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« Ladies: Their Habits and Tastes and Feelings | Main | Donald's Art Book of the Year »

December 13, 2007

Elsewhere

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Cowtown Pattie gives "No Country for Old Men" a cowgirl nod of approval.

* David Chute expresses reservations about the Coens' film here, and links to a molto fabuloso clip from Sam Peckinpah's wild-and-woolly 1973 "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." Now that's some real '70s filmmaking: half the purest bullshit, half the most heavenly, turbulent, emotionally-wrenching gorgeousness you could ever ask for. The fact that it's impossible to separate the bullshit from the beauty is very '70s too. Lordy, when Slim Pickens staggers off into the desert and sits by the water ... Did even Tinteretto hit these kinds of ecstatic / painful highs? I treated myself to a full-blown Peckinpah Moment back here.

* The next "Jackass" movie won't be released to theaters at all. It will be distributed online instead. Does what used to be known as the "distribution bottleneck" exist any longer?

* WhiskyPrajer confesses that he's addicted to Men's Health magazine. I buy it sometimes too. I wonder why. Tyler Cowen tries to figure out how to manage his magazine subscriptions.

* Don't overlook James Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month. Those daffy architects! How will they ruin our shared environment next?

* David Chute's buddy Ramesh reports from Japan that Tokyo has become a "gay man's dream." (Note to DavidC: Move off of LiveJournal now! WordPress.com is free!)

* Will the French ever be a world power in terms of culture again? (Link thanks to FvB.)

* Ed Gorman flips for Joseph Lewis' "Gun Crazy" and has some smart things to say about how pacing has changed in recent decades.

* Spaniards are eating more saturated fat yet suffering fewer heart attacks.

* Low-carb enthusiast Jimmy Moore answers a question many low-carbers have asked: What kind of fruit should people on a low-carb diet eat? Jimmy talks with a "Biggest Loser" contestant here.

* Stanley Coren offers a list of the five best books about dogs. (Link thanks to Terrierman.) Henry Chappell marvels at the way suburbanites can work themselves into a tizzy about the presence in the neighborhood of a single coyote. People really can overdo the "safe and secure" mania, can't they? That's a very sweet photo that Henry has taken of his dawg Cate.

* Steve Bodio finishes his book and uncorks a barrage of links.

* Tim Worstall has the goods on that NASA sex tape.

* Scott thinks -- no, knows -- that there can be such a thing as too much healthy living.

* Does Israel have a say in determining America's foreign policy? If you read the NYTimes it can sure seem that way.

* Hibernia Girl does a beautiful job of spelling out some of the reasons why migration issues are a major political concern these days, as well as why people shouldn't be shy about raising the topic.

* Culturebargain: Those of you who still own a functioning Walkman might want to pay a visit to Books on Tape, where thousands of audiobook-on-tape titles are now on sale for 70% off their usual price.

* MBlowhard Rewind: I tried to offer some helpful thoughts about that tricky term "aesthetics."

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at December 13, 2007




Comments

The Time piece on French culture takes the trouble to note a few criticisms of government subsidies (proportionally greatly more than in the U.S. and even other large European countries). But the main hope for French return, it suggests, isn't reducing government intervention, but is rather likely to result from all those immigrants and the resulting diversity they bring to France.

Dream on, Time.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on December 13, 2007 12:17 PM



Donald -- Gadzooks, are you really saying that diversity doesn't cure every problem? Are you mentally ill? Unstable? Racist? All the right-thinking people know that diversity is the be-all and end-all of life. Off to the Gulag with you!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 13, 2007 12:24 PM



Right, Michael, all the right-thinking people know about Israeli lobby, all those Joooos subverting US foreign policy - no, "life as we [wasp] knew it" in general, etc etc. What a fine life would be without them, undoubtedly! (see further description in Protocols and subsequent literature). Think of all the position openings in Publishing, f.ex.

Oh, no, you're not racist or anti-semitic. How can anyone think that? It wasn't you, it was NYTimes!

