Which is the home team for the left?

We went to see Lone Survivor last night and then we came home and I watched Canada-USA in the hockey. And while you may think the two have nothing to do with each other, let me explain.

In the hockey, Canada won it by the soccer score of 1-0. That Channel 10 chose to show the Koreans winning the speed skating while the only goal was scored took some of the pleasure away but nice to see most of the game anyway. Sunday it’s Canada v Sweden for the Gold Medal.

And then there was Lone Survivor, the most nail-biting film of the year, as good as any movie I’ve seen over the past twelve months. The subject matter, though, has created quite a divide within the US. This is what the film is about.

LONE SURVIVOR, starring Mark Wahlberg, tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.

Given the description, you will not be surprised to hear that so far as Academy Awards and other such laurels go, nothing at all. It is a major success across the Red States of America but goes nowhere in the blue states. And this is why I think that is. It is because you can only enjoy the movie if you side with the Americans. Everyone comes to the cinema with their politics fully engaged, specially a film such as this. For me and those I went with, we side with the Americans. The movie therefore completely works. For blue state America, however, it doesn’t work at all. They are disengaged and, I fear, even wish America’s enemies success. The movie is therefore an ordeal for those of a different view. This is from the review at The Washington Post:

What’s missing here is something, or rather, someone, to care about. Written and directed by Peter Berg (“Battleship”), the film presumes our emotional investment in Luttrell and his fellow soldiers’ mission, simply by virtue of — well, it’s never quite clear what. The questions of who exactly Shah is, other than one of many murderous thugs, and why we should care so deeply about his fate, is never really explained in a way that grabs the imagination.

The film must have been an endless torment to him. It’s only a film but if your instincts are not with the Americans then the film is lost on you. You are either with Team USA or you are not. In the war in Afghanistan, blue state America is not.

So when I come home to watch the hockey, no longer was I with Team USA. I have ancient views and attitudes that I bring along with. Not quite like a Canada-USSR match of days of yore but fully engaged. And so in this film, as in so many other ways, the fifth column of Americans who were born and raised in our culture but hate it and wish to see it fail, have their attitudes ingrained at such depth that it is hard to think what could ever save us now.

This entry was posted in Cultural Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Which is the home team for the left?

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    The left is going the way of the Scientologists – insular, elitist, unhinged from reality and just slightly frightening.

    Before I read Steve’s posting I saw Bolt’s post on something a lefty called Julie Burchill wrote. I couldn’t understand what she was talking about – its supposedly in English but is so coded in leftyese that it is gobbledegook.

    The Left is developing their own version of the umma, where they become a nation in a nation. Hopefully they will take it to the logical conclusion and disappear up their own…egos.

  2. Honesty

    Having read the book but not seen the movie it is repeatedly said that the media back home is not behind them, as they do there job and are concerned about committing a crime when the enemy isn’t.
    an interview on CNN
    I feel he has a point, ironically the left and media love “the wolf of Wall Street”, which represents everything they oppose.

  3. Steve,

    The way I’ve heard it explained is in terms of evolutionary theory – specifically r/K reproductive strategy. I’m about to read this book – free on Kindle: The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics

  4. entropy

    Honesty, that link is to an app.

  5. stackja

    Reminds me of

    Mission to Moscow.

    According to its own producer the film was

    “an expedient lie for political purposes”.

    The film, made during World War II, shows the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin in a positive light. Completed in late April 1943, the film is, in the words of Robert Buckner, the film’s producer, “an expedient lie for political purposes, glossily covering up important facts with full or partial knowledge of their false presentation”.

  6. dover_beach

    I saw it about a fortnight ago, Steve. The cinema near the Lincoln Center was about 1/4 full but it was the morning session. Thought it was a quite good action movie, and was impressed by the physical endurance and discipline of the Seals. It’s instructive that the WashPost reviewer is confused about who to root for and why.

  7. Token

    It is a major success across the Red States of America but goes nowhere in the blue states.

