I had somehow missed this.

There’s an article in the Balder & Dash section over on Roger Ebert’s site. Written by Laura Bogart, it’s called The Trouble With Carrie. It’s thought-provoking, to say the least, and I’m still processing it.

Short version of the article, which you should go read: Carrie is remarkable because she does not kick ass for anyone else. She does it for herself. Sarah Connor–oh, my god, please understand this isn’t an indictment of Sarah Connor, who by the second movie has become a brilliant and much-beloved-by-me character in what is assuredly one of my favourite albeit not watched-to-tatters movies–does what she does for her son. Ripley is unremarkably motivated by survival (does not count; this is about doing more than what you need to do to survive), but goes above and beyond that, moving from rescuing cats to the iconic “Get away from her, you bitch.” Laurie Strode is babysitting children she needs to take care of. Kick-Ass does what she does because her father tells her to. When Nancy Thompson is done being motivated by survival, she comes back to help the other children.

But Carrie, as of the latest version, does it because this should not have happened to her, and it was not fair, and she has fucking had it.[1]

This sounds selfish.

And kind of glorious.

Scott Lynch once quoted H.L. Mencken as saying “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” Not for someone else’s sake. Not because it’s easy to afford. Not because other responsibilities demand it. But because sometimes, dammit, you just want to say that it’s not okay to need to eat so much shit.

I am working a lot harder to make time for this movie, now.

[1] To be clear: this “it is not fair” motivation is not unique. It happens a lot in the rape/revenge subgenre if the victimized woman survives. I generally don’t watch that genre, because Reasons I Do Not Feel Like Unpacking Now; I just wanted to note that Carrie is not something utterly new (and no, I’m not saying her movies are an example of r/r either, and now I’m getting back to the main post).

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