Leftists Hate and Fear 'The Patriot'

Tuesday, 16-Jan-01 11:00:03 writes:

    Leftists Hate and Fear 'The Patriot'

    Richard Poe
    Tuesday, July 4, 2000

    There are two kinds of people: those who love Mel Gibson's new film
    "The Patriot" and those who hate it.

    The litmus test is your reaction to that now-famous scene in which the
    character played by Gibson arms his sons ages 10 and 13 with
    muskets and leads them into the woods to ambush the British.
    Cyber-journalist Matt Drudge reports that audience members at an
    advance screening gasped in horror at the sight of children firing

    For me, the scene had the opposite effect. It evoked the closeness and
    comfort of family. It conjured up long-forgotten yearnings from childhood.
    What boy has not dreamed of creeping through the woods, musket in
    hand, stalking the enemy at his father's side, in defense of hearth and

    Those people who gasped in horror at the screening are evidently
    strangers to such emotions. They are also strangers to American history
    and even to Hollywood, which has never hesitated to portray boys
    wielding firearms in historical dramas.

    "Dances With Wolves" comes to mind. Remember the flashback scene,
    in which Kevin Costner's love interest suddenly recalls the Indian raid in
    which her family was killed? Her last memory is of her brother a
    prepubescent boy telling her to run for her life, as he readies his rifle to
    fire at the Indians.

    No one gasped when they saw that. Nor does anyone seem shocked
    about children committing horrific acts of cinematic violence in gore
    fests such as the "The Faculty" and "Scream" I, II and III.

    But children fighting for liberty in the American Revolution that is true
    pornography, in some people's minds.

    Leftists have always hated the Revolution. They hate it because it
    worked. It yielded so much freedom, prosperity and equality for
    Americans that, to this day, even the most skillful agitator has trouble
    persuading us that we need socialism.

    So the left has counterattacked through the schools. Cynicism about our
    Revolution and Founding Fathers has been sown deeply in our culture.
    Many film critics end up parroting the Marxist line without even knowing

    "Don't mistake ["The Patriot"] for history," warns James Verniere in the
    Boston Herald. "It's a sales pitch for America."

    "Overblown sanctimony and sentimentalism," agrees Ann Hornaday in
    the Baltimore Sun, "as corny as the Fourth of July."

    Verniere and Hornaday seem unaware that some of us still respect the
    Fourth of July and see nothing wrong with "selling" America. The
    educational system has done its work well with these two critics.

    Hornaday attacks the filmmakers for failing to present a sufficiently ugly
    picture of white colonials.

    The Gibson character, Benjamin Martin, is a wealthy planter whose farm
    is worked by black freedmen, not slaves. Hornaday calls this
    "comforting revisionism" that is "much more dishonest and damaging
    than anything that's sprung from Oliver Stone's imagination."

    Damaging? To whom? To what? To the notion that America is an
    irredeemable racial hell? To the notion that every black person in
    colonial times was a slave? Neither of these beliefs would be accurate.
    Yet Hornaday implies it is Hollywood's duty to foist them on us anyway.

    Jack Matthews of the Daily News objects to the movie's glorification of
    guns. "In a scene that will put lead in the spine of Second Amendment
    fundamentalist Charlton Heston, Martin tears into his larder of
    unregistered muskets and wreaks havoc on those who would invade
    his home," writes Matthews acidly.

    Yes, he does. And that is precisely why audiences cheer him. Viewers
    roar their approval each time Gibson dispatches a bad guy. It is driving
    the left crazy. They are enraged to see a "sales pitch for America" that
    actually sells.

    Does "The Patriot" really falsify history? Not significantly. Its worst
    offense is to dress the Green Dragoons in red tunics when in fact they
    wore green. This annoyed me throughout the film.

    But more substantive accusations of historical inaccuracy fall flat. Critic
    Ben Steelman, for instance, says "The Patriot" made the British too
    villainous. "The bloody British are credited with atrocities that would
    make the Serbian army retch," he writes. "This is anachronism. It
    would take later generations to conceive of the notion of wars
    targeting civilians."

    Steelman is wrong. Atrocities were common in the Revolutionary War.
    Patriotic mobs tarred and feathered loyalists, then set them aflame.
    Irregular bands of loyalist militia roved the countryside, slaughtering their
    rebel neighbors. The evil British dragoon played by Jason Isaacs is
    based upon a real villain, Col. Banastre Tarleton, notorious for
    massacring American civilians.

    The best advice I can give you is to ignore the critics and see the movie
    for yourself. It is less great than "Braveheart." But every scene is vibrant
    with passion and manhood, qualities as alien to left-wing scribblers as
    patriotism itself.


    Richard Poe is editor of David Horowitz's Web site
    FrontPagemag.com. For more information about Poe and his work, visit
    RichardPoe.com. E-mail him at Poe@newsmax.com . All e-mails may
    be posted on Web sites that Poe edits, unless they include a notice
    stating that they are private communications not to be posted.


    Richard Poe

Oh,Say Can YOU See? (joe 6pk) (16-Jan-01 10:23:16)

Main Page -01/18/01

Message Board by American Patriot Friends Network [APFN]


messageboard.gif (4314 bytes)