Carol Platt Liebau: Controlling the Weather, Too?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Controlling the Weather, Too?

Who knew -- Steven Spielberg's Munich may have been underperforming because Charles Krauthammer and other political pundits didn't like it -- at least according to this laughable story in today's LA Times.

What power, what power. Suffice it to say that if left-liberal movies could be effectively "swift-boated" (as the Times story elegantly terms it), there would be a significantly diminished menu of movies for Americans to see.

No, the problem with "Munich" is its refusal to take a stand and defend it; instead, it hides behind a cowardly rationale revealed to Time by Spielberg himself:

A response to a response doesn't really solve anything. It just creates a perpetual motion machineā€¦. There's been a quagmire of blood for blood for many decades in that region. Where does it end?

So all acts of violence are created equal? Hunting down and killing Al Qaeda members is just as heinous as flying a planeload of people into a skyscraper? Assassinating murderers with the blood of innocent Israeli Olympic athletes on their hands is as immoral as murdering the athletes themselves?

That kind of moral obtuseness that characterizes "Hollywood chic" might have been overlooked back in pre-9/11 days, but it doesn't cut it now. Yes, it shows up among media elites in all areas -- a key example, today, was Wolf Blitzer's refusal to call Harry Belafonte on some absolutely insane remarks about Jews and the Holocaust (as Hugh Hewitt has noted -- audio at Radioblogger), but that doesn't make it right, or palatable.

One of the responsibilities of human beings, who have been given free will and a moral compass, is to know right from wrong, and be willing to defend the right and condemn the wrong. Spielberg characterizes the film as "a series of structured arguments between the members of the Mossad teams that reflects different points of view and allows you to choose the one that more easily fits how you see the conflict." What that really means is that it's too cowardly or too morally corroded either to take a point of view -- or to know that in a circumstance like this, morall relativism is hideously inappropriate and downright wrong.

When some of the most educated and privileged members of a free society's media refuse either to recognize or confront evil when they are presented with it, they have fully earned the disdain of their fellows -- and a lack of viewership.


Blogger Goat said...

You left me nothing to say but hear, hear, great post!

8:56 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Yes, well said Carol. I've resolved to ignore the inane comments and news from the left. I haven't watched network TV or an R rated movie (I even missed the Passion of the Christ, but I might have to make an exception soon) for over 3 years now, and I sure don't miss that either.

7:11 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

I have no axe to grind, and probably will feel the wrath of the entire blogosphere for being devil's advocate. So let me just say upfront that I'm prepared to be wrong and take it on the chin.

OK - Das Boot (1981) was a gritty, realistic movie about life on a Nazi submarine, told from the standpoint of the Nazis. One could even say "moral equivalence" was in play, as they were trying to survive the onslaught from the Americans.

Let me be clear: The Americans were the good guys and the Nazis were the bad guys. We won, we should have won, and I'm glad we won.

That said, Das Boot stands up as a kick-*** movie, highly critically acclaimed. I don't remember 1981 that well, but it was a foreign movie so I don't think it did anything at the Oscars.

Did Das Boot do America and the world a disservice? Did it glorify the Nazis? (To me, it glorified a bunch of tired galoots who had more than their fill of war.) Or will we one day look at Munich more sympathetically? Or do I completely not understand how they're totally different?

7:34 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Das Boot was about a small group of soldiers who were part of a much larger military machine. It could be said they were insignificant pawns, therefore we (the good guys) can understand their plight and internal conflicts in a more or less empathetic manner. They were the tip of the spear held by evil incarnate. They were not necessarily the blood thirsty murderers themselves.

While it could be said that the terrorists in Munich were a small group in a larger machine, that's where the similarities end. These guys chose, of their own free will, to murder innocent athletes in a setting designed to foster cooperation among the world's peoples.

It's not even close.

The good guys cannot be expected to show much empathy to these heinous criminals.

11:40 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Yeah yeah, I hear you. My friend also points out that WWII and the fate of the Nazis was settled history decades before Das Boot was made, affording magnanimity of empathy with the enemy. The topic in Munich is not settled at all, making this propaganda for lack of a better word. OK OK point heard.

I still may rent Das Boot this weekend anyway for grins/chuckles.

12:00 PM  

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