Biden is a one-trick pony in a party of well-meaning morons.
No President has ever been hated so much…
…by the establishment.
It took one of their own to bring them to their knees.
And now the establishment has come up with an exceptionally-pathetic excuse for a candidate:
Republicans tried to elect a showroom dummy once (recently).
Had the looks.
What could go wrong?
He came off as cold.
And so all the genius, conniving minds of the Democrat Party have gotten behind the person they think can Trojan their specious ideas into the realm of policy.
It is quite obvious.
Joe Biden didn’t get a big enough shot in the ass of ginkgo biloba to really stay in the ring 12 rounds with Trump.
Joe needs to be mainlining that shit by now.
If Joe Biden ate nothing but onions and drank nothing but tea, his brain would still be like a hunk of Swiss cheese.
Trump, fresh off recovering from the plague of the century (once-in-a-100-years) was cogent and articulate.
If every media outlet, every source of information, every sports star, every celebrity is against Trump, what does that make Trump?
So, go ahead.
Vote for Joe.
Joe couldn’t last five minutes playing Tropico (much less five minutes actually running the USA).
And he will not be running the USA (if elected).
Swiss-cheese-brain Biden has actually bought and believed the syrupy propaganda of his own party.
Which makes sense.
Because his brain has become (and will rapidly accelerate towards being) childlike.
Which doesn’t excuse Biden of being a nakedly-corrupt politician par excellence.
Joe would bring the old gang back together.
Hillary would have a chance to get her pay-to-play Clinton Foundation back up and running.
Hell, why not make her Secretary of State again?
She will be emboldened to shred every law because, even though she got caught, she paid no price (except for the nosedive in Clinton Foundation contributions).
You would have “bonesmen” like Austan Goolsbee.
[a pale imitation of an actually-competent individual (Mnuchin)]
Hell, bring ’em all back.
Comey at FBI.
Brennan at CIA.
Lynch on the Supreme Court.
Bring back Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder.
Put Bernie’s great economic theories to work at the Department of Labor.
[another guy who would crap out at Tropico within minutes]
Because it’s all one big gang.
It’s all one big, compromised gang.
And it’s all about making money OFF the people (rather than making money FOR the people).
Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters…
Limousine liberals (as they say).
Their respective personal worth always MAGICALLY balloons in their years of “service” to the USA.
It doesn’t take a genius to make money that way.
It takes a scumbag.
Trump didn’t need the money.
Hell, he gives away his Presidential salary checks.
But there is something.
He is GOOD AT MAKING MONEY.
He didn’t fight in Vietnam.
[it’s also quite likely he never disparaged the military]
Joe Biden disparaged the military ON TAPE, but never a hardball question about that:
[6’10” —> “clap for that, you stupid bastards”]
Joe Biden has a problem with being caught on tape.
Here bragging about getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired (while using American taxpayer dollars as leverage). Hmmm, why would he want a UKRAINIAN prosecutor (?!?) fired? Why would he brag about it? What was this prosecutor investigating? Why would we interfere in the judicial system of the Ukraine (by way of Joe Biden)? Seems like his son Hunter had some dealings in Ukraine. Hmmm… Could it be, that this prosecutor was investigating his son Hunter???
But Joe Biden also has, how can I put this tactfully, other “problems” on tape. It’s not just the hair of women he is sniffing:
Wouldn’t be so bad (?) if it was an isolated incident. Maybe it was taken out of context?
You don’t need to watch all 17 minutes of the above clip to get the gist. Joe Biden takes liberties with children…knowingly…on C-SPAN, etc. What does he do behind closed doors? The footage we’ve seen is shocking enough.
Joe Biden makes women and children (particularly Chris Coons’ daughter) feel uncomfortable. You can see it in the body language. Biden whispers in their ears. And the young Coons daughter pulls away from the kiss. Cre-epy!
But in this debate (the final of the 2020 season), Donald Trump made Joe Biden feel uncomfortable…especially when Trump brought up the “laptop from hell”. You could see it in Joe’s body language.
“It’s all lies,” said Joe repeatedly throughout the two debates.
Pull his string: “It’s all lies.”
“Come on, man!”
Sometimes it’s funny.
Like the moronic George W. Bush who was part and parcel of the cabal that brought down the Twin Towers.
Bush was funny.
Because he was so dumb.
But Joe Biden is not so completely ravaged by senile dementia not to feel the fear at even the mention of “the laptop from hell”.
But let’s hit some key points.
