Thursday, January 28, 2010
A Certain Point Of View
Why is that, I wonder? Probably has to do with this sense of "the rebel spirit" many Americans connect with. After all, we had our own "Evil Empire" to contend with in the early days of this nation's forming. We beat the British! And no one beats the British. Well, certainly not back in the 18th century when they ruled the world. So, yeah, we're the rebel scum that beat back the Empire and won our freedom. Naturally we're the good guys, and the Empire represents the bad.
However, when you think about it, this is completely the opposite reaction from anyone watching these films outside of the United States. To the rest of the world, unfortunately, we Americans are the evil Empire. When people in the Middle East or in Somalia--or, hey, even on reservations here in the U.S.--watch the SW trilogy, they probably project themselves onto the rebels on a personal level, and cast the American military in the role of the Storm Troopers. We even sorta resemble the Troopers, certainly in our indigenous policing tactics if not actual dress. What haven't we done that is not unlike the Empire reaching its arms across the vast cosmos and clamping down on even the slightest hint of militarized insurrection? How not like the Empire are we increasing trade with certain favored nations and excluding others in the form of retribution and/or punishment?
Like Obi Wan says in Return of the Jedi: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
More apt words have never been spoken. Except, in the case of many Americans, I would insert the word "desperate" before the phrase "point of view."
Just some food for thought.
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