The Handmaid’s Tale, Spun

The Hulu adaptation of the novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” is being interpreted through the lens of the political orientation of viewers.

11 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale, Spun

  1. [I don’t think there are any actual spoilers for the TV series / book but if you’re watching and have never heard of it, maybe skip this]

    I must say I have never connected to Margaret Atwood’s writing (the new series is based on her novel of the same name) the way I have connected to Ursula LeGuin’s. Probably because of books like Handmaid’s tale being rather blunt and extreme with a too obvious political message. The reader will not find a single relatable male character in the book, for example, although it needs to be said that this may actually be quite realistic since it would be difficult for a man to conduct himself decently in the system portrayed without getting into trouble.

    This is why I think Ted’s cartoon nails it again. How blunt and extreme does one have to get to get people to read/watch this other than as the blunt dystopian parable it is obviously intended as? Shades of Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. Basically he tried his hardest to create the most in-your-face satire of fascism possible (loosely based on Heinlein’s apparently non-satiric novel) and brilliantly succeeded. Still, probably most people in the audience missed that the movie had a political agenda in the first place, as it proved almost indistinguishable from the standard blockbuster fare anyway. At least Verhoeven thereby proved that most action movies are already (unintentional?) glorifications of authoritarianism, sad to say.

    Given that American culture is so obsessed with the superficial trappings of Nazi Germany (think black boots and German accent) one would expect people to have figured out just how much it sucks to live in such a society, at least when the daily slog sets in after the initial exuberance. Even when they fancy themselves on the side of the privileged, do they *really* want the family members and friends who they would otherwise ineffectually bicker with over the thanksgiving Turkey dinner to be permanently shut up through fear and, failing that, deportation? Do they really think essentially owning a wife because she does not have any other options is so great? Do they never think about those awkward silences at breakfast?

    • I like LeGuin’s writings as well, she may have slight pro-female bias, but is definitely not anti-male. Handmaid’s Tale tells the tale it sets out to tell. Given that most SF authors have a very strong male bias, there ain’t nuttin’ wrong wit dat. (Not that you said there was 😉

      I haven’t seen hulu’s version either. But I am struck with the parallels between the Handmaids in the book and the stories of “sister wives” I’ve read online. Forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, a three-minute wedding night, disdain from others, and eventual expulsion.

      FWIW: I’ve got nothing against multiple-partner marriages, so long as all participants are willing, fully-informed adults.

  2. I haven’t seen this version of the Handmaids Tale, but in the spirit of this cartoon I agree that the fans of both “viable” parties are both locked into fake media bubbles of their own. And both are totally oblivious to the fake reality constructs that each counterpart accepts as their own “truth”.

    By the standards of Obama’s Espionage Act prosecutions, Hillary Clinton, who left her private computer vulnerable to hacking and violated legal requirements pertaining to emails that were deemed so sensitive that they were later classified, and that Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton prior to James Comey’s public scolding of Hillary instead of being charged by Loretta Lynch with criminal offenses—the absence of which should be investigated as a criminal conspiracy.

    If Hillary were not a highly placed insider she would have been charged with security violations just as were seven whistle blowers under Obama.

    Under the Obama administration, seven Espionage Act prosecutions have been related, not to traditional espionage, but to either withholding information or communicating with members of the media.
    Thomas Andrews Drake, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, John Kiriakou, Shamai Leibowitz, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Alexander Sterling

    Obama did not want to prosecute Bush administration laws broken “in the past”, but stated “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” And in failing to prosecute Bush administration crimes, created precedents for future crimes by Trump, and for Trump’s future disregard of Constitutional protections for journalists that will no doubt inflame Democrat plebeians, these who accepted Obama’s transgressions with equanimity.

    • @ Glenn –

      ►Obama did not want to prosecute Bush administration laws broken “in the past”, but stated “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”◄
      Ever since I heard that damn-fool expression, I’ve thought: Applied across the board, equally to all accused, we would have no need for police nor for a judicial system.

      All crimes were committed in the past, so let’s just forget about them and look to the future.

      • If Hillary were charged on security issues we might now have a President Sanders.

        I would take that as an improvement over either Trump or Hillary.

      • @ Glenn –

        Arkansas, my legal voting residence, does not allow a voter to register as “Independent,” and Sanders wasn’t on the ballot What sense does that make?

        Between a rock and a hard place, I cast my vote for Jill Stein, knowing it was a “throw-away,” because there was no wforay for Hillary to overcome a 20-point lead.

        I still fault Sanders for throwing away his chance at the convention.

      • I voted for Stein too.

        The waste would be to vote for someone you don’t want and then get him (or her).

        Voting for someone you don’t want reeks of Stockholm syndrome, of broken souls.

        My brother live in Arkansas. I’ll have to ask him what he does in elections.

      • “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” — Milan Kundera

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