Given recent events, I thought it would be nice to link up Lee’s post on Team America: World Police where he responds to the negative review from Roger Ebert:
Particularly important quote:
Is there any doubt that if this were a two-hour Bush bashing fest Ebert would have found it a brilliant piece of political satire? Ebert, who is usually pretty astute when it comes to these sort of things, is so blinded by his political opinions that he missed the entire point of the film. Team America represents America itself, Roger. This point is so blatantly obvious that only Ebert’s willful ignorance can explain his inability to see it.
During the end scene in North Korea, when Gary is doing the dick/pussy/asshole speech, he is obviously talking about America. The point of the speech, and of the film itself, is that America is a giant, blustery, idealistic 800lb gorilla. Often times we do things and we fuck them up horribly, but as it stands right now we’re the only country able to do them. In one priceless scene, Hans Blix confronts Kim Jong Il, ordering Kim (under authority of the United Nations) to give him unlimited access to his compound to check for WMD. “Or what?” Kim asks. Blix then replies sternly, “We’ll get really, really mad. And we’ll send you an angry letter!” The point here is one that I have made many, many times on this blog. You can only threaten action so many times before you get called on your bluff. The UN, without american power, is utterly impotent to deal with threats. And while America might not be the most diplomatic nation sometimes, we’re the only ones who can get the job done.
Think about “red lines” and other such empty threats Barack Obama has made.
He also gets into why so many celebrities, including Ebert, hated the film so intensely.
When I write a post I leave myself fully open to getting torn a new asshole. People can immediately leave comments telling me what I clueless douchebag I am, and occasionally they’re right. These celebrity morons, however, are never, ever challenged on their bullshit. Sean Penn goes to Iraq and returns to be treated like an expert on the subject. (You know, I went to the zoo once, but that doesn’t mean I can speak authoritatively on elephants or giraffes.)
The reason Ebert doesn’t like seeing pampered, self-righteous, egotistical celebrity morons being made fun of is that he himself is a pampered, self-righteous, egotistical celebrity moron. He only sees nihilism in this film is because he cannot imagine a world in which his opinion is not important, and by tearing down people who have the same opinions as him you are, by proxy, destroying the very reason he exists: to tell other people what he thinks. The difference, of course, is that in the area of film Ebert speaks with authority. In the area of social commentary he’s just as much a bloviating, self-righteous dick as I am. But when you’re used to people kissing your ass telling you how brilliant you are, being cut down to size can be a bitter pill to swallow.
Read the whole thing, as always.