Remember The Maine!

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 I went to go see the movie “Olympus Has Fallen” this weekend at my local movie theatre.  To be completely truthful, I had no intention of ever seeing this movie as I am instinctually reticent to subject myself to what could be a propagandistic film.  But a friend and his wife, whom I had not seen in some weeks, had invited me to go with them and in the spirit of maintaining a good friendship, I went. 

            To be certain, my guard was up.  In this day and age, it would be incredibly naïve of me to believe that any work with the White House as a central theme and prop would not be used as some sort of informational bludgeon.  I was not disappointed (so to speak).  

 
            Before I go into the details that I myself noticed, a little background might be in order and a few statements of the obvious.  So many of us watch movies that the very mechanical ways of making movies are lost on us.  That is to say that, the very act of sitting down and watching a movie or television program is an exercise in suspending critical thinking, by definition.  With our critical thinking suspended, we are now allowing any idea proffered by the movie maker or script writer into our inner space, our mind.  
It must bear repeating that every story we watch on the movie screen, every scene, every explosion, every word uttered, is a purposeful choice.  Whether that purpose is to create a sense of drama or comedy, it was a conscious choice by the writer or director to include (or exclude) it in the final product.  Everything you see on the screen represents a choice by the film maker.  Everything. 
Another interesting example of that many of us see on a daily basis is the strange coincidence of what we see on television and what is later coming out in theatres.  You can rest assured that if you are watching Die Hard XXII on the TBS channel, that a new Bruce Willis movie will be in the theatres very soon.  This is not coincidence.  It has gotten to the point now where entertainment itself has become an advertisement for yet moreentertainment, which in turn is still just another form of advertisement.  
The film maker has an incredible opportunity to tell a story.  He can do this overtly with explosions and car chases, or covertly and “between the lines.”  It is this “between the lines” message that the film maker can also leverage his craft to get people to think in certain ways or about certain things.  Done right, I actually can admire a film maker when he is able to speak on two different levels.  That, in my mind, is the very act of being a thinking artist.  There are numerous examples of this, and my two favorites come from the same film making duo:  The Wachowskis.
If you’ll remember it was the Wachowskis who gave us the Matrix trilogy as well as Cloud Atlas.  Personally, I feel that Cloud Atlas was quite possibly one of the greatest films ever made, and yet the films deeper meaning was lost on a great many people, which was unfortunate.  The Matrix also has the same subtext ideas embedded within it that Cloud Atlas did and was also similarly lost on the general public.  The fact that both of these films were made by the same film makers only reinforces this idea of subtext.  I will not go into a complete deconstruction of the Matrix movies (primary among them, the first in the trilogy), as many books and essays have already been written in this regard.  But Cloud Atlas on the other hand gives the exact same message as the Matrix but so subtly that it is missed, at least on a conscious level.
Cloud Atlas and, to a more overt extent, the Matrix, both deal with the idea of “Control.”  In the Matrix, this idea of “Control” is represented by the very Matrix itself with the machines as our overlords, hidden from our everyday view.  It would appear that the message found “between the lines” of the Matrix is that, while you may think you are free, you are not.  There are many levers of control that restrict your freedom in such an insidious fashion, that you are not even consciously aware that you are a prisoner.  (Some may argue that the Wachowski’s lost their way and strayed from this artistic achievement in the subsequent sequels in the trilogy, but I will forgive them this minor transgression in light of their success in getting the Matrix, complete with its internal and mildly hidden purpose, made in the first place.)
Cloud Atlas, on the other hand, is much more subtle in its depiction of “control.”  Specifically, Cloud Atlas is a series of stories from different points in time that are interwoven and stitched together.  They follow a variety of characters (played by the same actors) in what appears to follow their soul’s journey through the ages.  One story is set in the late 1800’s, another in the 1970’s another in the future and yet another in an even further, more distant future.
In order to avoid any accusations of spoiling the movie, I will refrain from giving any details of these individual stories themselves, but I will speak on the movie’s larger context.  In every one of these stories’ plots, without exception, there is some method of control in place that restricts the characters’ free will or desires.  Theseare the levers of control that the Wachowskis are attempting to draw our attention to.  The purpose of Cloud Atlas is not necessarily the telling of an expansive story of a soul’s experiences while on Earth as some might have you believe.
Rather the story of Cloud Atlas is used as a vehicle for a truth, a message.  But it is hidden and between the lines:  “You are not free, and you never were.  The levers of control, whatever form they take, have been in place for a very long time.”  Interestingly, it is this message that the Wachowskis attempted to give with their movie, The Matrix, as well.  
The purpose of all this background is to illustrate that film makers can use their unique medium to not only tell an overt story of good guys vs. bad guys, but also to provide a semi hidden message to those “with eyes to see” or perhaps even affect the movie going public on a subconscious level, which brings me back to “Olympus Has Fallen.”
