Saturday, March 3, 2012

Act Of Valor

Saw it yesterday.  I had a reaction to this movie that I did not expect.  It was good and all.  Most other reviewers have said all that needs to be said about the quality of it.  Unfortunately, it didn't grab me.  I'm not 100% certain but I think the reason why is this.  In part, it portrayed those men as willing to give all for their country in a very "Rah, Rah!" manor.  That in and of itself is not really a bad thing.  This movie would have really had me back in the '80s or even through most of the '90s.  Why?  Because back then, the other part of what was implied by the movie was still true, or at least more true than now.  What's that you say?  Oh, the bit about how our Country supports us right back 100%.

But likely the whole country never supported it's military 100% right?  Absolutely!  But the majority did.  And it was that majority that got the lions share of attention from the media.  Unfortunately, that's no longer true.  I suspect in the 60's we had a different situation than we do now.  Not by much mind you but different none the less.  A very vocal minority was given the vast portion of the limelight by the relatively new mass media.  A media that is used to form opinions and attitudes toward things.  And quickly too.  If you think that's not a factor ask yourself this?  How many times did you see the towers fall on 9/11?  Do you think you would have been affected in the same way had you just read about it in the paper the next day?  Even if they had a shot of the plane hitting the building?  I don't think so.  Now ultimately you would still be shocked and probably get to the same point about it in your thought process as you have now but you would have done so using your reasoning as a filter the whole time.

The situation now is that all those communist* kids who petulantly against 'the war', 'the man', or 'the machine' back then are now leaders in a mass media that is fully used to sway opinion, pretty much openly now.  And they have much larger numbers who believe in their mission.  People like Michelle Obama who only recently "for the first time in her life" became proud of her country.  Allow me to emphasize what that means.  Prior to these recent times, she and those like her either did not care a whit about their country or they actively hated it.  They run this place now.  We have a country that is divided nearly in half.  You still got the usual chuck of ambivalent or 'don't really care' folks in the middle but its tougher for them to fall on the right side of the fence when its smack dab in the middle.

Back in the 80's and 90's when I served I was genuinely proud of serving my country.  The main reason for that is that I knew I had a country that I was proud of.  That is becoming less true as time marches forward.

* I purposely use the term communist now to describe the following: liberal, socialist, progressive, or left wing because that is the ultimate course they are on.  They deliberately soften it to make it palatable for their 'useful idiots' and because if the light of day shown on their true nature it would not be tolerated by even the weak kneed middle of the roaders amongst us.


  1. Groundhog,

    I served in the Air Force in the 80's when the military was largely ignored -- I took a different perspective from your same observation -most of the country isn't behind the military.

    I looked at the type of people who served and still serve despite the fact that few still care about the country.

    Think of the dedication, the integrity of those who served, still serve and will serve even though they know the country is drifting wildly from the ideal -- that say a lot.

    It says we still have families and communities that can raise up such people.
    It says we still have people who aspire to achieve those ideals and will defend the country as we try to work our way back - all isn't hopeless as long as we still have folks like that.
    It says we still have much in the country to admire -- less then in the past definitely; but I don't see people flocking to get into Iran or Saudi Arabia, do you?

    The other thing I took away is the simple fact as long as they serve; I should work to insure they have a country worth defending. It helped me realize that I need to stop being on the sidelines and get more active.

    1. Bob,

      It took me a few days to respond to you. Initially I needed to think it over, and then, of course, life got in the way. Go figure.

      Let me try to clarify my rant some. I agree with the sentiment of the movie and I'm extremely grateful that we have people like that who will still serve their country in spite of what some people are trying to turn it into. I think the only reason the movie didn't grab me is that it didn't deal with our country, really at all. It just insinuated that everyone "back home" were chest thumping patriots who are 100% behind these guys. I dunno, maybe there really wasn't a good way to make this movie and try to explain the realities of "back home" at the same time. If I were 18 again I wouldn't hesitate for a second to join up. Heck, I'd do it today if I had any prayer of making it back in.

