|HARD CANDY by Brian Nelson & David Slade|
Topics: Soviet Union, Creativity, Originality, Beatles, Monkees, reverse-creativity,
Federico Fellini, 8 1/2, Jews as weasels, David Lynch, Blue Velvet, ‘foundational conservatism’, ‘fetish conservatism’, Coen Brothers, Bob Dylan, open borders, free speech, Richard Linklater, Memento, Christopher Nolan, Flatliners(Joel Schumacher movie), Marnie, The Others(Nicole Kidman movie), Mothman Prophecies, M. Night Shyamalan, Exterminating Angel, Lee Harvey Oswald, The Thing, John Carpenter, trans-identitism, routine-justification, post-justification, ‘the game’ vs ‘the good’, Stanley Kubrick, David Mamet, Woody Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Cape Fear(Scorsese), The Departed, Media manipulation, Persona, The Wolf of Wall Street,
the third level of communication(among Jews), Jewish verbal skills and Jewish silence, Ingmar Bergman, Eyes Wide Shut, Jack Johnson, geno-rape or genoraptus, Creative Class or Creass, Judgment at Nuremberg, Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader, Roman Polanski, Bitter Moon, Park Chan Wook, Three Extremes, Save the Green Planet!, The Counselor, Cormac McCarthy, Ridley Scott, globalism, Funny Games, Michael Haneke, Kidnapping theme in Akira Kurosawa’s films, Francis Fukuyama, End of History, black physical threat, more equal than others, soldiers as servile dupes, evolution, religion vs reason, Dardennes Brothers, realism, Inception, tragic paradox, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Kagemusha, Seven Samurai, Kenji Mizoguchi, Ugetsu, Cult of beauty, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Sam Peckinpah, Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn, Barry Lyndon.
During the Cold War, there was discussion about reverse-engineering as a policy of the Soviet Union. As the West, especially United States, Germany, Japan, and France, were so ahead in technology, Soviet scientists and engineers had to resort to reverse-engineer Western products by disassembling them to study and replicate them. In many cases, reverse-engineering was the only means by which the Soviets could master certain technologies as they were carefully guarded secrets. While any Soviet student of science/engineering could study the basic laws of physics known to the world, there weren’t general textbooks detailing how certain products, whether governmental or commercial, were created and designed. They remained patented and hidden, and therefore, the only way the Soviets could figure them out was to acquire the products and proceed to take them apart to observe how they’d been put together.
While reverse-engineering can be effective as espionage and/or theft, it’s certainly not the most respectable practice of engineering and technology. It’s an admission of inferiority, backwardness, paucity of ingenuity and originality, lack of vision, and dependence on others. It can also be unethical and illicit. To be sure, reverse-engineering requires some degree of skill and intelligence, and even second-rate brilliance has greater value than no brilliance at all. Besides, America got its start in industrialization by reverse-engineering British machinery. Reverse-engineering is more than cheating-by-copying. It requires something more than the sneakiness of peeking at someone’s test paper. A reverse-engineer pays close attention and tries to understand how something has been put together, and the best reverse-engineers may ponder the thinking process of the very mind(s) that created the product in the first place.
To an extent, reverse-engineering is an essential component of education since education is more about analysis and interpretation than about creation and originality. When we study literature, we are not learning how to be think and write like Shakespeare but learning to take his plays and sonnets apart to understand how the various elements come together and fit together to produce such a powerful effect. When we study music, we consciously take apart certain compositions for closer analysis and interpretation. As only a few people are imbued with creative genius, most people — and even most highly intelligent people aren’t original or creative — do better to interpret and analyze than attempt to be creative and original themselves. It’s like most of cannot come up with great jokes. At most, we can try to understand how humor works by taking a joke apart and seeing how the various components interact to make people laugh. (Creativity is ‘chemistrical’ than physical, which is why most people cannot learn to be highly creative. We can closely examine how fire is started but the fire itself has a life of its own, i.e. we can understand how the striking of two flint-stones can create a spark, but the very ‘chemistric’ process whereby the physical act translates into chemical ‘life’ of the fire seems magical. The mind is the same way. We can learn the basic rules of creative process that requires knowledge, practice, devotion, and commitment. But only the mind-stones of relatively few people can create fire. They have flintstone heads whereas most people have ordinary rock-heads. Even with the best advice on how to spark creativity, people with rock-heads, no matter how hard they try to strike the rocks inside their heads together in accordance to the best advice from ‘experts’, have no spark and remain in the dark.) But the dark side of reverse-engineering concerns the problem of intellectual deception and theft, of not playing by the ethics of the scientific and/or commercial community. And of course, reverse-engineering wasn’t merely a problem of the Cold War or other such political/ideological struggles but one of capitalist competition as many companies have been accused and sued of having reverse-engineered, thus effectively stolen, the painstakingly and expensively realized innovations of other companies. To be sure, in the competition of technologies, it’s not always easy to draw a clear line between inspiration and ingeniousness, between originality and imitation. Sometimes, those who copy find themselves improving the very thing they are ‘stealing’ from; this is, no doubt, true in music, as the British guys who imitated the black blues-men ended up creating something unique and different. Indeed, such ‘mutations’ are often not even conscious but occur naturally due to the fact that different people process the same thing differently EVEN IF they all try to do it the same way. So, even when Jewish rappers try to rap like blacks, they end up creating a Jewish style of rapping whether they want to or not. (The cult of originality can paradoxically undermine originality itself. While originality is a good thing, the fact is everyone imitates and learns from others. But when originality turns into a form of cult worship, creative types may become full of themselves and dismissive of anything that isn’t their own. This was one of the negative effects of the ‘auteur theory’ in cinema. Initially, it was good that directors began to develop personal styles, unique visions, and originality of expression. But some became so insistent on the totality of their ‘authorship’ that they shut themselves off from further influences and meaningful collaboration with others. When Coppola worked productively and on equal basis with other creative talents, he made THE GODFATHER. When he insisted on the absolutism of his originality, inspiration, and vision, he made stuff like ONE FROM THE HEART and RUMBLE FISH. In certain ‘schools’ of creativity, anything associated with expertise or craftsmanship came to be sneered at since mastery came to be associated with ‘conventionality’, ‘conformity’, ‘imitativeness’, and ‘tradition’. So, one badge of honor among 70s punk rockers was that they didn’t really know how to play instruments. That somehow made them more real, authentic, original, and ‘different’. Or ‘radical’. It was as if creativity was more about unlearning than learning. So, many art schools abandoned the regimen of teaching the basics and just allowed students to do ‘whatever’. In mild doses, the concept of unlearning is a useful one as, over the centuries, art and creativity used to be rigidly defined and controlled by the established elites who insisted on the ‘right way’ and the ‘wrong way’. Indeed, all great artists were unlearners to some extent by going beyond what was taught them by the experts and masters who supposedly knew everything. But if great geniuses with lots of fresh ideas have something to gain by unlearning and rebelling against the dogma fed to them by their masters, most people would do better to just follow the lessons and master something. Since you’re not gonna be a Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Paige, just learn the basics of guitar playing from an expert because that’s at least something. But because of the cult of originality, many students in art and creativity insist on doing it their own way, as if that alone will make them particularly original or creative. More likely, they’ll lose two stones with one bird. Not only will they fail to develop basic skills but they won’t do anything original since originality simply isn’t in them no matter how hard they try.)
At any rate, engineering at its finest should be fueled by vision, genius, and originality. It should involve people with great ideas and imagination who then find technological means and solutions toward achieving them. Without that spark of creativity and originality, an engineer would be no more than a manual than a man. No matter how smart or knowledgeable, he would be like a computer than a thinking being. After all, a computer, no matter how powerful, can only do what it’s programmed to do and nothing more. Even when a computer beats humans in chess, it’s only working according to programming. No matter how well a computer may play chess, it doesn’t have the originality of mind to conceive the development of a new game, like Monopoly for instance. To be sure, it may be possible to program a computer to come up with new game ideas, but then, it would again only be following its programmed instructions to invent new games. In contrast, humans are not only capable of originality but are conscious of their originality and emotionally driven by the need to out-compete others in seeing more, doing more, and achieving more. In this sense, even though engineers must devise products that work according to scientific and mathematical laws, there is an element of the ‘artist’ in them for the imagination precedes the implementation. Before mankind built airplanes that could fly, it had to dream of flying.
That said, reverse-engineering is no great crime at least in the sense that the purpose of technology is to serve mankind. So, if the Soviets reverse-engineered the American TV and radio to build their own and if many Soviet citizens gained access to TV sets and radios as a result, reverse-engineering would have served its purpose. Besides, science and technology, unlike art, are meant to be original only at the cutting edges. We don’t expect every scientist to be an Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. We don’t expect every engineer to come up with the latest gadgets in high-tech. Most scientists and engineers are only expected to stand on the shoulders of giants and carry out supportive or imitative efforts. And besides, for science and technology to work throughout a society, scientists and engineers have to be on the same page with the same instructions and understanding of how certain machines and devices work. And the scientific instruments of measurement must be universal and identical across the spectrum. One bunch of scientists can’t be using Fahrenheit while another bunch of scientists are using Celsius. An engineer cannot be fitting engine parts of a propeller airplane onto a jet plane. In math class, in order for students to arrive at the correct answer, they are expected to use the same proper method.
In contrast, when students are assigned to write their own poems in English class, they are NOT expected to write the same ‘correct’ poems. They are encouraged to be different, eccentric, personal, and/or special. Their personalities are expected to emerge from the material. This is in stark contrast to how engineering works. While the Wright Brothers were original in their design of the airplane, their originality was in the service of something beyond culture and personality. Whatever the nature of their personal dream of flight, success or failure was determined by the engineering viability of their contraption. And, if someone came up with a design that worked even better, the flight technology moved in yet a new direction. Therefore, even though the ideal scientist or engineer is someone doing original work at the cutting edge of the field, the ultimate goal of their discoveries or products is to have universal application and usage. And the lesser and/or unoriginal scientists and engineers are expected to replicate, multiply, and expand on the profound achievements of the pioneers.
There is some of this dynamics in art too. After all, there have been great schools of art, and furthermore, certain forms and styles of expression were thought to be so powerful, beautiful, meaningful, appealing, transcendent, sacred, and/or true that most artists were expected to imitate them, emulate them, and preserve them by carrying the torch of tradition through the ages. As a result, prior to the rise of Modernism, artistic and musical styles changed very slowly or hardly at all in most places. The most extreme case may have been the Ancient Egyptians whose style of artistic depiction remained more or less the same over thousands of years. Of course, such stasis had something to do with creativity and spirituality being conflated as one and the same thing. Once the Egyptian means of expression came to be associated with spiritual devotion and practice, overt experimentation with artistic forms might have been deemed irreverent and even offensive to the spiritual order.
And though we often make a distinction between Western Art and non-Western Art — with Western Art said to be individualistic and eccentric — , the rise of Modernism was a decisive break with what had been the Western Tradition. Prior to Modernism, Western Art also changed gradually, with certain traditions being handed down through many generations. Indeed, consider the prominence of neo-classicism from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. Even the rise of Romanticism didn’t sever Western Art from its traditions but rather infused classical forms with passion and personality. Wagner’s operas were still operas. Romantic music was still a continuation of the classical music tradition. The real break came with Modernism.
But then, even Modernism produced new schools of expression that came to be endlessly imitated by successive generations of artists, which is why there are so many paintings that look Picasso-like, Matisse-like, Kandinsky-like, and etc. and there are so many Modern sculptures and Modern architecture that look so much like one another.
Even in the realm of creativity, there is big bold creativity and small cautious creativity. And despite the billions of people on this planet, most people wouldn’t be very creative even if they were sent to the best art schools or music conservatories. And even if everyone were a Michelangelo, Picasso, or Beethoven, there are only so many ways we can be creative as all art-forms become exhausted of their creative possibilities, at least when it comes to creating something startlingly new. In other words, even though every new classical composition, every new Modernist painting, and every new Rock song are unique in their own ways, they no longer have the power to ignite the kind of paradigm-shifting responses that greeted Beethoven, Picasso, and the Beatles or Bob Dylan even if they are of very high quality and obviously the works of very gifted people. After Dylan, it’s hard to imagine another Dylan, indeed even if a clone of Dylan-as-a-young-man were to be set loose on the world.
Granted, even most imitative artists and entertainers don’t exactly practice something like reverse-creativity, as such — as with the case of reverse-engineering — would call for a conscious analysis and understanding of a certain remarkable work to render it into formula. Of course, there are ‘artists’ and entertainers who do just that — or at least try — by attending classes on how to write a screenplay or write a hit song. In class, the teacher might explain how the elements all work together in a certain successful movie and how the successful formula could be replicated by the students if they follow the proper steps. And no doubt, the music industry has songwriters who rely less on originality, personality, and inspiration than on having mastered the craft of cranking out hit songs with the time-tested formula that seem to have the most immediate and obvious effect on young consumers. Even so, most students of film and music won’t make it no matter how closely they’ve analyzed the inner-workings of successful products; indeed, they won’t even half-succeed as hacks.
In the end, creativity involves an alchemic fusion of various elements to the point where everything melds together into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Unless all the things come together organically, inseparably, and imperceptibly, there’s no magic. It’s like putting two sticks next to one another doesn’t create fire. Fire is created by the friction of the two sticks that unleashes an energy neither stick can possess on its own or even together unless properly rubbed together. We can study and fully understand the inner-workings of a great joke, but we would still be tongue-tied to come up with an original joke — or even a similar joke — on our own. Most Rock acts that tried to unlock the secret of the Beatles failed to write songs even half-as-good. But then, great talents lose their muse too, and then, some of them try to imitate their former selves by repeating all the things they’d done with the same ingredients, but, the thrill is gone, it’s gone away. You can’t build the castle again.
And so, even among imitative ‘hacks’, there are those who get it and those who don’t. Though Monkees were no Beatles, they lucked out because a group of talented songwriters were crafted some excellent songs in the vein of the Beatles. Even though songwriters like Neil Diamond, John Stewart, and Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart weren’t the creative equal of the Beatles, they had something more than the skill to learn and imitate. They imbibed the spirit of the British Invasion and composed songs with the same zest and excitement. Thus, even though they consciously studied and analyzed the Beatles in a reverse-creative manner, their creative act at its best was also subconscious and intuitive. They had absorbed and embodied the flow of the sound to draw it out of themselves like water from a well. They couldn’t claim the originality of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, but they were more than mere hacks because they captured the spirit than merely the structure of 60s Rock/Pop. Therefore, no matter how much wanna-be entertainers and would-be artists consciously try to master a set of skills, when push comes to shove, they have the find the spark within themselves. Similarly in sports, it’s not enough to learn the necessary moves in a boxing, wrestling, or karate. The actual fight or game isn’t pre-choreographed. The actual fight isn’t about encyclopedic knowledge or mere physical preparedness but about the intuitive and ‘organic’ coordination of the mind, emotion, sensation, and body at every split second.
To be sure, there’s a kind of artistic activity that calls for by-the-numbers replay of what had been repeated endlessly and honed to perfection in practice, and East Asians, more than other groups, seem especially comfortable with such an approach. And so, we hear of Chinese kids mastering the art of painting by learning to precisely imitating the strokes of their teachers. And there are lots of East Asians in Classical Music who perform a piece of music exactly as they’d played it endlessly in practice. But performance, at least one that favors precision over personality, isn’t about creativity or composition. Performance of works composed by others can be creative if there’s room for improvisation and/or personal interpretation. So, even though Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley were singers and not composers, they added style and signature to the songs they performed. Sinatra songs have his eyes, and Presley songs have his hips. Performance-as-creativity was one of the essential qualities of Jazz, especially Modern Jazz, where performers took a melody and toyed with it in endless ways, turning something simple and discernible into abstract shapes of various and ever-shifting shades and colors.
However one may feel about reverse-creativity, the success or failure of the reverse-creator will depend on whether he or she can shift into intuitive gear and draw from within himself or herself something that’s fresh and snappy if not exactly original and bold. Even if you’re not Lennon or McCartney, if you’re come up with a song like “Daydream Believer” or “Little Bit Me, Little Bit You”, that’s pretty damn good.
Most would-be entertainers and wanna-be artists seem to understand this, which is why don’t try so much to analyze and ‘understand’ the work(be it a book, movie, play, or song) as absorb its spirit. So, most country music artists just listen to a lot of songs and keep performing with the faith that everything will eventually come together naturally, because after all, when something really works in music, it works for reasons that can’t be explained and bottled; if it could, hit songs would be as common as bottles of Coca-Cola.
Musicianship can be understood in terms of speed, dexterity, and expertise, but it’s much more difficult to explain what makes a great song — though some musicians are so outstanding that their mastery beyond mastery is something as rare and precious as great composition itself.
For one thing, creativity is unstable in the way craftsmanship isn’t. Though one’s skills fade with age, an excellent violin player or piano player can be consistently great for a long time with regular practice. But there’s no guarantee that a composer who created a great opera today will create another one tomorrow or ever. Craftsmanship is essentially external, whereas creativity flows from the dark wells of the subconscious over which we have little control. Even for great artists, the creative juices sometimes flow or overflow(even without much effort), but at most other times, the river runs dry(despite all their will and effort to make it flow again). Creativity is like the digestive system. Sometimes, your intestines are overactive even if you don’t want it to be and sometimes inactive even if you want it to be. The problem of creativity was wonderfully illustrated in Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ where Guido feels a rush of creativity when he least expects it — or even wants it — but then feels nothing when he is under pressure or really wants to produce something. Sometimes, he wants to take a rest from creativity and just relax, but then, there’s a flash of inspiration that draws him into creative mode, thus interfering with his rest. But at other times, when he’s really determined to work and show something of himself, he feels drained and arid, and he feels like throwing in the towel. Sometimes, his refuge from creative pressures feeds his creative ideas. Even the life he shares with his wife becomes the material for his stories. But just when he thinks he has gathered enough material for a film, he finds his creativity receding and standing alone like a lost fool. When he’s on vacation, his creativity fires up; but when he’s throws himself back into the fray, his creativity goes on vacation; and the two modes are rarely in sync.
|8 1/2 the Sudden Vision|
Far more troubling than issue of creativity, which is usually beyond conscious control at any rate, is the matter of intellectual and/or moral justification after the fact, the fact in this case being something tawdry like sensationalism, sadism, willful controversial-ism, or just plain ugly nastiness. That the human mind, emotions, and experiences are filled with darkness in reality or fantasy and that art/entertainment often reflect that side of us goes without saying. Whether it’s the works of Ingmar Bergman, Luis Bunuel, Alfred Hitchcock, or Sam Peckinpah, the darkness and disturbance(physical and/or psychological) aren’t alien to us. If anything, we tend to want more of it in the realm of creativity, imagination, and re-enactment. And certain artists/entertainers and some segments of the audience are especially, even obsessively, drawn to the darkness of the human mind/heart and/or with the most disturbing kinds of human experiences involving violence, crime, murder, rape(and sexual obsessions), deviousness, manipulation, power-lust, degeneration, and other pathologies.
However, given the unpleasant and morally troubling nature of the subject matter and its attendant themes, many people(including myself) feel a need for some kind of justification. The justification can be moral, personal, social, psychological, philosophical, spiritual, historical, factual, exploratory, and/or experimental-speculative. The darkness can be shown as a moral lesson so as to remind us of what we are capable of if we were to lose our sanity, balance, or moral bearing. It can make us sympathize with the victims and hate the kind of evildoers who would harm the innocent. Or, the darkness can express a personal rage within the artist. Even if morally invalid or dubious, some people do harbor personal obsessions and rages, and an artist might feel compelled to draw the darkness out of himself and use it as creative fuel. Thus, some might examine their own darkness, while others might just vent their spleen. Nevertheless, even if the vision and emotions expressed may be morally contemptible, we might still acknowledge the authenticity of the feelings behind the expression. A good example is Peckinpah’s BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. Like it or not, good or bad, it certainly featured Peckinpah grappling with his own demons. Some artists may work with dark material out of the conviction that society and/or nature is a dark place, i.e. humans are little more than intelligent animals and, as such, think/feel/act accordingly. Besides, nature itself is no paradise but a world of tooth and claw where ruthlessness and cruelty are the terms of the game. Whether one accepts or rejects such a view, there’s no denying that the world is a cruel place where all sorts of terrible things happen, and it’s legitimate for some people, for whatever reason, to settle upon a dark vision of the world. In David Mamet’s works — as in William Friedkin’s TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. — , everyone is out to deceive and betray everyone; it’s a world where it isn’t to tell who’s the outlaw and who’s on the side of law. (But then, as despairing as they are, there’s also an element of thrill and excitement for life would be pretty dull and dim if everyone was nice and trustworthy. Life is exciting because it’s a competition, a never-ending game of supremacy. Predators are more interesting than herbivores because hunting requires strategy and even organization among pack animals. If the world was filled with bountiful grass and if we could all be happy sheep grazing forever, we would be as dull as the grass itself. That the world is filled with liars and cheaters is pretty awful, but we are, by nature, predators, and it’s game of predation that most fascinates us, even as we are repulsed by it. It’s like a ‘pure’ virgin woman might be offended and disgusted by some lecherous and vulgar male but also strangely find herself attracted to him, like Carrie Fisher with John Belushi in BLUES BROTHERS. And even among predators, there are the big guys and little guys, and it’s the little predators who have to be the smartest. If you’re a big powerful predator, you can take your power and dominance for granted and just muscle out the competition. It’s like a tiger can bring down just about any animal. But what if you’re a weasel, a small predator? You’d be just as ruthless as the big predators in your hunt for prey, but you have to far cleverer since you can’t rely on size and strength alone. This is why Jews — yes, you probably saw it coming — are so formidable. They are like weasel-predators. Anglos and Russians became like lions and bears and got used to big muscle power. But Jews had to rely on the power of cunning as they lacked the kind of brute power of the Anglos, Russians, Germans, and Ottomans. So, they became experts at the devious art of weasel-power, and became the weasel-kings over other predators that, though bigger, came to be outplayed.) Darkness can be expressed satirically, as in DR. STRANGELOVE. Or the fascination or obsession could be psychological(or psycho-scatological), as with David Mamet and David Lynch. Or, it could be intensely personal and psychological, as with neurotics like Ingmar Bergman. Or, it could be historical and/or political, as with KAPO(by Gillo Pontecorvo) and TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, reflecting world of distrust, cruelty, and betrayal.
As spirituality is concerned with the temptations of evil, it’s not surprising that some of the darkest and most depressing films have been religious/spiritual/supernatural in nature: The films of Robert Bresson, Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Kenji Mizoguchi’s UGETSU, and THE PASSION OF JEANNE D’ARC by Carl Dreyer.
Also, the relation between society and the individual(especially the thinking individual, and most artists consider themselves to be thinkers of a kind) is never an easy one. When society is plagued with all kinds of ills, a figure like Travis Bickle of TAXI DRIVER(based on the script of Paul Schrader, a neurotic who came to screen-writing by the way of philosophy)can be seen to embody the contradictions of a city like New York, a bloated metropolis cannibalizing on itself.
But the absence of crime and violence doesn’t necessarily ensure happiness because, after all, the one saving grace of social problems is they distract one from one’s inner problems. When society itself is a kind of hell, one is less aware of the hell within. But when society is generally peaceful and orderly as heaven itself, one’s mind(at least if neurotic by nature) become more sensitive to one’s own problems, and those were the subjects of a good number of Ingmar Bergman’s films where characters live in safe and orderly environments but wallow in their inner hells.
In some films, such as BLUE VELVET(not my favorite by any means), there’s a fascination with evil as a walk on the wild side. Even though or especially because evil can be so dangerous and terrifying, coming face-to-face with it makes one feel more alive. This is why dogs and cats love to run outside even though they sense dangers — cars, bigger dogs, vicious animals, Negroes, etc. — all around. They feel more alive on the outside where their lives are endangered than on the inside where they are safe and protected. Having evolved as predators/predated — hunting/killing weaker animals and hunted/killed by bigger animals — , they are drawn to stimuli that makes them sense an element of danger, even as they’re terrified of danger. Likewise, the young guy in BLUE VELVET is disgusted and terrified by the sinister characters from the dark side of town, and yet, in their proximity, he’s never felt more alive, more like a man, as both closet-pervert and hero-defender of ‘civilization’. It’s like Theseus entering the cave of the Minotaur to prove his worth as a man, even rising to the level of heroism. Of course, BLUE VELVET isn’t simply about a young man learning to muster his courage and defeat evil. Even as he resists the dark side, he can’t help his fascination with it, and in some ways, he might sense that the psychopathic villains(Dennis Hopper) are a cancerous distortion of his own repressed pathologies, a theme also to be found in Hitchcock’s STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.
Indeed, some artists are drawn to conservatism — even if they may not declare themselves to be conservative in the social/political or conventional sense — because they feel so weird, lost, or ungrounded in their fascination/obsession with the dark side. Most conservatives think of themselves as ‘foundational conservatives’, which is to say their world-view and values are grounded in tradition, community, shared faith, family, heritage, and loyalty. They embrace conservatism since they feel comfortable within a conservative world view, and they consider conservatism to be the normal way of life and the world. (Even with fast pace of change in the modern world, most people were socially and culturally conservative until relatively recently for several reasons. For one thing, the elites of America used to be Wasps who felt an affinity with Wasp masses and hoped to transform non-Wasps into imitation-Wasps. Wasp socio-cultural outlook tended to range from moderate liberal to conservative, and the last thing they wanted to do was subvert the social-moral order of the masses. Culturally, the era of the New Deal was, in many ways, socially and culturally more conservative — despite the economic leftism — than the Jazz Age 1920s. Also, despite the rapid rise of big cities, many Americans, even up to the early 70s, remembered their humbler roots on farms, small towns, or from Old World. Even a city slicker could have a father or grandfather who was a farmer, and so, there was a cultural connection with conservative roots. Also, up to the mid-60s, change happened in layers and by gradations. So, the elites and/or the bohemians might have some new idea or fashion, but it would take some time for its implication to trickle down to the masses, and by the time it got there, it would be heavily diluted or adjusted for palatability to regular folks. But the world we live is very different. Most young people have no sense of personal or familial connection to anything other than city life or suburban life, which is within the orbit of city life. Also, the rise of mass media, especially via the internet, has had a way of spreading certain ideas, attitudes, and fashions at breakneck speed into every corner of America. Indeed, though print magazines are said to be suffering due to the rise of the internet, one could argue that they wield far more influence now than ever. Prior to the internet, the kind of people who thought to read the New Yorker or Atlantic Magazine were their subscribers and regular magazine readers at the public library — and there was no guarantee that your local library even carried the subscription. So, without the internet, most young people wouldn’t even know of the existence of such publications. But now, as over a 100 million Americans are on Facebook and since Facebook recommends certain publications for ‘liking’, millions and even tens of millions of young people regularly receive news and opinions from publications such as Atlantic and New Yorker. And prior to the internet, only news junkies outside New York sought out New York Times, but today, young people all across America regularly get their information from the Jew York Times via links on social media. Anyway, conservatism is reeling into oblivion as the Wasp elites are long gone, and the new elites of America are Jewish and the mini-me homos, and they have little use for any sense of majority identity, values, pride, or heritage; if anything, they are working overtime to root out any sense of tradition and unity — and other conservative tendencies — among the majority population. [Jews are also using conservatism vs conservatism by cleverly branding certain forms of conservatism as ‘racist’ while re-branding others as ‘progressive’. So, when blacks, yellows, browns, and Jews promote their own identities and ‘national’ interests, it’s said to be ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ as they’re said to be ‘resisting’ and challenging the ‘racist’ white male powers-that-be. But when whites uphold their own identity, pride, and interests, that’s denounced as ‘extreme right-wing racist xenophobia’. So, when Mexicans act conservatively for their own ethnic interests, it’s ‘progressive’, but when white Americans try to defend their own interests, it’s ‘reactionary’. When white South Africans under Apartheid tried to secure their survival and guard their interests from millions of savage blacks, that was ‘racist imperialism’, but when Jews use all manner of oppression to keep the Palestinians down, that’s just a ‘progressive’ and ‘democratic’ people defending advanced Western Civilization from backward and ultra-conservative Arab/Muslim barbarians.] So, from both an elite angle and mass angle, socio-cultural changes are happening faster than ever. Elites made up of Jews, homos, Liberal Wasp collaborators, Asian running dogs, mulatto opportunists, vapid libertarians, and even craven Conservative cowards no longer uphold conservative values and the virtues the old Wasp and Catholic elites. Most young people today have no direct connection to the past through family and relatives. A sense of history is something only to be found in books and movies, and besides, history has been rewritten and revised by Jews to make young white people loathe their own ancestry and find moral pride only by embracing their own racial suicide as penance for all the evils committed by the white race upon the rest of humanity and upon nature as well. And the replacement of family values and cultural heritage with pop culture, celebrity culture, and youth narcissism has created a narcissistic population with amnesia for everything but whatever happens to the hottest buzz on the internet. It was bad enough when families stopped eating together — or had the TV on during dinner time — , but now, it’s like every kid is zoned into his or her own online space with little or no connection to their families, but then, even their parents grew up that way — with TV and popular culture than with family — , and when today’s internet kids become parents, even the very concept of conservatism may seem like an alien notion. To be sure, with all the vast wealth hogged by the new elites, we are seeing signs of neo-aristocratism, but it remains hidden or invisible because the Jew-homo elites are clever enough to pose as ‘hipster progressives’ or ‘bohemian-egalitarians’ at war with evil greedy Conservatives — GOP is both more slavish to the super-rich even though the super-rich are overwhelmingly pro-Democratic and more slavish to the Jews even though Jews are overwhelmingly Democratic, which goes to show that the Republican Party is all but finished and might as well hang up the towel so that all conservatives can just join the Democratic Party and tear it apart from within by forming alliances against the vile Jews, if only for revenge.) An alternative to foundational conservatism is something that might be called ‘fetish conservatism’. If foundational conservatism is for those who feel ‘normal’ and ‘conventional’ in their everyday lives, fetish conservatism is for those who feel so far-out, strange, lost, weird, confused, disoriented, and/or anxious that they need to anchor their fears and visions in some semblance of reality. Some people who latch onto fetish conservatism may indeed see themselves as conservatives of a kind, but others may consider themselves as non- or even anti-conservative even as they find it impossible to escape the gravitational pull of fetish conservatism. Thus, there are elements of fetish conservatism in the world-views and personal visions of artists like Franz Kafka, Stanley Kubrick, Norman Mailer, Roman Polanski, David Mamet, David Cronenberg, Bob Dylan, Darren Aronofsky, and Albert Brooks. Of course, in the cases of many Jewish artists, their form of fetish conservatism often took the form of Zionism and/or Jewish identity. As Jews feared white conservatism as potentially antisemitic, despised Christianity as an idea stolen from Jews, looked down on gentile values as the third rate pat truisms of peoples far less intelligent than them, and were fascinated with new possibilities(as people of high intelligence have pioneering minds), Jews never felt comfortable with gentile forms of conservatism. Thus, if it had to be fetish conservatism, Jews preferred the traditions and values around Jewish history, identity, power, and moral justification. Even so, some Jews ventured outside Jewishness. Bob Dylan dabbled in born-again Christianity for awhile. And outside religion and politics, he found a certain sense of roots and place in the history of American music, something he needed more than ever after he nearly lost his mind with too much drugs in the mid-60s. (And the Coen Brothers also sort of work in the fetish-conservative mode, as can be seen and felt in films like O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU, FARGO, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, TRUE GRIT, and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. There’s the pull of nostalgia, albeit a strange one for the object of the nostalgia usually happens to involve the world of gentiles. In a way, the Coens have tried to be the cinematic equivalent of Bob Dylan, like whom they’ve drawn inspiration from the folklore & legends of American history and remolded them into oddball and eccentric personal narratives. A movie like BIG LEBOWSKI, with all its craziness and zaniness bordering on the surreal, is like a cinematic rendition of a Dylan song like “The Ballad of a Thin Man”, “Just like Tom Thumb’s Blues”, or “Memphis Blues Again”. Though all sorts of non-American directors have worked on American themes and subjects — think of Ang Lee and Alfonso Cuaron — and all sorts of directors, here and abroad, have reworked American myths, Coens are especially like Dylan in their blend of nostalgia — sometimes bordering on sentimentality and worship — and goofball irreverence, thus both preserving and subverting all they handle. Like Dylan, the Coens grew up in Minnesota — though near a sizable and wanna-be cosmopolitan college-town — and away from the cultural and economic capitals of Jewish America, namely New York and Los Angeles. So, they feel somewhere between Americana and ‘Judaicana’, alienated from yet also belonging to both. Being younger than Dylan, they surely drew inspiration from him — and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS seems an homage to the world that Dylan once knew — , but in some ways, the vison of the Coens is more contradictory and loopier than that of Dylan for they are working on myths twice removed from the American source. Though Dylan was interested in all kinds of music, he drew most of his inspiration not from New York Jewish song-writers but from the raw stuff of Negroes, cowboys, country singers, hillbillies, outlaws, and etc. In contrast, Coens have reworked Hollywood genres that were, in their incarnation, very often the Jewish re-invention of American myths. So, Coen Brothers played on Jewishness that played on gentile-ness, and as such, they feel as both collaborators and subverters of the Jews who’d preceded them. At any rate, though the Coens made some great films — especially O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU — , their place in cinema comes nowhere near Dylan’s in popular music. For all their inventiveness and quirky imagination, the Coens have lacked the depth and richness of Dylan. Dylan really changed pop music history in the 20th century, whereas cinema would have more or less the same had the Coens never made a film.)
Though sharply critical of civilizational hypocrisy, Kubrick felt in awe of the achievements of Western Civilization. In a way, Kubrick, as a Jew, may have identified with the extraterrestrials in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Jews are smarter(and have culturally been around longer) than white gentiles just like the extraterrestrials in 2001 are smarter than earthlings, BUT white gentiles produced art works in painting, architecture, music, and poetry beyond the scope of Jewish imagination just like earthlings created great art that may be the one thing that impresses the extraterrestrials. Carl Sagan once speculated that if extraterrestrials from were to ever reach us, they wouldn’t be impressed by our science and math but would be by our creativity in the arts, especially in music. Jews could out-think, outwit, and out-maneuver the goyim, but they couldn’t necessarily out-imagine and out-envision the goyim. Though Negroes weren’t much for math and science, they could make some funky-rhythmic music that delighted Jews(and white folks) to no end. It’s like Woody Allen knows he can outwit any Negro, but Jazz is something he can only appreciate and practice; it’s not something he could master. And he knew his IQ is higher than Ingmar Bergman’s and his wit was second to none, but he could never make a film as powerful as SAWDUST AND TINSEL or mysterious as PERSONA.
|Woody Allen – LOVE AND DEATH|
The film director Darren Aronofsky will never declare himself a conservative and prefers to be seen as a Liberal, and yet, there’s an element of fetish conservatism in his crazy films where lives spiral out of control and become confused, desperate, delusional, and wacky.
To be sure, conservatism itself is problematic as an ideological-and-moral sanctuary nowadays since it has lost its toughness and survives only as a feel-good opiate. For conservatism to have genuine value, it must be willing to stand for firm principles, be critical and judgmental, draw clear lines in the sand, withstand the pressures of fads & fashions, and define the world in with a clear sense of us versus them. But as conservatism in the West now goes out of its way to demonstrate that it’s not ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘antisemitic’, ‘xenophobic’, ‘reactionary’, and other ‘evils’ cooked up by political correctness controlled by Jews, conservatism tries to sell itself as Father-Knows-Best vibes of feeling good, not least with emphasis on materialist compensations for abandonment of moral, cultural, and racial principles. So, the mother in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is doubly lost for her addiction to TV shows has an element of false ‘conservatism’. The shows fill her life with a sense of hope, happiness, and community with the rest of the nation. The problem is it has nothing to do with reality, and a conservatism ungrounded in the ways of the real world has no validity. Today, Liberalism is chained by the dogma of political correctness, and Conservatism goes out of its way to sell itself as Liberal Lite. Let’s not forget that National Review long promoted charlatans like Oprah and fantasies like PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS as icons of ‘conservative values’. With ‘conservatism’ such as this, one might as well be like the mother in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and get one’s ‘reality’ from TV game-shows(made and sold by Jews). It’s vice as virtue.. Indeed, even though conservatives make big claims about being grounded in social reality and the truth of human nature — as opposed to Liberals, leftists, and ‘progressives enamored of unproven or unrealizable utopian dreams — , conservatism(or at least the conservative mind-set) can be just as fantastic(and even innocently childlike) as Liberalism. Some conservatives are overly enamored of the past as a golden age, practicing a kind of nostalgia-as-utopianism, or nostopia. (There is no perfect future, there was no perfect past.) Indeed, if the golden past was so golden, why did it decay and come to ruins? The character of Feisel(Alec Guinness) in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is that kind of conservative who dreams of the ‘gardens of Cordoba’ even though it has nothing to do with the actual world all around him; nevertheless, he’s realistic enough about politics that to understand that Arabs are pawns in the great imperial game and must play the game accordingly.
The android David in the Spielberg movie A.I. has a kind of childlike conservative mind-set. He has such a longing to reunite with ‘mother’ that he accepts as real what he must know, deep down inside, is false. After all, he’d learned of his true origin when he met the scientist who created him. And there are plenty of conservatives who dream of things that have nothing to do with reality. Some dream of Nietzsche, monarchism, the Second Coming of Jesus, the pipedream of the conversion of the Jews to Waspy conservatism, or some such. Some overly idealize the Founding Fathers while others dream of ‘secession’, which is only a cowardly retreat than the courage to confront Jewish power in the big cities; retreating as a tactic is understandable but secession today means running from a fight: did the Bolsheviks and Chinese Communists win by trying to secede from ‘white’ areas? No, they took the fight to the ‘whites’ whenever and wherever they could, retreating only when tactically necessary. While Jews and homos work overtime to gain ever greater control of the centers of power, the only thing that many Conservatives can dream of is running and hiding in some part of Idaho, as if they won’t be found and hunted down there. They are like a turtle that retreats into its own shell and prefers to live with their illusion of self-contained power.
Sometimes, this kind of fantasy conservatism can give rise to great traditions even if such traditions may not do much for social progress. Consider India. As the native elites were invaded and ruled by endless stream of conquerors, they decided to recede from political struggle and devise spiritual realms of the mind that connected their souls to the cosmos. Thus, even as they lost physically and politically, they could feel as one with the gods that ruled the universe.
To the extent that this cosmic view even infiltrated the culture and mind-set of the conquering elites, it meant that the political losers won a partial victory; they lost with armies but won with ideas; but then, every group that embraced the tenets of Hinduism would become dissipated and confused in time as well, turning India into a whirlpool morass of cosmic mumbo-jumbo that, however profound it may have been, did little for social and moral progress.
To an extent, Jewish spiritual conservatism was similar in its development to Hinduism as it too adapted in response to the many political and military setbacks. As Jews couldn’t win politically or militarily against the much more numerous and powerful goyim, Jews receded into their spiritual realm that promised that the one-and-only and almighty God would avenge the Jews — if they remained loyal to Him — against all the goyim who did them wrong. And as for goyim who didn’t do the Jews wrong, God would have them serve the Jews.(Some Christian Conservatives fully accept this view and slavishly believe that’s it’s only right that they and their children should be ruled by Jews since the Bible says Jews are the Chosen People and that gentiles can only be blessed through them.) Even so, Judaism, which would birth Christianity, didn’t lead to the dissipation of Hinduism. Though Judaism and its branch religions, certain denominations of Christianity and Islam, could lead to stagnation or stasis, they avoided the dangers of Hinduism as their focus tended to be historical, moral, social, and individual than cosmic and metaphysical. Having one God and each person having his or her unique soul simplified things whereas Hinduism said every person and every animal is but a vessel for souls without uniqueness, i.e. the soul that passes through an ant and crab could pass through you next. Hindus literally had their heads in the clouds.
|GREAT EXPECTATIONS – Miss Havisham|
Fantasy conservatives can be like Miss Havisham in THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS, a woman who cannot let go of her past, something she remembers with both fondness and revulsion. Fondness because she’d fallen in love, anticipated a perfect wedding, and dreamt of a happily-ever-married life. Revulsion because the groom dumped her and made a shambles of what should have been the greatest day of her life. For her, the past, associated with so much love and so much hate, has become something more than a foundation of her life in the present. It’s as if time stood still since that day, as if she’s still waiting for the groom. But, of course, he’s never coming, and so, Havisham lives to take revenge on all men as surrogates for the man who’d done her wrong. And William Faulkner found something sickly and decadent about Southern conservatism. It wasn’t so much a case of a people moving forward by drawing values and lessons from the past but of a people withering with the decaying past. Southern conservatism wasn’t an old tree that continued to grow but a dead tree filling up with mold and fungus, like so many broken down Southern mansions falling to decay and being reclaimed by nature. If the American South had no Negroes, such decay of civilization might be the stuff of romanticism, but there were lots of Negroes producing even more Negroes, which meant that what had once been a proud white civilization would be overrun by wild blacks running wild like African apes. If nature reclaims civilization — a common image in the films of Andrei Tarkovsky and German Romantic paintings — , one can take refuge in the power of sacred nature that, in the end, subsumes all. Indeed, consider the beautiful image of the sky island in LAPUTA: CASTLE IN THE SKY(by Hayao Miyazaki) being reclaimed by nature. But what is the Negro? He is neither fully man(in the civilized sense) nor fully animal. He is like a man-beast who’s an affront to both man and nature. Negro is too wild for civilization and too clever for nature. Because of the way of man, he isn’t suited to live in nature with wild animals. Thus, most of mankind have developed the characteristics necessary for the building of civilization removed from nature. Thus, mankind is safe from nature, and vice versa. But Negroes are not fit to live in civilization as they’re too wild and unruly, but they aren’t fit for nature either as they can use human intelligence to cause great harm to animal-kind day in and day out. So, Negroes are like a pox upon both houses. Both white folks and gorillas have a hard time dealing with Negroes.
(By the way, since Jews say white gentiles are so evil while blacks are so noble and wonderful, how about a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone solution to the Jewish problem and black problem? Since Jews and Negroes claim to love one another so much and hate the ‘racist’ and ‘antisemitic’ white gentiles, how about all Jews move to black Africa and do business solely with blacks? No longer will Jews have to deal with evil ‘antisemitic’ whites who wanna fire up the ovens since they’ll be surrounded by wonderful blacks who have only love and peace on their mind? I mean just think about it. Jews are forever bitching and whining about how the Christian/gentile West did them wrong, and even in this day and age, when white folks do little else but praise Jews, the Jews are still seething with venom and vitriol. If Jews really feel this way, why not just get out of the West altogether and settle in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East? I mean white folks now — nor in the past — ever forced Jews to live among white people. Even Hitler tried to convince Jews to leave before the Holocaust happened; and even if America and Europe were not willing to take them, I’m sure Europeans would have been happy to resettle Jews in their non-Western empires. As much as Jews bitch about the West, they never seem to want to leave it for the non-West. And today, Jews have never been so free to move and resettle anywhere. Of course, Jews will never leave the West since they’ve prospered most from Western Rule of Law, Western social organization, Western temperament, Wester respect for learning, Western political theory and practice. Jews know that they wouldn’t have amounted to much in the non-Western world since Asians, Africans, Muslims, and Latin Americans aren’t good at managing their own societies. And even Christian ‘antisemitism’ is nothing compared to antipathy toward Jews if Jews were to gain control of Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. How well have Jews done under Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez? So, Jews want to remain in the West and benefit from the ways of white folks and the system white folks created. Jews secretly despise much of the Third World. Jews know that even in advanced Japan, the populace will never embrace Jews like white folks have done in the West — even during the bad ole ‘antisemitic’ days. After all, prior to WWII, Jews had been allowed to prosper and gain great privileges even in ‘antisemitic’ France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and etc. And Jews had been allowed to gain great wealth in pre-Revolutionary Russia and great power in Bolshevik Russia. All such happened in white nations, with Nazi Germany being the only true house of horrors for the Jews. So, Jews won’t leave the West. But they still want to make the West safe for Jews for all time, and the strategy is to increase diversity so that whites will no longer have an overwhelming majority that might unite against the Jews. Also, by controlling the media and finance, Jews seek to mold the hearts and minds of goyim like putty. And no less important, Jews wanna cut the white man down to size so that he will no longer be the icon of Western manhood and pride, as John Wayne types used to be. This is why Jews love to promote the Negro as the alpha male, thereby pussifying whites males and turning white females on the Negro studs. With the rise of the Negro stud and the fall of the white dud, we can kiss goodbye the white female respect for the white male. And that means white female sexual loyalty will drift to Negro studs and Jewish puds. When the men of a racial or cultural community lose the respect of their women, they are pretty much finished. The Jewish way is to stay in the West and stay out of the non-West, but to bring the non-West into the West to undermine white power so that Jews can rule indefinitely. If indeed, Jews really love diversity and hate the idea of white majority, they should just move to non-white nations as they’ll instantly live in a world of non-white ‘diversity’. But Jews know they need white people to prosper. So, Jews live in the core of white society in the West but also surround whites with non-white diversity. If powerful and privileged Jews lived in the core of a white-dominant society, whites might one day grow angry and resentful and attack the Jews at the core. But if whites themselves are surrounded by yet another circle of non-white diversity, they’ll be too busy fending off the pressures of diversity to worry about Jews. So, even as Jews keep whites close to them in business, law, and government, they also forge alliances with non-whites to keep adding more pressure on the whites. So, white Conservative dummies worry about illegal immigration and all those ‘brown Hispanics’ when, in fact, it’s the Jews at the core who’ve pulled the political, legal, and media strings to increase the circle of diversity that is surrounding and routing the ever diminishing circle of white folks. But of course, there will come a day when Jews will find some reason to end massive immigration. Jews don’t want the West to become like Mexico or South Africa. Their own lives would become miserable. They only want to increase diversity to the point where it’s become hopeless for whites — no longer the dominant majority — to unite against Jews. So, Jews push diversity today, but once the backbone of white power is broken for good, Jews will promote some other mantra to end massive immigration. Like ‘free speech’, ‘open borders’ is a matter of power than principle for Jews. Jews were for free speech when it protected Jewish radicals. Now that Jews have near-total power, they are for speech control since they don’t want to be challenged by anti-Jewish radicals and activists. Same thing with open borders. Jews are for it now because such a policy will weaken the white race. But once white race has been politically and demographically defeated sufficiently for Jews to feel safe, Jews will come up with a new set of ‘principles’ to end massive immigration. And since Jews control the academia and media that are enabled by finance, law, and government — also controlled by Jews — , most American sheeple will bleat along with the new mantra. Notice how all the liberals in the 60s and 70s were screaming about FREE SPEECH. But almost overnight, the new Liberals were screaming about how ‘hate speech is NOT free speech’. Sheeple controlled by Jews.)
