Suzie-Q and I still enjoy the big screen. We prefer weekday matinees. Practically everyone there is our age, which means not many and few in the top row. We saw a couple of movies recently that’re way above average by today’s standards.
Midway and Ford v Ferrari are excellent movies. So much of what appears on the big screen these days is barely worth the time. These two were refreshing. They appealed to my inner man. The guy I’m expected to keep hidden these days. Forced into one of America’s now vacated closets. The rugged individualist image of the American male. Determined, gritty, tough, and masculine. Lovers of speed and machines and challenges. Not afraid of getting a bloody nose or delivering one. Always ready for a bare-knuckled brawl defending what’s right. The guy most despised by the woke generation. Men who should be revered for facing down and defeating the threats to our country and taking on insurmountable challenges are instead looked upon by a segment of our drifting culture as a plague responsible for all the world’s problems.
When I was a youngster, not yet old enough to escape from Chicago’s dull gray northside streets, a section of town derisively referred to buy some locals as the hillbilly ghetto, I spent time one summer watching men build a drag racer in one of the garages lining the allies behind the tenements. I was fascinated watching them turn a timid Chevrolet Corvair into a dragster. They welded together a new chassis to accommodate the big engine in the front and the drive train. They modified the body making it lighter wherever possible. They’d come home from their factory jobs and gather at the garage sipping a Budweiser or two and working into the night. I recall welders, greasy hands, the smell of oil and gasoline, and burning rubber the night the previously timid Corvair popped a wheelie right there in the alley way.
The Midway movie follows the first that came out in 1976. Noticeable about this Midway is historical accuracy. Hollywood often makes a mess of that trying to inject something to make it more exciting. Too often they portray the military as a collection of warmongers or idiots or a combination of both. These men had families, but they also had purpose. I cannot imagine the courage and discipline it takes to fly a dive bomber directly into a blanket of anti-aircraft fire and remain on target. Outnumbered in personnel, ships and aircraft they did it. Repeatedly until the mission was complete. They destroyed the Japanese fleet with guts and intelligence from the genius of code breakers who didn’t have super-computers and satellites to help them.
Ford v Ferrari. Men and machines. Everyone of my generation remembers the muscle cars of the 1960s, including the Shelby Mustang. Big roaring engines, dual quad carburetors, standard shift on the floor leaving rubber every time you popped the clutch. Stuff that’d make the climate cult wither. How many nowadays would even know what that third pedal is? Today, I shift gears by pressing a button on the dashboard or if I feel really frisky, I’ll leave it in standard mode and shift with the cute little paddles on each side of the steering column. Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles, both World War II Veterans, engineered and drove the car that beat Ferrari at Le Mans. They fought with one another and everyone else, but together they met their goal of defeating Ferrari. Perseverance and determination even in the face of Ford Motor Company bureaucrats. Although Ken Miles died in an accident not long after winning at Le Mans, Shelby engineered cars continued to win throughout the 1960s.
Refreshing, invigorating. Men being men. Maybe the world left me behind. I stepped aside when the conductor called all aboard. Maybe I’m not destined to abandon who I am to fit into a world that’s growing more foreign to me each day. A place I don’t understand and truthfully don’t try to understand. Bad attitude? Maybe, but why should I adapt to a world that’s left me? A world that thinks it’s okay for parents to transform little boys into little girls. A world where masculinity is considered toxic. Where natural is abandoned for the unnatural. Where good is often called evil and evil good. Where God, Family, and Country are left lying by the roadside on the highway to hell. Why should I want that? Why should anyone?
© 2019 J. D. Pendry, American Freedom Journal, All Rights Reserved