Thursday, April 22, 2010

File Under T for Tolerance and D for Decadence

Two stories made the news. The more noteworthy one, was Comedy Central censoring the second of the two-part South Park episode dealing with (again) Mohammed. The second was Junk Reality Star "Bobby Trendy" pumping gas for the tabloid photographers. The two are related.

First, the statement released by South Park creators Matt and Trey:

"In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it."

Comedy Central won't even allow the South Park creators to stream the episode uncensored on their website. The message is clear: Muslims, Mohammed, and Islam have special privileges, enforced by violence. Any statement whatsoever that Muslims do not like, or could possibly even take offense to (such as one in favor of tolerance of opposing viewpoints) results in credible threats to kill people. Muslims, in real life, are far more insane than the South Park insanity depicted in the episode. "Tom Cruise" and the other idiot celebrities, including Mecha Streisand, are far less dangerous and insane, than real-life Muslims. Even the "Ginger Kids" seemed more reasonable.

Of course, the whole incident points out forcibly to all concerned the lie of PC, of Diversity, and of Multiculturalism. Whoever is most violent, wins. Wins by using violence to make themselves privileged and special. Political Correctness is a lie, it is merely craven surrender to violence and hatred for Western Culture. Diversity is a lie, all Diversity means is violent people who have completely alien beliefs use violence to make Westerners submit. Multiculturalism means an un-ending apology for the mere existence of Westerners, and traditional Western values.

Apparent to all, is that Westerners if they wish to remain non-Muslim, will have to fight Muslims. World-wide. Who in the West would make credible threats to kill people over a South Park cartoon? The show is about fart jokes, basically. That and ridiculing celebrities and fads. In the episode, Buddha did a line of coke, and no Buddhists have emerged to threaten death. Mohammed was not even shown. The point is, Muslims inside the West will wreak violence, but also that Muslims from outside the West will do so as well. Would Muslims fly a plane into LA's Library Towers, or Dodger Stadium, over South Park?


So to every non-Muslim in the West, the conclusion is inescapable. At some point, there will be a general fight to be either non-Muslim, or submit. No other conclusion is possible. Yes, "not all Muslims are like that." But none have spoken out against the death threats. Muslim American associations, from CAIR to others, have been silent. So too, have prominent Muslims (and Black Muslims too). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has not spoken, nor has NFL player Muhsin Mohammed, and of course Louis Farrakhan has not spoken either. Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman, has not spoken. The threats come from overseas, and so nothing can be done about them.

But there is another issue. That of decadence. Yes, there will always be freaks like Bobby Trendy, seeking attention and creating a fuss. But in times past, people did not pay attention to him. Or people like him. Freaks were discretely tolerated, but only to the point where they did not create a fuss, and there were strict limits. Now, we have a culture that encourages all the freakish, and tip-toes around violent Muslims, for fear of being killed. The two are related.

South Park often deals with the idiotic celebrity worship, which to a juvenile male perspective seems monumentally stupid. The boys are never impressed, unlike the adults, by celebrities. They'd rather play with monster trucks or check out the latest video game. South Park captures the mentality of a nine year old boy very well. Including the innocence assaulted by the stupidity of the latest PC fads. The same show that has "Mr. Slave" who would rival Bobby Trendy for outrageousness, in class with the gay teacher, has people threatening to kill the creators … over merely mentioning Mohammed. When he was not even depicted!

A society that cannot draw and enforce reasonable social boundaries is doomed to be replaced by one that is. In South Park, the creators make a point that the whole episode was lunacy, and sanity is restored by the speech of one of the boys giving the moral lesson. Mostly, the adults listen and agree, until the next fad of idiocy comes along. Unlike South Park, there is no Stan or Kyle to give the lesson, and "reset" back to sanity. Instead, I fear we are moving rapidly to a place where there will be no tolerance at all.

A society is in balance when Muslims are on pain of violence made to cease threats of violence, and indeed don't make them out of fear of the consequences. Where Bobby Trendy can exist, but no one will pay him any attention, where he is merely the clerk at a local dress shop who seems a bit odd. Not a junk celebrity from a failed reality show based on the sad story of a now-dead reality personality.

