PowerLine -> (John Hinderaker) Revising History, Moon Landing Edition + Thoughts from the ammo line

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PowerLine -> (John Hinderaker) Revising History, Moon Landing Edition + Thoughts from the ammo line


Daily Digest

  • Revising History, Moon Landing Edition
  • The long and winding career of Marcel Dalio
  • Do the Brexit Shuffle!
  • Not rusty, not young, not Neil’s brother
  • Thoughts from the ammo line
Revising History, Moon Landing Edition

Posted: 31 Aug 2018 04:33 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)A movie titled “First Man” is about to be released. It has been described as a “biopic” about Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. So the 1969 moon landing by Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is presumably the high point of the film.

When Armstrong and Aldrin emerged from the moon lander, the first thing they did was to plant an American flag:

The second was to receive a congratulatory telephone call from President Richard Nixon:

“First Man” is being criticized for not showing the astronauts planting the American flag. I assume it also leaves out the Nixon phone call, but I don’t know that. The actor who plays Armstrong, Ryan Gosling, a Canadian, defends the film’s omission of the flag:

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” he explained. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero,” he continued. “From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

But Neil’s first act was to unfurl the flag, so the film doesn’t reflect him.

We all know the biases that underlie Hollywood’s editorial decisions. There is no need to belabor that point here. What bothers me most about this incident is the rewriting of history. When most people watch “First Man,” they will assume that depictions of actual, historic events in the movie are accurate. If there is no flag in the film, it will not occur to them to wonder whether there was a flag in real life. If Armstrong is depicted in the movie as a citizen of the world, it will not occur to them to wonder whether, in real life, he was an American patriot.

We see this transmutation of history in films all the time, often in more brazen forms. Oliver Stone made “JFK,” which depicts the crazed and despicable Jim Garrison as a hero and peddles absurd conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination. The movie “Truth” enacts a wholly false account of the Rathergate controversy and portrays Mary Mapes, who tried to swing a presidential election by publishing smears against President Bush that she had good reason to know were false, as a heroine.

The problem with such fantasy productions is twofold. First, the lies always lean in the same direction. Hollywood changes history to promote left-wing narratives. Second, movies live on more or less forever. An insomniac businessman turns on the TV set in his hotel room. He scans the movies available for in-room viewing and comes across “Truth.” Hmm. Sounds interesting. He watches it. A young couple has decided to spend the evening chilling with Netflix. There is a film on a subject they have vaguely heard about, the Kennedy assassination, but about which they know nothing: “JFK.” They watch it.

Hollywood’s lies are forever. As time goes by, and fewer people remember the truthful version of events, their capacity to deceive probably grows rather than diminishing. “First Man” represents a more subtle deceit than “JFK” or “Truth,” but it is deceit nonetheless.


The long and winding career of Marcel Dalio

Posted: 31 Aug 2018 11:57 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)You probably have never heard of Marcel Dalio, but there’s a good chance you have seen the French actor. He played the croupier in “Casablanca.” When Captain Renault says, “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here”, the Dalio character says, “Your winnings sir.”

Dalio’s wife, Madeleine Lebeau, also had a role in “Casablanca” as Yvonne, Rick’s girlfriend at the beginning of the film.

Dalio appeared uncredited for his bit part in Casablanca. However, he had major roles in two other films that make many lists of the greatest movies ever — “La Grande Illusion” and “La Règle du Jeu,” both directed by the great Jean Renoir. In La Grande Illusion, he played Rosenthal, the wealthy Jewish prisoner of war who escapes along with the proletarian Maréchal (played by the great Jean Gabin) and the aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu. In “La Règle du Jeu,” he played Marquis de la Chesnaye.

Dalio was, in fact, a French Jew. He was born Israel Moshe Blauschild. His path from France to Hollywood was the stuff of “Casablanca.” He and his wife fled Paris for Lisbon ahead of the Germans. After several months they finally received visas for Chile. The visas turned out to be forgeries and they were detained in Mexico, where their ship had docked. Eventually, they obtained Canadian passports and made it to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the Nazis used posters of Dalio’s face as that of “a typical Jew.” The rest of his family perished in concentration camps.

Dalio arrived in Hollywood with $17 and no knowledge of English. However, emigres from the French cinema industry, including Renoir, Rene Clair, and Charles Boyer, helped him out. Soon, Dalio was appearing in American movies. After his bit part in “Casablanca” came a more substantial role in a Humphrey Bogart movie, “To Have and Have Not” (as “Frenchy,” of course).

Dalio went on appear in at least 100 more movies, some American, some French, as well in a host of television shows in the two countries. His American film credits include “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and “Sabrina” (again with Bogart).

Dalio’s last movie was released in 1980. He died in 1983 and was buried just outside of Paris.

The Nazis unwittingly made an enormous contribution to American movies by causing so much talent to flee Europe. The talent that mattered did not appear on camera. It consisted of writers, directors, cinematographers, set designers, composers, etc.

