Leftists’ Eliminationist Fantasy

Via Althouse comes a review for a play, The Last Supper, with a revealing premise. The play is based on a movie of the same name. Wikipedia summarizes the movie:

The Last Supper is a 1995 film directed by Stacy Title. It stars Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, Annabeth Gish, Jonathan Penner and Courtney B. Vance as five liberal graduate school students who invite a string of right-wing extremists whose political views they disagree with to dinner in order to murder them.

Here’s a video of the trailer:

This is obviously a comedy and one that uses a long-established plot premise: the protagonist gets hooked on murdering obnoxious people. (Feel free to offer examples in the comments. Dexter comes immediately to mind for me.) This plot premise works because we the audience can empathize on some level with wanting to do away with all the people who make us angry. The plot creates a fantasy in which we get to harmlessly indulge our darker impulses. It is that fantasy of lashing out that makes these types of works attractive on an emotional level. In most works with this premise, the murderer kills people universally despised. Dexter kills murderers and who cannot empathize with that urge?

What makes The Last Supper so disturbing in the contemporary context is both murder victims, non-leftists, and the intended audience, leftists. It is clearly a leftist’s murder fantasy.

Wikipedia describes the victims:

The students lay down a procedure for each murder. The guest will be given every opportunity to change their mind and recant their beliefs. If the guests fail to change their ways by dessert, the group offers them poisoned white wine from a blue decanter and raises a toast. The bodies are buried in the group’s vegetable garden. Guests include a homophobic reverend (played by Charles Durning), a misogynistic chauvinist (played by Mark Harmon), a Neo-Nazi (played by Rick Lawrence), an anti-environmentalist (played by Jason Alexander), a Pro-life extremist (played by Rachel Chagall), a book censorship advocate (played by Pamela Gien), a hobo assailant (played by Nicholas Sadler), and opponents of gay rights, all of whom are murdered. After ten murders, misgivings begin to surface within the group as a couple of them grow indecisive regarding the justification of their actions. Infighting and guilt compel Jude, Pete, Marc, and Paulie, in an almost unanimous decision with only the dissent of Luke, to spare a teenage opponent of mandatory sex education (Bryn Erin).

The author expects the audience to empathize with the murderers who get to live out the audience’s fantasy of lashing out at non-leftists. (I think it rather clear that the actual characters of the murder victims each represent a group or class of political opponents.) The premise isn’t even funny if you don’t share the leftists’ view of the groups represented.

Some of the characters clearly don’t even represent real groups or viewpoints of any significance. The review describes one character as:

This young man, a patriotic Desert Storm vet, first startles the group when he insists on saying grace before the vegan meal and then goes on to praise Hitler, alarming and repulsing the other dinners.

That’s not the description of a real political demographic in America. The number of ex-military, devout Christians who think Hitler was on to something numbers in the hundreds at most. Such people have zero effect on political issues at any level. Why would the author include such an unrealistic character? Because in the fantasy narrative of the left, there are a lot of such individuals on the right and they are politically influential.

All serious leftists are arrogant narcissists completely convinced of their own moral rectitude and intellectual infallibility. As such, anyone who disagrees with a leftist must do so out of evil motives. Since the wonderfulness of the hero is inversely proportional to the evil of the villain, the leftists instantly conclude that their opponents on the right must be the ultimate evil of Nazis. So, not only is the movie/play a leftist murder fantasy but it is a fantasy about murdering people who only exist in the self-flattering fantasy world of leftists. The work not only lets leftists lash out, it also lets them lash out at their imaginary opponents.

Of course it goes without saying that the left would howl with outrage if the exact same concept was used in a play except that the political beliefs of murders and victims were reversed. The left continuously decries supposed “hate speech” on the right while ignoring the vomiting geyser of hatred that is the normal mode of discourse on the left.

16 thoughts on “Leftists’ Eliminationist Fantasy”

  1. Oh, wait. This movie is 15 years old.

    Odd that I never heard of it before.

    Not so odd that it is being revived now.

  2. Also, IMDB has reviews that suggest the movie’s message is ambiguous, e.g. this: “The great irony is that the liberals become intolerant, revealing the dangers of political correctness and the very real possibility of a left-wing police state in which alternative views are crushed in the name liberal values.”

    Hmmm. Maybe so.

    But I have no interest in watching it to find out.

  3. I did see this movie when it first came out on video, when I was in high school. It had precisely the opposite effect on me than the creators intended, and I hope I’m not alone in this. The movie fails to show why any of the murder victims “needed killing,” it’s just taken as a given because the characters disagree with them. The Jerry Falwell guy came across like a nice fellow. I was cringing when he reached for the poisoned pie. I was mystified by why the characters thought they were killing future Hitlers, which was their justification for the murders. It’s what they kept telling the Judas figure (Jude, played by Cameron Diaz) when she was having a crisis of conscience. And one of the apostles of murder shifts from their “killing Hitler” rationale to “kill who gets in our way” when he offed the nice cop lady who was investigating the murders. I think she initially was looking for a missing child, but had noticed their victims go missing as well. I was pulling for the apostle’s better nature to prevail so that the cop lady would survive. If I remember correctly, that didn’t happen.

