Executive Action [1973)

LBJ was not innocent.

But the story goes far deeper than that.

And it depends on who you ask.

As Oliver Stone told it, Johnson was integral to the plot against Kennedy.

Here, Johnson is largely a footnote.

Here we enter the politics of history.

The politics of film.

The politics of telling a story.

To decipher, we must know Dalton Trumbo.

Relative to Oliver Stone.

What is most remarkable is that there was a film made which not only rivals the quality and conviction of Stone’s JFK, but perhaps exceeds it.

This is that film.

David Miller, its director, barely has a stub of biography to supplement his rather large filmic oeuvre.

Which is intriguing.

Let’s investigate further.

Miller started out as an editor for an RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) film directed by a Halliburton.

That was 1933.

By 1937, he was directing.

Miller seems to have strictly directed short films for the next four years.

His first feature-length film of note was Billy the Kid in 1941.

By the next year he was directing John Wayne in Flying Tigers.

The war years were lean.

A short propaganda film here and there.

Seven years elapsed.

But Miller was back in the game by 1949…directing Bing Crosby in Top o’ the Morning.

That same year, Miller directed the Marx Brothers in their final feature film: Love Happy.

Future highlights for Miller included the noir film Sudden Fear in 1952 starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance.

He directed Ginger Rogers in 1954’s Twist of Fate (aka Beautiful Stranger).

By 1956, he was directing Lana Turner and Roger Moore in Diane.

Joan Crawford teamed up with Miller again in 1957 for The Story of Esther Costello.

By 1960, Miller was teaming up with screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

They had at their disposal Kirk Douglas.

The film was Lonely Are the Brave.

Miller was making a spy thriller by 1968:

the little-known Hammerhead.

The year I was born, 1976, Miller was making his last film (again with Lana Turner): Bittersweet Love.

His penultimate film, Executive Action, is a masterpiece.

Again teamed with Dalton Trumbo.

There is plenty of bitterness to go around for the conspirators of JFK’s murder.

Which brings us to the current state of American politics.

Who is really in control?

Is it Joe Biden?

I don’t not think that anyone would assume Biden is even controlling his own bowels at this point.

Which is sad.

Because he has only been in office a mere 30-some-odd days.

Is the business world running the U.S. government?

It’s possible, but I don’t think so.

As much as they would like to use Biden as their puppet, I do not think we are completely being ruled by corporations at the moment (though their power is considerable).

What about the Democrat Party?

Is it running America?

Nancy Pelosi seems powerful.

But also inept.

Ineffectual.

Impotent.

She and Biden make the perfect pair.

Slurring and stuttering.

Schumer is just a yutz.

But the Biden/Pelosi combo is one for the ages.

My fellow San Antonian, the late Jacques Barzun, might have something to say here re: decadence.

Decay.

Like rotting teeth.

You can give Biden dental implants.

And Hunter too.

You can give Pelosi dentures.

But Joe and Nancy will continue to be an overwhelming embarrassment.

Which brings up Biden’s “80 million votes”.

And Pelosi’s unpopularity within her own party.

AOC’s star will fade, but for now, Sandy Cortez wields far more political capital than the haggard Pelosi.

And it is not hard to see why.

Cortez is an attractive (albeit moronic), young star of American communism.

She promises everything.

She will (of course) deliver nothing.

But hey: that’s the essence of communism.

Pelosi’s day has come and gone.

And it was a LOOOOOONG day.

Pelosi has overstayed her welcome.

Even in the minds of her fellow socialists.

But this is all just theater.

Because Biden, nor Pelosi, nor AOC are in control.

What about Kamala?

Nope.

I don’t think so.

So we must keep searching.

And here we hit gold.

Either the military, the CIA, or the NSA (which is to say, the military) are now in control of the country.

In the case of the CIA, we must remind some readers that this organization started off with military roots.

The OSS.

And for many years, the CIA overthrew communist governments.

That is, until Barack Obama appointed a communist (John Brennan) to head the Agency.

