Your Hot Take on Statues is Garbage

2-2-Lenin-statue-demolished-1024x575Ask yourself a question. What moral authority do you have over your neighbor? If your answer is anything other than “None, whatsoever,” we have a serious problem on our hands. We live in an environment right now where large sections of our populous and governing bodies, regardless of intention, are both shameless and authoritarian. Shameless, through nature. Authoritarian, through nurture.

First, you need to know that your wholly unoriginal “hot take” on the very real and, for many, visceral issue of removing certain monuments and statues from the public eye is myopic at best and iconoclastic at worst.

Tearing_Down_King_George_StatueThere are two primary “hot takes” circulating amongst those with an outrageous and unfounded sense of moral superiority. The first being, “You lost, get over it. Losers don’t get statues.” This sentiment is very specific to monuments to the American Confederate Soldiers who lost an economic war during a time of political strife over the legality and moral corruption of slavery. Many of these statues simply honor the memory of the over 200,000 conscripted soldiers who fought for a cause they didn’t necessarily have any stake in whatsoever. Should these men, the history and legacy of an entire section of the now United States, not be remembered?

Don’t get it twisted. These are not Nazis. These are children and men who were handed guns and sent to die.

statueBut let’s take “Losers don’t get statues” a step further. Which losers are we referring to? People who were killed while fighting a cause we now find morally questionable? People who were killed or conquered by American forces? Imagine if that were the case. Just for a second, think outside the bun and imagine a group–just ONE–who were destroyed or conquered throughout American History who we now honor the memory of with our monuments to history. Now imagine ripping them down.

The second “hot take” you’ll be familiar with is, “What do you need statues to remember history for? Can’t go to a museum? Can’t read a book?” This one is a little trickier; because clearly the simple answer is: You don’t need statues. They’re expensive, they’re largely obnoxious, and most of the time they’re actually kind of ugly. The same goes for murals.

(There’s a particularly hideous Bernie Sanders mural in South Philadelphia which would fit the categories of both “Loser” and “What do you need this for?” but, I digress…)

The fact remains, murals, statues and monuments are not only how we preserve and remember our cultural history, but how we ensure that it isn’t erased. A statue to an unknown Confederate soldier may, to practically everyone, stand for a victory over an game-changing dark age in American history. But it may also stand for young men who were both emboldened or conscripted to fight and die for a place they called their home, and a system they felt was tyrannical.

We burned the South to the ground. But then we rebuilt it. We wanted to remember, not erase.

150226104027-isis-destroys-iraq-mosul-artifacts-00002819-large-169While you snicker at those who correctly compare this new iconoclasm to the cultural tornado of ISIS and Al Qaeda, consider the implications of these actions. What does the removal of one group’s heritage from the public square say about the group who removed it? That they’re frightened? Weak? Intimidated by a historical comparisons? When you destroy or dismantle, or relocate something to the halls of a museum, you’re now putting it in a new historic context. Instead of “this is important to this place, and that’s why it is in this place” you’re saying “this needed to be destroyed or removed from its original place because…reasons.”

While the Left enjoys their culturally genocidal game of chicken, they forget that they won’t always be in the position they’re currently in: given free range to hurl tantrums while the would-be adults in the room cave to their demands. What happens when someone else gets to decide what’s allowed in the public square? Statues of Malcolm X? Statues of Lenin? Your only true respite is that the side that you claim to fight is not as keen on ripping shit down as you guys seem to be.

Lastly, you can scoff about the exhausted notion of the “slippery slope,” but it’s been validated with near metaphysical certitude on practically every occasion. It didn’t even take a whole 24-hours for the angry mob to move from memorials of the Confederacy to statues of former Presidents…to statues in memory of Philadelphia’s perhaps most venerated cop and mayor.

cufujblwiaexb4kBut, hey, it’s easy to call the other side “fascists” when you’re the ones destroying art, monuments and culture, right? Especially when the culture you’re destroying isn’t your own.

There is certainly a debate to be had on the subject of Confederate Memorial statues. There’s always a debate. But that debate should be had where they exist and should be of literally negative impact and concern to anyone outside of where they exist.

The fact that people in New York or LA have a say in how the Southern States remember their heritage and history is, frankly, mentally ill. It can not be understated how dangerous of a notion it is for one politically motivated group to decide what statues are allowed to remain.

It won’t stop at Robert E. Lee; because it was never even intended to stop at Robert E. Lee.




Harry Potter and the Grand Wizarding World of White Supremacy

6That guy who is known for portraying Harry Potter is going to star as an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates white supremacist groups in order to prevent a terrorist attack!?!

Sign me up!

