Friday, July 20, 2007

"The Time Has Come To Do Something Different"

Jason Apuzzo has an important post up at Libertas on the need for pro-America and pro-victory filmmaking as part of the ongoing Long War. The post is long and worth reading in its entirety. My only disagreement is a minor quible with the "documentaries don't count" parenthetical. If we had produced large numbers of pro-liberty, pro-America, pro-victory documentaries and they had no significant impact, then we could say that they don't count. But we haven't done that: we have been silent and passive. I'll offer the concluding graph right up front, because it is exactly what needs to be done:

The time has come to do something different, and to build an alternative, independent infrastructure for America-friendly film projects. And the time has come for conservatives to start looking at this as a front-burner issue, rather than back-burner.


So how did we get to this point? It’s actually not so hard to understand, although from my personal experience conservatives are extremely resistant to understanding the fix they’re in. Why? Because they would have to admit that talk radio, the blogosphere and Fox News simply aren’t enough to get the job done in terms of rallying public morale for a long-term war. These media have, in fact, proven themselves to be entirely inadequate, although you’ll rarely get anyone on talk radio, the blogosphere or Fox News to admit it.

The reason public morale for the war is so low, broadly speaking, is that popular culture - and movies are my chief concern here - was never effectively enlisted in the war effort. Actually, it was never enlisted at all. And unfortunately it’s probably too late for that to happen now, at least with respect to Iraq. From what I’ve seen behind the scenes in Hollywood and in high-level conservative circles, no movies are going to get done in time to rally public support for Iraq before the crucial decisions get made this fall. (And documentaries, no matter how well intended, don’t count. What we need are high-quality dramas, action films, narratives of any kind.)

In fact, no movies are being planned at all by conservatives to: a) support our troops risking their lives right now in Iraq and Afghanistan; or b) support America generally in the War on Terror. Nothing. We know many talented writers, directors, actors, etc. (many of them award-winning and with significant track records of success) who desperately want to make films to support the war, but the right-wing elites with the money and the power to help them refuse to do so out of a lethal mixture of arrogance, apathy, and stupidity. They literally don’t have the will to act, and don’t seem to care that the war is being lost on the home front right now. You in the public are being betrayed, and you don’t even know it. It isn’t the liberals at this point holding these films back, it’s conservatives who are too timid to do anything.
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And so before our leadership launches another war, I have but one request: THIS TIME, PLEASE DEVISE A STRATEGY FOR KEEPING PUBLIC MORALE HIGH, A STRATEGY THAT SHOULD PROBABLY INVOLVE MOVIES AND POPULAR CULTURE. REMEMBER THE HOME FRONT. IF YOU DON’T, YOU’RE GOING TO FIND YOURSELVES IN THE SAME SITUATION AGAIN WITH A DEMORALIZED, DISPIRITED AND ILL-INFORMED PUBLIC.

You would think conservatives/Republicans would understand this. You would think they would’ve learned by now that what happens on the battlefield isn’t the whole story. You would think they would’ve learned a lesson from World Wars I & II (entertainment industry rallies public support for war = we win) or from Vietnam (entertainment industry undermines public support for war = we don’t win), but apparently not. Apparently the strategy for maintaining public support for the war was to roll out George W. Bush and have him explain things, or roll out media operatives like Sean Hannity or Michelle Malkin or Bill Kristol - provide them with enough face time on Fox News - and that’ll cover it.

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