Fetish conservatism or some of its elements can be found in the films of David Lynch, Jack Kerouac, Richard Linklater, Christopher Nolan, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Lina Wertmuller, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, and many others. Needless to say, many such artists claimed to be radical leftists or had nothing to do with political conservatism, but many of their works convey a profound distress and/or anxiety about the modern world with all its permutations and disorientations. Paradoxically, the appeal of Marxism for many intellectuals and artists was that it offered a variant of fetish conservatism. As the pluralistic, individualistic, and capitalistic (dis)order of the Modern West seemed way beyond their comprehension and control, they latched onto Marxism to provide a reassuring grand narrative, a comprehensive connect-the-dots critique, an ethical prescription, and a spiritual sense of righteousness in relation to society and history. While one main appeal of Marxism was its intellectualism, the other appeal, no less crucial, was its ability to simplify history and society into a pat formula that seemed to explain everything and offer a comforting vision of history’s ultimate and necessary destiny. (There was also a buried strain of aristocratism at the core of Marxism for, despite the rhetoric about the ‘workers of the world’, Marxism’s appeal for many intellectuals was the promise that they didn’t have to work, or at least not too hard. Intellectuals loved books and/or the arts, and the last thing they wanted to do was work in factories or farms. They wanted to lead the life that was more akin to aristocratic gentry, albeit with a bohemian streak, but then, the bohemian mode was that of the raggedy aristocrat who tolerated a certain poverty to devote one’s life to ideas or the arts. The problem with the life of intellect and arts was that it didn’t produce the necessities of life such as food, clothing, machinery, tools, housing, medicine, and etc. It was a life of privilege, so there was bound to be an element of guilt among those craved privilege, especially as the West had been deeply influenced by Christian morality. Since intellectuals and artists didn’t want to work and instead devote their lives to books or arts, they felt burdened with guilt. Weren’t they, after all, leeching off the productive working population, just as the aristocrats had done throughout the ages? And yet, they didn’t work since work meant long hours in the factories or farms. How could they read books or make art if they’re weary from all such dull and dreary labor? Marxism promised that the new order would make work short, humane, and convenient, so that everyone would have to work maybe 4 hrs or less per day only 4 days a week — even bohemians could do at least do that much. Since Marxist intellectuals claimed to be working toward such a goal, they could unburden themselves of their sense of guilt, which would be placed purely on the shoulders of the greedy bourgeoisie. And it is for this reason that, odd as it may seem, there has come to be a kind of wink-wink understanding between leftist intellectuals and the capitalists, i.e. even as leftist intellectuals attacked greed, what they really wanted was to leads a life of privilege than of productive labor. So, as long as the rich and the leftist intellectuals could arrive at some kind of terms, they could share the both the privilege and the righteousness. And we see such unity today. Rich folks, by supporting ‘progressive causes’, feel holier-than-thou than greedy; and ‘leftist’ intellectuals, amply funded by the likes of George Soros and Bill Gates, temper their criticism of the privileged classes and fixate on white southerner ‘white trash’; and they sure enjoy a lot of privilege with well-funded N.G.O.s that always pretend to be ‘doing something’.)
But ideology aside, take films like WAKING LIFE and SCANNER DARKLY by Richard Linklater. On the one hand, both films exhibit fascination with strangeness, alternative realities, intellectualism, bohemianism, and the cult of the weird. But there’s also an element of panic as if characters or their disembodied consciousness is trapped in dreams that threaten into never-ending nightmares from which one cannot wake. Similar anxiety hemmed in between hypnosis and delirium is found in the psychological horror or psychorror DEAD OF NIGHT. Dreams are special because they come and go, because they are so hard to remember. But suppose we were to find ourselves in a lucid dream from which we couldn’t awake? Suppose nothing around us could be taken for granted as real. What would/could we do? Consider the man in INCEPTION for whom and whose wife, the dreamworld became like an addictive drug from which they could barely escape. In the end, she lost her sense of distinction between reality and dreams, and he is haunted by her ‘ghost’ whenever he re-enters the dream-world. In the end, he just wants to go back home to his kids. Or consider the man without a memory in MEMENTO. He is forever trapped in the limbo of the present as his brains no longer process the present into fresh memories. To be sure, the man is paradoxically trapped in both only-the-present and only-the-past(prior to the brain damage he suffered). As he cannot process the present into new memory, he is forever adrift in the present without a context of surrounding events. And yet, as his memory of the past-before-the-brain-damage is one thing he still does remember(and motivates him for revenge), one could say he is also trapped in the ‘conservatism’ of his sacred memory that calls for ‘justice’ for the murder of his wife. Also, as time passes, his memory of the world prior to the brain damage will simultaneously grow weaker and stronger: Weaker since memory fades with time but also stronger since, being unable to form new memories, he will return to the old-memories-as-photo-album over and over and over. So, there’s the paradox of a man’s whose old memories are becoming ever fainter and ever fuller by the day. (Though this happens on a personal level in MEMENTO, it can also happen on a collective level. Collective memory is controlled by the elites with power over academia, media, and government. They maintain and remind us of past events, and they store fresh events into the memory bank. When it comes to race relations, it’s if America has lost the ability to store new memories. It’s as if we’re still trapped in the era of the Civil Rights. So, it’s as if Emmet Till was killed yesterday, but all the robberies, rapes, beatings, and killings done to whites by blacks since the 60s had never happened. Also, even crimes perpetrated by blacks and non-whites are contextualized to make them seem white-‘racist’-related. So, even though George Zimmerman is hardly your typical ‘southern white male’ and even though Lawrence Reed is a black guy, their deeds are seen through the prism of the ‘Jim Crow South’. In MEMENTO, personal history stopped for the main character from the moment he suffered brain damage in the attack by the home invader. For America, it’s as if the collective history of black racial violence ended with the Civil Rights Movement. So, we still remember how ‘four little girls’ were killed in a church bombing, but most Americans have no idea or repressed memories about all the violence blacks committed against whites since the 60s. And the same goes for South Africa. As the favored narrative is “Apartheid South Africa was the worst society after Nazi Germany, but then noble Nelson Mandela brought forth a rainbow society of tolerance and love”, most Americans know nothing of the horrible violence meted out to white people in the new South Africa. It’s as if the ability to store memory of new racial violence and injustice stopped with the end of white rule in South Africa, especially the racial violence since the end of apartheid has been overwhelmingly black-on-white. On a personal level, each of us decides what to remember and what to forget. But on a collective level, we rely on the media, academia, and government to remind us what we need to remember and what we should forget. As Jews control the elite institutions of America, they’ve damaged the brain centers of America that would record, remember, & disseminate all the facts of black violence and might try to reason why all the violence has taken happened, which, of course, should be obvious to any honest person, namely that blacks were bound to be troublesome since they are naturally stronger, more aggressive, feel contempt for weaker ‘faggoty ass white boys’, and feel simian lust for white women.) Linklater’s WAKING LIFE opens in the spirit of adventure and discovery, but once the character is no longer able to tell when he’s awake and when he’s asleep/dreaming, which may also suggest that he’s hovering somewhere between life and death, shades of subdued panic creep into the film. And the visuals that seem both live-action and animated further create an ambiance of uncertain existence(or non-existence) in an uncertain world(or non-world). The uncertainty gradually shifts from fascination to fright. Or consider the sense of horror that steadily builds in JACOB’S LADDER(by Adriane Lyne and Bruce Joel Rubin) where the Tim Robbins character finds truth and reality to be ever more unreliable. Though on the political level, JACOB’S LADDER could be said to be Liberal with its anti-military, anti-war, and anti-authoritarian message, it has an element of fetish-conservatism in its existential panic. The warped distortion of reality, which initially may have seemed cool and far-out, morph into a house of horrors.
The trashy but effective FLATLINERS(by Joel Schumacher and Peter Filardi) had a similar premise. Four medical students experiment with life-after-death experiences, and initially, they think it’s all very cool and out-of-this-world, but increasingly, they begin to lose grasp of what is real and unreal, what is of life and of death, what is of present and of past. Indeed the experiments, instead of providing an adventurous escape away from reality, lead them back into themselves within the purgatories of unresolved memories and repressed guilt. Physical reality served as a barrier to their troubled & buried psychologies, but as the wall between their psychological reality and physical reality has been ruptured, the dark elements crawl out to feed on their fears and trepidations, at least until they’re willing to confront and resolve them. This raises a key question about the nature of reality. What is real reality? If someone committed a heinous crime but leads the life of a ‘normal’ person in the world of physical reality, couldn’t one say that real-reality is actually less real than mind-reality? We often say people should have a better sense of reality and live in the real world than lose themselves or escape into the fantasy-or-make-believe-reality of the mind, but the worth of man is measured not only by how he operates in the world around him but how he deals with issues of the self. Suppose someone committed a heinous crime but got away with it and suppose he vows never to commit another crime again and lead the life of a virtuous person. Suppose he’s a good neighbor and a good worker. People around him respect him, and everything seems to be well. One might say he’s doing everything right by being a good member of society in the real world around him. But what about the crime he committed? Has he faced up to it personally if not publicly? Or does he pretend as if it never happened. If no one else knows about it and he’d decided to put it behind him and lead a decent normal life, does it even matter that it happened since the past is no longer real in the present? Time wipes out the real with the same ruthless efficiency that it wipes out the unreal, and in that sense, the only real reality is the ever-present. And that’s the unnerving thing about FLATLINERS. The medical students seem to have nothing to hide. They come across as ambitious go-getters with feet firmly set in the real world who want to go beyond reality. It’s as they’re so well-adjusted to the same old same old reality that they want to see-and-feel beyond reality. And yet, the demons that haunt them soon after the experiment show that they’ve hiding from their mind-reality(associated with real trauma and/or feelings of guilt) in the realm of social reality. Though still young and fresh, they have dark material in their memories that they never came to terms with. But then, is memory a form of reality or unreality? As the past is gone forever, memory can be said to be a ghost of what is no more. Thus, it’s unreal. And yet, memory stores what had really been, what had really happened, albeit distortions of them. And human sense of reality isn’t just about existing moment by moment — as ants and goldfish do — but about the broad scope of the meaning of one’s life as a totality that, in turn, is part of human history. Besides, if the past isn’t real, we might as well say the present isn’t real either since it too fades into the past. So, memory is integral to our sense of reality, and from this angle, there is no certain sense of reality since, even at our most real, we are repressing so much that is hidden within us and within society. And of course, this is why even when a bunch of people come together to hammer out the most realistic solution based on the most realistic assessment of reality, there’s bound to be many disagreements since each person arrives with a different baggage of memories, be they personal, collective, or ideological — ideologies are memories too as a set of observations and values must be stored and organized in memory to serve as the basis of one’s world-view. While each person will insist that he or she is dealing with the reality of the here-and-now, how he or she assesses that reality is all-too-dependent on his or her personal or historical memory in relation to the reality at issue. This is why Jews and Russians cannot see eye-to-eye to the Ukraine. Many Russians remember how devious Jews have tried to gain control of Russia, and Jews remember the ‘antisemitic’ policies of the Russian empire in which Jewish freedoms were proscribed. And the same could be said of the differences between Jews and Palestinians whenever the ‘peace plan’ comes up. (Btw, why is it called the ‘peace plan’? If two sides with comparable advantages are at war and want to stop the bloodshed, it makes sense to characterize the discussions as being about ‘peace’. But in Israel/Palestine, the problem isn’t peace. There is already peace that is enforced by Jewish-Zionist Supremacist oppression and tyranny. The issue isn’t about peace but about the freedom and dignity of the Palestinians who are treated even worse than white conservatives by the Jews. If a big guy is beating up a little guy, does it make sense to talk about peace? Shouldn’t the main focus of attention be justice for the little guy by having the big guy stop beating up on him? There will be peace by the virtue of the big guy stop beating on the little guy. Then, the question is whether the peace can last, or will there be new troubles as the little guy, with some justification, may seek revenge on the big guy who’d tormented him. So, when it comes to Israel/Palestine, Jews must first stop beating up on Palestine by taking ever more chunks of land, and much of the occupied territories must be restored to the Palestinians. And then, the talk can commence on the matter of revenge and restitution. As of now, any ‘peace plan’ is a joke since big bully Israel continues to occupy and grab more Palestinian lands.) The problem with memory is its infinitude makes certainty on anything exceedingly difficult. Also, those who control the macro-collective memory also shape our personal/private memories. Suppose the media and academia were controlled by white race-ists who acknowledge racial differences and the danger posed by blacks upon whites. Then, individual whites who’ve suffered from black robbery, battery, mayhem, and violence would feel encouraged to recount the bad things blacks did to them and share their experiences publicly in magazine articles, speeches, lectures, and books. Thus, under such a socio-political system, plenty of white Americans would be willing to share their memories about the nasty and vile Negroes. All such things would be part of our national memory, as the atrocities committed by ‘red savages’ had once been back in the 19th century when whites were encouraged to recount their victimization by Indian marauders — of course, Indians had their legitimate grievances and tragedies too. But as our social order is controlled by hideous Jews whose goal is to destroy white power and white racial unity, discussion of black vileness is regarded as ‘racist’ and ‘bigoted’. As a result, many white people with horror stories about Negroes remain mum — for any negative portrayal of blacks is potentially deemed ‘racist’ — , and many reporters who do know something about black-on-white violence hardly write any articles about it. Therefore, such a social reality not only affects official/public/collective memory but personal/private memory. Suppose a white guy got whupped by a Negro or a white girl got raped by a Negro. Under the current culture, they may feel worse about having bad feelings about nasty Negroes than about recounting what had actually happened. As they’ve been instilled with ‘white guilt’, they, as individuals, do not know how to deal with their feelings of fear, anxiety, and disgust. Their real-life experiences indicate that Negroes are vicious, nasty, foul, and crazy, but their brainwashing at the hands of Jews make them hate themselves more for harboring negative feelings about Negroes than make them hate the Negroes for too often acting like savages. In the past, we heard so much about the Silent Battered Wife Syndrome, i.e. as women had been raised to be loyal and dutiful wives, they were made to feel guilty if they reported their abusive spouses to the authorities. So, they just accepted their lot in life and remained silent about abuse in the household. Today, we have the Silent Battered White Syndrome. As white folks are instilled with the conviction that Negroes are sacred victims of history and that whites have done the most evil things in history(especially to Jews and Negroes, as it’s still okay to have negative feelings about Iranians, Palestinians, Chinese, and especially Russians), so many white kids have been raised to worship MLK and repent for the sins of their race to save the Noble Negro from poverty and discrimination that are still said to be rife in a society geared toward ‘white privilege’ — though it never seems to bother ‘progressives’ that the most powerful, privileged, and wealthy people in America are Liberal Jews, Liberal Wasps, Liberal Asians, and other such ilk; and of course, such people don’t have to worry much about black crime since they have created whitopias for themselves via gentrification or gentric cleansing, Stop-and-Frisk-the-Negroes program, and with access to expensive private schools that poor folks cannot afford. So, those who make the most noise about the need to make amends to the Negroes suffer least from Negro criminality, thuggery, and violence. Indeed, the current political culture is rigged so that affluent white/Jewish/homo Liberals feel they deserve protection from black violence whereas ‘white trash’ deserve to be victimized by black violence because, after all, they themselves care so much for the Negroes and are doing their best to improve the lot of blacks whereas ‘white trash racists’ are lacking in such high-mindedness. For some reason, the means by white white/Jewish/homo ply their so-called ‘progressivism’ is to make places like NY and San Francisco ever more white, Jewish, Asian, and homo — and even preferring non-white Hispanics over blacks. Well, at least they voted for Obama and wept to 12 YEARS A SLAVE, rituals for alleviating moral doubt affluent Liberals may have about themselves. But as for whites who are less fortunate, not only do the mass media and mass education controlled by Jews bury the official/collective memory of black crime and violence but such taboos even have the effect of making white individuals feel ashamed of having negative feelings about blacks even though they are the ones who’d been victimized by blacks. Of course, given that the denunciation of ‘white racism’ is all the rage in our Jew-controlled nation, even a mild racial rebuke from a white person will set off a storm of protest and scandal. In the case of Paula Deen, all she did was refer to some ‘nigger’ who robbed her with a gun, BUT the Jew-controlled media convinced the nation that Deen’s offhanded remark was worse than a black thug robbing a white woman at gunpoint. So, in our world, if a white person is robbed or raped by a black thug, he or she will be very anxious about recounting what happened. On the other hand, if a Negro suspects that he or she was the victim of some ‘micro-aggression’ where no offense was even intended, then he or she will holler and scream big time with the full blessing of the Jew-controlled media and academia. (And of course, privileged white academics sympathize with blacks since they grew up and reside in mostly safe communities without horrendously dangerous Negroes.) And since yapping about ‘white racism’ is almost obligatory, some people even create false memories to recount things that didn’t even take place, which is why there have been so many ‘hate hoaxes’ across college campuses with hysterical Negroes, Asians, homo inversexuals, feminist tards, Jews, and other such ilk claiming to have been victims of the KKK that seems to be everywhere!! As a result, so much of what has happened — especially Negro violence — go un-recounted and un-remembered but so much of what didn’t happen become ‘fact after the legend’. Of course, the reality that Palestinians have to deal with is immeasurably worse, but craven American conservatives stick by Jews even though the Jewish agenda for American conservatives is no different from what they did to Palestinians.
Examples of fetish conservatism exist in movies such as PSYCHO and MARNIE by Alfred Hitchcock. Also in MOTHMAN PROPHECIES and THE OTHERS. In them there’s a sense of repressed panic that the world is about to fall apart, a sense that one’s inner weirdness, obsessiveness, or eccentricity threatens to one’s sense of equilibrium. We notice immediately Norman Bates is rather unstable. Later, we learn that he’d murdered his mother. He’s one weird fella living in a private hell from which he cannot escape, so he concocted a ‘conservative’ scenario where he’s the ever dutiful son who sticks around to take care of his mother. (Incidentally, though one could approach Bates’ sexual hangups of self-loathing and possessiveness as a projection of Hitchcock’s own sexual obsessions, perhaps Bates’ madness also reflects Hitchcock’s paranoia of how his actresses may have felt about him, i.e. as long as they were working under contract, they felt duty-bound to stick with someone they personally loathed. Thus, perhaps, the murderousness goes both ways. Hitchcock harbored murder fantasies about women he couldn’t have — and would eventually leave him — , and his actresses harbored murder fantasies about being rid of the fat ugly man and going off freely on their own. In this sense, it’s significant that Hitchcock often used homosexual figures as significant characters as their murderousness seemed double-edged, both masculine and feminine. It’s interesting that MARNIE was the favorite Hitchcock movie of the fruitkin film critic Robin Wood. And there are echoes of MARNIE in fruitkin Hampton Fancher’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS SLEEP OF ELECTRIC SHEEP into BLADE RUNNER. Marnie and Rachel are alike in not knowing the truth about their past and their mothers. They both seem so proper and respectable but are the products of corruption and perversion. Maybe homo inversexuals like Wood and Fancher identified with the double-lives of those female characters since both men grew up in a world where fruitkins were expected to suppress their tutti-fruity urges and be ‘decent’.) In MARNIE, we eventually learn that the mother was a southern floozy and prostitute who even brought men to her place while little girl Marnie was made to sleep in the living room. But an incident led to murder, and the woman thought her life would fall apart and she would lose her daughter. But by some dark ‘miracle’, Marnie’s memory of the murder was blanked out, and so the mother resolved to lead a life of a decent ‘conservative’ lady and did her best to raise Marnie right. And yet, Marnie turned out weird as her repressed memory of what-really-happened haunts her subconscious, driving her to lead a life of theft and deception. Like her mother, she is respectable on the outside but perverse on the inside. A part of her wants to break all the rules and thrives on the excitement, but another part of her is ever the innocent little girl who wants approval from her mother.
|MARNIE – Tippi Hedren|
(Marnie’s conscious mind sees her mother as a proper lady and wants to win her affection and approval. But something buried in her subconscious suspects that her mother was a whore, and Marnie’s corruption is thus linked to her mother’s. The mother both loves and loathes Marnie. She loves her as the precious child who was miraculously spared of her mother’s shame. But in having remade herself, the mother is living a lie. She has created a double of herself, rather like the woman in VERTIGO and Norman Bates. Unlike Bates, she of course knows what he’s doing. Like the woman in VERTIGO, she knows something that the other person doesn’t know. Scotty fell for the woman as the real Madeleine when she’s really Judy who isn’t even a natural blonde. And the mother carries on with the charade of being a good mother of a good girl when she knows full well what really happened long ago. Both the woman in VERTIGO and the mother in MARNIE live in fear of being found out. But if the woman in VERTIGO at least had the option of moving away from San Francisco and starting over — though she doesn’t — , the mother in MARNIE doesn’t have that option as she’s bound to Marnie by blood. Marnie, like the characters in THE REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, wants parental affection even as she’s chosen a life of transgression. On the one hand, the mother wants to hug and kiss her daughter and shower her with affection. But she’s afraid that such emotions might trigger something in Marnie and make her recall the dreadful event. So, whenever Marnie is around, she walks on eggshells. She’s afraid to show any kind of strong emotions, even motherly affection as motherhood is related to sexuality as it’s sex that makes a woman into a mother. It’s like the mother in CARRIE has ambiguous feelings for her daughter too: as something pure created out of the ‘profane act’ between man and woman. As lovely and proper as Marnie is around her mother’s house, the mother may also feel that her own ‘stain’ has genetically and spiritually been passed down to Marnie, i.e. that Marnie has the ‘whore gene’, and if Marnie were to ever lose self-control, she might become a full-blown whore too. It’s like if you have a bottle of nitroglycerine and hand it to another person, you wanna be as careful as possible as possible with both yourself and the other person because if either of you lose control and proper footing, it will blow up real good. The mother thinks her stain, having been passed down to Marnie, must be kept under the lid — the Pan-whore-a’s Box must never be opened — , and so, Marnie must be pure-minded and pure-hearted, and indeed, she raised Marnie to be a good girl with no thought of men; Ms. Havisham similarly messes up a young girl but by making her hate and hurt men through poisoned love. But when a woman’s sexuality and childhood memory are thus repressed, they must find outlet in some other ways. Marnie’s repressed subconscious feels that her mother had been wronged by men, so she goes around seducing men, robbing them — before any relationship develops between her and the men — , and taking the loot to her mother. Of course, Marnie will not divulge how she got the money, and she acts the law-abiding citizen with her mother. It’s been said that cats kill prey and leave them outside the doors of their owners because something in their nature feel a need to ‘take care’ of the very people who house them and take care of them. Marnie, like a cat, acts as if she must prey after men and bring the loot home even though the mother shows no interest in Marnie’s gift of money and goods. Of course, such Freudian stuff has been discredited, at least in the most literal sense, and I don’t much believe in it myself as science, but there’s a certain emotional truth to it in terms of how people feel and act. Since Marnie has been made frigid, cold toward malekind, and afraid of her own emotions, she finds excitement through kleptomania. Her subconscious mind both seeks and hides the truth. It wants to know what really happened long ago, but it also wants to keep the secret hidden as it’s too shameful and defaming of her dear mama. So, she breaks into safes and runs off with the money. The safe as metaphor of the subconscious is an old one — and picked up by Nolan in INCEPTION. In a way, Marnie, though a woman committed to celibacy — until Sean Connery comes along — , is a ‘whore’ of sorts for she violates social mores for money. By breaking into the safes of men, she is playing with and slipping into the ‘money scrotum’. Why do men make lots of money? It’s because money makes men attractive to women. Men make money to get pussy. So, before men get real pussy, they must fill up their safe or ‘money scrotum’ with dough. Though Marnie doesn’t sleep with the men, the fact that she takes the money from the ‘money scrotum’ makes her something like a whore. Though Freud was essentially wrong how certain memories are LITERALLY repressed so much that people don’t remember them at all, one doesn’t have to totally block out a memory in order for it to have the kind of effect as described by Freud. Even if one cannot totally block out events of the past, they can be suppressed to the point where one, more or less, goes on pretending it never happened. Or can make up life events that never happened and live one’s life as if it’s a logical continuation of things that never happened, and such trait is no uncommon among ambitious people, which is why stories they tell of themselves often don’t jibe with reality. So, even though the ‘medical’ case of Marnie in the movie is highly unlikely in the realm of reality, there have been many Marnie-like lives in the modern world, especially with the sudden shift from small-town and rural cultures to big city ones. Today, girls are raised to be lowlife shameless skanks from a young age, so they are accustomed to total skankhoodery, but it wasn’t always so. Many girls were raised with strong values, powerful sense of shame, frightful notions of right & wrong, and the cult of virtue. As long as they remained in tightknit communities, they might find some guy, get married, and be a wife and mother. But in the 20th century, many such women found themselves ‘free and liberated’ in big cities and they found all kinds of opportunities for hedonism, fun, thrills, excess, and even debauchery. But because of the way they’d been raised, they couldn’t entirely reject the culture of virtue. A part of them still felt shame and wanted to be seen as the ‘good girl’ by their parents. So, they might be a bunch of floozies and hussies in the urban setting, but they went out of their way to hide that side of them from their parents and communities of origin. When going home to see the parents, they dressed very conservatively, behaved Christian-like, and acted like they’re still the ‘good little girls’ their parents had raised them to be. And to that extent, there’s a lot of truth in MARNIE, and it makes her story heartbreaking. And of course, the Sean Connery character is rather perverse himself for he is attracted to this very madonna/whore aspect of Marnie. He knows she’s a ‘good girl’ who’s really a ‘bad girl’, and that turns him on. She’s like a puro-puta, or pure whore. She won’t sleep with men, which makes her virginal and pure, but she’s a violator, a hussy-floozy who fondles and robs the ‘money scrotum’ of men. She plays dirty but remains sexually ‘clean’. But of course, her sexual-physical purity is the result of her psychological perversion of repression. The Sean Connery character feels he must set her right and save/free her from herself. And yet, paradoxically, she must be made pure of her ‘purity’ through profanity. Her cold frigid pure pooter must be violated and tamed by his whanker. Only thus, can she be baptized in the truth of the nature of man and woman — a similar kind of tension makes the relationship between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan interesting in TWILIGHT. But that is only the beginning. Marnie must learn that her good decent dear mother was a prostitute — Cronenberg’s SPIDER works, more or less, in the same vein. Her mother was a professional whore, and Marnie herself became a money-whore. And yet, it’s only by confronting such ugly and profane truth that Marnie is able to be cleansed and find footing in the real world. The mother and daughter must face their demons, like father and son must in THE DEATH OF A SALESMAN. MARNIE might be called THE CONFESSION OF A WHORE. And yet, in a perversely androgynous way, Marnie’s problem with her childhood could have been a projection of Hitchcock’s own as he’d been raised to a nice proper boy but grew up to be a famous director of some of the most perverse movies of his time. And of course, the Hollywood movie industry was filled with whores polished into virgins, saints, and goddesses.) Nevertheless, she feels a need to be a ‘good girl’ and routinely visits her mother to win her affection. She lives an R-rated life of crime but feels a need to return to a G-rated home, except it’s really an X-rated home pasted with G-rated wallpapers. (There are also elements of fetish-conservatism in THE REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and THE GRADUATE. James Dean’s character feels all torn apart and confused about the world. He craves freedom and rebellion, but he also wants order and stability; the iconic rebel really wants his father to be a real man, a true boss of the house, and indeed had he been John Wayne, he would have straightened Dean out real good. The Duke even toughened up fruitkin Montgomery Clift into a real man in RED RIVER. And in THE GRADUATE, Benjamin Braddock’s ultimate act of rebellion is to reject a racy affair with sultry Mrs. Robinson and chase after true love with Elaine. Though his crashing another man’s wedding is hardly ‘conservative’ behavior, he did it out of romantic love. He wants to be bound to Elaine and free of Mrs. Robinson.) As in MARNIE, the mother(Nicole Kidman) in THE OTHERS hides a dark secret, though not just from others but from herself as well. She plays the respectable wife-and-mother protecting her children and dutifully waiting for her husband to return from war; but in truth, she and her kids are ghosts. We eventually learn that when she’d heard of her husband’s death, she went crazy and killed her children and then took her own life. But their souls trapped in the realm between life and death linger as ghosts and have forgotten what happened. So, they don’t know that they’re dead; the woman doesn’t know she killed her children, and the children don’t know that they were killed by their own mother. To maintain this illusion, the mother is ultra-cautious and ultra-‘conservative’ about everything, and in this, she is like Marnie’s mother. To be sure, ghosts in THE OTHERS seem to possess subconsciousness — or ghostliness could be seen as a kind of repressed subconscious — , but neither the woman nor the children are willing to pry into what lies beneath for the truth is too ghastly. As they are ghosts in a perverse and unstable realm between life and death, conservatism in the conventional sense is out of the question. They are trapped in a strange and macabre world, but this is where the appeal of fetish-conservatism creeps in. They need something ‘solid’ to hold onto as their lives seem trapped in one never-ending repressed nightmare.
When everything seems right, one has the luxury of feeling ‘liberal’ about the world, but when everything seems wrong, one feels the need to be more ‘conservative’. Consider the Robert Redford film ALL IS LOST. A man is sailing around out in the ocean without a worry in the world. When his boat was in tip-top condition and could take him wherever he wanted, he could relax and be adventurous. But when a hole forms on his ship from a collision with ocean debris, thus knocking out the communication system and filling up the interior with water, his main focus becomes the basic necessities of survival. Or consider GRAVITY where, once things start to fall apart and goes from bad to worse, the main objective is to make it back to earth. In THE RIGHT STUFF, about an era when mankind was first stepping into space, the passion was all about going further and winning the space race against the Soviets. In GRAVITY, the conquest of space is an established fact, with space stations of various nations hovering above the earth. Rather, it is when things begin to go wrong out in space that a woman discovers the passion and thrill of making the journey back to earth, the very womb of life.
Indeed, the worlds outside of our own seem special because they’re beyond our reach, but more often than, we eventually discover the truth of “there’s no place like home”, as Dororthy does in THE WIZARD OF OZ. And in cosmic terms, the only world that we know to be hospitable for our survival is Earth. We may dream about the Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and etc. and the world beyond the Solar System, but it’s all cold darkness, of interest to the scientific mind but no place for man.
To be sure, ‘home’ need not always be a physical place but a community of like-minded and/or like-formed people. Thus, even in exile, one can still be at ‘home’ if one’s racial/cultural community remains intact even away from the homeland of origin. So, Mormons need not be in Utah. They could move to Argentina and still feel culturally and spiritually ‘at home’ if they maintain their social and spiritual cohesiveness. Indeed, Jews have done just that for over 3,000 years, thus always being at home even away from home as their sense of home wasn’t merely associated with the actual Holy Land but with the preservation of their community all around the world. And even away from the Holy Land, their dream of Return confirmed their belief that their hearts, if not their bodies, were always at ‘home’.
There’s an element of fetish-conservatism in TRON: LEGACY that goes both ways between father and son. The father(Jeff Bridges) was like the Alexander the Great of computer pioneers, a visionary who never looked back, an inventor who sought discovery after discovery, frontier after frontier. And yet, once he becomes trapped in the ‘radical’ world of his genius/imagination, what he longs for most is home. His son, as an inheritor of a huge fortune, lacks for nothing and lives as he pleases, but it’s through re-connection with his father, long deemed to be dead or lost, that he finally finds a meaningful path in life.
|MOTHMAN PROPHECIES – Richard Gere|
And consider MOTHMAN PROPHECIES. Everything seems to be going well for a liberal Washington Post reporter(Richard Gere). He has a good job, is respected in the profession, has a lovely wife, and they’re about to buy a house(and maybe start a family). But his wife dies of some rare brain disorder, and nothing in the world can bring her back. Even after her death, he still has a terrific job, is friends with important people, has access to all the knowledge in the world, has the means to travel around and see the world, and etc. But no amount of freedom, privilege, connections, money, and etc. can restore what he misses most in the world. Whatever he accomplishes in life, he returns to an empty nest. It doesn’t matter what city he moves to or how big and lively the city is. He will never see Mary, his deceased wife, ever again. And finding another woman without resolving his personal tragedy feels like a betrayal. It is then fitting that he finds himself in a small town community, the very emblem of conservatism, and it is there that he begins to reconnect with certain strands that may lead him out of his personal hell. In a world of too many people, too many cities, too many news, too many views, too many explanations, and too many opinions, he is finally able to confront the side of himself within the narrow confines of a small town where everyone knows one another. (A kind of situational reverse of MOTHMAN PROPHECIES is found in M. Night Shyamalan’s THE SIXTH SENSE where it turns out that the man himself is the dead entity. At any rate, it too is fetish-conservative in that the main characters, being lost in a world of strangeness and uncertainty, feel a need to latch onto things like marriage and family. And fetish-conservatism takes on the form of super-hero myth in UNBREAKABLE. With so many strange things afoot, it’s tempting to dichotomize the mystery into a conflict of good vs evil But then, tragically, the would-be ‘super-hero’ — played by Bruce Willis — discovers that his role as the ‘good guy hero’ was, in so many ways, devised by a psychopath who sought significance in life by taking on the role of the ‘villain’. For someone who felt weak and insignificant all his life and could never hope to be admired as a hero, his only chance at greatness was to act evil against the hero. As evil acts are dime-a-dozen in the world, one’s evil only gains significance in relation/opposition to something thought to be noble, good, and/or heroic. A two-bit murderer captured by the police is just another murderer, and the prisons are overflowing with them. But a murderer brought down by a super-hero can claim to be a super-villain. Lee Harvey Oswald likely felt that way. Murders are so common, they’re locked up everyday, and no one cares about them. But if you murder a much admired popular president, then you are the super-villain. Even if hated by the world, you know your act of evil wasn’t dime-a-dozen. It’s for all time.)
|THE THING (dir. John Carpenter)|
In John Carpenter’s THE THING, it’s murky as to who is who, and our growing anxiety feeds on fetish-conservatism. When things get too far out of hand, the last thing we want is more ambiguity, complexity, and uncertainty. We want a measure of clarity, a stable sense of identity and locality, and such urge affects everyone, even those without a natural predilection toward conservatism. The creature in THE THING functions in the mode of trans-identity, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to know who is or isn’t the ‘thing’. The Zelig-ish way of Jews has tended to arouse conservative reactions in the gentile population because, as Jews gain prominence, they tend to blur the lines that define the norms of the majority goy society. Jews may act and even look like gentiles, but they also act as Jews. Jews weaken borders and national identities. French and Germans used to have a good idea of who is or isn’t French or German. But due to Jewish influence, many Frenchmen think some African Negro can become just as French as native Frenchmen, and Germans are led to believe anyone can become ‘German’. And of course, Jews have remade America to the point where illegal aliens — re-labeled as ‘undocumented immigrants’ — are said to be just as or even more American than long-established white Americans. According to Jewish logic, America/Europe = immigration/diversity, therefore newcomers — even if they break in illegally — are deserving to live in the West because they are (1) immigrants and (2) increase diversity. This is why Jews will hardly make good conservatives. Their very manner and mode have the effect of undermining the long-established identities, rules, values, and interests of the majority goy population. To be sure, leftism can also be ‘antisemitic’ since Jews want to have the cake and eat it too. Jews love to guilt-bait gentiles about ‘racism’, ‘xenophobia’, ‘paranoia’, ‘exclusion’, and ‘inequality’, but when some hardline leftists accuse the Jewish community of being overly tribal, nationalistic, enclosed, and unequal, Jews scream ‘antisemitism’. Jewish power calls foul on goy power and on goys calling foul on Jewish power. (Incidentally, if trans-genderism makes sense, we might as well have trans-identitism too. If someone born as a man can be said to be a ‘woman’ if he feels like it and if someone born as a woman can be said to be a ‘man’ if she feels like it, couldn’t one argue that if Bob feels he’s Joe, he’s also Joe? If one’s identity is less a matter of what one is but what one feels or wants to be, maybe trans-identitism makes sense too. Suppose a bunch of trans-identity guys feel that they are Leonard DiCaprio. Shouldn’t they be recognized as ‘Leonard DiCaprios’ since who are we to deny the ‘right’ of people to be what they want to be? Why stick to generalities when it comes to the ‘trans’ thing? If a man who wants to be a woman IS a woman, then what if he wants to be a particular woman, say Angelina Jolie? We could argue that there are two Angelina Jolies in the world. The original one and a trans-identity man/woman who declared himself/herself as ‘Angelina Jolie’. If girls are forced to accept tranny-boys as ‘girls’ and even allow them to use the girls’ washroom, then Angelina Jolie should be forced to accept a tranny who wants to be her as another ‘Angelina Jolie’. Maybe VERTIGO was ahead of its time in this regard. The fake Madeleine was as good as the real one.) One of the more provocative examples of fetish-conservatism can be found in the film KWIK STOP(directed by Michael Gilio), a story about an oddball character who never tires of jabbering about how he’s going to make it one day in the big city but always leans on some excuse at the last moment to remain in the same town where he can procrastinate about the happy future without taking real actions that will expose his limitations and the emptiness of his dreams. (It’s like the guests in Luis Bunuel’s EXTERMINATING ANGEL can leave the house but just can’t make themselves do it. Btw, it might also be a commentary on the difference between drama and cinema. Cinema is defined by space and range. Stories can stretch out, characters who dislike one another can go off on their own. The pissed-off son in THE KINGS OF SUMMER leaves home and builds his Camelot in the forest. But in a play, the space is cramped and characters are always squeezed together, and they have no choice but to argue with one another like rats in a box. This is why plays-made-into-movies feel so claustrophobic. Designed for the cramped stage, the characters bicker endlessly in closed spaces when they can just go off on their own with all the freedom of movement of the cinematic realm. This is why BLUE JASMINE works better on screen than STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. The characters of EXTERMINATING ANGEL are trapped in stage-mode in cinema space, which makes it so absurd and contradictory, and maybe this was a commentary about the nature of the bourgeoisie, that they were trapped in the stage-development of history that is expanding into cinematic space of greater possibilities.) As a kind of maverick personality, he wants to leave the small community and prove his worth to the world, and yet, precisely because of his ludicrous self-esteem, he can’t conceive of life out in the big world as anything but of fame and success. It’s like Joe Buck in MIDNIGHT COWBOY should have stayed in the Texas town if he wanted to believe in the myth of his ultra-studliness, which is all-too-easily shattered in New York. In the small community, the guy in KWIK STOP knows he’s ‘different’, and this makes him feel special as someone meant for bigger things. But deep down inside, he knows his ilk are dime-a-dozen in a place like L.A. or N.Y.
One of the striking characteristics of the world today is the growth of fetish-conservatism precisely because the world is becoming ever less conservative in the traditional sense. Consider the rise of Political Correctness. In essence, PC is the very enemy of conservatism, and yet, it serves as a kind of ersatz-conservatism for it operates by many of the same psycho-social mechanisms that are integral to conservatism. Liberalism posited itself as ‘rationalist’ whereas conservatism has been, to a large extent, rooted in taboos and customs. An ideal liberal thinks he is right because he has thought things through logically and rationally with a set of empirically collected data and facts, whereas a conservative simply FEELS that he’s right. A conservative may intellectualize his position, but before there is the conservative idea, there is the conservative sentiment, passion, prejudice, and/or taboos. To be sure, even liberal positions are ultimately rooted in emotions since all sense of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ have no meaning outside our emotions as nothing is, in the objective or trans-human sense, ‘good’ or bad’. Objective reality simply is and without judgement. Even so, liberals feel that their world-view should be defined by open-mindedness and unbiased tolerance for all the various facets of reality. The problem is such kind of liberalism is impossible beyond a certain limit. Also, most so-called ‘liberals’ are capable of being truly liberal only to a certain extent due to facts of intellectual limitations, emotional makeup, ideological biases, and/or socio-political pressures. Thus, even most ‘liberals’ are Liberals than liberals, and they too rely on ‘conservative’ instruments such as taboos, righteousness, suspicion, paranoia, and hatred to maintain unity on their side and control over those with whom they disagree. So, there’s an element of fetish-conservatism in PC itself, and it’s hardly surprising that communist nations, for instance, developed a new kind of conservatism. Also, in our age of globalism when borders are weakening — especially in the Western World — , it’s ever more difficult to maintain order and identity, and so, even something like homosexuality, that has traditionally been anathema to conservatism, has become like a new ‘conservative’ identity, which is why even some American Conservatives hate Russia for not allowing ‘gay marriage’. Since the old Cold War is over, many Conservatives hope to ignite a new one, and if the new ‘us versus them’ dichotomy will have to rest on the fact that US is pro-homo while Russia is not, there you go. Red, White, and Blue has become the ‘Rainbow, White, and Blue’. And notice how the very notion of ‘gay marriage’ is an amalgam of both Liberal and Conservative impulses: Liberal in overturning the longstanding meaning of marriage and Conservative in encouraging homosexuals to ‘settle down’ and ‘raise families’. Also, there’s an element of ‘diversity’ and ‘homogeneity’ in homo culture and power. As Jews control the world and seek to weaken all borders(except that of Israel) so that Jewish power and finance can flow freely wherever Jews want, there’s been a global tendency to not only weaken national borders in the physical sense but to break down national, racial, and cultural identities in the psychological sense. According to the conservative world-view, there should be people who identify strongly as Greeks, as Turks, as Russians, as Chinese, as Iranians, as Germans, as Vietnamese, as French, and etc. Thus, one people are said to be like ‘this’ and they control ‘this here’ territory, whereas another people are said to be like ‘that’ and they control ‘that there’ territory. But under globalist trans-nationalism, the sense of one race/nation distinct from another is weakened so that the melding across nations is favored over the distinctness within nations. Since Jews promote trans-nationalism, they naturally see trans-sexualism as a psycho-social partner in crime. If we should encourage nations to bleed into another and become all mixed-up in blood and soil, then why not also believe that there’s no such thing as man-man and a woman-woman. Instead, every man is just a transsexual who happens to be more male than female and every woman is a transsexual who happens to be more female than male. There is no real ‘borderline’ between maleness and femaleness.
Of course, to be sure, every man has some feminine characteristics and every woman has some male characteristics. Also, some men, though not homo or tranny, tend to be effeminate, while some women, though not lesbian, tend to be masculine and butch. And there is a grey area between maledom and femaledom. Even so, who can deny that there are generally two sexes where one kind is male and has penises and the other kind is female and has vaginas? I mean how many women are having penis monologues, and how many guys get together to talk endless about their ‘pussies’? Anyway, the transsexual aspect of homosexuality could be promoted to psychologically muddle people’s sense of distinctions, thereby making them more amenable to trans-nationalism as well. If people become accustomed to the view that there’s no clear distinction between men and women, they might also drop such distinctions when it comes to race, nation, culture, and religion(and indeed New Age spiritualism tends to mix-and-match various ideas into something like the cult of the Force in STAR WARS).
