Archives for posts with tag: Ronald Reagan

American Made

Barry Seal’s life has become the stuff of legend. And much of that legend owes itself to the manner in which his life ended. Seal was killed on the evening of Feb. 19, 1986, machine-gunned in his automobile by agents of the Medellin Cartel, his former employers. There were photos taken of his bullet-riddled body in his car.

His violent and bloody death created headlines and nightly news stories throughout America. In fact, one can say that his murder gave him a higher profile in death than he had in life. And because of the unusual circumstances of his murder — more properly called an assassination — his life now has become the fodder of legend.

Because of all the legerdemain that has sprouted up about Seal, it is not easy to separate fact from fiction. The current film about Seal, American Made, does not even try. In fact, it attempts to expand legend into myth. It then plays that myth for fast-action scenes, tongue-in-cheek comedy, and a plot line that moves as quickly as bowling pins falling during a ten-strike. Whatever the failings of director Doug Liman’s movie, it is hard to imagine someone being bored by it.

Read the rest:The Charmed, Doomed Life of Barry Seal

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Reagan Devil

Regular readers of icareviews are aware of this writer’s interest in shadow government and conspiracy lore. Here, then, if only for the benefit of a chuckle, is a theory that is admittedly rather loony, but nevertheless possessed of a certain poetic charm and appropriateness. It comes from attorney Richard J. Bisbee’s novel Capitalism Imperfectly Understood:

In 2000 I met my favorite client, a woman of about my age, Angela Churchill. True to her name, she was a “church lady,” a regular at the local Catholic Church. […] In 1973 as a young adult she was profoundly affected by the movie, The Exorcist. A few years later, she began hearing “spiritual voices.” She became convinced that she was “demon possessed.” […] Her psychiatrist concluded that she would only cooperate with him if exorcism was tried. He convinced the local Bishop to authorize an exorcism for “therapeutic purposes.” […] Amid much drama, no doubt inspired by the movie, the “demon” was drawn out and expelled, sent “back to Hell.” […]

By 1976 her life was back on track. […]

But Angela’s “vision” was not limited to the afterlife and world of spirits. During her “demonic possession,” she believed that she had been given a special insight into American politics. It all went back to the 1973 movie, The Exorcist. The book of the same name was based on a real life story, the alleged “possession” of a boy. In the movie, a girl named Regan who lives in Washington D.C., is possessed by a spirit that arises from an artifact dug up in Northern Iraq.

Angela’s special insight was that this movie was actually a “coded message” from “Hollywood insiders” regarding the “demonic possession of the American Presidency.” Regan is but a variation of Reagan. In the sixties, Ronald Reagan had been Governor of California, and by 1973 was already being touted as an eventual President. […]

Exorcist

Angela was convinced that Reagan was “demon possessed.” That dark, Satanic powers guided his every move. And that he worshiped Mammon, a pagan god from the Old Testament who was now a demon. Pagan gods were often relegated to demon status in Catholic mythology. Angela was convinced that Reagan, once President, would turn the country over to Mammon, the god of money and greed. […]

Years later when Reagan won election, she was not surprised. It was all coming true, just as she had foreseen. Reagan’s deregulation of the financial industry led directly to the Bank and Savings & Loan bailouts. Their association with mobsters and reliance on astrologers confirmed Angela’s conviction that the Reagans were not true Christians. And that they had given the country over to mobsters turned financiers. […] Even Reagan’s name presaged evil: Ronald Wilson Reagan, three names with six letters each, or “666.” […]

Her disapproval was not limited to the Reagans. Indeed, Angela believed that “the demon” or “demons” continued to “possess” subsequent Presidents and other politicians. The trend toward a “Wall Street government” continued under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Increasingly, speculators on Wall Street were gambling with the life savings of the people, both in America and worldwide. Usury laws were rescinded. Increasingly, the rich were allowed to prey at will upon the people. Greed was everywhere, corrupting the people with false values and “idols.”

