Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Yeah, I'll never get it, AMC
Twice every year- on Memorial Day and then again on Veteran's Day- AMC "salutes the veterans" by running a marathon of machine-gun fire, bombings, and actors in costumes being blown apart by grenades and torpedoes. And twice a year, I just shake my head and wonder what any of this has to do with "saluting our veterans."
I don't mind the special ceremonies before baseball games- I'm as cynical as they come, but even I find them heartwarming as long as I can mute the vapid, jingoistic faux-patriotic prattle from the talking heads in the booth. I've never cared for the fly-overs-- those jets are expensive, dammit, and I didn't pay my taxes so they could be used to impress slack-jawed yokels waiting to watch a game. But the salutes are generally pretty innocent and worthwhile and certainly well-deserved.
But showing Saving Private Ryan two or three times in a row? What the hell is that all about? I suspect that there are no more than a few hundred survivors of Normandy still living on the planet. Are all veterans of all wars supposed to "enjoy" the carnage? Is this something that veterans really have an appetite for? Does AMC and other networks really work under the assumption that what veterans really crave on holidays created to honor them is wall-to-wall war movies?
Or are these films for the consumption of non-vets; a kind of "look how Awesome America Is/Was" sloppy Valentine to military service? Either way, how does depicting the sons of farmers, mill workers, shop keepers, teachers etc. being gunned down on a celluloid battlefield accomplish that? I really don't get this at all.