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"Are redcoats the new terrorists?" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 1:07 p.m. PST

So in media during the cold war the go to badies were commies (and Nazis)
Then in the 90s it was gangs and terrorists (and Nazis) then after 2001 it was terrorist as far as you could see! (And Nazis)

But I've watched Sleepy Hollow were the redcoats are literally demons.

And I've only watched two episodes of outlander but we've already met a rape aficionado Captain of Dragoons.

So is the next big bad redcoats?(and Nazis)

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 1:40 p.m. PST

Not next. Portraying redcoats as evil strawman minions of an unredeemable villain is a tradition in American fiction.

- Ix

Stryderg24 Jan 2018 1:42 p.m. PST

Sure, why not. Let's see…They're competent at their jobs, dressed in red uniforms, don't allow women in the ranks, don't allow minorities, support large corporations and they went all over the world oppressing native peoples. Yup, checks all the boxes for big bad evil guys. Oh, and they were probably Nazis, too.

basileus66 Inactive Member24 Jan 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

don't allow minorities

Oh, but they did!

Legion 424 Jan 2018 2:28 p.m. PST

Not next. Portraying redcoats as evil strawman minions of an unredeemable villain is a tradition in American fiction.
Very true …

don't allow minorities
Oh, but they did!
Yes, they did, escaped African slaves, American Indians, etc. all worked with the "Red Coats".

I think the Nazis have really become the atypical bad guy as the standard of what is evil. But they certainly were not alone in WWII, and throughout history. Especially the further back you go. Now I'm not saying the "Nazis" were not very, very, bad and did not do horrible horrendous things, etc. They did x 10.

But based on the time period there were many others, based on which side you were on. E.g. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Vikings[which covers almost all of the Scandinavian countries], Saracens, Crusaders, Spanish, Turks, Romanians, etc., etc., …

Pretty soon one day we may have to add Aliens/ETs/NTIs …

Stryderg24 Jan 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

don't allow minorities
Oh, but they did!

My apologies to any redcoats I may have offended with my off-hand remark and lack of historical knowledge. I didn't see any minority redcoats in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so you can see how I was misled.

willthepiper24 Jan 2018 2:32 p.m. PST

Don't forget Pirates of the Caribbean! Nary a hint of the Spanish Empire (or the French, or Dutch, or the Swedes…) but redcoats by the dozen. Oh, yes, and the Honorable East India Company, who seem somehow to have taken over the West Indies. Evil corporations at work in the 18th Century! (Of course Disney is a completely different sort of corporation…)

Legion 424 Jan 2018 2:43 p.m. PST

Well it is well known that Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies are the seminal historical work on the topic. I mean who could not like Captain Jack Sparrow ! huh?

My apologies to any redcoats I may have offended with my off-hand remark
Ah … I wouldn't worry about it. They are a hardy thick skinned lot. Just don't say anything negative about the King or Queen. Or any of the Royal Family for that matter ! That might really annoy and upset them.

"God Save the Queen" !!!!

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 3:10 p.m. PST

The redcoat was the result of a cunning plan of the British government.

Take all your thieves, thugs, and general malcontents of society, bung 'em into a red coat and ship them overseas. Result – all peace, harmony, and tranquility at home. Bad luck rest of the world…

As Wellington famously said about his troops "I don't know what they do to the enemy, but by god, they frighten me!"

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 3:26 p.m. PST

Not "next" big bad, Gunfreak--DEFAULT big bad. Pretty much since Hollywood worked out how to make "talkies," villains in historical pieces have spoken with "posh" (educated British) English accents. The redcoats are just minions. Not just historicals, now that I think of it. The command staff of the Death Star and the Peacekeepers on FARSCAPE clearly attended the same public schools as the senior Romans in THE EAGLE and MASADA. (I do sometimes wonder how they dub these. Is there a posh Mandarin for the Chinese market?)

Cerdic, you've described the old system. Under the new system, HM government ships the same hooligans and malcontents overseas without paying for the red coat and calls them soccer fans. Well, football fans, anyway.

Legion 424 Jan 2018 3:27 p.m. PST

LOL ! thumbs up

Sobieski Inactive Member24 Jan 2018 4:23 p.m. PST

A Russian friend once told me how her mother had caused serious embarrassment by saying on a visit to Siberia "I see why we used to send convicts here" on a crowded 'bus; she said it was made ten times more embarrassing by mummy's la-di-da Moscow accent.

