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From my new movie review in Taki’s Magazine:

Killing Time With the Coen Brothers
by Steve Sailer

November 14, 2018

The Coen brothers’ eighteenth movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, might be their whitest yet, despite Mrs. Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, having devoted her Best Actress speech at last March’s Oscars to demanding “inclusion.”

Since Blood Simple in 1984, Joel and Ethan Coen have never much concerned themselves with anybody’s demands for “representation.” Yet Buster Scruggs takes this old tendency of theirs to a new high.

An anthology of six premises for cowboy movies that the Coens have come up with over the years, Buster Scruggs features a cast—the biggest names in it are Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, James Franco, Tom Waits, Tim Blake Nelson, and Tyne Daly (in, curiously, a role that would normally be played by McDormand)—whom the Hispanophilic John Wayne would have found problematically lacking in diversity. Heck, Bonanza featured more nonwhites than does Buster Scruggs (which will debut this Friday on Netflix).

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. Bart says:

    You know who hasn’t gotten enough blame for the GOP’s loss? Steve Stivers. Seriously, he shoveled 20 million into the black hole of VA10 and CO6 when like half of the seats lost where 1-2 point races. They didn’t even put any money at all into CA. What the fuck?

  2. It’s going to single digits in their old, weird Minnesota tonight. If anyone has some excess global warming to spare, please send it up the Mississippi.

  3. OT-

    The New York Times goes in hard on the right wing fever dream of cultural marxism.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/opinion/cultural-marxism-anti-semitism.html

    But then on the very same day offers up some videos about Fake News called Operation Infektion. The videos have a strange conversational, breezy tone that seems completely out of place in The New York Times. The word Bullshit is used liberally as if it is a term of art.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/12/opinion/russia-meddling-disinformation-fake-news-elections.html

    The first video explains that former KGB agents who defected to the United States revealed that the Soviet Union engaged in disinformation campaigns to subvert the United States. The entire exercise is rather flat and fails to contemplate that many other governments, corporations and institutions may also be engaging in disinformation campaigns, including, of course, the United States and The New York Times itself.

    One of the KGB agents featured in the first documentary is Yuri Bezmenov who not only defected to the United States, but he also aligned himself with the John Birch Society and certain other fringe right wing elements. Yuri Bezmenov is quite popular on Youtube promoting somewhat convincingly the very same theory that Cultural Marxism is undermining the West that The New York Times is simultaneously condemning as historically farcical and hateful.

    Weird, weird stuff.

  4. My favorite movie is “Dirty Harry”.
    Great Politically Incorrect movie.
    I wish I was born in 1950s and not in 1986.
    What a time to be alive.

  5. Joe H says:

    National Geographic’s decline into nonstop SJW propaganda is just sad!

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    , @TheBoom
    , @Anon
  6. syonredux says:

    The 1960s space program, for instance, employed this self-image of Americans as pioneers. Nowadays, of course, you aren’t supposed to think like that. National Geographic, for instance, just scolded:

    When discussing space exploration, people often invoke…the march westward in the 1800s…. But…these narratives are born from racist, sexist ideologies that historically led to the subjugation and erasure of women and indigenous cultures, creating barriers that are still pervasive today.

    To ensure that humanity’s future off-world is less harmful and open to all, many of the people involved are revising the problematic ways in which space exploration is framed. Numerous conversations are taking place about the importance of using inclusive language, with scholars focusing on decolonizing humanity’s next journeys into space, as well as science in general.

    Yeesh. That National Geographic piece was positively sick-making:

    What are some of the problematic narratives the term “colonization” brings up?
    One narrative that comes up a lot draws on the history of Europeans coming to the Americas. I’ve seen people talk about the arrival of the first European settlers as this romantic, heroic story of people making it in a harsh environment. But of course, there were already people here, in the Americas, when those historical events happened.

    Yep. That’s why I never learned about people like Powhatan and Squanto in grade school….The official narrative was that nobody lived in the New World before Columbus…

    Furthermore, a lot of the Europeans’ ability to live throughout the Americas came at the cost of genocide for indigenous people. I think it’s not intuitive, particularly when we talk to white Americans, for example, to think of the history of Columbus’s journey as a story of genocide. But it’s important to realize that’s what it is.

    Wait, this interview happened in 2018, right? Not 1959?

    In addition to “colonization” and its associated terms, what are some words you consider to be problematic when we talk about space exploration?
    I think the other one is “settlement.” That comes up a lot and obviously has a lot of connotations for folks about conflict in the Middle East. I think that’s one that people often turn to when they mean “inhabitation” or “humans living off-world.”

    Instead, I prefer using a couple of extra words, like “humans living on Mars,” or something that is maybe longer but more specific to what I mean.

    The WOKE war on concision continues….

    What about terms like “manned” or “frontier?”
    Yes, I do find “frontier” to be problematic. The implication is not exactly the same for somewhere like space as it is for here, but it similarly draws on the same kinds of narratives that are all based around European settlement. And often, if the word “frontier” comes up, it’s not wrong—until someone spells out the narrative of those brave explorers who went West in the early Americas.

    Gosh, so you actually mean that the Outer Space frontier isn’t exactly like the 19th century Western frontier?

    “Manned?” I don’t understand why anyone is still using “manned.” How old is the NASA style guide that says not to use “manned?” It’s been around literally for years [since 2006, to be precise].”

    Maybe because it’s more euphonious than words like “crewed” and “peopled?”

    When you look at the Outer Space Treaty, it’s this really aspirational document that contains a lot of really good things about the ways that we can and cannot explore space. However, if you read indigenous scholarship, or you listen to indigenous people, you’ll know that treaties get broken all the time.

    In contrast, if you read European scholarship, or if you listen to European people, you’ll get the impression that treaties are never broken….

    Planet Earth. Is there a narrative we can use that isn’t just trotting out Christopher Columbus and pretending like that’s a rosy picture?

    That is really a question for a historian. I’m not a historian,

    Who would have guessed?

    but I’ll tell you that there probably isn’t a perfectly starched, unblemished narrative that you can draw from.

    Nuts. And here I thought that using the narrative of the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific made me WOKE as all get out…

  7. Trevor H. says:

    The Coen brothers are exempt from Diversity and Inclusion strictures because, well, you know.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  8. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Clifford Brown

    Great point, it’s the issue of our time when they need it and a laughable delusion when they don’t. The universal childishness is also not helping them, it’s one of many deeply irritating things about NPR.

    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @J.Ross
  9. Ken52 says:

    O. Henry’s Full House is a wonderful anthology of his short stories, such as The Ransom of Red Chief. Corny but I watch to see if it’s on every Christmas when it’s most likely to be aired.

  10. @syonredux

    No longer get National Geographic, is the author writing from Kenya? Where their family has lived for the last 2.3 million years?
    We haven’t sent out the first colonization team yet, and already the Moon People and Martians are engaged in Jew-bashing.

  11. Maybe the Coens used Sam Elliot to point out The Big Lewbowski was going to be about badasses?

    • Replies: @Anon
  12. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:

    Of course, being “represented” in a movie by the mordant Coens isn’t self-esteem-building. The white characters in Buster Scruggs tend to be homicidal, grasping, or, at best, long-winded.

    The characters in their movies tend to be one-dimensional, grotesque caricatures of white gentiles. But the high IQ, highly verbal Coens write them long winded dialogues and give them large vocabularies and make them very articulate. It’s quite incongruous. This coupled with the visually highly realistic, historical settings of their movies produces the readily apparent fantastical or magic realism quality of their movies.

  13. Clyde says:

    Bonanza.. What a great TV show this was. What a great theme to introduce it each week. Can you believe it ran 14 years according to wiki. This is what runs through Trump’s mind when he says, “Make America Great Again”.

    ..

  14. @Ramesh Kumar

    ‘Dirty Harry’ is a great character, but not a great movie. Highly watchable, yes, but not great, along with ‘Death Wish’ and other movies of the ilk. I believe they were, however, the last batch of movies to be socially relevant to mainstream America. (The crime wave of the 70s and 80s was grotesque.)

    As far as the Coens go, most everything they’ve done has at least been interesting, but the last few outings were mediocre at best, and ‘No Country for Old Men’ would have been nothing without the “call it, friendo,” character. (Shigurgh? or whatever, I view doing an online search as cheating).

    • Replies: @Danindc
    , @Clyde
    , @Anon
  15. Twinkie says:

    My favorite Coen bros. film remains “Burn after Reading.” I almost cried from too much laughter – almost every character is a direct hit. It has no equal in portraying D.C. except perhaps the tv show “Veep.”

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @jJay
  16. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    It’s quite incongruous.

    Like John Goodman’s character in Raising Arizona holding his cigarette like a New Yorker movie critic.

  17. I’m a big Coen Bros. fan, mainly because Raising Arizona is one of my favorite movies of all time, along with Goodfellas.

    But yeah, it’s also pretty much the only Coen Bros. film that I liked right off the bat. Others took at least 2-3 viewings before I got them, but it’s happened often enough that I know it’s worth giving their work a few tries before judging. Intolerable Cruelty is a perfect example – everyone I know, including myself, thought it was dull and disappointing. By the third time you see it, it’s one of the funniest movies out out in years and you wish Hollywood would do more screwball comedies. Same goes for The Man Who Wasn’t There, The Big Lebowski, Miller’s Crossing, etc.

    Maybe the need to re-watch their movies is just a sign of how deeply they go into these by-gone cinematic idioms, that they don’t resonate at first with a contemporary audience, even those of us who are well disposed to them.

  18. Anon[156] • Disclaimer says:

    ISteve movie reviews are a gateway to the poz.
    Just opt out. You’ll cope.

    • Replies: @TheBoom
  19. Alfa158 says:
    @Joe H

    The first female governor (National Geo’s odd name for the chief) is a moonbat who is slightly to the left of Leon Trotsky.
    On the positive side, a collapse in sales will help prevent what they call the National Geographic Effect: the earth spinning off its axis due to the imbalance from the cumulative weight of people’s collections of back issues.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  20. Cortes says:

    The Coens may be tapping into the huge audience for bushcraft and outdoors/survival video channels. I mean, once you’ve got the campfire going in challenging conditions and gotten comfortable and fed, what’s more natural than sharing a bunch of stories or a song?

    Check out the number of views for Lonnie of “Far North Bushcraft and Survival” in this:

    Noteworthy, perhaps, is that when they combine their bushcraft stuff with camp cooking the viewing stats soar…

  21. @Bart

    He is loved in Uh-hi-uh. Went to fight in the desert instead of staying home arguing micro-legislation with the other congress-critters.
    Even Democrats vote for the guy.

  22. @Reg Cæsar

    I’ve been told the four seasons in Minnesota are Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Construction.

    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
    • Replies: @RVBlake
    , @Twinkie
    , @Forbes
  23. wren says:

    I’ll put in my usual plug for old Jarmusch anthology films like Night on Earth or Mystery Train.

  24. “Native Americans are increasingly out of fashion”

    Westworld and Godless. My impression was that they’re coming back into fashion, but then again my tastes verge towards the sort of shows they’d likely feature in.

    P.S Either the Nigerian government is going all CCP on me or the deplatformers are testing your hosts’ defences.

  25. Native Americans are increasingly out of fashion, however, perhaps due to fears that they are, underneath it all, Red State voters. So the cultural establishment is likely not to give the Coens too much grief over their unironic portrayal of old stereotypes of Plains Indians that were held by those who actually knew them.

    Pan and zoom on Marlon Brando shedding a single tear by the side of the road.

    Sometimes I’m uncertain whether I’ve actually witnessed certain changes in political fashion over my life or whether topics that were emphasized in my school years are just receding ever further into the rear-view mirror, and Native Americans are a big one. As an adult, even if you live in a Woketopia, you’re barely reminded that they even exist. Are public schools still big on them?

    • Replies: @bomag
    , @Buffalo Joe
    , @Anon
  26. Anon[211] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Ocasio-Cortez had a GoFundMe set up to pay for her Washington apartment, but it was reported and kicked off the GoFundMe website. She also staged a protest in front of Nancy Pelosi’s office. She can now kiss goodbye to her committee assignments.

    She is beginning to set a record for being the most socially gauche person ever to be sent to the House of Representatives. You just can’t take the peasant out of some people. She has a weird unsophisticated, third world streak in her personality that I last saw in Nasim Aghdam, the woman who shot up Youtube.

    • Replies: @JimB
    , @donut
    , @Art Deco
    , @ken
    , @Forbes
    , @WJ
  27. RVBlake says:
    @Rosamond Vincy

    In northern Wisconsin there are only two: Winter and the season of bad snowmobiling.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Alfa158
    , @Thea
  28. @Trevor H.

    But I read Steve so I know (((we))) control the universities, the news media, and the banks. Those have hardly escaped the “diversity and inclusion strictures”. Where, then, does that leave your theory about the (((Coen))) brothers?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @Wade
  29. TheBoom says:
    @Ramesh Kumar

    I wish I was born in 1950s and not in 1986.

    Like much else in life there are pluses and minuses to being born in the 50s rather than the 80s.

    Pluses:

    You got to come of age in a less politically correct, matriarchal age

    Kids were not helicopter managed every moment of their existence and got to be kids

    Much better music and movies

    College was cheap

    Women were not as crazy or fat

    Low vibrancy

    Minuses:

    Vietnam war draft

    You got to see the country turn from first world into a wouldbe third world Socialist paradise

    As women got crazier, understanding them was a moving target with little guidance to be found

    Only official channels of news. Hard to find a print version of iSteve or Unz.com in those days

  30. @Twinkie

    I didn’t like “Burn After Reading” the first time I saw it, but now I reference it all the time.

  31. TheBoom says:
    @Joe H

    National geographic is now helmed by a Jewish female and Jewish females have to SJW

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  32. regarding the popularity of rhetoric and fancy speech-making in the 1800s, yes, orators were like rock stars in the late 1800s…it was a form of entertainment to attend political rallies where great orators spoke…

    one theory about hitler is that he was born with deformed genitals, thus making him an outsider…thus, when he was a boy he pursued lonely boy activities…not the lonely boy activities of today or of recent decades (writing computer programming, learning to play guitar, piano etc), but instead he wandered alone in the austrian countryside pretending to be a great orator…because orators and oratorical skills were held in esteem in the late 1800s…

    and years later, after being discharged from army at the end of WW1, hitler (as a war hero (actually he was a brown noser who got a cush job)) was hired by the army to spy on leftist political organizations…he made some impromptu speeches at a meeting of a small leftist political party, and his oratorical skills were recognized by his army superiors…the army was at that time looking to subvert the burgeoning working class leftist parties springing up in germany at the end of WW1…so the army leadership had hitler take over leadership of the party and move it to the political right, thus furthering their goal of subverting grassroots leftism…and the rest is history…

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @bomag
    , @roo_ster
  33. @Clyde

    Pernell Roberts went off the rails and quit the show half way through.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  34. TheBoom says:
    @Anon

    ISteve movie reviews are a gateway to the poz.

    I see them as almost the opposite of that. While my natural inclination these days is to avoid all movies and TV, sometimes, like Chancey (the) Gardener, I like to watch. The problem becomes what is out there that isn’t pozzed. iSteve is a valuable guide. The only other options I know of are Hollywood in Toto and the occasional Nolte piece in Breitbart.

    I think there is a largely untapped market for movie and TV criticism that can help viewers find non pozzed entertainment. While viewing such work does put money into the anti white machine, it also supports non SJW subversive types like the Coens, Gibson, Vaughn and Eastwood. So, I can see the argument going either way.

    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @Anon
  35. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I might go real handle if it came with a BANAL button.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  36. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Going instantly “OT” is rude and selfish. It’s like arriving at a party and then breaking out into song or heading straight for the piano.

    • Replies: @dvorak
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @Pat Boyle
  37. Danindc says:
    @South Texas Guy

    The acting was amazing. Harrelson deserves a supporting actor Oscar. Brolin was really good. Tommy Lee Jones as well.

  38. Native Americans are increasingly out of fashion, however, perhaps due to fears that they are, underneath it all, Red State voters.

    Do they also vote in national elections? Yuck, yuck, yuck…

  39. @Danindc

    A friend had a small role in another Oscar nominated movie the year of No Country for Old Men, so he was rooting for that movie to be the best of the year. But about 20 minutes into watching NCfOM he realized that wasn’t going to happen.

  40. unit472 says:

    National Geographic as a TV content producer went off the diversity deep end in recent years with Morgan Freeman narrating everything that Neil DeGrasse Tyson didn’t host. Of course those Freeman, Tyson productions got horrible ratings so it was not surprising to see Nat Geo snag the Canadian reality TV show ‘Highway to Hell’ from the Weather Channel that features toxically masculine heavy lift tow truck drivers recovering wrecked big rigs on snow covered highways. This fits in quite nicely with their other popular reality shows Life Below Zero, Wicked Tuna and Alaska State Troopers.

    The other reality show channel, Discovery, has the same problem. Women and minorities just don’t do the kind of interesting, challenging and dangerous work that viewers enjoy seeing white men engaged in.

  41. slumber_j says:

    One of Buster Scruggs’ themes is that life in the Wild West tended to be lacking in entertainment, so people killed time by developing rhetorical skills beyond those seen today.

    This mirrors a pet theory of mine about people who went to boarding school back in the day–which I did not, just to be clear.

    Anyway, I got to thinking along the same lines in college after getting to know a lot of people who had had graduated from Andover, Groton, St. Paul’s etc. in the early ’80s: they just seemed a lot more dedicated to being verbally entertaining than most other people I’d known up until then. I figured it was because they and their peers had to fill the time with something…in addition to the drugs and alcohol, that is.

    • Replies: @Forbes
  42. bomag says:
    @syonredux

    That National Geographic piece was positively sick-making

    Yes. The usual posturing: “I’m shocked, shocked! that there has been human conflict in the world.”

    There’s also a kind of psychological projection here: National Geographic types very much make their living from a modern, urban landscape that requires the paving over of nature and previous rural ways of life; they don’t really want us to notice that they are cogs in an industrial machine, so better to point and shout at Columbus et al showing up with better machines to subjugate the natives. HE is the real bad guy, we’re just here to apply a boot to the face of those who are sympathetic to HIM.

    • Agree: Forbes
    • Replies: @Dan Smith
  43. dvorak says:
    @Anonymous

    The characters in their movies tend to be one-dimensional, grotesque caricatures of white gentiles.

    Or, extremely cutting, accurate characterizations of Asian-Americans. Blink and you’ll miss them in INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS and FARGO.

    • Replies: @Blodgie
    , @Seth Largo
    , @Twinkie
  44. dvorak says:
    @anonymous

    It’s like arriving at a party and then breaking out into song or heading straight for the piano.

    What, you don’t like the Great American Songbook??!

    • Replies: @Roderick Spode
  45. @Steve Sailer

    I’m a really big Coen brothers fan but spent most of NCfOM thinking, “Why the hell did he go back with that jug of water?”

    Miller’s Crossing is one of my all time favorites. Sorry we lost John Polito in 2016.

  46. Dan Smith says:
    @bomag

    The Smithsonian magazine is much the same these days. I bought a cheap one year subscription and quit reading it after the first month because of the universal PC, woke attitudes expressed. I didn’t renew and the mag is offering a cheapo senior rate but I’m not interested. Not even interested enough to write them a letter telling them why.

  47. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @propagandist hacker

    For better or worse, an orator at the level of, say, Huey Long or JFK would today have to dial it back to be politically viable. Bill Clinton seems to have sensed this, and he was succeeded by a verbal clod. Barack Obama was smooth and resonant, but platitudinous and a disaster without a script. Donald Trump’s tin ear doesn’t seem to have hurt his appeal to most Americans.

    People who can’t speak or write well tend not to think well, either, and are more easily manipulated. So don’t expect anything but further decline to the extent culture is entrusted to the Establishment.

    Boycott Hollywood.

    • Replies: @David Davenport
  48. bomag says:
    @WowJustWow

    Are public schools still big on them?

    Seems to be a niche thing. They’re allowed a couple of two minute hate sessions now and then; changing team mascot names was big for awhile, but maybe that was partly in service to getting them off the table.

  49. When satirizing and condescending white rednecks, what better way to do it than to pack as many of them into a western as you can?

    Also, I haven’t seen a John Wayne movie played on TV in years. Hmmmm…

  50. bjondo says:

    Buster has one non white:

    James Franco.

    And

    probably not be male.

  51. I’m a tell these two hymies name Coen
    The reason they movies be blowin’:
    They suffer from wackness
    Due to lackness of blackness.
    Brought to you by “The More You be Knowin’”.

  52. bomag says:
    @propagandist hacker

    … hitler…

    I’ve learned more about the guy in the last few years than in all years previous. Weird.

    as a war hero (actually he was a brown noser who got a cush job)

    He undertook some dangerous jobs as a courier in WWI. That’s a kind of heroism, but that he survived seemed to imbue him with a confidence and brashness that did not serve well later on.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  53. Clyde says:
    @South Texas Guy

    Pernell Roberts went off the rails and quit the show half way through.

    Wikipedia lists the reasons he quit his part, a part other actors would kill for. For the money if nothing else. The money had to be very good for being in a successful TV show that ran for 8 more years.

  54. eD says:

    Steve is normally an excellent movie reviewer, but this time reading the review I got a good sense of the racial makeup of the cast, but no idea what the movie was about, until I got to the end and found out that it seems the movie doesn’t have a plot. This is probably why very few comments in the thread so far even reference the movie.

