First, I'd like to stop this pissing match and extend the olive branch, but before I do, I will reply.
(a) I wasn't initially insulting you for using big words. I was actually being sincere. Since my initial post, I have stated that you appear to use stilted language in your posts, which is true, and it appeared to be in an attempt to lend credence to your arguments rather than relying on the arguments themselves. No one uses words like "effete" or "haliography" in everyday conversation. I have no problem with it and, in fact, I rather enjoy it. Nevertheless, in an argument on a message board, it appears to be an attempt at befuddling those who argue against you.
(b) I have since found a different meaning for the words "haliographic" and "haliography." I have always understood it to mean "a description of the sea," which you can find easily enough by googling "haliography." Haliographic, as an adjective, appears to have a meaning closer to hyperbolic or, to put it in layman's terms, putting the pussy on a pedestal. I've never heard it used in that manner before.
(c) I believe Opum is the moral center of the film whose morality is misplaced in the world of war. His understanding of war and the world is idealized and filled with the grandiose notions of duty to country, despite his cowardice. His misplaced morality causes much pain to his comrades and to himself. You are certainly meant to dislike him, I agree, but you are also meant to see the toll of war and the evolution of his character from weak to strong at the end.
(d) I wasn't attempting to artfully dodge the fact that this is Spielberg's movie. It seemed as if you were saying he was the sole impetus behind the characters and their development (or lack of it). I disagreed. The screenwriter certainly had something to do with it. And yes, the notion that there is an odd sense of the boomer generation rejecting their fathers may still hold water. Nevertheless, my point of this is that the fact that Spielberg did not write the script certainly chips away at the argument that it is Spielberg's Ode to the Greatest Generation, particularly as it relates to Opum as a character.
(e) Let me say that the ad hominem attacks began with you stating I am an anti-intellectual, which is both insulting and incorrect. Let me also say that I have in no way attempted to dodge your arguments and, in fact, have attacked them head-on with concrete examples against them. I have the gall to challenge the intellectual honesty of your arguments because of the arguments I have posed against you. In fact, I'll say this: I do think the film is meant to pay homage to the "Greatest Generation." I can even buy your argument that it is based out of some strange need for the boomer generation to apologize to their fathers. What I don't agree with is:
(f) That Opum is in some way an illustration of the boomer generation and, thereby, the embodiment of Spielberg's (and the boomers') self-pity, which is where your argument began in the first place. I don't want you to be the guy who is attacking Spielberg personally, rather I disagree with your initial argument, which is that Opum is the embodiment of the boomer generation. Or, at least, you have not convinced me of that yet. And fair enough you wish Opum had been left out of the film, but to me, he was probably the most interesting character aside from Hanks'.
In any case, this is likely better resolved over beers rather than over a message board. So I'll leave you with this: I apologize for any affront to your person or personality I have made. I am not out to attack anyone, except H-Town Tiger, who I already told I was merely joking when I sarcastically attacked him for hating popular, critically acclaimed films in a thread about Shakespeare In Love.
This post was edited on 1/15 at 6:18 pm