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Paul T Horgan: Lady of the Butterflies – a thoroughly modern remake


The feminisation of culture continues unabated. There is now talk of a remake of William Golding’s dystopian Lord of the Flies with a female-only cast. In the 19th Century, stories were bowdlerised to remove racy content. Nowadays they are being emasculated. Golding’s work is the latest casualty of the movement to diminish and deny masculinity.

Of course this film could be sold using girls on the cusp of womanhood scampering about in skimpy clothing. But I guess the audience that would attract is not the kind envisaged or desired by the producers. Or perhaps they will try to sell their high concept, whatever it is, while also luring the dirty-raincoat brigade away from computing devices to maximise revenue, or to keep reluctant boyfriends dragged to the cinema happy.

But, if the public schoolboys of the original work are to be replaced by girls, why stop there? Why not make some more changes? Here goes . . .

Instead of the setting being World War III with nuclear missiles whizzing all over the place, the framing disaster could be global warming and pollution. A climate disaster has the girls sent off, not in an aeroplane with its rather over-phallic ‘detachable passenger tube’, but instead in a solar-powered airship, perhaps shaped like the curvaceous Airlander 10. It may be too much for it to be painted pink. Like the boys, the girls have to evacuate their transport, but instead of using the aforementioned tube, they descend to earth in a glider shaped like a lady’s front bottom.

They emerge into a man-free unspoilt paradise. They have to find and make food and shelter. Bonding together, they comfort those distressed by the situation. Instead of the Lord of the Flies, the pig’s head-on-a-stick stoking violence, the girls experience dreams from an Earth Goddess, who trains them in how to merge with their environment and live in harmony with their surroundings.

Over the weeks and months they create their utopian community. Unlike Golding’s story, there are no leaders, no need for a conch shell. Everyone automatically agrees with the natural order thanks to the influence of the Earth Goddess. Some girls die in different but painless ways, but it is explained that it is their time. Perhaps there is a faction that rebels against this natural order, experiencing misfortune and discord until they conform. When they return to the fold, they are welcomed as long-lost friends. Somehow, all the girls manage to stay clean with perfect skin and good hair. There are no fights. Nudity is tasteful. Perhaps some girls ‘experiment’ in a politically correct fashion to help them learn about their bodies. These scenes are used for the publicity shots.

In the end, rescue arrives. But it is the girls who rescue the world by bringing the message of the Earth Goddess to restore a shattered planet. Humanity is saved under a new global matriarchal society. There are some men and boys, but they are in the background to work where strength is required or to provide brief breeding duties before being banished to their foetid underground stockade which is off-limits to the Daughters of the Goddess. Men are blamed for the previous ruin of the world and are treated as an underclass to be prevented from making a decision. Nobody drives a car again, and every morning starts with a rainbow. Everyone is a vegetarian, unless they ‘ascend’ to veganism. Death is called ‘merging with the Goddess’. People make up songs about it and understand when it is their time if they start to be a burden on the community.

The Lady of the Butterflies could be coming to a cinema near you. It will be called that as the lepidoptera with their colourful wings are in evidence everywhere, this being how the Earth Goddess manifests herself to her chosen daughters.

Of course the film-makers could be trying to demonstrate that girls can descend into savagery just as much as boys in the name of ‘equality’. Time will tell. It could all be home-made tattoos, ritual scarification, loincloths, spears, clubs, and guttural chants, interspersed with ululations to keep it all politically correct.

Golding wrote his work as a counterpoint to the widely-presumed idyll of life on a tropical island, and the notion that a stiff upper lip was a prime survival trait. It is not clear what point the producers hope to make in this film. We can but hope they will not consider my treatment above if they are short of ideas. If they do, I’ll get an agent. Or sue.

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Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan worked in the IT Sector. He lives in Berkshire.

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