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Most Americans get their history from the mass media rather than scholarly tomes that wade through the complexity of events attempting to separate truth from fiction.   America's entry into WWII is reduced to films, such as the two hours of burning planes and sinking ships of "Pearl Harbor."  We see ancient history through "Ben Hur" and "Cleopatra" and hundreds of others bioptics of this same level.  And now, the man who created the modern FBI will be introduced to most Americans from this film.  Here's the link to the review I wrote for IMDB, after seeing the film, which was only the beginning of my thinking about its meaning, that goes far beyond the story of a man or even an institution.

Reviews can detract from the immediacy of a film by betraying an ending, but they can also sensitize the viewer to elements that he or she may not otherwise notice.  These observations took a couple days to germinate, so you decide if you'd rather see the film first and then read this.    

Clint Eastwood, who directed "J. Edgar"  began his career as a conservative Republican whose films gloried in showing ruthless power.  Over time his politics have become more variegated, based on his own values rather than any partisan line.  This film is about J. Edgar Hoover, but it is also about Clint Eastwood, as the message that will affect far more people than all the biographies about this man, is his.

In my IMDB review I questioned the reality of a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt that Hoover purportedly used to control F.D.R.  This blog article by the writer of "Out After Death" about E.R. indicates it was an actual letter, whether it was used in the way the film depicted or not.  This writer concludes that it, and other evidence, indicates a lesbian relationship.

Ironically, it will never be known whether Eleanor's relationship was sexual anymore than the relationship between Hoover and his long time close associate Clyde Tolson.  Cultural norms are always in flux.  Intimate friendships among women including holding hands and expressions of love were common and accepted in Eleanor's era, and did not connote sexuality.  And men can spend a great deal of time together without breaching the cultural taboo of sexual relationships, which was the nature of the friendship portrayed in the case of the two men.  Eastwood's message was that Eleanor was a practicing homosexual but that Hoover was not, the reality of both subject to supposition.  

There is another aspect of the film that is interesting, the development of scientific forensics, specifically fingerprinting that became centralized and a major part of law enforcement.  This was presented fairly well in the film, but without the final coda, which only happened after Hoover was gone, but was a result of his legacy.  The penumbra of the media image of scientific impartiality of the FBI so carefully nurtured by Hoover took on a life of its own.  Evidence from the FBI lab, eventually available to all law enforcement agencies, became tantamount to objective truth, and sealed the fate of a defendant.

It turned out that this was far from reality.  While complete fingerprints taken in controlled conditions are unique, in actual crimes scenes these don't exist.  Rather there are latent, or partial prints, with much less certainty of identification.  Until this current decade, the FBI reports never acknowledged this simple truth and maintained that when they concluded that such prints were of a given person it was absolute without any degree of uncertainty based on the incompleteness of the points of the finger print.  I happen to be familiar with this as six years ago I spearheaded the inclusion of such statistical probability in the article in Wikipedia, (the section on Criticism contains my references from this earlier period) where it was an uphill battle partly because of the spurious patina of science that had infused forensic investigation.  

Now to a scene in the film that is the most meaningful, most provocative in that it can be thought of on several dimensions.  The film described the contentious relationship with Hoover and his boss, Attorney General Robert Francis Kennedy. In the film there is a call from an agent that JFK was shot, who responded when asked by Hoover if anyone knew about it, was, "No, only you." This is absurd, as the news of Kennedy's being shot was flashed around the world instantly, faster than any agent could have connected a call.

Since the timing was not even possible  the meaning of his call to Robert Kennedy was not self evident. or why it even included in the film?  My first thought that was that it was just incredible sloppiness, that no one realized that the event could not have occurred as depicted.  But at the end of the film, there was the revelation that many of the scenes depicted were from the self serving memory of Hoover, and not what actually occurred. We are left with concluding that this was a depiction of the inner thoughts of Hoover, or more realistically the thoughts of the person responsible for the film, Clint Eastwood.  The issue, beyond this single film, is how will this scene might affect the perceptions of the millions who see it.  

Oliver Stone's "JFK."  had the effect of increasing that part of the American public who believe that JFK was killed by powerful members of the establishment, including his Vice President and perhaps the head of the FBI.   I happen to be among the less than a third of the Americans who absolutely reject this.  While the film "J.Edgar"  will allow a single individual, Clint Eastwood, to influence the perceptions of the millions who view it about both Hoover and the JFK assassination, this actual recorded conversationbetween Lyndon B, Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover that sheds light on this issue has been viewed by less than a thousand people.

Here are the two people whom most Americans believe conspired either individually or together to kill the President, talking candidly about how best to do a thorough investigation if the crime.   They threw out a dozen or so names to be on what evolved as the Warren Commission, with the goal of getting the most independent, honest and thoughtful people to do the investigation.  Those who think these two men are co-conspirators in this plot should listen carefully to the conversation, the tone as well as the content.

The radical Republicans who have taken over this party are thriving on hatred and distrust of government, all government, especially that which promotes the idea of a social contract.  The belief that a half century ago a President was killed by the leaders of this government only fuels to this distrust.  And this film, among, it's other qualities that in some ways are fascinating, continues to foment this particular canard.  

This small segment of the film may go unnoticed by the critics, but it should not; as it illustrates the power of dramatized mass media to distort reality and thus shape who we are as a nation.  

Originally posted to ARODB on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 02:42 PM PST.

Also republished by DKOMA and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Didn't he say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb, triciawyse, confitesprit

    I am almost positive Hoover let the cat out of the proverbial bag by saying something to the effect that the conspiracy is so pervasive that no one could believe it.

    •  Don't know if the real Hoover believed... (4+ / 0-)

      JFK assassination was a conspiracy.

      Robert Kennedy did not, and like I, believe the findings of the Warren Report in principle.  He had the means to have investigated further as he remained U.S. Attorney General for a year after the killing.

       Right now the last polls showed less than 30% of American's share my view, which was made this low by Oliver Stone's film JFK.  

      And so our nations view of history, that a president was killed by his vice president among other high officials becomes established.

      Amazing.

      •  "JFK" was a great film. A great FICTIONAL film... (62+ / 0-)

        ...and, as you say, too many people get their history from fictional films. I am with you in the 30% after reading somewhere around 100 books on the assassination, starting with Rush to Judgment in 1966. I believed in a conspiracy for years, but came to other conclusions in the late '90s.

        I have not yet seen J. Edgar, although I did hear an interview with DiCaprio talking about the six hours of make-up time he spent during those days of filming when he portrayed Hoover in his 60s. All very interesting — I love film, and special effects — but about the Man himself, nothing of real note.

        I suspect that when I do see it, I may come away seething, just as I did when Mississippi Burning was in the theaters, another FBI-themed film that gave strength to outright lies via smart direction, clever cinematography and the performances of great actors.

        Clint Eastwood is a fine director and actor, his politics aside. But I could not care less whether Hoover or Eleanor Roosevelt — in the terms of yesteryear — were "practicing homosexuals." Hoover was a narcissistic, self-promoting thug with far more power than any one person should ever be allowed. Someday, perhaps, that movie will be made.

        The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 03:21:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not before everyone who was alive during his (17+ / 0-)

          tenure as director has followed him into the grave,

          Hoover was a narcissistic, self-promoting thug with far more power than any one person should ever be allowed. Someday, perhaps, that movie will be made.
          for the same reason that both Kissinger and Bush will die free.
        •  JFK assassination conspiracy (12+ / 0-)

          I too read tons of books about the Kennedy assassination, including Mark Lane's book. The one that really got me thinking was Six Seconds in Dallas by Josiah Thompson, which was one of the first to focus on the timing of the shots and how unlikely...if not physically impossible...it was (or seemed to be) for one person to be the lone gunman.

          Gerald Posner's book, Case Closed, while annoying in its smug tone, probably pushed me over the edge into believing Oswald alone did the shooting. I could still be convinced otherwise.

