Hollywood's problem with America

It is difficult to turn on any television show in Japan without seeing some celebration of Japanese culture and history. Dozens of shows are set in medieval Japan, or are about their past. Movies are set in the Shogunate or feature samurai doing great deeds of honor and courage to help those in need.

There was a time in the United States when this was true here, as well. You couldn't turn on the TV without seeing a show about the old west, with men fighting to bring civilization, defeat evil, and protect the helpless. Dozens of television shows, countless movies, books, magazines, and more celebrated the history of the United States and how we got where we are now. Movies showed the US as a positive force for freedom, a beacon on a hill for the rest of the world to look too and emulate. The American Dream was promoted without irony or sarcasm.

Today, if a western is ever made, it tends to be a post modern deconstruction such as Unforgiven or Lonesome Dove which turns all the usual patterns around and shows us few heroes, or heroes that are pointless and mocked, dying without reason or purpose. If US history is examined, it typically is an attempt to show how bad the country was. Slavery, abuse of Native Americans, mistreatment of women, and so on are focused on. Howard Zinn's hilariously distorted and hateful A People's History is used as a textbook by schools.

If America is mentioned in a movie these days, most of the time it is considered pernicious, dangerous, failing, and arrogant. Instead of bright beautiful streets and homes, movies show dark alleys, crime, and urban decay. The beacon on a hill is now a bonfire burning books or a riot-induced burning building.

Europe suffers the same problem. English history and movies used to celebrate their rich, deeply significant heritage. Movies, books, television and more about the glorious fight against fascism and tyranny in past wars were shown with patriotic fervor. Knights and medieval times were glorified and shown with a love of honor and the past of their nation. Today, such a movie only gets made if it mocks the past, shows England as a brutal force for wrong, and makes sure everyone thinks anything that happened before 1990 was an awful time when all was evil.

While there were bad times and terrible things done in the past, there were also great times and wonderful things done. The past created what we enjoy now. Those same cowboys that mistreated some Native Americans built the civilization we now enjoy. That cell phone you cherish only is possible because of the culture that developed out of the past. America's heritage is something to be celebrated because of what it brought to the world. Despite its flaws and failings, the United States still stands head and shoulders above the other nations on earth for its defense of liberty, its selfless acts to bring freedom and to fight evil around the world, and its massive contributions to technology, literature, film, science, arts, and more.

Here's a partial list of the nations which the United States, in the past, has helped bring liberty to which were under the burden of tyranny:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Guinea, Norway, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Siberia, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine.

The United States has been a terrific force for good in the world and continues to be. Compared to most other nations, the US is less racist, safer, more prosperous, healthy, literate, and especially free. That means there's plenty to celebrate, and plenty of great stories left untold.

It’s time for Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment elite to remember their heritage. Its time to celebrate America's heritage and culture, and to remember our past with dignity, fondness, and appreciation for all that has given the world. Its time to show the world how great the US is rather than how awful it is.

Sadly, to portray the US as a bad place with a horrible past is far more useful politically to the left, and they control entertainment, education, news, popular culture, and literature in America. The very liberty and culture that permits them to say and do what they do is considered wrong, and the history that brought all that to them is considered wicked and filled with evil.

Bay Area Newsentertainment industryHollywoodpopular culture

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