Trump vs. Biden, September 29 [2020)

What just happened here?

Like a Bach fugue at maximum polyphony.

Like the first movement of Górecki’s third symphony.

It was only three voices tonight, but it seemed like many more.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8788571/Full-transcript-Donald-Trump-Joe-Biden-debate.html

Let’s unpack.

First, Chris Wallace is not “America’s premier journalist” (as Fox News proffered in the week leading up to this debate).

Even so, this is the closest thing Donald Trump will get to a “fair shake” this entire debate season.

Wallace does not like Trump.

That is pretty obvious.

His disdain for Trump is not very well hidden.

“Fair and balanced”…

Not quite.

But, again, compared to what will follow in other debates, Chris Wallace is at least a photocopy of a fax of ¨journalism“.

The mediators to follow will not even rise to that level of “quality”.

But let’s get to Biden’s “strategy”:

-That’s simply not true.

-That is simply a lie.

-You’re not going to be able to shut him up.

-Donald would you just be quiet for a minute.

[crosstalk]

Wallace: You’re debating him not me.

Well, actually…he’s debating both of you corrupt pricks.

Trump: Well, I’ll ask Joe.

When the game is not fair (and it isn’t–it hasn’t been for the past four years), then you can’t play fair in return.

Cipher.

Wallace: Mr. President, I’m the moderator of this debate and I would like you to let me ask my question…

Trump: Well, first of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s okay. I’m not surprised.

Wallace aims early at Trump…calling a major Trump move (to protect people with pre-existing conditions) “largely symbolic”.

Wallace is not just a moderator.  He is setting the agenda.  Literally, and in a deeper way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda-setting_theory

Back to Biden’s “strategy”:

-I’m not going to listen to him.

-The fact is that everything he’s saying so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.

Interesting.  Impugn the character.

Liar.

Trump came with examples.

Trump:  Joe, you’re the liar. You graduated last in your class not first in your class.

[crosstalk]

Wallace (existential crisis): Gentlemen, you realize if you’re both speaking at the same time. 

Biden “strategy”:

-And the fact is this man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Trump has to become the moderator.  Trump has to ask the hard questions.

Trump: Are you going to pack the court?

And again…

Trump: Are you going to pack the court?

Trump becomes the journalist and gets the answer.

DONALD TRUMP: He doesn’t want to answer the question.

JOE BIDEN: I’m not going to answer the question.

And here Biden loses his temper.  Trump has ALREADY gotten under his skin (and won).

Biden:  Will you shut up, man?

Very liberal.

“Free speech”.

Just remember, kids…if you want to be a true liberal, you will call everything your opponent says (no matter whether it is or isn’t borne out by the facts) a lie.  And, furthermore, you will (one way or another) try to shut your opponent up.  Sleepy Joe is weak, but his mic was hot enough to drown out Trump for much of this debate.  Like a little kid saying, “Nah nah nah…I’m not listening” while sticking his fingers in his ears.

Biden “strategy”:

-This is so un-Presidential.

But he’s the fucking President, Joe.  And you’re a fucking former VICE President.  But, of course, you know what is and isn’t Presidential…

Who’s looking down on whom???

Biden “strategy”:

-Keep yapping, man.

-You should get out of your bunker…

Whoa!

Yes, you right that right:  Biden told TRUMP that Trump should get out of a “bunker”.  Biden tried to spin it immediately into a golf allusion.  But it was (at least) the first of many huge missteps by Biden.

Trump then correctly points out the skewed reporting over the past FOUR years.

Trump: They give you good press, they give me bad press because that’s the way it is, unfortunately.

trump1

trump2

News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days

But when Biden questioned Trump’s intellect, the POTUS dropped a MOAB on Biden.

DONALD TRUMP: Did you use the word smart?

[boom]

Trump: So you said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State. You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word.

Biden “strategy”:

-Will he just shush for a minute?

[crosstalk]

Turning the captured cannons on the battlefield.

DONALD TRUMP: Wait a minute, Joe. Let me shut you down for a second, Joe, just for one second. He wants to shut down the country. We just went through it. We had to, because we didn’t know anything about the disease. Now we’ve found that elderly people with heart problems and diabetes and different problems are very, very vulnerable. We learned a lot. Young children aren’t, even younger people aren’t. We’ve learned a lot, but he wants to shut it down. More people will be hurt by continuing. If you look at Pennsylvania, if you look at certain states that have been shut down, they have Democrat governors, all, one of the reasons they shut down is because they want to keep it shut down until after the election on November 3rd.

