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On Sunday, August 6, 2017 I wrote about an American cinema chain reporting an earnings slump which might be long-term.

The next day, I read Vox Day’s Vox Populi blog, highly recommended.

Warning: adult theme ahead.

Vox has an entry called ‘The sickness in Hollywood’ which discusses the relationship between Marion and Indiana Jones in the 1978 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I’ll get to the film makers’ dialogue in a moment, but, first, this is the relevant part of the script:

Marion: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years.
Indy: I never meant to hurt you.
Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it.
Indy: You knew what you were doing.
Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out!

There are several sites with documents relating to the creation and making of Raiders of the Lost being but one of them. Moedred’s Journal has a 2009 entry with some of the film makers’ discussion.

I’ve never seen the movie, by the way.

Vox pulled a passage from moedred’s Journal. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Story Conference Transcript
January 23, 1978 thru January 27, 1978
George Lucas (G), Steven Spielberg (S), Larry Kasdan (L)

G — We have to get them cemented into a very strong relationship. A bond.

L — I like it if they already had a relationship at one point. Because then you don’t have to build it.

G — I was thinking that this old guy could have been his mentor. He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.

L — And he was forty-two.

G — He hasn’t seen her in twelve years. Now she’s twenty-two. It’s a real strange relationship.

S — She had better be older than twenty-two.

G — He’s thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve.

G — It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.

S — And promiscuous. She came onto him.

G — Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it’s an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she’s sixteen or seventeen it’s not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he…

S — She has pictures of him.

G — There would be a picture on the mantle of her, her father, and him. She was madly in love with him at the time and he left her because obviously it wouldn’t work out. Now she’s twenty-five and she’s been living in Nepal since she was eighteen. It’s not only that they like each other, it’s a very bizarre thing, it puts a whole new perspective on this whole thing. It gives you lots of stuff to play off of between them. Maybe she still likes him. It’s something he’d rather forget about and not have come up again. This gives her a lot of ammunition to fight with.

G — This is a resource that you can either mine or not. It’s not as blatant as we’re talking about. You don’t think about it that much. You don’t immediately realize how old she was at the time. It would be subtle. She could talk about it. “I was jail bait the last time we were together.” She can flaunt it at him, but at the same time she never says, “I was fifteen years old.” Even if we don’t mention it, when we go to cast the part we’re going to end up with a woman who’s about twenty-three and a hero who’s about thirty-five.

Vox’s commenter who cited the screenplay wrote:

Knowing what I know now from the transcript, it probably makes more sense that Indy knew her as the pubescent daughter of his archeology mentor with whom he went too far. But that’s not the way it sounded to me watching the movie, and not the way I assume most of its audience takes it.

The movie conditions you to think of Indy as a man who attracts interest from young girls through his job. Indy’s relationship with Marion came through her father who was a collector of artifacts, and it’s not much of a leap to think Marion was Indy’s student. That’s what I / assumed. In which case “I was a child” would be hyperbolic.

Watching the movie in my ignorance, I interpreted the dialogue to mean she came into him and he spurned her, so she bears a grudge. Women aren’t as used to rejection as men.

Just so happens that the pedophile’s excuse is always that the kid wanted it. You can say that at 15 Marion wouldn’t be competent to ask for it even if she did want Indy. However, the audience isn’t told she was 15. I and presumably lots of people assumed she was college-aged. 18 or 19.

Exactly, so it all worked out as the film makers thought it would.

Ironically, Raiders of the Lost Ark continues to be a favourite family film.

I am amazed — although not totally surprised — that George Lucas actually said he found this scenario ‘amusing’. Someone on Vox’s thread wrote:

It’s one thing to put molestation in your story because you’re trying to say something about it, because it’s part of the character that you’re writing about. These people do it because they think it’s funny.

To which another reader replied:

What’s more disturbing, is that these people felt so comfortable saying this stuff, that it was so commonplace and old hat and nothing to shout about, that they thought nothing about it being recorded.

Another of Vox’s readers recalled Brooke Shields’s debut that same year:

I still recall seeing Pretty Baby in the theater. (Not great cinema.) A MAJOR element of the studio’s promotion of that 1978 movie was breathless description that the 10 year old “star” appeared fully naked. The scene was utterly banal, and Shields looked like a skinny little boy. 40 years later and it still is utterly senseless. The open cesspool of Entertainment Culture in the USA is not new.

Adults turned on by that are broken. Broken adults should be exiled.

I never saw that movie, either.

Someone on Vox’s thread mentioned Jodie Foster. In 1976, after Taxi Driver (which I have seen), she starred in The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. Wikipedia gives us an idea of the criticism at the time:

Writer Anthony Synnott placed The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane in a trend of sexualizing children in film, calling Rynn the “murdering nymphet” and comparing her to Foster’s child prostitute character Iris in Taxi Driver (1976).[10] Anthony Cortese also referred to Foster as giving an “encore performance” of Taxi Driver, calling Rynn “a 13-year-old imp of maturing sexuality”.[11] Scholar Andrew Scahill described it as fitting a cinematic narrative of children in rebellion, one in which the child appears seemly, as with The Innocents (1961), The Omen (1976) and others.[12]

Of course, this did not suddenly start in the 1970s, and such mainstream films were rare.

