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December 08, 2005


John in Tokyo

You liked the movie "American Beauty"??!! It had a few moments of truth and orginality (also humor) but in the end, it's ruined by a slavish adherence to the progressive world view. What could be less original than attempting to 'unmask the hypocracy of sububan middleclass consumerist culture'?! And the caricature of the conservative father could not have been cruder: militaristic, wife beating, child abusing, repressed and bigoted (homo-phobic, but that's because he's a repressed homo!), closet-nazi, murderer. No wonder it won an academy award.

I thought it was a waste. Mendes's artistic talent is ruined by inability to actually challenge his own narrow sensibilities. In the end, he aslo chickens out of the whole Lolita angle! I guess he wouldn't want the Kevin Spacey anti-hero character to do anything that he and the audience might actually disapprove of. By all means, liberate yourself from bourgeoise constraints, blackmail your boss ditch the company, smoke bud, with your neighbor's teenage son, fantasize about your daughter's best friend in high school, etc. But, for pete's sake, don't actually do her, even if she tries to seduce you and your wife is banging the local real-estate mogul.


Right on John in Tokyo. I was entertained by American Beauty, but came away from the film with quite similar sentiments.

Mick H

Well whatever....it's hardly central to the point of the post. Yes I liked American Beauty, but not enough to bother to defend it. It does seem to be one of those films that manages to annoy a fair number of people.


If I'm reading your post correctly, your point is that these 'leading cultural figures' robotically and platitudinously mouth leftist talking points without due consideration to the full set of facts as well as without consideration to inherent flaws in their own arguments. You seem to make this point in exposing how the left feel the war to remove Saddam was unjustified because no WMDs were found, but they never take their position on leaving Saddam in power to its logical conclusion; an evil man who had used WMDs in the past who was waiting for the world to blink, so he could get sanctions lift and restart his weapons programs again.

Setting aside John in Tokyo's criticism of you for not being sufficiently critical of American Beauty, which I feel was unwarrented, John's point about that movie -- at least in my opinion -- nicely paralleled your overall point about Sam Mendes.

The leftist talking point on conservatives: militaristic, wife beating, child abusing, repressed and bigoted (homo-phobic, but that's because he's a repressed homo!), closet-nazi, murderer. But the leftist take on itself is never carried to its logical conclusions, which in the case of Kevin Spacey's character in American Beauty shows someone who is will to contribute to the delinquency of a minor by purchasing pot from the neighorhood boy yet would not go through with a fantasy that could have come to fruition with the advances of the 17ish friend of his teenaged daughter, thus the left has sanitized for their own protection.

Mick H

Thanks - I guess I missed that when I first read John-in-Tokyo's comment, but you're right, his point does tie in with my overall point. Maybe I need to take another look at American Beauty.

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