Joe Biden cannot consistently get his train of thought from point A to point B. Witness this gem:
“And I don’t look at this in terms of the way he does, blue states and red states. They’re all the United States. And look at the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus. They’re the red states, they’re the states in the Midwest, they’re the states in the upper Midwest. “
Trump knows his opponent is mentally-compromised.
But Trump also knows that his opponent is a textbook corrupt politician:
“Joe, you have raised a lot of money, tremendous amounts of money. And every time you raise money deals are made, Joe. I could raise so much more money. As President, and as somebody that knows most of those people, I could call the heads of Wall Street, the heads of every company in America. I would blow away every record. But I don’t want to do that because it puts me in a bad position.“
Like with the kids, Joe just couldn’t help himself (even against the obvious preparation where his advisors explicitly told him to, under no circumstances, broach this topic) #LaptopFromHell:
“His own National Security Advisor told him that what is happening with his buddy… Well, I shouldn’t… Well, I will. His buddy Rudy Giuliani. He’s being used as a Russian pawn.”
Joe fucked up. As Trump explains:
“Well, let me respond to the first part, as Joe answered. Joe got $3.5 million from Russia and it came through Putin, because he was very friendly with the former mayor of Moscow and it was the mayor of Moscow’s wife. And you got $3.5 million. Your family got $3.5 million. And someday you’re going to have to explain, why did you get three and a half? I never got any money from Russia. I don’t get money from Russia.”
“But now, with what came out today, it’s even worse. All of the emails, the emails, the horrible emails of the kind of money that you were raking in, you and your family. And Joe, you were vice-president when some of this was happening, and it should have never happened. And I think you owe an explanation to the American people. Why is it, somebody just had a news conference a little while ago who was essentially supposed to work with you and your family, but what he said was damning. And regardless of me, I think you have to clean it up and talk to the American people. Maybe you can do it right now.”
“…I don’t make money from China. You do. I don’t make money from Ukraine. You do. I don’t make money from Russia. You made $3.5 million, Joe, and your son gave you, they even have a statement that we have to give 10% to the big man. You’re the big man, I think. I don’t know, maybe you’re not, but you’re the big man, I think.”
“I was put through a phony witch hunt for three years. It started before I even got elected. They spied of my campaign. No president should ever have to go through what I went through. Let me just say this, Mueller and 18 angry Democrats and FBI agents all over the place spent $48 million. They went through everything I had, including my tax returns, and they found absolutely no collusion and nothing wrong. $48 million. I guarantee you, if I spent $1 million on you, Joe, I could find plenty wrong because the kind of things that you’ve done and the kind of monies that your family has taken, I mean, your brother made money in Iraq…millions of dollars. Your other brother made a fortune, and it’s all through you, Joe. And they say you get some of it. And you do live very well, you have houses all over the place. You live very well.”
Fire when ready:
“His son didn’t have a job for a long time, was, sadly, no longer in the military service, I won’t get into that, and he didn’t have a job. As soon as he became vice-president, Burisma, not the best reputation in the world, I hear they paid him $183,000 a month, listen to this, $183,000, and they gave him a $3 million upfront payment, and he had no energy experience. That’s 100% dishonest.”
Trump did this same thing to Hillary.
Blew holes in her metaphorical hull.
“He is the vice-president of the United States and his son, his brother, and his other brother are getting rich. They’re like a vacuum cleaner. They’re sucking up money…”
“His son walked out with a billion and a half dollars from China to…after spending 10 minutes in office and being in Air Force Two. Number one. Number two, there’s a very strong email talking about your family wanting to make $10 million a year for introductions.”
Joe Biden does not understand international finance.
He does not understand the implications of Chinese currency devaluations.
He doesn’t even understand the mechanism.
Joe Biden is a (renovated) showroom dummy:
“My response is, look, there’s a reason why he’s bringing up all this malarkey. There’s a reason for it. He doesn’t want to talk about the substantive issues. It’s not about his family and my family. It’s about your family, and your family’s hurting badly. If you’re a middle-class family, you’re getting hurt badly right now. You’re sitting at the kitchen table this morning deciding, ‘Well, we can’t get new tires. They’re bald, because we have to wait another month or so.’ Or, ‘Are we going to be able to pay the mortgage?’ Or, ‘Who’s going to tell her she can’t go back to community college?’ They’re the decisions you’re making, and the middle-class families like I grew up in Scranton and Claymont, they’re in trouble. We should be talking about your families, but that’s the last thing he wants to talk about.”
Bill Clinton was persuasive when he was peddling this same shit.
Joe Biden isn’t.
And Trump calls it out:
“That is a typical statement.
