by Armando Simón
By now, most people are aware of the Netflix fiasco regarding its pseudo-documentary on Cleopatra. Howls of laughter and howls of indignation have both resulted since its debut due to portraying Cleopatra and her court as blacks. The pseudo-documentary has been eviscerated by just about anyone who paid attention in school and it has the lowest ranking score ever. Contempt has rained down in social media from Canada, America, Scotland, Greece, England, Cyprus, and Egypt, among others (the Egyptian girl makes it a point that she lives in Egypt and so has freedom of speech, unlike Americans).
The Egyptian government is suing Netflix.
The reason for such contempt for the show and its makers is that it goes against abundant facts, against reality (a common stance in America, Canada, and the U.K.). There is an abundance of documentation showing Cleopatra as Macedonian-Greek, and this documentation consists of historical documents, archaeology, numismatics, and statuary. No matter. In short, wishful thinking trumps facts. Mary Lefkowitz has put it well: “Selective use of evidence is a characteristic of propagandistic history; so is blinkered vision, the tendency to simply ignore or omit evidence that might contradict what the propagandist is trying to prove.”
The producer, directress, and actress ignore reality and facts, and ignorance is their armor (it is pretty pathetic when a 16-year-old knows more about the history that is being portrayed than the directress, producer, or actress). Their response to all the criticism is that the critics are — surprise, surprise — racists. White supremacists. Egyptians are racist and white supremacists, you understand (an Egyptian girl who disagreed with the production received an avalanche of racist insults — from American blacks). To hell with what qualified historians and archaeologists the world over know. We want to believe that Cleopatra was black and whoever doesn’t go with our delusions is racist!
I would not be the least bit surprised if they thought Wakanda was a real place.
Elsewhere, I have written about NPCs, that is, fanatic individuals who, when they are confronted with any criticism, any resistance, or doubt, respond with only a limited number of stock responses, no matter how absurd and inappropriate they may be. Their responses are knee-jerk responses. Hence, the fallback to “racism” for everything.
“Every villain is followed by a sophist with a sponge,” said Lord Acton, and, sure enough, we can read the labyrinthic justification for this cultural travesty by two white intellectuals in the New York Times. Vogue, another authority on archaeology and history took time off from urging teenage girls to try prostitution, sexting, and anal sex and from promoting Marxism, to declare that of course criticism of the pseudo-documentary was due to racism.
After all, what else could it be?
At this point, it may be well to remember a previous absurdity from the 1970s. Erich von Däniken rode a tidal wave of ooohs and aaahs all the way to the bank with his popular Chariots of the Gods, where he put forth the proposition that Egyptian pyramids and other archaeological structures could not have possibly been built by primitive man, so . . . they were built by space aliens.
This Cleopatra fiasco would be another minor soon-to-be-forgotten absurdity if not for the fact that there are many underlying sinister trends.
Fake History and Cultural Appropriation
Communist regimes were famous for falsifying history. In his 1984 dystopia based on Soviet Russia, George Orwell wrote, “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.”
The Soviet Union became a caricature of this as communists declared that Russia had invented the car, the light bulb, the airplane, the train, baseball, you name it (in the comic film, The Mouse That Roared, some diplomats are killing time by playing Monopoly. The Soviet ambassador states that Russia invented the game).
I, and others who lived under totalitarianism, have repeatedly voiced the alarm that the present movement, in all of its bizarre manifestations, is a resurgence of communism (the dumb-as-a-dumbbell Republican politicians, however, refuse to state the obvious because the Democrats and their propaganda outlets–the media–would be offended). The American version of Marxism sees blacks as the proletariat, the sacred cow that can do no wrong and is to be weaponized against the white (capitalist exploiters). So in this Racial Marxism, blacks are constantly eulogized and whites are demonized. Once a race war occurs and whites are exterminated, utopia will be established as was the case in Haiti and various African pigsties. This planned racial replacement has begun with various cultural appropriations in films, novels, cartoons, history, and even in science.
At any rate, the Cleopatra fantasy is a branch of a delusion that has existed for some time, to wit, that the Egyptians — who supposedly were black — invented architecture, literature, philosophy, science, democracy, etc., long before whites, whereupon evil white people came over and claimed those achievements as their own. This delusion was formalized by Martin Gardiner Bernal, a white Marxist Jew, whose scholarship on this issue was on the level of Velikovsky. Many black Americans eagerly adopted this view, among them the media-created Al Sharpton (another media-created celebrity is Greta Thunberg). This has not gone unchallenged.
Black Americans wallow in this fantasy partly because Egyptian wall paintings show the people as brown-skinned. However, becoming brown-skinned is a result of being under the Saharan sun, as pictures of the German Afrika Korps demonstrate. Furthermore, those same wall paintings show sub-Saharan black Africans as black, not brown.
Besides, if ancient Egypt was populated by blacks, where did all the blacks go? They are nowhere to be seen.
But aside from popular culture, formal history is being falsified in order to accommodate totalitarian goals and world view, such as the 1619 Project, put together by someone so ignorant that she got the year wrong for the start of the American Civil War, said the North did not fight Civil War to end slavery, claims Europe is not a continent, that thanks to communism there is no racial discrimination in Cuba, and that the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima because a lot of money had been spent on it.
Reality Is What We Say It Is
A characteristic of the present totalitarian movement in America, Canada, and the U.K. is that it is also a war against reality. For fanatics, reality is what they say it is. This totalitarian movement is multifaceted so we see that they claim that “critical race theory” is not racist, that children as young as five want to be transgender, that the border is secure, that Lincoln was a racist, that brutal assaults on Asians by blacks are due to white supremacy and white racism, that suppression or regulation of “hate speech” is not censorship, that Cleopatra and Beethoven were black, etc.
The attitude of the participants in Cleopatra is exactly the same as with that of transgenders. A man who has delusions of being a woman and puts on a dress insists that everyone participate in his delusion and address him and treat him as a woman. Nope. No chance.
Except for liberals.
Woke Films and TV Shows
When I lived in Communist Cuba, the only movies available were those made in communist countries. They were crap. Nobody, but nobody, wanted to see them. My family went to see two different Soviet films in empty theaters.
This is what is happening with a lot of woke propaganda movies and television programs like the Cleopatra pseudo-documentary. People don’t watch them.
But that doesn’t mean the fanatics will stop making them. For them, the shows are a success.
Because reality is what they say it is.
First published in Issues and Insights.