Tag Archives: pacifist

The Americanization of Emily: The Profits of War

19 Aug

the-americanization-of-emilyWe just watched Paddy Chayefsky’s The Americanization of Emily for the second time.  Wow!  What a brilliant movie that should be mandatory viewing.  As I have been reflecting lately on the cost of human lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the many other wars in the past 20 years, I have been saddened by the inability to justify any of these wars.  Granted, I am a pacifist and navigate the world in ways that hold me to my principals of what a pacifist means.

Chayefsky (writer of Network) does a brilliant job addressing the hypocrisy, greed, profiteering, and complexities of wars.  I don’t want to give a way too much of the movie, because I am hoping many of you will rent the movie or get it on the Hulu or however people rent movies today.  I will say that Chayefsky pushes the audience hard to think and reflect upon our core values, our core beliefs and ask us to look at how easily humans are manipulated.

Julie Andrews and James Garner give nothing less than stellar and complex performances and it is easy to see why their chemistry garnered another film,  Victor/Victoria nearly 20 years later.  Candidly, I was also amazed they were willing to make such a film that would question the American government and push back against sexism and misogyny in such a forthright manner. I’m not wholly convinced we have actors with such talent and moral fiber who would take these roles today. The movie is a clear indictment of the United States and of other countries that profit from warring and pillaging. It is also telling that both actors consider this their favorite personal work given the rich depth of experience they both have.

With that being said, I could imagine recasting this if an updated version were to be created — just for the record, I usually think it is a mistake to remake movies of this caliber.  However, I could see George Clooney in the James Garner role and Kate Winslet in the Jule Andrews role.  The movie also contains a homoerotic relationship between Charlie Madison (James Garner) and his superior, Adm. William Jessup, played by the late Melvyn Douglas.  This relationship would be interesting to explore in further detail.  Charlie Madison is a “Dog Robber,” so perhaps the homoerotic tension is an indication of the how accommodating a “Dog Robber” has to be.   I could easily see Robert DeNiro playing Adm. William Jessup.

I strongly encourage people to watch this movie and examine the word cowardice.  What does it mean in the movie what does it mean personally in a time of war as opposed to the word hero.  How many wars are defensible?  Feel free to share your thoughts.


Women’s History: April 17

17 Apr

Anna Garlin Spencer

Happy Birthday, Anna Garlin Spencer.  Spencer was a social reformer, suffragist, and Unitarian minister. She was a social worker before there was such a thing.  Spencer was the first woman ordained in the state of Rhode Island.  Spencer was a pacifist who took on a role in the Peace Movement as well as the Women’s Suffragist Movement. She wrote one of the first social work text books adopted by Columbia University. Two of her books are: Woman’s Share in Social Culture and The Family and Its Members. Spencer was also one of the voices that helped to start the NAACP. To learn more about this do-gooder, Anna Garlin Spencer, click here.

Quote of the day:

 A successful woman preacher was once asked “what special obstacles have you met as a woman in the ministry?” “Not one,” she answered, “except the lack of a minister’s wife.”–Anna Garlin Spencer

Gunning for a good search…

20 Feb

This is not a Gun "site"

I am truly enjoying this whole blogging experience and hope that in my small way I am contributing to society–that I am making people think, or reflect, or take action. A strange learning experience for me along this journey of blogging is how the internet works, or does not work. I have to say  I love that my blog reaches people all over the world. I love that I get comments from people in India, Bulgaria, and Australia. I love that I get messages from parents trying to understand their gay or lesbian child. I love that people come to my blog for stories on civil rights, Women’s History, Black History, and LGBT issues. With that being said, I have been bemused by the mind-boggling number of search engine terms that bring people to my blog. For those of you that are regular followers, it does not come as a surprise that I am a pacifist, and social activist for civil rights. How ironic then that one of the largest search engine terms that brings people to my blog is “guns.”  Yes, over 13% of all of my search engine terms that direct people to The Solipsistic Me (TSM) is the word gun or guns. I can only imagine how sad the reader must be when they see the story it brings them to, usually Gun Crazy Nation. Of course, I am sad that more people search the word gun than Coretta Scott King, or women’s rights, or Marriage Equality. Now I am left to ponder the implications of a gun obsessed culture–a culture that privileges violence over peace, violence over equality, violence over political party. Who are these angry violent voices? Sadly, they are usually the voices of “christians.

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