknown mysterious femme, slowly killing by asphyxiating the entire female island population, one by one, using individualized doses of morbid sugar highs, free of penetrating blunt instrument trauma, and finally revealed to be Sophie Okonedo, a sole aberration, a clinical anomaly, a female rarity, ultimately absolved of her mass femicide because of extreme mental illness in 'not-being-understood,' an island of gender defying male-invented actuarial metrics for gender specific risk analyses, the perp having a one-time pre-existing condition, utterly uninsurable.

Darrell said...

Lucas, like most of the Left-leaning, confuses parsecs for buttsex. Ritmo would, of course, cut-and-paste the Wiki definition, if it ever came up, then pretend that he learned it in pre-school.

The Godfather said...

"Lord of the Flies" is an allegory. You could do it with young girls, you could do it with old men, you could do it with Blacks, you could do it with Jews, etc. Yes, with each group it would be different, but it would also be the same. The differences and samenesses would provide the basis for a Master's thesis.

Ann Althouse said...

Top notch = significant academic position + well-published books + seems to have an original voice.