The West is no longer in balance. Merely swinging wildly from one side, now, to inevitably the other. It will not be pretty. And much of the blame will go to folks at places like Comedy Central, and CAIR. For not standing up for Western values, and picking a fight with violent jihadis now, rather than having it forced upon us all, later.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Big Bite of Stupid 2: Joss Whedon to Direct the Avengers Movie

Marvel has announced that Joss Whedon will direct the Avengers movie, as well as re-writing the Captain America movie. This is perhaps the most stupid move Marvel has yet made, worse than any of the Punisher movies, or Ben Affleck as Daredevil, or Ed Norton or Angst Lee involved in the Hulk.

Joss Whedon has his talents. Arch, camp, sort of gay, stuff like "Dr. Horrible's Sing A Long," or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Angel, or inside Hollywood stories like "Serenity" or "Firefly" (about a Hollywood rebel who did it his way, as a space cowboy captain), are certainly within Whedon's power. Arch, camp, gay, popular culture snappy dialog, are things Whedon can do in his sleep. If one were to remake "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" only with an Alpha, thuggish asshole that women love, instead of Michael Cera, with a few rape scenes (for shock value) and even more hipsterism, well Whedon's your guy.

For a comic book movie like "the Avengers" or Captain America, its is disaster to have him involved. Both the Avengers and Captain America depend on the lead character, Captain America, who is the exact opposite of everything that Whedon can do. Having him write and direct is like asking Terrell Owens, a man not without skills even as he ages, to be an offensive lineman instead of a wide receiver. He just can't do it.

Whedon's specialty is feminism, pop culture quips, shock for the sake of shock, campy and gay singing and dancing, and more feminism. He has an appeal to gay men and women (and GLAAD awards to prove it), and a small cult following of some geeky omega guys, plus a few women. That's it. That's all he's got. His male characters are either flamingly gay, neutered drones, or Alpha assholes repellent to most men. He's never been able to write for a male audience, and his stint on Marvel's "Amazing X-Men" only made all his camp, gay, and feminist tendencies worse. Comic books dirty little secret is they don't make much money or have many readers. It is not uncommon to have some titles with readership in the 12,000 range. Comic books today, are written by and for a small group of hipster-geek fanboys in their forties. Piggybacking on creative work done nearly 70 years ago, in some cases. No comic book since the late 1970's has created a character that has lasted, or captured the imagination. The Punisher being the last character with any staying power. Quick, who is "Speedball," or "Night Thrasher," or "Geist," or "Loose Cannon," or "Argus?"

Nothing speaks to comic books total creative bankruptcy than the failure to create compelling new characters. Comic book characters use powers as an amplification of their character, not the character themselves. The record of comic book writers, for the most part, is absolute failure. The exceptions being Jim Shooter (at Valiant), and a few writers at Dark Horse and Malibu comics, who created new and interesting characters based on well, character not powers, as well as consistently interesting inter-related universes.

Joss Whedon writing Captain America and directing The Avengers will be predictably stupid. Let us predict the failures:

First, feminism. Just ask him, Joss Whedon is a feminist. This means his female characters get passes for bad things they do, based on being pretty. Most of them are prostitutes or semi-prostitutes. A number of them get raped, by bad boys they love. Many of them consider suicide, because the world is too tragic for their power. Many of them are lesbians or bisexual. His female characters consider men based solely on their ability to be the most brutal and physically dominant man in the group, i.e. the biggest biker thug. All other men are there to be flamingly gay idiots, or sexless supportive drones.

Moreover, as typical for feminist writers, his female characters are weak but idiotically strong. Waify, weighing about 90 pounds, they have physical powers to beat up guys, but have no intelligence, strength of character, sexual self-control (around Asshole Alpha males), ability to plan and think, and are prey to their own emotions and weaknesses (for Asshole Alpha males). None are really two dimensional, with interests outside men they are sexually interested in, hobbies, family issues, and human weaknesses (greed, envy, substance abuse, parental issues, etc.) that they guard against. The female characters are all boring, blank canvases with boring superpowers, having boring sex with boring Alpha males.

Another feminist theme is the normalization of whores. Whores show up in Whedon's stuff all the time, from Inara, to Anya, to the theme of Dollhouse (the female and male characters are in a sense prostitutes). How can anyone care about Captain Mal and Inara when the latter is a whore? Nothing means anything, not with Inara, or Faith, or Echo, or Anya. Yes, feminists insist that women having lots of sex with different men is a "double standard" (and it is, so is the female one about men being geeks or Alphas). But who dreams of Ashley Dupree or Rachel Uchitel, among young men? They might find notoriety and fame among women, but I have not seen the wedding announcement for Monica Lewinsky. To put it mildly.

