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Tableau IV

Hello, my dear friends 🙂

I was so tired, took a pill, and it woke me up.

Was supposed to be soporific.

A big word I negotiated on the GRE.

While the math kicked my butt.

Yes, dear friends…I wanted to bring you a film review tonight.

But I was tired.  Just run down.

And then got a second wind…in spite of my more responsible wishes.

So here I am.

Lucky and blessed…to write…and hit a button…and send it out into the world.

For this privilege I must thank my countrymen and women.

From many walks of life…but particularly those who serve in military and intelligence.

Thank you, folks!

But let’s get into the meat of this.

The premise I’m violating…is that a film critic should always write about film.

But nature would nudge a film critic to be a critic in general.

And I am certainly that.

A mixed blessing.

Things…piss me off.

But I don’t resort to violence.

I just rip to shreds with words.

Which is not to excuse my more liberal applications of invective.

There are niches carved out by our forerunners.

“Film critic” has a history.

Derided by some, it is central to the short history of motion pictures.

But these Tableaux are the purest “film theory” I can muster.

A chance to ruminate on the capital requirements of filmmaking.

Sure…you can make a movie with your iPhone…and whatever software you can find.

But you’re not likely to be satisfied with your creation…if you’re comparing it to something you saw in the theater last week.

And yet, the world seems to love the theater less and less everyday.

So the theater has morphed and come into our homes.



I mean, it really is something to see Vertigo in a 70mm print.

Not only do you fall in love with Kim Novak (and/or Jimmy Stewart), you fall in love with San Francisco.

Those hills.

And that music…

Bernard Herrmann.

But back to this porkbarrel film criticism I churn out.

It’s either diabolical or daft.

Or deft in spite of itself.

I don’t have the detachment to make that judgement.

I don’t have the data.

I’m a smalltime operation.

But we write our conscience.

When we see disaster, we say “Don’t vote Hillary!  For God’s sake…”.

And then sometimes we gotta eat our shoes…like Chaplin in The Gold Rush.

“Don’t go to war in Syria!”

That was my short post this afternoon.

Because I really appreciate what Dr. Steve Pieczenik is bringing to the global debate.

A truly unique skill set.

Which brings up a very important point (thank you Flaming Lips):

“OK…I’ll admit…that I really…don’t understand.”

Intuition is a powerful tool, but we must know its limits.

Yet, does geopolitics “behave” with a logic all its own?

You can pick the fear porn of your choice:  Fox News, CNN, MSNBC…the other three threes.

Around the world.

BBC, Sky…CBC…my knowledge of tele mostly encompasses stations in my own land.

So we would have to get outside.

Is there an American “style” of telejournalism?

I would imagine so.

But, all things considered, there is one aspect which will be leveraged by all nations from now till the end of time.


Americans really became allergic to traditional propaganda during the Bush Jr. (thanks Dr. P) administration.

But as soon as Obama was elected, the country went back to sleep.

By term two, things weren’t going so great for Barack.

Biden wasn’t going to cut it.

And Hillary didn’t.

But the Republicans got very lucky…that Donald Trump changed camps…and was, at this time, a conservative.

But the sleep mechanism is so powerful.

Get your candidate elected, and go back to sleep.

I was only asleep a month or so before I forced myself up…

To the front lines.

But a soldier in the truth must be honest.

So I can tell you…I have no idea what is going on now.

I have never seen such a morass…such a tangle of messages.

It’s like a switchboard from hell.

And we hope to God that someone is keeping track of all these messages.

Not just the text.  The data.  But the meaning.

Poetic meaning.

The why of     extra space.

Error as poetry.

And all means employed to make a point.

I am worried.

I am concerned.

Another war…a war in Syria…would be devastating.

And stepping back to the State Department level, we can see that that piece of ground holds no significance for us.

“America first” is going to start ringing pretty hollow unless Trump takes the wheel.

So that…those trained in the dark arts (not spells and witchcraft)…the clandestine arts of destabilization…regime change…etc.

These professionals must be allowed to work.

We don’t want war in North Korea either.

None of the stakeholders do.

And if they do, they’re insane.

You must…excuse me…as I practice writing.

As I run these metaphor by you.

I pray good things for all my readers.

Joy, happiness, safety, and peace of mind.

I hope Trump, Putin, and She She Pong (just kidding) will get their heads together.

Ain’t good for business.

This stress.

It IS, however, a story killer.

And the last story was an interminable dragging.

But again…I can no longer tell who’s lying, who’s playing dumb, who’s naturally dumb…

I have hit information overload in regards to the events following the Trump missile strike.

But I do know there’s 180 degrees in a triangle (thanks mom!).

And I got cosy with the six trigonometric ratios.

Then they attacked me 🙂

So we will continue.

Maybe some of us will meet in the camps.

Maybe “summarily executed” will be my last role.

But when you have nothing to lose…and you have developed your inner life…your soul…or your mind…then you feel compelled to jump into the ring with the lions.

I pray and hope that tomorrow is a calm, anchored day.

We all need that reassurance…that we’re not about to be vaporized while we’re at the grocery store.

And so, dear friends, I wish you the best!

Until next time,



3 responses to “Tableau IV

  1. migarium

    I wish you the best too, my dear Earthling friend!

  2. Excellent Paul,
    Another Sparkling Comments on Politics which I mostly agree with but it is your comments on Vertigo a Truly magnificent Film and Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart are Brilliant . It is a film with Excellent locations and Art Galleries but I think the Culprit gets away with Murder. Is that deliberate from Hitchcock do you think.


    • Thank you, Lawrence! Yes, the culprit does get away with murder. But only because the film ends. It is left undecided. Novak, however, has a crisis of conscience…and plummets to her death out of fright. So her role in the murder does not go unpunished. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment! –Paul

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