Friday, May 4, 2018

Hate Mail - Here's A Clue, Dopey, If You're Going To Cite Something To Make A Claim Make Sure It Supports Your Claim

I have been sent a refutation referencing the premier review by the New York Times reviewer Brooks Atkinson

Arthur Miller has written another powerful play. "The Crucible," it is called, and it opened at the Martin Beck last evening in an equally powerful performance. Riffling back the pages of American history, he has written the drama of the witch trials and hangings in Salem in 1692. Neither Mr. Miller nor his audiences are unaware of certain similarities between the perversions of justice then and today.

First, just how widespread is low reading comprehension among the Eschatots and other members of the online play-left?   Atkinson was clearly in communication with Arthur Miller about the supposed covert theme of the play, an allegory for the ongoing red-scare, otherwise how could he say

Neither Mr. Miller nor his audiences are unaware of certain similarities between the perversions of justice then and today.

He might have been able to know about what Arthur Miller intended because they obviously shared the same world, the highest rank of the New York theater community.   The third and fourth paragraph proves he had talked to Miller about that possible theme (see below).  Whether or not the premier crowd were uniformly aware of what Arthur Miller intended is more speculative unless there was some kind of announcement of it or publicity to that effect.   However, the premier crowd was likely a select one, so that might have been true.   And when Atkinson was talking about that audience, he was talking of about 1,292 people - the capacity of the Martin Beck theater.  But millions and millions of people have seen the play since then, I still say that, unless they hear someone say what it's "really about" they will think it's about the plot line of the play.   FOR THE LARGE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO SEE PLAYS, MOVIES, ETC. THE PLOTLINE IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT.   I would bet that there is a considerable percentage of the current audience has never even heard of the red scares of six decades ago.  Heaven help us, a lot of them, including those with college credentials with think it's an accurate representation of history instead of a fictionalized explanation of why it happened*.  The next paragraph in the review says:

But Mr. Miller is not pleading a case in dramatic form. For "The Crucible," despite its current implications, is a self-contained play about a terrible period in American history. Silly accusations of witchcraft by some mischievous girls in Puritan dress gradually take possession of Salem. Before the play is over good people of pious nature and responsible temper are condemning other good people to the gallows.

That would obviously support the idea that the plot was not supposed to carry "a case in dramatic form" some rather stretched parallels between the totally imaginary search for witches in the 1690s and the search for very real Communists, including actual spies for Stalin's regime in the 1940s and 50s.  He continues on:

Although "The Crucible" is a powerful drama, it stands second to "Death of a Salesman" as a work of art. Mr. Miller had had more trouble with this one, perhaps because he is too conscious of its implications. . . 

The only way Atkinson could have known that is because he talked to the playwright before he wrote his review, probably before he saw the premier.

. . . The literary style is cruder. The early motivation is muffled in the uproar of the opening scene, and the theme does not develop with the simple eloquence of "Death of a Salesman."

It may be that Mr. Miller has tried to pack too much inside his drama, and that he has permitted himself to be concerned more with the technique of the witch hunt than with its humanity. For all its power generated on the surface, "The Crucible" is most moving in the simple, quiet scenes between John Proctor and his wife. By the standards of "Death of a Salesman," there is too much excitement an not enough emotion in "The Crucible."

I've always had the impression that there were more productions of The Crucible than the far more intense Death of a Salesman**, perhaps because the central role of Willy Loman must be harder to play. I would imagine that actors would generally consider Willy Loman one of the great roles but I don't think John Proctor or the other roles in The Crucible are considered to be on the same level.   I think the extent to which Miller might have been trying to make points about the red-scare could be responsible for some of the dilution of power that Atkinson saw in it.  But Atkinson's review weakens rather than supports the college educated common wisdom on "what the play is really about."

