Monday, March 11, 2024

I Lift Up Mine Eyes To The Hills, Not Disposed To Mercy

 Yet One More Barking Rant To Begin An End-Times Laugh Riot Week
Mikey Johnson Reminds: Church Attendance Is Mandatory

This Might Replace Rodin's 'The Thinker'

This post seems incomplete, like two relatively unconnected essays thrown up on the wall which stuck, barking about the Middle East, and the omnipotent, they-are-always-with-us Rich. You may think this is low-hanging fruit, but it's not.

Not that it's important; if this blog's observations had any impact in the public discussion of serious issues, then this post would have more meaning. But, it's only unsourced opinion by one individual with no agency beyond their own existence. 

I am as singular as, and no more important than, any of the dead uncovered at Pompeii whose names we'll never know, all events and actions and experiences in their lives -- for what? -- unknown, lost.

Some of my observations offered will, in all probability, cause the few readers of this blog to say yeah, eyeroll, whatever the fuck, but this is what happens here in downtown Earth. Be well.

   I Have Wanted To Say This

Listen to me:  Fuck all you motherfucking fucks; you murdering fuckers you.

The Middle East's history is woven in the interactions of generations -- families, clans, tribes; all part of religious sects, now become modern political movements and governments. This geography is steeped in misogyny, cruelty; art, science and spirituality; and blood feuds millennia old.

Comedian Don Rickles inadvertently summed it up on his first album, a live recording of his heckling standup routine in Las Vegas, which I heard in 1969: "What's your name, sir -- Habib? ... You got to laugh about people, Habib. I've met you before, haven't I? That's right, you hung my uncle." 

Rickles' joke was a rough equivalent of the history of Palestine and Israel, which was just 20 years old, then. It hadn't even been a year since the 'Six-Day' War, where Israeli troops occupied the West Bank, the Golan, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai.

The casino crowd on the Strip laughed at Don's joke -- but Habib might easily have pointed the same joke at Rickles ("Yeah; didn't you hang my uncle when you took his house and orchards?"), and few would have understood. It was all happening so far away, and Vietnam had everyone's attention. Including mine.

Everyone knows what happened in Israel on October 7, 2023. It was more than a massacre by Hamas; it was an obscenity. And everyone knows what happened next in Gaza, and what is still happening; more monstrous brutalities. War crimes were committed and are still being committed.

And all the participants -- Hamas, Hezbollah; Islamic State, Iran; the Houthis, the Saudis; the IDF, the Israeli government; the United States government; Netanyahu, Biden; members of Knesset and Congress -- are guilty.  No one is clean. 

I condemn every threat, every act of violence, of thuggery, viciousness; every calculated political decision allowing more violence and more suffering to continue: No one is clean. To argue that one side is more monstrous, more brutal than the other, is the comparative mathematics of lunacy.

It has to stop. The maiming and the killing, the abuse and enforced suffering. Stop bombing, stop launching rockets, stop seizing territory, stop starving refugees. You are all complicit. And questions of land, of statehood, of security, can't be addressed so long as anyone raises their voice or a hand in any way against any Other.

During the 2006 Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon, I wrote a post on a still-new Daily Kos, then republished it here six years later during another spate of regional violence. You may consider its conclusions simplistic and naive. I would argue the horror in Israel and Gaza passed beyond nuance, rhetoric and sophistication long ago.

There is a point where the amount of death and misery is so great that nothing matters, except that it ends. And damn anyone willing to sacrifice more children, use all the blood-feud deaths of generations, to justify more violence.
... look into that child's eyes. ... Look at the expression written there: Where are you taking us? Why are you doing this? What will happen to me?

Will you tell them, when you put your pistol to their head, burn them alive, drop your 500-pound bomb on their encampment, kill their siblings and friends in front of them, that it's for a greater good? For the glory of a faith? Because your wife or husband, brother or sister, your parent or cousins or friends, were killed and revenge demands that now this child's life has to end?
I do not care about the political or religious "dimension" in all this. I swear to you because I know: a dead child is an utterly final answer to all the puking, screeching human argument justifying our species' ability to commit murder. It all must stop -- followed by a final resolution to all questions of Palestinian statehood and Israeli security. Period. 

No one is clean; and It has to end. Stop killing the children, then make peace --  because the alternative is nihilism and obscenity, the blood-feud, forever. Agree and then act. It really has to be that simple, because every other convoluted attempt at peace has twisted around the axle of pride, history and hate. Enough.

   Bring My Car, And Be Quick You Fucking Proles

I'll just say it: American / Western society is essentially owned by a vicious, arrogant layer of wealth -- call them the 0.001 % -- principally Old Wealth, maintained in the same families for generations. I've actually been around these folk, a bit, and they are just as venal and clueless, as well of course I should have this as I wish it arrogant, as if you'd lifted a cultural stereotype from a comedy-of-manners and dropped them into Real Life. They truly exist.

They own multiple homes, in neighborhoods which, if you don't live in them, you'd better have a verifiable reason to be there. They move in a cyclical progression from home to home, seasonal vacations at resorts and private hotels. Their children attend preparatory schools, a tight circle of European and American universities; eventually, sliding into sinecures at law and investment firms. They are members of clubs we wouldn't be allowed to join. They do not know how to build a fire, make coffee, set up a tent or cook a filet of sole: they hire others to do that sort of thing.

Most families know (or are at least aware of) each other. They intermarry. Their children grow up with each other. They are supported by accountants, financial and investment advisors, personal assistants, tax and estate attorneys, physicians and surgeons, tailors, chefs and valets. Their children walk in comfort and anonymity along the same private, manicured paths as their predecessors in generations before them.

Within their class, maintaining their family's fortunes is the critical priority ("You don't love it as I do," Lord Grantham explains to his cousin as they regard Downton Abbey. "But I am merely a steward of all this"). There's also a certain amount of social Darwinism between players, a jockeying for position: It's Edith Wharton and John Cheever with a touch of Voltaire (see "Discrete Charm Of The Bourgeoise", and The Ruling Class).

They tolerate the Zucks, the Musks, the Jobs' and Bezos' and Thiels and Andreesens; all the Tech Bro billionaires, as nouveau riche arrivistes; pool boys, waiters and office workers who somehow struck it rich. Not the right sort -- no history, no breeding- -- but, they can afford to live well, and, if the past is any guide, eventually they and their money will disappear. Or, they'll be around for a few generations and finally become acceptable. 

They have serious class solidarity: depend on it.  Even if Claus von Bülow appeared to have attempted to murder his wife, members of their class might disapprove, but would "support the side", "maintain common cause" against a greater mass of humanity: We are the Owners, and Fuck the Peasants (see 'The Draughtsman's Contract').

