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Hollywood Finally Concludes The Sixties Are Over
By Ed Driscoll · August 20, 2005 11:58 AM · Bobos In Paradise

It's interesting to track the changing face of war veterans. When they returned home from World Wars I, II and Korea, the were young, brave professional men who served when their country needed them.

In the seventies, after Senator Kerry's "Winter Soldier" speech, the left defined them as war criminals who:

personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
And now? According to Hollywood, they're children. Check out the messages on the signs carried by Hollywood celebrities protesting in Crawford last week in these photos: "Bring Our Children Home" and "'Before One More Mother's Child Is Lost'--Cindy Sheehan".

To understand what a radical transformation this is for Hollywood, consider how the sixties, that most golden of decade for the left, fetishized youth culture. 1967's Wild In The Streets promulgated the notion of a 24-year old rock star millionaire who gets elected after first securing the vote for 15 year olds.

Well, 15 year olds still can't vote, but 18 year olds can, thanks to the 26th Amendment, signed into law in 1971. In 1966, Time magazine named those "25 And Under" as its "Man of the Year". "Don't Trust Anyone Over 30" was a cliché of the era, and heck, William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson's original 1967 novel of Logan's Run envisioned a whole society where the maximum age that could be reached was 21.

But that was then. These days, as Mark Steyn wrote this past week, America's left views teenagers as children again. Or at least they do when infantilisation suits their purposes:

Whenever I’m on a radio show these days, someone calls in and demands to know whether my children are in Iraq. Well, not right now. They range in age from five to nine, and though that’s plenty old enough to sign up for the jihad and toddle into an Israeli pizza parlour wearing a suicide-bomb, in most advanced societies’ armed forces they prefer to use grown-ups.

That seems to be difficult for the Left to grasp. Ever since America’s all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterise them as ‘children’. If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that’s her decision and her parents shouldn’t get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the Oval Office shagpile and chow down on Bill Clinton, she’s a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year old is serving his country overseas, he’s a wee ‘child’ who isn’t really old enough to know what he’s doing.

I get many emails from soldiers in Iraq, and they sound a lot more grown-up than most Ivy League professors and certainly than Maureen Dowd, who writes as if she’s auditioning for a minor supporting role in Sex and the City. The infantilisation of the military promoted by the Left is deeply insulting to America’s warriors but it suits the anti-war crowd’s purposes. It enables them to drone ceaselessly that ‘of course’ they ‘support our troops’, because they want to stop these poor confused moppets from being exploited by the Bush war machine.

In the sixties, Hollywood sought to empower youth; well, a soldier who volunteers to serve his country, and in the process learns a battery of skills ranging from operating or repairing high tech machinery to operating weaponry the very thought of which would cause an NRA-hating actor to loosen his bowels is pretty darn empowered.

Too bad Hollywood can't see that. By the way, now that they're children again, shouldn't we raise the voting age? The driving age? Change the NC-17 rating to NC-25?

Update: Somewhat related thoughts on the cyclical nature of protests by from Neo-Neocon.

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Ed Driscoll knows small business, financial planning, career counseling, home theater, technology, markets, double-breasted suits, and blue hats. But what he really likes to do is produce the "Blog Week In Review"--Pajamas Media ad, 7/06

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