In The Arts section of today’s New York Times, David M. Halbfinger about how after 2005’s bumper crop of socially conscious films–Syriana, Brokeback Mountain, and Crash–2006 turned out to be a year in which, “The big money was to be made making people laugh, cry and squeeze their dates’ arm–not think.”
It’s true: Crash made me think. It made me think people who think Crash is an accurate representation of America are crazy. Of course, you can’t take pieces like this too seriously if you’re going to read The Arts section. They have keen noses over there for the scent of low-brow America rejecting one of their anointed artistic flayings, and they will growl and snarl and insist only delusional prejudices are keeping audiences away. Still, I found this Halbfinger line disturbing: “[Audiences] weren’t ready to fly along on United 93, no matter how skilled its expose of homeland insecurity.”
United 93 was, of course, the fourth hijacked plane on 9/11, so “fly along” might be a tad cavalier, no? And it wasn’t a “skilled expose of homeland insecurity,” it was a testament ordinary American’s willingness to rise up to face their attackers before those attacks were even fully realized. Honestly, that story is a more effective hijacking deterrent than all the billions spent since revamping Homeland Security and training the callous wish-I-were-a-real-cop mini-dictators of the TSA.
Related: Last year I spanked the Brokeback Mountain crew for their whiny groveling insistence they were entitled to an Oscar.