          All these years later---especially with the publication of Stephen King's book, 11-22-63---it's hard to reconcile that the people who had motive to kill JFK...Carlos Marcello, LBJ, Cuban exiles, and many others..may have benefited from his death without having had to cause it.

          Hoover's role, as always, seemed to be to be the bearer of bad tidings to those he hated---i.e., RFK---and to kiss ass to those who would most benefit from the proximity of his lips.

          Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

          by willyr on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 05:12:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I personally (6+ / 0-)

            am pretty convinced there was a massive coverup. I don't pretend to know who killed Kennedy, but I am convinced it was not Oswald.

            There are just too many "screw ups," not least of which was the overly convenient execution of Oswald, without taped evidence of his testimony (or before it could be obtained in a followup interview after the first was done in secret).

            The silly magic bullet is another.

            The ridiculous "kill-zone" motorcade route.

            The forensic foul ups.

            Just too many "coincidences" to make a coherent or true story as the Warren Commission tells it.

            Kennedy was killed with the collusion of the US government and law enforcement, that much is clear. Who, how or exactly why is still a mystery. But it was definitely not a lone gunman, or at least it was not Oswald.

            •  And who had the motivation? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AllisonInSeattle

              The Cuban cabal in Fla. and elsewhere are, to my thinking, the mostly likely instigators of the crime against JFK.

            •  Oswald goes to the USSR (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              arodb, dhajra, mmacdDE, labwitchy

              when he is in the Marine Corps, having taken a "hardship" exit from active to reserve  duty, defects-- that is, actually goes and tries to renounce his US citizenship at the US embassy in Moscow-- marries a Soviet citizen-- and then comes back to the US with no consequences ???

              That's the part that always gets me.

              How is that possible?

              You couldn't even go to the USSR as a tourist in those days without heavy US govt. scrutiny, let alone do what he did !

              You couldn't even belong to a civil rights organization like SNCC without being on some kind of an FBI watch list !

              I have no idea who shot JFK or why, or if there was a conspiracy. "Magic bullet" ? Who cares ?

              All I know is, Oswald's personal history is bizarre by the standards of life in the USA in those days.

              OTOH, that psychiatrist who shot up the Army base in Texas had a bizarre history, too, and that's all documented. A thousand red flags and they gave him a pass.

              So, who knows ?

              I must be dreaming...

              by murphy on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 09:40:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You forget how the military works (4+ / 0-)

                if you're an embarrassment, and you want to leave, they will gladly show you the door.

                Oswald was, in many ways, an embarrassment. So they weren't too upset when he wanted to get out.

                And you seem to think that the govt follows everybody closely - they don't now, and they did it less then (little was computerized back then). Customs agents ask more questions and scrutinize documents much more now than they did then.

                Yes, Oswald's personal history was pretty strange - but he was pretty much a loner, so who would have even bothered to ask?

                All the other bits and pieces were just strange, but hardly impossible. And truth is always stranger than any fiction.

                •  Surprisingly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  labwitchy

                  the FBI really did get up in people's business quite a bit.

                  It was entirely too easy to lose a govt job if a relative was involved in the civil rights struggle, for instance.

                  It was a part of the Red Scare and cost many people their jobs, and kept many others with their heads down, so as not to be perceived as "Communists."

                  No computers, no problem. They made shit up, if they wanted to, and just kept oceans of nonsense in files-- ask somebody who has managed to get theirs through a FOIA request.

                  There was such fear in those days, seriously. And that's why I can't help but marvel at Oswald's history.

                  I must be dreaming...

                  by murphy on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 08:52:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Jeez, give it a rest already (0+ / 0-)

              There was no "magic bullet". This has been conclusively proven to the point where an almost identical shot was fired under simulated conditions (same distance, same angle, same make of weapon, and a bullet from the same batch fired at two human-analog targets of the right sizes and positions) and almost exactly replicated the injuries and the damage to the bullet.

              The only difference was that the tumbling bullet, going through "Connolly's body" hit and broke two ribs instead of the one the original did, losing enough energy that it couldn't make the shallow wound in the...but it did bounce off it.

        •  Well (6+ / 0-)
          Hoover was a narcissistic, self-promoting thug with far more power than any one person should ever be allowed. Someday, perhaps, that movie will be made.

          Having seen J Edgar, I can't rightly say that Eastwood showed him in the best possible light, or outright lied about what a control freak Hoover was. In fact I was pleasantly surprised. The movie is a balance... it shows what a freakishly paranoid "self-promoting" power hungry person Hoover was, but also makes him human. Not sympathetic... I didn't walk away from the movie feeling sorry for Hoover, I walked away from the movie feeling like he was a frightfully powerful man who was probably such a control freak BECAUSE he had other issues in his personal life that molded him. Not an excuse by any means for the shit he did, but well... at the end of the day we are all human and we are all molded by our upbringing and experiences and shortcomings.  

          I think you should go see the movie before you pass judgement on it. I think this is probably as close as we're going to get to having "that" movie made. I don't think you will be quite as angry you think you will be.

          As a stand-alone movie, I really enjoyed it, and I think DiCaprio's performance was Oscar-worthy.

      •  less than half of Americans believe in... (25+ / 0-)

        ... evolution.

        There are the truthers and birthers, and thissers and thatters
        (all of those people are madder than hatters!:-)

        The presentation of fictions in our culture comes with much more emotional charge than the presence of facts, and the brain organizes narrative memory based largely on emotion, so the fictions get plugged into where the facts should reside in memory.  

        The only way to truly change that is to get rid of "historical fiction" as a medium of dramatic narrative in the culture, which isn't going to happen.   And unscrupulous people will continue to take advantage of it.  

        Pragmatically the best we can do is to try to have facts catch up with fiction, and keep waging the battle for facts on all fronts.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 04:11:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good Points... (10+ / 0-)

          which makes pointing out this almost unnoticed item worth while.   I didn't even put the meaning together until the next day.

          Be sure to read the link to the conversation between Hoover and LBJ.  It shows the men in natural conversation, what they actually believe about the assassination.

          It's so natural that when they talk about Ruby, they use his actual name, which I found out is Rubinstein.  Hoover had no doubt about the sequence of events, three shots from Oswald's riffle, which Hoover had already confirmed from the actual gun was possible.

          These were no conspirators, but responsible officials attempting to calm a frightened nation and get to the absolute truth.   I consider Oliver Stone rather reprehensible for foisting this on the public, but he made a good buck, which is the American way after all.  

        •  I think that up to 80% of Americans (15+ / 0-)

          reject some or all of evolution. It's shocking until you realize just how ignorant Americans have become, between our horrible educational system that has high schoolers peforming at levels that 6th graders are in Europe and other advanced parts of the world, the ever more trashy entertainment industry that passes for culture here, and news outlets that feed us prepackaged narratives that have little to do with reality. Most people simply aren't intellectually or morally equipped to overcome such challanges, and succumb to the mediocrity.

          A good friend of mine who's one of the smartest people I know, with a Phd in math, recently disputed the essence of evolution as I understand it (that life evolved over eons and originally emerged from non-life), on the basis that it doesn't sufficiently explain the existance of the universe. This was basically the Bill O'Reilly "theory" of evolutionary debunking. So Disappointing.

          One thing I've noticed as I get older is that people tend to "believe" what is easiest or most convenient for them to believe, not what makes the most rational sense even if they're presented with ample proof to the contrary. People are weak, lazy and, often, stupid and ignorant as well, and it's so much easier to believe in nonsense than to hurt one's head actually thinking. Which goes a long way towards explaining why Repubs keep on winning. A stupid peoples' country natually prefers a stupid person's party.

          I can't tell you how disappointed I am in most people.

          Also, as an aside, not all historical fiction or drama is bad. One of my favorite war films is Gettysburg, which gets the core facts of that battle right, and is a pretty good film if you're into that sort of film. The better ones are an excellent entry point into more sustantial research of a given historical topic. And I'm still waiting for the definitive Revolutionary War film or miniseries. John Adams was good, but too narrow in scope for my tastes (and too harsh on Hamilton IMO).