And yet, the homosexual cult has also been popular among many white people as a kind of ersatz white identitarianism because only in the Western World have homosexuals been placed upon a pedestal. So, when one thinks of homo-politics, one thinks of the West vs the Rest. Indeed, even some elements of the European Right positions itself against the Muslim world by arguing that the West is about tolerance — and even embracement — of homosexuals, whereas the Muslim world is barbaric and backward because it persecutes or suppresses homosexuals. And recently, the main reason behind the possibility of a new Cold War has been predicated on the notion that pink is the new red, white, and blue. Since Jews(with ancestry in the Pale of Settlement)now rule America and hope to conquer Russia politically, financially, and culturally — and since American Jews don’t want whites in America and Europe to get any ideas from Putin on how to take back power from the globalist Jewish elites — , Jews have been working overtime to persuade Americans — even Christians — that nothing is more patriotic than being pro-homo. We are even told that the Founding Fathers would have approved of ‘gay marriage’ and that ‘same-sex marriage’ is somehow written into the Constitution. (If true, I wonder why no one figured that out until recently.) Some numb-nuts have compared the ‘plight’ of homosexuals with that of blacks and other minorities in America, but here’s the difference. Even when America was founded, people were troubled with the institution of slavery and knew that it contradicted the very principles of the Republic. But no one thought anything about ‘gay marriage’ since the very notion was patently absurd, and indeed, no one would see any merit in it but for the fact that our society is so decadent that issues of right and wrong are determined less by morality, family, church, community, biology, and tradition than by celebrity, fame, glitz, and whatever happens to be associated with narcissism. At a time when people worship Rock stars, movie stars, and TV personalities, is it any wonder that so many numbskulls think ‘gay marriage’ is a wonderful idea because Oprah and Ellen Degenerate say it is? To be liberated from family, community, and tradition could, in the best sense, mean the rise of individual conscience and freewill. But in the worst sense, it could mean becoming one of the masses of iPod-people who, along with the rest of the drones, ‘think’ and ‘feel’ in accordance to the dictates of popular culture dominated by the Jewish-homo or Jomo elites.
At any rate, another ‘conservative’ appeal of homosexuality is that most of the successful and prominent homos happen to be white or Jewish. So, even though there are all sorts of homos or inversexuals all over the world, the ones that dominate the ‘gay’ agenda are centered in the West and are overwhelmingly white or Jewish. In a similar sense, there used to be a time when Christianity used to be an ersatz form of white nationalism since most Christians used to be white. It was almost redundant to describe Europe as the ‘Christian West’. But with Christianity having spread all over the world — especially in Africa and Asia — , it is no longer as white as it used to be, especially with the Catholic Church catering to non-whites. (The Russian Orthodox Church, in contrast, is still very Russian as it’s a religion of roots than wings.) Today, homo identity is the permissible mode of expressing white-ish interests. For many white folks, it also helps that homos have spearheaded socio-economic trends to gentrify whole blocks of cities and clear them of aggressive and dangerous Negroes who be acting crazy day and night and scaring white folks half to death.
Anyway, returning to the issue of reverse-justification, it’s a problem generally found in works of pretension or strained seriousness. We need not bother with most genre works that peddle in routine-justification or even post-justification(however tawdry it may be). Most action movies resort to routine-justifications when it comes to violence. Since it would be purely pornographic to watch one group of people kill another bunch of people, action movies have ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’, with ‘good guys’ hunting down the ‘bad guys’, as if to reassure us that “crime doesn’t pay” — or it pays for the cooler/better kinds of criminals but never for the truly wicked ones. There’s no need to waste thought on Charles Bronson action movies where he mows down a bunch of ‘bad guys’. We know it’s part of the formula and that morality serves merely a routine function to justify the violence of the ‘good guys’. Such routine-justification also allows us to enjoy the violence committed by the ‘bad guys’ since we know they’ll get their comeuppance.
Post-justification movies are somewhat more problematic because the justification isn’t inherent the material, not least because the subject tends to be disturbing or controversial. In most action movies, there’s a clear dividing line between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, so we know how the morality will play out. But in movies like Martin Scorsese’s remakes CAPE FEAR and THE DEPARTED, there’s an absence of clear-cut right and wrong. Purely on the level of entertainment, they can be enjoyed as exercises in nihilism, cynicism, brutality, nastiness, and/or sadism. The ‘better guys’ may win, the ‘worse guys’ may win, or there may be no clear sense of good vs bad at all since most characters seem to be either ‘bad’ or in the ‘not very good’ zone of grey, but whatever the case, the last thing we’d expect is any kind of compelling moral or spiritual statement about anything. (These kind of movies tend to focus on the game than on the good, i.e. the smarter, the more savvy, and the more ruthless win over others, good or bad, and that’s just how the world is. Movies about the good direct the narrative so that the good shall somehow come out on top, as if the cosmos favors the good over the bad. So, no matter how smart and capable the bad is and no matter how dim and incompetent the good is, the good will eventually win; or the dim and incompetent will be saved by a miraculous and messianic good guy who can outplay the bad. In countless Westerns, the terrified good but dim and incompetent townsfolk are saved by a good gunslinger who’s faster on the draw than even the most fearsome bad guys. In FORREST GUMP, the universe seems to smile on dim and dumb Gump and favor him at every turn. In IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Heaven sends Clarence to save George Bailey from evil and greedy Mr. Potter. In contrast, ‘the game’ movies tend to be cynical, and many in the film noir genre belong in this category. While ‘the game’ movies may not disbelieve in the good and the bad, they know that victory belongs to those with the intelligence, the talent, the cunning, the deviousness, the shrewdness, the connections, and the ruthlessness. Of course, the good should win, but nothing wins simply by being good or because it ‘should win’. We can root for the sports team with the nice guys against the team with nasty guys, but if the nasty guys play better and are coached better, it will win. But a movie about ‘the good’ will steer events so that the team with nice guys eventually win because they ‘should win’; in contrast, a movie about ‘the game’ will declare the winner in terms of which side has the bigger brains, bigger balls, bigger stomach, and/or bigger muscles. In CHINATOWN, the old man wins because he has more strings to pull, more cards to play. Yoda in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK says, “there is no try, there is only do.” The movie about ‘the game’ says, “there is no should, there is only is.” In many ways, this is the dark yet tribally reassuring message of David Mamet and Stanley Kubrick. It’s dark because winners are not decided by the rule of ‘the good should win’ but by the rule of ‘the smart, savvy, and ruthless win’. So, Barry Lyndon gets very far in life with his wits and cunning. But Kubrick also knew that no amount of intelligence and ability could foresee all events. So, Lyndon, though having out-gamed everyone to rise high in society, is brought low by the dim-witted son of Lady Lyndon. So, the brilliantly planned and executed robbery in THE KILLING finally ends in disaster all because of a little dog. So, HAL’s plan to kill all the crew is undone all because Bowman took a wild chance and survived without his helmet. So, the great American war machine is traumatized by a lone female Viet Cong sniper. And before that, the formidable drill instructor is killed by the dumbest recruit in the barracks, ‘Gomer Pyle’, just like Kennedy was done in by some lone nut. In a way, the ‘game’ is reassuring to the Jews since they are smarter, cleverer, and more devious and therefore can outplay other groups. And yet, no strategy, no matter how well-planned and well-executed, is foolproof. Just when everything seems to be going wrong, it can be brought down by the most unexpected factor or agent. It’s like in Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE, all the carefully planned and orchestrated series of events is undone by some loner-loser gunman. This is why Jews today are all for speech controls and the surveillance. As they know have the power, they want to make sure that nothing will come out of the left field to undermine their carefully laid out arrangement of world control. Jews have ‘killed’ and ‘buried’ many things, and they want to make sure the bodies remain buried. So, entire facts of history have been buried and hidden, such as Jewish role in communism, the Nakba — ethnic cleansing of Palestinians — , Jewish role in espionage, etc. Jews fear the dog-that-comes-out-of-nowhere in THE KILLING. They wonder which ‘goy dog’ — or ‘crazy Jew’ — will run out and trip over & ruin the entire Jewish edifice for total control. It used to be that SPLC and ADL pushed for censorship whereas ACLU stood up for free speech, if only to protect the speech rights of Jewish radicals. Nowadays, ACLU works with ADL and $PLC to suppress and silence any criticism of Jewish power. Anyway, Jews like the ‘game’ since they can outplay us. The message of Mamet’s films like PHIL SPECTOR and STATE AND MAIN is really this: the smart and capable guys win, dumb guys lose. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ have nothing to do with it. Since Jews are smarter, they should win. Following this logic, the ‘game’ is the ‘good’ since nothing is possible without power, and power can only be gained by those who can play and win the game.
Since intelligence and talent thrive on competition, love winning, and crave power, they are good in and of themselves and don’t need justification. If goodness is bound with simplemindedness, dimwittedness, humbleness, and childlikeness — as in the ‘slave morality’ of Christianity — , then it is really a form of badness since it fosters, encourages, and protects laziness, dependence, resentment of success & talent, and incompetence. This explains the problem of modern Jewishness, i.e. Jewish political ideology has stood for ‘equality’ and leftism, but Jewish intelligence naturally despises the ‘white trash’ and ‘dumb niggers’ who bitch and whine about how those ‘banksters’ have so much while they have so little. And this is why Jews lately prefer homos to Negroes and the working class. [The problem of ‘the game’ and ‘the good’ is especially thorny among Jews since Jews are indeed considerably smarter than other groups, suffer from successful-minority paranoia, and are part of a tradition that is both profoundly moralistic and profoundly opportunistic and two-faced. But it’s less of a problem among, say, the Germans where most Germans, more or less, belong in the vast middle. So, most Germans don’t see the world in terms of ‘small number of us smarties’ vs ‘large number of them dummies’. Therefore, Germans are better able to fuse ‘the game’ with ‘the good’. Instead of seeing the world in terms of ‘the game’ vs ‘the good’, Germans see how the two modes can be combined so that the German game will be good for most Germans. Jews like Mamet, in contrast, tend to conflate the smart ‘game’ with Jews and dimwit ‘good’ with goyim. Adolf Hitler thought otherwise, why is why he was able to unite so many Germans from top to bottom, why he was able to fuse socialism with capitalism — though the demagogic fool messed up royally when his power-lust ventured outside Germany. Anyway, Hitler understood how socialism could be conservative or right-wing, indeed more so than capitalism. While communism that militarized the lower classes to hate and kill the upper classes could never be conservative or right-wing, a form of socialism that sought to find common ground among the elites, the middle, and the bottom could be the most potent kind of rightism. Capitalism, after all, divides a people into the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Under capitalism, Jews could rise to the top and persuade/pressure the goy upper classes to associate with them than identify with the goy masses. Or Jewish radicals could rouse the lower classes to hate the capitalist rich, especially depicted in terms of ‘white privilege’. Under such form of capitalism, the rich look down on the poor, and the poor eye the rich with envy. Thus, national and racial unity is weakened. But under a right-wing kind of socialism, the rich, the middle, and the poor are made to feel as part of united community. The rich pay more in taxes to create more programs and opportunities for the middle and the poor. And the middle and the poor come to appreciate the rich as part of the national/racial family than just a bunch of self-interested a**hole snobs. Hitler was a scumbag in many ways, but on this note, he understood what Bismarck had understood as well. The fact that the American Right embraced capitalism wholeheartedly paved their road to ruin as they came to be seen as a bunch of ‘greedy a**holes’ who only care about individual pleasure and wealth of the super-rich and nothing else; the American Right lost even worse since the best capitalists happened to be those on the side of Liberalism. So, the GOP today exerts most of its energy in defending super-rich Jews on Wall Street and Silicon Valley who support the Democrats.] As David Mamet — or David Cronenberg in eXistenZ — sees the world, Jewish power is about being smarter and rightfully winning the game ‘meritocratically’ with superior ability. Sure, Jews may cheat, but even cheating and conmanship call for intelligence as one has to be smart to hoodwink, cajole, manipulate, and fool others. Not all cheating is alike. There is dumb cheating like looking over someone’s shoulders to copy exam answers or robbing a store with a gun. But there is also smart cheating, like what Jordan Belfort does in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Yes, he’s a crook, but he is undeniably a master seller, so even though what he sells is junk, his style of selling is pure gold, and besides, when we buy something, we aren’t only buying the product but buying the ‘selling’. We are ‘sold’ on the product not because we really need it but because we were made to feel we can’t do without it or can’t be ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ without it. So, whether Jews cheat or not, they meritocratically win the game since they are better at playing, selling, hyping, and persuading. And Jews like Mamet and Cronenberg feel that goy moral outrage about Jewish venality isn’t really about the ‘good vs greed’ but about resentment over losing the ‘game’. So, the Ed Harris character in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS and the bald-headed gentile guy in STATE AND MAIN bitch and whine about the ‘working man’ or corruption of city-slicker outsiders, but they’re really angry because they cannot win the game of money and/or sex. So, Mamet, more or less, sides with Phil Spector in his TV film because, as he sees it, Specter was resented and hated by others because he had the brains to create something that they couldn’t. Mamet isn’t saying that Specter is a good guy or didn’t commit the crime. Rather, he’s saying that even if Spector is indeed guilty and should do jail-time, much of the emotions behind anti-Spector-ism wasn’t so much about morality but about “get the smarter and more talented Jew!” In many ways, views such as this makes Mamet a very unpleasant person and a nasty Jew, but he is real in the way that a slickster like Aaron Sorkin is not. Sorkin serves Jewishness but tries to be cute about it, e.g. SOCIAL NETWORK ending with the message that Mark Zuckerberg is an ‘asshole’ only because, gee whiz, he couldn’t get a girl, oh boo hoo. While we may loathe Mamet, he’s at least gutsy and courageous enough to admit that he finds great pride and a great thrill from the power of superior Jewish wit, drive, and intelligence. Of course, he doesn’t quite put it in those terms, but the themes are there for anyone to see if he or she wants to see it. An interesting film that teeters between the ‘good’ and the ‘game’ is CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS by Woody Allen. In the end, the doctor comes out on top because he pulled the strings and he got away with murder. He played the game right. But during the long night of anxiety — when he wasn’t sure if he would get away with what he’d done — , he grappled with issues of the ‘good’. But did he do so because he really felt guilty or because he was fearful of getting caught and, therefore, wanted to convince himself and hypothetically to the world that he’s a man burdened with conscience and remorse? When the dark clouds clear and he knows he’s out of the woods, his guilt fades as if it never existed, and he’s seems content and trouble-free. Especially as he doesn’t believe in God, he has no one to answer to. He knows he won the game, and that’s that. Interestingly, even though the doctor is a Jew, Allen could have been hinting at German guilt in the Holocaust, i.e. do Germans profess to be so guilty because they are truly and genuinely agonized with remorse or because they lost the war and got caught with what they did? Notice how, in so many court cases, the criminal denies wrongdoing to the very end, that is until the evidence is irrefutable. Then, the criminal, who’d adamantly denied all guilt, breaks down and not only admits his guilt but tells the world how very sorry he is and how he’d so deeply troubled all along by what he’d done. So, is morality of guilt a function of genuine conscience or an instrument of self-justification when one can no longer hide one’s evil deed?)
|GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS – Ed Harris as Resentful Goy|
This isn’t to suggest a movie has to be morally black and white in order for present a moral statement, and besides, morally simplistic movies do little to reflect the real world or the truth of human nature. After all, Robert Towne and Roman Polanski’s CHINATOWN is a film of many grey areas but not without a moral sense of tragedy, i.e. the ‘good’ or the ‘better’ doesn’t win, but we are led to grieve over that fact. And more often than not, that’s the most we can hope from art as truth is infinite and art can only alter our perception of only a few facets of truth. Thus, CHINATOWN is not a film of post-justification. The complexity and depth were written, re-written, and infused into the very bloodstream of the material. The dark foreboding we feel as the end approaches wasn’t just pasted onto shallow and vapid material.
In contrast, the original CAPE FEAR and INFERNAL AFFAIRS(at least the first installment) — remade into THE DEPARTED — were meant to be little more than effective genre thrillers. Like them or not, they are no more and no less than what they were designed to be. They may be somewhat more layered than most movies of their ilk, but one would be a fool to ‘read’ too much into or out of the material. And if remade by a ‘hack’ director, they might have made decent updated versions. But Scorsese being Scorsese, a world-renowned film artist wrestling with themes of morality, spirituality, evil, corruption, and whatnot, both movies were pasted with post-justifications that just failed to stick. If a movie is about ‘good guys’ vs ‘bad guys’, we can root for the ‘good guys’. If a movie provides thrills by wallowing in corruption and nihilism without much in the way of thought, it can be enjoyed for its sensationalism. One may find them offensive, but at least there are no pretensions about what they are. And one need not pretend to see or find meaning that simply isn’t there. And if such a movie were to be remade, it should be done straight.
However, perchance the writers/directors want to transform such material into a work of art, sufficient thought, empathy, and imagination are necessary to break through the walls of formula. And this was the case with CHINATOWN, based on so many pulpy noir stories specializing in hard-boiled detectives, corruption, and crooks. Towne and Polanski crawled into the characters, the recesses of the human heart, and the alleyways, as if to archaeologically unearth the very sources that gave rise to the film noir genre. It led to where the skeletons are buried. But, nothing of the sort could be said of the remakes, CAPE FEAR and THE DEPARTED. All the obscene cursing-sermonizing(or cursermonizing) and over-the-top god/devil antics by DeNiro amount to little more than hamminess pretending to be red meat. And the supposedly ‘disturbing’ stuff about modern dysfunctional family was the routine stuff of TV dramas at the time the movie was made; ‘Father Knows Shit’ had long been the staple of American culture, with stuff like MARRIED WITH CHILDREN and THE SIMPSONS as hit shows on the tube. As for THE DEPARTED, the sadistic cat-and-mouse game of the Hong Kong original was ‘fleshed out’ with more substantial characters and themes meant to convey something about sin and redemption, but either the original material didn’t allow such interpretation or Scorsese and his writers simply didn’t know what to do, just like Coppola couldn’t figure out how to turn the cartoon-fascist message of the finale of APOCALYPSE NOW into a deep and profound statement. So, the post-justification that tried to layer the material with ethical and even spiritual themes(that simply didn’t belong there) ended up being annoying and stupid — and DeNiro’s shtick in CAPE FEAR, along with Kevin Kline’s in SOPHIE’S CHOICE, has to be one of the worst ‘powerful performances’ in movie history. (CAPE FEAR and THE DEPARTED manifest the negative side of ‘auteurism’. When John Ford and Howard Hawks made entertainment/genre movies, they rarely had pretensions of doing otherwise. But once the notion that the ‘auteur’ must imprint whatever he does — including the silliest genre movie — with his ‘personality’ or personal vision, every would-be ‘auteur’ tried to over-personalize whatever he made, even though he would have done better to just adapt the screenplay as written and intended. The ‘auteur’ is tempted to take the material or himself too seriously.)
But the problems of post-justification pale next to the problems of reverse-justification. At the very least, despite Scoresese’s lame attempt at seriousness, CAPE FEAR and THE DEPARTED still mainly function on the level of entertainment; post-justification doesn’t go very deep and cracks & peels off as the story scrapes along. But, certain films do claw and cut into sensitive nerve centers, thus calling for some kind of justification for doing so. Without compelling justifications, they would have little reason to exist in the first place except to indulge in putridity, ugliness, sadism, and dementedness. After all, not everything we do is of equal value or meaning. It’s routine for a doctor to check for blood pressure or temperature, but he better have a good reason for operating on the patient. Any student sitting in a classroom might glance out the window, but if a student were to pull down his/her pants and take a shit in the middle of the room, there better be a justifiable reason. Maybe he or she had such a terrible stomach ache that he or she couldn’t run to the washroom and had to just go there and then. Or maybe the students in the classroom have been held hostage for several days and haven’t been permitted to use the washroom. So, the student had no choice but to crap there and then.
Similarly, some movies are so disturbing that it’d be disingenuous, even indefensible, for the film-maker to say that he or she made it simply because he or she felt like it. It’s one thing to make yet another romance comedy or science fiction film. But if one’s going to make a film involving intense torment and/or torture, we would like to know why. Certain actions, whether in everyday life or as artistic expression(or as entertainment), call for some kind of justification. The justification need not be legal or political, at least in a true democracy where freedom of speech is protected, but that doesn’t abnegate the moral side of the question. At least from an ethical angle, it just wouldn’t do for someone to say, “I did it because I have the freedom to do it.” It’s like it’s one thing to eat some ice cream because you felt like it, but it’s quite another thing for you to trash an ice cream shop because you felt like it. Such an extreme action calls for justification. Even if it can’t be legally or morally defended, people want some kind of explanation. Did the perpetrator, for example, harbor a certain rage against the ice cream shop-owner because of some personal wrong? Or, upon medical examination, did doctors find a tumor inside the perpetrator’s brain that made him act violent? Whether we approve of the justification or not, we can at least acknowledge that certain strong emotional issues were involved in the action.
But suppose someone simply thinks it’s cool and/or hip to have a store smashed and then tries to justify his action on some personal, psychological, or medical grounds. That would be a form of reverse-justification where the ‘emotion’ follows the action. While it’s true that emotions often make people do crazy things, there is at least the justification, valid or not, that the person was overcome with strong passions. But if someone did something just for cheap thrills but then tries to justify it on some bogus psychological, social, historical, philosophical, or whatever grounds, that’s just so much baloney.
Of course, art or entertainment isn’t the same thing as action. Murder in a novel, play, or a movie isn’t the same as murder in real life. Torture or rape in fiction isn’t the same as torture or rape as fact. And I’m not the one to call for ‘trigger warnings’ labels on everything — as some students demand of college courses that might offend or upset the sensitivities of certain ‘victim groups’; most professors and Liberal journalists object to such demands, but it’s amusing how they fail to realize that it was the very political correctness that they promoted that shaped the new generation of ‘millennials’ to be such shrill and hysterical namby-pambies.
Even so, while we should never mistake art and entertainment with real actions in the real world, there is no absolute borderline between art/entertainment and life/reality. To make a work of art or entertainment is to take action in life in the real world, especially as so many people spend so much time listening to pop music, watching movies and TV, reading books and articles, and etc. Even if a movie, a book, a song, or celebrity persona doesn’t necessarily incite the audience to emulate or imitate the depicted violence or madness, it does shape the audience’s view of humanity, the world, history, and culture. Indeed, even though Liberals have often belittled conservative concerns about negative impact of Hollywood movies and popular music, they are the first ones to denounce films like THE BIRTH OF A NATION by D.W. Griffith and JEW SUSS by Veit Harlan for having far-reaching negative social, cultural, and moral impacts, and indeed, they would foam at the mouth if Cable TV showed those films on a regular basis. THE BIRTH OF A NATION is rarely screened and JEW SUSS virtually never. So, deep down inside, of course, Liberals know that art and entertainment have a profound influence on the world by affecting how people see and feel about the world. Indeed, would so many Americans be such willing accomplices to Jewish Supremacist policies in the Middle East if Hollywood hadn’t filled their eyes and ears with images of saintly Anne Frank and loathsome Muslim terrorists?
Even though watching a murder in a movie will not motivate most people to go out and commit murder themselves, movies play a huge role in shaping people’s sympathies and antipathies, and such mass emotions can be instrumental in policies of war and even mass murder. Even if most of us didn’t take part in raining down bombs on the Middle East, most of us looked the other way because Muslims, Arabs, and Iranians have been dehumanized by the Jewish-controlled media empire and Hollywood. If we’d been made as sensitive about Muslim, Arab, and Iranian lives as about Jewish lives, would we have endorsed American and NATO policies of wreaking havoc in the Middle East? Though most Germans didn’t take part in the Holocaust, why did so many of them do nothing about it? Partly, it was fear and ignorance as the Nazi Party had gained total control of Germany and the media, but the fact is many people simply didn’t care. Why not? Because the National Socialist monopoly of entertainment, news, and education encouraged Germans to blame Jews for everything that had gone wrong — and is going wrong. And even though most Russians didn’t take part in the mass killing of Ukrainians during the Great Famine, why didn’t they care? Because the Soviet media spread the notion that ‘kulaks’ were to blame for everything and were parasites who should be crushed. And in America, why has there been such silence about the levels of black crime and about the countless whites and other non-blacks who were brutalized by black thuggery, muggery, jivery, and punkery? Because Jewish supremacists control the media and it’s been in their tribal interest to browbeat whites into subservience by playing up the ‘white guilt’ card while playing down the black thuggery card. Since the Jewish-controlled media, news, and Hollywood have brainwashed us into perceiving blacks as noble, saintly, magical, and spiritual folks, a lot of white people who know little about blacks — and even whites who’d been victimized by black violence and thuggery — feel great sympathy for blacks. In contrast, since the Jewish-controlled media endlessly dehumanize white ‘racists’ who’ve dared to speak the truth about racial differences and stand up for their racial survival & rights, the great majority of Americans have a negative attitude toward white rightist or race-ist Americans, and indeed such attitude is rife among white Conservatives themselves, which is why they go out of their way to prove that they are not ‘racist’ by attacking conservatives like John Derbyshire and Jason Richwine who have the guts to say it like it is. So, even though most Americans who’ve come under the influence of Jewish Supremacist media haven’t gone out and killed white people, the mass-sympathies and mass-antipathies instilled into their hearts have made them unwitting aiders-and-abettors in the mass violence against whites and other non-blacks orchestrated by Jews and carried out by blacks. After all, social morality isn’t just about not doing bad things oneself but having the courage to stand up to bad things done by and to others. If there’s an evil force lurking in your town and killing your neighbors but you and others in the community don’t do anything about it, then you are partly guilty for your inaction. Even though you yourself isn’t the killer, you haven’t done anything to stop the killer, and thus, you’ve unwittingly aided and abetted its deeds and growth. If your inaction is purely the result of fear and cowardice, that might be understandable as most humans are chickenshit because evolution made them so, especially as chickenshitters had a better chance of survival than lionhearters. But then, what if the controllers of the media even went so far as to make you feel sympathy for the dark force that is killing your neighbors and make you feel antipathy for the neighbors who are being killed? In America, the Jew-run media have made white people feel no sympathy for whites — especially ‘poor white trash’ — who are being raped, robbed, mauled, and murdered by vile blacks, just like the Jew-run US media have made us feel zero sympathy for Palestinians who are treated worse than cattle by Zionist imperialists. So, even though most of us can claim to be innocent about what’s being done to Palestinians since we didn’t hurt any Palestinian with our own hands, the fact is we haven’t done anything about how our government and our taxpayer dollars have been expended to enable the Zionist Supremacist mass-oppression of Palestinians.
At any rate, even though movies and TV shows don’t have the power to directly control our actions, they do have the power shape our emotions so that we will or won’t take collective social/political/economic action in the real world. Because we were told that Apartheid in South Africa was evil, we did nothing while our government enforced sanctions against the Boer Republic. But since we were made to sympathize with Israelis and made to feel contempt for Palestinians as ‘terrorists’, we’ve turned a blind eye to the ongoing US policy that enables Zionist Supremacists in Israel/Palestine to go on oppressing the Arab population. And since we’re told that Israel is a beacon of ‘western democracy’ surrounded by a bunch of neo-Nazi Muslim crazy nations are planning to wipe Israel off the map, we don’t care about Israel’s violation of nuclear proliferation treaties and its possession of 300 nuclear bombs. Iran, in contrast, hasn’t a single nuclear bomb, but since we’ve told by the media that Iranians are an evil people, we have no qualms with the US government working pressuring its lackeys around the world to strangle the Iranian economy. But then, we Americans did nothing when US sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s claimed the lives of possibly more than 100,000 Iraqi women and children who succumbed to malnutrition, disease, and starvation. Though Hollywood movies and TV shows didn’t make us murder Arab women and children, they shaped our emotions in a manner that made us turn a blind eye to the US-led policy visited wholesale misery on an entire population — just like most Soviets were made to feel no sympathy for millions of Ukrainians being mass-starved-and-killed by Stalin and his Jewish henchmen.
So, we don’t care about Iran’s economy being strangulated to death, thereby causing tremendous hardship upon tens of millions of women and children. We didn’t care that Iraqi women were reduced to using sewage water for their children, many of whom perished from water-borne diseases. Our emotions having been shaped and controlled by Jewish controllers of the media, our view of the Middle East came to be, in a nutshell, ‘whatever pleases Jews should please us as well’ and ‘whatever makes life difficult for Arabs, Iranians, and Muslims should please us if it pleases Jews’. So, never mind the ruined lives of countless millions of people in the Middle East as the result of American-Zionist foreign policy.
Instead, so many Americans get all worked up about ‘gay marriage’ and other inane issues since the Jewish-controlled media have elevated homos as their mini-me partners in the holy victim sweepstakes. So, Americans who yawn at the news of impoverished Palestinians and Iranians struggling to makes end meet as the result of American-Zionist foreign policy get all riled up about some C.E.O. because he believes in the meaning of true marriage, about some fried chicken restaurant because it donated to pro-traditional-family causes, and about Russia because it refuses to teach homo propaganda in schools and doesn’t allow ‘gay pride’ parades that serve as proxies for Jewish Power Victory Parades that celebrates minoritarian supremacist view that the majority should bend over to the ‘new norms’ as defined by and are advantageous to elite minorities such as Jews and homos. Thus, the real danger of mass media is not that they can make us stand up and do something right away but that they can shape our emotions that, on a collective basis, we will effectively support, oppose, or be indifferent to a cause in an indirect manner. For example, if we hear news that the white folks of a community rioted and beat up a whole bunch of Jews, we are likely to sympathize with the victims and express our outrage in moral support. But if we hear news that the black folks of a community rioted and beat up a whole bunch of whites, Muslims, Hispanics, or Asians, we are likely to shrug it off since the Jewish media have made us sympathize with blacks but never with the victims of blacks UNLESS the latter happen to be Jewish or homo.
Mass indifference itself can be a kind of support or opposition. If something deserves mass moral support but the masses have been made to feel indifferent, they are in effect opposing it. Or if something needs to be morally opposed but the masses have been made to feel indifferent, they are in effect supporting it. Suppose Nation A is about to be invaded by Nation B. Naturally, the people of Nation A should support unity in order to defend the nation and resolve/courage to oppose the invasion. But if the people of Nation A have been made to feel indifferent about their own pride/power/survival and oblivious to the hostile intentions of Nation B, they might as well be sleeping with the enemy even though they aren’t taking sides one way or the other.
This is why libertarianism is worthless as a national ideology. While it yammers endlessly about liberties and individual pursuit of happiness, it fosters indifference in regards to the survival of a race, culture, and nation, without which the totality of human existence has no meaning.
Individualism and liberty are all very fine, but shouldn’t Germans have the right to be free individuals as Germans in Germany, and shouldn’t Japanese have the right to be free individuals as Japanese in Japan? Why should Japanese have the right to demographically invade Germany and vice versa in the name of radical libertarianism that has no use for national identities and borders? (Libertarian impulses grew most powerful among Anglos and Jews because the Anglos needed abstract principles to justify their control of vast non-British territory and because Jews like Bryan Caplan fear that any identitarian ideology among majority gentiles will threaten and undermine Jewish minority power in nations around the world.) Is a Greek’s life richer if he abandons his racial, cultural, and historical ties to his past and, instead, only cares about marijuana, gambling, gun collection, and lower taxes? (One thing for sure, Jews certainly don’t feel that way, which is why devious Jews will push libertarianism on unsuspecting conservatives but never among their own kind. For Jews, Jewishness comes first. Jews know that spreading libertarianism among conservatives is the first step toward de-conservatizing them. After all, if white conservative come to defending their positions according to abstract principles than on real issues of power based on racial unity, demography, land, and sexual loyalty within the race, then the first step in the deracination of white people has taken place. Even though Liberals may not agree with libertarianism, at the very least libertarianism will have the effect of blinding white conservatives to the vision of power rooted in Blood-and-Soil, which is the real basis for power. Why is Russia still Russia? Blood and Soil. Why is China still China? Blood and Soil. Why are Jew so powerful? All said and done, despite all their yammering about principles, Jews think of Jewishness first. Jews thinks of Jewish blood, and since Jews don’t have much of their own land, they try to make gentiles not think of their own so that Jews can gain control over them. There used to be a time when White Americans were proud of how they conquered, settled, and claimed the vast land that became America. But Jews have been working overtime to make whites feel guilty for having ‘stolen’ that land. That way, the white sense of ownership over white lands has been greatly diminished. White people go from pride of land to shame of land. And since America has been re-branded as the ‘nation of immigrants’, all that ‘stolen’ land can only be redeemed by arrivals of tens of millions of new immigrants, mostly non-white. Btw, how can more immigration redeem the ‘historical sins’ of white folks? If whites are guilty of having stolen the land from the American Indians, how does it serve the right of American Indians to be invaded by more Hispanics, more Africans, more Asians, more Muslims, etc? Suppose I break into your house and take over. How does it help you if I atone for my trespassing by inviting others to trespass into your house too? If indeed the great ‘historical crime’ of America is the theft of sacred land from Indians, we should stop immigration, make more room for Indians, and elect someone like late David Yeagley to be president.)
There is no absolute delineation between art and action, between speech and life. So, even though we can freely speak more than we can freely act, we still need to think about what we say when it may cause a disturbance. We need to ask why we would or should cause such a disturbance in the first place. Are we just being mischievous, nihilistic, cruel, and/or sadistic, or do we believe the turbulence will, in effect, necessarily speak truth to power and have some kind of cathartic value? After all, normality or respectability could conceal corruption, wickedness, or blindness. Consider the opening of Akira Kurosawa’s BAD SLEEP WELL where respectable members of the business community are gathered as the wedding of rich man’s daughter. On the surface, everything seems perfect, but as we listen in on the chatter of the newspapermen, we sense not all is well in the world. And Kurosawa’s RAN begins atop mountain hills from which the world looks to be at peace. We see order and harmony upon the land; there appears to be an truce among rival clans and loyalty within the clan. But as the order had been founded upon bloodshed and as the rivalries inside and outside the clan are far from over, it’s really just a ruse, an illusion. Similarly, BLUE VELVET opens on a note of tranquility in the idyllic suburbs, but one need only look beneath the surface to sense the darkness within the community and beyond its perimeters.
Even so, humans have a natural allergy to anything that disturbs the peace. Paradoxically enough, even crazy Negroes often kill one another because every Negro has his own sense of ‘righteous order’ that he wishes to establish by offing other crazy Negroes. Even Negro street gang thinks it should rule the turf, so it be blasting away at rival gangs. Each Negro ho done think she be the sweet mama whose ass should be attracting all the brothas, so she get mighty upset when some skankass biatch be challenging her the position of her ‘twerking’ booty in the community. Thankfully, America has more non-Negroes than Negroes as non-Negroes have a more elevated concept of social peace and moral righteousness that revolves around something other than the ‘politics’ of the fists, dicks, and ass.
The thing is, people don’t like to be shaken out of their crib or cocoon of personal and social order. Thus, the merely gratuitous act of saying or expressing disturbing, ugly, nasty, or hideous stuff just to upset people has little social or moral value. To be sure, there’s a kind of gaper’s fascination with ugliness and retardation among the populace, which is why TV talk shows and Judge/Courtroom shows are so popular. Though most people don’t want to be humiliated like the fools who come on Jerry Springer or Judge Joe Brown, they get a kick from watching the misdeeds/misfortunes of others with a blend of sensationalism and moral righteousness. It’s like we don’t want to be involved in a car accident, but there’s a long gapers’ delay(aka rubbernecking) whenever there’s some horrible misfortune on the side of the road.
Anyway, people should be careful what they say in both personal and public life, though, of course, Political Correctness is the wrong remedy as it forbids necessarily ‘offensive’ speech as well as truly offensive ones; it tends to throw out the baby with the bathwater, especially if the baby shits all over the sanctimony of Jewish power.
Consider EYES WIDE SHUT and what happens when Alice Harford(Nicole Kidman), in a moment of loosened inhibition via drug-induced haze, says something about a fantasy lover to her husband Bill(Tom Cruise). She confesses something out of the norm, and it has the effect of shaking Billy boy to his core. Of course, she had no idea that her confession would have just this effect, though, maybe subconsciously, she wished it would. Consciously, she loves Bill very much, but subconsciously, she feels trapped with him as her wildest sexual fantasies involve another man — which may remind us of Bibi Andersson’s character’s dilemma in PERSONA when she confesses to the Liv Ullmann character that she had wild sex with some beach stud and experienced multiple mega-orgasms but then returned home and played the loyal lover to the nice-but-dull guy in her life; the man she lives with and feels affection for is not THE man of her dreams who, thankfully at the very least, isn’t a Negro though, what with all the vast demographic changes recently in Sweden, it could be lots of Swedish women are now having sex and birthing mulatto children with African jigger-jivers. (I recall reading somewhere that Bergman’s mother cheated on her husband, something that may have filled Bergman with both hostility and sympathy; hostility because no son wants to discover that his mother is an unfaithful ‘whore’ but also sympathy because Bergman, who resented and sometimes even hated his strict father, would have understood her desire to break free and be her own person; Bergman’s life was a weird combination of his father-ism and his mother-ism; like his father, he was very possessive, control-freakish, demanding, and harsh/stern at times, but like his mother, he was independent-willed and adamant in having it his way; he led a life where he was both the cuckolded and the ‘cuckolder’, especially when he had affairs with married women; in FAITHLESS, the character who represents Bergman steals a woman from her husband but acts like he’s the wronged party when she sometimes returns to her husband, indeed as if she is cheating on him when she’s cheating on her husband to be with him.) It’s like Daniel Day-Lewis’s character in THE AGE OF INNOCENCE consciously feels it’s his duty, both personally and socially, to stick with the Winona Ryder character, but deep down inside, he wants to be with the Michelle Pfeiffer character.
Both the Nicole Kidman character and the Daniel Day-Lewis character were willing to give up everything to go with the lovers of their dreams but decided to settle for ‘second best’, but in the way of love, #2 can’t burn even half as brightly as #1. It’s like Bella gets kind of close to Jacob in NEW MOON, but the moment she senses the Cullens are back in town, she drops Jacob like he’s yesterday’s paper. At the end, she says: “Jake, I love you. But don’t make me choose… because it will be him. It’s always been him.” Since Bella never committed to Jacob, it’s no big deal to tell him the truth, though soon after, he does get upset enough to transform into a giant wolf.
But it’s a different matter in EYES WIDE SHUT because Bill and Alice Harford are committed to one another in marriage. If the wife says something really ‘heavy’ out of the blue, the male mind isn’t likely to digest what it has been forced to swallow… though certain ‘faggoty-ass’ white Liberal pussy-boys might get thrills out of cuckold fantasies, especially ones involving giant Negroes. Such white boys might as well be called ‘cuckoldites’. At the one end of white political spectrum, there’s the Ku-Klux-Klan, and at the other the end, there’s the Cuc-Kold-Man. The former is afeared that every Negro it out to rape his wife and daughter, and the latter is thrilled that some Negro might hump his wife and daughter. Anyway, the bomb that Alice drops on Bill has the effect of some southern belle telling her white husband that, while she feels affection for him as a husband, she really wants to get it on with Mandingo as only a super-Negro can truly satisfy her. Since saying such stuff has the effect of creating emotional havoc in the house, there has to be a good reason for letting that cat out of the bag. Saying it just to be mean and cruel to the husband is simply nastiness. But discussion of such matters to get to the root of the racial problem may be necessary if indeed drastic measures are necessary to deal with the problems. Though the likes of James Baldwin denounced the D.W. Griffith’s classic THE BIRTH OF A NATION as being near-genocidal against blacks — to be sure, the movie is okay with ho-de-do-ing Nice Negroes and only hostile toward uppity and lascivious jivers — , one could equally argue that the movie is anti-genocidal of the white race, i.e. since racial integration of blacks and whites will lead to stronger, bigger, and nastier blacks whupping white men — like Jack Johnson whupped a whole lot of white guys — and conquering white women who will increasingly give birth to mulatto-black babies — , white race-ism is a necessary defensive strategy for the survival, power, health, and unity of the white race. Racial integration of whites and blacks would essentially be a form of ‘genoraptus’ or geno-rape by blacks upon whites. When the powerful converge with the powerless, the former sexually conquers the latter. This is why most mestizos in Latin America are the products of Hispanic males raping or sexually dominating native women. This is why Mongol barbarian beasts raped many Russian women. This is why, when whites had political and social control over blacks, most mixed-blood children in the American South were the products of white guys drilling black women. But without the social and political advantages over blacks, whites are not equal with blacks. Biology intrudes into the racial equation, and it favors the blacks who are stronger, tougher, and meaner than whites. So, white males are ‘pussified’ before black males who gain control over white women. While many white women will be criminally raped by black men, many more will voluntarily go with Negro men out of the conviction that black males are racially-sexually superior to white men. In effect, this is black male rape of white male. Suppose a white guy and a black guy must fight for the right of ‘white pussy’. Suppose the black guy whups, humiliates, and totally pussifies the white guy before the white girl and then humps the white girl either through rape or her lustful surrender to him. The white guy has been psychologically raped into pussy-boy-hood. Just look at what Jack Johnson did to Jim Jeffries. It was essentially male-rape. Indeed, after the fight, the pussified Jeffries said in meek tones that he wouldn’t have been able to beat Johnson in a 100 yrs, not in a 1000 yrs. He surrendered his manhood to the superior Negro. He was reduced to white pussyboy-hood while the triumphant Negro went around banging more white women. When Soviet soldiers raped German women in front of German men who stood around peeing in their pants and too afraid to defend their own women, the physical rape was on German women, but psychological rape was on German. Genoraptus is happening to the white race in America, and Jews are loving every minute of it, and yet, Conservatives suck up to Jews and praise films like BLIND SIDE and Lee Daniel’s THE BUTLER. Pathetic.
Of course, many white males are unaware of this since they’ve been brainwashed and heart-wrung otherwise by Political Correctness. But there are also lots of white Liberal men who know genoraptus to be taking place but don’t resist since they think it’s only right that the cooler and manlier black guys should take the best white girls while they stand in the sidelines as second-rate bench-warmers or wussy waterboys. As they worship black music and black athletes, they’d indeed be honored if black guys did their mothers, wives, girlfriends, and daughters. Quentin Tarantino, the worshiper of all things Negro, certainly feels this way as he grew up under a skanky mother whose idea of fun was serving as groupie for NBA Negroes. Of course, there’s cognitive, as well as cocknitive, dissonance here. How can white Liberals say there’s no racial differences but then worship and bow down before Negroes on the basis of black superiority? Let’s just say the human mind is funny that way.
So, the future of the white race is genoraptus at the hands of blacks. Not only are black outbreeding whites in America but millions of Africans are arriving in America and having lots of kids, many of them with white women. Though black women may be upset with white women taking black men, they too find satisfaction in the fact that white pussies will produce black babies, and thus, the black race will ‘steal’ the best features of the white race. I mean how many black women reject Obama because he’s the product of a black penis in a white vagina? A white woman who goes with a black man has erased her whiteness from the face of the planet. Her vagina will never produce a white baby, and the mulatto child that squeezes out of her mudshark poon will be considered black… just like Obama. Of course, the future of Europe is much the same. As European women have 1.2 child per woman while black African women have 7 children per woman and as the ‘progressive’ and ‘multicultural’ policies of Europe are all for ‘diversity’ and increased immigration — especially with media and politics being controlled by Jews over there as over here — , most of Europe will look like Morocco or Yemen in less than a hundred years. Tens of thousands of years in the making of the European Race, and it will all be pissed away because of the vile and hideous Jewish Supremacist agenda to break the spine of white identity, unity, power, and pride.
This is why the inconvenient truth must sometimes be said, as what passes for ‘normality’ and ‘respectability’ in our world is as full of BS as the corrupt business world in BAD SLEEP WELL. In Kurosawa’s films, so much corruption and even occasional murders go unnoticed as they’re merely the way of doing business. Some stories are reported but soon swept under the carpet or tatami by bigger powers-that-be. Similar kind of mind-set can be seen in SEPPUKU(aka HARAKIRI) by Masaki Kobayashi and CHINATOWN by Towne/Polanski: Respectability and Normality are the preserve of the Powerful and Privileged.
In our Jewish-Homo or Jomo cabalistic world, there’s a lot of things that aren’t supposed to be noticed, aren’t supposed to be said, and aren’t supposed to be challenged. Indeed, not only are those who dare to violate the ‘new normality’ of Political Correctness(that privileges Jewish supremacism and Homo neo-aristocraticism) destroyed and blacklisted — effectively rendered silent in a media culture dominated by hideous Jews — but almost no one dares to come to their support. Indeed, prominent Conservatives are so afraid of Political Correctness that prominent Liberals are, on occasion, more likely to come to the aid of certain victims of Political Correctness. After Brendan Eich was forced to resign as C.E.O. of Mozillo for having championed true marriage, almost no prominent Conservative came to his aid as they didn’t want to be tarred-and-feathered as ‘guilty by association’. Rather, it was some prominent Liberals who, even as supporters of ‘gay marriage’, complained that the ‘gay mafia had gone too far’ — though they left out the fact that the ‘gay mafia’ has been enabled by the Jewish Supremacist mafia. In such a cultural climate, we need to break the silence for the so-called ‘new normal’ consensus of pod-peopllike-mindedness is based not on truth and justice but on lies and distortions perpetrated and disseminated by vile Jewish supremacists who are doing everything to undermine what is healthily and naturally normal in order to institute the rule of hostile elite minoritarian supremacism.