*  Why Miller inventing a sexual affair between John Proctor who was 60 when he was accused and Abigail Williams who was 11 when she was one of the "possessed" girls is not a rather gross distortion of the actual history - perhaps even more of one than the invented three way sexual jealousy that Cecil B. Demille inserted into the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh - is something worth considering.  I am pretty certain that Arthur Miller did some research for his play, how that age difference and the total absence of any evidence John Proctor had even known the girl before he was accused by her escaped his notice would tend to skepticism that his research was careful or anything like adequate if historical accuracy was his goal.

Which is why I'm allergic to the use of historical persons and events in plays and movie scripts and novels.   Fiction should never be presented in a way that superficial, gullible people will mistake it for historical fact.   It's one of the great shocks of my adulthood that even people with PhDs - especially those in the sciences  and others who have never studied history - are prone to that foolishness.

**  Out of curiosity I looked to see if I could find if that were true and, instead found out that other than the fiftieth anniversary year of the great Death of a Salesman, none of Arthur Miller's plays showed up in the most-produced plays of the year lists.   There were lots of productions of crap plays on those lists and none of one of the greatest playwrights in the past century.

Update:  Imagine a production of the play that had a 60-year-old John Proctor accused by an 11-year-old Abigail Williams , a 9-year-old Rebecca Parris and other girls about the same age instead of the young adult women who usually play those roles.   Consider the dramatic effect of that historically accurate casting with THE AUDIENCE "KNOWING "THAT PROCTOR HAD HAD SEX WITH AT LEAST ONE OF THE LITTLE GIRLS.  An historically accurate casting would make it a play about pedophilie rape by a dirty old man, his wife knowingly shielding him on that charge. 

42 comments:

  1. I wouldn't be surprised by a New York critic review of the premier of "Inherit The Wind" that made the same argument. Doesn't mean that play hasn't been consistently misconstrued as history rather than bad allegory. This may AMAZE New Yorkers, but their city's famous critics aren't all that influential.

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    1. Such people know such people and their idea of people outside of that milieu is formed by the prejudices of people within their milieu.

      I do think that in his best work Arthur Miller was able to penetrate that bubble and have some actual appreciation for life outside of it.

      I've not been able to read the entire thing, it being behind a pay-wall, but he wrote an essay for the New Yorker in 1996 about The Crucible in which he says that reading the trial account he came to the conclusion that Abigail Williams had been a servant of the Proctors and that's how the sexual liaison came about and how the conflict "between the two women" started - all of it flowing from Miller's imagination based on the 11-year-old Abigail not being able to bring herself to hit Elizabeth Proctor who would have been about 42 at the time. All of that is entirely the creation out of nothing by Arthur Miller -who overlooks that the girl was 11 at the time of the trial, who would certainly have been younger when his imagined "affair" happened. I remember hearing a high school teacher who taught the play in her English class going on and on as if the play was history instead of a play back when I was in college. I wonder how many millions of those who were taught the play or saw a production made the same mistake. I would bet you that most New Yorkers who had that exposure to it would make that mistake, far more than "knew" it was "really about" the red-scare of the 1950s. NOT that I'd necessarily be in favor of someone who wanted to write a play about the red-scare to write one about the red-scare because, like Miller, they'd probably invent history instead of report it. Most of the stuff I've seen like that about the red-scare and even a lot of the supposed history of it is full of distortions made by the various ideological parties around it.

      The biggest distortion would be in trying to use the search for superstitiously imagined witches in 1692 Salem as a proxy for the 1940s-60 communists is that the witches were imaginary, the communists were very real, including a number who were actually guilty of real and serious crimes. The red-scare was bad because it quickly became a tool of political opportunity by some of our worst politicians and others, not because it was based on something totally imaginary. It was also bad because a lot of us became duped into falling for lies told by and on behalf of the communists because of our anti-anti-communist convictions, largely because the red-scarers did commit injustices and HUAC et al went way past where they had any right to go in their inquisition. But that's too complex to fit into a play so you'll get stuff like The Crucible and Inherit the Wind as a proxy for the complex truth.

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  2. "Neither Mr. Miller nor his audiences are unaware of certain similarities between the perversions of justice then and today."

