What's that smell?

'X' for Latina

For some inexplicable reason, there's a remake of West Side Story, for anyone who considers the 1961 classic to be somehow inadequate. I wasn't aware that this was something that the world had been clamouring for. Neither were cinema audiences, it seems, who stayed away in droves when it debuted last weekend: Steven Spielberg's effort hasn't performed sensationally at the box office.

He had earlier explained his decision to not subtitle the Spanish language in the film: If I subtitled the Spanish, I'd simply be doubling down on the English and giving English the power over the Spanish. I really don't understand how making your work more widely accessible is anything other than good sense—subtitling the Spanish for anglophones, and the English for Hispanics—but I'm no creative. Instead, he preferred to alienate a major part of his potential audience, by making substantial parts of his film unintelligible to them. Perhaps that's why they're apathetic? (thinking)

Because he's no hypocrite, I'm sure that he'll leave the English un-subtitled for Spanish-speaking audiences. This might well limit the audience to those who're conversant in both languages, but there are times when the creative vision simply cannot be compromised dahling! It's a brave decision, one that's well-deserving of a slow handclap. (slowhandclap)

Whether or not the beancounters at Disney agree is another matter, but screw 'em; the more money that Disney loses, the better.

Meanwhile, anyone who wants a musical version of Romeo and Juliet, without the need to be bilingual, is going to have to look elsewhere. Perhaps sixty years back?

Spielberg still managed to piss off Hispanics, though. While boasting his inclusivity credentials, he used what a sizeable proportion of the US Hispanic population consider to be a racial slur: I didn't want to subtitle any of the Spanish out of respect for the inclusivity of our intentions to hire a totally Latino, Latinx cast to play the Shark boys and girls.*

Psst, Steve, a word to the wise: use Hispanic; Latin American; Latino/Latina; or Latin person/people to refer in general terms to those of Latin American origin or descent, perhaps Chicano/Chicana if you want to get specific that way. Never Latinx. Latinx is a progressive anglophonic construct, created for the sole purpose of appeasing the alphabet soupers and their fellow travellers. A lot of people find it offensive. Don't use it.

You're welcome.

* Spielberg's faux pas is even more incomprehensible in this case, since he didn't use Latinx as a gender-neutral replacement for Latino and Latina, just the latter. In other instances, he used it more generally. For example, he later referred to Latinx countries, when he would've been better served referring to Hispanic countries. Although, given that he also claimed complete deference and respect for Puerto Rico, why the hell he didn't simply refer to Puerto Ricans is anyone's guess.