Biden “strategy”:

-re: masks  –> He’s a fool on this.

Again impugning Trump’s character (specifically intellect and/or judgement).  Thin ice.

Let’s take a look at the Biden “intellect” for a moment.

Biden: That’s why I’m going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts. And I’m going to eliminate those tax cuts.

DONALD TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it over the last 25 years?

JOE BIDEN: Because you weren’t president and screwing things up.

Wha?

JOE BIDEN: You’re the worst president America has ever had. Come on.

Wow…

A lot of anger.  A lot of emotion.  And not a lot of logic.

Biden “strategy” then starts to really tank:

-buying American

Really?  A little late to the game, Joe.

Where did you get that idea?

Continuing…

JOE BIDEN: By the way, I’m going to eliminate a significant number of the taxes. I’m going to make the corporate tax 28%. It shouldn’t be 21%.

Hmm.  Last time I checked, 28% was MORE than 21%.  So…he’s going to “eliminate” taxes by making them HIGHER?

Biden “strategy”:

-JOE BIDEN: Yeah, because what he did, even before COVID, manufacturing went in the hole. Manufacturing went in a hole-

Right…

So Biden isn’t a cozy-with-China globalist who would prefer America to be a service-based economy while offshoring nearly all manufacturing to the PRC?

I think not.

His record says otherwise.

Trump is the first U.S. President (over the course of DECADES) who has tried to claw back good-paying manufacturing jobs FROM China.  No Democrat (or Republican) before him has tried to do this since China’s cheap labor became the beneficiary to the deindustrialization of the USA.

JOE BIDEN: I’m the guy that brought back the automobile industry.

What the fuck is he talking about?!?

Biden “strategy” continues:

-That is not true.

DONALD TRUMP: China ate your lunch, Joe. And no wonder your son goes in and he takes out billions of dollars. He takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars. And also, while we’re at it, why is it just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave you a son three and a half million dollars?

Biden “strategy”:

-That is not true.

-None of that is true.

[and again]

-None of that is true.

-That is not true.

[it gets a little old, doesn’t it]

That was a rhetorical question.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s a fact.

JOE BIDEN: It is not a fact.

Under Joe’s skin again.  Sensitive topic.  Hunter Biden.

JOE BIDEN: Well, it’s hard to get any word in with this clown. Excuse me, this person.

Biden “strategy” [hereafter BS…for brevity, etc.]:

-That is simply not true.

-That’s not true.

Chris Wallace’s true colors come out.  To the question, “Can I be honest?”, Wallace shuts down all dialogue…because Trump veers into asking about Joe’s quid pro quo to get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired (a prosecutor investigating corruption related to his son Hunter).  The quid pro quo involved a billion dollars in American taxpayer money.

DONALD TRUMP: Chris, can I be honest? It’s a very important question-

JOE BIDEN: Try to be honest.

CHRIS WALLACE: No.

DONALD TRUMP: He stood up-

CHRIS WALLACE: The answer to the question is no.

DONALD TRUMP: … and the threatened Ukraine-

CHRIS WALLACE: Sir-

DONALD TRUMP: … with a billion dollars-

JOE BIDEN: That is absolutely not true.

Wallace: Why should I be different than the two of you?

Chris Wallace doesn’t want to “report” the news.  He doesn’t want to give facts.  Instead, he wants to shape public opinion.  As good as he is (compared to literal CIA hacks like Anderson Cooper), he is still beholden to his own jealousy…nay, envy (if not also beholden to an untoward entity).

Two summers at Langley.

Operative line:

“For a couple months over the course of two summers, I worked at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”

http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/09/my-summer-job-nearly-20-years-ago.html

Joe having trouble remembering that equity and equality mean two different things:

JOE BIDEN: It’s about equity and equality. It’s about decency. It’s about the constitution. And we have never walked away from trying to require equity for everyone, equality for the whole of America.

More cognitive dissonance (bland propaganda):

JOE BIDEN: … second point I’d make to you, is that when Floyd was killed, when Mr. Floyd was killed, there was a peaceful protest in front of the White House. What did he do? He came out of his bunker, had the military use tear gas on them so he could walk across to a church and hold up a Bible.

