Sunday, July 29, 2018

No one Peter Bogdanovich knows is ever gay

Last week, I read Peter Bogdanovich's Who The Hell's In It.  Previously, he had published Who The Devil Made It -- a series of conversations with film directors.  In this collection, he's addressing actors.

Conversations?  The book is subtitled Conversations with Hollywood's Legendary Actors.  But they aren't all conversations.  River Phoenix and Marilyn Monroe are two that are more portraits.  You could add Anthony Perkins and Sal Mineo to that list.  You could add a lot of people to that list, in fact.

It's sometimes interesting -- often boring. Why boring?

Bogdanovich directed the film The Last Picture Show.  Three films he did after that are among my favorites: What's Up Doc?, Paper Moon and At Long Last Love.  After that?  I like Cher in Mask and I enjoy The Thing Called Love.

As a director, you might think he understands close ups.

Instead, when he zooms in, it's often to offer bland.  Everyone's this, everyone's that, everyone's the same.  Most of all, everyone's straight.

Yes, even Anthony Perkins who died of AIDS and who had multiple affairs with various men -- including the long running one with Tab Hunter that Tab documented in his own book -- is presented as straight.

"Four years later, Tony died.  Afterward, there was some talk about the AIDS question, of course, but who cared.  He was gone," he writes.

Perkins died in 1992.  The book came out in 2004.  Can you imagine anything more insensitive than what Bogdanovich wrotes?  "There was some talk about the AIDS question, of course, but who cared"? 

Sal Mineo is also a straighty.  Bogdanovich is thrilled that Sal got to keep his role in Somebody Up There Likes Me -- the role James Dean got for him, even after James Dean died.  And was replaced by Paul Newman.  Who was also Sal's lover though not in Bogdanovich's book.  Paul, of course, slept with many men and women -- including Anthony Perkins.  Anthony, of course, slept with men throughout his marriage to a woman. 

Bad enough how no one is ever gay.  There's also the fact that gay is so awful to Bogdanovich.  Not only is it a topic to be avoided and lied about, it's also the equivalent of a sickness, drug addiction.

Of River Phoenix:

Though River, like just about everyone in recent generations, had already fooled around a bit with drugs, My Own Private Idaho was the first time that substance-abuse played a large part in a character River portrayed.  There was homosexuality, too, and there were unsubstantiated rumors that River had been pursued to experiment in both areas a preparation for his role.  That would have been a rampantly misunderstood application of Stanislavki's "method."

First off, I'm guessing he means "pressured" and not "pursued" -- ". . . rumors that River had been pressured to experiment in both . . ." 

Second, rumors of River and sex with men predate My Own Private Idaho.  His sexuality was assumed to be fluid. 

But that's too much for Peter B -- for Bogdanovich, it's like using drugs.  He has a very homophobic attitude and someone around him needs to confront him on that.

They might also try telling him that women matter and including a tiny number in this book is ridiculous.  If The Last Picture Show is such a classic  (it's not one of my favorites), where's Cybill?

It would have killed him to include Cybill Shepherd?  He left his wife for her.  She starred in The Last Picture Show.  Why isn't she in the book?

She's also in Elaine May's classic The Heartbreak Kid and Martin Scorse's Taxi Driver.  I don't believe his Last Picture sequel, Texasville (1990), would have been made without Cybill's participation (she was then starring in Moonlighting).  She was also in his films Daisy Miller and At Long Lost Love (the latter of which is still being re-evaluated critically).

A book that makes room for actors Ben Gazzara, Boris Karloff, Jerry Lewis and John Cassavetes should certainly be able to find room for Cybill whom he happened to sleep with.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, July 27, 2018.

My name is Penny Evans and I've just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Vietnam
And I have two infant daughters, I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over but I think it's just begun

Today, some say the Iraq War is over.  It's not.  Some fools claim Barack Obama ended it. Yeah, and he closed Guantanamo Bay too.  (He didn't -- Iraq and Gitmo, just two of his many broken promises.  And, spoiler, he didn't end veterans homelessness either despite promising to do so.)

Kevin E. Schmidt (QUAD CITY TIMES) reports:

Although victory over ISIS has been declared in Iraq, American involvement there will remain necessary for years to come, according to Sen. Joni Ernst, because the United States cannot win the peace for the Middle East nation on its own.
“This is going to take a long time,” the first-term Republican senator said. “We’ve been there 15 years. We have a long ways to go yet. The United States must remain a partner of choice for Iraq as it develops into a young democracy.”
So until the United States is confident in the capacity and ability of Iraqi security forces to defend their country, a U.S. military presence will remain necessary to protect American interests, the Iraq War veteran told the United States Institute of Peace on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

And in a similar development, Tuesday Brigadier General Frederic Parisot held a press briefing in Baghdad and insisted "the Iraqi Security Forces continue to secure the country in order to prevent the resurgence of " ISIS.