It is not a matter of debate that Brennan voted for Gus Hall in 1976.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/15/politics/john-brennan-cia-communist-vote/index.html

“John Brennan on Thursday recalled being asked a standard question for a top security clearance at his early CIA lie detector test: Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?”

Brennan said, “I froze”.

Which brings us to JFK.

And communism.

And Vietnam.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/wellness/1992/10/06/jfks-addisons-disease/aceb473c-a5dc-4199-9453-d3fcd3b18312/

JFK had Addison’s disease.

And treatment for Addison’s disease can cause mood swings.

Maybe not the best trait for a President of the United States (especially at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis).

Not only this, but JFK and RFK lied about Kennedy’s condition.

Indeed, mood changes characterize Addison’s disease itself (and are not simply a side effect of treatment):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addison%27s_disease

At his autopsy, JFK was found to have virtually no adrenal glands whatsoever.

To say this is an advanced stage of Addison’s would be an understatement.

This would have predisposed JFK to:

-anxiety

-depression

-irritability 

-poor concentration.

Again, not the traits you want in a President.

And not the sort of thing a Presidential candidate and his brother (Attorney General) should have lied about.

But they did.

None of which is to say that Kennedy deserved to die like a dog.

He didn’t.

But we now come into a realm of questioning and philosophy which involves the existential survival of America.

For the first time in my life, I today regarded Lyman L. Lemnitzer as a potentially-reasonable person.

He of Operation Northwoods infamy.

Why?

Because of the care taken in that document with regard to contrived obituaries, etc.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, under Kennedy, did indeed present the option of (plot) terror attacks on the American people.

Some of the attacks (options) would have been real.

That is the Lemnitzer I have always detested.

But some of the attacks (options) would have been simulated.

In other words, these men of war would have taken great care in concocting fake deaths…TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

From what?

From Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba.

So I ask you today:  is it possible that this same panel (the JCS) is now in control of the USA?

What about Lloyd Austin?

Are the JCS really reporting to him?

Maybe so.

Maybe not.

And what of the CIA?

Why was Mike Pompeo (West Point) put in charge of the CIA before becoming Secretary of State?

Why did Trump go to CIA headquarters so early in his Presidency?

Was it not reminiscent of his visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican (respectively)?

If one was to really “drain the swamp”, where would this swamp-drainer start?

And if the CIA can infiltrate the Pentagon (the veracity of which, just prior to 9/11, Dr. Pieczenik has attested to), then can the Pentagon not (silently) reclaim the CIA?

What changes did Pompeo make while he was there?

Is it possible that the CIA is currently in control of the U.S. government?

And that the CIA has been gutted by Trump and Pompeo?

Is it possible that the U.S. military is operating out of Langley (in a script-flip of Langley infiltrating the Pentagon)?

Which then brings us to the NSA and CYBERCOM (which are, for the time being, virtually the same thing).

If any agency could run the country, it would be the NSA.

Why?

Because they would be able to undo corruption.

Piece by piece.

They would know which blackmailed leaders to remove (legally…over time…even if by martial law).

And they would know how to LEVERAGE information for command and control purposes.

For instance.

If Mark Milley (CJCS) was being a cunt (not that he ever would be), the NSA could neutralize him with information.

Perhaps Milley has some unsavory secrets he doesn’t want coming out.

The NSA would have that.

Which is to say, Paul Nakasone could literally be running the entire country all by himself at this point.

Perhaps with help from Keith Alexander.

And Jerry Boykin.

No need for kinetic warfare if the #InvisibleCoup / #SecretCoup / #SilentCoup is run with devastating efficiency and efficacy by Fort Meade.

But just in case, SOCOM/USSOCOM are ready to knock on some doors (if needed).

Joe Biden is being allowed to pretend he is President.

That is my theory.

I very much owe my realization to the writing of Martin Geddes.

What we are seeing is the United States being given a free sample of Chinese communism.

The military is running the country.

We can attack Iran.

And Biden will be blamed.

The military can mess up.

And Biden will be blamed.

And Biden will run the country into the ground on his own.

Yet the military will act as training wheels for this bicycle.

This is where SOCOM/USSOCOM comes in.

This is where Fort Bragg reigns supreme.

