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Tuesday, June 25, A.D. 2013
Hick Math

Below is a clever illustration of fool’s mathematics, courtesy of Pa Kettle:

It does take a brilliant mind to capture rank stupidity in an artful manner. Mike Judge has his detractors, but I admire his ability to distill and to serve idiocy. Consider, for example, the argumentation about Brawndo in Idiocracy. Only genius could mock subrational discourse so well.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, June 25, Anno Domini 2013
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Thursday, June 6, A.D. 2013
The Racist Doctor

Tha Crìosd air èiridh!

My friend Andrew sent me an unintentionally amusing story about accusations of racism against Doctor Who: “BBC Defends ‘Doctor Who’ Against Racism Claims.” Unfortunately, the British elite who runs the Beeb is composed of spineless toadies of the demonic Zeitgeist. They are perverted leftist trolls themselves, who are constitutionally incapable of defending against men even madder than they.

There is no way to reason against such folly. To paraphrase a colorful character from the show, feculence like this only appeals to the genocidal side of my nature. You cannot appease the perennially aggrieved, and minorities, in whatever context and if allowed, quickly become such incessant whiners because they resent not being the center of society’s show. Jealousy exists corporately, too, and one cannot feed a vice without strengthening it. This thought occurred to me recently when I read some pussified whining by Western rite Orthodox bloggers who were upset that a Russian bishop had visited them wearing traditional Russian style vestments. How dare he! I mean, the Russian Church has graciously provided a spiritual home for these folks—but only to rub their traditional vestments in the face of the poor, oppressed disaffected Anglicans. Imagine the gall! The liturgical imperialism of it all!

Diversity is not strength, especially when the hegemonic authorities feel insecure in their power and attempt to cater to the alienated feelings of the fringe from some sickly desire for equality. Moreover, the liberal soul, uncomfortable with natural and universal inequality, is pathetic—weak, unmanly, and ever unsettled. Diversity mixed with liberalism is a recipe for social disaster. Sic transit gloria occidentis.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, June 6, Anno Domini 2013
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Monday, February 25, A.D. 2013
Sailer, Sex, and the Oscars

Steve Sailer always posts interesting items about the passing scene. Leading up to the Academy Awards, he has been playing with Oscar statistics, considering, for example, the percentage of female winners in various categories at differing periods in Hollywood’s short history. In one of these posts, “Women and film editing,” Sailer discusses the complementarity of the sexes:

The two most honored editors currently working are Spielberg’s editor Michael Kahn (eight nominations, three Oscars) and Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker (seven and three).

Schoonmaker’s career is of interest. She edited a Scorsese student project in the 1960s and earned an Oscar nomination for editing the concert film Woodstock way back in 1970. But she couldn’t get into the editor’s union for a decade so she was blocked from working on Hollywood features throughout the 1970s. She finally got her union card (she thinks Al Pacino pulled some strings for her), and her first feature with Scorsese was 1980’s Raging Bull, which would be high on anybody’s list of superbly edited films.

She’s edited only one movie since for anybody other than Scorsese, but has edited all of Scorsese’s pictures. This may explain something about why Scorsese, who looked in the late 1970s to be headed toward the usual career of a director who burns brightly for just a few years, has made so many comebacks.

IMDB has some quotes from Schoonmaker on the gender question:

I think the women have a particular ability to work with strong directors. They can collaborate. Maybe there’s less of an ego battle.

I’m not a person who believes in the great difference between women and men as editors. But I do think that quality is key. We’re very good at organizing and discipline and patience, and patience is 50 per cent of editing. You have to keep banging away at something until you get it to work. I think women are maybe better at that.

People expect artists to be too normal, I think. I’ve been around enough of them now to see that they’re very extraordinary human beings who behave differently than ordinary human beings. If they weren’t as sensitive as they are they wouldn’t be great artists. They are not the same as us. People should just learn to accept that.