    How long before the left in Hollywood have found a way to prevent movies like this being made?

  8. cynical1

    Very similar to the Left everywhere.

    EG: We are all homophobes and racists. Except Muslims who cannot possibly be.

    Hanging homos from a crane is a “Cultural issue and besides,who are we to judge”.

    Boat people drowning is Ok if Labor Greens in power.

    STOPPING boat people drowning is a human rights crime by Abbott666.

    Cate Blanchett is a wonderful human being with environmental concerns. Listen to her.

    Dr Roy Spencer is a religious lunatic who should be hounded and punished as a denier.

    And on and on….

  9. Paul

    there’s not really a political benefit to be had from movies like this nowadays. Back in the days of “The Hurt Locker” things were different.

  10. Robert Blair

    Some russian guy in the early nineties predicted that the US would falter, collapse, and split in the early part of the 21st century.
    In a similar manner to the way Russia was collapsing at the time.

    At the time I thought he was just projecting – but now I’m not so sure …

  11. the sting

    After Sept. 11 George Bush said”you are either with us,or with the terrorists”.I think Tony Abbott needs to remind the ABC of this statement.

  12. jupes

    Written and directed by Peter Berg (“Battleship”), the film presumes our emotional investment in Luttrell and his fellow soldiers’ mission, simply by virtue of — well, it’s never quite clear what.

    Staggering.

    His fellow citizen volunteers to fight for his nation against barbarians and the ignoramus has no idea who the good guy is. It is depressing that these views can be uttered in polite society let alone published in a newspaper.

  13. Crossie

    How long before the left in Hollywood have found a way to prevent movies like this being made?

    Hollywood isn’t what it used to be, a lot of filming is now done in Canada and one studio (can’t remember which) is setting up in Wilmington, North Carolina. California’s business laws and taxes are driving productions out of the state.

    If you mean that all studios, no matter where they are based, will block the production then you simply set up your own studio. I don’t think that’s against the law yet though who knows what will be illegal after eight years of Obama.

  14. Old School Conservative

    Thanks Bruce – I thought I must have developed early onset senility for not understanding what Birchill wrote. I’m glad I’m not alone in scratching my head over her prose.
    I will get the Lone Survivor book and share it with my grandkids.

  15. jupes

    I have had a gutful of movies where the bad guy is the US military / CIA / rogue police etc.

    During and post WW2, as a general rule, Hollywood movies were very clear who were the goodies and baddies. John Wayne made a very good career out of this.

    Since 2001 the US has been at war with Islamic terrorists. Yet it is very rare to see a movie post 2001 where the real goodies and baddies are clearly defined. The number of movies with Islamic terrorists portrayed as the baddies can probably be counted on one hand.

    I will pay money to watch any movie portraying the US military as heroes, especially if the bad guys are Muslims. Maybe I’m strange but I like reality.

  16. Dash22

    Has anyone seen the recent Redford film, All is Lost?

    Just watched it on the plane and it was truly engrossing. Some sympathetic mild turbulence at a crucial point helped but it was the subject matter itself that I connected with. I doubt Robert Redford would class himself as a libertarian, but given that the main focus of the film is of one man’s sole focus on solving a series of problems, all by himself, it certainly appealed to my sense of self reliance.

  17. What’s missing here is something, or rather, someone, to care about.

    Words fail me!

  18. stackja

    Steve at the Pub
    #1198902, posted on February 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    What’s missing here is something, or rather, someone, to care about.
    Words fail me!

    Wapo liked All the Presidents Men.

  19. Steve D

    Everyone comes to the cinema with their politics fully engaged…

    This line in your essay, Steve, struck me. As someone who’s somewhere along the conservative-libertarian line the political aspect of a movie is noted but I generally make allowance for it if necessary and try to enjoy the show.

    Perhaps others of the left are less able to do this. Given their attitude to to anything with a political angle these days, I guess it should be surprising that it shows in this area also.

