The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
First of all, The Kingdom is not an anti-American film. It is a very dark, extremly violent and accurate look at the current state of our relationship with Islam, particularily Saudi Arabia. The film's main theme is that there is no hope or much futility in any sort of reconciliation.
In the film, the US are most definetly the good guys (they are all cool and funny, Jamie Foxx is a bad ass), the Islamists are very evil, letting their lunacy get in the way accomplishing their goals, and the Saudi leadership is portrayed as inept, out of touch, and useless. There are some positive Saudi characters but they are clearly in the minority.
I have not seen the other films but I do really want to see In the Valley of Elah. I think the reason why they aren't doing well is not because people love our country and hate the "evil propaganda." People don't want reality anymore. They want fiction. They want escape. They don't want to be reminded about the mental toll that the Iraq War is having on us. They would rather see Robots turn into airplanes.
People don't want reality anymore.
I could say a lot about how that one sentence defines you, Mark, but I'll pass.
As for me, I'm not going to see these movies for precisely the reason given in this post - and I believe the majority of the rest of the population that is avoiding them is doing so for the same reason.
Those who are going to see them have your political perspective and are going in order to see Hollywood "speak truth to power."
Well, I do think you should check out the Kingdom. You'd enjoy it.
Roger L. Simon says something about this that I don't entirely agree with, but he does get something very right.
There are many reasons for the failure of these movies, but chief among them is not what the right-wing blogs say that they are out of touch with the public. That may be true to some degree (issue movies, taking at the very minimum nine or ten months to make, usually considerably longer, are almost always late to market as far as public opinion is concerned). It is that they are fake these films are not really believed by their makers in any deep sense. They are a cinema of “as if” and all but the most biased sense this on some level. This is the opposite of a movie like the classic of classics Casablanca, a film that triumphs with its audiences for being heartfelt. Hollywood’s anti-war flicks are essentially posturing. They are cinema made by people who think they are supposed to be anti-war, but don’t really feel anything. No wonder the audience doesn’t respond.
Hollywood liberals of the 1960s had the decency to hold off on the anti-war movies until the Vietnam war was over. What has happened in the last 40 years? We ended up with a bunch of spoiled, indulgent, aging, me-me-me losers trying to buy themselves a sense of relevance, even at the cost of losing a war and God knows how many lives.
And, talent-wise, that cost is pretty cheap. Liberals used to make movies that were entertaining, even visionary. Today, it's a vast desert of monotonous, cynical, insulting, pornified, trite, garbage interspersed with a few oases of watchable films (e.g. 300).
Anyway, if you're not already, y'all should be reading the last two months worth of posts over at Libertas. They have been following the buzz around this latest crop of anti-war stinkers, and have some interesting reviews.
"a bunch of spoiled, indulgent, aging, me-me-me losers trying to buy themselves a sense of relevance, even at the cost of losing a war and God knows how many lives."
Funny, because this line pretty much sums up the Bush-Cheney regime, who, unlike Brian De Palma, actually have the power to waste human life and do so on a daily basis.
And have been successful in making millions of people forgive their responsibility completely, falsely re-directing the blame to a made up "enemy."
Which "made up 'enemy'" would that be, Mark?
That would be the left.
What I find to be hilarious is that some conservatives, strangely not content with the enemies we do have in the world, actively seek out fabricated enemies at home (see: Conservative Pundit Fake Outrage Machine).
This, of course, is a cover. The real issue these people have is that can't admit when they are wrong, don't take responsibility for their mistakes (both small and large), and suffer from a sort of collective short man syndrome so they lie constantly about people whose only crime is being more competent, intelligent, and worldly then they could ever hope to be.
...people whose only crime is being more competent, intelligent, and worldly then they could ever hope to be."
Those people would be "the left" then, would they?