Schoonmaker has long reminded me of Vera Nabokov, the classic example of the old, extremely unfashionable saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” Vera put up with Vladimir’s eccentricities, organized every aspect of his life, accompanied him to all of his lectures at Cornell, sitting in the first row to keep him on top of things, and even drove the nondriver on all of his butterfly-collecting expeditions across the West. Throughout decades of obscurity and economic deprivation, she remained convinced that her husband was a genius. Suddenly, in 1958 when he was 59-years-old, the whole world came to agree with her.

It is for this knack of elucidating human nature in colorful anecdotes that I called Sailer “Our Hume” last year.

As far as the show went—it’s Hollywood. What do you expect? However, I was shocked by Michelle Obama’s participation. She did not say anything untoward, but her inclusion in the program struck me as extraordinarily un-American. It is yet another leftist intrusion of the political into what Jay Nordlinger calls “safe zones.” I suppose that the entertainment industry, with its Euripides complex, has long ceased to be a politics free safe zone, but it seems less objectionable when actors advocate their beliefs than when Hollywood’s establishment invites the president’s wife to give its highest award. Such resembles personality cult regimes where posters of the Dear Leader adorn city walls and the nation’s children sing about his heroic exploits. That doesn’t happen here. Oh wait . . .

I wonder if I am judging Obama’s appearance unfairly. Online, I found references to Ronald Reagan’s and Laura Bush’s appearance at the Academy Awards, but I am not sure how they participated. Were they in the audience? Did they speak? Did they appear as Big Brother on an imposing screen telecasted from the White House? All I can find is Reagan’s attendance in the 1950’s and how the Academy postponed the ceremony one day after the assassination attempt in A.D. 1981. If President Reagan ever attended or addressed the Academy, let us remember that he was an actor and the president of the Screen Actors Guild for many years. It would have been more understandable. All I could find about Bush was a reference to her part in a documentary shown at the Oscars in A.D. 2002. Wikipedia states:

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, who would later win Best Documentary at the 76th Academy Awards, made a short film that was shown during the ceremony. The film shows almost 100 people discussing movies. Those featured range from Laura Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev to Iggy Pop and Lou Reed to Kenneth Arrow (1972 Nobel Laureate in Economics) to Morris’ son Hamilton. Morris would again make a short film similar to this one except the subject being the 177 nominees of the 79th Academy Awards five years later (also produced by Zinskin).

That is not comparable to what happened last night.

I am completely in favor of a royal family who rises above partisan squabbling, but we Americans do not actually have one. I find it very troubling when my fellow citizens treat El Jefe and the Mrs. so.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, February 25, Anno Domini 2013
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Friday, February 1, A.D. 2013
Les Mis and an Occasion for Misogyny

{Some spoilers ahead}

Last summer, I expressed my delight and anticipation about the cinematic release of Les Misérables in “Les Mis on the Silver Screen.” I took my mother to see it when I was home for the holidays, and I was quite pleased. I thought that the cast carried the numbers well, especially Jackman, Hathaway, and Barks, though I found Crowe’s voice a bit weak. I appear to be in the minority with that opinion, but I love “Stars,” and I am somewhat finicky about songs that I adore.

I found the ending with its proto-Bolshevik heaven revolting. Somewhere beyond the barricade is not an endless revolution but the true paradise that all the misled radicals and ideologues ultimately seek. That is a fundamental idea and recurring theme in Les Misérables, and the imagery at the end confuses it. The passage of Valjean into the church—into the welcoming embrace of the bishop—is beautifully imagined and realized, though the following scene should have been otherwise. I sympathize, though, with the director Tom Hooper. The stylized stage with its blackness offers a better option for recondite scenes than a movie. How does one depict heaven cinematically? Still, the finale did not ruin the flick for me, as it was difficult to care much at that moment of catharsis. From the first time that I read the book in junior high to seeing the musical in the West End to each time that I watch it in the States, I always cry at the ending. With the film, I maintained until I saw the bishop, and then it was all over!

Elsewhere, though, Hooper is fabulous. The eye candy and craftiness of the temporal transitions are excellent. I especially appreciate Valjean’s soliloquist repentance sequence that ends with the flying ripped papers. The scene with Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” is perfect!