His male characters, as typical for feminists, are even worse. Any hint of geeky enthusiasm or intelligence, is made "gay." Male characters are gay and useless geeks, sexless drones who exist only to support hot chicks with boring superpowers, or Alpha Assholes who humiliate other guys all the time. And indeed, "lead" because they beat up or humiliate other guys (a woman's idea of a leader of men). A more toxic combination of male characters could not be imagined.

Superman was and is the hero of 11 year old boys because he is NOT a bully. An intimidator. He's so strong that bad guys fighting against him is useless, he's a force of nature. An actual, intelligent, career-driven woman falls in love with him because he is often geeky, awkward, boy-scoutish, and decent. Note, while Lois Lane is independent, she is not a whore, nor does she have a parade of men through her bed. Superman is just the costume the real Clark Kent puts on. Needless to say, Superman does not rape and torture people, nor do women find that sort of thing appealing (as they do in Whedon's stuff). Superman's fathers are not sexless drones, but men who teach him the meaning of manhood. Both Pa Kent and Jor-El are very important to Clark Kent. You find this pattern in Batman (endlessly avenging his parents death without being a monster himself), Spider-Man (a geek at heart who lets his inner WWII GI wise-ass out in fights), and most other lasting superheroes.

This is particularly true for Captain America, a hero with minor powers who's ability to lead others is his real power. Ability not by intimidation (Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk are all far stronger) but by example, courage, sacrifice, humor, and intelligence. Yes, Captain America is akin to Ed Winters (the real man and the character in Band of Brothers). With minor super-powers. He is, after all, a geek who remains one at heart. Unlike Angel, or Spike, or Captain Mal, Captain America never humiliates or beats up friends and allies just to show who is boss. Nor does he embark on violent, degrading S&M bondage relationships with women.

Like Superman, Captain America is what every normal, well adjusted, 11 year old boy would wish to become. Predictably, both the Avengers and Captain America movies will have a Buffy-Faith-Echo-Serenity type kick-ass waif in love with a brutal thug, with icky violent/domination overtones, and of course an asshole not a hero for the lead. Captain America will predictably punk out and degrade other men, because that is what Whedon male leads do. Of course, there will be flamingly gay geeks (message to geeky young boys and men: you are a loser, give up).

Secondly, Whedon cannot write group dynamics, for men. Predictably, the group will fall apart, only to be intimidated into last-minute unity by asshole-dom by the lead. Or simply, a deus ex-machina. Serenity, Dollhouse, and Firefly all failed for a reason -- they could not attract a male audience. Which loves stories about war, and sports, where men from many different backgrounds come together under a tough but fair older man, and an immediate boss, who is funny and decent and the natural leader. Friday Night Lights (the series), Major League, Band of Brothers, all touch on this repeatedly. It takes the ability to imagine being both a follower and a leader to write this stuff, which is why most of Hollywood, populated by Alpha Assholes not too different from Angel or Spike or Captain Mal, cannot do it most of the time.

The core audience for the Avengers and Captain America, is boys 11 year old and up, and men up through their thirties. Who find stories about heroism and leadership, in moral constraints, fascinating and entertaining. This audience is guaranteed to be turned off by rampant assholery and jerkiness, extolled as virtues not flaws. Major League's "Roger Dorn" (played well by Corbin Bernson) would be the "hero" not asshole needing correcting by Tom Berenger's "Jake Taylor."

Thirdly, patriotism. As is the rule for feminists, and Hollywood liberals, Whedon has shown a distinct lack of patriotism, love of country, or indeed identification with homely, home-y, ordinary values and people in everything he has written or produced. Instead, his characters and situations express contempt for ordinary people, their lives, and indeed their values. A great deal of what motivates Captain America, from conception in 1940 onward (when America was still neutral, and Britain might well lose), is an intense devotion to nation and country. Patriotism. But not a patriotism of "uber-alles," rather an intense LOVE. Love of baseball, apple pie, American traditions, songs, folkways, music, language, literature, culture, of all the smallness and hominess and coziness of Americana and America.

He's Captain America. And Joss Whedon will turn him into Captain Post-Modern.