The ones that the idiot Bushitler keeps beating? The ones who don't defund the war in Iraq? The ones who just confirmed the new Attorney General? The ones who didn't stop John Roberts' nomination for Chief Justice? The ones who can't get S-CHIP passed? The ones who first demanded then rejected General Petraeus's testimony before they heard it?
The ones who spend millions making and promoting anti-war propaganda that flops in American box offices (but will do boffo box office in other countries, and they know it) because American audiences are less competent, intelligent, and worldly than they?
Those "more competent, intelligent, and worldly" people? (You left out "more compassionate and tolerant." I just thought I'd remind you.)
Well, the main problem liberals have is that they question themselves, sometimes to a fault. How many conservatives question themselves? Three?
Liberals certainly aren't any of the propaganda that right pundits assert. In fact, take a look at this list:
Don't you see, when looked at in sum, how ludicrous it all sounds?
the Bush-Cheney regime
It's the Bush (Cheney) Administration. You Dumbass. (That's deserved, does not deserve an apology, let me say that preemtively.) That statement is utterly and totally ignorant, and you (should) know better.
A "Regime" is the totality of Government. In our case, that's the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
But no matter how much we tell you that words have meanings, you just persist in using whatever words seem to be insulting, without regard for their meaning.
The Democrats control Congress. Making claims of a "regime" ludicrious.
And then you go and keep insisting that you're smarter than these other, defensive people?
(see: Conservative Pundit Fake Outrage Machine).
It's not even worth the time to bother to respond to that.
these people have is that can't admit when they are wrong, don't take responsibility for their mistakes (both small and large), and suffer from a sort of collective short man syndrome
As much fun as it would be, not worth it.
Well, the main problem liberals have is that they question themselves, sometimes to a fault.
My brain just core dumped with a divide by zero error.
Yeah, that's about what I expect from a lefty. Pronounce as gospel what one doesn't understand but believes wholly.
Let's go by point:
1: Sept. 11 attacks. Might (big "if") have been prevented had there not been bureaucratic roadblocks on information sharing between agencies of the federal government. See: Jamie Gorelick. However, this was admittedly merely an extension of actions that long predated the Clinton administration. Personally, I don't think the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented short of a major stroke of luck (good on our part, bad on theirs.)
2: Anthrax attack. I don't know who did it. I don't know what the status of the investigation is. I suspect it was done internal to the U.S. by domestic actors, much like the Tylenol/cyanide attacks, but I really don't know.
3: Tora Bora. Insufficient forces on the ground. We fucked up. Its government - it happens.
4: Iraq. The credit for how well things are going at the moment cannot be taken (or acknowleged) by the Left, since the template is "we've lost and must get out."
5: War on Terror. Intercepting international phone calls from numbers known to belong to terrorists and their sympathizers shouldn't be illegal just because they originate or terminate inside the United States. Nor should it require a hearing. HOWEVER, intercepting every communication of an American citizen should.
6: Hurricane Katrina. That's pretty much right. Good for you! Now look into Hurricane Rita. You remember Rita, don't you?
7: Climate change. Is the climate changing? Doubtless. That's what climate does. Is it primarily or even partially the fault of humanity? IMHO the jury's out on that one. Is humanity going to cut back on fossil fuel usage? No fucking way. So the climate will change. We will adapt. It's what we do. Going into crisis mode and demanding draconian controls of CO2 emissions isn't going to fly.
8: Health Care. Socialized medicine sucks. Government controlled anything sucks. Government has been interfering in the health care market since WWII, and what we have is the result. Entropy says it probably won't get better, but it can certainly get far worse - and will if government tries to "regulate" it even more stringently.
9: "The economy is in dire straits" is a leftist mantra we've heard since 2000. Outside of Detroit and its environs, that's not true. Low unemployment, a stock market that topped 13,000, rising income, increased productivity, those are not the hallmarks of a "bad economy." But "It's the economy, stupid" has been the template all along. Again, government interference in the home loan industry, trying to entice more lenders to lend to bad risks (the "sub-prime" market doesn't refer to "sub-prime" interest rates, but "sub-prime" loan candidates) resulted in a credit crash when those bad risks defaulted. Gee. Whodathunkit? And yes, the Dems seem to think even the spendthrift GOP needs to be outspent. Can we just throw 'em all out and start over?