  20. thefrollickingmole

    Stand back im going the full Godwins on this one..

    the film presumes our emotional investment in Schindler and his fellow workers mission, simply by virtue of — well, it’s never quite clear what. The questions of who exactly Amon Goeth is, other than one of many murderous thugs, and why we should care so deeply about his fate, is never really explained in a way that grabs the imagination.

    Some things shouldnt need spelling out unless you are deliberately choosing to be stupid.

    Kill girls for going to school
    Massacre Hazaras
    Attack civilian targets as FIRST CHOICE not necessity..

    Useful idiots who havent found their new USSR?Stalin.

  21. lotocoti

    … is never really explained in a way that grabs the imagination.

    Wasn’t the head hacking sufficient for O’Sullivan’s imagination?
    Did he really need a Panavision catalogue of taliban behaviour?

  22. Honesty

    Here is the interview link. We’ll worth watching and reading. The book is excellent too!

  23. And Another Thing

    I read Seal Luttrell’s book, and was quite amazed by the resolve and skills of the special forces. I might just say for those who are interested, probably most that read here, Mark McDonald VC has a book out about his experiences in Afghanistan. In common with the Seals, the SAS had to worry about collateral damage as they tried to help the citizens of these countries.
    Spoiler alert, although the title of the book and film already does that, the Seals’ fate was decided, not sealed, when they released two shepherds who could have donned them in to the Taliban. They let them go and had the enemy swarming around shortly after. My feeling is that they did the right thing, but at a huge cost.

  24. Boambee John

    Steve;

    The answer to your question is simple. The home team for the left is the “Other”.

    Except, of course, the internal “other” (lower case), those conservatives and libertarians, especially those with religious convictions.

    They are so “other” as to be beyond the pale (to use an expression based on religious architecture).

  25. Boambee John

    Jupes (1198875):

    I seem to remember that the first design concept for the United 93 memorial included “symbolic embracing arms” that turned out to resemble a crescent (Islamic) moon when viewed from above.

    It also included a tree for each victim. When someone counted the trees on the design, it seemed the designer had included the hijackers as “victims”.

    I seem to recall that a 9/11 memorial in another state (it might have been Arizona) also included a crescent in the original design.

    Even in the design of memorials, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

    No doubt who the home team was in these designers’ minds!

  26. And Another Thing

    It is hard to see what could ever save us now.

    I sort of know this overwhelming feeling, but feel that there is a slow but sure move back to the centre-right, not that any time is right to relax. I think the sheer stupidity exhibited by the left is becoming obvious even to them. The great silent majority is out there as it always has been.

    Australia now has almost all Coalition governments, 76 per cent of Americans who voted for Obama now regret it.

    Social media is the thing that’s am lying the left, but this works both for and against them.

  27. And Another Thing

    Sorry … That’s amplifying the left …

  28. jupes

    Mark McDonald VC

    That would be Mark Donaldson VC. His book is The Crossroad.

  29. And Another Thing

    Yep, sorry, should have got his name right. His books a great read.

  30. cynical1

    thefrollickingmole

    Remember “Quirk’s exception”.

    Lefties often scream “Godwin” as a tactic to stop further discussion.

    When a comparison to Nazis/Hitler is legitimate, you are not going “Godwin”.

    You are hitting lefties with a cluebat.

    The one that belongs to Mr Quirk…..

  31. Liam

    Check out Janet Albrechtsen’s article in The Australian, ‘Story of true grit does count’ (12/02/14), on the cultural-political divide reflected by Lone Survivor and The wolf of Wall Street.

  32. It could also be a poorly written movie that panders to a specific audience group?

    Americans are known for making overly propagandist nonsense films, and if your not into watching a country blow smoke up its own a*** then maybe the movie isn’t your thing? Plus, there are plenty of Americans who don’t like action movies or even NASCAR on the grounds that they’re often boring and formulaic.

