Thursday, May 27th, 2010
104

Real America: "Red Dawn" Remade: China is Coming for Our Children

red dawn freedom lieLater this year, America's dream factory will foist upon an already blooded-up America a remake of 1984's Red Dawn. It's probably the most unnecessary, irresponsible, Sinophobic film in America's history, and that's saying a lot. And it will be just in time for midterm elections already foul with the tea party's red-white-and-blue jingoism. What a time for it-America's relationship with China hasn't been this crucial since, say, 1941.

The film is, indeed, just a film. Or as the MGM executive I spoke with described it: "just an action film." Nonetheless, it is a bald example of how one-dimensionally America generally, at all levels, thinks about China and Chinese people.

And now, Red Dawn. Just the latest bit of escalation in the villainization of China, propaganda that's sure to turn frothy in the next decade.


I obtained a copy of the script. In it, the Chinese invade and subjugate Americans to pinko commie rule all under the guise of "helping" the nation that has become too irresponsible to take care of itself. It is a paranoia tale of an America where our children no longer get stupid Chinese character tattoos because they want to; they get them because they have to. It's basically porn for survivalist militia types who believe it is "real" scenarios like this that justify everything from the sale of assault rifles to electing nationalist fear-mongers.

script toby keith

Even worse, it's just another in a long, tired, example of how America's thinking about China has not progressed past Rohmer's "Fu Manchu."

When I contacted MGM, and expressed these concerns about the film, spokesman Grey Munford told me, "Red Dawn is an action film, it is not xenophobic and it is far too early in the process to make assumptions about the film that will appear in theatres." He also told me the copy I had was stolen and a draft. (They declined to share a final copy or shooting script.)

That's not the message the movie's PR is putting out there though. Josh Hutcherson, who stars in the film, recently told MTV that "We've changed quite a bit of the story, but the heart of the story is there. The American, patriotic feel of the original, rising up against the invaders, is still definitely there. The Chinese are invading now, so we're switching that up just to stay with the times a little bit."

The film's producer, Tripp Vinson, claims that "a lot of research" went into the China invasion scenario, including input from military "experts." One of those experts was the RAND Corporation. RAND's involvement may be the detail that most connects the remake to the original. Maybe no single organization went further and did more to architect and, more importantly, justify the anti-Communist military industrial complex and anti-Reds mindset that defined 20th-century America and that still in many ways defines America's military structure. The Obama socialism/communism scare tactics the nation has seen recently all have their roots in the Cold War; RAND was the fertilizer for those roots. That, 20 years after the Cold War ended, RAND has its hand in a hawkish right-wing paranoid wank fantasy about China taking military action against the U.S. speaks to the persistent Red-Scare roots of an organization that still shapes policy (Iraq's Ahmed Chalabi pooch-screw has its connections to RAND).

script invasion

When I pointed out the remake to Jeff Yang, the "Asian Pop" columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and a trendwatcher for Iconoculture, he was appalled. Of MGM's "action film" reasoning, Yang said, "The notion that 'action' and 'xenophobia' are somehow contrasting principles is idiotic." Then he told me what he really thought: "The action genre tends to be Manichaean – there's good, evil, and little or nothing in between – and archetypal – characters are drawn big, iconic, and cartoony to eliminate anything that might distract from the mayhem. Your catharsis comes from rooting for the pure-hearted heroes and hating on the corrupt, inhuman villains. Unfortunately, the combination of these factors tends to turn action cinema into a cesspit of ultra-nationalism and, in the case of films where the villains are uniformly of another color, racism. It's a short slide over from hating the evil Chinese villains in a film like this to subconsciously or consciously seeing all Chinese as evil villains, and hating them as well. The promotional campaign, which basically steals a page from the miniseries 'V' but with Chinese people rather than lizard aliens as the bearers of Trojan gifts, makes things even worse."

red dawn posterAmerica's direct mistreatment of its own Asian (especially Chinese) populations is not so well known by Americans. While most are probably aware that our liberty-loving government interned over 100,000 Americans (who happened to have Japanese ancestry) during WWII, few are aware that the Chinese Exclusion Act was not repealed until 1943 (and even then Chinese immigration was effectively hobbled by low quotas). To this day the Aliens and Nationality section of the United States Code has only one entry specifically targeting a nationality; it is "Chinese." Off the books and under the radar, there also continues a relentless unconscious drive to stereotype and dehumanize Asian populations both inside and outside the United States.