  55. Mr. Anon says:
    @syonredux

    ““Manned?” I don’t understand why anyone is still using “manned.” How old is the NASA style guide that says not to use “manned?” It’s been around literally for years [since 2006, to be precise].”

    Anybody whose writing is informed by a NASA style guide will be a very poor writer.

  56. I no longer read NatGeo and I canceled Netflix. The amount of media I read or view gets smaller and smaller. I’m basically left with UNZ and a couple of other websites. I still watch every new Coen bros, Wes Anderson ( Isle of Dogs was my least favorite so far perhaps because it was his most PC) film, I also watch every new Woody Allen movie. Tom Waits has always been a favorite of mine so I hope he’s good in his role in this. Here is his take on the Palestinian situation.

  57. @The Anti-Gnostic

    Because he was tortured by the dying man saying “agua,agua” and because curiosity killed the cat.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  58. @The Anti-Gnostic

    I think I watched Miller’s Crossing 3 or 4 times before I twigged that Eddie Dane and Mink were a homo couple. Somebody says “Mink is Eddie Dane’s boy,” but, to me, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re queer, especially since Eddie Dane seemed far from faggy.

  59. notanon says:
    @Bart

    GOPe wanted to throw the house election so the Dems could block or impeach Trump.

    the next stage is they need to steal the senate (ongoing) and/or get some GOPe senators to vote to impeach (they already have one, Romney)

    Trump needs to find out and use what they’re blackmailing Romney over.

    • Replies: @tr
  60. @Bart

    Steve Stivers is a treasonous rat who wants to massively increase legal immigration.

    Stivers is a GOP politician whore who is a member of the GOP CHEAP LABOR FACTION.

    Steve Stivers must be removed from the Republican Party.

    Steve Stivers deliberately sabotaged the immigration reductionist patriot GOP US House candidates in the recent mid-term elections.

    From Tweet by Christina Wilkie:

    The NRCC chair leading the fight to hold GOP majorities wants more legal immigration.

    A Trump-backed plan would cut it in half.

    Trump wants to make immigration a central issue this fall.

    Stivers does not.

  61. notanon says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Yuri Bezmenov is quite popular on Youtube promoting somewhat convincingly the very same theory that Cultural Marxism is undermining the West that The New York Times is simultaneously condemning as historically farcical and hateful.

    sounds like they’re trying to deflect the blame for cultural Marxism from 1930s Frankfurt school immigrants to the evil rooshkies.

  62. About this part, with your use of the terms “frontiersmen”, “settlers”, and “pioneers”:

    … America was then visualized as a Nation of Frontiersmen and Settlers.

    The 1960s space program, for instance, employed this self-image of Americans as pioneers. Nowadays …

    Hey, for the life of me, I can’t remember right now if I wrote a post on this already, but I will if I haven’t: You used the word “cowboy” only once in your review, but as far as the other terms of self-image, I agree with you that these words have been memory-holed, and in the case of “cowboys”, denigrated.

    You probably remember, Steve, when cowboys were men who could be looked up to, as honest, hard-working, and maybe a little bit wild when necessary (or not necessary). Since the time of Ronald Reagan, when the Euros constantly tried to insult him as “that cowboy”, I’d always thought, “hey, what’s wrong with that. That’s a good thing. Any cowboy beats Jimmy Carter!”, etc. Somehow, the Europeans thought of that term as an insult, while Americans didn’t at that time….

    … not until the media pushed and pushed, as usual. I had a job in which the term “cowboy” was used as a noun and a verb to belittle a method of getting things done. (It is now supposed to mean action without any thinking, or thinking outside the box at the times when you’re NOT supposed to, of course.) “Don’t cowboy it – use the procedures, dammit!”

    #SAD

  63. @syonredux

    “The 1960s space program, for instance, employed this self-image of Americans as pioneers. ”

    “These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    “The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the earth has now been explored and men now turn to the exploration of outer space as their next objective.”

    1958 “Introduction to Space” White House pamphlet

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_no_man_has_gone_before

    There was Twilight Zone episode “A Hundred Yards Over the Rim” starring Cliff Robertson as a pioneer through time with a rifle that talks about how HIS people created modernity i.e. 2oth century America. Back during the time when people were proud of the nation. When Von Braun’s dream of USA on the moon was inspiring.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  64. Clyde says:
    @South Texas Guy

    ‘Dirty Harry’ is a great character, but not a great movie. Highly watchable, yes, but not great, along with ‘Death Wish’ and other movies of the ilk.

    I was a squish liberal when it came out and still I liked tremendously, plus seeing the bad guy get it at the end. One of the scummiest bad guys on celluloid, ever.

    “No Country For Old Men” stunk. Depressing, dumb and pointless. “Dirty Harry”…not depressing and pointless. Tightly directed, not a minute wasted. Amusing how credible tough guy Josh Brolin is a lib in real life who pulled the lever for Hillary. Is that squish or what?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  65. You know I don’t give a damn about the movie business in general, Steve, but you mentioned that McDermott lady that the Coen brothers are going out with, or married to, whatever. Now, granted I just know her from Fargo when she was wearing some kind of thick parka for N. Dakota weather, and I hate to be a George Costanza about this, but they could have done a lot better than that!

    Or are they separate in their romantic lives? Haha, just goofing here. I will say, that this is one movie I am looking forward to seeing. I saw First Man (thanks to Steve, Mr. Mohawk, and Mr. Derbyshire for the reviews), and this may be the 3rd movie I go see in this decade. I assume it will come to the theaters, right?

  66. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @eD

    It also can sometimes get a little stale around a racebait shop.

    Some of the prolific commenters here are obsessed. When I recently complained about an out-of-the-gate “OT” comment, someone retorted that this is “an HBD blog.”

    Mr. Sailer is blessed with a keen mind and broad curiosity, but unfortunately typecast. He needs to whim more of the low quality comments if the threads here aren’t to take the same path as those at Taki’s and ZeroHedge.

  67. To ensure that humanity’s future off-world is less harmful and open to all, many of the people involved are revising the problematic ways in which space exploration is framed. Numerous conversations are taking place about the importance of using inclusive language, with scholars focusing on decolonizing humanity’s next journeys into space, as well as science in general.

    [Steve's excerpt from GNAT-GEO]

    OK, people, do you understand now why my website is entitled Peak Stupidity? Any questions? No, I have a comment then:

    You can have all the conversations you want, SJWs, but that’s not gonna build you a spacecraft that can make it off the fucking ground!

    • Replies: @Clyde
  68. Anon[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @RVBlake

    Lake Trout is a great swimming lake in the summer.

  69. notanon says:

    the cleverness is the thing with their movies imo – a lot of the time i don’t really get their movies the first time but the cleverness (relative to the lack of it in most movies) tends to make me watch them 2-3 times out of lack of choice and by then i really like them – usually cos the more subtle aspects of one or more of the characters jumps out at me more after repeated viewing.

    for instance i didn’t like no country for old men at all on first viewing (i dislike watching psychos) but on repeated viewing the sheriff jumped out as the main character and now i think it’s great.

  70. Lot says:

    Hopper’s Chop Suey sells for $92 million, record for an American realist.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-14/hopper-s-chop-suey-sets-artist-auction-record-at-91-9-million

    Here’s the prior record holder, The Gross Clinic

  71. @Lot

    Did you enjoy juxtaposing “chop suey” and dissection?

  72. @dvorak

    Make the American Songbook Great Again

  73. Instead of America being a Nation of Immigrants, as we’ve been indoctrinated in recent decades, America was then visualized as a Nation of Frontiersmen and Settlers.

    From Samuel Huntington’s Who Are We? – The Challenges to America’s National Identity (Simon & Schuster, 2004):

    In its origins America was not a nation of immigrants, it was a society, or societies, of settlers who came to the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its origins as an Anglo-Protestant settler society have, more than anything else, profoundly and lastingly shaped American culture, institutions, historical development, and identity.

    Settlers and immigrants differ fundamentally. Settlers leave an existing society, usually in a group, in order to create a new community, a city on a hill, in a new and often distant territory. They are imbued with a sense of collective purpose. Implicitly or explicitly they subscribe to a compact or charter that defines the basis of the community they create and their collective relation to their mother country. Immigrants, in contrast, do not create a new society. They move from one society to a different society. Migration is usually a personal process, involving individuals and families, who individually define their relation to their old and new countries. The 17th and 18th century settlers came to America because it was a tabula rasa. Apart from Indian tribes, which could be killed off or pushed westward, no society was there; and they came in order to create societies that embodied and would reinforce the culture and values they brought with them from their origin country.

    Immigrants came later because they wanted to become part of the society the settlers had created. Unlike settlers, they experienced “culture shock” as they and their offspring attempted to absorb a culture often much at odds with that which they brought with them. Before immigrants could come to American, settlers had to found America.

  74. Danindc says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Because he had an attack of conscience about the poor bastard dying a tortured death in the desert. I thought it was very clear.

  75. carol says:
    @Ramesh Kumar

    I dunno. “The world’s gonna blow up any day now” ethos wasn’t really worth it.

  76. @The Anti-Gnostic

    I’ve seen most of the Coen movies–”The Big Lebowski” is a hoot–but I wonder how many people understand where they are coming from i.e. does the average moviegoer actually “get it”? I suspect not too many, which is why the Coens are an acquired taste.

  77. Alfa158 says:
    @RVBlake

    The version I know was from Alaska; Winter and hard sledding.
    Actually all exaggerations. I now live in SoCal but once lived in Michigan and Canada. Viewed empirically, even in winter the majority of days the sun is out, and there is no significant amount of snow on the ground. I shake my head over the way people in the North and East are always whining about how cruel the weather is. You ever hear me complaining about the weather? Do you hear me banging on about how crowded it is here, and how astronomical the cost of living is? No sir, no sir you don’t!

  78. @syonredux

    What do you expect with that title. Everyone knows that nationalism is the root of all evil. Should they rename it Patriotic Geographic or maybe Global Earth Science?

  79. @TheBoom

    As women got crazier, understanding them was a moving target with little guidance to be found

    Are you applying Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle here?

  80. Coen Brothers rule. I’ve seen at least half their movies and need to find time to see the rest.
    That said, I found Frances’ rant to be puzzling. Was it some kind of deadpan joke or satire?
    Or was she channeling the open-borders Zionists who exempt their own homeland from the globalist diktat?

  81. Killing time

    The second entendre there is full of interest. The temporal chauvinism of the cultural powers that be demands the death by retconning of the past aided and abetted by this sort of magical realism.

    Their disregard for the future is expressed by their birth rates and those they wish on the rest of us. It’s all about the eternal now.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  82. @anonymous

    Going instantly “OT” is rude and selfish. It’s like arriving at a party and then breaking out into song or heading straight for the piano.

    Whereas shouting out opinion from a crowd in which one can’t be identified individually is the height of good manners. Which is essentially what posting as “Anonymous” is.

    • Agree: donut
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  83. Alfa158 says:
    @TheBoom

    Adding to the negatives;

    Air quality in urban areas was horrendous. I remember one sunny morning commuting by bus to USC in downtown LA. I was sitting on the bench waiting for the next bus connection and in 10 minutes looking up Vermont Avenue I saw the visibility drop from about 5 blocks to less than 2 as photochemical smog turned the air into a spicy brown soup.

    Old cars looked really neat with the styling not polished off by safety regs and wind tunnels, but objectively they were pieces of crap by modern standards: slow, death traps, thirst and filthy. Young people never experienced the fine bouquet of unburned gasoline when sitting in traffic. The muscle cars weren’t even that fast. I have car magazines from that era and comparing road test results, my six cylinder German car weighs as much as a 440 Charger, but will edge it in the quarter mile, then disappear over the horizon on top speed, out handle it, and out brake it while using 40% as much fuel, coddling me in luxury and emitting 2% the pollutants.

    And Yeah, Black people really were treated badly.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anon
    , @donut
  84. @Lot

    For ninety mil, you’d at least expect to see some food in their bowls.

  85. @Alfa158

    Young people never experienced the fine bouquet of unburned gasoline when sitting in traffic

    In some cities, the bus fumes had a nice, sweet aroma. Miami’s, for sure, and I think Detroit’s, too.

    We were more sensitive to the olfactory ambience because no one in our family smoked, in the car or anywhere else.

    • Replies: @oldfarmerbrown
  86. @International Jew

    To certain extent those who control the institutions (Jewish and otherwise) have decided when those strictures apply (to us) and when they don’t (to them).

    It’s unclear whether they’re losing control of/rethinking that arrangement.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
  87. Thea says:
    @RVBlake

    In Florida, we also had only two seasons: hurricane season and tourist season.

  88. Anon[536] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfa158

    No, they weren’t, not in Cal anyway.

  89. istevefan says:

    Steve, are you going to do an election analysis based upon demographics like you usually do? From some of the preliminary results, it appears the openly, anti-white party actually picked up about 4 percentage points more of the white vote over the previous election cycle.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    , @Whiskey
  90. JimB says:

    Frances McDormand sure seems to have gotten a lot of professional mileage out of her marriage to Joel Cohen given that she is basically a much less attractive second coming of 50s actress Patricia Crowley.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  91. Anon[277] • Disclaimer says:

    “But mostly the moviegoing public preceded the fiction-reading public in turning against short stories. In recent years, the trend has been to drag out stories over longer and longer lengths.”

    Henry James and I prefer “the dear, the blessed nouvelle”, the novella or long short story. Same with movies, give me 90 tight minutes and let me get back out again.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  92. JimB says:
    @Anon

    Occasio-Cortez (Occasional Cortex) is just a really low IQ dummy. From her photos, it appears she may even be a pinhead. I have a hard time believing she is some do-it-yourself political candidate. Somebody is funding this joke, probably just to knock off Joe Crowley, who would probably have become the next Dem Speaker.

    • Replies: @JimB
  93. Anon[277] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    “it’s the issue of our time when they need it and a laughable delusion when they don’t. ”

    Who/whom

  94. Blodgie says:
    @dvorak

    “You’re such a super lady!”

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  95. @Steve Sailer

    My experience with Coen brothers’ films like “The Big Lebowski” or “Burn After Reading” is that I concentrate on the plot on first viewing, so the humor gets by me largely unnoticed. It’d only after having been familiarized with the storyline that I can fully appreciate the absurdity of the characters and dialog.

    • Agree: Dtbb
  96. OT – any comment on this story – that US 501c3 tax-exempt organization Advocates Abroad (Federal Tax Identification Number 81-4496018) is coaching economic migrants in how to con immigration authorities that they’re oppressed and need asylum? We all knew they did that, but now the evidence is there.

    Anyone know where their funds come from? Pretty sure they’re not from t-shirt sales and there’s no website details – do they have to file accounts?

    https://www.rt.com/news/443812-migrants-acting-ngo-exposed/

    “On its website, Advocates Abroad claims to have helped as many as 15,000 migrants cross the Greek border, and 2,500 more outside of Greece. The organization is massive, taking volunteers from major universities, and was even featured in a documentary film by the International Bar Association.

    In the footage, Ariel Ricker describes how the organization provides training sessions for migrants seeking entry into Europe, in which they are taught how to act during interviews with border agents:

    I tell them this is acting, all of this is acting… for them to get through, they must act their part in the theater.

    She also calls EASO (European Asylum Support Office) personnel tasked with screening the migrants “f***ing stupid,” and describes a formula that the organization has created to exploit them in screening interviews.

    One method she teaches migrants is to exploit the presumed Christian sympathies of the predominantly Eastern Orthodox Greece by pretending to have been persecuted for being Christian. She even describes telling them how to pray during interviews, ironically because doing so reflects “honesty.””

    I also see that “migrants” are shinning over Trump’s non-wall near San Diego.

  97. Pat Boyle says:
    @anonymous

    Nonsense. I’ve had a piano as long as I can remember. I bought it used and in terrible shape. I refinished it myself and it was beautiful. I still have it.

    But I can’t play the piano. Nor could my wife. So when we had a party the guy who came and could play was instantly welcome. If he were reluctant he would dragged over and sat in front of the keys.

  98. Pat Boyle says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I imagine that everyone in your neck of the woods has acted in a movie or two.

  99. Pat Boyle says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Brad Pitt can play comedy!

    That means he’s one of the few real movie stars who is also a real actor. Have you ever seen Al Pacino try to do comedy – painful. Off the top of my head, the only other current Hollywood leading man who has any drama-comedy range is Kevin Klein.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @Autochthon
  100. Pat Boyle says:
    @istevefan

    Yes to that. We need more original analysis from you.

  101. J1234 says:
    @Ramesh Kumar

    I wish I was born in 1950s and not in 1986.
    What a time to be alive.

    It’s a good idea you have, but the truth is more complicated. There was a bad side to being born in the 1950′s, the most negative being that you had a front row seat in watching the decline of an amazing society. Sort of like being alive in Italy in the fourth and fifth centuries, only far more sudden and dramatic.

    The greatness of post-war America era could only be transitional because (along with many other factors) there seems to be an inverse relationship between cultural health and popular affluence in the industrial age. As affluence increases and technology advances among the general population, the perceived need for a cohesive culture (and the inherent personal limitations that go with it) declines. Most Americans of the 1950′s and early 60′s hadn’t had enough time to become decadent in any meaningful way. When a critical mass finally did, the opportunistic left was waiting for them, taking them (and the rest of us) in the direction and to the place that we are today.

    The destructive landmark court decisions that destroyed cities and led hundreds of millions of citizens to distrust the wisdom of their government often came from justices who were appointed by conservative administrations. Even the wisest among us weren’t immune from the allure of social engineering that’s contrary to culture. They weren’t necessarily influenced (at least overtly) by the left, but certainly numbed to reality by affluence.

    Too much food, and you become obese. Too much sugar and you become a diabetic. Too much red wine and you become a wino. Too much affluence and you become…. Some people can handle it. Most people can’t.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  102. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bart

    You know who hasn’t gotten enough blame for the GOP’s loss?

    The problem with white cons is they punch down but not up. Coulter and the like will talk about demographics and numbers. The Mexicans and Immigrant-invaders. They will punch down on the brown hordes and Muslims. But even they, despite being edgier than Con Inc., will not punch up to the Jewish Power that has most politicians and pundits in their pockets. This is like fighting the puppet but not the puppet-master. It’s like fighting the invasive horde while ignoring the fifth columnist elite behind your back who opened the gates.

    In contrast, Jewish Power punches down on whites relentlessly and calls them ‘white supremacists’, ‘nazis’, and ‘far right’ all the time. In return, white conservatives say ‘we love Jews’ and ‘we love Israel’.

    In boxing, you won’t win just by punching the opponent’s body. You have to go for the head. When Coulter and the like just go on and on about Mexicans and brown hordes, they are just aiming for the body. They are not hitting the head, Jewish Power. In contrast, Jewish power have already KO’ed the white mind.

    Now, I know it requires a huge paradigm shift in politics and media to discuss the JQ but it has to be done.

    Also, with Texas poised to go Demmy in few yrs, the only real option is to End the GOP, have everyone join the Dems, and ally with whomever and whatever against Jewish Power. Samson Option Revenge is the only way.

    After 2 yrs of Trump, we know how worthless the new nationalism is. Now, maybe Trump really did try. But he is surrounded by Deep State and media that are too powerful. And Jewish Power and their lackeys control the courts whose decrees nullify white interests.

    California tried to stem the mass brown tide, but the courts nixed it.

    • Troll: IHTG
  103. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clifford Brown

    What white people should do is be ‘cultural Marxist’ against Jewish Power. BDS all the way. Deconstruct Jewish Power and Privilege with critical theory. Two can play that game.

    ‘Cultural Marxism’ need not be ONLY anti-white. Whites can use it in their own way to deconstruct and discredit their enemies.

  104. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe H

    Does anyone pay attention to Nat Geo anymore? It seems most mags were less PC when they were more mainstream. But with the bulk of news audience moving to internet and etc, it seems most mags have no value except as PC rags.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  105. Whiskey says: • Website
    @istevefan

    Those White voters are women. Chucky Schemer is not stupid. He knows anti White stuff goes over with White women like crazy. Because it’s aimed at their mortal enemy. Beta White males.

  106. TWS says:

    Indian reservations are some of the bluest places on earth. Red man doesn’t mean their politics.

  107. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Isn’t ‘inclusive’ an imperialist idea? After all, the story of the American Frontier was about whites forcing Indians to ‘include’ white settlers. And Iraq Invasion was about the US forcing Iraq to ‘include’ American Military. And Palestinians were forced to ‘include’ Jewish settlers. Guess what the result was?

    The reason why MARTIAN CHRONICLES took inspiration from American Frontier and the Indians(wiped out by diseases) was because exploration and colonization are inherently imperialist… even when the intentions are noble. Now, there is no life in the Solar System, so I suppose we can do as we please. But if life did exist on other planets, even our best intentions would lead to eradication of many lifeforms on those planets due to any number of reason: Human colonization, disease, markets and profits, and etc. And if there is intelligent life on other planets, I can see Christians trying to convert them to Christ and Homomaniacs passing out the fruit flag. Or maybe the aliens have their own universal religion and will try to convert humanity to one of their christ-like tales.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  108. Native Americans are increasingly out of fashion, however, perhaps due to fears that they are, underneath it all, Red State voters.

    They come back into fashion every year around Columbus Day.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  109. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clyde

    BONANZA wasn’t much good. Also, its color looked awful.

    Best TV western was RIFLEMAN.