I have no use for punks and morons who like to disturb the social peace and cultural norms just to be gratuitously nasty, ugly, retarded, and offensive. It’s like someone burping, farting, or picking their nose in public just to annoy people. Such behavior may grab people’s attention, but class clown antics have no value whatsoever. After all, we should ideally respect the peace, order, and stability of society. And yet, there are times when certain things must be noticed, certain ideas must be aired, certain observations must be made known. Not to make trouble for trouble’s sake but to alert people of the deep stench of rot that lays under the perfumed superfice of deception and decadence. But then, it’s not easy for most people to break the normality and order since they grew up under the system, are too much a part of it, and fear being ostracized.
So, they have too much to lose for them to muster the courage to deviate from the ‘normal’ or the ‘new normal’. They’ve been too brainwashed by the system to dare challenge it. Even if they may suspect something isn’t quite wrong and are willing to make professional sacrifices to speak the truth, there may be personal reasons that hinder them from speaking the truth. Clearly, a politician who owes his success to Jewish money and media is not going to speak truth to Jewish power. But suppose someone is willing to face demotion or blacklisting to speak the truth. But even he might have Jewish friends or certain fond remembrances of Jews he’d known in life, and that can serve as emotional brakes on speaking frankly. Indeed, it seems as if devious Jews make friends on all sides in order to emotionally blackmail people from being ‘antisemitic’. So, a ‘white nationalist’ who has some Jewish friends might be far more careful about speaking the full truth to Jewish power since he may fear offending his dear friends, especially since all of us — even ‘anti-Semites’ — have been conditioned to feel that we are better people if we’re friends with Jews. If one says, “I have white friends, Muslim friends, Asian friends, or etc”, it’s no big deal. But if one says that he or she has Jewish or homo friends, that’s supposed to mean one is especially decent for befriending such people. So, we’ve been made to value Jewish friends more than other kinds of friends, and people are more loathe to offend their Jewish friends than their gentile friends. If you have a Catholic friend and say something that might offend Catholics, you might just explain why you feel the way you do. But if you have a Jewish friend and say something that might offend Jews, you might shit your pants and hope the Jewish friend doesn’t regard you as a Nazi. This is why the ‘outsider hero’ is so essential, which is why the Arthurian or Amfortasian Order needed someone like Parsifal the outsider to restore order to the kingdom. Parsifal the outsider-hero is free of the inhibitions, conventions, associations, and obligations that weigh down everyone who’s long been a member of the club. But as nearly all of us have been tainted by our relations and associations with Jews — though surely not all Jews are cunning, devious, shrewd, hideous, odious, noxious, vile, and etc. — , it’s difficult for us break free of the ‘normal’ inhibitions and to fully speak truth to power. Indeed, notice how Jared Taylor doesn’t say a single word about Jews in the following video:
Whether out of fear of Jews — as Jewish organizations have made it very difficult for him to hold American Renaissance Conferences — or out of hope that Jews might be won over the cause(ROTFL), Taylor bitches on and on about Africans, Asians, Muslims, and Ted Kennedy, but he refuses to mention the fact that Jews played an instrumental role in changing the racial character of this nation, indeed to the point where white people now celebrate their own demographic eclipse in the very nation founded by their European ancestors. We need a Parsifal, indeed many Parsifals who are without inhibitions to speak truth to the faces of hideous and ugly Jewish Supremacist overlords, but then, who amongst us, especially if prominent, isn’t associated with the Jewish power structure and/or with Jewish friends somewhere down the line?
Anyway, Bill Harford says in EYES WIDE SHUT, “and no dream is just a dream”, and it’s true enough that no words(especially strong words)are just words, and no movie is just a movie. They all say something about us, for us, against us, beneath us, or beyond us. And they all have to do power, controls, possibilities, and dangers. So, we have to mindful of when and why we choose to disturb the peace. Without such mindfulness, disturbance of the peace is mere petulance.
So, when someone enters into abnormal, dangerous, or disturbing zones of exploration/expression, we naturally demand some kind of justification. Why is he or she disturbing the peace, provoking us, and saying or showing us something that makes us uneasy? To be sure, we may also ask what it means if a large segment of the population — even the majority — have become accustomed to being prodded and unnerved this way? What happens when things that should disturb us give us kicks instead, even to the point of addicting us to them as a fix, which may explain why some people feel a constant need to watch horror movies and wallow in the cult of ugliness, putridity, and hideousness(that have become the mainstay of our popular culture, to the point where ‘dark and disturbed’ is the usual MTV fare), often without any moral, intellectual, social, or whatever justification. Indeed, the question of justification becomes more problematic for a society where so many people have become so inured to the abnormal, pathological, or degenerate — at least the kind sanctioned by the official culture that, for example, admires ‘Piss Christ’ and Robert Mapplethorpe but freaks out about someone like Charles Parrent of the ‘Naziserie’ notoriety — , indeed to the point where they can’t even be provoked anymore to really think about the ‘controversy’. When Sam Peckinpah’s STRAW DOGS was released, there was a genuine firestorm of debate about sex, violence, and human nature. But what was the purpose of the remake but to peddle cheap sex and violence — and to score cheap shots against white southerners, as if they are the ones who are committing most of the home invasions and rapes when vile Negroes hog the mayhem industry in the South as in the rest of the nation? And despite the court hearing about Robert Mapplethorpe, the fact is most people were bored by the ‘controversy’, and it(and other related ‘controversies’) would have never made the news if certain elements of the Christian Right did the ‘art’ community a favor by raising a stink about it. And with homosexuality and homophilia being promoted not merely as a deviant form of ‘sexuality’ that should be tolerated in a free society but as the ‘new normal’ — with harsh penalty for those who refuse to bend over to this dogma that made insanity into inanity — , what does it mean to disturb the peace, subvert the mainstream, question the normal, challenge the powers-that-be, and raise inconvenient questions? With the pathological and the degenerate as the new faces of normality while natural norms have been relegated to pariah status — with naturally normal people now being pressured to repress their feelings, attitudes, and thoughts in order to accommodate the Jomo Cabal — , the moral/intellectual meaning of arts, culture, and entertainment has grown ever cloudier. If our society demands — via threats of demotion, shunning, firing, and blacklisting — that all naturally normal people repress their true feelings & thoughts and force themselves to agree with the proposition that two guys doing fecal penetration on each other is of equal biological, moral, cultural, and historical value as the sexual behavior between men and women, we are indeed living in a kind of unreality. (To be sure, much of this homo business has to do with the rise of the so-called Creative Class, which should be called the ‘Creass’. The Creass that dominates the biggest cities in America are uniquely positioned to expand their power while muting all opposition. White Conservatives tend to be supportive of the Creass since most members of the Creass are affluent whites. So, even though the Creass is, by and large, anti-Conservative, white Conservatives suck up to its members and defend them because they just love the notion of ‘privileged white people’. So, even though white/Jewish/homo creass in New York sneer at white Conservatives, the latter defend policies such as Stop-and-Frisk-the-Negroes since they see such as being beneficial to affluent white/Jewish New Yorkers. If anything, many white Conservatives are desperately trying to make all white conservatives sign onto ‘gay marriage’ so that Conservatism will win the approval of the rich white/Jewish/homo Creass in cities like New York and San Francisco. For all their yammering about values and heritage, most white Conservatives are shallow and crass sucker-uppers to anyone with money, privilege, and power, especially if he or she happens to be white or Jewish. Since the Creass is mostly white/Jewish and affluent, white Conservatives will never fully oppose them. If anything, as with the issue of Stop-and-Frisk-the-Negroes, white Conservatives will go out of their way to defend any policy that favors the Creass — as whore Ann Coulter have done. Never mind that such a policy, if instituted by white conservatives in the South, would be met with a firestorm of outrage from New York and San Francisco or Transisco. But and here’s the zinger, the Creass is also protected from the rage of Negroes and the resentment of Hispanics since it is politically Democratic. So, even though the Creass support policies that favor white/Jewish/homo uber-class over blacks and brown, the blacks and browns mute their criticism since they are politically allied with the Creass against the ‘racist’ white Republicans. Another group that could be threatening to the Creass is the intellectual/artistic community, and indeed the old Wasp elites who’d ruled the big cities came under assault from Jewish writers, intellectuals, & academics, homosexual activists, feminist hags, and bohemian artists. But since there’s so much collusion and mutual understanding between the economic giants of the New Economy and the world of intellectuals, artists, & ‘progressive’ activists — it certainly helps that both groups have a huge Jewish representation, and of course, Jews stick together — , most of the intellectual & artistic types only gripe just a little and mostly go along with the arrangement in favor of the Creass. After all, the concept of the Creative Class was to forge a cultural, economic, and political alliance between the Urban Rich and the Bohemians/Radicals.)
As confused as our socio-cultural situation may be, for most of us sane and ‘square’ folks there is still the issue of justification when certain words and expressions happen to be provocative, disturbing, subversive, and/or offensive. We want to know if such expressions are made only for shock value, titillation, attention-grabbing, nastiness, notoriety, and/or ‘look ma, no hands’ childishness. Or, is there an underlying emotional content or philosophical sensibility behind the expression that at least justifies its urgency, rage, or ‘extremism’? No doubt, certain issues and themes are intrinsically dark and disturbing. A film about a serial murderer, an incestuous rapist, a chronic wife-beater, or torturer of animals or little children cannot be ‘just another movie’.
To be sure, some viewers may be attracted to such material for its sensationalism, and makers of such movies may use the veneer of moralism to mask what really amounts to trash to attract easy ‘controversy’. And of course, moral self-righteousness and narcissism are forms of sensationalism, which is why it’s so disingenuous for viewers of TV Talk Shows and Court TV to feign moral outrage at the sight of rotten people. They’re really in it for the shock value or freak show antics, but they harumph with a note of moral sincerity. This is why most social issue movies leave such a bad taste in one’s mouth. Most tend to be either sensationalism-hiding-behind-moralism or didacticism-exploiting-sensationalism. Sleazy movies that exploit disturbing subjects and then feign moral shock are beneath contempt. As for respectable middlebrow works that cautiously, tastefully, and solemnly deal with disturbing topics and then conclude with pat moral sermons, they are wrong in spirit even if well-meaning by intention. Certain subjects are too dark and disturbing to be explored, let alone understood, through conventional morality, which is a film like JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG by Stanley Kramer is bogus. And despite the power of its depiction of violence, SCHINDLER’S LIST also comes nowhere near understanding the Holocaust since it sticks to moral formulas too pat and conventional to weigh the true implications of the Holocaust. Conventional morality is sufficient for measuring right and wrong in the realm of social normality, but something else is required to understand figures and events that seem beyond the pale; you can measure outer space or inner space with a yard stick. (It’s like quantum mechanics works according to laws different from laws applying to the world around us.) This isn’t to say that normal people don’t have the right to pass moral judgment on dark and disturbing stuff. The problem of JUDGMENT OF NUREMBERG isn’t that the conclusion that Nazis carried out great evils — I mean, no shit. The problem is the near-total lack of imagination, curiosity, courage, and stomach to truly peer into the sick soul of Nazi Germany that made the Holocaust possible and even ‘normal’ during the war years. It’s one thing to understand and still pass judgement — which is the essence of art — but quite another to pass judgement without even trying to understand. Understanding isn’t the same thing as agreeing or endorsing, and understanding isn’t always necessary on the social level. If we hear of some serial murderer, serial cannibal, or serial rapist, it’s enough for us to regard him as some sicko freak who should be hanged. But if we are psychologists or artists, it’s not enough for us to say “that guy is bad, should be punished, and that’s that.” Though artists are not medical/psychological scientists, they must use their imagination and empathy to see and understand beyond social and moral norms. Of course, there is a certain dread for such empathy since understanding may lead to sympathy, and maybe sympathy can even lead to agreement. Consider how Truman Capote came to sympathize with the murderer of IN COLD BLOOD and pleaded with authorities to pardon him from the death penalty. Or consider how a film like DEAD MAN WALKING makes the audience sympathize with the scumbag on death row. And of course, some lawyers have gotten too close to their clients, going from representing them to downright rooting for them — even when they knew that their clients were guilty of the crime. Also, some perverts, sickos, and psychopaths can manipulate the empathy of others, which was the theme of PRIMAL FEAR where the Richard Gere character get outplayed real good by the Edward Norton character. While empathy makes us human, it is always fraught with danger since we can only assume how others are thinking and feeling. Indeed, a clever person can manipulate the empathy of others, thus making others believe that they understand something about the person that isn’t true. Politicians are, of course, masters at this, which is why they play to different crowd in different ways. So, Bill Clinton made every group feel that he felt their particular pain, and Obama the chameleon changed colors depending on the situation to manipulate dumb voters into seeing/feeling something about him that he wanted them to see/feel in him.
But despite such dangers, artists must do more than pass pat judgements with foregone conclusions. The difference between art and propaganda is that the latter is over as soon as it begins. We know this is good, that is bad, this is the message, that is the conclusion, and we know all this from the very first scene. So, whether it’s made well or badly, there are no surprises. A work of art is full of surprises even if the artist began with a certain vision or opinion in mind because, at every step, he was exploring the material than merely pushing an agenda. This is why Oliver Stone’s NIXON is such a powerful film. Even though Stone obviously loathed Nixon, he was at least trying to get under Tricky Dick’s skin to understand where he was coming from. Thus, an artist ventures forth and wants to be surprised by his own ‘discovery’; he works in the mode of the search than the sermon. Same goes for GOODFELLAS, a film that delves into the milieu and the mind-set of the Italian-American gangsters. TAXI DRIVER fascinates because it goes beyond saying either “New York is rotten and corrupt” or “Travis Bickle is a psychopathic nut”. That much we tell from the first scene, but what really draws us in is that the barrier between the rot-and-corruption(and psychopathy of Bickle) AND our ‘normal’ world isn’t as certain as we’d like to believe. One might see the movie screen as a wall that both blocks out the world and through which the world seeps in. While many movies are meant as pure escapism to make the audience forget the world, others are meant to bring the audience closer to reality than they are used to, want to, or likely to. TAXI DRIVER is like a combination of Michael Winner(of DEATH WISH fame) and Robert Bresson, and while the audience might get a kick out of the sight of vigilante Travis Bickle shooting a bad Negro and a bunch of pimps, the audience were also confronted with the side of Bickle that was clearly psychopathic: the hero-killer of rotten pimps could as easily have been a murderer of a popular politician. The man who sent a small-town girl back to her grandparents is himself steeped in the rot of urban depravity, indeed even as he detests it. Whatever one thinks of TAXI DRIVER, there’s no doubt that it was the work of two genuinely disturbed artists. The writer Paul Schrader was a neurotic beset with all manner of cultural contradictions and guilt issues, and Martin Scoresese was a tribalist-cosmopolitan who had yet to resolve his issues of Catholicism, Little Italy origin, passion for Counterculture, and fascination with intellectual New York. They both had a love/hate thing with New York, and the result was TAXI DRIVER. So, even if one feels that TAXI DRIVER is a bad film or a demented piece of ‘racist-sexist’ craziness, one cannot deny that it was ‘justified’ along personal, psychological, and social lines that pervaded the inner worlds of Schrader and Scorsese.
|BITTER MOON – Skanky Whore|
The same case could be made for the films of Roman Polanski, about whom two or three things stand out. (1) He’s naturally a crazy Jew filled with both excess self-loathing and vanity (2) horrible things happened to his family during World War II when Nazis were ravaging Poland (3) his wife Sharon Tate was murdered by a sick cult, rather ironic since Polanski is something of a sicko himself. Whether one likes him or not — and even if one finds most of his films repulsive and reprehensible — , there’s no denying that he’s the real thing whose obsessions with dark-and-disturbing material stem from both personal, social, and historical factors. One doesn’t have to accept that his films are morally justified to at least accept that they are psychologically ‘justified’ in his need to exorcize and/or exercise his inner gargoyles. I found BITTER MOON to be amongst the most stomach-churning films I ever did see, but I couldn’t deny the genuineness of the complexes on display.
Park Chan-Wook’s films are even harder to take, and his has a vile sensibility, but I don’t doubt the sincerity of the rage, resentment, hatred, and loathing that run through his films. One could argue he’s going about it the wrong way, growling and flailing back at a social order that beats and boils people’s bodies and souls into dog-meat soup, but the emotions seem real enough. If anything is bogus about his films, it’s the pseudo-intellectualism and faux-complexity that frame the simple emotions of revenge and hatred with hackneyed art film cliches. It’s like dog-meat soup and kimchi served with fancy European plate and cutlery. If you’re gonna go Genghis Khan on a society perceived to be grossly unjust on so many levels, don’t pretend you’re Salvador Dali or Rene Magritte. The problem isn’t that Park’s inspiration drawn from foreign cinema as everyone draws inspiration from everyone else. After all, TAXI DRIVER would be inconceivable without European influences.
Nevertheless, one shouldn’t borrow more than necessary and one shouldn’t over-elaborate something that is inherently simple-minded and simple-felt. True, we can understand that Korean society is hierarchical and there are layers and layers of bullying and abuse whereby the inferiors must eat humble pie and grin and bear it and respect, on the basis of age and rank, social ‘superiors’ who are clearly moral and intellectual inferiors. We can understand how this doesn’t sit well with hot-tempered Koreans — far less than with the Japanese since humble mochi or sushi is easier to stomach than humble kimchi which is anything but. Since the Korean character is impulsive, impatient, extreme, and demented, the culture of repressive politeness and saving face(even if or especially because much abuse must be swept under the rug) is harder to take among Koreans than among the Japanese. A Japanese might be knocked around by his superiors, bow low, slink away, and just play some videogames; he might just accept the abuse as how the world works. Also, Japanese abuse may be less nasty since Japanese have a high degree of social form and etiquette. So, they have a more codified way of abusing people and taking abuse, so the bad feelings are better compartmentalized. But the demented Koreans, being more impulsive and cruder, might be more extreme in abusing people, and the corollary of this could be that abused are more prone to getting all crazy-like, which explains the totally demented films of Park Chan Wook. Takashi Miike is a demented lunatic, but there’s at least a sense of play in his movies. Park, in contrast, is earnest. Still, even if one cannot endorse Park’s emotions, one can still acknowledge them as real. What we can’t stomach is the pseudo-intellectual art film mannerisms and tropes that clutter his film, as if he needs to justify his pornographic revenge fantasies as serious art. Consider the utterly worthless second segment of THREE EXTREMES that is needlessly complicated in purveying very simple anger-mismanagement issues. It’d be like if the V-Tech mass killer went about his rampage dancing the ballet. (In a nutshell, Park segment says the modern liberal affluent Korean man has old urges brewing inside him. The traditional Korean male wants his wife to be dutiful, stay up late night and cook for him when he gets home, give him a son, and blah blah blah. The modern liberal affluent globalist Korean male is so different… or is he? So, we enter the subconscious where the modern liberal affluent Korean guy’s wife is held captive by some poor resentful bastard who may represent the state of most Koreans before the economic boom. Thus, subconscious is associated with the substrata of Koreans who remain poor and unprivileged. In the film, the wife of the modern liberal affluent Korean guy doesn’t stay up for him, does as she pleases, and is very westernized. On the conscious level, he’s cool with that, but as the story unravels, we discover the modern liberal affluent Korean guy is still possessed by the old desires, emotions, prejudices, and anxieties. The young girl he’s supposed to save turns out to be a boy, meaning he prefers a boy. And his subconscious sees his modern westernized wife as a bloodsucker who won’t give him a son. His conscious self wants to save and defend her, but his subconscious self wants to punish and kill her, and the final image has him strangling his wife to save her, i.e. he thinks he’s strangling the boy the save his wife, but he’s actually strangling the wife, prolly because she didn’t give him a son. The problem with the film is the gulf between the simplicity of the emotions and the needless complexity of the arty conception.)
Same kind of bogus pseudo-intellectualism runs through the repulsive and ghastly SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! As the final image in the credit sequence shows the villain in his younger days petting a dog, it isn’t difficult to guess at the underlying emotional issue. Korean society abuses social inferiors, abuses kids, and beats-and-eats dogs. Thus, children cannot grow up with a healthy sense of community and morality. Indeed, how would a child feel if he loves a puppy dog but his parents beat it up and eat it? How would children feel growing up in a society that makes so much about morality, virtue, and honor, but so many people are crass, wicked, abusive, corrupt, and demented? There’s bound to confusion, hatred, self-loathing, and desire for revenge. A whole bunch of idiots might become afflicted with ‘Han’, which is all too believable on the evidence of demented Korean cinema. (I think 50% of the problem can be solved if Koreans stop killing their dogs and start hugging them instead.) But instead of dealing with these issues in a straightforward manner, both Park and the idiot who made SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! pompously obfuscated and magnified their anger issues with lots of arty prop, references, framing devices, and plot twists, as if such will elevate their rage into stuff of intellectual significance or ingenious satire. Though they seem to be crying out for greater honesty and truth, they simultaneously try to score points and pull rank as important artists or auteurs, which goes to show that they are just as status-obsessive as the very social order they are condemning.
Perhaps, even more dispiriting is when the dark vision of certain artists become celebrated to the point where it is no longer an expression of his inner demons but a cash cow for milking the public. It’s one thing for an artist to dredge out the darkness he feels within and sees around him because he feels compelled to do so, but it’s quite another for him to keep doing it because it’s expected of him and it’s become fashionably associated with his reputation. Paul Schrader wrote TAXI DRIVER when he was feeling especially depressed and suicidal, and the work reflects whatever genuine pain and confusion he felt at the time. But suppose, with much success and acclaim, an artist is no longer so depressed or confused and indeed feeling pretty good.
|Shit out of luck in THE COUNSELOR|
But suppose he’s been tagged in the critical community and the public as the ‘man with dark vision’; furthermore, suppose the audience have no interest in other things he wants to do, and suppose he isn’t as good with lighter stuff as he was with darker stuff. But what if the dark clouds have really left him? If he strains to retain his dark vision to squeeze out more works in the old vein, he isn’t quite the genuine artist he’d once been. And if he cynically cranks out more dark visions because it’s a surefire way to remain relevant within the cultist or critical community that admires him, he would be, at best, a talented phony. I suspect this may be the case with Cormac McCarthy’s screenplay of THE COUNSELOR, though maybe the fault is more with Ridley Scott who tends to make everything overly slick and polished like advertising — still, the gun battle on the highway is one of the most frighteningly real; for once, a film shows that men with pistols are NO MATCH for a guy with one of them automatic rapid-fire guns shaped like an Uzi. While THE COUNSELOR has some real strengths — as a kind of philosophical noir — , one can’t help feeling that McCarthy’s dark vision has become a fashion statement. That the material is disturbing and depressing goes without saying. But as with films like KILLING THEM SOFTLY and KILLER JOE — by Tracy Letts and William Friedkin — , the moral meaning seems secondary to the expression that’s mostly surface posturing and pat truisms, however well-written they may be. It’s haute vision of hell has ‘boutique’ written all over it. It doesn’t feel like McCarthy is offering new insights about the world but merely recycling what he’s said and done before in slicker and fancier packaging. Of course, one could argue that THAT is the very point, i.e. our world is so corrupt and soulless that the winners only care about winning and conscience doesn’t even exist to be rejected in the first place. Devil wears Prada indeed — and people from the land of Pravda are into Prada too, as the cold-hearted Slavic bitch who win the game at the end seems to be from Russia or some such place. As for those play the game and lose, they are only capable of learning ‘right and wrong’ when they are forced to face the consequences of defeat.. As for the rest of us, we are either too jaded and/or cynical to understand or judge the foulness we are seeing, or more likely, not seeing. We may not admire the winners, and we may not lack sympathy for the losers, but we are all too accepting of the world as a hell that has no place for naive concepts such as ‘hope’, which is for suckers. The world isn’t about heaven and hell. It’s about hell paved with gold and hell paved with garbage. Winners become devils with the gold, losers become devils with the garbage. So, in the end, what does it matter? In such a world, it’s better to win, and if you’ve lost your soul along the way, maybe you didn’t have a soul to begin with. And if you lose, you’re just shit out of luck and you have to accept the consequences. It’s like a rabbit has no right to complain when it’s being torn apart by a coyote or cheetah. If you choose to play that game — winner takes all, loser stands small — (and it appears that the globalized world without borders and traditional cultural restraints are moving in that direction), then you wear a diamond ring is you win, and you end up dead or broken if you lose. And the logic of winning is to win it all and leave nothing for the loser. A zero sum game. Pity is passe. So, the professional counselor in the film needs to be counseled himself on the way of the world, and it ain’t a pretty lesson. Perhaps, this is a corruption of Catholicist view of the world. Pauline Kael in this interview below says Catholicist influence in cinema altered America’s perception of morality, making it more cynical about progress and more accepting of corruption as the way of the world. This kind of ultra-cynical world-view — without any inhibitions of moral sentiment or anxiety — seems rife in films like SPRINGBREAK, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, THE BLING RING, KILLING THEM SOFTLY, SOPRANOS, and many others. This isn’t to suggest that the makers and admirers of such films endorse the worlds depicted in them but to say that spirit of corruption has become the very air that we breathe. No longer do we say, “I didn’t inhale.” (Political Correctness is like a substitute faux-morality since we are now so okay with greed, lust, vulgarity, tawdriness, ugliness, hideousness, skankiness, whore-ishness, vanity, narcissism, infantilism, wantonness, porny-ness, thuggery, boioioioing-ness, and etc. So, never mind that Donald Sterling was a shameless sleazebag all his life. He finally got in trouble because, golly gee whiz, he said something that might be ‘racist’, i.e. he didn’t want some mulatto-mestizo mistress to take photos with multi-millionaire Negro celebrities. So, you can be a totally lousy, greedy, and porny shit as long as you shower praise on mega-millionaire Negro athletes.) Indeed, David Thomson, the film critic for the New Republic, went out of his way to praise THE WOLF OF WALL STREET as one of Scorsese’s best(if not his best) film for having dropped all pretense of hangups about guilt, sin, and all that. In other words, Scorsese did well to surrender his last vestige of moralism, spiritualism, and judgmentalism, and take off his clothes and dive into the orgy porgy of money, sex, and drugs. (Of course, Thomson isn’t endorsing the lifestyle depicted, even celebrated, in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. He’s arguing for honesty as a virtue in its own right, i.e. if Scorsese is so fascinated with debauchery, he should say come right out and say he loves that stuff instead of pretending to approach it from the perspective of guilt and redemption. Thomson’s attitude probably reflects his snobbish British attitude about dumb, vulgar, trashy, and childish Americans.) Is this an act of liberation or an act of surrender? It’s difficult to tell anymore. The word ‘liberation’ used to connote being freed from tyranny and oppression, whereas ‘surrender’ means giving into tyranny and oppression. What happens when we surrender our morality and sentiments to greed, lust, nihilism, vanity, and narcissism? Are we being liberated from ‘repressive’ and ‘oppressive’ inhibitions that passed themselves off as ‘morality’ and ‘responsibility’? Or are we surrendering to the inhuman, demonic, animalistic, and heartless urges and drives within us? Are we freed from false illusions of right-and-wrong that Nietzsche critiqued as ‘slave morality’ or are we being chained to a far worse kind of slavery where all things are judged by power, money, status, position, and ability to win and vanquish other? Without moral roots, liberation from social restraints is a surrender to animal instincts, and once animalized, people become the sensation-slaves or ‘senslaves’ of those who control the TV, movie, music, porn, food, drug, and fashion industries. And it is why THE WOLF OF WALL STREET feels so hollow and empty despite the expert film-making that shows Scorsese can now direct films blindfolded. Indeed, it looks like a film flawlessly directed by a Scorsese computer program. Of course, David Thomson wasn’t saying that art should be about ‘get paid and get laid’. He’s saying that Scoresese, like Cecil B. DeMille and Fellini, is so obsessed and even addicted to the wild life that he might as well just stop worrying and get in on the fun without the disingenuous stuff about right-and-wrong and good-and-evil. It’s about time Scorsese the snake finally shed the dried up snake-skin of Little Italy Catholicism. Personally, though I found Scorsese’s moralizing unconvincing and even offensive in movies like CAPE FEAR, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, and THE DEPARTED, I thought the moral sensibility in GOODFELLAS and CASINO were goldilocks-perfect: hidden but eyeing action, like the motif of the eyeglass-billboard in THE GREAT GATSBY. (THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is very keen on one thing, and it’s about the ‘third-level’ of communication among Jews. There are three levels of communication among humans. The first level is the most simple. You say what you mean and that’s that. The second level of communication is where you say one thing but hint at or mean something other. The third level of communication, the trickiest of the three, is where you say one thing but seem to be indicating something other but then could be indicating something other than the other. There are many times when the guys in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET are communicating on the first level, talking candidly about what they wanna do. But consider the scene where DiCaprio’s character slips a note to alert Jonah Hill’s character that he, DiCaprio, is wired and informing for the FBI. DiCaprio’s character seems to be operating on the second level of communication — saying one thing but slipping another message — , but he’s actually operating on the third level of communication. He’s hinting to Jonah Hill’s character to take the written note and inform on him to the FBI. He’s actually doing a favor for a friend to protect him, i.e. if Hill informs on him, the FBI will offer him a deal as well and go easy on him. Unless we take into account the third level of communication, we might assume that the Jonah Hill’s character simply ratted out his friend. DiCaprio’s character knew the company was going down, but he wanted to save his closest friend, a fellow Jew. When Jews lived mostly apart from goyim, they could speak Yiddish and not be understood by gentiles. But when Jews spoke the same language as the gentiles, they needed to master not only the second level but the third level of communication so that, wink wink, they would send signals to one another that the goyim couldn’t pick up. Indeed, when we observe the American media — controlled by Jews — , we need to sharpen our sense of the third level of communication to understand what the Jews are REALLY saying to one another. Indeed, even when Jews seem to be at each other’s throats, there’s a lot more being signaled under the radar that most goyim might assume. Scorsese, having worked with so many Jews in Hollywood, is very keen on signals sent but not said — and even of the signals behind the signals. Of course, Italians are masters at this too as their culture is steeped in deception. Jews are famous for their verbal communication, but one must also appreciate their physical subtleties. After all, chess, an obsession of Kubrick, is played silently. Chess isn’t so much about what is on the table as what may be on the table after several moves; it’s about hiding one’s thoughts while trying to read the mind of the opponent. And poker, the game Mamet is crazy about, is all about reading physical signals, the ‘tell’. Though Mamet’s character talk a lot, the most effective isn’t necessarily one that talks the most. The professor in OLEANNA talks a lot but makes very little progress. In contrast, Al Pacino’s character in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS makes a killing with mastery over his body and few carefully chosen words. It’s one who’s able to size up the situation and read the signals physically. You can’t hustle with words alone. In HOUSE OF GAMES, the hustle worked with a leaky water-gun placed on the table so that the woman would notice. It begins with the ‘tell’. Jews are as deadly when they’re silent as when they’re talking. They are not only masters of verbal power but silent power. Indeed, big-mouthed Jews sometimes make more trouble for themselves than quieter ones who know when to talk, when to be quiet. Like Hyman Roth says of Moe Green, “I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things.” Roth is deadlier because he’s a lot more careful what he says, just like Michael is deadlier than Sonny because he knows when to listen, when to talk, when to be still, when to make the move. It’s like what Al Pacino’s character says in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS: “you don’t open your mouth until you know what the shot is.” One must know not only what to say but when to say it and when to just shut up. Italians, like Jews, love to talk but are also experts at body language, as the mafia guy played by Christopher Walken explains to Dennis Hopper in TRUE ROMANCE written by Quentin Tarantino. Scorsese project this sensibility onto non-Italian cultures as well. Consider a scene in KUNDUN where, through subtle physical signals, a weary Tibetan monk sort of hints to the young boy to pick the proper objects in order to be declared the Dalai Lama. So, one part of Scorsese wants to believe in the miracle of the moment, but another part of him is psychologically very keen as to what may be really going on. The Mean Steppes.)
Anyway, returning to the problems of reverse-justification, its myrid problems are well-demonstrated by the film HARD CANDY. It came to my attention by the way of TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE, which was directed by David Slade. As I sort of like the TWILIGHT series — though Slade’s effort was in many ways the weakest — , I checked out Slade’s other directorial efforts. HARD CANDY was written by Brian Nelson, and as it’s one of those Idea-Movies, the (dis)credit belongs as much to the writer as to the director and actors. HARD CANDY is certainly powerful and ‘controversial’, and there were moments when I felt it deserved a bit more credit than I was willing to give it, but in the final analysis, it’s really just a foul film. Undoubtedly, some degree of genuine intelligence and talent went into it. Though Slade isn’t of the same caliber as the other TWILIGHT directors, especially Chris Weitz and Bill Condon — though Catherine Hardwicke broke the ground for others to cultivate — , he’s certainly a prol who knows the tricks of the trade. And according to Wikipedia, Brian Nelson is a graduate of elite universities and has a long experience in film, TV, and stage. And Ellen Paige and Patrick Wilson are decent enough actors. So, we are not dealing with dummies here.
Most of Nelson’s work was in entertainment, especially TV. But with HARD CANDY, he attempted to play the role of artist and write a screenplay filled with ideas about temptation, seduction, guilt, vanity, sadism, revenge, redemption, and other heavy/heady stuff. Being smart and knowing the tricks of the trade, Nelson’s screenplay works on the level of suspense, pacing, tension, climax, and, for those willing to buy it, catharsis. But given the subject matter, mechanics and cleverness aren’t enough in a film like this.. HARD CANDY really begs to be taken seriously. With something like DEVIL — story by M. Night Shyamalan — , it didn’t matter that Nelson worked on the level of a seasoned pro in furnishing and finessing the script. Though DEVIL is plenty scary and to be taken seriously within its own genre perimeters, no one would mistake it for a serious contemplation about the human condition(with the possible exception of Shyamalan who can take himself too seriously).
It’s superior work in the horror genre that delivers the goods and offers just enough food for thought. It plays rough with our emotions, but that’s just the sort of thing we expect from horror. The final message is the hoary stuff we’ve heard a million times, but that’s okay since we don’t watch horror for profound truths. Genre is expected to repackage old cliches in new ways, to make staleness fresh again. Anyone who keeps watching Westerns or gangster movies for any kind of deep meaning will be sorely disappointed. The main difference between bad genre and good genre is the former make the old seem old whereas the latter make the old seem new. In the parlance of today’s Hollywood, it’s called ‘rebooting’. (To be sure, there are exceptions where works of genre can be profoundly original or revelatory, but this usually happens when the rules of the genre are subtly called into question from within, thus loosening the barrier between the rules of fantasy and the reminders of facts. Shyamalan’s UNBREAKABLE, along with Hitchcock’s VERTIGO, Polanski’s CHINATOWN, William Friedkin’s TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., and Steven Spielberg’s A.I., are prime examples of such rarities.) DEVIL offers nothing new, revelatory, brilliant, or insightful in terms of its message, which is something about guilt, atonement, and redemption, but it’s very effective as a story concept. So, Nelson’s input as a narrative mechanic who threaded the elements of the story together for maximum impact was justified on the professional level.
But the same cannot be said for HARD CANDY. If the film was meant to be approached or (heaven forbid)enjoyed purely as an exercise in sadistic fantasy and suspense, why go to the trouble of making it so dark and disturbing, so relevant to real-life problems, and so acutely sensitive & unnerving on so many levels? TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE may be disgusting and PARANORMAL ACTIVITIES may be nasty, but at least they have no pretensions of showing us anything about the real world — though the former is said to be ‘based on a true story’, which is one of the biggest fictional labels in Hollywood. We can’t contain or categorize the terror in HARD CANDY as merely ‘serious’ within its fictional domain. It seems to want to say something about the dark secrets of the real world, the dark souls of real people. Also, the violence and cruelty, both physical and psychological, on display are too prolonged and extensive to be experienced by the audience as staples of the genre(unless one is demented and goes for torture porn). While gory genre movies may not be morally feasible either, at the very least, they have no pretension in that regard. (But then, what is one to make of a film like FUNNY GAMES by Michael Haneke where the sadism and brutality just pile on without discernible rhyme or reason? Unlike HARD CANDY that finally has a point — even if unconvincing — , FUNNY GAMES just shows two guys committing horrors just for the hell of it, though it might be a sly statement about the dark underbelly of ‘white privilege’ founded on violence, elitism, deception, and indifference to others’ suffering. FUNNY GAMES cannot even be ‘enjoyed’ on the level of torture porn since it is devoid of genre style and gimmicks. It offers something like a theorem of cruelty in a real-life setting absent of movie conventions that somehow favor the ‘good guys’ against the ‘bad guys’, as in CAPE FEAR. So, the film tempts us to keep hoping that the tortured couple will somehow get away or prevail — or at least face doom in some spectacular or cathartic way — , but the cruelty just keeps grinding along until the couple are disposed of in the most banal way. In upsetting our sense of fiction, it may be challenging our sense of fact, since so much of what we know of history and news is a blending of truth and myth, a kind of fairytale where the good somehow eventually prevails over the evil. Our sense of history and our sense of fiction, in this sense, complement one another. But in truth, there’s no guarantee that ‘good’ wins over the ‘bad’. Rather, the powerful and/or ruthless win over the weak and/or trusting, and it’s the winners who label themselves as ‘good’ as the vanquished as ‘bad’. More often than not, it’s ‘bad’ defeating the other ‘bad’ and declaring itself as the ‘good’. Still, FUNNY GAMES is a piece of shit, and Haneke is a vile son of a bitch whose films make me wanna throw up.) A disgusting horror movie about zombie Nazis may be foul, but it’s meant to be foul. But if someone’s going to make a film about the kind of physical and psychological torture that really happened under Nazi killers, it needs a viably moral justification — historical and moral — for doing so. Again, it’s like the shitting-in-the-middle-of-the-classroom rule. Don’t do it unless you have a compelling reason for doing so. The reason doesn’t necessarily have to be moral, social, political, or historical. Art is sometimes about letting loose one’s demons, about opening up the Pandora’s Box of the soul to release what lies festering inside. Of course, just pouring out the ‘toxicity’ isn’t enough for art. The artist needs some degree of rational, moral, and creative control over the emotions and visions for them to have meaning. If the artist is unable to control and shape the inner fury, it may be powerful but also ludicrous, like Sam Peckinpah’s BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. On the other hand, if the artist carves and polishes it like diamond, raw intensity may be sacrificed, and it might become a bit too slick, a problem with THE COUNSELOR — even more so than in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN — , a film that is too sleek and arty for its forbiddingly dark vision of human nature and the decline of civilization. But who was more to blame, McCarthy or Scott? I’ll bet on Scott, who even made the Somalian famine look chic and vogue in the opening scene of BLACK HAWK DOWN, though I must say, the screenplay of THE COUNSELOR is too well-oiled and fine-tuned, much like the mechanical device that takes ruthlessly, efficiently, and unstoppably takes down the Brad Pitt character. One might call it pessimism chic, i.e. the noose around the modern world cannot be stopped, let alone reversed, as it tightens and goes for the kill. Rule of law, secure borders, identity and unity, cultural pride and resolve, basic moral restraints, and the weight of tradition are all fading in the globalized world where money is king, where the ruthless and cunning gain ever more. Just look what Jews have wrought in Russia in the 90s and what they’re doing today in Ukraine. White Americans accustomed to affluence, comfort, and complacency don’t know the massive tsunami that’s coming their way. As for poor Third World peoples, even the old religions, customs, and traditions that used to give them meaning are all gone or fading away. What’s left is gangsterism in the competition for the almighty dollar. The theme of THE COUNSELOR is a replay and expansion — not necessarily in the good way — of the themes of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. It’s a vision of the world going to pot, which doesn’t mean that the entire world is coming to an end in some kind of apocalypse. There will be winners(indeed bigger than ever) and many people will live better in America, Mexico, Europe, and elsewhere, but it will be a new world of ruthless and cunning individuals — like the orbiting paradise in the dreadful ELYSIUM — than about viable communities held together by rules, traditions, identities, and/or shared values. And Middle White America has the most to lose since its members don’t have the smarts — like the Jewish elites — to wheel and deal to win in the New World Order and since they lack the toughness of their forebears to unite and fight when times get rough; also, whites, unlike Jews, are now allowed to work for racial or ‘tribal’ interests. At the very least, Third World peoples, no matter how ugly and vile they may be, still have the toughness and roughness that defined the lives of their ancestors. Having grown up in brutal, corrupt, and dangerous societies, they know the meaning of struggle, of scraping the bottom of the barrel to survive. The future will belong to the very rich who are ruthless and cunning in their play for power — and who can use their wealth to shield themselves from the violence of the masses — and to the masses of poor who are tough and rough in their fierce animalistic struggle to survive and tear off a bigger chunk for themselves. One might say this is like the return of the Wild West, but the difference is that the old violence of Manifest Destiny was moving toward greater order, greater stability, greater unity, and greater cohesion. Back then, violence had to be used to forge the rise of White America. Today, the new order, being so elite-centric, has no use for mass unity, especially as globalist Jews hate the idea of racial or cultural unity among the goy majorities. There will be multi-cultural mixing among both the elites and the masses, but elites will pull together the best-and-the-brightest from all around the world whereas the masses will be a mestizo-ized, mulatto-ized, and mongolized mass of Walmart humanity. Indeed, one need only to look at South Africa. There used to be a time when the white elites felt as one with the white middle classes. Today, the whites elites in South Africa wheel-and-deal with the black political rulers to keep theirs while doing nothing for poorer white South Africans who are raped, robbed, and/or murdered by fearsome black savages. If you’re not of the elite, the only way you can survive is by being ruthless and fearsome, like how Snoopy becomes in WHAT A NIGHTMARE, CHARLIE BROWN! A kiddie version of THE COUNSELOR and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN would be something like HUNGER GAMES.
Of course, Cormac McCarthy understands that the current problems have roots in the past. One may ruefully hearken back to simpler times of sanctity, unity, order, and mutual understanding(especially among white Americans) within the borders of America, but the fact is America was founded on conquest, bloodshed, violence, deception, and ruthlessness(like any other civilization). And oppression and repression — social, cultural, psychological, sensual, and/or political — were necessarily to maintain a semblance of continuity, cogency, and destiny so that most Americans, especially white Americans, shared in the faith of the American enterprise. Americans had ideals and principles, but such were not the only building blocks of this nation. America was also built on wars, brutality, exclusion, and repression — even if they may have been justifiable; after all, if Negroes had been allowed to run wild and free in the 19th century, American decline would have happened much earlier, what with rampaging savages looting cities and raping white women; also, if there been open borders policy with China in the early 20th century, one hundred million Chinese would have taken over the West Coast in no time and ate up all the dogs and cats. But in the postwar boom, many white Americans could forget about their true history and too smugly believe in America as the ‘good nation’, especially as it had won the ‘good war’ and was leading the ‘free world’ against communism. Such willful naivete didn’t affect Americans of earlier eras since their lives were filled with hardship. From morning to night, they had to work on farms and in factories, and most of their earnings were spent on survival and family needs. But such willful naivete had the effect of softening the will of white Americans growing up in the world of postwar boom. They could make believe that the normal mode of existence is to listen to music all day in one’s bedroom or go cruising around in daddy’s car. They could believe that life should be easy and comfortable as a universal right.
As a result, the softened-and-buttered up Middle Americans are in a precarious situation since they have forgotten the truth that the natural mode of existence is survival, cooperation(with others of their own kind), and competition(with enemies and outsiders). White Americans gained so much as ruthless fighters in the past but now seem to be losing everything without putting up a fight, indeed without even the will to fight. While many Middle Americans have been softened/buttered up, others have been dispirited, demoralized, and embittered through the realization that the American Mythology is full of shit. Of course, to arrive at such disillusionment, one had to have been ‘illusioned’ in the first place through the softening and buttering effect of the American Mythology. So, beginning in the 1960s, so many young white boomers who had it so good became so bitter and ashamed because they came to realize that America was founded on slavery, racial injustice, and genocide — and America was perpetuating more of the same in places like Vietnam. They began to believe that the American Pageant hadn’t been worth it, that the history of America had been one long nightmare for non-whites and poor folks and had only been a dream for the rich and privileged elites who hogged everything. But things got even more cynical when the very boomers who felt that way became the new ruling elites of America. They lost their faith in Old America but love having so much wealth and privilege in America as the new ruling class.
So, what does all this mean? Are the Liberal Boomers still idealists working hard to create a better and more just society, or have they become jaded and cynical and merely using the tired old ‘progressive’ rhetoric to grab what is theirs? Look at the behavior of Jews and homos — the models for other would-be elite groups — , and it’s not difficult to see where it’s all going. A nation like Russia may be more resistant to Jewish-America-dominated globalism since Russian culture and history have been less defined by rosy ideals and myths. Russian elites are gangsters in their own right and want to rule their nation for themselves. They have no sense of higher principles or ideals. As for Russian masses, they’d gone through so much hell generation after generation that they have the toughness of Third World peoples. Unlike white Middle Americans, they take nothing for granted and see life as one big endless struggle, though they might fight and scrape by better if they went easier on the vodka. And so, we see the difference between how Russians and white Americans — Conservatives included — react to the global homo movement funded and propped up by Jews. Even white Middle Americans opposed to ‘gay marriage’ are too softened-and-buttered-up to get all riled up and take the fight into the streets. Being so used to Americanism as a form of Nice-ism and get-along-ism-as-long-I’m-left-alone-to-BBQ-in-my-backyard, they don’t know how to act un-nice and stand up for their own power, rights, interests, and identity. They don’t how to be angry and ugly-when-necessary. Even when homomaniacs or illegal aliens take over entire cities and march, the masses of white Middle Americans just wanna BBQ in their backyards. But Russians still know how to fight and struggle, even though, more often than not, they waste their energies on fighting and brutalizing one another. If white Middle America doesn’t have the guts to resist something as foul and ridiculous as ‘gay marriage’ — to the point where many American churches now preach in its favor from the pulpit — , do Middle Americans have any spine left to fend off the threat of mass immigration? Evidently not. White America that elects someone like Obama and then re-elects him ever after he installed the likes of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan is a dead people. And American Conservatism, which is afraid to face off against its arch foe — the hideous Jews — that has harmed them the most and is fixing to do them in totally, is a spent force. If anything, most white Conservatives seem eager to aid and abet Jews in doing to white Russians what Jews have already done to white Americans. White Conservatives are like toady American Indian tribes that, soon after being defeated by whites, collaborated with white conquerors to defeat American Indian tribes that still held possession of their ancestral lands and had a lot of fight left in them.
