In response to today’s news that Robert Zemeckis‘s Forrest Gump has been added to the National Film Registry, here’s a reposting of a piece I wrote in October 2008:

“I have a still-lingering resentment of that film, which I and many others disliked from the get-go for the way it kept saying ‘keep your head down’, for its celebration of clueless serendipity and simpleton-ism, and particularly for the propagandistic way it portrayed ’60s-era counter-culture types and in fact that whole convulsive period.

“Every secondary hippie or protestor character in that film was a selfish loutish asshole, and every man and woman in the military was modest, decent and considerate. These and other aspects convinced me that the film was basically reactionary Republican horseshit, and led me to write an L.A. Times Syndicate piece called ‘Gump vs. Grumps,’ about the Forrest Gump backlash.

“No offense to screenwriter Eric Roth, who’s a good fellow and a brilliant writer.

In response to which an HE reader named “hcat” said the following: “I have the same problem with Gump. While it flows well and is quite funny throughout, I hate the way it continually rewards Forrest for his stupidity and punishes Jenny for her exploration.

“What especially irks me is the fact that it criticizes the counter-culture and the hippies, but cues up their music every time they need a quick nostalgia hit. Gump is a country boy and the soundtrack should have been wall to wall Oak Ridge Boys. But that way I can’t imagine it being anywhere near the hit it was.”