Friday, October 23, 2009

Odds and Sods - Night of the Hunter edition

I love how Halloween has taken over October. For one thing, it's lots of fun. For another, it stops the capitalists from foisting Christmas on us too soon. Without Halloween, Macy's would be decorating Christmas trees in September.

And the best thing: OLD HORROR MOVIES.

If you have never seen Robert Mitchum's deranged preacher (movie still at left) in Night of the Hunter, your big chance is tonight at 8pm on Turner Classic Movies:

The Night of the Hunter (1955) is a truly compelling, haunting, and frightening classic masterpiece thriller-fantasy, and the only film ever directed by the great British actor Charles Laughton. The American gothic, Biblical tale of greed, innocence, seduction, sin and corruption was adapted for the screen by famed writer-author James Agee (and Laughton, but without screen credit). Although one of the greatest American films of all time, the imaginatively-chilling, experimental, sophisticated work was idiosyncratic, film noirish, avante garde, dream-like expressionistic and strange, and it was both ignored and misunderstood at the time of its release. Originally, it was a critical and commercial failure.

Robert Mitchum gave what some consider his finest performance in a precedent-setting, unpopular, and truly terrifying role as the sleepy-eyed, diabolical, dark-souled, self-appointed serial killer/Preacher with psychotic, murderous tendencies while in pursuit of $10,000 in cash. Lillian Gish played his opposite - a saintly good woman who provided refuge for the victimized children.

The disturbing, complex story was based on the popular, best-selling 1953 Depression-era novel of the same name by first-time writer Davis Grubb, who set the location of his novel in the town of Moundsville, WV, where the West Virginia Penitentiary (also mentioned in the film) was located. Grubb lived in nearby Clarksburg as a young teenager.

Once you start watching, you won't stop. The movie literally sparkles in some places, the black-and-white cinematography gleaming and beautiful. And Mitchum is utterly incredible. His serial-killer/preacher was famously tattooed with the words "Love" on one hand and "Hate" on the other, which has since become part of pop-culture legend--later resurrected on Robert DeNiro's hands in Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear:
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989) referenced the love/hate, left and right hand theme, when Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) explained the love/hate dichotomy. In The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), LOVE and HATE were tattooed on Eddie's (Meat Loaf) knuckles, and in The Blues Brothers (1980), the two brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) have their names tattooed on their knuckles. In The Simpsons episode "Cape Feare", the menacing Sideshow Bob (voice of Kelsey Grammer) had similar tattoos on each set of knuckles as well - but since the characters in the cartoon show had only three fingers and a thumb, the tattoos were humorously "LUV" and "HAT" - (with a bar over the A).
The hands war with each other, love vs hate, and which will triumph?

Don't miss the movie, if you've never seen it.


Over at Twisty's blog, I blame the Patriarchy, there was a discussion of Meghan McCain's boobs. OOooops... I mean, McCain's Twitter photo. And for a bunch of feminists, it got kinda rough in there, as "advanced patriarchy blamers" (a group I am not sure I can claim I even belong to, as a bad Catholic) sounded just like my dear, deceased Aunt Mae:
Looks to me like the requisite lips out, head tilted downward but eyes up’ boob showin’ crap teenage girls post on myspace all day long. A joke, perhaps? Or just business as usual. How old is she anyway?
... which promptly set off a fascinating conversation. Go read! Warning: the thread is now up to 170 replies.

And then, Twisty outdid herself in her subsequent post on the conversation:
[Certain feminists commenting in the aforementioned thread] seem to be placing a pretty high premium on McCain’s intent. And they seem pretty comfortable in asserting an infallible familiarity with McCain’s innermost nature, for they have somehow divined this intent precisely. Maybe they have access to 8th-dimension vortex-portals through which they may mind-meld with Internet personalities. They assert, peering through their vortex-portals into the mind of Meghan McCain, not just that her intent was to titillate, but — and here is the critical jump — that this odious species of intent (slutism!) releases them from their oath of feminist solidarity.

You know how when a rapist is prosecuted, and the slutty intent of the victim is so acutely divined by the defense (’she didn’t fight back hard enough; she must have wanted it,’ etc) it may be used as a psychbomb to dehumanize her to the jury? It’s like that.

Or take women who post self-portraits on the Internet. Say we get our hands on one of those vortex-portals, so we know without a doubt that their intent is to titillate. Does it logically follow that they then desire a torrent of sex-based hate speech? Meanwhile, do even the feminists buy the whole women-are-masochists myth and just sit idly by while misogynists rip the titillators to shreds?

Anyway, intent, schmintent. I would urge the reader to recall how little intent has to do with anything. Particularly with the experience of the end user. The result is all that matters. Your boyfriend — if you haven’t taken my advice and dumped him yet — possibly loves you, but when he farts in bed and flaps the covers, who gives a flip about his intent? Do you not gag and think him a Philistine?

Which, before all you fart-flappers get lathered up, is my little metaphor for the metaphorical odor that metaphorically drifts, unbidden, from the condition of male privilege into the metaphorical nostrils of the oppressed.
That last paragraph may be the best thing I ever read.

Check it out.. the follow-up thread is up to 77 posts already.


More on what we in South Carolina are calling "Jim Demint and the Jews" from David Paul Kuhn writing in Real Clear Politics:
The Op/Ed was published Sunday in the South Carolinian newspaper The Times and Democrat. Chairmen Edwin Merwin, of Bamberg County, and James Ulmer, of Orangeburg County, wrote:
There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation's pennies and trying to preserve our country's wealth and our economy's viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.
This is only one small story from one small town newspaper. But it is likely to make some national news.

That news will not be well received by the national Republican Party. The GOP has long attempted, albeit with little success, to make inroads into the Jewish vote. Of course, this incident will not help. And it may not be big enough to hurt that much. But the news comes in the context of the GOP's macro push to portray itself as a more inclusive party of late. And every anecdote exemplifying otherwise undermines that push.

That the offensive language was penned in an Op/Ed, rather than made in an offhand remark, makes it all the more politically foolish (and almost too stupid to believe).
Not if you live around here, it sure isn't.


And finally, the coveted Dead Air literary award goes to my favorite mom-blogger, Sheila, for her very gifted, postprandial haiku.

This was inspired by her first trip to Sonic:
cold crappy food wrong order
tarnished cravings


sheila said...

Oh, my heart is warmed, lol. And I saw the story about SC and the Jews on CNN shortly after reading your blog (told you , you are always ahead of them! lol)

And they asked the question: What is wrong with politicians from SC? lol. Oh, Daisy. You make my heart sing.

Ann oDyne said...

1. Bless Sheila for her brilliant haiku.

2. I couldn't make the jump 'from jugs to Jews' back there, so sorry I have no comment on that part of your post, but -
I'm old, and the young jumpy bitey feminists wear me out. You know the ones - they weren't born when I purchased The Female Eunuch, but they rudely flame my comments on blogs. I have a nude photo on my Fbook and they can suck it up.
Without seeing the Meghan McCain photo, am I bad for guessing her mindset was just to be saying to y'all "I am not my father".

Think about how having a famous dad would make people who didn't know you, think you were just like him and you would need pouty cleavage to swing the vote your way.
peace n love to her and Sheila and you

Kandukuri Kishore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bryce said...

hasnt hurt demint much- is what I hear.

Tom Nolan said...

Metaphor schmetaphor. What this means:

"Your boyfriend — if you haven’t taken my advice and dumped him yet — possibly loves you, but when he farts in bed and flaps the covers, who gives a flip about his intent? Do you not gag and think him a Philistine?"

is that men stink. It's the heart of the message, and not really difficult to get.