Lately it has become fashionable to say that America is not a Christian nation, that we have freedom of religion, therefore because there is no state mandated religion, which is what freedom of religion means by the way, that America is not a Christian nation and that the religion of its inhabitants has no bearing whatsoever on how successful the system will be.
Which of course as we are seeing today in nearly every aspect of our society is complete nonsense. The only reason our system of government worked in the first place was that the inhabitants not only self policed their behavior through the enforcement mechanism that was their belief in heaven and hell, but the very concept of a meritocracy in the first place is based on the christian view of existence and powered by the christian work ethic.
It relies on the public having a healthy understanding of personal responsibility, or as the Christians who built this nation viewed it, receiving blessings from God when you obey his commandments and being punished for your sins when you don’t. In Christianity, life itself is viewed as a meritocracy, you live on this earth and if you obey God and are a good person, you earn your place in heaven, if you’re a bad person, you burn in hell for eternity. A lot is riding on your ability to self govern your behavior while alive on this earth, it has eternal consequences.
This is a uniquely christian way of thinking, Jews don’t have this same view of heaven and hell and neither do Muslims, or Hindus or Buddhists and obviously atheists worry about going to hell least of all. The christian concept of eternal damnation was the concept that enforced the self policing good behavior that made the free society developed on this continent possible. The term “God fearing christian” used to be a common term in this country used to describe the character of men. It described whether or not a man could be trusted. Did they fear the eternal wrath of an omnipotent God? Did that fear influence their behavior? Or did they only fear getting caught by mortal men?
As comforting as the concept of eternal damnation might be for men of good character who naturally want justice to be absolute and terrifying. As much as these good men crave this omnipotent kind of justice, evil men loath it. For the men who would be occupying this version of hell and suffering in the eternal flames, this is a terrifying prospect that it might exist. It’s no wonder that the disgusting filth in Hollywood has a special hatred for Christianity that doesn’t extend to other religions. These other religions offer a way out. These other religions arent telling them they are damned for eternity if they don’t admit their evil and beg for forgiveness. These other religions essentially allow them ride it out and evade justice in this life and still have the ability, after paying a temporary price awful though it might be, to eventually advance on. In a way there is no need to police your behavior if you don’t mind paying a temporary price later, they arent suffering any permanent consequences for their actions. Their soul isn’t damned for eternity.
Hollywood goes out of its way to attack and mock christian values and takes every opportunity to offer up alternatives to the christian view of existence and justice especially if it alleviates people of personal responsibility. Concepts like fate for example, the idea that when it comes right down to it, none of us have free agency, we are all just leafs floating on the surface of a pond, directionless with no power to control our destiny. This concept is especially attractive to those who hate christian concept of justice. They arent responsible for any of their actions, and therefore they shouldn’t suffer any consequences for them.
One of the most popular Hollywood films to promote this idea was Forrest Gump. A film that sought to transmit this idea directly at baby boomers, take away any sense of responsibility they might have for how their lives or how they world had turned out. They didn’t have any control over any of it, they were simply feathers floating around in the wind while the world happened to them. They never had any free will of their own, or to quote one of the more well known lines from the film, Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
The movie begins with a feather floating aimlessly in the wind. As we will see, this is the theme of the entire movie. The feather is blown about an affected by the things around it but it never makes any choices, never chooses its own destiny, it just gets knocked about by forces out of its control until it lands at the feet of the protagonist, Forrest Gump.
Forrest, after saying the line about life being like a box of chocolates, reinforcing the tone set by the floating feather, he launches into his life story to a random woman at the bus stop. We learn straight away that Forrest is disabled physically and mentally in some way and had to wear leg braces as a child. We also learn that Forrest Gump is named after the founder of the KKK Nathan Bedford Forrest, but that his mother named him after Forrest because it was to remind him that “sometimes people just do things that just don’t make no sense.”
Right away the filmmakers are hammering home again the idea that life is senseless and meaningless. It seems like a cute throw away line, but this is the story behind the main character’s name. It’s not an insignificant fact that his name is to remind him that people do things just don’t make sense. Things like be a slave owner that founded the KKK like Nathan Bedford Forrest. Sometimes people just do things. There is no meaning to life. We are all just feathers in the wind.