Hmm …

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Endnotes

Bisbee, Richard J. Capitalism Imperfectly Understood. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2011, pp. 251-254.

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Foxcatcher

From Capote (2005) collaborators director Bennett Miller and co-writer Dan Futterman, here is another somber character study revolving around the circumstances of a true crime. Magic Mike himself, Channing Tatum, stars as Olympic grappler Mark Schultz, who in 1987 was taken under the wing of eccentric pharmaceuticals heir John E. “Golden Eagle” du Pont (Steve Carell), who sponsored America’s team at Seoul in 1988. Du Pont would hardly warrant the movie treatment if not for the fact that he murdered Schultz’s brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), another one of the wrestlers sponsored by the eccentric multimillionaire, in 1996.

Tatum gets another role that allows him to display not only his competence as an actor, but his impressive athleticism as well. Comedian Steve Carell, nominated for Best Actor, has with justification been praised for bringing to life an unexpectedly deep and enigmatic character, and his exaggeration of Du Pont’s halting quirks of speech and his solemn air succeeds in creating an onscreen presence more magnetic and fascinating than the real man who inspired it. Foxcatcher invites comparison with the same year’s similarly intense Whiplash, another story of a disturbing Svengaliesque relationship, and should engross audiences prepared to be entertained by something again as unstintingly grim.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Foxcatcher is:

5. Pro-gay. More than one scene of grappling carries an undeniably homoerotic charge. As Kristian Lin observes in Fort Worth Weekly, the film “is about a rich guy who can’t explain his deep-seated need to spend hours each day with his arms around young, muscular men wearing singlets. In real life, du Pont had a wife (who is completely left out of this movie), and his problems likely stemmed from paranoid schizophrenia rather than latent homosexuality.”

4. Anti-drug. Magic Mike’s use of cocaine with Du Pont’s encouragement marks his nadir as a person and athlete. His sponsor also throws him off-course with copious alcohol.

3. Anti-gun. Private gun ownership gets a black eye with Du Pont’s murder of David Schultz. The place name Newtown Square (in Pennsylvania) may also serve as a subliminal reminder of the Sandy Hook Elementary incident in Newtown, Connecticut.

2. Liberal. Du Pont represents the typical NPR listener’s idea of the dread Republican power structure looming over America – an affluent WASP, crazed, gun-obsessed, hypocritical, and probably secretly homosexual. Du Pont appears as an emblematic figure of the Reagan era beloved of today’s conservatives: a coke-snorting military buff and fraud whose money substitutes for character and whose moralizing masks a hollow, selfish depravity.

1. Anti-American. “I want to talk about America. I want to tell you why I wrestle.” With these words, Jewish co-screenwriter Dan Futterman and Shabbos goy collaborator E. Max Frye establish thematically that their movie is concerned with the essence of what it means to be an American. Not long after uttering these lines, Mark is shown nervously wolfing fast food alone in his car. It is, as Lin puts it, “a takedown of the myths we Americans like to tell ourselves.” The viewer is only invited to feel contempt for the monologue in which Du Pont expresses the pro-America feeling that informs his fears: “When we fail to honor that which should be honored, it’s a problem. It’s a canary in a coal mine […] I’m an ornithologist, but more importantly, I am a patriot, and I want to see this country soar again.” If only people were less patriotic and also more open about their obvious gayness, perhaps, the world would be plagued with less madness and murder.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Village of the Damned (1995)

Village of the Damned (1995)

Germanicus Fink, also known as Son of Europe and Mr. Weedwacker, recently saw John Carpenter’s version of Village of the Damned (1995) and gave the following interpretation at Murder by Media:

Anyway, people commonly assume the movie is anti-White because the evil alien children have blond hair (actually it’s white), but it is so obviously about the Jews.

The real giveaway occurs after they have created so much animosity among the townspeople because they have been causing many people to destroy themselves. They all suddenly decide to move into an old barn outside of town for their own protection. They then order everyone to bring them supplies so they can sustain themselves.

Could there be a more obvious analogy about Israel?

