Saturday, July 22, 2006


It’s a very most powerful of themes. Perhaps the greatest -- because it embodies and is the result of self-sacrifice and love. It’s the word that immediately came to mind when I read Cal Thomas’s rave review of Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center. Makes me want to see it. It’s been several years since I’ve seen a movie. No real reason, just haven’t. Would've liked to see King Kong, and Narnia, and I suppose a few others. But I might actually bestir myself, for this one.

Why? Not because of 9/11. I, for one, do not need to be reminded. I remember. Not because of the heroism or faith or loyalty of the fact-based characters. I know there are such men. No, the great attraction for me would be to see a pro-America, faith-affirming film by Oliver Stone. It is no fluke, the admirable qualities he inserts into this film. It was deliberate. It will not represent a sea change in his politics. His character must remain as it has been. But to see a superb but twisted craftsman turn out a product that appeals in an honest way to those core American values that Stone’s work has given every evidence of reviling, well, it would be a wonder to behold.

Because the effort to be true to what is honorable is sustained, this film cannot be simply a result of the even a stopped clock is right twice a day phenomenon. What I take this to mean is that Stone gets it, he understands it, but he just doesn’t care to honor it, mostly. It’s just a theme, to him, that as an artist he explores. Any creative person knows what this is like. If we write a character, that character must be true. In the same way, patriotism can be presented as honorable by someone who is not a patriot, and who thinks patriotism is wrong.

How dare I say someone is not a patriot? -- which is to say, unpatriotic? Well, if it’s a slander, I apologize. But it isn’t. But if it is, then I would wonder how Stone’s patriotism manifests itself in his work? Because to weep for the failings of the nation you love is one thing. But to celebrate them is something else ... that may actually look the same. But it’s not.

I am a sentimental fool, though, and even the similitude of redemption inspires me with hope. Perhaps this does represent a change in Stone. It doesn’t, but it might. I’ve written already of Norma McCorvey, the "Roe" of Roe v Wade. She got saved. She got through the eye of the needle. Someone must have been praying for her. Is there someone else we might think of, fully as lost, just as blind, working an evil not as violent but just as debilitating to the nation? If you can think of any such a one, and can think of some response that might work toward their eternal good, perhaps you might act on that thought. Because there is nothing more important than redemption.


No comments: