I’m really happy to see Big Hollywood write a piece on Stallone. If you’ve read my blog before you know that I’m a huge fan of the elusive Hollywood actor with at least a few strains of conservatism in his DNA. Bruce Willis (who also has a cameo in The Expendables) is another actor I think we should raise our glasses to. Listen to Stallone’s response to a young man who wonders about the dearth of pro-America action flicks over the past few decades:
BRIAN: As I grow older one of the major things I enjoy about the 80’s action films are their high level of optimism about America and its place in the world. Whether it was Rambo 2, Rambo 3, Rocky 4, Red Dawn, etc. they made American’s feel invincible (and a bit cocky) but also proud of whom we are. The unbelievably ripped action heroes were a great physical manifestation of who we were as a nation. Post 9/11 I think many would love to feel that way again as we have transitioned from the great action heroes to action stars such as Matt Damon, Nic Cage, and Tom Cruise. All great actors but I can’t buy them as action heroes. Movies today seem to have the opposite effect and are focused too much on our flaws as nation and our failed foreign policy (Avatar, Green Zone). Do you feel this is simply because of the changing generations in Hollywood, a true reflection of the national temperature, or just an overall loss in optimism following the end of the American century that is reflected in the stories told on screen?
STALLONE: “Brian, Its 100 percent due to a transition into a different political climate than when the aforementioned films were done. That’s why it’s a minor miracle the last RAMBO would even be released, but I took a gamble there would be many people like you, who may not express themselves as clearly but really do desire to see an action film unfold that wreaks [sic] of pride and manly individualism that has unfortunately fallen out of vogue. I believe that everything is a cycle. And once again America will have its cinematic heroes reflect the incredible honor it is to be defending the most extraordinary country the planet has ever known. Just give it time, everything is a cycle.”
I disagree with Sly on one thing: he wasn’t taking a chance. There are a lot of men out there who don’t like that Hollywood wished Alan Alda and George Clooney could have a baby that looked like Matt Damon, but with beta-male genes empowered by gamma radiation. Hollywood’s elite want The Hulk, but instead of getting really angry they want him to cross his legs and purse his lips with incredible strength.
Someone should do a study to find out how many movies were made in the past decade that portray the U.S. government or explicitly the U.S. military as the antagonist, and then compare it to the number of times it was portrayed as a force for good in the world. I’m guessing that the numbers would be downright scary (unless you’re a jihadi film club member or a socialist from San Francisco with an AMC movie card provided by your neighbor’s tax dollars).
It says something about the American people that despite the best efforts of the media, higher education, and the entertainment industry to force feed them guilt sandwiches on a daily basis, that they resist. The American people know deep down (even if the education system is woefully failing them) that this is a good country. And it doesn’t take much for them to understand that it’s also an exceptional country. But we need to keep up the fight. And I think that the kind of yarns Stallone creates should serve as an inspiration.
I’ve heard conservatives who would give up the fight for
popular culture because of the odds. But when the odds are against you the thing to do is to bear down and move forward. Conservatives need some grit in their spit, and they need to come out swinging a la Rocky Balboa if they’re going to win over the next generation. Shirking into the corner because guys like Ward Churchill and Kanye West populate college campuses and the entertainment industry is insanity. Neglecting young people because there are more Rachel Maddows out there than obvious Rush Limbaugh successors is equally as ridiculous. They’re there. We just need to plant the seeds and cultivate the soil. Guys like Stallone help out with movies that can start sparks of conservatism inside young minds (perhaps strong enough to power a Government Motors Chevy Volt?); it’s up to you and I to fan the flames.
Now get out there and start a blog, sign up for a social networking site, volunteer as a tutor, or get on Youtube. The next conservative icon is waiting to discover his true calling because of you.