“John Carpenter’s movies, all except possibly [. . .] Prince of Darkness, deal with the Jewish question,” Fink goes on. “The Thing and They Live are obvious examples. Village of the Damned is packed with references to Jewish behavior. Once you see it I know you will agree with me.”

This writer would be hard-pressed to explain how such Carpenter classics as Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978), Christine (1983), or Big Trouble in Little China (1986) “deal with the Jewish question”; but the argument has certainly been advanced that They Live (1988) is rife with such resonances, with some even suggesting that the “Hoffman” lenses in the film, which allow people to recognize the manipulative aliens that surround them, are a reference to the work of Michael A. Hoffman II.

What about Village of the Damned? Along with the original 1960 movie, the story is based on the 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. Film historian  Steve Haberman, in his audio commentary on the 1960 version, calls it a “fairly faithful adaptation” of the book by Wyndham, whom he characterizes as an author of “respectable bestsellers” – which suggests that Wyndham’s work was ideologically unobjectionable and therefore promoted by the entertainment establishment.

The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)

The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)

Luke O’Farrell, writing at Heretical, sees in The Midwich Cuckoos an anti-Semitic message similar to what Fink reads into the John Carpenter film:

Mass immigration. I started thinking about it the other day when I was reading John Wyndham’s novel The Midwich Cuckoos (1957). It’s about an English village in which women are impregnated by a mysterious alien race. Someone starts to wonder about the aliens’ motives:

If you were wishful to challenge the supremacy of a society that was fairly stable, and quite well weaponed, what would you do? Would you meet it on its own terms by launching a probably costly, and certainly destructive, assault? Or, if time were no great importance, would you prefer to employ a version of a more subtle tactic? Would you, in fact, try somehow to introduce a fifth column, to attack it from within?

In the 1950s, when The Midwich Cuckoos was first published, White societies were very stable and very well-weaponed, and a direct assault on them would certainly have been costly. So the alien race that wanted to challenge their supremacy didn’t launch a direct assault. Instead, just as that John Wyndham character suggested, they introduced a fifth column to attack it from within.

Who was the alien race? Jews, of course. And what was their fifth column? It was non-whites.

Amazon reviewer Allen Smalling, however, says of the Folio Society’s edition of The Midwich Cuckoos that its foreword by Adam Roberts

makes rather too stringent a case, in my opinion, that the Midwich children represented a “subject race” much as Jews did under Nazi Germany. I don’t hold with that interpretation, but it is worth noting that the children in the book were rather dark-complected, arguably Semitic in appearance, unlike the blond Aryan types portrayed in the 1960 movie.

There seems to be some disagreement among putative readers, though, as to how Wyndham actually describes the unearthly children in his book. Haberman, in his Village of the Damned (1960) commentary, claims the novel describes them as having “gleaming golden hair”. Not having read The Midwich Cuckoos, this writer is in no position to referee, so any reader who happens to know is invited to chime in on this matter.

Village of the Damned (1960)

Village of the Damned (1960)

Haberman relates that Village of the Damned screenwriter Stirling Silliphant, who would go on to pen In the Heat of the Night (1967), claimed that MGM was “appalled to find that they had bought what they termed an anti-Catholic film. Apparently studio executives felt that the impregnation of village women paralleled the Immaculate Conception.” Consequently, MGM sent the script to its British branch with a lower budget and instructions for a rewrite.

The film was directed by Wolf Rilla, a Jew whose family emigrated to London after Hitler came to power. “In this film, these aliens become little traitors in our own homes, sort of like space-crafted Hitler Youth,” says Haberman, who adds that “it may go back to our portrayal of the enemy in World War II – the Nazi superman who was sold to the world as physically and mentally superior but obviously lacked any moral sense whatsoever.”