These persons are not accountable under any law in the same way, or to the same extent, that you or I are. They don't wait in line, don't submit to passport control or customs checks; aren't required to appear in court for all but the most serious charges (if they appear at all). They are anonymous to all but each other.

And collectively, they own you whether you believe it, accept it, or not.

   You Are Pwned -- A Dream Coda

Years ago, I had a dream which stands out in memory -- because I don't often dream with details that I recall so completely. 

I was some kind of mountaineering guide, taking wealthy persons up -- not Everest, but some similar peak. I was "inside" myself in this dream (sometimes dreams allow you see yourself in 'camera view'), looking out on a snow-covered slope -- a right triangle of pure white, from upper left to lower right -- against a sky of deep Cobalt blue.

A man in his late twenties / early thirties stood a few feet in front of me, wearing an orange parka with the hood pulled back. He had a light stubble of beard, curly, reddish-blonde hair, and wore a pair of aviator-style sunglasses. He was completely at ease, smiling, and spoke with an accent (French, I remembered). He wasn't arrogant or emphatic with his delivery, but matter-of-fact, as if describing the weather.

"I will tell you how it is," he said. "My family is thirteen hundred years old. One of my ancestors was  knighted by Charlemagne. We've survived plagues, wars, financial collapse, revolutions, occupation. We've had our black sheep, our idiots -- but mostly, we have made fortunes and passed them down to the next generation. We've been good at it, and lucky. 

"If you can't trace your family back more than a few generations? I don't care. You've always worked for pay -- but maybe you get lucky, win some lottery, and your children inherit that money? I don't care. In one, maybe two generations, it will be gone, absorbed into banks, financial houses, and by taxes. Perhaps my family owns some of those financial houses.

"We own forests and mines. We own companies" -- he waved at me with one hand -- "Maybe you have even worked for us. But some day, you will be dead, and that will be the end for you. Your name will be forgotten, as if you and everyone in your family line before you had never existed. My family will still be here.

"And if that's unhappy for you, if it makes you angry, I don't care," he said, and smiled again. "And that is how things are."

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Reprint Heaven: Brutality

 The Normalization Of The Night World
(From June, 2022: Still meaningful today as it was in the olden times.)

Ken McElroy's Chevy Pickup, Elm street; Skidmore, Missouri; July 10, 1981

My favorite opening in a short story is T. Coraghessen Boyle's 1984 "The Hat": They sent a hit squad after the bear. It's really a story about people caught in a cul-de-sac of life, marginal at best, and not a large Ursine animal just doing its Bear Thing -- but I dare you to pass on reading a story with a hook like that, just to find out where it would lead.

This doesn't have much to do with the little screed which follows. Oh, maybe a little -- I'm in my own corporate / retirement merry-go-round cul-de-sac at the moment, wondering when They will send a hit squad after America; how long the current precarious balance of all things will last. Who knows.

The population of Skidmore, in Nodaway County, Missouri, as captured in the 1980 National Census, was 437 people.  One of them was Kenneth Rex McElroy, born 1934; according to Wikipedia, the next to last of 16 children, born to a dirt-poor, migrant tenant-farming couple. At age 15, still in 8th grade, he dropped out of school "and quickly established a local reputation as a cattle rustler, small-time thief, and womanizer."

McElroy worked on occasion, stealing and selling to fences when he wasn't; barely drifting along at the edge, smack in the middle of flyover country. He had a reputation in Skidmore as a rough customer, someone you shouldn't cross. 

Reportedly, while working on a local construction site, an iron girder fell and grazed him on its way down; he suffered skull fractures and other injuries. He healed -- but some in Skidmore believed the injuries, particularly to the head, changed him. 

The Grendel Of Nodaway County; His Grave Marker Says, "Fearless... Compassionate"

McElroy was already a town tough, but then he went further: he became proactively vicious and cruel -- someone who went after people, because he could. Because he wanted to. Because it seemed to give him pleasure to do so.

For the next twenty-plus years, McElroy was the the monster in the Corn of Nodaway County.  He was suspected of stealing "grain, gasoline, alcohol, antiques, and livestock", and was charged 21 times with various offenses. McElroy was helped by a clever, not very principled defense attorney, Richard Gene McFadin.

Reputed to have connections to organized crime in Kansas City, McFadin did the legal work. McElroy terrorized witnesses against him, or members of juries; several times, he put rattlesnakes in the Rural Route mailboxes of his targets. And -- su-rprise, su-prise -- suddenly, witnesses' memories faltered and became hazy, or complainants withdrew charges, or if matters ever got as far as a courtroom, juries hung when some members claimed they just couldn't reach a decision.

Rape, theft; extreme physical violence -- McElroy did more or less whatever he wanted. There is plenty of reporting on McElroy's reign of terror in Skidmore. He was a living Id, untethered and loose.  Some stories leave you shaking your head, wondering just how this violent, narcissistic sociopath was allowed to get away with it all for over 20 years.

Example: McElroy was married to his second wife when he met Trena McCloud, a twelve-year-old girl. He raped her repeatedly. The McClouds told him they wanted his 'attentions' to end. McElroy didn't like that, and so burned the McCloud family home to the ground and shot their dog.

Trena moved into McElroy's house, living there with him and his then-wife, Alice. According to Wikipedia, "McElroy divorced Alice and married Trena in order to escape charges of statutory rape, to which she was the only witness. Sixteen days after Trena gave birth, both she and Alice fled... McElroy tracked them down and brought them back. He then returned to Trena's parents' home when they were away and, once again, shot the family dog and burned the[ir] house down."

In 1980, McElroy shot the 70-year-old owner of Skidmore's only grocery store, for accusing one of McElroy's daughters of shoplifting. Just --  bang -- shot him. The man survived.  And, McElroy was finally convicted of a crime... second-degree assault. The jury specified the maximum sentence: two years in State prison. 

His attorney, McFadin, had McElroy released, pending appeal -- unbelievable, given McElroy's history of witness and juror intimidation. Predictably, he began harassing the grocer at his home, and any Skidmore citizens he encountered. None of McElroy's previous legal issues had gotten this far -- and possibly, he sensed whatever bully's magic charm of invincibility he may have possessed was disappearing. 

On July 9, 1981, he walked into Skidmore's local bar, carrying a Garand M1 with a bayonet, and threatened to kill the old grocer. Sheriffs were called; McElroy was taken into custody, his weapon impounded -- but again, he was released.

Parked In Front Of The Bar; July 10, 1981-
A Reenactment, In Skidmore, For Television Documentary

On July 10, McElroy drove into Skidmore with his wife, Trena, in his maroon-and-white Chevy pickup truck and parked on Elm street, the town's main drag, directly in front of the bar. He went into the town grocery store -- where he had shot its owner -- while his wife waited in the truck.

