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Merry Christmas from Amanda Marcotte: Hallmark’s Yule movies are basically Nazi propaganda

December 26, 2019


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Salon’s favorite elf burns like a Yule log over the Hallmark Christmas-movie roster:

Running down this year’s schedule of Christmas movie offerings is like a trip into an uncanny valley of shiny-teethed, blow-dried heteronormative whiteness, with only a few token movies with characters of color. It’s like watching “The Stepford Wives,” but scarier, since the evil plot to replace normal people with robots is never actually revealed.

None of this should be a surprise, because Hallmark movies, as cloying and saccharine as they are, constitute the platonic ideal of fascist propaganda.

That is probably a startling statement to some. When most of us think about fascistically propagandistic movies, we think of the grotesque grandeur of Leni Riefenstahl’s films celebrating the Third Reich — grand, but cold sweeping shots of soldiers goose-stepping and flags waving, all meant to inspire awe and terror. But the reality is, even in Nazi Germany, the majority of movies approved by the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, were escapist and feather-light, with a Hallmark movie-style emphasis on the importance of “normality.”

There’s plenty of reason that empty-headed kitsch fits neatly in the authoritarian worldview. It’s storytelling that imitates the gestures of emotion without actually engaging with real feeling. The Hallmark movie steers clear of the real passion or deeper emotion that tends to be the engine driving more artful fiction. Characters who have real feelings, after all, can prompt empathetic reactions in the audience, and empathy for others is the greatest single threat to the authoritarian mindset. And so schmaltz walks through the paces of “love” without touching on any of the messy but compelling realities of it….

[The qualities that people cite when they defend Hallmark movies — comforting, formulaic, soothing — are all a result of the aggressively conformist impulse that drives them. And that impulse and fealty to the dominant culture stands in direct contrast to the values of diversity Hallmark facetiously claims to hold.

Hallmark movies, with their emphasis on returning home and the pleasures of the small, domestic life, also send a not-at-all subtle signal of disdain for cosmopolitanism and curiosity about the larger world, which is exactly the sort of attitude that helps breed the kind of defensive white nationalism that we see growing in strength in the Donald Trump era….

[It’s critical to be mindful of the role that Hallmark movies are actually playing in our society. The very fact that they’re presented as harmless fluff makes it all the more insidious, the way they work to enforce very narrow, white, heteronormative, sexist, provincial ideas of what constitutes “normal.”

There’s plenty more of this stuff if you click the link.

Update: Thanks, Instapundit!

Posted by Charlotte Allen

From → Uncategorized

  1. “…trip into an uncanny valley of shiny-teethed, blow-dried heteronormative whiteness…”

    Um, are we not describing the picture at the head of this article?

  2. Bored383 permalink

    hallmark movies are terrible – but she is at least an order of magnitude worse. also – while they may be terrible movies, stop yucking other peoples yums! its just a damn movie!! also also – why has every progressive with an audience decided to out alex jones alex jones with idiotic conspiracy nonsense?!?!?

  3. Orson Olson permalink

    When I lived in Mormon, Utah, I looked around me and instantly thought: fascism in America! (Not. But then I was a mere atheist. Maybe I lacked the special decoder glasses?)

  4. Colin B Lane permalink

    Amanda Marcotte is either (1) sophisticated in the ways of creating controversy to draw eyes and generate clicks or (2) a blithering idiot. There doesn’t seem to be an option 3.

  5. bandit08 permalink

    Nobodies making her watch them

  6. Mike Constitution permalink

    Amanda Marcotte expounding on the “authoritarian mindset” displayed in Hallmark movies is comical and twisted. She, Amanda, is the authoritarian / totalitarian that wants to impose her leftist ideology on the rest of us, at the point of a government gun. Yes, force is the only way extremists like Amanda can get what they want. The psychological self projection she displays, smearing Trump and his supporters as the ideologues, when it is she and others like her that are the danger, is quite scary. Evil leftists will stop at nothing, even attacking Hallmark movies as a proxy for western civilization, to gain political power.

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