PSYOPS.

The American populace must be woken up.

It cannot be done all at once.

The American populace must experience first-hand the failure of socialism.

Which is why Donald Trump’s second term features Joe Biden as President.

Which brings us back to QAnon.

We know that Q was more that one writer.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210117-swiss-text-sleuths-unpick-mystery-of-qanon-origins

But anyone could be framed for writing it.

Even myself.

But I did not write it.

And I very much believe that those now in control of our government DID write it.

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

The CIA pulled off 9/11.

But they were not alone.

There were traitorous elements within our military.

I can only now hope that those elements have left.

But, again:  the NSA/CYBERCOM would have all the goods needed to remove corruption from even the top ranks of the military.

All other unified combatant commands would need to rely on kinetic means.

Which brings up a possible coconspirator in preserving and defending the Constitution:

INSCOM.

As we have said, SOCOM would be a muscle held in reserve.

A further buttress may be SPACECOM.

Indeed, it is possible that STRATCOM is not a part of this “invisible coup”.

STRATCOM’s capabilities may be constrained by those of SPACECOM.

Nevertheless, CYBERCOM (again) can control all other human elements.

It would be a sort of blackmail to save America.

If globalists can have a Great Reset, what’s to say the U.S. military couldn’t manufacture a national reset?

I would bet on the U.S. military before I would bet on the World Economic Forum.

And I also bet that the U.S. military now knows that the WEF have committed an act of war in inflicting COVID-19 upon the United States.

WEF, acting as a sort of nationstate, would fall under the category of terrorist organization (biological terror).

Bill Gates has given aid and comfort to this enemy.

Anthony Fauci has given aid and comfort to this enemy.

And all three have worked in concert with a foreign adversary to wreck the economy and morale of the United States.

That foreign adversary is China.

To win this war, it was necessary for Joe Biden to playact.

Except he doesn’t know he’s playacting.

Nor does Nancy Pelosi.

The U.S. military will act at its own pace.

The number one imperative is the good of the country.

Biden cheated and got caught.

The best path forward was to continue to find and weed out corruption.

The U.S. does not want a world war.

China will be dealt with in due time.

But first, the American house must be cleaned.

It is back to a one-room schoolhouse.

We are in session.

The class is political economy.

Joe Biden is teaching us.

What not to do.

The country is experiencing his leadership.

Right after having experienced the free market policies of a truly competent President:

Donald Trump.

The spell must be broken.

The mass media must be exposed.

They lied about Trump for four years.

They lie about everything.

Now they have what they wanted.

Trump’s great defeat.

And a senile incompetent in power.

But they have no plan to help people.

They merely wanted power for the sake of power.

Now that they have it, they don’t know what to do with it.

There is no tit to suck.

This is a crucible for policy.

Free markets work.

Watch the price of eggs.

Socialism/communism does not work.

And to the extent that it does work, it relies on authoritarianism to FORCE people to sacrifice for the greater good.

That is not what America is about.

America is about freedom.

Our dalliance with communism is about to be short-lived.

The U.S. military will dismantle propaganda.

Each domino will fall.

Andrew Cuomo.

Gavin Newsom.

This is a controlled demolition of a condemned building.

The corruption must come down.

But it must come STRAIGHT down.

So as to not harm the people to an undue extent.

Communism lies.

For the greater good.

Capitalism advertises.

It is a subtle differentiation.

Laissez-faire.

Capitalism will win.

Goods must flow freely.

And you know what else must flow freely?

Ideas, motherfucker!

Dalton Trumbo was a communist propagandist.

A good story teller.

But a liar in some key details.

In reality, those who want depopulation (Bill Gates) are communists.

Bill Gates has hitched his wagon to Chinese communism.

America must go a different course.

Freedom.

Liberty.

You CAN take the vaccine (if you want to).

Listen to Donald Trump.

Therapeutics are better.

But he gave you your damn vaccine.

In record time.

Take at your own risk.

It’s experimental.

Trumbo was one of the Hollywood Ten.

Perhaps soon we will be able to list the Pedowood Ten (as Los Angeles has devolved in depravity).

