In the wake of the controversies around Kaepernick kneeling in protest of the national anthem and the flag, you know Leftists need to get back at America. And what better way than through Hollywood.
Once again Hollywood looks to demean America with a passive aggressive move, as it rewrites history. In this case, they did so in the film First Man, downplaying one of America’s greatest achievements and undoubtedly one of humanity’s greatest moments.
So goes the efforts of Amblin-Dreamworks and director Damien Chazelle’s new movie ‘First Man’:
A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Sounds like a “Can’t miss” Autumn movie in preparation for the upcoming Oscar races, except for one tiny detail that the movie omits: the film refused to depict the planting of the US flag on the Moon.
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Time Magazine reports:
The Neil Armstrong biopic First Man premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday, but it’s the film’s omission of Armstrong’s historic planting of the American flag on the moon has many outraged.
While most people associate Armstrong with the iconic moment when he placed the American flag on the moon, director Damien Chazzell chose to cut out the moment for the biopic based on James Hansen’s biography of Armstrong’s life. Ryan Gosling, who plays the first man to walk on the moon, gave an explanation for the decision that has caused some outraged. Gosling told reporters at the Venice Film Festival that the astronaut’s accomplishments “transcend countries and borders” and that he believes Armstrong did not view himself as an American hero.
Liberal British publication The Economist also cheered the de-Americanization of the Moonshot:
This omission led to “First Man” being condemned online as outrageously unpatriotic by the type of people who snipped the swoosh logos off their socks after Nike employed Colin Kaepernick (people, incidentally, who had not seen the film). More significant was that Mr Aldrin himself disapproved of the ellipsis. He posted a photo on Instagram of Armstrong and himself raising Old Glory, and added the hashtag “#proudtobeanAmerican”. But maybe it was not just the film’s lack of jingoism that he disapproved of. Maybe he was disgruntled that his younger self (played by Corey Stoll) is portrayed as such a tactless loudmouth. “I’m just saying what everyone is thinking,” he sneers after one crass remark. “Maybe you shouldn’t,” snaps Armstrong.
Gosling, who is Canadian, argued that the first voyage to the moon was a “human achievement” that didn’t just represent an American accomplishment, and that’s how Armstrong viewed it.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”
Gosling added, “He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true. So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
Gosling also joked that he’s Canadian, so he “might have cognitive bias.”
It has been nearly a half-century since the historic landing at the Sea of Tranquility. So, for individuals such as Mr. Gosling and Mr. Chazelle born decades after the event, the significance of that moment is lost on them.
They ‘Were There’!
What do those that were actually there in 1969 think of the American flag dust up?
One has to go no further than Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Armstrong’s Apollo 11 lunar pilot and the second man to walk on the Moon:
Legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took a swipe at the upcoming movie “First Man” late Sunday for its director’s decision not to show the planting of the American flag on the moon during the historic 1969 mission.
Aldrin, 88, who was the second man to step on the moon, behind crewmate Neil Armstrong, posted historical photos of the flag-planting and added the hashtag “Proud to be an American.”
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) September 3, 2018
Another hero of “The Right Stuff” era, General Chuck Yeager–the first man to break the sound barrier–had the following to say in the Washington Times:
Hollywood’s portrayal of astronaut Neil Armstrong in the biopic “First Man” was quick to elicit the attention on Friday of aviation legend Gen. Chuck Yeager.
Social media platforms lit up before the weekend as news spread that Ryan Gosling’s latest film does not include the American flag being planted on the moon. Critics fretted that “First Man” would essentially turn Mr. Armstrong into a progressive caricature when Mr. Yeager, 95, weighed in.
“Ryan Gosling is coming out with the movie First Man where it portrays Neil Armstrong as a liberal progressive anti-Trump (in spirit) non-flag waiver,” a user identified as @ClarenceSwirly wrote. “Probably agree with the National Anthem kneelers, too; at least in Hollywood’s liberal imagination. For your Info.”
“That’s not the Neil Armstrong I knew,” Mr. Yeager — a World War II ace and the first pilot to break the speed of sound — replied.
He told another user that the omission of the U.S. flag being planted on the moon constituted “more Hollywood make-believe.”
More Hollywood make-believe
— Chuck Yeager (@GenChuckYeager) August 31, 2018
But others have a different have a different opinion.
The history here is instructive. Although the lunar flag-planting may seem like a given in hindsight, for months before the flight of Apollo 11 there was a debate within the federal government and in the press as to the wisdom of doing it. The argument for the flag was that the voyage was an entirely American effort that was paid for by American taxpayers, who deserved to see their flag planted in the lunar regolith. The argument against was that it could cast the landing in the eyes of the world as a nationalistic exercise, diminishing what was otherwise indisputably a triumph of American values and ideals, not to mention a demonstration of our technical superiority over our great adversary, the Soviet Union.
