Oh the majority. There’s a reason why the majority should not have the power to vote on the civil rights of others. The majority has a crappy track record. The majority thought slavery was a super idea and this one time, at band camp, the majority thought that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Who has the audacity to both nail groovy Jesus to a cross AND burn witches at the stake in his name? That goobly gobbly gelatinous blob the majority that’s who! Benefits of joining this club include never having to feel shame or remorse and never having to feel personally accountable for your actions. Jump on in, the water is oblivious! How’s that whole “people are basically good.” thing working out for you Anne Frank? My mistake, the majority didn’t snag you, you died of Typhus. Even the best concentration camps can do little to curtail a typhus outbreak.
The majority of the students at Carrie White’s school think she’s creepy. Strawberry blonde is just a polite way to say “borderline ginger” and ick, she’s all insecure and shy. Don’t you just hate people who don’t reek of their own self-satisfaction? Her house is a joke, her mom is a loon and her dad, somehow unclear about the sanctity of straight marriage, abandoned her ass years ago. She’s vulnerable, she bleeds and she’s all alone. What choice does the majority have but to take advantage of the situation and rip her to shreds? Remember, if you want to be all safe and snug in the majority you better be able to identify who’s NOT in the majority. Just look around for somebody who’s having a harder time in this world than you are and proceed to make their life worse.
Speaking of majorities, let’s say you gimme some of that old time religion (it’s good enough for me!) Please don’t be offended my devout friends, I know not all believers are hypocrites who wear the mask of God to do the devil’s work. Personally, I bring a basketful of faith with me to every funeral I attend. (Lye has many wonderful uses too but it’s not recommended that you throw into someone’s face.)
In Carrie White’s world we’re not talking about religion but the abuse of religion, the way religion is used as a tool to keep certain people underfoot. Momma White has a clear “don’t ask don’t tell” policy about telekinetic powers and the idea that Carrie is a sinner due to her sexuality is constant. Thanks to mom’s favorite book Carrie spends a lot of time in a closet. Yep, it may be more than strong female characters and campy dirty pillow talk that keeps the gays coming back to this STEPHEN KING story.
See what’s happening here? Maybe I shouldn’t have watched CARRIE right after I read about yet another bullied gay teen committing suicide. It keeps bleeding into my piece! On second thought, I doubt my timing was a random accident either. After reading about yet another bullied teen committing suicide some spark must have ignited in the back of my head that said, “Time to watch CARRIE!” BRIAN DePALMA’s eternal asshole roast always makes me feel so much better.
Not only does the majority of the cast deservingly die horrible deaths in CARRIE but it’s also just such a brilliantly crafted film. I swear the score alone makes me levitate. Is there even a weak link moment in CARRIE? I used to think it was the fast forward tuxedo purchase scene but I’ve come to appreciate that bit as a needed bubble of relief between the torturous Christ crawl beginning and the cathartic flaming blast of divine retribution close. When did this movie stop being a horror movie to me and start being my very own gospel? If Carrie White burns in hell then hell is located in my heart.
Back to teens gay or otherwise being bullied to commit suicide. Oh wait, I’m sorry one recent kid who killed himself was only 11 so he was not really a teen at all. Let’s just say kids, kids in our schools that go to our churches and live under our roofs killing themselves because we fail to instill within them the basic self love not to. Kids killing themselves because they live in a world where it’s acceptable to believe that some people have more worth than others, a world that tells them that outnumbering is the same as being right and that morality is measured by the pound.
Sorry, sometimes I forget my second class citizen status and I get all, what’s the word? Uppity. It’s only that I can see the graffiti on the wall from here. Eventually one of these bullied kids is not going to be satisfied politely offing themselves in a corner and are going to spin their torrent of rage outwardly. Then when enough of the “worthwhile” kids are lying in their own blood we’ll start that conversation again about the effects of violence in movies and video games. Frankly I’m sick and tired of my favorite genre being in the hot seat because a majority of people spoon-feed hate to their offspring for breakfast every morning. Hey, I don’t mind jumping off the sidewalk for your twin pod cloud car baby carriage but if we’re going to dumb down our entire culture for the sake of “the children” can I at least have some insurance that your lil’ entitlement dolls aren’t just more bigots in training?
NOTE: I have many friends with kids and I’m consistently impressed with the progressive values that they consciously instill in them. If you are a responsible parent, I’m not talking about you. In fact, I thank you and recognize you as THE MOST important factor in the solution to this fucked-up epidemic.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah CARRIE. Am I the only one (God forbid) that watches CARRIE as revenge porn? Scratch that, “revenge” is such an ugly word. I should say “retaliation” porn. “Retaliation” sounds more like designer perfume. Why does this movie that I found so frightening in my youth now only feel empowering? Even the film’s hand from the grave ending, which once upon a time nearly made me piss my pajamas, I now read as a triumphant promise that Carrie’s fury will remain long after her death. By film’s end Sue Snell, the lone survivor has amassed far more than the gruesome memories of prom night; she is now and forever acquainted with the depths of Carrie’s previously unacknowledged torment. (According to CARRIE 2: THE RAGE, Snell took that knowledge and put it to good use becoming a high school guidance counselor.) Sue Snell and her problematic empathy, whatever did Tommy Ross see in her?
So where does the horror lie in CARRIE? This ship doesn’t sail by the power of our fears of not fitting in does it? That seems lame. Overzealous religious folks like Carrie’s mom are off-putting but they’re pitiable more than anything else. Maybe CARRIE works because it ignites the collective mob’s cowardly worry that someday they’ll pick the wrong witch to lynch and it is they who will burn. As far as I’m concerned Carrie White should be the patron saint of every bullied teen (or kid) out there. She may have ended up crushed beneath the wheel, but what religious figure worth their Red Sea salt doesn’t? Yes, she brings down a world of destruction but every decent Bible story ends the same way. I believe it’s truly tragic that the wonderful Miss Collins gets shortened at the hip but I can’t blame Carrie for her perceptions being a bit off. Having your dreams met with a bucket of pig’s blood is bound to distort your view.
I don’t (officially) condone violence as the answer to anything and I’m aware of the contradiction of pushing Kumbayah sentiments while watching P.J. SOLES’ eardrum get ruptured by a wayward (and pregnant with Civil Rights movement history) fire hose but sorry, I can’t help but get giddy when oppressors reap what they sow. Thank you Carrie White for getting me through the rough patches (no matter what my age) with your cathartic house cleaning skills. At this point, if you ever pop your hand out of the grave around me, I swear to God, I’m only going to want to shake it.
Tommy Ross, close us out with your awesome (and Carrie White approved) poetry!
“What are you going to leave for us,
you people in your cars,
spewing pollution into the air?
You people with heavy feet
trampling down the wilderness.
You people who peer into the back seats of our cars,
hours after you come out of the back doors of your motels.
Soon, all we will have is each other,
and that could be enough.
If you will let us have room enough,
and air enough, and peace enough
to love each other as you never could.”