The must-read book on the subject of America's dehumanization of its Pacific enemies, War Without Mercy, prophetically notes that even though "vicious racial stereotypes were transformed" after Vietnam, it "does not mean that they were dispelled. They remain latent, capable of being revived by both sides in times of crisis and tension." In the 1980s that meant fear of Japan buying up America, which prompted the Foreign Ownership Disclosure Act and saw the oh-so-open-minded Gore Vidal warning of "the long-feared Asiatic colossus…." The New York Times Magazine ran a feature titled "The Danger From Japan." Two laid-off Detroit auto workers got only probation and $3,000 fines after beating a Japanese-American to death with baseball bats. The original judge noted that the men were partially justified, as it was Japanese automakers that put them out of work. The dead man turned out to have Chinese heritage.

Next: The Beijing Olympics and the Media

104 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

I saw 'Agora' last night (see it!) and in the Q&A someone asked Rachel Weisz if she thought it would play well in the Bible Belt.

She replied that she wasn't sure 'it would play in the Bible Belt.' And not in a dismissive or condescending way either.

Basically my point, is that this movie will probably make a bundle and MGM knows exactly what they're doing.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Plotlines will have been long forgotten by the time Bible Belts have to let out a notch or two to pack away all that Lo Mein.

HiredGoons (#603)

I just am dismayed when films pander to people's fears and prejudices. The audience for this is the same(ish) as for 'The Passion.'

I think it was Mr. Rogers who said Television could be an amazing tool for educating people. Instead we race each other to eat the most sheeps' eyes and donkey balls for CA$H.

The executives who greenlit this knew they could make a mint out of Tea Partiers' pockets by appealing to their paranoia and jingoism.

I could give a shit about the movie, I'm sure it's crap – it's the greed and disingenuous mentality that made it that I abhor.

They shelved Bond 23 for THIS?

Art Yucko (#1,321)

@Goons: Maybe it will rake in the cash, maybe it won't. You definitely aren't the only person that abhors greed and a disingenuous mentality coming from the Hollywood Cash Vaccuum… I think you'd find a great deal of sympathy for that opinion around here. Particularly from anyone with an education!
Average Bible-Belters may indeed go see this movie. Unlike New York, a lot of communities out in the hinterland (Thank U Jesus- my community isn't one of them) just don't have that much available to them in the way of entertainment. (Abe has rightly hammered away at this point a number of times.) I'm sure that plenty of kooks and knuckledraggers will get all excited by the flag-waving and the jingoism for about five minutes, but like I said, they'll have forgotten about it completely in a month. There are too many day-to-day problems that can't be blamed on foreigners across the ocean and at the end of the day, everything at Wal-Mart is Made in China if you look at the label.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Goons: You forgot the nepotism. Both this year's 1984 remakes (Red Dawn, Karate Kid) star sons of super-A-list actors, Ton Cruise and Will Smith.

HiredGoons (#603)

Seriously though: see Agora
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186830/

it opens in NY and LA this weekend. It's very topical.

Abe, and Will Smith's kid got FIRST PLACE CREDIT OVER JACKIE CHAN!!!!!!11!!!!

mainesqueeze (#432)

I have a couple of online acquaintances who've been talking about this movie (which they're calling "Yellow Dawn", charming) for a month now.

Speaking of whether or not it will play in "the Bible Belt," part of the problem is it won't be available to play there.

roboloki (#1,724)

we never get good flicks. i had to drive two hours to see "the cove" when it was released and i don't even want to have the flashback of what i went through to see "pecker" back in the day.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

@CHL: Exactly right. Thanks to the Film-distribution pecking-order, if we get it in KC we'll be somewhere at the end of the run, at which time it will be available on Netflix.

That said, Rachel Weisz in gauzy togas? I'm there.

HiredGoons (#603)

@Liquid: Well yes, that was her follow up 'we'll see how it does on Friday!' she was very down to Earth and charming.

I hope it gets here. I've liked Amenabar's previous films.

@Yucko: "The Secret In Their Eyes" opens this Friday at the Tivoli, BTW.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

@CHL: you just dropped the T word.
Trivia: I worked there for 13 years. :(

HiredGoons (#603)

"The Secrets in Their Eyes" contends with "A Prophet" for my Best Picture.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Can't wait for them to remake Grandville U.S.A. with Jett Travolta.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Chinese Restaurants outnumber McDonalds in this country. Our (large)asses are already owned, one ShuiMai at a time.

NinetyNine (#98)

What's up your ass?