[sidenote…the church in question was set on fire…by the “peaceful” protesters…and later visited by Trump (who indeed had a Bible)]

DONALD TRUMP: You did a crime bill, 1994, where you call them super predators. African-Americans are super predators and they’ve never forgotten it. They’ve never forgotten it.

There is quite a lot of truth in this.  Biden did indeed use this term.  He very much seemed to be referring to black people when using said term.

BS:

-I’ve never said-

You make the call.  Who is he talking about?

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/03/05/joe-biden-tough-on-crime-speech.cnn

DONALD TRUMP: I don’t think you have any law enforcement. You can’t even say the word law enforcement. Because if you say those words, you’re going to lose all of your radical left supporters.

It does certainly appear that Joe Biden has backtracked on his “tough on crime” stance from years ago.  It does certainly appear that he has caved to AOC and BLM.  Because he NEEDS those votes  Scary.

Trump re: racial sensitivity training (shaming white men solely because of the color of their skin and because of a heritage they had no choice but be born into):

“They were teaching people that our country is a horrible place. It’s a racist place. And they were teaching people to hate our country. And I’m not going to allow that to happen.”

BS:

JOE BIDEN: Nobody’s doing that. He’s the racist.

Very quick to impugn character.  Very quick.  And very hackneyed.  Never a new trope.

Chris Wallace setting the agenda again…because he’s really so worried about “hellholes” like Tulsa and Fort Worth…  Give me a fucking break:

CHRIS WALLACE: That’s exactly my question. There has been a dramatic increase in homicides in America this summer particularly, and you often blame that on Democratic mayors and Democratic governors. But in fact, there have been equivalent spikes in Republican led cities, like Tulsa and Fort Worth. So the question is, is this really a…

You can’t compare those two cities with Chicago.  Or Minneapolis.  Or Portland.  Or Seattle.  Or Oakland.  Or Baltimore.  Apples and motherfucking oranges.

JOE BIDEN: I was raised in the suburbs. This is not 1950. All these dog whistles and racism don’t work anymore. Suburbs are by and large integrated. There’s many people today driving their kids to soccer practice and/or black and white and Hispanic in the same car as there have been any time in the past, what really is a threat to the suburbs and their safety is his failure to deal with COVID. They’re dying in the suburbs. His failure to deal with the environment, they’re being flooded, they’re being burned out because his refusal to do anything. That’s why the suburbs are in trouble.

Translation:

Trump’s a racist and the main problem plaguing the suburbs is “climate change”.  Not in Chicago.  Not in Portland.  Not in Seattle.

In Portland, months of riots…every night.  And then (voila!) the fires.  Very convenient, these fires, for indebted states like California.

There are a plethora of examples of fires being intentionally set this season…particularly in Oregon:

https://qntmpkts.keybase.pub//

Enjoy.

Scroll down a bit.

Another Biden gaffe happens on the topic of cities which have literally been burned by arsonists, but again:  it’s Trump’s fault.

Biden: He just pours gasoline in the fire constantly and every single solitary time.

Trump is mocking the fact that Wallace and Biden (and the entire liberal [media] establishment) have him on trial.

#Kafka

DONALD TRUMP: What do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name, go ahead who do you want me to condemn.

Then Biden makes a startlingly-moronic statement:

Biden: Antifa is an idea not an organization-

Wow.

BS:

-You have no idea about anything.

Trump: And that’s despite the impeachment hoax and you so what happened today with Hillary Clinton, where it was a whole big con job. But despite going through all of these things where I had a fight, both flanks and behind me and above there has never been an administration that’s done what I’ve done. The greatest, before COVID came in the greatest economy in history, lowest unemployment numbers, everything was good. Everything was going.

dni

DONALD TRUMP: When you leave office, you don’t leave any judges. That’s like, you just don’t do that. They left 128 openings and if I were a member of his party, because they have a little different philosophy, I’d say, if you left us 128 openings you can’t be a good president. You can’t be a good vice president but I want to thank you because it gives us almost, it’ll probably be above that number. By the end of this term, 300 judges. It’s a record.

#TheyNeverThoughtSheWouldLose

DONALD TRUMP: Are you talking Hunter, are you talking about Hunter.

