Cleopatra: Is the General Quality of Our Ignorance Improving?

Cleopatra: Is the General Quality of Our Ignorance Improving?

Last week Paramount Pictures had something of a coup.  Wonder Woman’s director, Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot were announced to be headlining a new film version of Cleopatra.

And Twitter shit itself sideways over the announcement.  They were furious at the choice of Gal Gadot in title role. 

And I honestly, find the choice a little questionable myself.  Gadot is frankly, a rather weak actress and the part of Cleopatra may require something more than one of six facial expressions she can provide.  Admittedly, Jenkins has become quite expert at masking Gadot’s shortcomings, going so far as to make all of the other actresses portraying Amazons imitate Gadot’s accent in Wonder Woman.

But of course, that isn’t what Twitter was shrieking about was it?

In the late 1990s, proof of overpriced illiteracy blooming at American universities was provided when campus black caucuses across the country started declaring that Cleopatra had been an “African-American woman.” I am not using that term ironically.  That was the literal terminology on the 1990s campuses. And even twenty years ago, no professor would challenge them on any aspect of it and this was before such a challenge would lead to immediate termination.

When Gal Gadot’s casting was announced, Twitter exploded about how she was culturally appropriating because Cleopatra should be a North African woman. 

So. Still illiterate but is it an improvement on the general quality of American ignorance in the early twenty-first century? Egypt is indeed filled with North Africans as opposed to African-Americans.  

A few of the more adept propagandists did a minute or two of digging on the internet and found a few professors who had declared that since there wasn’t one hundred percent certainty that Cleopatra VII was the daughter of Cleopatra V, that her ancestry was unquestionably native Egyptian. 

No, she wasn’t.  If she was anyone but the daughter of Cleopatra V, she would have been disqualified as Pharaoh.

My wife just pointed out to me that, I shouldn’t assume that my younger readers even know who Cleopatra is.

My next post has some background information.  Skip to that one, then come back here if you are unfamiliar with her story.

Getting back to the question of her ancestry.  Even granting the possibility that a bitch got over the Ptolemaic wall and that one of her ancestors was a native Egyptian.  That ancestor would NOT be modern North African.  Immigration is war and the native Egyptians lost that war during the Arab invasions.  

If you are going to cast someone close to an ancient Egyptian, you would have to hire an actress belonging to the Copt minority.  Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one that can move eight hundred million dollars in ticket sales but I know of one Mediterranean actress who already has. Gal Gadot.

In conclusion; no, my country’s ignorance hasn’t really improved it’s just shifted laterally.

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