Another good video essay from the YouTube channel Renegade Cut examining the changed nature of American action movies following the terror attacks on the United States in 2001. While not quite the metamorphosis that some now believe, after all the institutional relationship between the US military and Hollywood dated back to the post-Vietnam rapprochement of the mid-1980s, the events of 9/11 certainly certainly helped the Pentagon to establish its influence in the cinema and television production system.
“Platoon”, “Heartbreak Ridge”, and “An Officer and a Gentleman” were made without any Pentagon aid. And that was before there were all these digital technologies available. Obviously it can be done.
I personally don’t buy the claim that most Americans were actually traumatized by 9/11. Or t least that “trauma” was a big factor in support for Bush. If you look at people who were near the NYC area, you saw some of the lowest rates of support for Iraq War, Patriot Act and such in the nation. Even in Boston most people were at most 2 degrees of separation from somebody directly affected (lost somebody, was able to see events with own eyes), yet that city was as much an anti-war hotbed as it was during Vietnam War. Similarly if you look at people who were living in “high risk cities” for any future terrorist events and were very, very aware of the fact, if anything the correlation between level of risk (and risk awareness) and support for Iraq War was in the negative. There is one factor that has almost a 1 to 1 correlation with Iraq War support and Opposition: Which areas of the country had the history of war mongering and which were more given to opposition. With a few exceptions like The American Revolution and WW2 you have a typical pattern. Usually the hawk areas line up with Confederacy or contested areas, while anti-war hotbeds line up with The Union of the Civil War. And this basic pattern or basic version goes back to French Indian War-back when it was just British colonies.
You never, ever, ever hear about how traumatized the population was by The Oklahoma City bombing. The left’s favorite narrative for why is that the villain was a homegrown white male, however this belies the degree to which people were absolutely horrified by The Oklahoma City Bombing when it happened. I remember that the part about The Federal Building’s Onsite Daycare was a major focal point (nowadays right wing radio, WOULD say the working Moms are to blame more than the terrorist and even joyously gloat about how they deserved what they got if their children died). Far from forgotten there are still both religious and secular anniversary memorials to the event. Some of the badly injured daycare survivors now-adults still turn up n the media once in a while, as do some of the bereaved, or the firefighters, paramedics, and hospital staff.
So you can dismiss the claims that people were blase about Oklahoma city or have forgotten all about it, based on some elementary fact.
I think the bottom line was that Bush wanted a war to avenge his Daddy in Iraq and would use whatever was available to procure it.
Another biggie both with demanding a war and demanding the “liberals in Hollywood” start catering to war mongering sensibilities, may be tied to a phenomena Angie Maxwell calls “The Long Southern Strategy”. Maxwell does a great job in arguing that anti-feminism was the overlooked bridge between the backlash to Civil Rights and Bush Christian Right supporters (one anti-war friend of mine called them “The Pharisees”). Basically the large majority of Southern White women are so anti-feminist that De Valera would be “radical feminist” by their standards.
However, as a Southerner I believe Maxwell carried a cultural blindspot The American Dolchstosslegende (Vietnam related) and more generally Dixie’s relentless non-stop war-mongering. Some of the pressure on “Yankees” (non-Southerners) to salute wars they didn’t necessarily support is a classic example of “The Sore Winner Syndrome” as Abraham Lincoln described several times including in a speech in 1860
Largely Southern “Syndrome” then and now.
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