‘You are a better people than your movies say’

Peggy Noonan:

Our movie culture has descended into immaturity, deep and inhuman violence, a pervasive and flattened sexuality. It is an embarrassment.

In Iraq this year I asked an Iraqi military officer doing joint training at an American base what was the big thing he’d come to believe about Americans in the years they’d been there. He thought. “You are a better people than your movies say.” He had judged us by our exports. He had seen the low slag heap of our culture and assumed it was a true expression of who we are.

And so he’d assumed we were disgusting.

Hollywood: Movies by people who hate America most of the time. Except when Americans go to the movies or buy Blu-Rays.

Via Instapundit.


  1. I’d like to see a breakout of the racial, ethnic, religious, and political composition of the people who write, produce and direct the stuff coming out of Hollywood. I’d like to see whether or not they represent the demographics of the USA.

  2. Thank you Sean Penn, George Clooney, Susan Sarandan and all the other Liberal OWS hugging actors.C

    One thing has me very confused:

    If the OWS people want to destroy, smash and annilate the ONE-Percent of Americans who are “The evil rich” how come these Hollywood douchebags, who possess Billions of dollars, own their own private jets and numerous foreign mansions (George “left-Wing” Clooney has one in Italy) are supporting them?

    *****Off the subject*****:

    McChrystal’s Payback:

    German engineering giant Siemens AG is adding heft to its campaign to win more business with the U.S. government by appointing former U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal to a supervisory role.

    The company is expected to announce Monday that the retired four-star general will chair a board overseeing a newly created unit aimed at securing more and bigger contracts with the federal government.

    What’s the old line?

    Oh yea:

    Old solders don’t fade away; they just become … lobbyists?

  3. The reverse is also true. Arabs/muslims are generally better peoples than depicted by Hollywood. Yeah, they got problems, and so do we, but it is not the job of hollowod to do them justice.

    The job of the movie ‘industry’ is not to represent America (or whomever). Their job is to win money for their investors. They do this by selling fantasy, not representing reality.

    1. I agree Sam-hec, in general about the portrayal of Arabs/Muslims. One thing about that is when a character or group is the clear villain. I don’t have such an issue with two-dimensional cardboard cutout villains like Nazis, terrorists, KGB agents, (American) Indians, Imperial stormtroopers, or war-profiteering industrialists. I do realize that a movie is just a movie. But I’d rather see developed and realistic villains.

      As far as making the movies to make “Hollywood” (as if it’s a single organism) could make whatever movies it wanted, and I think that there is a fair amount of effort to work in various social things and to promote certain things while vilifying certain groups. But, in general, the crap that gets made gets made because idiots pay to watch crap.

    2. Perhaps a dumb qstieuon, but exactly what kind of ‘American’ movies are we talking about here? The WSJ article talks mostly about films that were either canned or haven’t come out yet, and I’m still somewhat fuzzy as to what makes a film ‘American’, apart from aliens blowing up only Americans instead of also zapping some Europeans or Asians.As far as I know, all movies made by Americans, by ‘Hollywood’ or others are ‘American’ movies. Some are crap, some are brilliant and lots are just ‘entertaining’.So which ones are ‘American’ as opposed to ‘World minus America’? The American Pie series? Adaptations? Terminator? Shrek? Independence Day? Sideways?

  4. “The reverse is also true. Arabs/muslims are generally better peoples than depicted by Hollywood.”

    No. Arabs and Muslims are generally portrayed as peaceful and misunderstood. Despite the prevalence of islamic terrorism, Hollywood goes to extreme lengths to choose anyone but them as bad guys (Nazis, Serbs, the big bad corporation, generic drug dealers). Rogue American agents are about the only bad guys where you don´t risk blowback, so we get to see them.

    “The job of the movie ‘industry’ is not to represent America (or whomever). Their job is to win money for their investors. They do this by selling fantasy, not representing reality.”

    Yes and no. They are selling ideology, too. I know (because I was there) that Michael Moore´s Fahrenheit 911 was shown on all German public television channels around the 2008 election.

    How many anti-American Iraq war movies have they done? And they all bombed. Who asked for these movies? Who demanded a movie like Syriana, certainly a fantasy, but an anti-American one? I have met quite a few Europeans whose idea of America has been colored by US movies – including the ones who failed commercially but found a home on televison over there.

    1. I am going to disagree with the first part of your reply. Arab bashing or at least negative type-casting has a loooooooong history.

      I dunno about the other comments, largely because I rarely go to see movies…’cause they are generally crap. Rumor has it that the ideologically oriented movies are the ones they (directors, producers, etc) wanted to make; and do su using money earned from more generally profitable films.

      I tend to stick to flicks like Lord of the Rings or Narnia. I have never seen a Michael Moore movie so it is difficult for me to fairly critique him.

      Are people in general better than their movies (or other media)? Most likely IMO. Such things tell stories. Stories depict conflict and the resolution thereof. Using stereotypes and caricatures etc is a reliable (if hackneyed) means setting up conflict in stories.

    2. Furthermore…
      You might recall American entertainment history that American Jews were historically limited by the dominant Christian culture to certain professions, one of which was the entertainment industry, which by the end of the 20th century had them being highly influential in whatever culture meme was prevalent. Since 1949, the Pro-Israeli portion Jewish-American entertainment leaders had a strong interest in depicting Arabs and Muslims as bad guys. And so it is now hard for most Americans to think of them as being anything else; except possibly Omar Sharif (well liked by the ladies).

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