As I noted in “Les Mis on the Silver Screen,” I read critics’ reviews after I see a film. I was thoroughly disgusted with the critics that dismissed the movie as over the top, preachy, emotional manipulation. Have they read the book? Have they seen the musical? Hugo’s sentimental moralism is the lifeblood of the story, and that is why people (“the people”) respond to it. Nihilistic critics who have surrendered all their humanity seem to appreciate nothing but snarky cynicism and leftwing political propaganda. Were the red flags of the revolutionaries not enough for them?

And yet there is always an opinion fouler to be found. Steve Sailer’s “Girlthink” presents a harridan’s harangue in “Why we love ‘Les Miserables,’ despite its miserable gender stereotypes” by Princeton professor Stacy Wolf. [I’ll adopt Auster’s convention of emboldened brackets for commentary.]

“Les Miserables” should have feminists like me up in arms. The musical takes the female characters from a 150-year-old novel about a French rebellion and makes them bit players — even though they figure prominently in the book (and in the marketing for the musical and movie). They exist not to drive the plot but to sacrifice for the men, the real stars of the show.

But I can’t help it: I love “Les Miz.” As a theater historian who studies gender and sexuality in the American musical, when women are abused or marginalized on stage, I notice. Yet “Les Miz” never fails to move me. [Because it is a great story and because, despite her crazy ideas, Wolf remains a human being who thankfully reacts in ways contrary to her Satanic ideology.]

Clearly, I’m not the only one. The film raked in $18.2 million on Tuesday to become the second-biggest Christmas opener ever. The enduring affection for “Les Miz” isn’t just due to its engaging story; its popularity is also fueled by audiences’ nostalgia for the 1980s, when it became a Broadway hit. [This is nonsense that could only occur to a musical theater buff. Les Mis reminds people of nineteenth century France; it is not The Breakfast Club or Red Dawn.] And the fact that viewers are flocking to a movie full of outdated gender roles [The perennial obtuseness of “progressives”] reminds us that, though we’ve seen gains in gender equity in politics and pop culture in the past few decades, old stereotypes still persist [Damn nature!] — and, somehow, we still love them. [Damn nature!]

I live with this contradiction of outdated gender roles within pop culture every day. [I feel sorry for the men in her life.] Looking at culture through a feminist lens doesn’t mean that you don’t have fun or sing along. [e.g. harpies] It means that you can also see what’s missing or what’s politically troubling. [Scratch a feminist, find a Puritan, and back it goes . . .]

In 1987, when “Les Miz” opened on Broadway, it was part of a cultural moment that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi labeled the “anti-feminist backlash.” [For blacks, it is always Selma in March of ‘65. For Jews, it is always Cossacks at the door. For womyn, it is always the anti-feminist backlash of 1987.] Its popularity at the time wasn’t surprising: The late 1980s weren’t kind to ambitious women. Television didn’t allow single mothers — such as Murphy Brown and Kate and Allie — to live successful, fulfilling lives. They all failed personally or professionally. [Leftist academics live in small worlds and abridged ages.]

In contrast, “Les Miz” idealized women through the persuasive, demeaning stereotype of the martyr. [Demeaning stereotype of the martyr!?!? I suppose that such is true for modern religion.] Twenty-five years later [a veritable eternity for such shortsighted chauvinists of the moment], little but the packaging has changed. Given the publicity surrounding Anne Hathaway’s 25-pound weight loss, buzz haircut and IMAX-size tears, you’d think she’s the star.

Spoiler alert: She sings one big song and is dead by the film’s 43-minute mark. [And Jesus Christ is a minor character in the New Testament.]

Because in “Les Miz,” female characters are there only for the men to save, pity or forget. [And this is why decent women face hostility from “feminists”—some “choices” are not real because they are not the choices that egotistical $%@! would ever make.] As Fantine, a hooker with a heart of gold, Hathaway does little but receive generosity from unfairly imprisoned fugitive Jean Valjean, who agrees to raise her illegitimate daughter, Cosette. Like her mother, Cosette is window-dressing — objet d’amour of Marius, a revolutionary student who wavers between his love for her and his devotion to politics. Meanwhile, Eponine, a striving girl, pines for Marius, a man beyond her station, then dies for his cause. [There is no greater love . . . Oh, wait, what a tool, Eponine!]