Marcel Dalio is just a footnote to this emigration, but an interesting one, I hope.


Do the Brexit Shuffle!

Posted: 31 Aug 2018 09:36 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)This is the time of the week when I assemble the Week in Pictures for Saturday morning (it’s now mandated in the Constitution and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights), and our research team that scans the globe for material sometimes comes up with videos that are indeed tempting, though for the time being, we’re sticking with just still shots for WIP. But some things do deserve notice.

You know the old saying that you should dance like no one is watching? Apparently, Prime Minister Theresa May actually believes this piece of bad advice. She’s currently touring Africa, where she apparently decided to express her Brexit policy by means of interpretive dance:

And if you don’t get it right the first time, try again in Kenya:

Well, at least she has George W. Bush to keep her company:

I have a hunch it is a well-known inside joke in Africa: “Hey boss—you how we can get back at our former colonial overlords? Make ’em dance to some drum beats.”

P.S./UPDATE: I am reminded that Churchill, now he could dance!


Not rusty, not young, not Neil’s brother

Posted: 31 Aug 2018 07:38 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson) My high school classmate and friend Mike Frost joined me to see the group that goes under the name Poco at the Dakota this past Tuesday night. Mike and I were trying to repeat the past. We saw Poco live in Boston in 1971 or so playing in the configuration (Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Timothy Schmit, George Grantham and Young) represented on the group’s Deliverin’ album, with which I had fallen in love. Mike loved what we heard in Boston that night too.

Former Poco pedal steel guitar player Rusty Young is the only original in the current version of the group, but they capably carry on the legacy and cover the highlights from Buffalo Springfield (Rusty entered the picture on the Springfield’s Last Time Around album) to the present. In the photo above Mike and I flank Rusty in the shadows (sorry) next to the merchandise table after the evening’s first show. Below is the medley that closes side 1 of Deliverin’.

My friend Kirk Kolbo joined us. He wasn’t familiar with Poco but now declares himself a convert. It was a beautiful and exhilarating show before a sold-out house of long-time Poco fans.

Rusty joked about fans like us. He says he is frequently asked by fans if he remembers them at some 1972 concert sitting in the third row. We wanted to tell him we saw him in Boston in 1971. When we did, he asked if we were in the third row. We told him we were on the balcony. (He laughed.) The late Jim Croce opened the show, incidentally. I forgot to ask him if he remembered that.

I saw Poco again in the field house at Dartmouth in March 1972. I thought at the time that it was the best live show I had ever seen. Rusty was a wild player. At one point he took a chair and used it on his pedal steel. I vividly remember it and couldn’t get over how good he made it sound.

Rusty plays just about every string instrument. He played several on Tuesday night, but the pedal steel stayed at home. The closest he comes to the pedal steel in the show now is the dobro (it sounded great). Am I the only one who remembers the chair routine? I haven’t seen anyone mention it over the years. I was afraid my memory might be playing tricks on me.

I told him I loved Poco’s concert at Dartmouth and that I remembered him using a chair to play his pedal steel. He used to be wild, I observed. What happened?

“I got old,” he told me. “It takes too much energy!”

You can’t repeat the past. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

But you can at least try to get it right. In previewing the Poco show the Star Tribune informed its readers: “Co-founding pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young, brother of Neil, still anchors these early and veteran purveyors of country-rock.” Rusty, however, is not Neil Young’s brother. Anyone who knows anything about Poco or Rusty knows that. He’s no relation to Neil Young. It’s an old, old error.

Rusty even wrote a song trying to put this misconception to rest (below). The song made for a humorous change of pace on Tuesday night. I do believe, however, that Richie Furay wrote “A Child’s Claim to Fame” about Neil Young (the second song in the medley above). So there is that.

Rusty also wrote the only Poco song to make the top 40. That would be “Crazy Love” (1979). It was a highlight of the show Tuesday night.


Thoughts from the ammo line

Posted: 31 Aug 2018 05:18 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Ammo Grrrll formulates AMMO GRRRLLINSKY’S STRICT NEW RULES FOR “JOURNALISTS.” She notes parenthetically: “(Last week I promised the end of my travelogue. Next week for sure. Meanwhile…)” She writes:

Saul Alinsky famously had his celebrated Rules for Radicals. He was a major destructive jackass and inspiration to such other unpleasant figures as domestic terrorist Bill “Guilty as hell, free as a bird” Ayers, Barack Hussein Obama, twice a terrible President; Hillary Clinton, NOT any kind of President ever; and numerous other America-hating community activists.

That’s a funny word, “activist.” The vast and overwhelmingly majority of “activists” I have known in my long and checkered career were about as “active” as an elderly domestic house cat. “Inert” would be more accurate, except when they were running their mouths.