Martin Stephens as David in Village of the Damned (1960)

Martin Stephens as David in Village of the Damned (1960)

Stormfront poster JohnJoyTree says, “I fear Wyndham was a typical liberal in racial matters. Consider The Midwich Cookoos [. . .] with its blue/blonde alien supermen who must be wiped out: or The Crysalids, where the persecuted ‘racially impure’ telepathic mutants are the inheritors of the Earth: etc etc.” Of the anti-war, pro-disarmament Village of the Damned sequel Children of the Damned (1963), in which a new, multicultural crop of super-evolved youngsters offers the liberal dream of a one-world peace to end the Cold War, Wyndham is said by screenwriter John Briley to have “liked it very much”.

A Mondoweiss commenter, meanwhile, finds parallels in The Midwich Cuckoos with both the Nazis and Israeli settler zealots:

What I hear of the settler children reminds me of the Midwich Cuckoos, the creation of the 1950s science fiction writer John Wyndham. They are children with strange, malevolently used powers based on their ability to think and feel as a group. As I remember they are described in very Aryan fashion, so the story seems like a satire on how what began as a bunch of deluded children became the irresistible German army of 1940. But totally shared thinking is not dangerous for one race only.

Blogger MPorcius offers the following insights into Wyndham’s 1955 novel The Chrysalids, in which the mutant minority protagonists “begin to receive telepathic messages from New Zealand”:

Christianity in the novel is an oppressive scam; women have large fabric crosses sewn onto their dresses, and in a scene late in the novel the fleeing mutant women cut these devices off their clothing, symbolizing their liberation.  Maybe these crosses are supposed to remind us of the Crusaders?  I often think these oppressed-minority-with-special-powers stories are allegories about anti-Semitism, and Wyndham’s naming the main character David, and inclusion of a debate among the mutants about whether it is wise to marry “Norms,” encourages such suspicions.  Maybe we should see New Zealand as akin to Israel?

Thomas Dekker as David in Village of the Damned (1995)

Thomas Dekker as David in Village of the Damned (1995)

If a protagonist’s name in The Chrysalids reinforces the notion that he and his party are Jews, however, does this not also argue in favor of the Midwich children being Jew stand-ins in Village of the Damned? The lead alien child is named David in both movie adaptations. If Fink is correct and the movie is an allegory about the Jewish menace, then why make them so exaggeratedly fair-haired and dress them in vaguely fascistic black coats as they march in stiff lockstep like movie Nazis? Are these features fig leaves to hide the author’s or the filmmakers’ true intentions – iconographic red herrings, perhaps? What characteristics do the children have that might have prompted Fink to see them as symbolic of the Jewish state?

For one, they are aliens – outsiders – and maintain an intensely exclusive group identity. They are cruel and sadistic, for another, and separate themselves geographically by moving into a barn on the edge of the village. In the 1960 film this is mandated by the authorities, whereas in Carpenter’s version this little exodus is their choice. Then there is the implacable vengefulness and control-freakiness exhibited by the children. Obliteration – a Holocaust, perhaps? – will “not happen to us because we have to survive – no matter what the cost,” proclaims David (Martin Stephens) in the 1960 film. “You [gentiles?] have to be taught to leave us alone.” The David (Thomas Dekker) in the John Carpenter version delivers a very similar harangue.

Another alteration that the remake’s screenwriter, David Himmelstein, makes in adapting the original is that Christians are the most forcefully opposed to the alien children, with local reverend Mark Hamill actually attempting to shoot them in one scene. Is Himmelstein attempting to warn the viewer that Christianity is their best and only buttress against the Jew World Order? Given that Hamill and his supporters are unsuccessful and come across as rather crazed, one suspects that this was not the intention.

The fact, too, that Himmelstein wrote the script to Sidney Lumet’s film Power (1986), which attempts to scare the gullible with the Jonesian specter of Arab influence in American media and politics, would also tend to militate against interpreting Himmelstein’s Village of the Damned screenplay as a well-intentioned warning to the gentiles. Then, too, there is the fact that abortion, had the mothers in the story chosen to go that route, would have obviated the ultimate mass-murder of the children that brings the story to its resolution. This hardly seems like a Christian solution.

