You may notice this starts exactly like last week’s Inspection. This was what I originally had planned for the 4th, but felt I should back a tad off of the political for the celebration. But I still feel the point is valid regarding the extreme Right and what direction the country has been moving…
July 4th: Beaver River Station, NY.
I feel in touch with my country’s roots. Much of the east coast had mile after mile of clear lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and miles and miles of forest back when we fought our way to independence. That’s Beaver River Station on Stillwater Reservoir, 8 miles up the trail from where I partially grew up.
But we had also just won the revolution, and some folks idea about “revolution” seems less than “patriotic” since at least the 80s.
A few weeks ago I decided to watch some extreme right wingers’ idea of a “patriotic” movie for the first time: Red Dawn. I wanted to find out a bit more about what some of my far more teabaggie than me elders based their ideas of patriotism on, movie-wise. I’ve never watched Dawn because back when it was released the trailers, to me, made it look like it would be obscenely over the top-ish propaganda. “Propaganda” meant for ideologues who thought countries claiming to be Communist all marched to the same beat, thought the same and had the ability to work together in lockstep: therefore able to launch one hell of a mass invasion of America.
Any idiot who had experienced the onslaught of Korea, the backing down during the Cuba crisis, Nam, Afghanistan the first time, all the rifts between the Chinese and the Russians, already knew that was a crock.
I wasn’t disappointed. Well, if you count laughing through most of it as “disappointed,” yes, I guess I may have been. But my assessment back then was more than on the mark.
Despite big name future stars who really did try to save it, eh, not impressed is a polite way to say: “It sucked.”
1984 was an “OK” year in film. As I scanned the Wiki list of films I noticed that about the only film that was a major release that was this bad may have been Revenge of the Nerds, but that’s a bit unfair: I’ve never seen it. Nerds just sounds like it was really bad.
You have to remember this was an election year dominated by the amazing, powerful, political presence of the incredible vote magnet that was Walter Mondale. Everyone knew as an undeniable fact Walt was going to replace Saint Reagan.
Yeah: that was sarcasm.
Paranoia infects pretty much every line in the film. Not only were Commie cells going to invade, but they were going to focus in on a small town not much bigger than Old Forge, where I graduated high school: about 20 miles from here. A populace under a thousand.
And succeed in taking over America by doing it that way…
They’d start right out shooting most of the men, whether they resisted or not, because they thought they might get in the way… as the men sang a patriotic song as they died. (Sigh>) They raped most of the women, for no apparent reason in the movie except because it made them even appear more evil… and those guldern, evil, SOB, sneaky immigrants were helping them.
I’m surprised after this fans of the film didn’t torch the Statue of Liberty for even suggesting there might be some kind of welcome mat. Or invade Meh-he-co because, damn those wet backs, they helped the friggin Commies too.
Later that year they caught right wing patriots in NYC re-etching Mother Liberty…
“We don’t need ur stinkin tired, poor or huddled masses…”
No they didn’t, not that I know of, though considering the stupidity of people who bought into the pap this movie pushed, I wouldn’t be surprised.
The only thing I enjoyed in the film is living off the land, hunting, fishing. It brought me back to my younger days when Dad and I would go out to one of the thousands of unpopulated Adirondack lakes and build lean-tos, fish for food, catch a random wild chicken: pull aluminum foil off of aluminum trees, wrap it around those wild chicken quarters and roast them in the embers of the fire.
Oh, wait. We brought that with us. I forgot.
Before the discussion moves on let’s review the tactics used against the American people in Red Dawn: Commie cells murder anyone who might stand in their way and rape the women because they just want to piss every red blooded American off even more. The green blooded Vulcan contingency was unfairly ignored as they protested the slight on Times Square, “Lend me your point ears…”
The cops pepper sprayed them of course.. and they liked it. Pepper being a delicacy among Vulcans.
Dawn was a movie of it’s slick, barely past Tony Orlando-ish time: a time when where we were going backwards, not forwards, I suppose. Tony and Dawn had a reunion in 88 to celebrate this masterpiece of a movie.
I’m kidding, though Tony and Dawn did have a highly successful reunion.
Red Dawn should have been called Back to the Red Scares. They could have used a time reversing Edsel powered by naphtha instead of a plutonium powered DeLorean.
Regurgitating one point in time is not my point here. My point is comparative history: as it relates to the more rightward path our country headed down post Dawn.
Remember what those damn Commies did in Red Dawn? Here’s where the Right Wing jackboot of irony kicked us in the you-know-what-is…
No more than 4 years later The Turner Diaries were published: an icon for extremist Righties. A hell of a lot of bombing and, yes, T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T acts have been based around that book. They don’t want to call it terrorism. That’s reserved “fur dem dam Moose-lims.”
To Timothy McVeigh Turner was his Bible: part of his hellish mission that became Oklahoma City. While not all militias are this extreme, or view this book in this manner, there can be little doubt that many do.
So what methods were approved by The Turner Diaries?
Far worse than what those fictional Russians did in Red Dawn. The Russians killed those who might get in their way once they win. Turner Diary-ists don’t even have that amount of hesitation to their massive acts of inhumanity.
Here’s the plot…
American-born terrorist cells basically kill loads of people through terrorist acts and, once they’ve won, they don’t just kill those in the way. They just lined up Jews, Gays, Catholics, politicians, the homeless, more Liberal Christians, the deformed, anyone with defects of any kind which included not being the wrong race, Blacks, Hispanics, immigrants: anyone who isn’t a Fundamentalist White Protestant.. and shot some of them. The rest they hanged from every light pole: a regular assembly line driven by hate for anyone different, or who dares to disagree. An assembly line that makes the concentration camp ovens and firing squads seem almost tame in comparison.
“Oh, common Ken. Hyperbole!”
Hitler dreamed of a blue eyed, blond, Germany. You know, the kind of guy he wasn’t? But some Jews did live on in the camps, as horrible as they were. They weren’t all lined up right away. These brutal acts were hidden, disguised: excuses were made for where all the Jews went.
There’s not even the slightest hesitation when it comes to the drive for racial, social, political, functional and religious purity in The Turner Diaries. There’s no attempt to hide these kinds of shameful, horrific, acts.
Of course, though I don’t remember it in the book, if it served the cause I’m sure rape would absolutely be acceptable.
So now I’ve done my comparison: showed how the extreme Right loves the tactics of the Reds in Red Dawn, as long as they get to turn around and use them themselves, let’s get back to another election year where more rightward candidate is, once again, letting the more extreme elements in the party push him further to the Right.
And, just to be clear, now that’s I’ve painted this dire, depressing, portrait… you do know what kind of society we’re heading towards, right?
I only hope, if we arrive at that vile destination described in The Turner Diaries, I’ve learned enough to survive.
Think I still know how to build a lean-to.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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