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 Post subject: Food For Thought
PostPosted: 07 May 2010, 01:44 
Without men, America is left with 'Losers'

Posted: April 25, 2010
8:19 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Back in 1984, on the soundtrack of the movie "Footloose," Bonnie Tyler recorded the song, "Holding Out for a Hero":

"Where have all the good men gone / And where are all the gods? / Where's the street-wise Hercules / To fight the rising odds? / Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed? / Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need."

More than just a song of lady-lust, however, I believe Tyler was tapping into a cultural trend that has only become more evident in the 16 years since she recorded it: where have all the good men gone?

Hollywood, it seems, has discovered this cultural vein and provided a vicarious means for men and women across America to ask the same question.

With the fantastic success and proliferation of films about superheroes, war and powerful leading men – movies like "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker," "The Book of Eli" and "The Dark Knight," "Gladiator" and "Iron Man" – and the upcoming multitude of band-of-brothers movies – "The Expendables," "The A-Team" and this week's "The Losers," for example – it's clear America fantasizes about men … because, I contend, of our nation's glaring lack of the masculine spirit.

I read a commentary once (and have since been unable to track down the author) that claimed the reason NFL football has replaced Major League Baseball as America's favorite sport is that the gridiron is the last place in our society where "a man can be a man." On the football field, man is a noble warrior: a defender of his home, a terror to the enemy and a comrade-in-arms to his brothers in uniform. He is a hero, a champion, a sweaty, strong, bloody, resilient knight engaged in an epic battle.

Baseball, the author argued, just doesn't present that powerful image of masculinity, and Americans crave a place for that image.

Now Hollywood is creating that image and discovering how quickly Americans buy tickets to tales of heroes and adventurers, men like the oxymoronically named "Losers."

(Column continues below)




Yet another film produced from the pages of a comic book, "The Losers" retains the feel of its source material, with quick cuts from frame to frame and even a few animated stills to break up the action, making it feel like audiences are watching a comic book come to life.

"The Losers" follows a somewhat cliché storyline of an elite band of soldiers (the Losers) who are betrayed and barely survive an attempted assassination plot overseas. Believed to be dead, they secretly return to the U.S. to get their revenge on "Max" – a high-up CIA operative shrouded in mystery and secretly plotting to "serve his country" by starting wars – the man who ordered their deaths.

Along the way, the Losers plot elaborate heists, blow stuff up, shoot people, crack funny one-liners and generally spew some testosterone all over the place in a somewhat enjoyable, if typical, action film. Actor Chris Evans (also from the "Fantastic Four" films … hmm), it should be noted, steals every scene he appears in with humor and general likability.

From a political perspective, it's not clear whether the evil Max is actually working for the CIA or going rogue, so despite some sneering about America on his part, the movie glosses over any real political message to simply portray Max as the bad guy. The movie, in fact, has no significant message at all.

What the film does reveal, however, is that America hungers for rough, tough adventurers, good guys that aren't mush guys.

And the Losers are genuinely good guys. They risk their lives to save a dozen children being used as human shields, "Pooch" taps into a spy satellite to keep watch over his pregnant wife and "Jensen" is a fanatic follower of his niece's junior-high soccer team. The latter provides a hilarious after-the-credits scene that typifies the funny role played by Chris Evans.

But why do moviegoers look to the silver screen for these heroes among men?

Granted, America has always had stories of heroes played by the likes of Charlton Heston and John Wayne, but America also used to be a nation of farmers, craftsmen, lumberjacks, pioneers, men stretching the rails across the wilderness and being saluted for their service in harm's way.

With technological progress, the sexual revolution and the serpentine influence of "progressive" ideology, hardy American men have become a rarity. Single ladies on the nightclub scene know firsthand that "chivalry is dead," "a good man is hard to find" and overgrown boys masquerade as men, but without the self-control and respect a good man should actually show a woman.

American men have too often left behind fields in favor of offices, dropped masculinity in favor of metrosexuality and swapped living an actual, adventurous life for dreaming about one on the PlayStation. In the home, fathers have abandoned godly leadership to implement a form of "equality" that neither defends nor honors their wives. Husbands too often leave their wives because they don't have enough John-Wayne integrity to stick to their vows. Many men don't even have the character to make vows in the first place.

And even if a man is a "good guy," society preaches that he should settle down his wild instincts, his warrior spirit, his inner knight in shining armor, to sit in a classroom, then sit in a cubicle, then sit in a minivan, then sit in church before finally sitting on his rocking chair. He can watch "real men" duke it out over a pigskin on television.

But I don't buy the notion that the masculine spirit needs to be tamed so the world can be a safer, happier, more politically correct and more feel-good place. I don't buy the notion that guns are evil, that stability is more important than adventure and that a family man is a boring man. I don't buy the idea that a man has to sell his dreams to purchase security or surrender his wildness to be civilized. I don't buy the idea that if men just acted more like women we'd all get along better.

And judging by the number of movies being made like "The Losers" and the numbers of tickets being sold to epics like "Avatar," I don't think Americans really buy it either.

Content advisory:

* "The Losers" is PG-13, so it has less strong profanity than might be expected for this genre, but a couple dozen expletives and violations of the Third Commandment litter the script.

* Violence is heavy in the film, with gunshots, explosions and hand-to-hand combat. There is very little gore or bloodshed, however, as the film had to slim down to make its PG-13 rating. There is a scene of cockfighting and the startling death of children in an explosion, though no bodies or other gore are seen.

* Where the film did try to push an R-rating was in sexuality, which included some scantily clad bikini gals, the main female character diving about in her underwear and some heavy scenes of making out (leading to implied sex), including some minor nudity.

* Religious and occult content is limited to an ornate throne that depicts a Hindu-like, multiarmed, goddess figure.


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