Planet of the Ingrates

By | July 20, 2017 | 3 Comments


Mutant ape

Hollywood mogul

My wife and I just saw the latest “Planet of the Apes” movie. Correction: We saw about 1/4 of it. For the second time in our lives, we walked out of a movie. And for the first time, we demanded our money back.

The original “Planet of the Apes” movie was, well, original. It showed apes who had been genetically engineered by humans to be more intelligent and able to speak. It showed them sympathetically. But it also showed humans sympathetically. It showed a world wrecked by a nuclear war. The protagonist, played by Charlton Heston, struggles to discover what has happened. Finally he finds the Statue of Liberty on its side, and he curses those who caused nuclear destruction.

The original film was clearly anti-war, and arguably anti-animal experimentation. But it was not anti-American. In 1968, when the first film was released, America was involved in the Vietnam War. We were in the throes of the anti-war movement.

But despite all the anti-war agitation, and despite all the anti-President Johnson demonstrations, there was very little anti-Americanism. This is shown by the fact that Heston starred in the movie. He later became a conservative activist and served as president of the National Rifle Association. Can you imagine him starring in an anti-American film? The idea goes beyond ludicrous and reaches the level of delusional.

But things have changed, and not for the better. Now we are involved in a war that is low-grade. We are fighting Islamist terrorists, not communist soldiers. The overall picture is similar ‒ advocates of freedom are fighting advocates of tyranny. But the difference is that the anti-war movement has been replaced by a frankly anti-American movement. Instead of activists who wanted to vote President Johnson out of office at the next election, we now have activists who want to undo the past election and remove President Trump by any means necessary.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we don’t have to put up with it. And we surely don’t have to use our money to support those who insult our strongest beliefs and wound our deepest feelings. We don’t have to use our money to support those who insult our relatives and friends who are risking life and limb to defend freedom. We most certainly don’t have to use our money to support those who insult the memory of those who gave their lives to defend us.

If I have to, I can put up with intelligent, sympathetic apes and cruel, thoughtless humans. But I will not put up with intelligent, sympathetic apes and cruel, thoughtless American soldiers. And I most surely will not put up with cruel, thoughtless American soldiers as the National Anthem is played. At that point, my wife and I walk out, even if we are the only ones who do so.

Hollywood moguls and stars have made millions, and have achieved notoriety, thanks to America’s freedom of expression, and thanks to capitalism ‒ specifically, thanks to fans who buy tickets. Multi-million-dollar mansions in the Hollywood Hills? Upper West Side condos? Second homes in Malibu? Bentleys and Maybachs? Entourages of sycophants? Yes, of course.

But gratitude to the nation and the system that produced all these blessings? Of course not. Why should they feel gratitude for what they believe they are entitled to? On the contrary, they believe we should feel gratitude for the artistic masterpieces they are gracious enough to bestow on us ignorant, unwashed peasants. You know, the “bitter clingers,” the “deplorables and irredeemables” in “fly-over country.”

These colossal ingrates may amuse one another with their anti-American foolishness. But if they continue to spit in the faces of large numbers of their audience, the movie business will die a well-deserved death. And good riddance.

Beware the fury of a patient man.
− John Dryden

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