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Monday, January 19, 2015

The Other State of the Union: American Sniper

Don't ask. You know the answer.

I will not watch Obama's State of the Union (SOTU) message to Congress.

For a very long time I have found watching our pretend President unbearable: the upturned nose; the arrogant stance and poking of the finger in the air; the empty words and unkept promises; the refusal to deal with real issues and the introduction of nonsensical ones; his complete lack of knowledge of American history; and, of course, the lies and the lies and--did I mention the lies?--the lies. Can't do it. Won't do it. I don't want to hear about "free" community college; embracing the "dreams" of undocumented, i.e., illegal, aliens; and the need for the "rich" to pay more to address social and economic inequality, etc. Meanwhile, of course, our country, our allies, and our very civilization are under increasing attack from the purveyors of an ancient totalitarian ideology which we must respect, welcome into our homes, and are not allowed to name--Psst! Just among us, it's Islam.

I watched an alternative SOTU, and I urge all to do the same. I watched Clint Eastwood's American Sniper. It is, without doubt, one of the greatest war films I have ever seen. It ranks very high--perhaps  highest--with other favorites of mine, such as (in no particular order) Zulu, Glory, Paths of Glory, The Longest Day, Beneath Hill 60, Saving Private Ryan, Hamburger Hill, Lawrence of Arabia, Pork Chop Hill, and Letters from Iwo Jima. 

Sniper, however, is more than a war movie. Sure, of course, it has some great and tension-filled action scenes, but it is a film much more about respecting a code of honor, duty, sacrifice, and, above all, putting others before self--and the price that following that code exacts. The film could just as easily have been called British Sniper, Canadian Sniper,  or Australian Sniper. It is not a "Rah, Rah, USA!" film. It is about men who respond to the call of duty; who get angry when they see their country attacked; and who put their lives on the line. In this case, the movie is about US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who became the deadliest sniper in US military history. Throughout the movie it is clear--despite some of the leftist nonsense now being said about the film--that Chris Kyle's motivation in becoming a sniper is his realization that his shooting skills could help save the lives of his fellow combatants. He could save the lives of Marines. Neither the film nor the book gave me the impression that Kyle wanted to kill; he wanted to prevent Marines for whom he had "overwatch" from being killed. This could have been the story of thousands of others, American, British, Canadian, Australian, Israeli, whatever, who saw their duty and did it. It is a great film. Watch it.

Now to the alternate SOTU mentioned above. It was tough to get tickets to the film, and we barely got into a matinee showing--which also sold out. At the end of the film, the audience--white, black, Asian, Hispanic, young and old--broke into applause. And BTW, this was in California. Not a dry eye in sight as the credits rolled over images of Chris Kyle's funeral.

Makes you wonder if there is a disconnect between the elites and the people. Maybe, huh? All I know is that the film's success at the box office is driving the progressive elites mad! Go see the movie: provoke a progressive!

39 comments:

  1. Excellent suggestion -- just sent a link to this post out on Twitter.

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  2. “He seems like he may be a sociopath,” one Academy member told TheWrap, adding he had not yet seen the film but had read the article, which is being passed around.

    So a guy who hasn't seen the film read an article by a guy who hadn't seen the film. But it was 'being passed around.' In your wildest dreams you couldn't make this stuff up.

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    1. Typical responses of a libtard. They have their narrative about Chris Kyle and those like him and will stick to it.

      To paraphrase Tom Horn from the old Steve McQueen film, those Hollywood libtards would have to stand on their grandfathers' shoulders just to kiss Chris Kyle's a**.

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  3. okay.. okay.. I got lucky and saw this at a prescreening... and for the most part, I agree with you.. *BUT*.

    ******* SPOILER ALERT ********
    well.. not much of a spoiler... but the scene with the 'people handing the baby back and forth'.. my wife and I looked at each other and we're like: "Why are there two grown ups playing with what's obviously a doll?" It was just ridiculously badly done.

    - reader #1482

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was clearly a mechanical doll, but who cares? The shark in Jaws was also a mechanical puppet but it was still a great horror movie.

