If one were to point to an iconic moment during the first moon landing in 1969, the primary moment to come to mind would probably be Neil Armstrong’s legendary words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” However, a close second would probably be the planting of the American flag on the rock orbiting the third rock from the sun.
The flag was a sign that we had achieved a goal declared at the beginning of the decade by John F. Kennedy. The flag was a sign that American ingenuity had triumphed over collectivist ideology in the space race. The flag was a sign that we had set our aim as high as possible and hit it head on.
But alas, that sort of thought is too divisive in 2018 — at least according to Hollywood.
According to the U.K. Telegraph, “a new film about (Neil) Armstrong has chosen to leave out this most patriotic of scenes, arguing that the giant leap for mankind should not be seen as an example of American greatness.”
“The film, ‘First Man,’ was unveiled at the Venice Film Festival yesterday, where the absence of the stars and stripes was noted by critics.”
“Its star, Ryan Gosling, was asked if the film was a deliberately un-American take on the moon landing. He replied that Armstrong’s accomplishment ‘transcended countries and borders.'”
Yes, yes it did. And it did so because of American greatness. I really don’t see how that fails to come across, but Gosling has some explanation that sounded a bit like Charlie Brown’s teachers to me.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling said.
“I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.
“He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true.
“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
Let’s dissect this nonsense. I agree, I don’t think most American heroes view themselves as American heroes. That’s what makes them American heroes.
Now, was he humble? Of course. Was he just the tip of the iceberg? Yes, absolutely. Did he defer “the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible?” Absolutely.
He is the very humble tip of a 400,000-person iceberg… that was American. Really, what’s so hard here?
Yet it is hard — at least for the Hollywood left, who don’t quite see what made America great in the first place, along with its flag.
But maybe it’s because Ryan Gosling has a slight maple leaf-shaped hole in his understanding of just what the moment meant to America and the world.
“I’m Canadian, so might have cognitive bias,” Gosling quipped. The Telegraph also reported that the director of “First Man,” Damien Chazelle, “previously worked with Gosling on the Oscar-winning ‘La La Land’ (and) is French-Canadian.”
Huh. Maybe there is something to this whole “cultural appropriation” piffle after all.
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