The women of “Les Miz” trigger the men’s ethical struggles and bravery, but they don’t actually do anything. Instead, they emote, propelling others to action. [Be careful about those glass houses.]

In the original French production of “Les Miz,” female characters had a bigger presence, but the English version deliberately plays down their roles. [The French are amateurs with musicals. Trust them in other fields, but musical theater is an Anglophone enfant.] According to John Caird, co-director of the London and Broadway show, the “main meat of the story . . . is Valjean’s progress.” [Which is why it resonates with the human heart.] The politicized Eponine of the French production is transformed into a sad girl with a crush, a characterization echoed in the music that accompanies her. [Human tragedy and the ever present limitations that we face in our quest for fulfillment have been reduced to schoolyard tears. My misogynistic meter has already gone off the charts.] “Eponine is always introduced by the same instruments,” composer Claude-Michel Schoenberg explained. “It’s a shortcut,” he said, meant to telegraph a certain situation with just 15 seconds of music. [It is obvious that he means a leitmotif rather than intending anything disparaging about Eponine. Think of Wagner and his characters.] In addition, the team rewrote her song “On My Own,” originally about poverty and hunger, to express unrequited love. [Has this Wolf ever felt unrequited love? Well, that was a stupid question. Of course, she would not know . . .]

Audiences in the late 1980s accepted such gender slights, but what about now? [How human nature seems to change every ten years.] Samantha Barks, who plays the rejected Eponine in the new movie, told the New York Times that she receives tweets every day from girls who say they relate perfectly to the character’s longing: “Why am I always Eponine?” they write. [Wow! Obviously, the educational bureaucrats have been failing terribly at their jobs of cranking out numbed corpses. They should never have let that dead white woman remain on their antiquated reading list.]

Despite bigger, stronger and more complex roles for women in television and film and on stage, the smaller, diminished tragedies of “Les Miz” still resonate with viewers in 2012.

Why? Largely because they’re familiar. [Not that sacrifice or love has any deep connection to the human condition or anything.]

The female stereotypes in “Les Miz” are deeply embedded in our culture — the mother who sacrifices herself to the death, the two women who love the same man, and the woman who desires a man in a different class. These characters are readily available, always recognizable and appealing in their familiarity. [As opposed to the joyful feminist.]

A repetition of stories is part of how “Les Miz” became popular to begin with. In the 1980s, producer Cameron Mackintosh insisted on publicity overload for all of his shows, no matter how far in advance they were sold out. He wanted to keep telling the story of the value and importance of “Les Miz,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “Cats.” These musicals had full-page ads in the New York Times and huge billboards all over Times Square, even when you couldn’t get a ticket for years. By saturating the market with the story of “You can’t get a ticket to this musical — but you must see this musical,” he made it true. It didn’t matter that his shows got mediocre reviews. The publicity machine outsmarted the critics. [Another case of the public’s lack of taste. I mean, Les Mis doesn’t even depict incest or champion bestiality—it’s clearly a token of the masses’ false consciousness.]

There’s a deep well of nostalgia for “Les Miz,” especially among women who came of age when it was on Broadway or on tour — even though it doesn’t reflect our feminist politics. Music is powerful when it’s connected to childhood; it reminds us of where we were in our lives when we first heard it. [And people are usually much wiser when they cease to regurgitate the feculence that has been crammed down their throats during their “education.” These programmed folks are more sensible when they answer honestly based on their own experience and emotional judgments.]

“Les Miz” feeds our hunger for familiarity in the present as well. The music is seductive because it’s repetitive, making us feel as if we know the songs, even if it’s our first time watching. [This is what I like to call menstrual logic. Don’t question the contradictions; just go with the flow.] In this form of sung-through musical theater, called a “poperetta,” a few melodies are recycled across characters and dramatic moments, creating a sense of familiarity within the production. [It also has to do with something alien to a leftist professor, namely, order. Intelligibility and order go together, and the mind delights in understanding that intelligible order.]

