The new movie, “First Man” has proved once more that Hollywood is incapable, if not downright unwilling, to admit this country is astonishing in what it has accomplished. One of the most iconic images from the 7/20/1969 first moon landing was left out of the film. In this version of Tinsel Town history, Neil Armstrong isn’t shown standing by the American flag he’d planted on the surface of our nearest celestial neighbor. Why? Because both the film’s lead, Ryan Gosling, and its director, Damien Chazelle viewed the landing as a human milestone, not an American one.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “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.” Ryan Gosling, The Daily Caller
In some sense, that’s true. Every undertaking, good or bad, are ones that are enacted by human beings, singularly or by many. However, whatever they have done has been fostered by their environments. The moon landing, and what it meant to all mankind, was born of a freedom to express our creativity, to reach for that goal as stated by the late John F. Kennedy in his speech on September 12 1962: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
America, for all its growing pains, has fostered the best of ourselves because its one of the most successful constructs in our species’ history. Here the individual is sovereign.
It is in the individual mind and heart where great things are first conceived. The fabric of America allows for creativity to thrive. Global group think kills inspiration.
Okay, Mr. Gosling, 400,000 people may have made it possible to land on the surface of the moon but they were all individuals who lived in a country where their efforts were encouraged to bear fruit. There are so many milestones in the history of humanity, and there are a remarkable number of them crammed into the short span of the American experiment.
Hollywood, once more, has got it wrong. Landing on the moon was an American undertaking accomplished for all humanity.