    Atkinson was clearly in communication with Arthur Miller about the supposed covert theme of the play, an allegory for the ongoing red-scare, otherwise how could he say?



    Here's a clue, you brainless clod. The play premiered in 1953, at almost the fucking height of McCarthyism. A fucking blind man could have seen the point of the allegory with a fucking cane.

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    1. Here's a clue, Dopey, the vast majority of the people who have read or watched the play and the movie they made of it weren't around in 1953. I doubt that a single person would have ever made the connection between the play and the red scare if Miller hadn't made it. You certainly couldn't have ever found it, not with your reading incomprehension.

      If Miller wanted to make a point about the red scare the mot efficient means of doing that would be to write about the red scare, using a distortion of the history of the Salem witch trial to do it was about the stupidest way to make a point about the red scare imaginable. The excuse that if he said it out right that he'd be in big trouble is rather belied by him clearly telling Brooks Atkinson that there was some connetion when he could be certain that Atkinson would publish that.

      I think there is somerthing really stupid about using a totally made up tale of adultery between Proctor and Abigail Williams when she would have been a young child and then using that to create a conflict between "two women" one who would have been in her early 40s the other 11 to do so was even more stupid if the point was to say something about the red scare.

      Death of a Salesman is a much better play, I think All My Sons and The View From The Bridge and The Price are better plays. I think I'll read some of the ones I've never read before, I would bet some of the later ones were better, though The Crucible, distortions of history and all, works as a play, though not as history.

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  3. This is without question the stupidest argument you've ever made on any subject ever.

    Meanwhile, read INCIDENT AT VICHY. Given that there's not a single mention of Charles Darwin in it, it's take on the Holocaust will go over your head too.

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    1. Considering the distortion of history that Miller performed to make a 60 year old man have an 11-year-old mistress - on the basis of absolutely no evidence he even knew who the girl was before he was accused of witchcraft, depending on Miller for historical insight might not be the wisest thing to do. No wonder you're doing it.

      You really are incredibly stupid, Simels, you can't back up what you say and you can't stick to one topic much longer than Trump can.

      Eschaton is a collection of conceited post-literate idiots with a sprinkling of people who aren't stupid who go there to waste time out of mere habit.

      The Nazis absolutely founded their genocidal theories on Darwinism. If Darwin had not invented natural selection there would have been no Nazism because there would have been no eugenics.

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  4. "Considering the distortion of history that Miller performed to make a 60 year old man have an 11-year-old mistress - on the basis of absolutely no evidence he even knew who the girl was before he was accused of witchcraft, depending on Miller for historical insight might not be the wisest thing to do. No wonder you're doing it."

    So you're saying that if Arthur Miller took dramatic license with the historical facts of the Salem Witch Trials, then the entire allegory about McCarthyism in THE CRUCIBLE is invalidated?

    Are you on the goofballs?

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    1. You are such a shithead that you don't even understand what you did. YOU are the one who asserted that a play by Arthur Miller had evidentiary value in an entirely different historical event, the Nazi genocides and other war crimes, I was pointing out that his handling of history in his plays is not only not reliable, it is demonstrably unreliable.

      YOU are the one who introduced that into the discussion of whether or not most of the people who read or saw The Crucible would make the far-fetched connection intended between the 1690s Salem witchcraft trials and the 1940s-60 red scare. And the entirely obvious point I made that if Miller wanted to say something about the red-scare, his means of doing it was, not to put too fine a point on it, stupidly inefficient.

      I know you and Freki and the rump of Duncan's commenting clique would have a hard time distinguishing not only any nuance involved in separating and elucidating those separate issues but also the glaringly obvious point that if you want to talk about something you should talk about it and not distort an entirely different event to make a false metaphor out of it in order to talk about that other event.