    Maybe they should have made Spielberg of “Saving Private Ryan” fame rather than the guy of “Battleship” notoriety make the movie…

  33. Cold-Hands

    The film must have been an endless torment to him.

    I’d love to see his review of Team America.

  34. Driftforge

    From the work MicFromVic linked earlier:

    The subconscious goal of every Liberal ideologue in matters of group conflict is to have it both ways. Betray their in-group to gain the favor of the out-group, while maintaining they cannot be attacked by the in-group they betrayed due to the warrior’s loyalty to in-group. If the in-group wins, they protest they are a part of the in-group, and shouldn’t be killed by their own people. If the out-group wins, then they plead that they helped the out-group and should benefit from favoritism.

    If a cop shoots a criminal, then take the side of the criminal, since the cop can’t shoot you, but the criminal can. If it’s a war against Saddam, take Saddam’s side, since the Marines can’t kill you legally and Saddam can. Viet Cong, Communists, whoever. Liberalism in group competition is just a strategy of using intellectualism to justify treason to in-group for personal self-interest. The most amazing aspect is, Liberals can blind themselves to this reality, right up until you find a way to unarguably call them out on it.

  35. Cat influenced behaviour: Visiting the Smoke, & after reading the thread above popped out & watched “Lone Survivor” on the super-duper big VMAX screen it is showing on. (Surprisingly full cinema – considering the comparitively low key publicity for the movie).

    Having seen the movie, I wish to amend my above comment: (copied here again)

    What’s missing here is something, or rather, someone, to care about.

    Words fail me!

    I now change this to:

    What’s missing here is something, or rather, someone, to care about. ….. presumes our emotional investment in Luttrell and his fellow soldiers’ mission, simply by virtue of — well, it’s never quite clear what.

    Ever bring that opinion near me buster, & you’ll be shoving your toothbrush up your arse if you wanta clean your teeth.

  36. I went one step futher and read the entire review at Washington Post. Rubbing sand in my eyes would’ve been more fun.

    I struggle to comprehend that there exists somewhere someone who is a stupid enough deadshit to write shit like that. May posterity forget that such a deadshit shared a citizenship with the men of Operation Red Wings.
    I near had to stop reading when I got to the part where the reviewer writes that the conduct of the Seals

    leaves a powerful, and lingeringly bad aftertaste

    Now words really do fail me.

  37. One of the commenters at the bottom of the Washington Post review gives a reason why the Seals did not wear helmets into action in the movie:

    Helmets, after all, are intended to protect a brain. QED, I suppose.

  38. Dan

    I don’t think the US are the bad guys in Afghanistan but I can see why the WP reviewer isn’t certain what the goal is. Especially when heavily muscled young Afghan men seem to be so keen to sail here in leaky boats rather than fighting off the Taliban themselves. Whether we achieved enough to justify the lost lives of Australians I don’t know.

  39. cohenite

    Yeah, well we’re going to have our very own Lone Survivor in New Guinea. Bolt has already sent up the convicted and deserve to be executed flag.

  40. Motelier

    Well,

    This explains exactly how I feel as an accommodation provider in Central Qld.

    If anyone on here doubts me, then okay, but you have feel for me as the owner of a hospitality and accomodation business. I encounter a large number of people on any given day. Given the mix of the general population in polls, I should expext roughly a 50/50 split in regards to the politics of my clientiele.

    The left/right split in my business is closer to 40 Left/60 Right at the moment. I am suprised at the number of people who have no idea about liberterian philosophy. This is based on an informal discussion with clients of one of our motels.

    I have to talk to all guests that frequent my establishment, no matter what their creed, but I have become very adept at finding centre/right libertarians.

    For those customers that start out the conversation about the intransience of the left, the conversations usually flowes nicely, leaving me with the dilema of how to promote the Catallaxy Files (should I do this?) to those that may be able to provide some imput, as most of those customers have something to say.

    The left have many avenues to promote their policies, but we on the right seem to a little slow on this.