For that matter, a Milanese friend of mine impatiently accuses me of speaking my very imperfect Italian with an affected Tuscan accent, which is certainly not intentional.

Rule no. 27 of social relations: despise those who are only marginally different from you. (This could explain a millennium of hatred between Sunni and Shia, come to think of it).

Timbo W24 Jan 2018 4:38 p.m. PST

It's always nice to cheer on the 'bad guys' in AWI movies, particularly enjoyed booing Mel Gibson in the Patriot :-)

cfuzwuz Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 6:39 p.m. PST

I started school in the late1950s and the red coats were definitely viewed as bad guys by the American educational system. All that " the British are coming" and such. Can't remember when we were taught that England was our allies in 2 world wars.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 6:47 p.m. PST

Redcoats, gunning down snowball-throwing citizens in the streets of Boston since March 5th, 1770!

They just obey the evil red coats though. Once the British troops started wearing khaki and green, we could get along with them well enough. ^,^

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2018 7:19 p.m. PST

For classic Redcoat baddies on screen, it's hard to beat The Devil's Disciple (1959).

Kirk Douglas at his dimpled finest in the title role, Burt Lancaster supporting, and the politest of the baddies Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne played by Baron Sir Olivier hisself!

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 12:02 a.m. PST

Yes yes, redcoats have been bad guys before. But i compared them to terrorist. Were almost every single American tv show and movie had evil terrorists.

That's what I'm asking.

Martin Rapier25 Jan 2018 12:13 a.m. PST

Black Jack in Outlander is an interesting character and parallels his twentieth century descendant in lots of ways. It is a commentary on the very thin dividing line between good and evil in war.

He isn't a two dimensional red coat baddie.

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 1:07 a.m. PST

Surely Red-Coats were yesterday's villains?

arthur181525 Jan 2018 3:43 a.m. PST

Perhaps representing villains in modern period films as English has something to do with the skills of the actors hired to portray them?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 7:38 a.m. PST

Aren't Redcoats badies in Turn too?`

So that's 3 concurrent series with redcoats badies, far more then there has been any one time.

Legion 425 Jan 2018 8:05 a.m. PST

Yes, they were, but so were the Tories, some Indian Tribes, the Hessians, freed slaves, etc. That was an excellent series BTW. Definitely worth watching all the seasons of Turn. And let there be no doubt, many of the Tories and Hessians were real BADD guys from the Patriots' POV. And of course the Indians and colonists had been fight off and on for sometime. By the time the AWI started.

Something some don't realize, is that Roger's Rangers who performed so well during the French & Indian Wars years before the AWI. The US ARMY RANGERS trace some of their linage back to them. But during the AWI, Roger's And his Rangers fought along side the Red Coats for the most part. huh?

Yes yes, redcoats have been bad guys before. But i compared them to terrorist. Were almost every single American tv show and movie had evil terrorists.
The Red Coats and their allies during the AWI at times did commit what we would call war crimes today. But in some cases so did the Patriots, etc., etc.

As far as what we see on TV and in movies Hollywood loves to take some "dramatic license" when it comes to "Bad Guys". To make for good drama you have to have a Protagonist and
Antagonists plus some players in between also.

But in most cases from a historical standpoint it is based on some facts/truth. And sometimes not so much if at all … To make a good storyline you have to have a really bad guy and a really good guy, at least. E.g. Batman vs. the Joker, Spiderman vs. the Green Goblin, etc., etc. That in Hollywood, the media, etc. is their bottom line.

Fortunately today some movies and TV shows do a little better job being a "little" more accurate. In some cases. However, the average American knows very little about the AWI, Red Coats, Hessians, Tories, etc., etc. And could care even less.

And the continuing thought that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter is still very much prevalent today.

And I will not let anyone forget … in 1814 the Red Coats burned down the White House. And the POTUS, 1st Lady , etc. had to run for their lives ! huh? Damn Red Coats !!!!! wink

Of course most Americans only know that Dolly Madison is a brand name on tasty baked goods donut pieevil grin

Londonplod25 Jan 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

Do not forget the John Wayne film that featured a nasty redcoat, The First Rebel l think……..?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

This wasn't about debating the villainous nature of historic redcoats. But weather redcoats now is the new fad as bad guys.

Roderick Robertson Fezian25 Jan 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

And Rob Roy (both versions), or any film made about 17-18th century Scotland (ah, wait, Bravefart, too, though they wore more of an orange).