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

I miss Jennifer Grey's nose.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Avenge me, Rest of Jennifer Grey's face, AVENNNNNGGGGGGEEEEEEEE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Oh well done.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

If cute all-natural Jewish Girl noses want to take over the USA, then… by all means. Let me step out of the way.

Multiphasic (#411)

I'm sorry, Abe, what was that about not being able to move to a hostile environment and change minds by immersing oneself in the culture?

NicFit (#616)

If you really want to effect change, move to Hollywood.

keisertroll (#1,117)

I've always loved the "Commies invading America" idea of Red Dawn more than the right-wing ideas and lack of eye-winking original director John Milius instilled upon it.

Saying USA! USA! USA! (or, in this case, 'WOLVERINEES!!!') with a sense of self-knowledge is what allows us to be proud of our country while accepting that it is not perfect. Without any irony, it's just sad.

keisertroll (#1,117)

But I assume there will still be the rampant homoeroticism and daddy character (Jeffrey Dean Morgan instead of Powers Boothe though they're both kinda hot) that makes me watch this almost every year on St. Patrick's Day for some reason.

jacksonwest (#637)

I have to agree. Red Dawn was such blatant, ham-fisted propaganda, that even my pinko-tinged family kind of enjoyed it. "Look, Young Hollywood is going to save us from the Commies!"

deepomega (#1,720)

Right? It circles around from sincere to parody, sorta like Top Gun.

Mindpowered (#948)

Anyone remember the early 1990's when Hollywood types were all sad, that the Russians and Japanese were gone, and that 1,000,000 plot lines died with them?

They must be enjoying the current wave of paranoia.

saythatscool (#101)

In China, Facebook searches you.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'm trying to picture the scene in which Chuck Norris, armed with only a Texas Instruments calculator, desperately attempts to find a filling station to gas up his Kia so he can invade Beijing.

All that hate's gonna burn you up, kid.

saythatscool (#101)

It keeps him warm.

KenWheaton (#401)

I thought it would be much harder to figure out the Manchurian candidate working for The Awl.

deepomega (#1,720)

I'm sorry, but taking a value-neutral stance on China's autocratic capitalism is pretty ridiculous. The human rights violations that such a system allows are legion and unacceptable. And while the US has its own issues (cough Guantanamo cough) it also has a political structure in place to at least approach dealing with them. There's no recourse in China.

That said, my understanding of the movie from the director is that the tag line is "It's not an invasion, it's a repossession," which at least indicates there's a little bit of nuance here.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Value neutral? Hardly. And yes there is little recourse in China. And I am no China apologist, the nation is in a very very gray transition period right now. What exactly would you have them do? Declare democracy? Anyway, this isn't about the China side; it's about the US side. A US voting public that does not think about the Chinese people as anything but what they've always thought (menacing horde) is doomed to electing policymakers who will continue to see the relationship through Cold War-tinted glasses.

deepomega (#1,720)

Granted! I just don't like to give China a pass, or imply that their fuckups are morally equivalent to the US's fuckups. That said, I also think that maintaining trade and interaction between them and us will only help everybody. And that said, I haven't gotten the impression that this new Red Dawn is going to lead people to stop buying Chinese products – if anything I think it's going to lead people to disapprove of increasing debt to China more, which, great!

I have to say you come off as a Chinese apologist.

Capitalism + Single Party State – Free Speech – Rule of Law = Fascism, no matter what color the flag.

There is a lot of animosity towards ChiComs that is not based on their race but is based on what they are doing to the Chinese people, a subset of the Asian "race."

I'm not down with Asian stereotypes but I'm also not down with "judge ourselves on our worst audiences and hackiest infotainment officers but judge obvious fascists by the potential of what they might become if they totally didn't believe anything that they say all the time."

I have not read the script either, am I correct to assume that some the first things our new Chinese overlords do are rip up our railroad tracks and flood the market with cheap opium?

saythatscool (#101)

Al Swearengen will not be pleased.

deepomega (#1,720)

Cocksucker!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

SWEGIN! TONGYIN! SWEGIN! WYTEKKOOOCK-SUCKA! WHHOO? WOOO! WHOOO? WOOOO!!!!

Miles Klee (#3,657)

haha bob costas totally hates that he has to cover the olympics; i think everything negative he says in that context can be translated as "i'd rather be watching baseball."

rook (#4,214)

I don't think that legitimate concerns about the toxicity of toys and invasive species (non-human) are manifestations of a subliminal sino-phobia.

Also, China's a bubble that's going to pop pretty soon.

