Tag Archives: Patriotism

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.

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Bigot of the Week Award: April 20, Ted Nugent

20 Apr

Bigot of the Week

Some weeks it’s hard to pick a bigot from the far too many choices that present themselves. Other weeks one person easily rises (sinks?) to the award; this is one of those weeks. Washed-up rocker and gun nut Ted Nugent departed from his usual crazed rantings to engage in a hostile attack on the President followed by a racist and ignorant refusal to apologize-can we say Charm Free?

At the National Rifle Association conference last weekend, Nugent ratched up his usual attacks on the Obama administration (and Democrats in general) comparing officials to coyotes who should be shot. At the heart of his bellicose bellowing was this gem:

If Barack Obama becomes the President in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.

For a self-proclaimed patriot, those words are hypocritically close to treason–this sounds like a threat to assassinate the President to me. When rightfully skewered in the press for his rant, Nugent upped the ante by making a racist comparison to try to gain the high ground.

I spoke at the NRA and I will stand by my speech. It was 100 percent positive… See, I’m a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally, and there are some power-abusing corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth to identify the violations of our government.

This is nothing new from Nugent. While pondering a run for Michigan governor, he repeatedly attacked then-Governor Jennifer Granholm calling her “scrotumless” and shooting arrows into her picture at concerts. He has said that animal rights activists should have arrows shot through their lungs and called Fund for Animals’ Heidi Prescott a worthless whore, adding “who needs to club a seal, when you can club Heidi?” Given this history of violent rhetoric and behavior, it’s understandable that the Secret Service is taking a real interest in his latest rant. Mitt Romney, of course, whom Nugent has endorsed, remains silent on the matter.

Dishonorable mention this week goes to Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, IL. In a homily delivered last weekend, the Bishop bizarrely compared the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s policy on contraception and insurance to some pretty nasty company.

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama, with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

Sure, Bishop, a secular government ensuring care for all of its citizens (which I thought was a Christian value) is just like the horrific acts carried out by those two dictators. Exaggerating hypocrisy much? If we follow Bishop Jenky’s logic here, I’m guessing he would also compare Jesus to Hitler.

Bigot of the Week Award: September 9, Republicans in Absentia

9 Sep

Bigots of the Week

The Republicans have been acting as though they are concerned about jobs for Americans.  Thursday evening, more than a handful of Republicans told the American people to fuck off!  President Obama tried to engage a country and the elected officials who are supposed to represent the citizens of the United States about the economy and about jobs.  What message does it send to the American people when a gaggle of  very wealthy and employed Republicans can’t even be bothered to attend a speech by the President? Here is the list of Republicans/Teahaddists that share the dubious honor of Bigot of the Week Award:

Of course,

  • Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.):  the first Mad Hatter to announce he would not attend the President’s speech.
  • Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.): “I would go hear him explain it, but frankly right now I’m so frustrated I don’t think I’m going to go.” Exactly what are you so frustrated about? How are you going to be part of the solution?
  • Sen. David Vitter (R-La.): Could not be bothered to hear the speech or to advocate for jobs for the American people because he was too busy hosting a New Orleans Saints party.  Shame on the American people for expecting Vitter to do his job!

I do not conceal my admiration for Nancy Peolosi who aptly stated:

In nearly 250 days of being in the majority, House Republicans have not passed a single piece of legislation to create jobs. The Republican silence on Thursday evening will speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs.

With these three joining the examples set by John Boehner, Samuel Alito, Joe Wilson, and others, it is clear that the Republicans are more intent on a culture of disrespect and obstruction than solving America’s problems. If we are going to start talking about being “unpatriotic” and “un-American,” as we heard George W. supporters screaming at peace activists, we have no further to look than these Republican bigots to really understand the meaning of unpatriotic.

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