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Fight films are sad. There is nobility in effort, in discipline and, if not in suffering, in trying to live through suffering and endeavor to find its meaning. “Redbelt,” generically, is a fight film. The martial art film is about opposing strength to strength: two humans compete, and we are allowed to root for the underdog and enjoy his final victory. But the fight film is a celebration of submission, which is to say, of loss. As such, it finds itself on the outskirts of my beloved genre of film noir. The punchline of drama is “Isn’t life like that….” But its elder brother, tragedy, is the struggle of good against evil, of man against the gods. In tragedy, good, and the gods, are proclaimed winners; in film noir, which is tragedy manque, the gods still win, but good’s triumph gets an asterisk.br> The difference between being “allowed to root for” and “enjoy vicariously” is semantic at best. Such an ostentatious display of righteous violence “construed as just,” from a pure hero and presented as noble in the final third of Redbelt apparently suggests a turn toward the tragic, and with it a presumably less morally ambiguous Mamet.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?