However, although the off-screen rot has been deep in Hollywood practically since the film industry began, aberrant film themes have not been the norm until the past 20 years or so. There are few, if any, movies today about a loving nuclear family — meaning, Dad included. There are few that reflect values of courtesy, civility and integrity.

With all of that, we find reality imitating art. There are more dysfunctional families and casual sexual relationships than ever before. And, returning to the dialogue above, do a search on ‘mom’s boyfriend’ and you will see pages of hair-raising stories about men molesting underage girls.

It’s time to stop going to the cinema as well as watching films on television. Since the 1990s, the old classics, which used to be shown during the day on local channels, are now exclusively on pay/cable television. More’s the pity.


On August 3, 2017, Bloomberg reported that the American cinema chain AMC is reporting a slump in ticket sales:

After several months of flops like Warner Bros.’ “King Arthur” and EuropaCorp’s “Valerian,” movie studios and theaters are beginning to acknowledge that their streak of record-setting ticket sales may be coming to an end. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world’s biggest cinema chain, laid out a worse-than-projected outlook for the North American box office this week.

That announcement dragged down shares of theater stocks, wiping out $1.3 billion from the value of the top four cinema operators in North America since Aug. 1. Even with a new “Star Wars,” a Marvel superhero movie and the sequel to “Blade Runner” on the docket for the holiday season, the box office is unlikely to make up for a “severe hit” in the third quarter, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. To date, receipts are down 2 percent in 2017, and AMC is projecting a 1.5 percent decline for the full year.

The concern is that the slump isn’t just a run of bad luck.

The next sentence says (emphasis mine):

Cinema operators have managed for years to keep increasing sales by raising ticket prices amid stagnant attendance, but a sharp drop in filmgoing would make that harder to sustain.

Is that why it costs an arm and a leg to see a film on the big screen?

I could not care less about Hollywood or what passes for a movie these days, but I was intrigued by the comments on 4chan’s /pol/ News Forever tweet about this article.

Read the thread. It’s enlightening. A selection of reasons for not going to the cinema follow:

Hollywood crossed a huge line. We can’t suspend disbelief to enjoy a movie with actors that seems to have forgotten their place in society.

If I want to watch a bunch of no-talent hacks spew nothing but tiresome propaganda, I’ll just turn on late-night TV “.”

We Are Done With The Hollywood Elite Hypocrites!

I wonder if AMC knows that “strategic pricing” greed will cause lots of folks to quit showing up entirely?

The Left makes entertainment, the right consumes it. We tolerate it. When we don’t want to, it hurts them. Remember. We have the power.

Looks like Hollywood is reaping what it has sowed. How’s that working out for ya Meryl, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp?

Movies have become so entrenched in political messages they have destroyed the form. Hopefully greed fuels a return to quality.

Actors made it clear they don’t want any of my money, I’m fine with that.

I stopped going to movies since Meryl’s odious preaching at the Oscars.

The left wing idiots need to stay out of politics and keep their mouths shut. Stick to acting and singing.

Socialist Hollywood is bloated, unionized, will go the way of paper books records, and shopping malls

I’m done with Hollywood. I prefer low budget, independent, good writing, grassroots filmmaking.

After having for more than a decade, canceled that too. When actors, movies and companies start SJWing, preaching, no thanks!

Theaters should sue Hollywood for ruining the business model to go into left-wing indoctrination & bullying.

It hurts going to the movies and to be preached at about politics. Why would anyone subjugate themselves to such.

I haven’t been to a movie in years.. Not givin my $ to people that Hate me, & hate my Country…

AMC needs to realize nobody wants to watch anti-American movies filled with progressive propaganda

Do you still go to the cinema or have you left the big screen for good? Either way, feel free to comment below.

For anyone who celebrated Thanksgiving and is not going out to shop this weekend, below is a set of films allowing you to revisit the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (Sorry, no Clint here, only politics.)

I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.

These will keep you occupied for a day. So, grab a turkey sandwich, a piece of pumpkin pie and settle in for hours of revealing information.

Donald Trump

The following Objectified programme was broadcast on Friday, November 18. TMZ wanted to do a companion piece on Hillary Clinton, but she refused. The original idea was to show two Objectified episodes, one with each candidate, prior to the election so that voters would have a better idea of who Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in private life.

I highly recommend everyone see this episode, especially if they do not particularly like Trump. You’ll see and hear a fascinating story of his life from Trump Tower (39 min). The interviewer chooses various objects in his home, and Trump discusses their significance:

The following clip (41 sec) is from Rona Barrett’s show in 1980. Rona Barrett interviewed all the celebrities that decade. Her programme was very popular. Here, Trump explains why he doesn’t want to run for president — he’d have to be nice all the time:

Here is a clip from Oprah Winfrey’s 1988 interview with Trump on the subject of the presidency. Note how quiet and interested the audience is (3 min):

Reddit has a fascinating post with endless contributions from people who knew or met Trump from his schooldays to the present. I only read half of it, and that took three hours. Once you start reading (be sure to click ‘load more comments’), you can’t stop. Everyone said he was really nice.

Also included in that thread are anecdotes about Mitt Romney. Everyone said he’s also very nice.