Fourthly, villains. Frank Miller, perhaps one of the only original and creative comic book writers today, noted, Captain America and Superman EXIST to punch out villains. This is what Captain America is all about:

He's there to punch out Hitler. And in the Avengers, set in the modern day, punch out Osama bin Laden. Miller wanted to have Batman punch out Osama, but DC would not let him. Cringing PC is self-defeating. Neither Superman nor Captain America, nor any hero featuring Americana or devotion to America, will do well overseas. Like anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism is a disease rampant and unstoppable throughout the world. With many of the same motivations. Neutering all that makes Captain America (or Superman) is like taking the apples out of Apple Pie and substituting dried bananas. You could do it, but it would not be any good.

Young men today know who the enemies are not. They are not the corporate guys who approve or cut Whedon's budget. They are not rival directors or writers. They are not the people who fund his movies and TV shows to the tunes of millions of dollars. They are not conservatives, Republicans, Christians, or George W. Bush. Young men might or might not like the politics of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, but they don't find them threatening or credible current villains. Young men in America do not find the US troops villains, nor their military commanders, though doubtless they do not approve of everything they do, or every single policy. They do find Osama bin Laden, and Ayman Al-Zawahari, alien, polygamous, and mass murderers who would kill them in a heartbeat, to be their real, true, and threatening enemies.

Joss Whedon, predictably, will have Captain America replicate this cover, only punch out Sarah Palin (feminists hate her), or Dick Cheney, or someone like them (conservative, White, Republican). The "real villain" will be someone who vetoed his project at Fox or Universal. Maybe even a demonic law firm (now there's a threat, as Mohammed Atta is coming at ya, in a jet liner aimed at your skyscraper). This is entirely predictable, and will go over like a lead balloon. Complete with popular culture quips, coming from someone from the "Greatest Generation."

In short, everything about Whedon's strengths and weaknesses, will make both movies utter disaster zones. Pop culture quips out of "the First Avenger," the primal superhero from the 1940's. Rampant Assholery as "leadership" and bullying as qualities to be emulated. Because it is, in Hollywood. Promiscuous women as a feminine ideal, along with emotionally and intellectually weak waifs who kick ass, and the promise that "nerd equals gay" that turns off most young boys (who have yet to hit puberty) and the 90% of men not Alpha. There will be shock "deaths" that can be predicted by plot points or story beats, at least one rape by the "hero" of one of the female characters, and America and ordinary people presented as disgusting and worthless, along with the political beliefs of half the audience. The villain will be someone out of Hollywood's legal or executive suite. This is all perfectly predictable.

Yet why is Marvel doing this?

Because they are stupid.

DVD revenues are plunging 14%, in the first quarter, as $1 Redbox rentals become the norm. Blu-Ray is only in the low teens of home entertainment purchases and rentals, and this on top of big declines in purchases of home entertainment (DVD and Blu-Ray). No one is going to be spending much for 3-D TV in a nation with likely, 25% real unemployment (including those long-term discouraged from jobseeking). Mass is where its at, and the niche appeal of Joss Whedon is a recipe for revenue somewhere between Dollhouse and Serenity.

Executives read this. They know it. But they believe in stupidity. In feminism, that millions of young men secretly yearn to be either assholes or gay, that they find whores or wispy waifs with empty brains and spirits, kicking ass, exciting. That the vast audience finds Fox News (the most popular news network) a threat bigger than Osama bin Laden.

Even when the entire future of Marvel Entertainment, in making the big cross-over event designed to make them (and parent Disney) lots of money, the executive suite took a second bite out of stupid. Remind me again why most men have abandoned entertainment?
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The Big Bite of Stupid: Elite Failure Everywhere

The recent week has provided evidence that the elites, who run Wall Street, politics, and Entertainment are failures. Incompetents. People pursuing policies so massively stupid, that failure is inevitable, because the Elites buy their own hype and (wrong) conventional wisdom. Given the global collapse of wages and employment, it cannot be long before an overwhelming urge to replace an obvious incompetent group of Elites gathers steam and is successful.

