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The HandMaid's Tale

Historically speaking there was a time when a whole bunch of Christians got together, created a Christian-based government and, spoiler alert, now we have universal human rights. -IMDB reviewer of The Handmaid's Tale

This HULU special is not The Christian Solution of universal human rights; this is instead a story depicting Christians as The Christian Problem.

Only a secular Jewish Hollywood would portray their horror show of a Christian uprising against our Jewish secular rule in America, where the revolting Christians insist upon having America now follow Jewish religious law.

Blatent anti-Jewish
Meant to be Anti-Christian

Imagine a world where gays get stoned to death (Jewish Torah), handmaid slaves are forced to have your children when your wife cannot (Jewish Torah) , doctors who allow precious sperm to be wasted (aka abortions) are hanged (Jewish Torah), Jezebels are available if the need arises (Jewish Torah). All done with no Christian forgiveness and all done with the justice of an eye for an eye. A true Judas-like Christian dystopia I tell you.

Blatent Sexism
Subtle Racism

At first, I was "agast" that this version did not follow the movie version showing racism against blacks by rounding them up in chains, which was just as prevalent as the sexism against women by turning them into sexual slaves.  But an IMDB reviewer showed me how the racism against whites was subtly placed into the HULU series, where is was all but invisible.

I know I get it, I'm supposed to be rooting for Offred! She's lost her adorable African-American husband to the baddies! They took her equally adorable interracial daughter away! Her African American bestie (the excellent Samira Wiley, completely wasted in this.. SHE should have been cast as Offred!!) is dead! Its like the writers HAD to throw in those characters to show how white-as-the-driven-snow Offred is worth her weight in gold because she's NOT A RACIST. - IMDB reviewer of The Handmaid's Tale

It's ALWAYS about Global Warming

The Handmaid's Tale begins with climate warming somehow making most women infertile, with the red-neck instigators of climate warming and pollution being the ones who get mad enough to finally say "I'm not going to take it anymore!" Silly premise, but when liberals write the script, why not?

A priest, a doctor and a gay walk into a bar...

In this HULU presentation, our poor heroine handmaid is first seen walking in front of three hanging bodies; a priest, a doctor and a gay.

And the symbolic meaning of those three?  Think about it for a while, as we temporarily move on...

Christians are bad don't you know

Of all the Dystopian future movies and TV series ever made, The Handmaid's Tale is the only one I've seen which supposedly involves Christianity as the actual cause of the dystopia, which indeed makes this Jewish-produced production the most anti-Christian production ever.

Of course, to make a show about a Christianity dystopian instead of a Christian utopian, they had to get Christianity completely wrong. The Jewish producers had to malign Christianity and completely bastardize it.

To get Christianity completely wrong, they had to implement, to the fullest extent possible, a full pledged, Judas-based, hence extreme old-fasioned, Protestant-based Christian worldview, akin to the Puritan era -- i.e., a complete reversion to the Old Testament.

What is being depicted is not a compassionate Christian New World Order, but a tyrannical  "fire and brimstone" Judiac Old World Order.

The third episode referenced the only New Testament verse so far, with Romans 1:26,

For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature."
Romans 1:26 

A verse which somehow gives the Theocracy in this show an excuse to hang lesbians, when there is no punishment prescribed in this verse whatsoever; other than possibly -- shaming them for their shameful affections.

Oh no!! A "Scarlet L" -- for Lesbian. The sham!!  The Sham!!!

To order to find the inherently unforgiving punishment of death for lesbianism, one is required to revert back to the Jewish Torah.

Indeed, the biblical story of the handmaid used as a surrogate mother, with no implications of adultery, is completely Jewish Torah.

As for the priest, doctor and gay?

The gay we covered. "Hangings too good for him, he should have been Jew stoned."

The "doctor" depicted obviously as an abortion "doctor"; as if killing a child has anything to do with the life-saving (and Christian) graces of medicine.