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:16:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A PhD in math (19+ / 0-)

            should be able to appreciate the fact that evolution doesn't need to explain the existence of the Universe; in fact, it would be wrong for it even to try. Evolution assumes the existence of the Universe, just as Euclidean geometry assumes the five postulates (albeit the fifth one a bit grudgingly.)

            The genius of Evolution, in fact, is that it assumes only three postulates: That life originated somehow; that as life reproduces, changes in form may appear via mutation; and that competition for resources results in the survival of some mutated forms and the extinction of other, pre-existing forms.

            Those three axioms are the whole of Evolution; all the rest is commentary. Since mathematicians prefer to use as few axioms as possible in developing proofs, your friend should be able to appreciate the beauty and power of Evolution better than most non-biologists do. Ha! Three postulates! Beat that, Euclid!

            Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

            by Nowhere Man on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 04:33:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most non-evolution believers have a problem (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              texasmom, 417els, labwitchy

              sharing the same event of 'life originated somehow' as all the other life.  They want their human life to be a separate pure creation not part of the slime of life.

              But I do appreciate your 3 axioms

              The genius of Evolution, in fact, is that it assumes only three postulates: That life originated somehow; that as life reproduces, changes in form may appear via mutation; and that competition for resources results in the survival of some mutated forms and the extinction of other, pre-existing forms.

              . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

              by 88kathy on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 07:03:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you're right (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                88kathy, nellgwen, mmacdDE, labwitchy

                but I've never been able to figure out why so many of the anti-evolution crowd believe we are being visited by extraterrestrials.  Why are they so willing to believe there is life on other planets and throughout the universe if it all started Here with one Adam and one Eve?

                Don't you know humans are special!  We have souls! The earth is the center of the universe and it was given to man to use up and spoil!!

                So...how does the ET stuff fit into that?

                The truth always matters.

                by texasmom on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 07:49:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I guess Mormons are into the planet thing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  texasmom

                  They get a planet if they are a good man.  Good women don't get planets is my understanding.

                  ET's are cleaner, somehow, than the primordial slime?

                  . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

                  by 88kathy on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 08:21:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  it is even a genre now, faction. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sailmaker, labwitchy

          Since Fox proves fiction sells as news, it is a small step to claim news is fiction

        •  Well, I don't believe in belief. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arodb

          No one should "believe" in evolution.  I see belief as a brother to faith, which IMO constitutes the rejection of reasonable doubt.  If it comes up, I proceed with the working assumption that evolution happens.  

          I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

          by tle on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 01:04:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I thought JFK was a crappy movie (10+ / 0-)

        But this -

        last polls showed less than 30% of American's share my view

        has no connection with this.

        which was made this low by Oliver Stone's film JFK.  

        You give Stone waaayyy too much credit.

        “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” ~ Charles Dickens, from Oliver Twist

        by ozsea1 on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:41:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the fact that (0+ / 0-)

          it is exciting to believe that there is some mystery surrounding the event is a larger driver.  Why believe in a JFK conspiracy? - because it is fun.

          "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

          by newfie on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:52:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it is not fun. It is horrific, and among the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, AllisonInSeattle, labwitchy

            greatest tragedies in American History, if not the greatest. The conspiracy is believable because rifle bullets do not throw skull fragments back in the direction of the shot's origin. It is really that simple. Now, who was involved?..., that will probably never be known.

            "Have a good time... all the time." -Viv Savage

            by The House on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 06:58:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except that they, you know, do (0+ / 0-)

              Almost every comment similar to the above are made by people who apparently get their ballistic knowledge from movies and TV, or are repeating "common sense" uttered by people with a similar lack of knowledge.

              The wonderful thing about conspiracy theories is that everyone can go off on their pet one and ignore all the other conspiracy theories out there, most of which use the exact same set of facts (real or imagined) and yet arrive at completely different conclusions.

              A few years ago, I realized my belief in the Kennedy conspiracy went all to hell when I saw the exact same datapoint used to prove two completely opposite conclusions. The only thing they had in common was the argument that they disagreed with the historical version of events.

              So one day I sat down and started collating conspiracy theories. And when I was through, I counted approximately 14 alleged shooters firing from 5 different locations, some of them acting alone, some of them in concert, organized and/or paid for by the Russians, the CIA, pro-Castro Cubans, anti-Castro Cubans, the Mob, the military, some of them framing the others, and Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy who wasn't there, a patsy who was there, a conspirator who shot, a conspirator who didn't shoot, the single gunman, one of a number of gunmen, or didn't touch a gun that day, all to fire three, four, and five shots.

              And I said "Really?"

              I've seen the exact same argument style used by creationists, Holocaust deniers, and believers in NASA faking the moon landing, and the 9/11 nuts. Everyone will go off on their pet theory, completely and utterly oblivious to all the other conspiracy theories floating around that supposedly explain the same set of facts.

              So, I came to the conclusion that I have one standard when it comes to conspiracy theories: before you start talking about how "the official story" in the wrong one, you better decide which of the alternate versions is the right one.

        •  My statement was accurate.... (0+ / 0-)

          The film JFK did lower the number to the figure I gave, which is actually below 30%

          He's responsible for the last 5 to 15 percent of conspiracy believers, based on polls before and after the film.

          •  Citations? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arodb, Joieau
            He's responsible for the last 5 to 15 percent of conspiracy believers, based on polls before and after the film.

            There's a rather substantial MOE in this blockquote.

            Color me as skeptical of this as I am in the single magic bullet hypothesis.

            “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” ~ Charles Dickens, from Oliver Twist

            by ozsea1 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 09:24:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oliver Stone is a ham-handed director (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arodb

        who has done far more harm than then the rather low level of artistic achievement of his films can excuse. JFK was an absurd fictionalized account of a self-obssessed, mentally ill New Orleans DA. Stone's filmic depiction of Vietnam was, to put it gently, a lie from beginning to end. He's a worthless liar.

        If I knew it was comin', I could pull a jet plane.--Reggie Jackson

        by LongTom on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 06:29:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's just difficult (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens

        for most people to believe in magic bullets. By including that blatant absurdity in their report, the Warren Commission ensured that a majority of people would view it as nothing more than a 'Blue Ribbon' coverup.

  •  I found the movie absorbing but imperfect. (10+ / 0-)

    Way too much time on the Lindbergh baby, not nearly enough time on his crimes against humanity and freedom.  Reasonably good on the closeted-homosexual-partnership angle, though I could have done without the two bloody lips during their one kiss.  

    Politically?  The most interesting part to me was being reminded of just how radicalized the left wing was in this country during the twenties.   The movie makes much of a bombing at the home of the young Hoover's boss, head of the DOJ.   But it wasn't just the Attorney General who was bombed -- it was multiple simultaneous bombs, some targeted to senators and supreme court justices.  I mean, can you IMAGINE?  Think of the news hysteria when one loser puts explosives in his SUV.  If bombs went off all over the country in the homes and offices of top officials, we'd FREAK.  

    Yes, that pre-1929-crash, gilded-age society, wasn't so gilded for most, and people were ANGRY.   The Wobblies were big.  The Bolsheviks were across the pond.   And Hoover's machinations to enable the surveillance and summary deportation of "agitatators" even in the absence of any criminal conviction ... these were a big deal.  Pre-PATRIOT act, as it were.  Even Hoover's obsession with card-files of cross-referenced data were Total Information Awarenewss -- a comprehensive relational database of potential thoughtcrime, even in the absence of computers.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 03:44:08 PM PST

    •  Class warfare in earnest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triciawyse, arodb, Spaghetti Western

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      and I think OWS may be a genuine re-awakening.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 03:51:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That part was absorbing... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      The film referred to a private letter Hoover was given by the President (not sure which one) to allow him to make unwarranted searches.

