American Snacker

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Memo to Tommy Brann: YOU SHOW 'EM, TOUGH GUY!

Newer readers to the column may not realize this, but there was a time in this country when ordinary Americans, upset at a political affront, would take meaningless, futile action and thus make the news. And I would see that, and I would mock them. Like the time a guy mad at Ben & Jerry's tried to publicly set his store's stocks of ice cream on fire.

For whatever reason, these days, those stories are thin on the ground, and/or spark Supreme Court cases about who gets to make cakes for you, taking all the meaningless, futile fun out of it.

Which is why I was so happy to learn that two successful filmmakers will no longer be able to enjoy sizzling steaks and sports grille-ing if they ever find themselves in a suburb south of Grand Rapids. Well, at least not at Brann's Sizzling Steaks & Sports Grille. They might have to go someplace else. Because at Tommy Brann's establishment, neither Seth Rogen nor Michael Moore are welcome.

Now, given my background and knowledge, from the looks of the sign, the two celebrities he'd have been better off banning were Gordon Ramsay and Robert Irvine, but that wouldn't make a vitally important political point - talking shit about American Sniper is now apparently talking shit about America.

Unlike apparently everyone else for the past two weeks, I haven't seen American Sniper. It's not a very controversial film, because controversial movies don't make a couple hundred million dollars at the box office. But to the extent that it's even a little bit controversial, by all accounts, the movie paints a fairly uncritical picture of both shooting brown people and the context, the Iraq War, in which said shooting of brown people occurred.

This led Michael Moore to retell a family anecdote about how he grew up learning that snipers were cowards because his uncle was killed by one in World War II, and Rogen to comment on the film's resemblance to the fake Nazi propaganda film from Inglourious Basterds. Which made True Patriots angry, because the movie allowed True Patriots to expound on the Great American Myth of the guy the movie was based on, turning criticism of the movie into an attack on a dead veteran who totally didn't have any flaws at all no matter how much actual documentation you may have read.

Which led to the following message on Brann's tacky electronic sign board: "Michael Moore and Seth Rogan are NOT allowed in my place".

Being so mad at someone you don't know how their name is spelled, by the way, is a proud American tradition amongst stupid jingoists, going back to when Sarah Palin thought Michael Moore's name was spelled M Gunsight Gunsight R E.

Anyway, someone decided to ask this guy why he did what he did, with predictable results. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

“Chris Kyle is an American hero and what he represents to me is the goodness of America and the people who defend it... if Chris Kyle was still alive he would handle Michael Moore in a minute." - Brann, to the Huffington Post.

I can only assume from this sign and quote that Eddie Ray Routh is welcome at Brann's. After all, as one of the people who defended America, he must be good, even though technically, he's also the reason Chris Kyle is no longer still alive to I guess beat up or murder Michael Moore for tweeting bad things about snipers.

Because to say otherwise would be to admit that the whole American Sniper situation is a bit more... complicated than a sign outside steak-grillin' sports bar can really explain.

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