Also, China is so heavily invested in US debt that fears about the success of China at the expense of the US are groundless. The Chinese have a pretty huge bet on US prosperity in the long term.

roboloki (#1,724)

i would assert that china has a huge bet on the u.s. ability to pay their debts. china has artificially tied their currency to ours and they now tote the note for the iraqnaphobia of kowboy george. repaying our debt to china will result in an escalation of the average chinese quality of life. content citizens, as a rule, do not rebel. it's almost as if the chinese government had a long term plan for their preservation and prosperity.

brent_cox (#40)

I wish we could go back to being terrified of the Bomb so we could have more excellent monster movies.

Abe, where were you when the Na'vi film industry pooped out that ethnocentric, jingoistic crap?

jfruh (#713)

This utterly boggles my mind not because it will be painfully racist — that goes without saying — but because it's so incredibly tin eared about (a) even the worst-case scenarios of contemporary geopolitics and (b) the actual sort of things that paranoids are paranoid about.

For all its crazed right-wing propoganda, the original Red Dawn at least at some relationship to something that, though very unlikely, might have happened — the Soviets were an ideologically-driven government with a military that was roughly on par with our own — and was the worst nightmare of the target audience. But does anyone in American really have anxiety about the Chinese invading us? Moreover, does anyone think that the current Chinese government has a lot of interest in promoting Marxist-Leninism abroad, with or without "Chinese characteristics?" The sort of mass audience who would like this movie are scare shitless of the Muslims, not the ChiComs (do people still say ChiComs?). And there's no realistic way to get the "Muslims" to invade the U.S. — I don't think anyone really believes that our current army could be defeated in some kind of straight-up battle.

If I were trying to write a savvy genre pic remake of Red Dawn that would aim to cater to right wingers, there'd be two ways to go about it. One would be to have a series of somewhere-between-9/11-and-Oklahoma-City terrorist attacks across the nation over a period of months, with the liberal government in Washington offering a series of desperate "conessions" to "the terrorists" ("Open the borders" to Muslim immigration? Sharia law in Dearborn? Bikinis banned on TV?); eventually, Real Americans rebel. OR: America falls into chaos when its unsustainable debt results in an inability to maintain the military; after rioting in some urban centers over cuts to "welfare," the Chinese invite themselves and their military in to "maintain order," and to make sure that the interest payments on their t-bills arrive on time. They come not wearing Mao jackets but business suits, the 21st century equivalents of the British and American expeditions to collect debts in the Middle East and Latin America. And then, again, Real Americans rebel.

That second one would do well with the Tea Partiers, I bet. Fuck, I'd probably watch it.

Mindpowered (#948)

Right now the Jaurez Cartel is bigger threat to American security, but a movie about Mexicans invading an taking over the US?

Not in my lifetime!!

Mindpowered, it would be something like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRLwV2xafpk

replace under 30 with Mexicans and over 30 with Amerricuns. They will imprison us and drug the water supply. I'm gonna pitch it to Lionsgate.

keisertroll (#1,117)

And be sure to replace "GUEST STAR ED BEGLEY" with "GUEST STAR ED BEGLEY, JR."

I still say ChiCom and I think you are right on.

Doesn't anyone remember that half-a-billion "screaming Chinamen" died in our struggle against the Soviets (and Nicaraguans and Cubans, don't forget that was a big part of Milius' vision) in the original?

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

Nice article, but I don't agree with your assertion that news reports over Asian Carp reflect anti-asian sentiment. It's a species of Carp that just happens to originate in Asia (there is a European species too) that is really bad for aquatic ecosystems devouring local species. A lot of organisms from Asia are extremely invasive in North America due to the amount of evolutionary divergence that has occured over time. It's just a name indicative of the species origin.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Taken by itself I would completely agree with you. But taken as another subtle reinforcement of the stereotypical whole… America's invasive species are all from somewhere else, but its only the African and Asian ones we assign names to (Dutch Elm Disease being the exception I can think of).

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

True, but that's just European bias due to the European ancestry of most Americans. Also, invasive species from Asia and Africa are a more recent phenomenon and therefore more newsworthy. Regarding Dutch El Disease, the cause is from species that orginiated in…wait for it…Asia. It was first discovered in Holland, hence the name.

Abe Sauer (#148)

As Dutch Elm wrecked some of the best trees in the midwest, I'm well aware of its history. Canada is currently fighting it hard, even setting up hotlines. Meanwhile, we've moved on to battling the Emerald Ash Borer (also from Asia!)