I found out, in about 3rd grade, that my family were Tories. Not a great feeling, when we're learning about the American Revolution in the mid-60's.

But wait, they weren't Tories, they were British Empire Loyalists, which makes all the difference. (They moved to Canada instead of fighting against the king for the fourth time in a century (Rebellions of 1698, 1715 and 1745…).

As far as whether it is a new fad; no, it has been a 'fad' for quite a while, in America.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

Again. The occasional movie of series with evil redcoats isn't the thing. I compared it to terrorists. You know the go to bad guy the last 20 years. Just as the go to badies guys during the cold war was commies.

Commies are still the occasional bad guy now. But they are not THE bad guy many more. My question was have redcoats now become THE bad guys which has been held by terrorists the last 20 years.

Roderick Robertson Fezian25 Jan 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

Commies are still the occasional bad guy now. But they are not THE bad guy many more. My question was have redcoats now become THE bad guys which has been held by terrorists the last 20 years.

No, because "Redcoats" only occur in films/TV about specific times and places. You won't find a Redcoat as the bad guy in a film set in modern times, or the 1950's or anything after about 1815 (in American films, anyway productions made in South Africa, Afghanistan, etc. may extend that to the 1880's or '90's).

Are there more movies being made in the "Redcoat era"? I don't think so. There are always hills and valleys in viewer interest (or, at least, what movie-makers think is their interest), and we have had a few movies/series come out in the last 20 years of so (The Patriot came out in 2000, Sleepy Hollow in 1999), but that will die down.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 1:16 p.m. PST

There are now or have been the last couple of years 3 series about evil redcoats.

Sleepy hallow, turn and Outlander. While there has only been 1 zombie series going.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 2:56 p.m. PST

Nice for a change of pace to have new evil baddies to kick around!

Choctaw25 Jan 2018 3:06 p.m. PST

Red coats past Memorial Day are so gauche.

foxweasel25 Jan 2018 3:51 p.m. PST

Perhaps we need zombie Redcoats.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 11:58 p.m. PST

Combine them all … into Zombie Nazi Redcoats!

As for Commies/Marxists, I think media treats those guys as some sort of protected group these days.

Personally, I could stand to see less of the damn Nazis.

PS. Anyway, why are we trying to make sense out of this? Entertainment media today is never going to portray the real terrorists as terrorists. They're always after lame and "safe" substitutes. Typically the dead kind or the type who won't dare show its face and fight back in today's world.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 4:50 a.m. PST

Dan – I think you have it there: straight, white, male, English is the one ethnic/gender group it's ok to offend these days.

don't allow minorities,

Further to previous answers, not only did they allow them, the British were the only colonial power to let them have their own officers – starting with black units in the AWI.

DBS30326 Jan 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

As an aside, bear in mind that in British Army exercises prior to WW2, Red Forces were usually the British/allies, and Blue Forces the evil enemy. Only changed to the modern Blue is Good, Red is Bad when the Soviets stepped up to the plate as the new official baddies. (And just possibly to head off US allies from thinking – doubtless correctly – that Red = Redcoat in origin, just as Blue happened, oh so coincidentally, to have been popular with French uniform tailors…)

Prince Lupus26 Jan 2018 12:36 p.m. PST

As the redcoats were upholding the legitimate government surely the American rebels were the terrorists?

Legion 426 Jan 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

As I said, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter …

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 4:01 p.m. PST

But it is quite different when it comes to many films set in the Victorian Era and made in the 30s, 40s and 50s. There in most, not all, but most, the hero is the British Soldier saving the day against the native bad guys.

The native good guys are the ones to fight along side the British. British arms brings civilization and Anglo culture to the savage. I suspect most of these films were made in Britain based on British pulp books and aimed at a British audience.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 7:13 p.m. PST

Terrorist to me is the one who specifically targets the killing at civilians. Not the one the ones who try to keep that to an absolute minimum. And I don't mean what just some isolated rogue unit does.

By that standard the Brits as a whole weren't terrorists when it came to dealing with the American Colonials.

But then again, this is about fantasy/horror TV shows with little to no basis on logic and reality, right?


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 10:35 p.m. PST

Here in Boston, there is a re-enactment of the Massacre each year on March 5th at the site where it happened.

