Hot Air: The House, Hollywood & History

Truckin’ To The House

Quixotic long-haul trucker Rob Chatlos, who’s never held public office, nor has he ever been involved in government on any level, hopes to barge past the pols, policy wonks, and experienced bureaucrats running for Indiana’s 9th Dist. seat in US Congress in the 2018 election. Not only that, should he vanquish the rest of the Dem House-wannabes, he’ll have to topple multi-gazillionaire Trey Hollingsworth, the Republican incumbent.

[Image: CDL Life]

To this point, Chatlos has been running an independent campaign but that looks to change soon. He may indeed join one of the major pol. parties — give an ear to my Big Talk interview with him and you’ll surely guess which party he just may align himself with.

Chatlos came on Big Talk with me yesterday afternoon on WFHB, 91.3FM. To tell the truth, I dig his story the most. It’s right out of a Jimmy Stewart/Gary Cooper common-person-goes to Wash. Hollywood fantasy. I’d love to see him make it, not necessarily because I buy most of his positions (I do), but because we need some salt-of-the-Earth types in the Capitol these days. Who knows if he’d be effective, serving as a naif among the big money men and cat’s paws of the plutocracy in that august body, but it’d sure be entertaining to see him try to elbow his way into the discussions therein.

Anyway, go here for the WFHB feature with him and here for the unedited, original interview I did with him a couple of weeks ago.

History

Speaking of Hollywood movies, a deep-thinker of my acquaintance recently pointed out a study showing that millennials rarely watch movies that were made before the mid-Sixties or so. In fact, many, many of them won’t watch any movies at all that were made before they were born. Acc’d’g to the spectacularly imprecise def. of the term, millennials are members of that generation born somewhere in the vicinity of the years 1977 through 1995.

Of course, the very idea that whole pops. of people can be lumped together in some arbitrary delineation of years strikes me as foolish. I suppose the whole idea of “members of a generation” arose when it was realized that GIs returning from World War II, awash with money, federally-funded college educations, and station wagons, reproduced like bunnies beginning in 1946 and continued to happily hump for a couple of decades thereafter. The resulting demographic surge of American humanity was tabbed the Baby Boomers. Subsequent generations, huffy that they and their contemporaries were not similarly dubbed and revered, demanded their own generational labels, and so we now have Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z. Who knows what the ensuing generation of sun-baked, nuked, debt-laden kids’ll demand to be called.

Anyway, a lot of navel-gazers have speculated about why these millennials might be eschewing Hitchcock’s, Ford’s, Renoir’s, Hawks’, Tarkovsky’s, Welles’, Truffaut’s, Chaplin’s, Kurosawa’s, Lupino’s, Lang’s, and Wilder’s masterpieces. One suggested that millennials can’t bear to endure black and white films, the poor things.

Another put this idea forward: Movies made before, say, this more enlightened 21st Century are rife with language and scenarios that are considered “triggers” today. Black people, if portrayed at all, were maids and shoeshine boys. Women were housewives except for those who strove to succeed in the man’s world, and they usually met tragic ends. Native Americans were savages. The Chinese were inscrutable, the Japanese dastardly. Homosexuals didn’t exist.

Hollywood’s world was populated, for the most part, by white men. Everybody else was either subhuman, nefarious, or a joke. Acc’d’g to the aforementioned observer, today’s gen. simply cannot tolerate such messages.

Me? I love watching the old films and actually take pride that today’s world is one hell of a lot less fucked up than the worlds of Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund, or Charles Foster Kane. I like to think civilization is constantly progressing, even since, say, 1952, an idea put forth by Steven Pinker in his book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature.”

We can’t at all expect the cultural touchstones of the past to reflect our sensibilities. History has to be studied, old movies have to be watched, the books of the 19th Century read, and the sins of our fathers and mothers acknowledged. What white male America did to brown-skinned people, women, the pre-Columbian occupants of the western continents, foreigners, gays and lesbians, and other others was pure evil.

We have to face that evil in our art and in our history books. Otherwise it might sneak back up on us. In fact, it’s already started — perhaps, in part, because we try so hard to pretend it never happened.

How We Got Here

The Southern Strategy was the opening salvo. The Gingrich Memo was the codification. And the corporate media unwittingly — albeit culpably –played the role of the obedient stenographer.

Click Image For Matt Taibbi’s Full Article

The road to President Gag was a long one but it was a straightaway.

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