FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Teabagger Cinema

by PRAIRIE MILLER

Dredging up tired old myths about America while concocting misleading new ones, the documentary Generation Zero assembles a host of valid gripes currently troubling the nation, but is more than careful to detour around any proposed remedies anchored in reality. In other words, all dressed up in undercover Republican in rebel’s clothing, and with basically nowhere new to go.

Written and directed by reactionary Reagan partisan propagandist Stephen K. Bannon (In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War in Word and Deed, and Border War: The Battle Over Illegal Immigration) the inaugural Tea Party cinema documentary Generation Zero boasts an exceedingly odd couple combo of assorted right wing egghead think tank rhetoric talking heads and angry white middle class rants. And all wrapped up in highly sophisticated production values fueling alarmist high speed imagery, and topped off with a musical score seemingly gleaned from really scary slasher movies.

Invoking intimidating biblical scriptures that are fused visually with looming tornadoes, rotting fruit, paper money on fire, and a man versus lion beatdown, Generation Zero gets down to business on fast forward by blaming the current economic crisis retroactively on Lucifer, Woodstock, Dems, post-hippie yuppies lighting up cigars with burning Ben Franklins, Hollywood, Black Panthers, anti-war protesters and disrespectful post-WWII youth. Which might leave the marginalized left in this country scratching their collective heads while caught between pondering these neo-McCarthyite attacks, and shock that they seem to wield such enormous power over the course of history.

At the same time, the right wing populist thrust of this documentary mourns the economic tragedy of the Great Depression, while reticently longing for the good old days of capitalism unregulated by the government. History alert, that’s exactly what led to the Great Depression. And in glaring contradiction, the current ‘incestuous’ relationship between government and big business is condemned as contributing to the economic woes facing us today. But if in reality those two entities have merged into one and the same with politicians the actual under the radar conflict-of-interest corporate partners, isn’t that unregulated capitalism after all?

In a case of repeatedly not saying what you mean moviemaking in the extreme, Generation Zero is ironically advocating in its own way, a utopian nation grounded in a prevailing small business society that no longer exists, and is in effect hardly different from the hippie fantasy back to nature version of the world. And in this small business interests butting of heads with big capitalism that is the core grievance of this film, where exactly do the American masses you’re inflaming – with no businesses of their own, let alone even a job or home in many cases – fit in?

Now while there’s nothing wrong with spouting your opinions loudly in a movie, at the same time it’s respectful of your audience to come out of your political closet and say so. Instead of manipulatively shouting at viewers about everything that’s ailing America and rightly so, while quietly tiptoeing around your own hidden agenda solutions that’s really a same politics, different day, voting booth Republican pep rally.

Generation Zero: A Tea Party animal all steamed up, but whose tempest in a teapot is basically empty.

PRAIRIE MILLER is a WBAI film critic, and host and executive producer of The WBAI Arts Magazine. She can be reached at: pmiller@wbai.org.

 

WORDS THAT STICK

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail