«I saw King Lear yesterday. Mrs. Siddons as Goneril. The idiots had given it a happy ending.»
«That will not last. The Great Stories will always return to their original forms.»
Hob Gadling and Dream in «Sandman»
As a YouTuber put an ugly thing beautifully, current woke society seems to be all about «the message»:
«The Message» from a YouTube video (sorry, forgot in which one I have seen it, but apparently it is also used non-ironically by some.)
It is one thing to promote a certain ideology, but quite another to try to change the past by making it conform to it. That’s rather a bit like «1984».
Unfortunately, trying to change the past is what these woke gender and race hucksters are doing, taking great works of art and changing them. For example, rewriting beloved children’s books, so fat people are no longer called fat. Or changing the skin color of characters in beloved stories, e.g, Andersen’s little mermaid (yep, the literally wet … dream of every man — a hot redhead that cannot speak — was made black) or Dumas’ D’Artagnan (also made black in a «remake»). Or making characters female (e.g., «Ghostbusters»).
While these changes are likely (also) a cheap way to gain publicity for third-rate movies, it often does not make sense story-wise. Usually I don’t care about sex or skin color, but I mind if female or black characters are introduced in old stories to promote a modern agenda. These stories have points of their own, and usually it is not about sex or race. By making them about it, it weakens the story and even worse, this tokenism creates resentment. But then again, this is likely what these hucksters are trying to do. They profit from conflict. A world in which people see race and sex as what it is — mostly irrelevant in everyday interactions — is not in their financial interest. On a more general level, a population that is divided by race and sex is easier to exploit and control.
BTW, this is likely the reason why the makers of these movies and books are so hostile to the hard-core fandom. The fans like the works for their original content, the issues they deal with and how they deal with it. Changing them to introduce other issues is like throwing mud on a Rembrandt. (Diagnostically interestingly, some woke people will see that as a racist comment.) Anyway, that’s why woke and fandom do not mix. Fans like the original works of art, woke people can only mutilate and distort.
Given these developments, I wonder whether it is time to create something akin to a «classical core» (oh, hey, did a quick Google search, there are already ideas in that direction, nice). Collect those works of art — books, movies, music, etc. — that are original (or in case of movies, close to the original), and ignore the weak woke remakes. So, for example, earlier versions of «The Three Musketeers» instead of that remake, the cartoon Disney version of «The Little Mermaid» instead of the remake, «Ghostbusters» I and II instead of that remake, the older versions of «Murder on the Orient Express» and «Murder on the Nile» instead of the Kenneth Brennagh remakes (shame, they were visually very well done). «The Lord of the Rings» movies would be in, «The Hobbit» movies would be out, the original printings of Roald Dahl instead of the edited versions, etc. pp.
Such a library might be a worthwhile project. After all, life is too short for woke stories.