  41. The irony is that the film goes to the heart of fear and prejudice about the Afghans being some alien “other”. Without wishing to spoil the plot many people’s reaction to the first significant counter would be “they should have killed those guys”. (Certainly many of the Cat stalwarts have that view here everyday). The irony I mention is that a similar encounter is the salvation of the lone survivor, who relies on Pashtunwali, showing that the “other” isn’t as inhuman as we might suppose. The choices presented to the soldiers are more complex than a Leftwing review might credit to the plot, and in that sense the underlying message would stereotypically gel with how leftards view themselves. Being more open minded and less fearful of foreign cultures, as a cliched self-assumption.

  42. daggers

    I thought Lone Survivor suffered from a self conscious wish not to descend into propaganda. So there was a very deliberate attempt to balance the scales in the second half, by mentioning the code of hospitality to strangers and showing baddies (ideologues/Taliban) and goodies (other Afgahans/ normal people with families). I felt the film didn’t make enough of the Seals’ incredibly bad but chivalrous decision to release the Taliban. The whole film suffered from pusillanimity (hope that’s the word).

  43. Well, that’s another way of putting it, certainly.

  44. daggers

    Abu you’re much more perceptive than I.
    For me it was a kind of thinking man’s ‘Green Berets’. They producers must have known they were in for a good kicking so they tried their best to anticipate and dodge a few of the blows.

  45. Abu Chowdah

    Maybe that was the motivation. It was wasted on the Left.

  46. entropy

    Having read that appalling review, I can only assume the WaPo loser was reacting to the awful realisation he is a beta.

  47. cohenite

    The movie is obviously a parable based on the West’s dealings with Islam. The West has tried to do the right thing by Islam but the implacable hostility of Islam towards the West leads to good men getting sliced and diced. The end.

  48. brennan

    I am looking forward to seeing the movie and will judge it on it’s merits then and I generally don’t give a crap what a critic says, as mostly I think they are useless wannabes who can’t create themselves and at best can only bring down the actual work of others.

    I ordered the book this morning to read in the interim, as well as Mark Donaldson’s The Crossroad.

  49. Denise

    cohenite
    #1199595, posted on February 23, 2014 at 9:15 am

    The movie is obviously a parable based on the West’s dealings with Islam. The West has tried to do the right thing by Islam but the implacable hostility of Islam towards the West leads to good men getting sliced and diced. The end.

    The only Western country that truly understands the implacable nature of fundamentalist – not extremist – Islam is Israel. As I think Netanyahu said ‘When your enemies say they want to destroy you, believe them’.

    One consolation if ever we’re overrun by the mad mullahs will be the sight of Sarah Hanson-Young in a burqa – angry eyes framed in black but thankfully mute – and her beta male colleagues given the tweetment that Islam doles out to the culturally diverse; a just reward for them selling us down the river to these 7th century barbarians. The Greens must be suffering from some sort of Stockholm syndrome and hopefully will end in a bunker like their hero Hitler.

  50. Cohenites picked it.
    It’s no more complex than that.

  51. .

    I know an Afghan war vet and unless there is a lot of gay Talibanis and ANA dudes, this movie isn’t realistic.

    Jundis would sit on each others laps and hold hands during meetings between ISAF and the ANA he said. They shot some talibanis who had pink and rainbow rifles. Boys sold as sex slaves eventually became very powerful.

  52. hzhousewife

    great radio ad –

    not sure if I’ve done this correctly… sorry…

    http://biggeekdad.com/2011/10/kellers-riverside-store/

  53. cohenite

    Seriously guys if you want to see real Hollywood heroes take care of those pesky muslim terrorists here’s your man.

    Sleep tight sucker!

  54. Abu Chowdah

    And yet, there’s a photo of Marcus Luttrell being reunited with the Afghani who saved his life, displayed at the end of the film. You know, because that’s what actually happened. Read the book, it’s not bad.

Comments are closed.