Billary Clinton

I had not seen the following films until a few weeks ago. I highly recommend them in the following order.

These involve input from Larry Nichols, who is dying from cancer. He was a Clinton insider in Arkansas for several years and helped them to hone the election and PR strategies they still use today.

First, an overview of the Clintons from their Arkansas days through to 1994, the second year of Bill’s administration (1 hour, 44 min):

Next, a shocking, in-depth look at Bill’s time in Arkansas and elsewhere, revealing not only murder but also unusual political leanings in his university days (1 hr, 52 min):

Finally, an update from 2015 (33 min), narrated by Larry Nichols in which he describes the ’86 Plan he created with the Clintons — playing the long game. Note that, as early as last year, he said that the New York Times was the PR machine for the couple. Even though they were the first paper to break the email scandal, they would then turn that around to make Hillary look like the underdog. Nichols says in the film that nothing would ever come of the email scandal. And, lo, it came to pass in 2016:


George Soros

The following video is of the 1998 60 Minutes interview with George Soros.

In 2016, the Hillary campaign’s Correct The Record (CTR) team said that Soros never betrayed the Jewish people during the Second World War. Yet, here he is, admitting his sins with a smile. As he tells the interviewer, if he hadn’t done it, someone else would have. He has done that throughout his life, as the film shows.

He clearly states that he meddles in other countries’ business with no view of social or economic consequences (13 min):

Words fail me, so I’ll sign off here.

Enjoy the films. You won’t be disappointed. I look forward to comments!

In addition to Scott Adams, another person I’ve gone off is Michael Moore.

In 1989, I loved his first film Roger and Me. In the 1990s, my better half and I watched all the episodes of his television series TV Nation which was shown here in the UK on BBC2. We enjoyed Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken and the amusing statistics from the (fake) polling firm Widgery & Associates.

Afterwards, as he made more films, his politics got too much in the way for us and we tuned out. Although he was attacking the elites, it also seemed he strongly disliked middle-class Americans. His 2009 film, Capitalism: A Love Story, typifies this attitude. When it premiered, he sent out an open letter, excerpts of which follow:

When you are in church this morning, please think about this. I am asking you to allow your “better angels” to come forward. And if you are among the millions of Americans who are struggling to make it from week to week, please know that I promise to do what I can to stop this evil — and I hope you’ll join me in not giving up until everyone has a seat at the table.

Thanks for listening. I’m off to Mass in a few hours. I’ll be sure to ask the priest if he thinks J.C. deals in derivatives or credit default swaps. I mean, after all, he must’ve been good at math. How else did he divide up two loaves of bread and five pieces of fish equally amongst 5,000 people? Either he was the first socialist or his disciples were really bad at packing lunch. Or both.

If Michael Moore has done anything to relieve poverty in America, please do comment below. I’d be interested in reading about it.

He’s just as bad as the establishment he criticises.

Michael Moore: EXPOSED! is a fascinating site with loads of little-known news reports. This is from the home page (emphases mine):

His major themes are his status as the spokesman of the working class, the evils of capitalism, and the selfishness of (all other) Americans.

It would be easy to denounce Moore as a hypocrite. Many conservatives denounce him as a leftist, when in fact the serious left, the thinking left, generally finds him appalling. He is the latest in the modern breed of Limousine Leftists — individuals who, while personally they share the values of 19th century robber barons, find it flattering to adopt a thin veneer of leftism as a pose, in the same manner they pick a flattering hair style or gown. (A left-leaning critic of Moore summed up the situation very nicely: Moore’s appeal lies in his giving wealthy, over-educated, whites an opportunity to laugh at working-class whites.)

Just so.

Fast-forwarding to 2016, Moore started freaking out about a Donald Trump presidency during the Republican National Convention in July. On July 20, he told Bill Maher:

that Donald Trump will win the 2016 election by carrying all of the states Mitt Romney won in 2012, plus Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and his home state of Michigan.

“I’m sorry to be the buzzkill here,” he said. “But I think Trump is going to win. I’m sorry.”

“I lived in Michigan, and let me tell you. It’s gonna be the Brexit strategy. The middle of England is Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. The total number of electoral votes in those states in the rust belt, 64. All he has to do is win those four states. I was there during the primary, he went down and said they moved this factory down to Mexico, I’m putting a tariff on the cars, and it was music to peoples’ ears,” he added.

“And more people in the primary in Michigan voted Republican than Democrat this year. That should be a disturbing thing for everyone.”

On Sunday, October 2, Moore appeared on Meet the Press. He told moderator Chuck Todd that:

people in the Midwest and the rustbelt see Donald Trump as “their human Molotov cocktail” to throw into the election booth in November. Moore said Bernie Sanders winning Michigan in the primary should have been a “red flag” to the Clinton campaign that the rustbelt was up for grabs this election cycle.

He took issue with the Democrats:

at the convention, I was worried, Democrats, the Clinton campaign, were all doing an end zone dance when they were only on the 50 yard line. And, and the celebrating after the debate– everybody needs to have their game face on here and realize that Trump can win. He can pull this off. And, and everybody has to, has to be full force here. Otherwise, it’s, it has a chance of happening…

I don’t think people do trust the Democrats. How else could a socialist win 22 states? I mean in my state of Michigan, Bernie Sanders won. If, if, if Hillary Clinton and the Democrats had a difficult time with him, that should have been the red flag to everybody that there is a, a, a mood out there where people are upset at the Democrats and the Republicans.