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    2. I was thinking: "Wow.. it's like a B-movie on the sci-fi channel."
      But yeah.. .very good flick overall.. doesn't fit the liberal narrative of war always being bad... and if we just 'understood' them (ie, gave up), there wouldn't be war.... and all that standard Hollywood tripe.

      Have to say the guy playing Chris Kyle was *really* good... as in, I didn't think of him as an actor even once throughout the movie (except with the doll)...

      - reader #1482

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    3. Read this morning on the Hollywood Reporter they had two live babies, one sick and the other a no-show. Jason Hall, exec. prod. claimed Eastwood then said: "Gimme the doll, kid"

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    4. I saw it Sunday and did not notice the baby, which is very common in Hollywood movies the last few years. Los Angeles has very strict rules on small infants in movies. The theater at the end was dead silent. I wanted to applaud but respected the others silence. I remember the applause for "Death Wish" in 1978. That will come again and so will American Sniper but it will be in our own country as we try to save ourselves.

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  4. I truly hope that there is a disconnect between the elites and the people, and that one day it will find expression through the democratic process and outcomes; but the older I grow the more disillusioned I become waiting for it to happen.

    Men such a Chris Kyle are now too few, and becoming fewer.

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    Replies
    1. Becoming fewer by design, I'm afraid.

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  5. I purchased two tickets online for the 10:30 am session on January 20, at Tyson's Corner, Virginia. The cinema was almost full.

    Davod

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  6. You gave away the ending.

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  7. As a teacher, I get so sick of having to go along with a curriculum that tells them that Islam is tolerant, sexual "experimentation" is OK, the predator Harvey Milk is a hero, and the story of the rise of the West is all about exploitation of people of color and women (were it not for the English settlers bringing their women with them, we'd all be "people of color" to one degree or another, BTW). Hence, I often introduce myself as a professional swindler of the young.

    However, it's heartening to see that the stories of people who have a strong sense of duty, honor, and sacrifice continue to move audiences.

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    Replies
    1. Any review opinion you'd care to offer Kepha on the movie Selma?

      December 18th

      http://nypost.com/2014/12/18/sharpton-to-have-say-over-how-sony-makes-movies/

      January 16

      http://nypost.com/2014/12/18/sharpton-to-have-say-over-how-sony-makes-movies/

      "[I]t's heartening to see that the stories of people who have a strong sense of duty, honor, and sacrifice continue to move audiences"?

      As a teacher I mean.

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    2. My oversight;

      http://www.businessinsider.com/al-sharpton-blasts-appalling-oscars-2015-1

      Still. As a teacher?

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    3. Anonymous: I did not watch _Selma_. As for Al Sharpton, I stopped paying attention to what he says ages ago. I was moved by Dip's review of _American Sniper_. I know from brief and not necessarily glorious experience that the Foreign Service can be a pretty jaded bunch. Hence, I was intrigued by our host's review.

      Oh, wotthef$$k--as for the Rev. Al and his complaints about "white Hollywood", I have my own observations as the father and grandfather of Eurasians (natural descent from my European and Middle Eastern heritage and my wife's Far Eastern): Hollywood sees things only according to America's official five-flavor color code. Indeed, a lot of the time, it seems that to Hollywood, we're a bicolored country in which people who can lay claim to two or more bars on the color code remain invisible.

      But, what hit home all the more painfully was when my older son registered for Middle School in a nice Mid-American college town. He asked which racial code he should mark, and I told him mark "white" and "Asian Pacific". I got called in to the principal's office and told that only one such code is acceptable. I replied that the whole mishpocha on both sides of the Pacific knew exactly what went into my son, he heard both Chinese and English and could name both the west Eurasian countries from which his father descended as well as the Chinese provinces that had seen the sojourns of his mother's family, had heard stories from both cultures while growing up, ate all kinds of cuisines, got taken for a white kid in Taiwan and an Asian in Illinois, the Mainland Chinese police wanted to interrogate him as an undersized Uighur terrorist until they saw the diplomatic passport, and would the honorable principal please explain which parent he expected my son to deny? I left the ball in their court, and got some dirty looks as I left. This was a good number of years ago, I'll allow, and now the boy is a young working father himself.