      I find myself in a hard place. I'm proud of my service and theirs. Most of my life I've been proud of my country and yes, some of the time that was with rose colored glasses on. I suppose if you had to get down to the nuts and bolts of it I'm only not proud of part of my country. That would be the relatively large number of people that whether they realize it or not want to turn us into a Communist state. I don't think that's too strong a word for it either. I've seen nothing leftist that does not eventually equate to that type of government whether in that exact name or not.

      Ensuring we have a country worth defending is the trick isn't it? We're in that nebulous area where things aren't abundantly clear. Direction isn't easily determined, even with some fairly predictable things coming. Economic problems (big ones) are likely unstoppable but who knows what will result from them?

      I've read a number of people who have written lately about how we're now a country in decline. I tend to fall into this thinking myself, though as my darling wife pointed out to me recently, people have probably thought we'd gone into decline during every bleak period we've been through as a nation. Maybe we're just in a flat spot and the graph of our ascent still has a while to go up. I really don't know. I do know that none of the people who've written that sentiment lately have bothered to say exactly what we ought to do if we are in fact on that downward trend. You did though and really it's the only thing we can do and that's to get more involved.

      America is ill and it's pretty serious. She's been ill before and has recovered before. There's a cancer in her that's tearing her apart and it's one we'll never be rid of. I read an awesome quote today.

      "My confidence is that there will for a long time be virtue and good sense enough in our countrymen to correct abuses." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Rutledge, 1788

      Jefferson was correct. I believe there are still large numbers of us that fit this category but we have largely abdicated any potions of authority that would allow us to "correct abuses". Those in authority pander to the free lunch crowd currently and they really can't say no or they'll be replaced. The abuses are enormous and the list is long. I'd like us to be able to use one of the lefts best practices against them and that would be those small incremental changes that have allowed them to get so close to their goal. I just don't know that we have the will or the time to do so. Liberty seems to come upon people in a great rush amid great events. Bondage creeps in and picks liberty apart one insidious bit at a time. Until it too can usher in its “great event” when liberty is finally toppled, crushed under its own weight due to its deterioration from within.

    2. And the last paragraph! I had no idea Blogger wouldn't allow me to be as wordy as I wanted.

      Can we stop this from happening? If enough of the people who were left would get active and oppose the insanity being foisted upon us I have no doubt we could stop it in short order. I know I personally don’t do enough though I do some. My list is small and I find it a struggle to enlarge. I don’t know that I’m fighting but I am resisting. I won’t stop that.

    3. Groundhog,

      I think the only reason the movie didn't grab me is that it didn't deal with our country, really at all.

      This is something that I've read in other places and I think that sentiment misses an important point -- the movie wasn't designed to deal with our country.

      Not every movie has to examine the deeper political connotations of our current political situation in depth. One of my pet peeves is a movie that treats me as an idiot; having to spoon feed me their version of what is happening.

      I can see for myself the corruption, the decisiveness, the entitlement mentality; it is up to me to determine IF those factors affect the situation in the movie.

      Things aren't clear and direction isn't easy to determine but again I don't fault only the politicians. We, the people, have allowed our melting pot to become a salad bowl; each part that used to make our country strong now striving to remain apart.
      We, the people, have said we will tolerate nearly anything instead of demanding that we take the best of each culture and resign the worst to the trash heap of history.

      In my opinion it has gotten to the point where it doesn't matter if we have time or not; we have to act and act now. I'm not talking revolution but of making change politically. I appreciate the chance to discuss it hear because I'll turn it into a post (fair is fair, eh).

      Either we succeed on the national stage by changing the local or we set up enclaves where the ideals of our constitutional republic can weather the storm.

      You talk about the great number of people who want to turn us into a communistic county and I won't argue their goal; just the quantity. I really don't see it. I see a few (relatively) moving the country and the vast majority going along for the ride. And that is in all political parties, not just the liberals. So the question is where do we go from here? Hint -- local elections.

    4. Well said sir. I look forward to your post on it. In the mean time I'll share it with the thousands of readers I have!