UnAmerican Patriotism

When I was in radio I consistently saw several songs have through the roof research scores in the years following the 9/11 WTC attacks.  “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”, “Have You Forgotten”, “The Angry American” and “God Bless the USA”.  All songs have a few things in common.  For one, they are all flag waving, America songs.   While the former two harken to a sadness and less chest thumping emotion, the latter two certainly make one feel initial Pride. 

They are also all really bad songs.

I mean…unless you’re just an unnaturally patriotic person, are any of these songs you’d have on your iPod?  Maybe.  But not in a playlist.  Yet, they researched very well.  My theory was always that any rational human being surveyed would never say “Where Were You” is one of the worst country songs ever released.  Poorly written, about 3 minutes longer than it ever needed to be and an instant station changer for the average listener.  No one will say that.  To say that is disrespectful to the victims, UnAmerican and then the terrorists win. 

I stand by that. 

Given sodium pentathol, most people would say they don’t want to hear those songs intermixed with their mainstream hits. 

I am seeing so much reaction to this “American Sniper” film.  Most of it is WAY over the top, lauding it as the greatest film ever made, etc.  That is a pretty tall order.  I’m seeing lots of bashing of Seth Rogen and a few others for their criticism of it.  Wow.  Lots of mixed opinion.  And venom.  For a movie.  Which is, when it boils down to it, all it is. 

A movie.  Lots of horrible things said about other people over A MOVIE.  This isn’t The Passion or anything.  It’s about a guy.  Soldier.  Hero.  Call it whatever your standards for that sorta thing are…but a guy.  A movie.  Calm down.

I’m proud of Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood for making such a powerful film that impacted so many so deeply.  That’s hard to do these days.  Especially when you omit zombies, vampires and wizards from the mix.  I’ll admit though,  reaction to “American Sniper” is a bit over the top and reminds me of that SNL skit from years ago “It was much better than CATS.  I will see it again and again.”

I’ve not seen it yet.  I may or may not.  That sorta thing isn’t really my interest.  War movies and army stuff just isn’t my thing.  Maybe I got my fill playing with G.I. Joe’s as a kid.  Or John Wayne always on Dad’s TV.  No disrespect intended.  I’m a superhero/sci-fi, comedy geek.  Maybe that real life horror is just too real for Me.  Who knows.  It just isn’t something I would pay money to see.

Here is what I know.  I am also proud of Seth Rogen for speaking his mind.  This is America.  And this isn’t the land of Free Speech “only if I like it and agree with it”.  This is the land of Free Speech.  Period.  And whether anyone likes it or not, this sort of film CAN be considered propaganda, by definition.  So can most of our news sources.  And judging by the fervent reaction, I’d say he is somewhat correct.  Propaganda films are designed to do a few things.  First off, brainwash the audience into a certain linear way of thinking.  Another is to drum up support for a cause of belief.  In this case, I’m seeing so many similar word tracks in posts from Facebookers all over the nation it immediately made me think propaganda before I’d even read Rogen’s comments.  I’m cynical.  I admit that.  And I haven’t seen the movie.  I admit that as well.  This is not criticism of a film or of military.  This is a commentary on the reaction to said film. 

This certainly accomplished the latter.  It has drummed up support for a way of thinking.  That the central figure in this film was a hero.  I’d have to know a LOT more about the man before I lay that title on his name.  I am very selective about who and what I call a Hero.  Everyone defines that word differently.  I have been criticized for not defining every cop, firefighter or soldier as heroes.  I get criticized a lot for my opinions to be honest.  As far as my opinion on this subject, it is simple:

If you love this movie that much and you believe this man is a hero or whatever, then you must also stand by Mr. Rogen and yes, even that slimeball Michael Moore.  The facts are that them speaking their mind is just as American as waving a big flag.  Them feeling free to voice their opinion is the thing that gave the “American Sniper”s life any purpose as a soldier.  Agree or disagree, but to bash or boycott Makes YOU the UnAmerican one of this equation, for you should be proud of them for standing up for what they believe.  And yes, you should stand up for what you believe as well, I suppose.  I guess I just see punishing someone for exercising their American Freedoms as something terrorists do. 

Go about your day and God Bless America.