They’re Worried About a New Generation

Miguel points to some gun control advocate’s hysteria about the new Red Dawn movie. I watched the trailer, and I don’t think I’d be a fan. I put this in the same “messing with my childhood” boat that George Lucas is the happy captain of these days. It’s not a movie that needed remaking.

But Red Dawn was pretty unambiguously a movie targeted at teenagers. When the movie came out, in theaters in 1984, I was ten. I probably first saw it in my early teens, when it came out on HBO. This idea that Red Dawn “is seen as pretty much a documentary by the far right,” is only true in the minds of those who think they are better than us, and have this whole right-wing gun nut thing figured out. For the rest of us, it was just another one of the many memorable and influential movies that dotted the childhoods of Gen Xers. Did it have an effect on my young, pliable mind as to the importance of an armed populace? I’d say it did, yes, and maybe that’s the concern.

Just to return the favor of a little dime store psychoanalysis for the other side, I think some part of them might be worried about a remake influencing a new generation of kids with similar sentiment as to the benefits of an armed society. I don’t think they should worry. Movies are not as influential on the younger generations as they were on us. I’d suggest that video games that feature gun play will probably have far more influence on the minds of the young than any remake of Red Dawn will, and there have already been at least one generation raised with first person shoot-em-ups.

But I find it interesting they think enough of the movie to turn their noses up and frown on a remake. As our self-appointed betters, I’m not surprised at this behavior, but it really does make you wonder who are the real “squares” in this debate.

25 thoughts on “They’re Worried About a New Generation”

  1. I saw the trailer and I think it might be a flop. We’ll see how truthful they are to the original.

  2. I think I also saw I first on HBO, and even have a VHS of it recorded off of HBO. It was an influence in my life, especially during the late days of the cold war. I hope the new one isn’t a flop. Between this movie and another installment of Atlas Shrugged, Michael Moore has to be thinking he should have released a docucraporary about Romney.

  3. I was a bit older than you when it first came out in 1984 (OK, a lot older!). While I never saw it in the theater, I’ve seen it on TV a few times. It’s escapist fare just like many movies that Hollywood makes. Big deal. I don’t see why CSGV is getting all butt hurt over this movie.

    I do remember a friend who saw the movie when it came out telling me a story about an acquaintance of his who thought the Soviets might try something like this. However, in his mind they would have transports sneaking into Atlanta behind Delta 747s. The guy didn’t think they’d get too far into N. Georgia or Western NC because of all the armed survivalists hanging out there. The guy ran a gun store and had “armed them”.

    My friend and I had a good laugh about it.

    If I have any objection to the remake it is that the Wolverines are still using AKs instead of made in America ARs.

    1. Actually, using AKs makes sense; They’re generally fairly rugged, and the ones they’d pick up off dead enemies would be full auto, whereas the majority of the AR’s they’d come across would likely be semi.

      Sure it’s fairly trivial to convert an AR to fire full-auto, but that requires proper tools and knowledge to do correctly and safely.

      1. Agreed. If I have to fight a guerrilla campaign, assuming equal availability of ammo, I’ll take the AK over the AR in a heartbeat and every time.

        (I’ll also need to loose a good deal of weight. Sigh.)

  4. The scenario in Red Dawn is a reason to promote gun ownership. While the odds of a hostile invasion (I think our odds of fighting our own government is higher) are not good, it could happen. Our geographic location has been a Godsend for us. There is a reason Switzerland issues weapons to its citizens.

    In the wake of the recent mass shootings, I still feel it as an essential right for Americans to arm themselves with high powered weapons if they choose to do so. Some of the more zealous gun control advocates will point out the Bill of Rights was written at a time when muskets were the weapon of choice. I would point out that muskets were also what our enemies and government had. I would even suggest that “musket” is not used because they were aware that technology changed and so to would the arms of the citizens. As long as the Russians and Chinese and North Koreans and our government has these weapons, I think the American people have the right and duty (if they so choose) to arm themselves in kind.

    1. Some of the more zealous gun control advocates will point out the Bill of Rights was written at a time when muskets were the weapon of choice. I would point out that muskets were also what our enemies and government had. I would point out that muskets were also what our enemies and government had. I would even suggest that “musket” is not used because they were aware that technology changed and so to would the arms of the citizens.

      Or you could point out to them that at the time the Bill of Rights was written, media was literally a wooden block press (in many instances). In any case, there was no television, internet, radio or flying blimps to convey their opinions. If the Second Amendment only covers muskets, then your friends should be careful what they say on the internet or the phone…because it is not protected free speech.

      Never respond to a question or rhetorical jab from a non-gunnie with guns or talk of “tactics”. Never. You are just fitting their stereotype and are therefore easier to ignore. I’d suggest discourses on modernized warfare. Just point them back to everyone’s favorite amendment: #1.

