Sorry about this groovy freedomists. This post isn’t about personal finance. It’s about something that’s been bothering me for a while. About a month ago I saw The Force Awakens, the latest installment of the Star Wars brand. Here’s an interview with Adam Driver, the actor who played the villain Kylo Ren.
I don’t know much about Adam Driver. From what little I’ve read, he seems like a pretty cool guy. After 9/11, for instance, he signed up for the marines. That makes him a far better man than I. But he just doesn’t strike me as villain material. He’s not scary looking. No offense, but he looks more like a hair dresser than someone who would stomp on my face or shoot me in cold blood.
It wasn’t always like this. Hollywood used to do villains right. Here’s a picture of the actor Jack Palance. He played the ruthless gun-for-hire Jack Wilson in the 1953 classic Shane.
Look at Jack’s eyes. Those eyes don’t convey sunshine and lollipops. They convey evil. That’s why he was cast as a villain. And that’s why he won an Oscar for his role in Shane. He scared the crap out of the Motion Picture Academy.
Hollywood also used to confront evil. During the 1940s, for instance, it had no problem casting Nazis as villains. During the 1960s, it had no problem casting segregationists as villains. But what about after 9/11? Has Hollywood made a movie in which the villain is fundamental Islam? I can’t recall one. Here’s a movement led by psychotic thugs who kill, maim, rape, and terrorize in the name of Allah—who throw acid at school girls and toss gay men off of buildings, no less—and this movement isn’t worthy of Hollywood’s scorn? Pathetic.
Okay, Hollywood’s incompetent when it comes to portraying villains. It’s an irritant, but it’s not a major problem. What is a major problem is how our society portrays manhood. Take a look at the picture below. It’s a picture of a grown “man,” wearing onesie pajamas and effeminately grasping a cup of warm cocoa. This was part of President Obama’s campaign to promote the use of Obamacare. Could you imagine Truman, Nixon, or LBJ using a man in pajamas to promote any of their presidential initiatives?
Years ago I came across a book by George Gilder called Men and Marriage. In this book, Mr. Gilder suggested that society’s biggest task was to figure out what to do with men. I agree. And up until the last generation or so, we did a pretty good job of defining what role men should play in our society. Men were supposed to be fathers, providers, and protectors.
Is this the case today? Are our boys encouraged to become fathers, providers, and protectors? Is the traditional model of manhood—as symbolized by Ward Cleaver, Terry Malloy, and the Marlboro Man—celebrated or mocked?
But then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe how we define manhood today is better than in years past. Maybe grown men should be wearing onesie pajamas. But if that’s the case, why are there far more mass shootings today than there were in my father’s generation, when gun-control laws were much less strict? Why is sexual assault such a big problem on college campuses today? Why is unwed motherhood the norm for many segments of our society? Why are there so many 30-year-old males living with mommy and daddy?
Call me a curmudgeon, but I have no faith in the elites shaping our culture. They’re doing a great job of building wimps, cads, losers, and thugs. They’re doing a lousy job of building men.
Okay, groovy freedomists, that’s all I got. My rant is over. Have a great weekend.