Posted by: Tatyana on December 13, 2007 12:38 PM



Speaking of architectural eyesores - I find this production to be much better suited for the term.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 13, 2007 1:03 PM



How absurd Tatyana.

Are you unable to distinguish between thinking that maybe the formal and informal (journalists, etc.) Jewish lobby has too much influence on foreign policy for the good of the whole of the country (which is no more than 3% Jewish), and thinking the US would be much better off if it simply had no, or a lot fewer, Jews?

I know for sure from Michael's writings that he doesn't remotely think the later, as I do not. You know it too, if you care to be honest. Instead you are seeking to stifle any kind of inquiry that might lead eventually to some attenuation (but only likely a little) of massively outsized and disproportionate influence. For one thing, for the most part that disproportion is merited, by high average rates of Jewish achievement and over representation, again by achievement, in the option making sub groups of this country.

Jewish contributions to US and more generally Western science, literature, arts, the professions and our economy have simply been enormous, and no doubt greater per capita than that of any other group, by any of a variety of ways of measuring it.

That doesn't make any group, and yes I said group when it tends to act in a group way, properly immune from criticism. Certainly e.g. white Christians (I'm not one) are not immune, least of all from Jewish criticism. Yet the crying of anti-semitism at the first hint of any even very limited and measured criticism of outsized or unacknowledged influence, of the sort no other group is immune from (except often enough blacks), is precisely an effort to enforce such long existing near total immunity, through fear (for job, influence, social standing, and so on).

Your scurrilous invective, e.g. here, is simply shameful Tatyana:

no, "life as we [wasp] knew it" in general, etc etc. What a fine life would be without them, undoubtedly! (see further description in Protocols and subsequent literature). Think of all the position openings in Publishing, f.ex.

Oh, no, you're not racist or anti-semitic. How can anyone think that?

Disgusting.

And yes, the NY Times is guilty of pervasive PC taboo enforcement, if any media are.

Posted by: dougjn on December 13, 2007 1:08 PM



Tatyana,

I'm accustomed to the angry sarcasm... it's your style. But, why have you assumed that noticing the influence of Israel and American Jews on U.S. foreign policy is evidence of anti-Semitism?

I have little doubt that ensuring the continued existence of Israel is a bedrock of U.S. foreign policy... and that it always will be. I'm in favor of this. I cannot see what other policy the U.S. might follow.

This is a moral obligation that arises out of the Holocaust. Also, Israel is the only functioning democracy in the region. For a tangle of reasons, guaranteeing Israel's continued survival must be U.S. policy, and will continue to be whether the president is Republican or Democrat.

I'll make a prediction about the Middle East: U.S. policy will remain unchanged toward Israel, Iraq and Iran regardless of who's president. U.S. military involvement will also remain unchanged. The U.S. has real strategic and economic interests in the Middle East and (no matter how we try to wash our hands of this role), there is no other policing power available to hold the crazies in Iran and Iraq in check.

I'm not advocating anything. I'm not a partisan. This is just reality. Hillary won't change a thing. She can't. I'm also not saying that the situation will ever be any less crazy. For all of you seeking a rational, workable solution to this dilemma, I say... give up.

We have no choice but to continue to live with this mess.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on December 13, 2007 1:10 PM



ST said:

I'm accustomed to the angry sarcasm... it's your style. But, why have you assumed that noticing the influence of Israel and American Jews on U.S. foreign policy is evidence of anti-Semitism?

Yes, exactly. Although "sarcasm" is putting it more than mildly.

For the record I support Israel's right to exist as well, and realize that Hamas for example and many Palestinians do not - as does not the current Iranian leader. But I'm not willing to invade Iran (with US consequences for years to come, including very possibly a real financial meltdown in this country given where we're already at) to make Israel less nervous. Pro and con on that can and should be debated of course.

Most of all, however, I'm not willing to take discussion of any group's special interests off the table when they come full square into play. I'm not saying having special national or ethnic group interests is illegitimate. I AM saying what is illegitimate is the screaming down by screaming a version of racism, any pointing out that those special interests exist and should be factored into our evaluation of arguments and claims.