      The official site should ad a resource with links to various elements of the film that describe validation if any.  Nothing wrong with a degree of poetic license, but separating fact from fiction would make this a more valuable work.

      Here's the home linkfor the film, which does have an historical time line that is useful

    •  I reviewed J. Edgar on Sunday DKos... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, arodb, AllisonInSeattle

      ...and found it very imperfect, for many of the same reasons as you.

      My review.

      We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned and brainwashed to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

      by Richard Cranium on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 04:22:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re the editing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Cranium, arodb

        I thought the constant cross-cutting from one era to another was, in general, a good idea.  Anything strictly chronological would have palled immediately.  In any structure so complex there is bound to be room for improvement -- but I like your notion of splitting the Nixon response to Hoover's death.  

        Something was seriously off in the pacing of his first scene with Robert Kennedy, too -- should have been much tighter.  

        The makeup on the older Tolson was intolerable -- horrendously distracting.  DiCaprio's was pretty successful.  Definitely a strong performance on his part.

        I'm glad I saw it, but not something I'd watch again.  I doubt your hopes for a directors cut will be realized.  Still, a span of history -- worked under eight presidents, imagine.  And though the lessons about the perils building a police state were indirect, they were there.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 08:58:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Other than that, ARODB, how did you enjoy (8+ / 0-)

    the play?

    I get my history from history texts.  I go to see a movie for an altogether different experience.  

    I remember when The Deer Hunter came out.  Some critics took issue with some of the characterizations and events depicted in the film.  I just remember walking out of the theater feeling blown away and emotionally spent.  I cared about the characters, found the story riveting, and the acting compelling.

    My understanding of the Vietnam War, however, came from books, serious reportage and documentaries.

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

    by Keith930 on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 02:57:47 PM PST

  •  How was DiCaprio? I always like his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pot, nellgwen

    performances.

    Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

    by chicago minx on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 02:59:40 PM PST

  •  and, and, clint eastwood made some great movies (4+ / 0-)

    but not as Director. Everytime he makes a movie its got some horrible cliche, or predictability.......

    Je regretez tout. How's me French?

    by Mark B on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 03:05:09 PM PST

    •  his only good roles (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb, AmyU

      are in the Sergio Leone Westerns.

      It seems to me Eastwood, in his early roles, more or less transposed the character of the Man with No Name into a modern setting (the Dirty Harry films) without understanding the context which that character inhabited.

      Leone's Westerns are lively, humorous, and highly entertaining. There is no moralizing--they portray humanity in all its guises, especially in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Leone has a great affection for bandits, outcasts--those on the fringes of society.

      Eastwood's own movies express a much more simplistic, black and white view.  Unlike Leone, his films display no real affection for the disenfranchised or outcasts. They are seen as criminals, as a threat to society.

      In some films he's more or less arguing open that a tough, strong lone vigilante is justified in doing whatever it takes to defend civilization against encroaching chaos and moral decay. It borders on fascist, to my mind.

      That's not what the Man With No Name represents at all--he's no more civilized, no more a role model or authority figure, than the men he kills. But Eastwood fundamentally misunderstood the character and sees him as some kind of moral ideal to be emulated and looked up to, a pillar of society.

      Even in some of his later films, such as Mystic River, the idea that vigilantism is permitted, even necessary for a healthy society, reemerges, albeit in a more muted form.

      None of this would matter if his movies were enjoyable. But they're just bad: often murkily lit, poorly edited, and worst of all, dull. I fell asleep watching Unforgiven and have not felt the need to watch another all the way through.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 03:55:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On Mystic River... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timothy J

        As I recall, though, the vigilante killed the wrong man.

        The suitor for his daughter - that the vigilante disapproved of, BTW - apprehended the real killer and turned him in.

        Other than that, the end of that movie was disppointing.  I like Sean Penn as well, but there was serious DeNiro-esque mugging going on.  Enough for me to have passed on him for Best Actor.  Probably a makeup call for an earlier snub.

        Are you sure the final nail in the coffin of our democracy didn't happen with the Bush Bank bailout? Maybe Obama's had a bit more on his plate than you realize. Sooo...why didn't YOU vote in 2010?

        by etlingjm on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:48:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i find your comment absolutely bizarre. (0+ / 0-)

        absolutely.
        bizarre.

        in fact, i think i disagree with almost everything you've said, other than that, yes, Leone's films have humor, and yes, he has affection for bandits and outcasts. (there certainly is some moralizing in TGTGATU -- though it comes from a sympathetic humanist perspective, not an authoritarian anti-human evangelical perspective.)

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:19:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hereafter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        texasmom

        I suspect Hereafter may reflect a new exploration by Eastwood into the meaning of life.  It wasn't a film I would expect from a law of the jungle type.  But then, most people don't really consider the concept of a meaning or purpose to life till the end is in sight.

        •  I still haven't seen that one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jagger

          but hope to sometime this winter.  I've found myself contemplating many of Eastwood's later films a long time after viewing them.  I think there is more than meets the eye, but don't know if that comes from the director or my own self.  I liked Gran Torino a lot more than Mystic River.

          I also admire his music composition.  What better way to add exactly what is needed to a film - and without words.

          The truth always matters.

          by texasmom on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 08:15:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bird & Million Dollar Baby (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, Bob Duck, DWG, DruidQueen

      were great Eastwood movies. IMHO. I've heard actors say that he gives them a lot of freedom, which may explain  why some reviewers have said that the Hoover flick had great acting but a lousy script.

    •  Given Eastwood's Rightwing influence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      I wouldn't give any weight to the political message of his films. Of course philosophers say that we (humans) see what we want to see in real events. It's a brain thing.

      "Wall Street Has Two Parties. We Need One Of Our Own." - #OccupyWallStreet sign

      by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:37:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about (0+ / 0-)

      Bird? I also liked the one where Clint plays a jewel thief who sees the president (Gene Hackman) kill someone. Now I can't remember if Clint directed that.

      Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon.

      by nellgwen on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 12:44:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's been in at least one trailer version, I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    think.

    In the film there is a call from an agent that JFK was shot, who responded when asked by Hoover if anyone knew about it, was, "No, only you." This is absurd, as the news of Kennedy's being shot was flashed around the world instantly, faster than any agent could have connected a call.

    I took it to mean the agent was joking that Hoover was responsible, not that he had 'dialed quickly'.

    •  Not exactly joking.... (0+ / 0-)

      but that this was the underlying meaning of the interaction.   As a joke, it wasn't funny or ironic.  

      But since this event is undocumented in any biography that I know of, and not chronologically possible, if it means anything its symbolic.

      The Calumny of my title is spreading this vicious belief, and including in a film about an actual person.    Did you listen to the recording of the two men that I linked.

      For me this dispels any conspiracy that these two men participated in.  

  •  Meh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    In the end, its just a movie.

    •  Like the movie JFK.... (7+ / 0-)

      which convinced millions of Americans that their president was killed by the man who was his vice president.

      Or perhaps like Birth of a Nation, that revived the KKK and caused a multi decade reign of terror against blacks.

      Sorry, "just a movie" doesn't work for me.

      •  Yep. Just like the movie JFK (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dougymi, kurt, ozsea1, JeffW, DruidQueen

        People who believe that kind of thing are, well, people who are gonna believe that kind of thing.  In the end, they don't care. About history.

        There is nothing you and I can do about it.  Well, one thing, really:

        simply stress it ain't history.  It's entertainment.

    •  True. But it's worth reading Gramsci's view... (23+ / 0-)

      ...about who controls the levers of cultural reproduction (read:media) being as crucial to society's well-being as who controls the means of production. Well-made movies have a gigantic impact on our worldview, our "conventional wisdom," our relationship interactions. Don't believe it? Let me promote my "Savages and Sidekicks" Part I and Part II about the images of American Indians in film.

      The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 03:29:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hello MB (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arodb, Meteor Blades

        Good to see you here. I trust you are doing well.