We understand ourselves and our identities because of the stories we’re told. [And those stories have nothing to do with reality—ever. Except this particular story that I am telling at this very moment.] When we hear the same stories about people — women, gays, the poor, Asians or African Americans — over and over, we start to believe them. [One never fashions an understanding from experience. The world is just words, words, words, swirling about like a mephitic Foucaultian orgy in the opium den of the void.] If our culture tells us that women should sacrifice themselves for their children or for men’s careers, we find it unremarkable that the women of “Les Miz” do just that. [God help us.] We seldom notice that they’re largely invisible in a blockbuster film likely to be nominated for multiple Academy Awards. [It is rather hard to see invisible women, but I struggled and just barely made out the bland women from the following critically derided and forgotten movies that never earned a major award in the film industry: Alice from You Can’t Take It With You, the unnamed (!) wife from Rebecca {her namelessness is surely a misogynistic slight that has nothing to do with her juxtaposition with the dead but ever present Rebecca}, Peggy from The Best Years of Our Lives, Maria from West Side Story, Sophie from Tom Jones, Eliza from My Fair Lady, Maria from The Sound of Music, Alicia from A Beautiful Mind, Elizabeth from The King’s Speech, or Peppy from The Artist.]

But for anyone who thinks critically about gender, it’s unsettling. [Indeed]

Thankfully, we’re no longer stuck in a 1980s anti-feminist backlash. [Gaia be praised!] Depictions of women in today’s pop culture are varied and complex. [As opposed to the two dimensional sticks with tits in the aforementioned films.] The “Bridesmaids” characters dare to be outrageous, funny and obscene. [I did like the puppies.] Carrie Mathison on “Homeland,” even on the verge of nervous collapse, is tough and brilliant, as is sharp-shooting Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” [Butt-kicking babes are all but unknown in Hollywood. I am glad that Katniss has finally shattered the Arena’s glass ceiling.] and misogynist-killing Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” [Those Swedes . . . They castrate with knives while we Americans simply fantasize about it with words. Just kidding—real Scandinavians are too pussified to pick up a blade.] These women are strong, clever and, yes, vulnerable. [Give this broad a job at Lifetime!]

They’re human. They struggle. They take action. The plot isn’t just what happens to them but what they make happen. These women have lives. [So, protagonists must be women or the story is “unsettling.” By George, I have found an instance of feminist consistency. A woman must always be the center of attention; otherwise, it is bad (boring, unjust, “unsettling”). Female narcissism is amazingly steady among feminists. That oddity almost makes them interesting.]

Each year on TV and in film, new images of women are created, and more strong, smart, independent, complicated characters appear. More screen time is allowed for them to act, change, make mistakes and recover. These new female characters get added to the cultural repertoire — but the old ones don’t go away. They’re there, waiting to be played again in movies such as “Les Miz.” In some ways, that’s what’s so unnerving about these characters: They’re from such different eras, yet it’s so easy to call them up. [These profound insights get Wolf published at WaPo!]

Sailer’s readers had some decent comments on the story:

RS:

> I live with this contradiction of outdated gender roles within pop culture every day.

unbelievable what the human spirit can bear up under…

Anonymous:

It should be mentioned that one character she references as a positive female role-model, Carrie Mathison from Homeland, is a bipolar woman whose career at the CIA is repeatedly threatened when she becomes manic (and hysterical).

She is also a functionary and tool of an oppressive police state. Funny how that seems to appeal to feminists.

Maya:

You know which recent movie is really sexist? The Hobbit! Only one girl in it, and even she is only allowed to talk with her mouth closed. The book was probably even more misogynistic. It’s been almost 2 decades since I read it, but as far as I remember it had no girls in it at all. Shreck had a girl dragon, at least. No such luck here. The dragon in The Hobbit is male, and a real jerk too. Thankfully, the king of dwarfs is really hot.