While McElroy was in the store, a group of Skidmore's men held a quick, impromptu meeting inside the bar. Other residents in the immediate downtown area had seen or were told of McElroy's arrival, and began to gather on the street. There was a sense something was about to go down.

McElroy walked out of the grocery, unwrapping the pack of cigarettes he'd purchased, and got into the driver's seat of his truck. The men came out of the bar and confronted McElroy. Several, apparently, were armed. McElroy, still sitting behind the wheel of his truck, casually lit a cigarette, appearing completely unconcerned.

Suddenly, and for the next twenty seconds -- which I can tell you is an eternity when discharging firearms is concerned -- several armed individuals shot McElroy. He was struck multiple times by .22 rifle rounds (a poor man's gun, for hunting small game, Foxes, Coyotes or other predators) from at least two different weapons. 

Apparently, McElroy took some time to die. He bled out, slumped in his truck. No one made any attempt to help, or call for emergency medical assistance. When the shooting began, Trena had jumped out of the truck in a panic; she was unharmed.

As investigators worked the crime scene, canvassed, identified and interviewed, every witness to the shooting said the same thing: They didn't see who fired any weapon, had no idea -- as if, collectively, everyone present had suffered a crucial erasure of memory at the same time.

McElroy's wife, Trena, claimed to have recognized one of the shooters -- but they denied it, there were no other witnesses; Trena's testimony alone was not a strong enough case for prosecution. 

The same witnesses told the same story to County Sherriff's detectives, State investigators, and eventually the FBI.  Richard McFadin, the attorney who had helped McElroy to walk free on so many prior charges, said "the town got away with murder". 

Skidmore's population as of 2020 had fallen to 247.  To date, no one has been charged in connection with McElroy's death. The original DA and chief investigator in the case have retired. McElroy's wife,  his attorney McFadin, and a number of witnesses have passed away. The case is still open. And for almost 42 years, no one who was on Elm street in Skidmore that July afternoon has said a single thing.


In America we are witnessing the blowback of a culture awash in guns, in hatred, in insane and illogical ideas about nearly everything, broadcast eagerly 24 hours a day by the political Right's private propaganda stream, its special opinion-makers.

We're watching a country where the political Left is marked by indecision and learned helplessness, by complicity with the same corporate interests and wealthy Oligarchs.

And, the political Right's rhetoric continues to become more shrill, more apocalyptic, by the day -- talk about "taking back" the country, before guns are taken away, before the liberals / gays / unchristian / colored persons and immigrants / socialists destroy America. 

They attempted to overthrow the government of the United States in January, 2021. They want to try again. It isn't guns that someone is coming for; the Right wants your soul.  This isn't hyperbole and it isn't exaggeration.

At the same time, Rightist-dominated state governments and their Rightist governors pass laws they know will be appealed to their Supreme Court, secure in the knowledge that whatever challenge to existing Lib-Socialist law will be taken up, and affirmed by a slate of second-rate, rightist legal hacks appointed for life.  With the fervor of the 'christian' zealots they are, they can't wait for their day, their chance to do god's work.

America and its citizens are being cowed, and bullied. The Right has decided if it wants to burn down your home and shoot your dog, they will. And no one is coming to your aid.

A nation's government which can't govern, a society which can't maintain basic public safety and human rights, is five minutes from being overthrown. Ask the Royal French bureaucracy in 1789. Ask the Duma. Ask the Cambodian government in 1975. Ask the Weimar Republic's Reichstag. 

In the larger world, Western democracies were more concerned with making money -- making a world safe for the corporate interests, globally: a neoliberal New World Order, wonderful for business and the rising Oligarch class. Not so much for the little people. But, who cared.

The sages of the West believed the assumed stability of a post-WW2, post-Soviet world would be forever. Hitler and Stalin were dead; so was Mao. No one wanted to go back to the world on September 1, 1939. War was a thing we had tamed. Dictators could be dealt with through sanctions, economic coercion. 

NATO was just one method of maintaining the nation-state structure to support corporate business -- but the day of military force had passed, unless something happened in one of the shithole countries: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia; North and Central Africa; Afghanistan. 

And if it did, said the businessmen gathering at Davos, we don't care. No one is crazy enough to mount a major military conflict to grab territory and resources. This isn't 1938 or 1939, after all.

Trump Is A Fucking Tool.  But, Then; So is Sad Vlad.

But, Putin was crazy enough. He nursed a set of historical grievances which sound as delusional as the disinformation pouring out of the Murdochs' media. After more than a decade of coordinated manipulation and misinformation aimed at the West, Putin pushed the envelope in Georgia, in the Crimea. NATO and the West did little, or nothing. 

Europe was fractured, distracted by Brexit and the fumblings of the UK's Clown-Prime Minister. America was consumed with the predations of its own Clown-leader, then an attempted coup -- and above it all, a pandemic. Putin felt he could take Ukraine. The West could do nothing; the Ukrainians had elected a fucking comedian as their President! And like a bully in central Missouri long ago, Putin did what he wanted.

The stability in the world everyone has taken for granted is over. That of itself is a huge challenge to the neoliberal New World Order.  It isn't clear what will replace it. That it's coming at the same time as effects of climate deterioration are beginning to make themselves felt is rancid whipped cream on the proverbial Shit Pie.

The bullies have always been with us. They've just made it impossible to ignore them any longer. They aren't going away. Like it or not, we are going to have to deal with them individually, and collectively. One way or another.  And how that happens, or doesn't, is the story of the next months and years.

MEHR, MIT DIE FRAGE:  Hey! Did you notice how many people in this story had last names that began with "Mc"? Pretty wild, eh?

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Reprint Heaven: What Art Is Worth


(Charlie Chaplin passed away forty-six years ago, on December 25, 1977. 

(Given the toxicity, violence, and hate being pumped into the world as fast as the Murdochs and Leos, Mercers and Kochs; the IDF, Hamas and Hezbollah can manifest it -- it's worth remembering what art can bring into the world, and its real value.)

Charlie Chaplin, 1914

Some spiritual traditions believe in additional dimensions of existence; that the world most of us see as the only reality is one place where thought can be transformed into physicality.

Everywhere we look, there's an idea translated into concrete form -- speeches, laws and regulations; social agreements around money, sexuality, role and status; value. And most obviously, images, novels, poetry; music. Even the simplest transaction between strangers, a word or a look or a tone of voice, carries some form of energy, and all of it associated with a positive or negative reference.

Following that idea, the world might be viewed as the collective energy in all ideas, actions and objects in it at any given moment. So, reality is defined by what we, individually and collectively, put into it.

