My Top Three Films to turn you into a conservative.
(The list below is based on my understanding of conservatism as a life strategy focused on detecting incoming threats and defending your perimeter.
As a conservative, I don’t believe in “good news”. The good news is no news. No news is good news. Change is mostly about things turning bad, or worse. Death is the ultimate Change Agent. Nor do I trust progress. “Progress” is an illusion, a mere projection of spiraling complexity of the outside world, cold and indifferent to man.)
1. “Black Hawk Down”, by Ridley Scott
The tale of President Clinton’s misfired “humanitarian mission” in Somalia in 1993. A brilliant exposé on how the best of plans to help out people in need turns into an orgy of death and destruction, where the bravest and the innocent are the first to get killed.
The bluish color palette is bled for light. The ageless ethnic-inspired musical theme is soaked with pain and sorrow. The final scene where heavily armed Americans run home to their base through a devastated cityscape peppered by rounds from ghost-like locals clearly tells you the bottom line. In this world, consider just staying alive for another day as a success. Anything above that is a precious blessing that won’t last long.
2. “The Wire” (TV series)
It’s the best TV series of all time to me. It’s a paradox how strongly the team of its liberal creators projects the central message of conservatism: the mission of man is to keep the Devil down in the hole, for as long as possible. At the end of the day, the Devil always breaks out—but don’t let it happen on your watch!
The iconic Clay Davis’ line is a hilarious soundbite to illustrate how progressives almost always play the Devil’s hand in the best-intentioned of their endeavors. Sorting out their mess falls on the conservatives. But never mind. As Murphy’s Combat Laws postulate, “Anything you do can get you killed. Including doing nothing.”
3. “Hard to be a god”, by late Alexei German
A dark, depressing piece for select film connoisseurs.
A progressive Earthling tries to save few feeble shoots of science and enlightenment among humanoids in some medieval extra-terrestrial universe. People there live unhappy lives in squalor and dirt. The black-and-white scenery reeks of stale sewage, an unkept slaughterhouse, smoke from damp firewood, and vintage BO.
It takes a particular passion for art movies to sit it out for the movie’s entire length. In keeping with Russian storytelling traditions, it’s protracted, verbose, loaded with attempts at collateral storylines and obscure cultural allusions. “If you’re bored, this is not made for the likes of you”.
What the movie does though, is vividly show life through the lenses of Russian progressives. Over many centuries, they’ve been agonizing finding themselves in an ocean of poor, uneducated, apathetic, often hostile and downright sadistic commoners, and their thieving, arrogant, ruthless rulers. A few bold attempts to profoundly make a difference ended in misery for millions, like in 1917 and 1991.
This slow-moving train wreck of a universe is suffused with conservative wisdom. Some houses cannot be put back in order, no matter how much resources and firepower you have. Let them burn if they want to. But for God’s sake keep them from burning your house!