The New "Argo?" Evil North Koreans Trash the White House In Latest Hollywood Fear Vehicle
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: The trend towards movies ripped from the news, or perhaps ripping off the news continues.
Olympus Has Fallen is the latest in the popular "learn to fear thy enemy even more than you did before" category, as director Antoine Fuqua visualizes a story that can't be more topical with the White House (Secret Service Code: "Olympus") occupied by a North Korean terrorist fanatic and his barbaric followers.
The President is held hostage, the building is trashed, and its defenses shredded while our hero, a disgraced former Presidential guard, becomes the savior despite the mounting body count including a massacre of civilians and military responders as well as the near capture of top secret nuclear codes.
Of course, at the last moment, Mr. America fights off the incompetent Pentagon bureaucracy, repels the invaders and singlehandedly saves the President's son, before rescuing the commander in chief and averting the war to end all wars.
(Didn't we see a similar scenario recently set in the White House Bunker/command module in Salt starring Angelina Jolie? That was an action movie that started with her rescue from a grim North Korean torture chamber.)
With patriotic music swelling and flags waving, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is liberated once again to stand by its values and invade more countries.
When I returned to my computer, fiction had morphed into "faction' amidst reports that the Obama Administration sent a new armada to the region while North Korea apparently decided to ramp up its only feared defenses: its nuclear capacity.
The United States has denied that its recent maneuvers with the new right-wing government in South Korea was provocative or a stalking horse for an invasion, but the North Koreans were not convinced and restarted a shuttered nuclear plant to be on the safe side.
Is war on the horizon? The emergence of war propaganda like Olympus Has Fallen and earlier demonizations of the North certainly shows there is a market for cultural products about the Evil Empire.
It's worth recalling that books about Hitler were in a best selling back in the days when people read books.
If entertainment about the Korean bad guys---devoid of any real history about how Korea was divided and the million North Koreans who died in that "police action" (not even a war in US parlance) is now boffo box office the real conflict is beginning to feel more like show biz than news biz.
Is it just more "militainment?"
Olympus Has Fallen will do more to frighten Americans than the "bluster" coming out of Pyonyang, Recall that the North Korean "supreme leader" Kim Jong Un, is the son of a man who was obsessed about movies and wanted to look like Elvis.
Notes the New York Times, "Despite a drumbeat of increasingly bellicose threats from North Korea , the White House said Monday that there was no evidence that the country's leader, Kim Jong-un , was mobilizing troops or other military forces for any imminent attack.