First, Wall Street. Citi chose to buy lots of CDO's just as the market was cratering, and blamed the consultants, who it hired at considerable expense, for bad advice:

Last week, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was told by Chuck Prince, former chief executive of Citigroup, that “everyone” from banks to rating agencies and regulators thought that triple-A tranches of collateralised debt obligations were safe investments, and that all were flabbergasted when the values collapsed.
This week, a Senate committee grilled Kerry Killinger, the former chief executive of Washington Mutual, one of the biggest mortgage lenders before regulators seized and sold it to JPMorgan Chase in September 2008. He insisted that WaMu’s foray into subprime, spurred by Wall Street and by government-backed entities such as Fannie Mae, was an anomaly.

Magnetar, the fund in question, did not pretend to be engaged in something socially useful by trading subprime securities. It was simply making money for its partners and investors by examining closely the shaky foundations of the mortgage mania, and undermining them.
In that sense, it was like Michael Burry, the investor who realised that many CDOs were over-rated and over-valued, and whose fund Scion Capital was one of the first to short them. Mr Burry is the central figure in – and hero of – Michael Lewis’s book about the crisis, The Big Short.

Political leaders from Greece to Iceland borrowed recklessly with the idea that paying the money back would be someone else's problem. Iceland, a place known previously for sober, small government, let banks run wild, borrow from themselves, and grow 20 times over in size over a space of few years, with political leaders and regulators accused of negligence.

The commission criticised regulators for failing to rein in the banks – Landsbanki, Glitnir and Kaupthing – as they grew 20-fold in size between 2001 and 2008 until their liabilities far exceeded the country’s ability to bail them out.

Goldman Sachs, figuring its many alumni in Obama's Administration (and folks in the Democratic Party, and Congress) would protect it found itself the focus of fraud charges by the SEC. This was predictably stupid, since the biggest chumps were politically connected folks like the Royal Bank of Scotland, and German and Dutch state banks, who could be absolutely predicted to sue and pursue political remedies against a Wall Street firm like Goldman Sachs. Not even Barney Frank is defending them, again utterly predictably. Smart deal making only screws over people who have no ability to retaliate.

ESPN meanwhile, is making one of the stupidest bets possible. ESPN plans to spend many millions of dollars, promoting the World Cup (of Soccer).

ESPN, the sports broadcaster, is making its largest marketing investment in a single sporting event in its 30-year history as it looks to use the World Cup to transform the audience for football in the US.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure people pay attention to the game, because we’re convinced that when they pay attention they’re going to fall in love with the game,” said John Skipper, ESPN’s executive vice-president for content.

ESPN expects to see ratings for the tournament that opens in South Africa in June to improve by about 25 to 50 per cent over the audience figures it saw four years ago in Germany, despite a time difference that means games will be played at 7am, 9.30am and 2pm east coast time.

Artie Bulgrin, ESPN’s head of research and analytics, said the broadcaster had been encouraged by research from TNS suggesting the number of “avid” football fans had grown in the past four years from 6 per cent of the US population to 10 per cent.

Hispanic viewers will make up about one-third of ESPN’s World Cup audience, Mr Bulgrin estimated, adding that advertisers were attracted by the young and affluent nature of US football audiences.

ESPN has exclusive US domestic rights, with the exception of Spanish language broadcasts, for the first time and is planning a multimedia blitz, from live online streaming to radio broadcasts, mobile applications and special editions of ESPN Magazine.

Seth Ader, senior director of sports marketing, said ESPN was planning two months of “respectful education” about the sport and the host country before the first game on June 11.

Hmm … ESPN has the exclusive rights to the World Cup in North America, except for Spanish Language broadcasts. WHAT could go possibly wrong with this plan? After all, it is well known that Hispanics in North America prefer to watch English Language Broadcasts. Oh wait, they don't!.

Top Ten (Week April 5) Broadcast Television (all races) [Rating/Viewers in 000's]:





  5. NCIS CBS 10.2 16,448

  6. MENTALIST, THE CBS 10.2 16,318

  7. 60 MINUTES CBS 9.7 15,033

  8. CSI CBS 9.3 14,968

  9. NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 8.6 13,785

  10. UNDERCOVER BOSS CBS 8.6 14,676

Top Ten (Week April 5) Broadcast Television (Hispanic) [Rating/Viewers in 000's]