History forgets some of these former (Hollywood Ten) communists.

But some we remember.

Dmytryk.

Ring Lardner Jr.

And Trumbo.

Ayn Rand was an anticommunist.

Good for her.

Not one of the Ten.

Other significant Hollywood personages blacklisted:

-Lillian Hellman

-Paul Robeson

-Richard Wright

Look them up.  This wasn’t racial.

Wright was literally a member of the American Communist Party.

Further communist elements:

-Leonard Bernstein

-Aaron Copland

-Dashiell Hammett

-Lena Horne

-Langston Hughes

-Burl Ives

-Alan Lomax

-Joseph Losey

-Burgess Meredith

-Arthur Miller

-Zero Mostel

-Dorothy Parker

-Edward G. Robinson

-Pete Seeger

-Artie Shaw

-Orson Welles

And more communist elements:

-Richard Attenborough

-Harry Belafonte

-Luis Buñuel

-Charlie Chaplin

-Jules Dassin

The lesson?

Being a communist when America is at war (Cold War) with a communist nation is not a good idea.

And guess what?

America is again at war with a communist nation (this time it’s China).

Getting out of stupid wars is a good idea.

Afghanistan and Iraq were/are stupid wars.

Trump did his best to remove troops.

There is no longer any urgent need to have troops in Europe as part of NATO.

The Soviet Union no longer exists.

Russia does not present the same threat to the United States as does China.

Which is to also say:  Vietnam was not a stupid war.

It was botched.

It was handled in a daft manner.

The draft gave birth to resentment.

But the threat was real.

And the war had merit.

Whether it retained that merit throughout is a matter of discussion.

Which is to say, JFK was not perfect.

He was made a martyr.

Which tends to overshadow aspects of his makeup which disqualified him for the Presidency (such as Addison’s disease…and lying about having Addison’s disease).

Biden and Pelosi are not focused on the believability of their “victory” and “power”.

By the time they realize what is going in, it will be too late for them.

They are no real threat to the republic.

JFK should not have been gunned down like a dog.

War is hell.

-PD

Chuck Norris vs Communism [2015)

Dear Ilinca Călugăreanu,

You have made a beautiful film.

Which the world needed to see.

And the title made me think it would be imperialist propaganda directed at North Korea.

But I could not have been more wrong.

Because Romania has touched my heart so many times.

And so I am glad to add another name to the list of auteurs.

Cristi Puiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cătălin Mitulescu, Cristian Mungiu…

And now Ilinca Călugăreanu.

Yes, it is only right that a young female director should bring us this story.

This documentary.

Ms. Călugăreanu, born in 1981.

Because this film is very much about the 1980s.

VHS.

Videocassettes.

And the situation in Romania.

Chuck Norris is merely a placeholder.

A meme which has undergone a certain détournement.

But there is no substitute for communism in this tale.

Perhaps, authoritarianism.

You see…

if you tell people to do one thing…and you’re really heavy-handed about it,

they will almost certainly do the opposite.

At some point.

And Ms. Călugăreanu’s very persuasive hypothesis is that videocassettes brought down the Ceaușescu regime.

And so there is very little way around this impasse without talking political economy.

First, let us address the very astute current Russian minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky.

The esteemed Mr. Medinsky has famously (?) called Netflix “U.S. government…mind control”.

Or at least that’s how The Washington Times (who needs the Post?) framed it.

But let’s investigate.

Let’s have Mr. Medinsky’s words and not just a CliffsNotes, elevator-pitch summation of them.

He says [translated],

“And, what, you thought these gigantic startups emerge by themselves? One schoolboy sat down, thought for a bit, and then billions of dollars rained down from above?”

That is pursuant to the funding which helped birth Netflix (and, presumably, other American companies with what Mr. Medinsky feels is a global, insidious reach).

He continues [translated],

“It turns out that that our ideological friends [the U.S. government] understand perfectly well that this is the art form that is the most important…”

Ahh, cinema…

And Vladimir Lenin himself knew it!