When a playlist of music you're listening to on Soundcloud runs out, an algorithm in the service continues providing a shuffle of tunes with similar themes or instrumentation. In that way, I found myself listening to a melody composed by Charlie Chaplin for his film, A King In New York (in your streaming platform, look for Charlie Chaplin film music - "Mandolin Serenade").

Hearing that brought up a stream of images of Chaplin that I carry around in long-term memory -- mostly, his iconic 'Little Tramp' character. His acting and films were so influential that for generations almost any adult, nearly anywhere in the world, might see a drawing of a figure with a postage-stamp moustache, wearing a bowler hat, and say, "Oh, that's Chaplin!" and smile.

Early Little Tramp: Mack Sennett's Caught In The Rain, 1914

Chaplin started as a 24-year-old immigrant from Britain in 1914, a contract actor for Mack Sennett's film company. He looked like the photo at the top of this post; almost like any Dude you might pass on the street today. His 'Little Tramp' routine caught Sennett's eye -- initially a burlesque on an "affable drunkard", a bit loutish and inconsiderate and sloppily boozed. Chaplin's humor was physical, perfect for the trademark slapstick of Sennett's short films, and his comic timing was amazing.

Within four years, Chaplin had refined the Tramp into a more sober, sharper, plucky 'Everyman'. The Tramp became one of Sennett's most popular short-film characters -- and whenever a new Chaplin 'flick appeared in local movie-houses, people paid to see him. Lots of people: Chaplin 'packed them in'. 

Try and remember that paying 5 Cents at the "Nickelodeon" to see a film was no small thing for some people. In 1914-18, that five Cents would buy a modest breakfast, tea or coffee, or a pound of beans.

Kid Auto Races, Venice, California (1914); Chaplin's First Film Appearance
As The Tramp, Then Still The Affable Drunk

Like any artist, Chaplin was all about having as much creative control as possible; eventually, he convinced Sennett he could create better films (with the Tramp, of course) for Sennett's company. When a better financial and creative deal became available with another studio, Chaplin jumped at the chance -- and within four years of landing in America, by 1918, Chaplin was one of the most popular 'stars' in moving pictures, and possibly the most highly paid.

In the years immediately after the First World War, he became a founding partner of United Artists, a film company founded to allow film 'artists' more freedom to experiment with the medium, in contrast to what was becoming the Hollywood studio system.

UA allowed Chaplin the control he wanted over his work, and in less than a decade he had created some of the best  American silent films (arguably, some of the best motion pictures) ever made: The Kid, "The Gold Rush"; The Circus; "A Dog's Life", Pay Day, and more.

Arguing With The Boss: Pay Day (1922)

Sound motion pictures appeared in 1927. Four years later, Chaplin released City Lights, a film without dialog, only a music soundtrack he had composed, after Talkies had all but buried silent films. He continued in 1936 with another classic, Modern Times, again accompanied only by a soundtrack of Chaplin's music. As an art form, it wouldn't be used again for forty years, until Mel Brooks' Silent Movie.

The western press mocked Hitler in his early days as dictator by referring to him as "the politician with the Chaplin moustache". True to form, Charlie used the humor in that comparison to create a parody of Adolf and his Reich in The Great Dictator (released in 1940) not long after the Second World War began. After 1945, Chaplin made only four other films: "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947), Limelight (1952); "A King In New York" (1957), and A Countess From Hong Kong (1967).

Chaplin's work showcased poor and working people in the early Twentieth century, easily shoved about by authority and manipulated by wealth. His films made clear he was no fan of unbridled capitalism, industrialism or the dehumanizing, assembly-line exploitation of labor.

In 1947, when anti-communist hysteria spawned House Un-American Activities Committee investigations of Red influence in Hollywood, Chaplin was tailor-made to become a target. It didn't help that he had unwittingly made an enemy out of J. Edgar Hoover, whom Chaplin had met in the mid 1920's. 

Chaplin had apparently been The Jokester when they met, socially; some of his humor made fun of the Director. He'd already heard and read newspaper gossip about Chaplin as a wealthy actor and director who liked young women -- of his four wives, two were sixteen, and another just 18, when they married. Chaplin's anti-authoritarian political views were clear. Hoover didn't like any of it.

Hoover's agents collected gossip on thousands of Americans, which Hoover was happy to use for personal and political ends during his 70-year reign. To him, Chaplin was just another foreign national, poisoning American society. Hoover believed Chaplin was Jewish (he wasn't), with loose morals and radical political sympathies, forcing his propaganda down the throats of innocent Americans through his films. 

Hoover's interest in Chaplin amounted to obsession: the actor / director was a target of FBI surveillance from the mid-1920's until his death in 1977, and his FBI file may be the largest publicly known of any prominent public figure in the FBI archives: released under Freedom Of Information Act requests, it runs to over 2,000 pages.

As Chaplin left the U.S. in 1952 to attend the London premiere of his film, Limelight, the Justice Department revoked the re-entry permit on his resident alien visa. To be allowed to return, he would have to "submit to an interview concerning his political views and moral behavior". Hoover was behind the move; he had asked England's own Bureau, MI-5, to provide confirmation of Chaplin's communist connections, and for proof that his real name was 'Israel Thornstein'. MI-5 found no proof that Chaplin was a Red, and didn't respond to Hoover's antisemitism.

The FBI's files on Chaplin show the U.S. government had no serious evidence to prevent his return to America if he applied for re-entry. While Limelight received praise and success in Europe, Chaplin was smeared as a communist sympathizer in the U.S., and the film boycotted. Frightened and disgusted, after living and working in America for thirty years, Chaplin decided not to go back -- and he didn't, for twenty years.

In 1972 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which had done little to stand up to Hoover, McCarthy or the HUAC) tried to make amends by voting to award a Lifetime Achievement Oscar to Chaplin "for the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of [the 20th] century."

Chaplin was 83, having had a series of small strokes and other health issues, and unsure how he would be received in a country he believed had rejected and then forgotten him and his work, But, Charlie came to Hollywood, and was visibly moved when the attending crowd gave him a twelve-minute standing ovation -- the longest tribute of that kind by the Academy in its history.

Easy Street, 1917

Chaplin's Tramp, and other main characters in his films, were ordinary 'folks' -- mostly poor, or at the mercy of Fate and Chance. The world of his films was familiar to the people who could find a nickel to see them, and populated by easily-recognizable archetypes: regular, working-class Joes and Janes; office workers; the bullies and bosses; streetwise kids, shopkeepers and beat cops.

