Many young men are hooked on the lectures of the Canadian psychologist and professor of the University of Toronto, Dr. Jordan Peterson. A favorite meme associated with him is “Clean your room!” This pithy command encapsulates the idea that, though your life is a mess, you can start organizing the small things. By bringing order to the small things, you can eventually start branching out into larger things. By bringing order to the things around you, you can bring meaning to your life.
An American traditionalist like me is very happy to see that Peterson’s philosophy receives the attention it rightly deserves. But, as a patriot, I’d like to point out that America had its own Jordan Peterson: Peterson’s philosophy has a living portrait in the life and words of Booker T. Washington, a famous black educator and founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Peterson can explicate his philosophy of living with brilliant Jungian archetypes and examples from political thought and history. Washington came to much of the same philosophy of living through his life experiences.
Yesterday, I read a frustrating article in The Nation. Reading articles from the Progressive perspective is a good thing for conservatives; yet, after reading the article, one must conclude that it’s far better for Progressives to read about conservatism. (I almost wrote Liberal, but what of liberty is left in a mindset which denies freedom of speech, the right to self-defense, the freedom of association, and freedom of conscience? The rights of sodomy, infanticide, and white guilt hardly make up for those.) The article talks about toxic masculinity and tries to connect gun ownership and masculinity with Trump’s bellicose statements towards North Korea and the killer in Las Vegas. (There’s no need to remember the murderer’s name, and the only reason we’re still talking about him is because we want to know why he did it.) No connection exists between the mindsets of Donald Trump and the killer. Why does Joan Walsh, the writer at The Nation, consider both toxic?
With the concept of toxic masculinity, one would think this refers to masculine excess. Yet, what is excessive about Trump uniting the nations of the world against a deranged dictator? What is masculine about the killer in Las Vegas? The killer may have been bold, but this was the boldness of a demon, who deluges a soul with temptations until the sign of a cross or the presence of angels causes the fiend to flee. It is a cowardly boldness: as soon as the police barged into the killer’s hotel room, the coward killed himself.
With the rampant popularity of the movie Dunkirk, I want to express why I number among the small minority which did not care for the film. The reasons are no where near as silly as one reviewer’s complaint about the absence of blacks in the film. As a huge fan of WWII films (I was practically raised on Guadalcanal Diary, Hell to Eternity, The Enemy Below, and The Longest Day), I am actually happy that people like the movie. More and better WWII films will result from its popularity.
Most of my complaints derive from having read Churchill’s account of the Dunkirk evacuation and being such a WWII movie buff. I hope to highlight these problems below and then provide a list of some better WWII movies, all of which I have seen, which modern audiences might want to watch.
1) Lack of Characters
In watching the movie, it seems as though Nolan did not want any particular characters to stand out. The only persons names I remember learning were the civilians on their yacht who sailed to Dunkirk: George, Peter, and Mr. Dawson. But, even these do not seem so much individuals as types.