That’s a typical political statement. Let’s get off this China thing, and then he looks, ‘The family around the table, everything.’ Just a typical politician when I see that. I’m not a typical politician.
That’s why I got elected. Let’s get off the subject of China. Let’s talk about sitting around the table. Come on, Joe. You could do better.”
Joe Biden only has one “dollar word” left in his intellectual quiver:
“The public option is an option that says that if you in fact do not have the wherewithal, if you qualify for Medicaid and you do not have the wherewithal in your state to get Medicaid, you automatically are enrolled, providing competition for insurance companies.”
Twice in the same sentence?!?
Come on, man!!
Joe’s (and the Democrats’) answer for everything is “bailout”…as Trump begins to delineate:
“The bill that was passed in the House was a bailout of badly run, high crime, Democrat, all run by Democrat cities and states. It was a way of getting a lot of money, billions and billions of dollars, to these guys. It was also a way of getting a lot of money from our people’s pockets to people that come into our country illegally. We were going to take care of everything for them. And I’d love to do that. I’d love to help them. But what that does, everybody all over the world will start pouring into our country. We can’t do it. This was a way of taking care of them. This was a way of spending on things that had nothing to do with COVID, as per your question. But it was really a big bailout for badly run Democrat cities and states.”
Joe wants a planned economy (like Uncle Joe Stalin had). Price ceilings. Price floors. Arbitrary values for labor (a major factor in production). It doesn’t work.
Trump defeats this backwards economic chestnut in one sentence:
“How are you helping your small businesses when you’re forcing wages?”
Watch the price of eggs.
That’s how you will see the free market (as opposed to a planned economy) assert itself.
Supply and demand.
As simple as that.
Don’t toy with it.
Don’t stifle it.
Let it create value.
It may be trite, but “a rising tide lifts all ships” (as it is said).
The stock market is equivalent to the vital signs of a medical patient.
Joe may or may not understand that.
Again, he seems to have bought the “black propaganda” (total disinformation) of his own party.
What little brain Joe has left has been thoroughly washed of all real-world, economic logic.
As good as Kristen Welker was (and she was quite good [compared to the atrociously-partisan Chris Wallace]), she is still part of a profession that, when it comes to Democrat interviewees, almost always shirks its duty:
“Who built the cages? I’d love you to ask him that. Who built the cages, Joe?”
The U.S. immigration system is broken (on purpose). And Joe should know that. But he still blithely opines otherwise. Trump truth:
“And then you say they come back. Less than 1% of the people come back. We have to send ICE out and Border Patrol out to find them. We would say, ‘Come back in two years, three years. We’re going to give you a court case. You did Perry Mason. We’re going to give you a court case.’ When you say they come back, they don’t come back, Joe. They never come back. Only the really… I hate to say this, but those with the lowest IQ, they might come back, but there are very, very few.”
Trump is rough around the edges.
But he is no bullshit.
And there are a few opinion leaders (Johnny Rotten) who understand and appreciate this.
Joe steps in it again:
“My daughter is a social worker and she’s written a lot about this. She has her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in social work.”
Doesn’t take a fucking genius to see that Sleepy Joe is actually Creepy Joe.
“You know Joe, I ran because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama, because you did a poor job. If I thought you did a good job, I would’ve never run. I would’ve never run. I ran because of you. I’m looking at you now, you’re a politician, I ran because of you.”
And again (for good measure):
“If this stuff is true about Russia, Ukraine, China, other countries, Iraq. If this is true, then he’s a corrupt politician. So don’t give me the stuff about how you’re this innocent baby. Joe, they’re calling you a corrupt politician…They’re calling it the laptop from hell.”
“But, why didn’t he get it done? See, it’s all talk, no action with these politicians, why didn’t he get it? ‘That’s what I’m going to do when I become president.’ You were vice president along with Obama as your president, your leader, for eight years, why didn’t you get it done? You had eight years to get it done, now you’re saying you’re going to get it done because you’re all talking and no action, Joe.”
Biden: “I don’t know where he comes from. I don’t know where he comes up with these numbers.”
They told Beethoven it was a horrible way to begin his 5th Symphony.
With a rest.
Only the players see it.
Only the conductor pays it much mind.
So the first “note” (beat) is silent.
The conductor must give it.
But there are at least two schools of thought on how this is to be done.
First, a conductor might do as they always do and swiftly move their baton downwards to indicate visually that the first (silent) beat is occurring.
The only problem with this is that the symphony players must then abruptly jump onto the very next beat (which is an “upbeat”).
They happen in very quick succession.
The whole orchestra.
And they get one shot.
To come in together.
Like an attack.