And, they're funny. They're funny today, a hundred years or more after they were released. The inventive, physical humor is timeless (remember Depp's character in Benny and Joon, doing the repeat of Chaplin's 'potato dance' from "The Gold Rush"?). I watched a DVD of Chaplin shorts recently, expecting the humor would be dated, less funny that when I saw them on TV as a child; I was wrong. They are funny.

In his major films, the Tramp -- at the bottom of the social ladder -- has to make a tremendous effort to overcome his circumstances, just to achieve some happiness or justice. He hopes for something better than what he had, where -- for once -- the Everyman gets his fair share, the Good Ending.

The 'Gilded Age' was allegedly over, but the majority of Americans barely had two pennies to rub together. Most of the people watching Chaplin on screen didn't expect a life with a Good Ending. They understood so often the outcome was bad: the person suffering because no one could afford medicine; the mistaken arrest; the lost job; the eviction; the beaten wife or child. To see Chaplin's Tramp win through by helping an Other -- the Girl; the Child; the Friend -- resonated.

The Kid, 1921

In The Kid, the Tramp finds and raises a little orphaned boy -- whom he had initially wanted nothing to do with -- then rescues him from the clutches of a brutal County Orphan Commissioner, using the Tramp's poverty as the excuse to take the child away. You know when he embraces the boy that the Tramp loves him, will protect and care for the Kid as if he were his own. They're still dirt poor, but the little boy is safe -- and in a world where anything can happen, that's the point. It's everything.

City Lights (1931)

In City Lights, possibly Chaplin's best film (it was his favorite work), the Tramp is poor and homeless, ignored by most people, teased by a pair of wiseass newsboys -- but meets, becomes friends with (and almost immediately falls for) a beautiful blind girl, reduced to selling flowers on the street to help support herself and her grandmother. Whenever they meet, she gives him a small, white rose.

Though the film is silent, when Chaplin's Tramp speaks, she mistakes his voice for that of a wealthy millionaire she's heard in the neighborhood where she sells her flowers, and (more out of embarrassment) the Tramp allows her to believe it's true.

Later, the Girl falls ill. The Tramp learns she might recover her sight through an expensive medical procedure. He works to save the money; after more plot twists, the operation is paid for and a success. Her vision restored, the Girl is able to open a flower shop with her grandma -- where she hopes the 'wealthy millionaire' who helped her will appear one day and sweep her off her feet.

Meanwhile, The Tramp, having been tossed in jail after the usual comic misunderstandings, is now even shabbier than when we first met him (1930-31 was the worst year of the Great Depression in the U.S.). He shuffles along the street, mocked and teased by the same pair of newsboys -- and suddenly sees a small white rose in the gutter -- the same flower the blind Girl used to give him. 

He turns, and is standing in front of the Girl's flower shop. She's sitting in the front window, and with her grandmother has been watching the antics of the newsboys with this ... street person. They share a laugh, think it's funny.

When he sees her, The Tramp is overjoyed; she's whole and healthy, but suddenly he's ashamed: she's now a respectable shop owner, and he's not.

The Last Scene Of City Lights; Critic James Agee Described It As
"The greatest piece of acting ever committed to celluloid"
(You'll Need To Click Through To UTub To View)

The Girl comes out of the shop to offer him a new rose, and a half-dollar. He slowly accepts the flower; she takes his hand -- and from the feel of it, the texture of his coat, all familiar to her when she was blind -- she suddenly realizes who he is. "You?" she asks; the Tramp nods. 

As he looks back at The Girl, the Tramp smiles. In his expression is every person who ever hoped for good luck in a hard world, a chance to care deeply about someone and have them care about you -- and barely able to believe, after everything, it's come true. The screen fades to black.

We can't know the sum of the actions of Chaplin, the man. We do know more about the effect of his artistic output on the world -- and it's much greater than "making motion pictures the art form of the [Twentieth] century".

From the perspective of the world being the sum of what is put into it -- even though they drew on earlier forms of storytelling, Chaplin's movies helped define what the motion picture medium could be. His films were moral, in the same way as Dickens' serialized novels: they showcased human folly and the absurd nature of life; they reminded us how we ought to treat each other. How our societies should reflect that, not just to serve as vehicles for commerce and acquisition, avarice, and domination.

Chaplin's films weren't meant to portray a perfect world, no matter that some of their plot resolutions might seem like fairy-tale-magic. They presented hopes human beings have for how life might be, how things might turn out if the Fates were kind -- and that on occasion, our hopes can be made concrete and real, in this world. His movies affected people, first; he made us laugh. He still does.

In These Times, it might seem that Chaplin's work is outdated, less recognizable, but something tells me that's not the case: Chaplin is still iconic. And if we have an opportunity to add to the world even a fraction of what he left behind in his art, we'll have done something important -- if only because we need so much more of that now.

MEHR, Mit einer offensichtlichen Sache, die ich vermisst habe:  I was adding this 'Mehr', when something happened, and the entire post was deleted. No hope of recovery. Just - gone. It was like hiking for miles to get to the truck to take you home, and it just pulls away; you're eating dust, screaming at the top of your lungs, and know nothing can help. 

JEDOCH, Es Ist So: The post was open in the browser on my smarter-than-me phone -- and if I wanted to Man Up and transcribe retype it, from scratch, it would be remade.  

UND So Wurde Es Gemacht War: But Dear Fucking God Jesus and the Yeti, I never want to go through that again.

UND SO WEITER: The Girl Who Refused To Be Mrs Mongo said, "You write about Chaplin and his politics, and you miss the final speech from The Great Dictator? Shame!"

(You'll Need To Click Through To UTub To View)

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Bomb In The Backyard: A 2023 Coda

 Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

(Some of the comments in this howl appeared on December 31, 2020, but have been updated to reference the pain and the stupid the stupid it burrrrns, yes it does, enjoy.)

Winston Churchill, utterer of quotable utterances, once said, "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it may be the end of the Beginning." All the major events which began or rose to prominence in 2023 will, aber naturlich, continue to play out in the New Year. 

Nothing too big -- on one level, America's internal politics looking like Weimar Time more every day; on another, global fuckery expressed through the barrel of a gun. We can party, but it's only the close of a Beginning. There is more shit to come and everyone feels it. 

It's been almost normal, nothing-to-see-here news, in Europe (Germany and England, specifically) when an unexploded aerial bomb is discovered, somewhere. They still harvest unexploded German and French munitions from the First World War on the Somme every year.

Defused British 2,000-Pound Bomb; Frankfurt, 2017

Their outside metal is corroded, but the internal mechanics are clean as a new watch. In some, glass vials filled with fluids, vaporizing when the shell detonates -- Mustard, Phosgene -- are protected and intact. Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams, Démineurs, stop on farm roads to pick up shells neatly stacked by farmers. There are fields across northeastern France and southern Belgium where compasses spin uselessly, there is so much iron in the earth below your feet.

