That’s “the end of the world as we know it,” for you non-REM fans. Wouldn’t fit on one line.
I don’t know about you, but when a day opens with an account of the Treasury Secretary on bended knee before the Speaker of the House, continues with clips of the Republican vice-presidential candidate sounding like Miss Teen South Carolina, lurches on to another bank failure and it’s not even 9 a.m. yet, well…that’s not a good day. One should consider going back to bed. I did. Decided, instead, to read a movie review. Hey, it’s Friday. Is Spike Lee still the most overrated director since Steven Spielberg? Check:
The role that black troops actually played is an important story, and might have been a powerful one in Spike Lee’s hands. Indeed, a sense of that power can still be gleaned from the DVD version of Rachid Bouchareb’s “Days of Glory,” a magnificent French-language film that played here two years ago, and told essentially the same story with different skin shades — four Algerian soldiers in the French army fighting bravely against the Nazis for the nation they love while their fellow French soldiers treat them like scum, and their casually despicable racist officers use them as cannon fodder.
But the Bouchareb film allowed the awful ironies of the situation to speak for themselves, while Spike Lee keeps hammering them home with agitprop fervor and clumsy actors playing racist officers as crude cartoons.
Yep. Is Roger Ebert still his No. 1 fan and water-carrier? Hmm, three stars, but I know it’s in here somewhere…oh, OK. Here it is:
In a sense, the scenes I complain about are evidence of Lee’s stature as an artist. In a time of studios and many filmmakers who play it safe and right down the middle, Lee has a vision and sticks to it.
You might have gathered I’m not a fan. Fortunately, Spike Lee’s movies are easy to avoid and, in the grand scheme of things, not much of an irritant. However, one of the great periods of Hollywood flowering came during the Depression, when our parents, or our grandparents, escaped from their dreary lives an hour or two at a time at their local movie house. Now that it looks like we’re in for a sequel to the Depression, it might be nice to have a few decent movies in town, too.
(Well, there’s always “Nights in Rodanthe,” in which, I read, “an elusive band of wild horses shows up for a symbolic gallop on a beach” [WSJ]. Can’t! Wait!)
I’m invited to a small debate gathering tonight at JohnC’s house, but given that we don’t know if the debate is actually happening, maybe not. Hey, John — maybe you should make it a Depression-themed gathering. Have everyone bring a donation to a soup kitchen, or a cake made without flour or eggs. I hear things are tough all over. Mrs. Fuld (nee: Mrs. Lehman Bros.) is even selling her art. I hope Uncle Sam has the guts to seize the checks.
If you guys are looking for something to discuss in the comments, maybe everyone could take a stab at describing an economy in which the credit lines are frozen. Hardly anyone has done so publicly, or if so, they say, “You wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage or car loan.” Since most people are, at any given moment, not shopping for either one, it makes it easy to turn the page and say, “not my problem.” I don’t think most people know how credit works, how lines of credit and short-term borrowing affects, literally, every segment of the economy, how business relies on short-term credit to stock their shelves and longer-term instruments to install new equipment, etc. So Econ 101 for any dummies who might stumble through here and need the education. I figure it can’t be any less useful than more ranting and gloating.
“It really is true what they say: Those who do not study the past get an exciting opportunity to repeat it.” — Jon Stewart, national treasure. It gets good at the one-minute mark:
Well, at least you’ll be able to get some decent pot around here without risking your neck.
Finally, when was the last time you heard someone say, “I thought I’d be wearing a jet pack by now. Where’s my jet pack?” Well, it’s here!
Have a good day and weekend. I’ll be casting zombies.