President Trump Says Obama Hasn’t Endorsed Biden Because He Knows Something We Don’t

President Trump is hinting that Creepy Uncle Joe won’t be the Democrat Candidate.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/04/09/trump_maybe_obama_hasnt_endorsed_sleepy_joe_because_he_knows_something_that_you_dont_know.html

He’s so much fun to listen to.  And I’m definitely not going to say he’s wrong.  I think the Democrats are panicked knowing that even though Biden prevented Bernie from being the candidate he himself is completely non-electable.  I mean, just think of it, he’s the closest thing since Bill Clinton to an unregistered sex offender as presidential candidate and he’s also suffering from late stage dementia.  The only way it could be worse is if his pants fall down during a debate.  So the only question is who do they unleash next?  Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Streisand, Oprah?  It most likely has to be an actor.  Empathy, at this stage, is all they can hope to use.

The Unholy Inception of ShatnerKhan II

Today I was on a videoconference with the Board of Directors of the ShatnerKhan Corporation.  These august gentlemen and I began the initial planning of this great enterprise.  I must tell you, just knowing that ShatnerKhan II would happen despite the COVID-19 Plague was indeed exciting.  It would be like a shining beacon in the inky blackness of cultural hiatus that this quarantine has engendered.  It would bring hope and purpose to a weary nation.  It might even save countless lives by giving these poor souls the will to throw off the deadly clutches of this sinovirus.  “Ad astra per aspera.”

So, it was kind of fun talking about something so frivolous and light hearted.  No life and death diseases, no do or die elections just the foibles of that demigod of bad acting William Shatner.  We committed ourselves to a much more organized effort.  As you might remember ShatnerKhan I was an impromptu gathering with almost no planning, preparation or notice.  And most importantly not nearly enough time was spent on the menu for the event.  For as I’ve often stated ShatnerKhan is mostly an excuse to eat highly indigestible but exquisitely delicious and altogether splendiferous food.  So, I extracted this promise that the first thing to be fixed was the menu.  I am a reasonable man and will not prevent whatever personal favorites the Board requests.  All I ask is that dill pickles, corned beef, pastrami, pumpernickel bread, potato salad and good brown mustard are lavishly provided.  There was talk of all kinds of delicacies but we’ll see what they decide on.  I know that sausage and peppers, eggplant parmigiana and panko coated drumsticks were mentioned but I also know that Chinese food was listed at one point.  Well, at such an intellectually challenging event the sages need to keep up their strength somehow.

Moving onto the agenda we discussed how best to avoid burnout from the sheer volume of Shatneriana that was available for review.  It was decided that we would extract the quintessence of Shatner goodness from each historical record and in this way reduce the time needed to review it.  This will require great amounts of preparatory work.  And it will also require much greater technical skill than is currently at the disposal of the Board.  For I must confess that when it comes to digital expertise, we are blithering idiots.  But this aspect I’ve taken on myself to explore.  But the idea is to have a live stream that will capture us bloviating on the various scenes we are critiquing.  Of course, to maintain anonymity we will be masked.  I suggested Shatner masks.  I understand that the mask that the Michael Myers character wore in Halloween was actually based in some way on William Shatner’s face.  Whether this is true or not I have also been tasked to look into the masks and other props needed for the event.  It was suggested that I find a three-dimensional chess board and a Vulcan lyre like the ones that Spock employed during various episodes of the original series.  While I’m at it why don’t I look for Shatner’s missing hairline?  But I digress.

There was a discussion about inviting the great man himself to this great homage to his name.  But we were reminded that he’s eighty-nine and also fabulously wealthy.  But we may invite him anyway.  My guess is he won’t be too pleased by our take on his career and talents.  But who knows?  I thought maybe we should contact Kevin Pollack.  After all he’s fairly famously for imitating Shatner.  As you can see, bull was flung pretty freely at this meeting but it was quite stimulating talking about the event.  As far as timing the earliest it would be held is midsummer.  But based on the current crisis it might also be closer to September.  When asked by the Board if the readers of Orion’s Cold Fire could be a source for ideas for the gathering, I said I thought it very well might be.  I know of at least one reader who has shown enthusiasm for the idea and I think there is the potential for a collaborative effort where local groups could participate in the live streaming and eat equally indigestible, delicious and splendiferous food.  Of course, they’ll have to provide their own masks and food but the spirit of bright camaraderie will more than pay for the foodstuffs needed.