  1. HASTA DINERO SEPARE THU-04/08/2010 UNI 19.4 4,390

  2. HASTA DINERO SEPARE WED-04/07/2010 UNI 19.4 4,478

  3. HASTA DINERO SEPARE MON-04/05/2010 UNI 19.2 4,219

  4. HASTA DINERO SEPARE TUE-04/06/2010 UNI 19.2 4,428

  5. HASTA DINERO SEPARE FRI-04/09/2010 UNI 18.4 4,336

  6. CORAZON SALVAJE MON-04/05/2010 UNI 16.0 3,395

  7. CORAZON SALVAJE THU-04/08/2010 UNI 15.6 3,405

  8. CORAZON SALVAJE WED-04/07/2010 UNI 15.6 3,364

  9. CORAZON SALVAJE TUE-04/06/2010 UNI 15.1 3,175

  10. CORAZON SALVAJE FRI-04/09/2010 UNI 14.4 3,033

Only someone who believes PC hype could make this call, investing tens of millions of dollars in the World Cup for what is sure to be a failure. It took me all of five minutes to find this information on Nielsen's site.

Meanwhile, utterly predictably, the movie "Kick-Ass" didn't at the box office. An R-rated movie, based on an obscure comic book with almost no sales, no visibility, and no real appeal to a broad audience, featuring a foul-mouthed 11 year old girl killing people? THAT is supposed to be the next Batman movie? In a later post, I'll discuss WHY comic book movies, being simple, are hard to do correctly. But even the most cursory examination of the movie would show that it had almost no potential to make money. None.

Marvel is betting it all on stupid. Joss Whedon will direct the Avengers movie, as well as re-writing the Captain America movie. Meanwhile, we learn that the NYT is reporting that Obama has no plan to deal with a nuclear Iran. None at all.

No other conclusion can be reached. Our elites, in every field, are uniformly stupid and need to be replaced.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

James Bond vs. Today's Hollywood Spies: Where are the Heroes and Bad Guys?

A series of posts by Big Hollywood contributor Leo Grin on Ian Fleming and James Bond prompts the question. Where are the villains and heroes of today? When we have real life villains such as Dzhanet Abdurakhmanova and Umalat Magomedov, the curios absence of villains even remotely resembling the real-life jihadists afflicting the West, Russia, and China is pathetic. Even worse is the matching lack of real heroes. Only throwing off the PC blinders (and catering to a female-dominated PC dogma crowd) can popular culture both regain relevance and provide useful models for boys and men.

Leo Grin's post on how Ian Fleming created James Bond out of an homage to his father who died when he was a child, in World War One, and various men with whom he served in Naval Intelligence during World War Two, prompts the question. Who were the villains, and what was the nature of the hero? What was James Bond really about?

Look at the video below, of various Bond exploits set to the tune of Barry Gray's 007 music:

What is going on? An intrepid secret agent, infiltrates the enemy, and with the aid of gadgets galore causes havoc and escapes, as the Americans come in and blast the enemy apart.

This was not limited to James Bond, either. The clip from UFO (circa 1970) shows the British again fighting the Germans, only this time the Germans are aliens:

Even the Avengers fought WWII all over again:

Note the similarities, jazzy, brassy, opening score. Not much electric guitar (that's American). Various heroes, by turns brash or ruthless, with unconventional allies (often women), using the very latest gadgets to turn the tables and defeat a vastly overpowering enemy. One with more men, or better technology, always more resources and certainly more viciousness, defeated by the very odd-ball, weird, idiosyncratic and very English/British sort of "smallness," with roots in Victorian culture, and celebration of eccentricities. Older, dignified men whose authority is respected, send Steed, or Bond, or John Drake out on dangerous missions with only weird gadgets and beautiful women to accompany their fists and determination. Col Ed Stryker, of course ,runs a modern-day RAF against the Alien Luftwaffe. Even as late as 1970, the end of World War Two was only 25 years distant. Closer in time than the start of the Reagan Administration is to us today.

The national myth of Britain was that even though the Empire was lost after World War Two, by the exhausting effort, the bravery and sacrifice of tough and daring secret agents empowered by the most oddball but devious gadgets, concocted by eccentric geniuses, along with the help of the Americans, had won the day. Saving Western Civilization. From both the Nazi and Soviet tyranny. This is why Bond constantly outwits his enemies with ingenious, World War Two-like gadgets such as cars that convert to submarines, auto-gyros, miniature jets, knives popping out of attache cases, and so on. All while maintaining the composure of a proper English gentlemen.