BadUncle (#153)

@Abe: FWIW, most Louisianans will quickly tell you that fire ants come from "goddam Brazil." But then, most of these invasive species come from some tropical climate. Just wait until sea snakes make it around Cape Horn.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

My neighbors are lucky enough to have an over-50-year American Elm that didn't succumb to the blight. It is easily over 100ft. in diameter and I can't even guess how tall it is. It hangs over the street like a stained-glass ceiling.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Art: Belmont and Reeves roads in the old downtown section of Grand Forks are lined with monstrous, towering Elms. It's like walking a mile through lush shaded cavern. That's how every midwest downtown used to be. Tragic.

hockeymom (#143)

When I was growing up, we lost 11 beautiful trees to Dutch Elm disease. My sisters and I cried when they put the red spray paint on their trunks. The day they cut them down was awful. Most of our make-believe games were based in and around those trees. We built cabins out of cardboard around their bases and played Little House on the Prairie for hours. The first boy I ever had a crush on built a tree fort in the branches of one of the elms (but moved to Texas before I could get that kiss up in the tree that I thought about almost every day in 6th grade). The boundary for running away from home was the last elm tree before you hit the pond.

The only good thing that came out of Dutch Elm was that the tree in the middle of the driveway, the one my mother would back into at least once a month, was also cut down. THAT tree was nothing but trouble.

And yeah, I won't be seeing this movie. Sounds stupid.

HiredGoons (#603)

@hockeymom: Lux Lisbon?

hockeymom (#143)

GOONS….I try to keep that story out of my head! Thanks a LOT.

BadUncle (#153)

oh, you people with your elms. You have no idea the anguish that Left Coasters feel with the epidemic of Sudden Oak Death, which is decimating coastal oak populations. In the spirit of solidarity, we can call it The Dutch Oak Reaper. Or to be germane to this article, we can call it The Asian Oak Menace.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

@BadUncle, RE, your Dutch Tree Rapist: Funny, next to the Gothic Elm of which I mentioned previous stands a Pin Oak that towers another 20 or 30 feet above that. (NOT ON MY PROPERTY/I'M NOT PAYING FOR THE MAINTENANCE.)

I won't truly know what to think of all this until late this evening, when Mr. Barea chimes in.

saythatscool (#101)

12+9 = groundhogs. Can't call a moose in a henhouse.

HiredGoons (#603)

Fascists always choose the worst typeface.

shostakobitch (#1,692)

I kind of want to see this now.

These Chinese language programs, are they Mandarin? Because "Chinese" is kind of an umbrella term, from what I understand China is very linguistically diverse but Standard Mandarin is the "official" language.

buzzorhowl (#992)

"Also, Dude, 'Chinaman' is not the preferred nomenclature."

How appropriate for me to be quoting that here, since the character of Walter was partially based on Red Dawn director John Milius.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Milius was also the director of "Conan," the coming-soon remake of which I also have strong feelings.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Please tell me your next "Real America" has to do with Conan's obvious anti-James Earl Jones bias.

theGoldenAss (#4,853)

I majored in Chinese Language and Literature in college and spent a little under a year in Beijing and Shanghai. I was interested more in the culture aspects than in business pursuits, which is kind of a rarity among the students when I studied (2000-2004). This doesn't qualify me in any way for anything, four years is far too little time to learn anything about China, but I merely want to shade in the background to provide you with more complete picture of what I might have been up to in China.

First of all, this article is great. What you said here needs to be said more often. It's something that's rarely said. These depictions of the Chinese that arise from American racism and ignorance depress me greatly. While I was there, there was such a thirst and curiosity to get to know us. Not counting the jaded minority that was constantly around the drunken asshole expat community, it was frightening (and a bit disconcerting) to be treated as a reliable source about any topic, for example, sports, merely because I was a "respected foreigner." But this sentiment is something that we must respect because it's a genuine sign of goodwill and friendship that many feel. When I see here that a major studio is printing a film that's overtly political and disgustingly Sinophobic, I start fearing — and not without self-interest– that we're going to incite a backlash. You can't help but distrust a nation to whom you extend open arms of friendship only to be rewarded with hate and mistrust. If we persist with grossly offensive depictions of China, we're going to end up looking like ungrateful jerks. It's going to sour a nation's outlook on us for at least a generation.

theGoldenAss (#4,853)

This is all a bit disjointed, but hopefully you can get what I'm saying.

Scum (#1,847)

China are the badguys in the red dawn remake because the soviet union collapsed and they are the only communist state with sufficient military power to suspend disbelief. Who's going to watch a movie where the US is invaded by Cuba?