So, I’m throwing it out to the audience.  If you have any ideas practical or ridiculous that should be brought to the attention of the Board and if you have interest in remote link up during such an absurd venture leave a comment or send an e-mail and I’ll make sure you’re kept in the loop when any actual information is available.

Shakespeare in Film – Part 9 – Henry V – Branagh’s 1989 Version

Sunday, I wrote the review of Olivier’s Henry V.  I watched Branagh’s version that night.  I watched a while ago but I wanted to have it fresh in my mind especially because I would be contrasting it to Olivier’s film.

When Branagh’s movie came out in 1989 it made him a star.  He was a young dynamic character and the world wanted to believe in heroes again.  He was married at the time to Emma Thompson and she played Katherine to his Henry.  They were seen as an exciting couple in Hollywood circles and there was great interest in their films together.  Putting all that aside, people were ready to take a fresh look at Shakespeare.  Branagh adapted the play for the screen and directed himself in the lead.  Branagh was young enough and active enough to make King Harry believable.  The movie was a critical success.

Interestingly, Branagh’s Henry V left in some of the smaller incidents that Olivier omitted.  The three conspirators who planned to assassinate Henry on behalf of the French are duly exposed and condemned.  The hanging of Bardolph, one of Prince Harry’s former companions is a stark reminder that King Henry is a changed man.

But the major thrust of the film of course runs in the same vein as Olivier’s.  And yet there are clear differences in tone and emphasis.  Despite the theme of war Olivier’s play is the more light hearted and optimistic of the two by far.  A good point of comparison is the St Crispin’s Day speech.  When Olivier gives the speech, he exudes confidence and a controlled enthusiasm.  But when Branagh speaks he impresses on the audience the sense of passion and energy he feels.  It’s a rush of adrenaline that he captures in words.

And the action of the play mirrors this same difference.  Olivier’s cinema is typical of what the 1940s would do to portray the late middle ages.  It reminds you of how Hollywood would give us Robin Hood or Ivanhoe.  It was a sunlit world of grassy fields and picturesque castles with banners flapping in the breeze high above the fields.  Branagh gives us explosions, fire, battles in the dead of night and lots and lots of mud.  Mud on the ground, mud on the soldiers and mud on the King.  And he keeps some of the lines on the war that Olivier left out.  When the English besiege the city of Harfleur, Henry harangues the town elders with the horrors that resisting the besiegers would entail if they failed to surrender in advance.  He mentions rape, plunder and the vicious destruction of human life from the youngest infant to the oldest inhabitants.  So, we can see that Branagh has made the more accurate version of the play.  He’s left all the warts in plain sight.

Now in addition to the grittier nature of Branagh’s production it should be said that his handling of the romance between Henry and Katherine is also more naturalistic.  Branagh has an earthier, more openly comical approach to Henry attempting to woo Katherine in terribly halting French.  Olivier’s approach is calmer and more restrained.  So, all in all let’s call Olivier’s a more formal and austere approach to the story and Branagh’s a more naturalistic and emotional version.

How do they compare?  In my opinion they are both excellent films.  And they have different strengths.  I watch the Olivier version when I want to enjoy Olivier’s language.  He is the gold standard, in my book, for what Shakespeare’s dialog should sound like.  No one else makes the text sound real the way he does.

But if I want to see the story of the war, I will watch Branagh’s version.  Branagh and his excellent cast bring the war to life.  By the end of the battle of Agincourt you can feel the exhaustion that the English feel as they struggle to bury their dead.  Even the miraculous victory they’ve won is almost beyond their strength to grasp.  Branagh has done a very fine job of making a Henry V that is faithful to the text and conveys the reality of a King going to war in the Hundred Years War.

