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.
I recently came across an interesting movement in New Jersey which began in 2015. New Jerseymen generally agree that they have an ugly state flag. As a former New Jerseyman, I must agree. Vexillologists call flags like New Jersey’s “SOBs,” i.e. “Seal on Bedsheet.” Most state flags follow the same idea. But, if you want a truly inspiring flag, one ought to keep the design simple and use only two or three colors. Take my present state’s flag below, and compare it to the way Florida ruins the design.
See how Florida ruins a perfectly good flag by stamping the state seal in the middle?
The following are the best these United States have to offer, and one can see that they all avoid the SOB design:
I just wanted to get some thoughts about why I hate the media’s agenda so much. Of late, I have felt less and less inclined to watch the media and hear the news. One of the sad things about a democracy is that we rely upon the news to determine our political action. Hearing about the state of the culture, the efficiency of political parties in aiding the common good, and how laws negatively or positively affect society determines how we vote, when we rally, and the positions and arguments we articulate. People will generally apply their political philosophy, ethics, and personality to new problems; but, the only way we learn about new problems so that we may apply the above facets of ourselves is through the media. For which reason, it behooves the media to be as objective as possible. There is a real need for media groups containing both conservatives and liberals so that each political ideology can correct the excesses of the other.
Another sad thing about the present state of affairs lies in how much aid and comfort the media’s culture gives to collectivists. In the above video, Sargon of Akkad well describes how both Antifa and the Alt-Right are benefiting from stopping intelligent dialogue. Essentially, conservatives are collectively being dubbed fascists, and liberals are forced to conform to socialist group think or driven out of the Left on a rail. And, in all liberal activism, the greatest villain is the Christian, conservative, heterosexual man of European descent. Liberal college professors especially target this group for shaming. I might add that a close relative, while in post graduate education, received his worst grades from two liberal black professors. Another relative of mine, while visiting her daughter in North Carolina, was actually called a fascist–despite being a rather rotund, old Hispanic woman! And, one can point to the recent Democratic Presidential Convention as a public example of the Left courting the support of minorities while speaking ill of whites–and law and order, for that matter.
Most of our dear readers have heard about the sad turn of events in Charlottesville. With the KKK and Neo-Nazis on one side, Antifa and Black Lives Matter on the other, and a police force unprepared for violence, the rally was opportune for chaos. Mirabile auditu, the police needed to evacuate the scene and return with proper riot equipment! Gavin McInnes avers that this ineptitude was by design: mayors cite disorderly conduct in other rallies and assemblies as both a means to deny permits to rally and to accrue more power to restrict free expression. The end result is a “right” of peaceful assembly with more red tape than a license to purchase fully automatic weapons. Future rally organizers need to be wary lest they unwittingly give ammunition to politicians wishing to impose restrictions like “hate speech” (i.e. anti-Leftist speech) laws and the like on American citizens.
The most offensive persons at the Charlottesville rally numbered among the far-right and alt-right. (I made this conclusion from all the information I have: I know well Antifa is essentially the Democrats’ new KKK.) During the recent presidential campaign, I often wished to defend the alt-right. Yet, the alt-right has consistently moved from the legitimate domain of defending white cultures into the white nationalist camp. Perhaps, they were always there, but so much confusion over just the definition of alt-right made me and other conservatives think that they were lumped together in the same boat. But, the alt-right has appeared prominently and without shame besides the KKK and Neo-Nazis. I, a philosophical adherent of classical liberalism, can’t make common cause with any of these three groups.
Recently, I’ve come across a wonderful website on Southern history and culture called the Abbeville Institute. I heartily recommend this site for its unique vision of America. It acts as a corrective both to the very anti-Southern history we were taught and to the Progressive vision of America in general. One of the best things this organization does is to undercut so many of the assumptions Progressive philosophy has caused us to believe.
The Abbeville Institute highlights that the South’s tradition is so much more than poor race relations and slavery. After all, the South gave us George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Monroe, and so many other figures who shaped our nation. Without George Washington, the Revolutionary Army would have been ineffective and disbanded before Patriot victory. Many of the other Southern Founders were responsible for giving the Federal government a more federal character and less of one powerful central government–as men like Alexander Hamilton wished it to have. (I firmly believe that the Constitution benefited from both impulses, the central and the local, and we would live in a far different country without both political schools.) In many ways, much of the best in American heritage has its roots in the South.
Americanism is an interesting concept: one form is a heresy, while the other just refers to the native genius of America. Pope Leo XIII wrote in his encyclical Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae about these two forms: “certain endowments of mind which belong to the American people, just as other characteristics belong to various other nations, and…your political condition and the laws and customs by which you are governed…” or 2) “…the confounding of license and liberty, the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject, [and] the assumed right to hold whatever opinion one pleases on any subject and to set them forth in print to the world…” Delighting in the first is not only lawful but necessary for any red-blooded American. The second describes the malaise of our times: nothing is sacred and everything is permitted.
Pope Leo XIII
To the wrongheaded Americanism, I might also add the confounding of America’s will with God’s will. We are right to think that God has especially blessed this country; but, we are only blessed to the extent to which we adhere to God’s will. We can and have erred in our history. Our particular endowments, characteristics, and political conditions do not count as the universal human standard.