We are assembly. Follow Instructions. Avoid Death. Avoid Pain.
This is the American way. No longer are humans born, but rather, we’re surgically removed from the womb on calculated time-tables and then an insidious mechanical thought worm is placed deep into our developing brains: success is always good. Then after that, we’re placed in society and told that we’re still human beings even though this thought worm will spend its entire existence trying to strip us of that humanity and making us believe that we’re happy.
“Straight Outta Compton” is the ultimate symbol of that worm.
Ice Cube and Dr. Dre have been trying to get this fluff piece made for a long time. At no point, would this be a serious examination of hip-hop, themselves, or of the establishment they once espoused to be against. Instead, this film is Ice Cube and Dr. Dre thanking the establishment and reaffirming that while not perfect, the establishment always correct itself and good triumphs and in the process, they solidify their legacies as geniuses and great human beings. Their worms triumph and the rest of the worms vigorously hope to reach that success.
As I watched this film, my insides turned as I realized that the industry has reached its zenith. That, the depressed ticket sales and the shrinking of American power has given more power to the worms, not less. Social media being the final piece of the puzzle for the worms. No longer do writers write compelling stories with characters with earned objectives and stakes… No. Instead, movies are now montages of moments that trigger emotional responses that the worms inside us tell us that we should be responding to. “Straight Outta Compton” has a collection of scenes that make absolutely no sense together with characters constantly articulating their entire emotional issues/history in amazing punchy one line pieces of dialogue.
And here’s the kicker: THAT’S THE POINT AND WE KNOW IT. That’s why “Straight Outta Compton” is being heralded as great as it did exactly what it wanted. Like a McDonald’s hamburger… It’s not good, but it’s been perfected in a lab to provide us with some type of hollow pleasure. They then pass that hamburger off to an excellent marketing team. The marketing team’s job is to make us believe that this movie is culturally benefitting and isn’t empowering the worms/making us less human. And how do they do this? They tell us it’s empowering because it’s all black protagonists. That’s it about a true story about a musical group that helped reshape the racial conversation. They then bring up how the film touches on a cultural moment that still haunts us today: the LA riots. All of this makes this movie SPECIAL, IMPORTANT, and most of all… they now have the thing that supposedly makes that true… BUSINESS SUCCESS. The worms are doing jumping jacks!
“Straight Outta Compton” strips away all the context of which made NWA “important” much like when you drink one of those healthy “smoothies”, they strip away all the fiber and other important nutrients and up the sugar so it’s INSTANT GRATIFACTION and we can believe we’re being healthy. The importance of NWA is wrapped up entirely in the time in which they came out and less so than the individuals. They were a symbol of black men saying what’s on their mind and having the wherewithal to do so during a time (and arguably, not much has changed) when the voices of Black America were not being heard. The evidence of this would be look at Dre and Cube’s solo career. Is there anything in there that is revolting?
The film shows us what we want to see Black America is the poor/downtrodden, talented youngsters use their talent and are innately good, they get to then indulge in what life is about treating women as sexual objects, being cheer on by thousands of lesser beings, constant violence (Which is okay when you’re successful), and then magically, you grow old and become adjusted human beings. This is the fiction that we, as Americans, want to believe. This is what makes this film so damning. “Straight Outta Compton” is “not about reality, but all about a salary.”
The reason why the sexism, glorification of violence, etc in “Staight Outta Compton” is so danger is that it doesn't show the other side of the equation. What is the effect of treating women like sexual objects? What is the effect on the women and the men? When we believe that success is equated to having lots of stuff and sleeping with as many women as possible, what does that do to our humanity? And let’s go a step further, what does it do to us as a people, when we send the message out that the system is okay as long as you’re talented enough? What does it do to the many people fighting for reform against a broken system? People weren’t rioting in LA simply because police are dicks… They were rioting because of the institutional injustices that have rob a section of people from enjoying access to healthcare, jobs, education, and even FOOD. Instead, the movie takes a very cheap out, it shows us the reality we want to believe in… There are people suffering, but ultimately, if you’re talented enough, then you’ll get everything you deserve in life which is lots of meaningless stuff and cheap sex.
And this returns to where we started, which is that malicious worm that was implanted at the base of our brains when we were babes that we must fight against for the rest of our lives: success is good no matter what. This is an easily digested film that takes absolutely no effort to watch and due to a great marketing campaign is making tons of money, but please resist the urge to listen to the worm that tells you success is always right, and see this for what it is… bland pornography.