Posted by: dougjnn on December 13, 2007 1:28 PM



If Tatyana is correct in thinking that anyone critical of the Israel Lobby thinks life would be great without Jews then just imagine what those NOT critical of the Lobby must think of Palestinians! Maybe they think life would be better if there were no Palestinians, or even Arabs in general, left on earth.

Posted by: CanadianObserver on December 13, 2007 1:29 PM



The issue of Israel's apparent status in the news media as the 51st state is hardly confined to the NY Times. Do a Google search on "Iran bomb" and you (at least on December 13 at 11:00 AM PST) get the following top ten stories ranked by readership:

[#1]Olmert says Iran still seeking nuclear bomb - Dec 11, 2007 Israel, which is thought to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, believes Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010 and says an Iranian nuclear weapon ...

[#2] Bomb Iran - Los Angeles Times
Another reason is that an Iranian bomb would constitute a dire threat to Israel's 6 million-plus citizens. Sure, Israel could strike back, ...

[#3] Hoover Institution - Policy Review - Defusing Iran’s Bomb
Whatever might be gained by technically delaying the completion of Iran’s bomb option, then, would have to be weighed against what might be lost in ...

[#4] YouTube - Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran
If you don't think Iran is a problem, you are crazy... and I ...

[#5] LETS BOMB IRAN! But Bomb Iran, Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran! Went to Iraq, caught lotsa flack, ... And Bomb Iran! Bomb Bomb, Bomb... Let's Bomb Iran! ...

[#6] Iran's Bomb by Charley Reese
Iran's Bomb. by Charley Reese by Charley Reese. There's been a lot of talk recently about Israel and/or the United States bombing the nuclear facilities in ...

[#7] Will Bush really bomb Iran? - Times Online
In the white desert sands of New Mexico, close to where the first atom bomb was detonated, America’s biggest conventional weapon was tested last spring.

[#8] Defense Tech: Iran's Bomb: How Close?
Iran's Bomb: How Close? A cabal of terrorist-funding, virulently anti-Semitic, nuclear-armed mullahs is bad, no question. Really bad. ...

[#9] Are Israelis gearing up to bomb Iran? | Features | The First Post The suggestion is that the Israeli government has served notice on the White House that it must take pre-emptive action against Iran's sites of nuclear ...

[#10] What If Iran Gets the Bomb? The Iranian Challenge to the West ... What If Iran Gets the Bomb? The Iranian Challenge to the West - Ephraim Kam.

By my count, even in the Google summary there is an explicit or implicit mention of Israel or Israeli interests in five out of ten of those stories, at least if you know, as I do, that Ephraim Kam is Deputy Head of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University and he writes from the point of view of Israeli strategic interests.

On the other hand, there is quite a paucity of news coverage of Arab reactions to the NIE. One of the few substantive stories I could find was in the Asian Times Online at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IL12Ak02.html.

If I'm reading this correctly, it suggests that the Arabs in the Persian Guf (including, of course, Saudi Arabia) are wondering if there is some deal cooking between the U.S. and Iran to tolerate Iranian hegemony in the region, and if they should start thinking about appeasing the new regional power.

Which is a development that I think is more interesting than the fairly predictable Israeli government comments.


Posted by: Friedrich von Bloward on December 13, 2007 2:29 PM



No one has anything to say about Sam Peckinpah? Or dogs?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 13, 2007 2:50 PM



Canadian Observer: Arabs (palestinians are just regional Arabs. There is no such thing as Palestinian ethnicity) worked real hard, for millenia, to instill this thought in unbiased people.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 13, 2007 3:13 PM



Me! Me! Me!

I compared NCFOM to a Peckinpah movie,(Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia) thinking I was being oh so clever and inventive, only to discover after some googling that ol' Peck has been compared to the Coen's dozens of times on the 'net.

I guess Mr. Will Rogers still has the wisdom on that:

"If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."

I read something about Peckinpah being "the ugly underbelly of genius".

For real, Peckinpah was into blood ballet before the Coen's took the training wheels off their bikes.

He is "The Man" when it comes to enigmatic cinema.

