Last night, Donald Trump held one of his creepy f-cking rallies in Colorado. During his speech, he took a shot at the Oscars and Parasite because, you know, they gave the top prize to a movie not in English, made by furriners, and that you have to READ on top of everything else. You can watch the clip, or you can scream for ninety seconds, whichever suits you.
Trump goes off on the Oscars for giving Best Picture to Parasite because it's a South Korean movie pic.twitter.com/GUGKdExTbw— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) February 21, 2020
Naturally, everyone made the same joke about the subtitles, but Parasite’s North American distributor, Neon, did it best on their corporate account:
Understandable, he can't read.#Parasite #BestPicture #Bong2020 https://t.co/lNqGJkUrDP— NEON (@neonrated) February 21, 2020
Everyone, myself included, made some variation of this joke because Donald Trump can’t read, and before anyone starts yelling at me I dare you to bring me proof that he can. I won’t hold my breath, though, because there is no proof this man can read above, say, a third grade level AT BEST. Generally, I don’t hold illiteracy against a person because you never know what road someone else is walking and what circumstances they’re coming from, but Donald Trump has had every advantage in life, there is literally no excuse for his illiteracy except that he’s proud of his ignorance. I keep coming back to a particular Mark Twain quote, “His ignorance covers the world like a blanket, and there’s scarcely a hole in it anywhere.”
We can’t escape this stupidity, but let’s be crystal clear—there is zero chance Donald Trump has seen Parasite. There is also zero chance he has seen Sunset Boulevard, a film he shouted out as an example of good old-fashioned American cinema. Sunset Boulevard is good old-fashioned American cinema, but it’s also made by an immigrant and about the empty promise of the American dream. I would pay $50 real dollars for someone to ask Trump what he thinks Sunset Boulevard is about, and it would be money well spent to watch him bumble his way through making something up about roads and rich people. (I am also still waiting for someone to ask him about the Sokovia Accords.) I will give it a 50% chance he actually has seen Gone with the Wind, or at least part of it, but I also feel like it’s even odds he named Gone with the Wind because it’s a movie about the “good” racists of the Confederacy. Gone with the Wind is a total dog whistle.
It is not lost on me, though, that Parasite is a movie about a family of con artists grifting their way into a nice house. The American remake of Parasite is just what’s happening in the White House right now. Trump needs to keep Parasite out of his mouth, but let’s not pretend this is really about Parasite. It’s just the same old racist, xenophobic bullsh-t he’s been spewing from the seat of democratic power for the last four years. It’s also a reminder that Trump’s problem is and always has been that the cool kids in Hollywood wouldn’t hang out with him. He was always going to be mad about the Oscars regardless of what film won, because he’s permanently pissed at the entertainment industry. (Don’t go back in time and kill baby Hitler, go back in time and give Trump an Emmy and see if that changes history at all.) Anyway, this is very embarrassing. I’m embarrassed. Sorry world. It probably won’t get better later this year. Sorry sorry sorry.
Love to have a known illiterate as a president— Sarah Marrs (@Cinesnark) February 21, 2020