Shortcuts & Delusions: Dunkirk, Scaramucci & Horses Asses
Being Libertarian is back from our definite hiatus, and I thought I’d comment on some things that happened during my summer vacation. (Editor’s Note: Fake spoilers for Dunkirk below.)
I saw Dunkirk. I’m a big fan of Christopher Nolan’s films; he’s one of my favorite directors. If I had a gun to my head, I’d rank Dunkirk below The Prestige, Inception, Memento, and The Dark Knight, but above Nolan’s other films (I could wax rhapsodic over Nolan’s oeuvre, but y’all came here for low-grade satire, not serious film analysis).
Like Nolan’s puzzle movies, Dunkirk is an enigma tucked inside a mystery wrapped around a riddle. However, I only had to watch it once to understand the entire movie takes place within a strand of Harry Styles’ hair (pictured above).
Dunkirk is a very good film, and I highly recommend seeing it, though I was disappointed it didn’t pass the Schmeckler Test. I wasn’t surprised some critics lamented the lack of diversity in the film’s cast (though I do remember seeing a token coloured [that’s what they were called in 1940, I’m employing period-accurate language!] British soldier waiting to be evacuated), or that it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test. It’s too easy to dismiss these critics as being liberal progressives oblivious to history, so if it pleases the crown, I’d like to dive down a different rabbit hole.
For you ignorant bastards out there, the Schmeckler Test is named after Argentinian Karl Schmeckler (pictured above). Not much is known about Schmeckler’s early life, but he was a film critic from the early 1950s until his death at the hands of Mossad assassins in 1978. He specialized in movies set during World War 2, particularly the European Theater. His most eloquent and insightful criticism was of films that painted Nazis in unsympathetic lights. Schmeckler pointed out that war movies that portray Nazis as nothing other than villains and evil antagonists are guilty of marginalizing a valid and equal ethnicity and ideology, and historical revisionism. Schmeckler noted that movies that do not depict Nazis as moral equals to the British, Americans and French engage in “kraut erasure.” Sadly, Dunkirk is guilty of kraut erasure; there are no visible faces of Nazis or German soldiers, and the only clear depiction of Jerry is via Luftwaffe fighters and bombers raining down hellfire onto British ships and evacuating sailors and soldiers.
They say all war movies are anti-war movies in that by depicting the death and destruction of battle, any sane person would recognize war as horror that should be avoided at all costs and only be considered as a last resort. So, the exact opposite of everything John McCain and Bill Kristol stand for.
Anthony Scaramucci was appointed White House Communications Director. In March I wrote:
If Trump has accomplished anything truly noteworthy in his first 100 days in office, it’s to have made comedy unbearable. He’s been the butt of so many jokes, whether in sketches, stand-up, or memes, for the past 18 months that they’re no longer funny. Everyone can imitate his tone of voice, cadence and manner of superlative rhetoric. We’ve reached Trump Joke Saturation. Trump jokes are so boring now, when I hear them I YouTube a comic doing an act about airplane food and the differences between men and women in order to cleanse my palate. Hacks go after low-hanging fruit, but Trump as comedic fodder is fruit that’s already fallen off the tree and rotting in the sun.
As soon as Scaramucci (pictured above) was introduced to the general public, the general public (read: jerks on social media) began saying really clever things like, “Will he do the fandango?” and “He’s right out of The Sopranos!” Half my Facebook friend list got in on the act. When Trump fired him (supposedly because he was a gigantic distraction, feuding with White House staffers and giving expletive-laden interviews trashing his colleagues, but I think it was just because Scaramucci’s Wikipedia page says he had previously supported Obama and Hillary, and had called Trump a “hack politician”), everyone was commenting about how Trump still thought he was host of The Apprentice because the Mooch was just one more in a long line of White House officials to be fired or resign.
Social media and mainstream media can be one big hive-mind. It’s like if the Borg from Star Trek: TNG was (were?) a cruise ship comic.
I went to the track. My wife and I like going to Monmouth Park, a thoroughbred horse racing track on the Jersey Shore. The Libertarian Party has nominated Pete Rohrman (pictured above) to run for governor of New Jersey, and on September 3 at Monmouth his campaign will hold “Racin’ with Rohrman,” a fundraiser disguised as a hangout with Rohrman and his running mate Karese Laguerre.
Rohrman, 47, of Ramsey, has never held elected office. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for Bergen County freeholder in 2015…
The party picked Karese Laguerre, 32, a dental hygienist from Sayreville, to run with Rohrman as his prospective lieutenant governor. Laguerre had been running an independent campaign for governor.
Rohrman faces long odds in November’s general election. There are 6,100 registered Libertarians in New Jersey, the third most of any political party in the state. But that’s compared to 2 million Democrats and 1.2 million Republicans.
In the 2013 governor’s race, Libertarian candidate Kenneth Kaplan drew 12,000 votes, finishing third to Christie, the Republican nominee, with 1.2 million votes, and then-state Sen. Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee, with 800,000 votes.
Nothing against Rohrman and Laguerre; I’m sure they’re decent enough people and I like the idea of having non-career politicians or lawyers serving in elected office. But I know from all the interviews with LP candidates I conducted last year that, essentially, libertarians throw their hats into the ring as a lark, and then receive minimal, if any, support from the LP.
It’s appropriate for Rohrman et al. to hold an event at Monmouth. A common metaphor for elections is to compare candidates to a field of racing horses. Shirley you’ve seen terms such as, “Stumbling out of the gate,” “Dark horse candidate,” “Favorite,” “Come from behind winner,” “Setting the pace,” and others bandied about by really super imaginative political writers. Well, I’d like to contribute “Not able to figure out how to get out of the gate” and “Breaking a leg and throwing the jockey half a furlong into the race, and having to be put down and dragged off the track by a tractor” to describe Libertarian Party candidates.
And that’s the way it is, as far as you know.
Photo: Den of Geek
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