      When engaging in debate over the modern utility of the Second Amendment, learn everything you can about its First Amendment amalgams and have at it. Tell the gun controllers you’ll trade your Glock in for a Musket when they trade their Blog in for a carving set and a wooden block press.

      1. I meant, “I would suggest to never engage in discourses on modern warfare…”

        Sorry, cannot edit a thing anymore.

        The problem with talking gun to non-gun people is that they glaze over and start thinking like Homer Simpson. I always suggest folks learn how to turn it back to comparisons to something they hold dear. As a matter of course, this is strengthened if you use the same logic used by the Supreme Court. Lead them down the path, and when they say “but the two don’t compare”, point them to Heller/McDonald and tell them the argument is over and they lost.

        Enjoy the Hippie Tears.

      2. Or say you demand they get a license for their assault printer; inkjet or laser, it’s a lot faster and cheaper than back then. Back when the AW ban was in effect and it was still a hot political issue I always referred to higher duty printers (e.g. duplexing departmental level or faster) as assault printers.

        If they ask why, point out how instrumental the media was in the megadeaths of the 20th century. The pen is mightier than the sword, if it motivates thousands of swords bearers.

  5. Ah, Red Dawn…. it’s a reminder of how things were in the ’80s. I can remember as kids we used to call each other “commies” as an insult, even though we had no idea what it meant.

    If you watch Rambo III, in the beginning the movie is dedicated to the “brave freedom fighters of the mujahadeen” in Afghanistan! If I”m not mistaken, these were exactly the people who would later become Al-Queda.

    It looks like they opted to use yesterday’s villians in the new movie, rather than change the story line to match today’s current events. I can’t say if this is the result of political correctness or just plain laziness…

    1. If I”m not mistaken, these were exactly the people who would later become Al-Queda.

      Only some of them. And I have this vague memory there was a fair amount of internecine violence on the part of one or more groups who were more interested in who would control the effort and especially who would end up being in power after victory.

      One of many reasons war is to be avoided, but it’s not like the Afghanis were “interested” in it (at this scale), war was interested in them.

  6. The trailer looks good, but NK as the bad guys sticks in my craw. A fictional country makes more sense than Kim the even younger’s mighty war machine.

    I’m pretty sure the Vatican guards could beat NK.

    1. I wonder if some of the HD scenes will be now used in N.Korea as part of their internal indoctrination and propaganda efforts? That would be so bizarre, but no more bizarre then most things involving the world stage, media, and N.Korea.

  7. Originally this one had the Chinese as the bad guy. However, Hollywood looked at how much money they take in from Chinese movie theaters and decided to annoy one of their bigger markets.

    1. No, it was more like their biggest overseas market made it known to them that not a single film by that comapny would ever again be allowed into china if the movie was made with china as the bad guys, so they changed it.

  8. I never saw Red Dawn until recently. I was 7 when the original came out. That being said one of the things that stuck me about the movie was the part where the soviet guy tells the guy to hit all the sporting goods stores and gun stores and get the 4473’s to find out where all the guns are at. I didn’t expect that much accuracy in a cheesy 80s movie.

    1. I suspect that level of detail came from the gun guy director and writer, John Milius. You might recognize the name on the NRA board of directors ballot. :)

      1. That movie was as accurate as you could make it at the time, and it shows in little ways most people wouldn’t notice: Second string Cuban troops using FN-FALs left over from the Batista days, for example.

        Not only that, but it’s more subtle and balanced than it generally gets credit for: The bad guys are fully fleshed out as people with varying motivations, not just one-dimensional villains. The good guys are shown to have warts: Robert becomes a psychopathic killer, for example, willing to kill Darryl without any emotion.

  9. Maybe they should have really gone out there and had the US invaded by communist aliens who think NK best matches their ideal state. Seems more believable.

  10. I saw Red Dawn in 1984 while attending the “Bid E”, which was the Explorer Scouts verion of the National Jamboree. For those not familar with the Boy Scouts of America this was the co-ed, career oriented program for older teens run by the Boy Scouts of America and is now called Venturing.

    This event was held every other year and was hosted at Ohio State University in 1984. One of the events that was attended by all the participants was a screening of “Red Dawn” that show by projecting the movie on the exterior wall of one of the campus buildings.

    I wonder how the media would react today to showing the new “Red Dawn” to a group of teens at an national gathering?

  11. Red Dawn was a great Cold War movie. It’s hard to explain to my kids how the threat of war – nuclear and/or conventional – with the Communists influenced my generation. The hate was real.

    I joined the Marine Corps a couple years later. Everything bit of our training was aimed at killing commies. We even ran through some of the Soviet hand-to-hand combat manual and learned how to counter their moves and kill those bastards with our hands.

    These days, it is the internal communists who are the greatest threat.

  12. Completely off topic. You just slapped me up side the head with this comment “Just to return the favor of a little dime store psychoanalysis for the other side” I used to go to the 5 & Dime My grandchildren ( The one’s I built AR15’s for ) only know the Dollar store

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