    Anyway, it’s been said the TV Western did much to destroy the movie Western. It made the West look small on the telly. Also, the sense of adventure was lost because it was on week after week after week. Prior to TV westerns, watching a Western on the big screen felt like joining an adventure. But with cowboys on TV, you could just be a lazy couchpotato. It was no fun.

    Though I hate Sopranos, I think the gangster tale can work in TV series format. Stories of corruption can just go on and on and on. But Western demands the eventual clash between good and bad, and that means a sense of finality. With TV westerns, this is impossible as the same guys go after new varmints week after week. Heroism becomes mundane.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  110. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @South Texas Guy

    ‘Dirty Harry’ is a great character, but not a great movie.

    It is a great movie of its kind. Don Siegel was one hell of a director. He did other interesting works with Eastwood too: COOGAN’S BLUFF, THE BEGUILED, and ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ.

    Of them, DH is the best with a new kind of style. It is comparable to GET CARTER. DEATH WISH was bunched with DH because of theme of crime and justice, but it is bad movie-making.
    DH and Friedkin’s THE FRENCH CONNECTION introduced new styles.

    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
  111. @Anonymous

    The characters in their movies tend to be one-dimensional, grotesque caricatures of white gentiles. But the high IQ, highly verbal Coens write them long winded dialogues and give them large vocabularies and make them very articulate. It’s quite incongruous.

    And this differs from William Shakespeare in that…

    Really, they should branch out and do the old, weird England:

    The Tiny English Village (Population: 41) That’s Twinned With Paris

    The New York Heating Oil Club

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  112. @anonymous

    I might go real handle if it came with a BANAL button.

    Is the proliferous Anonymous family which posts here the result of banal sex?

    I thought we gave the Banal Zone back to Banama. John McBain should’ve gone along.

    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
  113. @Alfa158

    When I lived in Buffalo for a few years, the seasons were Winter and July, also known as Winter and Bee Stings.

    They don’t complain about it upstate because they’re prepared. The plows are out the very same day. In NYC, there was a blizzard where they lashed plows to garbage trucks to make up for the limited equipment. In Knoxville, Tennessee, where a friend of mine lives, the entire town closed down.

  114. @syonredux

    Yep. That’s why I never learned about people like Powhatan and Squanto in grade school…

    If you squant, you can just see them in the distance.

    We’ll have Powhatan, the Bronx and Staten Island too…

  115. donut says:
    @Anon

    I think it’s great that she was elected it will be amusing to watch her antics . I just hope the media gives her plenty of rope .

  116. donut says:
    @Steve Sailer

    George Clooney is quite good at comedy as well when he does it .

  117. @Reg Cæsar

    In Chicago because of WW2 bus diesel fuel was supplemented with waste fat and grease from the Chicago Stockyards meat packers. The result was the most mouth watering exhaust fumes EVER! I spent much time at bus stops breathing in the heavenly vapors. The resulting brain damage explains why I spend so much time enjoying iSteve.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  118. @The Anti-Gnostic

    He was doing a good deed. Why do any of us do good deeds, especially when it might cost us personally?

    Given the movie’s source material, the whole thing has to be viewed as a parable or fable, where every character and every action stands in for some larger metaphysical or moral reality.

    If you want that kind of storytelling amped up to 11, check out The Counselor. I liked it but it was horribly, horribly miscast. Steve’s point about finding characters who can do stylized dialogue applies doubly to this one.

  119. donut says:
    @Alfa158

    You can often see the grey brown cloud of pollution from an urban area over the horizon as you approach land from out at sea . When I first went to the Med in the Navy in the early 70′s you could see Mt. Vesuvius against the blue sky from anchorage at Naples . Ten years later I could barely make out the silhouette from the same anchorage .

  120. @Rosamond Vincy

    I lived in Houston for 7 years. The one time it snowed I came across a dump truck that had two black guys standing in the bed shoveling sand out onto the road. I wish I’d had a camera.

  121. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Shakespeare wrote stage plays and lacked the visual technology of modern filmmaking. Shakespeare also had gentile heroes in his plays. There are no gentile heroes in Coen Brothers’ movies. There are white gentile American protaganists, who are portrayed as comic or tragic grotesques. They are similar to Sacha Baron Cohen in that respect. Baron Cohen of course is much more crude and less subtle and sophisticated about it, and his characters are a more diverse set of gentiles, while the Coens generally stick to white Americans and Americana. Baron Cohen and the Coens are quite brilliant, enough so that most of their audiences don’t realize that they’re being mocked and satirized.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  122. @Pat Boyle

    George Clooney is quite funny in “Burn After Reading” and “Hail, Caesar.” That surprised me.

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
  123. Jack D says:
    @Clyde

    Lorne Greene was a Jew from the immigrant ghetto of Montreal (think Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz). His was the 1st cousin of my aunt thru marriage (once he went Hollywood he had would have nothing to do with her). His real name was Chaim Green and his father was a shoemaker from the shtetl. Truth is stranger than fiction.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  124. Jack D says:
    @Rosamond Vincy

    In NYC, there was a blizzard where they lashed plows to garbage trucks to make up for the limited equipment.

    In NYC, as in many places, they put plows on the garbage trucks because the city already has the trucks and the personnel to drive them and it makes perfect sense to use them that way for every snow storm.

  125. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous

    The characters in their movies tend to be one-dimensional, grotesque caricatures of white gentiles.

    Their Jewish characters also tend to be rather off-putting…….Cf the Jewish commie screenwriters in Hail, Caesar!, the repellent Jewish studio boss in Barton Fink, the duplicitous Jewish criminal in Miller’s Crossing, the obnoxious suburban Jews in A Serious Man, ….

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  126. Lorne Greene wanted to surrender New Orleans to the British Empire.

    Chuck Heston said: NO SURRENDER!

  127. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I didn’t like “Burn After Reading” the first time I saw it, but now I reference it all the time.

    Every scene with JK Simmons and David Rasche is pure comedy gold:

    • Agree: donut
    • Replies: @donut
    , @Autochthon
  128. Art Deco says:
    @Anon

    You just can’t take the peasant out of some people.

    She’s an architect’s daughter from the Westchester exurbs. Her bad manners are thoroughly contemporary.

    • Agree: Twinkie
  129. KunioKun says:

    I have unwittingly trained myself into noticing all the places where I suspect the filmmaker is spitting in my face so it is very tough for me to enjoy Coen Bros movies anymore. I started doing this a few years ago when we were going through a bunch of 80′s “family” movies, and I realized how filthy they were. It was during the Goonies. I thought it would be great to edit out all the parts of the movie where the kids are not swearing. I am really hoping the new Grinch movie isn’t full of trash.

  130. syonredux says:
    @Lot

    Eakins was a master, and The Gross Clinic has my vote for his greatest painting.

    In terms of Hopper, I’m not that fond of Chop Suey. There several paintings that I would place above it:

  131. Art Deco says:
    @syonredux

    the obnoxious suburban Jews in A Serious Man, ….

    The protagonist’s wife and daughter were portrayed as obnoxious. The wife’s paramour is a repellent cloying fraud (and rather out of place in time) who gets killed off in the course of the film. The protagonist’s brother isn’t obnoxious; he’s hopeless. The rabbis aren’t obnoxious; they’re frustrating and evasive. (A rabbi who reviewed the film offered that these scenes were contrived; ordinary rabbis have ready non-evasive responses to the questions the protagonist was posing). There aren’t any gentiles in the film bar the protagonist’s neighbors (who are portrayed as cold and menacing) and a father-son pair of Koreans (who are portrayed as utterly amoral).

    • Replies: @syonredux
  132. syonredux says:
    @Clyde

    Never really cared for Bonanza. For TV Westerns, I favor Have Gun-Will Travel:

    The Virginian/Men From Shiloh was also pretty good:

    Maverick was very entertaining:

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  133. ” … the Coen brothers, who seem intent on continuing to do as they please.”

    And I am very appreciative that they have the funding to do so. The benefit to writing a Western these days is that you can really have fun with the dialog. The HBO series Deadwood is the prime example here, but also S.Craig Zahler’s grim Bone Tomahawk (2015) is worth checking out.

  134. Trevor H. says:
    @Desiderius

    those who control the institutions (Jewish and otherwise) have decided when those strictures apply (to us) and when they don’t (to them).

    Exactly. It’s likely a willful misunderstanding to claim that the Privileged Class is necessarily prey to the same structures they apply to the rest of us.

    For they enjoy the ability to decide when, where, and how much; not to mention who/whom.

  135. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Maybe the Coens used Sam Elliot to point out The Big Lewbowski was going to be about badasses?

    BIG LEBOWSKI is clearly not a Western(or even a neo-Western), but there is a Western buried in there somewhere. A something that wants to be a Western. California used to be the Wild West not that long ago. It was the land of explorers, gold rushers, and cowboys. And even though Jews now push the Immigration-Narrative against Settler-Narrative, the distinctions used to be murkier in the late 19th century and even 20th century. I think a lot of Jewish moguls who produced Westerns actually identified with the cowboys. After all, Jewish merchants joined the whites in the Westward expansion. And Hollywood was the creation of pioneer-immigrants. And when Emma Lazarus wrote her famous poem, there were still Indian territories in the US and ongoing tribal wars. HEAVEN’S GATE is interesting in that the ethnic immigrants, though at odds with Anglo-pioneers, are also moving westward and settling the territories that had belonged to Indians not long ago. Indeed, many immigrants went to America with dreams of freedom and land. And some got land to settle and work on… like in Jan Troell’s THE EMIGRANTS and THE NEW LAND. It’s hard to define the characters as ‘settlers’ or ‘immigrants’. They are both. When many immigrants were arriving in the late 19th and early 20th century, there was still much to build and settle. (One of the problems of the Immigration Narrative is that it presupposes that ‘poor, huddled, wretched’ losers from the Old World came to the New World and made something of themselves. Therefore, we are to believe that ANY bunch of losers from any part of the world can come to the US and gain the same kind of success. But in fact, most immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century came from the MOST DEVELOPED part of the world. Europe was economically on par with the US and ahead in many ways. Even though Eastern/Southern Europe was behind, they were still many times more advanced than the non-West. Also, 20th century showed that Europeans in Europe achieved just as much as European-American in America. Swedes in Sweden and Swedish-Americans are equally well off. So, are Germans in Germany and German-Americans in the US. And if not for communism, much of Eastern Europe would have achieved Western standards of living. It’s true that many immigrants did arrive poor, but there were lots of similarly poor people in America. The ONLY real difference between remaining in Europe and coming to America was that the latter offered the promise of land. In EMIGRANTS, the guy leaves Sweden because the land is scarce and rocky. And in the US, he doesn’t find riches but work upon work. It’s toil from morning to night. But he comes to own a fair amount of good land, something not possible in the Old World. Anyway, most of immigration in the US up to early 20th century was not about total losers coming from backward nations and becoming greater winners in the US. These people came from what was then the most advanced part of the world, not least because the US was an extension of Europe. Furthermore, most of these people didn’t go from being poor to being rich. Most remained ‘poor’ in America in that their work was mostly drudgery in farms and factories. The only real difference was the vastness of the land and hope of owning some. So, the ‘proposition’ had nothing to do with it. It was the land.) Also, the West was both a dream of morality(more Plymouth Rocks) and fantasy of freedom. Western movies have both moralists who want to build churches and schools and towns safe for womenfolk and children AND lechers who love to gamble and chase after whores. So, the Western was a double fantasy: moral and nihilistic(and Leone picked up on the nihilism and distilled it into a style). There were plenty of Anglo lechers, but the overall Anglo theme was moralistic, not least due to Protestant ethos. There were plenty of Jewish moralists(often radical and anti-capitalist), but Jewish theme in the West was essentially nihilist: Hollywood and Las Vegas. Granted, Hollywood did try to be a ‘positive’ moral force, but this was largely in reaction to Protestant and Catholic pressures; Hollywood prior to Hays Code was a lot racier. Hollywood was about profits and entertainment, not art and expression(more the case in Europe). Though most Hollywood movies were ‘trash’, there were some good ones as well. Also, storytelling can range from lecherous to moral, so Hollywood could balance the ‘bad’ with the ‘good’. In contrast, Las Vegas was obviously much harder to moralize… but it was the ‘genius’ of Jews to have done just that. What seemed jokey in LOST IN AMERICA has borne fruit. Las Vegas became a family values place, a ‘Christmas place to be’. And Sheldon Adelson is the main Santy Claus to most GOP whores with their socks hanging by the chimney. It’s telling that in TWIN PEAKS 2, the main character is redeemed through some guy who hits it big at a casino.

    [MORE]

    BIG LEBOWSKI is a mix of noir and comedy. But it wouldn’t make sense if not for the Western genre and tradition. It’s like a displaced Western. Jeff Bridges looks like the long-haired gunman in WILD BILL. As a member of the Counterculture, he must know that the hippie-dom fed off myths of Indians(living in harmony with nature) and cowboys(romantic wanderers). EASY RIDER is like cowboy rebels on wheels. And the romance around the HELL’S ANGELS(actually a bunch of thugs and boors) owed to the outlaw myths of the West. In some ways, Lebowski is like a deracinated cowboy without guns. He is called the dude, something hippies and druggies often call each other. But ‘dude’ was part of the Western lexicon, as when Lee Marvin calls James Stewart a dude and then beats him up. The problem with Lebowski is he is a dude without a ranch. 100 yrs prior, he would likely have been a rancher or cowboy or something. He would have had something to do with his hands. In the Old West, one had to be busy working. Or one had to be busy stealing. One couldn’t just be a ‘bum’. But how does BL start? In a shopping mall with too much food. Surplus killed the cowboy. The pride of the pioneer was based on things to do. There was always something to do with the land, horses, cows, and hay. And men often built their own houses or cabins back in the day. But Lebowski only needs to go to a food mart and buy milk with his check. In fact, he doesn’t seem to do much of anything, but he’s well-fed and has a paunch. To be sure, his name ‘Lebowski’ complicates matters. He looks the cowboy type but why the Eastern European name, also shared by the ‘rich’ old crippled guy who acts like an Old School Wasp but must be something else… like a ‘Polack’. This suggests at more deracination as neither Lebowskis seem much connected to their Slavic Roots(except that the poor Lebowski has a thing for ‘white russians’); in contrast, for whatever reason, Michael Cimino decided to play up the ethnic element in THE DEER HUNTER and HEAVEN’S GATE. Even though the guys in DH seem all-American, Cimino shows us Slavic ritual and Russian-style choir music during the hunt, as if the Slavic soul is still alive in these men. In BIG LEBOWSKI, no one seems to have any real roots… or they have borrowed or stolen roots. The rich Lebowski acts like he’s some rock-rib country club Wasp Republican despite his Slavic name. And Walter plays at being Jewish, a guy as kooky and amusing as Luke Ford. Though actually a Catholic ‘Polack’, he considers himself a one-man IDF. So, I suppose Coens believe that people need some kind of roots, even if bogus or borrowed. Pure ‘nihilism’, having no roots, is the biggest danger. It’s like Walter says even Nazis had some ‘ethos’ whereas the German nihilists, that’s some soulless stuff. So, Sam Elliot provides some kind of ‘roots’ in a movie that borrows so much from the Western but isn’t one. And yet, he is a reminder that the New West does have roots, however hidden, in the Old West. It’s like the kid in SERIOUS MAN. He’s totally into American culture and pop culture and drugs and stuff, and his Jewish Ritual is much watered-down, but it’s still something that connects him to something old. The Old Rabbi looks out of place in Modern America but offers some reminder of deeper roots. The old cowboy serves a similar purpose in BIG LEBOWSKI. Like the rabbi in SERIOUS MAN, he is resigned to the fact that his world is gone, lost, and much forgotten. Still, he sees something of the cowboy spirit in Lebowski and gives some tips on how to keep it going. Because without roots, real or imagined, there is only the moment, the nihilism. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is about the rise of nihilism. Chigurh has no loyalties and will hunt down anyone. He plays all sides against all sides. It’s only the game and hunt that matter. Even the Nazis had a side to fight for. Chigurh will kill Mexicans, whites, anyone. NO COUNTRY ends with Tommy Lee Jones speaking of a dream of his father and the fire. And FARGO ends with the woman and her fat-rabbit-husband. They may be simple people and even shallow people, but they do have a sense of place in the community. In contrast, the kidnapper-killers are nihilists with dead souls. And yet, in some way, the nihilists may be closest to the way of the world. Maybe morality and civilization are all illusions, myths that we live by because we don’t want to stare into the abyss and realize we are just hungry animals. BIG LEBOWSKI also has a funeral, often featured in Westerns(usually followed by ‘we shall gather at the river’), but it’s a total botch job. But ashes in a coffee can, that is a worthy tribute to the Western where coffee is a staple along with bacon and beans. I also like how the movie uses the bowling alley as a kind of substitute for OK corral. These fellas don’t go for shoot-outs. They go for the fastest bowling hand. Meet Me at the Okay Alley.

    The want of roots, respect, and prestige does take some odd turns in BIG LEBOWSKI. The rich Lebowski puts on this act of respectability but is a phony married to a porn performer. Walter acts so patriotic, gungho, and manly but is a hapless clown. His Jewish wife left him, but he plays at being Jewish. Walter plots against the rich Lebowski but have something in common with him. Rich Lebowski makes a big deal of how he was wounded in the Korean War. Walter brings up Vietnam in every other conversation. And the movie begins with George H.W. Bush talking big about Iraq. All these talk of foreign ventures suggest at a displaced Western. Because the narrative of frontiers, fighting Indians, and etc. became so much a part of American Narrative, Americans continue to see the world in terms of cowboys and Indians. To Walter, Vietnam was US cowboys fighting the Viet Indians. The rich Lebowski probably feels the same way about the Korean War. And the Gulf War supposedly helped the US to overcome the Vietnam Syndrome, the Custer’s Last Stand in American foreign policy. Just like white men recouped after Custer’s defeat and beat the Indians, the Gulf War was supposed to herald the continuation of US conquest of the world, especially after the Evil Soviet Varmints had been defeated(or bought over).

    Walter and Lebowski(Bridges) are Western archetypes in a way. Walter is the guy who is gun-crazy to shoot it out with the bad guys. Lebowski is the lanky character(like Kris Kristofferson in PAT GARRETT AND BILL THE KID) who usually wants to take it easy and have a good time. And the rich Lebowski is like the community builder, the respected elder. But they are all playing an act, except for poor Lebowski who is true to himself at least in being a ‘bum’. Walter’s sought-after enemies simply aren’t there, so he has to make mountains out of molehills, like when he pulls out a gun at the bowling alley. You’d think it’s the OK Corral. It’s sort of like Neocons calling everyone ‘new hitler’ and everything a world war. Norman Podhoretz wrote a book called WWIV. (Yet, when the child molester ‘jesus’ comes along to taunt Walter and co, Walter is quiet as a lamb.) As for rich Lebowski, he’s just a leech and lecher. He just puts on this show of respectability. The rich Lebowski seems partly a satire on phony Republicans but also based on Jewish moguls of Hollywood, like the one in BARTON FINK.

    One of the freakiest characters in BL is the Julianne Moore character. The porn actress(Moore’s ‘mother in law’) is surely the counterpart of the Western whore. I guess whores don’t change much through history. They just spread their legs to whomever has the money. But the Moore character? In the Old West or Old America, she might have been a social reformer with strong Protestant work ethic. But just look at her. In deracinated America, she is busy-busy-busy with decadence and degeneracy.
    The problem with virtue is it grows cancerous when the object of its attention is gone. So much of American virtue and work ethic depended on hard physical labor. There was farm work, factory work, so many chores. Even going to the store to buy stuff required walking and carrying or pulling materials. It was tiring but it connected the mind with body. To feel virtuous in soul, one had to feel virtuous in body. Work hard and do stuff. And cowboys had to do lots of work. And womenfolk in the West had to wash things, milk the cow, shovel manure, and etc. So, at the end of the day, a person could feel that he or she did his/her share of work.
    And even among the educated and privileged, the prevailing ethos drove them to take things seriously. Also, as so many people were poor and lived harsh lives, the rich and educated had their hands full trying to reform society. And this busy-bodied effort to make a better world gave them meaning.
    But too much food, too much leisure, too much convenience, and too much mechanization took away the the means for people to feel virtuous of body. For many people, the only way to feel that their bodies have use is in the gym. As for those with virtuous minds, what happens when the problem is ‘too many poor people are fat’ than ‘too many poor people are starving’? In the past, a person with New England Protestant Work Ethic would have had to do lots of daily chores. Maybe such were dreary, but they still made the body feel useful. Milking cows, knitting socks, carrying water, washing clothes, and etc. But today’s virtuous-minded have excess energy because they don’t have to do daily chores that are done by machines. Also, despite problems of poverty, it’s not like people are starving in the US. And even in Mexico, obesity is a bigger problem than starvation. So, it’s hard to Save a World full of fatsos. And yet, the virtuous mind still craves for something to feel virtuous about. So, they turn to PC that churns endless mutations of micro-aggressions. Or the energies pursue something like ‘creativity’ that grows more decadent and degenerate by the day. And so, we have New America where Homo-Worship is the highest ethos of the nation. (I walk by churches with homo flags, and it strikes me as a form of vandalism. But people are blind to it because it’s institutionalized vandalism. In saner times, the idea of desecrating a church or temple with homo symbols would have been regarded as vandalism, pure and simple. But the mass media have spread the holy homo meme, and the powers-that-be promote it. So, homo vandalism of churches is seen as consecration).

