Warning: this post may contain too much testosterone for you to handle. Discretion is advised.
It was 2012 (as we go back in our Tardis to The Year Of The Mask) and our Action Movie Heroes™ were rapidly aging. (I’m not talking about some goofy superheroes with their pointy ears and capes—but Action Movie Heroes™ damnit.) Clint Eastwood was in his 80s and Chuck Norris in his 70s. Sylvester Stallone was pushing 70, and Bruce Willis—he of the wise-cracking smirk and “yippie-kai-yay motherfucker”—was pushing 60.
The type of America they represented was changing. The nation—and the world—was evolving. And evolution necessitates new heroes appropriate to the time.
But, to borrow a phrase from one of their own tribe, you’ll have to pry the guns—and the cultural hegemony—out of the cold, dead hands of the Action Movie Heroes™:
I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we—we own this country.
—Clint Eastwood to the Republican convention, 2012
We’re at a tipping point and, quite possibly, our country as we know it may be lost forever if we don’t change the course in which our country is headed.
—Chuck Norris, “Dire Warning For America” Election 2012 video
The Action Movie Gods™ were waning, and were holding desperately to their throne— manipulating the masses as gods are wont to do. It was a virtual Ragnarok, an event which Thor star Chris Hemsworth—who was also in the Action Movie Heroes™—packed Expendables 2 and the upcoming Red Dawn—would know only too well.
Would Hemsworth successfully become a new Action God, part of a retro Eighties redux that would bring back Rambo, Rocky, Red Dawn, red-white-and-blue patriotism, a fear of “Commies,” and a fatherly Republican in the White House?
And would steak—a manly, high-protein, all-American food item—become popular again, defying the agenda of the social engineer liberal communist eco-obsessed foreign-funded yoga-practicing egghead interloper traitorous feminazi atheist folk who wanted to force-feed us soy and enslave us?
Alex Jones, in one of his many rants for his website Infowars, performed a love-letter to steak and testosterone—in the process, addressing many of the issues regarding the waning of the Action Movie Heroes™. Here is a transcript of his 2011 ode to a seemingly long-gone era:
It is absolute total war. Economic, psychological, physical, spiritual…toe-to-toe with the Social Engineers. We can beat ’em if we get out of their mind-trick, recognize who they are, read their own white-papers and books where they call us degenerate, dumb scum that they’re going to dumb down further, set up a control grid, and kill. Well not me and not my family…not without one hell of a fight. You asked for it, you’re going to get one…
…It starts with a war growl, it starts with gettin’ fired up, staring at yourself in the mirror and showing some teeth and saying I’m a human being and I have dignity, I’m gonna resist, I’m gonna start recognizing the propaganda, I’m gonna break free from it…
…we’re gonna organize, humanity is gonna come together….YAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!! WE KNOW WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!!! WE KNOW IT!!!! WE’RE BREAKING THE CONDITIONING!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! GRRRRRRR!!!! WE’RE COMING FOR YOU, GLOBALISTS! (beats chest) GRRRRRRRR!!! COMIN’ FOR YA! COMIN’ FOR YA! WE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING!
(calms down, wipes brow) I’m sorry…I JUST GET FIRED UP WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY’RE DOING TO US AND HOW MUCH I WANT TO RESIST THEM…and how easy they are to defeat. (gasps for air) Excuse me. I think my testosterone is going up…this happens every time I start working out a lot again. I swam two miles this morning pretty hard…and ate a pretty big steak last night that’s full of hormones and testosterone in its own right.
Flashforward to 2017—and in only six short years Jones is now our era’s Dan Rather, his formerly “fringe” ideas re-quoted by the President himself.
As for the fate of Action Movie Heroes™…as predicted in my post “Geeks Will NOT Inherit the Earth: How Hollywood Helped the Jocks Win,” the movie studios made a 180-degree turnaround on the whole “Geek Chic” thing—especially Marvel Studios, embracing the super-buff “3 Chrises” (Hemsworth of course among them).
Suddenly, the physical proportions of the mean jock who was like the villain for every other film in the 1980s became the default “look” for the post-Geek action hero. The studios romanced the fanboy audience hard in the late Aughts and early 2010s, but then left them waking up fucked and alone in an empty football stadium like Kirsten Dunst in The Virgin Suicides.
But while the 80s-style Action Movie Heroes™ do seem to be making a comeback—and we do once again have a Republican in the White House—didn’t see that whole Red Dawn thing comin’, did you?