I really dont buy this post at all. Almost all of your examples of the creeping sinophobia you allege to be taking place are anecdotes in which an anti-asian bias is simply assumed to be at play. The one part of your post which might actually be useful in gauging the changing state of social attitudes toward China is the Chinese language stuff and it suggests a society growing more interested and informed about China, not one which finds itself driven into racist caricatures by anxiety over China's growing power.

ps – will you denounce Ip-man 2's portrayal of the British? Failure to do so proves you are an Asian supremacist and self loathing white man if you do not know how these denunciation challenges work.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Love the Bolo Yeung avatar

redscared (#5,219)

Anytime I see Russians hanging around a highschool I can't help but to get nervous.

Jonathan Gardner (#5,227)

this is all very shrill. i have yet to hear, see anything that sounds even vaguely "racist." seems this is about one nation invading the other. what role does "race" play in it? why would you not think the original Red Dawn was racist then?

Suffering Fools (#5,228)

You (illegally) obtained a (stolen) (draft) copy of the script and have painstakingly inserted your own interpretations of what was written in the illegally obtained stolen draft into an article that says a lot about nothing.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Actually, I was given the script from someone who was given it from an agency. Not illegally.

Suffering Fools (#5,228)

I see. So downloading a pirated film isn't really illegal, right? If you aren't the one that actually had access to the product and uploaded it, then you're just using the resource that's already there. You, the downloader (recipient) aren't doing anything illegal, the person passing it on was. No such thing as receipt of stolen goods. Got it. Good to know. Carry on.

Suffering Fools (#5,228)

And in case it was lost on you, that's me being sarcastic and attempting to point out that it you are not the intended recipient, then it's still not okay for you to have the script. The Agency is the only entity that appears to have had the right to hold the script. Once the Agency gave it to someone else, even if it was for a business purpose, that person had no right to give it to you. There's probably a disclaimer page right at the front of the script that says something about "intended recipient" or some such thing. Every script I've ever had has one.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Ever consider the script was given to me by somebody who obtained it legally? I downloaded nothing.

Abe Sauer (#148)

It contains no such page, sorry.

skahammer (#587)

"By the late 1990s, Japan was an economic smoking crater."

What standards would one have to be applying — equally, around the globe — in order to make this statement true? Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea — these are "economic smoking craters" in Japan's region. I submit that Japan, even in the late 1990s, didn't look like them at all.

"RAND's involvement may be the detail that most connects the remake to the original. Maybe no single organization went further and did more to architect and, more importantly, justify the anti-Communist military industrial complex and anti-Reds mindset that defined 20th-century America."

CIA. Defense Department. Republican Party. State Department. Democratic Party. Various organized churches. United Fruit. General Motors. Reader's Digest, for crying out loud.

Abe Sauer (#148)

The CIA doesn't drive policy or culture; it is a tool, a combo microscope-hammer. Where do you think that the policy papers and information came from that both those parties and all those war departments used to set their agendas? RAND (and a few others). GM is a much closer suggestion, but not directly. Corporations like GM and Douglas and the "military-industrial complex" sponsored RAND which in turn made recommendations about policy which all of those groups you listed then followed. etc etc.

FlyingWhales (#2,794)

While I agree that the Red Dawn remake is a bit horrifying, I feel the need to raise a few points of contention with other aspects of this article.

Most importantly, to me at least, it seems as though the Chinese government actively attempts to create (and put forth an image of) a nation of "indistinguishable and interchangeable multitudes" (although obviously not to the degree that one who is Sinophobic would probably believe). What else is the purpose of repressing free speech and dissidence, not allowing a free press, making sections of the internet inaccessible to the public, etc.? The Chinese government actively discourages individualism (and I think, in some cases, is fairly successful)! We can even use an example from the Olympics! Remember when Chinese officials replaced a SEVEN YEAR OLD girl singing in the opening ceremonies with a "prettier" one, who then lip synced? How else can that be construed other than attempting to whitewash (OK, that word is very Anglo-Saxon, but I'm not sure there's a better verb to use) the faces of its people! What are we supposed to think!? Also, I'm somewhat sure (but not sure or well-informed enough to confidently state) that the current government has a history of actively promoting widespread cultural homogeneity (i.e. Mandarin as the "official" language) and being hostile towards any cultural diversity (at least, its treatment of the Tibetans seems to be an apt example). I guess that all of these (I hope) facts make me more forgiving to whatever subset of the US population (who obviously cannot all visit China and see for themselves) believes that it indeed is made up of an "indistinguishable horde."