10: Values. Read Gramsci. Get back to me.
Unix: My brain just core dumped with a divide by zero error.
Not possible. You're not one of the "more competent, intelligent, and worldly." You're not intelligent enough to have brain-lock. That's only for the Left.
"Well, the main problem liberals have is that they question themselves, sometimes to a fault."
The main problem?
Liberals question themselves?
Does your brain hurt?
Oh, and Valerie Plame?
Kinda screws up the "BUSH EXPOSED VALERIE PLAME AS REVENGE!" meme, doesn't it?
Or is the Left entitled to their own facts now?
"Or is the Left entitled to their own facts now?"
C'mon, Kevin, that's part of the template. The left is always entitled to its own facts, especially those that aren't facts at all.
First: Kevin, thanksfor this link.
"[T]he main problem liberals have is that they question themselves, sometimes to a fault. How many conservatives question themselves? Three?"
This country has never seen a political party so in lockstep with itself as the modern Democrat party. The only inter-party debates going on is on the right. (Just ask Joe Lieberman -- seven years ago they wanted him for VP. Then he supports the war and hee... is... OutaThere!)
Howlers like that are why I now can't shake the image out of my head of Mark and his constant questioning of himself as the dialogue between Cartman and his stuffed frog on South Park.
"What's that, Clyde Frog? You think maybe we should take even MORE of other people's money and give it to children and animals? Yes, Clyde Frog, I think that's a very coo' idea..."
"The Democrats control Congress"
Really? You could have fooled me. They seem to be doing a whole lot of nothing.
"The credit for how well things are going at the moment cannot be taken (or acknowleged) by the Left"
The reason why things are going so well in Iraq is because we are paying everyone off. Money talks...
"Oh, and Valerie Plame?"
I will completely believe everything I read in the National Review when you completely believe the New York Times.
There's a difference between BELIEVING what you read and READING IT AT ALL. I may think what the staff of the Nation thinks is horseshit, but I realize that if I want to say what leftists think, I have to, y'know, go over there and find out. I don't much care for the National Review, but one thing that is plain as day to see when I do read it is that they fight like cats and dogs with each other over there. I may think that Conservative A and Conservative B are both wrong, but A also thinks B is wrong and vice versa.
This is why you're getting horselaughs. Telling us things that we know aren't true the same way we know that the sky isn't green won't convince us we're wrong, but it WILL convince us you just make shit that sounds good up as you go along.
Honestly. Who do you really think you're kidding?
I will completely believe everything I read in the National Review when you completely believe the New York Times.
What, you believe the National Review misquoted CNN's interview of Armitage?? Armitage wasn't the (self-admitted) Plame exposer?
With regard to "paying everyone off" - whatever works.
I think it's more interested to point out what Mark's trying to do.
"I'll 'trust' your source (actually, I won't, but I'll find a reason to wheedle out when you make the concession) only after you'll agree to trust mine completely."
The messenger is more important than the message.
Or, alternately (fingers in his ears): "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!"
I think it's not so much the drowning out and ignoring, it's that the only thing that is of importance is who is talking.
For example, I'm pretty sure that if Obama could talk about squaring the circle, Mark would eagerly repeat it, insisting that Yes! He's got it! He's got new ideas! Who cares about 2000 years of old, worthless ones!
So when you cite the NR, Mark immediately discounts it. Worthless! Bah! Biased!
And then he then insists that (despite the other insistances that the media isn't biased) if we'll accept the NYT (and thereby admitting that he knows, understands, and accepts their bias), that it will "even out".