[rest] da da da daaaaaaaaaa
[rest] da da da daaaaaaaaaa
The second school of thought is more practical.
It advises that, in this particular situation, a conductor giving a downbeat is not particularly helpful to the orchestra (because no sounds occur on that downbeat).
Therefore, the conductor motions the orchestra that the UPBEAT is happening.
When the baton (or hand(s)) come down, that is the precise time to make noise.
It is not hard to see why this might lead to a more successful outcome.
For the goal is to have the orchestra stick together.
An orchestra of individuals who are a mere microsecond off from one another creates a sound which is generally not highly-valued in Western music (at least not in the performance of Beethoven).
But this STILL leaves a problem.
The conductor of this second school, whose job it is to try and lead his orchestra to a faithful rendition of this masterwork, is thereby IGNORING what Beethoven wrote (or, more precisely, HOW Beethoven wrote it).
Godard comes back more fit and trim in this episode of his greatest work.
1a is probably the nuke.
1b is a psychological warfare manual (perhaps)
2a returns us to kinetic warfare.
More or less.
With some lulls.
But there is genuine artistry within these 26 minutes.
Like a symphony by Beethoven or Bruckner.
The beginning is weighted heavily.
1a = 51 mins. (the longest of all eight parts)
1b = 42 mins. (the second longest “movement” of the bunch)
The entire first section is, therefore (carry the zero), 1 hour and 33 minutes.
That’s the first quarter of this “ring cycle”.
And it is truly operatic.
So now we are into a bit of a scherzo.
Now you can see the influence of television.
The “producers” of this film.
Canal+ (French TV channel)
CNC (part of the French Ministry of Culture [and Godard is Swiss!])
France 3 (a French TV channel)
Gaumont (a French film studio)
La Sept (a defunct French TV channel)
Télévision Suisse Romande (a defunct, French-language Swiss TV network)
Vega Films (Godard’s production company at the time)
Enough time for eight 30-second commercials.
Arriving precisely at a sum total of 30 minutes’ programming.
It’s generous (no doubt owing to the fact that this was educational programming).
If you look at the true running time of an American half-hour sitcom these days, it is roughly 21 minutes of what you want to see.
The other 9 minutes are reserved for at least 18 30-second commercials.
In the tradition of James Joyce.
Which Hitchcock so admired.
…and the Oscar goes to.
Irishmen in France.
The recurring scene from Salò…
Literary history vs. cinematic history.
Godard has a curious frame which reads, “Your breasts are the only shells I love.”
It is a line from the poet Apollinaire.
[tes seins sont les seuls obus que j’aime]
But I must say, the exciting parts here are the “booms”!
The fighter jet exploding in midair.
Bernard Herrmann’s music from Psycho juxtaposed with scenes from Disney’s Snow White…(1937).
The agitation of Stravinsky.
Cluster chords on the piano.
Godard’s voice fed through an Echoplex.
And, just as in 1a, world-class editing!
Let me be clear.
EDITING is what makes Histoire(s) du cinéma the greatest film ever made.
It’s what makes F for Fake the second-greatest film ever made.
And what makes Dog Star Man the third-greatest film ever made.
It is more pronounced in Histoire(s) and Dog Star Man.
Orson Welles’ “editing” (montage) in F for Fake is done more at the story level.
It is a juxtaposition of content.
The Kuleshov effect with ideas rather than images.
[more or less]
Godard’s camera-pen makes some of its boldest strokes in this episode.
It rivals the 1a excerpt involving Irving Thalberg.
Which brings us to a very important point.
Godard CHOSE to use the concept of “double exposure” (two images–one on top of the other–but both seen to a greater or lesser extent) to ILLUSTRATE the subject and title of his greatest film.
Though it runs 266 minutes, that amount of time STILL wasn’t enough in which to lay out the history of cinema.
So images needed to be doubled up.
Simultaneous to that, words needed to be spoken.
And furthermore, DIFFERENT words than those being spoken NEEDED TO BE WRITTEN ON THE SCREEN.
If you are not a native French speaker, you will probably need to have the subtitles on when viewing this film.
Which gives you A-N-O-T-H-E-R visual stimulus which must be taken into account.
This film should be mandatory viewing for fighter pilots.
Practice your OODA loop here.
If you want to survive in this jungle of meaning.
Night of the hunter…
It’s all true.
That weary look.
It’s all true.
Which brings us to value (that thing which capitalism so gloriously creates…far more efficiently and in much greater abundance than with any other economic system).
“What is the value of knowing how to read this film,” you ask?
It allows you to know how to read the complexity of the world.
