Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

A Beginner's Guide to Hating Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson in Lost in TranslationMost geeks cannot imagine hating Scarlett Johansson. At first, the concept is absurd, unthinkable — like making a Star Wars movie without CGI or eating a pizza with vegetables on it.

But geeks are quirky, contrary creatures. They love hating things that everybody else loves, and there is no hatred quite like the hatred of a film geek. To back up this assertion, I direct you to a brilliant piece of digital brutality written by Alex Carnevale.

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I was so bewildered by Alex’s post, I misreported his gender in my first draft, assuming that any writer who hated Scarlett Johansson (affectionately abbreviated “ScarJo”) had to be female.

Hating Scarlett Johansson, it’s like hating sunshine, or rainbows, or ponies. But here he was, Alex Carnevale, drinking the blood of unicorns and enjoying a big fat pony sandwich.

He comes out swinging in the first paragraph, calling the engagement of Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds, a “walking thesis against the existence of white people.”

Alex goes on for a bit and stumbles into the most brilliant political thesis I’ve read this year. Alex identifies what I’ll call “The Blonde Vote” — the army of cute blonde girls who are going to walk up and tell you to vote for Obama this year.

“These young people will not necessarily have been interested in politics before,” Alex says, “but they will be utterly convinced of one thing: Barack Obama is the man to lead our country.”

“Did you know that Obama once saved 16 Venezuelan children?” they’ll say. “And he smokes cigarettes just like us!”

Whatever you think of Obama, please do not underestimate the power of blondes. That may be the source of all this ScarJo outrage — a grass-roots rebellion against the blonde power structure.

This isn’t the first time I’ve crossed swords with film geeks over the issue of Scarlett Johansson. Two years ago I wrote a negative review of the movie “Lost in Translation” and was described as “crude and reactionary” — a description so perfect it should be my mission statement.

Everybody I knew described this as a great movie, but I just didn’t get it — Bill Murray and ScarJo bumming around a Japanese hotel for two hours — a world full of smug, disaffected yuppies, sneering at everything and whining about loveless marriage.

The backlash from my friends was so bad, I bought a DVD and watched it 12 times, convinced that this was a great movie that I just wasn’t smart enough to understand. I watched it so much I made myself like it, kind of like G. Gordon Liddy training himself to eat rats.

By the end of the weekend I was so confused I couldn’t even tell the difference between love and hate anymore. I was rescued by my friend Cynthia Rockwell who rose above the debate and taught me the real truth about film geeks. First, if your review is smart enough, you’re allowed to love things and hate them at the same time. And second, being a geek means never having to say you’re sorry.

Cynthia has her own reasons for hating Scarlett Johansson, and the characters she represents: “‘I’m a rich bored princess who doesn’t have anyone treating me like a magical enigma anymore. I’m so sad. I want daddy.’ Women are not magic, not enigmas. Magic and mystery can’t be sustained in a human being, and the stereotype keeps men wanting the ephemeral, the thing that DOES NOT EXIST.”

This is where I leave the firm foundation of sarcasm and tread into the dangerous waters of amateur psychology. Why are film geeks turning on Scarlett Johansson? Why do people get so emotional about film stars, and why are gossip mags dominating the Internet?

I think it’s a form of rebellion, a digital version of counterculture protest. Making celebrities look good is a billion-dollar industry. Actors are screens that we project our fantasies onto, and that process doesn’t stop when the credits roll. It goes back to Cynthia’s quote, “men wanting the ephemeral.” But actors are supposed to be ephemeral. Their PR agencies pay millions to make them seem ephemeral, even when they’re wrecking motorcycles and checking into rehab.

Entertainment blogs are a rebellion against that phenomenon. They want you to see every scar, every wrinkle, every pimple on the nose of celebrity culture so they can profit from the contradiction. For every man who loves to fantasize about Scarlett Johansson, there are two women who love to resent it.

It’s human nature, I think, to defy the spotlight and hate what corporations tell us to love. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to watch “Lost in Translation” again.

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Written by Michael B. Duff

July 10, 2008 at 15:19

Posted in Movies

13 Responses

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  1. Listen, Duff. I don’t want you posting mean stuff about my wife anymore. It’s rude, and we just want our privacy. For sweet, sweet lovin’.

    Scott

    July 10, 2008 at 15:25

  2. Scott, what are you talking about? ScarJo isn’t your wife, she’s mine. I’ve forged got the paperwork right here.

    Mack

    July 10, 2008 at 21:25

  3. crappy wordpress not allowing html tags.

