From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon 11 Apr 2005 - 22:42:16 GMT
--- Bill Spight <email@example.com> wrote:
> Dear Vincent,
> > What is it with the US meme of the dangerous
> > cannibals who live in the woods/mountains? Why
> are they always white people
> > too?
> I think it reflects two early migrations from the
> British Isles, British
> and Scotch Irish. Because of ethnic and class
> differences there was
> friction between the groups and many Scotch Irish
> took to the hills,
> leaving the towns under British sway. The rest is
> Although not without a grain of truth. (My
> grandfather, a doctor, was
> hijacked at gunpoint by the Sullivan clan. One of
> them had been wounded
> in a shootout, and they told him to fix him up. If
> he lived, my
> grandfather would, too. Just like in the movies. As
> for inbreeding,
> cousins certainly got married.) There is some
> romanticization, as well.
> > Moreover why is this apparently popular at the
> Perhaps one factor is that there are still groups in
> the U. S. who
> resist the dominant culture and live in or near the
> wilderness. I think
> the center of that has shifted from the Appalachians
> to the Rockies. And
> there are still some dangerous people among them,
> like the Posse
> Commitatus (if they still exist) and Timothy
> > Are mountain men another way of representing
> > other_inside_America (I remember studying
> Deliverance as a student and being
> > taught about it as a possible allegory of the
> vietnam war- natives in the
> > wilds terrorising the unknowing, disrespectful
> city folk)?
> Gee, was your instructor an English Lit. type who
> didn't know much about
> American or Vietnamese culture? ;-) The Vietnamese
> were civilized before
> the Europeans.
They were feuding with the Chinese well before Europeans "discovered" America.
All I recall of Deliverance is the banjo player and
the infamous "squeal like a pig" scene. I have been to
the Tallulah Gorge before. Beautiful place.
> And there are still dangerous
> Americans living in the hills.
There was a cottage industry of Vietnam war related movies, including the Rambo trilogy where Rambo, a Vietnam vet that's a little off kilter gets irked by a redneck local yokel sheriff, has a flashback and takes to the hills waiting for Col. Trautman to show up. Not sure if that image helped or hurt the veteran cause, but it might have served as a bit of catharsis for disgruntled vets and for a country that was still dealing with the aftermath. But in a sense, during
_First Blood_ Stallone played a dangerous American in the hills.
Then there's the immortal _Apocalyse Now_ ("smell of
napalm in the morning" and "Charlie don't surf"),
_Missing in Action_ (Chuck Norris goes back to rescue American pride vicariously with some well placed martial arts moves) and _Platoon_.
There have been some Desert Storm movies, but the one
that really got my eyes rolling was the _Manchurian
Candidate_ remake. They should have left that one
alone. Talk about Hollywood running out of ideas. That
movie was thoroughly contrived and force-fit. The
original made sense, at least in the paranoid Cold War
context of its era. BTW Manchuria is a portion of
China just north of the Korean peninsula, hence the
name of the movie actually made sense, unlike the remake.
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