It is a brain teaser.
With an infinite layering of meaning.
Like Finnegans Wake.
Joyce’s masterpiece should be the only required reading for a codebreaker.
Or a codemaker.
Take heed, National Security Agency.
Your curriculum needs adjusting.
Assign only Finnegan.
And reap your gains.
And what of Histoire(s)?
Its most direct application would be for analysts.
Whether they be Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, or INSCOM.
Know how to read the image.
Know how to analyze the video.
You must think outside the box.
Sudoku the fuck out of your employees.
And thereby fight crime and keep hostile actors in check.
Which is where we musicians come in.
To analyze the phone call.
To make sense of the audio…from the video.
It cannot be taught in a bootcamp.
It has to be loved.
If you had one analyst like Godard, you would have a super-soldier equal to an entire special forces unit.
The trial of Joan of Arc.
Not to be confused with her passion.
Laurel and Hardy.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Which brings us to a very delicate situation.
What is the President planning this weekend?
And with whom is he planning it?
If Ronald Reagan was an actor (and he was), then how much more talented is Donald Trump in getting a reaction with his lines…and his gestures?
A President who has been attacked from ALL sides UNRELENTINGLY for nearly four years.
And now finds himself in the midst of the hottest biological/psychological/economic war in recorded history.
Where complexity reigns.
As globalization magnifies each twitch of activity.
And this same President STILL finds himself under attack from the same “bad actors” who have unremittingly assailed him.
The Trump Presidency officially has a new high-water mark.
And it came today.
The epic excoriation of Western media (and, in particular, the woeful American branch of that diseased tree).
I have largely refrained from treating political events for the past months.
This was for a variety of reasons.
But today’s Trump victory was a feature-length (*) reminder of why we elected this guy.
I didn’t see it live, but I watched the interview in its entirety later in the day.
With the utmost irony, I will be using and referring to the “official transcript” which has just recently been posted by The New York Times.
It’s only befitting that they continue to precipitate their own downfall.
Keep in mind that the NYT is getting their transcript from Federal News Service: a subsidiary of The Economist Group.
As in The Economist.
As in, that spineless, globalist rag which completely forgoes bylines (à la Chatham House rules).
As in, the opposition.
Keeping that in mind, let’s see exactly what the hero of the free world had to say today.
First, President Trump bemoaned the treatment of his cabinet selections.
Indeed, the Democratic Party in the United States has become the embarrassment they wish to project upon Donald Trump.
The Democratic Party has, it seems, absolutely no cogent strategy whatsoever at this point.
And so, indeed, the only real political chaos is within that camp.
To clarify…it’s not just a BAD strategy which the Democrats have adopted in an effort to keep their ragtag band of poseurs on political life-support, but rather A COMPLETE LACK OF STRATEGY which characterizes the sum of their pathetic tactics.
Yes, Mr. Trump: “the people get it”.
We rednecks. We of middle-America.
Many colors and creeds.
Yes, we fucking get it.
You are the man!
As a student of (and holder of an advanced degree in) business, I bloody well understand why the world of commerce is welcoming Trump.
It’s those trite words which are pounded into every MBA’s head.
There’s no Bernie-Sanders-ing our way out of the current quagmire.
Only a leader with tremendous cojones could even have a shot at successfully pulling off the rebuilding of America.
Because we have squandered our position in the world.
At the expense of truth, we have fallen down a muddy chute.
And the free-fall (while not apparent to all) has been going on for some time.
So we are, indeed, putting a great deal of faith in Mr. Trump to right the ship.
Really, we’re like the goddamned Titanic over here.
But business has to work.
There’s no willy-nilly socialism which is going to patch up our death-wound which is bleeding money.
There’s no value creation in that.
Try it out.
It doesn’t work.
Which isn’t to say that rapacious monopoly capitalism is the answer.
But we are a capitalist country.
And China’s ascent has not been due to some new interpretation of Marx.
“I’m making this presentation directly to the American people, with the media present, which is an honor to have you. This morning, because many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth, and will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve.”
Yes, dear friends…the election of Donald Trump was a referendum AGAINST THE CORPORATE MASS MEDIA.
[first and foremost]
And this same media is still living in denial.
Their allies are reprobates.
And they reach out their desperate tentacles for shadier and shadier sustenance.
And so, though it be hard to fathom, the mass media in the U.S. is actually GETTING WORSE.
That’s because it is dying.
Donald Trump is no idiot.
His assessment of The New York Times as being a terminally-failing (publically-traded) company is business analysis.
And it’s unequivocal.
But you know what?