Forrest lives with his mother, who like most Hollywood mothers, is a single mother. In fact, Forrest Gump’s father isn’t mentioned at all in the movie. If the main theme of this film is that life is meaningless, the b story is that fathers are completely useless. Not just because Forrest has no father, this is something that will be such an overwhelming aspect of the film it’s almost difficult to call it the b story because at times it seems to be the main focus of the film.
Another message of the film is that people are all the same. Something that Forrest’s mother repeats to him often. Its part of the leftist fantasy that if we just treat everyone the same, no matter how different their abilities are, they will magically all succeed. For example when his mother finds out that Forrest has an IQ of 75 she insists that he be placed in school with normal kids. She is so determined to make this happen that she sleeps with the school principal to bribe him into letting Forrest attend the school.
Now if you think about this, which most people in the audience aren’t because they are entertained by the idea that Forrest’s mom his having loud sex with the principal while her disabled son is listening outside a scene that had they thought about should have been disturbing enough on it’ own, in fact there is a lot to unpack here. Think of all the propaganda that being transmitted in just this short sequence. First of all we have the idea that somehow it would be fair to Forrest who has an IQ of 75 to be placed with children with IQs in the 90s and above, or that it would be fair to those children with the higher IQs to have their education impacted and likely held back by having Forrest in their class all to satisfy the delusions of a single mom, who is prostituting herself and exposing her child to that prostitution in a way that amounts to child abuse that the filmmakers pass off as a joke. All of that is going on but the audience in their stupor sucking down sugary soda and stuffing popcorn in their mouth is giggling at the funny sex sounds the disabled kid is making. This is some top tier subversion.
Next the film launches into what will become a recurring situation, a device the filmmakers use to bolster the idea that we are all just feathers in the wind with no free will. The clever thing about the method in which the filmmakers go about doing this is on it’s face it looks as though by attributing remarkable and historical events to the actions of Forrest that the filmmakers are saying, look what you can accomplish just by trying. Here is a man with severe disabilities and he is able to be a part of history. But that’s not what they are saying at all, in almost all of these circumstances Forrest is being a part of history through his own free will or through accomplishment or even trying, its all just dumb luck. He is just a feather that is floating about and unintentionally affecting the world around him oblivious to his participation. The first example of one of these instances is when Forrest unintentionally inspires Elvis’s dancing style.
Now this is where we get to a darker aspect of the film. In almost every reoccurring instance where Forrest is crossing paths with famous people and historical events, it almost without exception ends with death. Not only is life like a feather in the wind or a box of chocolates, but it’s fleeting. Death awaits just around the corner and just as their is no meaning to life there is no meaning to death even though most of the death that the filmmakers decided to focus on was carried out by assassination or people where there is at least some controversy about their death. The film glosses over any questions there might be about these historical events or the deaths that surround them and tell the audience, it’s all just random. There is never any intention behind anything.
We now go to Forrest’s first day of school. There is an odd exchange between Forrest and the bus driver. Forrest says that he can’t get on the bus because his mother told him not to take rides from strangers. She tells him that he needs to get on the bus, so Forrest, using his limited problem solving skills comes up with the solution of introducing himself so they are not longer strangers. This scene is likely forgotten by most people or just brushed off as a cute example of how Forrest’s simple mind works but think about it from the point of view of the filmmakers. Why have that scene specifically? This film was marketed to families despite the filmmakers doing everything they can to walk right up to the line of an R rating without crossing it, surely they knew that children would be watching this scene, just as they watched the scene where Forrest was exposed to the prostitution of his mother. Child abuse reoccurs throughout the film and isn’t it interesting that a child abduction scenario was played out just before we meet the character who will later be on the receiving end of child abuse? This is where Forrest meets jenny, Jenny and Forrest become very close, there is a montage of intimate scenes as Forrest describes her as the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, he says that aside from his mother jenny is the only person that ever talked to him and this is where we begin to see a pattern emerge. Up to this point the only positive people in Forrest’s life have been women, every man he encounters is a bad influence on his life, even boys his age. Once he has a relationship established with jenny, he is even physically attacked by boys and it takes jenny telling him what to do before he can react. This isn’t anything new, the entire movie Forrest has begun almost every sentence with “my momma always said this and mamma says that” We might all be feathers floating around in the wind with no free will, but it seems there is a force with some control. Everything, and I do mean everything, that Forrest does originates from either his mother telling him what to do or jenny telling him what to do. Even when he’s having rocks thrown at him by evil white boys he doesn’t react until the famous line “run Forrest run” to which he obeys without question.