As for the priest. Well, he is not Judas-enough for these so-called "Christians", so the "Christian" thing to do is kill him as well.

To complement the rest of the horror story in the first three episodes, there is the "plucking out of your right eye if it offends you" sequence, straight again from the Jew's Torah. Not something Jesus would have done. 

Where have I seen this movie before? 
Ah, yes, in Saudi Arabia

And in an approbation straight from that "third Great Abrahamic Religion" of Islam, there is the "genital mutilation to save you from immoral thoughts" sequence, because you were lusting after another lesbian -- who cannot be killed because she can still carry a child and is needed for this important task in the name of the Theocracy of Giland.  In this respect, I have to agree with a reviewer. This happens in Islam TODAY and it is the liberal leftists who embrace Islam in America.

Just a word about the "Amazing" 9.0 reviews, wringing their collective hands that this is "coming to America", I am in full agreement with another wise reviewer who said: It's ALREADY here" AND around the world, people!

Hey morons, there ARE communities out there RIGHT NOW forcing women to cover up head-to-toe, denying them education, voting and driving rights, no birth control, no health care, genital mutilation, executing gays, using children as sexual objects, slavery, abuse, teaching hate in schools, yes all of it. ALL OF IT. Open your eyes.

The Reformed Judaism Tale???

Perhaps, this is the Jewish director and producer's own personal atonement.  Or on a more political note, this may not be so much as a warning that Donald Trump may instill such a government here in America, but that Netanyahu may instill a Reformed Judaic country upon Israel, forcing all of Israel to follow the Torah.

A Cunning Adaptation of

“The Handmaid’s Tale”

When Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” débuted, in April, nearly every review commented on its grotesque timeliness. It’s true that, early on, the Trumpian parallels are hard to miss. It’s a story about a government that exploits fear of Islamic terrorists to crush dissent, then blots out women’s reproductive rights. It’s about fake news, political trauma, the abnormal normalized. There’s a scene that so directly evoked the Women’s March that I had to hit Pause to collect myself.

But, for many readers of my generation, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is also a time machine back to the Reagan era, a mightily perverse period for sexual politics. Just a decade earlier, a woman could be denied a credit card without a man to co-sign, and yet, by 1985, when the novel was written, the media was declaring that feminism was over, dunzo, defunct—no longer necessary, now that women wore sneakers to jobs at law firms. At the same time, sexual danger was a national obsession, seen from two opposing angles, each claiming to protect women. On the right, there was the anti-abortion New Christian Right—led by figures like Phyllis Schlafly and the televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker—intent on restoring traditional marriage. On the left, there was the anti-porn movement—spearheaded by the feminist philosopher Catharine MacKinnon and the gonzo polemicist Andrea Dworkin—which argued that consensual sex was often an illusion and gender a cruel hierarchy. These weird sisters co-wrote laws that reframed pornography as a civil-rights issue, allowing rape victims to sue publishers. It was a peculiar era in which to be a teen-age girl, equally prudish and decadent: the era of Trump Tower and cocaine, AIDS and “Just Say No.” It also made me a free-speech absolutist, wary of any clampdown on expression. My strongest memory of reading Atwood’s book is the rude jolt of a joke between college students like me. “You’re so trendy,” the narrator, Offred, recalls teasing her friend Moira, about the subject of a term paper. “It sounds like some kind of dessert. Date Rapé.”

This was the context in which Atwood wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is set in a nightmare world called Gilead, where consensual sex is an illusion and gender a cruel hierarchy—and traditional marriage is compulsory. It’s told in the voice of a forced birth surrogate, or Handmaid, whom we know only as Offred (for “Of-Fred,” the name of the Commander who owns her); she’s stuck inside her head, desperately making dark jokes to stay sane. The plot reflects the era’s obsessions: trainers force the Handmaids to watch porn, as a lesson about how men treat women; Offred remembers throwing kink magazines into the flames with her feminist mother. Gilead, the new name for the United States, is Biblical fascism sold with faux-feminist icing. “Freedom from,” Offred’s trainer Lydia insists, is as valuable as “freedom to.” Offred thinks, bitterly and longingly, of her mother, a second-wave feminist from whom Offred had sometimes felt alienated, viewing her political struggles as ancient history. “You wanted a women’s culture,” she imagines saying. “Well, now there is one. It isn’t what you meant, but it exists.”

