American Exceptionalism - Artist And Engineers And Viet Nam
What is it about smart educated minds that're American that makes dynamic optimism a tendency towards great engineering away from lateral artistry?
Certainty isn't easily made compatible with subtlety, arrogance in one's opinion (a great motivator) isn't eroded by knowing the logic/evidence to lay out the opinion as inherently valid but there's a necessary concurrency of uncertainty/humility that's the well-spring of being comfortable with fluid nuances. This is the colour in conviction, the humanity that morphs sympathy into empathy. Empathy is more to the mix, the source of creativity rather than mere invention.
Vietnam War movie:
Navel gazing, racist (personalise the Americans, quantify the Vietnamese), ever the Communists, seldom the Vietnamese, plenty of crap about fighting in South Vietnam, little about the state of the stable North, no explanation why never an election (cuz it'd be too damning vs the US), LBJ is a fucking psychopath, narrator condemning 1968 talks as derailed by North (Communists) just cuz they said stop carpet bombing the north. Disney version of small town America yet described in precisely the same simple home values you'd find in any Vietnamese village; a parallel ignored by the documentary. Endless American quotes editorialising, whereas occasional Vietnamese quotes mere narrative. Lip service is paid to Vietnam as fighting for their country yet more time given to French unwelcome than endless American presence. It's not a neutral conflict, it's an indelible stain on American history and marked the open hostilities between the right-wing fantasist bigots and left-wing naive humanitarians. There's little heroic in high school dropouts blown into military service, dying on the battlefield by acting with courage and honour in Vietnam. It's just tragic. Moreover to bullshit oneself that's evidence of wonderful American virtue is missing the point completely through the dewy-eyed delusion. The Vietnamese were just as "heroic". To refer to the various offensives around Tet as crazy defeats for the Vietnamese is to miss the point made clear by the North re: the 10 to 1 losses fight for freedom and independence.