“Inner Glow,” by DSORDER
Mufasa is dead. The new king explores his new jungle with the same good blood in his paws as his father: Tempted by hyenas with black voices, he says, watch the throne- let’s go, Nala. The death of a perfect someone is meant to piss you off: Evil characters aren’t supposed to survive. You learn that lions are either good or evil, and it’s up to you to kill the right one. Painting Scar evil means giving him dark features that people will associate with having an empty heart, alligator tears, blackness associated with evil, subtle racism sold in cartoons, animals succeeding or failing through their relationship to the perfect hero warns kids that if you don’t try to become perfect, you’ll become Scar: Sad. What the fuck, this guy’s criticizing cartoons, I just liked the songs, get over it, Hakuna matata, brother. I know: I get it: We shouldn’t analyse everything to death, weren’t the colours nice, just enjoy Rafiki, dickhead. When stories show people who are all good or all bad, the Americans and Russians of Hollywood explosions; the Scars and Mufasas of cartoon jungles; when the story of a crack dealer going to jail is played before the CEO of a billion dollar drug dealer announcing it will take advantage of your desire to help others and introduce a pink line of drug packaging; when the viral video of the poorest black person saying something stupid is prefaced with a Lexus commercial; when good or bad characters are included in any form of media you are supposed to feel one of four things: 1. Don’t become bad, this is how to stay good, this is what I should buy, and this is the group that can help bring me there… just look at what happened to Scar: All that fire. 2. Good people help bad people become better, so they don’t die, like Scar, because they are so nice. 3. You can become good if you work harder: It’s possible to become perfect: You can become white, rich, and saved. We sell a cream for that. Ever heard of hell? 4. Bad people always lose to good people, so stay on the good side and don’t forget that bad and good people exist: We’ve done studies: Your heart is either full, or broken: This rumour that human beings are actually mixes, with hearts of daffodil yellow or pylon orange or mint green is just a rumour: Mufasa was not sometimes helpful, sometimes in need of help, sometimes tired, sometimes intelligent, sometimes unsure, sometimes fun, sometimes strong, sometimes boring, sometimes patronizing, sometimes insecure, sometimes excited, sometimes friendly, sometimes introverted, sometimes: All this realism, no, he is always perfect. The complicated nature of people isn’t sexy. It’s hard to sell when you’re trying to hook people in for a later message, the whole become good thing, Join Us, and you want people to stay in the room or to read the next page. Insert an empty page between chapters, or double-space your pages, but it had better have fake characters. When we sit up from the death of Scar, from a video warning us not to become poor, from a book talking of a perfect love, we need to wonder who benefits from the way you now think. How hard do you now work, how much are you buying, are you going to Church? In order to give people credit, we need to look at them like human beings, where there is no objective standard of pure good or pure bad. You’re stuck in a jungle, and that hierarchy rarely changes- except in the death of a king. And who replaces Mufasa?
colour by Dsorder
words by L.L.
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