Why are so few of us truly fearful of the impending meltdown of capitalism, stoked by global corporations’ rape and pillage? And why are so many of us passive in the face of impending environmental catastrophe?
The answers, surprisingly, are to be found in a recent spoof spy blockbuster, Kingsman – The Secret Service. American Sniper may have enraged leftists for its overt jingoism and implicit war-cheerleading, but movies like Kingsman, which exercise their spell largely below the radar of political activism, are far more important in shoring up a climate of political submissiveness and naivety.
If Joseph Goebbels were alive today, this is the kind of movie he would be making – lappped up by audiences and winning general critical plaudits. Even critics who have panned it, as several did in the UK’s elite media, faulted it for its crudity; none seemed aware of its insidious faux class politics and faux environmentalism.
No suprise either that the film is made by Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox. Kingsman is the Sun or New York Post on celluloid. Its qualities – stylishness, humour and action – are there to distract us, to prevent us from noticing that we are being “brainwashed under freedom”. The drip-drip of films and TV shows like Kingsman is what keeps us worshipping at the alter of an ideology designed first to imprison us and then to destroy us.
Those critics who dislike the movie have highlighted its ending, which encapsulates the vulgar style of this brash piece of entertainment.