Not only does his obedience save him from the marauding evil white boys, it frees him from the leg braces that were placed on him in the beginning of the film by foolish old white man, or the patriarchy, that had insisted there was something wrong with him that needed to be fixed.
Shortly after this we learn that the only character with a father, jenny, has a father who is a drunk that is sexually abusing her. She goes to live with her grandma who lives closer to Forrest and then often comes and sneaks into Forrest’s bedroom. This sequence of imagery isn’t by accident. You are lead to believe that what you are seeing in this image has to be something wholesome, after all, the police just saved her from the evil abusive father just moments ago, this scene has to be one of innocence, and maybe it is? Or maybe its an image of a young girl embracing a young boy in a bed less than 10 seconds after telling you that same girl was sexually abused.
We now fast forward and jenny and Forrest are in high school. A repeat of the iconic moment where Forrest escaped the patriarchy by listening to female power is mimicked exactly shot for shot. This time instead of just escaping the evil white kids who of course have a rebel flag on the front of their truck, Forrest is spotted by some football coaches who decide to put him on the college team. Like all the other men in Forrest’s life, they have no empathy or kindness, they are simply using him and are evil white racists who get angry when once again Forrest drifts like a feather into another historic event the forced desegregation of schools. And just as in the Elvis example, governor Wallace has a brush with death when an assassination attempt is made. As I said before, almost every historic event that Forrest finds himself involved in ends with death. Not only does this underscore the message of the film that things, like death, just sort of happen, but I also think it’s important to view this through the lens of a large chunk of the target audience, the baby boomers. In many ways, this is how history exists in their minds. There really were several assassinations and assassination attempts on many powerful figures as the deep state was first beginning to run wildly out of control. We all remember where we were on 9/11 and what we were doing because it was a traumatic event but many of us arent old enough to know what it’s like to have several of these events burned into our minds. By repeatedly evoking these events in the minds of the audience who remember them clearly, the film itself becomes a part of the trauma. The mind has a space reserved specifically for these events, that’s why they are so clear and easy to recall with more detail than any other even in our lives. The film is seeping into these cavities.
A bus arrives and the first person Forrest had been relaying his story to leaves, or rather, floats out of his life as another floats in. unphased he continues to tell his tale. He talks about how jenny went to an all girls school and how he would go visit her. It’s impossible by how it’s presented to know what is really happening but Forrest thinks jenny is being attacked in a car when she is likely just having sex with her date. He punches her date and the date leaves angry about the situation. Forrest and Jenny get out of the rain and go into her dorm room.
In this scene Jenny asks Forrest if he’s ever had sex and when he says that he hasn’t she coerces him into a sexual situation that he lacks the ability to understand. This scene, even in the 90s when the film was released, had the roles been reversed. Had jenny been a mentally disabled girl that waited in the rain for a fully competent Forrest to come home and then coerce her into a sexual situation, this would have been considered, without question, rape. Now, because they are both over 18 and I don’t think the genders are the same so reversing the rolls in this situation does make a difference I don’t consider it rape, but it certainly comes close because Forrest clearly lacks the ability to understand what is happening. But like all the other horrible situations in this film, it’s brushed off as funny as they make a joke about Forrest ruining her roommates sweater.
Gump gets on the all american football team and meets Kennedy, the filmmakers invoke his assassination and make it clear that just like everything else in life it was meaningless as Forrest says “for no particular reason somebody shot that nice young president when he was riding in his car. And a few years after that somebody shot his little brother too only he was in a hotel kitchen.”
Once again it’s becoming more obvious why they are repeatedly bringing up these events and dismissing them as meaningless. They are accessing the trauma and patting it on the head. Don’t worry, we are all just feathers in the wind. We have no free will, nothing matters, even if you are powerful like these men.
Forrest graduates college by playing football and decides to join the army. We have a shot for shot mimicking of the bus scene from when he was a child meeting jenny on the bus only this time he meets Buba.
Buba is obviously not a woman who will save trump from the evil white patriarchy, but instead represents another victim class. He comes from generations of slaves that cooked shrimp for the patriarchy and had planned to go into the shrimping business when the patriarchy drafted him into the army. Buba seems to have an IQ very close to Forrest’s and they hit it off. Gump performs well in the military because he doesn’t have free agency, he has always done whatever the people around him have told him to do. This happens to be very compatible with boot camp and the army.