Mr. Medinsky then seems to evoke the Leonard Cohen of “Tower of Song” when he says [translated],

“They understand how to enter everyone’s homes by getting into every television with the help of Netflix…”

Leonard Cohen (God rest his soul) said it thus:

“Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor.”

Ah!

What a lyric!!

And that was in 1988!!!

So our director, Ilinca Călugăreanu, knows that of which she speaks.

Because the grip of Ceaușescu was beginning to slip.

But let’s give Mr. Medinsky one more say [translated],

“And through this television, [they get into] the heads of everyone on Earth. But [Russians] don’t grasp this.”

Ok.

Now why was Mr. Medinsky so upset?

Well, because Netflix undertook a vast expansion this past summer.

Indeed, the article from which I’m pirating these quotes (yes, translations are intellectual property) dates from June 23, 2016.

The same article notes pointedly that Netflix’s expansion into Russia, plus a vast number of new territories, means that the streaming service is now available in 190 countries worldwide.

Wait a minute…

How many countries are there, you might ask?  196.  Or 195.

Poor Taiwan, they just can’t catch a break.

So then you might say, well…what the fuck?!?

What countries is Netflix NOT in???

It appears those countries are China, North Korea, Syria, and…Crimea?

Suffice it to say, the international “community” is not unanimous in their appraisal of Crimean statehood.

Is it part of Russia?

Is it part of Ukraine?

What do the words Republic of Crimea even mean if its not an independent country?

Which brings up the specter of “frozen conflict zones”.

I’m guessing that Netflix might be unavailable in Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.

But I digress…

Because we are on to more specific matters.

There are at least two major ways in which Americans can view the Romanian communist period as it has been depicted in motion pictures.

First, Americans can sympathize with the repression of the Romanian people.

Any doubters should do a little digging on the PATRIOT Act.

Indeed, the psychosis of surveillance (which is mentioned in Chuck Norris vs Communism) could not field a more forbidding bogeyman than the National Security Agency.

And so, dear peoples of the world, would you feel more or less safe living in the same country in which the NSA is headquartered?

Exactly.

Second, Americans could extrapolate Ms. Călugăreanu’s hypothesis to mean that countries such as China will eventually implode as a result of the fulminating combination of repression and technology (even, perhaps, with a starring role for entertainment).

All of that is to say that movies COULD bring down China or North Korea or even Iran.

[Notice the non-Netflix countries…Syria is without, but apparently Iran does have the service.]

Which is to ultimately say, Mr. Medinsky’s fear is completely warranted.

What is at stake in Russia?

The fall of Putin.

A sea change in leadership.

And I will be quite frank.

There is no doubt that Netflix’s catalog is heavily biased towards globalist propaganda.

One of the most glaring areas is India.

I can’t tell you how many watery, transparent premises there are on Netflix which are some permutation of a young person rebelling against a repressive culture.

It’s almost like they’re churning these formulaic films out in a factory.

Boy marries girl from lower caste.  Mayhem follows.

Girl goes to human rights court.  Happily ever after…

Boy rebels against father’s traditional ways [read:  religion].

I mean, at a certain point it’s just pathetic.

But we must hand it to Netflix for some (SOME) of their selections.

Actually, I have found a good many gems on the site.

But it is a very biased (and historically-uninformed collection).

In general, history doesn’t exist for Netflix.

Unless that history is the Holocaust.

Then, of course, there are a plethora of scenarios to “inform” you about the Nazis.

Make no mistake (my best Obama voice), the Nazis were bad.

Really bad.

But do we need 10 fucking films about the Holocaust?

And if Schindler’s List is the zenith of the genre, God help us…

But I digress again…

Chuck Norris vs Communism is a very beautiful film.

It’s about rebellion.

It’s about the little things we do to assert our existence.

And in this case, it’s about a translator (a voiceover dubbing artist) who reached the hearts of innumerable Romanians.

Irina Nistor.

Whether it was Chuck Norris, or Jean-Claude Van Damme, or Sylvester Stallone, Irina’s voice made the dialogue come alive in Romanian.

But it was a subversive activity.

“Imperialist” films were not allowed in Romania.

But Romania was falling apart.

