A new film commemorating Neil Armstrong’s incredible first steps on the moon also did something many are calling unpatriotic. “First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling, follows Armstrong’s preparation, launch, and mind-blowing walk in space – they just completely skipped the part where he puts the American flag in place.
• Actors for the film are defending the decision, saying it was a “human” achievement. Gosling himself spoke out in favor of the missing scene, insinuating that it wasn’t important to highlight the American factor. Instead, he stated that he thought it “was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement” and said it was “how we chose to view it.”
• The absurdity didn’t stop there. Gosling also tried to explain away the critical and patriotic scene being left out by suggesting that Armstrong would have chosen the same approach. “…Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts,” he said. “…Time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”
• Gosling also denied that Armstrong is an American hero and tried to suggest that the lack of the scene was a tribute to his humility. As you might expect, other astronauts vehemently disagreed, as did those of us old enough to have witnessed the moon landing with our own two eyes.
• Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin slammed the movie and Gosling’s response shortly after it broke international news. The incredibly intelligent (and patriotic) 88-year-old American posted pictures of the real scene on Twitter, captioned with the words, “Proud to be an American.”
• It is difficult to know how Armstrong himself would have responded, as he passed away at the age of 82 in 2012. But others have been quick to speak up on his behalf, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio called the move “lunacy” and a “disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together.”
• Director Damien Chazelle also had something to say, especially to those suggesting the move was in any way political. “My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon — particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.”
• Still, to leave out such a critical element of American history feels shallow, unpatriotic, and a lot like America-apologist idiocy. Despite what the loopy far-left may try to say, it is not embarrassing or shameful to be American, and it is not wrong to celebrate American history in all of its ups and downs. The fact that the moon landing was entirely sponsored and successfully completed by Americans is something worth talking about – even if Gosling disagrees.