A Few Good Men and One Bad Critic

Kyle Smith is a hack critic who writes for a rag called the New York Post. His latest piece of tripe is this, a babbling screed about the supposed conservative values espoused by Iron Man 2. Having not seen the film I probably shouldn’t comment, but I’m going to briefly anyway: he’s probably wrong, because everything this man says tends to be wrong, because he is, in the Michael Medved fashion, a conservative toolbag first and a critic second – that is, his primary mission is to whine ad nauseum about the “liberal bias” of Hollywood while occasionally pulling a white rabbit out of his ass for us to follow as he takes us on an abysmally incoherent path of tortured logic leading to the inevitable conclusion that “(insert blockbuster movie of the year) is really a conservative message, hahaha lolz all you lefty fools.”

Remember The Dark Knight? Smith and his ilk fellated Christopher Nolan endlessly for his supposed defense of Bush-era conservatism. Well gee, I don’t know about you, but that’s totally the message I took from that movie.

But anyway, fuck Iron Man – I really don’t care about it. And I don’t care about this dime-a-dozen, conservatarded film-basher cum columnist, except that at the very beginning of his piece he a) invokes a movie I do happen to care about in order to advance his nonsense, and b) exemplifies as well as anything you will ever see the absolute lunacy of the right wing’s populist champions.

Little did Aaron Sorkin suspect, when he wrote the lefty drama “A Few Good Men,” that the only thing anyone would ever remember about it was Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessep speech, which Sorkin accidentally made more convincing than any liberal argument he ever offered: “Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. You want me on that wall — you need me on that wall. My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.”

All hyperbole aside, this is the wrongest thing in the history of things that have been wrong.

The “You can’t handle the truth!” speech Smith refers to can be seen here. It’s a wonderfully written and played scene, a full-throated defense of military elitism, essentially saying, “I’m in the military, I protect you in ways you can’t understand, now shut up and let me do my job as I see fit.” It is also utterly, utterly wrong. And the movie tells you this!

Specifically, Nicholson’s Col. Jessep is defending his decision to order a “code red” (think a more violent version of frat hazing) on a whiny private who was pissing everyone off. Only instead of just scaring the piss out of the recruit, the gag shoved in his mouth inadvertently leads to his death. Jessep’s argument is a fantastic canard, forceful and eloquent but totally bereft of any shred of logic – the idea that being charged with defending this country entitles you to run your own little autocracy, dispatching underlings to serve at the pleasure of your extrajudicial whims is, on its face, ludicrous. This is not how the military in any civilized nation has ever, ever worked.

Yet that is exactly what Smith proposes to be “more convincing than any liberal argument”. You see, it’s apparently a “liberal” tenet that the military, um, follow their own fucking rules:

Nonjudicial punishment or “NJP” permits commanders to administratively discipline troops without a court-martial. Punishment can range from reprimand to reduction in rank, correctional custody (aboard ships only), loss of pay, extra duty, and/or restrictions.

Do you see the provision in there that allows one dickhead colonel to order his subordinates to beat the shit out of a recruit? Yeah, I must’ve missed it too. Oh, and you know what happens to our red-faced defender of “the walls”? He gets arrested. Because he was wrong. But that doesn’t really matter to people like our friend Kyle Smith, does it? Because today’s conservatism is exactly like Jessep’s speech: emotion in place of logic, bluster in lieu of nuance, authority without accountability, fear-mongering instead of debate. Call it Colonel Jessep Conservatism – whoever can shout the loudest and suck America’s cock the deep-throatest wins.

Smith’s joke of an assertion (“Sorkin made his own case against himself, hahaha fuck you stupid liberals!”) is only the latest in a long, long, long line of right winguts conflating “sensible positions I disagree with because I’m a backward fucking loon” with “liberal”. Run a news story about global warming without having a knownothing panelist on to decry its non-existence? That’s liberal. Cover gay marriage without hearing from a bigoted “family values” closet-case about how it will lead to people marrying dogs and their kids sticking their dicks in electrical sockets because they’re “confused”? Liberal. Talk about evolution without input from a crackpot creationist about how the world was created six thousand years ago by the magical man in the sky and “Darwinists” are all secretly afraid of going to hell? Liberal.

Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, a thousand times bullshit, and fuck anyone and everyone who tries to label “fact-based reasoning” as “liberal”, and especially this Kyle Smith dope for trying to make his abortion of an argument with a movie I like.

And, um, A Few Good Men rocks. See it if you haven’t already.

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