Today, NY Times “conservative” columnist Bret Stephens wondered how and why the Republican Party had grown so ... vulgar
Talk about missing the point.
For summary’s sake, Stephens claims that back in the 60s and 70s the Republicans advocated decorum: respect for law and authority; individual dignity, and the like. Today, however, we live in Trump/Scaramucci land, a land of vile tweets and references to self-fellatio openly discussed with a New Yorker reporter. This seems to shock Mr. Stephens.
All I have to say in response is: really? Mr. Stephens, do you need to me to go all Colonel Kurtz on you?
If anyone isn’t an Apocalypse Now fan – and shame on you if you’re not! – towards the end of the movie, Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz ruminates on the hypocrisy of the American military effort in Vietnam. In one striking moment, he comments: “We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”
Mr. Stephens: it’s not the Republican Party’s decorum that obscene. It’s their policies. In seeking to do nothing about, or even accelerate global climate change, Republicans are damaging the environment AND undermining the emergence of an inevitable post-fossil fuels economy. In making war on science, the Republican Party is undermining education, economic development, and the prospects for a more aware, more thoughtful future. (Do note that the Texas Republican Party platform in 2016 – 2016!! – called for eliminating critical thinking from school curricula in Texas. This is not a joke.) In “reforming” healthcare, the Republican Party is seeking to savage the lives of millions of Americans all so that a tiny percentage can get even richer. In attacking immigration, the Republican Party is undermining the engine of success that has made America the vibrant place it is.
Mr. Stephens, the Republican Party’s obscene decorum is the product of its obscene policies. Decades of moral indifference to the suffering of those you claim to serve, decades of political spin claiming that things that are good for the uber-wealthy are inevitably good for us all, decades of demonizing immigrants, decades of attacking science and knowledge – and much, much more – has been sustained by demonizing opponents and callous indifference to anything other than self-aggrandizement.
Republicans behave obscenely because their ideology is structurally obscene. Until you face that fact, it’s going to be Trumps and Scaramuccis for a long, long time.
Understatement time: movies are hard to make. Every movie from The Godfather II to Joe Dirt 2 is the result of years and years of tireless hard work from artists, craftsmen, teamsters, executives and advertisers– all working in high pressure situations with tight deadlines, huge egos and insane amounts of money at play. Like GDP of a small island nation amount of money.
Odds are behind every movie, there’s an absolutely insane story of inappropriate behavior, blatant disregard for safety regulations and famous people trying to murder each other.
THIS WEEK:Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked’s Daniel O'Brien and Tom Reimann, comedian Jamie Loftus and writer Dave Schilling (The Guardian, Bleacher Report, Vice) to cover 17 movies with absolutely batsh*t behind the scenes stories, like basically every late-period Marlon Brando movie, the screwball comedy that shot an iconic scene on 9/11 and the backstage antics that led a very famous actor to punch James Cameron in the face.