    If there is a saving grace about poor Lebowski, he seems to have grown more honest with himself over the years. He’s accepted life as it is. He is no saint but then has no illusions about saving the world. It appears he used to be an anti-war idealist at one time in the 60s, but since then, he seems to have accepted his ‘bum-hood’. There was a category of movies that Pauline Kael called the ‘shaggy-man’ movies, and BL is one of the great ones, along with BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING and YOJIMBO. Satiric and cynical with a jaded view of the world but not without heart.

    In the end, it’s the characters who make a movie work, and the three guys in THE BIG LEBOWSKI share a chemistry that is as endearing as the one between the three guys in HIGH FIDELITY. The men who can’t or won’t grow up. And part of Western’s appeal was that it had lots of colorful characters. Even if one ignores all the big themes of THE SEARCHERS, it has some of the most colorful characters like Ward Bond’s preacher-gunman, Old Mose, the guy with the guitar who talks like a tard but sings beautifully, the Swedish guy who keeps on saying, “She was a school teacher, you know”, etc. The Spaghetti Westerns made the genre cool, but the Classic Western was special for being uncool and having room for all kinds of personalities. John Wayne was not a cool guy. He was one with his emotions and frustrations. And not everything was ironic. BIG LEBOWSKI is certainly ironic, but it is also a satire on irony, or poking fun at people who think they are so clever and above-it-all but who all end up lost in the maze they’ve spun for themselves. The scene when Lebowski asks the mexican-american cop about the ‘leads’ is so telling. He flatters himself as a cynic and a rebel, but he expect the System to actually follow up on the theft of some beat-up car.

  136. syonredux says:
    @Art Deco

    The protagonist’s brother isn’t obnoxious; he’s hopeless.

    That’s what makes him so obnoxious…..he’s the feckless, sleeping-on-his-brother’s-sofa guy….

    The rabbis aren’t obnoxious; they’re frustrating and evasive

    I’ll go along with that:

  137. Tex says:
    @Ramesh Kumar

    It’s pretty interesting to watch TV shows from the early-mid ’60s. There’s a didactic yet optimistic streak in stuff like Have Gun Will Travel and Star Trek that contrasts with the “socially conscious” stuff from the ’70s (Norman Lear’s output, for instance).

    I still enjoy it, while not taking the Boomer-era social subtext too seriously. One of the great joys of the internet era is finding vids of old TV shows on YouTube. I’ve grown quite fond of Rod Cameron’s TV work from the late ’50s. State Trooper & COronado 9 are lots of fun, without making a pretense of being socially uplifting.

  138. @Clyde

    Amusing how credible tough guy Josh Brolin is a lib in real life who pulled the lever for Hillary. Is that squish or what?

    C’mon, Man! Brolin’s a tough guy. He beat up Diane Lane while they were married!

  139. @Anon

    Same with movies, give me 90 tight minutes and let me get back out again.

    Agreed. Most movies today have 30 – 45 minutes of plot and are then padded out to 2+ hours with flashbacks, personal expositions, and CGI.

  140. @Jack D

    In NYC, as in many places, they put plows on the garbage trucks…

    Same thing here, because they have more garbage trucks than any other kind.

  141. donut says:
    @syonredux

    Rasche is also good in VEEP .

  142. @Futurethirdworlder

    Yeah, I know why he did it. I just didn’t really think a street-smart combat vet who’s just plucked a million dollars from a drug deal gone bad would go back out into the country to check on a guy who’s been shot in the gut. I’m kind of literal-minded though. Like somebody said, it’s Cormac McCarthy so it’s all metaphorical.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Jim Don Bob
  143. @Anon

    Jeez Steve, approving 3,000+ word movie reviews from Anon[425]?

    • Replies: @Lurker
    , @Clifford Brown
  144. Mr. Hack says:
    @syonredux

    With ‘Bonanza’ you always knew that the Cartwrights were the cowboys with the white hats on. Some of their antagonists were certainly evil black hatted curmudgeons though. In a sense they were the squeaky clean ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ brand for the Western motif, with a little Chinese cook filling in for Harriet (an early marker for PC stuff that was to follow). I’m surprised you didn’t mention ‘Gunsmoke’, that certainly captured the hearts and minds of millions of viewers?

    • Replies: @syonredux
  145. Anon[260] • Disclaimer says:

    F-A-G or Facebook-Amazon-Google buy up everything.

    https://www.wired.com/story/book-excerpt-curse-of-bigness/

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  146. syonredux says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    but also S.Craig Zahler’s grim Bone Tomahawk (2015) is worth checking out.

    Bone Tomahawk is one hell of a good Horror Western. Hard to believe that it got made in our SJW-ruled era:

    • Replies: @Seth Largo
  147. IHTG says:

    Zuckerberg and Sandberg – anti-Soros activists:

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  148. syonredux says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention ‘Gunsmoke’, that certainly captured the hearts and minds of millions of viewers?

    I like the early, gritty episodes….but the show just stayed on the air too long.

  149. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    There’s OT and then there’s Destination Void. A news story without its own thread, especially if largely-relevant or iStevey, is not really OT. Standing up to demand confrontation with straw man Nazis who are keeping their precious bodily fluids in a Mason jar lest less-than-white chicas obtain their Aryan acorns is truer to the pejorative meaning of off-topic, besides being self-explanatorily disruptive, and overlapping with years of reports and patterns of leftist activists disrupting online discussions.
    But people will still reply, just like Corvinus never wants for partners.

  150. jJay says:
    @Twinkie

    Brad Pitt was pitch perfect in “Burn Without Reading”. I am not much into movies acting so his role kinda stood out to me. He plays a happy-go-lucky jock who ends up in the middle of something he does not understand (actually none of the other movie characters do either). The facial and physical expression he puts on while in the closet during his last scene in the movie stuck with me. Billy Budd.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  151. @bomag

    It served him quite well for a time, and if he’d stopped at Danzig and the Sudetenland, maybe even with the Austrian plebiscite, he’d probably have retired as Chancellor in 1958 and Life Magazine would do a spread on his tastefully furnished chalet. But he didn’t because he was a megalomaniac, and if he wasn’t a megalomaniac he probably could never have become Chancellor.

    I don’t think any researcher has ever found anything suggesting Hitler didn’t actually earn his Iron Cross.

    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
    , @bomag
  152. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous

    There are no gentile heroes in Coen Brothers’ movies.

    There are also no Jewish heroes in their work. The Coens have a rather dark view of humanity, Jews included…..

  153. @syonredux

    Dark? Mehhh, maybe. Certainly cynical (like Billy Wilder).

  154. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Isn’t ‘inclusive’ an imperialist idea?

    Get WOKE, bigot. It’s only doubleplusungood when the European population is going up. When the European population is going down, it’s doubleplusgood:

    • Replies: @ken
  155. Cortes says:

    “The High Chaparral” was the best Western TV series.

    In the movies, the Italians showed how to do it…

  156. J.Ross says: • Website

    The two top headlines at Breitbart illustrate a long-observed iStevey idea, that all the “genderqueer two-spirit dragonkin” talk is a way to hide more boring white collar crime, or at least the gruesome contempt with which our nominal brightest and best regard their customer base. New York Governor Cuomo defends exempting Amazon’s new corporate office in his state from taxes and regulation because, after all, Jeff Bezos “shares our values.”
    (As a stereotypically-over-reliant thinker and non-New Yorker I would have bet that New York Value Number One is getting paid, but hey, it’s not like Cuomo just inherited his position. Wait, that sounds uncharitable. What I meant to say was that I am sure somebody was paid at some point.)

  157. syonredux says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Yeah, I know why he did it. I just didn’t really think a street-smart combat vet who’s just plucked a million dollars from a drug deal gone bad would go back out into the country to check on a guy who’s been shot in the gut. I’m kind of literal-minded though. Like somebody said, it’s Cormac McCarthy so it’s all metaphorical.

    As you said, it’s Cormac McCarthy’s world, a place where a simple act of compassion means death….

  158. @Alfa158

    Alfa, our library has a free magazine desk, you like it, you take it. Every now and then a collection of old, I mean real old, Nat Geo’s come in. I grab them all. Places I will never visit, primitive people being, well, primitive and ads for goods and services at unbelievable prices. No PC.

  159. Art Deco says:
    @syonredux

    The Coens have a rather dark view of humanity, Jews included…..

    No, they’re messing with you. The plot of A Serious Man is a series of cheats. (It’s also studded with anachronisms). It would be tolerable if the film were actually amusing. It isn’t.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  160. @WowJustWow

    Wow, I worked with dozens of NAs and except for some radicals in the 60s I never heard any say they wanted to return to the buckskin days. Indoor plumbing and central heat, what’s not to like.

  161. Aidan Kehoe says: • Website

    Yeah, I know why he did it. I just didn’t really think a street-smart combat vet who’s just plucked a million dollars from a drug deal gone bad would go back out into the country to check on a guy who’s been shot in the gut. I’m kind of literal-minded though. Like somebody said, it’s Cormac McCarthy so it’s all metaphorical.

    As a (mostly-)Gael recently living and working among Ulster-Scots (= Scotch-Irish, = the most archetypal American Americans), this is just how they are; despite the Welsh first name, Llewelyn was that temperament, I read the whole movie as exposition of Ulster-Scots dealing with Chigurh. They are mild versions of Germans, if they have a belief, they will likely implement it, and “don’t leave a man die from thirst” is the sort of thing they would do. I certainly don’t endorse everything Unz puts up, but this bit from a sociologist of a hundred years ago is useful:

    The outstanding trait of the Scotch-Irish was will. No other element was so masterful and contentious. In a petition directed against their immigration, the Quakers characterized them as a “pernicious and pugnacious people” who “absolutely want to control the province themselves.” The stubbornness of their character is probably responsible for the unexampled losses in the battles of our Civil War. They fought the Indian, fought the British with great unanimity in two wars, and were in the front rank in the conquest of the West. More than any other stock has this tough, gritty breed, so lacking in poetry and sensibility, molded our national character. If to-day a losing college crew rows so hard that they have to be lifted from their shell at the end of the boat-race, it is because the never-say-die Scotch-Irish fighters and pioneers have been the picturesque and glowing figures in the imagination of American youth.

    It’s a great movie, and has awakened an interest in visiting the US southwest for me. I’m in Belfast a bit, and I’m certainly less likely to come across KAT graffiti in rural Texas than there!

  162. syonredux says:
    @Art Deco

    The Coens have a rather dark view of humanity, Jews included…..

    No, they’re messing with you.

    No, they have a dark view of humanity.It runs through all of their original work. It’s rather telling that their most humanistic film was True Grit, an adaptation of another man’s novel…..

  163. @Anon

    CLIFF’S NOTES™
    on
    Your Post

  164. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Anyway, it’s been said the TV Western did much to destroy the movie Western. It made the West look small on the telly. Also, the sense of adventure was lost because it was on week after week after week. Prior to TV westerns, watching a Western on the big screen felt like joining an adventure. But with cowboys on TV, you could just be a lazy couchpotato. It was no fun.

    Though I hate Sopranos, I think the gangster tale can work in TV series format. Stories of corruption can just go on and on and on. But Western demands the eventual clash between good and bad, and that means a sense of finality. With TV westerns, this is impossible as the same guys go after new varmints week after week. Heroism becomes mundane.

    Dunno. I think that you can make an argument that the TV Westerns played a role in the overexposure of the Western genre in the ’50s and early ’60s (How many Western TV shows were on the air during that period?Dozens?)….but I’m not sure that the medium itself was detrimental…..Sure, the vistas were smaller…but that was compensated by the greater intimacy that TV affords….And the ongoing nature of a TV Western can reinforce the Romantic aspects of the genre….a timeless space where mythic characters never die….

    As for gangster TV shows…evil and corruption get boring….

  165. J.Ross says: • Website

    Gradually I began to hate us.
    There’s obscene language and some quibbles (what would Bakunin think of a “Marxist” anarchist?) in this screencapped post, but it’s worth a read.

    https://postimg.cc/k2j7FSpj

    tldr, my god, they’re right, losing some weight would probably be an objective medical benefit …

  166. Hunsdon says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    “O Brother Where Art Thou”

  167. @syonredux

    What’d you think of Brawl in Cell Block 99?

    I don’t know how Zahler made it through the studio gates, but hey, someone found a way to get Death Wish remade, too. The film industry has its covert conservatives.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Jim Don Bob
  168. @TheBoom

    Boom, I was born in ’46 so our childhood was super cool. Ride our bikes to where ever, build tree houses and camps, stay out until the street lights came on. BB guns, pocket knives, paper routes and shoe shine stands, always making pocket change.

  169. @TheBoom

    Boom, and that is how she introduced herself….”I am the first female and Jewish editor of Nat Geo.”

  170. @JimB

    Jim, good movies need good actresses, not models. Frances McDormand and Helen Mirren are two examples.

    • Replies: @hhsiii
  171. @Anonymous

    Coen Brothers movies are largely boring and self-indulgent, with the exception of Fargo and O Brother Where Art Thou.

    • Replies: @Anon
  172. @The Anti-Gnostic

    I read NCFOM and another Cormac McCarthy novel, and neither of them, like the movie, made much sense.

    • Replies: @Anon
  173. @Mike Zwick

    Mike, Akron, NY butts up against the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and the school district is about 10% NA, Their lacrosse team refused to play Lancaster, NY , because Lancaster’s mascot was the “Redskins.” The school district celebrates “Indigenous Peoples Day”, while we celebrate Columbus Day.

  174. syonredux says:

    The death-knell of the old, weird America….

    Dodge City, Kansas….the town where Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp once walked….

    As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 27,340 people, 8,777 households, and 6,241 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,893.6 people per square mile (731.1/km²). There were 9,378 housing units at an average density of 649.5 per square mile (250.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.5% White, 2.5% African American, 1.1% American Indian, 1.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 19.3% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 57.5% of the population.[9]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_City,_Kansas#2010_census

    • Replies: @Anon
  175. @Rosamond Vincy

    Rosamond, Wished I had met you when you lived in Buffalo.

  176. @Anonymous

    I reject the word “gentile”. It means “outsider” or “heathen”.

  177. @Alfa158

    I shake my head over the way people in the North and East are always whining about how cruel the weather is. You ever hear me complaining about the weather?

    I never heard that in snowy upstate New York. The weather is a feature, not a bug. It kept the riff-raff out.

    Boston and NYC are quite windy in the winter, and it’s probably transplants doing the complaining.

    • Agree: Peter Akuleyev
  178. Off Topic Steve but I’m watching on Amazon Prime, with a STARZ free 7 day look see.
    Reason being is that station is featuring the documentary “America To Me” about “The Gap” in education outcome at Oak Park River Forest high school, Illinois.

    You might want to check it out even if you are not a Bezos fan.

  179. @oldfarmerbrown

    In Chicago because of WW2 bus diesel fuel was supplemented with waste fat and grease from the Chicago Stockyards meat packers.

    Hog Butcher for the World!

    City of the Big Shoulders– that only buses can drive on.

    https://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/2015/10/27/chicago-buses-can-drive-illegally-and-thats-a-good-thing-game-theory-tuesdays/

  180. @Reg Cæsar

    It really sucked for those of you in the frost belt when the commies switched from “global warming” to “climate change”. God knows which way the temps are going to go now . Better to remain flexible when it comes to siting.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  181. Clyde says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I have been to your blog a few times and it’s pretty good. …culturally politically. With some wit and humor.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  182. I’ve always liked intelligent, weird, dark humor, so I’ve become a fan of the Coen Brothers. Besides being White, they tend to be male oriented, most females just don’t get them and can’t understand your repeated watching of the The Big Lebowski.

    Anyway, if your a fan of weird, intelligent and very dark humor, I highly recommend The Patriot on Amazon Prime. A depressed, folk singing clandestine intelligence officer is a cog in the machine trying to foment revolution in Iran. The operation takes place in the the gray winter time of Belgium and France and it goes horribly and humorously wrong. In my opinion some of the best dark humor since Dr. Strangelove.

    • Replies: @Kylie
  183. Twinkie says:
    @Rosamond Vincy

    I’ve been told the four seasons in Minnesota are Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Construction.

    Minnesota has relatively pleasant summers and is popular as a vacation destination from much of the upper Midwest.

    In contrast, Iowa has only two seasons: snow and tornado.

  184. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    I have been to your blog a few times and it’s pretty good. …culturally politically. With some wit and humor.

    Mere Surmise sir.

  185. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    Minnesota has relatively pleasant summers and is popular as a vacation destination from much of the upper Midwest.

    Speaking of climate, it’s pretty amusing that the characters in INSIDE LLEYWN DAVIS just pass through rural folks country between NY and Chicago. They are folkies but only feel at home in big cities like NY and Chicago. Everything in between is a haze of snow and fog. I suppose even a cat has better chance of finding food in city dumpsters than looking for mice in the frozen fields of the Midwest

    ILD has the same effect as DUNKIRK. At first viewing, not overpowering or entertaining like some movies. But its consistency and meticulous creation of another time and place stays and grows with you.

  186. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Well, the message of Jews to Mexicans is “We’ll take from gringos and give to you.”

    Maybe the message of gringos to Mexicans should be “We’ll take from Jews and give to you.”

  187. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    I read NCFOM and another Cormac McCarthy novel, and neither of them, like the movie, made much sense.

    Usually, the movie is less than the novel, but I must say the movie of NCFOM works better than the novel. Same with IN COLD BLOOD. The novel was much celebrated, but the movie is far more powerful. And COOL HAND LUKE is 100x better than the novel.

    NCFOM is a more successful movie than THE COUNSELOR but the latter is more thoughtful and ultimately far more devastating.

  188. Twinkie says:
    @dvorak

    Or, extremely cutting, accurate characterizations of Asian-Americans.

    Or caricatures of Asians – esp. males – as Jews would like them to be.

    You know a lot of single unemployed Asian-American guys who live with mom and dad and hit on overaged pregnant women in the upper Midwest? That was a character in “Fargo.” On the other hand, Jews are often characters of conscience or hapless victims in their films.

    So, to simplify, Jews = heroes/noble victims, non-Jewish whites = villains, Asians = losers.

  189. syonredux says:
    @Seth Largo

    What’d you think of Brawl in Cell Block 99?

    Haven’t seen it yet, but it sounds interesting.

  190. Forbes says:
    @syonredux

    Because before Columbus, no man ever ventured outside his cave, never explored alien ground, never confronted another soul, never came in contact, much less conflict with another. The indigenous peoples of North and South America were all peace loving, and never harmed another soul.

    Maybe the writer should study history, not narratives. That would be a good start.

  191. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    So, to simplify, Jews = heroes/noble victims,

    More like grossly distort. E.g., the Jewish studio boss in Barton Fink is neither a hero nor a victim….Bernie Bernbaum in Miller’s Crossing would be viewed as an anti-Semitic caricature (immoral Jewish schemer who exploits Christian pity, etc) if he appeared in a film made by non-Jews….Even the eponymous Barton Fink hardly counts as a “noble victim”….

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Twinkie
  192. Forbes says:
    @Rosamond Vincy

    Chicago is noted for it’s two seasons: winter and summer. But I can never remember, is it seven months of winter and five months of summer, or five months of winter and seven months of summer…

  193. Lurker says:
    @William Badwhite

    Anon[425] has always been a prolific and interesting commenter, I’m always interested in what he (sometimes she) has to say.

    • Agree: Kylie
  194. tr says: • Website
    @notanon

    Remember, impeachment requires a majority vote. Removal requires two-thirds. Not going to happen.

    • Replies: @notanon
  195. Forbes says:
    @Anon

    Her nickname is Occasionally-Crazy in my book. She’s totally, like, you know, an airhead.

    She’s going to be very entertaining to watch. She’s been the media’s new “It girl” for five months, so it’ll be curious whether the media keeps up the exposure. Most people, substantial or not, cannot stand the eternal media spot light, and either flame-out, or media quickly loses interest in the novelty.

  196. Forbes says:
    @slumber_j

    There’s something to be said for not having a boob tube in your room that’s on all the time–whether high school, boarding school, college, or now as an adult.

    Instead, everywhere you go, people have their heads buried in a screen–hand-held device or big screen. And their communication skills (speaking, spelling, writing), and life/reality awareness skills are crap.

    They simply don’t know how to occupy themselves, entertain themselves, without a TV screen…

    • Agree: slumber_j
  197. J.Ross says: • Website

    Have the men from the East finally awakened the white dragon (which is sometimes gold but normally on a red field)?

    A vigilante mob is patrolling the streets of Birmingham in response to a shocking wave of violent crime. Nearly 400 people have joined the community watchdog group ‘We Stand Determined’, which formed three weeks ago on Facebook* after losing trust in their local police.

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/14/nearly-400-join-vigilante-mob-after-losing-trust-in-local-police-8138033/

    *D’oh!

  198. @Joe Stalin

    Unfortunately, there is no sound on the posted youtube video.

    However, I noticed there is a radio drama version on youtube:

  199. @Clyde

    We (OK, well, I) appreciate the compliment, Clyde.

  200. @Twinkie

    You know a lot of single unemployed Asian-American guys who live with mom and dad and hit on overaged pregnant women in the upper Midwest? That was a character in “Fargo.”

