May 23, 2024

Source: Bigstock

Reading a male nitwit interviewing an actress in the Bagel Times reminded me of the manner of a slave while addressing his master. The nitwit writes that “whenever my turns of phrase or tossed-off hand gestures caught her fancy, she’d repeat and refine them, doing them better than I did myself.” Gee, a blonde actress refining the nitwit’s turn of phrase, that’s earth-shattering and really something to behold. An ass-kisser type, he’s perfect for the Bagel Times and for interviewing dumb blondes.

The nitwit describes the thespian as a warrior, a phrase that must have Achilles squirming in his grave. The “warrior” then enlightens us with a phrase that would have Papa Hemingway squirming with envy: “I feel most alive on a set when I can perfectly match an emotion to something technical and kind of become this blend between organic and machine.” Nurse, help! Are these people serious? I would feel most alive if the Bagel Times hired an editor who’d spike such crap, but then the Times wouldn’t be as phony, would it? It gets better when the “warrior” claims, “I want to be put in a situation where I would have no choice but to grow.” Gee, that’s an immortal line, this time it’s F. Scott Fitzgerald who is churning with envy in his grave.

“It’s all antisocial garbage and puerile idiocy.”

I could go on, like when “My analytical brain is firing in that way, I just feel alive and purposeful.” Actresses as well as actors are not known for original thought, probably because of the nature of their craft, interpretation. The nitwit interviewing Anya Taylor-Joy should have been less of an open-mouthed fan and more of an editor, but who cares? As I write, the humorless laughter trademark paroxysm of Kamala Harris reverberates as she uses the f-word in a speech in order to get her point across. “Kick the f—ing door down,” she extols. Harris makes Taylor-Joy sound like Demosthenes. Poor US of A, whatever happened to you to have such people as la Harris representing you?

This is an easy one to answer. American informality has turned into a crudeness and vulgarity contest by people who give the impression they never sat on chairs before. The whole culture has taken a deep dive, led by Hollywood and the dirt produced by the entertainment industry. It genuflects before celebrity and touts a phony “be kind” creed. A recent death in Paris of a man who hosted a TV show about books illustrates the difference. Books in France are the celebrities, and in a French universe, serious writers and intellectuals jostle ferociously for the public’s attention. Over here, numbskull celebrities jostle ferociously to get on TV and say incredibly stupid things on the air. Six million French watched the recently departed book host Bernard Pivot when he talked about books or interviewed writers. Over here I have no figures, but millions watch half-witted, inarticulate celebs being interviewed by self-abasement experts. The death of a book reviewer took up the front pages of even tabloid papers in the land of cheese, but over here it would have been covered mostly as an afterthought. Americans watch TV and commercials, hence they are overweight and unhappy. The French read books, pursue women, and pretend to look unhappy. There lies the difference.

Do I want Joe to turn into Marcel? Of course not, I’m only pointing out that good old Joe has turned into a Puff-Barbie type, half gangster, half girlie. Last week I watched two old favorites of mine, both black and white, both shot during the ’40s: I Remember Mama and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes. Both movies are about very poor Norwegian immigrants in San Francisco and in Wisconsin working hard but being happy to be in America. At the end of watching them I had the exact same reaction. Whatever happened to America?

I know, I know, life is not like the movies, but the movies are like life. In the films I just mentioned there was no artificial vulgarity, no dialogue with a constant f-word thrown in to show emotion; every scene was redolent with intelligence and perfect acting. Constant swearing in today’s movies only shows lack of talent. Swearing and screaming at the top of one’s lungs do not a thespian make. Acting today means being aggressive, foulmouthed, and demeaning to the audience. It’s all antisocial garbage and puerile idiocy. And it all derives from lack of talent. From Casablanca, Laura, and The Best Years of Our Lives to Mission: Impossible, what does that tell you?

Nowadays the moviegoing morons prefer the visible to exceed reality—ergo all that sci-fi, superhero, and excessively violent crap. They would never begin to comprehend the subtlety of Irene Dunne playing Mama, counting her pennies while encouraging her brood to love their new life in America, or Edward G. Robinson working hard on his farm and teaching his daughter the optimism that once was uniquely American. We have now regressed to the point of feeling only violence on screen and the f-word for emotion. Black rappers are the heroes, rapping about raping women and killing cops. It is the first time in history that the lowest common denominator has won in a white country of European origin. Good old Africa, we’re copying and hope to be like you anytime soon.


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