    The best figure in the movie was the Rush Limbaugh character, played by a slim red-headed guy, and he appears at the end, though you see the characters listening to him throughout. He’s on their list. The Apostles of Murder meet him in an airport, and try to get him on their side by demanding to know if he would kill a young Hitler. He sets them straight by saying that killing isn’t the answer, but rather reasonable debate so that you change his mind is the answer. They accept the clue bat he whacks them with, and the movie ends.

    As a 16 year old, I thought the movie was intended to be subversive, showing left wingers that their fantasies were juvenile, that their “solutions” were the cause of trouble, and that Rush Limbaugh types had something to teach them. I thought the moral was to be less like the Apostles of Murder, and more like Rush Limbaugh, which was easy to accept because I had a classmate who was into him, and was nothing like their stereotype of Limbaugh listeners: she was a sweet girl who was wheelchair-bound from cerebral palsy (I think). I’m startled to know that that’s not what they were going for. Damn.

  4. Let me see if I understand this. The film is called “The Last Supper.” The real Last Supper was the last meal a certain Jesus had with his close friends the evening on which he was taken into custody by the people in cahoots with the Romans so they could have him executed. His friends weren’t executed that weekend, but over time, those friends were executed for holding the same beliefs that Jesus had.

    Jesus and later his close friends were executed for their beliefs, yes, but perhaps more for the misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and false misrepresentation of those beliefs.

    So the “right-wing” characters in the movie/play who are put to death are like Jesus and his friends (the Apostles)? And the left wing people are like Pontius Pilate or perhaps the Judean collaborators (Herod, Saducees) with Pontius Pilate or perhaps the Romans in general? Do I have this right?

  5. Paul Milenkovic,

    I don’t believe the film was truly supposed to track completely with the original last supper, I thought it was supposed to be subversive in broad strokes. I refer to the characters as Apostles of Murder because they were the bad guys who seemingly had good intentions and were supposedly doing good deeds, but in the end were serial killers. What I thought when I was watching this movie was that the Jesus figure (I think Courtney Vance, a guy) was an inverse Jesus: not pure, not good, not wise, and whose fruits were wicked. The Judas figure is the “good” one (Cameron Diaz), in as much as she can’t bear what they’re doing, but not so good that she actually goes to the trouble of stopping them or protecting their victims.

    I thought the film’s writers had sat around thinking, “That Jesus guy sure was influential. Look at all those followers. Hey! What if another charismatic individual came along who only *thought* he was good, but actually wasn’t and the *Judas* guy is actually the good guy? Brilliant! And, and, and, the Last Supper could actually be a literal last supper, but for the victims! Brilliant! And the Satan figure(Rush Limbaugh) will actually be a light bringer, in that he gives them wisdom to stop being themselves! Brilliant!” I imagined cigars thrown in there somewhere. If that’s not what they were going for, then I’m apparently not their target audience: I totally thought the leftwing thought process was what was being skewered here. Perhaps I’m Homer Simpson, in that episode where all the smart people join some cult and Homer is immune to the propaganda because he’s too dumb to follow it. Stranger things have happened.

  6. I’ve seen the movie numrous times, and it is entertaining, despite the liberal BS, up until the very end.

    The Self righteous well funded trustfund children who do the murdering, find that they actually have to live with their actions, which wouldn’t have been a horrible morality tale for a dark comedy, there is a reason dark comedies are dark.

    BUT! Jamie? You haven’t seen the movie recently or don’t remember it well.

    The best figure in the movie was the Rush Limbaugh character, played by a slim red-headed guy, and he appears at the end, though you see the characters listening to him throughout. He’s on their list. The Apostles of Murder meet him in an airport, and try to get him on their side by demanding to know if he would kill a young Hitler. He sets them straight by saying that killing isn’t the answer, but rather reasonable debate so that you change his mind is the answer. They accept the clue bat he whacks them with, and the movie ends.

    No, that’s not what happens. The influential media presence is left alone while the Elite trust funders walk away to argue as to if he should be killed, he looks out the window and sees the graves that these sociopathic murders left in the FLOWER garden, and looks at the table. Later you see the sociopathic criminals laying dead on the table and the talk radio guy walking away. Soon, you hear him on the radio calling for revolution, and doing exactly the thing that the sociopaths predicted making the conservative the badguy and the sociopaths misguided.

    Also, the big turn wasn’t guilt over killing people they disagreed with, it came when a couple of them killed a local police officer to cover up their guilt.

  7. They also decide that since participating in protests and sit-ins has been a futile way to fight the power this new dinner party murder method may be a more effective technique in coping with right-wing adversaries…..Soon a parade of special guests is invited to dine and when their dinner conversation proves repellent they are given poisoned wine and buried in the backyard. Nick Kaprelian plays the damaged vet Zach with a quiet menace and brings things to a boil in a believable way. With her pixie cut direct gaze and tart tongue she captures just the right acerbic tone.

  8. Yet another play in which I have no interest.

    Has anyone yet commented on the difference between plays like this and the claims that some righty political leader put a crosshairs on a map, and that led to a nut-case leftist shooting a Representative in Arizona?

    We’ve got to tone down the eliminationist rhetoric, right?

  9. I saw this in the mid-90s when I didn’t have any real political leanings. The whole thing could have been biting satire about left-wing politics… that is until the end and the murderers are proven “right”.

    (Really, Jason Alexander hammed it up so much, I couldn’t take the movie seriously at all. The ending just doesn’t fit with the rest of the film.)

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