Cormac McCarthy’s vision isn’t necessarily conservative. Rather, it’s tragic, and in this sense, it’s comparable to Kurosawa’s vision in RAN. Kurosawa’s epic film begins with peace upon the land where everyone seems to have his or her place in the order of things. The old lord, pleased with himself and his achievements, has grown soft and thinks power shall smoothly transfer to his sons. But as unfolding events demonstrate, the peace that lulled the old lord into complacency had been won through much bloodshed & violence and maintained through ruthlessness, shrewdness, & threat of terror. For a world thus created — and all social orders were founded on violence and mayhem in every corner of the world — , the rulers and the dominant demographic must never take for granted that things will be hunky dory, indeed as if violence is all in the past and the future will be all about more peace, better order, and greater justice.
|Hidetora and His Three Sons|
Hidetora’s dream of peace is illusory because the world and everyone in it are on the same wavelength as with his vision and state-of-mind(or state-of-soul). He thinks wars and rivalry are a thing of the past since he vanquished most of his enemies and won the respect of remaining rivals who settled for truce than more warfare. As he’s grown old and mellower — and weary of war — , he thinks the world, especially his sons, are on the same wavelength. And as each of the rival clan lords wish to have Hidetora’s youngest son Saburo marry his daughter, Hidetora favors diplomacy over continued bloodshed. And since his sons have served him loyally, he’s certain they will work together after he’s gone. There’s a scene in EXCALIBUR where Uther says he’s weary of war and wants to settle down, but Merlin reminds him that the iron peace he’s forced upon the land cannot last long. No one trusts him as he broke the truce and conquered the domain of the duke he made peace with. Kambei, the elder warrior in SEVEN SAMURAI, rebuffs the request of peasants who plead for his protection, explaining that he’s old and tired of war. He’s hoping for a quieter life to settle into. To be sure, unlike Hideotora or Uther, Kambei — a masterless samurai or ronin — has no illusions about the way of the world. If anything, he looks back on a life of defeat after defeat, and he knows the world for what it is. But even he seems to think that one can just withdraw from the world. But then, if he really felt this way, why did he volunteer to save the life of a kidnaped child in an earlier scene. (Incidentally, themes associated with kidnaping, captivity, and/or exile are found in many of his films. HIGH AND LOW is the most obvious example, but consider the wife-held-captive in YOJIMBO, the uncle under house arrest in SANJURO, the corrupt official held prisoner in THE BAD SLEEP WELL, the crazed patriarch of THE RECORD OF A LIVING FEAR who believes Japan is held hostage by nuclear super-powers and tries to ‘kidnap’ his family to Brazil, the double who is kept as prisoner-of-sorts in KAGEMUSHA, and just about everyone who is used as a form of property in RAN. There’s also the kidnaped wife in SEVEN SAMURAI who dies in the burning den of bandits. Kurosawa, like many great tragic artists before and after him, understood the price of agony for an ounce of wisdom and/or transcendence that is too often and too easily lost. Why can’t mankind learn anything without great pain, and why does man either reduce the lessons of history into self-serving dogma — thus preventing intellectual and moral growth — or turn the lessons into farce, thereby dismissing and forgetting them, only to repeat the same mistakes again? But then, if there are cycles of life and rebirth, mustn’t there also be cycles of death and destruction for there to be renewal? Kurosawa, like Tarkovsky, was very ambivalent about tragedy for, in both the historical and personal sense, it was tragedy that made, unmade, and remade their nations and their careers. Kurosawa surely wished Japan had avoided the Pacific War — or at least avoided the defeat— , but postwar Japan’s achievements and Kurosawa’s art are inconceivable without the war and defeat. Japan had to lose and burn to the ground for it to rise again like a phoenix. Japanese had to be humbled and humiliated for Kurosawa to fully embrace the humanist vision that made him famous through films like IKIRU and HIGH AND LOW. This isn’t to say that Kurosawa wouldn’t have made such films had Japan avoided the war and defeat, but the war experiences and the postwar aftermath gave them special meaning and urgency. Before one teaches the lessons of history and society, one must learn the lessons of history and society, and there’s no greater lesson than defeat in war. Victory and power make one feel cocksure and great; defeat and powerlessness make one question one’s assumptions. World War II dogged Kurosawa all his life as history and personal memory. The biggest tragedies of his life were tied to that event directly or indirectly. The war itself was deeply traumatic for all Japanese, and it was no exception for Kurosawa, and the scars of war and defeat defined Kurosawa’s moral vision as a world-renowned director. His second disaster was personal, but oddly enough, also tied to World War II. His directorial assignment for TORA! TORA! TORA! was like his personal Pearl Harbor. It took his reputation from the vaunted position as the emperor of Japanese cinema to an impossible perfectionist impossible to work with. His reputation suffered in both Japan and abroad. There was blame to go all around, largely due to mis-communications between Kurosawa and Hollywood — but then, lack of proper communication also were behind the events that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. If World War II seemed a disaster for all Japanese, the TORA! TORA! TOR ! was a personal disaster for Kurosawa, but in some ways, it and its related setbacks affected him more direly than the war itself did. It’s interesting that the two times Kurosawa came closest to contemplating suicide was during the final days of the Pacific War and during his wilderness years following the failure of DODESKADEN, a film that Kurosawa had hoped would revive his career after the mess with TORA! TORA! TORA! and financial problems. And yet, both disasters not only unmade him but remade him. Just as the Kurosawa that became a world-famous director is inconceivable without Japan’s defeat in World War II, the Kurosawa of DERSU UZALA, KAGEMUSHA, and RAN would have been unlikely without his personal failures in late 60s and early 70s. Both infused him with a sense of tragedy that pumped fresh creative blood into his veins. And yet, if it takes such despair and desolation in order for one’s moral vision and creative expression to be ‘manic-depressively’ charged with renewed spirit, what does it say about the state of mankind? This is also the inspiring-and-depressing point of Tarkovsky’s ANDREI RUBLEV. Like Kurosawa, the great Russian painter Rublev no doubt possessed natural gifts. But inborn talent isn’t enough for greatness. One’s talent has to be challenged, starved, tortured, and fed by real-life events that shakes one’s emotions and spiritual sense to the bones. The political events we see in ANDREI RUBLEV are dark and depressing, and yet, they were the powerful stuff of life that fed Rublev’s moral and artistic vision. And without the Gulag, there would have been no Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Without the Great Patriotic War and destruction of Christianity under communism, Tarkovsky wouldn’t have been the same artist imbued with a sense of tragedy, loss, and faith. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and SIBERIADE also derive their poetry and beauty from tragedy. And yet, tragedy is pretty horrible. Countless people get killed or suffer. People lose loved ones. Many come close to madness or succumb to madness. The Tragic-Paradox is that no one wants to experience tragedy but everyone wants to cling to the lesson or vision derived from tragedy. Suppose a novelist lost her mother in a tragic manner and would do anything to go back in time and undo what happened — like what Superman does with Lois Lane. But suppose that as a result of the tragedy, she felt emotions and gained insights about life she otherwise wouldn’t have, and suppose those factors enabled her write something dearest to herself. She’s now in the quandary of the tragic-paradox: she wants her mother back but also holds precious the lessons availed to her only because her mother died. The element of the tragic-paradox is found in many postwar films from Europe and Japan as both peoples remembered and regretted the horrors of World War II, and yet, they also knew that much of the moral, economic, and artistic/cultural flowering of the postwar period wouldn’t have been possible without the war. And the film that brought the two tragic senses together was HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR. And of course, Jews feel a powerful sense of tragic-paradox in relation to the Holocaust. Every Jew wishes it hadn’t happened and would prevent it if they could go back in time, and yet, the rise of new Jewish consciousness and power in the postwar era is inconceivable without it. It made Jews stronger among themselves; it also made them into god-men to be revered by white gentiles who came to feel that Jew-sus died for their sins. So, Jews both loathe and love the Holocaust. The love it not for itself but for fertilizing the new tree of Jewish power and consciousness. Russians feel the same way about the Great Patriotic War. A tragedy on an unimaginable scale, no Russian would ever wish another such war on Russian soil, but it, more than even communism, became the focal point of national pride and passion in the postwar era — and the commemoration of Russian suffering and victory still reverberates to this day and will likely for a long time. Indeed, especially with the fall and discrediting of communism, it is Soviet victory in World War II that is the main claim for Russian greatness in the 20th century. Therefore, just as Jews tend to see everything through the prism of the Holocaust, Russians have a tendency to see everything through the prism of the Great Patriotic War, which is why both Jews and Russians see ‘Nazis’ in the Ukraine conflict. Jews say Putin is the new Hitler, and Russians see Ukrainian aggression as neo-Nazism. Anyway, World War II was bound to have been more traumatic to Japanese like Kurosawa than to Italians of all stripes. Italy, after all, had historically conquered everyone and had been conquered by everyone so many times. For Italians, conquering and being conquered were the historical norm. So, Italians learned to turn tragedy into trickery, which is why they found it so easy to switch sides during World War II and act like poor helpless victims of Mussolini welcoming the American Liberators. Japan, in contrast, had never been conquered prior to World War II. It was the land of the Kamikaze myth, a nation so divine that the gods of the wind and sea protected Japan from ‘gaijin’ invaders. Thus, the Japanese mind was not oily and slick like the Italian mind. And yet, since the late 19th century, many Japanese — especially artists, writers, and scholars — had sincerely tried to learn from the West and think cultural strictures to gain new inspiration, ideas, and values. And Kurosawa was one of those people. So, a part of Kurosawa became skeptical of Japan and sneered at much of its traditional ways. He developed a satirical and mocking eye toward figures and institutions of Japanese authority. We see this side of Kurosawa in the figure of Kyoami, the androgynous jester in RAN. He sees through bogusness, pokes fun at everyone, and sneers at the pretensions of others. Of course, he can get away with such irreverence since he plays the clown.
So, one might say Kyoami is atypically Japanese — as Kurosawa was seen by some Japanese, though some on the left disliked him for being too Japanese. In contrast, there is Tango — pronounced tahn-go — who is so earnest, loyal, solemn, and straight-as-an-arrow. He’s a faithful servant of the lord Hidetora and never deviates from his anointed role in life. As the two companions of Hidetora after the burning of the Second Castle, Tango and Kyoami make an odd pair. And yet, upon closer inspection, Kyoami is more typically Japanese and Tango is less typically Japanese than meets the eye. Kyoami, for all his irreverence and cynicism, finds that he is as devoted to the lord as Tango is. At one moment, he decides to desert the enfeebled lord and run off on his own but, upon hearing the old man’s whimper, finds it impossible to do so. It’s sort of like what Kurosawa said about his younger self during World War II, i.e. he hated the military regime and didn’t think the Emperor was anything special, let alone divine, but had the Emperor asked the Japanese to commit mass suicide for national honor, Kurosawa would have done so. Wherever the mind may go, the heart may go in the opposite direction, and the Japanese heart had been defined by tribal warrior honor. So, Kyoami is very Japanese after all. In contrast, despite Tango’s unbending loyalty, he is atypically Japanese for his sense of higher truth/good will even disobey his lord’s order. Tango’s disobedience in the opening part of the film is a kind of deeper loyalty. He wants the best for his lord, and he’s certain that his lord’s sudden abdication of power is bad for everyone. While almost all the lord’s subjects silently and without question submit to the lord’s decree, Tango, along with the third son Saburo, speaks his mind; it must said, however, that even though Saburo is the good son, his actions are as responsible for the sudden demise of the Ichimonji clan as are those of the wicked sons Taro and Jiro; Saburo should have bit his tongue, accepted the father’s harebrained decree, and tried to quietly maneuver against it; by making a spectacle of himself and taking himself out of the picture, he made it all the easier for Taro and Jiro to mess things up real fast; the tragedy of integrity is that it must often be hidden in world of thieves for it to do any good. The lord sees it as impudence and disloyalty, but it’s actually a greater loyalty based on honesty, integrity, insight, and courage. So, even though Tango has pledged his entire life to serving the lord, he is not without some degree of individuality.
He is very Japanese but also atypically distinct from most Japanese who only know how to servilely obey without question and protestation. Tango’s reasons for serving the lord are threefold, and the reasons are contradictory and cannot be resolved, a moral tragedy of man. One reason is personal. He grew up serving Hidetora who has given him everything. Like Tom Hagen, he’s part of the clan for life. The second reason is cultural, as samurai retainers are supposed to serve and die for their lord. The third reason is political. Though Tango knows Hidetora is no saint, he believes that the social order created by Hidetora is preferable to chaos and more bloodshed; it’s like Merlin in EXCALIBUR knows that the knights have plenty of blood on their hands, but it is only through domination through violence that some semblance of peace is possible. In this sense, though kinder-hearted than Kurogune, Tango shares with the adviser to Jiro — the second son — a sense of moral distinction between necessary violence and unnecessary cruelty. To achieve peace upon the land, blood had to be spilt and one side had to prevail over the others. As the option isn’t between war and peace but between war and war, with the winning side setting the terms of the peace, Tango served his lord well. But there are times when even he knows that such rationale only goes so far. Consider the scene where Tango realizes that the ‘woman’ — in whose hut he finds refuge for a crazed Hidetora — is the young man whose eyes had been gouged out by Hidetora’s men long ago. Whatever validity the theory of power has as an idea, its victims have to live with its real-life consequences. It’s like we can talk endlessly about ‘necessary wars’, but dead or maimed victims are dead or maimed victims, plain and simple. It’s like ‘Ron Kovic’ discovers in BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY that no amount of big talk about patriotism can undo the fact that he will never walk and can never be a ‘real man’. Though mostly a political figure, what Tango says in the final scene suggests he’s guided by a spiritual sense of the evilness of men. That scene, like many with Kyoami, is botched pretty badly, but the message is timeless enough, one of those unanswerable questions through the ages: Are the gods good or bad, caring or uncaring? Do they help us or to curse us? Do they watch us with pity or with apathy? In a film like SEVEN SAMURAI, the morality is more clear-cut since the threat posed by bandits is clearly illegitimate. Bandits are criminals who brazenly loot, rape, and pillage the peasants. Surely, all sides can understand the evilness of such marauders. And since the samurai are committed to defending the peasants from the bandits, they’re on the side of good. Though no peasant or swordsman is a saint in SEVEN SAMURAI, they are fighting for a cause that we can root for them without troubled conscience. But something the Toshiro Mifune character says to the samurai’s face at one point reverberates throughout Kurosawa’s later works. When samurai discover that peasants had been hunting down samurai of defeated clans, they are filled with hatred for the people they’re defending — which is somewhat ironic since it was samurai who killed or maimed other samurai before the latter were hunted down by peasants; besides, the samurai in the film could very well be fighting one another had they been recruited by different warring clans. But just when their alliance is about to fall apart, the Mifune character blurts out that the samurai, for all their posturing, have acted just like bandits in times of war and even peace. So, even though samurai are legitimate in the way that bandits are not, samurai power too has been defined by cruelty, violence, ruthlessness, and vileness. So, the difference between the law and outlaw isn’t as simple as we’d like to think. In SEVEN SAMURAI, because we pity the peasants, we can readily see the worth of the samurai who, at the very least, possess some sense of honor and duty in contrast to bandits whose only interest is looting and hogging everything for themselves; 13TH WARRIOR is somewhat trickier because a band of Viking ruffians — who surely act the bandit sometimes themselves — serve as protective guardsmen for a farming community. Samurai may not be perfect but they are willing to fight and die for something bigger than themselves. Bandits, in contrast, are like animals who steal, rob, and rape — and not as a byproduct of war but as the primary goal of their existence. To be sure, one could argue that the bandits in the film too develop a sense of honor and pride as they choose to fight to the last instead of just quitting and going off to pillage an easier village. But there’s no nobility in banditry whereas being a samurai can be dignified under the right circumstances — interestingly enough, Russia-Ukraine and China have many stories of ‘heroic’ bandits whereas Japanese folklore seems not to have much of such, and maybe this has something do with their respective sizes, i.e. despite attempts at centralization, lots of rebel types could run wild and free through the wide expanses of Russia or China whereas an island nation like Japan could be more tightly controlled by its governing elites. To be sure, the great irony of SEVEN SAMURAI is that the six men — the real samurai as the Mifune character isn’t a true samurai — commit themselves to what may well be the most virtuous deed in their lives in their roles as ronin or masterless/homeless samurai, which is dishonorable position for a samurai to be in. It’s as if one is likely to be most moral when one is both part of an order/system/tradition and divorced/distanced from it. Under feudal masters, the samurai would simply have obeyed orders without moral concern or reasoning. But as masterless samurai, they are ‘existentially free’ to apply their samurai-ness to what they deem to be a just cause. But what would be the just cause in wars among various clans vying for supremacy? Who is the good and who is the bad in KAGEMUSHA or RAN? Each clan has its own dream of victory and eventual peace over the land under its iron rule. Who is right, who is wrong? Which side is legitimate, which side is illegitimate? Just like every ‘truth’ is equally ‘truthful’ in its own right in RASHOMON, could we say each clan is equally true in its vision and justification? But then, where are we to find morality, especially higher morality, with such a world-view? If every clan is legitimate and has a right to win, isn’t the corollary that each clan is illegitimate and deserve to lose as well? If all sides are right, then all sides are wrong. If everything is true, then everything is also false. Thus, the thief in KAGEMUSHA is ambivalent about the clan just as Mifune’s character is of two-minds about the warrior caste in SEVEN SAMURAI. Mifune’s character wants desperately to be a samurai, if only to be ‘somebody’; and yet, he also sees the samurai for what they are: arrogant, contemptuous, proud, and/or self-righteous. Likewise, the thief laughs in the first scene of KAGEMUSHA when lord Shingen wonders if someone so low should be serving as his double. The thief blurts out that all he did was steal a few coins whereas the blood spilled by Shingen could fill up an ocean. Shingen solemnly listens, but instead of seething with rage, appreciates the candor of the thief and says it’s true he’s done terrible things; but he justifies is actions because there can be no peace unless Japan is unified. It makes a kind of moral sense, but the morality isn’t as clear-cut as in SEVEN SAMURAI since the other clans can make the same argument. They, in turn, are warring with Shingen because they also want peace over Japan but on their own terms. So, what is right and what is wrong in that kind of world? The thief is both drawn to and repelled by the Takeda clan. He has entered the innermost chambers of power, privilege, and honor by serving as the shadow of the dead lord. He finally feels as part of a community; he feels he’s living and possibly will have to die for a higher cause. And yet, he’s only a double, an instrument. He’s living a lie, and despite the role he occupies, he’s a puppet, just like Obama and all the other politicians — from Hillary Clinton to jelly belly Chris Christie — are puppets of their Jewish masters. Anyway, the thief also faces the problem of the tragic-paradox. Had he never played the role of ‘kagemusha’, he wouldn’t have cared if the Takeda clan won or lost. He could have wandered around as a petty thief, a free man. But once he becomes attached to the clan, his eventual exile and the clan’s demise are deeply tragic for him. So much so that he’d rather vanish with the clan than go on. And yet, like Pike Bishop says in THE WILD BUNCH, “I wouldn’t have it any other way”, the thief would not have it any other way. His tragic attachment to the clan drives him to his own end, but he found a meaningful death, which in some ways — especially in a culture like Japan — , is no less important than a meaningful life. On the subject of POWER, Kurosawa made vertical and horizontal films. Vertical films deal with the relationship between the powerful/privileged and the powerless/poor. IKIRU is about bureaucrats caught between the powerful and powerless; they are supposed to serve the people but are concerned more about pleasing their superiors. SEVEN SAMURAI is both a vertical and horizontal film about power. The bandits have power over the peasants, but both groups are socially on the bottom. But they are enemies, and it’s the socially elevated samurai who come to the defense of peasants, for whom the samurai are like god-men. And yet, because they’re masterless samurai, they too are outcasts of sorts. BAD SLEEP WELL is about how the powerful scheme to expand their riches and about how someone from the outside penetrates the system to undermine it from the inside, though more out of personal vengeance than sense of justice. If KAGEMUSHA is about a poor nobody who pretends to be a great lord, HIDDEN FORTRESS has a reverse situation where members of the nobility masquerade as commoners to make their escape across enemy territory. In some ways, it’s a reworking of THE MEN WHO TREAD ON THE TIGER’S TAIL, a short feature that has just about all of Kurosawa’s major themes that would recur throughout his career. HIDDEN FORTRESS and THE MEN WHO TREAD ON THE TIGER’S TAIL are both horizontal power films in that they’re about the powerful vs the powerful. And yet, because the losing side must make their escape disguised as commoners or as priests, they come in contact with the ‘low’ world that they otherwise might not have known. Though there’s a powerful sense of justice in many of Kurosawa’s films, it’s not the simple case of poverty = good and wealth = evil. In RASHOMON, the poor bandit is a crude and vile rapist. And a commoner steals the clothes of a baby. In SEVEN SAMURAI, bandits are poor people who rob poor peasants. In Kurosawa’s reworking of Gorky’s THE LOWER DEPTHS, some of the poor are crude and mean. It’s a horizontal film about poor people, as is DODESKADEN. It’s about poor and poor, poor with poor, poor vs poor. In HIGH AND LOW, a vertical power film, the poor medical student is most sinister whereas the rich businessman does the honorable thing, even going so far as to sacrifice his entire life’s work, thus sliding from the high down to the low. RAN may be Kurosawa’s most horizontal film about power, or great power. It’s about warlords and warlords, nobility and nobility, elites and elites. There is no place for ordinary people in this universe. Even when the film deals with the powerless, they are the fallen members of the once-powerful, like the brother of Lady Sue who was a prince before he had his eyes gouged out. Lord Hidetora falls to the bottom but from a very great height. Higher you are, harder you hit the bottom. Both RAN and KAGEMUSHA revisit one of those great unanswerable and unresolvable questions of mankind: the relation between power and morality. Some on the left are wont to believe in the noble poor/powerless oppressed and exploited by the rich/powerful. The elites throughout the ages preferred to believe in their Divine Right to Rule or the Mandate of Heaven, i.e. they were possessed of special vision, wisdom, and ability thanks to higher powers. Americans, by and large, like to put most trust in the great middle, at least in official rhetoric — especially with the rise of the suburban middle class in the postwar period when so many big cities became troubled places with lots of dangerous Negroes. Many Americans figure that in a society as free, meritocratic, and ruled-by-law as their own, the capable and decent will at least make it to the ranks of the middle class. Though there’s admiration for the rich among certain quarters of Americans, the rich in America have been somewhat suspect for their neo-aristocratism, though with the rise of new urbanism since the 90s, the core of American-ness has shifted from the Middle to the boho-homo-Judeo-cosmo hipster elitism. In regards to the poor in America, only blacks get any kind of respect since their poverty is seen as the result of historical oppression, i.e. not their fault. But non-black poor folks are seen as losers and failures, which is why they get little sympathy from both the right and the left, especially the new ‘left’ of elite urban privilege and neo-aristocratic homomania. RAN and KAGEMUSHA pose questions about the relationship between greatness and morality. Obviously, great people cannot be moral in the way of saints or even simple folks like you and me. Even good-hearted men with great power must sometimes make tough decisions to fight wars and send people to kill and die in battle. They must cut deals with the powerful and corrupt both at home and abroad. They must use devious and ruthless means to outmaneuver rivals and enemies. They must sometimes use deception to boost the morale or unity of the people or to inspire them to embrace some new social or political policy. Lincoln was a master at this. So, greatness isn’t and can never be the same thing as simple goodness. It’s like one cannot remain clean if one must hunt down an animal and slaughter it to feed the tribe. He will have to spill blood in the kill and have it splatter all over him as he butchers the meat. It’s like the Lady Macbeth figure in THRONE OF BLOOD cannot wash away the ‘blood’ on her hands. Once you choose the way of power, there’s no way to remain clean. The moral question of RAN and especially KAGEMUSHA is more problematic than the one in THRONE OF BLOOD because the Mifune character in the latter clearly did something lowdown and dirty, even though his paranoia was fueled by his wife who, for all her sinisterness, was psychology astute about the logic of power, i.e. her suspicious of what others might do if her husband ‘missed his chance’ were quite intelligent and plausible even if not true. Indeed, how can anyone know whether others are or aren’t plotting against him when there’s so much distrust and dissension in the land? This poses the problem of ‘the paranoia of intelligence’. If certain forms of paranoia are based on mental or emotional imbalance, other kinds are paradoxically based on ultra-clarity of the mind: a kind of paradoxnoia. We like to think that paranoia is the product of unbalanced minds who can’t think straight or clearly, but it can also be the product of those who think too straight and too clearly. Suppose someone is very smart, keen, and insightful about the game of power. Since he or she sees all the possible angles of maneuvering and picking up the pieces, he or she may assume that others are equally shrewd, cunning, and calculating, i.e. just as intelligent and insightful as he or she is. But in truth, a lot of people prefer to take it easy, don’t seek total power, and would rather trust others. Not everyone is into the playing the game like the families in THE GODFATHER, all of whom are silently maneuvering to hit first before getting hit. The reason why Jews are so paranoid is because they are very intelligent and constantly playing power-chess in their minds when it comes to social and political relations. If you sign a deal with a Jew, you may figure everything’s cool between you and the Jew, and that’s that. Just let the ink dry. But the Jew, with all his or her intelligence, is wondering whether you may be schemin behind his or her back, and so, the Jew, like the Mifune character in THRONE OF BLOOD, devises means to get-you-before-you-get-him-or-her.
But the thing is you never intended to ‘get the Jew’. You were intending to get along with the Jew and trust him or her. But the intelligent Jew sees trust as a kind of sucker’s naivete. Only stupid children trust strangers, and indeed Jews didn’t get far by trusting goyim but by outplaying them. The wife in THRONE OF BLOOD is Jewpanese-like. Her political reasoning is excellent, but she envisions plots and counter-plots on the other side that may not even exist. She is the precursor of Lady Kaeda in RAN who is far more sinister for Kaeda doesn’t even half-believe in the advice she gives to her husbands. She only cares that her advice will sound intelligent and plausible enough — and indeed they are given the circumstances — for her husbands, first son and second son, to take actions that will ensnare them in her trap. Anyway, one gets the sense that Washizu, the Mifune character in THRONE OF BLOOD, acted unnecessarily and treacherously in his climb to supremacy. He killed his lord who honored him for his services and then turned on a good friend. He went for big power but for small reasons: his own self-aggrandizement. But, it’s more ambiguous in RAN and especially KAGEMUSHA. Though Hidetora of RAN obviously killed a lot of people and acted cruelly — and used deception to kill his rivals even after making peace with them, e.g. he ambushed rival clans after having his sons marry their daughters as gestures of peace — , one still gets the sense that he had or at least gained a grand vision of winning battles to bring about peace upon the land. The fact that he allowed his third son to grow up with some degree of integrity and appointed a decent man like Tango to be his advisor suggests that he wasn’t all about vanity and greed. And when he tells Lady Sue that she should hate him for what he’d done to her family, he seems not without some degree of conscience, however torched and battle-scarred it may be. Joachim Fest, in his biography of Adolf Hitler, states why Der Fuhrer wasn’t a ‘great man’ in his book. An important historical figure, no doubt, but not a man of ‘greatness’. Greatness implies something more than ambition, power, and impact. A ‘great man’ is defined by nobility of vision, effort, and/or character. Hitler lacked the basic qualities of ‘greatness’. Napoleon wasn’t much for character but he had the great vision of spreading the revolutionary ideals of France all across Europe. He did it badly and, as a result, was responsible directly or indirectly for the death of millions. He was in some ways an evil man. Nevertheless, there was something great about his sense of destiny. Kemal Ataturk’s record is mixed too, and he has blood on his hands, especially in relation to the massacre of Armenians. But he was faced with the near-impossible challenges. With the Ottoman Empire unraveling, Turkey proper itself was on the verge of being carved into pieces by the bigger powers. The sharks could smell the blood of an empire being torn asunder by forces from both within and without. Ataturk took the difficult steps of modernizing Turkey while preserving its historical consciousness; he pushed forward without rejecting the entirety of the past, as so many radicals of the period were wont to do. And for all his ruthlessness and shrewdness at times, he was driven by essentially humanist impulses and enlightened values. One may dismiss the notion of Mussolini as a ‘great man’, but one of his saving graces was he knew when the game was over, and he accepted the responsibility and reflected on how it had all come to such an end. If you play with fire, you get burned, and he got burned. Also, Mussolini’s earlier form of Fascism held much promise, and if Italians weren’t such lazy and deceitful clowns, far more could have been accomplished. But Hitler’s vision of an ‘Aryan’ empire was sick and demented. He simply wanted to conquer huge territories of Eastern territories to reduce its native populations to permanent slavery or have them exterminated in the tens of millions. His racial ideology was pathetically thick-skulled. And when the war he started turned badly, he blamed everyone but himself. He didn’t even have the character of Mussolini to accept responsibility for the gamble he had taken. And though Germans had done everything to serve him and fight his wars, he wanted all of Germany to be wiped off the map as punishment for having failed him. This makes Hitler one of the most cretinous shits of all time. Even so, he was right about some things, and Fest is probably right that had the loon known when to call it quits — the annexation of Sudetenland — , he’d have been remembered as one of Germany’s greatest leaders. Anyway, Hitler showed his true colors during World War II and forfeited all claims of ‘great man’-ness. But what about someone like Shingen in KAGEMUSHA. True, he’s a ruthless warlord who killed many men. But he’s a man of his times, and he didn’t create the world he was born into. If anything, he wages battles so that his side can impose peace upon the land. To be sure, if peace is what he most cares about, he could just surrender and let the rival clans win. Or, maybe all sides can agree to fight no longer. As all sides prefer to keep fighting for supremacy, it’s not just about peace but about controlling the peace; it’s like the North Vietnamese could only accept peace by imposing communist rule over South Vietnam. Shingen can be cold and heartless, but he had a grander vision. He’s also gifted as a strategist and possesses qualities that have earned the respect of his men. We sense that his generals and retainers serve him with affection and devotion than merely out duty or fear. Unlike his son Katsuyori, Shingen doesn’t have to huff-and-puff to show he’s boss. He glows with natural charisma. When he enters a room, all eyes are on him. Shingen is a ‘great man’, but he’s not a good man. What he had is a vision of the greater good, and he is not without some integrity and character. In the opening scene, he admits to the thief that he’s no saint. And as a strategist, he has fought with skill and caution so that his men were not unnecessarily wasted in reckless bloodbaths. His one weakness could be that because the success of the clan depended so much on his brilliance and aura, he fears that the clan cannot survive without him. So, he tells the men of his inner circle that if he were to die, his death should be hidden for at least three years. Perhaps, the smarter thing would have been to hand power to his brother. He couldn’t hand it to his pigheaded son, and his grandson, though favored as heir-apparent, was only a child. But he doesn’t choose his brother as his heir, perhaps because he favors his own bloodline over his brother’s. Thus, the transfer of power becomes delayed in KAGEMUSHA, and when the thief-as-double falls off the great lord’s horse and is exposed as a fake, the inner circle feels there’s nothing left to do but hand over the reins to Katsuyori, the lord’s hotheaded son — that said, we can understand why the son is so miffed that he wasn’t chosen as heir. The nature of the transfer of power in KAGEMUSHA is the opposite of what happens in RAN where the lord rashly hands over all his power to his first son. In KAGEMUSHA, it’s delayed, whereas in RAN, it happens too fast. Shingen wants to be in control even in death whereas Hidetora wants to recede from power, take it easy, and be revered even without the power. What both films share is a fascination with the power of myth. Even with the real Shingen dead, the aura of his greatness lingers and maintains the clan’s power over its domain and strikes fear into the hearts of its enemies, but once the secret is out and the world knows the real Shingen is dead and his son is the new lord, it’s like the gas has gone out of the Shingen clan. The power of myth in RAN is much shorter-lived once Hidetora passes the reins to his sons. Hidetora has been a great lord for so long that he’s come to regard his greatness as a birthright. It’s like a rich man so used to privilege that he feels as if privilege oozes out of his skin. But of course, if he were to lose the wealth that supports his status, he’s immediately be treated as a nobody and shunned from the inner-circle, as the character of BLUE JASMINE found out. It’s like what happens to the rich guy in the beginning of Zhang Yimou’s TO LIVE. He has no thought of money because he has so much — or thinks he still does even after so many bouts of gambling. And the patrons of the gambling den treat him with the utmost respect as long as he keeps spending his money. But the minute he’s declared completely broke — including his house which he put up as collateral — , his creditors treat him like dirt and demand that he pay up. In split second, they go from treating him like royalty to a beggar. Of course, conservative Wasps learned same lesson in dealing with neocon Jews. Neocon Jews came over the side of American Conservatism like homeless idealists seeking shelter, and the GOP establishment gave them a home. But as time passed and Jewish power eclipsed Wasp power, Jews did everything to demand more and more, and Wasps kept bending to their demands, as if one more payment would finally appease the Jews. But today, Jews totally control the GOP as well as the Democratic Party, and these vile people treat true-blue American conservatives like shit. Without real power, the aura of ‘greatness’ fades pretty fast. It’s like when the white man had about him the aura of ‘great white maleness’, the Negro was afeared of him. But once the Negro discovered that the white man, in a one-on-one fight, could easily be whupped by the stronger and more muscular black man, the black man lost respect for the ‘faggoty-ass pussy-ass white boys’ pretty fast. Russia learned the same lesson. Because the USSR had been so mighty and fearsome, Russians thought Americans were in earnest when they promised that NATO would not be expanded toward the Russian border. But as soon as USSR collapsed and the Russian economy spun out of control, NATO brazenly expanded into former Eastern Bloc nations and laughed at Russian protestations. The aura of Russian power was nothing without real Russian power. Similarly, once the Western imperialist powers discovered that China could be intimidated and beaten, the aura of the great Middle Kingdom evaporated almost overnight as European powers arrived en masse to carved up huge chunks of China for themselves. Big China was suddenly a just a Big Vagina. With some things in life, goodness is easily manifest, as when a Boy Scout helps an old woman cross the street, or when you help your next door neighbor after a fire burned his/her house down. When dealing on a one-on-one basis, morality is a lot clearer. Even in an evil political system like Nazi Germany, good people helped good people through the rubble when their towns were bombed. But when one’s power extends over a larger population and the stakes become much bigger, morality becomes problematic. We see this in SEVEN SAMURAI as well. Though the elder samurai tries to save as much of the village as possible, he decides that three outlying houses will have to be sacrificed for the good of the whole. This is rather sad since one of the structures, a watermill, belongs to an old man who came up with the bold idea of hiring the samurai. And another man who must lose his house has been one of more reasonable members of the community. But for the sake of the whole, the elder samurai not only insists on the decision but forces the grumbling peasants — at the point of the sword — to comply with what has become a decree; it’s then that the samurai, who’d been hired to serve the community, really take control of the community. He resorts of ‘necessary evil’ for the greater good. This is magnified many times over in KAGEMUSHA where the stakes are much higher. In a disunited Japan, the great clans will fight until one accumulates enough power to impose its will upon the land. Only then will there be true peace. Perhaps, the various clans could settle for a permanent peace, but trust among various powers isn’t as stable as unity. If Japan were made up of different ethnic groups, perhaps they could have remained divided like Western Europe. But as all Japanese share a common language and ethnic identity, it’s only natural for the warlords to attempt to unify the entire island. If the war in SEVEN SAMURAI is purely defensive, the war in KAGEMUSHA is defensive and offensive. Each side must secure its own domain but also gain territory from the others. Shingen is thought to be wise because he has a natural understanding of this balance of defense and offense. He attacks like fire and wind, but he also defends his domain like a mountain. There’s a sense that he has the trust and admiration of his men because he’s much more than a master of power. He doesn’t rule merely with the iron fist. The thief intuits this himself in the first encounter with the lord. And later, upon being captured when trying to steal gold and flee, he is moved by the heartfelt devotion of the generals to their lord. Though the thief is spared and released, he hides and watches the generals bowing before the lake on which the lord’s body is being rowed away to be ‘buried’. There must have been something about the lord that inspired such devotion and respect among his closest advisors. There must have been a kind of greatness. And it is this quality about the lord that persuades the thief to offer his service to the clan. Initially, he saw the clan as just one of the great powers using him for cynical ends. But moved by the devotion of the generals to their lord’s memory, the thief begins to feel that the clan isn’t just about power but about a meaning, purpose, and vision. And he too wants to be a part of its destiny. Now, if indeed the lord was great and even ‘good’ in his own way, how could his essence be retained and extended after his death? Is the thief, as the ‘kagemusha’, merely to fake the outward essence of Shingen to fool the world? Is the aura of greatness enough? Or, even with their lord gone, do the generals, being filled with experience and wisdom of their own, still possess the greatness that they’d developed together with the lord? After all, Shingen didn’t achieve his many triumphs on his own. One of his positive attributes was the ability to curb his pride and listen to criticism, as illustrated in the scene where an old white-haired general confronts him about his short-sightedness and even comes close to calling him a monkey. So, Shingen’s greatness wasn’t his alone. It was collectively created with the contributions of others. Shingen obviously had the sense to choose and promote talented men and win their respect and loyalty. As great as he was, he knew he didn’t do it alone, indeed couldn’t have done it alone. Indeed, the rainbow that ‘blocks’ the Takeda clan in its fateful march to its final battle suggests the plural-nature of Shingen’s greatness. He balanced the elements: the fire, the wind, and mountain. He was multi-faceted in his approach to power. But his rash son rages like a bull and only thinks to charge straight ahead. Ironically however, the respect the men feel for the dead lord may have also been their undoing. The sensible thing would have been to kill the son and take power themselves. But doing so would have been an affront to their lord’s memory. Even though Shingen had doubts about his son and chose the grandson as eventual heir, once the thief’s true identity has been exposed, the power passes to the son until the grandson is old enough to take over. Of course, the son is mighty envious and wants to win a great victory to convince the generals that HE, and not his son — Shingen’s grandson — should be the heir.
One thing for sure, politics is like the solar system. It’s not just about the planets but about the gravity that keeps them in proper orbit. Without the sun, the planets would just fly away into space. Similarly, a solar figure is necessary in politics to hold the various men of talent together. The leader may not be the smartest, most knowledgeable, or most wise, but he has something rare called ‘leadership quality’. Without him, the generals and advisors might bicker with one another as equals, and nothing would get done. It is to the leader that different views can be aired, and it is through him that the final decision can be made. All said and done, one person must make the final call. Five people with five different ideas cannot arrive at the ‘right’ idea. There must be a leader who listens to all sides — so that everyone feels appreciated even if his idea is rejected — and then decides on the correct course of action. Thus, the leader gets the credit if things go right but must take the responsibility if things go wrong. Shingen ably played this role as long as he was alive. But with him gone, not only are the men of the inner circle sad to have lost him but they’re worried because they are like planets without the gravitational pull of the sun. They practiced power as advisors, not as decision-makers. Though the generals mostly see eye-to-eye on many matters, if a crisis were to arise, they’re not sure who should make THE decision. They don’t trust the rash son, and the brother of Shingen, though wise and intelligent, respects the wish of his deceased brother and dares not grab power for himself. As Shingen requested that they keep his persona ‘alive’ for at least three years, they train the thief to embody Shingen’s outward traits as closely as possible. In a way, the kagemusha’s situation is almost like a sly satire on the way of Japanese culture. Japanese society distrusts spontaneity, and everyone ideally does as he or she is trained to and has honed to perfection over and over and over. So, in a way, the ‘kagemusha’ role is typically Japanese. But there’s a difference between being trained to make pottery and trained to play ‘leader’. It’s like someone on the assembly line only need to do the same tasks over and over and over and show no individuality or spontaneity. But a creative person who designs new products needs to be unpredictable, inventive, improvisational, eccentric, and ahead-of-the-curve. One cannot be creative by training and practice alone; there must be something special alive inside that person. The role of leader is dually both anti-improvisational and improvisational. A leader must not be rash and ruffian-like like Idi Amin of Uganda or General Mapache in THE WILD BUNCH. He must be cool and level-headed like Ronald Reagan. But there are times when he must have something more than a good ear and a calm temperament. He needs to leap forth and make the tough decision and think beyond others. Without such quality, greatness isn’t possible, and Napoleon’s greatness rested on his ability to think ahead of his generals and advisors, to lead them where they feared to tread. There are times when a leader must be like an artist, even a gambler who knows how to bluff. In KAGEMUSHA, Shingen’s brother and the generals only expect the thief-as-shadow-warrior to do as told and never deviate from the script. They want him to be a puppet, a toy, and a robot, and on most occasions, that’s enough to fool most people since no one but the inner circle has any chance of getting near to the lord, especially in a rigidly hierarchical society like Japan. But in the role of the leader of the clan, the final arbiter and decision-maker, there are times when the ‘kagemusha’ comes under pressure — from others or from within, as his ego periodically flares up — to do more. Shingen’s brother and the generals try to anticipate and orchestrate things down to the last detail so that nothing will trip up the facade, but no human can foresee everything that might go wrong. So, at such times, the ‘kagemusha’ has no choice to improvise, go beyond what he’d been trained to say and do. When the grandson becomes overly suspicious, he does something spontaneously to put the child at ease. When the resentful son tries to trip him up with an unexpected question, the ‘kagemusha’ gives a vague answer very much in the spirit of what the actual lord might have said. But the pressures are not only external. As days pass, the ‘kagemusha’ increasingly identifies with the actual lord and wants to embody his greatness. He knows that the men around him outwardly treat him with respect but still see him as a lowly thief, an outsider, a nobody. The world thinks he’s the real Shingen and respect and/or fear him, but within the inner sanctum of the Takeda clan, the elite members who know the truth still see him as a lowly hireling, even as they appreciate his service. So, when the clan is dragged into a battle in the middle of the film, and the Takeda men are about to pursue the enemy in retreat, he spontaneously gives the order to the men to stay where they are, and his order is obeyed as if it came out of Shingen’s mouth. And yet, there are two sides to everything. The improvisational spontaneity shown by the ‘kagemusha’ sometimes saves the day, but his own initiative to ride Shingen’s horse finally exposes him. As a result, the Takeda clan must suddenly transfer the power to Shingen’s son, and that seals the fate of the clan. Perhaps, the clan would have eventually perished even if the ‘kagemusha’ had served out his full term of three years. Maybe, the Takeda clan could have bought more time to make a better arrangement for the future. But when the die is cast, it’s cast, and that’s that. KAGEMUSHA’s mystery derives from the impossibility of replicating the inner quality of a man, especially a great man. To be sure, the men of the Takeda clan weren’t trying to turn the thief into another Shingen but only instructing him to be act like Shingen to fool the outside world, but the thief, over time, does tries to embody the inner soul of Shingen. Though many people were impressed by and appreciated the many outward manifestations of Shingen’s greatness, its source was in some mysterious corner of Shingen’s soul. It’s like we see the radiant surface of the sun, but the surface is forever aflame because of the heat generated inside. We can’t replicate the sun by creating a giant sphere, dousing its surface with gasoline, and lighting it on fire. It will burn but not for long. Similarly, no matter how realistic a statue may be, it only captures the outer features of man. Same goes for actors, indeed even method actors. Try as they might, they can never truly get inside the characters they are playing. They can only mimic or imagine the outward manifestations. We can listen to Beethoven or some great composer and analyze the music, but we can’t access the inner wellspring from which the creativity flowed out to the surface. This is the paradox of teaching greatness. Colleges offer courses on how to be a great writer, great composer, great entrepreneur, great this, or great that. But all they can teach is the outward manifestations of greatness. Education is like dousing wood with lighter fluid and setting it on fire. It will burn for awhile but then go out. For the students to become great themselves, the creativity/originality/inspiration must burn or flow from within, but education happens only on the level of the conscious mind. Consciousness processes stimuli for us to understand but also blocks them from entering our subconscious. So, most of us can listen to Beethoven consciously and be fired by its passion, but once the music is over, it’s over; we don’t feel the same Beethoven-ish inspiration within us. We can be lit with appreciation of creativity on the outside by watching movies, listening to music, reading books, and hearing jokes, but once such stimuli are removed from us, we are left with nothing creative on our own. But there are rare individuals for whom the lighter-fluid-of-creativity seeps deep inside and sets them afire on the inside. It’s like a bag of charcoal says not to light it right away after spraying the lighter fluid. It will just burn up on the outside and the charcoal won’t catch fire. For there to be fire that burns on its own, the lighter fluid has to seep into the charcoal before it’s lit. Anyway, a rare number of people have a kind of porous consciousness that allows the lessons/examples of creativity to seep into their subconscious, and then, their inner souls radiate with a fire all their own. Education promises so much by pouring on the gasoline of creativity or originality on so many young people, but most people can appreciate creativity on the surface level. It doesn’t flow deep inside them and set their inner core on fire. And no amount of education can do this. Some people are naturals, but most people are not. So, while education is indispensable and a universal good, it has a remarkable effect on only a handful of people. After all, if access to the best of creativity can turn anyone into an artist, there should today be a million John Lennons, Bob Dylans, Duke Ellingtons, and Orson Welleses since young people all over the world have access to music and movies online that was unthinkable to earlier generations. John Lennon and Paul McCartney in their youth didn’t have 1/100th of the access to music that today’s youths have. But why were they so great? They were naturals. We are never sure if the ‘shadow warrior’ was a natural or just a talented mimic. If he had grown up under different circumstances, could he have been a great leader like Shingen? Or did he merely have good instincts as an ‘actor’? He seems to lack the self-control of Shingen, which is why he stupidly decided to ride the horse that only Shingen could. And yet, doesn’t a ‘great man’ sometimes have to take chances? And didn’t Shingen himself take an unwise risk when he decided to make arrangements to listen to flute music coming from a castle besieged by his men and on the verge of defeat? As cautious and calculating as he is, he wasn’t entirely immune to sentimentality and poetry, but then, without such qualities, he wouldn’t be human. Ironically, it’s his most humane qualities that trip him up and get him mortally wounded. It’s a moral paradox that civilization is supposed to represent what is the noblest about man but that civilization has been built on and maintained through ruthlessness and cruelty that are so anti-human. Shingen is a great warrior who will do anything to win battles, and as the film opens, we see his men laying siege to a castle. We even learn that the water supply to the castle has been destroyed, which pleases the generals and then Shingen when he finally hears the news. But of course, the men, women, and children inside the castle must be under terrible strain, and if the siege continues, many will likely die of thirst or disease. That is the nature of war; it’s like how US blew up the water facilities in Iraq in the Gulf War and unleashed horrible suffering for so many women and children in that hot and dry part of the world. War is brutal, but Shingen’s men are moved by the beauty of flute-playing they hear every night. Shingen, who appears to have interest in arts and letters as in power and politics, is stirred by the story of the flute, and his gentler side decides to go near the castle and listen to the music himself. But it’s this humane side that gets him in trouble. The tragedy of war is that the best and most humane side of us can trip us up. Neville Chamberlain, as a decent gentleman, tried to come to an understanding with Hitler, but Hitler just played him. But then, Hitler himself was not immune to such humaneness that came to trip him up. He was too indulgent with Mussolini and wasted precious German resources to prop up Italy’s status as a great power. He also allowed the British to retreat from Dunkirk when it could have been a great rout. His great admiration of the British made him soft when he should have been hard. And Anglo-Americans felt great sympathy for the Jews after World War II, but little did they know that Jews were in war mode against Wasp power. Indeed, look what has become of the white race ever since it tried to be nice to Negroes and make amends. Whites seemed to have forgotten that they are in a natural state of war with Negroes as Negroes are stronger and more aggressive and looking to whup ‘white boys’ and conquer white girls. War is horrible, but wars must be fought with clarity and ruthlessness. Also, not all wars are about bombs and guns. Wars can also be waged through peace and commerce; China, for one, does business with America for Chinese nationalist interest. And Jews manipulate diplomacy around the world to undermine one nation after another in the service of Jewish supremacism. In a way, peace-wars are more dangerous than war-wars for they fool so many as to the true nature of what’s really going on. Peace-wars are about gaining total control by ‘peaceful’ means, such as the takeover of elite institutions. Indeed, suppose Iranians, via peaceful means, took over all the elite institutions of Israel. And suppose Iranians who control the elite institutions in Israel changed immigration policy so that Israel will be flooded with non-Jews who either hate Jews or are taught to hate Jews. Would this be an act of peace or act of war? Since no guns and bombs were involved, one might call it peace. But since Iranians carried out such a peaceful takeover to destroy the Israeli nation and people, isn’t it really an act of war? If white Americans are to wake up, they must realize that they are AT WAR with Jews and Negroes. Anyway, one thing for sure, great men are hard to find, which is why, when a company, a team, or a movement loses someone special, it’s very difficult to find another someone to fill the shoes. This question of the mystery of greatness makes KAGEMUSHA a most fascinating film. And of course, this question of the mystery of greatness applied to Kurosawa himself as he was both a committed humanist and an egotistical maniac. Though he rejected Emperor worship, he loved to regard himself as the emperor of Japanese cinema. Though he made several films about ‘simple folks’, he lorded over his crew. He was sure of his own greatness but also wondered if art, a form of illusion, really amounted to anything. A rich man or a power-broker, even if no longer king-of-the-hill, still has enough money and/or connections to remain relevant, but what real power does the artist/entertainer have when he’s at the mercy of money men? When his works are popular or admired, the artist seems to own the world, but once he falls out of favor, he’s suddenly a nobody, as Kurosawa discovered in the late 60s and through much of the 70s, when he was able to make only one film and not in/for Japan but for the USSR. And as Kurosawa was famous around the world as a Japanese director but then disregarded by some at home as ‘too western’, he probably felt like the Mifune character in SEVEN SAMURAI and the thief in KAGEMUSHA: both insider and outsider.