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on December 13, 2007 4:02 PM



Cowtown Pattie said--

I compared NCFOM to a Peckinpah movie,(Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia) thinking I was being oh so clever and inventive, only to discover after some googling that ol' Peck has been compared to the Coen's dozens of times on the 'net.

I was wondering what Michael's Peckinpah plaint referred to, though I was guessing it was you, without having followed that link yet.

Now I'm REALLY going to have to see No Country for Old Men. I love that consumately dark Peckinpah flick. Though I have to say nothing touched the true shock value for me at the time as when I saw Straw Dogs on the big screen as a teen. That sort of thing just wasn't in my experience at that time. I had no Roussean view of the natural goodness of especially more simple and "primitive" mankind going in, but that movie sealed it - because it rang true as at least possible.

Posted by: dougjn on December 13, 2007 4:15 PM



The Czech building HAS to be a joke--please, dear God, tell me it's a joke.

Posted by: thaprof on December 13, 2007 6:02 PM



god how great is james coburn in "pat garrett?? i think it's maybe even a stronger performance then his "affliction" oscar winning one. that's probably my favorite peckinpah film and i've seen most of them. i've been a huge peckinpah fan since i was like 19 (i'm 25 now) oh and bob dylan is also great as "bored onlooker number 3".

Posted by: t. j. on December 13, 2007 7:24 PM



Israel was apparently wrong on WMD in Iraq, as was the CIA. (Either Israel was wrong, or she misled the US.) So why should we believe what they say now with respect to Iran? Perhaps they will show the CIA the evidence.

Posted by: Robert Hume on December 13, 2007 8:10 PM



Israel's first priority is the survival of its own people. Sorry if it isn't showing enough subservience to the, to put it mildly, controversial finding put out by its great friends at Foggy Bottom and McClean, Virginia, in the NIE report, that Iran has suddenly decided to walk down the path of sweet reason. What would make the big bad Israeli lobby is controlling us crowd happy? That Israel cede the final word on its very survival to a crew that has a checkered record of predictions in the Middle East and, yes, I'm going to say it, is peppered with unfriendlies when it comes to the State of Israel at the CIA and especially at State? Ever hear of sovreignty? Well, it applies to Israel as much as it applies to every other nation. At least as much as it applies to our great allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: ricpic on December 13, 2007 8:25 PM



Michael, I was so pleased that your Peckinpah Moment contained a tribute to "Ride the High Country". Don Siegel made a beautiful "autumnal" western with "The Shootist", but the Peckinpah movie goes beyond tribute, craftmanship etc: it's a cracker of a conventional western. And when I use the word "conventional", I mean something good.

Didn't Sam Johnson say something like: "If a thing be truly original, it must be truly bad." It's certainly the kind of anti-cant thing he might say. He was lucky he never had to sit through a revisionist western.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on December 13, 2007 8:30 PM



I recall seeing Vice President Cheney threatening war with Iran from the podium of AIPAC. Regardless of your thoughts on Israel as an American this is wrong.

Posted by: sN on December 14, 2007 2:33 AM



"ride the high country" is a great film. "the ballad of cable hogue" is also a favorite with one of jason robard's best performances.

Posted by: t. j. on December 14, 2007 9:07 AM



I don't think I love any movie death scene more than that Slim Pickens one from Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Would the Coens, with all the distance and irony they bring to their work, ever be able to touch the swagger and romanticism of Peckinpah?

I dug up an email I sent a friend about the Pickens scene a couple of years ago:

"The last movie I watched was Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, directed by Sam Peckinpah, who also made The Wild Bunch, Ride the High Country, and The Ballad of Cable Hogue, all of which I remember you as liking. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is a weird, aimless, mostly unsuccesful movie. I’d seen it before, but I didn’t remember much of what happened in it. That’s probably because the narrative, such that there is one, is slack and unfocused. It’s nearly impossible to know where the characters are in relation to one another; they seem to be just wandering around the desert aimlessly, killing people as they go. But as a lyrical evocation of the death of the Old West, it’s sometimes a wonder. Pat Garrett is like the Grim Reaper, stalking about the badlands and mowing down the few men of honor and character left floating around in the world. It’s as though he stepped into a John Ford movie and proceeded to shoot John Wayne and all of his sidekicks. It's a hokey conception, and it gets a little repetitive. But Peckinpah treats these deaths in a remarkable way: each one is like a ceremonial kiss goodbye, with the victims meeting their ends placidly, staring straight into the face of death with eyes trained on something distant and sad. They’re like Vikings glimpsing the shores of Valhalla.