      There. I've gotten a gripe about race off my chest to a hopefully sympathetic audience. Thanks for your patience.

      Delete
    4. I was wondering about that for my asian-white kids who will be entering school before long.
      I guess it doesn't matter, asians are now 'white'... http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/asian.htm

      We do have discussions over whether our kids are 'chinese'. I suppose if they're asked if they're 'Han', then yes, but having the ethnicity be the nationality is quite yucky.
      As for me, I'm considering throwing away the PLAAF model toy warplanes (one was an unmistakable J-10 with livery and all) that the local chinese school gives our kids. At the very least, it makes me uncomfortable that they'd give them out here and I kinda wonder who's providing them or why. Will replace them with 'good guy' models.

      - reader #1482

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    5. So, It seems your family is in the same boat. I went to your article, and figured that it won't be long before certain segments of the black and Hispanic populations will be "excommunicated" from minority status.

      I teach in an ESOL program, and see a lot of Subsaharan African immigrant kids, as well as their US-born cousins. They strike me as being a lot like the European immigrants of yesteryear (or the Asian ones of only yesterday) rather than the disfunctional "minority" model that is being foisted on our country.

      Back ro my own family makeup, my wife is a Taiwanese Hakka and my daughter-in-law a Hoklo (the Taiwanese majority)--both subsets of the "Han" moniker. I'm well aware of the "nationality" aspect of ethnic identity. It harkens back to the originaly Greek sense of "ethnos" (or Hebrew go'i?), which was a fluid one. Oh, well. The Great Father of the Peoples left us with a pernicious heritage in a lot of Eurasia.

      However, the thing struck me as sort of sinister when I was at AmConsul Guangzhou. Having a number of conversations with Chinese, I found that the essentialist character of ethnic-national identity runs pretty thick over there. It was shocking for some of them to learn that Eisenhower was of German descent, when he made his name kicking the c**p out of his distant Old World relatives in WWII.

      Long live our American stew/salad/melting pot/whatever!

      Delete
  8. "Makes you wonder if there is a disconnect between the elites and the people."

    Is there any doubt?
    MM

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    1. No doubt. That's how elites remain elite. By any and all means necessary.

      Delete
  9. If: "Success is the best revenge," then the box office sales, and the audience reaction you describe Dip, is wrecking havoc among the leftists.

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    Replies
    1. A dish best served cold, As in cold hard cash.

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    2. Or maybe even the cool feel of an Academy Award statue?

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    3. ridiculous... this is hollywood... there's not even an option for an 'apolitical' stance.. a war movie *MUST* *BE* *ANTIWAR* to receive any non-box-office recognition.

      - reader #1482

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  10. "When what you're doing doesn't work for fifty years, it's time to try something new," President Obama 2015 SOTU
    **cough** War on Poverty **cough**

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what I said to my wife, Kelly. And I mean it not as snark, but as an action item.

      Delete
  11. My satellite TV provider was playing "Wag the Dog" last night. It's about a President putting out lies and misinformation to deceive the voters and promote his agenda. Just like the SOTU but more entertaining.

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    Replies
    1. Good alternative. We watched "Clear and Present Danger" a good Tom Clancy novel ruined, as usual, by Hollywood. Net Flix, you know.

      Delete
  12. Eyes On The Saudis

    Arkie

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kerry in Davos:

    OK, so we are fighting Anarchy, NOT Islam. But did Kerry really say:

    But in the fight against "anarchy", "we have to also keep our heads",
    http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-says-visit-nigeria-couple-days-182215228.html

    Yes he did.

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    Replies
    1. Kerry says Visit Nigeria? !!!

      Well. That should work out well for all parties.

      http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/01/boko-haram/

      Arkie

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  14. You forgot another great war movie "Twelve O'clock High".
    Heltau

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