John Carpenter on the set of They Live (1988)

John Carpenter on the set of They Live (1988)

Is John Carpenter an anti-Semite? The answer clearly hinges on the subtext of They Live. “If you sat Abe Foxman down and made him sit through They Live there would be little doubt that he would begin to see this as a critique on Jews [and] on Jewish culture,” writes Robert Phoenix, “though Carpenter was really assailing Reaganite conservative culture at the time.” Numerous movies attacked conformist consumerism during the eighties, with similar themes receiving satirical sci-fi treatment in The Stuff (1985) and Happy Hour (1986), both films made with heavy Jewish participation. But does it ultimately matter whether They Live is intentionally anti-Semitic or not? Whatever Carpenter’s intentions in making They Live – and, for that matter, Village of the Damned – white nationalists can enjoy these movies as entertainments and as illustrative realizations of those aspects of the present order they must continue to combat. They Live lives – and so do the memes.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Future Sodom

Future Sodom (1987) ****

An initial viewing of Future Sodom may be a disappointment if viewers allow the stylish cover photo of Laurel Canyon to lead them to expect a dark, creative vision of a futuristic world. When friends Mickey (Frank James) and Morgan (Jesse Eastern) find themselves transported into an unknown place and time – “to grow, to advance” in their sexuality – their sylvan surroundings resemble the idyllic woods around a summer cabin more than a dingy, urban vice capital. What follows is mostly a plotless succession of sexual encounters between the visitors and the carefree inhabitants of this sunny natural paradise.

First, Mickey and Morgan double-team a blonde beauty (Canyon), Mickey receiving a boisterous blowjob as Morgan bumps her from behind, all while ethereal synthesizer and mechanized tribal beats convey that this is the future – either that or the 80s. After trading orifices and having their fill, Mickey and Morgan relax indoors and exchange philosophies about sex. Morgan, a hopeless romantic, is disillusioned with what seems to him to be the mechanical nature of sex; but Mickey is perfectly content to screw anything that moves. “It was so impersonal, man, it was hot as hell,” he says, describing why phone sex gets him excited.

Group play follows: first an enthusiastic threesome set to languid electric guitar with Laurel Canyon, Britt Morgan, and Peter North, who find that an open door policy spices up the boredom of marriage; and later a more elaborate session conducted by a toga-bedecked Instructor (gross Jew William Margold) who sets a proper orgy in motion – complete with oral and anal sex and disgusting asshole-licking – before joining the fray himself, ultimately slurping his own semen off of a woman’s back. All of this unfolds to some drab 80s disco.

In one of Future Sodom’s few acknowledgments of the notion that this is all supposed to be taking place in some kind of futuristic setting, one of the sordid celebrants is a tattooed, freakish “robot”, Lucy (played by Viper), who has been “specially programmed as an anal participant.” This bargain basement production’s idea of an android, alas, is a tramp in a Mardi Gras mask, with chains strapped across her chest, nipple and clitoris piercings, and obscenities like “motherfucker” and “eat shit” scrawled all over her body. Lucy explains that mischievous Boy Scouts are responsible for the physical graffiti. “They raped me anally and I castrated ten of them,” she says in Future Sodom’s most outrageous scene. “Yes, I programmed myself to castrate Boy Scouts.”

In the second of Future Sodom’s two standout performances – the first being newcomer Laurel Canyon – Frankie Leigh plays the mysterious “Woman”, a sexual chameleon who suits her behavior to the fantasies of her partner of the moment. This cute but thoroughly debauched brunette has the best scene in Future Sodom, sneering her needs at horny Mickey: “Nah, I don’t think you fucking understand. I want dick, dick, and more dick,  you hear that? And I want buckets of fucking cum. I wanna fuckin’ swallow it, I wanna choke on it. I wanna fuckin’ wallow in it. I wanna fuckin’ bathe in the fuckin’ shit, you know? I want you to turn my mouth into a fuckin’ sewer, into a goddamn toilet.” Leigh then proceeds to blow three guys in creepy transparent plastic masks like the ones in Last House on Dead End Street.

