Archives for posts with tag: fishing

The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY NINETEEN

The Runner

Set in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, The Runner is about a liberal Louisiana congressman (Nicolas Cage) who struggles to hold onto his integrity, maintain his commitment to his impoverished constituents, and resist the perpetual temptation to sell out to Big Oil. Cage is making progress and raising national awareness about the plight of the Gulf Coast fishermen when a sex scandal involving another man’s wife derails his momentum and sends his personal life into a spiral. The meaning of the title is threefold: in addition to the lamely gratuitous scenes of Cage going for jogs and the fact of his running for office, he is a man who runs from his problems and loses himself in dissolution. Not a bad movie, but not much fun, either, weighted down as it is by an incessant mood of moroseness and Cage’s uncharacteristically somnambulant performance.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Runner is:

4. Anti-drug. Cage, himself an alcoholic, warns his dying father (Ghost Rider costar Peter Fonda) against drinking and smoking. Hypocritically, Cage then drinks and drives, crashes through the gate to his home, and wrecks the car against his garage door.

3. Pro-miscegenation. The hero’s penchant for grabbing at black booty temporarily torpedoes his political career when an episode of elevator lovemaking winds up going viral on YouTube.

2. Green. Cage at one point says he hopes to phase out oil drilling in Louisiana. The film illustrates the devastating impact of the oil spill on wildlife as well as the local economy.

1. Anti-marriage. Cage’s relationship with his wife (Connie Nielsen) is without affection, and he enters into a love affair with his publicist (Sarah Paulson), who is also temporarily separated from her own husband. The liberal idealism Cage shared with his spouse in their early days together has now transferred to the younger woman, who encourages his political commitment. His eventual return to his wife signals his sell-out as a politician, as she has been the one lobbying all along for him to get into bed with Big Oil.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Captain Phillips

An exceptional naval thriller based on the actual 2009 kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips by Somalian pirates, Captain Phillips (2013) marks yet another career highlight for capable star Tom Hanks. Taut, exciting, and scary throughout, the film succeeds largely due to the presence of Hanks in the likable lead. Also contributing to its impact, however, is the presence of such ugly, menacing blacks in the roles of the antagonists, particularly Barkhad Abdi as pirate ringleader Abduwali Muse. Any self-respecting white person watching this movie will be terrified.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Captain Phillips is:

7. Ostensibly egalitarian. As a fig leaf to cover its obviously obscene racism, the film includes a line about how Somalian men have no economic opportunities apart from fishing and piracy, the former option being limited after western fishing vessels have depleted their waters’ stock of fish. The poor, disadvantaged chaps just happened to have the bad luck of growing up in a dangerous environment exacerbated by the West’s capitalist imperialism.

6. Pro-drone. A “Scan Eagle” conducts surveillance as part of the mission to rescue the captain.

5. Pro-family. Phillips’s thoughts are with his family during what may be his last moments on earth.

4. Pro-gun. A valid complaint from the crew is that their ship has no weapons with which to repulse the invaders.

3. Pro-military. Navy SEALs enact the role of the proverbial cavalry coming to the rescue.

2. Neoconservative. Set in March of 2009, shortly after the inauguration of Obama, the film features an early scene in which Phillips exchanges nervous remarks with his wife about the changing nature of the times. In production during the presidential election year of 2012, Captain Phillips benefited from serendipitous onomastic circumstances of the historical Phillips narrative. The Navy dispatches the USS Bainbridge and USS Halyburton to intercept the hijackers and retrieve Captain Phillips. How perfect is that? Bain Capital and Halliburton speed to the rescue of white America, held hostage by African terrorist Muslims just like President Obama! Good thing the U.S. has so much world police man and materiel invested in the Middle East, as well, or else Captain Phillips might not have been saved so quickly – if it all!

1. Racist! Mainstream political discourse disallows Republicans from discussing race in any but the most mincing and counterproductive of terms. Suppressed neoconservative racism, consequently, can only express itself as hatred of foreign Muslims or else encrypt itself as is the case with the thinly veiled subtext of Captain Phillips. A ship is a world unto itself, and just as the prison vessel in Escape Plan (2013) works as a floating microcosm of the American police state, so the Maersk Alabama functions as a representation of an American polity subject to a demographic shit-hurricane. Just as Bull Connor, Birmingham’s Commissioner of Public Safety during the 60s, tried to be civil and used restraint in only hosing revolting congoids who invaded his community, so the moderate captain of the Maersk Alabama hopes to stave off the pirate attack by holding their boat at bay with his ship’s several powerful hoses. As Montgomery fell to the blacks, however, the Alabama is boarded and occupied by the party of Africans.

“Is this how you do business?” Phillips asks as the invaders brandish their weapons. The pirates, like American blacks, take from others to further their parasitic mode of living. Like American blacks, too, they are never satisfied. After flash-mobbing the ship and being offered $30,000 to leave, they demand millions more and take a hostage to ensure that they receive it. (“When we get paid, everything gon be OK.”) Negotiation with the savages – in other words, more political moderation and compromise, disingenuous dialogue, hand-wringing, and flattery, as Phillips advises his men to “make them feel like they’re in charge” – is of course futile, and only results in the good-natured captain being kidnapped. A third vessel participating in the Phillips rescue mission along with the USS Bainbridge and USS Halyburton is the USS Boxer, significantly a “Wasp-class” amphibious assault ship, a designation further emphasizing the racially informed nature of the conflict. The Somalian pirates – again, like America’s blacks – are prone to self-pity and bickering, prompting Captain Phillips in a moment of candor to tell them, “Your problem is you.”

The lesson to be had from Captain Phillips? Communities, like ships, should be armed and ready to fight to keep out the undesirables.

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