Forrest finds out that Jenny has been kicked out of college for posing in playboy and is now working as a stripper. Because of his limited faculties he thinks she is living out her dream as a singer. When the crowd gets rowdy, Forrest swoops in and plays white knight like the good beta that he is only to be repaid by being left alone at the side of the road while jenny hitches a ride with a random guy. But not of course before giving Gump his instructions to follow, he must run if e ever runs into trouble in Vietnam.
Forrest goes to Vietnam and meets Lt Dan. Lt Dan we learn that he comes from a long line of people that have died in american wars. This of course furthers the idea that they were feathers in the wind, victims of circumstance. Every single day Forrest writes a letter to Jenny as they patrol through the jungle.
Buba tells Gump that he should work with him on a shrimping boat once the war is over and like every other time someone tells him to do something, he agrees. Unfortunately they are ambushed while out on patrol. Forrest manages to save some of his platoon while taking a bullet in the buttox but Bubba is mortally wounded and dies in Forrest’s arms.
They are now at the hospital and LT Dan has lost his legs. We discover that all the letters that Forrest had written to jenny were sent back to him. She is all he thinks about and despite their history jenny likely doesn’t think about him at all.
Forrest is told to play ping pong by a man at the hospital and just like that, like a man with no will of his own, he plays ping pong like a machine. Lt Dan confront’s Gump and tells him he was cheated out of his destiny that he was meant to die on the battlefield like all his ancestors had. This worldview, although it goes along with the idea that we don’t have free will, still attributes meaning to life, something that is counter to the underlying message of the film. If there is meaning to life then we arent just feathers floating in the wind, we are feathers with purpose and with a destiny. Lt Dan has learned that his life, just like everyone else, is meaningless.
Forrest gets the medal of honor and meets president Johnson, one of the only historical figures that will encounter Gump that doesn’t wind up dead and begins to tour the capital. He encounters some protesters that mistake him for a speaker and bring him to the podium at the Lincoln memorial. When it comes to Gump’s time to speak, the PA system sabotaged by a military officer and we are unable to hear anything Forrest says about Vietnam.
Now this could be viewed as the filmmakers deciding not to address a subject that to this day remains controversial, especially with baby boomers. This was a big budget film and ticket sales could be massively impacted if they said the wrong thing about something as touchy as this. And while I think this probably had a lot to do with how they went about this scene, I also think that it goes along with the greater theme of the movie. It doesn’t really matter what Forrest thought, just like everything else, Vietnam is meaningless. It would also force Forrest to have an original thought instead of just reacting to tall the people around him, something that got him in this situation and every other situation in his life.
After he’s done speaking the PA system is fixed and the people immediately around him that were in earshot react positively to whatever the audience was unable to hear and they give his name to the crowd. That’s when jenny, who was apparently in the crowd, runs into the reflecting pool and they meet in the reflection of the tip of the Washington monument.
Jenny it seems has turned into an SJW and has a douche communist boyfriend now. She takes Forrest to a black panther party and after her soy boy revolutionary boyfriend slaps her, Forrest loses control and reacts just as he did earlier in the film in the parking lot and at the strip club and white knights for jenny. They get kicked out of the party and spend the night talking and walking around DC. Gump learns that she is basically a degenerate hippie now but doesn’t have the mental capacity to really understand. He still wants to take care of jenny, but rather the choose the safe reliable boring Forrest jenny decides to go back with the exciting woman beating communist.
Forrest becomes a ping pong fanatic and time passes. We see the moon landing. Forrest meets John Lennon, who as Forrest once again explains was shot and killed for “no particular reason at all”
Forrest runs into Lt Dan in New York who is now in a wheelchair and hasn’t exactly adapted well to his new disabled existence. He spends most of his time getting drunk and hooking up with prostitutes. Lt Dan asks Forrest if he’s found Jesus yet and complains that all the disabled vets at the VA talk about Jesus and that God is a lie. They spend some time together and then Gump goes back to ping ponging. This time he meets Nixon and they make a joke about Forrest being the one that calls security on the people breaking into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate hotel. Nixon doesn’t die untimely after encountering Forrest like many others but instead is forced to resign.