        I've read Gramsci. And found him lacking. For his time and even more now.  The media is the most market driven, well, market, that I am aware of.  In that way, the media reflect peoples tastes much more than the other way around.

        •  Correction (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arodb, ozsea1, kaliope

          the media reflect peoples tastes, prejudices and world view much more than the other way around.

          Anyway, it goes to century old question of art imitating life imitating art....

          •  Well, yes, there is, of course, a circle here... (10+ / 0-)

            ...But people are not born with these prejudices. They are imprinted with them. Once upon a time, the Church (intentionally capitalized) was the main medium of this imprinting. Now kids too young to talk are watching Lady Gaga — among other things — on IPhones (as my grandson started to do when he was 11 months). That has an impact. I don't disagree that it is self-reinforcing.

            The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 03:47:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  True, they reinforce existing beliefs... (7+ / 0-)

          which can lead to a circular vicious cycle.   Our depiction of the military, from the time I was a child during WWII,  has always been of thrilling excitement.   And there are those who love such activities, in fact, the current paradigm of academic psychology, positive psychology, was co founded by a man who first focused on rock climbing.

          When adventure and heroism are merged in the zeitgeist it has consequences, such as the perpetuation of our Military industrial complex and our current wars.

          I wrote about in my previous two diaries here.   The best work I have ever done with no readership!

        •  the show "24" was an example (19+ / 0-)

          of what MB describes.

          It was highly critically lauded, and quite popular. On the other hand, its creator did not bother to hide his conservative views, and the show was actually cited, by well-known conservative commenters, including Ann Coulter, in the debate over torture.

          The "ticking time bomb" argument--that in case of emergency, torture is needed to get information quickly-- came straight out of 24. And this was how the actual national discourse on torture was conducted: on the basis of a TV show.

          There was a particular scene which sticks in my mind. A federal agent is in a hotel which has been sealed off to prevent the escape of a lethal virus. Someone panics and attempts to run and break the quarantine. Without hesitation, the agent shoots him in the back. Twice.

          No verbal warning, no warning shot. Didn't even bother shooting him in the leg. Not one shot, even. Two kill shots.

          That scene wasn't just entertainment. It was making an argument--a very carefully articulated one--about how we should defer unquestioningly to authority figures for the sake of our own security, or pay the price.

          It's rarely as blatant as that, but examples are everywhere in our society.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 04:08:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Long after the scene you describe is forgotten... (9+ / 0-)

            the viewer will remember the fear of mass pandemic, and how this was prevented by someone who ignored the rule of law.

          •  hell... it was cited by a Supreme Court justice... (7+ / 0-)

            a man who should know better.

               

            "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.
                "Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

                "So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

                "I don't care about holding people. I really don't," Judge Scalia said.

                Even if a real terrorist who suffered mistreatment is released because of complaints of abuse, Judge Scalia said, the interruption to the terrorist's plot would have ensured "in Los Angeles everyone is safe." During a break from the panel, Judge Scalia specifically mentioned the segment in Season 2 when Jack Bauer finally figures out how to break the die-hard terrorist intent on nuking L.A. The real genius, the judge said, is that this is primarily done with mental leverage. "There's a great scene where he told a guy that he was going to have his family killed," Judge Scalia said. "They had it on closed circuit television - and it was all staged. ... They really didn't kill the family."

            globe and mail via sullivan

            A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

            by dougymi on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 05:51:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  chicken & egg (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arodb, Meteor Blades, shaharazade

          The two dynamics appear to circularly reinforce each other.

          Media content can succeed by intersecting with a popular trend at just the right point in the popularity curve of that trend.  This prompts much frenetic activity on the part of various media executives to find the trends and the target points.  

          And conversely, media also looks for trends to follow and capitalize on as far as possible.

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 04:23:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My perception hasn't been that "the media" is (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nowhere Man, arodb, Jagger, orlbucfan

          "market driven" but rather driven by what the media owners think will sell, as well as what they decide to sell.

          If a story with a sensational angle comes along, the media (news, movies, publishing, etc) will exploit that sensational angle (even if it is not true, later proven untrue, or simply exaggerated out of all proportion).

          If an event comes up from which the media wishes to earn money, that event becomes their news. It is repeated endlessly on every outlet. Personalities are paraded. Stunning/ shocking videos are shown. etc.

          There are countless stories that people really don't care about - the market doesn't care about - but the media frenzy is employed to drum up interest.  Frenzies don't care much about facts or reality - they are invented.

          And so the media does more than one thing - reflect the market - they also mold the market to further their profits and their motives.   The inter-connectedness of "the media" in all its forms is a fascinating story of personal relationships, of massive amounts of money, and of utter cynicism. They will manipulate, manage, distort and even lie simply to increase their profits... and, yes, to push their image of "the way things are" or "the way things should be" onto a gullible and generally mindless public.

          I guess I have to agree more with MB than your perception, but that's why we all have individual minds.  I disagree that the media is simply a mirror.  The media is more a reflection of the wealth and power that media owners wield.

          What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

          by YucatanMan on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 11:05:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The truth about America has never been (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7, arodb, YucatanMan, nellgwen

            pretty. One human population or another has always been exploited as if they were cattle on the range. When Dubya was dubbed "all hat, no cattle," it meant he was an ineffective person. Which, in retrospect, we can probably be grateful for.  Effective mean-spirited bastards are worse than the bumblers.

            People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

            by hannah on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 01:53:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  shape political climate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan
            And so the media does more than one thing - reflect the market - they also mold the market to further their profits and their motives.

            And one increasingly obvious motive is to shape the political climate to their benefit.  FOX is the most obvious example but there is much across the media spectrum in which political goals are the prime motive under another veneer.

        •  Yes, it's market driven (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arodb

          but we all have certain hard-wired instincts that transcend our politics.

          Want to make a political movie that will sell? Start by using sex and/or violence as your hook. (Gossip and intrigue work pretty well too.) On that foundation, you can layer on any kind of political agenda that you want. It's pretty much a guarantee that most of the audience won't even notice, as long as you don't overdo it.

          (To be totally clear: I'm not endorsing this formula; I abhor it. But it exists, and it works.)

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 04:44:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  So was Blackboard Jungle. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, texasmom

      If you don't think movies carry enormous cultural weight, you haven't been paying attention for the last 75 years.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:13:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  there's a potential progressive narrative here: (5+ / 0-)

    That Hoover was a gay man in a position of enormous public responsibility and exposure at a time when the culture was deeply prejudiced about homosexuality, is a powerful narrative as it is.  

    And it does much to explain some of the excesses that marked Hoover's career.  The result being, Hoover would have been less controversial and potentially more successful, had the culture been less prejudiced and he & Tolson could have lived a happy married life an an unbiased society.  

    As it is, the fact that the FBI HQ is named after him, is a perhaps unintentional first case of an important federal building being named after a gay man.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 04:33:37 PM PST

    •  Credit Dustin Lance Black (8+ / 0-)

      as screenwriter, who wanted to illustrate the impact that the closet had on Hoover.  Listened to a good interview that Michaelangelo Signorile did with Black on OutQ this past week.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but Black's main thrust is how Hoover craved power and public adoration because intimate love was forbidden to him in his times.  I look forward to seeing it.

      "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." - Leonard Bernstein

      by outragedinSF on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:29:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i think that's too convoluted. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        outragedinSF, arodb, nellgwen

        The idea that Hoover "...craved power and public adoration because intimate love was forbidden...." is too convoluted, and doesn't pass Occam.

        The much simpler explanation was that he used the power of his office as a threat against anyone who might have threatened to out him.  Power vs. power, mutual deterrence.

        He & Tolson apparently had more than enough private time together to have had a satisfying love life.  

        What was forbidden to Hoover & Tolson was to express their feelings in public, and the public respect for them as equal members of the society.  That by itself can be a terrible pain, but not sufficient to motivate the kind of paranoia and proactive defenses that Hoover put up to protect himself.