    Mack

    July 10, 2008 at 21:26

  4. for the record, i was more upset with sofia coppola for creating scarlett’s character than with scarlett herself, and it’s kind of a funny thing to discuss this film with regard to that blog’s hatred of scarlett the ditzy actress, because in lost in translation she plays a stuck-up yale-educated brainiac who looks down on the stupider blonde (and everyone else) and generally dresses rather dumpily in public. still, she’s scarlett johannson.

    cynthia

    July 11, 2008 at 05:45

  5. Hello dear ladies and gentlemen!
    I would like inform you that Scarlett Johansson (actress) actually is a clone from original person, who has nothing with acting career. That clone was created illegally by using stolen biological material. Original person is very nice (not d**n sexy), most important – CHRISTIAN young lady!
    I’ll tell you guys more, that clones (it’s not only one) made in GERMANY – world leader manufacturer of humans clones, it is in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, North Bavaria, Mr. Helmut Kohl home town. You can not even imaging the scale of the cloning activity. But warning! Helmut Kohl clone staff 100% controlling all their clones spreading around the world, they are very accurate with that, some of them are still NAZI type disciplined and mind controlled clones, so be careful get close with clones you will be controlled as well. Think wise..
    Apparently those clones are very actively shown on your website. This is just a warning, because original person is not happy about those images and video, rumors and etc., in that way it would be really nice if you try slow down that ”actress” career development on your website, original Scarlett’s parents will really appreciated that. Please do that, do not wait until FBI agent give you a call with questions. Please remember that original family did not authorize any activity with stolen biological materials, no matter what form it was created, it all need to be return back to original family control to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
    Original Scarlett is not engage!
    Her close friend Serg G.
    P.S.
    H.R. 534, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2003. After discussion, it was passed on February 27 by a vote of 241-155. It now moves on to the Senate for consideration. This bill makes it unlawful for any person or entity to perform or participate in human cloning, or to ship or receive embryos produced by human cloning. The penalties are imprisonment of up to 10 years and fines of $1 million or more.
    These now join other nations as diverse as Norway, Australia, and Germany, which had already added cloning for any purpose to their criminal code. And in Germany where it carries a penalty of five years imprisonment they know a thing or two about unethical science.

    Serg G

    July 12, 2008 at 12:08

  6. wtf?

    cynthia

    July 12, 2008 at 16:26

  7. Not to pay too much attention to the nutjob, but it’s worth reminding people that with regard to humans, “cloning” is a process of producing a child that has identical nuclear DNA to another person.

    A child produced by cloning is properly referred to as a child, not a clone.

    Tom

    July 12, 2008 at 23:23

  8. WOW IS ANYONE ELSE LOST CUZ I DONT KNOW WHAT ANYONE IS SAYING. LIKE SCARLETT OR DONT LIKE HER?AND WHATS WITH THE CLONEING STUFF DOES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE ARTICAL OR WHAT THIS STORY WAS TALKING ABOUT

    christian

    July 14, 2008 at 01:11

  9. My first impulse was to delete it as spam, but the longer I look at it, the more I want to leave it up as a piece of performance art.

    michaelduff

    July 14, 2008 at 13:20

  10. Anybody that calls her ScarJo be it with pride or with the sarcasm of a snake is only making a fool of themselves…

    Over it

    July 14, 2008 at 14:04

  11. Ya, Ya ve vill clone our evil scarlett clone and rulz zee world. Please.

    You vatch movie Lost zee in Travnslation and Home alone zee .. Pretty Please.

    Just kidding… beauty excites passion…
    put some in a movie and the experiences become much more vivid.. doesn’t necessarly make it a good movie or not. But my mind is simple and I like pretty girls.

    Hanz

    July 14, 2008 at 15:04

  12. i should type something here…but i still have that ‘Deer in the headlights’ feeling. I truly fear what i have seen, but…can’t…look…away.

    Cynthia…best quote of the thread. hehe

    Vz

    July 15, 2008 at 16:49

  13. First, I want to say something to you from the roots of Haiti Ayham West Tstgrbun I write I do not understand what you say on the subject had not admitted his side in this thing, but I want to say about Johnson Scarrilt it is one of the greatest Amuftiat had been translated, but I knew that the white hate Obama, but I want to tell you that the Arabs with Obama .. At the same time Obama did not know that the only image on humiliating and I hope that you are correct Torgomti

    the fox

    January 15, 2009 at 00:05


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