Adam’s Rib: A Story of Good Sleep

“Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep well.

…And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time. That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females! And about thee, thou unhappy one! Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also with thy neighbour’s devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in the night. Honour to the government, and obedience, and also to the crooked government! So desireth good sleep. How can I help it, if power like to walk on crooked legs? He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be for me the best shepherd: so doth it accord with good sleep. Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite the spleen. But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little treasure. A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one: but they must come and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep. Well, also, do the poor in spirit please me: they promote sleep. Blessed are they, especially if one always give in to them. Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take I good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned—sleep, the lord of the virtues!” – Thus Spake; Zarathustra. Pages 36 – 37.

Adam’s Rib is an aptly named title for a comedy film that had contradictions within itself to appeal to the everyday person. Such contradictions range from making jokes about a woman’s driving ability to arguing that women can be as competent as men. This contradiction exists to the extent that the contentions of the defense lawyer/wife that the husband/prosecuting attorney is shown to have subtly shifted to him being angry about letting the woman go for shooting people. The very framework of the case and the arguments about unwritten law show that the case has no validity in an actual trial proceeding; worse than that, the plaintiff and defendant – a husband and wife who have openly spoken of physically assaulting each other – are the ones openly smiling for the camera with their children in a photo shoot. As if it was likely that a domestic abuser and a woman who has been psychologically harassed by that very abuser would suddenly be smiling and hugging for the camera. Arguments in the trial seem to slowly become worse as outright disgust for women having rights by one officer to making people feel that women succeeding doesn’t fit some state of normalcy show the shallowness of the arguments. Essentially, there is no nuance; the arguments become obvious and more akin to a good versus evil dynamic. It is quite galling to notice that the lawyers are affected more than a man who has been shot and a woman who has been abused. Ironically, this film is actually progressive in some respects since it passes the Bechdel test.

Modern Hollywood films – meant for the uneducated and lazy of society; the veritable lowest common denominator of humanity – who prefer three blockbuster movies of Michael Bay explosions, seven movies of speeding without consequences, and a deluge of superhero movies that mostly have the same boring plot with idiotic high school drama. These films chief purpose is to instill feelings of dominance, happiness, and success for a brief amount of time so that the modest earners return to their day jobs with some good cheer for a brief period. This is why such lazy and stupid writing is allowed, as only the provincial dweller would consume such utter waste. The only variation is that in war movies, every other country – especially those with people that have a high melanin count –  is depicted as full of uncivilized barbarians to keep the provincial dwellers happy with the idea that their lives aren’t pitiful by the standards of the intellectually sophisticated. Perhaps, someday, there will be more sophisticated films.

The film, in typical Hollywood fashion, has the woman being prompted to return to a subservient status so as not to harm her Christian marriage. After all, being a proper Christian woman took precedent over being an individual with free choice in a Republic that champions democratic values. No surprise since modern Hollywood still won’t allow two women to have any type of normal conversation together unless a man is part of the topic.

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