I am risking my blog here, as it is hosted by Google, but Google has done something that the phrase "chilling effect" was designed to describe.
Here's a mandatory alert:
And do I need to say it? Language alert.
Maybe you saw this Tuesday:
--The fact that Google whipped up a Bias Nanny algorithm tells me that they feel we cannot be trusted to recognize bias on our own. In other words, like the poisonous snowflake culture in our universities, Google thinks we're too dumb to know bias and hatred when we see it. So they will help us be better. That's even assuming that the damn thing works, despite the fact that it's predicated on what has to be opinion; there's no mathematical "science" that can prove bias in film, hard as people keep trying. Why would filmmakers not fight back against this? A statement like "Your film shows female characters 16.56% less than males, with passive dialogue 36.98% more often than males..." Etc. etc. data data data. As a director, screenwriter, are you going to let Google tell you your artistry must be "adjusted" to be in line with proper thinking?
--And that's the point: Google is here to turn our badthink into goodthink. You dopes in the audience, you dummies making movies! How dare you sit there and think your movie is not full of gender bias? (Next up: race bias, Islamic bias, LGBTQRSTU bias....) We can scientifically prove that you, director, are a chauvinist pig, and we can make sure the whole world knows it. Guess what that'll do to your career? Guess what'll happen when our search engines show your home address...?
--I say, so what if there is bias in some movies? There's probably biases all over the place in every work of art. SO WHAT? We're free to think as we like, are we not? Uh, no, actually, you're not anymore... the reason we need this is to teach you not to think bad, otherwise the machines will correct you -- movies now, books later, online conversation next, actual conversation next...
--What's the endgame in all this, Googs? It's a rabbit hole with no bottom. Now University of Michigan students are feeling oppressed by fucking wood paneling. So you add that to your little algorithm and now every film that shows wood paneling is a nightmare of oppression. Then what? "Vinyl flooring is an affront to my people!" Well, the victim has absolute moral authority to dictate the terms, right? But where does it end? (Hint: Hell.)
--Well, fuck your machines, Google, and to hell with your newthink. If I wanted to play in that sandbox of insanity I'd go back to school. I say our right to think and speak as we want is granted to us by our Creator, not you, not the government, not even by others who might be offended, and by fighting against that right you are acting as an enemy of freedom and the God who created it. You know what that makes you?
People who hadn't noticed when you quietly dropped your "don't be evil" motto, presumably in exchange for an "evil is okay" one, might start to notice when you start policing them. Stop "training" us, Google. You can have all the money in the world, but it's still above your pay grade.