Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Wishes It Were Politically Important Or Culturally Valuable

The Hollywood Reporter has an article this morning about how Robert Rodriguez’s fake-trailer-turned-“real”-movie, Machete, is going to be released in theaters at the height of American anxiety over immigration and Arizona’s racist law debates and everything, and it’s just going to be a POWDER KEG or something. It’s not, but that’s what the article says. For example:

“Machete’s” convoluted story explicitly takes place amid the current powder keg of an immigration debate and on the heels of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration legislation. Crooked politicians, powerful drug kingpins, malicious border vigilantes, antsy day laborers, conflicted customs agents and angry revolutionaries seethe along the U.S.-Mexico border in Rodriguez’s film. In real life, confusion and violence have peppered both sides of the line.

“It feels like this movie couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” Rodriguez said, “even though we came up with it a long time ago.”

Sure. Because if there is one thing that everyone on both sides of the Arizona anti-immigration law debate can agree upon, it’s that they ALL are curious to see a low budget movie that is bad on purpose directed by the guy who made Spy Kids. Look: I do not like Robert Rodriguez’s work very much, and I REALLY do not like Grindhouse, from which this comes. But whatever. My feelings are not important. We should all be so lucky as to find some movie in this world that makes us happy, even if other people think that it is lazy and hollow and that things that are bad on purpose are just bad because other people in the world are actually TRYING. But I’m pretty sure even if you love Robert Rodriguez and you love Grindhouse and you already wrote a letter to Fandango asking them to mail you two adult tickets to the opening night of Machete, you at least recognize that this movie will have zero effect on the actual political climate or with anything that is going on right now at all.

“I think Arizona is going to like this movie,” said the man who is Machete. “It doesn’t just deal with the guy who comes over the border to support his family; it deals with the corruption on both sides — the drug dealers, the guys who are getting paid to bring people here and the politicians who, any time they need a good platform, choose immigration. So the feds may now really do something.”

The first thing they might do is complain about the movie, which already has kicked up some dust. After Arizona’s SB 1070 was signed into law in April, Rodriguez fired the first salvo when he pushed out a recut trailer on Cinco de Mayo that took aim at the state. A tacked-on introduction showed Trejo in character saying, “This is Machete with a special Cinco de Mayo message … to Arizona.” Mayhem, including shots of angry illegal immigrants rising up in rebellion, followed. wasted no time in posting an article, “Violent Movie Declares War on Arizona for Immigration Law,” that linked the trailer to an incident the day before in which an unidentified white powder was sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who had signed SB 1070 into law. The article, which was quickly removed from the FoxNews website, declared the trailer “just the latest development in a debate that is growing more rancorous by the minute.”

Haha. “They MIGHT complain.” LOOK OUT, WORLD. Obviously, the Hollywood Reporter has to sell newspapers just like the rest of us, and one thing that the Old Media definitely had locked down before New Media even created its first Tumblr account was the whole-cloth fabrication of non-scandal scandals. Fox News posted an article suggesting that a movie featuring a Mexican murderer battling white villains might raise the temperature of the current political mood only to take the article down? YIKES. IT’S LIKE WE ARE LIVING IN THE 1960S ALL OVER AGAIN, ATTICA AND ALSO KENT STATE AND ALSO GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!

The truth, of course, is that I am just cynical about these things. I would love it if we lived in a world where art mattered. Personally, again, I don’t really think Machete is art, per se. But I would like to live in a world where art mattered, EVEN IF THAT ART WAS MACHETE. That would be great. But we don’t. We did. But we don’t. Boo hoo, I’m sure. No one gives a shit about movies. Or books. Or TV. Or videogames. Or magazines. Seriously. People enjoy having a distraction from the long, slogging march towards death, but they don’t actually care. They think they do, but they don’t. Not really. Certainly not in a way that would have any effect on their worldview, entrenched politics, or indefensible opinions. (Whoops, turns out school is already BACK IN SESSION. Sorry.)

Hahahahahah. WHY AM I SO MAD ABOUT THIS, I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN MACHETE! Fuck. NO MORE SHELLFISH BEFORE BREAKFAST! Check out this chihuahua playing pool (via Dlisted):