Incidentally, Kurosawa’s three films from 1980 to 1990, KAGEMUSHA, RAN, and DREAMS, dwell on a quality he generally kept at a distance in most of his earlier films: namely that of beauty. While beautiful images and passages are to be found in all of Kurosawa’s works from his very first film SANSHIRO SUGATA, their most compelling themes revolve around the nature of power — and the power of nature, e.g. the wind, rain, mud, forests, and mountains that animate our senses ranging from fear to wonder. And though there are lovely women in Kurosawa’s films, female characters tend to be secondary to male characters. Though Mifune was quite handsome, he generally played it rough and raw than smooth or suave. Beautiful women in Kurosawa’s films seem rather cursed in one way or another. The wife in YOJIMBO is held captive as a sex slave to one of the merchants. The beautiful woman in RED BEARD is a psychopath who preys on men. Women pose a problem by seducing or distracting men from their manly duties. This can be done in a sinister way, as with the wife of Mifune’s character in THRONE OF BLOOD. But it can also be done innocently or earnestly, as with the growing affection between the young samurai and the peasant girl in SEVEN SAMURAI. In BAD SLEEP WELL, the Mifune character softens in his resolve to destroy his father-in-law because of his growing affection for his wife whom he initially married for the most cynical reasons. The hero of SANJURO becomes more doubtful about himself once he becomes acquainted with a mother and daughter. Though there are ‘strong’ female characters in Kurosawa films, there was also an element of Kurosawa’s ‘sexual politics’ that resembled Manzo’s in SEVEN SAMURAI. Manzo, so fearful that the samurai might take advantage of his daughter, forces her to cut off her hair and act like a boy. The princess in THE HIDDEN FORTRESS shortened her hair and pretends to be a commoner. In RAN, it’s a prince who is hidden away, dressed like a woman, which is even more humiliating. In many of Kurosawa’s films, there’s the sense that feminine beauty, appealing as it is, is not of this world, survival in which is too tough and rough. Though Manzo’s daughter is supposed to be good-looking, she’s still a peasant girl who toils and sweats in the fields. In NO REGRET FOR OUR YOUTH, an idealistic leftist woman commits herself to farm labor for the family of her husband who was imprisoned by the military authorities. The women in THE MOST BEAUTIFUL have no time to make themselves beautiful. They must work long hours in factories to produce lens for the Japanese war machine. The daughter in BAD SLEEP WELL is something of a looker, but she’s a cripple — though of a childhood accident, it could also allude to all the Japanese who were maimed by the war; beauty’s like a fragile flower that is either too effervescent or too easily destroyed. The wife in HIGH AND LOW has the money and means to make herself look good, but the kidnaping forces her to give up her luxurious life style. In STRAY DOG, the criminal looks up at lovely flowers only to realize that he’s cuffed and to be dragged off to prison.
It’s a pretty rough world, and Kurosawa felt protective womenfolk, as Manzo did with his daughter. Though Manzo is portrayed as petty and small-minded, his anxieties are not entirely unfounded. Whom can you trust in a world filled with so much evil, cruelty, and corruption — and when you feel the same wicked urges emanating from within your own heart? You can’t even trust yourself. Surely, Kurosawa wasn’t very happy about Japan being occupied by Americans who turned so many Japanese women into a bunch of hussies servicing G.I.s.
Also, the combination of Kurosawa’s conservative samurai background and leftist social sympathies made him allergic to capitalist materialism. STRAY DOG and IKIRU, for example, are disapproving of Japanese girls who are too ‘westernized’ and into party and dancing. Indeed, the virtuous girl in IKIRU is rather like one of the diligent hard working girls in THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, which might as well be called ‘the most dutiful’. HIGH AND LOW’s depiction of the red light district is contemptuous, what with big-ass American Negroes swaggering around like wanton gorillas and Japanese women reduced to drug-addled prostitutes. Kurosawa’s sexual politics regarded capitalist-materialism as dehumanizing, trivializing, and corrupting, especially with women. In this, he felt something in common with Jean-Luc Godard’s detestation of capitalism’s reduction of women into consumerist-addicted prostitutes in one way or another. So, Kurosawa had ambivalent feelings about beauty. He wasn’t against it but feared that the world had little use for it except as something to corrupt, exploit, or destroy. After all, what happens to the beautiful woman in RASHOMAN? She is raped. Still, there was the undeniable beauty of nature. Natural beauty was more reassuring since beauty and power are one and the same in nature. If a beautiful sculpture is toppled and smashed, it’s beauty destroyed, a tragedy. But destruction is the part of the beauty of nature. So, a forest is no less beautiful after a storm fells many trees. A street littered with trash is ugly and intolerable. But a forest littered with leaves is still beautiful. When nature ‘destroys’ and ‘trashes’ nature, it’s all part of the natural way, part of an organic cycle of life and death. Nature is power. Sometimes, the power of nature is terrifying, as with earthquakes and tsunamis, but it’s not evil but just the way of things. But in the world of humankind, beauty and power are never independent of considerations of justice and morality. Man use power to do good or bad. Man’s ability to create or patronize beauty apart from nature makes him special, and one could argue that beauty has a moral value in its own right. But beauty isn’t synonymous with morality. The rich and powerful in SANJURO dress in fine clothes and live in nice houses with lovely gardens. But some of them are rotten to the core. In contrast, the character of Sanjuro is rough, crude, and penniless, but solid gold inside. The rich in BAD SLEEP WELL can afford beautiful things unimaginable to the poor, but they’re a corrupt pack of sharks. In the human world, beauty lacks a power of its own. Rather, beauty is bought, sold, controlled, stolen, chained, or degraded by men of wealth and power. Thus, Kurosawa’s main obsession was with power and morality. Aspects of beauty can be glimpsed in many of his films, but they are rarely the main focus of attention. Beauty seems to lack authority as an independent entity, but something changed with KAGEMUSHA, RAN, and DREAMS, partly perhaps because of Kurosawa’s mastery of the color process. But more importantly, the older Kurosawa, having grown more resigned over the years, became more of an observer of than a participant in the ways of the world. Especially in his earlier films with Toshiro Mifune, there was an element of dramatic rage and impatience with a world so indifferent or impervious to the agendas of men, good or evil. Those films are marked by ceaseless struggle and frustration, sparing little time for appreciation of beauty. In contrast, KAGEMUSHA and RAN, though also racked with conflict and struggle, have a resigned sense that individuals cannot alter their fate. As a younger artist, Kurosawa believed in the possibility of change, of taking individual action against the world, win or lose. But as an older artist, Kurosawa was no longer so sure about the power of human will. The dark side of such attitude was pessimism, but the positive side was a measure of serenity, the kind possessed by the two ladies in SANJURO, a quality that eludes the main hero and the young idealistic samurai warriors who are always fired up with passion and running around in the name of pride, honor, or justice. It’s like parents are worried about raising their kids properly whereas grandparents take things in stride and can appreciate grandchildren for the happy children that they are. Grandparents, resigned to sunset years, are not so occupied with conflicts of personal or social nature. The graceful note that accompanied Kurosawa’s darkening mood was the ability to appreciate beauty for beauty’s sake. At the ending of IKIRU, a bureaucrat is moved by the beautiful sunset but then soon reminded of all the things that need to be done for a better society. But to worry about the moral issues of the world means to never have enough time to take in the beauty of things on their own terms. Furthermore, Kurosawa felt that, despite all the peace and prosperity visited upon Japan during the decades after the war, much of traditional Japan that he admired was being lost spiritually, culturally, and physically, especially as Japan was turning into a nation of steel and concrete. He wanted to ‘take time off’ to appreciate the marvels of traditional Japan in KAGEMUSHA, RAN, and DREAMS. Though KAGEMUSHA and RAN are about war and are plenty violent, they also take a measured look at the cultural treasures of Japan. We feel privileged to enter into their worlds. We don’t just see drama and action but the Way of Life as practiced by the cultivated elites of Japan. Like the thief in KAGEMUSHA, we don’t want to take leave of this beautiful world, and we certainly don’t want to see it destroyed. Kurosawa as an older man had lost the fieriness of his younger self; he’d also long grown estranged from Toshiro Mifune, actor par excellence of rage, frustration, and impatience. Kurosawa also grew more appreciative of Japan’s past. Good or bad, violent and corrupt though it was, feudal Japan was a wonder of sorts, a unique civilization that developed an art of revering nature while also bending it to man’s needs, also one of the themes of DREAMS.
And despite the vileness of some of the characters in RAN, we can understand why they’re addicted to power. Power means the privilege of beauty, and what is beautiful is beautiful regardless of how it was created. Also, beauty in art and design has timeless value. If indeed we are to judge everything by justice, we might as well act like Bolsheviks in the early yrs of the Russian Revolution and like the Chinese Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution: smash everything created by ‘evil, oppressive, and exploitive’ old ways. Or be like the Taliban who blew up the Buddha statues.
But just as communist Russians eventually came to appreciate their own cultural heritage, Kurosawa became more reverential toward the refinement of Japanese culture. One of the reasons he’d emphasized the martial side of Japanese culture in his earlier films was because goodness could only prevail through strength and also because Kurosawa had a tendency to associate refinement and social grace with hypocrisy, two-faced-ness, and deception. Of course, we see such duplicity in RAN as well, especially when the first two sons speak in such reverential tones to their father. Even so, there was an undeniable beauty and majesty to Japanese high culture, and Kurosawa, especially following the tumultuous sixties and hectic seventies when so many Japanese youths attacked tradition or forgot about it in their pursuit of money and status, felt a need to display its glories on the big screen as a reminder of Japan’s heritage. But as deeply tragic cautionary tales, they were far from simpleminded nationalist propaganda like Zhang Yimou’s ridiculous HERO. Even though the villains of RAN get their well-deserved comeuppance, it is nevertheless sad and depressing to watch yet another castle filled with beauty and treasure go up in flames and fall to ruin. It’s so difficult to build things of wonder but so easy to destroy them in a single day. The elite world of KAGEMUSHA is filled with all manner of beautiful objects, and there’s regal and stately quality to the film, as if Kurosawa finally came to place aesthetic appreciation on the same level with moral appraisal. The elites reside within a realm that is, at once, enchanting and spartan. And even in the formations and movements of cavalry and troops in KAGEMUSHA and RAN, Kurosawa was more attuned to the pageantry and magnificence of it all. KAGEMUSHA and RAN are markedly different in spirit and tone from THRONE OF BLOOD, which is engulfed in darkness and morbidity, full of gloom and doom. The world of THRONE OF BLOOD is heavy and thick with claustrophobia, ever ready to trample and grind any vestige of beauty into dust. It is about a younger lord challenging fate to rule the world. KAGEMUSHA and RAN are about old lords on the cusp of total domination who discover that, in the grand design of things, winners and losers end up in the same ash heap of history, just like a rich man and a poor man both die and turn to same dust. When there are no permanent winners or losers in history, one thing that does seem worthy of timeless appreciation is beauty, certainly of nature but also of art and culture. After all, even Jews can appreciate Wagner, and even Chinese can appreciate the Japanese cinema. DREAMS also have moments when we can sit back and marvel at the beauty. Of course, KAGEMUSHA, RAN, and DREAMS do eventually get around to themes of power and morality, but they ‘take time off’ to ruminate on beauty, something that is missing in films like SEVEN SAMURAI, THRONE OF BLOOD, HIDDEN FORTRESS, and THE LOWER DEPTHS. Beauty is a major theme in Kurosawa’s adaptation of Dostoevsky’s THE IDIOT, but it’s one of his most ill-conceived works, with the possible exception of DODES’KA-DEN. Anyway, it’s difficult to think of a scene as overtly poetic in his earlier films as the one in KAGEMUSHA where Shingen’s troops raptly listen to the flute music fluttering from the castle. But then, the flute music is interrupted by gunfire. Similarly, when the young samurai rests among the grass and flowers in SEVEN SAMURAI, the calm is soon interrupted by Manzo’s daughter masquerading as a boy. It’s as if beauty is a luxury in a world where one’s primary concern is to survive, have enough to eat, defend one’s community, take care of the poor, and etc. Beauty figures more prominently in KAGEMUSHA because the thief enters a world of privilege. To play the lord, he has to display aspects of nobility and grace as well as power and authority. And there are moments of intense beauty in RAN as well, especially within the inner chambers of the great castle, though, of course, there’s also the pessimistic reminder of the fragility of beauty as loot in the game of power. The great lords have concubines, and a beautiful lady has another beautiful lady killed out of vanity, though it’s possible that Lady Kaeda ordered the death of Lady Sue partly because the latter completely surrendered to the Hidetora’s clan that destroyed her family as it had destroyed Lady Kaeda’s. Anyway, even though the sound of the flute and Shingen’s curiosity suggest at something finer and more beautiful & humane about a world beset with warfare and mayhem, beauty has its own dangers as a form of amorality verging on immorality. One of the great fictional fantasies is the association of beauty with goodness. Though there have been some beautiful evil characters, there have been very few ugly good characters except in the roles of minor players or sidekicks. Most good main characters have been handsome or beautiful. Some cultures, especially those of Ancient Greeks, the Romans, and Nazi Germans took this to heart as theirs were centered around cults of beauty. But other cultures were more ambiguous about beauty. Chinese mothers, for instance, disdained beautiful brides for their sons since vanity and narcissism might come before duty and obligation. And Jews went so far as to wage war on beauty, which was what the prohibition against idols was partly about. Too much beauty could seduce good men and women from their devotion to God and morality. Also, as gentiles were often prettier than Jews, the elders feared that Jewish men might go off and assimilate with ‘shikse’ and Jewish women might become a bunch of skanks putting out to beefier gentile studs; not surprisingly, many Jews in Israel are livid about Jewish women having sex with macho Arab or African men. Jews are horny about beauty, but they also hate beauty for it reminds them of beautiful ‘Aryans’ sneering at ugly Nibelungenish Jews. It’s like what Woody Allen says at the beginning of ANNIE HALL about how some big, tall, and studly ‘Aryan’-looking clerk at a record store said there’s a sale on Wagner. Jew get it? And of course, Arabs throw veils over their women, and there have been many strains of Christianity disdainful of overt displays of beauty. And communism tended to see beauty as ‘bourgeois’ indulgence in vanity, narcissism, and individualism. Furthermore, even champions of beauty didn’t always defend their obsession on moral grounds, i.e. appreciation of beauty makes us into better and healthier people, as some conservatives have defined art as beauty that doesn’t give men hard-ons. Some were attracted to beauty precisely for its amoral, decadent, subversive, dangerous, and even cruel/sadistic qualities. Consider the attraction of a film like THE BLUE ANGEL. True, Lola-Lola is a bitch and a whore but has something that drives men crazy. True, the girl in LOLITA is a tart, and Humbert Humbert knows he’s being a bad boy, but he just can’t get enough. No doubt the femme fatales of film noir are wicked and devious, using and disposing of men right and left. But men still slobber after them. It’s like the big lug in FAREWELL, MY LOVELY has to find Velma(Charlotte Rampling), a no-good hussy he worships likes a goddess. So, beauty is as problematic to morality as power is. If Kurosawa tended to see beauty as essentially a possession or plaything of the rich and powerful, Kenji Mizoguchi appreciated the power of beauty in its own right, and this aspect, more than his sympathy for women-folk, was what made him a ‘feminimatsu’ director. The masculine principle of Kurosawa tends to judge things in terms of power. Beauty, in such an equation, is a doe caught between a tiger and a bear. Mizoguchi, though fully aware of the reality and the dangers of a world ruled by men, was attuned to the allurement of beauty and the power it could exert over men, indeed a power more powerful than all the armies of the world. He would have understood the saying, “a face that launched a thousand ships.” Kurosawa had little regard for such sentiments. A woman’s beauty enchants a man in RASHOMON, but he soon reduces her to his sexual conquest; if Mifune was supposed to represent foreign/American conquerors of Japanese women, RASHOMON has shades of D.W. Griffith’s THE BIRTH OF A NATION, which is obsessed about the sexual threat posed by Negro men on white women. A woman manipulates a man in THRONE OF BLOOD, but she’s no beauty and it’s all about power. Even her pregnancy is all about power — securing an heir so that his bloodline could rule the future. The attractive wife in HIGH AND LOW also pressures her husband but for reasons that are moral. Whether the reason is immoral or moral, it’s about the way of power: doing the ‘right’ thing for more power or doing the right thing for the higher good. Lady Kaeda does use her feminine wiles and sex to manipulate Jiro the second son, but she might as well be an honorary man. She’s really plays the avenging angel for her father and brothers. She uses beauty as a weapon as it’s power that truly motivates her. There are many instances in Mizoguchi’s films where beauty is trampled and destroyed by powerful forces, but there are also moments when beauty exerts a special power so unique and potent that everything in its web is stung into paralysis. It’s beauty for beauty’s sake, and it too can be a dangerous kind of power, possibly the most dangerous of all because it’s dually so absolutely visible and so absolutely invisible. One cannot mistake the power of a big guy with a big stick; it’s visible in his size and his weapon. But what of beauty that transfixes one’s senses but has no outward show of force? A big guy with a big stick can be sized up as a threat to one’s body, but beauty’s hold on a person’s soul is impossible to quantify. Masculine power can be quantified as a thousand ships sailing to wage war. But the power of feminine beauty is written in the skies and across the entire expanse of the ocean. As we all know, most of reality isn’t beautiful. Most people aren’t beautiful, most buildings are not beautiful, most words aren’t beautiful, most of everything aren’t beautiful. We live in the world of the ordinary, and even beauty fades over time. Beautiful women grow old and withered. Works of art are ruined, lost, or fade away. Most people live, work, find love, get married, raise children, and die in a world filled with ordinariness, grimness, dreariness, dullness, and toil. And our acceptance of ordinariness keeps us real. If everyone could drop everything and run away to beautopia, our world would crumble overnight. Suppose every guy could suddenly be a rich celebrity who ditches his wife and kids and goes off with some hussy tart. Social order would crumble. Suppose every businessman, every worker, and every farmer dropped their lot in life and pursued a life of art, beauty, and leisure. The economy would collapse. Suppose every woman decided not to get married and have children because it might undermine her looks and restrict her pursuit of narcissistic pleasure. There would be no more kids, and then, there would be no more humanity. Of course, if everyone was born beautiful and brimming with charm, it might not matter so much. But the genetic lottery tends to favor just a handful of people in the beauty department. So, excessive obsession with beauty can drive people batty. It’s also true that even some of the most powerful and sensible men surrendered their rationality and responsibility all because of love and beauty. The legend of Cleopatra for example. Many rich intelligent men have married bimbos because of the boing-factor, thereby having children who weren’t so smart and unfit to continue the family legacy in business and power. This may be less of a problem now since elite institutions are open to smart women as to smart men, thereby encouraging them to marry one another. Also, in the more prudish days of old, it wasn’t so easy for men to fool around without raising eyebrows. So, if a rich guy in a traditional society had the hots for a bimbo, he might marry her to show the world that he meant business and wasn’t just being a lecher. It’s like Charles Foster Kane marries Susan Alexander in CITIZEN KANE and tries to make her respectable to convince the world that the affair between them had been about true love. Woody Allen must have some degree of old-fashioned shame because he did marry Soon-Yi Previn to prove he wasn’t just some pervert. But most rich guys today can freely get it on with tons of bimbos before finally settling down with a better kind of woman with brains who’s likely to give him smart kids. Human beauty stands apart for its narcissism. A beautiful mountain or lake doesn’t know it’s beautiful. A beautiful animal doesn’t know it’s beautiful. Indeed, animals don’t even know what they look like. But humans do become aware of their own reflections in the mirror or on the water. So, even though we’d like to believe that beauty is something that unites us through shared appreciation, it has a divisive effect because few are truly beautiful while most are not. Most people are iron, lead, or copper; few are gold. So, a beautiful person comes to realize that he or she is a rare bird indeed, and this feeds his or her narcissism. As for plain people, they too try to look beautiful with varying degrees of success. As for ugly people, they feel a lot of resentment, like the Albert Brooks character in BROADCAST NEWS. To compensate for their deficiency in beauty, many Jews resort to ‘snarkicism’ to show off their superior wit — indeed, many Jews are narcissistic about their smarter brains, or ‘smarcissistic’. Woody Allen and Marx Brothers couldn’t be narcissistic about their looks so they over-compensated with wit and humor. Jews know that humor has the same kind of effect on women as wine does. It loosens them up and lowers their inhibitions. And they find laughter so pleasurable that they begin to find the funny Jew sort of attractive. An old truism holds that after some drinks, a guy will find even an ugly woman attractive. It’s also true that after bouts of laughter, a ‘shikse’ will find the ugly Jewish guy endearing, even sympathetic. Humor not only releases the erogenous zones in the women — laughter is like an orgasm — but brings out her maternal instincts because clownish behavior is childlike. Jack Nicholson was popular with women because he could make them laugh. And barring fist-fights, a smart guy can mock and cut down any other kind of guy. A good singer may win a woman’s heart, and a strong guy may turn on a woman. But when either goes up against the wit, he will be castrated in no time. It’s like no amount of artistic or athletic talent wins in the courtroom that is usually dominated by Jews. Anyway, beauty, like any higher quality, has a way of dividing people. Among children, good looking kids play with ugly kids, just like smart kids play with dumb kids. But just like smart kids eventually go their own way and leave the dumb ones behind, good-looking kids realize they got something special and begin to snub the ugly and plain kids. But beauty on its own cannot gain wealth and power. Wealth and power are determined by who gets to own, control, and manage the institutions and systems. It’s all about smarts, cleverness, and cunning. If beauty could own and control the world, leopards and peacocks would be lords over us all. So, beauty must seek the patronage of power and wealth through seduction and allurement. Fashion models may be big stars, but they’d be nothing without the smart and enterprising people who run the industry. If a woman is good-looking but not much for brains, her only chance of living the good life is to marry some rich guy who’s transfixed by her beauty. So, beauty could be said to be owned by power. But it’s not so simple because some men become so besotted with beauty that they fall under its spell. Beauty has seduced, entranced, and/or brought down even the greatest of men. So, there is a mysterious power of beauty that is independent of the mundane means of power. Mizoguchi understood and concerned himself with this aspect of beauty, certainly much more than Kurosawa ever thought to. Nagisa Oshima’s films MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE and GOHATTO are kinda like fusion of Kurosawa and Mizoguchi in their contemplations of power and beauty. Both are steeped in samurai ethos but intoxicated with beauty imbued with the power to benumb the toughest warriors.
In MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE, this cult of beauty is a double-edged sword. Captain Yonoi, a delirious cultist of beauty, expects men to live up to the standards of beautiful gods. And yet, it’s his appreciation of the Major Cellier’s beauty that also leads him to a higher sense of humanity. Unlike most of his men, Yonoi is something more than a thug or brute. He has an appreciation for the finer/better things in life. He has a sense of hierarchy. And yet, this quality also makes him haughty and disdainful of ordinary humanity. And yet, through Celliers, he comes to associate beauty with morality, for Celliers lives a life of atonement for having chosen narcissistic self-regard over his crippled younger brother years ago. Celliers is beautiful but lives for humanity than for beauty, and it’s through him that Yonoi comes to associate beauty with nobility of the soul. In contrast, the beauty in GOHATTO, aka TABOO, is purely amoral, narcissistic, and vampiric. It attaches itself to men, drives them — at least the fruitkinishly inclined — to desperate jealousy, and then sucks their blood. And yet, it also serves as a defensive strategy for such is the only way the beautiful young homo samurai or homurai can guard his autonomy. He must play the sly fox among dogs. He veils his aggression with a screen of passivity, lying low before suddenly striking for the jugular. Beauty as an intoxicant, that’s something Mizoguchi prized, feared, held in awe. Though Mizoguchi also made humanist films in Kurosawa’s vein — or vice versa more likely — , when mists of beauty envelope his screen space, we are hypnotized and transported to another dimension. And this power is almost beyond human reckoning. It suspends time and space. Consider the potter in UGETSU who becomes near-amnesiac of the fact that he has a wife and child. He has not only abnegated his obligations as a husband and father but seems to have forgotten that those obligations even exist. He’s off in a perfumed paradise, an opium den of blissful reverie. We’d like to believe in beauty as a good, but what about the seductive beauty in UGETSU? It has severed a man from his responsibilities. He forgets all about his wife & child and comes to reside in a dreamworld of pleasure glimmering with beauty. And yet, we — in our time — cannot entirely condemn the potter either given the ‘values’ that have become the norm in our society. After all, there’s hardly any outrage when some man or woman becomes famous, divorces his or her family, and goes off with someone glamorous. If anything, he or she becomes even more popular as a star or celebrity. Brat Pitt didn’t suffer any for dumping Jennifer Aniston for the hussy Angelina Jolie. Have we become less judgmental and more tolerant? Or are we just more jaded and materialistic? Or, in our own fantasies of narcissism, do we imagine that we would — even should — do the same thing if we were provided with the same opportunity? Is this a new realism about our true nature or new decadence of greed and vanity? Or is it a kind of depraved romanticism that believes in true love with the perfect babe or super-stud? Suppose you married someone out of convenience or affection, but he or she isn’t THE great love of your life. But then another person comes along, and it just clicks perfectly between you and the other person, as happens to the woman in THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE. Can we really condemn that kind of love? I suppose not if there was a meeting of the souls. In UGETSU at any rate, there’s a sinister element to the beauty since the aristocratic ghost-lady really loves herself more than anyone or anything else. She seduces the man not because she loves him but because she needs someone to love her, serve her, appreciate her, indeed worship her as the center of the world. Her love is really about self-love, which is different from the love of the potter’s wife who lives for her husband and her child; hers is a love for the other. To be sure, the aristocratic ghost lady didn’t mean to do anyone any harm — she has no ill will for the wife of the potter — , but in her absolute self-regard, she becomes indifferent to the consequences of her vanity; it’s not an aggressive evil borne of spite and sadism but an evil that arises from self-worship that blinds the ego to the dire consequences of one’s vanity. In taking the potter from his wife and kid, the aristocratic ghost lady didn’t meant to harm the wife and kid, but she doesn’t care that they’re harmed. And yet, we sort of understand where she’s coming from since beauty is intoxicating, and it’s natural for a beautiful person to fall into self-worship. It’s like Delilah is full of herself because she looks like Hedy Lamarr, whereas the love of the ‘milk-faced woman’ is purely for Samson in Cecil B. DeMille’s movie. The aristocratic ghost lady is beautiful and refined whereas the potter’s wife is coarse and plain. Beauty is so rare in the world that it has the effect of making us forget about the world. It’s like a drug. It’s so intoxicating that Deckard in BLADE RUNNER doesn’t care that Rachel is a replicant, a creature he’s supposed to ‘retire’. But druggy reality isn’t what the world is about. Eventually, the potter has to break free of the druggy spell and go cold turkey to tear himself from the hallucination. But just like traces of drug lingers for awhile even after a junkie has gone clean, the potter’s not 100% in the real world when he returns home.
A part of him is still dazed in the supernatural realm, and so, he sees his wife who is actually a ghost in the other world and believes her to be alive. He thinks he has returned home, and everything is back to normal. Between perfumed amoral beauty and blood-and-tears moral obligation, he has chosen the latter — though, to be sure, he had to sow his jeweled oats in the dreamworld to fully appreciate what he has in the real world; it’s like the Johnny Rivers’ song “Poor Side of Town” where a woman had to see the rich side of town before coming back down to ground to appreciate true love in the poor side. The ‘tragedy’ for most people is that they cannot have both ideal beauty and moral reality. The greater tragedy for the potter is that he can’t have either. Not only has he lost the beautiful aristocratic ghost woman but he comes to realize that his wife who greeted him was a ghost. So, he has neither. It’s like a reverse of the story of the dog with a bone that barks at its own reflection. The potter, submerged in the unreal world, reached for his home in the real world, but his wife was no longer there to be by his side — though the supreme irony is that during the time when he was lost in the netherworld with the ghost lady, his wife was dead and was also in the realm of afterlife, thereby closer to him than he could ever imagine; was she peeking on him all that time? Back in reality, he only has his work and his son, only a life of more toil. And yet, through his wife’s death, one could argue that he has realized a beauty even greater than that of the aristocratic ghost lady. His wife lives on only as memory, memory of a woman who loved him and devoted everything to him, a woman who was selfless in her love. It’s a spiritual kind of beauty that no sensual or physical beauty can touch. And in that sense, his wife was the most beautiful woman in his life. It is her victory. The French film L’APPARTEMENT does a wicked twist on this theme. In the end, the guy has to choose between the beautiful woman of his dreams and not-so-beautiful woman who loves him with all her heart. He opts for the latter, but then, she betrays and ditches him with the vain self-regard of a supremely narcissistic goddess.) Despite one’s best effort to ignore the world, the world will not ignore you. And even if one can withdraw from the world in the material sense, it may nag at one’s conscience. It’s like what the older Michael Corleone says in the dreadful THE GODFATHER Part III: “Just when I thought I was out, they keep pulling me back in.” But then, of course, that’s the story of his life. One cannot escape from the world. So, Kambei chose to rescue the child from the thief. And the businessman in HIGH AND LOW comes under pressure to do the right thing. And the young doctor comes to the same conclusion at the end of RED BEARD. But Hidetora arrives at a false conclusion about the world in the opening of RAN, a film that begins with a false ‘happy ending’. He sees peace all around and takes full credit. He, the great lord, brought about an end to wars. Sure, he’d used ruthless means, but it had all been worth it. His sons love him, his rivals respect him, and his subjects revere him throughout the land. And all the men he killed in the past cannot return from the graves to fight him again or take revenge. And yet, how did he maintain the peace? Wasn’t it through shrewdness, cunning, ruthlessness, heartlessness, and lust-for-and-will-to-power? And who’s to say all of his enemies have been vanquished? What if his own self is his worst enemy? What if his enemies are feigning defeat and submission but still burning with thirst for revenge? And it’s not long before Lady Kaeda, the daughter of a clan destroyed by Hidetora, plots her vengeance. But hypothetically, even if all the past enemies and their heirs had been vanquished — Kaeda included — , wouldn’t all the impulses, passions, and instincts that drove Hidetora to power and domination not exist among his heirs and advisors? Since Hidetora had won the war, will his heirs only tend to peace with goodwill? Or, will they try to ‘win the peace’ by yet new means of devious, cunning, and ruthless nature? After all, one doesn’t need armies to vanquish and destroy entire nations, communities, races, and peoples. Jews didn’t use armies to conquer the white race in America. They gained their power over academia, media, finance, and government, thereby gaining power over the hearts and minds of Americans. Jews also manipulate people through the instrument of fear as a person’s reputation, position, and wealth can be destroyed overnight by the manipulations of the Jewish media. Anglo-Americans might have thought that Jews would calm down, abandon their radicalism, and let go of their Judeo-centrism since Jews found much success and freedom in America, the nation that won both World War II and the Cold War. But once the grand political wars were over, Jews worked even harder to win and control the peace. After all, ‘diplomacy’ is war by other means. Given the nature of the Jew — high intelligence, pushiness, drive, arrogance, cultural pride, paranoia, contempt, sniveling-ness, etc. — , it was foolish to think that they ‘d ever calm down like American Indians who are content on their reservations with some casinos, only bitching once in awhile about the names of sports teams. American Indians may feel some bitterness about the past, but they came to respect the Great White Man. Like most Japanese, American Indians want no trouble. But Jews, realizing that they’re smarter and more driven — with their witty neurons going haywire all the time — than the Anglo-Americans, the greatest folks of the modern era, simply couldn’t accept the new order of peace and prosperity. They had to use whatever means to take total power and control and manipulate everyone else, if for no other reason than for fun, as the Jews, like the Marx Brothers, just love poking fun at dimwit goyim; they can’t help it as it’s in their genes. They feel they have the right to rule, right to exploit, right to manipulate, right to ridicule, and right to humiliate the rest of us. And gaining elite power isn’t enough. They feel they must SECURE it for all times, and that means the West must be diversified demographically as much as possible so that no unified majority could ever challenge the Jewish elites. But even control of US and EU isn’t enough. Jews feel vast Russia with all its resources can be and should be taken by Jews since Russians are a bunch of drunken fools who aren’t good for anything but dancing on tables and wrestling with bears. Surely, a people who gained control of the great Anglo world can take over drunken Russia. Also, Jews feel they must crush Russia because the new Russia under Putin represents a new model: A nation ruled by a white majority who insist on ethnic pride, spiritual tradition, and repression of Jewish-Homo or Jomo subversion. The last thing Jews want is for white people in the West to emulate Russia, and therefore, Jews are working overtime to make us believe that the fruitcake is as American as apple pie and that a new Cold War is necessary because we Americans wave the ‘rainbow gay flag’ and simply can’t tolerate a nation — at least a white nation — that won’t bend over to the Jewish-Homo or Jomo cock. Jews are like Lady Kaeda and Hidetora’s second son Jiro rolled into one. They have an eternal resentment/revenge lust against white gentiles, and the emotions are not just about what European Christians did to Jews in the past. It’s about what white Europeans simply ARE in the biological sense. To understand the Jewish mind-set, we need to remember that for thousands of years, Jews felt as the special chosen of God. So, how is it that white gentiles have better looks than Jews and achieved so much in the arts and sciences without Jews. Jews feel resentment toward blacks as well, but they keep mum about it — at least publicly, though Donald Sterling’s private feelings about blacks got outed — to maintain an alliance with blacks against whites. Jews figure one sure way to destroy the white race is by promoting black physical/sexual/musical superiority over whites. Of course, as our political culture/correctness calls for the dogma of racial equality, we are not supposed to say one race is superior to another in any way, but the fact is people still FEEL what they cannot say. So, even though people SAY all races are the same, many white guys FEEL that black athletes and singers are cooler, hipper, and more badass than ‘faggoty ass white boys’. While some white guys retreat from the black world and dream of secession, many more white guys — Conservative as well as Liberal — have surrendered to black superiority and act as cheerleaders. Though not homosexual for the most part, they’ve become ersatz ‘faggots’ who love to bow down before the superior black man and suck his cock. As for white women, they are being jungle-feverized at a rapid pace. So, even though white girls will not say that black men are superior to white men as it would be politically incorrect, they FEEL it through the power of media, entertainment, sports, and street domination — where black alphas dominate white betas — , and so, they run off with the Negroes. So, Jews can have the cake and eat it too. By enforcing Political Correctness, they make everyone consciously believe that all races are the same, therefore undermining the possibility of racial alarmism among whites that may finally shake them awake to the danger posed by blacks. But since people FEEL things even the things are officially or consciously repressed, plenty of white boys and white girls are all crazy about submitting to the superior Negro with bigger muscles, penises, and asses. So, if a white guy or white girl speaks about racial differences, he or she’s in big trouble, but if he or she submits to blacks out of the FEELING that blacks are superior, that is welcomed and promoted by Jews as ‘going beyond race’ even though the white worship of blackness has everything to do with racial differences.
But everything about Jewish power has this uneasy tension between what people are forced to say and what they actually feel. People are forced to say that Jews have no special power in government, media, academia, and etc. — though, on occasion, some Jew will say Jews do have special powers but then, only because Jews weren’t allowed to make it as potato farmers by anti-Semite Europeans, i.e. because hateful goyim denied Jews the right to toil on the soil, planting and harvesting turnips from sunrise to sunset, Jews had no option but to rake in millions as bankers, merchants, and industrialists. With ‘antisemitism’ like that, who needs philosemitism? “Hey Jew, we won’t allow you on the factory floor, so we’ll force you to own the factory.” Sounds like a Polack Joke. Anyway, we are not allowed to say that Jews have special power, but anyone who knows anything FEELS that Jews have special power since Jews are everywhere in the power centers of America. Anyway, it was a fatal mistake for Anglo-Americans and Anglo-Americanized ethnic whites to think that all struggles were over, that the End of History was here, thereby Jews would calm down and try to get along with everyone. In truth, there is never an End of History since ideas serve as well as shape the reality of power. Francis Fukuyama argued that the liberal-social-democratic model with capitalism as the economic foundation won the grand war of ideas, and whatever else may happen, this model is likely to be the only successful and viable one in the future. What he failed to address was the power of nationalism and tribalism behind those ideas/ideals about democracy, liberalism, capitalism, and social safety-nets. After all, when we look around the world — even in so-called liberal capitalist-social-democratic nations — , can we say that liberalism, capitalism, and democracy the main motivating factors of power? Maybe among the naive dupes, but do naive dupes control the real power? Do elite Jews use power to mainly serve the abstract ideals of democracy, liberalism, capitalism, and welfare state, or do Jews merely use those ideals as tools to serve Jewish power and interests? If the latter, then the End of History is less about the triumph of capitalism, democracy, and liberalism but about the triumph of cunning high-IQ ruling elites who will use capitalism, democracy, and liberalism as instruments and weapons of their own ‘nationalist’ objectives. In other words, Jews can be perfectly both capitalist/liberal/democratic AND tribalist/nationalist/Judeocentric. Jews can use capitalism, liberalism, and democracy(which they control through courts, finance, media, and academia) to mainly serve the interests of the Jewish community. Jews need not use capitalism to serve capitalism, use democracy to serve democracy, and use liberalism to serve liberalism. All such are tools that can be shaped to serve nationalist/tribalist goals. After all, blacks and browns make a lot of noise about equality and diversity but really only care about their own tribal interests. Fukuyama’s big mistake was thinking that since liberalism, capitalism, and democracy won, the future would be governed by abstract principles. Not so.
Even if a social order maintains democracy, liberalism, and capitalism, they will be used as the tools of ‘elite nationalism’ — that of Jews — than vice versa. After all, if the principles of democracy, liberalism, and capitalism are so sacrosanct, why do Jews rig the game so that their kinds are favored over gentiles? How come capitalism punishes those who don’t bend over to Jewish/Zionist demands even if they play fairly according to the rules of the marketplace? How come the Sultan of Brunei is boycotted for supporting Sharia Law but Israeli tycoons like Haim Saban are not punished for the oppression of Palestinians? How come Sheldon Adelson isn’t punished or even ostracized for saying Iran should be nuked? How come Tea Party groups are called ‘hate groups’ but AIPAC is not, even though AIPAC aids and abets the continued oppression and occupation of Palestinians? Or, consider what happened to Chick-Fil-A in Chicago that doesn’t allow franchises for businesses that support true marriage.
And if the free press is about liberalism, how come Jews who control the media use political correctness to silence heretics, blacklist people who speak truth to Jewish power, and destroy those who have the guts to speak honestly about race? What kind of liberalism and open-mindedness is that? And if democracy is what our societies are all about, how come Jews have rigged the game so that most politicians now serve Jewish oligarches than the gentile masses who vote for them? If the End of History favors meritocracy under the Rule of Law, will the End of History at least enshrine Rule of Law as something sacrosanct?
If indeed all racial or ethnic groups were equal in talent and motivation, one could say the best of every group will rise to the top, and maybe they will act in accordance with the Rule of Law to act in ways that are of benefit to the entire community. But what if some groups are smarter than others, more driven than others, more devious than others? What if such groups rise to the top in numbers way disproportionate to their share of the population. Suppose such a group, though having risen via Rule of Law, has a ‘national character’ that is devious, cunning, and shrewd? What if they’ve long harbored a supremacist mentality that remains their mind-set even in the liberal modern order where Rule of Law is valued. Suppose they feel they should stick together and rule indefinitely. Suppose they are paranoid and feel that other groups will eventually come after them? What if they feel a strong sense of ethnic identity and solidarity? Once such people congregate around elite institutions, will they act in accordance to the Rule of Law regardless of their ethnic identities, or will they begin to bend the Rule of Law to serve their elite minority ethnic interests? If the latter, can we say that the End of History is about the Rule of Law? In the nominal sense, yes, because the new elites rose to the top via Rule of Law. But is it about the elites serving the Rule of Law or about the Rule of Law, constantly twisted and perverted, serving the elites? If the latter, then isn’t the End of History really about the triumph of the high-IQ-ed and devious hostile elite, namely the Jews of the West? After all, Jewish-Americans and Palestinian-Americans are ‘equal under the law’ in America, but only an idiot would say, upon comparing the two groups, that what prevails in America is the Rule of Law than the Rule of Jew. If it’s rule of Jew, then isn’t America really about liberalism/capitalism/democracy serving Jewish globo-nationalism? So much for the end of nationalism?
