The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Thursday January 22, 2015
Chris Kyle divides the misguided, Taylor Swift brings them together
A sniper makes Americans think they're divided again
American Sniper, Clint Eastwood’s film about fallen Iraq veteran Chris Kyle, grossed over 100 million dollars in its first weekend. The movie has divided the misguided into two categories: ultra “patriotic” right wingers who pedestalize Kyle as a perfect hero and leftists who claim that he is a coward and that Sniper is nothing more than a piece of pro-war propaganda. As always, they’re both wrong.
Those on the right are correct to call Kyle a hero, but he’s certainly not the idealized version that American Sniper presents or that they idealize. A cursory look into his biography proves that he isn’t a saint. He had many personal issues. He often lied to perpetuate his macho persona. His personality, while often warm, was more often abrasive.
Leftists, on the other hand, ignore all that he sacrificed and the danger he put himself in. Far from a coward, Kyle put his life in danger almost every day he was overseas. He sacrificed everything, including his sanity and ultimately his life, for a righteous cause. Whether or not the war in Iraq was justified, the people he was killing over there were murdering innocent people. Their elimination saved hundreds of lives.
Just as the right allows their patriotism to distort their view of reality, so the left lets their anti-war belief do the same thing. The truth, as always, is found outside of that paradigm.
And on a lighter note…
I’ve never understood the hype surrounding Taylor Swift. Her songs are catchy, I guess, and she even writes some of them (with the help of real songwriters and like 12 producers, of course). She’s sort of pretty but I can’t help but think that she must be hiding something under all that makeup.
If I never understood the hype of her innocuous pop/country I really don’t understand the greater adulation for her new, bland pop music. What is she doing that Avril Lavigne didn’t do 10 years ago? Okay, so “Shake it Off” is catchy, but so was “Sk8er Boi” (and it was more melodic). Swift's new music may be “infectious” but so are commercial jingles.
And speaking of commercials, I’d much rather watch Shaquille O’Neal turn into liquid and talk about how he’s supple than listen to any of Swift’s songs.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.