Pop culture today offers nothing of real value to young boys contemplating what kind of man they wish to become, and even less for young women trying to sort out the straw from the gold amongst young men. Witness, the trailer for the movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Emo kid after his father's murder on 9/11 in the Twin Towers goes on an emo quest to find some key. Not avenge his father, not even express anger at those who murdered him. Because above all we can't have a White boy expressing anger or even worse, hatred for those who murdered his father and ruined his life. Instead we get a boy who will grow up Extremely Emo and Incredibly Effeminate.
This is by design. The creative and business people inside Hollywood simply cannot allow the ideas of revenge and hatred to exist. CERTAINLY not among White men, witness Steven Spielberg's "Munich," about the self-loathing of those who were tasked with hunting down the killers of the 1972 Munich Massacre, or the recent film with Helen Mirren, "the Debt." Of course the real hunters of the Munich Massacre, including Ehud Barak, have no such self-loathing. To a man they feel proud and justified of their work, as do the Navy SEALs who shot or helped shoot bin Laden.
At least in part, many women today find that open masculinity among average guys threatening. Among other things, it suddenly puts them in a lower place relative to guys working across from them in a cubicle, who 99% of the time are amiable work-mates, by reminding of them of the endless depths of male violence and the capacity for brutal revenge among even the most placid of beta males. There certainly is not much of a market for that sort of thing. The "higher beta male wronged" in NBC's "Life" (played by Damien Lewis) failed to find an audience. Meanwhile, a variation of that character played by Lewis, only as a "bad, damaged" bad guy who is a traitor, finds female viewers aplenty (Showtime's "Homeland.")
A 9/11 movie is made. And the kid whose seminal event in his life is the murder of his father by Osama bin Laden is not allowed a second of anger and hatred for the murder. Instead we get a twee, precocious (not in a good way), "Billy Eliot" sense of total lack of testosterone and masculine behavior. That's not how boys act, or speak (in complete, fully articulated sentences and flowery language). It is a gay man's or a woman's idea of how a boy should speak. Or act. Absent all the messiness, the ugly behavior, the rebellion, the anger, the violence, that are part of every boy's growing up (and indeed the need to control that chaotic energy).
Mark Steyn noted that the War on Christmas is a signature marker of the failure of the West. I'd argue that this movie just as easily fits the bill. But the question is why?
My answer would be a sexiness deficit among men. It is admittedly a just-so story, but my thinking goes like this: the sexual revolution, fueled by technology, rising female income, anonymous urban living, and critically, female-oriented entertainment dominating the culture, led women to untrammeled sexual freedom, never before experienced by any group of women for any sustained length of time (and it is most attractive, Western women who enjoy this total freedom). At the same time, their rise meant that men who would have been considered sexy and attractive, when most women were secretaries (hence the popularity of Mad Men on TV), are now considered beta male drones.
And women began to dial up the asshole desire to unsustainable levels. Desiring ever more asshole behavior and dominance from men. Punishing those (and the culture) that does not deliver. This is why the war on Christmas (which is a secular, social tradition at least as much if not more than a religious one). And why this kid is an emo-kid, devoid of masculine behavior.
Traditional culture, traditional masculinity, don't cut it any more. Instead we've come to a bifurcated sense of masculinity. A few, exempt from all the rules Alphas, can do as they please, as long as the dominance and power are ramped up to unsustainable levels (because eventually they provoke a violent male response). Meanwhile any challengers/interlopers from the old culture are headed off at the pass.
Bottom line, a male dominated audience and movie industry would make a movie, where the kid is angry and crying, over the loss of his father, and then you see him as an adult (fade in) in a helicopter. Gearing up. He shoots various Muslim bad guys. Cut to training missions, and then a top rank general walks in … "it's a go. We're going to get him."
Shoot-outs and bad guys (and some good guys) dying. Voice over (kid's voice): sometimes you wait your whole life to get even. This is for my father, and all the others.
THAT would have been the movie made if Joe Average White Guy and his money dominated the movie industry. That this movie has no testosterone whatsoever is indicative how skewed towards the female audience Hollywood has become.