After watching a few interviews with Daniel Radcliffe explaining that the dialogue was so harsh he had to apologize to his fellow actors, I thought to myself self this flick Imperium could be the next American History X. It wasn’t, but, it wasn’t bad either. Imperium’s faults mostly come from a lack of strong dialogue, and what dialogue it does have lacks passion in its delivery. If you want to see this movie; STOP READING NOW.

OK, great let’s break it down

  • Radcliffe’s character, Nate, is part of a botched terror plot take down.
  • The FBI sets up a Somali refugee by convincing him to become a terrorist so they can arrest him.
  • Nate connects with the suspect and feels the FBI has done wrong; he’s talented at connecting with people, so we’re told, repeatedly.
  • Agent Zamparo (Toni Collette) chews gum like a grazing cow and exposes to Nate the true terrorists who walk among us – WHITES!!!
  • In this movie the FBI doesn’t care about tracking down potential white supremacist terrorists. We’re given a slide show of the standard McVeighs and Roofs.
  • Nate easily infiltrates a skin head group with the greatest of ease by shaving his head, and dropping that hate speak like he’s reading it out of a textbook (because he is).
  • We meet the online white supremacist personality, Dallas Wolf (fucking perfect name)! He writes books, he leads marches, he is full of shit.
  • We meet Neo-Nazis!
  • We see almost violence against an interracial couple!
  • The N-word gets dropped once!
  • We meet an overly polite family whose children have a special tree house for when “the mud people come”

Basically we have an adventure of Nate making close personal connections with various white supremacists after one conversation, and then the one the movie wants you to least suspect is the real terrorist.

All in all, I think this movie would’ve made a great short film, which could be done by cutting out a significant amount of fluff, but that’s the way she goes. A daring subject to tackle comes up a little short by focusing more on personal connections that happen incredibly fast, instead of the actual threat of white supremacists.

Joe’s Grade: B

Few Things are More Satisfying Than Killing Nazis

Whether it be in cinema, video games, or World History, there rarely comes a moment as wholly emotionally gratifying as watching a Nazi drown in a pool of his own blood. And it is with this scenario in mind that we take this time to review two new releases: Inglourious Basterds and The Saboteur.

Inglourious Basterds is a work of historical fiction written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, released earlier this year. The World War II revenge flick was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray in time for Christmas, so now is as good a time as any to review it.

Tarantino is the master of taking a tired concept and making it fresh–and this is just what he did with Basterds. While it bears the same name as an older exploitation WWII flick, it is not a remake. This is a fresh piece of cinema that packs in enough edge-of-your-seat intensity that it becomes difficult to watch.

But what am I telling you for? You’ve almost certainly already seen it, and if not, you’re a damn fool. The film focuses on two sets of protagonists who never come into contact, but who are fighting similar battles against German Nationalists.

The first group are the Basterds–a squad of Jewish-American soldiers led by Brad Pitt. Their sole mission seems to be killing as many Nazis as possible before they bite the bullet–until a British soldier joins their team and focuses their mission on blowing up a theater full of German soldiers.

The second story is that of the Jewish owner of the theater, a young woman who barely escaped a raid on the Paris house where her family had been hiding. She swore revenge on the Nazis who killed her family, and naturally, in true Tarantino fashion–she’ll fucking get it.

It’s a very beautiful, brutal, and comical portrayal of vengeance in Nazi-occupied France. Buy this film!

If you enjoyed Inglourious Basterds, and you’re a gamer, you will adore the final release by Pandemic Studios, The Saboteur. Some of Pandemic’s releases in the past have been give-and-take, but The Saboteur has achieved a full-on grip around my attention.

The game follows the standard sandbox, character in the middle of the screen, circular map/life-bar/wanted level model as every other open world game, but it’s nice to see the new innovation.

You play as Sean Devlin, a drinking, smoking, Irish racer, mechanic, and stereotype. He’s a man’s man with a penchant for snapping Nazi spines. The only problems I can find with this game are its lackluster controls (namely for sneaking and climbing) and the excessive amount of driving necessary for an open-world Paris…

Sean’s “brother” is murdered by a particularly evil Nazi (which just seems redundant), and this sets him off on a murderous rampage of killing and destruction.

The climbing and assassinating causes me to compare this game to Assassin’s Creed, but in almost every other way, it’s Grand Theft Auto: Nazi Occupied France. The game is very good and lots of fun to play; but I’m not above honesty–and to tell you the truth–if the setting were any different, it would be a generic sandbox shooter.

Supremacists always look better like this...

Killing Nazis doesn’t necessarily make a bad game better, but it certainly doesn’t make it worse. Luckily for The Saboteur, the gameplay, story, graphics, and acting is actually very captivating–and when you pair that with killing Nazis, your weekend is full.

Alex G/

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