But then, because Jewish ‘nationalism’ operates across nations, it may not be regarded as nationalism. After all, there are French Jews, English Jews, Russian Jews, Hungarian Jews, Canadian Jews, Australian Jews, American Jews, Israeli Jews, and etc. Since all such Jews exert and exercise their power across national borders, one might say they’re promoting internationalism. But don’t most Jews feel greater loyalty to one another than with the gentile majorities of their respective nations? It certainly seems so. Indeed, it’s even gotten to the point where the gentile elites of many nations care more about serving globo-Jewish masters than representing their own national gentile majorities — but then, the gentile masses have been so brainwashed by the Jewish media/academia that they reject any gentile leader who dares to challenge Jewish power in for their sake and in their name; as a result, both gentile elites and gentile masses would rather serve Jews than their own interests, which is why even so many white American Conservatives are jumping on the bandwagon of hating on White Russia, the nation currently most reviled by vicious, vile, nasty, and hideous Jews. In the past, Jews claimed that they’d only wanted to assimilate with the gentile majorities but were rejected by the majorities that remained resolutely ‘antisemitic’, but we need to be suspicious of such claims since no nation has been nicer and more welcome to Jews than in America, and yet, American Jews are by far the nastiest, noisiest, most offensive, most hateful, and most subversive Jews in the entire world; indeed, they will go to any length to undermine the power of the white gentile majority in order to ensure permanent rule by the Jews. So-called Liberal Jews who ostensibly respect the Rule of Law push for amnesty for millions of aliens who entered this country ILLEGALLY. So much for respect for Rule of Law. And Jewish-run media, working in tandem with Sonia Sotomayor, now refer to illegal aliens as ‘undocumented immigrants’. Sotomayor the ‘wise Latina’ thinks ‘affirmative action’ should be expanded because it was good for her! Some respect for Rule of Law. So much for Law and Truth. And Jewish elites who control government, media, academia, and the courts have forced ‘gay marriage’ on everyone — even by judgepacking when all else fails — , indeed even to the point where anyone opposed to it will be fired and blacklisted in government and corporations. When a nation is forced to accept a ludicrousness like ‘gay marriage’ as part of the law, what is the value of Rule of Law? It’s more like Perversion of Law to support any policy that undermines majority value systems in order to favor the elites. Even if the vast majority of Americans come around to ‘gay marriage’, it will not be a true majority position since it was designed to favor minority power and privilege over majority power and truth. Just because something has majority support doesn’t mean it’s majority-centered. Imagine a nation that is 95% of people A and 5% of people B. Suppose 70% of people A choose to have people B rule over them as aristocratic elites. Technically, one might say that amounts to a case of majority rule since the majority of the nation chose to have people B installed as aristocratic rulers. But if people B, who are only 5% of the nation, have gained permanent rule over the nation, it’s really a case of minority power over the duped majority. Same goes for ‘gay marriage’. Even if the majority comes to support it, it really means power and privilege of homos to rule alongside Jews as minority-supremacist elites. Jews want us to support ‘gay marriage’ because it means the triumph of minority elite power. It’s not about homos seeking equality with the rest of us but gaining special power and privilege over the rest of us. After all, if ‘marriage equality’ is so crucial and if marriage should be re-written to suit the wishes of any consenting adults, why isn’t there a push for same-family marriage and polygamy? Jews want us to favor homo elite power because they see it as analogous to Jewish elite power. If we bend over to homo demands, then why would we not bend over to Jewish demands? So, even though US is said to be a democracy governed by liberal principles and Rule of Law, elite minorities like Jews and homos get to act in ways that most of us do not. Jews can work for more Jewish power whereas Wasps must only work for ‘diversity’ and to serve Jews. Mormons cannot have polygamy, but homos can have ‘gay marriage’. And if you say that fecal penetration among male homos is disgusting, you will be fired, destroyed, defamed, and blacklisted by the so-called ‘liberal’ order dominated by Jews and their mini-me partners the homos.
Why can’t people see this? Of course, many people FEEL it to some extent. Even mindless straight-goy supporters of Jewish power and homo privilege must subconsciously FEEL that something isn’t quite right about the current order of things, but the power of denial can be almost boundless. After all, many Italians sensed that Mussolini was playing with fire by aligning himself so closely with Hitler. Surely, many Germans sensed Hitler was getting too extreme. Surely, many Chinese felt that Mao’s Great Leap Forward was a dumb idea. But all of them got so swept up in the official dogma and hysteria of the moment that they decided to obey and follow than think and resist. And if they had any doubts, they just denied them. We need to understand that America is NOT a true democracy anymore. It may be in accordance to the law, but the law only goes so far. The true nature of a social order is about who has the power of the law, over the law, and under the law. Suppose a nation is 50% of people A and 50% of people B, but people A dominate 90% of the elite fields. Would that be a democracy? Perhaps if the elites dominated by people A are sincerely committed to rule of law, meritocracy, and serving the entire nation. Maybe people A are very successful not as the result of conspiracy, collusion, and corruption but due to hard work, intelligence, and drive. But what if elites of people A, even if successful largely through meritocracy, rig the system to favor people A over people B? What if they use government, media, and academia to favor information, policies, and programs that favor their own kind? Could the system still be called a democracy? In America, Jews have so much power — more so than the power of all others combined — , yet we cannot speak truth to Jewish power. What kind of democracy is this? What kind of democracy is it where there’s easy collusion than necessary collision among the government, Wall Street, media, academia, Hollywood, Las Vegas, the courts, Silicon Valley, and etc.? Of course if it were any other group than the Jews ruling America as a minority elite — Iranian-Americans, Chinese-Americans, gentile Russian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Turkish-Americans, Greek-Americans, Armenian-Americans, or even Nigerian-Americans — , we would be able to speak truth to power. But since Jews have turned every Jew into a little Jesus who ‘died for our sins’ via the cult of the Holocaustianity or Holocult, there’s a taboo against criticizing Jews; it’d be like ancient Hebrews criticizing Yahweh. Jews have positioned themselves as the god-race over us, and yet, this wouldn’t have been possible without the mind-set planted in the white gentile mind by centuries of Christianity, a religion that made the faithful believe that they are guilty for the murder of the Son of God — though Jews got special blame — , and as He’d died willingly for our sins, He offered us a chance at atonement by confessing our sins, accepting Him as the King of Kings, and worshiping Him for all eternity. (As the god-race, Jews are invoked by all conflicting sides as justification for their actions. Just as various European nations fought one another with “God on our side”, various nations today fight one another by invoking ‘Jews as god-race on our side’. So, Western Ukrainians say they are fighting alongside Jews against Russian Nazis, and Putin and Russians say they are fighting to save Jews from Ukrainian Nazis — despite the fact that it was Jews with ancestry in the Pale of Settlement who fomented all the problem in the first place to use Ukraine as a bridgehead for the eventual takeover of Russia. And of course, US and UK always have the god-race on their minds no matter what they do. Throughout European history, so many sides fought one another with all sides claiming to be fighting for God. Now, Jews enjoy such an exalted status, and of course, they cleverly play all sides so that no matter who’s fighting whom, it’s always FOR Jews and NEVER AGAINST Jews. So, Americans and Western Ukrainians say they are fighting Russia for Jews, and Russians say they are resisting EU and US for the sake of Jews. Same goes for American politics where the one constant is that virtually all politicians of both parties say they are doing their utmost to honor, admire, revere, favor, and serve the Jews, the god-race. It’s all very sickening.) Thus, there’s a veiled threat at the core of Christianity. Because Jesus chose to suffer and die than strike at us with rage, we doubly owe it to ourselves and to Him to surrender our souls to Him. Jews have turned the Holocaust into Holocaustianity, a form of neo-christianity that would have us believe that the saintly, peaceful, perfectly innocent, and oh-so-virtuous Jews didn’t resist but went to their deaths without hatred for the European gentiles who did them in. So, the survival of the Jews is seen as a kind of resurrection, and all the world — even though only Germans of WWII generation were responsible for it — must bow down to Jews and beg forgiveness and redemption. Jews died so nobly and tragically during WWII and since have been resurrected as a supremely powerful and influential people. So, we must worship them as Jewsus. But given that your average elite Jew is like Sheldon Adelson, Morris Dees the sleaze, Cass the Ass Sunstein, Lloyd Blankfein, William Kristol, Benjamin Netanhayu, and Sarah Silverman, one gets a sickening feeling in the stomach as he or she worships Jews. Of course today, many people believe in the Holy Jew out of fear than anything else. As Jews can make or break so many careers, much sympathy for Jews is really a kind of ‘wimpathy’. So, when GOP hopefuls suck up the AIPAC and talk about how US must help those poor helpless Zionist Israelis armed with tanks and fighter jets from rock-throwing Palestinian kids, it’s farce of morality and spirituality. The likes of Chris Christie and Jeb Bush must be either idiots or craven cowards when they shower powerful Jews with all this wimpathy, indeed as if the Holocaust just happened yesterday and another one is about to break out in the Middle East. Even without nukes, Israel is the lone superpower in the region and dominates other nations with conventional weapons alone. But Israel also has 300 illegal nuclear warheads, so it’s beyond secure. But so many gentile dupes bitch and whine about how rock-tossing Palestinian kids and how Iran — a nation with a ruined economy thanks to Zio-American-led sanctions even though it doesn’t have a single nuke — are about to ‘wipe Israel off the map’.
Jews weren’t so powerful in the past, but over time, they mastered both the pushy way and the mushy way. In SCHINDLER’S LIST, the Ben Kingsley character obviously cannot command Schindler to do anything. So instead, little by little, he plays Schindler’s heartstrings. He ‘nudges’ Schindler in the right direction.
|ACT OF KILLING|
There’s something similar at work in THE ACT OF KILLING by Joshua Oppenheimer who, like the Kingsley character, doesn’t overtly pass judgement or tell the Indonesians what to do or how to act. He knows he has no power over anyone anything in Indonesia, much of which is still run by local gangster thugs, many of whom have blood on their hands from the ‘anti-communist’ bloodbath that engulfed the nation in 1965. So, he befriended the former killers and devised a means by which to steadily ensnare them and psychologically tighten the moral noose around their necks; what the thugs did physically, Oppenheimer slyly does psychologically, not least by posing as a friendly observer. It’s also like an act of moral fishing to see which one of the goons will fall for the moral bait. (In this THE ACT OF KILLING is somewhat like Hitchcock’s THE ROPE, the stylistic method of which figuratively wove through and around the murderers who used a rope on their victim.) Some of the Indonesians are too brutish, stupid, childish, and/or crude to undergo any change of heart, but one character, an aged fellow who looks sort of Nelson Mandela, gradually comes to empathize with his victims, and all the re-enactments of the killings — that had been done in the spirit of fun-and-play or propaganda — begin to have a sobering effect on him. Like Schindler, he undergoes a change of heart though we don’t know to what extent or how truly sincere. Could he have been mugging for the camera to impress his new friend Oppenheimer who hung around him with a camera without passing judgement? (THE ACT OF KILLING is a risky film as it details the lives of people who seem too cruel, backward, and uneducated to realize the moral implications of what they’d done. Also, it’d be too easy for us to pass judgement on them for we didn’t grow up in their world filled with corruption, brutality, superstitions, and ignorance. So, how do we square the grave issue at hand — a mini-genocide — with the frivolity of those who recount and reenact it like stupid children? At the very least, Europeans who took part in the Holocaust know that it was a tragedy on a massive scale. And even defenders of the massive carpet bombing of Dresden and the nuking of Hiroshima know that those were horrible events and not to be treated or remembered lightly. But the people in THE ACT OF KILLING seem to regard their bloody past as some kind of macabre carnival or Halloween party. They seem incapable of, at the very least, acknowledging the grave nature of the horror. It’s like watching the kids gone savage in THE LORD OF THE FLIES. Given the social, moral, and political culture of the West that gravely remembers past tragedies — though, to be sure, scaled to emphasize the Holocaust and American slavery over all else — , it seems alien and shocking for us to observe Indonesians treating their own bloody past — and still brutal present — with such flair, flamboyance, and infantilism. Also, Indonesians seem incapable of distinguishing what is real, what is unreal; what really happened, what is reenacted; what is truly tragic, what is merely mawkish. Morality and ethics seem superficial in a world where reality is governed and grinded by bullying, corruption, thuggery, intimidation, and collusion. In such a world, even the moral sense that the film tries to maintain could have sunk into morass of ridiculousness. It’s to Oppenheimer’s credit that he halfway played along with the childishness of Indonesians while, at the same time, maintaining just enough distance to make room for conscience if it were to emerge from any of the characters. Had the film been purely moralistic and judgmental, it would have made us feel smugly superior to the Indonesians and wouldn’t have given us a chance to get under their skin — as Scoresese did with the gangsters in GOODFELLAS. And yet, had Oppenheimer merely decided to ‘go native’, the result might have been something like Howard-Stern-Does-Indonesian-Genocide. But the film also makes us confront our own hypocrisies, duplicities, and delusions. After all, the Indonesian massacres were carried out be a regime that was favored by the United States, though to be sure, communist takeover of Indonesia would have been even worse, and we mustn’t forget that the communists struck first with weapons shipped from China, something Oppenheimer the Liberal Jew fails to mention. Also, we need to ask ourselves why we are less shocked by Indonesian behavior than we would be by comparable behavior among Europeans. Imagine if Germans who were involved in the Holocaust acted like the buffoons in THE ACT OF KILLING. Why do we hold white people to higher moral standards? By doing so, aren’t we suggesting that whites are culturally and morally superior to non-whites? Isn’t that ‘racist’, at least according to the rules of multi-cultural political correctness that says no race or culture is superior to others? Also, are we really all that much more mature than the Indonesians or have we mastered the art of masking out lunacies, degeneracies, and compromises better? Consider the scene where the Indonesian thugs extort money from a Chinese businessman. Surely, we find it wrong and unjust, and we wouldn’t tolerate such behavior here. But aren’t there all sorts of institutionalized and legalized means by which money is extorted from productive people in America so that politicians, bureaucrats, crony capitalists, and the entire welfare class can live on the hog? It’s done through the government and is thus ‘legitimate’, but when places like Detroit and Baltimore are propped up by having money funneled to them from other parts of the nation, isn’t that a kind of extortion? It also serves as a form of bribery to the underclass to just chill out and eat some bigass chili-dogs instead of rioting and acting too crazy. And though the likes of Jesse Jackson Jr. passed himself as Civil Rights leader, didn’t he essentially extort money from white businesses, not least to stuff his own pockets? And just how is it that the likes of Marc Rich got pardoned by Clinton? How come no one was onto Bernie Madoff for so long before his bubble finally burst? How come Jews can divert so much US taxpayer dollars to Israel and other Jewish causes/interests? How come they can spy on the US and on us with impunity? How come a sleazy two-bit punk like Obama can be elevated to the status of a messiah? Just how did ‘gay marriage’ become the biggest moral issue in America? True, Indonesians are uncouth, disgusting, vile, gross, retarded, and plenty demented, but in some ways, their way of corruption is honest and out-in-the-open. They go to some Chinese guy and demand that he hand over more dough. It’s rotten, but it’s honest rotten whereas all the legal lobbying, legal fund-raising, legal this, and legal that in America masks the fact that so much of what happens in the name of Rule of Law stinks to high heaven, especially as the Jewish and homo elites don’t have the kind of principles and dignity that the Wasp elites at least aspired to even if they didn’t fully practice them. Under the wasp elites, American got better and better as folks like Italian-Americans emulated the Anglo way. But with Jews as the new model, we have every group twisting the law in so many ways to serve their own tribal interests while pretending that it’s all about ‘social justice’ and ‘victim-hood’. Because, at the very least, the Wasps had a sense of accountability and responsibility, such values rubbed off on the ethnic whites, Asians, and even some Negroes. But Jews have no such sense, and as such, every group in America now just want to play the blame-game and say, “It’s not our fault but the fault of others, especially white, straight, conservative males.” Of course, flawed as it is, we would not trade our system with that of vile and nasty Indonesia, but we shouldn’t be too glib about how ‘morally’ and ‘culturally’ advanced we are. After all, just like childish Indonesians, too many Americans get their news from junk sources like FOX NEWS and MSNBC, or from comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Or from fathead demagogues like Rush Limbaugh. Or mondo trasho documentarians like Michael Moore. Or flaky celebrities like Oprah or Ellen Degeneris the degenerate. Indeed, many more Americans pick up their political views and social values from stuff like TONIGHT SHOW with Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon. And then, there’s the power of advertising. Since the corrupt media and entertainment turned so many Americans toward supporting ‘gay marriage’, the Jewish elites cannot resist dumbing Americans down even further. In the past, despite their dishonesty and perfidy, many Jews were at the forefront of trying to raise the intellectual level of mass America So, Jews like Mortimer Adler pushed Great Books Lectures. Jews supported the Film Generation with its emphasis on Art Cinema. Jews made room on TV for intellectual discussion. But look all around today, and Jews just want us to be dumb idiots hooked to celebrity gossip and Reality TV junk. Of course, there are still niche markets that encourage some critical thinking, but by and large, we are living in the Age of Shamelessness. And then, there’s the influence of rotten libertarianism, with stuff like SOUTHPARK that encourage morons to laugh like bigger morons at moronosity ‘parodied’ in ever more moronic ways. Thus, there’s no sense of reverence for anything in the libertarian community, for which the only things of sacred value are guns, grass, gambling, and porn. And even though the West pays so much attention to the Holocaust, entire bloodbaths have been conveniently ignored, especially if Jews were involved in them, such as the mass killings of Christian Slavs at the hands of Jews in the early yrs of Bolshevism. Incidentally, there was something RAN-like about the fate of Indonesia in the 60s. Sukarno, like the old lord in RAN, envisioned peace and harmony on the presumption of his greatness that would have lasting impact on the Indonesian nation. Just like the old lord was blind to all the tensions simmering beneath his feet, Sukarno thought his personal magic brought together and harmonized all the elements of the Third World movement. He called his magic formula ‘Nasakom’ that would combine nationalism, Islam, and communism. Nationalism was obviously necessary for an artificially constructed nation like Indonesia that had ever existed as a unified political entity prior to the arrival of the Dutch colonist-imperialists. So, like so many artificial Third World nations carved into existence by European powers, Sukarno had to play up — and even create — the notion of Indonesian national identity and unity. He was trying to turn Indonesia into a modern nation-state, something others in the Asia, Middle East, and Africa were struggling to do. So, in the name of nationalism, Sukarno appealed to the modernizers and to the military, but in fact, it really meant military power. But as Indonesia was also predominantly Muslim — and since every Third World nation was supposed to have something to distinguish it from others — , Sukarno played up the cultural traditions of Indonesia, and in doing so, he appealed to the cultural conservatives who loathed the international left. But at the time, Third World-ism was almost synonymous with Revolution, and so Sukarno patronized the Indonesian communists. As long as Sukarno remained on top, the various elements that were mutually hostile and contradictory pledged their loyalty to Sukarno and assured him that they would do their best get along and work together for the national good. But each side knew that Sukarno was playing with fire but simply didn’t know it or didn’t care to know it. Whatever virtues he may have had, Sukarno was a talker more than a doer, and he began to believe in the honeyed myths that rolled off his tongue so easily. So, when all hell finally broke loose, Sukarno was as taken by surprise as the lord in RAN. But then, there was RON too, or Ronald Reagan, who thought American conservatives would finally get together and work for the common good as they’d won so many political battles both domestically and internationally in the 1980s. Little did Reagan and people like Buckley understand what the neo-con Zionist Jews really had in store for them. Being more ruthless, shrewd, and cunning, they got rid of the ‘Paleo-cons’ just like Jiro, the second son in RAN, easily got rid of the witless Taro, the first son. In RAN, peace was unlikely because Taro, though oldest and heir to the throne, was a dumbass. Jiro, being much smarter and ever so cunning, was going to make a move sooner or later to take power himself. And once the clan began to shake from internal squabbles, other clans, who’d made an oath of peace, were going to make their own moves to gain advantage. Oaths and pledges in politics mean nothing. Russia found out the hard way when NATO swept right up to its borders despite the promises of the Bush administration to respect Russian geopolitical interests. It was all the easier since Jews found fifth columnists in Russia who were more than willing to betray their own nation for thirty pieces of silver from the Jews. And notice that Jews are restless in their appetite for more wealth, more privilege, more clout, more power. Israel isn’t enough for them. Ruling the US isn’t enough for them. Ruling EU isn’t enough for them. Turning the Middle East into a mess where Muslims kill Muslims isn’t enough for them. Ruining Iran’s economy isn’t enough for them. No, Jews must take Russia as well through the connections of Jewish oligarches who, via control of education and media, seek to turn Russians into a bunch of pansy-ass white boys and girls addicted to jungle fever, homo worship, and Jewish vileness as represented by the likes of Masha Geesen. That such a disgusting Jewess has been appointed to such a prominent position says much about the true nature of the power of vile and hideous Jews around the world. And yet, Conservatives prefer to side with the likes of Geesen and the Pussy Riot than with the Russian people who stand up for their nation, tradition, unity, and identity. White Americans should be taking lessons from White Russians, but they are instead aiding and abetting the Jews who are attacking Russia as the last great bastion of white identity and white power. History is never over, especially if Jews have gained control of the globalist order. Jews will endlessly manipulate the world to make it more advantageous to Jews. If Fukuyama had any guts, he’d realize that what really won the Cold War wasn’t liberalism, free markets, democracy, and the welfare state but ethnocentric Jewish oligarchism, or ultra-kosherism).
Some people might draw the conclusion that Jews are the least nationalist/ethnocentric of all peoples since they’ve been ‘rootless wanderers’ through the ages without a nation to call their own. Thus, all the world became their home, and they learned to trade and co-exist with all sorts of people. But then, if Jews didn’t have such a powerful sense of cultural-and-spiritual(as well as racial)identity — Judaism is a blood-and-creed, or pud-and-creed, belief system — , they would likely have assimilated and ‘disappeared’ into other societies, or they might have maintained their sense of Jewishness as a mere custom without any special political meaning. Zoroastrians, for example, don’t wanna gain power and influence as such. They just wanna be left alone to maintain their own tradition.
The problem at the core of Jewishness-in-the-world is that Jews have for so long maintained both an extreme form of ethnocentrism and an extensive way of wandering and settling all around the world. So, while Jews are among the most ‘rootless’ in their wandering or cosmopolitan ways in the socio-economic sense, they’ve also been among the most rooted in their sense of identity. To participate so fully in the entire world while, at the same time, maintaining such a powerful sense of separate identity could never be resolved culturally, socially, politically, and morally. Thus, Jews have no recourse but to be cunning, devious, duplicitous, hypocritical, two-faced, manipulative, deceptive, and lowdown. More and more people are noticing that while Jews denounce ethnocentrism among white gentiles — even in the original homeland of the white European race — , Jews go out of their way to further and expand Jewish power, Jewish wealth, Jewish influence, Jewish identity, Jewish unity, and etc. Indeed, even when Jews marry non-Jews, they tend to choose the cream of the crop and raise the children as Jews. Thus, the Jewish community absorbs the best of white and Asian minds as well as the best of white beauty, which is why some Jews have been looking rather attractive lately. They are half-Jews genetically.
But more crucially, the fact that Jews, for a very long time, didn’t have their own homeland — and still don’t have one big enough to satiate their power-and-pride-lust — has paradoxically made them even more ‘nationalistic’. We associate nationalism with blood-and-soil, and given that Jews for so long didn’t have their own blood-and-soil nation — and also that so many Jews today live outside Israel — , one might think Jews wouldn’t much care for nationalism. And of course, there are Jews who argue that Jewish nationalism only developed in the 19th century in Europe in response to the rise of European nationalism. While this is true in the strictly political sense of what it means to be a member of a nation-state, Jews had, for a very long time, practiced a kind of quasi-nationalism in their cultural sense of unity and identity based on blood, special Covenant with God, turning goyim into servile cattle, and the dream of reclaiming the Holy Land. So, even before the rise of modern Jewish nationalism in the form of Zionism, Jews had maintained their cultural and racial uniqueness because they’d long felt as special members of the Jewish ‘nation’. It’s like American Indians didn’t have nation-states, but they still felt as members of a unique tribe, or ‘nation’ in the primitive sense.
Anyway, if Jews had a sizable nation of their own, their sense of nationalism might have grown calmer in the modern era for two reasons: (1) they could taken their national entity and identity for granted and (2) their long-standing nation would likely be tainted with some ‘historical crime’. Anglos had a nation of their own and created Anglo-dominant nations such as United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Therefore, Anglos needed not to worry excessively about their nationalism since their Anglo-power seemed so self-evident, unshakable, and invincible in the Anglo-dominant nations. Why obsessively remind oneself of one’s Anglo-ness when Anglos own so much land, have so much power, and are so numerous in population? Anglos could just take Anglo power for granted.
Jews, in contrast, could never take their Jewish identity for granted since they were vastly outnumbered by goyim and led precarious existence around the world. So, the only way Jews could remain Jewish was to remind themselves over and over and over of their Jewishness either religiously, historically, culturally, and/or morally. In a society of 1000 Greeks and 10 Jews, the Greeks don’t have to be so Greek-minded all the time since everything around them is Greek and Greek-ish. But Jews will lose their sense of Jewishness unless they remind themselves of their uniqueness as Jews apart from the Greek majority. To be sure, an entire nation can become very nationalist-minded IF it faces the danger of extinction from foreign invasion or domination. So, Greeks were more Greek-minded during the long Turkish rule since they feared losing their nation forever. And Poles became among the most nationalistic people in Europe because their nation faced the prospect of being totally absorbed by Germany and Russia. But more recently, Greeks and Poles have lost their nationalist passion since they feel secure in their homelands. Still, a new kind of nationalism seems to be on the rise in Greece as the nation fills up with so many troublesome ‘refugees’ from the Middle East and Africa. Jews have Israel, but, despite its historical-spiritual-and-cultural significance, it’s a very small nation, and the Jews feel that their greatness entitles them to control much more of the world. Since Jews cannot gain control and effective ownership of nations as Jews — what people would want to be controlled and dominated by Jewish supremacists who brazenly act in Jewish interests? — , they use the rhetoric of abstract principles such as the ‘proposition nation’, ‘multi-culturalism’, ‘diversity’, ‘inclusion’, ‘open borders’, ‘free trade’, ‘spreading democracy’, ‘gay rights’, and etc. Of course, since Jews are the smartest and control the elite institutions of many advanced nations, Jews effectively own and rule them, but since Jewish power expanded in the name of some abstract ‘universal’ principles, the Jewish Hand is hidden inside the globalist glove.
Now, think about it. Suppose Chinese or Iranians were smarter & more cunning than Jews and could, via ‘universalist’ ideals of globalism, gain control over Israel, Hollywood, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and etc. Does anyone think Jews would be the biggest fans of such ‘universalism’ that purports to go beyond ‘racism’, ‘xenophobia’, ‘nationalism’, and etc? If Russian gentiles were indeed better at business, finance, and high-tech than the Jews, and if they were on the verge of taking economic and cultural control over Israel or New York, do you think Jews will welcome it as ‘universalist meritocracy in action’? Or would Jews call out on the real power and real agenda behind the perfumed abstractions of ‘universal values’? Unlike so many dimwit goyim, Jews understand fully well that ‘some people are MORE EQUAL than others’, as George Orwell said. (Indeed, inequality and servility will always be the central modes of how the world works. While Jews and Liberals constantly remind us of the bad ole days when certain groups had to be ‘uncle tom-like’ and servile to others, the world we live in is all about hierarchy and obedience. Students are expected to obey and agree with their politically correct teachers, or else. Workers are expected to bow down to homos, or else. Politicians must suck up to Jewish sharks like Adelson or George Soros, or else. At cocktail parties, the haughty-hipsterish uber-class puts on airs while the servile under-class serves the drinks. For Obama to be chosen by Jews, he had to kiss Jewish ass, and of course, he still kisses Jewish ass. He’s really the biggest butler of all time, and of course, he has lots of servile people around him. Harvard-educated Liberals spout the tired old mantra about equality but they would be shocked and appalled — like Cate Blanchett’s character in BLUE JASMINE — if someone suggested they befriend or go out with the lower classes. Mexicans are favored for farm labor because they’re servile. Computer geeks like Mark Zuckerberg prefer Chinese and Indian engineers because they’ll work for less and complain less. If you’re lower class and act uppity to the SWPL elites, they’ll just fire you, and of course, their real estate agendas make it impossible for most lower-class types to live in many areas of New York or San Francisco. Political Correctness is often used as the new tool of snobbery, what with well-educated elites steeped in PC rhetoric sneering at the lower orders who seem so uncouth. But then, these PC elite jerks, in their mytho-schizophrenia, champion the legend of big-mouthed and vulgar Muhammad Ali, the likes of whom are routinely stopped-and-frisked in New York. So much of PC ‘progressivism’ is symbolic. It’s white kids at Oberlin freaking out about some mythical KKK on campus when, in real life, they wanna lead privileged lives where they get to look down on most people. SWPL elites sneer at the people while pretending to be working for equality for all people. They are phonies. Neo-servility is also big in the US military. We are told of how US military men — and women and homos and maybe trannies also sometime soon — are treated so much better than in the past, especially as they’re now showered with all kinds of benefits, goods, services, financial grants, and etc. They are not merely cannon fodder that they once used to be, or so we are told. But if we really cared about soldiers in the military, shouldn’t we grant them more political power so that they too can take part in the debate of which wars to fight? Of course, if the US were attacked, there should be no debate since it’d be an emergency situation. But when the US military has to fight wars that have no bearing on the survival or well-being of America, shouldn’t the soldiers at least be allowed to participate in the political debate? After all, they will be the ones who will do the dying, who will be maimed, who will do the killing, and who may even have to kill civilians abroad. But of course, no such expansion of soldiers’ rights has taken place. Instead, we are supposed to feel good about ‘progress’ in the military because soldiers can now eat lobster tails in the mess halls, have free plastic surgery, and take showers with fruitkins. If ‘progressives’ truly believed in ‘democratizing’ the military, they would champion the right of soldiers to vote on which wars to fight IF the wars don’t involve a direct threat to American lands or interests. The Iraq War was a War for Israel pushed by neocons who should really be called Zio-cons, and it was made popular in America by the Liberal Zionists who control the media and regard most Americans as sheeple. Soldiers were fed lobster tails but had no say in the matter. Today, soldiers have lobster tails and homosexuals staring at their tails in the shower, but they still have no say about the wars they might have to fight. Politicians and media mavens — most of whom didn’t serve in the military and most of whose children will never serve in the military — make all the political decisions while soldiers must do all the killing, dying, maiming, and getting maimed. But hey, as long as they get lobster tails and plastic surgery, they have nothing to complain about. It’s the worst of libertarianism meets worst of big government complex. If we wanna be honest, soldiers today are just as servile as they were in the past. Lobster tails and free plastic surgery only mask this unpleasant truth.)
Anyway, since Jews cannot take their identity and unity for granted in a world demographically and geographically dominated by gentiles, Jews have been even more ‘nationalist’ than other groups. Today, a Japanese doesn’t have to worry about Japanese-ness 24/7 since just being in Japan means he’s part of the Japanese nation. A Russian doesn’t have to go nuts thinking about Russian-ness all the time since just being in Russia means he’s a Russian in the Motherland. Japanese and Russians get worked up over nationalist issues when other nations pressure, bully, or threaten them. But Jews feel that unless they maintain their sense of identity and unity at all times, Jews will just become absorbed into goy society and fade away. Since religion has lost its appeal for many Jews, Jewish elites emphasize culture, history, fear, paranoia, and feelings of revenge, a kind of Jewish revanchism or revanchutzism. But of course, Jews can’t play up their Jewishness too much since the goy world will realize that it’s all really about Jewish power and Jewish domination. So, Jews scream and make a big fuss about other issues that really serve as proxies for Jewish control and power. After all, suppose American Jews had been honest and said, “We gonna do all this shit for Jewish domination.” Even philosemites will start wondering about the nasty Jews. So, Jews ranted about ‘racism’, ‘sexism’, ‘xenophobia’, ‘homophobia’, and etc. in order to subvert, weaken, and undermine the identity and unity of the majority white population. Similarly, suppose Jews were to say, “We are doing such-and-such to take over Russia.” Even Americans with hostile views of Russia would begin with sympathize with Russians. So, Jews — and their shabbos goyim like Timothy Synder — make a big stink about how Russians are ‘anti-gay’, ‘anti-democratic’, anti-human-rights’, and etc., all the while remaining silent about the truly atrocious abuses happening in Israel. Jews despise Ukrainians but feign solidarity in order to use Ukraine as a bridge to fulfill their dream of conquering Russia. With the entire resources of the US and much of EU in their hands, Jews can play many more cards than Russia can. And just as conquered American Indian tribes aided the White Man to conquer the as yet unconquered American Indian tribes, conquered white goyim are bending over to support Jews in their conquest of Russia. Conquered peoples feel envy for unconquered peoples, so they collaborate with their conquerors to help conquer the unconquered as well. So, today, anti-Russian-ism is the main policy of the USA or Jew-SA, and once Russia is taken, Jews will use the ‘yellow peril’ card to bring down China or ‘terrorism card’ to utterly destroy the proud nation of Iran. Given what Jews did to the white race in America — fated to become a minority in the very land conquered, settled, and founded by its European ancestors — , you’d think whites would wake up and take on the hideous Jews, but even white Conservatives prefer to throw tantrums about Russia because it doesn’t allow ‘gay marriage’.
Anyway, the OTHER reason why Jewish ‘tribalism’ gets a pass is because all the ‘historical crimes’ of Jews have been passed onto gentile-majority kingdoms and nation-states. It’s like whenever Jews do some bad shit, they say ‘privileged whites’ done it. Especially after World War II, nationalism came under moral scrutiny and even condemnation because the official historical narrative blamed ultra-nationalism for the disasters in Europe and Asia, i.e. the rabid far-right nationalist elements of Germany and Japan took power and set off conflagrations that eventually set the whole world on fire. But as some Europeans had collaborated with the Germans, the guilt of nationalism came to be shared by non-Germans as well, e.g. French nation was guilty of collaborating with Nazi Germany, Polish nation was guilty because some Poles handed Jews over to Germans or didn’t hide them from the Nazis, etc. Or European nationalism became associated with European ‘racist’ imperialism over Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. So, most advanced nations after WWII were cautious about promoting nation unity, identity, and pride. But since Jews didn’t have a nation of their own, all their ‘historical crimes’ were conveniently blamed on other nations. So, if German Jews were partly responsible for World War I, the blame went entirely to Germans and not to Jews. If Russian Jews were largely responsible for the horrors of communism, the blame went to Russians and not to Jews. So, if Jews in the American South practiced slavery or traded with slavers, it wasn’t a Jewish problem but a White Southern problem. If Jewish businessmen ripped off black customers in ghetto shops, it was ‘American whites’ who done that. As Jews were minorities in goy-majority nations, all their ‘crimes’ became absorbed into the ‘crimes’ of the nation as a whole.
To be sure, rabid and vicious anti-Semites were always eager to blame just about everything on the Jews. The likes of Hitler essentially blamed ‘Jewish socialists’ for the stab-in-the-back treachery that supposedly robbed Germany of its victory in World War I. While Jewish influence was considerable and spreading like wildfire all over the world, the problem with anti-Semites was that they overplayed Jewish influence to the point where Jews ALWAYS served as the convenient scapegoat. But since the end of World War, Jews have been employing the same kind of trickery. Jews go for the ‘scapegoy’. So, even though Jews played a prominent role in the bloody Bolshevik Revolution, Jews blame Russian goyim and barely mention the role of Jews. So, even though Jews played a prominent role in the Latin American slave trade, the blame is entirely placed on Spain and Portugal than on Jews who took part. So, even though Jewish financiers pulled strings to profit from wars, the blame is placed entirely on nations of which Jews were a part. So, if German-Jewish bankers acted like leeches, it’s seen as a German problem and not a Jewish problem. Thus, the Jewish way of using the ‘scapegoy’ to hide Jewish perfidy, treachery, and other nastiness. So, if Hollywood has ‘too many’ Jews, we are told the problem is ‘white male privilege’. So, if a sleazy Jew like Donald Sterling, the owner of the L.A. Clippers, says controversial and ‘offensive’ things, then never mind that he’s a Jew. Just see him as a ‘rich, privileged, and racist white guy who thinks and acts like a white southern plantation owner’. So, if the Iraq War turned into a disaster, never mind the Jewish role — political, financial, and media — behind it. Just blame Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. And if we must discuss powerful Jews who worked ‘under’ Bush, refer to them as ‘neo-cons’ as not as ‘globo-Zionist supremacists’. And remember that some neocons aren’t Jewish, as if to imply that neoconservatism isn’t particularly kosher, which is a joke.
Since Jews didn’t have a nation of their own prior to the founding of Israel, every nasty or terrible thing they did — even for naked Jewish interests — isn’t seen as a Jewish problem but the problem of the nation in which the Jews lived. So, just blame Stalin and the Russians for the Great Famine in Ukraine, and just forget that Jews played a major part in that tragedy. And whatever happened to the Armenians, place the entire blame on the Turks and never mind the Jews who’d taken part in the modern Turkish regime. And never mind that there had been plenty of Jewish Fascists in Mussolini’s movement, at least prior to Mussolini’s alliance with Germany.
Of course, Jews could no longer play this ‘scapegoy’ trick on the subject of Israel since it was explicitly founded as a Jewish state and is totally controlled by Jews. Even so, Jews like Noam Chomsky, while claiming to be critical of Zionism, have used the ‘scapegoy’ shtick to dupe us into believing that Israel is just a puppet of America. But even if this were true, who controls America? Jews do, so even if Israel is a puppet of America, it’s Jews working with and for Jews. (Incidentally, Israel is useful for Liberal Jews because they can conveniently blame Jewish ethnocentrism on extreme ‘right-wing’ elements in Israel when, in fact, American Jews are the real money and muscle behind Israel. So, even though Liberal Jews in America work with Israeli Jews behind the scenes, they shrug their shoulders and say, “Don’t look at me. It’s those pesky extreme Jews in Israel who are causing all the problem.”) Anyway, as Israel is a Jewish state, Jews-as-a-people have come under some degree of historical-moral-condemnation, and Jews just can’t push the blame on the ‘scapegoy’. To be sure, some Liberal Jews try to do just this, arguing that Israel acts the way it does because it’s enabled by Christian Zionist extremists in the US, but that’s really pushing it, and I highly doubt if even most Liberals buy that BS. The notion that Israel takes its orders from the likes of Pat Robertson and Sarah Palin is too funny.
Nevertheless, criticism of Israel and Jewish ‘historical crimes’ have been muted because of the Holocaust Cult or Holocult that would us believe that Israel was the product of World War II that left Jews with nowhere to go — though, if that was the case, why were there Jews who chose to remain in Europe after World War II? After all, many of the Eastern European nations were dominated by Jewish communists in the early years. Eastern Europeans eventually became anti-Jewish not only because Jewish elites used Stalinist-communism to crush them but because Jewish communists increasingly chose Jewish identity over socialist identity as, indeed, many Jews in communist nations forged secret ties with Jews in the West and Israel.
Though fiercely ethnocentric, Israel has also been sold to the West as a kind of ‘proposition nation’, a beacon of universalist Western values in a vast sea of swarthy Muslim fanaticism. How many times have we been told that Israel is the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East? So, even though Israel is a democracy only for the sake of Jewish nationalism and supremacism, we are supposed to see it as the shining light of universal Western values and as the bulwark against the Muslim tide. If indeed, Israel was situated right between the West and the Muslim world, such an argument might be half-plausible, but, in fact, Israel isn’t in any geographical location to serve as a barrier against the Muslim hordes who wanna flood into Europe. If anything, Israel has been pressuring Europe to take African refugees in Israel that Israelis don’t want. And globo-Zionist Jews in the US, EU, Canada, and Australia have been doing everything to wage war on the very idea of Western Civilization and to inundate them with Third World immigrants and invaders. In other words, Jews tell white people of the West that they must give up on ‘Western Civilization’ and embrace globalist-multi-cultural civilization, while, at the same time, telling white people that they must support Israel because it stands for values of ‘Western Civilization’. This is crazy, but even crazier is that so many white folks have been suckered into kissing the Jewish ass and sucking the Jewish cock. Of course, there are white goyim who know what we know but just go along since they love money, success, and privilege that comes with whoring themselves out to Jews. After all, If Jews denounce you, expect to end up like Jason Richwine and Helen Thomas.
(The “Israel-is-necessary-to-avert-a-new-Holocaust” argument is utterly ridiculous. On the one hand, Zionists and philosemites say Jews need Israel, a nation of their own, because they’d been surrounded by hostile anti-Semites in Europe, and THAT led to the Holocaust. But then, Zionists and philosemites also say that Israel is a tiny little island surrounded by a sea of deranged Islamic hatred against Jews. If the point of creating a Jewish state was to avert a new holocaust, they sure found the stupidest place to found it. It’s like saying, “We need to save that white guy from black thuggery in South Africa, so let’s put him in the middle of Detroit.” It’s all the more ridiculous because nearly every American repeats the mantra over and over and over. But if Americans really love Jews and care about their well-being and survival, why didn’t they — or Canadians or Australians who also have so much empty land for that matter — offer a piece of territory the size of Israel in their own country as a new homeland for Jews. After all, we are told that unlike crazy Muslims, Americans LOVE Jews. So, if indeed Jews need a homeland to avoid another holocaust, it seems to me it would have made a hell of lot more sense to create a Jewish nation in the US, Canada, or Australia than in the middle of some place teeming with hundreds of millions of Arabs/Muslims who are said to be hateful and murderous.)
Anyway, returning to HARD CANDY, what it demonstrates is that talent, intelligence, experience, and expertise aren’t enough to create a compelling and convincing work of art. Brian Nelson may be a distinguished writer in the business, and we can understand why he’d want to try something outside genre formulas, but HARD CANDY, as a failed ‘art film’, is worse than any routine genre work. Some might argue that HARD CANDY belongs in the category of psychological horror and should be treated as a piece of genre, but the action in the film is too powerful, disturbing, and upsetting for entertainment. Also, the film seems to be telling us — even knocking us over the head — that it’s saying something about morality, truth, justice, and redemption. It’s not just an Agatha-Christie-style mystery thriller.
To be sure, certain works are situated so narrowly between the realms of genre and art that they leave us somewhat flustered. A good example is CHASING SLEEP, which is effective as psychological horror — in the manner of Edgar Allan Poe’s THE TELL TALE HEART — but also gets under our skins in a strange and provocative way. But generally speaking, genre exists in its own universe, and however powerful it may be, it has little to say about truth or reality outside the concerns of its fictional domain except perhaps in the mytho-archetypal sense, i.e. people are humans in the real world but gods in the fantasy world — consider how movie audiences stared at ‘stars’ on the silver screen as magnified and idealized alter egos.
As Anthony Hopkins in NIXON says as he stares at the painting of John F. Kennedy, “When they look at you, they see what they want to be. When they look at me, they see what they are.” Movies as genre make us see-and-feel ourselves as Kennedy, whereas Film as art make us face-and-confront ourselves as Nixon. (Needless to say, there are many more genre movies than art films.) That moment in Oliver Stone’s film pretty much sums up the essential conflict between entertainment and art. Most of culture can be divided into categories of escapist-entertainment-fantasy and sobering-enlightening-art? Stone himself has been torn between these two modes.
A part of him is a huckster, a showman, and a circus clown. He loves the attention, he wants to draw in the crowds, and he loves entertainment movies. But another side of him wants to be the maverick, the artist, the speaker of truth, the man who shakes us from our collective doldrums. Thus, his films are filled with both crowd-pleasing elements and sobering details about war, finance, and society.
And yet, the dichotomy of art-as-truth and entertainment-as-fantasy is, of course, too simple. If indeed we could reduce the world into fantasy and fact, it’d be so much easier to tell them apart. But, what we call the ‘truth’ is itself an amalgam of the factual, the empathetic, the propagandistic, the subjective-personal, and the objective-historical. Just because one opposes/challenges the official myth doesn’t mean that one’s truth is The Truth. After all, while it’s true that the US government told lots of lies to sell the Vietnam War, the so-called Anti-War Movement was also filled with its own myths, not least because some of it was funded by the USSR and radical sources. For one thing, the Anti-War Movement was pro-war whenever and wherever the communists were the aggressors. You didn’t hear the Anti-War people advising Fidel Castro to make peace with non-communist Latin American nations. You didn’t hear the Anti-War protesters advising North Vietnam to stop attacking the South. A war as complex as the Vietnam conflict couldn’t be simplified into ‘free world vs barbaric communists’ or ‘American imperialists vs noble Vietnamese freedom fighters’. Or, one might argue that both views were equally valid or ‘true’ in their own ways, in which case truth is a kind of duality.