And, finally, the obvious anonymous winner:

Stacey fails to realize that what she and others like about the women in Le Miz is something enduring, and compellingly attractive. It goes by the name of “love” which is shown in ones ability to sacrifice for others and requires great strength of character. The women in Le Miz are heroes every bit as much as the men, but because they aren’t narcissists, they aren’t all about power and recognition.

And that is why Professor Wolf sees them as non-persons. They do not follow her Luciferan template of self actualization.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, February 1, Anno Domini 2013
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Wednesday, November 14, A.D. 2012
Caine’s Arcade

In yesterday’s post, the selection that I copied from Mr. Brown Thumb mentioned Caine’s Arcade. If you did not follow the provided Caine’s Arcade link, you may wish to do so. Evidently, the story went “viral” this past spring.

A little boy named Caine Monroy decides to build his own video arcade at the front of his father’s automobile parts store in Los Angeles. He uses boxes and random supplies from his father’s business along with old toys to construct his own games. Unfortunately, the father does most of his business online; so he gets very little in store customer traffic. Nonetheless, the boy waits patiently for patrons while he improves his arcade. Then, a man named Nirvan Mullick who happens to be a documentary filmmaker finds the joint while buying a car part, plays in the arcade, and decides to make a short film. He uses social media to invite all the S.W.P.L. adventurers in L.A. to Caine’s arcade. Voilà—a great story, a fun afternoon for Etsy-shopping, community oriented do-gooders, and a claim to fame for a savvy philosophy grad. director. Either the director or Caine’s father (or both) have had the good business sense for Caine to profit from the episode. Caine now has an impressive educational fund that will pay for his schooling in a decade as well as program offers from prestigious schools. A foundation is matching all funds donated for Caine’s future education to establish a scholarship fund for other youth. The film has also inspired creative programs around the world to get children to construct their own arcades—Caine and Mullick are proselytizers for engineering. The New Yorker offers more about the story in “The Perfect Moment Goes Perfectly Viral.” Human beings can be pretty cool.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, November 14, Anno Domini 2012
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Wednesday, October 31, A.D. 2012
Arsenic and Old Lace

For my own personal celebration of Halloween, I watched Frank Capra’s Arsenic and Old Lace (A.D. 1944). Anything by Capra is golden, and Cary Grant’s appearance in a show assures its comedic value. Here is the official trailer:

By the way, the movie’s story occurs on Halloween. Disliking most horror films and hating slasher flicks, I think that Arsenic and Old Lace may now be my favorite Halloweenish movie. Of course, there is always Tim Burton’s treasure trove . . .

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, October 31, Anno Domini 2012
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Monday, July 23, A.D. 2012
Les Mis on the Silver Screen

After seeing The Dark Knight Rises on its opening weekend, I returned home to read the critics’ reviews and to learn about the cast and production crew, as I usually do after seeing a movie. As I was looking over Anne Hathaway’s filmography, I noticed that she will play Fantine in a movie version of Les Misérables this year. Another screen adaptation? Les Mis would then compete with The Three Musketeers for the most frequently depicted novel of French literature. However, I discovered that Les Misérables scheduled to open this December would be the musical. Being a fan both of Hugo’s book and of the musical, I was simultaneously delighted and worried. How on earth would they pull this off well?

The director is Tom Hooper, who made The King’s Speech. The cast is an impressive picking from the Anglosphere’s talent: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Samantha Barks as Éponine, Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, and Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche. Moreover, I did “laugh out loud” when I saw that the Thénardiers would be played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. How splendidly well cast, but can these folks sing?

To maintain fidelity to the musical format, Hooper decided to have the actors sing while filming on set. The actors wear earpieces that play piano renditions of the songs to which they sing, and then the orchestral music will be added later. Therefore, they really have to sing.

I was somewhat surprised to find that many in the cast had West End and Broadway backgrounds. Follow the link to hear Jackman in Oklahoma. Crowe used to sing and play in a band. Who knew? Here is the film’s trailer:

The tagline for the trailer conflicts with Fantine’s woeful song, but we can forgive it given the salvation that occurs later in the story.

