Cher Horowitz is one of my favorite fictional characters. She’s a ferocious optimist and strong enough that she doesn’t conform to the passive nice girl cliche, she maintains her own personal brand while sincerely trying to be a good person. She’s the original lolz doll: smart, fashionable, and not afraid to express her opinions in her own way. When I first saw her when I was 10 (circa 1985) I knew I wanted to be like her, and I absorbed a lot of the lessons she taught me about life. For example, the speech she gives on Haitian refugees has informed a lot of my beliefs about foreign policy, and they should inform yours too. See my exegesis below.
Cher pronounces this word incorrectly as ‘haty-ans’ instead of with the ‘sh’ sound in the middle. Alicia Silverstone really thought this was how it was pronounced and director Amy Heckerling kept it in. This is the correct attitude to have when discussing issues. Who the fuck cares if you’re pronouncing something correctly or saying it in the most current politically correct/socially aware way you can? No one of substance, that kind of shit is details, man. The point is that there’s some Haitian refugees who want to get it in in America, not the boring details about what they’re called. Stay on that meta shit.
“The Haitians need to come to America, but some people are all ‘what about the strain on our resources?”
I think a lot of people think they believe in meritocracy but actually believe in manifest destiny. Like, your present place in the world has something to do with your decisions and how hard you work but it has more to do with the place you were born and the kind of resources you had access to and the kind of attitudes your parents/society let you have about your potential. So, when people say that they work hard for their money and they deserve it and its theirs, they’re professing to believe its based on merit but our own wider knowledge tells us luck has a larger influence and professing that its still our right is just like believing in manifest destiny. Which is bullshit.
“If the government could just get to the kitchen and rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians.”
This is a true statement. The superfluousness with which Cher delivers this line is meant to emphasize the obviousness of its truth. The government’s priorities are “look good, get re-elected” and whatever serves those ends has nothing to do with what actually helps people or keeps us safe or what ‘shores up the economy’- only what appears to do these things to ensure job/power security. They could be the same things, but it would be coincidental. This is something that is inherently flawed about capitalism and democracy- you’ll never get people to do whats best for other people if their own well-being depends not on what is actually best- but what appears to be best.
“May I please remind you that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty.”
Here, Cher appeals to our patriotism and reminds us of the symbol representing our shared history as people who descended from people who showed up to a party they did not RSVP to. Its kind of shitty to turn around and shame others for doing the same thing.
“By the end of the day it was like ‘the more the merrier.”
At first when we think about ‘other people’ coming and using our stuff, it kind of makes us mad or at least frustrated. But, the more you get to know people, the less you ‘other’ them and the more ridiculous it seems to not chill out and focus on having a good time. Say a group of people you don’t know show up at your party. Maybe two of them are nice, one is really cool, two are no-adds (term c/o ryan o’connell) and one kind of is a bummer to be around. You could be mad there’s six people you don’t know drinking a dickload of your alcohol, and maybe mad someone is harshing the vibe, but you met a really fun person and some other people that challenged you to be better at having fun.
“Thank you very much”
I just wish people would end all political discourse like this.