And briefly…

The point about invasive species is completely irrelevant (as others have mentioned). And of course invasive species from Europe are never mentioned! N.A. and Europe have been exchanging species for centuries!

You also seem to ignore the fact that there was some legitimate criticism of China's handling of the Olympics included with the more Sinophobic-leaning commentary as well (beyond lip syncing seven year olds) such as the eviction and bulldozing of the homes and businesses of many of it's citizens: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/11/AR2008071102766.html

Lastly, weren't there also a lot of suspected tainted products from China that were found to be, you know, ACTUALLY TAINTED? That might be the reason the media seemed ready to believe Zsu Zsu pets were tainted as well. Doesn't the media have the responsibility to disseminate that information as quickly as possible in the interest of public safety in case the product does turn out to be toxic (even if they did overdo the made in China part)?

Anyway, interesting article at least.

Abe Sauer (#148)

I cannot disagree with you on a few of these points but (as War Without Mercy has clearly identified) this reasoning is itself reactionary, a finding of greater fault with passive subject of the criticism than a critical addressing of the subject itself.

But, specifically: "Doesn't the media have the responsibility to disseminate that information as quickly as possible in the interest of public safety in case the product does turn out to be toxic (even if they did overdo the made in China part)?": That's actually an "irresponsibility." National media ability to determine its own stories is maybe the greatest difference between the US and China. But that includes a responsibility. The reasoning you've endorsed for erring on the side of safety against truth us the media equivalent racial profiling. But maybe that's your position…

FlyingWhales (#2,794)

I haven't read War Without Mercy, so at the risk of completely misinterpreting your response… I don't agree that China is a passive subject, as least when you include its government. I am having trouble differentiating between the prevailing image of China put forth by the Chinese government itself, and what you say is the Sinophobic view of China advanced by the American media. (Note: I'm only referring to the "indistinguishable and interchangeable multitudes" and not the whole "Shangri-La of dragons, mysticism and sideways vaginas" aspect of Sinophobia, for which the Chinese government is blameless and we are entirely culpable. But your focus here is of course mostly on that first part) I do agree that either way, this image is damaging to Chinese (and Chinese American) people, but rooting it out of the American consciousness will require more than removing the Sinophobic attitudes present in the media, since it isn't entirely to blame.

I'll basically concede that point to you on the tainted toys (that sentence probably shouldn't have made it into my comment). However, I do think there is a certain degree of freedom the media should be given in a case such as this in terms of being pragmatic about reporting about tainted toys, where childrens' health is the issue and the only risk is that a certain toy might not sell as well, and all of the information about the product has not yet become available (whereas nobody should ever be given any degree of freedom with regards to racial profiling). This is a separate issue altogether though (and I don't remember the reporting on those toys well enough to present a more cogent view).

Abe Sauer (#148)

War Without Mercy is primarily concerned with WWII and how Japan and the US, on all levels, actively dehumanized each others' populations to make killing one another more palatable. Many of the characterizations that came out of that effort are alive today (on both sides) thanks to cartoons like this http://w00.middlebury.edu/ID085A/gallery/film/louse.jpg
I cannot recommend the book enough.

First a the review of a movie from a thief(stealing a script makes someone a thief) don't mean much.

Second it's about time someone made pro-America movie again all this anti america bs is getting old and sickening.

Third who gives a care what China thinks, their humans rights records is an atrocity, plus they need the U.S. more then we need them, China is doing so well because the U.S. send jobs over there(because slave labor) and because Americans buy their Chinese toxic junk(McDonald's just had to recall glass because the were toxic).

This movie will make it';s budget and then some and I hope they make a part 2 just to upset people like you Abe.

Joe Henderson (#5,473)

Whine on, commie wimps, whine on! The first Red Dawn was a great training film. I hope the remake is even better. Can't wait to see it.

Dikaiosyne (#5,478)

I can't wait to see the new film. I only hope they can give us tips on the best kind of weaponry available for the purpose of fighting the enemy (both internal and external). Personally I prefer a .223 for the lower cost of ammo but the 308 for pure stopping power. America needs these types of films to alert the majority to the threat of the American political class (especially the left) and to the growing threat of the Chicoms, Iran, North Korea and dare I say?…Russia as well. Get militaristic America! because the elitist scum we have in charge now is taking us down the road to bankrupcy and cultural ruin. God Bless all my militia minded brethren and remember these few words…GOD,FAMILY and COUNTRY!