The producers are also securing the goodwill of the musical’s longtime fans by offering Easter eggs aplenty. For instance, the musical’s composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and the English version’s producer Cameron Mackintosh have cameos. Colm Wilkinson, who played Jean Valjean in the original London and New York casts, will be the Bishop of Digne. Frances Ruffelle, who played Éponine in both original casts, will portray a prostitute—yet another example of how age is kinder to men. I am pleased that the film’s production acknowledges and respects the musical’s history, and I shall be going its opening weekend. May the film do the most excellent musical justice.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, July 23, Anno Domini 2012
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Monday, May 7, A.D. 2012
Coulter on Hollywood

Kristus vstal z mrtvých!

The Hollywood Reporter recently published an interview with Lady Ann, wherein Coulter notes the obvious—that Law & Order and similar trash reveal the fevered imagination of leftist Tinseltown: “Hollywood & Politics: Ann Coulter on Why America Hates Hollywood.”

Southerners are dumb hicks, presumptively Klanners. Residents of small towns are narrow-minded xenophobes, presumptively Klanners. Christians are hypocrites and anti-everything (even dancing!), presumptively Klanners. Businessmen are cheating, soulless vermin, presumptively Klanners (unless they are in a Hollywood-approved business like making solar panels). And Connecticut WASPs are dull, sexually neurotic snobs who beat their wives and molest their daughters. Presumptively Klanners.

Hollywood’s heroes are just as odd. Moviegoers flocked to a film about a prostitute who was not only gorgeous and charming but disease-free because they wanted to see a Cinderella story. We know Pretty Woman‘s winsome streetwalker was as plausible as a talking bear, except we’ve always wanted to see a talking bear. . . .

Out in America, the country is fairly bristling with crosses and American flags, but in the Hollywood oeuvre, those symbols appear rarely, and when they do, they generally show up as signifiers of White Supremacists or child-molesting Connecticut WASPs. In real life, there are a lot more girls wearing cross necklaces than teenagers with Che Guevara posters in their rooms, a peculiar staple of Hollywood movies.

In the remake of Cape Fear, the psychotic killer, Max Cady, was recast as a Christian fundamentalist, sporting biblical tattoos and constantly reeling off scriptural verses. Other than the raping and murdering part, the person in real life he most resembles is Tim Tebow.

Is that what Hollywood thinks of Tebow? And why is there never a character like Tebow in any movie or TV show? Never, ever, ever. . . .

Let me give you the plots of two true crime episodes I recently watched, back-to-back, on ID TV. The show was titled Unusual Suspects—“unusual” only if it were a Hollywood production. In the first, a woman was raped at home, stabbed through the heart and her house set on fire. The police looked at suspicious white guys in her life. Then, in the last five minutes of the show, DNA proved that her rapist/murderer was a Hispanic who wanted to have sex with a virgin. In the second, a married couple and their son were stabbed to death in their sleep. Various white guys were arrested, but all were let go when their DNA didn’t match or they had airtight alibis. Then it turned out to be a random Hispanic kid who committed the murders as a gang initiation.

In other words, the exact opposite of a Law & Order plot. I like watching beautiful rich people with fabulous Manhattan apartments killing one another as much as anyone. Maybe more. But why do ALL the wealthy white people, Christians, Southerners or WASPS in these scripts have to be racist, misogynist snobs? Whatever happened to diversity? Hollywood learned to stop stereotyping black characters. Can’t it learn to stop stereotyping the rest of America?

Writer Ben Shapiro has an interview with John Langley of Cops in his book Primetime Propaganda. Langley takes offense that critics accuse Cops of perpetuating stereotypes, whereas Langley admits that he intentionally has the show cover more white criminals than black or hispanic criminals because he does not wish to confirm the public’s opinions on the “color of crime”—which happen to be based on facts rather than leftwing fancies.