The media hated Trump all along.
The old media.
And he didn’t, as it turned out, need to curry favor with them after all.
He spoke to the crowd.
He went around.
He outflanked the biggest, most puffed-up hegemony in the world.
So we’re giving Israel a chance.
We’re giving Trump a chance.
I’m not a Republican.
I’m just a schmuck who voted for Trump.
You can make the call as to whether I’m erudite enough to have such a privilege.
But Donald Trump has taught me to have pride in my country.
To have pride in the United States of America.
To be grateful for those who serve in the military.
To be grateful for those who serve as police officers.
That’s the positivity I get from Donald Trump.
It’s probably the Norman Vincent Peale in him.
But I also see a very strong leader.
A person who doesn’t take any shit from anyone.
Had Bernie Sanders such a spine, the protests would have gone for broke at the Democratic National Convention.
But too bad.
You had your chance to dethrone your greatest foe.
And she was in your own camp.
You know, I actually feel sorry for the Democratic Party…
No political party should have ever been represented by such a lousy candidate as Hillary Clinton.
But that was the “now-or-never” moment.
And we who embraced the market system which rewards hard work…we won.
[and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why]
Complaining after the fact doesn’t cut it.
Get out and vote.
Blood, sweat, and tears.
If you lose, you lose.
But if you half-ass it, probability is not in your favor.
We Trump supporters took immense heat.
We’re “racist”. “Bigots”.
Blah blah frickety blah.
But it doesn’t matter what you pathetic losers think.
Because, believe it or not, we actually want prosperity for you too.
Because maybe someday you’ll thank us that we still have a country left.
But I’ll just leave you with one zinger which sums up our entire Zeitgeist.
You wanna know Donald Trump’s take on the media…in one pithy jab?
“The press — the public doesn’t believe you people anymore.”
That carried the day.
The anti-Trump media (which is at least 80% of the American airwaves and newsstands) needs to go back to their Sun Tzu, their Machiavelli, their Clausewitz, and their Jomini.
If you don’t believe John Hughes was a genius, see this film.
Because I didn’t believe.
Though Hughes made one of my favorite 1980s comedies (Planes, Trains and Automobiles), I didn’t really get it.
It being the John Hughes phenomenon.
While the cool kids had it figured out long ago, I was too contrarian to listen.
Now I get it.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is truly a special film, but Sixteen Candles is transcendent art.
What would André Bazin make of this film? Or Gilles Deleuze? Or Christian Metz?
Well, I care…
But what’s important is what YOU make of it.
And in this case, what I make of it.
But let’s get one thing straight: Molly Ringwald invented the archetype which Thora Birch and Kat Dennings would later appropriate in doubtless homage.
Which is to say, Molly Ringwald is otherworldly as an actress in this film.
It’s no wonder Jean-Luc Godard cast her in his wonderful, underrated, masterful version of King Lear (1987).
Quentin Tarantino famously claimed (à la Bob Dylan’s conflated biography circa-1962) that he was in King Lear, but Molly Ringwald was ACTUALLY in it.
But enough about QT and nix on the digressions.
So no, I am no Henri Langlois to claim that Sixteen Candles should be in MoMA’s permanent collection, but there is good reason to compare this film favorably to Howard Hawks’ Only Angels Have Wings of 1939.
But none of this shit really matters.
What matters is the part in Gedde Watanabe’s hair at the dinner table.
And even more so (big time)–> is the indescribable Anthony Michael Hall.
AT&T gets it. Which means the seemingly wonderful Milana Vayntrub ostensibly gets it.
But I’m not sure the understanding flows both ways.
Because America has changed.
We are much closer to the year 1984 (as opposed to Orwell’s 1984) here in late-2016 than to any other period of American experience.
Yeah, Michael Schoeffling could only come from the Reagan era.
But he’s a great guy. And a fine actor.
And Sixteen Candles teaches us a lot of stuff.
John Hughes, as a film philosopher, is precocious in his grasp of American society in the 1980s.
The outcast wins.
But the conservative wins too.
Really, everybody wins.
That’s what value-creation will do.
But let’s back to A.M. Hall. This bloke…
What a performance!
And the real chemistry in this film is between Ringwald and Hall.
In the auto body shop.
And so what do we get?
Romance. Misery. And tons of fucking jokes.
We must congratulate John Hughes as much for his writing as his direction.
The previous year he had written National Lampoon’s Vacation starring Chevy Chase.
Years later he’d write a stellar reboot for the series in Christmas Vacation (also starring Chase).