The last few years, there has also been an excellent theatrical production, Blood On The Snow, of the Governor's Council Meeting which took place the night after, held in the room of the Old Statehouse where the meeting actually took place. If Gov. Hutchinson had not led that meeting well, the revolution would have broken out that night or the day after. Armed men from Boston and outlying towns were gathering at the Old South Meeting House as the Council was meeting.

#HutchinsonNotHamilton !!!

HANS GRUBER27 Jan 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

In the HBO series "John Adams" they make it quite clear that the sons of liberty incited the Boston massacre, not the Redcoats.

In the many of the old Hollywood spectacles the Romans were made out to be proto Nazis. Funny, it took Monty Python to ask "what did the Romans ever do for us".

Legion 427 Jan 2018 9:31 a.m. PST

Terrorist to me is the one who specifically targets the killing at civilians.
I would generally go with that …

the Romans were made out to be proto Nazis.
Regardless of their organizational, military, democratic/political, engineering, etc., abilities, IMO … they were very close.

But let there be no doubt everybody thru out history, generally up until "fairly" recently, had slaves as the Romans did. And in many cases they did not treat those slaves very well. E.g. Egyptians, Greeks, Arabs, Vikings, much of Europe, Africa, etc., etc., …

And just to make it clear to all … slavery is bad … very bad … Hopefully all of ISIS gets severely punished for this type of behavior as of late. Of course hopefully many of these ISIS have died or will die. If for no other reason than a morale imperative for this type of 15th Century thinking and their beliefs in general.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 5:55 p.m. PST

LOL. If the Romans were Proto-Nazis, what were the Neo-Assyrians? They made the Romans (and the Nazis for that matter) look like a bunch of bleeding hearts.

Flaying men, women and children alive, impalements, mutilations, dismemberment, setting on fire, immurement (burying people inside walls and floors, alive), etc… of entire populations. And the same for individuals, for the tiniest infractions.

And, to top it off, they openly bragged about their brutality on monuments, instead of hiding it from public eyes. It wasn't propaganda from their enemies, it was their own.


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

Well, who could argue with HBO's historiography!

Legion 428 Jan 2018 9:20 a.m. PST

LOL. If the Romans were Proto-Nazis, what were the Neo-Assyrians? They made the Romans (and the Nazis for that matter) look like a bunch of bleeding hearts.
Again, let there be no doubt … there were and are a lot of very "bad" people out there. E.g. : Currently ISIS, the Taliban, BH, AS, Hezbollah, etc., etc., … off the top of my head …

William Ulsterman06 Feb 2018 6:22 p.m. PST

Of course red coats are the new baddies…

But only if you are a tri latte guzzling, unshaven, tax payer funded, gender neutral, vegan, sitting in your wheelchair accessible cycle way bemoaning your poverty of resources.

Otherwise the red coats remain the stout-hearted yeoman of the thin red line, forever ready to risk life and limb against all those assorted smelly foreign types, who would otherwise oppress us.

Legion 407 Feb 2018 1:54 p.m. PST

Well no matter what color coat the Brits wore. The "brave", "gallant", "heroic" freedom fighters, patriots, and colonists fought for their independence against the "oppressive" Brit forces and German Mercenaries during the AWI. And during the War of 1812 the Brits still wore those darn Red Coats ! huh? wink

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2018 8:47 p.m. PST

@William Ulsterman, we Boston Irish are among the assorted smelly foreign types. And to this day, Dorchester is a great place to find Irish pubs over here (as well as finding notable heights for driving the evil Redcoats from our city)!

Legion 408 Feb 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

The History Channel actually had a 2 hr. documentary about the War of 1812 this morning !?!?!!? huh?

"Old Hickory" sure showed them Red Coats a thing or two at New Orleans ! Even if the word didn't get out that the war was over by then.

Plus them "dang" Red Coats burned down the White House earlier !!!! huh?

As well as the US invaded and tried to "annex" Canada ! huh?

Haitiansoldier Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 9:02 a.m. PST

Of course they were not terrorists. Yes, on occasion they did rape and may have shot an unarmed person once or twice. That happens in ALL wars. The almighty American soldier may be a god to those who want to live in fantasy, but they have done plenty of heinous things themselves. Just read about what the French did in Haiti in 1802 and 1803 if you want to know what terrorism is.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

I suppose technically speaking, the one ones most dedicated to raping, pillaging, and executing prisoners on a regular basis were the Green Coats of the Tarleton's British Legion.

But for purposes of putting one's answer in the form a Poll option:

"No, the redcoats are just the old terrorists."

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