First of all, a vital and very important disclaimer. I'm a conservative. I'm not a "progressive," and I'm certainly not a "leftist." In fact, I'm just the opposite. I'm conservative, intelligent, articulate, and well-informed. Every Progressive's nightmare.
That being said, there has been a lot of ridiculousness lately about the recent action-thriller "Non-Stop," starring Liam Neeson. If I'm not mistaken, Glenn Beck was particularly butt-hurt over it, (which is unfortunately, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for Glenn), as well as "Chicks on the Right," who I also respect quite a bit.
And I gotta tell ya... I just don't get it. I really don't.
NOTE: The following is a spoiler, so don't read it if you want to see the movie.
The movie centers around a burned-out booze-hound of an U.S. Air Marshall who finds himself caught in the middle of a nefarious scheme to bring down a passenger jet with 150 souls on board. The villian is a family member of a 9/11 victim, who wants to lash out and punish everyone for the lack of security and false assurances of safety by the government. Along with a side-kick who is former military, who's just in it for the money. Oh, and it has a "token Muslim," complete with Muslim traditional garb, who turns out to be <insert audible gasp here> a good guy... a gentle and conscientious physician.
</end of spoiler>
Oh, my. I'm sure you can hear the conspiracy theories thundering down the tracks from 3 miles away.
The fact is, though, that those who are advancing those theories are exercising an embarrassing degree of ignorance combined with a heaping helping of selective amnesia... not to mention just a teensy bit of over-dramatic paranoia and a dump-truck load of hypocrisy.
Here's the truth, boys and girls: It's just a movie. It's fiction. It didn't pretend to be an accurate portrayal of events real or imagined.
What this film DID manage to do is turn the stereotypes that we gleefully throw around with abandon on their collective ears... which, quite frankly, was part of what keeps you guessing in this movie. We are so used to seeing the "token Muslim" turn out to be the bad guy that it literally renders us speechless when the "token Muslim" turns out to be the "good guy," even though that's an accurate representation of the vast majority of the Muslim population in this country. Those who are dropping in their respective tracks from apoplectic seizures of righteous indignation are forgetting one teensy, tiny detail... the roles and characterizations in this movie are completely believable and are painfully realistic.
Anyone remember Timothy McVeigh? Not a Muslim. All-American, home-grown terrorist nutcase. Ex-Military Gulf War veteran. Considered himself a true "patriot." And stop me when any of this sounds familiar... McVeigh's stated reason for the worst act of domestic terrorism in the U.S. EVER... and the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil before 9/11... was "revenge" for the actions of the U.S. government at Waco, TX and Ruby Ridge, ID. McVeigh killed 168 people, and wounded 700... eerily similar to the 150 people on the unfortunate flight in this film.
The truth (that some wing-nut ultra-right-wing conspiracy-theory-under-every-rock extremists refuse to acknowledge) is that not every act of terrorism is perpetrated by Islam, and not every bad guy is a Muslim. Sometimes it's just a true-blue, all-American nutcase on some misguided "revenge quest," and sometimes the Muslim really IS the good guy, which is PRECISELY what this movie is about... regardless of extremist right-wing conservative fundamentalist nutjob claims. Seriously?
Yes, there are bad guys even here in the U.S. who are Muslim. But there are exponentially more who are peaceful, quiet, respectful citizens who are humble and grateful for all this country has to offer... who serve in soup kitchens and who lay down their lives defending this country against those terrible stereotypical spittle-spewing Jihadists. There are even (quite a few) doctors in that mix, who look on violence with abhorrence and disgust, and who are intensely loyal to the good 'ole U.S. of A.
What this movie ISN'T is some kind of ham-fisted attempt to paint rosy flowers on the ugly painting of Extremist Islam, nor is it a film intended to convince anyone that our own people (particularly one that one could argue has "conservative" values and attitudes) are the "real" enemy. It is a rather entertaining action-thriller. Period.
This feigned outrage over a movie (and I thought a particularly good one at that) is embarrassing. Seriously? Redirect your righteous indignation and outrage where it really belongs... laser-focused on our Clown-Central Dictator-In-Chief, and not on a movie that has the audacity to create an intense, entertaining romp that gleefully stomps all over your sacred cow stereotypes.