You want more movies Hughes wrote but didn’t direct? How about Home Alone? [check] Or Pretty in Pink (starring Ringwald)? [check]
But let’s get another thing straight: this was John Hughes’ fucking DIRECTORIAL DEBUT!!!
But none of this shit matters.
What matters is Molly Ringwald crying in the hallway.
What matters is Molly practicing her potential lines before reentering the dance.
Molly talking on the phone with the Squeeze poster on the wall.
Molly freaking out and taking flight over fight.
And immediate regret.
What films do this?
Perhaps in 1955 we would have looked at Rebel Without a Cause in a similar way.
And rightly so.
Sixteen Candles is its progeny of uncertain admixture.
Looking through the yearbook.
And seeing the one.
The one who burns in your heart.
In America, this is realism (couched in slapstick and screwball).
Molly Ringwald is the loser who wins.
And Anthony Michael Hall is the hopeless dweeb who also wins…by sheer force of will.
There are genuine moments of panic in this film (as soft as they might be) regarding missed communication. Telephone calls. House calls.
And it adds just the right touch of anxiety to keep this film catalyzed and moving along.
But what makes all this believable? The supporting cast.
John and Joan Cusack (especially Joan, whose life make’s Ringwald’s look like a bed of roses). And John’s future MIT roommate (it would seem) Darren Harris.
But there’s one of the crew which deserves a little extra credit…and that is music supervisor Jimmy Iovine.
The tunes are right. The attention to detail is solid.
Sound and image merge (as Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller had impressed upon Godard that they should) into sonimage (a word Godard would use for his production company Sonimage).
Even the cassette spitting unspooling tape onto the pizza turntable is perfect.
The cassette? Fear of Music by Talking Heads.
Yes, Brian Eno.
And yes, “Young Americans” as they leave the driveway on the way to the wedding before the famous “au-to-mo-bile” scene.
Even The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra doing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor…briefly. [which lets our minds drift to Chaplin’s The Great Dictator]
Everything is right sonically.
The band instruments on the school bus.
The Dragnet quotes.
The gongs for Long Duk Dong.
“Lenny” by SRV in the car. Half a car.
It’s so very sweet. And sotto voce. And real.
It’s a mix. It doesn’t intrude. You gotta unlock the passenger door to your heart to let this film in.
And a little Billy Idol as Anthony Michael Hall negotiates a Rolls Royce and a prom queen.
So rest in peace, John Hughes. And thank you for this film.
Et je vous salue, Molly! Merci for the film.
And thank you Anthony Michael Hall for capturing my youth and bottling it up.
Thank you Molly for capturing the one I loved and bottling up all the quirky, quixotic things which I cannot see anymore.
The naysayers will call it politainment, but that’s as uncreative and trite as trotting out “reactionary”.
And while there was indeed a tremendous amount of substance in this first US Presidential debate a month ago, it was solely from one side.
Lester Holt largely disgraced himself as another “presstitute” (not my coinage, but fitting).
Holt was the decidedly unmoderate moderator.
“The questions are mine and have not been shared with the commission or the campaigns.”
“The audience here in the room has agreed to remain silent so that we can focus on what the candidates are saying.”
You see, Americans don’t stay silent.
They/we might be wrong (the “ugly American” stereotype), but we/they are rarely silent.
Some observers around the world recognize this as the asset it is.
Others denigrate it as “squeaky wheel”/”loudest duck”.
There’s very little silence in this year’s election (except in the corporate mass media concerning Hillary Clinton’s litany of disqualifying activities).
“I am honored to have this role, but this evening belongs to the candidates and, just as important, to the American people.”
…but most of all, to the American “elite” (and their transparently biased media) who had already picked their anointed, sycophantic, warmongering, maniac of a candidate: Hillary Clinton.
“There’s been a record six straight years of job growth…”
But at what rate, Lester? Read the Wall Street Journal, fucking moron.
What I meant to say was, the “record growth” is anemic in historical terms.
So the “record” aspect is merely academic.
It’s been stable as shit. That is the most accurate characterization.
Then “Secretary” Clinton takes over:
“Today is my granddaughter’s second birthday…”
Oh really?!? I didn’t know robots could reproduce!!
“First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”
“That means we need new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.”
Her biggest export would be American jobs. She’s got a bad case of cognitive dissonance from too much globalist Kool-Aid.
“I want us to invest in you.”
Whether that’s what she wants or not, it’s not what she’s planning to do. So it’s immaterial what she “wants”. Her intent is clear: destroy her own country economically (if not literally in a nuclear war) by way of some twisted Robin Hood fantasy. Sorry Hillary, we’re not in Jonestown. Why don’t you drink your Kool-Aid first?
