[Marxism] Fwd: The last of the cowboys | Idiot Joy Showland

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 20 17:46:29 MST 2015

American Sniper, the Clint Eastwood biopic of Chris Kyle, isn’t just a 
piece of gratuitous military propaganda; it’s a godawful, artless, 
bloated, cowardly failure of a film. Defending the abomination he’d 
created against accusations of propaganda, Eastwood insisted that it 
isn’t political, but a character study. Except the encounter between 
Kyle and Routh, the essential character-defining moment of the story, is 
entirely absent. All we see is Kyle’s wife watch him driving off with a 
stranger who, as we’re meant to infer from the slow zooming of the 
camera and the shot’s framing through a crack in the doorway, is somehow 
evil. Then fade to black, the words Chris Kyle was killed that day by a 
veteran he was trying to help, and stirring music over real footage of 
Kyle’s funeral procession. Roll credits. That’s it.

In fact, none of Kyle’s actual character seems to have made it into this 
character study. The real-life Chris Kyle was a strange and unpleasant 
man: not just a killer but a liar, a braggart, and a thief. There’s 
something weirdly childish about him. He said he’d shot thirty armed 
looters from the top of the New Orleans Superdome in the aftermath of 
Katrina (despite also boasting of having himself looted from apartments 
in Iraq), was successfully sued for claiming have knocked out the former 
politician and wrestler Jesse Ventura in a bar fight, and insisted he’d 
once effortlessly killed two Mexican carjackers in Texas. His uncle 
works for Nintendo, and he knows a secret karate move called the Touch 
of Death, and he totally had sex with all the girls at school, but don’t 
ask any of them about it, because they’ll only lie. It’s hard to take 
anything he says seriously. Chris Kyle served in Ramadi and Fallujah: in 
both cities American forces set up arbitrary no-go zones without any 
signposts, and shot anyone who stepped outside their homes or took a 
wrong turn while driving. Residents were afraid to even go near their 
windows. In Fallujah a sniper was positioned outside a hospital and 
fired on ambulance crews as they tried to leave. Was it Kyle? Who can 
say? In his book Kyle never really approaches Iraqis as being fully 
human, never takes a moment to try to comprehend why the people he kills 
might resent being occupied by the same empire that starved five hundred 
thousand of their children to death. It’s because they’re evil, he 
decides: playground morality. He never wonders what he’d do if a foreign 
power took over Texas. Your character study’s all here, ready and 
waiting, but this isn’t the film Clint Eastwood makes.

full: https://samkriss.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/the-last-of-the-cowboys/

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