        Hoover's major successes that turned the "Bureau of Investigation" into the modern-era FBI, could be seen as a manifestation of the "over-achiever syndrome" that is characteristic of oppressed minorities.   Look at our great artists, musicians, scientists, athletes, engineers, and so on, and you find a numeric over-representation of various minorities: blacks, Jews, Eastern Europeans, Asians, Latinos, and so on, and gays & lesbians included.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 11:16:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, once he had the power, but why to begin with? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nowhere Man, arodb

          You say: "The much simpler explanation was that he used the power of his office as a threat against anyone who might have threatened to out him."

          True enough, but what was the hunger that got him there in the first place?  I don't think it's convoluted at all to say that he overachieved and consolidated power to fill the hole that public society never could.  To say that he and Tolson had a "satisfying love life" assumes that they were A-OK with the closet and had no imposed shame, which I find very hard to believe, particularly in that age.  A gay couple in the 40's and 50's could not be fully "satisfied" because they could not be out.  Shame was their constant companion, and Hoover then used the power of his office as a threat, as you say.  Occam indeed.

          "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." - Leonard Bernstein

          by outragedinSF on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 11:31:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  what got anyone anywhere? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            outragedinSF

            Ambition for one thing.  Young guy working for government, wanting to get ahead, and hoo-boy did he ever.  Whether he fell in love with Tolson before or after, I don't know, and whether he was ever comfortable with himself, is probably a secret he took with him to the grave.  

            But the key parts of the narrative from the progressive perspective are that he was a gay man with a stable partner who managed to build a tiny little government bureau into a world-class law enforcement agency, while struggling to protect himself from the deepest bigotry of his time.  

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 09:57:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Ah those wacky conspiracy theories (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, Joieau, nellgwen

    nothing could be more straightforward and humdrum, entirely too predictable to rise even to the level of boring than the single-bullet theory, which all perfectly reasonable people accept because it is the only way the physical evidence allows Oswald to have acted alone:

    According to the single-bullet theory, a three-centimeter-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter rifle bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh. If so, this bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone. The bullet was found on a gurney in the corridor at the Parkland Memorial Hospital, in Dallas, after the assassination. The Warren Commission found that this gurney was the one that had borne Governor Connally.[2] This bullet became a key Commission exhibit, identified as CE 399. Its copper jacket was completely intact.

    What could be more reasonable than that?

    By the way, I've had a problem with  that loooong before I ever heard the name "Oliver Stone".

    If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:03:13 PM PST

    •  Not quite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb

      It's enormous, but I highly recommend Vincent Bugliosi's book on the Kennedy assassination.  There is a huge amount of misinformation about the assassination, and Bugliosi treats it all in exhaustive detail.

  •  FDR is a God for the left, and for a lot of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, arodb

    people, for no particular reason other than myth and the fact that he was a more effective and more credible President than Hoover, in depression times.

    The right has long been out to deflate that myth. This movie and another recent movie regarding Roosevelt's relationship with an old family friend, Miss Suckley (I believe), are part of that attempt.

    At the same time the right wants to dismantle Social Security, which wasn't initially FDR's idea but he took credit for it.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:15:23 PM PST

    •  I'd say there's more to it than "no particular (16+ / 0-)

      reason," but that's just me.

      It wasn't only "the left" who idolized him and were grateful for his leadership during the 1930s. In fact, the left wasn't happy with him at all at the time.

      My grandparents always spoke reverently of FDR, having lived through the depression by the skin of their teeth.  Without his programs, a lot of people simply wouldn't be here today - their ancestors having died unfed during the Depression.

      No man is perfect, but his policies were the right policies for the time, as they could be very valuable for our time.

      What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

      by YucatanMan on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 11:13:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, shaharazade

      you can't deflate anything by claiming someone is a lesbian. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being homosexual.

    •  Ummm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nellgwen, Julia Grey

      Other than reading Eleanor's stupid letter a couple times in the movie, nothing negative is said about FDR, and really... since the letter is read during Hoover's bullshit narrative (the lies he was telling the biographer that Clyde later reveals to the audience as having been bullshit), we can't even walk away knowing for sure that Eleanor was lesbian. Even if we did, that had precisely zero bearing on FDR himself, who was hardly mentioned other than that Hoover felt FDR wanted to get rid of him like all the other presidents did.

      Short version: this movie had little to no concern for FDR, so it's not out to "deflate that myth" on behalf of the right.

  •  "law enforcement became tantamount to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb, ER Doc, raincrow

    scientific community"  This resonates with me as I watch a true crime cable show where the putative investigating detective reviews a past case.  What struck me was his constant reference to the "homosexual community" and "common homosexual practice", which seemed so Joe Friday.
    Long and short, guy is found murdered in park.  He has a sanitary napkin in the front of his pants.  Detective mournfully intones "wearing a sanitary napkin in the groin is common homosexual practice to enhance appearance of large genitals"  Huh?  The wife said it was because of partial urinary incontinence so napkin was for seepage.  Detective intones that there are no medical records for this condition.
    Next we see police performing sweeps of the park, "arresting" gays on the basis of the napkin.  (gays are easy to identify I guess, by the mark on their foreheads?)
    i changed to cartoons at this point but the imprimatur of  law enforcement gave the impression that this investigation was based on forensic science when it appears to me that a single detective was filtering the "evidence" and what is evidence through the filter of his own prejudice.
    This seems a microcosm of the myth Hoover created and nurtured (though that now it appears he violated the law with the same gusto that Capone did)    

  •  Whether there was official mendacity (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, arodb, Jagger, shaharazade, Joieau

    in the JFK assassination isn't really the point.  The point is that public officials have been and continue to be exposed as mendacious in the performance of their official duties and that's what undermines public confidence in their government.  That politicians lie is a given and because it is accepted as a matter of routine, there are no negative consequences for doing it.
    It used to be considered appropriate for medical personnel to lie to patients "for their own good." Children are lied to "to protect them." Law enforcement lies to "catch the bad guys" and it used to be the accepted standard that buyers should "beware" because, if they got cheated by cheating merchants, it was their own fault. American culture is built on a passel of lies.  Perhaps that was necessary at the start to promote immigration to a land of "milk and honey" that was actually fraught with natural and man-made hazards people had to be tricked into negotiating. The American dream was always more nightmare than the confidence men could admit. So, trickery became a habit and for at least one president, one of the perks of ruling.

    The reason we speak truth to power is because power relies on deceit. Vide the recent mendacity of Bloomberg and his robotic cops.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 01:45:12 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the fine diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, arodb, ER Doc, raincrow

    and for tipping me to that recorded conversation between LBJ and Hoover.

    This is our time. We can do this. We can change the world.

    by Simian on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 02:07:29 AM PST

  •  A better WWII movie... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb, ER Doc

    ... is Tora! Tora! Tora!  Had there not been a whole long list of screw-ups, the bombing of Pearl Harbor might not have happened.

    Tora! Tora! Tora! - Movie Trailer

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 04:19:08 AM PST

    •  I dispute that idea... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb, nellgwen
      Had there not been a whole long list of screw-ups, the bombing of Pearl Harbor might not have happened.

      More likely, had the military been more alert, the Japanese would have had their noses bloodied on December 7. The raid would have occured, but planes might have been in the air to meet them. The only other scenario, with the Navy sortieing its ships to meet the Japanese at sea before they got to Pearl Harbor would have probably meant the death of many more sailors and Marines, with complete loss of battleships that were eventually raised and rebuilt.

      But I do agree the Tora! Tora! Tora! is a much more accurate movie.

      As for J. Edgar, this is nothing new. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., was weekly paying tribute to Hoover in the old tv series The FBI.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:33:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of the things that fed into the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, arodb, nellgwen

    conspiracy theory was the sealing of the Warren Report for 20 years.  I didn't understand the reasoning then, and I still don't.