To take the interviewees of our documentary at their word, their lives sucked…without “video” night.

But we must be clear.

Everything (EVERYTHING) about this enterprise was illegal in Romania.

First, the videos had to be smuggled across the border.

Then they had to be copied and dubbed (voiceover).

Then they had to be distributed.

Then some brave schmucks took the risk of screening these films on their TV sets (for a few lei, of course).

But it was dangerous business.

Especially if you were the kingpin.

So it is then strange to meet this kingpin of video piracy face to face.

Zamfir.

Not the guy with the panpipes.

No, this was Teodor Zamfir.

Made a pretty penny.

But the fascinating thing (by Călugăreanu’s hypothesis) is that he completely changed Romanian culture.

The seeds of revolution were sown by Dirty Dancing, Last Tango in Paris, The King of Comedy

And especially by the action films.

Rocky, Rambo, Lone Wolf McQuade…

And so, if you want to piss off a communist (or socialist, or whatever they’re going by these days), you can go with the familiar tack,

“Didn’t they already try that?  Wasn’t it an immense failure?”

I don’t know.

But I don’t doubt the faces of those who lived through Ceaușescu.

No national cinema has been nearly as effective as the Romanian in communicating to the West just what life under communism was like.

And so Romania becomes our lens into the Soviet Union and its satellite states.

I know there are Russians who fondly remember communism.

Let’s be clear:  capitalism can also suck.

Change and upheaval can be deadly.

They say, “Watch the price of eggs” (to demonstrate how a free market dictates prices).

But we see a very similar discontent in the Middle East.

Is this democracy?

Fuck this!

Yes, America has made some mistakes.

And so we should watch everything with a critical eye.

Be your own critic.

Be like Emerson.

Be bold.

And then double back.

Waffle.

Live by palimpsest.

Because you are the ultimate philosopher.

For your life.

I can’t tell you.

And you can’t tell me.

We have to learn.

It must be the right time.

To receive a particular lesson.

I draw courage from Irina Margareta Nistor.

But most of all, I draw courage from the Romanian people.

Perhaps my country’s Hollywood crap (the stuff I took for granted) was just the stuff necessary in the dark times.

Entertainment.  Ass kicking.  Escape.

But the Romanian cinema of today inspires me beyond words.

And so let us remember, whether we are capitalists or socialists, the price paid by the people of Romania in December 1989.

Was it 1,100 people?

11,000 people?

110,000 people?

It’s troubling that nobody knows for sure.

But even if it was a thousand people.

They didn’t just get trampled by goats or run over by garbage trucks.

It wasn’t a bloodless revolution.

At least 1000 people.

They saw their moment.

They seized on a moment.

They capitalized on their opportunity.

There was something which impelled them not to just sit at home and listen.

I salute these brave souls who went out into the streets.

For a thousand people to have died, it seems rather inconceivable that there wasn’t an attempt made by the government to “restore order”.

That’s the line which can’t be crossed.

That’s when a government has lost its legitimacy.

Some stories are twisted.

And full-blown civil wars do erupt.

But it appears, in the end, that repression lost.

And repression, censorship, and heavy-handed tactics (whether adopted by socialists or capitalists) should, by historical lesson, be most strictly avoided.

It is human nature.

The people will not tolerate being treated like livestock.

And something as seemingly inconsequential as VHS tapes can tip the balance.

-PD

Planes, Trains and Automobiles [1987)

When I was a kid, this was a big family favorite.

It was one of those rare times when profanity got a pass.

That second time Steve Martin goes off…on Edie McClurg (the rental car lady).

But even funnier is the first time Martin pops off…in the Braidwood Motel in Wichita, Kansas…and John Candy just takes it.

Yes, there are some priceless moments in this film.

In some ways, this film defined an era.

Trading Places was an early-decade success (1983) for John Landis.

And then Walter Hill succeeded with a similar type of story, treated in his inimitable way, in 1985 (Brewster’s Millions).

But by 1987 the decade needed summation…and this particular genre which transcended classification needed a testament.

This is that film.