The best of these scenes involves the death of a character played by Slim Pickens. Pickens was a famous western character actor, maybe the most famous (he was one of the stagecoach drivers in The Ballad of Cable Hogue), and Peckinpah loved him. When Pickens is shot in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, he walks quietly away from the action with his Mexican wife trailing him as Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door begins to surge quietly on the soundtrack. The sun is setting (the whole movie takes place in twilight) and there’s a river close by. Pickens has previously told Garrett that he’s been building a boat, and that some day he’ll use it to float away. His wife gives him his distance, and so does Peckinpah: the camera hangs back, watching Pickens walk towards the river. Then he stops and turns around. There’s a pained expression in his eyes, both glassy and sharp; we sense that he’s feeling something deeply. And though he stands stock still, he seems to be receding back with the river, back towards the horizon, the sunset. It’s as though he’d already entered the afterlife and was just waiting to merge with the atmosphere surrounding him. I don’t think there’s a scene like that one in any other movie I’ve ever seen. It attains the quality of pure feeling."

Posted by: Ron on December 14, 2007 10:19 AM



Ron -- That's some seriously beautiful writing! I remembering reading somewhere Peckinpah saying that what he was aiming for in "Pat Garrett" was a mixture of "elegy and fury," and at times he sure does hit that note -- so does your description. Great hearing from all the Peckinpah fans too. His work, as full of shit as it can be, can sometimes just plain grab ya in amazing (and hard to account-for) ways, no? Are there contempo filmmakers who have a similar kind of effect? I often think that contempo movies and moviemakers are afraid of going so ruthlessly after the cosmic, the emotional, the flamboyant ... They feel fine about rattling the nerves and attacking the sense organs. But the emotions and the imagination are often left untouched. It would be uncool, or they'd be laughed-at, or something. Too bad.

Tat, Ricpic, a few others -- Are there people who dispute Israel's right to look out for itself? Maybe, but certainly not here. I thought the more general complaint is that it can be hard to have an open discussion of such topics as Israel's attempts to influence American policy. Sure they can do their best to get us to do what they want -- but should we always go along with their schemes? When is it in our interest, and when not? Anyway, that's what I'd like to see crumble: The sense of taboo that surrounds the topic as a discussion-topic. Israel's got as much right to fight for survival as any other country, of course. (And so do we.) But it seems ridiculous that we can't talk openly (and without fear of being attacked as anti-Semites) about whether Israel's interests and our interests actually coincide on a policy-by-policy basis.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 14, 2007 11:55 AM



I think the reason the French have lost their cultural influence is because....the world's biggest markets for French-type "culture"---Britain, Germany, the U.S.---just plain can't stand the French anymore. In all seriousness. They lost the popularity contest. Even if their stuff is great, we just don't care anymore.

Which, actually, might even contain a tiny lesson for anybody else who wants to routinely 'dis' the U.S. Iran can build a bomb and scare the s&*^ out of us, but it can't make us care about anything else it does.

Posted by: annette on December 14, 2007 2:44 PM



Cry me a river. Heroic Michael Blowhard, under tireless presecution being labeled anti-semitic for speaking truth to power (i.e. making anti-semitic remarks). A lone voice among silent sheep herds scared shitless of total mind controlling, gigantic, scary Joooos. The world is trembling in fear - not one brave soul (except our courageous hero, of course), here or abroad, dares to question dark dealings of scheming Istraelis.

"Fear" of what, Michael? You going to be tracked down and blown to smetheerins(sp?) by UZI-wielding commandos? Incarcerated? Thrown out the door at work? Kicked from coop board? Katz Delicatessen will refuse to deliver pastrami sandwiches? Your favorite porno sites will deny you access?

