I have been meaning to watch “Drunk History” since it first aired on Comedy Central, I want to say over a year ago, but never did. I caught it last week and fell in love with it. I love it because they have good stories, and having the actors mime the narration of the Drunk storytellers is a really funny element of the show.
Last night was a Hawaii theme, and two of the three stories were so heroic and triumphant and inspiring. The first story was about how Captain James Cook and his crew landed on a Hawaiian Island and automatically assumed the native people thought him and his “white” crew were “Gods” and totally took advantage of all of their kindness. Typical History lesson really, because most of historical stories involving Europeans ends with them destroying someone’s culture.
The two stories that struck me the most were of Japanese-American soldier Daniel Inouye and Hawaiian surfer Eddie Aikau. Two incredibly amazing stories that show that Hollywood is only interested in ONE type of perspective.
So from what I gathered, Inouye was a Japanese-American who proudly tried to enlist in the Army after the bombings on Pearl Harbor. There was a ban against Japanese-Americans enlisting, but a few years later he joined the 442nd Combat Team which was a unit made up of mostly Japanese-Americans. He was a true hero during the war, quickly being promoted up in ranks, and he lost his arm and nearly died defending his country. He became a decorated War hero, but got fed up with the racism in the US – his own country – that he decided to get into the senate and try to make a change. Long story short, he became a celebrated congressman and spent most of his life in the senate.
Eddie Aikau was an amazing Hawaiian man, a risk-taking surfer and the first Lifeguard in Hawaii, with an impeccable record of saving hundreds of lives during that time. He became a bit of a living legend on the Islands, and this was before he got lost at sea during a triumphant and heroic mission. His legacy lives on to this day with the popular Hawaiian term “Eddie Would Go”, which speaks to his no-fear attitude, and he continues to inspire natives and tourists alike.
Now what do we have here? A war hero who fought for change in the US, and an adventurous hero of the Islands with a strong legacy. WHY ARE THERE NO MOVIES ABOUT THESE TWO?
And I ask why because, how many lame War movies do we get each year that focus on white guys and their perspective of the war and battle. How many crappy surf movies and shipwreck movies do we get in a decade, again focusing on white guys. Well, because Hollywood is racist. That’s the only thing I can think of. These two men are amazing and so inspiring, but because they aren’t white it feels like their stories have been completely passed over and instead we get these cookie-cutter War and Surfer movies that have predictable scripts and lame love stories, leaving the viewer with nothing really new to learn or to take from it.
The white male perspective seems to be the only thing Hollywood wants to put out. And while I’m tired of being the one who says “HEY! We need diversity on the screen”, after watching “Drunk History” last night it really bears repeating.
You just have to stop and think, how many great stories are we NOT hearing just because they aren’t stories with white men as the focal point?
So that was my rant of the day. What do you guys think?