The Politics Of Nostalgia

For a long time I lived among educated middle class English who had a passion, verging on sickness, for Panhellenism, a nostalgic look back to classical Greece (without the slaves and bad drainage) as a “second home”.

It’s The Pits: The Miner’s Blues

I’ve never been down an American coal mine, among the least safest in the world, though have plunged thousands of feet into the dark bowels of British pits in Yorkshire, Wales and Scotland, the world’s safest until they were closed by politicians and bean counters.

Why The Dems Lost

Trip Gabriel, the New York Times reporter, found many Trump signs in the front yards of loyal union members who had been Democrats. Don’t waste your time worrying about Russian hacks or FBI sabotage or ‘fake stories’ about Moscow whores. The reason we lost is in plain view: “You stopped talking my language; you don’t […]

Do We Want To Win Or Just Feel Good?

Meryl Streep makes a beautiful, heartfelt (“sank hooks in my heart”) speech at the Golden Globes eviscerating Trump for mocking the disabled who lack “the power and capacity to fight back.” Whoa there, Meryl. You’re talking about a 2015 incident when Trump ridiculed New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski who has limited use of his […]

We Forget

Bad regimes are in the business of making us forget. More than anything they want to cancel our feeling for the impossible that twists some of us into impractical romantics. Teenagers tend to pass through this phase before buckling down to the hard business of living, with grocery bills and mortgages, the stuff parents lecture […]

(Political) Climate

Faced with a crummy time in the McCarthyite and Cold War 1950s here’s what some of us did. The American mood was apocalyptic. LA was ringed with nuclear tipped Nike missiles. We more or less expected a third World War tomorrow morning. The popular current was running venomously against liberals, lefties and progressives. Guys accused […]

How Would Hemingway’s ‘Robert Jordan’ Vote?

Written 76 years ago, For Whom The Bell Tolls is Senator John McCain’s favorite novel, also an “inspiration” to Obama. Toward the end of the Spanish civil war, up in the mountains looking over a steel bridge the American hero Robert Jordan must blow up to stop the Fascist advance on Madrid, he faces certain […]

Trump’s Rasputin

Not even a demented Hollywood casting director high on meth could have dreamed up a lowlife creep beast from 20,000 fathoms like Roy Cohn who was Donald Trump’s long time Rasputin. Trump was a mere stripling of 27, the son of a racist real estate tycoon, when crooked, always-under-indictment lawyer Cohn got his claws on […]

Penn & El Chapo

I love Hollywood – the film industry. I really do. In rain or shine, good or bad times, it’s given me a living off and on. I’ve been a movie-set gofer, a bit actor (as a “native boy” in Bride of the Gorilla), an asst. film editor, a story analyst, TV show “associate producer” (nobody […]

I Knew Both Tom Hardys

Ever since I first saw the Mauch twins, Billy and Bobby, in the movie version of Mark Twain’s Prince and the Pauper, I’ve been keen on films where the actor plays a multiple role, like Alex Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets and Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor. The latest is actor Tom Hardy’s […]

Oscar, Scammed

My son and I argue movies all the time. He thinks that the Academy and other film industry prizes are well deserved while I can’t recall a Golden Globe or Oscar for a movie I truly enjoyed. He says I’m “biased”. Of course, I am. Prejudiced, blind, narrow-minded, nostalgic and inconsistent like most movie lovers. […]

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