America has its own unexploded ordinance -- racial, structural, economic. We have  roughly 70 million persons who voted for Donald Trump. They didn't vote for him, exactly; they voted for how he made them feel. How he still makes them feel; and more on that in a moment.

Since the mid-1990's, there has been a struggle to control the Republican Party -- between traditional Good Ol' Boys of the GOP (McConnell their figurehead), and 'Alt-Right' 'Tea Party' revolutionaries originally created by the Koch brothers, morphing later into MAGA Red-Caps when their love, their Leader Trump, came along.

Trump's continued ability to connect with and direct his cult followers has given him control of the party. He will be the Republican nominee for President -- in fact, he has to be. It's a matter of life and death for him, now. He either seizes power or, maybe, goes to prison.

The Leader In 2020, Displaying Double-Jointed Thumbs You Fucker You

If he loses the election, Trump -- in his mid-Seventies, obese; addictions; unspecified health issues -- will almost immediately dwindle to a sideshow. He'll have the limelight for a few months, make incendiary remarks, appear at rallies; 'write' books. He will not go quietly, but it's likely that enough GOP powerbrokers will want him gone; turn the page; find their next Hitler.

If he does not lose, Project 2025 will hit the ground running at 12:01 PM EDST on January 20th of that year, and things will get bad very, very fast. One thing is for certain -- once he becomes President, again, Trumpo will do whatever he wants -- being President, in his mind, automatically gives him a monarch's power. 

America will reflect the pathological, twisted and infantile appetites of all the crawling, bottom-feeding sycophants of the political and cultural Right, their day come round at last. Living in America under the political Right will be intolerable, like living under nazi occupation in France.
... Sometimes, in a cafe, he heard the news on a radio. Nothing, he realized, could save them from losing the war. He left the roads, walked across springtime fields... He shared a campfire with an old man with a white beard, a sculptor, he said, from Brittany somewhere, who walked with a stick, and got drunk on some yellow stuff from a square bottle... "We'll all live deep down, now," the sculptor said, throwing a stick of wood on the fire. "Twenty ways to prepare a crayfish. Or, you know, chess. Sanskrit poetry. It will hurt like hell, sonny, you'll see."
The Resistance, Paris, 1944 (Pro Tip: It Won't Look Like This If The Bad Happens)


... But we're not yet there. We may never arrive at that place.  But, where we are now is with 70 million unexploded bombs of Trumpism in America. 70 million people who believe -- one way or another -- in what Trump said and did, then voted on those beliefs.

They voted for white nationalism, white supremacy. They voted for keeping a knee on the neck of every George Floyd, forever. That the 2020 election was stolen. That SARS-CoV2 is a hoax, and vaccines are evil. That the Sandy Hook massacre was also a hoax. That America and the world is ruled by a "globalist" conspiracy of satanic pedophiles, through a bureaucratic Deep State. 

They voted for a liar and a con artist. They voted for forced separation of children from families. They voted for tax cuts to the wealthy. They voted for a person who beyond doubt received assistance from a foreign power to win the 2016 election. They voted their belief, as shouted by The Leader, that the 2020 election had been stolen by that same global conspiracy.

They voted that a sitting President could take money in exchange for favorable treatment, and to coerce the leader of Ukraine to attack the President's political rival if they wanted already-agreed-to aid released. They voted their belief that all political Liberalism equals Socialism, equals tyranny -- and they voted for Trump as a way to "own the Libs".

Trying to comprehend how 70 million people can abandon fact-based reason; act more like superstitious Dark Age peasants than citizens in an industrial society; how they can follow a person like Trump, has been an enduring question in America since 2015.

When The Travel Media Influencers Start Talking About Fascism,
Maybe It's Time To Take It Seriously 

We've had nationalist politicians, rabid populists, in American politics before -- but they've always had relatively few followers. Their ideas have never truly threatened to become mainstream belief. But the malignant spread of Trump's hate through the The Base left the American Left dumbfounded and profoundly alarmed.

The Europeans I know are even more alarmed at Trump and 'Trumpism' than we are. They understand in their bones what fascist politics looks and feels like. They've assumed that, Puritan-prudish and childishly exuberant as we can be, America could be counted on to be practical, fact-based. That even when we broke the rules -- as "Lil' Boots" Bush did in 2003 -- we played from a recognizable script.

And, they see Trump's mutation of the American Presidency into autocracy as a symptom of a possible future even more malignant and terrifying -- along with Meloni, Orban, Erdogan; the recently voted-out Polish Rightist party; The Rightist Slovak party; Putin's Russia, Jim Ping's China.  And Europeans are frightened of white, American evangelical 'christian' nationalism.

Let me be clear:  If you're a Left / Progressive voter; if you're a Person of Color, LGBTQ+; if you're poor, homeless, an immigrant -- and you believe The Base are people, Americans like you, who have the capacity to be compassionate and rational... if you believe that Republicans in the House and Senate want the best for all Americans, and that their behavior is just political theatrics ... remember: A majority of  those 70 million people, and Thugs in Congress, do not believe you are even human.

They believe you are Socialists who want to destroy America. They believe you are agents of Satan; that you are literally infested with demons, that you are supporters of the great conspiracy of pedophiles and child-traffickers. They believe this as fact. You are vermin. You are poisoning the blood of our country. You -- are the enemy. 

Think about that.

And consider: Even if Trump loses, what is the end game to all this? What will "winning" look like, for us or them?  I hear a massive amount of dire prognostication about what a Trump victory next year would mean -- but when he loses, where does America go from there?  Do we heal? Can we?

Remember history. When Hitler assumed power in January, 1933, Germans -- then Europeans, and eventually most of the western world -- had to live through roughly 4,500 days of nazi rule, war, terror and privation.  The historical calendar is filled with the apotheosis of passionate, murderous zealotry.

Sometimes, it all goes bad, and there is no ambiguous-but-maybe-happy ending. Think about that, too.

In reading Digby back at the end of 2020, I came across a Tom Sullivan piece, "What's Reason Got To Do With It?":
... Trying to understand Trumpism is like asking a hoarder why she/he hoards. ... The questions assume there are rational answers when rationality has nothing to do with it. For his followers, Trumpism is about how they feel... 