Coulter’s examples, Shapiro’s book, and Bernand Goldberg‘s work list a small fraction of examples of Hollywood’s leftwing ideology—a rather target rich environment. Yet, your typical shopper at Trader Joe’s refuses to see it. Such a man still feels shame when he see decades old movies’ portraying terrorists as Mohammedans or drug cartels as hispanics—you know, the groups statistically overrepresented in such real world activities. For leftist consumers of pop culture, the silver screen is always one accurate portrayal away from The Birth of a Nation.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, May 7, Anno Domini 2012
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Wednesday, January 18, A.D. 2012
Russian Ark

Christ is born!

Merry Christmas on this twelfth and final day of the Nativity.

Last week, one of Auster’s readers suggested the film, Russian Ark (originally Русский ковчег). It is somewhat of a historical fantasy wherein two men travel through time at the Russian Court. The movie lasts one and a half hours and was filmed in a single take. I believe that it breaks a record for that feat. The filming was done at the Hermitage Museum—the Tsar’s Winter Palace—in Saint Petersburg, and the result is quite impressive.

The last day of the Christmas season is also the eve of Theophany. I hope that you had a lovely Yuletide, and I wish you a blessed Theophany.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, January 18, Anno Domini 2012
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Wednesday, December 21, A.D. 2011
How Jewish Is Hollywood?

I recently found a three year old article in the Los Angeles Times by Joel Stein that I found interesting and humorous: “How Jewish is Hollywood?” Stein quickly dispenses with concerns about “hate facts” and then has fun with the truth:

The Jews are so dominant, I had to scour the trades to come up with six Gentiles in high positions at entertainment companies. When I called them to talk about their incredible advancement, five of them refused to talk to me, apparently out of fear of insulting Jews. The sixth, AMC President Charlie Collier, turned out to be Jewish.

As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood. Without us, you’d be flipping between “The 700 Club” and “Davey and Goliath” on TV all day.

So I’ve taken it upon myself to re-convince America that Jews run Hollywood by launching a public relations campaign, because that’s what we do best. I’m weighing several slogans, including: “Hollywood: More Jewish than ever!”; “Hollywood: From the people who brought you the Bible”; and “Hollywood: If you enjoy TV and movies, then you probably like Jews after all.”

Stein even has a delightful time gently mocking the appalling Abe Foxman, who deserved much more robust derision:

I called ADL Chairman Abe Foxman, who was in Santiago, Chile, where, he told me to my dismay, he was not hunting Nazis. He dismissed my whole proposition, saying that the number of people who think Jews run Hollywood is still too high. The ADL poll, he pointed out, showed that 59% of Americans think Hollywood execs “do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans,” and 43% think the entertainment industry is waging an organized campaign to “weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”

That’s a sinister canard, Foxman said. “It means they think Jews meet at Canter’s Deli on Friday mornings to decide what’s best for the Jews.” Foxman’s argument made me rethink: I have to eat at Canter’s more often.

“That’s a very dangerous phrase, ‘Jews control Hollywood.’ What is true is that there are a lot of Jews in Hollywood,” he said. Instead of “control,” Foxman would prefer people say that many executives in the industry “happen to be Jewish,” as in “all eight major film studios are run by men who happen to be Jewish.”


Stein gets in trouble from time to time for writing as if Americans still valued witty but sincere, reasonable commentary about issues that the estrogenized masses find “sensitive.” His “Warriors and Wusses” in the Los Angeles Times criticizes pacifists who claim to support the troops, and “My Own Private India” in Time expresses dismay that his New Jersey hometown has been invaded and transformed beyond recognition by foreigners. Sadly, Stein bows before the mighty gods of leftist dogma. He is surely a fellow believer in the reigning Zeitgeist, but his lack of ardent faith, accompanied by moments of humorous dissent, cannot be tolerated. So, he recants. He is not a “Great Writer” but rather a talented fellow with an interest in popular culture who has made a corner for himself in the media—a sort of leftwing Mark Steyn who has settled to write for America’s worst opinion magazine. Yet, he has a family and needs to make a buck. The Jews may control Hollywood, but leftist idealogues run most everything else in America. Even a Jewish Democrat must fear their ire.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, December 21, Anno Domini 2011
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