By Steve Pauwels
I flipped on my car radio yesterday morning to find myself midstream of Glenn Beck eviscerating what I gathered to be a newly released movie. Clearly a studied and snarky attempt to riff on modern culture’s iron-bound “Spoiler Alert” etiquette, Glenn & Company chucklingly unveiled every one of the flick’s surprises, plot twists, and gimmicks. Soon enough they explicitly emphasized – over and over for the rest of that hour – they were trashing Liam Neeson’s aviation actioner Non-Stop. Repeatedly, Glen pleaded with his audience: “Don’t go see this movie”.
His ruthless effort to torpedo Non-Stop‘s box-office was ignited not by crass mean-spiritedness, but — and I will warn here some SPOILERS are a-comin’ — from what turned out to be exasperatedly deep exception he took to the film’s anti-American and anti-military tone.
For instance: Beck reports, with disgust, the bad guy/terrorist in Non-Stop ends up, predictably, NOT being a Muslim character previously framed to seem like the story’s nefarious villain. Who’s the actual meanie? Why, a former American military man targeting innocent people, of course. As one of Glenn’s co-hosts offered: nowadays, whenever a TV show or movie hints the Islamic guy might be the guilty player? You can rest assured contemporary political correctness’ skittishness guarantees he won’t be!
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Probably my favorite television series of all time is Keiffer Sutherland’s peerless 24. Mercilessly entertaining, with only a few exceptions it also (calculatingly?) defied Liberal sanctimony. Honestly, I was frequently left marveling at the drama’s brazen political in-correctness. Sure, over eight seasons 24 featured a handful of noble Muslims — but Jack Bauer, Chloe O’Brien, and the rest of the redoubtable CTU gang also reliably identified, hunted down and dispatched a batch of seething Islamic baddies. Unavoidably, not a few old, white males filled the assorted storylines’ villain demands while one of its most august characters was David Palmer, season one and two’s African-American U.S. president. But among 24‘s most reptilian figures were women. Some of them black women! And, as the program unfolded, a black fellow or two and some felonious Mexicans didn’t come off terribly flatteringly, either. 24‘s Government personnel? Some of them — practically demonic. Yet, lots of heroes — white, black, Latino, male, female — did their stirringly self-sacrificing thing while rendering service to Uncle Sam. On multiple fronts, 24 proved to be bracing TV for God-and-Country loving viewers.
Candidly, I wasn’t expecting that kind of inspiration from Non-Stop – still, I was rather disappointed upon hearing Beck’s drubbing of it. It had been on my “probably-buy-a-ticket” list. I tend to like Liam Neeson (Rob Roy? Great film. Taken? Flawed but exciting and he’s a compelling tough guy in it. Schindler’s List? C’mon: one of modern filmdom’s masterpieces.) I’ll further admit I was curious to see how co-star Michelle Dockery would handle a role besides Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary Crawley.
But, a few years ago, Matt Damon’s cinematic Bourne franchise drove home to me a shamefaced lesson I’m trying to hold close: the full trio of those thrillers are exceptionally well-done, but I confess — again, with not-a-little embarrassment — it wasn’t until around number three that it struck me how unrelentingly and remorselessly hostile to the United States they are. In a world of Allahu-Akbar-shrieking maniacs, former-Commies-cum-Apolitical-Strongmen, and internationally sadistic, narcotics-trafficking Kingpins, most — not all, but most –of Bourne‘s malefactors turn out to be Americans; Matt Damon’s biggest, life-threatening headaches come, not from foreign-language speaking megalomaniacs, but fellow citizens scheming his liquidation.
I’m a conservative, and Christian, so I recognize no aspect of mere mortal life is immune from evil. Malevolent elements in the U.S. government, armed forces, police departments, churches, families? Check, got it. Not only the low-and-feeble but the high-and-mighty possess the capacity for devilish mischief. The wise man doggedly keeps that in mind and conducts himself accordingly.
However – current mainstream media and entertainment’s “non-stop” (pardon the pun) and noisome drumbeat on America, America, America as the focus of all-that-is-pernicious-and-perilous-on-the-planet? I tire of it — and resent it.
Plainly, even as I write this the Obama regime — and oodles of Democratic and Republican functionaries before it — poses a genuine threat to patriots’ liberties and our nation’s security. In her past, America has done, and is doing at present, some awful things at home and abroad. Infractions that, yes, must consistently be outed and accounted for. The aforementioned radio/TV host conveniently affirms this in his latest tome Miracles and Massacres.
But, as Beck’s book also reminds: the nation birthed by Bible-drenched pilgrims and established by Founders who bowed their heads to God-revering principles, this Constitutional Republic which took a leading role in officially deploring chattel slavery and rebuffing, first, 1940′s fascism and, thereafter, bloodthirsty Communism, and which is first to show up with physical and financial aid anywhere disaster strikes around the globe — that nation ain’t all bad. Even groaning under the Obama posse’s baleful influence, the USA hardly looms the preeminent menace to mankind. In fact, drifting though we be from our luminous historic ideals and standards, this country remains a meaningful emollient for much of humankind’s woes.
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