Okja (2017)

I just cried my way through the end of Okja. What Joon-ho Bong and Jon Ronson have created with this film* is profoundly deep and astonishingly beautiful. 

The premise–a corporation creates a genetically modified “super pig,” to be grown and slaughtered for meat, but not before creating a trumped up promotional stunt around it–is not surprising, though that doesn’t take away from the slightly disturbing play of it. Tilda Swinton, as the CEO of this corporation, is at turns chilling and disgusting but also somehow understandable. Her acting in this film brings to life everything that is corporate greed and coldheartedness. 

The idyllic pastoral scenes of Okja’s and Mija’s (Seo-Hyun Ahn) lives in Korea, before the Super Big competition is decided and Okja is taken to New York, are the kind of natural life I think some part of us all yearn for. The invasion of it through Dr. Johnny’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) demanding and ridiculously bombastic entrance juxtapose the paradise with the hard corporate world that the Mirando corporation tries to bend to their will. In the capitalistic world the Mirando corporation lives in, nothing but the show and the money matter.

The Animal Liberation Force, led by Jay (Paul Dano) and K (Steven Yeun) is full of good ideas, fervor, and dedication, the very things you hope for as you realize the depth of cruelty of Mirando, but the ALF is ultimately impotent. Their efforts only delay the inevitable, and for Mija to save Okja, she has to learn to speak Mirando’s language. The end of Mija’s journey is haunting, and it begs you to ask who really won. 

Okja is full of such delicious story-telling and sharp criticism of the corporate meat industry, it will cut you. It is beautifully rendered, and yet leaves the impression on you that you need to shower and wash off the guilt and responsibility it will smear on you. In it, every single actor is at their finest, Joon-Ho Bong has directed what may be his best film yet

Check this one one on Netflix ASAP. 

*I say this with hesitation–obviously a film is collaborative, the sum of many, many parts, and I don’t subscribe to the auteur theory that privileges just the director or writers in the creation process. 

I, personally, no longer take part in the ecstatic public condemnation of people unless they’ve committed a transgression that has an actual victim, and even then not as much as I probably should. I miss the fun a little. But it feels like when I became a vegetarian. I missed the steak, although not as much as I’d anticipated, but I could no longer ignore the slaughterhouse.

Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

I’ll never forget this story:

Context: It was simply a legal technicality. Something to do with homeowners and legal and medical insurance. The medical insurance wouldn’t pay the bills. So, she sued the nephew for, like, one dollar. The home owners insurance covered all the money.  

She’s still on great terms with her sister and nephew. They laughed about it. “Oh, you sued me. Lol.”

But she still got vilified world-wide because, well, no one bothered to check the real story.


“For the longest time Jon Ronson reveled in the fact that Twitter gave a voice to the voiceless … the social media platform gave us all a chance to speak up and hit back at perceived injustice. But somewhere along the way, things took a turn. In this passionate, eloquent talk, Ronson explains how too often we end up behaving like a baying mob — and that it’s time to rethink how we interact with others online. “

Maybe there are two types of people in the world: those who favor humans over ideology, and those who favor ideology over humans. I prefer humans to ideology, but right now the ideologues are winning, and they’re creating a stage for constant artificial dramas, where everyone is either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain.
—  Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

I like this talk a lot.

anonymous asked:

I don't think I am the only one to have had weird, complicated relationships where you love someone but sometimes hurt them, make mistakes, make amends. You can love someone and it doesn’t work out. Or you can be with someone and be also inspired by something that is not them. Art can be used to convey a message but primarily it is made to be enjoyed. Also,if I may, I'd like to recommend Jon Ronson TED Talk about the dynamics of online shaming. It's not that bad here but it's interesting (END)

Jon Ronson’s book, “The Psychopath Test,” was a great read.

I’ll recommend another book, too, re: sex, gender, and feminism, by the young Australian professor, Cordelia Fine. It’s “Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society.”

Here’s Ronson’s Ted Talk:

In 1996 Hubacek had been driving drunk at 100 mph with no headlights. He crashed into a van carrying a married couple and their nanny. The husband and the nanny were killed. Poe sentenced Hubacek to 110 days of boot camp, and to carry a sign once a month for ten years in front of high schools and bars that read, I KILLED TWO PEOPLE WHILE DRIVING DRUNK, and to erect a cross and a Star of David at the scene of the crash and to keep it maintained, and to keep photographs of the victims in his wallet for ten years, and to send $10 every week for ten years to a memorial fund in the names of the victims, and to observe the autopsy of a person killed in a drink-driving accident.

Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

Anytime I read story: “I didn’t feel sorry for the guy. I really don’t. But, um, why didn’t you just give him jail time instead? 10 or 20 years. That’s fine. Whatever you decided. But it seems like the problem was you insisted on sadism, not necessarily justice.“


Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled S01E01 - Cupped By A Shammy Hand


Everyone on tumblr needs to watch this.

Everyone who has ever made a call out post

Everyone who has ever lead a witch hunt over 

Everyone who has ever doxxed someone

Everyone who has ever cheered as a stranger’s life fell apart.

You all need to watch it

and take it to heart.  

The quality of the work that I do is completely inextricably linked to my feelings of self-worth, like a lot of people. I remember I was saying to Randy Newman one time, “Why do you write songs?” He said, “It’s how I judge myself and feel better.” That’s exactly why I write – it’s how I judge myself and feel better. If I stopped, what would I do?
—  Jon Ronson