After getting some money from endorsing ping pong paddles, Forrest buys a shrimp boat and tried to make good on his deal with Bubba to start a shrimping company. Like the eternal beta he is, he names his boat Jenny while Jenny is out doing coke at a disco somewhere. The film flips back and forth between Forrest on his boat unable to catch shrimp and Jenny’s life slowly disintegrating. LT Dan decides to join Forrest in his unsuccessful quest to find shrimp.
After some time trying and failing to get shrimp, Forrest and Lt Dan get caught up in a storm. Lt Dan stays up in the crows nest and yells at God.
Now I want to point out a very important detail in this scene. They way that this scene is presented and understood by many people is that this is where LT Dan finds God. But this is the opposite of the truth. He isn’t finding God, he is defeating God. He is openly taunting and challenging God from the crows nest. This scene isn’t a moment where Lt Dan sees the light and comes to humble himself before God, this is a showdown between lt Dan and God,
“It’s time for a showdown!”
He mocks God tells him he will never win this battle and what happens? He wins.
This is the big turning point in Lt Dan’s life and in many ways for Forrest too. Lt Dan challenges God to a showdown and comes out on top and now that he has defeated God, because he had no fear of God, all of their wildest dreams come true. They are the only shrimping boat that survived the wrath of God and now they have become a shrimping monopoly. And when you understand this, its hard to take the southern black gospel music playing in the background as anything other than mockery.
Forrest’s mother dies, but it’s a bitter sweet moment that seems to just signify that he is now a man. He still doesn’t have any free will, Lt Dan the man who defeated God runs the business, invests in apple and the money keeps flowing while Forrest lives in his childhood home.
And of course, now that Forrest was a multi millionaire, guess who shows up? Jenny comes and lives with Forrest. She lives off him for awhile and they seem to get along great, but then Forrest makes the classic Beta mistake and professes his love and asks jenny to marry him – which by the way is one of the first things he ever does without being told to. Jenny of course rejects him and then after sneaking into his room that night just like she did has a child, and having sex with him, she leaves him without saying a word or even leaving a note. She’s a selfish pleasure seeking whore who is willing to listen to Forrest praddle on about shrimp and his mama in trade for a safe home and free living but she will not be married to this simple man, she has standards.
This of course devastates Forrest. The one time he decided to act on his own it ends in disaster. So what does he do? He decides to go back to what Jenny had told him to do. He decides to follow orders again and just run.
He runs from coast to coast over and over with no reason or goal in mind, he’s simply mindlessly obeying the woman that rejected him for years until one day he is too exhausted and decides to go back home.
Once he is home we see another historical event to give us a sense of what year it is and of course it is another assassination attempt, this time the attempt made on Reagan after he was elected. He gets a letter from Jenny asking him to come see her and that is why he is on the bus bench.
He meets with Jenny, after not seeing her since that night she had sex with him and ditched him and discovers that he has a son that she didn’t bother to tell him about. At no point in this film do the filmmakers paint jenny in a bad light for basically being a horrible person, using Forrest for resources, leaving him, raising his kid and not telling him that his son even existed, in fact we find out that the only reason she’s telling him now is that she’s dying of aids from being a whore and once again needs his resources to raise the kid she never told him about. But then, why would she be responsible for any of this? She too is just a feather floating in the wind, so she never really had free will herself and therefore shouldn’t face any consequences for her actions and the audience is now finally ready to accept this.
Look at the great lengths the filmmakers had to go to get the audience to completely accept Jenny as a good person. For 2 hours the film has been building up to this moment. A moment where you are presented with a situation that is in no way morally ambiguous. Jenny is a whore that used Forrest when it was convenient, used his love and his virtues against him for her own benefit, and then brings him back into her life just in time for her to die of aids so he can take care of the kid that she might not ever have told him about if she hadn’t got sick.
She even cruelly let’s Forrest have a sham wedding with her, what a prize. A single mother drug addict with aids, but the audience thinks this is the greatest moment of their lives. Forrest’s dreams are finally fulfilled. He finally gets to have a drug addicted single mom with aids for a few months before she dies of aids and then he gets to raise a kid, something he might not even be mentally capable of doing.
And so now we have come full circle, Forrest drops his kid off at the bus stop and the feather from the beginning of the film slips out of his Curious George book. It again is lifted up by the wind and floats away with no free will, no responsibility, and no consequences.
And that is how you expertly undermine a society.