Then there is John Steed, equally as polished. Fighting all sorts of "home front" enemies. If you prefer, there is also Patrick McGoohan, more clipped and cerebral, and very mocking and ironic, from "Danger Man":

There's even Michael Caine as Harry Palmer in the Ipcress File:

[There is a bit of the opening sequence on Youtube, as well, it cuts off right before the whole point -- after Palmer finds the jewelry left behind in the bed by his paramour, he also finds his gun and secretes it in his waistband. A wordless opener that tells the viewer all he needs to know about Palmer.]

The British Spy heroes might be total gentlemen (Bond, Steed), or cockneys (Palmer), or something in-between (McGoohan's John Drake), but regardless they were very, very British. In Palmer's case, too stubborn, insubordinate, and eccentric to be brain-washed by the Soviet agents.

And not only were the heroes, indeed very recognizable, "National Myth" heroes from World War Two revisited, the music itself was very similar, very British, as Grin notes here, always an element of jazz, lots of brass, a natural evolution from the beloved British military marching bands (itself a feature in the Ipcress File in one key scene).

Not only the heroes came from World War Two. The villains did as well. Particularly for the Bond villains, real organizations were used. SMERSH really existed. The sort of stateless, rootless, vaguely Central European, German, or Baltic villains such as Auric Goldfinger, or the German/Chinese Dr. No, or the classic Ernst Stavros Blofeld, all could have come out of the various hangers on to the Third Reich in Europe or elsewhere.

If Britain's spy heroes were re-fighting World War Two, at a time when most people well-remembered the fight, the villains were all of a type. Vaguely Nazis or allied with them, very little was needed to explain how the villains were evil, and needed to be fought. Needed a hero to oppose them.

Oppose them in a way that was totally opposite. Where the villains ruled by intimidation, fear, and ruthless killing of their subordinates and allies, the heroes willingly accepted orders from the older, fatherly men who sent them out to dangerous missions. Never questioning the rightfulness of being sent to stop the villain. Where the villains have weird, and repellent subordinates with fairly murderous characteristics, the hero's allies are usually beautiful women, and a gadgeteer providing all sorts of things giving him a critical edge. Of course, even the music makes that point, being jazzy and orchestral, the opposite of Teutonic Wagnerian Gotterdammerung, and different from American rock.

No one at the time, needed to know why James Bond had to stop Ernst Stavros Blofeld, or Auric Goldfinger, or Dr. No. They were Nazis, thinly disguised, or Soviet assassins, or both. Enemies that needed stopping.

Now, we have bland and boring, angsty heroes who reject responsibility (the Matt Damon Bourne series), numerous bad guy assassins (the Crank series) implausibly cast as heroes, or low level gangsters forced into some semblance of duty and responsibility (the Transporter Series). Even TV cannot experiment with any meaning to the heroes or depth and evil of the villains. NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy" was its own worst enemy, finding a quickly deserved cancellation, as audiences did not find the premise (a real spy creates a split personality ordinary man to have the ultimate cover) compelling enough. The hero was no hero, and the villains colorless PC bad guys. So too with "24's" Jack Bauer, hand-cuffed by the PC nature of the star demanding a more politically correct approach to villains (again the ultimate villains being boring, politically safe White guys in corporate boardrooms). Or "La Femme Nikita," or "Alias," or NBC's "Chuck," all with endless, soapy love triangles out of "Twilight" and the enemy defined as their own bosses or intelligence services. Endless and meaningless conspiracies, as society cannot define enemies abroad and without, and so must look for culturally safe ones within.

South Park shows there is a market for non-PC conformist humor, and indeed content. That market is mostly male, as women make up the customer base for PC Dogma. Refusing to look real enemies, real villains, and real threats square on, because it would threaten the whole PC agenda. Require a real sorting out of heroes and villains.

Culture is in creative crisis when it cannot even deal, even in disguised mode, with real threats. Due entirely to a blind adherence, religiously, to PC dogma.

TV and movies don't have to depict Muslim Jihadis straightforwardly as the enemy. Ernst Stavros Blofeld and Dr. No worked for SPECTRE, a fictional alliance of crime organizations and bosses, but the real enemy was the amalgamation of rootless, stateless criminals and assassins who helped first the Nazis, and then the Soviets, depending on who was winning. SPECTRE was not the bad guys, really. It was World War Two all over again. Indeed, the very stateless/rootless nature of the bad guys, who believe in nothing but power, was always contrasted by the very rooted in British eccentricity nature of the heroes.

