I've been watching Admiral on Netflix. Admiral is a Dutch film about the great Admiral de Ruyter who kicked the British Navy's ass in the 1600s (Brits make the best villains, it's the accent). The movie's great and it reminded me of three things. First of all, English and Dutch are very similar languages - Admiral has a lot of Dutch with English subtitles in it and with both there at once it's surprising to this monoglot English speaker how much I understand - I almost feel like I could be multilingual but......naaaah, who'm I kidding?
Second, American freedom is based upon a Dutch/English Joint Venture. The Dutch had the first modern Republic in the world so when the English finally got sick of their jackass Scottish kings they had a "Glorious Revolution" and turfed them out (The Brits were always good at PR - even back then they were thinking about the tourist trade) . But that meant they needed a new king for the tourists so they imported a slick Dutch model called William (which is a bit ironic because after all, another Willie had invaded England in 1066 and made them kowtow to him in French which no doubt frosted their ale mugs pretty badly). The key selling feature of this guy - aside from him being married to an English Princess - was that he was house trained, specifically House of Commons trained to be a Constitutional Monarch. It's this "Glorious Revolution and King Adoption" that the American revolutionaries based our Declaration of Independence as "Free Englishmen" on. If the Dutch hadn't bred house trained princes then we might have been in trouble.
The third thing that I noticed in this film was that everything comes full circle: the Dutch gave us the Republic thing, whacked a prince with a rolled up parchment until he was trained enough to not wee on Parliament so the English could give us the Glorious Revo idea. And what did we give them in return? The Errol Flynn maneuver whereby movie stars who are supposed to be playing sober captains and admirals instead behave like......well, jackass Scottish kings - forgetting their duty completely and running amuck like baboons with swords and capes. Which is precisely what this de Ruyter hepcat did in the movie.
So thanks Dutch dudes for the constitutional republicanism and capitalism and trade and all that and here's your ridiculous movie cliche in return. Let us know if you need anything else. We've got a really cool large breasted ingenue cliche we call Marilyn Monroe-ism that we can let go for cheap. Or if you're into mid century ass wiggling rock star cliches we can let Elvis' Pelvis go for a song.