JOE BIDEN: I’m talking about my son, Beau Biden, you’re talking about Hunter?

DONALD TRUMP: I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out dishonorably discharged.

JOE BIDEN: That’s not true he was not dishonorably discharged.

DONALD TRUMP: For cocaine use. And he didn’t have a job until you became vice president.

JOE BIDEN: None of that is true.

DONALD TRUMP: Once you became vice president he made a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow and various other places.

JOE BIDEN: That is not true.

BS:

-That is not true. That report is totally discredited.

Two against one.

CHRIS WALLACE: I’d like to talk about climate change.

JOE BIDEN: So would I.

BS 2.0:

DONALD TRUMP: Not true. Not true-

JOE BIDEN: It’s all true.

Deft counterpunching ensues [BS]:

-JOE BIDEN: Not true-

-JOE BIDEN: Not true.

-JOE BIDEN: Not true.

Ending with a hyphen on the first iteration was really a subtle way of changing it up…

BS:

-That is simply not the case-

Truth bomb incoming:

DONALD TRUMP: So why didn’t you get the world… China sends up real dirt into the air. Russia does. India does. They all do. We’re supposed to be good.

Denial and deception only goes so far:

DONALD TRUMP: He called the military stupid bastards.

JOE BIDEN: I did not say that-

DONALD TRUMP: He said it on tape. [crosstalk]-

CHRIS WALLACE: Please, sir. [crosstalk] Stop.

DONALD TRUMP: I would never say that [crosstalk]-

JOE BIDEN: Play it. Play it-

CHRIS WALLACE: Stop. Go ahead-

DONALD TRUMP: You’re on tape-

“Clap for that, you stupid bastards!  Man, you all are a dull bunch.  Must be slow or something here, man.”

Main takeaway.

As fake as Kamala Harris is (and she is fake as fuck), Biden is a thoroughly corrupt career politician masquerading as a common man.

He can’t even remember what lie he told yesterday.

He is a pathological liar AND has senile dementia.

Bad combination.

He will do or say ANYTHING to become President.

JOE BIDEN: No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.

DONALD TRUMP: Oh, you don’t? Oh, well, that’s a big statement.

JOE BIDEN: I support [crosstalk]-

DONALD TRUMP: You just lost the radical left.

[MOAB incoming]

DONALD TRUMP: So when I listen to Joe talking about a transition, there has been no transition from when I won. I won that election. And if you look at crooked Hillary Clinton, if you look at all of the different people, there was no transition, because they came after me trying to do a coup. They came after me spying on my campaign. They started from the day I won, and even before I won. From the day I came down the escalator with our first lady, they were a disaster. They were a disgrace to our country, and we’ve caught them. We’ve caught them all. We’ve got it all on tape. We’ve caught them all. And by the way, you gave the idea for the Logan Act against General Flynn. You better take a look at that, because we caught you in a sense, and President Obama was sitting in the office.

42785323-47D8-4034-8444-B2C8A1F8B0A7

-PD

El Dorado [1966)

Funny thing about Westerns…

Sometimes you seen ’em, but you done FORGET you seen ’em.

And this one is that type of affair.

Except that it’s a masterpiece.

This here film takes multiple viewings to fully appreciate the craftsmanship at work.

Because back in those heady nouvelle vague days, it seems that the Cahiers crowd were known as the Hitchcocko-Hawksians.

I may be borrowing a term from Richard Brody’s book on Godard.

But he may have been borrowing it from elsewheres.

I don’t rightly know.

But El Dorado is certainly the spitting image of another film…by the same auteur.

Yes, Rio Bravo was the first incarnation.

1959.

It’s the one that gets all the praise.

But if my eyes and heart don’t deceive me, Robert Mitchum is a better actor than Dean Martin.

[as much as I love Dino]

And James Caan bests Ricky Nelson as well.

But it’s hard to replace Walter Brennan.

Damn near impossible.

That said, Arthur Hunnicutt is pretty darn fabulous in El Dorado.

But let’s get back to those Hitchcocko-Hawksians.

The first part is probably pretty self-explanatory.

These Cahiers du cinéma film critics revered Alfred Hitchcock.

Above all else.

Hell!

Before Truffaut did his book of interviews with Hitch (1967), Chabrol had written a monograph on the master (1957).

