Sunday, September 26

When the USA "Jumped the Shark"

Last week sometime I happened across a mid eighties movie called Delta Force. This movie is just abominable. Starring Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin, this movie was bad on every level, compellingly bad. Cliché, and cardboard characature abound. It is like a combination of Rambo, James Bond and the Dirty Dozen, with none of the stuff that made those movies entertaining. In an alternate academy, the missle shooting motorcycle would have been up for the lead actor award. As far as I know this was the first movie that focused our rudderless bigotry on the ragheaded boogyman, and set the stage for public acceptance of the two wars to follow.

Chuck starts as a Delta Force team leader, who is charged with taking the ragtag bunch on a rescue mission involving terrorists and hostages. American Hostages. Militant Islamic terrorists. Good guys vs the embodiment of evil. In fact since 1986 when the movie was released, 99% of the jobs available for actors of arab descent, involved roles as terrorists, or their sympathisers. A shame for us all.

It is no wonder that we have become so thirsty for arab blood. The movie debut came in the middle of the Reagan era when as a country we were still licking the wounds of our retreat from Lebanon, the scab that covered the still unhealed wounds of vietnam.
Hollywood was quick to take advantage of the new arab boogyman. The Cold war was winding down, and as a few stalwart teenagers were able to save their town from the russians in Red Dawn, the soviet menace became less menacing. By the time that Rambo 3 came into being it had hybridised into a battle between our old cold war enemy, and our new religious one, Islam.

At some point I may revisit this thematizoa, and include an analysis of the fundimental problem in the region, the Isreali Palestinian conflict, and why as a large player on that stage our inability to foster a resolution of that conflict, has led us into a sea of troubles. But for now there is some spectacular Historical revisionism going on at the History Channel, and I am in a transcripting mood.