    I tend to think that was just a character where they decided to cast an Asian guy just to be different. They could have inserted a Hispanic or black guy, but that would racist. And a white guy would be too much like any number of stock white guy characters. The Asian character stuck out more, because he was the diametric opposite of the Miyagi character in Karate Kid.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  201. One of Buster Scruggs’ themes is that life in the Wild West tended to be lacking in entertainment, so people killed time by developing rhetorical skills beyond those seen today. Thus, numerous characters launch into elaborate Dickensian monologues. For example, a loquacious fur trapper only gets to talk when he comes to town every few years, but boy, does he have a lot to say when he arrives.

    Hot damn, this film’s impending availability flew right past my radar. I will be watching this just as soon as I get home from work, on Friday.*

    *in retrospect…I have Fridays off from work.

  202. DKR says:

    Mike Yanagita, the Asian fellow in Fargo, is the most poignant character in the history of cinema.

  203. @Seth Largo

    What’d you think of Brawl in Cell Block 99?

    I watched it this past weekend on the strength of a recommendation here. I liked it. No PC crap and Vince Vaughn was great.

  204. @Johann Ricke

    There’s an Asian student — “I know about the cat!” — in “A Serious Man” set in the late 1960s at, presumably, the U. of Minnesota. Their dad was a professor of economics there, so probably they had some contact with Asians growing up.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Art Deco
  205. @Steve in Greensboro

    God knows which way the temps are going to go now .

    NASA guy says low sunspots means more cold. https://www.iceagenow.info/lack-of-sunspots-to-bring-record-cold-warns-nasa-scientist/

    I think we are headed for a Maunder Minimum.

    • Replies: @notanon
  206. hhsiii says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Young Helen Mironova was thought of more as a great strumpet than actress.

    https://goo.gl/images/nMcNPL

  207. anonymous[394] • Disclaimer says:

    Raising Arizona is universally beloved and never criticized.

    Not sure what you’re getting at with that reference.

  208. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @S. Anonyia

    Coen Brothers movies are largely boring and self-indulgent, with the exception of Fargo and O Brother Where Art Thou.

    That’s an unfair assessment. The remarkable thing about the Coens is they kept growing and maturing. Good career pacing. And their longevity is rather surprising.

    Many of the big name auteurs of the 60s and 70s burned out quickly or died from excess. Or lost their inspiration. I don’t think Robert Altman made anything of much worth after NASHVILLE. Coppola made some good works after APOCALYPSE NOW, but what happened to the Great Italian Hope afterwards? DePalma was very uneven. He made some killer movies like CARLITO’S WAY, but I think his last worthy film was FEMME FATALE. And he made too many clunkers. Sam Peckinpah tragically burned out with cocaine and alcohol… though I still think most of his late movies are of interest.
    There’s a movie by Nicholas Roeg called EUREKA where Gene Hackman actually plays an ‘Aryan’ adventurer who comes upon a ton of gold. His life is about dramatic rise and fall. In contrast, the Jewish nemesis the movie played by Joe Pesci is in it for the long haul. It is as if the white man has a Romanticist fatalism. Conquer the world, watch it burn, and be immolated with it… like a Viking funeral or the end of Wagner opera. The ‘Faustian’ soul thing that Richie Spencer can’t stop babbling about. Reach for greatness at all costs, find glory, and then fall into the abyss. It’s like what Tyrell says to Roy Batty in BLADE RUNNER. A flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. This may be true ultimately of Western Christianity too, even though it is anti-pagan, grew out of Judaism, and had a long run. It burned so brightly and spread like a forest fire, but it seems like the Western Christian conflagration has burned out. It has become like Gotterdammerung. In contrast, Orthodox Judaism seems to be alive as a culture. EUREKA isn’t a good movie but pretty interesting as a exploration of ethnic personalities.

    The 70s were especially a risky time for creative types. Too much freedom and drugs. If an artist didn’t have self-discipline and sense of the larger picture, he could easily burn out. Peckinpah did. Scorsese nearly met his doom from cocaine and etc too, but he somehow managed to recover and pace himself and think strategically. Lucas did have a long successful career but more as industrialist than artist. Altman continued to work, but something was missing after NASHVILLE.

    Possibly the two directors with the most amazing longevity and consistency were Spielberg and Woody Allen. Where Spielberg still gets his energy, I’ve no idea. As for Allen, he paced himself with a workable schedule. Even so, Spielberg and Allen have remained more or less themselves. We know what a Spielberg or Allen movie will be like.

    Coens are a strange case. If someone had told me they’d last this long in the 80s or early 90s, I wouldn’t have believed it. BLOOD SIMPLE was good, but movies like RAISING ARIZONA and MILLER CROSSING seemed too derivative. One was a 90 min Road Runner cartoon, and the other felt like a pastiche of Old Hollywood cliches touched up with violence. Their style seemed Film-School-ish. There was an article that in Film School the Coens usually sat in the back of the screening room and giggled a lot at movies. So, they struck a lot of people like a couple of smart-asses, and the movie world would soon get tired of their goofiness. Jim Jarmusch was also goofy but his sensibility seemed more genuine(if half-crazy). As for Jonathan Demme, he lost it after SOMETHING WILD, one of the truly great 80s movies.

    But then, the world hailed FARGO as Coens mature film. They finally grew up! It’s an entertaining movie, but I’m still not won over that it’s a great movie. It’s not the masterpiece some people made it out to be. Also, I found the small-town caricatures rather smarmy and annoying.

    The first Coens movie that totally won me over was O BROTHER. It has all the goofiness of stuff like RAISING ARIZONA but also a generous spirit, a genuine feeling for a people and culture. It wasn’t just smarmy film-school antics; there was a real sense of interest, even appreciation, of Americana. The musical numbers could have been done just for laughs but they were amazing, some of the best in a film culture that had pretty much given up on the musical. And then, MAN WHO WASN’T THERE was pretty good Twilight-Zone-ish Noir.

    O BROTHER made me check out some Coen movies I’d skipped and re-view those I hadn’t much liked. BARTON FINK turned out to be a strange movie, one of their best. And upon second viewing, MILLER’S CROSSING had the same weaknesses but there were real strengths that I had overlooked. The relationship between Albert Finney and Garbriel Byrne is heartfelt and immune to film-school gimcrackery. As for BIG LEBOWSKI, I thought I’d seen it and not liked it. But when I saw it again(or maybe for the first time) because it was much discussed in this blog, it was like seeing it for the first time. And it was like an instant classic. I don’t know if the theater version had the introduction with the film archivist or if it was later added to video, but it perfectly sets the tone for the movie’s blend of irreverence and reverence. It’s set in washed out, cynical, materialistic, and cynical LA, but it seems like Americana(of bowling alleys, cowboy spirit, patriotic gungho-talk, etc) has somehow survived all that in one form or another. As in GHOST WORLD and David Lynch’s movies, the past is all around even if no one remembers.

    Also noteworthy was that maybe BL was the first time the Coens successfully realized a filmic equivalent to the surreal tall-tale drift of Dylan’s songs.

    And then came NO COUNTRY, another solid work but one I didn’t much care for. Most striking was the Coens made for the first time a movie devoid of Coen-isms and successfully too. When Allen tried to do Bergmanesque films, it never worked, but Coens made a movie that could have been made by any top professional. It was cool and dry, deftly executed like THE TERMINATOR or a work by Clint Eastwood(a non-Jewish director with remarkable longevity). So, Coens demonstrated the full range of what they could do. Who knew that the film-school smart-ass dorks would mature to make such a work? (FARGO, fine as it is, has Coenisms all over just like any John Hughes movies is very Hughesy.)

    On first viewing, SERIOUS MAN just seemed okay. Seeing it again recently, it is one of their most remarkable and amazing movies. I must have missed all this because everyone said it was a telling of the Job story and that’s all I focused on. In certain ways, it’s their richest work. Some say it is ‘anti-Jewish’, but that’s nonsense. It has some nasty Jewish characters, but even the nastiest, the fat bald guy, is rather endearing, like when he comes to the guy’s house with a bottle of wine and gives him a pre-emptive hug. Also, it’s a loving portrait of a community, not unlike RADIO DAYS by Allen and AVALON by Levinson. But it’s much more than those two movies that are mostly awash in sentimentality.

    Now, TRUE GRIT. This was a big hit, and maybe it is a good movie. I just recall hating it because (1) that girl was annoying to the max (2) Jeff Bridges’ performance felt strained and (3) how dare they remake the Duke classic, which, though no masterpiece, was his last hurrah. Still, why was it such a big hit? DJANGO was obviously a hit for its nihilism and PC moralism. But then, maybe people still hanker something sentimental and nostalgic.

    LLEWYN DAVIS works like a ghost. Didn’t much care when viewing it, but it has a haunting quality. Much of it owes to the look of the film, its mood. And it was an artful roundabout way of paying tribute to Dylan. Dylan is one of those giants. Too big a subject for any movie. It’d be like directly looking at the sun. So, LLEWYN DAVIS works like an eclipse. It allows us to see the world in which Dylan moved and made his name. And Davis is a character who had genuine talent but not quite the real stuff to be what Dylan became. As portrait of a cultural scene, it has the right balance of loving tribute and gentle mockery(as folkies were animated by conceits that were soon outdated). Davis isn’t the bitter creature that Salieri is to Mozart, but he represents so many folkies who tried to be somebody but just didn’t have the chops or the chance. Or even if they ‘made it’, they were so overshadowed by Dylan that their successes didn’t seem like much. If not for Dylan, maybe we would consider Dave von Ronk, Phil Ochs, and many others genuine successes. But compared to Dylan, they look small(just like Elvis made so many rockabilly stars seem puny). Donovon had some hits but seems like Tiny Tim compared to Dylan. (Tim Burton could have been a worthy rival of the Coens, esp with MARS ATTACK, but he now seems like Tiny Tim compared to the Coens. He never developed beyond cartoon mentality.)

    I recall seeing BURN AFTER READING and having a good time but don’t remember a single thing. A film in that vein that works much better and is more memorable is THE INFORMANT! Soderbergh is another bewildering director. He made some of the worst crap and is far less consistent than the Coens. But just when you want to write him off as a hopeless case, he comes up with something half-interesting like CHE, unsettling like BUBBLE, and brilliant like THE INFORMANT! His latest UNSANE has a strong first act but then gets pretty stupid. A Kafkaesque story should not look for answers.

    Anyway, after INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, I was thinking Coens have done enough and proven their worth as auteurs, and their best work must be behind them. And HAIL CAESAR didn’t seem very interesting as advertised. But it is an amazing blend of comedy, musical, satire, and political philosophy. It’s like Mel Brooks’ HISTORY OF THE WORLD done straight, and it works.

    And speaking of the retro, rural, or nostalgic whiteness of Coen’s movies, maybe the secret is in BLOOD SIMPLE. Their first movie has a prominent Negro, and he’s a bigass mofo. He seems to bed all the white women, and whenever he is around, white guys look like a bunch of pee-wee cucky-wucks. He towers over them and bellows like Paul Robeson + NFL linebacker. He moves around the movie with the attitude, “Hey white man, I’m here to scare you half-to-death.” (And he’s not even a villain but a rather nice guy.) In contrast, the old black woman in THE LADYKILLERS and the Magic Negro in HUDSUCKER are less threatening.

    Just like Dylan blotted out all the other folkies, the big Negro makes white males look small and insignificant. BLOOD SIMPLE is a noir story about a middle aged guy who suspects his young wife is sleeping with another man. It’s a young white guy, a stud. But the white stud is a dud when the Big Negro comes clambering around. Maybe some things come into focus only in the absence of the overpowering thing. It’s like the Real Mogul in HAIL CAESAR, Mr Schenk, is never seen. He is too big.

  209. Humbles says:
    @Anonymous

    There has never been a more comically effective anti-Semitic caricature than that of “Barton Fink,” one of the Coens’ more impenetrably arty films. Also their other apparently anti-Semitic film, “A Serious Man.” So Jews are fair game. Asians get a frequent sendup, too. So far the only ethnicity I haven’t seen caricatured or mocked in a Coen Bros. film is… well, you know. The Big Black Third Rail.

  210. @Twinkie

    In contrast, Iowa has only two seasons: snow and tornado.

    Almost. Usually there are at least two nice days, one in late May or early June, and one in September.

    I think the Dakotas win (lose) the contest for worst climate in the USA.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  211. Svigor says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    S.Craig Zahler’s grim Bone Tomahawk (2015) is worth checking out.

    Butcher porn. Didn’t notice anything all that great about the dialog.

    Didn’t he do the Death Wish remake, too? That was totally forgettable.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  212. roo_ster says:
    @propagandist hacker

    What you know that aint so about hitler could fill a book.

  213. JimB says:
    @JimB

    I wonder if some Democratic operative walked into OcasionalCortex’s bar, started bullshitting with her while drinking his margarita, then figured he would run her for Congress.

  214. J.Ross says: • Website
    @J.Ross

    To this point there are now reports of huge organized vigilantism in Birmingham, bigger than the soldiers of Odin in Finland.

  215. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @WowJustWow

    Pan and zoom on Marlon Brando shedding a single tear by the side of the road.

    Some Italian guy as Indian actually. True, Brando made a big fuss about Indians, but he was really all about himself. I think even if Indian shtick was all about ‘look at me’. A great actor but a failed human being. His son ended up behind bars and his daughter committed suicide. Bad parenting. But he’s such an idol, larger than life.

    Brando faded in the 60s along with most Hollywood stars who made it in the 40s and 50s, but his aura lived on in the way that it didn’t for other stars. He was regarded as the Elvis of Hollywood, the rebel.

    But when we look at the arc of Brando’s life, what he said and what he did were two different things. He was always about me, me, and me, and it was really that aspect that was most appealing to the boomer generation. Brando was the first real Hollywood figure as ‘youth hero’. He was also the youngest of the Classic Hollywood stars.
    Boomers like Clinton and others were so much about saving the world but really about me, me, me. One of the downsides of Trump’s Americanism is he made it a bit like national narcissism instead of a modest and balanced nationalism. A-Me-Rica. To the world, that is off-putting. There is a difference between the US saying ‘no more globo-hegemony’ and ‘we are the best’.

    We see the Boomer myopia in INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. The guys’ supposed to be a folkie who cares about the People, what’s right and wrong. But he bums off everyone. He gets women pregnant and just doles out money for them to get abortions and kill the babies. He didn’t even know his child is alive somewhere in the world. He gave money to a previous woman to have an abortion but she had the kid. So, Davis has a son somewhere, but he never bothered to find out. He sings folk songs but insults everyone as his intellectual and cultural inferiors. He makes a real folk singer from a rural area cry on stage. And when he sees his dad in the nursing home, his idea of connecting with the old man is to sing a folk song as if that can be meaningful medium to a sick man. But on some level, Davis must know of his betrayals. There is the haunting scene of the cat hit by the car limping into the woods. Lost cats, aborted babies, all just to forget so that he can keep singing folk songs to make it. The use of cat as motif in ILD is one of the finest.

  216. Kylie says:
    @George Taylor

    Have you seen Dogtooth? Its humor is pretty dark.

  217. @jJay

    jJ, Watch Guy Ritchie’s British gangster movie “Snatch.” Pitt is outstanding as a gypsy bare knuckle fighter.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  218. @Buffalo Joe

    Rosamond, not knowing when you were six means I may have been only a little older than you. And what’s not to like about buck teeth.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
  219. ken says:
    @syonredux

    And whitey did it to himself.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  220. @Danindc

    The thing is, it was ACTING acting. Not nearly as bad as an early 60s melodrama, but, as Peter Griffin would say, “It insisted upon itself.”

    • Replies: @Danindc
  221. CJ says:
    @Twinkie

    I grew up in a part of Canada with a climate and geography similar to northern Minnesota. The local joke was that we had two seasons: Too Hot and Too Cold.

  222. syonredux says:
    @Desiderius

    YHWH is the hero.

    And the villain…..

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Desiderius
  223. syonredux says:
    @Svigor

    Didn’t he do the Death Wish remake, too? That was totally forgettable.

    That was Eli Roth.

  224. @syonredux

    In general, Jews aren’t that numerous in Coen Brothers movies and aren’t particularly sympathetically portrayed, with the exception of the beaten-down professor presumably based on their dad in “A Serious Man.”

    The Coens seem to take a sympathetic interest in different types of Protestants, a subject I barely know anything about. It comes up, for example, in “Buster Scruggs” in the nicest scene in the movie when a cowboy proposes to a young lady and they mention their denominations.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Twinkie
  225. cthulhu says:

    virtually nobody found Lebowski funny during its theatrical run.

    My wife and I certainly did; we thought it was one of the funniest movies we had ever seen. Still think so. A couple of years ago, a local high end movie theater ran “Lebowski” on its semi-regular classic movie night, so we went; neither of use had seen it since that first viewing, and we thought it was still hilarious. For me, a huge fan of Raymond Chandler, it was even better both times knowing that it was the Coens’ take on “The Big Sleep.”

    Oddly enough, my less favorite of their movies are the ones that got major awards – “Fargo” and “No Country” in particular (“Ladykillers” and “Intolerable Cruelty” were very blah in my book, but weren’t particularly well-received critically either). But “Blood Simple” (which we saw on its theatrical release! And that final scene still gives me chills!), “Miller’s Crossing” (near perfection from beginning to end, and a faithful homage to Hammett), the arty but sly “Barton Fink”, “Burn After Reading” (did NOT see “that scene” coming), “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac both terrific), “O Country”… some seriously good films there.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  226. @Twinkie

    Western Michigan has nice summers due to the prevailing winds blowing across 100 mile wide Lake Michigan providing cool summers. Heat and humidity are a big problem elsewhere in the Midwest in summer, other than maybe in the far northern parts.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  227. @Anon

    Not saying ‘Dirty Harry’ is a bad movie. I think it’s pretty high up there, but mostly because it was the right movie at the right time. ‘Get Carter’, however is art in the best movie sense of the word.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  228. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    As various people have noted, Blacks are the one group that seem to get consistently favorable treatment in their films….Could be the inner-SJW coming out…..Or it could be their one concession to the PC overlords….Hard to tell….

  229. @Clifford Brown

    the right wing fever dream of cultural marxism

    Whatever.

    Cultural Stalinism is cold, hard fact.

  230. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    In general, Jews aren’t that numerous in Coen Brothers movies and aren’t particularly sympathetically portrayed, with the exception of the beaten-down professor presumably based on their dad in “A Serious Man.”

    Filial piety, I suppose…..Although it is interesting to note that he fails his moral test at the end, altering the student’s grade from an “F” to a “C-”…

    The Coens seem to take a sympathetic interest in different types of Protestants, a subject I barely know anything about. It comes up, for example, in “Buster Scruggs” in the nicest scene in the movie when a cowboy proposes to a young lady and they mention their denominations.

    Catholicism gets a nod in Hail, Caesar!.

  231. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Just like Dylan blotted out all the other folkies, the big Negro makes white males look small and insignificant. BLOOD SIMPLE is a noir story about a middle aged guy who suspects his young wife is sleeping with another man. It’s a young white guy, a stud. But the white stud is a dud when the Big Negro comes clambering around. Maybe some things come into focus only in the absence of the overpowering thing. It’s like the Real Mogul in HAIL CAESAR, Mr Schenk, is never seen. He is too big

    Interesting what people focus on in films. I barely remember the Black guy in Blood Simple….He’s got that scene in the bar and that’s about it….The guy that always remember is M Emmet Walsh’s sleazy private detective….

    • Agree: Kylie
    • Replies: @Anon
  232. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    He’s got that scene in the bar and that’s about it…

    No, he later shows up all angry and shi* and chews out the white guy who looks helpless like a Raggedy Andy doll.

    He acts like, ‘little white man, why you piss me off and shi*. Mebbe I should pop your head like a zit.’

    • Replies: @syonredux
  233. Twinkie says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Western Michigan has nice summers due to the prevailing winds blowing across 100 mile wide Lake Michigan providing cool summers.

    My family and I are quite fond of Charlevoix.

  234. Svigor says:

    “No Country” is good but the villain is too silly and over-the-top, too visually divergent from his supposed menace, for it to be great.

    Plus I just find crap like the handcuffs around the legs thing insulting. 0 chance some pudgy Mexican could do that.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @anon
  235. @Anon

    It burned so brightly and spread like a forest fire, but it seems like the Western Christian conflagration has burned out. It has become like Gotterdammerung. In contrast, Orthodox Judaism seems to be alive as a culture.

    As G.K. Chesterton observed, one of the essential characteristics of Christianity is that it always remains young enough to be killed (and thus reborn). Orthodox Judaism would fall into the opposite category, that of those mummified Asiatic accretions that have become too old to die.

  236. Twinkie says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Doing Ragbrai in Iowa summers and staying in unconditioned attics at nights in small towns was pure good time.

  237. Twinkie says:
    @syonredux

    Jewish studio boss in Barton Fink is neither a hero nor a victim

    I wrote “Jews are often characters of conscience or hapless victims.” Note “hapless.” A number of Jewish characters in their films fit such a moniker. And obviously not all Jewish characters can be described as heroes or noble victims. That’d be too obvious.

    So you don’t disagree with the characterizations of gentile villains and Asian losers in their films?

    In any case, whatever their particular biases notwithstanding (we all have ours), I appreciate their artistic merits. As I wrote earlier, Burn after Reading is too good. Anyone who’s worked in D.C. as a gov/mil/pol can recognize almost all the characters (and their spouses) such as the suit-wearing LEO who is always looking to squeeze in a run (or a workout) all the while sleeping around, the frigid, overeducated, childless wife who writes children’s books, the sad, lonely older woman on the fringes who sleeps around with the first decent guy who shows interest, the mid-level intelligence analyst who thinks his career is worthy of a memoir, the dolt on the outside who thinks any bread crumb that drops is some top-secret file, and so on. It’s pure comedy gold.

