There's this... bizarre combination of idiocy, arrogance, and cruelty that permeates the CIA's handling of detainees. It's like, they're all afraid that if they admit to a mistake even once, or if they ever actually talk about what they're doing, or in general do anything other than act like a particularly inept and bungling cut-rate imitation Stasi, their balls will fall off.
I just cannot fathom it. I just want to take these people and shake them and say something like:
"Hello, you are supposed to be the security organ of a state, which means people's safety depends on you doing your job correctly and not fucking up, this is not about your image, this is not about appearances, this is about you being capable of actually reviewing your own actions and holding your own ranks accountable for fuckups, rather than turning yourself into a cartoon villain for every anti-American propaganda piece from Alma Ata to Zanzibar!"
Because honestly, their actions don't make sense even in the context of a brutal secret police force. Even if you concede their basic opinion that no foreigner has rights and all brown people are foreigners, and that any foreigner is a probablyterrorist who hates our FREEDOM and wants to destroy us and whose every waking moment is occupied with thoughts of how to do that...
Their actions are stupid. They waste their time on random bozos who have nothing to tell them, they abuse and torment these bozos long after it has ceased to make sense to do so, wasting their own time and energy, and then they turn these poor people into poster children for why you should NEVER trust or want to work with the CIA in any capacity.
Although that turns into a pretty damn convincing David versus Goliath that takes up about two thirds of the movie, now that you mention it.Adamskywalker007 wrote:I hate to take this discussion even further off topic, but I would say it is more than arguable. Loki is tough and the Chitari are numerous, but the Avengers have a stronger demigod, a man with a nearly invincible suit of armor, an invincible force of nature, and a super soldier. They are backed up by an organization with seemingly unlimited resources. The only threat in the second Captain America movie is that organization being turned inwards.
So there you have a superhero movie that is, insofar as a superhero movie is ever about anything other than glorious special effects, all about the dangers of a big oppressive technologically overwhelming military-security complex, and about a handful of individuals with relatively little special power going up against that organization.
It's post-Cold War confusion. During the Cold War you could depict 'honorable enemies' on the Soviet side who were at least interesting. And the Soviets were a threat. But now, the only real enemies the US has are too weak to be a real threat except to very small and isolated groups (i.e. a bunch of American private citizens stranded in sub-Saharan Africa) And said enemies have been otherized to the point where you can't really give them redeeming characteristics without some ass on Fox News accusing you of trying to make the enemy look good.This is another trend in modern espionage/government thrillers, that of the internal enemy, generally from the same nation as the hero. Classically there was generally an external enemy rather than the internal one. Look at the Bourne novels versus the films. In the books the threat was not the CIA chasing him, it was his current enemy finding him while he was amnesiac.
So if you want a compelling adversary, powerful enough to be a Goliath that our hero has to play David to, and yet one who all your audience is capable of seeing as human, you're basically stuck with a situation where our only viable enemy is... ourselves.
True, although this had more to do with the fact that Achilles was hyped up on quasi-divine homicidal rage than it did with the fact that Achilles was fundamentally beyond all the other Greeks. Achilles may have been the deadliest of the Greek champions but he wasn't the only one. And Hector had never hesitated to face people like Ajax (who'd make a pretty good stand-in for Goliath himself).That is a rather apt example given that Achilles was all but guaranteed to win.Simon_Jester wrote:So it's more like "root for good Goliath against bad Goliath." Or possibly "root for Achilles against Hector."
[Although Achilles was arguably the bad guy. ]
So whereas David versus Goliath is all about this tiny little boy with a slingshot up against this massive armored veteran giant, Achilles versus Hector is about a confrontation between two men who are at least nominally, more or less, equal, with broadly comparable equipment, except that Achilles had a major advantage in terms of divine support and ancestry, whereas Hector was purely mortal.
Oh, I wouldn't say that; there were more than a few older stories depicting the police as the protagonists. Or soldiers in the army going after primitive enemies, or things of that nature. Granted that most of them didn't withstand the test of time very well- but who's to say that most of the stuff being produced now will?This is an interesting angle that I hadn't really though of much, but even this is actually still something of an example. In classical mystery novels, from Sherlock Holmes to Sam Spade, the hero was almost always a private detective of some sort with limited resources and no real authority. It is only more recently that the heroes became police officers the majority of the time.Simon_Jester wrote:Also, antiterrorism stories are arguably a new twist on the old "hunt for the criminal" storyline, which is time-honored. The main difference is that the criminals are more likely than normal to be irredeemable mass murderers, while the 'detectives' are replaced by state antiterrorism agents. If you view antiterrorism stories as an outgrowth of detective stories, then the detective is nearly always the side of Goliath.
A 19th century police procedural contemporary with Sherlock Holmes probably wouldn't be remembered today.