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America is dead.

I saw Transformers on Monday [I caught the 8:00 PM show at AMC River East 21]… I thought it was awesome, good action [as only Michael Bay can deliver], and you can't go wrong with Steven Spielberg as an executive producer. It will probably be a bigger blockbuster, but I still believe Live Free or Die Hard is better film. And the reason for that is because the interpretation of Optimus Prime comes off as a protector, a god-like complex—which happens to overshadow Shia Labeouf ascendancy; whereas John McClane is just an everyman that becomes a hero because it is needed. What happens to John McClane time and time again happens to Shia but he's got big-ass robots behind his back to help him out. Both films discuss the idea that there is a hero in every individual and that’s what makes them good films.

Today, as Americans, we celebrate our independence day. July 4, marks the official day of United States of America, but there’s something wrong with this picture. 1776 is quite different than the country we see around us. For Michael Moore’s Sicko, the tag line is “What seems to be the problem?” Long gone are the days of hapless fun, barbecues and fireworks. These moments still occur, but let’s face it, it’s not like it was in the 90’s. In a post 9-11 world, the red, white and blue is a bit faded. Not so bold and true, as they once were. We celebrate our independence, but I believe this country has forgotten what it means to be American.

Ever the augment, media [movies, music, and associated press] do not define a country. As designers, as intellectuals, filmmakers and artists alike convey messages in our work. It’s one thing to express the sentiments of ourselves; it’s another playing field when we try to express the feelings of another or of others as a whole. As of late, the films produced have had an underlying trend, “there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?” [V for Vendetta]

Tomorrow, on comic book stores and stands everywhere, fan-boys, patriots and citizens alike bury Captain America. The idealistic patriot has died. The Sentinel of Liberty was assassinated on the steps of Federal Courthouse, he was put on trail after he defied the governments Registration Act requiring all citizens with supernatural abilities to register their personal information—thereby putting themselves and those they know in the line of fire. Every since his first issue, he has been a symbol of this country.

Brandishing the American Flag across his chest, he was the shining shield of these United States. Tomorrow the last issue of a five-part series entitled “Fallen Son: Death of Captain America” wraps-up. The chapter titles are based on the five stages of grief:






This series is unbelievable; it takes the audience through the loss of a hero, through the eyes of his friends [Wolverine, Iron Man, the Avengers, Spider-Man, etc]. The last issue is said to answer the question, “How does a nation stand without its hero?” I suspect it will be like the last two movies I’ve reviewed: there is a hero within us all and it’s the only thing keeping hope alive. has provided notes for the last issue.
Link:[] has provided a good interview with Jeph Loeb, writer of this epic series. Link:[]


Sarah said...

America is dead. Wow...that's a bit harsh, but what a great way to grab my attention, which I think was your objective. I say this because after reading the entire entry, it is clear to me that you are not a pessimist and that you do not truly believe that we are a nation dead and beyond reprieve.

As the movie Transformers vividly illustrates, we, as humans, have become blind to the hurt, pain, and suffering we inflict on our own and to the destruction we impose on our environment. There is no doubt that our behavior today is in many ways self-destructing and if we do not take a step back to reflect and correct on this we expose our weakness and vulnerability. Yet there are heroes among us and in each and every one of us.

Post 9-11 is not the first time this nation has had to face tragedy and overcome great obstacles. I'd agree, that yes, we have gone quite a ways from the days of 1776, but were those really the days of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all? Or was it just for the privileged few who had the right sex organs, the proper skin color, and enough coins in their pocket? Since 1776, we have made the 4th of July a holiday that people, regardless of their sex, skin color, and socioeconomic status can enjoy. America has become more free since 1776 and it is because we had great heroes ,like MLK, Elizabeth Cady Stanton among millions of others, step-up to the plate when the time called for them. On the 4th of July, we celebrate this freedom that we have worked so hard to achieve. I still believe in our fireworks , bbq's, and reunions. This nation has survived and overcome the Civil War, World War I & II, the Great Depression, civil war, 2 world wars, the Great Depression, and terrorist attacks. Among these have been countless other adversities we have overcome. We still have much to celebrate and be thankful for.

You're right, we are not perfect as a nation. There are many more trials and tribulations that we must first recognize and then set to correct. I think that today our vulnerabilities and weaknesses are more apparent because of the media and globalization, but I do think that we have come a great way from 1776 and I'm grateful for this. I wish I'd read Captain America so that I could understand his objective and his death and respond to that, but what I can say is that I also believe that "there is a hero within us all and it's the only thing keeping hope alive."

Tainted Dragon said...

Hey! Thanks for the comment and great opening piece for discussion. Yes, I do believe there are heroes amongst us all, but where are they?

We have come along way since 1776, plenty of blood, sweat, and tears have been shed on this holy ground. And it is understood that all men (and women) are created equal. People have fought for so much, but do we acknowledge their sacrifice still? Or do we, as a whole, assassinate their cause and bury their memory? The time for heroes [like the show on Fox] has been upon us and I don't believe our "blind messiah" [reference to The Matrix and the one... Neo] is ready. Without Captain America, there must be someone to "Save Us." [Cartel - Save Us] Like the National Pastime, if called upon, I hope I can "step-up to the plate when the time call[s]."