More often than not, we don’t so much have truth vs fiction but fiction vs fiction. Consider the Iraq War, with pro-war types seeing it in terms of ‘heroic Americans overthrow a cruel dictator and liberate a nation and rid it of WMD’ and with anti-war types seeing it as ‘neo-imperialist US invades a peaceful nation where everyone was getting along just fine’, which was the BS peddled by Michael Moore’s documentary. Why such one-sidedness on both sides? Because people become confused by complexity and ambiguity. Partly, such feelings are the product of evolution. Wolves of one pack feel most secure in being part of the pack, and the wolves of another feel most secure in being part of the pack, but woe unto any wolf that is part of neither pack as it will be treated as an outcast by both packs.
Also, complexity, as necessary as it is in our accession of the truth, tends to have a neutralizing effect on our capacity for collective action. At times, a certain cause is thought to be so important that anything must be done to rally the troops and unite the masses. It’s like during a sports game, you cheer for your side as the competition is about win-or-lose with nothing in between. So, during election season, Conservatives and Liberals put aside their sense of ambiguity and complexity and rally behind their candidate even if many on both sides know that both candidates are sleazebags more or less. When Japan attacked US, the war had to be won, so it wasn’t time to think about the complexity of the situation.
|THE GOFATHER – Tom Hagen – Man for All Reasons|
Indeed, this was the problem of Tom Hagen in THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II. As a man capable of seeing and analyzing things from multiple viewpoints, he has a better grasp of what was going on than someone like Sonny. In the flashback sequence at the end of THE GODFATHER PART II, Sonny rants about how the ‘Japs’ attacked Pearl Harbor — especially on “pa’s birthday” — , but Hagen says the US should have expected it after the ‘embargo’. So, Hagen has read a lot and knows a lot, but complexity is beside the point during times of war. Sometimes, a person or people are compelled to think in terms us-or-them. When Sollozzo the ‘Turk’ made a hit on Vito Corleone, Hagen argued in favor of making a deal after considering all the cards on the table. It was sensible advice, but maybe too ‘sensible’, as reason is irrelevant when some punk tried to kill a member of the family. Sonny the hothead sees everything in terms of us-versus-them. Hagen sees the world in terms of us-and-them. Where Michael is really formidable is in seeing the world in terms of us-versus-them but acting as if in accordance with the terms of us-and-them. Sonny is subjective, Hagen is objective, and Michael is subjective-wrapped-in-the-objective. Instead of screaming and pulling hairs — acting ‘personal’ — like Sonny, he puts forth a seemingly rational argument as to why Sollozzo and the corrupt police captain must be killed. But deep down inside, we know that he’s motivated by personal-subjective feelings, indeed no less than Sonny is. And the fact that Hagen wasn’t 100% behind the family in his counsel makes him suspect in Michael’s eyes, which is why he’s demoted from consiglieri position in THE GODFATHER and is kept in the dark about certain matters in THE GODFATHER PART II. It’s not because Hagen is disloyal or treacherous but because his mental habits are ‘too reasonable’ to understand the ‘Sicilian Thing’. (If Hagen is too rational, Kaye turns out to be too moral.) Of course, Michael can appear to favor the Big Picture over the ‘Sicilian Thing’, which is why Pantengeli becomes so exasperated when Michael tells him to make peace with the Rosato Brothers so that Michael can do business with Hyman Roth. Pantengeli says, “You give your loyalty to a Jew before your own blood.” The difference is that Michael’s main loyalty is still to his blood as he’s only maneuvering to wheedle something out of the ‘Jew in Miami’. Where Michael fails is in his literal rejection of his own blood. Perhaps, despite all their pride in Sicilian-ness, both father and son were attracted by Northern-European-ness. So, Vito Corleone made Tom Hagen, a German-Irish-American, into his consiglieri. And Michael married Kaye the Wasp who eventually aborted his son. Tom Hagen, no matter how loyal he may be to the Corleones, simply doesn’t feel the ‘Sicilian thing’ in his heart. And Kaye certainly didn’t want the ‘Sicilian thing’ in her womb and had it swim with the fishes. Meanwhile, Fredo and Connie dissipate into idiocy or decadence; and Sonny, before he died, had become too much of a cowboy.
At the end, Michael has the position and money, but he has lost the ‘Sicilian thing’ of his family, and without that ‘thing’, money and power have their connection to tradition.
It’s like Wasps still have lots of money and privilege, but they have lost their ‘Anglo thing’ in terms of racial, cultural, and familial unity, in terms of solidarity and pride. Wasp elites are now into adopting African babies, whining about ‘racism’, and waving the ‘rainbow gay flag’ at ‘gay pride parades’. Without a cultural and racial mind-set of their own, they find meaning by attaching themselves to whatever happens to be most fashionable at the moment, and of course, such fashions are controlled by Jews and homos, or the Jomos. Anglo-Americans have been severed from their roots. This is something Jews have not forgotten. They maintain the ‘Jewish thing’. Like Michael, they speak the terminology of objectivity while really being driven by subjective Jewish interests.
Anyway, the mind is a myth-machine, and this poses the problem for the dichotomy of truth and fantasy. Similarly, the problem of religion and reason isn’t easy to resolve since the human mind is, by its very nature, ‘religious’. We like to believe that the mind is about reason, whereas religion is the product of un-use of the mind, but actually, the mind-in-action is naturally ‘religious’ even among professed atheists, which is why they preach us a sermon. (It always amuses me how Richard Dawkins attacks the Jewish God in the Bible as the worst of all possible gods, but then he rants against ‘antisemitism’. If indeed Jewish history, heritage, and mind-set have been profoundly shaped by the Torah, the Holy Book of the Jews deemed as evil script by Dawkins, then shouldn’t we conclude that Jewish culture and attitudes have been abominable through the ages? Wouldn’t ‘antisemitism’ be justified since Jewish hearts-and-minds have been informed by something that Dawkins finds to be just as odious and noxious as MEIN KAMPF? But then, of course, as worshiping Jews is sacrosanct in our society, Dawkins goes out of his way to denounce antisemitism despite the fact that Jewish culture and tradition birthed what he hates most in the world: Monotheism rooted in the Torah.) Indeed, one could argue that evolution favored people with religious propensities since such individuals were more likely to be hopeful, resilient, faithful, communal, inspired, and sober, especially in a world where the use of reason and science was very limited or hardly existent. Thus, the paradox: though so many people see the debate in terms of Evolution vs Religion, evolution may have given rise to religious sensibility among men. After all, the role of evolution was to favor whatever traits that ensured greater success in survival and reproduction. (If liars have a better chance of survival than truth-tellers, evolution will favor liars. And if believing lies increases one’s chance of survival than insisting on the truth, evolution will favor those who prefer to embrace lies than demand the truth. Since those who demanded the truth likely got killed by those in power, evolution favored those who preferred to embrace lies, and so, we have so many people who vote for politicians who are obvious liars.) During hard times — which comprised most of human existence on earth — those with hope premised on faith were likely to have higher morale, unity, and resilience than lonely skeptics who questioned everything, especially in a world where survival was precarious at best. Even today, religious communities have more children while non-religious ones have fewer. So, evolution will continue to favor those with the ‘religious’ mind-set. (On the other hand, it could be evolution will favor the impulsive and crazy over the faithful and somber, at least until there’s total breakdown of civilization, in which case, a new tyrannical order will rise to restore order. In older times, youths who acted too crazy and out of order were harshly punished, exiled, or even killed. There were powerful customs and taboos about sex and marriage. So, the kind of people who had the most kids were those who followed social rules, got married, and did it proper. Today, young people are freer than ever, and lots of black and brown youths screw all kinds of loose ‘skankass ho’s’ who be putting out to just about any dude with a pud. Such idiots seem to have having the most kids, especially as their children as taken care of with tax dollars of those who have fewer kids or no kids at all. So, the genes of wild-ass young punks could be spreading throughout the population.) Also, it’s misguided to see the world in terms of reasoned or religious. Most non-believers are not intelligent skeptics but mindless sensualist-paganist-hedonists whose rejection of God doesn’t entail embrace of science and facts but of dancing, partying, pigging out, having orgies, indulging in drugs, and etc. Rejection of God more often leads to meth than math. Or secular people will seek out new ‘religions’ like MLK-worship or Global-Warming apocalyptism, which isn’t to say that global warming isn’t real or something to worry about but only that many of its proponents believe it with ‘spiritual’ fervor like it’s a neo-Noah story. Consider how MLK and the Holocaust have gone from historical figures and events to holy shmoly objects of worship. Though we have separation of Church and State, what about when certain things are promoted by the state and gain near-religious iconic status that cannot be questioned or challenged? And why are the sufferings of certain peoples favored over those of others? Why are dead Jews sacred and to be remembered for all eternity whereas dead gentiles — especially those killed by Jews — are mostly forgotten? When will Washington D.C. have a memorial devoted to the Palestinian Nakba? Will government workers be forced to visit the site if they’re to retain their jobs? Most American Conservatives are religious, and most American Liberals, even if irreligious in the technical sense, have powerful sense of what is sacred and what is taboo, and they almost never question the basis of their passions. Thus, what is reason and what is ‘religion’ in today’s world?
Similarly, what is truth and what is fantasy? We are most truthful when occupied with things that demand factual data or matters of convenience. We add numbers in the correct way, and we try to design the best car that offers us the most convenience. But in human relations, which are emotional in nature — competitive, longing, romantic, hateful, prejudiced, naive, hopeful, suspicious, sympathetic, antipathetic, etc. — , facts mean only so much. The chemicals in our minds often alter our moods, and changes in moods affect our perception of others and ourselves. Each person is locked in his or her personal biography, memory, personality, temperament, hatreds, desires, dreams, bitterness, resentments, obsessions, illusions, faiths, experiences, circumstances, and etc. In the film THE DEVIL, the five people in the elevator could be said to be ‘on the same boat’, but each reacts to the emergency differently based on his or her own peccadillos, eccentricities, prejudices, suspicions, and secrets. Though the Richard Gere character in MOTHMAN PROPHECIES goes about the most rational way to crack the mystery in a small town, his subconscious emotions are haunted and guided by his personal tragedy. The Leonard DiCaprio character tries to work strictly in his professional capacity with his colleagues in INCEPTION, but the memory of his wife keeps tripping him up. Also, the inception-ists operate by penetrating and altering the subconscious of some guy so that it will have a subtle effect on his conscious decision-making. So, where is the wall between the rational mind and the irrational subconscious? If humans are, by nature, like this, what is truth and what is fantasy? This is why realist films such as those of the Dardennes Brothers, compelling as they are, only scratch the surface of the human experirence. Furthermore, as docu-realistic as their films look, they are dramatizations of social reality’ as observed, processed, arranged, and imagined by the Dardennes. It’s not real in the sense of the lives captured in UP series — SEVEN UP, SEVEN PLUS SEVEN, 14 UP, 21 UP, etc. — by Paul Almond and Michael Apted. Same goes for some of the films of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, which might be called the “Kitchen Sunk” films as they lack even the rebellious rage of the Kitchen Sink British cinema of the late 50s and early 60s.
In some ways, the realist films could be said to be even phonier than fantasy movies in the sense that no one mistakes fantasy for reality whereas one can easily be fooled that a realist film really shows something of reality. But don’t they also follow scripts and have actors? Indeed, how real is something like THE WIRE? Just because it looks and feels real, is it necessarily reflect the truth about reality? This is a question raised also be what is known as Reality TV, which is even more problematic as it pretends to be a documentary of sorts. While realism is a powerful tool that can be used effectively and with integrity — as in MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE by Hanif Kureshi & Stephen Frears and HUSBANDS by John Cassavetes — , it can also lend the feel of reality without showing its essence. Johnny Rotten and some others have objected to SID AND NANCY as being full of lies and distortions, and yet, the film seems very real to someone who knows little or nothing about the punk culture of the 70s. Or consider the poetic realism of Dovzhenko’s EARTH that shows nothing of the horrors that befell the Ukrainian population during the forced collectivization campaign carried out by Stalin and his Jewish henchmen. Realism can also be so compelling that the viewer may accept as true something on the assumption that no one could lie so brazenly and so powerfully: Surely only someone committed to the unvarnished truth would dare to show something so gripping and ugly about the world!IN truth, however, realism has often been appropriated as a style. GET CARTER with Michael Caine is a gangster movie with little to say about the truth, but it sure looks and feels compelling. It is a great gangster film, but we might be tempted to give it more credit than it deserves as a document of the times. And many people were fooled by SOCIAL NETWORK, a film packed with almost nothing but lies and distortions, because it seemed very realistic in its depiction of Harvard life and the tech industry. So, realism can be a great tool of truth or it can be even a greater instrument of lies than genre movies that we never take to be true. Indeed, how many pat truisms have Liberals passed onto the public via realist-looking TV dramas that purport to show the world and its problems as they really are. A lot of Americans think southern history was about lynching-a-Negro-per-minute because of all those ‘compellingly realistic’ movies and TV series about wicked ‘racist’ rednecks when, in fact, very few Negroes were lynched during the hundred years from the end of the Civil War to the 1960s. In those 100 yrs, the numbers were in the low thousands, and when we compare that with the mass horrors of communism, Nazism, and other movements/events around the world, the story of racial lynching in America wasn’t such a big deal, relatively speaking of course since it was a very big deal to the rapist-thug-murderer Negro who was hung from a tree.
Some folks, especially those on the classic materialist-left, would like to believe that we can all come to a truer understanding of one another by a better assessment of the actual material world. Suppose there are five people in a room. Each person has his or her own subjective sense of reality and therefore isn’t likely to see eye-to-eye or feel heart-to-heart with others in the room. Still, what might they have in common? For starters, the fact that they are all in the room and the fact that the room exists. If there are four chairs in the room, that is a irrefutable fact regardless of what each person in the room might think. If there’s a window, that is also a fact regardless of opinion or bias. So, at the very least, what they all have in common is that the fact that there is a room, they are in that room, and the room has four chairs and a window. Since there are four chairs for five people, maybe they can come up with a system whereby they take turns standing so that the four can sit down. Since cool air blows in from the window, maybe they can find a way to take turns to sit by the window too. So, an ideology like communism begins with the material reality that is deemed to be undeniable. Whatever each person may feel or think, they cannot change the fact of material reality, and it is through assessment of material reality that they could come to a common understanding of what is possible and what is necessary. If there are four chairs and one window in a room, that should be the starting point of discussion, not whether one person believes in Nirvana, another believes in Heaven, another believes in Oprah, another believes there are 10 chairs and a pink elephant in the room against all evidence, and etc. Every mind is different but the material world is as it is. Mt. Everest is there regardless of whatever you or I or she or he or they think.
In Alfred Hitchcock’s LIFEBOAT, this is the realization that befalls the various survivors on the boat. Each person has his or her sense of priority, prejudice, and personal wishes, but as the days pass, they realize that what they must agree on is the reality of the boat in the middle of the ocean in order to have any hope of surviving. They must materially assess the situation in order to maximize their chances. But then, being a Hitchcock movie, it perversely undermines this notion of common interest and unified purpose founded on reason and trust; indeed, reason, at least in social relations, reminds us that people are natural liars and no one should be trusted — I suspect Hitchcock sort of identified with the deceitful German since he routinely (mis)led his actors and audiences in the same way, pretending to go this way while going in the other direction to our eventual surprise. While it’s true that every character in LIFEBOAT has survival on his or her mind, the German on the boat has a different idea of survival. He’s for survival too but on his own terms. This is the problem of the material basis of dealing with reality. Everyone on the boat is agreed that he or she must do whatever is necessary to survive, but the German wants to be rescued by Germans whereas other want to be rescued by the Allies. Even on a small boat with no place to hide, there are still ways in which members can hide little things on their bodies and in their hearts. The biggest hiding place is, of course, the mind as one cannot tell what others are really thinking. One man’s Reason is another man’s Treason. (The characters of THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD are all trapped in the same house and in the same situation, but the Negro and the baldheaded white guy have different ‘material assessments’ of what would be the best solution, and it’s not long before their rational disagreements turn into a matter of personal pride and egotism. The pod-people of THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and the robot women of STEPFORD WIVES do all think and feel alike in perfect harmony, but their condition naturally seems inhuman to us even though they live with another in peace and unity.) Another problem with the communist mind-set — and why communism lost in the long run — was its dogged insistence on fixed reality. If indeed there is a room that can never be changed and if there are only four chairs and a window as an unalterable fact, then it seems sensible that the five people in the room should find the best possible way to work with such a fixed material reality. But what if someone can envision knocking down a wall to expand the room or to turn the room into several rooms? What if another person can envision moving outside to get more material to build more chairs? What if another person comes up with a way to build more and better windows? And what if someone even decides to invent a radio? Marx might have done better with a science-fiction-kind of mind — like H.G. Wells — , but his mind was trapped in the realm of economic theory and moralism. He thought the bourgeois capitalism had pretty much achieved all it could in terms of science and technology in advanced nations like the US, the UK, and Germany, and he thought the revolution would eventually come about, whereupon the goods created by capitalism would be shared by the people. He had little idea of the role that science and technology would play in the future history of capitalism. As transformative as capitalism was in his lifetime, it was only the beginning of the truly astonishing socio-economic revolutions that would happen in the 20th century. In other words, Marx hadn’t seen noting yet. And for these innovations and breakthroughs to take place, individuals with vision, drive, and genius needed the freedom and property rights as guarantees for their achievements. Communism in the 20th century failed because most communist nations focused on working within their fixed material realities. While communist nations did aspire to produce and distribute more, they focused on basic necessities and failed to think/dream/invent beyond them — except by reverse-engineering of products made in the West, especially America. Communist nations thought in terms of housing, clothing, food, and shelter. They focused on quantity of necessities than quality of novelties since they saw human needs in basic materialist terms of survival and stability; they never imagined that humanity might go beyond that. Also, as there were so few rewards for work and enterprise in communist nations, productivity tended to lag, which made it ever more necessary for communist nations to emphasize quantity as the system wasn’t even producing enough shoddy basic goods to fill up store shelves. (Communists failed to understand the paradox of economic psychology. Marxists throughout the ages critiqued how capitalism uses the opiate of consumer culture to anesthesize the pain, agony, and dreariness of workers living under a state of exploitation. Ideally under a communist system, such opiates would be prohibited, and the workers would focus on their work and take pride in their work. Women would love to be photographed wearing overalls and standing next to tractors that they either built or will use. In contrast, workers under capitalism were exploited and worked like slaves, but the dire truth of their condition was hidden from them via the opiate of religion or popular consumerist culture. But, since workers under communism owned everything collectively and focused on the nobility of work, they would work more humanely and harder. But the fact is no one works just to work. Work is boring. People work for its rewards, which come AFTER work. Capitalism, with its vast leisure industry, offered many incentives for work whereas communism, which emphasized work-work-work, did not. Capitalism that emphasized leisure made workers work harder, whereas communism that emphasized work made workers work less. So, while its true that workers under capitalism may have been drugged with silly dreams of pleasure and sensualism, this drug made them work harder. To be sure, too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and it’s too bad that Americans went from working hard to enjoy the good life to borrowing & spending to enjoy the good life and then to depending on government as the guarantor of the ‘good life’ as a ‘human right’, a notion that is increasingly agreed upon by both the socialist-minded and the libertarian-minded whose big idea is that everyone should be give $20,000 to spend as he or she pleases.) Ayn Rand’s vision was different. She rightly understood how the future would be transformed by great visionaries in science, technology, industry, communication, transportation, medicine, media, entertainment, and etc. For Rand, what made humanity great was the ability to imagine a material reality that didn’t yet exist. Animals, savages, and people of traditionalist communities — like the Amish — focus on the basic necessities of survival and/or on established ways of doing things, and they have no use or imagination for anything beyond that. Animals aren’t creative, savages are too isolated and ignorant, and folks like the Amish have spiritual/moral/cultural reasons for WILLFULLY denying themselves certain conveniences and pleasures. (Animals cannot improve their own lot by changing the world, but if you offer them easy pleasure, they have no inhibitions against taking as much of the goodies as possible. Lions and bears feel no shame in taking ‘handouts’ and pigging out as much as possible. Negroes are sort of that like that too, which is why they think economics is all about being given stuff for free. In contrast, people such as the Amish, Orthodox Jews, hardline Muslims, and Maoists have the brains to change the world and ‘improve’ their lot with better science and technology, but they willfully reject many such things as corrupting and sinful, and they believe in the virtue of hard ‘honest’ work. This is what distinguishes man from animals. Animals cannot make progress, but they have no pride and inhibitions against taking handouts and indulging in pleasure if offered to them. If a brown bear is offered a barrel of honey, it will act all crazy in trying to eat it all. Humans can make progress with their bigger brains and great creativity, but many societies have chosen not to ‘advance’ and change because they believe that excess pleasure and convenience produced by socio-economic changes makes people animal-like and inhuman. It’s true enough that when a people lose all their inhibitions and began to act like animals or wild-ass Negroes, we can kiss civilization good-bye. A lot of black communities in America are pretty debased in their jungle-jive way, and ‘whiggers’ and ‘mudsharks’ are downright disgusting. And yet, if a civilization overly obsessed with received virtue and discipline, it becomes afraid of progress that might upset the existing social arrangement through which the communal virtue have come to be defined. The genius of American progress was to balance the two modes of disciplined moralism and sensual adventurousness, but with the rise of Jewish decadence and Negro savagery, Americans have been turning more animallike — despite Steven Pinker’s assurances that would have validity ONLY IF the West were to remain mostly white and if Third World nations, especially in Africa, were to curb population growth — and such social trends portend a dire future that might make the Fall of Rome look like a picnic.) But among a free people, greatness comes with the possibility of seeing and envisioning beyond others. Whether in science, math, arts, or music, the visionary achieves, invents, or creates something revelatory or revolutionary, and such revelations/revolutions borne of individual genius is the only real kind of revolution. While geniuses draw lessons and inspirations from others, they break through and go beyond conventional knowledge or established know-how on their own. It’s like Stanley Kubrick owes a great deal to film geniuses who came before him, but he envisioned his films on his own, not via consensus of committee with everyone else as equals. And even though he collaborated with other men of immense talent, it was a meeting of individual brilliances than a ‘collective brilliance’ — which is impossible — constructed of conformity and consensus. This is why a movie like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL comes across as naive; it assumes that if good people around the world just come together and come to a collective understanding, all will be well.
Throughout history, collectivist revolutions sought to impose uniform thinking and behavior on everyone and, as a result, set the ground for a new era of stasis instead of planting the seeds of brilliance that may grow into giant forests. Stalin and Mao were collectivist revolutionaries who created new social orders, but once the order was established, there wasn’t much room for further change, especially of individual genius.
What Rand failed to understand with her hyperbolic state-of-mind was that most visionaries and geniuses are not heroic or larger-than-life mythic but a bunch of jerks, a**holes, weasels, dorks, shmorks, piss-ants, and wombats. Because she thought mythically and idealistically, she imagined that a man of genius and vision would also be a man of immense courage, principle, honor, dignity, integrity, and resolve. A man of towering character. It’d be like “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” She fallaciously assumed that one kind of strength would naturally be wed to other kinds. But reality isn’t so. A man of great genius in science or medicine can be a total creep, even a wombat. A visionary businessman can be a jerk or cretin, even a kangaroo. A high-tech genius can be a two-faced weasel, even a Tasmanian devil. A entrepreneur who comes up with novel ideas and champions the free market could well be the very first one to cravenly get in line for government bailouts when things go wrong. Consider how the Wall Street Journal that had been championing free markets and de-regulation for so many years was perfectly supportive of the government’s massive bailout of Wall Street in 2008 and 2009. So, while the likes of Howard Roark may seem great on page or on the screen, they are rare even among men of great talent around the world. Indeed, if anything, people of higher intelligence and great ambition tend to be more cunning, shrewd, evasive, devious, calculating, and slippery. And one has to grease a lot of hands to get to the top and to remain on the top. And human nature being what it is, those at the top, even if they got there via meritocracy, will use whatever nefarious means to suppress would-be challengers to their dominance. Consider how Bill Gates and Microsoft used all sorts of underhanded tactics to undermine competition. The government ideally exists to safeguard fairness in business from dirty tricks of big guys. Of course, there’s the worst possible scenario of big business and big government colluding to look out for one another, and it seems we’ve reached that point with Jews pretty much controlling the top echelons of business, finance, government, law firms, academia, media, entertainment, foreign policy, and etc. What Jews do to Russians, Iranians, and Palestinians, they are also doing to white Americans and white Europeans. As Richard Nixon said in his private conversation with Billy Graham, something has to be done about Jews.
Anyway, communism failed because its concept of reality was rigidly defined within a fixed materiality. As for Ayn Rand, she missed the truth because she overly mythologized the power of individual genius as something almost divine and superhuman. Though she called her philosophy ‘Objectivism’, it was really driven by heroic myths of great individuals. But her ideal hero had about as much to do with real business as Vito Corleone of THE GODFATHER did with real gangsters. Of course, many real-life gangsters pretended to be like Vito Corleone — life imitates art — , and some big shot entrepreneurs developed an inflated Randian sense of self, but the simple truth is people are people regardless of their talent or lack thereof.
Marxism focused too much on reality-as-it-is, whereas Randism focused too much on the reality-yet-to-be-dreamt. Marxism underestimated the reality-as-yet-to-be-birthed from the minds of great individuals. The mind is, after all, the womb of creativity. Just like Athena burst forth in full armor and glory from the head of Zeus, mankind has the power to birth new ideas, new visions, new fashions, and new possibilities that can profoundly change and reshape the world in ways unimaginable to those in the ‘present’. Not surprisingly, humans are pretty lousy at predicting the future — at least in the modern setting — since we project what we know in the present into the future that will surely be dominated by new technologies, fashions, and modes. Besides, even experts in every field have a very limited and narrow knowledge of the present. The most we can do is predict the future by extending current trends into the decades and centuries to come. But today’s trends are not necessarily the trends of tomorrow. And today’s technologies will not be the technologies of the future. This is why so many science fiction films from the past seem so laughable today, and surely science fiction films today will amuse those in the future.
At any rate, if Marxism had one thing in common with conservatism, it was this tendency to base the future on a fixed system of beliefs, convictions, achievements, and possibilities. So, William F. Buckley said in the 60s that the best that man could possibly think up and achieve had already been thought and achieved, and it was our humble duty to appreciate our great heritage of the past. Though Marxism was ideologically forward-looking, it too was premised on the conviction that most of what could be achieved had already been achieved. Therefore, what mankind should anticipate with the Revolution was the equal sharing of the fruits. Thereafter, further progress in various fields would be gradual and never disruptive to a society committed to equality of work and leisure for all. Marx’s idea of the future was like a permanent semi-retirement home for humanity.
But if one believes in human creativity and genius, we never know what will burst forth from the human mind in the coming years. Obviously, there will be great new scientific discoveries, but no less important will be the ingenious ways in which the new discoveries will be translated into technologies shaped by vision, design, genius, creativity, originality, and brilliance. But unlike Ayn Rand, we need not worship the great visionaries and geniuses of the future as heroes. However great their talents may be, they will still be humans, and that means many will have human qualities such as cravenness, resentment, envy, bitterness, contempt, cowardice, pettiness, vanity, narcissism, deviousness, cunningness, and etc. Bill Gates is no hero. George Soros is a cretin. Mark Zuckerberg is a weasel. The guys who ran Enron were sleazeballs. Many top guys in Wall Street are scumbags. So, reality and truth are something more than objectivity as understood in terms of fixed materiality. Because of human imagination,genius, and vision, we can be creators of new worlds as yet to be imagined. But we mustn’t lose our sense of human character(or lack thereof) by flying off Icarus-like into the fantasy world of heroic mythology, as Rand was apt to do, despite her insistence on the power of Reason and Objectivity.
Oliver Stone’s NIXON is a fascinating film as it navigates through the regions between the subjective and the objective, between ‘what we want to be’ and ‘what we are’, between what was, what is, and what may be. We get to know Nixon in terms of his personal biography, his anxieties and complexes, his ideals and values, his dreams and ambitions. We see the side of him that is rather like Ron Kovic before he’s shipped off to Vietnam. He was raised by tough Quaker parents with a strong sense of right and wrong. He was raised to study hard and work hard. But he was also a man of ambition and big dreams, partly to compensate for his inferiority complex concerning his looks, education, and background. To gain power, he had to do shake lots of sleazy hands and become shady himself. A part of him loathed this aspect of power — that was so at odds with his upbringing — , but another part of him relished it as a kind of blood sports and a chance to break free of the inhibitions of Quaker upbringing. As president, he wielded immense power but also felt profoundly powerless to change events as the United States, though the most powerful nation on earth, could only do so much, especially as the nation was divided amidst war and social upheaval. (Also, the paradox of America as a great power is that the president, the so-called ‘most powerful man in the world’, cannot wield much power. Mao had many times the power over China than Nixon had over America, but China was poor and weak whereas America was rich and strong.) We see Nixon from the inside, from the outside. We see how the personal interconnects with the political, how the past haunts the present, how the foreseen is tripped up by the unforeseen. Stone also directed with sympathy and antipathy, with historical veracity and speculative provocation. It’s Stone’s masterpiece and not only about the nature of American politics but about the problems of cinema — and reality — itself. Obviously paying homage to CITIZEN KANE, it raises questions about the nature of truth, a concept that is both most simple and most complex. Truth being ideally true, it should be self-evident, and yet, it wears a million masks and hides million faces behind them.
As much as we would like to think of cinema as an extension of or a window to reality, it is first and foremost an extension of the human mind. We are seeing ‘reality’ as directed/focused/narrowed by the mind of the makers who made the film. This aspect of art is more obvious in other art forms. We would never mistake a painting, a sculpture, or drama for reality itself. Also, we always sense the presence of the author when we deal with words on the page or spoken from the stage. Even though many ‘cinephiles’ are supportive of the cult of the ‘auteur’, movies are something we see THROUGH the author who remains invisible. While we don’t see the painter when looking at his painting, we don’t mistake the painting for reality but are always cognizant of the artist who painted it. Same goes for sculpture which bears the hand prints of the artist. Music works somewhat differently because of its immediacy and penetrative power that flows through us, but we don’t mistake music for reality — though it can be mistaken for supra-reality of higher spiritual/sensual magnitude — , and we sense the power of composer or performer’s persona. When people go to classical concerts, they go to listen to ‘Beethoven’, ‘Mozart’, or ‘Sibelius’. When people go to Rock shows, they see big personalities tramping on stage. One could argue that movie are seen for the big star actors and actresses, but they aren’t generally considered the ‘authors’. Film culture has a tendency to see the director as the main or proper author, but for most untrained eyes, the directorial authorship is almost invisible, and of course, most people want it that way. Movie audiences want directors to serve the material than impose themselves on the material. Thus, the director’s role is seen as essentially functional and ‘properly stylistic’ than personally stylistic, i.e. the director should employ the most appropriate style that best suits the material than willfully impose his egotistical personality on it. And so, for most viewers, the director is the last thing on their minds; they watch movies for the story, characters, actors, dialogues, locales, and etc. And because the authorial presence of the director is generally invisible, we tend to lose ourselves in the reality of the movie. And by ‘reality’, I don’t necessarily mean the real world we live in. Even in fantasy movies, we believe in the ‘reality’ of its particular universe. If most people think about the director at all, they regard his duty as a facilitator who makes it easy for us to lose ourselves in the reality of the screen. This aspect of movie-watching makes us more attuned to the physicality than to the ‘psychologicality’ of cinema. We forget that we aren’t looking at an extension of reality but an extension of the human mind. Thus, movies are like a game of hide-and-seek between the viewers and the directors(and rest of the off-camera crew) — at least if viewers are willing to play that game. The Classic Hollywood rule was film-making should be as invisible as possible — transparent as a sheet of glass — so that the audience could gaze through(than at) the ‘directoriality’ for the stars and stories. With the advent of the cult of the ‘auteur’, directors like Mike Nichols showcased a personal style in films like THE GRADUATE, CATCH-22, and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE. The director’s role was no longer invisibility but the individuality to engage with the material and make it his own. The ideal of directoriality became more like a stained glass window than a clear plate of glass. The advantages of the rise of the ‘auteur’ were obvious as some remarkable films came out of the late 60s and 70s, winning over not only the critics but even the movie audience as films like THE GRADUATE, BONNIE AND CLYDE, and EASY RIDER became box-office classics; and MIDNIGHT COWBOY even won the Oscar for Best Picture. But then, the downside of this approach, especially in Hollywood that still favored genres over art cinema, was that the director might foolishly and unsuitably impose his personal style on standard movie fare. It was also one of the problems of European film-makers working in Hollywood. Either they had to relinquish what had made them unique & eccentric in Europe as ‘art film’ directors and conform to the invisible/proper style of Hollywood movie-making(for which many of whom were unsuited) OR they tried to force their own styles onto material that was incompatible with such sensibility. The likes of Fritz Lang and Milos Forman, for the most part anyway, decided to just ‘go Hollywood’ and find their own niche in the industry — though they did manage to preserve some of their personal touch — , but others soon realized they had to ‘sell out’ or pack up and go back home. Indeed, imagine if Ingmar Bergman had been hired by Hollywood to make genre films.
At any rate, no art form other than cinema shows as much of ‘reality’ while hiding so much of who is manipulating reality into ‘reality’. An average person watching SOCIAL NETWORK will likely not pay much mind to who wrote it and who directed it. The characters and events on screen seem so real, as if we’re following and observing the real life-story of Mark Zuckerberg, but of course, it’s entirely the product of the MIND of Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher. So, before we associate what’s on the screen to what’s in reality, we need to connect the former to the minds who show so much of ‘reality’ but so little of themselves. Through the Mind Darkly, all film-makers are like the Wizard of Oz.
One of the most powerful and influential films that delve into the ‘psychologicality’ of cinema is Ingmar Bergman’s PERSONA. Though the main story is about a nurse and a famous actress who refuses to talk, it begins with seemingly random series of images that suggest fragments of the director-author’s subconscious forming into consciousness. Thus, more than any other of his films, PERSONA — like Fellini’s 8 ½, WOMAN IN THE DUNES, and possibly Welles’ CITIZEN KANE — establishes the director(at least the directorial mind) as a visible presence. Though we don’t see Bergman in the film, we are made to feel that we are looking into/through his mind. It’s like ‘Being Ingmar Bergman’ in the spirit of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. The initial images seem like gibberish, nonsense, or non-sequiturs, but gradually, images begin to form — as happens to the guinea pig protagonist in LA JETEE — , as if going from sleep to dream to daydream, and then into something suggestive of logical thought and pattern recognition, then a narrative; eventually, we are able to focus on a certain ‘character’ who seems to wake up and come alive. ‘We’ — we through Bergman — finally to be awake with clarity, and yet, the figure of the boy reading the book is odd for, moments ago, we saw him as a corpse. And even in his living or awakened/resurrected form, he is in a morgue. It’s as if we are in the realm of both sleep and waking life, of both death and life. Like in the beginning of MULHOLLAND DR., there’s also a feeling of dream-within-a-dream. The opening segment may also have inspired ERASERHEAD in part, the entirety of which is like Lynch drawing us into his inner-mind-scape. (PERSONA might also have influenced THE SHINING and EYES WIDE SHUT. Kubrick’s horror film also places us in a realm where strangeness always seems to be just around the corner. And the sexual confession scene in EYES WIDE SHUT eerily reminds us of a similar scene in PERSONA, though in Bergman’s film, it’s the confessor who undergoes the greater trauma. Though Kubrick’s film was based on a novel by Arthur Schnitzler, the tone of the confession scene feels more Bergmanesque. And like Bergman of the 60s and early 70s, Kubrick made several films that were less a reflection of‘reality’ as of his mind-scape, i.e. instead of featuring cinema as window to the world, real or imagined, films like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, BARRY LYNDON, and THE SHINING put the viewer inside the mind of Kubrick, which is why BARRY LYNDON, though a period film with accurate historical details, feels almost as unreal in some ways as the French Louis XVI-style room in 2001. As eye-catching as the details are, the precise and measured tone emphasizes the manner of viewing over the matter that is viewed. And as the tone concentrates neither on the actors nor on the exteriors but on itself as the sensibility of invisible higher intelligence — like the Vortex in ZARDOZ — , we are always reminded that the ‘reality’ of BARRY LYNDON is the product of the mind-process of Kubrick. Where Kubrick was most beguiling was in his ability to be so omnipotent and invisible at the same time. For the most part, his style wasn’t showy like that of the clownish Ken Russell, Terry Gilliam, Fellini-gone-sour, or Coppola-gone-nuts. Instead, Kubrick was all about control, and yet his control wasn’t merely of physicality, as with David Lean and Wolfgang Petersen, but of psychologicality, indeed as if to cast us in his hypnotic spell. Hypnosis is to gain total control over someone without the person being aware of the control. It’s absolute mastery of invisible power, and Kubrick was almost peerless in this regard. Strangely, he fused the powerful personality of an ‘auteur’ with the stealthy invisibility of the Classic Hollywood director. The combination of the two made his cinematic spell all the more powerful. But then, Kubrick was obsessed with power of all kinds: psychological, social, political, cultural, military, technological, cosmic, supernatural, sexual, criminal, statist, economic, medical, tribal-ethnic. Nature is about the struggle for power, and history is one endless competition for power. Most people are sheep, but those who seek the truth must deal with power and the power behind the power and the power behind the power behind the power and etc. Anyone who ignores power or takes power for granted is a fool, a dupe, an idiot. But craving and obsessing about power can drive one crazy or toward evil. Of course, lots of movies are about power, but they are generally not about the power-behind-the-power. Movies like RAMBO, the DEATH WISH series, THE TERMINATOR, and NO HOLDS BARRED make us exult in the badass power of heroes and villains. It’s power as junk food and soda. More complicated movies, like HUNGER GAMES and THE BOURNE TRILOGY, give us the game of power where various sides operate like cats and mice. Then there are the power-behind-the-power films of Kubrick, David Mamet, and David Cronenberg. They dig deeper into the human psyche, human nature, and various drives & passions — personal, tribal, spiritual, political, subconscious, sexual, etc. — to explore certain questions about the root source of why certain people — those who seek the power or the answer to the power — are the way they are. Films like HOUSE OF GAMES, eXistenZ, and BARRY LYNDON are something more than ‘game of power’ movies like, for example, SLEUTH or DEATHTRAP that, however witty or sophisticated, don’t offer much in the way of food for thought once the game is over, it’s over. We watch them for the fun of the game than for the hidden clues behind the game that may provide a key as to the nature of power.)
Anyway, HARD CANDY is typical of the kind of ‘serious’ film where all the grave implications have been reverse-engineered after the fact. Instead of an artist having something compelling to show or say or the subject being intrinsically absorbing in its own right, it’s as if the artist went out of his way to make a disturbing film to garner attention and then loaded the ugliness with ‘meaning’ to justify it as serious art. Like plants, creativity has to grow from within. It has to sprout from a seed and then organically expand into something substantive. It may or may not be deep, disturbing, profound, radical, or even all that good, but at the very least, one can say it’s organic and real, success or fail. I don’t think BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA is a good film, but it’s a genuine wrenching of one’s own personal demons. (To be sure, Peckinpah’s darkness, like Dennis Hopper’s, during that period may have been more self-inflicted than self-probing. While serious artists are prone to grapple with the dark and disturbing aspects of life, it’s too easy to load one’s life with ‘dark and disturbing’ neurosis by indulging in drink, drugs, and other excesses. Similarly, Bergman’s forays into every more disturbing depths of personal angst had an element of self-infliction in the late 60s and early 70s because he chose to self-exile himself on some island and drive himself crazy. It was as if he was being willfully difficult with himself, indeed going out of his way to render himself even more neurotic than need be. Around the same period, Peckinpah was drinking and using drugs more than usual. It was as if both film-makers felt a need to keep pushing the envelope with their neurosis or excesses in order to make further creative breakthroughs when, as often as not, they were digging themselves into a hole. And this was also the problem with Dennis Hopper’s THE LAST MOVIE. A very personal and eccentric film, to be sure, but one that goes out of its way to be insane and ludicrous, as if craziness = creativity. While craziness may be related to creativity, they are not the same thing.)
HARD CANDY, in contrast, feels fake and fabricated. The bitter pill at the core of the candy is as bogus as the wrapper. The emotions, despite the solid writing, acting, and narrative construction, never rise above the stuff of torture porn. And, something-like-a-moral-theme that is finally revealed at the end is utterly unconvincing — even less than Samuel L. Jackson’s loudmouth blabbering at the end of PULP FICTION. At the very least, the ‘truth’ of Jackson’s big talk was in the ‘concert’ than in the content. In HARD CANDY, we are supposed to sincerely ponder the moral justification that the girl lays out at the end. But it only makes the film even more offensive and icky. If HARD CANDY simply wants to be torture porn, that would be ugly, but at least it’d be honest, like the sicko SAW movies. But after all that sadism and hideousness, we are supposed to swallow that there was some compelling moral rationale behind all this? But the bigger problem isn’t whether we agree or disagree with the moral reasoning. It’s that we don’t even accept the story as plausible.
It’s like this. Various audiences reacted differently to David Mamet’s OLEANNA. Some admired Mamet, some reviled him. But, regardless of how one felt about the play/film, at least the viewer knew that Mamet had strong emotions about the material. Similarly, one doesn’t have to agree with the emotions of BITTER MOON or BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. Polanski’s film makes me sick to my stomach, and Peckinpah’s film is insane on the level of the Kurtz/Brando character in APOCALYPSE NOW. Like or dislike, we know the emotions are genuine, and the artists weren’t just putting on some clever act. But HARD CANDY is hard to swallow. The whole thing seems too clever, calculating, conceited, and constructed out of thin air. Brian Nelson concocted what he hoped would be a serious ‘art film’, but despite all his tricks of the trade, he has no insight into human souls. Worse, David Slade had nothing to add to the material but slickness and competence as a Hollywood technician. Perhaps, a more talented director could have re-written and re-envisioned the material with his own personal understanding to enrich the tawdry material — as Welles did with THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI and A TOUCH OF EVIL — , but Slade hasn’t that level of talent.
Some might even argue that the moral theme at the end of the film is a really a kind of trick, i.e. the girl, instead of being a heroine of justified vengeance, is a suck puppy sadist herself who merely exploited the situation to get a kick out of torturing someone. Gradually throughout the film(spoilers ahead), we realize that the man, who initially seemed like a hapless victim, had done something terrible and would likely have gotten away with the crime if the girl hadn’t sniffed him out. So, as in OLD BOY, the victim is exposed as a foul perpetrator who deserved his torments and the final coup de grace against him. And the girl, though apparently vile and odious throughout much of the film — especially as played by the annoying Ellen Paige — , ascends as a kind of avenging angel. She made the man get his well-deserved comeuppance. But it could be argued that the film raises an important question about the nature of justice and juiciness. She may be righting a wrong, but maybe she is enjoying it too much, in the process becoming as sick as the man who has hidden what he has done.
But really, it makes no sense to waste our energies on such films. But exist they do, like the dreadful Robin Williams film ONE HOUR PHOTO, which might have been okay as a sleazy thriller but becomes truly offensive in its reverse-justification as an ‘art film’. It’s like imitation-crabmeat is lousy not only for not being real crabmeat but for pretending to be what it is not. And much the same could be said for ONLY GOD FORGIVES. Though not without virtues, a film so dark, disturbing, and ugly needs to justify itself, but Nicolas Winding Refn’s film, tries as it might, simply isn’t up to the challenge. There’s a lot of suggestive stylistics and moods that might hint at some deeper meaning and cultural/moral nuances, but really, we don’t believe in it for a minute. Same goes for VALHALLA RISING and BRONSON. Nicolas Winding Refn is a skillful director with sometimes a fine touch, and even his failures have some arresting moments and striking images. But he lacks something like a soul, not surprising for someone who looks like a turtle without a shell. His PUSHER TRILOGY worked because he didn’t pretend to get inside his characters and instead followed them documentary-style. But whenever he tried to probe deeper into the psychological or the ‘spiritual’ realm of man, he came up short and pathetically tried to mask the nothingness with posturing, exaggeration, and overripe sordidness passing itself as bruised torments of the soul. DRIVE worked because the material was so vapid and the plot so thin that there was nothing to fake. Like some of Walter Hill’s films, it could be enjoyed for its surface qualities alone. But Nicolas Winding Refn is downright deadly when he pretends to delve deeper. He becomes as phony as David O. Russell(who finally made an excellent movie in AMERICAN HUSTLE by dropping all pretenses & oddball antics and, instead, telling a hearty story with lots of juicy characters). But even his worst films aren’t as yucky as HARD CANDY.