Ultimately, just a few months before the flight, Congress ordered NASA to put up the flag. The result, a rushed bit of engineering, was a set of spindly tubes holding a government-issued flag valued at around $5 and, since there was no room in the moon lander, flown clamped to a leg of the vehicle. Armstrong and Aldrin put up the flag and saluted it, then got on to other business.
As it turned out, people across the world didn’t much care. What they saw and celebrated were two fellow human beings walking on the surface of the moon.
Because I’m interested in space history, and because I think “First Man” will be a unique and dramatic view of an important American who most of us never got to know very well, I will see this movie. If it’s anything like the book, I fully expect it to move me to even greater appreciation for my country, a nation that saw fit to attach to one of the moon lander legs not just its national flag but also this honest and humble declaration: “We Came In Peace for All Mankind.”
Likewise, the late astronaut’s sons Rick and Mark Armstrong and book’s author James R. Hansen (on which the film is based) released the following statement about the movie:
“We’ve read a number of comments about the film today and specifically about the absence of the flag planting scene, made largely by people who haven’t seen the movie. As we’ve seen it multiple times, we thought maybe we should weigh in.
This is a film that focuses on what you don’t know about Neil Armstrong. It’s a film that focuses on things you didn’t see or may not remember about Neil’s journey to the moon. The filmmakers spent years doing extensive research to get at the man behind the myth, to get at the story behind the story. It’s a movie that gives you unique insight into the Armstrong family and fallen American Heroes like Elliot See and Ed White. It’s a very personal movie about our dad’s journey, seen through his eyes.
This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement “for all mankind,” as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible.
Although Neil didn’t see himself that way, he was an American hero. He was also an engineer and a pilot, a father and a friend, a man who suffered privately through great tragedies with incredible grace. This is why, though there are numerous shots of the American flag on the moon, the filmmakers chose to focus on Neil looking back at the earth, his walk to Little West Crater, his unique, personal experience of completing this journey, a journey that has seen so many incredible highs and devastating lows.
In short, we do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest. Quite the opposite. But don’t take our word for it. We’d encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for themselves.”
The Flag Is ‘AMERICAN’ For A Reason.
This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission,on rockets built by Americans,with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission. https://t.co/eGwBq7hj8C
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 31, 2018
There is a basic reason as to why the stars-and-stripes of Old Glory’ is mounted at six different locations on the Moon’s surface and not the United Nations, NASA, or any other “world” flag.
“Planting the flag” usually means making a claim to something, usually territory or land. Throughout history men have “planted the flag” claiming ownership in the name of the king, queen, country, church, etc. marking the land as their own. The United States had signed a United Nations Treaty in 1967 called the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies also commonly known as the Outer Space Treaty. A section of that treaty forbids nations from claiming celestial bodies as their own through “claim of sovereignty, by means of occupation, or by any other means.” Since “planting the flag” up to this time in history usually meant a “claim of sovereignty”, NASA had to explore if planting the American Flag would be perceived by nations of the world as a claim or would they understand it was only symbolic.
To solve this problem, NASA of course set up a committee to explore the issue. In February of 1969, the Committee on Symbolic Activities for the First Lunar Landing was established. “The committee was instructed to select symbolic activities that would not jeopardize crew safety or interfere with mission objectives; that would “signalize the first lunar landing as an historical forward step of all mankind (Sounds like something Neil Armstrong said a few months later doesn’t’ it?) that has been accomplished by the United States” and that would not give the impression that the United States was “taking possession of the Moon” in violation of the Outer Space Treaty.”
The committee looked at options such as planting the United Nations Flag, leaving a solar wind experiment that looked like an American flag, leaving little flags of all the nations of the world, or putting a plaque or marker on the surface of the Moon. Arguments were made that since the first humans on the Moon were representing mankind, then some type of world flag such as the UN flag should be used. Another argument in favor of the international type flag was the fact that even though most of the work and cost of Apollo was borne by the American people, NASA did have some international partners assisting in the program in a limited role including the Swiss with their development of the solar experiment, eight different countries assigned to examine any lunar rocks brought back, Brazil with its rocket sounding program, and the various nations that hosted tracking sites at their own expense.
In the end, the committee decided that only the American Flag should be planted on the Moon and also recommended the famous plaque left on the lunar lander that said, “Here men from planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” The plaque would not have any nation’s flag on it, but a picture of the east and west hemispheres. Small flags of all 50 states and member nations of the United Nations were to be brought along, but returned to Earth with the crew and presented to each entity the flag represented.
#Boycott? Wait A Moment!
The most interesting critique on the issue came from Daily Beast writer Marlow Stern on his Twitter page:
I've seen FIRST MAN and you see the American flag on the moon in several shots. Maybe wait to actually see something before feigning outrage. These quotes were taken out of context by BI.
Also it's a *movie*. Worry about more important shit. https://t.co/cKKtHVdLoo
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) August 31, 2018
In the end, we all will have to act as our own judges, and make our own decisions.