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FINEFROCK Flag For Our Fodder
by Steve Finefrock - Hollywood Forum [scriptwriter] 10/19/06

Fret not, fellows on the right.  Despite Clint Eastwood’s left-leanings of late, his new opus, “Flag of Our Fathers” will work to red-state advantage when it hits screens this weekend.  The rousing raising of the red-white-blue on the bare peak at the end of a chunk of blood-soaked volcanic atoll will remind the audience: RED-STATE BLUES NEED NOT A BLUE-STATE WEENIE REGIME.
Yes, Clint has disappointed.


Founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to "Bring the Potomac to the Palisades" on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called "A State of the Union"], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA's Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation's capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters.[go to Finefrock index]

 Yes, he’s ranting leftish in PARADE magazine, replete with dozens of “I” throughout the text, giving us circled-I’s proof of his narcissism [“I think…” etc.].  It’s all about him: his new discovery of new ideas from the not-so-new leftwing part of the spectrum.  He’s made a movie that will have some required anti-war sentiments.  But when that flag is raised on the Big Screen, it will impact beyond the rhetoric, the sleazy rigging of the story.  We will be reminded, and our middle-of-the-road switchable [and oft-switching] necessary allies will feel their blood rush, their heart pound, their patriotism surge.
Cinema is gold in the currency of the cultural wars.  Slowly, it is dawning on our colleagues in the political and fiscal arenas.  We’ve taken some vital ground in the hostile territory that is book publishing, electronic media, periodicals: hard-hitting hard-backs, Fox News allied with talk-radio and blogs, plus a growing band of brotherly periodicals such as the Weekly Standard and Human Events.  Now comes Hollywood.

And mistakenly, they sometimes do our bidding.  Witness “Saving Private Ryan” – Spielberg had no idea he’d bring a broad grin to the faces of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich.  That unintended consequence led MIRAMAX to slam “Ryan” in the Hollywood wrangle for Oscar, as Harvey Weinstein branded Spielberg’s postcard to his dad’s generation as rightwing satisfaction to be denied the satisfaction of an Oscar. Thus, “Shakespeare in Love” won Hollywood’s leftwing votes.

The lessons of these films is beyond propaganda: valor, courage, rousing belief in ourselves are the province of red-state sentiments.  When cinema gold-plates those ideas, they glimmer in our direction.  When America is reminded of those values, votes trickle our way, even in off-year election season’s off-center spin, what with Foleygate, etc.  Try as they might, the left can’t ever truly claim to be patriotic in the old-fashioned sense.  Try as he may, ole Clint can’t skew this story to the benefit of his new-found, post-mayoral associates.

The reason America responded so energetically to the raising of Old Glory over the new gory carnage below Mt. Suribachi in the spring of ’45 is the same reason it will rouse our cause this Friday: VICTORY IS TOUGH, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, COURAGE IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT. Clint can’t ruin that lesson’s glimmering gold sheen on the big-screen reminder that we lost 7000 Marines that bloody month fighting for a puny chunk of volcanic sand and rock.  Over 25,000 casualties in total far outweigh our losses in Iraq, at a time when our population was less than half of this week’s turning of the 300 million population counter.  And Iwo Jima was only one of dozens of such struggles, more to come after its hefty price was paid, and only the bloodiest of many blood-and-sand challenges we repeatedly confronted, and repeatedly overcame.

The Suribachi flag-raising became the most famous war photo of history, and re-charged the nation’s flagging faith in the war-bond sales drives. Clint doubtlessly is focusing on the “circus” of that post-Iwo bond drive and its exploitation of the surviving trio of those who put Old Glory onto postage stamps.   Won’t work.  That image speaks louder than a thousand propaganda mavens pounding their keyboards in bungalows on the studio lots.
Go to the film.  Pay your hard-earned dollars, and look past the propaganda.  The cost of freedom then is as it is now, and will be the same for your great-grandchildren in some faraway land in those future crises.  It gleams like gold amidst the dross of Clint’s attempt to tarnish what this nation is about, which is not about giving in, turning over, surrendering, cutting and running to “re-deploy” to some adjoining jurisdiction.
When your heart pounds, consider that some weenie liberal in the same theatre is also rediscovering his heart-pounding patriotic fervor.  He will be confused, conflicted, conflated.  Those sitting midway between us and Them will be re-converted to red-state inclinations this November.  Clint has done our work for us; true, not as well as if the project had been put in the hands of Lionel Chetwynd, or David Cunningham.
But it’ll do nicely.
For now. CRO


copyright 2006 Steve Finefrock





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