“…most of the new jobs will come from small business.”
Which will go OUT OF BUSINESS as a result of your idealist, rubbish policies.
“…equal pay for women’s work.”
Oh, you mean like never, ever having a job…like you?
Hey Hillary, your boss (the American people) called. They want to know what the hell you were doing using a personal email server as the goddamned SECRETARY OF STATE??? And by the way, they want your work emails…because those are property of the company (the United States of America). Oh… You were writing emails about yoga on the job? Ok, no problem. But as you were being paid to write emails on “yoga”, we’d like to take a look at those emails. You did, after all, produce “yoga” emails with our tax dollars. Oh… You destroyed the emails? After being subpoenaed?? Hmmm… That’s a problem.
[That must have been one hell of a “yoga” discussion.]
“We’re going to do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share…”
Oh, excellent. I guess we can start with freezing the assets of the Clinton Foundation. Seems that some small group was getting very rich off of that scam.
“Donald, it’s good to be with you.”
First and last time she’d ever say that.
“I hope that I will be able to earn your vote on November 8th.””
You’ve never earned anything in your life. You’ve been a carpetbagger from Arkansas to New York to Washington, D.C. “Social climber” does not qualify as a métier.
Ok…that’s enough Clinton. How about some truth? Fire torpedo #1!
“That’s called business, by the way.”
Ah, business. Value. Creating value.
If you’ve read this far (and I’m sure there are very few who have), I’ve created value for you. I’ve held your attention. You could think I’m the dumbest motherfucker on the planet, but that feeling of condescension is worth your time. Perhaps I’m entertaining. That’s also value. And, God forbid, I actually say something that rings true… For anyone who agrees with me enough to delve so far into this specious blog post, I’ve created value.
“Secretary” Clinton creates NO value…in anything she does.
I don’t even take enjoyment in insulting her. To insult her is my duty. I don’t want this person leading my country for the next four years. Hell no!
“And, Hillary, I’d just ask you this. You’ve been doing this for 30 years. Why are you just thinking about these solutions right now? For 30 years, you’ve been doing it, and now you’re just starting to think of solutions.”
Exactly. Say what you want about Trump, but he hasn’t been dicking around as a government do-nothing during that time. He’s created value. You can denigrate the true worth of that value, but it does have a dollar value. It’s like a stock price. It is a market measurement. You want your money back? Fine. Sell your one share of Google stock. Yes, the broker will charge a fee. No, holding one share is not recommended. But it’s a market measurement. The market value of Trump’s activities is indisputable. It’s not perfect. It doesn’t figure in obtuse Althusserian dimensions, but it’s a measurement (damn it!).
Hillary is much more comfortable hiding in the maze of government with her private server and hiding behind the nonprofit structure of the Clinton Foundation. She creates no value. She never has to prove what value she has created. She knows that her social climbing has bought her immunity from accountability.
[BUT MAYBE NOT]
Hillary might have been thinking about bringing jobs back to America for the past 30 years, but she certainly hasn’t acted on those musings.
“Your husband signed NAFTA, which was one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry.”
[giant sucking sound…alarums and excursions]
“But you have no plan.”
Of course she doesn’t. Her plan is being prepared by a bunch of globalists. All she has to do is stay on two legs and… [whoops!]
“…you are going to regulate these businesses out of existence.”
And that is no accident.
“I’m going to cut taxes big league, and you’re going to raise taxes big league, end of story.”
Yeah, pretty much.
“She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don’t think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.”
Indeed, no matter the outcome of this election, Hillary Clinton is not going to go down in history as a master strategist.
“…you’re telling the enemy everything you want to do.”
Right again. Pick up some Sun Tzu, Hillary.
“…the taxes are so onerous…”
“…we have a president that can’t sit them around a table and get them to approve something.”
Yeah, that’s because he’s never had a job either. “Amateur golfer” does not cut the mustard.
“And with a little leadership, you’d get it in here very quickly, and it could be put to use on the inner cities and lots of other things, and it would be beautiful.”
Value-creation works. As a model. As a measure. What ISN’T sustainable is sucking the thriving countries dry in an effort to bring up the languishing ones. There is a solution. There is a deal. A compromise. But Hillary doesn’t have that spark of problem-solving genius. All she knows is the college playbook from pseudo-intellectual, hippie-era Yale.
Ok, I’m even starting to bore myself.
There is not enough digital ink in my pot to finish penning this diatribe.
I think you get the point.
In cinema terms, this was an auteur (Trump) vs. a metteur-en-scène (Hillary).