To be more exact, Chabrol cowrote the book with Rohmer.

Might as well say Rivette (“Rivette!”) just to round out les cinq.

Like the Mighty Handful (Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Borodin), and one short of les six (Auric, Durey, Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc, and Tailleferre), the Cahiers crew were the Hitchcocko-Hawksians.

But what of that second seme?

Indeed, it was Howard Hawks.

The director of our film.

And an auteur which Jean-Luc Godard has gone on about at length…in a profusion of praise.

But why are we even talking about these Westerns?

What do El Dorado and Rio Bravo have in common besides diagesis and director?

Ah yes:  John Wayne!

In El Dorado, our villain is Ed Asner.

Quite rich when considering that he was one of the very few to be a true hero in America after 9/11.

That’s right.

Ed Asner was on the front lines of getting the truth.

And we never got the truth.

Not from any official source.

But that’s ok.

Because we have gathered the general gist of the situation.

And so Ed Asner’s most important performance was what he did in real life.

To try and honor those 3000 souls who perished and were draped in a lie.

But we’re in Texas.

And Texas is a lonesome land.

Inhospitable.

And we aim here to mainly talk about the examples of the silver screen.

In Technicolor.

“details…deliberately left out” says Wikipedia…

Ah yes…something David Ray Griffin spotted with his razor-sharp mind.

“Omissions and distortions”, he called it.

That is the beauty of film.

It gets deep.

It burrows.

And it fuses to what we have experienced as visceral verities.

Charlene Holt was actually from Texas.

And she is every bit the female lead here.

Charming.  Strong.  Sexy.

I won’t go comparing her to Angie Dickinson, but let’s just say that Ms. Holt fit the bill.

To a T.

T for Texas.

And Ms. Holt passed on (God rest her soul) in Tennessee.

We get horses and streams.

Rifles and pistols.

And a lot of earthy talk.

As you can tell.

Gets under your skin.

Your tongue.

Burrows.

Say, was you ever bit by a dead bee?

[Oops, wrong funnyman.  And Hemingway.]

Pound born in Idaho.  And Papa H died there.

Because the pain was too much.

Gut shot.

You can’t turn your back in these parts.

Gotta waddle out backwards.

On yer horse.

In high heels.

And keep your peripheral sharp.

Cardsharp, not shark.

Tiburon country.

Anyone missing Angie Dickinson likely ogled Michele Carey for the better part of El Dorado.

Though the appearances were brief.

John Wayne turns the other cheek.

Smears blood on the cowhide.

Get outta here.

Tough guy gets back on his horse.

Always guns in the river.

But you gotta retrieve it.

Dr. Fix (Paul Fix) isn’t up to the procedure.

Doesn’t wanna bungle a good man.

Tells him take care uh that whens you get tuh proper chirurgien.

Christopher George looks spitting Willem Dafoe.

Ping!

But the real story is Diamond Joe.

Or so.

It seems under the bridge.

Natchez.  Matches.

Jarmusch maybe…

Always.

Revenge.

Gotta git your own justice.

Around these skillet lickers.

Like the freaks from Octopussy, knife to a gunfight.

Had to saw off a holstered piece at the Swede.

Following me?

If the top is a high hat, Mississippi’s is low.

I think Tom Petty adopted one.

Mine never fit quite right.

From crown to gun butt…soft wobble with every bump.

But enough phrenology.

Only love can break your heart.  Neil Young said that.

And I know all too well.

Stuck behind an 18-wheeler from Dallas.

And the rains set in.

And Górecki just makes you cry even more.

Feels like an addiction.

And sometimes you substitute one addiction for another.

Because you got an empty place there in your ribcage.

Friendship rides in least expected.

Crusty.

Professional killer don’t have no friends.

A liability.

Can’t get too connected.

Go soft./

Stayed in Mississippi a day too long.  Bob Dylan said that.

And I think maybe he meant Robert Johnson.

When the poison of whisky ain’t enough.  I said that.

Not enough holes in the world get a rise outta me at Royal Albert.

But I’m not too worried about it.

Just modulating grammar.

Because El Dorado is filled with sine qua non dialogue.

Seeming hapex legomenon with every breath.

Latin/Greek shift.

Cipher.

A lot of soap.

Running joke.

The others’ll come to me.

Maybe.

High low, do-si-do.

