Anyone’s Business: America-By Any Means

by: In Our Words Staff

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This is Anyone’s Business, where you make the article.  We post a question, you comment, discuss, make your opinions known.  In Our Words wants to be an open and respectful space for conversation on a variety of subjects, we hope AB brings more of that to this site.

This week’s question/prompt is:

The Oscar’s are at hand, the Golden Globes, Emmy’s, SAG Awards, and the lot have passed, and a slight trend has appeared, causing some pause for critical thought.  Some of the top shows (Homeland) and films (Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Lincoln– in its own way)  have a tone of “America-By Any Means”, or at least have Americans in wartime making tough decisions, nessecary or crucial sacrifices or deals,  in the name of security and safety of the people; they are often fraught with potentially troubling, surprising, intriguing, or notable implications or consequences.

Is this reflective of our desires as a nation both at war and in debt, to see these people doing what “keeps us  safe” as the end– no matter how murky the means; are we interested these media forms as a means of informing ourselves about situations our news might not touch, are they actually balanced and interested in informing a public; do we watch or make these shows to feel justified in our nation’s actions or to better understanding?  

While the argument can be made that some present situations bit more openly(Zero Dark Thirty), leaving you to decide if what was done was  right or wrong), what is ultimately said when movies like Argo, where we swoop into oppressive Middle Eastern regimes to liberate Americans in need– under the guise of Hollywood glamour and the cunning of our intelligence, are walking home with all the awards; are we trying to tell people “Look at what we can do right!”  after possible missteps in wartime intelligence during the Bush Era, or are these just the best stories being told (well why do with make them or think they are the best?)

Geopolitics can also come into play, as the most prominent of these films/shows(Argo, Homeland, and  Zero Dark Thirty) are contemporary and have to do with the Middle East.   Gender analysis, especially the role of women as persistent and resilient  intelligence officers in Zero Dark Thirty and Homeland, is also ripe in these works.

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