    The only other archetype I wish they included in the film is the young, ambitious, and slutty female intern who is over-eager to do anything to get near power (there are legions of them at every senate and house member office) who, at the same time, holds their her colleagues in utter contempt.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  238. Twinkie says:
    @Steve Sailer

    There’s an Asian student — “I know about the cat!” — in “A Serious Man” set in the late 1960s at, presumably, the U. of Minnesota. Their dad was a professor of economics there, so probably they had some contact with Asians growing up.

    Yes, because everyone knows that Asian students hand out cash-stuffed envelops to their professors in America. And that their fathers are clever* enough to, alternately, threaten to sure the said professors for defamation or accuse them of bribery.

    *Because suing people with clever verbal traps is such an Asian thing.

  239. Twinkie says:
    @syonredux

    And the villain…..

    Because YHWH is so… goy. Always oppressing the Chosen.

  240. Twinkie says:
    @Steve Sailer

    In general, Jews aren’t that numerous in Coen Brothers movies and aren’t particularly sympathetically portrayed

    But some of them are hapless victims of circumstances or accidents… or of a tragic, fallen world. Though they may fail moral tests, they have some semblance of self-aware humanity, whereas others are often cardboard cutouts.

    And that includes the TV series, Fargo.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Anon
  241. Anonymous[315] • Disclaimer says:

    Greene interviewed for the folks back home in Canada. Some interesting shots of Los Angeles in 1963 including the freeways and Hollywood. https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/868574787687

    And as Canada’s best known radio broadcaster https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1838087814

  242. @William Badwhite

    It’s a great comment. Substantive and passionate.

    Just glad that Quentin Tarantino is a fan of this website.

  243. @Anon

    I’d say give Miller’s Crossing another viewing. Focus on Gabriel Byrne’s hat and conflict between a man’s heart and his brain. The nature of morality in an immoral system. There are interesting ethnic and homosexual undercurrents to the film.

  244. @South Texas Guy

    Get Carter is pretty great. The settings in some old industrial city in the north of England (Tyneside?) are amazing.

  245. @cthulhu

    But will anybody besides me admit to liking “The Hudsucker Proxy?”

    • Agree: Desiderius
  246. @eD

    This is probably why very few comments in the thread so far even reference the movie.

    Well, the movie is playing in only one theater in Los Angeles and likely the equivalent in NYC at the moment, to qualify for Academy Awards consideration, but will be on Netflix on Friday (i.e., today). So virtually nobody has seen it. But, yeah, it has six different plots and I don’t particularly like to drone on for a long time explaining the plot of a movie, much less six of them.

    I’m more of an analytic writer than a narrative writer, so I try to ease up on narration.

  247. Anonymous[370] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I have hundreds of NG back issues going back to the 1950s. Along with the Encyclopedia Britannia, this was my ‘internet’ back before the internet existed. I even hand-compiled an index of interesting NG articles for quick retrieval so I wouldn’t have to waste time scanning the spines. (I had the 1888-1988 index but obviously that didn’t cover newer volumes.)

  248. @Desiderius

    “Killing time”

    My link goes to historian David Hackett Fischer’s discussions of the four Old American views of time

    https://www.americanheritage.com/content/how-british-are-you

    ‘Time ways” is a superb marker of cultural distinctiveness. As you might expect, New Englanders believed in the idea of improving time. Virginians spoke of killing time; Quakers, redeeming time. Backwoodsmen thought in terms of passing the time. Each of these concepts reflected the deepest values of their culture. By improvement New Englanders had in mind personal and spiritual advancement. “Killing time” was not a phrase that appeared in any New England diary I have ever read.

  249. @Anon

    I think a lot of Jewish moguls who produced Westerns actually identified with the cowboys.

    For example, Harry Warner of Warner Brothers owned a vast horse ranch in Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley (described as 1100, 1200, and 2800 acres) that doubled as a set for Western movies.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=KAcw3k3OU-sC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=harry+warner+ranch&source=bl&ots=DimxlHHG9M&sig=hHkvEglSJ_XaB_GKWXYvRdf0VPQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwizooSrkNbeAhW7FzQIHUgkAzsQ6AEwHnoECA0QAQ#v=onepage&q=harry%20warner%20ranch&f=false

    That sounds like a premise for a Coen Brothers movie: 1930s Jewish movie moguls who LARP as cowboys on the weekends.

    • Replies: @bjondo
  250. @Anon

    “Facebook-Amazon-Google buy up everything.”

    Very upset to find that AbeBooks, my favourite source of good quality second hand books worldwide (a kind of ebay that’s used by most second hand book sellers), was swallowed by Amazon a year or two back. It’s becoming increasingly hard to avoid them.

    On the other hand it would surely be a relatively easy thing to replicate. Anyone know if there are any other book networks out there?

  251. @syonredux

    I would argue that the Coens have a lot of sympathy for the decent people who are trying to create/preserve order in a world that the Coens seem to believe is actually random and meaningless. The FBI characters in “Burn After Reading” are sympathetic, so is Marge Gunderson in “Fargo”, and even the Tommy Lee Jones character in “No Country for Old Men”. The Coen Brothers are basically straight-up 1940s/50s style existentialists.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @notanon
  252. @Steve Sailer

    I need to rewatch that one, but I remember liking it well enough when I saw it.

  253. Twinkie says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    a lot of sympathy for the decent people who are trying to create/preserve order in a world that the Coens seem to believe is actually random and meaningless.

    They also portray some such “decent people” as sheep who run before the wolf – cowards, in fact. In this, they are accurate, though, as you point out, this cowardice is portrayed with kindness, as opposed to that – an indictment – in, say, “High Noon.”

    You cannot probably guess where my own inclination lies.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @syonredux
  254. The Coen Brothers are basically straight-up 1940s/50s style existentialists.

    Interesting. The world has forgotten existentialism, but it was a big deal a number of decades ago. If sociology major Michelle Obama’s Princeton senior thesis is public record than likely is philosophy major Ethan Coen’s Princeton senior thesis.

    I speculated a few weeks ago that the Coens’ pseudonym under which they edit their films, Roderick Jaynes, is a reference to the Princeton lecturer during Ethan’s college years Julian Jaynes, author of the the famous crank/genius classic “Origin of the Bicameral Mind” that was published while Ethan was at Princeton.

    Of course that raises the question of whom is the dominant member of the Brothers. My impression is that they don’t want you to think much about the questions because they wish to avoid the sibling rivalry that has torn apart so many brother acts over the years.

  255. bjondo says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Not just Jew movie moguls.

    In occupied Palestine, all Jew act like Old West thugs.

    Sound track for O Brother best sound track of any movie. Made O Brother.

    Just my opinion. Not a movie fan.

    Too much involvement with probably demented minds.

    Ive seen maybe dozen movies total.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  256. WJ says:
    @Anon

    At least she is living up to the outsider or rebel image. I thoroughly detest the stealth revolutionaries who go total establishment once they hit D.C. You have to give her credit for bucking the witch from Frisco.

  257. @syonredux

    Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
    Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
    Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
    Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
    Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

  258. @Anon

    This may be true ultimately of Western Christianity too, even though it is anti-pagan, grew out of Judaism, and had a long run. It burned so brightly and spread like a forest fire, but it seems like the Western Christian conflagration has burned out. It has become like Gotterdammerung.

  259. @Twinkie

    One can, indeed should, indict that which is indictable with as much kindness as one can muster.

    “…but heaven hath pleas’d it so
    To punish me with this, and this with me,
    That I must be their scourge and minister.
    I will bestow him, and will answer well
    The death I gave him. So again good night.
    I must be cruel only to be kind.”

    - Hamlet

  260. Wade says:
    @International Jew

    You didn’t read Ron Unz’s Myth of Meritocracy or are forgetting the point. It’s rather like Jews *created* affirmative action, then used it to eliminate their closest ethnic rivals, the Gentile Whites. After all, there aren’t enough Jews to fill out the enrollment at the ivy league anyway. Bring in minorities on the premise that “there’s too many whites” and then selectively eliminate slots for Gentile/Christian whites with Black and Hispanics. Then, with that as cover, actually increase Jewish enrollment where possible.

    With their closest ethnic rivals properly eliminated from the rolls, they are more deeply ensconced in halls of power than ever before. It’s not surprising then to see Blacks, Hispanics and now even some Asians embrace cultural marxism with White Gentiles exclusively in the crosshairs. Who thought of Cultural-Marxism anyway? Come to speak of it, who thought of Marxism-Marxism?

  261. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    In general, Jews aren’t that numerous in Coen Brothers movies and aren’t particularly sympathetically portrayed

    But some of them are hapless victims of circumstances or accidents… or of a tragic, fallen world. Though they may fail moral tests, they have some semblance of self-aware humanity, whereas others are often cardboard cutouts.

    Which Jews in their films are you talking about? The only one that I can think of who fits that description is the guy in A Serious Man, and he’s modeled on their father…..Which indicates a certain level of filial piety at work….Their other Jewish characters are much less sympathetic, with some bordering on the monstrous (cf Bernie Bernbaum in Miller’s Crossing, the studio boss in Barton Fink, etc)

    And that includes the TV series, Fargo.

    Not a pure Coen Bros production. The showrunner is a guy named Noah Hawley:

    Hawley is the creator, primary writer, and executive producer of the FX anthology television series Fargo (2014), based on the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name. On August 25, 2014, Fargo won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, along with 17 additional nominations at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. In total, the series has been nominated for 113 awards since its premiere, winning 32 of them. Season 3 of Fargo premiered on April 19, 2017.[10]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Hawley

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo_(TV_series)

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Twinkie
    , @Art Deco
  262. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    They also portray some such “decent people” as sheep who run before the wolf – cowards, in fact. In this, they are accurate, though, as you point out, this cowardice is portrayed with kindness, as opposed to that – an indictment – in, say, “High Noon.”

    You cannot probably guess where my own inclination lies.

    On the other hand, they do depict the occasional brave and decent person…..The pregnant sheriff in Fargo comes to mind….

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Twinkie
  263. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    I wrote “Jews are often characters of conscience or hapless victims.”

    You also provided a rather simple formula:

    So, to simplify, Jews = heroes/noble victims,

    A number of Jewish characters in their films fit such a moniker.

    Which ones?

    As near as I can tell, there is maybe one Jewish guy who fits that description in their entire oeuvre…..and he was based on their father…..

    So you don’t disagree with the characterizations of gentile villains and Asian losers in their films?

    Dunno. Is there a Jewish character as decent and efficacious as the non-Jewish sheriff in Fargo? Do the non-Jewish villains exceed Miller’s Crossing‘s Bernie Bernbaum in pure malice?

    I tend to agree on the Asian aspect, though.

  264. @Anon

    It’s funny that you never mentioned one of the Big Lebowski’s most obvious references to Westerns–when Lebowski and Walter go to the house of little Larry to confront him about stealing the Dude’s car, and discover that Larry’s father was the writer of a famous Western TV show, ‘Branded’, of which Walter was a huge fan.

    The Dude drunkenly sings the theme tune to the show in the back of the Malibu cop’s car.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Anon
  265. syonredux says:
    @Svigor

    0 chance some pudgy Mexican could do that.

    Spaniard:

    Bardem was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, Spain. His mother, Pilar Bardem (born María del Pilar Bardem Muñoz), is an actress, and his father, José Carlos Encinas Doussinague (1931–1995), was a businessman involved in environmental work. The two separated shortly after his birth[4][5] and his mother raised him alone.[6] Bardem comes from a long line of filmmakers and actors dating back to the earliest days of Spanish cinema; he is a grandson of actors Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro, and a nephew of screenwriter and director Juan Antonio Bardem.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javier_Bardem

    As for Anton Chigurh (the character that he plays in the film), I have no idea as to what his ethnic background is supposed to be. I got the impression in movie that he was a man from nowhere….

  266. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    He’s got that scene in the bar and that’s about it…

    No, he later shows up all angry and shi* and chews out the white guy who looks helpless like a Raggedy Andy doll.

    I’ll take your word for it. As I said, I can barely remember the Black guy in the film.I looked him up, though. He has not exactly aged well:

  267. MEH 0910 says:
    @Twinkie

    Mr. Lee, whose Chinese grocery store Rooster Cogburn lived in the back of, seemed like an okay guy.

  268. syonredux says:
    @al gore rhythms

    It’s funny that you never mentioned one of the Big Lebowski’s most obvious references to Westerns–when Lebowski and Walter go to the house of little Larry to confront him about stealing the Dude’s car, and discover that Larry’s father was the writer of a famous Western TV show, ‘Branded’, of which Walter was a huge fan.

    The Dude drunkenly sings the theme tune to the show in the back of the Malibu cop’s car.

    Dunno if Branded was a good TV show, but it definitely had memorable opening credits:

    Bit of poetic license with the sabre, there. I would think that it would bend, not break, but that wouldn’t be sufficiently evocative of the hero’s status as a “broken” man….

  269. Danindc says:
    @South Texas Guy

    Hmmm. Even Harrelson? I think I see what you mean re Brolin and TLJ. Could be, I’ll reevaluate.

    Give me a few great acting performance of last 20 years for comparison….my faves are:

    Ed Norton – American HIstory X
    Kevin Spacey- American Beauty
    Russell Crowe- Gladiator
    Benicio Del Toro – Traffic

  270. Danindc says:
    @bjondo

    Only 12 your whole life? That’s awesome. I respect that. You read a lot?

  271. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s too bad the Reader got rid of all the comments on this review.

    https://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2007/11/all-the-pretty-carnage/

    It was one long thread with so many knocking on Rosenbaum. Hilarious too. It’s too bad no one archived it.

  272. Art Deco says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The student is Korean, quite unusual in 1967. There’s no indication the protagonist teaches at the University of Minnesota. The school he teaches at is not named, but it does not appear to be a research university. Your best guess for the model would be Hamline or Macalaster. They’re teaching institutions and both have a physics department. The only public teaching institution around Minneapolis was not founded until 1971 and all the other private institutions are foundationally Catholic, evangelical, or Lutheran (and would have had identifying marks of that in 1967).

  273. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Which Jews in their films are you talking about? The only one that I can think of who fits that description is the guy in A Serious Man, and he’s modeled on their father…..Which indicates a certain level of filial piety at work….Their other Jewish characters are much less sympathetic, with some bordering on the monstrous (cf Bernie Bernbaum in Miller’s Crossing, the studio boss in Barton Fink, etc)

    Come on, the studio boss in BARTON FINK is hilarious. Not a positive character but it’s impossible to hate him, esp when he shows up in the military suit. LOL.

    And even though the Jewish guy in MILLER’S CROSSING is odious, so is nearly everyone else except Byrne and Finney who are redeemed by brotherly feelings. That’s the test of friendship. Even after Finney in a fit of rage beats up Byrne, the latter still feels the love. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

    As for the Jewish guy, as odious as he is, you gotta give him points for pride. He could have just run and hid, but he wants his pride back. He can’t live with the fact that he was reduced to begging for his life.

    The problem with MILLER’S CROSSING and FARGO is they have real-life characters alongside cartoon characters out of Looney Tunes. It’s less problematic in RAISING ARIZONA which is all-cartoonish and NO COUNTRY where everyone rings true. Also, in later movies like SERIOUS MAN, the caricatures still register as people than cartoon characters.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  274. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Francis Mac loves Diversity? So, how is Minnesota looking these days with all those Somalis? With such pace of change, Fargo will be far-gone.

  275. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    But some of them are hapless victims of circumstances or accidents… or of a tragic, fallen world. Though they may fail moral tests, they have some semblance of self-aware humanity, whereas others are often cardboard cutouts. And that includes the TV series, Fargo.

    TV series FARGO? How people sell out! Thankfully, THE GODFATHER never became a TV series. Still, I suppose movies spawning TV shows isn’t as bad as TV shows spawning movies, a trend in the 90s.

    As for Jews in Coen movies, there are lots of what might be called Proxy-Jews. Not literally Jewish in identity but representative of the Jewish anxiety, neurosis, and experience.

    Lleywn Davis isn’t Jewish and was modeled on Dave von Ronk. But he goes through lots of things experienced by Jews in the folk scene. The girl in TRUE GRIT sometimes comes across as pushy Jewess who won’t ever say NO. Lebowski isn’t Jewish but could be modeled on some Jewish counterculture slackers(as well as on goyim). He is certainly a composite.
    O BROTHER is both Americana and Amerikana. On the one hand, it is an insider view of the South by Christian folks, and yet, the wandering trio are also like exiled nomads with sure sense of home. It has elements of Kafka’s AMERIKA. As such, the trio are sometimes like proxy Jews.

  276. @The Anti-Gnostic

    This German historian found that while Hitler was very occasionally in some danger as a dispatch runner (almost always going between battalion headquarters behind the front lines and only rarely going over the front line trench) , his Iron Cross 1st Class was not often awarded for that type of duty, especially not to enlisted men. At one point, a lieutenant without direct authority over the Regiment’s several dispatch runners was responsible for getting a message to the front lines. Cajoling the runners didn’t work, so he resorted to promising he would nominate any “volunteer” runner for an Iron Cross First Class. Hitler jumped at the opportunity. But, that was one of the very few times he actually went over a front line trench.

    https://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-First-War-Regiment-2011-11-14/dp/B01FKSLBL8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1542309494&sr=8-2&keywords=thomas+weber+regiment+list&dpID=51npMLrlfFL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

  277. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    HUDSUCKER is too confused. Cartoonish and Artsy, goofy and ‘meaningful’. It’s John Hughes making an ‘art film’.

  278. Svigor says:
    @Ramesh Kumar

    It seems to be one of those cases of people in the past working for leftism not being leftist enough for [current year] leftism.

    I mean, the villain is a far-right wingnat sniper who hates Catholics, Jews, Blacks, and Homos, and wants them dead. The heroes are San Fran cops who crack jokes about Catholics, Jews, Blacks, Homos, Mexicans, etc., but are very much on their side vs. the wingnat.

  279. Svigor says:
    @syonredux

    Them fellas took all his Yankee shit as if that’s a bad thing.

  280. @SunBakedSuburb

    S.Craig Zahler’s grim Bone Tomahawk (2015) is worth checking out.

    I watched this last night. Not sure what I think about it, but it was different is a good kind of way.

    Not as good as Brawl in Cell Block 99, but I will watch his other movies.

  281. @syonredux

    I remember watching Branded as a kid. I thought it was cool.

    But not as cool as the first 14 seconds of this:

  282. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Lleywn Davis isn’t Jewish and was modeled on Dave von Ronk. But he goes through lots of things experienced by Jews in the folk scene.

    If so, that makes him another negative Jewish portrayal…..

    The girl in TRUE GRIT sometimes comes across as pushy Jewess who won’t ever say NO.

    Isn’t her characterization lifted pretty much wholesale from the novel? She certainly comes across as a flinty, Protestant schoolmarm type of gal….

    • Replies: @Anon
  283. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    TV series FARGO? How people sell out! Thankfully, THE GODFATHER never became a TV series.

    Give ‘em time. It’s already been turned into a video game….

  284. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    O BROTHER is both Americana and Amerikana. On the one hand, it is an insider view of the South by Christian folks, and yet, the wandering trio are also like exiled nomads with sure sense of home. It has elements of Kafka’s AMERIKA. As such, the trio are sometimes like proxy Jews.

    Is Odysseus a proxy Jew?

    • Replies: @Anon
  285. Cortes says:
    @syonredux

    A couple of weeks ago I had a discussion with my brother in law (a very skilled metalworker) about tempering blades and he mentioned the shock his mentor got when one of his blades, painstakingly folded and re-folded as usual, didn’t have a good “crack” when finally immersed. The whole project wasted. The likelihood that the “Branded” sabre would break or bend significantly seems remote. Check out the tests done towards the end of this:

  286. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Come on, the studio boss in BARTON FINK is hilarious. Not a positive character but it’s impossible to hate him, esp when he shows up in the military suit. LOL.

    Oh, he’s funny as hell (Michael Lerner steals every scene that he’s in).Plus, we get to see him put the hammer down on Barton Fink.Of course, bad guys are oftentimes the most entertaining parts of movies/films/books/plays…

    And even though the Jewish guy in MILLER’S CROSSING is odious, so is nearly everyone else except Byrne and Finney who are redeemed by brotherly feelings. That’s the test of friendship. Even after Finney in a fit of rage beats up Byrne, the latter still feels the love. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

    As for the Jewish guy, as odious as he is, you gotta give him points for pride. He could have just run and hid, but he wants his pride back. He can’t live with the fact that he was reduced to begging for his life.

    Yeah, but he does it at the expense of the man who showed him mercy….that’s pretty vile

    • Replies: @Anon
  287. @Anon

    I was intrigued by what James Coburn said about Peckinpah: “Sam Peckinpah was a genius for four hours a day. The rest of the time he was drunk. “

    • Replies: @Anon
  288. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Is Odysseus a proxy Jew?

    He was known for smarts and wandering around, so I suppose he is the Greek hero whom Jews might identify with most. Also, he retakes his home in the end, and Jews might see parallels between Odysseus’ rightful return and Jews retaking the Holy Land from the ‘Philistines’, albeit ironically enough, with the aid of the Holy Roman Imperium of the US, USSR, and UK.

    And America might be seen as rise of Olympians. Zeus was born of a Titan father but rebelled and became the new master of all. The Founding Fathers were Rebellious Sons.