      There were no witches in Salem in the 1690s, there were not only real Communists in 1940s-60s America, there were very real American Communist spies trying, among other things, to give as brutal a dictator as Hitler military secrets to make Stalin's ambitions more likely to succeed. It was no where near as big a threat of domestic subversion because it was only idiots in places like New York City and Hollywood who were duped by the Communists who thought it would be wonderful to live under Stalinism, most Americans, even many of them with college degrees, knew that Stalin was a brutal dictator not much better than Hitler was and his system was in no way superior to America's flawed but infinitely better democracy.

      Stupy, none of the Hollywood Commies or those on Broadway ever elected to go live in their workers' paradise, they were hypocrites who were AOK with supporting one of the most accomplished if not the most accomplished mass murderer in history, they were no better than the German American Bund and the supporter of the KKK. You obviously are no better than they were because those crimes they supported are undeniable and you're still holding them up as heroes.

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  5. "There were no witches in Salem in the 1690s, there were not only real Communists in 1940s-60s America, there were very real American Communist spies"

    William F. Buckley said the exact same thing for years. He also felt Joe McCarthy got a bad rap. Obviously, you're no better than William F. Buckley, which comes as no surprise.

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    1. I'm sure Buckley also said things like water is wet, the sun came up this morning, That Steve Simels is about as sharp as a sock full of soup, maybe not in those exact words, but the equivalent

      That there were real Communists and real American Communist spies is not debatable, it's an indisputable historical fact, such as the fact that the Communists in Moscow noted that Julius Rosenberg was an American spy for Stalin's government, something even his own children have admitted is a fact has been proved.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/nyregion/17rosenbergs.html

      So according to Simels Simplified System of Lojik Robert and Michael Meeropol are no better than William F. Buckley.


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  6. And here's another clue, shithead: McCarthyism wasn't about uprooting commie spies. It was about closing down the possibility of left wing protest to the Cold War consensus, and about grabbing power.

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    1. Of course it was that, using the real fact that real Communist spies were discovered. They used that fact to scare stupid people into thinking there were spies everywhere when what there were were probably fewer than 75,000 Commies, most of the do nothing much buffalo butts who would never risk their necks, at their peak.

      And the foremost danger the Communists proved to be in the United States was to the American left they attached themselves to like poisonous limpets.

      You just love that old show-biz generated romantic bull shit about the dear old commies when they were, in fact, enamoured of someone who murdered tens of millions of people, tried to make common cause with Hitler - not to mention fascists in other places - occupied and oppressed most of central Europe, etc. etc. etc.

      The American Communists were red fascists who hated the very democracy they lived in as they nearly uniformly elected not to go live in their worker's paradise. I imagine a lot of them would have missed the wealth they could earn in show biz or the comfortable lives they had here - Corliss Lamont living on his enormous trust fund from his daddums - not to mention the free speech and freedom to publish without having to worry about being put up against a wall and shot or sent to Siberia by their beloved Joseph Stalin, whining when they thought that right they were prepared to see everyone under Communism deprived of was in the least bit infringed on here.

      The Communists were assholes. All of them who stayed Communists as soon as the first reports of what life in the Soviet Union was really like came to the west.

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  7. Oh, 75000 Commies in toto? How do you know they weren't all spies?

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  8. Fewer. How do I know they weren't all spies? Are you kidding? Most of them couldn't find their asshole on a reliable basis and a lot of them had their heads stuck up them. As I said, they were assholes.

    Lots of them were upper class morons who played radical even as they lived like bourgeois if not bankers. And boy did they ever whine and cry, piss and moan when their earnings potential was impinged on, they could have taught Bo Derrik and the other Hollywood fascists how to do that.

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  9. Hollywood is exactly the place I would have looked at to ferret out Commie espionage. After all, the movie studios had all the classified information.

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    1. Hey, I wouldn't have much cared, as I said the Hollywood-Broadway commies were never much of a danger to democracy except in so far as they damaged liberalism by, as I said, attaching themselves to it like a hagfish, sucking the guts out of it.

      But I don't much feel sorry for the Hollywood commies who, as I said, were no better than the Hollywood Nazi lovers. And in the brief period when they got orders, during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact, they were pretty much the same thing.

