Fat Steve's Blatherings

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Thoughts on Team America: World Police

      After K. and I saw Dumb and Dumber, she told me "I now know that there is no humor so crude, juvenile, and disgusting that you won't laugh at it."  After seeing Team America, I said the same to her.  She laughed continuously.  So did I.

      This movie almost got an NC-17 rating.  What I want to know is, what in heck did they cut that was more offensive than what was left in?  I can't wait for the DVD.

      A serious note: a host of bad reviews have come from left wingers, who can't stand the fact that this movie makes fun of them, their celebrities, and their causes. Roger Ebert is a good example:
If I were asked to extract a political position from the movie, I'd be baffled. It is neither for nor against the war on terrorism, just dedicated to ridiculing those who wage it and those who oppose it. The White House gets a free pass, since the movie seems to think Team America makes its own policies without political direction.

I wasn't offended by the movie's content so much as by its nihilism. At a time when the world is in crisis and the country faces an important election, the response of Parker, Stone and company is to sneer at both sides -- indeed, at anyone who takes the current world situation seriously. They may be right that some of us are puppets, but they're wrong that all of us are fools, and dead wrong that it doesn't matter.

      Wrong, Ebert.  The movie makes fun of everyone, but it has a clear message: strength is important, and some people and must be opposed by force rather than negotiated with.  Team America does a lot of collateral damage in trying to stop the terrorists, but in the end, they do stop them.  The terrorists do much worse, even with their partial success.  It's all in the speech about the three kinds of people: "dicks, pussies, and assholes."

      The reason so many of us righties get the point, and the reason we laugh at this movie, including the scenes when the Team bungles terribly, is because we don't expect the world to ever be perfect.  We know we'll screw up sometimes, but we still intend to act.  Many lefties do believe perfection is possible.  They get mad when someone says they're wrong.  For more, see Thomas Sowell's great book A Conflict of Visions.

      But first, see Team America: World Police and laugh your head off.



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