Anyone could figure that a 30 year old jihadi like Magomedev, who apparently met then 16 year old Dzhanet Abdurakhmanova in an online chat room, and semi-abducted her, married her, and then left her a widow at age 17, is the true picture of a villain. The photo of Dzhanet Abdurakhmanova, blank face brandishing what looks like a Makarov, while Magomedev holds a Stechin pistol and and visibly controls her (neither by the way adhering to trigger discipline) is both chilling and evil. Pretty much everyone can figure that her path, and that of her evil husband, is one that should be stopped. Child marriage, likely forcible, the hijab and covering, brandishing weapons Crips/Bloods style, and blowing up innocent Muscovite commuters is something anyone can oppose. It is the ultimate enemy of safe, middle class life the way that the Nazis and Soviets and Japanese were in WWII.

World War Two, Nazis, Soviets, and their various collaborators, are too distant. The end of WWII was 65 years ago. It simply does not have emotional force, any more. Moreover, Western society faces new challenges. That of Jihad, of Islam, of people who figure if they kill enough Muscovites, or New Yorkers, or Beijingers, or Londoners, everyone will submit. Surrender. So that the surviving killers can rule, and for those who don't, well the killing is the point in the first place. Against these real villains, the phony PC villains of corporate executives, the "White Guys in Suits" do not cut it. White guys in corporate boardrooms are subject to massive PC, lawyers everywhere, and don't blow up subways.

All creative people need to do is be … creative. Don't call it jihad, and don't call the bad guys Muslims. Call them something else. Just have lots of covering for women, beards for men, fanatic prayers, suicide bombings, and terrorism.

After all, spy shows are cheap. ITV, not known for its big budgets, had many of them for years. Any quick look at the early Avengers or Danger Man or the Saint will not find massive budgets or highly professional stunts. Men like the action and adventure, and it is quite possible that female audiences hungering for something different than pouty, hunky metrosexuals would find the latter day equivalents to say, Patrick McGoohan, or Roger Moore, or Patrick McNee far more appealing than the glittery gay vampires of "Vampire Diaries" or the rich boy metrosexuals of "Gossip Girl."

Indeed, the shocking thing to comparing TV stars from the 1960's and 1970's, when there was still living memory of just what the sacrifice to win World War Two entailed, is just how masculine the actors appeared, versus the ones of today. McGoohan, Moore, McNee, all are far more masculine than say, Chace Crawford.

Westerns, of course, are not coming back. Ever tighter budgets, and loss of the ability to depict horsemanship and everything else means Hollywood today can't do what it did in 1957, even on TV. Private eye shows, don't seem to be coming back either, though periodic attempts to revive them have been tried. Cop shows are all procedural affairs, which as Ed Bernero points out, are made mostly for a female audience. But spy shows are cheap, and the villains of our time cry out for a creative disguise in an updated Goldfinger or Blofeld.

If Bernero is right, and he makes his living producing TV shows, so he should know what he's doing, the only issue is the largely female line executives at the Broadcast Networks, and likely, the gay executives. Disney is famous for its Princess Factory at the Disney Channel, which openly gay Rich Ross nurtured into a money-making machine. Just as well known, is the complete failure of Disney XD to draw boys. Who knew, that gay men just can't connect with the action and adventure that men and boys want?

NBC ought to be hungrier than most. Their ratings are in the toilet. All the other networks have established shows drawing younger women to hunky vampires, or Desperate Housewives, or multi-threaded soap operas. Simply offer real heroes, reflecting the odd, and unique attributes of Americana, and real villains. Variations of the jihadis who blow people up. Simply make them disguised. Snake worshippers, or black magic devotees, not the obvious Muslim jihadis. This puts CAIR off your back and still allows you to have women dressed in chadors, and guys in beards and skull caps.

This approach makes the writing simpler and easier. No angsty sub-plots, soap operas, or complex arc plotting. Just deadly and dangerous villains, who have to be stopped, and are, by unique and deeply American heroes. A focus on the action, not relationship angst and drama. Which often devolves into self-pity and maudlin sentiment. Keep it simple, and execute.

Up to a point, this is what Burn Notice on USA Network has done. Though even there, the enemies are the own intelligence service, rather than people blowing up innocent commuters. It is time for Hollywood to show some innovation. Otherwise someone else will do it for them. Sooner rather than later.
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