Warning: The video clips posted here contain seriously NSFW language that some may find disturbing. For George Carlin fans, the language will likely be considered kind of tame. Please be advised.
Mad Max: Fury Road is almost five years old now, but there are still plenty of people online dissecting the iconic film’s themes. Like its themes surrounding masculinity, which just so happen to perfectly align with George Carlin’s take on “the five deadly male subcultures.” In the video below, the late, great comedian’s thoughts on these deadly male subcultures are laid over clips from Fury Road, demonstrating how the film (consciously or subconsciously) sniffed out the same problems with machismo directives as Carlin did in one of his most memorable bits.
The clip of Carlin’s bit synced with Fury Road was posted to YouTube by video essayist, The Worm’s Hole, who originally included it as a smaller part of a longer thematic dissection of Bone Tomahawk, the brutally realistic Western starring Kurt Russel released in 2015. In the Tomahawk dissection—a phrase that’s nauseatingly apropos of the film—The Worm’s Hole, a.k.a. Ryan, describes Fury Road as a “gut-churning, subversive, and distinctly feminist [piece] of cinema” and then goes on to present his mashup between George Miller’s masterpiece, and Carlin’s words on what could reasonably referred to as toxic masculinity.
Carlin’s take on toxic masculinity, which he refers to as “the male disease,” describes the “five deadly male subcultures” just mentioned, including ones that surround cars and machinery, the outdoors and guns, sports and competition, and the objectification of women and dismissal of those who proclaim to have a queer identity. Carlin’s words, while abrasive, home in on what he considers to be the common downsides of male identity, unwittingly describing the War Boys who make up Immortan Joe’s army. Immortan Joe, for those who haven’t seen Fury Road, is the central antagonist of the film.
What’s perhaps most interesting about the way Carlin’s bit and the themes of Fury Road line up is the fact that the film is considered by many to be a beacon of feminist cinema. Feminism is listed as one of the film’s major themes on its Wikipedia page, specifically referencing analyses that peg Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa as a hero equal to Max in every way. Playwright Eve Ensler (creator of The Vagina Monologues) even worked as an on-set adviser on the film, and was so impressed by its feminist themes that she went to Namibia and took the time to speak to the cast about the issues surrounding violence against women.
For more of Carlin’s bit on the five deadly male subcultures, check out the clip below. Keep in mind that he uses potentially offensive NSFW language, although fans of his know he did so with the intent making people think rather than recoil.
What do you think of this mashup between George Carlin’s take on toxic masculinity and clips from Mad Max: Fury Road? Do Carlin’s words indeed perfectly describe the War Boys, or is there less overlap here than The Worm’s Hole makes it seem? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Images: AMP3083 / Warner Bros.