Monday, July 13, 2009

Why South Carolina Creeps Me Out

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Caught up today on one of the movies I've been meaning to see for a while, Waltz with Bashir. It's an Israeli film that is basically an oral history of the Israeli attack on Beirut in 1983, specifically the massacre of Palestinians at the hands of the Lebanese Christians. The director, piecing together his army service at the site of the massacre, taped interviews with people with whom he served as well as a journalist who visited the scene. The catch is that the movie is animated -- both the interviews and the the stories of war. The interview format means that the dialogue -- what little of the Hebrew I was able to understand -- has a natural cadence to it that makes the movie that much more realistic, even with the animation. It's not a feel-good movie, obviously, but it's recommended.
    • I was overjoyed that Entourage returned tonight after last season's very good season finale and the dearth of watchable TV right now. It did not disappoint. All you want out of an Entourage episode is good back-and-forth between Eric and Vince (check), Lloyd to get screen time and Ari and he to play off of each other (triple-check; that's shaping up to be the strongest story of the season), Turtle and Drama to not get in the way too much (check), and something that isn't 100% perfect to happen to Vince (check with the loneliness thing and I think he's going to get in trouble over telling the bribe story on Leno). So, great stuff from the episode.
    • One strike against it: at the beginning, Ari talks about how excited he is that Miller/Gold got Greg Garcia as a client and talks about having My Name Is Earl in the fold. Whoops.
    • Hung, the new show with Thomas Jane that airs before Entourage, is also really good. Really funny and does a good job of being a show about sex that doesn't overdo the sex stuff.
    • This is a good opinion piece by Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal about why the GOP should move on and away from Sarah Palin. I'm not a Republican, but the arguments seem very reasonable to me. (Although I hope the party doesn't follow them.)
  • Random Hatred and/or Love:
    • Still reading Battle Cry of Freedom and on page 234 of 862. Lincoln has just been elected and the South is just about to secede. So let me go off about the Confederate flag again and the romantic ideas that Southerners have about the Confederacy. I can't put this any clearer -- The Confederacy was about slavery. It was only about state rights in that they wanted the right to have slavery. It was only about romantic aristocracy in that they wanted to feel supreme as white people over their slaves. The Confederacy was about slavery. It was the major plank in their platform, the reason they threatened to secede for a decade or more before they actually did. The next time you see someone with the Stars and Bars or you hear someone refer to the "War of Northern Aggression", think about that. They can romanticize it all they want. The Confederacy was solely dedicated to the idea that black people could not be citizens and were born to be owned. The Confederacy was about slavery. Period.
  • Oh, And By The Way:
    • The Confederacy was about slavery.


Shtetl Fabulous said...

The Netflix gods smiled on both our houses last night and I also had a chance to watch Waltz with Bashir.

I wonder why the director chose to use animation versus straight interviews, but I also was astonishingly struck by the visual imagery in a way that I doubt I would have been had it been a "straight" film.

Overall, I think it was excellent, though I would have liked an extra 10 minutes or so to have worked out some issues such as the impact of the Holocaust and how the director assimilated all this information in the end.

Josh said...

Not sure why, maybe the people didn't want their faces used. I think the animation made the real footage at the end a million times more powerful though.

Marissa said...

My dad (who never spent much time in the South, but still, I always believe my dad), has told me that this romanticism over the confederate flag didn't even start until the late 1950s and 1960s, when, surprise surprise, the South was again claiming states rights to do things like not allow integration and all that good stuff.