L.M. Helm

What I learned from Barbenheimer

Barbenheimer t-shirt.

Barbenheimer is probably the best example of counter-programming since Animal Planet scheduled the Puppy Bowl on the same night as the Superbowl. On their opening weekend, tens of thousands of people went to see both Barbie and Oppenheimer – a real marathon because Oppenheimer clocks in at 3hrs!

I was almost one of those people.

I get excited about almost anything WWII, so Oppenheimer had me at hello. Then the first trailer for Barbie got my attention, so I was all about Barbenheimer. And then…

And then…

I found out Oppenheimer had nudity in it.

“No big deal,” I thought. “A strategically placed potty break will handle that.”

Nope. Nudity here. Nudity there. Nudity everywhere!


No worries. “I still have Barbie,” I told myself.

Then the reviews started dropping.

Turns out what was marketed as a fun-filled pink-a-palooza was actually propagandistic misandry (hatred of men) in disguise.


So, what did I learn?

I learned that it is just as important to skip a film with a bad message as it is to skip a film with bad content.

Now, I know, the obvious criticism of my perspective is: “how can you possibly know that a film has a bad message without watching the film?!?”

Well, how do I know Oppenheimer has nudity in it?

Because someone I trust (in this case pluggedin.com) went and watched the film and told me.

The second criticism of my perspective might be: “Yeah, but you can just watch Barbie and filter all that stuff out.”

Yes, but in that scenario, they would have my money and I’m not sure I want to pay people who hate me.

I would also ask, can we really filter the bad messages out of films?

I’m not so sure.

I’ve watched Fight Club many, many times. Until recently, I owned it. And sometimes I wonder how deeply it messages of nihilism and depravity are buried in my brain.

It’s something to think about…

🤚🏻 On the other hand, here’s this reading of Barbie a friend sent me ↧

So, what is Barbie actually about? Seems there might be more to think about here than I originally thought. 🧐