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Black Panther

On Friday, like most Americans, I watched the TV news report as we bombed empty buildings in Syria. (The attacks hit at approximately 4 AM local time.) Today, I attended a matinee showing of the movie Black Panther. I think I understand now why the movie is making money hand over fist, and is still in theaters weeks after its release.

So, the movie (in as spoiler-free version as possible) is about a mythical and very high-tech African country of Wakanda. The movie has plenty of explosions, car chases, fight scenes and sense of wonder visuals, but it goes deeper than that. In what other movies would be the key point but here is secondary, the villain is portrayed as exceptionally sympathetic and not the usual mustache-twirling empty costume. But where it gets really deep is with the plot. The key plot points are two: first, is one's loyalty to the country or the person running it and second, should more advanced nations help those less advanced and if so, how?

The first plot point resonated very strongly with me, because it was Trump's election to the Presidency done in Technicolor and Surround-Sound. An outsider and manifestly unfit becomes ruler of Wakanda by perfectly legitimate means. All the characters must then decide if they support the ruler because Rules or oppose the ruler because Ideals of the Country.

The second plot point comes from this. You've never heard of Wakanda because much of that high-tech is used to hide the country from everybody. The central question facing this cast of black actors with a token white guy is whether to continue hiding or step out into the world. If the later, how should this stepping out be undertaken?

And here's where I tie it to Syria. Syria is a mess, Bashar al-Assad is a wart on the ass of prosperity, and he's backed by Putin, the Napoleon III of Russia. What to do? So far, our response has boiled down to telling Assad he can kill as many of his people as he likes with bullets but if he uses chemical weapons we'll bomb some empty buildings. Oh, and no, we're not open for Syrian refugees, thanks - try Canada.

So in both the movie and reality, an incompetent person attempts to fix a complex problem and makes a hash of it. Go see the movie to learn how it ends. I'm still waiting for reality to catch up.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/693609.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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