May 08, 2006

"Draft Hollywood"--More Pro-US Movies

America, and Hollywood in particular, should promote the war on Islamo-fascism--that is, get behind the effort that battles those who would take away all the fundamental rights that America in general but Hollywood in particular take for granted. Hollywood leftists continue to cry about "McCarthyism" and the "chilling" effect that they believe they have been targeted with as a result of their "dissent". Stars like George Clooney self-righteously proclaim the "bravery" of the Academy for tackling tough issues--usually well after those issues are topical. Instead of battling current dictators like Hugo Chavez, these moonbats flock to his (and Fidel Castro) side, to vogue for the paparazzi, shill for their host, and decry the "evil" that is America and George W. Bush. Put a different way, if this were the 1930s, they would be hailing Stalin's Five-Year Plan, ignoring the death in Ukraine and the political murders. . .oh wait, they practically did just that back then too (Progressive Hollywood has more on the "Popular Front" of the 1930s, and comes from a liberal perspective, so it isn't just a rant about "Commies"):
In short, we need war movies now even more than in the '40s. So why aren't we getting them? One reason surely is that, in the years since World War II, our self-assurance as a nation, the self-assurance necessary for the waging of war, has been shaken, and Hollywood reflects that. The change occurred against the backdrop of postwar history, but I believe it has as much to do with our cultural values, their uses and misuses, as it does with events. The Western ethos, with its Christian roots, demands that we look to our own sins before judging the sins of others. It's amazing how quickly, after the war ended, Hollywood began to examine the ways in which Americans shared the moral failings of the Axis.

As early as 1947, we had "Crossfire," about an American GI who commits an anti-Semitic murder. In 1949, "Home of the Brave" depicted a heroic African American soldier dealing with prejudice. And by 1955, there was the classic "Bad Day at Black Rock," in which a veteran uncovers homicidal anti-Japanese bigotry when he tries to deliver a medal to the father of a Japanese American killed on the battlefields of Italy.

Such self-examination and reform are part of the measure of our greatness. But there's a difference between a humble nation confessing its sins and a country of flagellants whipping themselves for every impure thought. Since the '60s, we have had, it seems, an endless string of war movies, from "Dr. Strangelove" to "Syriana," in which the United States is depicted as wildly aggressive and endlessly corrupt — which, in fact, it's not; which, in fact, it never has been.

In taking our self-examining ethos to these extremes, we have lost a kind of wisdom, wisdom that acknowledges the complexity of human life but can move through it to find the simple truth again. While assessing the intricate failings of our moral history, many of us have lost sight of the simple truth that the system that shapes us is, in fact, a great one, that it has moved us inexorably to do better and that it's well worth defending against every aggressor and certainly against as shabby and vicious an aggressor as we face today.
Having read all of Progressive Hollywood, it would be remiss if it was not pointed out that some of the pro-US movies that celebrated the patriotism and heroism of the American soldier were in fact primarily anti-fascist in nature, due to the heavy influence of leftist thought of all stripes on the directors, screenwriters, and actors of the period. What this means is that most Hollywood progressives hailed the Soviet Union during the 1930s, were mostly dumbfounded when the Hitler-Stalin pact was signed (splitting the left into pact apologists and anti-fascist hardliners), cried about US isolationism after Hitler invaded in June 1941, and celebrated after Pearl Harbor. They got the fight that they wanted--and could now more openly support our ally. That these movies were openly supportive of the war effort, ostensibly cheering on the American troops while nevertheless maintaining the hope that someday soon the US would join the great socialist experiment embodied by the Soviet utopia--remains engrained in our current mindset. Instead of pining for a the way Hollywood "used to be"--which it was to some extent, as not all movies or personnel were pro-communist/socialist/liberal--we must acknowledge a Hollywood that "never was". Movies like "Syriana" or "Jarheads" represent not a less-reverent Hollywood attacking America, but rather an extension of anti-capitalist/conservative/patriotic thought begun in the 1930s, that exploded in the 1960s, and that finds a ready audience in today's cinemaplexes nationwide.


Anonymous FutureAmerican said...

It's a shame that these days, movies such as "We were Soldiers" or "Tears of the Sun" are the exception rather than the norm. Despite Hollywood's blatant anti-americanism, people will still bleat on about "Hollywood made pro-US propaganda" and the like whenever a film which doesn't portray the US as baby-killing bloodthirsty fascists is released.

Tue May 09, 03:35:00 AM  

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