      I actually read Lester Cole's Hollywood Red and, though there were parts I think he lied up out of nothing, my conclusion was that he was a total asshole and an unrehabilitated Stalinist. I looked at Naming Names recently and found that I could only muster any sympathy for those who got dragged into it unsuspectingly. I have no more sympathy for Stalinists than I do Nazis.

      But there were a number of dangerous spies, like Julius Rosenberg and David Greenglass - who would certainly have loved to turn over vital information to their great leader who, as the Rosenbergs were on trial was mounting a Nazi style pogrom against Jews. I'm really quite fascinated at how you figure that being done by that dear old commie makes it better than if it were done by Nazis and those dear old commies who support him were great heroes. I suspect because you saw a few movies to that effect.

      I don't have to do that, I can despise both HUAC and the Communists at the same time, you can do that when you take a more realistic view than you'll get in a screen play or your typical play script. Certainly of any play script that will gain popular approval, they tend to be simple minded.

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  10. "I can despise both HUAC and the Communists at the same time"

    Spare me your idea of moral fucking equivalencies.

    As Richard Condon pointed out in that novel whose name now escapes me (;-), McCarthy and HUAC and the rest of the anti-Communist right did more real damage to this country than the actual Communists ever fucking dreamed of.

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    1. How typically American of you, only thinking of what was done to the United States when the worst thing the American Communists did was support one of the most murderous if not the most murderous series of dictatorships in human history. What HUAC did was peanuts as compared to what the commies did, one of the worst things they did here was lend legitimacy to HUAC and the red-scare. Another one was act as a weapon to use against the non-communist, non-dupe liberals and the moral left.

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  11. Get back to me when you can name the Joe McCarthy of France or England.

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    1. You really imagine that's some kind of a refutation don't you. I mean, you really believe that negates what I said.

      Explain how it does that. I ask knowing that you might pull something out of your ass but it won't answer anything but you can't make it relevant.

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  12. You attacked me for saying McCarthyism was a peculiarly American phenomenon. Which, you dimwit hick, it clearly was.

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    1. The Simels' two-step, he brings up something entirely irrelevant to the discussion and when asked to explain how that refutes anything I said, he pretends that I said something I didn't. In this case it's about the stupidest thing he could have come up with because as McCarthy was an American Senator OF COURSE MCCARTHYISM WAS A PECULIARLY AMERICAN PHENOMENON. Which doesn't refute anything I said.

      It's like when Simps accuses me of denying "the centrality of Jews to the Holocaust" when the Holocaust refers ONLY to the Jewish victim of Nazi genocide so, by definition, Jewishness defines the victims of that industrial murder.

      Of course it being Simps and Simps only caring about an ethnic group he belongs to, he figures,millions of murdered Poles, Roma, Russians, etc. Meh!

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    2. Oh, and by the way, notice how Simp is relying on what it says in a novel a couple of comments up. He lives in a world that can't distinguish between fiction and reality. He and Trump were trained on TV and movies. He probably read a review of the book somewhere, if that. There was probably a movie.

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  13. Jeebus H Christ on a piece of Passover egg matzoh — it’s like trying to have a discussion with Andy Kaufman’s Foreign Man character. Sparkles is saying stuff in some argot that seems to superficially resemble English, but is actually made up gibberish.

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    1. I often find that's the way when trying to communicate with people who, like you, live in post-literacy. But I can read you like a grade school primer, what you just said means, "Yikes, he's figured out what I'm doing."

      I wonder when the last time you cited something other than fiction and low-brow pop culture in an argument. I mean other than the one and only non-fiction book about the run-up to WWII you pretend to have read. But what can you expect of someone who shares a sartorial style with Roger Stone. It's not the only thing you two share.

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  14. "I wonder when the last time you cited something other than fiction and low-brow pop culture in an argument."

    You're so right, Sparky. In an argument about fiction and pop culture, I should probably be citing PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA, RALPH ROISTER-DOISTER, and something really High Modernist, like Wyndham Lewis' THE APES OF GOD.

