Saturday, 31 July 2010

Blighty Fury

If the cinema of Steven Seagal is any indicator of the 'special relationship' then it is very special indeed.

For those unaquainted with Flight of Fury, I can only implore you to rush to Asda bargain bin to pick up this deathless masterpiece.

Anyway, this film (in the off-chance you haven't already seen it) starts with the usual cliches: American pilot steals plane, goes to rendevous with terrorists: then it really pulls the carpet from under your feet. 'Are these Serbians'? My friend asked, seeing whitey terrorists in Afghanistan.

Good question. The Slavs in general are a gold mine for Hollywood: foreign enough for the audience to gloat over their being massacred by white people who speak English, white enough to stop the PC crowd from whinging.

But blow me down, as I expected them to start speaking weeth theek accents, did they not turn out to be Cockerneys?

And before they can say to the yankee traitor 'consider yerself one of the far-m-i-ly', have they not asked him to drop toxic weapons on Uncle Sam? No negotiations, no asking for money, no Blofeldian plan to take over: just death to America.

Two things to note. One: as I've already pointed out there are ample white foreigners waiting to be massacred by Americans for Hollywood to keep its pompous, self-righteous colourblind veneer. Yet of all the dodgy, backwards, foreigners that Middle American audiences believe inhabit the commie wasteland between Russia and Portugal, they choose 'our no 1 ally'. No wait, its us who call them that.

Secondly, whether because the script was pulled out of someone else's waste basket and they lost the pages with this cliche or whether they wanted to avoid this cliche or whether thy really think we Brits are the nastiest people on earth, they didn't even have the Brit terrorists blackmailing Uncle Sam. No, they just wanted these germ cannisters dropped on American schools and 'football pitches' (not meaning football at all, but that rugby they play over there).

This made SLIGHTLY more sense after reading the Wikipedia article on the film, which says that the leader is half-Iraqi. I missed this piece of plot exposition, whether they cut it due to it being bullshit or whether Seagal mumbled his lines so badly that it was unintelligible. It's worth noting that the baddie's sidekick, a Brit lass, is also somewhat swarthy. This seems to me that they are making a none-too-subtle point about the dangers of miscegenation on our sceptred isle.

I daresay that the Mark Steyn bullshit has seeped so deeply into American culture that even Seagal is making a hat-tip to the Eurabia theme: that Blighty is populated by grannies, neds, socialists and Islamofascists. And a handful of public schoolboys who will save Britain by spending a fortune getting us into stupid conflicts with countries that haven't harmed us. Except that Seagal and co didn't even have the common courtesy to include an uncle Tom Brit to balance the message. Even that wretched left-behind film I watched had the decency to include a Bill Bailey lookalike as the head of the Brit armed forces. Maybe he lasted two minutes on a computer screen before it went blank (signifying the snuffing out of our nation) but at least they made the gesture.

Flight of Fury doesn't even manage this. In fact the lead goodie (who does all the athletic fighting whilst Seagal spends five minutes waddling like a bear and twatting a bloke on the head with a metal pipe) is actually an Arab.

I have to admit I was chuffed by this. And horrifically sad as it is, I was even more chuffed that he was acted by a Greek actor, which made me nostalgic for that 80s masterpiece 'The Jewel of the Nile' which is set in an Arab country, the prince of which is acted by a Greek, whilst a Jewish actor is the nation's real leader. But really, I do think it's time for Britain to wake up to what this says about the special relationship.


  1. Nice. Sounds like another great piece of work from the Big Man.

    Does he come out with any good Brit-stereotyping oneliners?

    Something about the standard of British dental care before smashing a cockney villain's teeth out might be appropriate.

  2. Wow, I didn't even realize Segal was making movies as late as 2007.

    You really hit the nail on the head here. Many Americans, especially conservative Americans, have mixed feelings about Britain. They love how Britain supports our military adventures, and many have a lot of respect for British soldiers, but they hate the NHS, think the UK will be mostly Muslim in 10 years, and that in general it is a socialist country, although they tend to love Thatcher, as in their eyes she was a kind of female Reagan who tried to get Britain on the right path.

    Conservatives in my own family that have dealt with affluent British businessmen say that the above opinions are widespread, that these businessmen hate the NHS, think the UK is socialist, that the country is becoming Muslim, etc. Is it true that some UK Conservatives have the same prejudices as their American counterparts?

    It may be a silly question, but I am wondering to what extent the British Right really does hate social democracy, because it seems some Tories were supportive of it, like the One Nation Tories, but others, like the Thatcherites, seem closer to the US Republicans.

  3. @Gareth
    No, the one-liners were few, far between, and very badly mumbled on this one. Think that American stereotypes of Brits have already started to bleed into their stereotype of Islamofascist, so pervasive is the Eurabia theory. A lot of Americans seem to think the greater yellowtoothed loudmouth Brit is an endangered species living in a few isolated gated communities in Florida, from where they whine that dole scroungers and immigrants have taken away their sole point of living.

    Though incidentally, I'm not sure that some people who live in Britain are much different. I remember a Spectator cover that showed a blond, spotty 'chav' pushing a pram with an Osama Bin Laden lookalike in it.

    Fancy meeting at the central Mosque tomorrow then? I've got a Burberry headscarf and a McEwan's Superbrew prayer mat you'll have to see.

    Allah Akhbar

    I'd be the last person to ask about modern British conservatism: I've never met anyone who supported the war in Iraq, defended Israel, supported privatising the economy or supported any other right-wing measure.

    This could be geographical. When I've stopped off in English airports, I've noticed they sell books by right-wing Americans which would never be stocked up here.

    However, as a vast majority of Brits (over 80% I think) support the NHS and about 70% support renationalising railways, I imagine that a lot of conservatives are more keen on nationalisation than much of our media. A clear majority of Brits also want out of Afghanistan.

    It will be interesting to see if there is a coming schism within the Tories. The curious thing about Thatcher is that she wasn't quite the market fanatic she is portrayed as in America. She praised the NHS, British Rail and Royal Mail. Of course, maybe now she is in favour of privatising these things, but she has dementia. Not something I'd wish on anyone, but there is a poetical irony in it, in that 'Thatcherism' has an element of dementia whereby those who call themselves Thatcherists have long stopped coming out with coherent arguments about the efficiency of privatisation but just take an ideological approach.