Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's the matter with a hero?

Not a new question, of course.

Since 9/11 we've only seen one Hollywood blockbuster sympathetic to soldiers, Blackhawk Down, and that's probably because the event in question occurred during Clinton's term. We had United 93 but that dealt with citizen heroism.

There's been a lot of press over the poor box office on the recent spate of anti-war movies, including Mark Cuban's "Redacted". Let me just say, Bill O'Reilly and others are right to hit the streets in protest of that movie. It's not about freedom of speech more than about the safety of our forces these Hollywood people purport to support.

Making a movie like Redacted, which showcases a bad bunch of apples, when troops are still in harm's way amounts to a de facto support of the enemy. While the intent might have been to show the Muslim/Arab street and Europe that all of America doesn't stand behind Bushitler, the target audience will not get that message. Not all enjoy our open and free media.

But I think Redacted is only part of a larger trend to neutralize the notion of the American hero in general. Scorsese's "The Departed" paints heroes and happy endings as quaint echoes of the past, perhaps not the best example but another reed in the bog. Many in the younger generation might be OK with this, preferring it to phony baloney feel-good fables of the black and white past. Fine, as long as they understand the reality of good versus evil and realize the enemy is crystal clear about who represents evil.

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