My Take on Yarvin’s Essay “The Deep State vs The Deep Right”

Last night I clicked on the American Mind website and saw that Curtis Yarvin (aka Mencius Moldbug) had a new post up.  The title was “The Deep State vs The Deep Right.”  I find Yarvin’s ideas interesting but at the same time in some ways obscure.  In this new essay he states that the only way to overthrow a regime you live under is to undermine its authority with a more attractive idea.  He puts this in terms of aesthetics.  His case in point is the Czar.  According to Yarvin the Russians overthrew their government by first convincing everyone including the Czar that they needed to adopt the British outlook on life.  And since socialism was the religion of the British elites at that time what better way to emulate them than by taking their ideal and turning it up to eleven via Marx’s writings.  Yarvin’s point is that art (in this case the 19th century Russian novelists) had prepared the Russians for the replacement of the monarchy long before the Bolsheviks came on the scene.

Yarvin’s idea is that what is needed to overthrow the current neo-liberal order is an aesthetic to replace the aesthetic our current elites espouse. This is the confusing part.  When he talks of aesthetics and art he’s talking about books and music and movies.  You are probably asking yourself how does this get Nancy Pelosi off of the Speaker’s podium?  And that’s a fair question.  As much as I’d love to write the ultimate science fiction novel that shifts the balance of power from the Left to us, I don’t see how that happens.  Yarvin points to Bronze Age Mindset as a sort of first attempt at moving the aesthetic in our direction.  And maybe it is.  Apparently, it was very popular with younger men and showed there is a market for dissident ideas out in the real world.

Okay, so why should I care about any of this?   Well, because I kinda know what he’s saying.  The people who want to tell us what to do, say and think aren’t going to believe us when we say their ideas are wrong.  They think that what we believe and who we are is stupid.  They are convinced that what they believe and who they are is smart.  We are going to have to make our case in the court of public opinion.  We are going to have to show them that our ideas are better and stronger than theirs.

From the point of reason, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince people that things like screwing up the hormones of an eight-year-old boy and then castrating him is not sane.  But remember, we don’t have the microphone so we don’t get to tell the story on tv.  We’ll have to work on back channels like blogs and self-published books and podcasts.

But of course, that isn’t enough.  What I’m hearing from Yarvin is we’ll need to convince and recruit the intelligentsia in order to get the microphone we want and need.  That’s a pretty tall order but I think Yarvin’s got something there.  We have to get people who speak their language, academics and artists to make the case that our world view is sane and theirs is crazy.  Specifically, we’ll need some medical doctors and psychiatrists and ethicists to expose the nightmare logic at work.  We’ll need documentary and dramatic filmmakers to sway public opinion.  But first we’ll need judges and lawyers and cops and even politicians to have the courage to confront these lunatics who defend these practices and hold them accountable.

So, there’s the pipe dream we need to dream.  We have to turn the world upside down, or right side up if you look at it from our point of view.  And the first step is to identify the weakest points of the current system and attack them.  And to attack them we have to show the world what we would put in its place.  I would say that the beginning of such an enterprise requires a lawfare approach.  We’ll need a Circuit Court with jurisdiction over a blue state that has adopted the most flagrantly perverse law and have a lawyer challenge that behavior at the Circuit Court level and have it struck down.  That would trigger a storm that would catch the attention of national press and allow public opinion to hear our side of the story from the judges and the plaintiffs.  After the dust settles it will make a good book, an interesting documentary and maybe even a decent movie although we probably wouldn’t be able to get any A-listers involved.  But it’ll be a good start.

This idea highlights why it is such an important thing to have President Trump appointing judges to the Circuit and supreme Court in the numbers he is doing.  He is close to flipping the Ninth Circuit and that court rules over California and the rest of the Left Coast.  That is a place where a lot of wonderful damage can be done.  I think I see what Yarvin is talking about.

 

Now what do you think?  If you agree or sort of agree or even strenuously disagree, I’d like to hear from you.  This site is to allow me to have my say but also to here what everybody else thinks.  Leave a comment in the section below and get to have your two cents.

07APR2020 – Quote of the Day

“We begin well, sir,” the fat man purred … “I distrust a man that says when. If he’s got to be careful not to drink too much it’s because he’s not to be trusted when he does. … Well, sir, here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding. … You’re a close-mouthed man?”

Spade shook his head. “I like to talk.”

“Better and better!” the fat man exclaimed. “I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking’s something you can’t do judiciously unless you keep in practice.”  …

Now, sir, we’ll talk if you like. I’ll tell you right out – I’m a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.

Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon)

 

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