He also criticised Big Media:

I mean so people don’t trust the media. They don’t listen to it, and for good reason, because the, the media has let them down. The, the rich and the powerful have let them down. They used to believe in that. They used to vote for the rich and powerful. And a lot of them aren’t going to do that this time. And they, for some strange reason, see Donald Trump as their, as their means to get back at, at, at this system

Nothing strange about it. Trump is accustomed to being with everyday Americans and always has felt at home with them. He sincerely wants to help them.

The Conservative Treehouse pointed out that Glenn Beck joined Moore on that edition of Meet the Press:

Chuck Todd hosted two irrelevant dueling donuts today on Bleat the Press.  Both Michael Moore and Glenn Beck were pearl-clutching at the possibility of Hillary Clinton losing the election, the result is splendidly humorous.

Videos are at the link.

This week, Moore released his latest documentary, Michael Moore in Trumpland.

This video of him before an audience in Newark, Ohio explains more about the film (language alert!):

In it he explains why his fans should not hate Trump supporters. This is a partial transcript (language alert!), which I would criticise for only one thing: Moore will not be voting for Trump. That aside, here are some highlights:

“Whether Trump means [what he says] or not is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting,” he explained. “It’s why every beaten down, worthless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump.”

Moore argued that those people still have one thing, “and it doesn’t cost them a cent, and is guaranteed to them by the American Constitution: the right to vote.”

“They see that the elites who ruined their lives hate Trump, corporate America hates Trump, Wall Street hates Trump, the career politicians hate Trump, the media hates Trump.”

“The enemy of my enemy is who I’m voting for… ”

In a review of Trumpland, Forbes helpfully explains the film’s target market then has a go at him:

It’s clear that Moore is targeting the disappointed Bernie Sanders fans, the so-called moderate swing voters, as well as staunch Republicans who have been horrified by the GOP candidate but need some convincing to cross over and vote for a Clinton of all people. Moore himself has become such a polarizing figure that it’s hard to imagine that anyone beyond the converted will sample this 73-minute lecture/stand-up comedy special

Maybe it’s an attempt at redemption for being among Ralph Nader’s biggest cheerleaders in 2000.  Maybe the 62-year-old filmmaker is tired of playing dumb about America’s ills and would rather shine a light on someone who can, if not make it better, prevent it from becoming much worse. But the notion of the man who made a $222 million-grossing documentary about the evils/horrors of George W. Bush’s first term now making a last-ditch effort to persuade those on-the-fence to cross over if only just this once to Hillary Clinton is not a little poignant.

And what follows echoes what I said at the beginning of this post:

The joy in Moore’s eyes when he discusses the eventual minority status of the white male (or white person, period) notes a particular satisfaction or relief that he might no longer be required to be an influencer, or at least a certain optimism that things will improve enough that he can ride off into the sunset.

Trump supporters should not make the same mistake Don Jr did the other day in liking Moore’s perspective:

Moore gleefully responded to Trump Jr.’s endorsement, tweeting, “Hey everyone – Trump, Jr. & right wing thinks my movie called “TrumpLand” is pro-Trump! Haha. Pls don’t tell them otherwise! #satire #irony.”

Michael Moore. It would be nice if he were half the individual Donald Trump is, but that day will never come.

For all his feigned support of the ‘little guy’, Michael Moore no different to any other Democrat. Like them, he also wants to see America destroyed from within.

Further reading and viewing:

‘5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win’

‘Michael Moore: Hillary Went Easy on Trump During Debates Because She Is a Christian’

‘Michael Moore Talks About Hillary Clinton, His New Film And More’ (The View)

Had I not read the film reviews in our local paper at the weekend, I would not have read about the new film Risen, which is now showing in the UK at Cineworld cinemas through April 7, 2016.

The Cineworld site describes Risen‘s plot as follows:

Peter Firth stars as Pontius Pilate in this unofficial follow-up to The Passion of the Christ.

In 33AD, Christ has already resurrected from his death on the crucifix. Now, in order to quell an imminent uprising, a member of the Roman army, Clavius, is charged by Roman prefect Pontius Pilate to locate the missing body of Jesus. It is Pilate’s job to not only locate the corpse of Christ but to arrest those disciples who snatched his body. The mission becomes a learning experience for Pilate as his discovers who Jesus really was… Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Waterworld) returns to the director’s chair after an absence of ten years with this unique take on the Greatest Story Ever Told.

Spooks star Peter Firth takes on the role of Pontius Pilate, with Tom Felton (Harry Potter) as Lucius and Joseph Fiennes as Clavius.

The review I read said the film had:

nothing of interest to secularists.

That’s a good sign, indicating that the story is respectfully told. The reviewer gave it two stars.

So did The Guardian. That said, you find out more about the story and the implications of Christ’s resurrection on the political and religious establishments.