    How hard would it have been after his death,  for Connelly's family to allow the bullet that remained in his wrist to be removed and put to rest the conclusion that it was the same bullet that killed JFK?


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:08:32 AM PST

  •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7

    any thinking conspiracy theorists would bat an eye if neither Johnson or Hoover were in the loop regarding JFK's assassination. Any good plan would have steered well clear of two such public characters.

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:30:29 AM PST

  •  Eastwood was a Conservative Republican? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, DruidQueen, nellgwen

    Simplistic generalization can be pretty easy. Read "Conversations with Clint: Paul Nelson's Lost Interviews with Clint Eastwood, 1979-1983," where he discusses not just how "Dirty Harry" was misunderstood, but complains how the studio edited the anti-war messages out of "Kelly's Heroes" to keep it as a non-stop action movie, and his frustration with how people didn't get the underlying anti-war message in "The Beguiled." Eastwood certainly has his criticisms of Liberals of the early '70s, both in and out of Hollywood, mainly because of, what he felt, was the misunderstood reception of "Dirty Harry." He specifically addresses the assumptions that he is some kind of right wing nut. While I wouldn't call him a Liberal, and I am aware he ran for mayor of Carmel as a Republican, I certainly wouldn't call him a Conservative, even back in 1979.

    Regardless, it is an interesting read, as long as one can tolerate Rolling Stone interviewer Nelson's obsessive worshiping of all things Clint.

  •  I love that tape! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    Two facts to consider about the principles.  Without the murder, both of those saps would have been private citizens by February of 1964.  Neither one of them were smart enough to have been the organizing force behind it.  You have to look elsewhere although they were both used.  

    I don't see any point in trying to 'solve' this case anymore.  Everyone is dead.  Jack's memory is probably best served by the myth that was created after his death.  

    But I guess what sticks in the craw is the arrogance.

    What remains, this mix of the legend and the mystery is probably the perfect legacy.  

    •  The effect of the conspiricy theory.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      is that those who run the "system" the "establishment" which includes those at the top were complicit.   If Oswald had a small group of fellow nut cases it wouldn't change our view of the world.

      LBJ and Hoover are central to the condemnation of all organized power.   I realize the harm of the Military Industrial System, and they do terrible things, but they just didn't happen to kill the President.  Who knows, maybe if push came to shove they would have, but they didn't.

      •  I'm glad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arodb

        that you are so certain.  Must be nice for you.  But you seem to be personifying something inappropriately.  Those two were buffoons.  No one who was competent would have brought them on board.

        Still, I like the legend.  

        It leaves the whole thing to an amazing series of coincidences.  The hand of chaos.  Black magic rather than political intrigue.  New Orleans was always good for that.

        •  Truth is in fact stranger than fiction... (0+ / 0-)

          if someone had written a novel of Oswald's life, even the events that are not in dispute,  it would have been rejected as too far fetched.   Yes, he did live in Russia, learn the language, was a marine sharp shooter, was the single member of the fair play for cuba committee.  

          And he did happen to get the job looking down on the path of Kennedy's motorcade weeks before anyone had planed the trip to Dallas or even thought about it.

          You have to make this trip's itinerary, and those who planned it, part of the conspiracy.  

          Do you have any ideas who planned the trip and convinced JFK to take it in spite of warnings of violence, so that Oswald, and the accomplices could commit the crime?

  •  When you say you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb, Julia Grey

    "happen to be among the less than a third of the Americans who absolutely reject this...", do you reject the conspiracy on the parts of Hoover and/or Johnson, or do you reject that there was a conspiracy at all? Because the one thing that seems to very concretely show that there was a conspiracy is that rifle bullets do not explode skulls back in the direction of the shot's entry. It is very scientific that on a head shot like the one that killed JFK the entry would is small, as was the would on his forehead, and the exit would is an exploded fragmentation of the skull, as was the case in JFK's shooting. Case closed.

    Otherwise, it will be more interesting to watch this movie for your thoughtful diary. Well done.

    "Have a good time... all the time." -Viv Savage

    by The House on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 06:53:16 AM PST

    •  "Case Closed" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Julia Grey, seaprog, The House

      Happens to be the title of a major book that makes the argument, convincing to many, that Oswald was the lone shooter.

      That happens to be my own position.

      •  Just not possible. The fatal shot was very clearly (0+ / 0-)

        from the front. It's just simple ballistics. Rifle entry wounds on skulls are small and tight, just like the wound on JFK's right forehead, and the exit wound is large and fragmented, just like JFK's posterior cranial wound. It is the one detail that seems impossible to mistake. Of course, there are so very many details that, while less obvious are still much more than just a little suspicious.

        C'mon man! [or woman ;>)]

        "Have a good time... all the time." -Viv Savage

        by The House on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:14:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Backward motion of the head is from force of brain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb, The House

      tissue, etc. coming out the front.

      Because the one thing that seems to very concretely show that there was a conspiracy is that rifle bullets do not explode skulls back in the direction of the shot's entry.

      The bullet was accompanied on its way out of the front of the skull by brain matter, blood and skull fragments, i.e., additional mass. Thrusting mass from the skull in one direction pushes the head back in the OPPOSITE direction.

      For every action (mass, energy, direction) there is an equal and opposite reaction. Simple physics. More mass coming out the front (bullet + brain matter, bone, etc) than went behind (the bullet alone) = push to the back. The phenomenon's been shown in lots of "shoot at the melon" films on You-tube, etc. I think they're pretty easy to find.

      I don't know how people have not understood this for so long, except perhaps that the mass flying forward was somewhat obscured by the highway sign in the Zapruder film, so it didn't make "sense" to people who didn't see it clearly.

    •  Bad fingers this morning... "wound," not "would" (0+ / 0-)

      Duh.

      "Have a good time... all the time." -Viv Savage

      by The House on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:09:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thriving? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    The radical Republicans who have taken over the party are thriving on hatred?  That is not the way I see it: in 90% of all recent state or regional elections, liberal/progressive issues or candidates have beaten at the polls by very large majorities their 'radical' right opponants.  Look at the Ohio vote, for
    example.
       While Mr Eastwood's input is up for question, and this is a valid and interesting diary, I vigorously disagree that the current status of right wing Republicans can be called "thriving."  Why, arodb, do you think the current gang of
    second raters is floundering so in seeking the Republican nomination for president -- no one very competent or well-informed wants to bother; it's obvious that 2012 is not a year for Republicans to win.  So, why bother?  
         J. Edgar Hoover was a very unsavory character. He was a twisted thinker, a blackmailer and a power-mad egotist. I know all this for certain and I have not even seen Mr. Eastwood's movie.  And I don't plan to!
         Have you actually seen it?

    •  Of course I saw it.... (0+ / 0-)

      I don't have enough chutzpa to have written this out of thin air.

      Obama is in trouble because of the economy, something presidents are always held responsible for, for better or for worse.  And few people predict any sizable up tic before the election.

      True, the referendums have shown progressive strength, but a Presidential election need not be so specific, as Obama won his on the vaguest of concepts, Hope and Change.

      Most predict it will be a very close election, INHO determined by external conditions more than candidates.

  •  Clint Eastwood a conservative Republican? (0+ / 0-)

    Republican, yes, but I think you are missing a very interesting part of the story.

    "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our values." Barack Hussein Obama

    by jem6x on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 09:46:07 AM PST

  •  "Gayness" ... Hoover's least interesting quality ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    "Was he or wasn't he?"  Who cares?

    I remember a time when gay male role models were scarce and secretive, there were paperback books "revealing" which notables were at least "thought to be."  As quaint and quirky as these books were, they were also the '50s and early  60s version of "It Gets Better."  Learning, at a tender age, that Alexander the Great, most of the Greek philosophers and all of the Italian Renaissance's painters were "like that" was both a comfort and an inspiration.