Because the facts, the meanings are utterly without regard. Only who says them, and what their intent is believed to be.
Bush trying to save orphaned paraplegic babies? Evil! Trying to gin up money for his cronies in Healthcare!
Obama beating baby seals to death with clubs of old-growth redwood? Wonderful! New, vivid ideas to improve wildlife management and foresting!
Actually, what it really reminds me of is dealing with the most hardcore creationists.
"Evolution is a scientifically empty attempt by Godless atheists to attack the Bible!"
"Um... no it's not. It's an incredibly dynamic and productive field of scientific inquiry. Why don't you go read the literature?"
"Why should I? It's all anti-God lies!"
...When, actually... the scientists don't care. God and the Bible aren't even a blip on the radar screen. They're busy doing science. It's just not relevant to them unless they're dealing with inane school boards.
Same deal; reading conservative literature that turned out to not actually concern itself remotely with conspiring against liberals, but instead arguing about where to take conservatism, would be, in a lot of ways, a huge letdown. "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."
I read the National Review all the time...that actually wasn't my point. My point is that many people feel that the NYT should be called the Traitor Times. So people feel the same way about the National Review. Who's right and who should I listen to? I take each with a grain of salt and actually prefer talking to people who experienced an event firsthand as opposed to the reporter telling me the story. The wonderful thing about the blogsphere is that you can cut out the middle person.
Armitage is doing what now, exactly? Hmm, sounds like the ol' "take the fall and we'll pay you off" to me deal.
As with the example from a while back of Al Gore sitting in a classroom for 7 minutes while our country was under attack, if it came out that VP Gore was scribbling notes on a newspapers about undercover CIA agents in charge of loose nukes...well, that would be quite a different thing, now, wouldn't it?
But when Cheney is accused of breaking the law, well that's just politics, right? He didn't actually do anything wrong!!
To everything you just said.
If you want to see a good movie that was made outside of the hollywood system that you do not see advertised but people walk out feeling uplifted go see Bella, the website is
and from what I gather it is getting decent sized audiences just by word of mouth
What I find to be most perplexing, Unix, is that conservatives have been in power for the last six years, pretty much dominating every agenda, domestically and internationally, and yet when things go wrong, it is the liberals' fault.
How can it be when they don't control anything? They may have a majority in the Congress but how has that really worked out?
Hint: maybe you're wrong about the "more intelligent and competent" part.
It could be they haven't done much with their majority because they've substituted writing and failing to get passed anti-war measures they know they won't pass for, you know, doing stuff.
I don't need a source other than the New York Times to know that, even with their spin.
There is a crazy thing called checking your ideas to see how they fit available facts. The really bizarro thing is that it works even when you know you're being spun! Wow! WHAT IS THIS CRAZY SUPER SCIENCE?
By the way, saying "everything goes wrong is the liberals' fault" is what conservatives think is pretty damn dumb when National Review, plus most of the conservative blogosphere, was bitching about how the Republicans were no longer responsive to the wishes of their constituency right up to the point where so many of them stayed home on election day and the Democrats got that Congressional majority you seem to think they don't have since they're not accomplishing anything with it.
that conservatives have been in power for the last six years, pretty much dominating every agenda, domestically and internationally, and yet when things go wrong, it is the liberals' fault.
Mark, this is just delusional.
It's another completely dumbass statement, where you toss words up and see if any of them work.
1) Bush's crew are called neocons. You've used that a lot. But as I've said, you don't know what it means. (Hint: They're Not "Conservative")
2) The big government bureaucracies save active duty military are solidly Democrat in outlook, regardless of the Executive in office.
3) (Perhaps the most obvious "What In the hell point): Did you not notice that the other party than the one Bush Belongs To has the votes required to Do Anything They Want To Do.
They may have a majority in the Congress but how has that really worked out?
Mark, you may have a working, thinking brain, and the opportunity to educate said brain, but how has that really worked out?