After a life of self-contradiction, has Robert Redford, at 75, become an impossible thinker? He has always condemned America, and yet made movies that epitomize and aggrandize American stereotypes. What are the effects of a long-lived double life?
Redford opened the 2012 Sundance Festival with a speech reeking rancor and self-righteousness. He faithfully condemned Republicans, Mitt Romney, and the United States. He lauded the Third World and its European leaders. It’s classic Redford—malcontent, contumacious, and ever anti-American. It is religion to him.
His recent “encyclical” of individualism, first published in the liberals’ Huffington Post, was picked up by the Third World papers immediately. From the ArabTimes to the IrishCentral, the havens of American envy resounded Redford’s perpetual discontent.
At least Redford has been consistent in his long range rancor.
A Communist seemingly from birth, Redford nonetheless starred in films dramatizing everything American, from baseball to American Indians. He always took the individualistic angle, though, which expressed his actual aversion toward the subject he portrayed.
For example, in Jeremiah Johnson (1972), he starts out typically condemns the war with Mexico, and takes to the mountains, like the true anti-social, anti-American he is. Yet, he also takes the role of the great White Conqueror—the war-loving conservative–toward American Indians. He marries an Indian woman, but then kills many Indian men. His brawn is so intimidating that he frightens off a fat Indian warrior just by looking at him. In other words, sex with a non-white race is okay, as long as you kill their men. That’s the macho thing. And we all know Redford is all about macho. What could be more macho than to kill Indians, yet scoff at America?
Such macho-ism is an established political position among would-be cultural heroes of Communism. It is a socially articulated embodiment of adolescent immaturity. Communistic from his adolescent years, Redford found a platform in which his “individualism” could be politically effective, and yet preserve some semblance of legitimacy and cause. Redford has always lived this double life.
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