Someone gave us tickets to see a play called Black Watch, about the famed Scottish regiment in the British Army. The play premiered in 2006 in Edinburgh, at the height of anti-War fervor. It tells the story of a regiment that goes back 300 years, that bore the brunt of a bad attack in Iraq, and that was later folded into another regiment, to the distress of its members and many in Scotland. The genesis for the play was a series of news reports about returning vets getting into bar fights, etc. (Of course, when I heard that, I immediately wondered if these guys would have gotten into bar fights regardless, consistent with their working class Scottish demographic, and then made news solely because of their Black Watch affiliation.)
Here’s a YouTube promo that gives you an idea about the play. I got tired just watching it:
Although everybody on the Left who wrote it, produced it, acted in it, or reviewed it insists that it’s “even handed,” I have to admit to having my doubts. I’ll try to keep an open mind, though. It might indeed be a moving tribute to a long-standing regiment. (My Dad — who was in the RAF, but ended up in ANZAC, and then somehow served as an infantryman — fought aside the Black Watch in El Alamein. He carried with him memories of being piped into battle.)
The good thing is that the actors I’ll be watching are all actually Scottish, so they’ll have the accent right. The bad news — and the reason I have an icky feeling about the play, even if it is well-done and is even-handed — is that I’m absolutely certain that the majority of them are anti-War. I mean, think about it: young, Scottish, in the Arts — they’ve got to be Leftists. I certainly don’t have proof, but I have a reasonable hypothesis, right?
What this means is that those who are ostensibly paying respectful homage to generations of Black Watch soldiers in fact think of soldiers as sadistic baby killers. For such actors, every depiction of a good soldier is a parody, because there’s no such thing. And every depiction of a bad soldier — whether on the field or off — feels right because, after all, that’s what troops are . . . BAD.
This is why I hate modern war movies. It’s not just because I’m squeamish. It’s because I know that the actors, producers, and directors making those movies hate everything the troops stand for: their masculine culture (which is why the huge push for homosexuals generally and women on the front lines), their religion (which is why Obama’s Pentagon has hired a rabid Christian hater to work with it on “tolerance”), and their belief that war is the only way to solve some problems (“War, for the times when a ‘Coexist’ bumper sticker just won’t get the job done.”).
To me, it’s a cruel travesty to watch poncy Hollywood (or Scottish) actors bound around pretending to be masculine and brave. It’s not just that they’re scared little boys pretending; it’s that they’re scared little boys who despise the real thing.
All of this makes it very ironic that Steven Spielberg, he of the anti-War left, has signed on to make a Chris Kyle biopic. Chris Kyle wasn’t politically correct. He loved war when it was just, he loved fighting, he loved the manliness of his military environment, and he absolutely and completely hated the people against whom he fought: the savage barbarians of Islam. One can bet, though, that in Spielberg’s limp hands, Kyle will become an anguished figure, trying to come to terms with the havoc he’s wreaked upon the innocent people of Iraq.
Incidentally, one of the reasons WWII war films worked so well, and are still watchable, was because the people in them supported the war effort. Some enlisted, some served, some were in the Army Reserve since 1937 but couldn’t serve because of bad vision (that would be Ronald Reagan), and all believed that America needed to beat the Axis. Yes, a lot of the actors were scared little boys pretending, but they admired the real thing, rather than despising it.
After I’ve seen Black Watch, I’ll let you know what I think of it, and whether my fears were realized.