They haven't done a very good job of that.  First, ISIS never left, it lost control of some cities but a terrorist organization doens't traditionally rule.  In terms of its primary goal (terrorism), ISIS has not been defeated and  has continued to terrorize Iraq.

Martin Jay (RT) observes:

After about three years of ISIS controlling almost a third of the country, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in December 2017 against the terrorist group, as well as declaring that the war was over. Analysts though, at the time, warned that many extremists had merely gone underground or had scattered, and would return. These warnings were not taken seriously, but in recent weeks, Western journalists in Iraq are reporting an alarming return to the battlefield, which is going to give Trump a number of sleepless nights, wrangling over a conundrum he alone is unlikely to resolve.
According to the Washington Post, the battle has shifted into a central zone of Iraq with ISIS now adopting more nefarious, if not theatrical, tactics, leaving many civilians saying that the declaration of victory was premature.
Over the past two months, dozens of people, including local government officials, tribal elders, and village chiefs, have been abducted and killed or ransomed by fighters claiming affiliation with the Islamic State,” the paper claimed recently. “Electricity infrastructure and oil pipelines have been blown up. Armed men dressed as security forces and manning fake checkpoints have hijacked trucks and robbed travellers, rendering the main Baghdad-Kirkuk highway unsafe for a period of weeks.
It’s a horrendous account of Iraq today, with ISIS adapting to new surroundings, and according to the Post, using more and more local people to help with their heinous work. The speed also is worrying some.

So the US leaves when?  According to Senator Ernst not for years.  According to Gen Parisot, not until ISIS is defeated.

The US war in Iraq continues.  Back to Parisot in Baghdad Tuesday:

Q:  Hi, sir.  Tara Copp, Military Times.

A few minutes ago you said whatever the price, you'll continue to fight until [ISIS] is defeated.  Could you define for us when will you know that ISIS is defeated?  What signs are you looking for to be able to then withdraw, stop providing the military support for this operation?

GEN. PARISOT:  Well, now we're still engaged in major combat operations.  And I won't -- I can't speculate, on when it's going to end.

We provide, you know, the best military advice for the political level, but basically, you know, as long as there is a military mission, I guess we are going to stay.

He can't speculate on when that's going to end.  He can't even say what signs would demonstrate success.
"This is going to take a long time."  John McCain was savaged in 2008 for such comments.  Today?  They probably won't even be reported or repeated by most.  "We have a long ways to go yet."


Because we won't allow the Iraqis to have self-rule.  We impose leaders on them.  They are an undeclared colony.  The US government and the Iranian government try to control Iraq.  Do you really think that, if Iraq had self-rule, they would repeatedly choose one person after another to be prime minister -- one person after another who fled Iraq and lived outside the country for decades?

Chickens who fled are suddenly going to make strong leaders?

Of course not, which is why the US keeps installing them.  Bully Boy Bush installed Nouri al-Maliki (based on the CIA profile that found Nouri to be extremely paranoid), in 2010 when Nouri lost re-election Barack Obama gave him a second term via The Erbil Agreement, 2014 is when Barack replaces him with Hayder al-Abadi.  Weak leaders who were chosen because they are weak.

And what do weak men do?  Lash out.  Thug Nouri made clear he was a thug in his first term.  It's been obvious that Hayder is a little thug himself though the western press has largely ignored it until Hayder's attacks on the protester this month.

Tom O'Connor (NEWSWEEK) reports: the US government admitted Thursday to killing at least 1,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria via bombings.  When US war planes are dropping bombs, reminder, that's a war.

And not only has ISIS not been defeated but it still holds territory in Iraq.  Despite Hayder al-Abadi claiming it was defeated -- even as he claimed that -- ISIS still held (and still holds) territory in Iraq.

Hayder al-Abadi wants a second term as prime minister.  The US government wants that too.

Will they get their way?

REUTERS reports:

Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani called for a government to be formed as soon as possible to tackle corruption and poor basic services.
In a Friday sermon delivered by a representative, Al-Sistani also encouraged the incumbent government of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to respond urgently to protesters' demands seeking better basic services and jobs.
"The current government must work hard urgently to implement citizens' demands to reduce their suffering and misery," Al-Sistani's representative said in the Shiite holy city of Kerbala.
Anger is mounting at a time when politicians are struggling to form a government after the May 12 election, which was marred by allegations of fraud that prompted a recount.

The elections were in May.  Next week July turns to August.  Still no prime minister-designate.  In 2010, Iraq went eight months before forming a government.  The way it is supposed to work is that elections are followed by the new Parliament meeting days after the ballots are counted and then they nominated a prime minister-designate (who then has 30 days to put together a cabinet or else the Parliament can name someone new).

Nothing is working in Iraq.  A lot of this dysfunction appears to have been designed by the US government.

If you are wondering why members of both parties just passed the largest defense budget since the height of the Iraq War, consider that much of it goes to defense contractors that spent $69 million lobbying Congress in 2017.

The dysfunction has been hugely profitable for many.  Planned dysfunction?

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