For those genuinely interested/concerned in Israel/American relations and common policies (and why it's in American interest to form a united front with the Jews - see oldie but goodie here. [if it's not clear, I'm with R.Schwarz on the topic].

Posted by: Tatyana on December 14, 2007 5:57 PM



Michael said--

I thought the more general complaint is that it can be hard to have an open discussion of such topics as Israel's attempts to influence American policy. Sure they can do their best to get us to do what they want -- but should we always go along with their schemes? When is it in our interest, and when not? Anyway, that's what I'd like to see crumble: The sense of taboo that surrounds the topic as a discussion-topic. Israel's got as much right to fight for survival as any other country, of course. (And so do we.) But it seems ridiculous that we can't talk openly (and without fear of being attacked as anti-Semites) about whether Israel's interests and our interests actually coincide on a policy-by-policy basis.

Exactly, and very well articulated.

Posted by: douigjn on December 14, 2007 5:58 PM



Tatyana, I have enjoyed reading your often vigorous comments here, and at other places. But in recent months you have, to put it squarely, gone crazy. Your last comment is, it's, it's...I simply don't know where to begin.

I am actually concerned about you. I don't like getting personal like this, but you've disgraced yourself over at clio's, you've done it here with vicious attacks on Shouting Thomas, for which you haven't had the grace to apologize, even indirectly. And now here you are, attacking Michael in language that's sickening to read. I don't know what's going on with you, but you seem bent on blowing up a good number of your online relationships with some very fine people. I won't be reading any more of your posts because you've inflicted one too many preposterous, half-mad diatribes on my no longer trusting eyes. That's too bad, because in the past you've written some very sharp, very insightful, and yes, entertaining comments.

But something just seems to have gone wrong with you. I have no idea what's happening inside you, but I've had enough. I don't want to witness any more of the downward spiral of a once bright and fascinating contributor to this forum.

Sigh. I used to like you, Tat. It makes me sad to say that I just can't effin' stand you anymore.

Posted by: PatrickH on December 14, 2007 10:46 PM



Tatyana seems to have scored several points for Michael Blowhard's argument. You're running the ball the wrong direction, "you silly Siberian cupcake."

Posted by: sN on December 15, 2007 1:52 AM



Patrick effin' H: I never liked you. Frankly, I frequently got you mixed up with some other lackey here - but it makes no difference. It doesn't make me sad to say it, quite the contrary.

Your speech is funny. I imagine if you're reacting to me in this puffed up way now - would would happen to you if you could read in Russian, and your googling brought you to my comment threads! Kaboom, someone's head exploded! Dial for ambulance!

Patrick, you got mixed up: I don't issue apologies to antisemites, dirty old men, phony historians, etc etc. It them who should change their ways - and I don't care for their apologies, either. We are adults here.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 15, 2007 9:55 AM



sN - really? In what way I did?
BTW, cupcakes are nonexistent in Siberia (thankfully). Unlike the Jews.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 15, 2007 12:30 PM



Oh, those Russians.

Posted by: PatrickH on December 15, 2007 6:51 PM



See, here's another classic misunderstanding, again: I am not Russian.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 15, 2007 7:13 PM



For the record I support Israel's right to exist as well, and realize that Hamas for example and many Palestinians do not

Islamists like Hamas and the government of Iran don't believe that any non-Islamist government should 'exist'. Other nations, like France, believe that they're threatened by a nuclear Iran. Why single Israel out?

In any case, the Saudi lobby, which supports diverse groups like CAIR, al Qaeda, many of our finest universities and media outlets is strongly pressuring the US to attack Iran. So, if you have any issues with that, take it up with the Saudis or their branch office in the USA, our State Department.

Posted by: mary on December 15, 2007 9:49 PM



Tat -- Was that outburst really prompted by my remark that the question of whether America's interests and Israel's interests are always and everywhere aligned deserves more open discussion than it generally gets? Wow.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 15, 2007 11:39 PM



Oh, that Tat.

