Monday, July 27, 2009

"YO, JOE!"

I've got a patriotic streak in these politically correct days, I'm not ashamed or afraid to let readers know that. A quick question: why in the holy HELL is it now incorrect to be patriotic? Give me a legitimate answer that isn't full of rhetoric, and I'll discuss the subject civilly with you. If you give me any crap like, "The U.S. has a history of perpetrating one evil after another against people, ESPECIALLY American Indians, and we've got nothing to be proud of!", I'll say this to you:

In the world of comics, Clark Kent aka Superman asked simply, "What's so funny about 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way?' when his own old-fashioned worldview (thanks to his old-fashioned, adopted mom and dad) was not only questioned but attacked by some would-be 'new-fashioned' heroes who didn't give a rip about anything or anyone but themselves. (Interestingly enough, he had a similar dispute with an up-and-coming African-American superhero, but it was more about the black guy having a problem with Superman's whiteness...I guess the fact Superman is the last son of Krypton, which also makes him a so-called 'minority', didn't make much difference.) I have to ask the same, what's funny -- or wrong, according to some assholes -- with a little old-fashioned Red, White and Blue? I guess I'm not SENSITIVE enough. I guess I have to be part of some historically-marginalized so-called 'MINORITY' to understand and therefore be more correct accordingly. Bullshit. By the way, I hate when someone else is described as being part of a 'minority'...that, boys and girls, is marginalizing.

I don't have a damn thing to apologize for, and I never will...I'm not responsible for this historic wrong or that perpetrated by SOME LEADERS of my country in the past, or in more contemporary times. (Yes, even our current President Obama might do something wrong while he's in office, or at least make a mistake that would affect many, many others.) Besides, isn't blaming my country and everyone who's a part of it for the wrongs some in power committed through history the same as blaming all African-Americans for gangs on the streets? Discuss THAT point if you have the guts, you PC-bandits.

I'm also a geek...that means besides growing up with George Reeves and then Christopher Reeve as Superman, I got hooked to watching "G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero" on TV. How the hell couldn't I? A growing American boy gravitates naturally to sci-fi, good-vs-evil action in toons, and what set this toon apart from similar adventure shows from "The Transformers" to "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" was its clear and present flag-waving. You could almost smell fireworks from the Fourth of July when every episode started with an announcement of "G.I. Joe's" basic premise...

G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly-trained special mission force! Its purpose: to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world!

One also has to take into account this was the 1980's I'm speaking of...the decade the most correct of us supposedly hate so much because of President Ronald Reagan, and it's painfully obvious how politically motivated correctness is. It was also the decade when we Americans were honestly encouraged to take pride in our joined identity and our home. After that, the correct started to get their hooks in us and told us we should make apologies and obsess over how others see us instead of be proud. Again, I make no apologies.

Seriously, what's wrong with being patriotic? I love my country and my fellow Americans...that means I love ALL of my neighbors, no matter where they're from or what color their skin might be. So-called 'minorites' are bitter over historic wrongs which they're taught for some damn reason is a part of their ethnic identities, and so I'm supposed to be bitter, too? Or sorry for wrongs I never committed? There's no sense in that...furthermore, one more time, bullshit!

There's no harm in being patriotic...and "G.I. Joe" was harmless, flag-waving fun. In a conceit toward its young audience, no one ever got killed -- except for a dark two-parter in which an alternate reality was portrayed where most every Joe was K.I.A. and Cobra took over the world(!). There was the threat of harm, sure...plenty of tanks, jet fighters and shit got turned to scrap metal every episode, but like "The A-Team", its violence was bloodless and entertaining. For crying out loud, each episode had a public service announcement geared to the kids at the end of each episode! How harmful is that?

The villains of the show were even portrayed to comedic effect more often than not...Cobra Commander was a whining bitch of an incompetent, Destro was as much bluster as he was smart, and the Baroness was so serious even a member of the Taliban would say, "You take this terrorist shit too seriously!" The bad guy twin brothers, Tomax and Xamot, I couldn't take seriously even if you threatened me with a gun. The good guys were colorful in their own right...Duke, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, Roadblock (Mr. T wannabe!), and more have a welcome place in my pop culture consciousness. :)

I loved "G.I. Joe", from the toons to the comic books, back in the day...MANY from my generation did, and there's nothing wrong with that.

That's why the kid in me is ready to see the new "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" live-action movie coming soon, which is looking to make its own the "Transformers" film from a couple of years ago, I'm not expecting a perfect echo of days gone by. I've even braced myself for the likelihood that the correct powers that be will tone down the patriotism always at G.I. Joe's heart considerably. I just want it to be good and at least half-true to its source material. With the steady creative downturn in Hollywood in recent years, though, I seriously have to wonder.

I want it to AT LEAST be as good as the recent web series "G.I. Joe: Resolute". Unlike the coming film, this toon doesn't reboot things to Square One and how the conflict between the Joes and Cobra started. In fact, written by Warren Ellis, "Resolute" is a much more mature nod to those of us who grew up with and know the Joes so well. In short, Cobra Commander acknowledges his cartoon-comic roots by wanting to send the message that those kid glove days are over, and he's not afraid to kill Joes or an entire damn CITY to conquer the world. And even in the first chapter, he does just that! The Joes keep it real in retaliation, and they're ready to shoot to kill if need be. And it's all good! :)

Hopefully for those of us who grew up with the Joes, the new movie can even measure up to "Resolute". Yo, Joe!

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