In Gilead, men run the state, and women are split into types. Wives, dressed in blue, oversee the home; Marthas, in green, cook and clean; Handmaids, in long red cloaks, with white bonnets that hide their faces, have intercourse once a month, in a ritualized threesome, a state-sanctioned rape. An environmental disaster has caused mass infertility, and Handmaids are the solution—the regime’s goal is to get women not merely to accept their roles but to embrace them. There are also “unwomen,” sent to clean toxic waste, and “gender traitors,” hanged. Later, we discover a wanton underworld called Jezebel’s, full of women in vintage Playboy Bunny attire, which provides a cathartic outlet for powerful men.

Atwood’s book has echoes of New England Puritanism, along with atrocities drawn from sources including Saudi Wahhabism, the Third Reich, American slavery, and the East German surveillance state. It’s constructed not as a realistic story, however, but as an eyewitness account, presented in a highly self-conscious, wordplay-drenched text, meant for an imagined reader, like Anne Frank’s diary. It’s deeply narrow, the story of a slave grieving her past—her lost child, her ex-lover—as her memories recede. The recurrent motif is Scrabble: the Commander enlists Offred in a secret game. (Women are not allowed to read.) He gives her a women’s magazine, samizdat that floods her with nostalgia. She finds a carved message in her bedroom from an earlier Handmaid, who hanged herself: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” faux Latin for “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” But, mostly, Offred observes. She hides a match in her mattress, but never lights it. Eventually, she uses sex, with the house driver, Nick, as a drug to distract her from resistance. Toward the end of the book, a black van pulls up, and she steps in, but we never find out where it takes her. In the final chapter, we get the brilliantly dark punch line: Offred’s future reader turns out to be a smug know-it-all, a future professor of Gileadean studies, who deconstructs her like a bug. Her desperate message was received, but misunderstood, because the future inevitably imagines itself superior to the past.

A TV show that replicated the book’s poetic compression, its formal strangeness, would be hard to pull off. But the Hulu adaptation doesn’t try. Instead, it is heavy-handed in the best way, dramatizing Offred’s claustrophobia through gorgeous tableaux of repression. It makes everything blunter and more explicit, almost pulpy at times; among other things, we learn Offred’s true name, June, right away. She tells us, “I intend to survive.” The first three episodes, directed by Reed Morano, sketch Gilead’s outlines. There’s the opulent mansion in which Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is fed like a prize pig, overseen by the Commander’s wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), a former televangelist; the wall where traitors are hanged; and the grim dorm where older women torture and tutor. Offred’s narration retains some of her wit and fury. But the emphasis is visual, making violence as beautiful as a nightmare: red dress, blue dress, white sheets, black van.

The third episode is a chilling showpiece, dramatizing Gilead’s tilt from liberal democracy into fascism, nimbly shifting from intimate scenes to grand ones, making one form of drama frame the other. There’s a graceful moment in the apartment June shares with her husband, Luke, as she, Moira, and Luke bicker in the aftermath of significant political events: the women’s money has been drained, their jobs taken away. All the characters feel like real people; their dialogue is unhurried. It’s a scene about power—Luke now has all of it—but it doesn’t grandstand. Yet this intimate moment is bracketed by deliberately operatic, even bombastic gestures. In a parallel sequence, a lesbian Handmaid named Ofglen (played, silently, by the terrific Alexis Bledel) is gagged and kidnapped by the Secret Police, forced to see her lover hanged, and then given a clitoridectomy. In the end, Ofglen stands in her white hospital room, in shock, reaching into her medical stockings for the bandage on her crotch. It’s a scene out of a Cronenberg film: abstract, grotesque. And yet the two scenes complement and intensify each other. The show doesn’t try to replicate the near-pointillist density of the book, but at its best it manages to suggest something of its allegorical weight, its recognition of the futility of trying to separate the personal from the political.