GodVine has an article on the film, which is based on Matthew 28:6:

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Cliff Curtis, a Maori, plays the role of Yeshua. One of GodVine‘s readers says:

A very good film – not Hollywoodish at all – the actor who played Jesus (actually a Maori New Zealander) didn’t even have to say much to get his heart across. Moving and memorable. I’m ready to see it again.

The trailer, at any rate, looks excellent:

It is only showing in a handful of British cinemas, and none is near where I live. All being well, it will be shown on television at some point.

If anyone reading this has seen it, please do feel free to comment below.

The Air France flight I took back to the US for my father’s funeral — when I was on the cusp of my 19th birthday — showed Network, which had recently premiered at the cinema.

My father, also on the cusp of his late-50s birthday, would have loved Peter Finch’s Oscar-winning character.

Dad deeply admired Ronald Reagan, as far back as the early 1970s. He really wanted to vote for him, even though he had voted ‘D’ along with his family every election of his life. My dad typified the Reagan Democrat: well-read, modest and of the mind that the US was going to the dogs.

I’m so glad he did not live to see Carter’s dismal final years. But I do regret that he was unable to vote for his Californian, B-actor hero.

I didn’t get it at the time. I was too young. But now that I’m Dad’s age, I surely do understand it today.

Like many Americans whose mood Reagan tapped into, my dad was mad as hell. Not in a violent or destructive way, just frustrated. Not a day went by when we didn’t read or hear about street gangs, shootings, muggings, rapes, gas prices, food shortages, pollution, inflation and everyday disappointment — all made to sound as if they were normal occurrences.

Suddenly, every city was getting as bad as New York, which we used to laugh about in the 1960s, thanks to Johnny Carson (who didn’t move to ‘beautiful downtown Burbank’ until 1972). On that subject, New York revived, in important ways, thanks to a certain 2016 GOP presidential candidate. Detroit, on the other hand, seriously tanked (no pun intended with the auto industry).

I would love to have known what my father would have made of Peter Finch’s ‘I’m mad as hell’ plea to Americans on the nightly news. Here it is on YouTube. Even if you don’t turn the sound on — I’ve got his monologue below — do watch this scene, a little over four minutes long, to see how people watching the broadcast respond. You’ll see Faye Dunaway, too:

This is what Finch’s character says in his broadcast (caps in the original). Yes, he breaks the third Commandment, but, if you can, look for the broader points which have been dogging us since the 1970s. Consider all of the following highlighted:

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

In 2016, these same issues continue along with a few new ones. You know what they are. Even people half a world away know what they are.

Donald Trump is the Ronald Reagan of 2016, the galvaniser of polite, hard-working, disaffected — though not disenfranchised — Americans: Republican, Democrat or independent.

On some level(s), Trump, too, is fed up and has been for years (see old YouTube videos of testimony he gave before the Senate in 1990) and this considered 14-minute (nearly) WNET New York interview from the same time period:

He might not be ‘mad as hell’ but he is motivated enough and wealthy enough to be able to turn around a decades-old situation, in the words of Finch’s character,

as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be,

and at least go halfway towards making America great again.

No one — not even he — knows if he actually could make the Republic great again. Even eight years of Reagan couldn’t do it — in the 1980s. But, by golly, it’s worth a try.

And to those who say Trump needs policies when, frankly, no one else has framed any outside of wimpy soundbites, here’s an honest and accurate response:

If Congress thinks America has time to wait out a clearly dangerous, dishonest president, America has time to wait for Trump to sharpen “candidate” details on issues which he, like millions of grown-ups, have been informed and outraged about for years.

Like Reagan, Trump represents a Spring clean for the United States. This is why he has huge — ‘yuge’, in his and Bernie Sanders’s lingo — support.

I’ll have to watch Network again this year. It was right for America’s time then and must still ring true today.

One post to come next week on Donald Trump.

A new biography of has just hit the shops — American Titan: Searching for John Wayne, published by Dey Street, a division of Harper Collins.

In it, author Marc Eliot tells the legendary actor’s story to a new generation.

John Wayne — and Elvis Presley, for that matter — were two famous popular Americans who never resonated with me. I know little about either.

Therefore, I was somewhat surprised to discover that the actor (whose real name was Marion Morrison) never enlisted in the armed forces to serve in the Second World War because he was too enamoured of Marlene Dietrich. (I’m being polite in using that verb.)

Wayne was married to his first wife, Josephine, at the time.

If this had occurred during the Vietnam War, no one would have batted an eyebrow. However, during the Second World War, Hollywood had a massive war effort. Nearly every able-bodied actor either volunteered or responded to his letter from the draft board.

In a précis of the book, the Mail tells us:

With all the leading men in Hollywood gone he became a valuable acting commodity – and he knew it.

In his book Eliot explains Wayne’s various excuses for not serving: he was too old (other actors in their mid-30s enlisted); he had a shoulder injury (it did not prevent him from starring in action films); he was the sole provider (he divorced Josephine during the war).

He also made the preposterous excuse that Herb Yates, head of Republic Pictures at the time, was going to sue him if he let himself be drafted.

There is no proof of this because when the war ended, the government had destroyed Wayne’s service-related papers.

By 1942, Dietrich moved on and was dating George Raft as well as recent French emigré Jean Gabin, France’s biggest film star. Wayne was crestfallen.