UC Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild tells The Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson that Trumpism “exists beyond the logic of policy“... Hochschild wrote in her 2016 book, “Strangers in Their Own Land” that there is a “deep story” playing out with a large faction of Americans:
The deep story went like this: You are an older white man without a college degree standing in the middle of a line with hundreds of millions of Americans. The queue leads up a hill, toward a haven just over the ridge, which is the American dream. Behind you in line, you can see a train of woeful souls—many poor, mostly nonwhite, born in America and abroad, young and old. “It’s scary to look back,” Hochschild writes. “There are so many behind you, and in principle you wish them well. Still, you’ve waited a long time.” 
Now you’re stuck in line, because the economy isn’t working. And worse than stuck, you’re stigmatized; liberals in the media say every traditional thing you believe is racist and sexist. And what’s this? People are cutting in line in front of you! Something is wrong. The old line wasn’t perfect, but at least it was a promise. There is order in the fact of a line. And if that order is coming apart, then so is America.
Hochschild tested this allegory with her Republican sources and heard that it struck a chord. Yes, they said, this captures how I feel. In the past few years, she’s kept in touch with several of her connections from the Deep South and keenly tracked their philosophical evolution. 

She’s watched the locus of their anxiety move from budgets the entrenched and “swampy” political class. She also witnessed the Trumpification of everything. “There used to be a Tea Party,” she said. “Now it’s all Trumpism.”

The logic of policy has nothing to do with it. Trump is a kind of dancing orange dinosaur who has captured the imaginations of his base. He gave shape to their feelings. He gave voice to them.

Hochschild explains, “From his first rallies, Trump’s basic message has always been ‘I love you, and you love me, and we all hate the same people.’”

Watching a documentary on aspects of the Hitler-Time in Europe; someone in his inner circle noted, "Like Napoleon, Hitler affected the lives of every European -- he was the Napoleon of the Twentieth century. Napoleon used to say, 'I am the French revolution'.  Hitler said, 'I am Germany'."

Trump has said, "I am your retribution".  Think about that, too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Hoo Boy Comes The Wonderful Life

 Is It Wonderful This Life?

By I. Rabschinsky

(This is now annual reprinted Blog thing made just for you. Make enjoyment of holidays.)

George Bailey Guy Understanding How We Are To Being Completely Screwed

This is now standard hoo boy holiday good for you Internets Tradition. You should enjoy, since next time it may be costing you -- because in our Big Huge Nation there is becoming no room for opinions such as these. Peoples may go to the Gitmo for having such opinions. Ha ha ha. But, of course; if you have the money, you can move to the Canada. If you are with the huge money, you can have opinions. How fast the Freedom goes, because Freedom. Ha ha ha!

Great-Uncle Yehudi (In The Front) In The Berlin, 1945

Great-Uncle Yehudi, who is older, still, but strong enough to want to be hit by telephone book until falling down, refuses to be watching the television news. Little Rupert Fox, he never watched, but now he will not watch See Enn Enn, Big Mouse News, or Joe Scarborough network (though he has secretive desires involving the Rachel Maddow ["Nice Jewish girl -- you should find way to meet her," says Great-Uncle Yehudi] ). 

He will not even watch BBC or the PBS Very Balanced. "I am angry, Isidore," he says from the big chair which reclines. "I would spit, if I was not in my own house, sitting."

Great-Uncle Yehudi Today, Without Book Of Phones

But what if you are not watching, I say; you will be not the informed! Great-Uncle Yehudi says, "You are watching what somebodys are wanting to teach you. And their lesson is always, 'You have no power! You are betrayed! Love the Hitler! You cannot be fighting the Bosses! Obey the Cossacks! Shut your mouth and convert to be Christian kind of Gentile!' "

So what do we do? Yehudi makes a sour face. "I will be watching watch The Mister Ed." But what do we do if the Cossacks come? I ask, and Great-Uncle Yehudi laughs.

"Izzi, you are my favorite Great-Nephew (I am only great-nephew, I remind), but Cossacks are already here. You have to choose between learning the lesson They are teaching now, or not learning. And if you decide not to learn, then when time comes, be ready to fight."  

So we make this the annual offering of the Funny for you, hoping that it can remind of the Time Before and make a smile.

I, Rabschinsky, say this say this -- to Moldavish Guy; you also.

So always in the America there is at this time the fooding, and also the Sports Produkt on the television. Many people filling themselves with Holiday as if they about to be told, "Next year, you cannot eat!". I am thinking they are the hostage of their Hindbrain, which is still Neanderthal and wishes to fight with Mastodon. But, still.

And, I am noticing specific films which is only appearing on Amerikanyets television at these months between like maybe September and the time of your New Year.

My examples: At Passover, some of the television is showing The Ten Super Big Mitzvah Rules, with Charlton Heston Guy -- you know, movie where Moses stop making fooling around to pretend he is Big Guy of the Egypt, and decides to get real job saving People Of Israel.

This requires lots of people walking around, always saying "Oh, Moses, Moses, Moses" -- like, if they say this three times, they will be teleported by magik into better movie. Navarone Kind Of Big Guns, maybe, or Socialist-Colored Panther.

Place Which Is Gone Forever: Amerikanyets Driving To Movies:
"Moses, Moses, Moses -- What is happening with our Drive-Ins?"

At another time in year, they are showing same Heston Guy what is Moses in Big Mitzvah Rules in another movie, Ben Of Her. However this is basically film of Jewish guy who becomes like early Jesus guy, but by accident.

Movie is good; he is Number Forty-One guy in slave ship, rowing like animator for the Disney; there are becoming big boat battle, and he gets to be some kind of honorary Goyim. Later, there is an exciting thing with horses and carts -- but it is not the porn film, so too bad for you. Go to web sites where they have not blocked you.

Charlton Ben Heston Making The Ramming Speed, 1959

At finally, with the Christmas, every year since somebody discover the Secret Of Fire there is this broadcasting this movie, It Is Wonderful This Life, made by Frank Capra Guy in 1947, showing the kind of place which everybody wanted to believe was the Amerika. Small town, everybody knows everybody; values is good and everybody work hard and knows their places.

Just like village in the Moldova, except animals do not leave defecation in the street, everyone is speaking English, and most people have job. Plus concrete used in apartment buildings is better quality.

Every single year they are showing this film. It is now a classic also, like Wizard Of Odd and Potemkin Kind Of Battleship and Mister Hulot Goes To Beach Place. It is as big movie as The Tanks Know The Truth (Very popular Great Patriotic War movie made in the Russia. My Great-Uncle Yehudi claims he is in this film as Extra, but still we love him).

Big Scene From Tanks Knowing The Truth: Are They Knowing?
Well, They Are Tank; You Are Person. You Want To Be That Sure?

It Is Wonderful This Life story is maybe simple: Guy, George Bailey Guy, living in small town wants to die, because he thinks his life is shit. And there are the angels, who show us life of this Guy in the little town, and how he is The Good, and there is the Rich Guy who is The Bad. And George Bailey Guy never gets to do things in the Life because the Fate is not for him.

