Maverick is still a maverick and we need him more than ever

I figured that Tom Cruise playing “Maverick” in the sequel to Top Gun would be all woke. He’d also be at least bi or gay, and probably trans. Look what Hollywood did to Star Wars.

After all, something like 20% of attention starved, navel-gazing, influence-susceptible college students with too much time on their hands – I’m talking about the movie-going crowd – now “identify” (whatever that means) as something other than what used to be called “normal.” And is still called “normal” by statisticians, given that only 2% of the population at large fall outside that category.

I further figured that in the unlikely event that Cruise was neither woke, nor gay, nor bi, nor trans, then he’d just be a cinematic strawman to remind us that biological male masculinity is toxic, primitive and, worst of all, uncool to everyone. (Except, men might observe, to healthy women. Try getting laid with a limp wrist etc.)

I was wrong. Either Hollywood has changed or maybe we’ve passed peak wokeness and peak sexual deviance (I use that term “deviance” in the statistical sense — I make no judgments about your bedroom habits).

Hollywood let Maverick still be a maverick. He’s taking no advice, no excuses, no cover, no prisoners, no guff, no anti-depressants, and no supps. He’s the real deal.

That said, Maverick is not exactly MAGA-rick. Thankfully, overt politicking has been kept out of the film.

The closest we have to politics is the rumor that Hollywood edited out a scene showing Mav in his iconic jacket preserved from the first movie – the one with, among other things, the flag of Taiwan on it – for fear of offending the Chinese who regard Taiwan as a breakaway province that is really part of China. But then the producers reinserted the scene albeit for only a brief second.

I wonder if this was a strategy cooked up by the movie marketing department, or was really the decision and spontaneous turnaround that it’s portrayed to be. Either way, I like it.

Back to Mav, the aging Naval Aviator. The word “Aviator” deserves upper case in this context for reasons of culture if not grammar. They’re the best of the best. Special Ops like the Navy Seals and the Army Green Berets are plenty tough and I advise against a bar fight with them, and Air Force pilots are no slouches, but – hey! – Naval Aviators land jets on boats. Their eyesight, judgment, reaction times, testosterone levels, decision-making, testicles and killer instincts are the best.

In a day when we mock such traits and suppress them in our sons (and then wonder why some of those boys snap) we still value such traits in the particular men, and also a few women now, who are willing to die to kill an enemy who wants to kill us.

The original Top Gun movie was in 1986 when the Soviets still terrorized and tyrannized Eastern Europe and a year before President Reagan demanded at the Brandenburg Gate that they “tear down this wall.” (Did that movie influence him?) There’s a lot of water under the bridge and people through the wall since then. Wokeness accounts for exactly nothing of that victory for humanity.

If naval aviation didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it just to preserve our species. A memorable line in this movie is when Maverick’s commanding officer scolds him that his kind are headed for extinction because future wars will be fought by drones operated remotely by dweeb-like soldiers thousands of miles apart with no danger to their own selves.

With a shrug, Maverick replies, “Maybe so, sir, but not today.

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