Underlying the flimsy excuse for a story, specifically in the old-fashioned Morgan character, is an awareness of a discomfort left in men’s hearts in the wake of the sexual revolution. Now that moral constraints are no longer an issue, do men really want their women to be voracious sexual beasts? What do women want? Paula Damiano’s script, unfortunately, leaves this speculative thread underdeveloped, the only semblance of resolution to Morgan’s uncertainty being his sullen resignation and determination of, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Future Sodom, though nothing particularly special, does have a few things to recommend it. The hair is big, the action is hot, and the actors are clearly enjoying themselves; and, with the exception of Viper, whose damaged goods and devilish scowl are a little intimidating, the principal actresses are exquisite. 80s aficionados will appreciate Jesse Eastern’s mullet, and may also be interested to learn the ultimate fate of Ronald Reagan. Viewers, however, should expect nothing profound from a film which, after all, was produced and directed by Deep Throat auteur Gerard Damiano.

4 out of 5 stars.

Load Warriors

The Load Warrior aka The Load Warriors (1987) ****1/2

From the first bleak, synthesized notes queuing up The Load Warrior’s ugly orange pixelated opening credits, all the makings of a 1980s pornographic classic are present: movie parody premise, pun title, hokey electronic music, garish eye makeup, and big, beautiful, puffy manes of whore hair. Peter North portrays the titular titillationist in this post-apocalyptic tale of a world devastated by a “great fire” (i.e., nuclear holocaust) followed by the “invisible fire” of radiation that causes fertility to plummet. The result is a wasteland in which “seed became money and men became cattle”, with female barbarians unceremoniously milking their slaves like farm animals, the old ways of love, foreplay, and even vaginal penetration having been forgotten by most – all but the Load Warrior.

The Load Warrior satirizes the seeming reversal of sex roles effected by the sexual revolution, the entry of women into the workforce, and the cold commoditization of reproduction through sperm banks. “‘Married’?” Willow (Krysta Lane) asks, puzzled at hearing the word for the first time. “What’s ‘married’?” Men, reduced to utilitarian sex slaves, are left wanting foreplay, affection, and some sense of sexual autonomy, while women have become violent, impersonal brutes, as typified by ruthless businesswoman Queen Humongous (Lois Ayres), who reigns like a callous CEO over a “bustling rat hole” called Motherload. Here the remains of the wasteland’s men come to sell their sperm at the trading post of Dr. D (Jesse Eastern), who hands out “antique” broccoli and rotten chicken (“Of course it’s got maggots in there. That’s the nutritious part.”) in exchange for their more or less ineffectual sperm. Fortuitously, the Load Warrior comes and pounds into the women an important truth: “A load in the bush is worth far more than any in the hand.”

Sharon Mitchell, who participates in an ambitious fivesome (!) with Eastern and others in the “Blow the Man Dome”, is typically tough and charismatic as the aptly named Wilde, who threatens to cut off a woman’s tits and make lampshades out of them. Too much time is spent on an interracial scene between Eastern and Angel Kelly; but the sex, if not consistently scorching, is solid, and for the most part tastefully photographed, greatly enhanced by the scuzzy art direction of “C.L. Jaz”. Much of the action in The Load Warrior plays like a music video, with the imitation Tina Turner theme song smoothing North’s scene with delectable Gail Force being a definite highlight of the show. Also, the manner in which the hero dispatches the bitchy Queen Humongous is not to be missed! Hot, heavy, and humorous, The Load Warrior is mandatory sleaze for 80s strokers.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

 

June Is 80s Oddities Month

 

Next month, in addition to the occasional subtextual examinations of more recent Hollywood fare, Ideological Content Analysis will be shining a special spotlight – no, make that a searingly hot pastel laser – on various weird or forgotten relics of the decade of Reagan and Rainbow Brite, all culled from Dr. Rainer Chlodwig von Cuck’s own cruddy collection of arcane movie effluvia.

 

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