Wayne decided that he could better serve his country by touring American bases with the USO. However, Eliot writes that this did not go well:

He thought he could make up for it by making appearances at USO shows in the South Pacific and Australia – ‘his version of military service’ but he was greeted with raucous booing by the enlisted men who had served in hard combat.

The press didn’t write about the booing but the soldiers viewed Wayne, along with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Al Jolson as Hollywood entertainers just looking for some good p.r.

Wayne went to hospitals and ‘told the press he felt he belonged at the fronts with the boys’. He told them he’d be back after his picture commitments. But he never went back to Burma and China not only because he didn’t have time but because of the less-than-warm welcome.

It seems that Wayne later felt guilty and tried to (over-?) compensate for his lack of military service:

Wayne’s third wife, Pilar Pallete, an actress from Peru who he married in 1954 as soon as he divorced ‘pug nose’ Chata, stated that Wayne became a ‘super-patriot for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying at home’ and not serving in the war effort.

Throughout his life, Wayne remained uncompromising in his anti-Communist stance and unforgiving battle against subversives.

He began as a supporter of FDR and became ‘one of the toughest and most unforgiving political soldiers in Hollywood’s war on communism’. He was ‘willing to throw out the cream of Hollywood’s talent, with the bathwater of their perceived politics’ …

‘Wayne’s resistance to change was granite hard and the more doctrinaire he became, the more out of fashion he sounded’.

So, John Wayne, cinema’s war icon, never saw fit to serve his country during wartime. He preferred his own pleasures and new prestige as an actor — when his peers were off fighting the enemy.

A story similar in some ways to that of today’s equivalent: Ted Nugent.

Before seeing Noah, especially with children, it’s worth (re)reading the account of Noah’s life in Genesis.

First, God had His reasons for the flood — also for sparing Noah and his family (Genesis 6:5-8):

5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Then, when the time came (Genesis 7:13):

On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.

Afterward, when God told Noah that he and his family could leave the ark (Genesis 8:20-21):

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[i] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

God then made a covenant with Noah and his family (Genesis 9:8-11):

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

The Lord added this beautiful reason for rainbows (Genesis 9:12-16) — something to remember and share with young people (emphases mine):

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

The Bible story, taken verbatim, would have made a beautiful film for everyone. Yet, the film does not represent the Genesis account.

Kat Butler unpacks Darren Aronofsky’s film for the family-oriented Movieguide. In ‘What’s Wrong with Noah?’ she notes:

The writers of the movie seem to have turned to the BOOK OF ENOCH to introduce details of the world before the Flood. (Enoch himself is named early on in the movie and referenced by Noah’s grandfather as the story unfolds.)

As for the Watchers, she says:

Understand that the term “Watchers” refers to both the good and fallen angels. Thus, Gabriel is a Watcher, and Uriel, too. The Watchers who have fallen to earth for being sympathetic to Adam and Eve refer to those angels who followed Lucifer in his rise up against God. (These are the fallen angels who ultimately mate with female women and produce the nephilim — the race of giants.)

Incidentally, you can read more about the Nephilim in my post from 2013.

Butler counsels against becoming too empathetic towards the Watchers:

After the fall to earth, the outcast angels are damned. Most importantly, they do not repent. It is in this vein that they continue to “play gods” in the human arena, and defy God all the more by teaching technological advances and all kinds of learning to humankind. (This, too, is referenced overtly in the movie, as it relates to the growth of cities.)

The question arises, then: Why borrow the Watchers and make them Noah’s friendly helpers, who serve him, and (by implication) God, by assisting in the building of the Ark?

The very suggestion that the Fallen Angels are benevolent creatures is misleading. Especially if we realize that one of them, referenced in the movie, is Lucifer himself: Azel/ Azazel the “courageous one” and “arrogant one” who rose up against God

Perhaps the flawed representation of the fallen angels makes its way into NOAH by accident. I’m willing to believe that. The fact remains that it is not good, and that media-wise viewers will do well to educate themselves as to why nursing sympathy for those cast out of the Heavens is dangerous.

She points out that the film is faithful neither to the Bible nor the Book of Enoch — not part of the biblical canon:

At the end of the day, one has to wonder why the fallen angels help Noah at all. It’s not necessary for the storyline. It would have been just as epic for them to side with the fallen men, and for God to save Noah from destruction. It would also have saved the movie from an inherently flawed and dangerously misleading theology.

Aronofsky’s NOAH, in this sense, plays the part of false counsel. Those who leave the movie feeling even remote sympathy for the Watchers and the attempt of such creatures to redeem themselves inadvertently miss the mark; as do those who imagine Noah as a frail man, who wrestled with his decision to follow through on God’s command. The implication at the end is jarring as it leaves room to question whether or not humanity survived because of Noah’s inability to go through with God’s plan (an accident, as it were), or because God knew all along Noah would “choose love.”

Fellow blogger (and reader!) Alex Dekkers details how the film’s narrative differs from the Bible. Please be sure to read ‘Alex’ view– What is wrong with Noah?’ before you or your family see the movie.