My uncle died with a stack of VHS Westerns on his TV set.

That smoking’ll kill you.

Two uncles.

But only one owned a square dance barn.

So that no matter how Cahiers I get, I’ll always be from Texas.

City boy.

Country heart.

Not even aware how much of a rube I really am.

It’s a concoction you gotta pinch the nose to force down.

A medicine resembling asphalt.

Alcohol, 4 days

No punctuation.

I’m just lucky to never have done more’n cowboy tobacco.

But Texas is lonesome.

Unless you’re riding with John Bell Hood.

In which case you’re shitting yourself with fear.

Itch on the back of your neck.

But learn to play a good bugle.

Close quarters combat.

Urban warfare.

In the Wild West.

Two walk forward, two reverse.

To slap a RICO charge on a greasy bastard.

Like the goddamned Great Gate of Kiev.

And back to the five.

A gamelan of adobe marksmanship.

Distraction.

Diversion.

Deputy was just the courage.  Pin on “I do”.

We think Pecos.

Information travels.

And to have a leg up.

[no pun]

Old wounds and creaky bones.

Been knocked down too many times.

Fallen off my horse.

[shift]

We don’t negotiate with terrorists.

But do we terrorize negotiators?

Turns out the whole thing was about water.

When it’s dry.

And you gotta wake up.

And you didn’t just win the Super Bowl.

Why you can’t take a giant leap in chess.

Giant steps.

Because your plan sucks.

Just showing up is pretty damned brave.

Every day.

Fight.

[And I didn’t even get to Edith Head and Nelson Riddle]

-PD

Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne [1945)

Bresson has been slaying me recently.

First Balthazar, and now this.

They are similar.

Films which seem boring.

You watch them once.  They wash over you.  Very little effect.

And then you are stranded at the end of the world.

Just you and Górecki’s third symphony.

Yes, you pack away some life beneath your belt.

You ingest the poison trickery of the world.

Et voila!

The film comes to life.

All the Frenchies start out looking the same in black and white.

You furiously follow the subtitles.

But the film presents meaning the second time around.

First were the forms.

A donkey.  Some sluts.  Bad memory.

Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne is so forgettable the first time around.

All we remember is the Bois.

Conflated with some lines of Céline’s Voyage…

But this is the real deal.

Maria Casarès was like the Alida Valli of The Paradine Case here.

Indeed, it just may be that Hitchcock lifted the essence of his criminally underrated film (no pun intended) from Bresson’s minor masterpiece of two years previous.

Whatever the case may be, Casarès is absolutely diabolical as Hélène.

Revenge is a dish best served.

Simmer, reduce, garnish, and serve.

Revenge revenge revenge.

And yet we feel for Hélène.

And so in the grand mystery of the spheres we wonder, “What is God if not an impossible camera angle?”

A crumpled note.

Our hearts torn to shreds.

And always raining.

Like some goddamned B-movie with a thunder sheet in the wings.

If I didn’t hook you at first, then you’re not still with me.

HOW TO BLOG:

brevity.

The oppression of Twitter.

So we must think of the greatest tricks of all time.

The recent Microsoft Tay psyop.  To make Trump and his followers look stupid.

As if he needs any help.

But a very real conspiracy none the less.

For some events are so transparent.

And some pure whores like  Agnès (Elina Labourdette) have that bullshit detection meter straight out of The Shining.

Preternatural, if not supernatural.

We might think we’re being tricked.

Too good to be true IS.

“Deceit deceives itself.”  Guy Debord.  D.N. Smith.

It is a very delicate story.

The crystallization of immense pain.

Vanity, yes.

But also human nature.  Survival of the ego.

A hurt so deep as to propel plans.  Special plans.  Operations.

Some countries blow up their own cities.

The old “self-inflicted wound” ploy…as Clouseau would call it.

Orwell was very clear about this in 1984.  The government is firing rockets at its own people.

Because it is only natural to assume an outside enemy as culpable, the true authors slip by.

And as the narrative becomes codified and accepted…and everyone has come back to the NFL, and hockey, and soccer…then the beast can’t be disturbed.

The beast which knows not its own power.

The beast whose abuse rises from below.

The Lilliputians in charge condescend upwards.

All bark and no bite.

And the beast bites the wrong lands.

Afghanistan.  Iraq.