    These books didn't exist when J. Edgar was a kid. If young Hoover had been exposed to any commentary on homosexuals beyond the usual Sodomite Sin narrative, it probably contained the rubric: "Tyrannical in authority, Abject in subordination"  That, more than anything would have shaped his understanding of how to go about ACTING gay.

    I imagine he ever thought he'd have his place in the pantheon of "Men Like Us" ... along with Ernst Rohm, Roy Cohen and a number of other thoroughly disreputable and unpleasant men.  Remember: there was no "Community" at that time, only scattered "Freemasonries."  In that cultural environment, the information that any gay man had been effective, powerful  or important was a revelation to the millions who had been thinking  "I'm the only one."

    Being the grandchild of "1906 Revolutionaries" ... I grew up thinking of "Hoover" in the same light as Hamen, Hitler and Thomas Torquemada.  Told that  he was Queer as well as being Chief of the Secret Police I probably said something along the lines of "Well, then I guess he's not ALL bad" -- a concession I couldn't make about Roy Cohen.

    To this day, I think I'd rather see a film written for the popular market, showing the human side of Adolph Hitler than this "fair and balanced" treatment of J. Edgar -- whose name still defines the FBI and how to go about being a good agent.

  •  Hoover did call RFK on 11/22/63 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dhajra, arodb, just want to comment

    There may be reasons to criticize the historical accuracy in "J. Edgar", but the diarist here isn't doing a very good job of it. First (the link through to IMDB) he questioned the "love" letter from Elenor Roosevelt's friend, which has been reported for years. Then he questions Hoover having informed RFK by telephone that JFK had been shot. Surrounding details are changed, (RFK was at home, not the office) but Hoover did emotionlessly inform the Attorney General that the President had been shot:
    From "The Death of a President" by William Manchester (pp. 195-196). Manchester describes the phone call where J. Edgar Hoover called to inform Bobby Kennedy that his brother had been shot.

    Ethel held out the white receiver. She called, "It's J. Edgar Hoover."
    Robert Kennedy knew something out of the ordinary had happened; the Director never called him at home.
    The Attorney General identified himself.
    "I have news for you. The president's been shot," Hoover said tonelessly.
    There was a pause. Kennedy asked whether it was serious.
    "I think it's serious. I am endeavoring to get details," said Hoover. "I'll call you back when I find out more."

    If you want to criticize Eastwood's scholarship, I suggest you brush up on your own first.

    •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pippintook

      You wrote this before I could. I was actually surprised by how accurate a lot of the details were in the film.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 01:18:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your addition has been added to the diary..nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  he hasn't read much about (0+ / 0-)

      the formation of the warren commission either.

      assignment oswald by the fbi agent assigned to oswald in dallas pre-assassination is one view that testified before the commission with many of them absent, asking irrelevant questions, he called it a joke.

      hoover and angleton were the investigative arms of the warren commission.

      dulles had been fired by jfk

      truman wrote an op-ed piece, he started writing it 13 days after the asssassination, saying the cia is out of control and needs to be stripped of its operational arm. its rather hard to find, it was removed from later editions of the post, but the truman library will send you a copy.

      oswald the worlds biggest loser was a radar operator at air force base in japan that launched u2 flights over russia, the number one intelligence asset of the cia.

      nothing to see here.

      war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

      by just want to comment on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 09:06:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looking forward to view the film (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    I consider Edgar a traitor to America. The guy was a full blown racist. Edgar clearly was a fascist.  

  •  I didn't like J. Edgar Hoover (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen

    when he was alive and well, so I sure won't waste time and $$ watching some film about him. Welcome back, Meteor Blades! It's great to read your thoughtful comments again.

    Since when have greed, stupidity, and downright lying become virtues? Since Reagan, that's when!

    by orlbucfan on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 12:22:31 PM PST

  •  I want to see the movie about (0+ / 0-)

    J. Edgar's secretary, Helen Gandy. The one that locked herself in a room and shredded all J. Edgar's files.

    Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon.

    by nellgwen on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 01:21:10 PM PST

  •  I have to disagree (0+ / 0-)

    As someone else above already wrote, the letter and the phone call have been reported by historians and others for years now.

    More than that, though, the film is pretty explicit in stating that Hoover cannot be considered a reliable source in the film. He lied to everyone, including himself.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 01:25:50 PM PST

  •  Points well taken, but I seem to recall that JFK's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey

    death was publicly announced about 20 minutes after the fact.  Apologies if I recall incorrectly.  And I believe RFK was informed by Hoover before the media announcement.

    Why do Democrats still persecute gays? Is a vote for Democrats a wasted vote? I voted for change. Where is my vote?

    by SGWM on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 02:17:02 PM PST

  •  My opinion of Clint Eastwood went into (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    the toilet after release of his film about the battle for Iwo Jima. To quote the 2006 review written by Dan Glaister published in the Guardian UK, "Nearly 900 African Americans fought on the Japanese island but not one appears in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-tipped film."

    In point of historical fact several African American marines were in the group of soldiers who first initially struggled to raise the American flag over the island, and a photo was taken essentially at the time to record the event. However, a white photographer/correspondent who later saw the photograph of the first flag raising ordered it re-staged, this time using only white troops. Unfortunately the re-staged photograph became the "official" photograph that was sent back home to America cited and feted as the photo of the initial historic flag raising.

    Eastwood indulged his normal sense of bigotry by preserving this decades old racialist lie when he completely white washed all of the Marines on the island in his film version of the battle for Iwo Jima. Whereas my saintly godmother's ONLY son, a young very astute african american Marine was killed during the battle for Iwo Jima; my sense of outrage against this racialist Hollywood producer is beyond expression and far exceeds my feelings of deep seated contempt for all things Eastwood.

    •  You must be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb

      British or from a British associated Caribbean island. We don't really use the word "racialist" in the US, but "racist".

      And while he might have/did leave out the African American Marine, he did leave in the Native American Marine (Who couldn't handle the notoriety).

  •   I stumbled onto this site (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    after reading your diary:http://www.maryferrell.org/...

    I believe what Oswald said before he was shot by Jack Ruby:
    "I'm the patsy"

    Why would Jack Ruby have killed Oswald? I read somewhere that he was dying of cancer and wanted some money for his family so he was a hired gun. If so, whose hired gun?

    It's hard to believe that Oswald was a sole gunman or maybe even one of the gunmen.
    (Just watch the Seinfeld episode about Keith Hernandez which uses a gimmicky plot to parallel the "absurdity" of the lone gunman "theory".)

  •  Thanks arodb for an interesting, critical (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    review.
    You have convinced me that I don't want to see this (flaky?) conspiracy film  (even though, as I wrote in another comment, I tend to believe that Oswald was set up and there was more than one gunman).

    The subject could be covered better, perhaps, by documentary film maker Ken Burns,  were he interested in laying out what he could find on the subject.

  •  you gotta be kidding (0+ / 0-)

    if you think that tape shows how hard they tried to make an impartial commission to get to the the truth.

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 04:23:06 PM PST

  •  Fascinating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb
    this actual recorded conversation

    What a fascinating conversation.  I listened to it twice and will go back and listen to it again.  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 05:47:31 PM PST

  •  Hey Arodb (0+ / 0-)

    I got this Bridge in Brooklyn at an amazing discount.... sheesh...

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 06:33:13 PM PST

  •  Thoughts on Clint... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arodb

    Clint's politics (and his films) are far more complex than
    the usual "conservative vs. liberal" BS.

    I think he's a great filmmaker that has grown exponentially in the last few years.  From Mystic River (which was more of a tragedy than a pro-vigiliante film as some have said here) through Hereafter (which i thought was sad, haunting, and beautiful), he's been astounding.  

    If he's so conservative, why did many conservative Republicans criticise him for Million Dollar Baby?  

    Invictus is his only recent film I didn't care for, mainly because the outcome of the match is predictable, and the match takes up a lot of screen time.  On the plus side, it's a fascinating film about South Africa, and Freeman and Damon are very good.  

    His worst film is Pink Cadillac.

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