    Titans themselves were rebellious kids.

    Because of monotheism, the Jewish religion is about continuity. It’s the same God from beginning to end. Emphasis is on the spiritual continuum, and this means all generations of Jews must be faithful to God. (Even Christianity, a kind of rebellion against Judaism, billed itself as a truer devotion to God. In contrast, pagan mythology has one set of gods totally overthrowing another bunch of gods, even their parents. So, maybe the Youth Culture thing that developed in the West was part of the DNA.)
    Still, even as Jews stuck with one God, it seems they understood the political philosophy of the pagan gods. What did Cronus do to gain mastery over the world? He slashed his sky-dad’s balls and separated father heaven from mother earth. Sounds rather like Jewish use of feminism. Separate white women from white men. Make white women see white men as The Enemy and have her mate with other men.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @syonredux
  289. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    “Sam Peckinpah was a genius for four hours a day. The rest of the time he was drunk. “

    On the set of THE WILD BUNCH, he was probably sober for at least 10 hrs a day. He was hungry because he’d been ‘blacklisted’ for 3 yrs for being difficult. So, he was able to make his greatest movie.

    Peckinpah needed someone to keep him from alcohol. Welles needed someone to keep him from food.

  290. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Yeah, but he does it at the expense of the man who showed him mercy….that’s pretty vile

    It is vile but nothing is more humiliating than mercy. Mercy is shown to the weak and wussy who cries like a baby. The Nazi guy who gets killed with a bat in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS at least died with balls and dignity. In contrast, the guy in MILLER CROSSING lived by bawling like a baby. He was shown mercy for being a wussy, and he can’t stand the fact that SOMEONE witnessed him in that state. It’s like COOL HAND LUKE. He is shown mercy after he breaks down, but that really got to him. He runs away again and gets killed, but he dies smiling because, at the very end, he didn’t beg for mercy.

    As Jews were vulnerable minorities during violent crisis periods, they often had to beg for mercy. They were relieved to find it but also humiliated by it. The fact that they needed the kindness of goyim to survive was gonna rub the Chosen People the wrong way. I once saw a French documentary about a village that hid Jews during the Occupation. The villagers remarked that they were saddened by the fact that the Jews didn’t come back and thank them. From the Jewish view, there may have a sense of shame and resentment that they had to depend on the kindness of French hick Christians to survive. Psychology is complicated.

    Another reason why the person shown mercy may hate the merciful is because the latter was ‘weak’ or ‘dumb’. After all, it’s stupid to show mercy in the boxing ring. Boxing is to win. You win or lose, there is nothing in between. And MILLER’S CROSSING is about gangsters. They are in tough game, and mercy is not an option. It’s like Michael Corleone shows no mercy to his enemies. He goes after Roth even after Roth has been outmaneuvered. He doesn’t spare Fredo either(though, of course, he should have as Fredo was just a dummy). Gabe Byrne’s character acted like a human with heart but in the wrong game. That’s his saving grace but also near-tragedy.
    Mercy need not be dumb. It could be motivated by sentimentality or heart. But sometimes, it is dumb, like when Carrie Fisher falls for the oldest trick in the book.

    And when dummies show you mercy, you aren’t grateful. You despise the dummy and take advantage. Especially as so many Jews were involved in professions of salesmanship that was about outwitting their customers, they were bound to develop a contempt for those who fell for the shtick. It’s like the salesmen in TIN MEN don’t exactly respect their customers, and Darth Helmet thinks Lone Star is a real dumbass. So, if mercy is seen as a negotiating trick in a game theory, then someone who shows mercy is a real schmuck.

  291. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    If so, that makes him another negative Jewish portrayal…..

    No, the character is deeply flawed but not without good qualities. And in a way, he is true to himself though blind to all his failings.

    Isn’t her characterization lifted pretty much wholesale from the novel? She certainly comes across as a flinty, Protestant schoolmarm type of gal….

    For one thing, she didn’t look Waspy(like the girl in the original).
    She looked like some Hawaiian brat. And she wasn’t particularly schoolmarmish but chutzpahstic.
    Katherine Hepburn in AFRICAN QUEEN was schoolmarmish. Imagine that role being played by Amy Schumer, and you got the girl in remake of TRUE GRIT.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  292. @Wade

    I think you’ve mixed up Ron Unz with Kevin McDonald.

    • LOL: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  293. cthulhu says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I liked “Hudsucker” just fine; I’d rank it solidly in the middle of their oeuvre. I thought it was better than “True Grit”.

  294. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Is Odysseus a proxy Jew?

    He was known for smarts and wandering around, so I suppose he is the Greek hero whom Jews might identify with most.

    Based on the Humanities I students that I’ve taught, he seems to be the Greek hero that modern undergraduates identify with most….

    Also, he retakes his home in the end, and Jews might see parallels between Odysseus’ rightful return and Jews retaking the Holy Land from the ‘Philistines’, albeit ironically enough, with the aid of the Holy Roman Imperium of the US, USSR, and UK.

    Jews in general? Or the Coens? And if we are meant to see a parallel between Odysseus/Ulysses Everett McGill*, what are we to make of his Penelope apparently cuckolding him (one of their girls is clearly part Black). Of course, Steve has a theory that UEG is himself part-Black…..So perhaps the child is his….

    What did Cronus do to gain mastery over the world? He slashed his sky-dad’s balls and separated father heaven from mother earth.

    He also swallowed his children in an attempt to stave off rebellion….

    * Perhaps a name inspired by Joyce’s Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker?

    • Replies: @Anon
  295. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    If so, that makes him another negative Jewish portrayal…..

    No, the character is deeply flawed but not without good qualities. And in a way, he is true to himself though blind to all his failings.

    One can be sympathetic to his plight, I suppose….A man trapped in endless cycles…..Still, his abuse of the that old woman is hard to take…

    Isn’t her characterization lifted pretty much wholesale from the novel? She certainly comes across as a flinty, Protestant schoolmarm type of gal….

    For one thing, she didn’t look Waspy(like the girl in the original).
    She looked like some Hawaiian brat.

    Eh. The Coens were desperate when they came across her. Finding an actress that young who could handle that kind of dialogue…Since we never saw her mother in the movie, I just assumed that she was part-Amerind…

    And she wasn’t particularly schoolmarmish but chutzpahstic.

    So, Portis wrote the character as Jewish? How strange of him…..

    Katherine Hepburn in AFRICAN QUEEN was schoolmarmish. Imagine that role being played by Amy Schumer, and you got the girl in remake of TRUE GRIT

    Wrong strategy, there. Schumer is so perversely wrong on every level that she makes Joe Namath seem right for the part….So now you’re making the girl seem perfect….

    Can’t expect full-blown schoolmarm in a girl that young. Still in the chrysalis stage. The Coens give us the real deal by the end….

    • Agree: Desiderius
  296. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    And when dummies show you mercy, you aren’t grateful. You despise the dummy and take advantage. Especially as so many Jews were involved in professions of salesmanship that was about outwitting their customers, they were bound to develop a contempt for those who fell for the shtick. It’s like the salesmen in TIN MEN don’t exactly respect their customers, and Darth Helmet thinks Lone Star is a real dumbass. So, if mercy is seen as a negotiating trick in a game theory, then someone who shows mercy is a real schmuck.

    As I’ve said, if non-Jews had made Miller’s Crossing, they would have been pilloried as anti-Semites….

  297. Twinkie says:
    @syonredux

    On the other hand, they do depict the occasional brave and decent person…..The pregnant sheriff in Fargo comes to mind….

    I love me some plucky women as much as the next red-blooded American, but why is it always the women in their work while their menfolk whimper in darkness? In one season of the TV show “Fargo,” there are TWO plucky female LEOs (one a Hispanic, I think) while the male LEOs are resentful and incompetent. Okay. I now know the good guys (I mean good people) are supposed to be and who the bad guys are.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  298. syonredux says:
    @Anon

    Corrected a typo….

    Is Odysseus a proxy Jew?

    He was known for smarts and wandering around, so I suppose he is the Greek hero whom Jews might identify with most.

    Based on the Humanities I students that I’ve taught, he seems to be the Greek hero that modern undergraduates identify with most….

    Also, he retakes his home in the end, and Jews might see parallels between Odysseus’ rightful return and Jews retaking the Holy Land from the ‘Philistines’, albeit ironically enough, with the aid of the Holy Roman Imperium of the US, USSR, and UK.

    Jews in general? Or the Coens? And if we are meant to see a parallel between Odysseus/Ulysses Everett McGill* and the Jews, what are we to make of his Penelope apparently cuckolding him (one of their girls is clearly part Black). Of course, Steve has a theory that UEG is himself part-Black…..So perhaps the child is his….

    What did Cronus do to gain mastery over the world? He slashed his sky-dad’s balls and separated father heaven from mother earth.

    He also swallowed his children in an attempt to stave off rebellion….

    * Perhaps a name inspired by Joyce’s Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker?

  299. Twinkie says:
    @Anon

    Mercy need not be dumb.

    It’s something I teach my kids all the time – “Be good. Be virtuous. But don’t be stupid. Help up the defeated foe (e.g. in Judo). But don’t extend your hand to the kid who is going to sucker-punch you for it. That’s the kid you slam down extra hard on his head.”

  300. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    On the other hand, they do depict the occasional brave and decent person…..The pregnant sheriff in Fargo comes to mind….

    I love me some plucky women as much as the next red-blooded American, but why is it always the women in their work while their menfolk whimper in darkness? In one season of the TV show “Fargo,” there are TWO plucky female LEOs (one a Hispanic, I think) while the male LEOs are resentful and incompetent. Okay. I now know the good guys (I mean good people) are supposed to be and who the bad guys are.

    Well, as I mentioned elsewhere, the Coens are not actually running the TV version of Fargo. The guy running the show is a fellow named Noah Hawley….

    Hawley is the creator, primary writer, and executive producer of the FX anthology television series Fargo (2014), based on the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name. On August 25, 2014, Fargo won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, along with 17 additional nominations at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. In total, the series has been nominated for 113 awards since its premiere, winning 32 of them. Season 3 of Fargo premiered on April 19, 2017.[10]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Hawley

  301. Twinkie says:
    @syonredux

    Which Jews in their films are you talking about?

    Right off the bat, I can think of Larry Gopnik from “A Serious Man” and Sy Feltz in the third season of “Fargo.”

    Not a pure Coen Bros production. The showrunner is a guy named Noah Hawley

    Fair enough, but they are still producers and their artistic finger prints are all over it.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  302. Twinkie says:
    @International Jew

    I think you’ve mixed up Ron Unz with Kevin McDonald.

    I don’t know. These days, I think Mr. Unz appears far more “anti-Semitic” than Prof. McDonald. The latter, as far as I can tell, doesn’t subscribe to blood libel and Holocaust denial.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  303. Twinkie says:
    @Wade

    White Gentiles exclusively in the crosshairs.

    I know some non-white gentiles who would dispute that characterization, starting with… me.

  304. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    Which Jews in their films are you talking about?

    Right off the bat, I can think of Larry Gopnik from “A Serious Man” and Sy Feltz in the third season of “Fargo.”

    Yeah, I’ve mentioned Gopnik several times. Do you have anybody else? And not somebody from the TV version of Fargo (Can’t count that as pure Coen Bros)…..’Cause that’s not enough to counterbalance Bernie from Miller’s Crossing, Jack Lipnick in Barton Fink, Judith Gopnik in A Serious Man, ….

  305. @Anon

    But Miller’s Crossing is more complicated than as you present it. Byrne does not spare Bernie Bernbaum because he cries for mercy, Byrne spares Bernbaum because Byrne is in love with Bernbaum’s sister and cannot bring himself to kill his lover’s brother. Note in the very opening scene of the movie that Byrne moves from the back wall at the 0:31 point of this clip when mob boss Caspar mentions Bernie Bernbaum’s name. The very first scene reveals that Byrne will act to protect Bernbaum not because he falls for Bernbaum’s crybaby routine, but because he is in love with Bernbaum’s sister.

    Remember that Byrne only joins the Caspar crew in order to avenge Finney and return his true Boss back to power. The Caspar mobsters that drive Byrne out to the woods to kill Bernbaum are presented as thuggish men who are testing Byrne to confirm that his allegiance to Caspar is true. Bernbaum scammed Caspar, not Finney, so Byrne is only shooting Bernbaum to demonstrate his false allegiance to Caspar. Byrne spares Bernbaum because he loves Bernbaum’s sister. That is where Byrne thought with his heart not with his head.

    Later in the film when Bernbaum actually betrays Byrne, as opposed to Caspar, and threatens Byrne’s plan to restore his Boss Finney to power, Byrne makes sure Bernbaum is killed with no hesitation. The second time around when Bernbaum once again begs for mercy, saying “Look in your heart”, Byrne asks “What heart?” and shoots him dead.

    The Bernbaum character, especially his dialogue in the woods, is worthy of analysis.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Anon
  306. @Anon

    nothing is more humiliating than mercy

    Humility is underrated.

  307. syonredux says:
    @Twinkie

    I think you’ve mixed up Ron Unz with Kevin McDonald.

    I don’t know. These days, I think Mr. Unz appears far more “anti-Semitic” than Prof. McDonald. The latter, as far as I can tell, doesn’t subscribe to blood libel and Holocaust denial.

    I don’t know what’s going on with Ron these days. Partial insanity? Selective stupidity? I expect him to embrace Apollo Moon Landings denial any day now….Or maybe that wouldn’t be extreme enough for Ron? Maybe he’ll go full “Man has never been in Space! Every manned mission has been a fraud!” tier….

    • Replies: @International Jew
    , @Anon
  308. syonredux says:
    @Clifford Brown

    . Byrne does not spare Bernie Bernbaum because he cries for mercy, Byrne spares Bernbaum because Byrne is in love with Bernbaum’s sister and cannot bring himself to kill his lover’s brother.

    Been a while since I saw the film, but doesn’t Tom try to get Leo to turn Bernie over?

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
  309. @syonredux

    I expect him to embrace Apollo Moon Landings denial any day now.

    What’s for sure, the Jooz will be an integral part of his theory. Werner von Braun, Zionist plants among the slave laborers at Peenemunde…

  310. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    I don’t know about Blood Libel, but according to Unz, an Israel scholar wrote a book that there might have been cases(if not many) of such rituals, but he was pressured to retract his theory.

    As for Shoah, I think Unz goes too far in speculating that the bulk of Shoah narrative could be a hoax, but there are LOTS of lies and fabrications. And one wonders why there is so much censorship on the matter in EU? It’s one thing to denounce neo-nazi types and willful deniers but EU penalizes and destroys even scholarly and academic inquiry into the issue. Try arguing, with good faith and with evidence, that maybe 4 million than 6 million died. Try saying that the gassings were grossly exaggerated and that most Jews were killed by guns. You’ll be in jail in no time. There are so many lies that one is tempted to be a nay-sayers on so many sacred cows. But still, I think Unz went too far on the Shoah issue. But his take on Leo Frank was fascinating.

  311. @anonymous

    Donald Trump’s tin ear doesn’t seem to have hurt his appeal to most Americans.

    You’re contradicting yourself, anonemouse Never Tumper. If DT has a tin ear, how does he know how to say things that appeal to the plebs?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  312. @syonredux

    It’s been a while since I have seen it as well, but I think the tension in the film is that Tom is torn between his love/ allegiance with Leo and his love for Verna, Bernbaum’s sister. Considering the rising power and violent nature of Caspar, the rational decision (the mind) would be for Tom to advise Leo to turn the low rent snake, Bernbaum, over to Caspar. Tom makes that call and is loyal to Leo, but there is a difference between advising Leo and actually pulling the trigger to kill Bernbaum. Tom likely knows that Leo’s highly emotional nature would never allow Leo to betray Verna. So Tom can give the right advice to Leo, but know that Leo would never act on the rational advice.

    Also, if Leo were to ever turn Bernbaum over to Caspar, then Verna would likely break up with Leo and then Tom could be with Verna openly as opposed to their current clandestine relationship which is a betrayal of Leo.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  313. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Byrne spares Bernbaum because he loves Bernbaum’s sister.

    Surely, but there are indications that he does have a softer side unlike most gangsters. Also, it is an act of mercy regardless of the motives. (But as Scotty says to Judy in VERTIGO, ‘you shouldn’t have been so sentimental’.) If it was just the girl that Byrne cared about, he would have been glad to Finney fall. But he cares about his boss too, despite the rivalry over the girl and the bad blood that develops between them.

    Second time, Byrne doesn’t spare the Bernbaum for obviously reasons. No one gets burned twice.
    Too bad Carlito didn’t have that chance with Bennie Blanco who was certainly not grateful for having been spared.

    Usually in movies, mercy is followed up by spared guy trying to pull a fast one, whereupon the hero has to kill him for sure the second time.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
  314. @Anon

    If it was just the girl that Byrne cared about, he would have been glad to Finney fall. But he cares about his boss too, despite the rivalry over the girl and the bad blood that develops between them.

    I think that is what the film is about. Byrne is torn between his highly rational cold mind in service of the interests of his Mob Boss and his highly personal love/ allegiance for both Finney and Verna. That is the tension in the film.

    At the end of the film, Byrne’s machinations have restored Finney (his King) to power, but Finney does not return any love to Byrne. Byrne fulfills his samurai/knight role of serving his King, but is left unloved by both his King and his lover.

  315. anon[114] • Disclaimer says:
    @Svigor

    For mine,Anton Chigurh is a pretty convincing psychopath.
    The suggestion at the end of the film, that only a Higher Power could ensure he got his just desserts, was a nice touch.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  316. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    but Finney does not return any love to Byrne.

    I think there is appreciation, but the tough old guy isn’t used to showing such emotions.
    What’s important is the two men understand without having to spell it out. And it would have ruined the moment if the feelings were put on display. The king must be king, the knight must be knight. Appearances must be kept. The king would be diminished otherwise. He was saved by one he’d banished, and it would be unseemly for him indebted. And in a way, it was evening the score. Betrayal redeemed by loyalty. It’s like Lancelot riding to battle in the final scene of EXCALIBUR.

  317. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @David Davenport

    No contradiction — his appeal demonstrates the decline in the American appreciation for oratory, an aspect of the dumbing down of our language.

    Don’t you agree that Donald Trump’s spoken English is pretty poor?

    And what makes you think that I’m a “Never T[r]umper”? I thought that starting with “For better or worse” and then using the last four Presidents to show what I meant would prevent your confusion. How might I have done that better?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  318. bomag says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    I’ve often wondered of America’s de facto eight years in power for a president has some kind of natural resonance. Hitler is one example here: came to power in 1933; was at his peak in 1941. As you indicated, he should have quit then.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  319. @Clifford Brown

    Yes. Tom looks up in surprise when Leo tells Caspar he’s not giving up Bernie. I mean come on, what’s one Heeb more or less?

    Because Leo, as it turns out, is in love with Verna, who’s got him by the pecker in order to protect her grifter brother.

  320. Art Deco says:
    @syonredux

    Which Jews in their films are you talking about? The only one that I can think of who fits that description is the guy in A Serious Man, and he’s modeled on their father…..Which indicates a certain level of filial piety at work

    Not an act of filial piety to portray your father as a shlemiel rolled by everyone around him.

    • Replies: @Anon
  321. JMcG says:
    @anon

    Being as we are talking Cormac McCarthy here, I just figure that Chigurgh is death personified. Random, relentless, getting us all in the end. That movie has stayed with me a long time. McCarthy is a great artist.

    • Replies: @Anon
  322. Art Deco says:
    @anonymous

    Don’t you agree that Donald Trump’s spoken English is pretty poor?

    Compared to whom? See Henry Fairlie’s writing on the subject of political oratory 30 years ago. This is not a novel complaint. Jimmy Carter had no oratorical skills at all, George Bush the Elder was painful to listen to, Walter Mondale and Richard Nixon were scripted and deadly dull. Gerald Ford could be a capable public speaker, but it required in his case much more preparation than he was willing or able to give, so there are only scattered examples of it; most of the time, he was soporific. Barack Obama was verbally fluent, but never inspiring (mostly because you knew there wasn’t any there there).

  323. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Not an act of filial piety to portray your father as a shlemiel rolled by everyone around him.

    But the rolled deserve more sympathy than the rollers. Also, he asks for justice and meaning, not favors or short-cuts.

    Clyde the Asian student asks for favors by bribery. Bernbaum in MILLERS is always asking for mercy after pulling dirty tricks. He’s asking for something he doesn’t deserve. The guy in FARGO is out for short cut to money. NO COUNTRY has a guy who becomes addicted to a suitcase full of money. Everyone wants a short cut to fame or money in BIG LEBOWSKI. It’s the Gold Rush, Game
    Show, or Gangster mentality. By bribery, theft, blackmail, or pleading for mercy, they are trying to get in front of the line.

    In contrast, the father in SERIOUS MAN tries to do the right thing, and when the world turns against him, he wants to know why. He’s sometimes pitiful but also pitiable.

    It’s not Father Knows Best but still Father Tries Best.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  324. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Art Deco

    Don’t you agree that Donald Trump’s spoken English is pretty poor?

    Compared to whom?

    It’s part of populist shtick. His mouth was born in a log cabin.

  325. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @JMcG

    Being as we are talking Cormac McCarthy here, I just figure that Chigurgh is death personified.

    Crueler version of Mr. Death in SEVENTH SEAL.

    One thing for sure, he doesn’t discriminate.