With each passing year the creation myth (9/11) requires inference upon inference upon inference to justify the next humanitarian bombing.

Libya.  Syria.

Very few understand the importance of replacing due process with death by Hellfire missile.

Yemen.

No wonder the video game makers consult with the Pentagon.

A seamless transition from energy drinks in mom’s basement to the joysticks of drone strikes.

Far afield.

From those ladies.

Those ladies who have been used.

Sold a false bill of goods.

A very sloppy expression.  Arcane.

Left dangling like a modifier.

And so we want to go back to a simpler time.

Before we gave up on our dreams (in the blink of an eye).

I call out to cold regions.  Cold rooms.

I call out to cold hearts.  Mixed response.

But the one true miracle is to push onwards.

No more sugar-coating the shite she dished out.

She was a real bitch.

And I was as mad as any painterly glass of absinthe ever existed.

I can’t forget.

No, never.

But I can forgive.

Not much here to steal or ruin.

A very marginal existence.

I can sleep because of a girl.

A dream of a girl.

A girl I don’t even know.

She is hope.

A sort of personification of liberty.

And when will we revolt from this life and bolt?

One step at a time.

Not hasty.

So many years piled on my shoulders.

This is, by the way, a film review.

Not caring how ridiculous I look.

Take your best shot.

World, shut your mouth.

I was no trick.

I’ve been desperate.  Money troubles.  My ethics in the gutter.

But given a second chance by the universe I made an important decision.

To be boring.

A few days longer.

Some dreams worth chasing, others are a disease.

People over profit.

Sign me up, Chomsky!

Better get right with the lord.

Or git hit in yer soul.

It’s easy.  Chomsky won’t touch 9/11.

And Alex Jones won’t touch Israel.

It’s easy.

Why?  Same team, different squads.

I don’t care.

Not being run down by no third-rate psyop.

Fuck your Godwin’s law.

This was 1945.

An odd year to be jilted.

 

-PD

City Lights [1931)

Just when you think you can’t go on anymore, and then something happens.

That is a miracle.

Little miracles.

Right place at the right time.

Preparation meets opportunity.

Luck.

If the horseshoe works…if the rabbit’s foot is effective, then you want some extra help going into the ring.

And if the luck is bad, you try to wipe off the effect as with an unwanted kiss.

It’s very hard saying anything enlightening right now.

I’ve trudged up a steep hill.

Today I hit a little plateau.

But it feels like I’m back at the bottom.

Because tomorrow is back to the salt mines.

Ah, but I am lucky.

Right?

I am not a pooper scooper in life’s parade…picking up after the animals.

At least, not literally.

But it all comes down to a rather simple concept.

We go back to where the flower girl was.

We went to jail for her.

And now is only absence.

Time has passed.

And so we wander the streets.

I am the laughing stock.

Easy to pick on.

Try to preserve some decorum.

Bring a laugh to the young people who have futures.

I will not tell you the rest.

Because it is coded in film language.

Why did Charlie act so nice?

Why did he do the right thing?

Why did he go above and beyond?

It was for love.

In real life we may fail, but we too are geniuses of love.

We have gone the extra miles.

And that lost love…as sad as Górecki’s ridiculously-dense counterpoint from his third Symphony.

Sorrowful songs.

Nothing can hurt that bad.

Driving.  Alone.  Empty.

It is all part of “life’s rich pageant,” as Peter Sellers so poignantly said.

It is the same with Chaplin, Sellers.  We laugh, but we are crying.

And so “perchance to dream”…REM sleep.

Tomorrow the birds will sing.

We must keep telling ourselves that until it’s true.

 

-PD

Playtime [1967)

This took a lot of watching.  Rewatching.

Last night…so tired.

Watched half.  Then rewind.  Dozed off.  Watch same half again.

First time I saw this (years ago) was on the big screen.

It really makes a difference.

That janitor at the beginning.  His strange pause and crouch.  His peering left and right.  His broom and dustpan.

Very little sweeping.  Just clanking.

Yes.  Sounds.  Sounds.  Sounds.  (Zounds!)

The vinyl chairs which return to their shape after you sit and dent.  The strange sound.  The strange quality.

“Quality”

Tradition of quality.

It might lead you to ask:  what was Jacques Tati trying to say with this film?

Answering that is no easy task.

