Coen Head

I’m not a Coen Bros. super fan but was extraordinarily touched in a strange way when they redid True Grit because they musta thought it great in its genre and understood it had been cheapened in the John Wayne version.  It’s one of my favorite books, and I thought the same, and… they’re from here, I’m from here, they aren’t too much older than me, they must have encountered the book originally in a similar way…  And they are smart accomplished people, so I was touched and their selection of it ratified my tastes.

I went to see Bridge of Spies with the boys last Saturday.  Coen script, Spielberg production.  Not all that superficially similar to True Grit but I think it does speak to their eye for identifying great narrative.

Good / Great movie.  I won’t go extraordinary lengths to be a film critic here.  Some things:

*Point I haven’t seen made before, in some ways it’s an effort in dramatizing another Schindler like hero, one who makes extra efforts to save people. This Donavan as main character, I had never heard of him.  He’s compelling.

*There’s some talk about how patriotic this movie is.  It’s not like Spielberg has been all that subversive… or at all…  in his films.  But he’s a liberal, and this film is really patriotic.  The Ruskies are portrayed somewhat sympathetically as people, but the moral equivalence between the US / USSR is not murky.  He hammers you with the contrast.

*Movie like this, the romantic tension is kinda superfluous.  It’s there as convention… because people expect a female lead in a movie, even if she’s not really needed.  So I’m saying, this story didn’t have much use for spousal / familial tension, but it’s there, right, cuz it’s mandatory.  This woman who played Mary Donavan… Amy Ryan….  Put her on the best looking women ever list eh.  Wowzers.  47yo, 68er.

So me and the kids, particularly the 11 year old, we end up talking a little cold war history over the weekend.  I told them what it was like for me…  I was 12 at the start of the Reagan years, and up to Gorbachev it was tense.  We had a bit of a duck and cover mindset though the air raid films never got trotted out, that was passe.  And I think the big harbinger of the Russians malevolence was the KAL passenger jet getting shot down.

So over the weekend, you see this trickling out:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-1983-war-scare-soviet-leadership-feared-nuclear-surprise-attack-by-us/2015/10/24/15a289b4-7904-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html

It’s just that the tone of this text I think suggests Reagan was overly provocative with the war games. Like I said, KAL007, remember?  That was a big deal.  Ya think central European war games was an overreaction to that in the absence of anything else?  Just sayin, maybe some typical anti-Reagan media bias here.

Jots w/ dots 10/27

The making of President Rubio:   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/opinion/sunday/rubio-the-unusual-front-runner.html  and http://www.vox.com/2015/10/27/9618896/jeb-rubio-trump  I think this is right.  Far as I can tell, I started saying ‘President Rubio’ within these pages on 7/9/15.

This will be an attack ad…. http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/26/hillary-vows-ill-go-further-than-obama-in-granting-amnesty-to-illegals/  What’s this mean?  Will she direct the Border Patrol and ICE to not do anything at all?  Seems extreme, and I’m not actually sure the ‘moderate Democrat’ is even comfortable with that.  Which is why I’m surprised she said it, given she’s got the nomination wrapped up.

Actually….  http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/26/hillary-clinton-gets-called-out-for-gay-marriage-revisionism/…. I have some contemporaneous memory of the Clintons pushing DOMA for exactly that reason, to thwart a constitutional movement to define marriage… cuz, people with serious insight knew the Clintons were lying when they claimed a religious objection to same sex- marriage.  It was a pander, and liberals are allowed that cuz noble lie…. Lemme ask something then.  We know they had to pander / noble lie for a while on gay marriage.  How am I to be assured liberals don’t lie on gun prohibition being the ultimate goal of that movement?  Answer is… it’s a similar pander.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-progressive-gun-control-charade-1445806103

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