Some of the smartest moments in the show—like Ofglen’s story, and one featuring a Handmaid named Janine—are radical edits from the book, making a passive plot active. Other changes, however well-meaning, muddy the message. In the book, Gilead is a white-supremacist culture. In the show, black actors play Moira and Luke. The result is an odd trade-off: we get brown faces, but the society is unconvincingly color-blind, as if race had never existed.

There’s a more unsettling change, however, which only fully crystallizes in the fourth episode. Most of that hour is a sharp exploration of Offred’s airless circumstances: she plays Scrabble; she flirts with Nick; her doctor offers to impregnate her. And then, in flashback, we learn about a failed escape, after which Offred was beaten on the soles of her feet. So far, so grim—“Game of Thrones” grim. The final sequence is a montage. As tinkly music plays, we see Offred on her bed, healing. One by one, other Handmaids place gifts by her pillow. Then we’re back in the current day, where she walks the streets side by side with fellow-Handmaids. In red, they glide, in slo-mo, their habits blooming against the dull street. The scenario is familiar to anyone who has seen a Tarantino film or “The Craft”: the storm gathering, the team uniting. June’s internal monologue adopts the defiance of a Nike ad: “We are Handmaids. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches.”

That go-girl moment made me sit up straight—and pull back. I could feel it being hashtagged, like “she persisted.” The book is never inspiring, not explicitly. Offred is a witness, not a heroine. She’s often ashamed and numb. She’s even a little cold. It’s painful for her to remember her daughter, but her drive isn’t to find her family; it’s to stay sane. Her thoughts about Luke are complex, too: she suspects that when her power receded he liked it, a little. At one point, Offred finds herself desperate to do needlepoint, thinking of paintings that she’d seen, of harems and concubines. They were meant to be erotic, she realizes, but they actually depicted women waiting, being bored. “Maybe boredom is erotic,” she thinks. “When women do it, for men.”

A television show, especially one that intends to run many seasons, can’t bore. And so, inevitably, the stakes are raised. The characters of Serena Joy and the Commander are played by sexy actors, expanding the potential for love triangles. Offred gets a more overt goal: to find her family. A few episodes in, we leave Offred’s perspective. There’s an episode for Serena Joy, who, like Mellie on “Scandal” or Claire on “House of Cards,” is softened by a backstory; then we visit Luke, a brave rebel up in Canada. Step by step, you feel the show mining Offred’s story for something that’s more aspirational, less psychological; less horror, more thriller. There are still many pungent scenes. But the icky, idiosyncratic force of Morano’s early episodes dims slightly, as the show hints at a more conventional path: “Escape from Gilead.” Maybe this move is inevitable; it might succeed. But there’s something lost along the way—the special beauty of a bleak ending. On television, that’s no longer impossible. (Just look at “Happy Valley” or “American Horror Story.”) But it can’t happen here.

The sexual politics of 1985 survive today only in distorted form, reordered like Scrabble tiles. Our President is a Playboy-brash predator; his Vice-President is pure Gilead. The anti-porn movement is as dead as the Shakers; naked photos are practically second-date etiquette. In pop culture, the eighties are often portrayed as cartoonishly sexist: “Well, it was the eighties, after all,” goes the excuse. It’s like the fifties, if you lived in the eighties. Atwood’s story may now be an artifact about an artifact, but it retains its great power as a reminder of the thin tissue between the past and the present. ♦

This article appears in other versions of the May 22, 2017, issue, with the headline “Harsh Realm.”

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