Floyd | Saturday, 28th of July 2012 at 05:23:01 AM
The Walking Dead (1936)
A framed man comes back from the dead to seek revenge.
Dir: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn. TV-PG. 6:00 AM EDT. TCM.
This is a good solid Karloff horror flick. It’s yet another good example of efficient movie making and storytelling. At just a touch over an hour — it’s get in, get out, get on with the day or the second part of a double feature. Also on TCM tomorrow are prior CPODs Boomerang (10:15 AM), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (12:00 PM), West Side Story (5:15 PM), The Band Wagon (8:00 PM), Daddy Long Legs (10:00 PM), and deep in the night — the 1947 John Ford classic The Fugitive about a priest running away from Mexican communists (4:00 AM).
The idea that technology (“the Machine”) is a kind of magic, or at least deeply related to magic, is one that Tolkien shared with his close friend C. S. Lewis, who argued that, in the early modern period, “The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve.” Science, Lewis continued, “is no doubt contrasted in our minds with that of the magicians: but contrasted only in the light of the event, only because we know that science succeeded and magic failed. That event was then still uncertain. Stripping off our knowledge of it, we see at once that [Sir Francis Bacon, one of the founders of experimental science] and the magicians have the closest possible affinity. . . . Nor would Bacon himself deny the affinity: he thought the aim of the magicians was ‘noble.’”
So it makes sense, then, that the chief exponents of technology in The Lord of the Rings are a demonic figure bent on world domination (Sauron) and a wizard (Saruman). Treebeard, the Ent or tree-shepherd, says of Saruman, “He is plotting to become a Power. He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment.”
Fantasy writers since Tolkien have picked up on this link between technology and dark magic. In Stephen King’s apocalyptic The Stand (1978) — which King consciously modeled on The Lord of the Rings — Randall Flagg, the Dark Man, the Sauron of this novel, starts gathering the forces of evil to himself in Las Vegas, while a shambling collective of good guys assembles in the hippie capital of Boulder, Colorado.
Jonathan Merritt is a pastor in a Southern Baptist church, as well as a culture writer for various websites that include The Atlantic and USA Today. He wrote an article for The Atlantic last week affirming the right of anyone to eat at Chick-Fil-A. It’s a valuable, nuanced work of opinion that I believe stands up on its own merit, so to speak. But in a political climate where no one can agree to disagree, or even agree people have a right to their opinion, the gay media went to work and efforts were made to out him.
The blogger who outed Merritt made the following comment:
“What we have now is an opportunity, an opportunity to have a discussion with transparency and honesty,” Southworth said. “So let’s do that, okay? Not the typical fear-based rhetoric, misinformation or half-truths. Let’s have real talk.”
So, we’ll be honest and transparent by taking a wrecking ball to their life. By using fear. A person who does that isn’t interested in real talk, just bullying their way to silencing those who disagree with him, which is what this is about. Be forewarned, if you have dare left the path or have anything in your past, we’ll destroy you to make a political point.
Outing is becoming a common political tactic. It’s aimed at conservatives, usually those entrenched in certain social issues. I’ve never seen a plausible or legible explanation for why this is politically feasible, or why it’s even justified, other than people using ugliness and anger to lash out. Which is what one does when they are losing an argument.
After the Aurora mass shooting, the Cassandras and their anti-gun message come out to scavenge the dead for political points. Slate (!) has a nice post in its The Explainer putting guns and mass murder in a more proper perspective.
The U.S. mass murder rate does not seem to rise or fall with the availability of automatic weapons. It reached its highest level in 1929, when fully automatic firearms were expensive and mostly limited to soldiers and organized criminals. The rate dipped in the mid-1930s, staying relatively low before surging again in the 1970s through 1990s. Some criminologists attribute the late-century spike to the potential for instant notoriety: Beginning with Charles Whitman’s 1966 shooting spree from atop a University of Texas tower, mass murderers became household names. Others point out that the mass murder rate fairly closely tracks the overall homicide rate. In the 2000s, for example, both the mass murder and the homicide rates dropped to their lowest levels since the 1960s.
A mass murderer’s weapon of choice depends somewhat on his victims. Attacks with guns, fire, knives, and bare hands are far more likely to be directed against family and acquaintances than total strangers, while mass murderers prefer to use explosives against people they don’t know. Also of note: Those who use firearms in a killing spree turn the gun on themselves 34 percent of the time, while only 9 percent of mass-murdering arsonists take their own lives.
Go read the whole thing for a brief history of mass murder in the U.S. and more stats. And for the record… the Aurora murderer didn’t use automatic weapons.
“So many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food.”
The media labels it “the racist tweet” without explaining how. Riddle me this Threedonians. How is this racist? It’s a bad joke to be sure — meaning it’s not very funny. But if you put the word “Louisianian” or “Mississippian” (isn’t the mosquito the state bird?)in that sentence doesn’t that mean that the home place has mosquitoes? Didn’t we spend billions of dollars on mosquito nets for Africans in the past decade?
Did she wish West Nile virus on “Africans”? And if so, shouldn’t Charlize Theron and Omar Sharif be pissed too? If racism is the irrational hatred of someone (or a group) based on race then how is this racist? I think all reasonable people know that it is not. “Reasonable people” excludes a lot of modern Greeks (judging by their economic woes and the lack of fortitude in dealing with them) and a fair amount of those involved in “the Olympic Movement”.
I don’t know what Miss Papachristou’s views are on political correctness, but if she is like most of her countrymen, I hope she takes this lesson in the evils of PC and avoids it like the Plague in the future. It’s already sunk in to her that she got a raw deal:
“I have not slept at all and to be honest I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened,” she told Reuters. “I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control.
“I am thankful to my coach and family and so many other people who have stuck by me…. After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision.
“I don’t know if they want to make an example out of me because of my profile, this is for others to judge, but what I believe is that they used their maximum disciplinary power on me for this,” Papachristou said. “They went straight to the final stage in excluding me from the team, which was highly excessive.”
Come to the U.S. Voula for the 2016 Olympics… we’re lousy with PC too, but here you could Tweet to your hearts content and sue the pants off the Olympic Committee — and probably win.