Saturday, October 14, 2006


There's more to life than war, taxes and politics - and a lot of it's more fun, too! That's why every WEEKEND, here at THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS, we post our opinions on some of the cultural things we're into, things we think you might also find entertaining, enriching, and stimulating. Good for "Rest & Relaxation" - "R&R".

Please check it out every week - and tell your friends. We just might turn you on to something cool. After all, the arts - ALL ARTS, not just fine arts - are a big part of what our liberty is for, and what we're fighting to defend!
Reliapundit: THE REVOLT
This is a memoir of the liberation of Palestine from imperial British rule and it's ascension to independent Jewish statehood by the brilliant and brave leader of the Irgun - Menachem Begin, (who later became president of Israel and the man who made peace with Egypt). The beginning of the book is especially significant - in terms of contemporary headlines, and because of the stories of Begin's time in Soviet concentration camps: these stories are heart-breaking and incredibly inspiring. And they're why I think everyone should read this book. Begin's rendering of this early part of his sojourn truly reveals the ineffable heart and soul of Zionism. (I will try to post an incredible excerpt later.) Begin dedicates this book - more or less - to a new creature born in the era following WW2 and during the war for Israeli independence - the fighting Jew. May this creature never disappear from the face of the Earth.
Gormless Norm' - PECKINPAH!
There's been a conspicuous absence of pro-American movies during the current war. What do we see instead? In Flightplan early on we suspect that Middle Eastern-looking men are the bad guys; when they're not, we're supposed to feel guilty for this. Syriana weaves a vague and silly Michael Moore plot which is best summed up simply as "U.S., boooo!" I got excited when I saw the first previews for Kingdom of Heaven. That lasted about 10 minutes, until I found out the movie was about noble Muslims defending the Holy Land from the crude, boorish, evil Christian crusaders, along with an absurd Rainbow Coalition that never existed in history. But it should have, according to Hollywood. Well, at least it got good reviews from Muslims. Everybody was happy under Islam. This is what Hollywood gives us. Compare this with Hollywood's contribution during WWII. Clearly, Hollywood needs to be drafted.

I liked the remake of Walking Tall they made with the Rock. Guy comes back from the war, things in his town are rotten, he picks up a 2X4 and cleans things up. We need more like that, but even more on point. As long as Hollywood doesn't seem capable of writing anything original anymore, here's the one film I would love for them to remake: Sam Pekinpah's Straw Dogs. Pekinpah has a reputation for making violent films, and this one is no exception. In fact, it is probably more violent than Wild Bunch, and more to the point it perfectly captures Pekinpah's philosophy of violence, as in, it's part of the world, and sometimes you have to resort to it. For anyone reading this blog, I don't need to explain how the various events in the movie are redolent in our current situation, and according the the views that most of us share. Simply, if you haven't seen it, go get it right now, and you will thank me.

Pauline Kael of the NYT called it a "fascist" movie. Pauline Kael is the person who expressed shock that Nixon had won, because "everyone she knew" voted for McGovern. Ha ha. Pauline Kael would probably be among the legions who call LGF "fascist." I think that's enough said. Just rent it, I'm not even going to give away anything about the plot. It has Dustin Hoffman. It's brilliant and has the best tension-build up ever, exploding in violence in the end. It's among my all-time top movies. The DVD is available in the Criteron collection. Oh yes, don't rent from Blockbuster, it will be the R version, make sure you get the unrated or original version.
Pastorius: What do you get when you mix the Who, MC5 and Aretha Franklin? You get one of the most rockin' bands of our time: The Bellrays:

Popinjay: De-Phazz
The past couple of years, I've really gotten into Trip-Hop which is a electronica or downtempo music that is a combination of jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop and whatever else you want to throw in the stew-pot. Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Zero 7 are just a few examples.

Recently, I've been listening to the De-Phazz album Death By Chocolate which features an outstanding track called "Online" that has some poignent lyrics for us Blogger types:
Well you've got to meet me online
Been disconnected for a long time
Well you've got to meet me online
I wanna download you for a lifetime
Reliapundit: Until next time: have fun: enjoy the things the enemy wants to outlaw.


Pastorius said...

Are you into Portishead? That's my favorite triphop band. I'm a big fan of triphop music.

Jim Rose said...

Yes, I am. I hope they can finally get that third album out.