Personally I’m boycotting John Cena, because how loudly and publicly he sucked communist China’s hammer and sickle, but professionally I watched the first season of Peacemaker, currently streaming on HBO. And I found it fascinating.
Under all the sex, violence, nudity, gore, profanity, and ridiculousness, there was a distinct conservative if not downright libertarian vibe. It makes me wonder if the creator, writer and director James Gunn, is an actual right-winger, hiding in plain sight in Hollywood.
If you remember, about four years ago Hollywood tried to cancel Gunn over some old tweets. The tweets were rude and gross and totally in line with the personality he has displayed when writing and directing this series, The Suicide Squad, and the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. But everyone, including conservative Christian Chris Pratt, came to his defense, and Gunn never really went anywhere. In an era when actors who did far less outrageous things were canceled and never seen again. Which makes me curious, and wonder if, perhaps, one of the behind-the-scenes reasons why he was attacked was his less-than-liberal politics, as there’s just no way a modern woke liberal could have written Peacemaker.
Anyway, to Peacemaker and its conservatism/libertarianism hidden in plain sight. Spoilers ahead…
In the very first episode, Peacemaker’s father is watching someone on TV, and it’s obvious that the man is supposed to be Alex Jones. And it turns out that everything he’s ranting about, conspiracies, etc., turn out to be true. Cue the shouts of “Alex Jones was right!”.
Over the course of the eight episodes, Peacemaker several times rants about the deep state, and at first he’s just scoffed at. But the farther along he and his team go, the more they find themselves enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government. Which leads to the following interaction:
Peacemaker: “BT dubs, governmental insiders blocking our efforts sounds a lot like the deep state.”
Harcourt: “It’s not a deep state. It’s a collection, you know, of people deep within the government, who are manipulating the… okay, it’s kind of like a deep state.”
During the finale, Peacemaker is treated to a monologue by the alien leader, trying to recruit him to their side:
Goff/Song: “…not long after we arrived we realized the people of Earth were on the exact same trajectory as our people had been, ignoring science in favor of populist leaders who tell you that the floods and fires and the disease are unrelated to your own actions, valuing profit over survival, treating minor inconveniences as assaults on your freedom. And so we made a vow to do anything we could to change your future. We made a vow to make the choices for you that you were incapable of making on your own, to save your people and your world no matter how many lives it cost us.”
That is total big government tyranny/fascism “We know better than you” deep state ideology. Trudeau couldn’t have written it better. “Ignoring science in favor of populist leaders who tell you that the floods and fires and the disease are unrelated to your own actions”? That’s a deliberate and clear reference to Trump. “Treating minor inconveniences as assaults on your freedom”? Identical words have been spouted by big-staters to people resistant to mask and vaccine mandates. I simply refuse to believe that a liberal would have written that—not and have it come out of the mouth of a murdering villain, who the hero then shoots in the chest.
However, the biggest clue to me of Gunn’s political ideology is the secondary character Leota Adebayo. Of all the people on the show, she checks the most woke boxes. She is a fat, black, lesbian pescatarian with a pierced nose and BLM inked on her jacket, who at one point lectures another character about his white privilege. She’s so fat that she spends most of the show wearing a winter coat or a jean jacket to hide just how fat she is—and that’s probably the only reason she wasn’t written as a vegan, because she’s too fat, nobody would buy it.
She is demonstrably dumb to the extent that her stupidity and incompetence is used as comic relief. She screws up and does bad and wrong things over and over, and is mad that saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t fix it and make people forgive her. She previously (with her wife) ran a dog shelter that depended on other people’s money to stay in business. When the grants were cut she found herself unemployed, and only got this job because of her mother. At one point she says Peacemaker has “proto-fascist libertarian” ideals, which probably sounds smart to stupid people, but she might as well be holding up a sign that says “I use big words I don’t understand.”
She is, arguably, the most worthless character on the show, serving more as plot progression than anything else. Ultimately, her greatest value to the world of Peacemaker comes as a human torpedo, where her weight makes her a better impact weapon.
I don’t see how anyone who actually is woke or liberal could have written clueless incompetent worthless woke Leota Adebayo. But she’s there, checking all the boxes, so none of the professional crybabies can complain about “lack of representation”—which might be the exact reason her character exists on the show. And—most fascinating of all—her character is written in such a subtle, clever way that most of the woke liberals won’t even see her as a mocking condemnation of everything they believe.