10 Cinematic Clichés That Must Die!
Posted By James Hudnall On January 20, 2009 @ 8:48 am In Media Criticism | 182 Comments
As a writer and consumer of entertainment, I really hate clichés and stereotypes. They’re only useful for misdirection, making readers believe the story is going a certain way so you can fool them. But Hollywood keeps trotting out the following lame tropes over and over again. It’s about time they were called on the carpet for this stupidity. These stereotypes are not only offensive; they’re overused to the point where they must be retired for good. If you really care about not offending people, Hollywood, stop offending me and the legions of people who are sick of this drivel.
1. The Crazed Vet/Soldier: According to Hollywood, if you’re a veteran who fought in a war or a soldier returning from one, you are insane, dangerous and probably a murderous sociopath. Either that or you’re a pathetic loser with mental problems. An emotional basket case. And of course, only poor people join the military, only uneducated stooges easily fooled by government propaganda. No one joins the military because they believe in something. If they do they will find out how foolish they were and become disgusted with America.
Note to Hollywood: Obviously, reality and research are a problem for you. Here’s a newsflash: People from all walks of life join the military and most who serve during wartime never experience serious combat, or any combat at all. During the Iraq war, it was actually statistically more dangerous to work on a farm or drive a taxi cab than to be a soldier in Iraq. And most vets are stable people. They’re trained to be responsible and orderly. They’re trained to deal with stressful situations rationally. Those who can deal with live fire are more likely to be able to handle stress back home, not the other way around. You’ve created ugly myths that betray the very people who make it possible for you to lead your silly lives. They defend the free speech that you use to defame their good name. They work for little money, often in horrible conditions, away from the people they love, for years in some cases. They risk their lives so other people can be free. People like you. And this is the thanks they get? You should be ashamed of yourselves! This is an insane form of prejudice. Bigotry against people who protect you.