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G.I. (Globaloney International) Joe

The Wall Street Journal (“Plot Change: Foreign Forces Transform Hollywood Films“) reports that Hollywood movie studios are moving away from producing movies that appeal to primarily U.S.movie goers in favor of blockbusters that favor a more international clientele. Because of shrinking U.S. audiences, growing global incomes, and the increasing costs of major studio productions, standard theater fare like romantic comedies and films geared to particular places and people like say southerners, metropolitan twenty-somethings, and African Americans are being phased out in favor of a new hegemonic planetary monoculture.

Apparently nothing is safe from the global makeover. For instance, take the Real American Hero, G.I. Joe. Strip him of his American character, add brawny sidekicks drawn from the world’s exotic hotspots and voilá, you’ve now got yourself a violent international special force that will appeal to the lowest common denominator worldwide.

And, let’s face it, the message is not that different from the motto one Armed Forces branch (in this case, the Navy) fashioned for itself: “A Global Force for Good” and the perorations of a Commander in Chief from nowhere in particular who views himself as a Messianic postmodernistic antidote to national identity.

So, is what’s good for Hollywood, good for the United States? It all depends on what you mean by “is” and of course what you mean by “the United States.” If it’s the bigger, better, and badder borderless one envisioned by the new international media oligopolies, it’s plenty good and profitable to boot. If it’s the distinctive North American republic that George Washington warned in his farewell address to avoid “foreign entanglements,” it’s pretty much the end of the line. And, if you don’t particularly like that situation, the new G.I. Joe will see to it that you do.

Join the Army. Visit exotic places. Meet strange people. And, bill them.

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