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    1. I have a feeling Arthur Miller wouldn't appreciate someone calling his work "pop-culture" and it was the alleged non-fiction of The Crucible that this argument began with, the propensity of even college educated people to mistake fictionalized distortions of history for history. I remember a number of years ago I had an argument on Eschaton, as I recall two of the actual smart people who used to go there as I stopped made that mistake, Derbes and Gromit, it shocked me that they'd do something I figured people at that level of educational achievement wouldn't do. But maybe that lapse in reality is what permits them to keep going to Duncan's post-literate play-group for play-lefties.

      I doubt you could navigate the first three statements in the Principia, I doubt you could deal with his introductory notes on the notation he used. It would require attention, something you lost through disuse.

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  15. Earth to Sparkles: You're the one who called Arthur Miller pop culture. Obviously, at this point your brain is dribbling out of your ears.

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  16. "I doubt you could navigate the first three statements in the Principia"

    I doubt you could play the rhythm guitar parts on an early Ramones song.

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    1. The friggin' Ramones? I'd have to listen to them, it's been about 40 years but I don't remember them being especially harmonically complex.

      You brought up the Principia not me, I was just noting that other than knowing the name you couldn't cite it if it was necessary. As I recall I did, actually cite one of its sections in a post but it would be pointless to search my archive as you wouldn't read it, anyway.

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    2. I know they told you that you can only get out what you put into an intellectual endeavor, Simps, but they didn't mean a. your lack of comprehension or reasoning or b. your habitual dishonesty.

      I wonder which of the playwrights I compared him to, favorably, would be considered pop-culture, Pinter, Albee or Williams . . . I don't think even Tennessee Williams would be flattered to have his work called "pop-culture" though his late short-stories are high culture only if you consider decadence high culture.

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  17. "The friggin' Ramones? I'd have to listen to them, it's been about 40 years but I don't remember them being especially harmonically complex."

    THAT'S THE POINT, YOU GORMLESS MORON. Those parts are so simple even you couldn't play them.

    Good fucking lord, you're the most obtuse asshole in recorded history. I'm outta here. In fact, I'm gonna self-ban myself around here for a month. Which won't stop you from quoting me, you self-centered insecure twit. :-)

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    1. Hey, Stupy, it's entirely in your hands if you "self-ban," my only question is why so modest in your ambitions, "self-ban" yourself permanently and never mention me again.

      That was, actually, funny, as if you had the discipline to stop lying.

      You come here because Eschaton is so drearily predictable, the way Duncan likes it, having his collection of geezers coming back and running up his piddling profits from his ag├ęd, addled cattle.

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  18. Oh, BTW, Schmucko -- here's a movie review of a masterpiece you'll just fucking hate. And now, buy bye!!! :-)

    CRADLE WILL ROCK (1999)

    Stunningly cinematic and audacious on every level, writer-director Tim Robbins's look at the collision of the Depression-era art world and politics may well be a masterpiece; at the very least it confirms that Robbins is now, officially, a major American auteur.

    The basic story (it helps to know a little history) involves the government-funded Federal Theater group, home to Orson Welles (Angus McFadyen) and gay composer Marc Blitzstein (Hank Azaria), whose pro-labor musical will be shut down on the eve of its opening, courtesy of red-baiting congressmen. Around that, there's a dizzying succession of subplots involving (among other things) the stormy relationship between Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) and radical artist Diego Rivera (Ruben Blades); a passel of American businessmen funding Mussolini's war machine; and paranoid, right-wing ventriloquist Tommy Crickshaw (Bill Murray, in the role of his life), whose dummy walks out on him.

    Obviously, we're not talking documentary-style realism here, and Robbins stages it all in a virtuosic style that splits the difference between artsy and immediate, up to and including the taking-it-to-the-streets performance of the titular musical that's the film's thrilling finale. Hell, let's not mince words — it's downright Welles-ian. Robbins also gets sensational character performances from the likes of Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Redgrave, Emily Watson and John Turturro, and throws in a sneakily erotic scene at Rivera's loft that suggests a familiarity with Henry Miller.