  326. @syonredux

    I think I was born in the wrong country and at the wrong time to know about this programme–it was only when writing the previous comment that I discovered it was real. I had assumed it was an invention for the film.

    But that is the opening sequence to a show I would have watched as a child, and I’d watch it now.

  327. Anon[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Compared to himself as a younger man?

    I don’t really know, but I remember from election year that there seemed to have been a difference.

  328. @Art Deco

    Barack Obama was verbally fluent

    Only when scripted. Off-the-cuff, he was inarticulate.

  329. Anon[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Based on the Humanities I students that I’ve taught, he seems to be the Greek hero that modern undergraduates identify with most….

    He’s got his own story, it’s interesting, and it’s not a tragedy. What more do you want?

  330. Anonymous[428] • Disclaimer says:
    @bomag

    5 is too short and 10 too long. Several countries, notably France, have 7-year presidential terms.

    Edit: I’m showing my age. The French changed it to 5 years way back in 2000.

  331. Art Deco says:
    @Anon

    In contrast, the father in SERIOUS MAN tries to do the right thing, and when the world turns against him, he wants to know why. He’s sometimes pitiful but also pitiable.

    Actually, the character is a series of contrivances, as is the plot. It may be true that literature deals with the possible rather than the probable, but you begin to pile the improbable higher and deeper and it damages (in this case ruins) the quality of the plot and the characters.

    1. The protagonist has a 16 year old daughter, so it’s a reasonable inference he’s been married for about 18 years and is about 42 years old.

    2. Recall a 42 year old man at that time was likely to have had military service (> 70%). He’s been married for 18 years. He’s had children at home for 16 years. He’s been earning a living (or had fellowships) for close to 20 years. Yet, he has absolutely no aplomb in any situation, no capacity to stand up for himself, no capacity to induce anyone else to back off.

    3. There’s no mention of any trade he’s ever had other than teaching, yet there he is at age 42 without tenure. And you’d think a middle-aged professor would have some experience with troublesome students and the games they play (as well as an understanding of disciplinary procedures) but he’s quite unsure on his feet. (You’ll notice from the conversation with his department head he has no idea how to put together a tenure application)

    4. His children steal from his billfold and he’s uncertain what to do. This is 1967. Even in a moderately affluent family, cash withdrawals from the bank are going to be around $35 a week, most of it kept in the mother’s purse because she’s doing the shopping. They empty his billfold and he dithers.

    5. Expressive divorce wasn’t common among my mother’s contemporaries. Women divorced alcoholic husbands, they divorced tomcatting husbands, they divorced husbands with volcanic tempers if the children were out of the house. He isn’t angry, he isn’t disgusted, he doesn’t brood. He allows the man cuckolding him to put on cloying performances in his house (a parody of California flakiness ca. 1977) and then is later manipulated into paying for the man’s funeral (as if the man had no assets and no relatives).

    He’s not trying to do the right thing. He has no idea how to handle adult life at all.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Desiderius
  332. notanon says:
    @Anonymous

    the protagonist in miller’s crossing, the woman cop in fargo, cogburn in true grit, sheriff in no country, studio boss in hail caesar are all good (if flawed) characters at least imo.

  333. notanon says:
    @tr

    good point – i was getting a bit carried away

  334. notanon says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    I think we are headed for a Maunder Minimum.

    and me – hence wanting Pooty to set the Boers up to experiment with cold weather dome farming

  335. @Pat Boyle

    Plenty of leading actors can do tragedy and comedy well:

    - Michael Caine
    - Matthew McConaghy
    - Ryan Gosling
    - Russell Crowe

    Just a few off the top of my head; I don’t want to make a tedious list.

    Adam Sandler, of all the otherwise no-talent, unfunny hacks, was pretty great in Punch Drunk Love. Maybe he is missing his calling as a tragedian, but we won’t know since it was a one-time thing. It also makes one wonder about how often brilliant directors can get mediocre actors to look great via editing and retakes. Unlike theatre, acting in film takes less talent because audiences don’t see the saisage being made as it happens. Hitchcock and Welles both often spoke of being able to salvage pretty dreadful performances via editing.

    I agree Pitt and Clooney are especially adept at both tragedy and comedy, though.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  336. @syonredux

    Simmons is a national treasure. The academy should give him some kind of special lifetime-achievement award for character actors. He’s that brilliant.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  337. notanon says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    that would be my take also – although i can see Twinkie’s point about the asian characters not getting the same variety of good and bad.

  338. @IHTG

    “Graf?” Seriously? It’s one damned letter more. The Internet – especially smartphones and Twitter – is destroying literacy.

    • Replies: @Anon
  339. @Autochthon

    Part of being a big star is the ability to go on talk shows and be funny and charming. Clooney is a fine actor, but he’s a great talk show guest.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  340. @Art Deco

    There was good reason we called the man prominently absent from that list The Great Communicator.

    He cheated, of course, having been an actor. Orson Welles seriously considered running for the senate at one point. Now there would have been the most eloquent politician who ever lived; people would have been absolutely rapt by his voice, delivery, and words. Alas, we get now stuffed suits because the qualification isn’t being brilliant or even charismatic: it’s being anodyne.

    Andrew Jackson, John Calhoun, Daniel Webster, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson – not one of them could get elected today for being “scandalous.” Think about that.

    Trump got ’round it only by being filthy rich and – more importantly – having the luck to run against a gorgon in a two-party system.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  341. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Yet, he has absolutely no aplomb in any situation, no capacity to stand up for himself, no capacity to induce anyone else to back off.

    Personality makes a man. There are plenty of men who served in the military and came out not one bit manlier. He has a mostly passive personality.

    His children steal from his billfold and he’s uncertain what to do. This is 1967.

    Kids are into consumer culture. Lots of parents in the 60s were blind-sided by kid behavior. See the movie PEOPLE NEXT DOOR.

    He isn’t angry, he isn’t disgusted, he doesn’t brood.

    But would acting like Newman make him any better as a man?

    Again, it’s personality. He is clearly distressed but has a passive personality.

    He’s not trying to do the right thing. He has no idea how to handle adult life at all.

    He does try to do the right thing by not taking the bribe from the student. He is generous to his brother. And he tries to be understanding and empathetic, too much so. And despite all his personal problems, he pulls it all together to be there at the Bar Mitzvah. Also, in a movie where so many people try to take advantage of others and situations, he stands out as contrast. He’s not a crusader or activist, but in not doing what others so easily do, he does maintain a center.
    But then, as you’ve noted, being good and decent isn’t enough. Others will step all over you. He doesn’t go around DOING the Right thing but he does NOT do the wrong things. Granted, this poses a paradox. If you’re a nice good guy who doesn’t do wrong and if others see it as weakness and take advantage of you, is your goodness a kind of badness? If good attracts exploitation by the bad, isn’t it bad? And then, if one must be bad to fend off the bad, is being bad a kind of good?

    Or is there a problem with merely being passively good? When tempted by corruption, he says no. So, he maintains goodness within his own personal sphere. But he doesn’t try to do anything to make the larger world better. He rebuffs corruption but doesn’t try to save the world from corruption. Maybe that was Job’s problem. He was a good man who obeyed God but had no vision of life beyond being good in his little world. He didn’t have the vision of Jesus. And maybe that’s also the problem with American Conservatism. While good white conservatives are mostly concerned about the tidy nice little lives and being good citizens, OTHERS think big about the future of America and destiny of the world.

    Part of the problem is so many things hit him at once. His wife, the upcoming Bar Mitzvah, his brother’s problems with the law, the car accident, the threat of lawsuit by student’s father(about defamation), and etc. If you don’t push, you get pushed. But in pushing, you can easily become another a**hole.

  342. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    As compared to A Mighty Wind, Llewyn is piss poor in terns of an exploration into the demiomonde of folk music (which isn’t it’s primary purpose, but which is a necessary concomitant to dealing with the subject for modern audiences).

    As portrait of a cultural scene, it has the right balance of loving tribute and gentle mockery(as folkies were animated by conceits that were soon outdated). Davis isn’t the bitter creature that Salieri is to Mozart, but he represents so many folkies who tried to be somebody but just didn’t have the chops or the chance. Or even if they ‘made it’, they were so overshadowed by Dylan that their successes didn’t seem like much. If not for Dylan, maybe we would consider Dave von Ronk, Phil Ochs, and many others genuine successes. But compared to Dylan, they look small(just like Elvis made so many rockabilly stars seem puny). Donovon had some hits but seems like Tiny Tim compared to Dylan.

    Unlike “country music”, consciously invented to provide a market for advertising in the late era of the Model T Ford, battery radios, and farmers on farms without utility supplied electricity, still a money-maker, “folk music” as a commercially marketable product was something that had a definite short era and is largely unknown today. Folk music fans were the opposite of country music fans in many ways: preferentially urban, politically left wing, generally whatever religion they might have it wasn’t fundamentalist or mainline Christianity. When folk music petered out folkies, if they tried to “cross over”, went for rock or Top/40-MOR rather than country. The only folkies who succeeded in the country world were people who had not become commercially successful yet, and most of them wound up not being very commercial and dropping back into alt-country or Americana markets, although Emmylou Harris did get inducted into the Grand Old Opry.

    Of course, many people were marketed as “folk artists” that were in no wise connected to “folk music” in any of the normal senses, such as acoustic solo guitarists like John Fahey and Leo Kottke.

    But Bob Dylan is orthogonal to folk music: it happened to be the thing to get into and he did, but he was one of the first artists to constantly “reinvent himself” and the folkies’ outrage at his “going electric” was a case of not paying attention on their part.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  343. @Anonymous

    As a teenager, Dylan wanted to be Elvis, but then rock ‘n’ roll faded and folk music was the big thing c. 1960, so Dylan got into that. But when the Beatles arrived, Dylan correctly figured out this wasn’t a fad, it was a massive change, so he found himself a great band.

  344. Art Deco says:
    @Anon

    Personality makes a man. There are plenty of men who served in the military and came out not one bit manlier.

    Never met such a person. And, no ‘personality’ does not. Personality is an aspect of character.

    He has a mostly passive personality.

    No, he has a craven and dithering personality. To say he’s passive says he’s the recipient of the acts of others, not that the acts of others induce no reaction. The one element of resistance you see him undertake is exploring a lawsuit against the neighbor impinging on his property.

    His children steal from his billfold and he’s uncertain what to do. This is 1967. Kids are into consumer culture. Lots of parents in the 60s were blind-sided by kid behavior. See the movie PEOPLE NEXT DOOR.

    Blindsided by behavior that was novel and outside their experience, which petty larceny was not. I recall my own mother ca. 1971 at sea with some of my sister’s antics. When a party crasher invaded her bedroom and emptied her purse of cash, that she could get her mind around.

    But would acting like Newman make him any better as a man?

    Who is ‘Newman’?

    Putting his bloody paycheck in an account his wife cannot access, telling said adulterous wife if she wants his co-operation in a divorce proceeding she gets her tuchus out of his house, not allowing her paramour over the transom, and telling her in no uncertain terms that the man’s relatives will be paying for his funeral is what a better man would do. Also, telling daughter dearest that the next time she steals four days worth of household cash expenditures from him, she’ll be in front of a suburban JP and telling her that it’s time she started earning is what a better man would do. As for the odious student in his class, the cash should have been turned over to the dean of students with a letter delineating the sequence of events; the student’s father merited a complaint to the police or a letter from an attorney.

    There is a distinction between being good and being harmless. A good man has a store of righteous anger. Rules don’t enforce themselves.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Anon
  345. Art Deco says:
    @Autochthon

    Trump got ’round it only by being filthy rich and – more importantly – having the luck to run against a gorgon in a two-party system.

    None of the 16 Republican candidates he competed against were gorgons, though people who’ve worked for Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina have uncomplimentary things to say about them. They were all caught flat-footed by the immigration issue. (Rick Santorum was supposedly something of an immigration hawk, but he was in 2016 having no success at marketing and fundraising, his performance in 2012 not replicable for some reason).

    Trump I think that scares the media witless. They’ve amused themselves for decades stirring up sh!tstorms against candidates they despise and here comes a man who breaks the gaffe meter several times a week and they can hardly touch him.

    Reagan wasn’t ‘cheating’. Radio, screen acting, and public relations were how he’d earned his living. As a union official, he also learned something of the business side. He was atypical among Hollywood types in that he not only had opinions, he’d given serious thought to policy questions. About 8% of the 1911 cohort had some measure of tertiary schooling. Reagan and his brother came from a small town petit bourgeois family impecunious enough that they were likely worse off than a great many of the wage earners who made an infrequent purchase from the family shoe store. Those of their stratum were not ordinarily college material. They both attended, both earned degrees, and both made an excellent living in Southern California. Reagan often said strange things and you couldn’t talk to him when he’d made up his mind, but the systemic cock-ups you saw during the Nixon Administration you didn’t see with Reagan. There was more there there than his detractors realized.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  346. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Never met such a person. And, no ‘personality’ does not. Personality is an aspect of character.

    When the draft existed, all kinds of men served in the military. Take Gomer Pyle. If you take a wuss or wimp and put in a military uniform, he may look tough on the exterior. But inside, he’s pretty much the same person. Also, once a person is out of the military, he regresses to the norm of his actual manhood.
    Whether a person joins the military or a hippie commune, alphas will be alphas, betas will be betas, and omegas will be omegas. An alpha who didn’t serve in the military will dominate an omega who did serve in the military.

    These days, maybe there are tougher guys in the military because it’s voluntary. So maybe only those who want ‘to be all you can be’ join. But even this is true to some extent. Many join for benefits. Also, they join a tough outfit because they feel weak or insignificant as individuals. Most guys in my high school who joined the military weren’t the most impressive guys. And after they came out of the military, they were the same dufuses.
    Military is a place where you are ordered and trained to be manly. It is a place of obedience and submission. It is about creating killers but also orderly dogs. You are supposed to ‘yes sir’ all the time. Consider how difficult it was for the guy in CASUALTIES OF WAR to go against the command.

    Personality makes the man. If you haven’t noticed this, you don’t know reality. If an omega joins a fraternity, he may feel alpha cuz he’s surrounded by Cool Guys. But he will still be an omega. And once out of the fraternity, he will revert to what he is. It’s the Skippy Syndrome. Skipper will always be Skipper. Same with girls. Feminism talks about sisterhood and equality, but look at any women’s group, right or left, and there is a hierarchy of big sisters and little sisters. And a lot of this has to do with personality. Take the movie THE GROUP based on Mary McCarthy novel. The girls all went to the same school and are friends, but they are so different. Why? Personality.
    Now, one way that the weak personalities can become aggressive is via ideology. Having low individual will and agency, they use ideology as crutch for empowerment. This was the case in OLENNA, about a young woman who has no will and confidence. The only way she can feel empowered is via ideology and cult of victimhood.

    No, he has a craven and dithering personality. To say he’s passive says he’s the recipient of the acts of others, not that the acts of others induce no reaction.

    What are you, a semantic schoolmarm? Now, you’re getting all Oleanna-ish on me over issue of diction. Craven and Dithering are part of passive personality. It’s the inability to be firm and strong. Not all passive personalities are craven and dithering, but most craven and dithering types are passive in life. Also, things are complicated in the house. Many people indulge family members in ways they don’t with strangers. It could be due to love or just sentimentality. And maybe he wasn’t so appalled by his wife’s demand for divorce because he didn’t love her all that much in the first place. He did what he was supposed to do: get married and have kids, but there was no great love there. One thing for sure, the wife isn’t much of a looker. He later shares a joint with some hot Jewish woman next door and has a dream of having sex with her.
    As for the relationship between him and his kids, problematic as it may seem, it’s still miles above how most fathers are raising their kids today.
    Another problem is that others come at him with fists wrapped in velvet glove. His wife asks for divorce but in a proper Jewish way. So, her act of betrayal is presented in the form of faith to Jewish tradition. The Rabbis who tell him utter nonsense wrap their ‘advice’ with pseudo-profoundities. ‘Look at the parking lot’ from the young rabbi(who might be a pothead). Or the story about the dentist, the moral of which is ‘who cares about the goyim?’ And his brother causes so many problems, but he’s such a sorry sack of pitifulness that it’s impossible to just kick him out. And even as his son is into pot and consumerism, he dutifully prepares himself for the Bar Mitzvah. And the guy who takes his wife comes with wine and flattery. A stronger person would have pulled off the velvet glove and bitten the fist, but there are too many people like him. Just look at Congress. All those whore politicians like Paul Ryan. The Power came to them with sticks and carrots. If the likes of Ryan disobey, it’s the stick. But if they obey, it’s lots of sweet carrots.

    In some ways, the father in SERIOUS MAN, as pathetic as he is sometimes, has more integrity that most politicians and businessmen today. Even as he submits to one humiliation after another, he at least knows he is being compromised and used. So, he does seek an answer from the Rabbis. He is passive/aggressive in this sense. He wants to know WHY. In contrast, most cucky-wucks and NPC’s who are totally owned and controlled by the System don’t even dare to ask. They are content with being used-up whores.

    Blindsided by behavior that was novel and outside their experience, which petty larceny was not.

    What you call ‘petty larceny’ always existed BUT things got wilder in the 60s because (1) there was more to steal — parents of boomers were more affluent than parents of GG and (2) there were more temptations: the need to buy latest clothes, albums, drugs, gas for cars, and etc. The level of youth-obsession and all the petty crimes it inspired did blindside the parents in the 60s.

    Putting his bloody paycheck in an account his wife cannot access, telling said adulterous wife if she wants his co-operation in a divorce proceeding she gets her tuchus out of his house

    Look, I agree with you from a moral perspective. The guy should man up more.
    But art isn’t just about right and wrong but trying to understand why it’s so difficult to do the right thing due to so many reasons. It’s like politics. Why can’t all politicians be like Jimmy Stewart in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON and speak the truth and stand up for principles? Why can’t academics and journalists stand up to PC in favor of courage and truth? I wish they could, but due to formative, circumstantial, and professional reasons, they can’t. Most people in movies don’t act ideally. Some are just wicked, but others find it’s difficult to do the right thing even if they want to. The world around them won’t allow it, and most people are weak inside. People are more dogs than cats. Art makes us explore why people are the way they are instead of what they should be. Notice in MILLER’S CROSSING, the only way the hero can straighten things out is in a roundabout way. In a crooked and twisted world, it’s hard to shoot straight. You have to seek wormholes.

    And you gotta stop being like Steve Martin in relation to Art. Art is a fatso, not a lean mean fighting machine.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  347. @Art Deco

    In a word, he’s unserious.

  348. @Autochthon

    He’s too busy right now colonizing the Solar System and fleecing major population centers.

  349. @Anon

    If you’re a nice good guy who doesn’t do wrong and if others see it as weakness and take advantage of you, is your goodness a kind of badness? If good attracts exploitation by the bad, isn’t it bad? And then, if one must be bad to fend off the bad, is being bad a kind of good?

    No.

    It is wrong and unmanly.

    Morality is not one-dimensional.

  350. @Anon

    Or is there a problem with merely being passively good?

    Yes. This is what made the New Testament necessary.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  351. @Anon

    Pyle was the farthest thing from a wuss, Priss. Luck is the residue of design.

    And you gotta stop being like Steve Martin in relation to Art.

    Physician, heal thyself. Art (Deco) is a treasure, and ain’t none of us going to change him anyway, so you might as well give up trying. Just sit back and enjoy the streams of facticity.

    That was a nice spot on that clip though. Great flick.

  352. @Desiderius

    Job is prior to the Decalogue, so also to this question.

  353. Clyde says:
    @Jack D

    Personal life
    Sam Raimi has been married since 1993 to Gillian Dania Greene, daughter of actor Lorne Greene. They have five children, three of whom (daughter Emma Rose and sons Lorne and Henry) appeared as extras in Drag Me to Hell, and in Spider-Man 3 during the movie’s final battle

  354. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:
    @al gore rhythms

    when Lebowski and Walter go to the house of little Larry to confront him about stealing the Dude’s car, and… The Dude drunkenly sings the theme tune to the show in the back of the Malibu cop’s car.

    Do the Coens have something like Roadophobia?

    Some of the worst things happen on the road in their movies? BLOOD SIMPLE has a roadside killing. So does FARGO. Whether it’s menacing cops(INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS) or menacing gangsters, much happens on the road. Granted, bad things happen in homes too, but at the very least there is a sense of security in the home. The people in FARGO seem happy in their home. But danger comes to them from killers on the road. NO COUNTRY is the antithesis of EASY RIDER. Road is hell, not freedom.
    The wife-thief in SERIOUS MAN dies in a car accident. It’s the road that allowed the porn woman in BIG LEBOWSKI leave her home and then leave her husband. It’s like all roads lead to hell. Not happy road tales in RAISING ARIZONA or O BROTHER.

    Jews were defined by the road and know more about wandering than other peoples. They know of its advantages but seem to also fear its dangers. You’re on your own in the middle of nowhere or with strangers. Chigurh makes everyone feel like a vulnerable ‘Jew’.

  355. Tyrion 2 says:
    @eD

    Well the last scene would serve as a solid satire of the comment thread so I’ll add: “people are like ferrets!”.

    Also, as an anthology, it is quite hard to surmise. It consists of multiple short stories that all stand very well alone and they’re all character driven pieces, except one, which is fun and surreal.

    I’m sure each has meaning to the writers beyond what I can discern but I don’t think such meaning is important to the audience’s enjoyment of the film.

    I once read a collection of Ozick’s short stories. The film reminded me of them, despite the vastly different setting and characters featured.

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