Sunday, May 07, 2006

Wow!!! - and from the L. A. Times yet - Stating the obvious

Draft Hollywood

We play with our children, read books, go to work and enjoy recreations only because people with guns stand ready, willing and able to kill other people with guns who would kill us if they could.

It's sweet to forget this and therefore difficult to keep it in mind. "It is hard for those who live near a Police Station to believe in the triumph of violence," as T.S. Eliot wrote. That's us — we Americans, protected by a mighty military that by and large obeys the rules of our republic — safe enough, and keeping much of the world safe enough, so that we find it hard to believe in what would happen if that protection failed.

But these fighters do keep us safe. And because keeping us safe is harsh, dangerous work, we should glorify them, exalt them in story and song by way of appreciation.

"United 93" — the film celebrating the heroic civilian attempt to retake a hijacked plane on 9/11 — opened last week. That's great. Well done and about time. But now, let's have some war movies.


...

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

...

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.

Not only have we lost this kind of wisdom, but I think that a handful of elites — really only a handful of academics, journalists and artists — has raised up a golden counterfeit in its stead. With this counterfeit wisdom, they imagine themselves above the need for patriotism; they fantasize they grasp a truth beyond good and evil, and they preen themselves on a higher calling than the protection of our way of life. And all the while they forget that they imagine and fantasize and preen only by the grace of those who fight and die and stand guard to secure those freedoms that our system alone guarantees.

When war comes, as it always will, and when it is justified, as it is now, some nuances and shades of gray have to be set aside. It is time, instead, for faith and for ferocity. Our enemies have these weapons, after all. Our movies should inspire us to have them too.


I sure can't add much to the above. What HE said!

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

site stats