Then there is mistake with money (a problem made from the Rich Bad Guy), for which he is blamed, and he runs from family and goes to place of Publik Alkohol; finally he goes to bridge to jump in freezing water so his family will get small piece of Insurance money. Very Sad (There is also squirrel in another scene which is sad, but never mind). Also very Petit-Bourgeois.

So, Angel Guy comes to the Earth and shows this George Bailey Guy his life is maybe kind of okay, not so much the shit; and boom boom boom, problem with the money goes away in big scene at end when everyone gives him their money, and everyone sings. So happy, little bells on tree and big bells of church ring; America wins the World War Two and future is filled with television and freeway. The End.

But this is too simple, my friend. No way is actual life like this. So, maybe some of me thinks this is kind of the Propaganda about America, to keep us from seeing the Truth of the Things.

And, there is forbidden version of this film, which is other kind of the Propaganda. Please -- allow me to introduce.

борьбе за построение социализма во время Угнетение
(также называется "Любовь и революция" после 1991)

("Love And Revolution", Directed By Frank Kapronovich [1949]; Starring Pytor Chost, Gravnik Bolodorin, Irina Valutin. Special appearances by the Spirit Of Revolution, also Che Guevara, Samuel Beckett, and entire 12th Guards Motorized Infantry Regiment)

SO, movie opens with Guy, Georgi Edwardovich Bailey Guy, at the Bridge. He is unhappy, this Guy; boy oh boy he is like making the panic. He goes to public alkohol place and tries to think, but he only finds himself between the forces of dissent and confusion!

TROTSKYITE GUY: River not so bad, after five minutes.
EXISTENTIAL GUY: Wait, but no one comes. No one cares.

Hoo boy; Georgi is in big fix. This guy has family with SmallChilds, and tiny Policy Insuring The Life -- and he is believing everybody would be better off if he would jump and get it over with, already.

GEORGI: My life is steaming pile of animal things,
because the Rich Guy will always win. Now I am jumping.

But, Georgi is being watched at Bridge. Not by some angel Guy (none of this reliance on things which cannot be proven by good Socialist science!) -- but even better -- is Spirit Of Revolutsya!

(Spirit Of The Revolution Watches Georgi)

And, The Spirit saves Georgi! He takes him to place where they can speak of things, of the Truth -- and slowly, Georgi's eyes are opened to not only the forces of historical determinism, but the inevitability of struggle against the oppressor classes!

GEORGI: So you are saying that when the consciousness
of the People is raised sufficiently, that armed struggle
is not only necessary but inevitable?
SPIRIT: You got it, Comrade.

So, Georgi, now with eyes opened thanks to the words of the kindly Spirit, is seeing that the world is filled with inequality and criminal things so big your head feels like kicked soccer ball. It is like understanding that, not only are you living as Dog, lapping up the vomit of the Rich Guy, but you work in factory to make guns to force others to live like this (Also, the Rich Guy pays you in fake dog vomit and those X-Ray glasses which do not work).

For Georgi, this is whole bunch of dried fish to eat in one night (Like story by that Guy, Dickens Guy, Carol Burnett Christmas, or something). This is the Life? He is asking himself.

A World Of Things For Them, But Not Food For Children

Economy And Bad Fate For Peoples Means Nothing To Them

While The Many People Lose Everything To The Illegal Foreclosure

So now Georgi is filled with indignant and bad feeling for The State Of These Things. He feels the pain of the oppressed, working masses, and is being filled with Revolutionary Fervor -- and he goes to talk with the People in his little village, to tell them what the Spirit had revealed to him -- and the Spirit sends along friend, Che Guevara Guy, to help.

GEORGI: We don't have to live under the heel of Potter's boot!
He's just some, bloodsucking animal! Feeding on all of us -- and I'm
tired of living on fake dog vomit! We have to run things!
CHE GUEVARA SPIRIT GUY: Ay, Yi Yi! You listen to this guy.

The People, moved by Georgi's words, march with him to the place of the Bad Rich Guy, to demand Justice, the chance to make something other than guns, and to be paid in actual money instead of rubber dog vomit and X-Ray glasses which do not work.

BAD RICH GUY: You realize that the manufacture and sale of
weapons around the globe is the backbone of our nation's industry?
GEORGI: You don't understand -- the days of taking your rubber
dog barf are over, Potter! We're going to run things!
MOB: No fake dog barf!! No fake dog barf!!

BAD RICH GUY: My family has run this town for fifty generations.
All I have to do is close the factories. How long will it be before
your little rag-tag mob starts to starve? They'll come crawling back
to work -- and for half the rubber dog barf I gave you before!

Then, Georgi takes the Big Step -- the one which all oppressed people are taking in these movies when faced with Oppressors who pay them with rubber dog vomit: He crosses line from intellectualizing his oppression to active revolutionary.

Otherwise, we would have no resolution of all this rising action; and only ending for this film possible is that everyone would go for Pizza. This is unsatisfying from view of the Socialist imperative.

GEORGI: You're wrong, Potter -- you, and people of your
class are finished. Now you're going to face Justice for your
crimes -- because the People own the means of production!

And so The Bad Rich Guy is taken away by the People; his house later becomes hospital, day-care center, and place where revolutionary theater troupes practice before going into the streets.

And, of course, there is a proper celebration at the Georgi Bailey house, with the Revolutsia Spirit and the SmallChilds.

GEORGI: Gosh, Spirit, I don't know how we can thank you.
SMALLCHILD 01: Spirit, can't you stay and have some Fair
Trade™ coffee with homemade whiskey with us?
SPIRIT: No, SmallChild; I must go. There are so many oppressed
peoples in a world beset by unspeakable monsters of Capital.
But I will take a shot of that whiskey -- neat, please.

Finally, after long discussion between Rich Bad Guy and the Organs Of State Security, he faces Revolutionary Justice and the verdict of The People.

RICH BAD GUY: Long live International Capitalism!

And, of course, Georgi and his lovely wife are pausing in their labor to build a New Socialist Future to share a moment's reflection on the plight of The Peoples, and also to suggest some hygienic sexual activity between them which may occur later.

...and in the background, The Internationale swells on the soundtrack, sung by the Sad Vlad Orphans Choir Of Greater Moscow! Please to show the credits!

This film has not been shown since its original release; big shame, also, because it is at least as good as movie with Bert Landcaster in it but of the name, just now, is escaping me.

Great-Uncle Yehudi likes Revolutionary Love. He thinks it is wonderful comedy, but still we love him. If you can find this film on DVD, then okay. If not, well then it is big world out there! Be That Guy -- go find!

I, Rabschinsky, say this -- to Moldavish Guy; you also.