He lists several pertinent observations, three of which follow. These illustrate the importance of understanding and familiarising ourselves with the Bible so that we can spot mistakes — intentional or otherwise — in culturally popular depictions (emphasis in the original for the first item — the rest are mine):

  • In the Bible it is very clear that Noah, his wife and his three children with their wives were on the Ark. And what do we see in the movie? Only the oldest son goes on board of the Ark with his wife. What happened to the wives of the other 2? And the oldest gets to girls, implying that somehow the other brothers would eventually make families with these to girls?
  • The grandfather of Noah is Methusalem and in the movie he is made a sort of sorcerer that helps the wife of the oldest son to not be barren anymore. First of all only God can make a wife that is barren to get pregnant. Making him a sort of sorcerer is again an attempt to bring the devil into play as a sort of saviour which he is not!
  • Also Methusalem dies in the flood. So, you would ask, does it matter? Yes it does matter, because his death is very significant. Almost 1.000 years before the flood mankind was warned for this judgement of God, so we as mankind had almost 1.000 years to repent and change! So if people call God a cruel God because of the flood, then they are mistaken and false! The reason that Methusalem is so significant, because his name in Hebrew means: “if I die it starts”. God made sure that he received this name, because on the day Methusalem died, the flood would start. So the devil lied in the movie by letting him die in the flood and not before it!

Noah could have followed the biblical account of a man who loved the Lord and did everything He commanded (Genesis 6:22, 7:5). The Lord rewarded his obedience with a covenant that extends to the end of time.

This could have been such a marvellous film. As it is, it seems to play to humanity’s sin and darker instincts. More’s the pity.

During the Tour de France, BBC4 showed the 1977 Danish documentary, A Sunday in Hell, about the 1976 Paris-Roubaix cycling race.

Paris-Roubaix is one of the oldest races and was first run in 1896. It has a number of cobbled sectors which make the race dangerous no matter what the weather. If it’s dry, as the 1976 contest was, the riders put up with lengthy dust clouds on the cobbles. If it’s rainy, the cobbles become slick and puddles are everywhere, multiplying the risk of crashes or flat tyres.

A Sunday in Hell was made around the time I spent my year of study in France. This was the France I knew and understood. As older Frenchmen say today, you used to be able to tell where someone was from by what they wore. You could tell who was from Paris (the protestors railing against computerisation replacing linotype) and who was from the North (the farmers in their heavy tweed suits). These days, it’s less clear; nearly everyone conforms to the current fashion.

As far as cycling is concerned, this documentary depicts a man’s race. It still is, certainly, but riders didn’t wear helmets in 1976; in fact, those were not obligatory until 2002. They wore cycling caps or no headgear at all. The training regime included a high-protein diet. Breakfast on the day of the 1976 race was a huge, rare steak. No bowls of pasta or rice for those riders. The other fascinating aspect was the physiotherapy segments at the beginning. One rider’s knee looked very out of joint; another had huge long scars on his legs. Yet, they were deemed fit enough to ride all those kilometres on cobbles.


In 1895, two textile magnates — Théodore Vienne and Maurice Perez — built a velodrome in Roubaix, on the French border with Belgium. They wanted a new race which would start in Paris and finish with a few laps at their velodrome.

The two men appealed to the newspaper Le Vélo. At the time, this was the only sports-oriented journal in the country. Le Vélo‘s cycling editor, Victor Breyer, agreed to find a suitable route. He was driven along part of the route. He rode a bike for the rest of it. Aghast, Breyer was shocked at how dangerous the cobbles were. However, an agreeable dinner with Vienne and Perez softened his opposition and he agreed to support the idea.

The first Paris-Roubaix was held on April 19, 1896. Josef Fischer, finishing first, was the only German to ever win the race.

The race earned its name Hell of the North because of the state of the cobbles after the Great War. A team of organisers and journalists investigated their condition in 1919. Closer to Paris, the route was passable. However, as the group journeyed further north, they could smell broken drains and rotting cattle carcasses. Trees were dying and mud lay everywhere. The headlines in the newspapers announced the group had seen ‘the Hell of the North’.

After the Second World War, local and regional councils worked hard to find money to pave over the cobbles. Such a road indicated backward living. The lanes which remained were used only by farmers transporting their cattle on foot. Consequently, councils and mayors were reluctant to grant permission for the race to go along one or more of their cobbled roads; they were a source of embarrassment.

Although fewer cobbled lanes exist now, there are still enough to put on the route, which often changes. A group of race enthusiasts, Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, maintains the cobbled roads with the help of horticulture students who replace broken or stolen stones. Realising that the race is legendary and brings in tourists, today, even local councils contribute money, sand and cobbles.


The Trench of Arenberg is said to determine who the finishing riders will be. It was introduced to the race in 1968 but has not been used for every race since because it is so dangerous.

In 2001, rider Philippe Gaumont suffered a horrific fall on this section. Recalling his broken femur, he described his injury as follows (emphases mine):

What I went through, only I will ever know. My knee cap completely turned to the right, a ball of blood forming on my leg and the bone that broke, without being able to move my body. And the pain, a pain that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The surgeon placed a big support [un gros matériel] in my leg, because the bone had moved so much. Breaking a femur is always serious in itself but an open break in an athlete of high level going flat out, that tears the muscles. At 180 beats [a minute of the heart], there was a colossal amount of blood being pumped, which meant my leg was full of blood. I’m just grateful that the artery was untouched.