North Valley (#5,497)

LOL!

"Sic Semper Tyrannis!"

I have one word for you angst ridden "progressives", "DEPENDS".

Although it is amusing to watch you people soil yourselves, the fact is that you folk's "ideas" and "beliefs" already stink enough to gag a maggot, means your soiling yourselves over this is not needed by anybody.

Remember, fyi, because I really really really love and honor your "opinions".

"DEPENDS!"

Your friends and neighbors WILL thank you.

All HAIL the messiah "king" Obammy!

howeecarr (#5,503)

The most disgraceful bigotry and intolerance here are the comments, the invective, from those who would view themselves as "inclusive" and "committed to diversity" spewed upon their fellow Americans who dare to hold views that differ from their own.

More "progressive" hypocrisy on display.

auto380582 (#5,917)

ILLEGAL ALIENS GO HOME BEFORE CONGRESS PASSES THE ILLEGAL BOUNTY ACT OF 2010. $10,000 (TAX FREE) FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DEPORTATION OF AN ILLEGAL (MAN, WOMAN, CHILD OR EVEN ILLEGAL ANCHOR BABY) PAYABLE ONLY TO U.S. CITIZENS. THERE WILL BE NO LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF ILLEGALS THAT CAN BE TURNED IN (ONLY ONCE PER ILLEGAL FOLKS!) COULD YOU USE AN EXTRA TEN, TWENTY, THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS??

auto380582 (#5,917)

Illegal Aliens in Country
35,000,000
Other Than Mexican Illegals in Country
600,000
Money Wired to Mexico Since Jan 2006
$300,000,000,000
Money Wired to Latin America Since 2001
$400,000,000,000
Cost of Social Services Since 1996
$500,000,000,000
Children of Illegals in Public Schools
6,000,000
Cost of Illegals in K-12 Since 1996
$250,000,000
Illegal Aliens Incarcerated
500,000
Cost of Incarcerations Since 2008
$30,000,000
Illegal Alien Fugitives
800,000
Anchor Babies Since 2002
7,000,000
Skilled Jobs Provided to Illegal Aliens
15,000,000
Un-Skilled Jobs Provided to Illegal Aliens
5,000,000

James Kotak (#6,107)

What a great idea for a film! I only hope it's a good one.

Communist pinko progressives, BE GONE! Whine and cry in some country other than America!!!

AZEX (#6,612)

Really? Some Lefty writers, obviously disillusioned with the reluctance of the Kenyan usurpers "Hope and Change" mantra want to plead the case of the poor, downtrodden Chinese? Chinese have been successful and quite underrated Immigrants into this country for 2 reasons…Industriousness and lack of victim posturing.

They don't sit around wringing their hands and blaming "whitey", they go back to work…This is what GOOD Immigrants do. This arcane (to some) concept took Irish and Italian from "less than black" status to completely assimilated Americans in less than 2 generations.

As far as Racism, if you want to experience it, put a Mandarin Chinese and "any other type" of Chinese, including any other type of Asian and the self-supposed smugness and superiority virtually oozes from their pores like some Demokommie with a big huge Obama bumper sticker emblazoned on the back of his Prius!

It's racist, in that "know it all" kinda Lib fashion, to assume that all people of one skin tone have "your enlightened" opinion on anything…or each other.

In Lefty-land, all Hispanics are open-borders Socialists…just like Illegal Invader filth.

In Lefty-land, all Africans are the same, regardless of what tribe they come from.

In Lefty-land, all Chinese have the same perspectives, because they all think alike. (Nevermind the fact that Chinese as conquerors are some of the most cruel and vicious occupiers that any civilization has ever known…ask the Hmong)

In closing I'd like to simply say "Dude, it's just a F'n movie, your vagina is getting sand in my popcorn." Thanks for the tiny snippets of script tho.

D.

bobby b (#8,748)

1. The asian carp and the asian lady beetle were both originally indigenous to asia and were brought here relatively recently.

2. The Chinese system of government, a sometimes-draconian dictatorship ruled by the invitation-only Communist Party of China, is NOT a "sort of autocratic form of capitalism". In fact, the characterization just leaves me a little nauseous.

3. You said: "Off the books and under the radar, there also continues a relentless unconscious drive to stereotype and dehumanize Asian populations . . . "

A "relentless unconscious drive to stereotype and dehumanize Asians"? I guess that's why I've never, ever encountered such a sentiment in my fifty-some years here in the U.S.A. – it's all unconscious!

The bit about the asian carp was, really, your strongest argument.

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