Funny enough, this was the same year the Coen brothers really started hitting ’em out of the park (Raising Arizona).  That film also is a veritable classic, but it is forward-looking.  It is almost like comedy in the hands of a David Lynch.

John Hughes was seemingly retrospective with Planes, Trains and Automobiles…like the J.S. Bach of the 1980s…summing up a decade of dirigist American comedy.

Hughes had a lot of career left to go in 1987, but this was a sort of highpoint…especially if considering only his directorial efforts.

Sure…Hughes was more counterculture earlier in the decade, but he wasn’t above putting his heart into a morality play like this one.

But to paint this film as a vanilla affair is not really accurate.

Consider Steve Martin’s yuppie character…a “marketing” professional on a business trip to New York from Chicago.

Martin’s character represents everything that was wrong with America in the 1980s.

Sadly, Neal Page (Martin) represents the problem which persists in America today.

Perhaps Isidore Isou’s famous class distinction fits here.

Neal Page, marketing professional, is an intern (as opposed to externe)…a cog in the wheel of production.

The Neal Pages of today would learn their marketing from an abomination such as Marian Burk Wood’s The Marketing Plan Handbook.

The Neal Pages of corporate America read a Wood phrase such as, “For the purposes of developing a marketing plan, advertising’s two basic decisions concern the message (what content will be communicated) and the media…,” without ever thinking Marshall McLuhan.

A savvy seller of used books might file The World is Flat in “Sociology” (in addition to the more strictly-applicable “Business”) in an effort to unload what must surely be one of the most overprinted books of recent memory.

But what bookseller ever thinks to place Understanding Media:  The Extensions of Man (1964) in the “Business” section…or in the Marketing/Advertising “disciplines”?

Marketers, no doubt, would have a glib answer.

But marketers rarely know more than their insular, myopic areas of pseudo-specialty.

The “right” answer…the culturally literate answer…the answer Marian Burk Wood was either too dumb to include…or too convinced that her dumbed-down readers would not get…is McLuhan’s:

“…the medium is the message.”

The first sentence of the fucking book!

Chapter 1 (also, conveniently titled, The Medium Is The Message):

“In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message.”

But the character Neal Page wouldn’t have known that…and that’s why he gets “schooled” in business by the portly, genuine Del Griffith (John Candy).

Of course, Candy’s character wouldn’t have known this either…but at least he wouldn’t have been a venal, meretricious, entitled prick like Neal Page.

And so Neal Page didn’t really go the extra mile in business school…  He just took all the bullshit shoveled down his throat as gospel truth.

Therefore, Page wouldn’t have known this gem either…a parallel to McCluhan from just three years later (1967).

Again, the first fucking sentence of the book:

“The whole life of those societies in which modern conditions of production prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles.  All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.”

Ok, so I gave him two sentences.  Those are the words of Guy Debord from his masterpiece La société du spectacle (The Society of the Spectacle) [translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith].

Notice the similarities to McCluhan.

But, of course, Debord was referencing the big daddy of them all:

“The wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails appears as an ‘immense collection of commodities’…”

Karl Marx.  Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (1867).  Translated by Ben Fowkes.

And so today’s marketing professionals are either brain-dead (thanks to authors like Wood) or craven cynics thanks to equally worthless authors such as Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller.

These last two have contributed a tome to the pseudo-discipline of “marketing” entitled A Framework for Marketing Management.

If anything has ever called for the revocation of tenure, it is the appalling lack of intellectual curiosity these two professors (from Northwestern and Dartmouth, respectively) show over the course of their overpriced bible for aspiring C-level automata.

Consider their statement, “…make low-profit customers more profitable or terminate them.”  Now do you see why America has problems?

And again, “Spend proportionately more effort on the most valuable customers.”

Thank God for the Del Griffiths of this world.

People are not statistics to be terminated.

God bless John Candy and John Hughes for poignantly reminding us of the only true value in life.

Relationships.

Not to be “leveraged”.

Just people.

Plain and simple.

As Del Griffith says, “What you see is what you get.”

Genuine.

THAT’S the marketing of the future!

And it can’t be contrived…

 

-PD