Heartland Hates Hollywood Humor


Having read “Variety”, any number of times in my youth, I couldn’t pass up the chance to title this post in something akin to what may appear on that rag in the not too distant future.
Hollywood in it’s seemingly self destructive and or narcissistic mind set, continues to focus on the 9/11, post 9/11 mindset. None of their efforts in presenting the War on Terror or the struggle in Iraq have paid off at the box office. The public, for the most part, has stayed away in droves. So now the are trying a different tact. We can’t win ’em over with “serious” “heart wrench(ed)ing” drama … so let’s attack their funny bone!!
Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. Sadly, it appears to be sooner.
Yeppers, it worked so well with WWII. Who can forget (those who are still alive to remember) the crazy madcap antics of those “Concentration Camp Cutups ™ ” , the Waffen SS. Or that oriental laff riot, Tojo. I seem to recall even with a better then 20 year gap between the end of WWII and the airing of “Hogan’s Heroes”, there was still quite a flap over it. Granted, that particular show placed the American (and allied) POW’s in the positive/controlling characters virtually all the time. And did make the German Officers/Nazi party types and German solders in general, to be nothing more then buffoons, morons, and pompous blowhearts. Which I am sure made any number of vets wonder why then did it take us so long to WIN the damn thing?
And yes, there were a number of “funny” or “humorous” movies, based on the war. “The Wackiest Ship in the Army” (both the movie, staring Jack Lemmon, and the short lived TV show) was based on an actual ship/events. And there were many others, usually portraying the trials and tribulations of either becoming indoctrinated to military life (boot camp/basic training) or finding ways to work with-in/around the system, in order to “get the girl”, beat the enemy, meet the challenge given by the chain of command or circumstances.
But that was Hollywood of 40 some years ago. At least they had enough presents of mind to make the good guys just that, the good guys. Not so, with the current crop of military mirth/Gitmo guffaws/global terroristic tomfoolery, and international political/big business gone wild. Oh, and did I forget to include zombie troops and strippers? (Nothing says “We support the guys and gals in the military” more then a film with “re-animated” ranks risking limb to continue the fight for freedom!)
Perhaps this is just Hollywood’s way of redefining a term which is probably not considered PC these days. “T&A”, no longer stands for that particular segment of films. Now it can be used as an umbrella for almost all the content coming out these days. Now “T&A” stands for “Trite & Asinine”
I’m off to go and watch an old classic, starring Lee Marvin, called “The Dirty Dozen”. Thank god for dvds!
With the obligatory tip of the “Squid lid ™ ” to Jeffrey Ressner at “Politico” for his enlightening article on same.

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1 Comment

Filed under Military, Politics, Random Thoughts, WOT

One response to “Heartland Hates Hollywood Humor

  1. Good grief. Just when I thought Hollywood couldn’t sink any lower.
    I think that the difference between the oldie Hollywood movies goofing on the troops and these newer movies is the intent. The older movies made during the war were as much for entertainment of the troops as they were for movie goers. The ones made after the war were done in a spirit of fun and comeraderie. I don’t think there was any motive other than to entertain.
    I’m thinking of Operation Petticoat here. They may have been making fun of the Navy – and at times the MP – but it wasn’t done in such a way as to rewrite or obfuscate what really happened during the war. It was just good old fashioned poking fun at the silliness than can result from military situations.
    These modern movies about Iraq can’t make that claim at all. I think their intention is fairly clear: the serious movies about Iraq/Afganistan were bombs, few saw their “altered” views of what really happened – now Hollywood is trying to get the same “altered” views to the public with comedies because the dramas failed so spectacularly. It’s all about influencing public opinion with information that isn’t entirely correct/slanted.
    I hope it doesn’t work. I know I won’t go to see these movies with fake/slanted histories.

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