Sure, this seems like a simple, lightweight film.  In some ways it is.

It’s enjoyable.  It’s lighthearted.  And yet…

There is more than a smidgen of Modern Times here.  And Tati, with his pipe…  More than a pipe-full of Sartre.  Sartre with his publication Les Temps modernes.  Even Sartre apparently thought highly enough of Chaplin to work under an homage headline.

And so, Tati…lost in the supermarket.  Lost in the buildings from 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle.  Same year.  1967.  Paris.  In the banlieues.

And very few words.

As I said.

A movie of sounds.

Yes.

But images.

Reflections.

Illusions.

It appears.

Optical.

Illusion.

And its reflection.

Double.

Mirror image.

Flipped.

Paris.

It appears that the buttons have been switched.  Very nice, WordPress.  Now I am “publishing” every time I intend to merely “save” (and vice versa).

That is the theme of the film.

Thingamajigs.

No no no.  Take your time.  Uh uh uh…hold on.  [click click click click]  Ok, now rise.

We wait for the entire hallway to be traversed in an absurd observation of ritual.

And from above…the cubicles.

One needs must occupy higher ground to see the big picture.  All of these busy bees become lost in the fray.

Afraid.

True.

And so it is not farfetched to guess that Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards were influenced in their masterpiece The Party (1968) by Tati’s Playtime (1967).

But with Tati there is even more.  An industrial ballet.  The poise of the service industry (and its opposite).  [Both]

A constant counterpoint like a comic Górecki.

Perhaps I have been hitting the wrong button all along.

Have I been saying these things out loud?

Yes, we wonder.

Technology.

We grew up in a different time.

The chairs were different.

The doors were different.

And since we are quiet and meek we spend an eternity in the antechamber.  In the darkened hallway.

How do we get out?

Yes, Paris…even then, perhaps?  A drugstore?  Yes.  Too depressing for anyone to look each other in the eyes.

The hum.  The constant hum.  Like Alphaville.  Like Oskar Sala’s Trautonium.  The Birds.  Bernard Herrmann as musical consultant.  But those noises.  Mixtur.

And several waiters will salt the troutonium…and grind pepper…and spread the sauce…and the couple has moved.

The main course has stayed behind.

Heated.  Reheated.  Set on fire.  Jubilee.

Turbot.

And lobster boy just cares about his hair.

Nerval.  Hugo Ball.

But that humming…like Metal Machine Music way ahead of time.  But creepier.  Like Raymond Scott’s music for babies crossed with Erik Satie’s musique d’ameublement.

Waiting waiting.  That’s a theme.  And all the illustrious portraits of CEOs past.

Is it a job interview?

And that’s Orly?  It seems more like a hospital.  Little hummingbird nuns and swaddled kids.

But we shall always live in Barbara Dennek’s dimples.  It sounds weird to say.

But it is luck.  Bad luck.  And then good luck.

And random error.  Entropy.

Chaos.

Can anyone here play the piano?

Yes.  Yes I can!

And some half-rate Edith Piaf gets up to sing her long-forgotten hit.

Except no one has forgotten it.  Once a hit, always a hit.

More or less.

The new religion.

The hum of neon.

All the desserts look sickly.  Even to the “chef.”  Must hide his mystère.  An apple with some sputtery whip?  An upside-down coffee mug?

Mmmm…

William S. Burroughs would doubtless have approved.  The man in the gray flannel suit (book).  But taken to theatrical limits.  Choreography of male primping.  Like Cary Grant on hallucinogens.  A surreal ritual.

Ritual.

This is sociology.

Anthropology.

Paris.  The modern man.

See him in his natural habitat.

See her shop.  See her sell.

See him work.  See him drink.

If you travel, you will see the tourist side.

On a trip.

With a group.

Activities planned.

Like a cruise.

And God forbid you become separated from the group.

Yes.

That is our little romance.

And Tati is meek enough to barely suggest to suggest (x2).

That M. Hulot might find love.

It would be a random day.

He would get pulled this way and that.

And winding up in some crazy, unplanned situation he would become sweet on dimples.

See him in his fishbowl.

Before there was Mr. Bean, there was Monsieur Hulot.

Before there was Forrest Gump.

Tell me…where are the “fancy goods”?  Perhaps silk.  Hermès.

Always caught at the turnstiles of life…

-PD