So, for Americans, it’s the Thanksgiving Holiday long weekend. I assume most Americans are recovering from over stuffing the stuffing yesterday and have now finished picking out the stuffing from their hair and sofas. Faced with three more days before the eventual return to dreaded work, what will Americans be doing with their time, I wondered, as one would wonder. Shopping is always on the list I hear, but what about the downtime, the relaxation time? Perhaps a Hollywood movie? Rent the old DVD and relax in the recliner?
Well, as Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in Ireland, as such, I skipped over the stuffing the stuffing part, and the shopping part (because over here the holiday season begins right after Halloween, that said, many of us are still trying to find that so called “special gift” at midnight on Christmas eve, what can I say, it’s the Guinness) Anyhow, back to the story, so we skipped straight to the downtime category and decided to watch a movie. Now, let me preface this by saying I was not the one responsible for picking the movie, there I’ve said it, don’t blame me! The movie in question was called “Cloverfield” and yes, I hear the gasps, it’s pathetic I know, but it got me thinking……………about Palestine, Hollywood and Americans, funnily enough!! I'll explain:
For those who don’t know about this movie, it’s the typical America disaster fare, where Americans and America are under attack from some “Awesome Creature” hell bent on killing all Americans and destroying New York (Poor New York it gets everything) And in the end no one survives in Manhattan, except the video camera found in Central Park by the Military when the war was over (I assume America won, after all, America always win don’t they? Except in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and soon to be Iran) So, the found video camera tells the story of a group of friends, who one by one got picked off by the creature, until only the camera survived.
wiki The film is presented so as to look as if it were a video file recovered from a digital camcorder by the United States Department of Defense. The film begins with a disclaimer stating that the following footage about to be viewed is of a case designated "Cloverfield" and was found in the area that was "formerly known as Central Park".So, again I wondered, why is it then, that Hollywood makes these types of movies? You know the ones like “Independence Day”, “Signs”, “War of the Worlds” and “Cloverfield” all those where America is under attack, it's very existence threatened, it all looks dark, all hope is lost, but then WHAMMO the American fighting spirit wins in the end…………..always.
I know why these movies are popular, perhaps it is because Americans live very safe lives on the whole, unless you venture into some bad ass neighbourhood. But on the whole Americans live a comfy life, they don’t know what it is to be truly under attack on their own soil, save for 9-11 which lasted for one day. But never a long protracted war by a powerful aggressor, they don't know that. They haven’t a clue of what it feels like, so these movies allow them to feel the terror and the hopelessness of facing the loss of their freedoms, identities and yes, ultimately their very lives, all from the safe comfort of one's favourite armchair.
Well, may I suggest that instead of trying to get that feeling of oppression, hopelessness, being hunted like an animal, being under threat of life and limb, maybe Americans should instead visit Palestine and see first hand what before was only experienced in Hollywood movies. Now there’s a novel thought! Might I suggest instead of overspending on Christmas, take your money and sign up for the Gaza 2010 March instead, witness a real disaster unfolding before your every eyes, instead of a fake Hollywood one.
Enjoy your weekend watching movies……..