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How to talk about the new Ghostbusters movie with friends, family, and commenters

How to talk about the new Ghostbusters movie with friends, family, and commenters

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There is a new Ghostbusters movie coming out this summer! As I'm sure I don't have to tell you, a lot of people are unhappy about this fact and have expressed their concerns with a tenor that's, let's just say... violently sexist?

For some, the speed with which one can type a sentence and post it onto the internet has greatly outpaced the speed with which one can form a coherent thought. This isn't so surprising. IRL, for most of us, our brains have long been outpaced by our mouths. What's important, online and offline, is to take a moment of introspection to assess our feelings on any given matter.

Ghostbusters is a difficult topic. To help you through the next few months, we created a simple guide to writing about or discussing the film. Whenever you feel yourself bubbling with rage about four women destroying everything you've ever loved, open this page and protect yourself and the internet from inexhaustive rage.

First off: As with most things, the best way to discuss the new Ghostbusters movie is by behaving like a rational human being, and an adult with other concerns. If conversation spirals into a ghoulish tenor, try to pivot to safer waters than women being cast in the lead roles of an established franchise. Less controversial topics include: the 2016 election cycle, the role of labor unions in America, and the pros and cons of the death penalty.

Second: It's always good to ask yourself, "Am I at work right now and does it count as time theft to hang out in the kitchen with my bros for half an hour, saying rude things about various actresses?" If the answer to that question is yes, then goodbye and godspeed!

remakes are just like mondays — they happen, you'll live

Third: If you're at a family gathering and you know that no one there cares about the recent Ghostbusters controversy, it's better not to force anyone to talk to you about it. That makes you an inconsiderate conversationalist.

Finally, here is my patented two-part system for keeping the conversation respectful and maybe even fun! I call this the Tiffany Two-Step. Unlike most people with patents I don't care if you steal this! I am very generous that way!

Step 1: Make a concession. This proves that you're ready to not act insane.
Step 2: Calmly state your feelings in matter-of-fact language that does not include gendered or racial slurs. This is how humans talk to each other.

For example, here is something I would say to a boy on the internet:

One: I totally understand the impulse to be horrified when someone decides to make what you consider a superfluous remake of a movie that is important to you. When / if this Dirty Dancing remake comes to fruition, I will be inconsolable.

Two: However, maybe all the boys could try to understand that, despite the successes of Tina Fey, Bridesmaids, and Amy Schumer, big-budget comedies with all-female casts are still very rare and exciting. It's even more exciting that a film starring women is being marketed as the tentpole of this summer's comedy blockbuster season, which is unprecedented. Somewhat related: I don't think there is one living person who is more deserving of a big break and lots of money than Leslie Jones.

Here is something I would say to a family member, such as my father or uncle, who were both young men when the original Ghostbusters debuted:

One: The original Ghosbusters has some quotable lines, and a young Bill Murray / early Saturday Night Live nostalgia factor that I do not share but do comprehend. The opening scene with the flashcards and the electric shocks is classically written discomfort comedy that is very successful! Haha, I am laughing at the reenactment of it that you just started doing, unbidden.

Two: The original Ghostbusters has an arcane damsel-in-distress story premise, and extremely unsubtle rape analogies. There are also some implications that women are demons. It would be very hard for anyone to argue that these things are "on purpose," "the point," or "social commentary." The point is to make boys laugh.

Here is something I would say to a friend who doesn't care that much about the original Ghostbusters but still watched the trailer and said it didn't look funny:

One: The trailer was not cut very well. It seemed focused on explaining the new story, and not on showing off the best jokes.

Two: Paul Feig is a writer / director that I, as a woman, trust. The hilarious and nuanced parts that he wrote for Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, and Miranda Hart in last summer's exceptional Spy sold me on him for life. This time he has a writing partner — Parks and Recreation's Katie Dippold. This is a dream team, people! Have faith!

Here is something I would say to the boys on the internet who express monstrous opinions on The Verge's Facebook page:

One: I don't think the argument that any movie could retroactively "ruin" another movie from over 30 years ago is very logical.

Two: Your comment has been deleted because it was hateful and dumb.