Expulsion from Paradise

Pleasantville 1998

Loyal readers know that a key mission of this blog is shedding light on Hollywood’s hatred of their audience. Much as A Bridge Too Far proves Pigman’s Caine-Hackman hypothesis, the1998 movie Pleasantville epitomizes Hollywood Death Cultism.

YouTuber Devon Stack, who reviews movies with a keen eye for both literary criticism and propaganda, explains this superficially innocent film’s subversive depths.

As much as the baby boomers fought to overturn and rebel against and eventually destroy the American culture that existed before them, one thing that I have always found interesting is how much the same champions of counterculture that sadistically dismembered their heritage and mocked every tradition their parents have gifted them, but at the same time romanticize this same culture they worked so hard to undo.

In the 1980s and 90s there were a flurry of television shows and movies that seemed to acknowledge a yearning for something, a not so quiet acknowledgement of a loss that nobody could quite put their finger on; a bitter regret that was much more than anything that could be explained away by the phenomenon of nostalgia.

Well, these homages to a paradise lost forever sometimes included, you know, a little bit of ridicule of their favorite boogeyman the puritanical patriarchy that always had been the thankless guardians of this now extinct culture. There did exist a recognition a deep remorse, even that these were the good old days. One of the most popular examples was even called Happy Days.

But unfortunately Pandora’s Box had already been opened. The genie could not be stuffed back into the bottle. The monster that the baby-boomers had unleashed would grow and mutate and seek to preserve itself, something it could never do if everyone was looking back and quietly asking themselves if perhaps just maybe they’d made a terrible mistake.

Fun fact: Pleasantville was written and directed by Clinton stooge Gary Ross.

After this period of longing that went on for about a decade, it wasn’t that long before these fantasies had to be distorted–something that was easier to do once those who lived through the era grew old and the memories began to fade. After a while the sadness began to turn into bitterness, and as one might expect, the yearning was replaced with mocking and ridicule, like a spurned lover who finally gets past the grief stage and as a coping mechanism has to convince themselves that there was nothing good about their ex that they once loved. They have to pervert every memory they had of their time together to fit this new narrative that they’re better off without them; that they had simply outgrown them.

But it wasn’t just important for the baby boomers to forget and smear the past they had thrown away to help them survive and get on. Although in a very real way it was about self-preservation. You see a new generation was growing up now–growing up in a completely different world—the new normal that had been created crafted by the baby boomers: a world of broken homes, of a broken society filled with broken people. They had smashed everything with the hammer of revolution without ever bothering to rebuild anything in its place, and now this new generation raised in the rubble and smoldering ashes of the baby boomers’ devastating culture war, they were looking at these images of nuclear families with attentive and loving parents, affordable schools you could pay your tuition just by having a summer job at the corner store. The corner store that didn’t have any bulletproof glass, and if you didn’t have enough money to pay your bill it was okay because everyone knew and trusted each other. They lived in communities with a shared culture and history. They knew each other by name. They didn’t even lock their front doors. What’s more, everyone was happy, and they were happy without drugs, without antidepressants, without casual sex.

What would this new generation exposed to these images, what would they think if they saw this time, this place that now seemed like some kind of mad utopia, and realized that it was gone—or more importantly—why it was gone. Imagine the terror, the panic; the baby-boomers felt standing over the corpse of this beautiful and lost culture, the murder weapon still in their hands, dripping with blood, as Generation X, dazzled by this wonderful paradise that so starkly contrasted the reality they knew, slowly pieced together what it was that had happened.

So like a deer in headlights, the baby-boomers, fearing what would happen if they didn’t, decided to hide the body.

The movie Pleasantville was just one of the many tools they used to bury the body—the campaign weaponized against Generation X. The best way to explain it is that the baby boomers acted the same way a brutal dictator might act, but instead of it being Kim Jong Il banning all Western media in North Korea and telling his people that everyone beyond their borders was in some nightmarish hellscape and that North Korea was the true utopia—something he had to do because if the people were to discover the truth they might overthrow him or worse—the boomers, using the same formula and reasoning, told Generation X that the 1940s and 50s, despite what it might look like on TV, was really a nightmarish hellscape full of misogyny, patriarchy, oppressive religion, and worst of all, whiteness.

It gets worse–much worse.

This is where we get to the real troubling aspect of this film. If you’ve seen my videos before, you know I’m not one of these guys that gets hung up on symbolism or or pointing out, you know, secret satanic imagery. And I’m not saying that stuff doesn’t exist. It’s just not what I do. In fact, I don’t think I’ve even mentioned the concept of Satanism and in any of these videos. I’m more of an expert on storytelling and on propaganda. I dissect what the story is telling the audience and how it’s trying to inject ideas and themes into your head using propaganda techniques. 

But this film, in addition to being all the things that I have discussed before, this smearing of the past; hiding the body, is literally satanic.

Stack isn’t exaggerating in the slightest. The header image of this post is a frame from Pleasantville wherein the female character pictured actually plucks an apple from a tree in a garden and gives it to the protagonist. This scene precipitates the chain of events leading to the whole town’s irrevocable expulsion from the 1950’s paradise kept and tended by benevolent patriarchs.
Now, you might call that an implicit critique of the characters’ descent into fornication, adultery, and rebellion. It would be, had Pleasantville been written from a Christian point of view. It is not. The rebellious townspeople’s eating of the forbidden fruit is strikingly portrayed as an unalloyed good in the visual language of film. Not only to those who partake change from dreary black and white to vibrant color, their rebellion is directly analogized to Atticus Finch’s defense of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird
The pursuit of knowledge divorced from the good is not the biblical message. No, that narrative has a far different pedigree.
Satanic Monument Illinois
That satanic monument proclaiming “Knowledge is the greatest gift” resides in the Illinois State Capitol. Its placement next to a Christmas tree perfectly represents the public mockery of America’s cultural traditions perpetrated by Hollywood Boomers in the form of propaganda flicks like Pleasantville.
Watch the whole video.
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