It would be too easy to praise ‘Team America: World Police’ for taking down the black-and-white depiction of American patriotism at all costs, the same that many have claimed seeped through ‘American Sniper,’ or at the very least the real man Chris Kyle. But it’s a testament to both Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s democracy in attacking both ends of the political spectrum and their own talent as satirists that they boldly pointed out the "three kinds of people" rhetoric, frequently repeated in the Bush Administration under the "you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists" mantra, a good decade before it was brought back in Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper.’ The notion that humans can be neatly divided into three categories is contradicting the very complicated nature of humanity, perhaps as a coping mechanism to make sense of chaos (as the original writer of the "Wolves, sheep and sheepdog" analogy, Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman, did in response to 9/11) but can also be the first step in dehumanizing the enemy and painting the speaker as a Campbellian Hero. As Parker and Stone suggest, maybe that’s the foundation of America.
Writer’s Note: For a history of Grossman’s "Wolves, sheep and sheepdog" analogy, if a politically charged write-up, read Michael and Erin Cumming’s piece at Slate: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/01/21/american_sniper_s_wolves_sheep_and_sheepdogs_speech_has_a_surprising_history.html
Serena Bramble is a film editor whose montage skills are an end result of accumulated years of movie-watching and loving. Serena is a graduate from the Teledramatic Arts and Technology department at Cal State Monterey Bay. In addition to editing, she also writes on her blog Brief Encounters of the Cinematic Kind.