As I stated earlier, when I went to see this movie, with its very overt flag waving and prominence of the White House as symbol and prop, my guard was up.  I was wary and attentive to the fact that the message that the film makers intended was one that I would not accept, wanted to hear or even agree with.  And, also as I said, I was not disappointed.
Spoiler Alert – If you continue reading beyond this point, I cannot guarantee the movie will not be spoiled for you.  I highly recommend you do continue reading so that, in the event you do go see “Olympus Has Fallen,” you will be on the lookout for the same things I saw.  Similarly, if you see something I missed, I welcome your comments below.  Please  tell me what I missed.
As the movie progresses, the sitting president (played by Aaron Eckhart) and vice president are captured within the White House.  As a result, the Speaker of the House (played by Morgan Freeman) and assisted by the Secret Service Director (played by Angela Basset) attempt to rescue the President and stop nuclear annihilation by North Korean “terrorists.”  They are assisted in their rescue operation by a Secret Service Agent (played by Gerard Butler) who is able to get inside the compromised White House and kill all the bad guys.
On the surface, this is your typical movie with your typical generic bad guys and good guys.  On the surface this movie recycles such old and tired clichés and formulas that I was a little embarrassed by the reaction of the people in the theatre with me as they actually applauded when the good guy killed the bad guy in the end.  Don’t they realize what really just happened? 
But below the surface, is it possible that there is something more to this movie than just your typical Die Hard formula?  I believe there is. 
At the risk of sounding like I see burglars under every bed, please indulge me in pointing out some very peculiar coincidences.  First, I’ll start with the very obvious:  Does anyone else here notice the very obvious parallels between President Barack Obama and Valerie Jarret with the two main characters in the film?
Is this merely coincidence?  Perhaps.  Remember, everything you see on the screen is a choice that was made by the film makers.  This includes everything from the clothing to the hair styles.  But let’s move on. 
I will continue by asking a question:  What comparison with which historical figure has Obama and his handlers attempted to foster since he was a candidate? 
Abraham Lincoln.
Even without the obvious references to Lincoln that John Titor pointed out 13 years ago and which I document in Conviction of a Time Traveler, even I was surprised at how heavy handed the film makers were in their attempt to actually continue with this comparison.  For those who have seen the movie already, if you will remember, Gerard Butler, after he gets into the White House, kills a bad guy by smashing his head with the bust of none other than….Abraham Lincoln.  Gerard Butler’s character could have dispatched the bad guy in any number of ways: gun, knife, kick, punch, fall, explosion, anything.  But he chose a bust of Lincoln.  This was a conscious choice made, not by the actor or character, but by the writer and director.
This is, in my humble estimation, an attempt to insinuate Obama’s presence into the movie.  
But it doesn’t stop there.  Again, for those who have seen the movie already, do you happen to remember in which bedroom Gerard Butler evades getting shot up by the bad guys by using a secret door?  That’s right, it was the LincolnBedroom.
Now I will readily admit that only one of these examples might likely have been mere coincidence.  But in the aggregate, the implications are hard to avoid.  There may be other examples that I missed, and as I said, I welcome others’ input here.  The symbolism is definitely hard to miss.
Returning to the idea that every act, every scene, every word is purposeful, are we really to believe that these choices by the film maker and/or writer were accidental?  Are we to ignore the White House’s historical use of mass media to foster an idea?  
Remember the Maine!
And must we acknowledge the elephant in the room?  Are we to believe that the fact that the bad guys in this movie are North Koreans is just another coincidence to what we are experiencing in the real world now?  Considering that, if a movie were to go straight from screenplay to in the theatres, a minimum of one year’s work must transpire.  In the hopes that my readers here are smart enough to see the implications with this, I will avoid speaking it aloud.  Nonetheless, I believe you will likely take my meaning in what this implies.
I believe it was the newspaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst, who once said,
“I can’t tell you what to think, but I can tell you what to think about.
Is this an example of just this strategy?

In Saul Alinsky’s “12 Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky’s rule number four appears to have a corollary here that appears to be in use in “Olympus has Fallen.”  The movie both begins and ends with extreme closeups of the American flag falling to the ground in an attempt to elicit feelings of patriotism in the audience.  Rule Number Four states:  “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”  The movie’s insistence on this patriotism is an indirect application of this rule.  Stated another way, the movie is attempting to begin the dialogue (such as it is) within the movie in terms the movie goer will understand on a visceral and emotional level; and that is:  United States = Good.  Or also, that the antagonists in the movie (North Korea) are attacking that patriotic ideal which was so glaringly put on display at the beginning and end of the movie.

Keep your wits about you, don’t panic and get ready.  It’s going to get bumpy.

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One thought on “Remember The Maine!

  1. I have come to the conclusion that the world as we know it is over and we are right now transitioning into a very dangerous Dragon Ball Z type worldline. The Waco Type events are happening once a month now and a massive explosion just devastated the small town of West Waco and from what I gather something real fishy is going on down there.

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