    Of course, it doesn't hurt that recent events (read: the flap over the Brooklyn Museum's "Sensation" show) have made the picture's themes more than a little relevant; in fact, Robbins nails the point, brilliantly, in the film's last moment, a tracking shot down contemporary Broadway that's the most genuinely earned bit of dramatic irony in recent movie memory. -- Steve Simels

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    1. I knew it, Simps, I knew you wouldn't have the discipline to "self-ban" yourself from my blog even with my invitation to feel free to do so.

      I read through the piano score for that way, way back. It's not a masterpiece, it's not even especially interesting. The most interesting thing is the introductory music and a few short interludes. The numbers are amusing enough in some cases, though when you consider Blitzstein was a dedicated Stalinist as he wrote it and Stalin's not only complete suppression of independent unions but his murders of any unionists or suspected unionists who aspired to independence, it's entirely hypocritical.

      Cradle isn't his best work by a long shot. If it hadn't been momentarily suppressed it would be a totally forgotten piece of turgid agit-prop. Granted, it's not as horrible as Brecht-Eisler's "Mother" but it's nothing to get exited about. The only reason it was ever revived was because of that theater-commie lore about that one performance.

      It's so funny that Marc Blitzstein has some kind of status as a bold, brave, revolutionary when he was a total asshole who loved to harang other composers for not staying within the prescribed rules of the real, right way for commie composers to compose. Read the authoritative biography of him, Marc The Music and unless you're a kindred spirit, an asshole, you'll end up thinking he was a total jerk.

      Tim Robbins, well, he came around to facing reality on voting for Hillary Clinton to prevent disaster but it took the jerk long enough to do it that it doesn't count for much.

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    2. While it doesn't give you a complete appreciation for what an asshole he was as an adult, you can read the first chapter of Marc the Music, The Brat about his childhood on Googlebooks, Especially what a manipulative little creep he was, exploiting the guilt of his mother, the reason that chapter has the sub-heading, "Mumsie, are you sorry? Are you sorry, Mumsie? is an actual quote.

      So, Simps, I think you and creepy little Marc were kindred spirits.

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  19. "So, Simps, I think you and creepy little Marc were kindred spirits."

    You mean gay Jews???

    I'm completely shocked.
    :-)

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    1. No, I mean creepy little, hypocritical assholes.

      To paraphrase Lewis Black, you've got Jewish tourettes. Blitzstein was not only a thoroughly secular atheist, he was a Stalinist, I'd look up if he ever addressed his heroes murders of Jews in such events as The Night of the Poets and the Jewish Doctors pogrom but I'm not really that interested.

      His music isn't really that interesting, his fame is largely dependent on the lore of that one performance. I would bet that hardly anyone could, cold, hum much more than a couple of the tunes from the numbers in Cradle, Nickle Under Your Foot, Art For Art's Sake, maybe the Honolulu song or the song about the Freedom of the Press. I wonder what would happen if they sang it in the Soviet Union while Stalin was around, I wonder if there was a production there. I would imagine that real Soviet unionists - those who hadn't already been shot or deported to the gulag, would have found it disgustingly hypocritical.

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  20. "Granted, it's not as horrible as Brecht-Eisler's "Mother" but it's nothing to get exited about. "

    Nothing to get exited about. Gotcha.

    Let's talk about things to get entered about.

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    1. I'll make you a deal, Simps, I'll feel embarrassed about my typos when you get embarrassed about your lies and hypocrisy and illogic.

      So, when are you going to start your "self-banning"?

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  21. "I read through the piano score for that way, way back"

    Reading through a score is like listening to a painting.

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    1. More like listening to the score while playing it on a piano, you know, the way it was done in that legendary first performance with the composer at the piano, if I recall the fable correctly.

      You are mentally deficient.

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