Part of the Paris-Roubaix route was on this year’s Tour de France. The stage started at Arenberg Porte du Hainaut and finished in Ypres. Orchies and five other cobbled sections were included. Three more had been scheduled, but the rain caused the Tour organisers to reroute these to paved roads.

Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault participated in Paris-Roubaix three times in the early 1980s, winning twice. That said, he found the course infuriating and said so publicly. In the years that followed, fewer of the top 20 UCI cyclists participated. In 2004, there were none; that year, Philippe Brunel of L’Equipe wondered whether Hinault had an indirect influence on this non-participation:

We won’t go as far as say that the five-time winner of the Tour [Hinault] – who every year gives the winner his celebration cobble stone on behalf of the organisers — has contributed to the dilution [paupérisation] of the queen of classics, which would offend him, but his words have contributed to the snub, or the indifference, of those who stay away. The fact isn’t new but the phenomenon is getting worse and is concerning. The peloton of stayaways has grown to the point where Paris–Roubaix is now only for a tight group of specialists… especially the Belgians, capable of maintaining high speed on the cobbles.

Nonetheless, Tour de France riders are still riding in — and winning — Paris-Roubaix. Among them are Fabien Cancellara (winning in 2006, 2010 and 2013), Tom Boonen (2005, 2008, 2009, 2012), Stuart O’Grady (2007) and Niki Terpstra (2014).

The film

Riding strategies are one of two: either on the side of the cobbles where the surface levels out, although that involves negotiating puddles; or at top speed down the middle, which heightens the risk of punctures.

This clip shows how treacherous the route is. Note the gash on the first injured rider’s head at 1:38 and the dust cloud after the 9:00 mark:

Another YouTube video shows the 1988 race, filmed for CBS in the US and narrated by England’s own Phil Liggett, who provides commentary for ITV4’s coverage of the Tour de France:

For non-English-speakers, Liggett’s commentary is clearly spoken as is that of David Saunders who covers the 1976 race, so ably filmed by Jørgen Leth and Christian Clausen’s team.

Readers suffering Tour de France withdrawal symptoms may find that watching Paris-Roubaix races will provide the necessary antidote!

As I write film buffs are busy reading or tweeting about the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

One of the most controversial films of the year to premiere there is likely to be Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco.

Nicole Kidman stars as the iconic actress turned princess in a story which recounts six years of her married life during which she, a young wife and mother, anticipated returning to acting by accepting Alfred Hitchcock’s invitation to star in Marnie. Meanwhile, President De Gaulle was attempting to annex Monaco for France. Consequently, her husband Prince Rainier (pron. ‘Ren-yay’) — played by Tim Roth — had a lot on his mind and needed his wife by his side.

Although the Principality of Monaco granted permission for part of the film to be shot there, the House of Grimaldi — the royal family — have had reservations about the project from the beginning. Permissions would have gone through Prince Albert’s office at some point in the process.

I’ve been following the story since filming took place in Monaco. The film premiered on Wednesday, May 14. Many words have been exchanged with regard to its veracity. Dahan defended his film in a tweet published in Nice-Matin saying that he wanted to make a film which went deeper than historical facts.

Earlier, on May 2, 2014, Nice-Matin reported that Prince Albert’s office issued a statement denouncing the film, saying that it was based on

erroneous historical and doubtful literary references.

The Palace also posted a presentation which gives the true story of Princess Grace and recaps the Grimaldi family tree.

This is Warner Brothers UK’s official trailer for the film, likely to be popular with women around the world once it appears at the cinema:

It does not seem as if Prince Rainier is portrayed as a particularly likeable character.

I can see why the Grimaldis are offended.

The problem with historical fiction, particularly with royalty or political leaders, is that one can never tell where truth ends and the director’s fiction begins.

I’ve doubted the veracity of films made about Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II and her father George VI. Yes, the basic story lines are true, however, we viewers have a tendency to then think that every event in the production actually happened. How can we know otherwise? We weren’t privy to heated conversations or other confrontations we see on the screen. A good director knows how to embellish reality.

When watching The King’s Speech, I doubted whether George VI’s Australian speech therapist addressed him so boldly in real life.

Over the years I have read several first-person recollections from people meeting the Queen to collect their honours — medals in recognition of outstanding service in their field. Every one of them — including those who aren’t fans of the monarchy — said that they were in awe once they met her.

In fact, when one goes to Buckingham Palace for such events, one of the first things one of her aides strongly suggests is visiting the nearby loo. This is because one man who was sure he was fine in that regard wet himself upon meeting the Queen.

Back to Princess Grace now. After her tragic, fatal car accident in 1982, when her daughter Stephanie was riding with her, tabloids and other gossip rags ran with speculation on ‘what really happened’. Princess Stephanie has had a tough row to hoe since then. That accident has shadowed her entire adult life. It was also an indescribably shocking ordeal for Prince Rainier, Princess Caroline and Prince Albert.

On many levels, this film is reopening wounds for the two princesses and ruling prince.

See it if you must but bear in mind that not everything in it will be 100% true, including the portrayal of Prince Rainier.


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