Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hollywood, Patriotism, and the American Way






Over at my LJ here- http://kyrillandra.livejournal.com/107666.html we got started talking about Hollywood and how it's different now than in the 40's during WWII.

That got me to thinking.

When did it become fashionable to bash one's nation of birth?

I don't understand understand the thinking that says that we can't be proud of our heritage, our country, because at some points it has done bad things, or is continuing to do bad things.

America isn't perfect, but overall it IS good.

It would be like saying to your spouse, "Honey, because you did some bad things in your youth, and are not giving me everything I need and want, I not only don't love you anymore, but I hate and revile you." (Ok, too many commas, but you get the idea)

Comments in my LJ also talked briefly about propaganda. It went like this-

I said, "So why would it be BAD for Hollywood to act like it did in the forties? Sure, they cranked out a lot of propaganda, but that's not a bad thing. Well, at least I don't think so."

She said, "I am against propaganda. I'd rather have honest questions than pat answers."

To which I replied, "There is a time and a place for both I think."

Back in the 40's Hollywood as an industry put out quite a bit of propaganda to be used against our enemies, and also much to bolster patriotism here at home. The first can now be handled by the military/intelligence community, but I think we NEED the second as well.

We need to remember that despite the things that divide us; politically, religiously, socially, and cynically, that America IS a good place to be and does much that we can rightly be proud of.

Unfortunately, it seems that you can only mention the good in passing unless you want to be considered a tool of the government, or blindly patriotic.

It is not quixotic to celebrate the good in America. We ALL know there is plenty of bad things, we know America isn't perfect, but she is still good, and worth loving.

I wish more people in Hollywood could see that. Thankfully, there are a few, and I look forward to what they produce to honor America and the good she has and is doing.

2 Comments:

At May 09, 2006 3:58 PM, Blogger Dee said...

For a long time, I bought into the cynicism that says one can't criticize and still be proud of our country. I stopped buying into that quite some time ago - around September 2001 if I remember... ;->

"We need to remember that despite the things that divide us; politically, religiously, socially, and cynically, that America IS a good place to be and does much that we can rightly be proud of."

I agree with you there! It's taken me time to get there and I still need reminding sometimes, but YES.

 
At May 09, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger Dee said...

"When did it become fashionable to bash one's nation of birth?"

There always has been some of that in our history - part and parcel of free speech - but I think there is a history that can be traced in modern times.

In the 50's, in response to lots of things, the Beatniks openly criticized various problems. In turn, they influenced the larger movements of the 60's. People made valid criticisms *and* worked to change things - out of deep love for their country.

However, I think that various events (the assassinations of King & Bobby Kennedy, Watergate, etc.) disillusioned many of those people who had worked for change. Optimists became cynics (and eventually money-grubbing 80's yuppies, but that's another story... ;->).

I think that in the generations that followed (ie. mine) that cynicism-born-of-disillusion became "Cool" and a way to show how smart I am. Bitching without trying to change things because they can't be changed anyway.

Now my generation is of age to be "loud" in our communities in one way or another and hasn't questioned that cynicism (for the most part) & therefore has nothing *but* that cynicism - with not even the initial love that caused it.

My .02.

 

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