George W. Bush Might Approve of “Star Trek Into Darkness”

I was back in The Atlantic yesterday with a thinkpiece on the politics of Star Trek Into Darkness. Here’s an excerpt:

“Kirk’s bravado stands out because we were supposed to have left this type of leadership behind. President Bush traded on the cowboy archetype in the days after 9/11—promising to capture Bin Laden “dead or alive,” and touting his “gut” as the source of his decisions—and, well, it didn’t exactly work out. His gut was unable to protect us from 9/11, from Hurricane Katrina, and from economic collapse, and voters responded in part by electing the ostensibly more thoughtful, reasoned Obama in 2008. Hollywood reacted similarly. In the first decade of the 21st century, we were greeted at the multiplex by a succession of tormented, ambivalent heroes—Chris Nolan’s Batman, Iron Man, Jason Bourne—who reflected the new, deeper understanding that actions have consequences and it is better to think first rather than shoot.”

You can read the article in full on The Atlantic‘s website.

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