Which they did at the drop of a hat. Remember, kids, college was a primitive affair back then. We didn’t even have video games except for Pong. For entertainment, we often gathered in someone’s room for what we called a “bull session.” We solved the world’s problems with all the acumen and experience that the average 18-22-year-old poli sci or sociology major possesses. But we had to do something for fun. We had no phones on our persons or even in our rooms! Yes, if we got a phone call, the switchboard buzzed our room and we had to run down the hall to the phone booth, bodily remove whoever was idling there, and get the switchboard to send us the call. Then we had to churn our own butter!

We had neither porn nor “sexting.” Since we had no phones or Internet, if we wanted to have even fumbling, inept second-base sex, we had to do it in person – can you imagine? — providing we could find a place. That’s where the expression came from, “women need a reason for sex, men just need a place.” And in the mid-’60s, with strict divisions between Women’s and Men’s Dorms, and large, stern House Mothers, finding a place was not as easy as it sounds. Ah, good times, good times. But, I digress…

I have been thinking quite a lot about the poor abused and maligned bawl-baby journalists. Who, in order to prove they were not biased, bigoted purveyors of leftist GroupThink, had a coordinated attack campaign of 350 op-eds and editorials on the same day. Man, you could not make that up…Well, color ME convinced!

You want to know why journalists are held in esteem in the slot between “stubborn jock itch” and “televised political ads in the week before an election”? Read and learn from Ammogrrrllinsky’s new Rules for Journalists:

One: Any journalist inquiring about someone else’s sex life must be hooked up to a very noisy polygraph machine while doing it. Before any questioning begins, the journalist must be asked, “Have you ever groped, touched, or thought about touching anyone not your lawfully wedded spouse? Remember, 30 years ago counts!” Also, “When in a committed relationship, have you ever had sex with anyone else or tried to?” When the bells, whistles, and sirens the lying has set off finally cease, the journalist may interrogate his quarry.

Two: No stripper or hooker, no matter how comely, will be permitted to weigh in on any subject on television. Strippers and hookers do not just have sex for a living. That is only part of it; what they really do is LIE for a living. The strippers get men to buy $2.00 bottles of champagne for $100 and feign an interest in inebriated men until the money runs out. Except for pretending Republican politicians from Arizona and journalists they are perhaps the least trustworthy humans on the planet. They do not have hearts of gold. Jesse Ventura claimed that the hookers at the Bunny Ranch gave him “freebies” because he was just so darn good. (Let me take a minute to compose myself here…Okay…nope, I need another minute…) Jesse: They were lying.

Three: The Party affiliation of each and every politician written about will appear in the first and every subsequent time the politician is referenced. The current system goes like this: “Hilda Hatemonger, R (South Dakota), was arrested yesterday for license tags which had expired a week earlier. Hilda, Republican Congresswoman for 22 years, claimed she had the tags in her Republican purse but had just forgotten to put them on. Hilda is a Republican.” Versus, “Keith Ellison, who is black AND Muslim, is accused by an alt-right blogger of being a fan of gangstas and cop-killers on account of overwhelming evidence to that effect, including pictures. We have no idea whatsoever what party the Honorable Mr. Ellison is a member of, but if we do find out, it will be mentioned soon in paragraph 27 so you might want to stop reading now.”

Four: Likewise, if anyone’s income or net worth is mentioned, then EVERYONE’S income shall be mentioned, including the news-ninnies reading the story. Currently, several news stories will just willy-nilly throw in “billionaire” before or after the President’s name, like it’s a bad thing that he is rich. Let’s let everyone know how astonishingly rich people can get with no discernible skills, work ethic or talent in this terrible country.

Example: “Rachel Maddow, net worth $20 million dollars, will interview Michael Moore (net worth before a recent divorce of $50 million dollars). Mr. Moore believes that his most recent crappy movie will finally bring down billionaire President Donald J. Trump. Unless, of course, Tom Arnold, net worth $30 million (only in America), beats him to the punch. Omarosa, professional ingrate, net worth $3.5 million (what a country!) also promises she has tapes that will bring DJT down. Formerly predicted to bring down billionaire President Trump is Porn Queen Stormy Daniels, net worth a paltry $2 Million (“crumbs” to Nancy Pelosi, net worth just under $200 million dollars).”

Funny, I thought porn would pay a lot more than that. Memo to self: when considering a new career, give a thought to becoming a snotty MSNBC commentator or a rambling, incoherent Speaker of the House rather than A Late, Late Middle-Aged Porn Queen. But, just in case, I am trademarking the names Haboobs Haniels, Blizzard Baniels, and Sleety Spaniels.

On a different note: to those commenters on Paul M’s post-Tuesday night who mentioned me as a fill-in Arizona Senator appointed by Governor Ducey, let me say that, while I am flattered and grateful for the confidence, you triggered an entire night’s worth of nightmares. And – in case it comes up on a quiz show – it turns out it is flat-out ILLEGAL to punch a fellow Senator in the face. Who knew?


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