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Another Typical Superhero Movie

It seems Hollywood may take a few years to catch up to the message of Ron Paul. Below is my gist of the newest Hollywood blockbuster, the superhero movie Iron Man, in bullets. Here's a quick synopsis: The main character, Tony Stark, heads a successful arms company, Stark Industries. He is captured by guerillas in Afghanistan and he subsequently escapes via his first creation of the Iron Man. During his capture, Stark realizes an ugly part of war: the enemy can end up with the same weapons as the good guys. In this case, the weapons Stark produces for the U.S. military end up in the hands of the Afghan guerillas. Upon his return to America, Stark has a revelation: Arms dealing is bad. As figurehead for his company, Stark holds a press conference to announce his change of heart. However, everything's not so simple and rosy. Stark's partner-in-business, Obadiah Stane, is too greedy for the profits of war to let Stark do as he wants. Thus is the protagonism/antagonism of the film, setting the stage for the epic showdown.

So here are the messages the film conveys.

  • War itself is not bad—only war profiteering and arms manufacturing is bad.
  • Greedy war profiteers are responsible for arming bad men around the world.
  • Problems of war will stop if you simply remove the bad men. There is no other source of the problem.
  • U.S. involvement in the Middle East is good because many bad men exist there.

And here are the messages the film doesn't convey.

  • The problems in Afghanistan are part and parcel because of U.S. involvement in the area.
  • War profiteering on the part of greedy businessmen is boosted by the war profiteering of a country's military policy.

Iron Man would be the first big-hit movie of the summer for the ilk of John McCain or Hilary Clinton; i.e., those who don't believe in the message of Ron Paul that turmoil in the Middle East is facilitated by the United States government. So for now, until the message sinks in, moviegoers can plan on seeing more movies that rely on the stereotypes that the Middle East needs the United States, that big business is greedy and corrupt (especially the arms industry), and that war itself is not bad but only the existence of powerful weapons. I'm sure the counter message would sink in faster had Ron Paul advanced further into the minds of American philosophy and politics, but this is why people, part and parcel, enjoy movies: for fantasy. Sometimes believing in superheroes is easier than electing one.