Posted by: PatrickH on December 16, 2007 10:11 AM



Oh please. This innocence shtick is getting so old.
So, you're living in mortal fear of Jewish retaliation, Michael? Tell me - may be I'll send a word along world conspiracy lines to spare you.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 16, 2007 10:20 AM



Tatyana, I just read your comment to B. Hemric, and was struck once again by the evidence of the depth of your intelligence, knowledge and feeling. I know I said I'd given up on you. I lied. Tatyana, no matter how many times you betray me, I still can't let you go! I can't help it! I still like you! I'll still read your comments!

God forgive me, I'm weak. If reading Tat is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Posted by: PatrickH on December 16, 2007 12:52 PM



Tat - Awesome job of putting words in my mouth.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 16, 2007 1:29 PM



we can't talk openly (and without fear of being attacked as anti-Semites) - did I put these words, too, in your mouth?
It's so much easier to have an old and familiar scapegoat for your displeasure with the government's policies, Michael. Why don't you look in direction of Chinese lobby? Plenty of hard evidence, quite recently, too (google Hsu+Clinton, f.ex. Or as Mary suggested above - why not investigate what's really worth investigating - Saudi lobbying, Wahhabi contributions into Ivy league universities, especially since you often declared overwhelming concern for high education.
Your choice of suggested culprit, Michael, is a giveaway.

Also - *dougjn, as you might not been reading this blog as long as I have, "thinking the US would be much better off if it simply had no, or a lot fewer, Jews" is exactly what Michael said in the past. Oh, not in this precise form, mind you - he's too much of a journo for that. More like "I'm wondering...wouldn't be interesting to imagine this country with much lesser percentage of certain immigrant groups and/or how the composition of our populace would have look like if certain immigration laws were not implemented?" type of phrasing. I'm sure you could find precise quote if you do type "israel lobby" in search box on the left.


Posted by: Tatyana on December 16, 2007 1:53 PM



Michael: Thanks! I'm glad I remembered writing that--and that I still had the email. Reading it again, though, I feel pretty sure that I stole the final line (unconsciously) from Pauline Kael. I may be wrong, but I think "attains the quality of pure feeling" is her phrase--though I can't remember where she wrote it. I've decided not to feel bad about it :^)

Few directors could pour feelings, emotions, and meanings into images and sequences the way Peckinpah could. He had a shaman-like ability to enter into his material at certain moments and bend it to his personality, almost like a singer delivering an aria. He also had a talent for suspending these moments inside your brain. In fact, I suspect that explains slo-mo being such a vital part of his repetoire: He was forever trying to freeze certain elucidating gestures in time--to extend them, fix them, and hold onto them.

The fact that his personality was so complex--so corrosive, flamboyant, and, in a way, chivalrous--only makes these moments richer. They leave you trying to parse your responses to what you've just seen, but in a manner that feels vivifying rather than confusing.

Another great Peckinpah moment is the parade scene in Jr. Bonner. When Robert Preston gets on that horse with the little chippie he's just picked up and nonchalantly rides out among the shriners, the boy scouts, and the majorettes, it distills everything you've ever felt about small town parades. There's silliness and banality there. You may also feel a little embarrassed for everyone involved. But there's also gusto, tradition, and showmanship on display, and by the end of the scene you feel as though the old guy has commandeered the emotions of the entire town. In a weird way it reminds me of when my late grandfather would get tipsy and sing in Italian at family parties.

Posted by: Ron on December 17, 2007 10:34 AM



Tatyana, no matter how many times you betray me, I still can't let you go! I can't help it! I still like you! I'll still read your comments!

God forgive me, I'm weak. If reading Tat is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Honest to God...talk about sounding nuts. Pull yourself together. I'm not sure admiration from someone who writes this is really a compliment.

Posted by: annette on December 17, 2007 3:30 PM



annette, I was being sar...

Oh, never mind.

Posted by: PatrickH on December 17, 2007 5:34 PM



PatrickH---You were??? Sorry. Totally didn't get it. But thank God you were. You really were sounding unhinged!

Posted by: annette on December 18, 2007 12:13 PM






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