ROANOKE -- "A strong America is the only thing standing in the way. All the country needs is a little chaos.”
That’s a line from Mike Norris’ newest movie, Amerigeddon, the story of what could happen if foreign forces killed the US power grid, forcing martial law on American citizens.
"On our poster it says, ‘They've stolen our country. It’s time to take it back,” Norris said Sunday from Roanoke's DFW Adventure Park.
Some may feel that’s a questionable description of our country’s future. Norris isn’t one of those.
“We're at that point,” he said. “We've gotta take back our country.”
Norris is on a mission, and it’s not the kind of rogue military operation that would include a roundhouse kick from his dad, famed martial artist and actor, Chuck Norris.
No, Mike is making movies like Amerigeddon, trying to warn Americans of where we could be headed. In his eyes, it’s not a pretty picture.
"I have two kids that are 16 years old. Their whole world, their whole life, all they’ve known is war,” Norris said Sunday. "I remember peace. I remember prosperity. I remember all this great stuff we had before 9/11.”
Though he doesn’t see 9/11 as the total turning point for the war fatigue we’re going through now — he says that started earlier — he recognizes this day of memoriam as a chance to think of just how good Americans can be when the going gets tough.
“We're America. We’re the greatest country ever formed in the world,” he said.
Right now, though, things are far from the way they once were.
"I don`t think things are great,” he said, pointing out that there are some who are comfortable with where the United States stands in the global community. "I think our country as a whole is being diminished on the world stage, and we need to do something to bring ourselves back.”
His part in that is making cautionary tales like Amerigeddon.
So what do we need to do?
“We've got to work together to bring it back together. Instead of arguing about it, we’ve gotta talk about it with each other in an adult way, in a civilized way,” he said. "If we’re just yelling at each other, nothing’s gonna get done.”
Outside forces may have caused us pain 15 years ago, but maybe it’s our own internal divide that’s keeping that aging wound from completely healing.