Friday, September 07, 2007

Wait'll Ernie Pyle hears about this

The vigilant gang over at Fox has caught the Hollywood panty-waists making light of America again! Here's the dominant art from early afternoon (until the before-and-after of Osama's new beard look was ready).
What Hollywood is doing, of course, is plotting to geld this American icon by turning him into some sort of internationalized UN-loving do-gooder. Take it away, Fox:
Say it ain't so, G.I. Joe.
The popular all-American comic-book military man and action figure dating back to the 1940s is undergoing a significant transformation for the Paramount Pictures-distributed "G.I. Joe" film, which begins production in February and is scheduled for release in summer 2009.
No longer will G.I. Joe be a U.S. Special Forces soldier, the "Real American Hero" who, in his glory days, single-handedly won World War II.
Christski. G.I. Joe was Soviet infantryman? Is to reel the mind.
In the politically correct new millennium, G.I. Joe bears no resemblance to the original.
At this point, it's fair to point out that he hasn't borne any resemblance to the original for quite some time. Here's a "Private Breger" by Dave Breger, who originated the "G.I. Joe" strip in Yank in 1942. By one account, Breger had to pick a new name for the strip because "Private Breger" was already in commercial syndication, so ... the rest is history. (Mildly exaggerated at the OED, which dates Breger and Joe to 1842, but history all the same.) By 1945, Joe was well enough known to provide a title for "The Story of G.I. Joe," about Ernie Pyle in North Africa.
Now, Pyle's troops -- not to mention Bill Mauldin's, to drag in another draftsman* who became known for his wartime drawings -- were not Special Forces by any stretch of the imagination. One would like to think they might dispute the Real American Heroes bit too (which title didn't come along, G.I.-Joe-doll-wise, until the beginning of the Reagan administration anyway). But Fox has other points to make:
... Joe's transformation, however, isn't sitting well with diehard fans and military types.

"I find it outrageous that they'd want to drop everything American" from the character, said conservative blogger Warner Todd Huston, who wrote about the rumors this week on and his own blog. "That's nuts."
Retired Army Col. David W. Hunt, a FOX News military and terrorism analyst, called the scheme to make a whole new Joe "a shame."
"G.I. Joe is a U.S. guy," Hunt said. "What are we going to call it — Global Joe? International Joe? It's kind of stupid. It's ridiculous that they're doing that."
Hmm. Bit of a sourcing stretch from one chickenhawk and one colonel on the Fox payroll to a groundswell of red-blooded outrage, but there you have it. On to the potted history:
The comic-book character and toy line have already undergone an evolution of sorts since Joe first won the hearts of American little boys — and some little girls — beginning in 1942 with the comic strip and in the early 1960s with the action figure.
... In the post-Vietnam War era in the 1970s, Hasbro decided to downplay G.I. Joe's military theme by renaming the line "The Adventures of G.I. Joe" and recasting Joe as the leader of an adventure team charged with espionage missions and fighting evil.
But in the 1980s, the toy company Hasbro made G.I. Joe more of a superhero and added a host of other action figures, expanding the line to include characters that made up a team of international operatives.
(So the, erm, damage has already been done? On Reagan's watch, no less!!)
Now some critics say the globalization of G.I. Joe has gone too far.
Really? Which?
"G.I. Joe is not an international hero. That's crap," said Col. Hunt. "They don't have to water it down. That doesn't make sense."
Gee. Let's close our eyes and guess who the other critic might be!
For blogger Huston, who played with G.I. Joe as a boy, transforming the entire character into an amorphous task force in the movie feels like a hit to his childhood memories.
Uh, Fox? Gang? Guys? Did y'all know your angry chickenhawk plays with dolls????? Just asking.
Huston believes it's the latest example of Hollywood's hostility toward all things American, and he said he probably won't go to see the film if the existing plans are executed.

"It's the last spit in the face of our military," Huston said. "The doll was G.I. Joe, the government-issued guy who was a hero and American. It was celebrating this one heroic soldier. They want to take even that away."
Suppose we should point out that it was America-hating Hollywood that turned Pyle's Captain Waskow into "Captain Walker"? Or would that be rubbing it in?
One tends to think that Pyle would have a low tolerance for Fox's yip-yip-yip-to-war attitude. Given Mauldin's political proclivities, it's more than fair to guess he would too. So let's give Willie and Joe the last word:
We calls 'em garritroopers. They're too far forward to wear ties an' too far back to get shot.
* Yank also published the wartime work of Bil Keane, he of the Family Circus. Some days one is gladder than others that one didn't go the media history route, isn't one?
(Yeah, the title is stolen from Mauldin too, in case you're wondering)

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Oh, the horror!

("single-handedly won WWII"? Nice to see Fox's inability to deal with facts is so general.)

7:58 AM, September 08, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

Aw, I hoped you'd like that one.

10:12 PM, September 08, 2007  

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