Thursday, August 26, 2004

Red State Of Mind

How do Hillbills and Hilljills see the war in Iraq? Through a blurred lense:
It's called shooting fish in a barrel. Asked to express their opinions about the war in Iraq, the mostly unidentified subjects of this documentary polemic, "This Ain't No Heartland," are only too happy to make fools of themselves. Their fundamental ignorance of the facts, compounded by their disinterest in knowing more, doesn't prevent them from expressing strong opinions and conveying misinformation in bad grammar.

To make the movie, which opened yesterday in New York at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, the Austrian filmmaker and photographer Andreas Horvath visited a half-dozen Midwestern states to select the fish for his barrel. The subjects he chose are ill-informed rural and small-town Americans who have not followed the war beyond absorbing a few sound bites from television.

As one unidentified woman claims in a fiery speech that is heard but not seen, "We fought the most moral war that has ever been fought by any people." She goes on to assert that no country waging a war has done so much to protect innocent civilians. Most believe that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction despite all the evidence to the contrary, and some are certain that his goal was to conquer the United States. The events of 9/11 have also left their mark. One person after another imagines that the Midwest is as vulnerable to attack as New York or Washington. That belief bolsters their vehement opposition to gun control.


Beneath their jocularity, you sense the underlying anxieties of people who are so intimidated by the outside world that they would rather not contemplate it. Their capacity for denial is encouraged by the ravings of a fire-and-brimstone radio preacher who advises that the remedy for "that sinking feeling" is "to stop thinking twice about the truth." The most pernicious threat to well-being, the preacher says, is the notion of dialogue, a word he sneers as though it meant Satan.

Money Quote: "In the filmmaker's nightmarish view, the heartland is a decaying citadel of ignorance, boorishness and xenophobia, smugly rotting away in the twilight of the American empire."

Blonde nod to Hoffmania.


At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind telling you, most of these heartland white people are real TRASH. They are nothing but DIRT. Their feet are so dirty that half the time it looks like they're wearing black wingtips. But no, they don't even have shoes.

And they have utter CATSHIT for brains. Utter utter CATSHIT. There are no stupider people anywhere in the world than whitebread Uhmurkins.

And the southern states? We should've let them secede in 1861. Those people are nothing but retarded garbage who add nothing to our country. They are a bunch of inbred religionist pigfucking freaks walking around chewing on straws that are dipped in cowcrap. Fuck the south! They became traitors to the U.S. in the 1860s, and they've remained traitors ever since. They are unreconstructed FILTH and we can do without them. They are a racist embarrassment not only to our entire nation, but to the entire world.

None of this, of course, is to be construed as a black mark against any of the fine southern literary magazines out there or their endlessly perspicacious editors...


At 9:54 PM, Blogger Capitola said...

Indeed. They know we northern girls do love our velvet.


Post a Comment

<< Home