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Posts Tagged ‘California’

Ben & Elaine

Source: Movie Zoom– Dustin Hoffman & Katharine Ross 

Source: The New Democrat Plus

I saw The Graduate for the fourth, or fifth time Sunday morning. ( Not exactly keeping count ) When I was killing time and waiting to meet a friend that I got together very early with on Sunday. My friend and I had this little minor debate going on whether, or not Anne Bancroft, who I think is the star of this movie, whether she is overrated in this movie. This movie, is Ann Bancroft’s defining role. She is known as Mrs. Robinson and for very good reasons. Because she played a beautiful, sexy, very cute, witty, intelligent, seductress who knew exactly what she wanted and what she didn’t want. And how to get what she wanted and stop what she didn’t want.

My friend and I, off an on, the last couple of weeks, have been discussing whether Anne is overrated physically, or not. I agree with my friend, that she’s not the best looking woman of the 1960s, or from her generation lets say. But I haven’t heard anyone suggest that she is. But she was a very cute, beautiful, sexy woman and a hell of an actress and her role and how she played it, is critical to this movie. It’s the Dustin Hoffman character, not the actor, but Ben Braddock, who I’m not impressed with. He’s just graduated from college with a college degree. And has no idea what the hell he wants to do with his life. He sort of has the personality of a hit man. Someone who speaks in very short if not one word sentences. Who prefers to be by himself, someone what emotionally distant and doesn’t show much if any emotion.

And that is pretty much what makes The Graduate work. A beautiful sexy cute witty intelligent woman, in Mrs. Robinson, who is not happy with her marriage and perhaps life in general. Who uses Ben Braddock, who is lost and doesn’t know where he’s going, to fill whatever void that she has with her husband. Which is physical attraction, attention, sex, the feeling that she’s still beautiful and sexy. Which of course she is, but perhaps her husband, played by Murray Hamilton, has lost something perhaps downstairs and up. But the thing is, the people around Ben, his family actually do care about him and want him to be happy and they along with Mr. Robinson, set up Ben with the Robinson’s daughter. Elaine Robinson, played by the beautiful and adorable Katharine Ross.

That is pretty much how this movie goes. Mrs. Robinson, doesn’t want Ben to date her daughter. She wants Ben as his sex partner and doesn’t believe Ben is good enough for his daughter. But the date goes on anyway and Ben at first tries to comply with Mrs. Robinson and intentionally makes the date horrible for Elaine and is distant the whole time and takes her to a strip club even. Great way to lose a date if that is your goal, but discovers that he’s been a real asshole, to be blunt about it. And that he’s really hurt Elaine who didn’t deserve it. And tries to make it up to her and they have a really good date after that.

Again, Mrs. Robinson, doesn’t want Ben with her daughter. To the point that she tells her about the actual affair that she had with Ben. And even goes to far and tells Elaine, that Ben raped her. Which of course didn’t happen. And Elaine dumps him and goes away for graduate school and Ben spends the rest of the movie trying to win her back. The first forty-five minutes of this movie, are very good and very funny. Mrs. Robinson, tries to seduce Ben two times and swings and misses. Ben, probably feeling way to guilty to take her up on her very generous offer. The third pitch, is thrown by Ben this time and he offers himself to her and invites her to a hotel. This is a great movie about people who aren’t very happy with themselves. And don’t know where they’re going until they get there.
Movie Zoom: The Graduate 1967 Official Trailer

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Neo-Leftist

Neo-Leftist


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

If the reason for UCLA or the State of California for firing Professor Angela Davis was because she threatened the administration at UCLA and called for mass-violence, etc, then that would be one thing and they would have real reason to fire her. But that wasn’t why she was fired, at least from everything that I’ve seen so far. She was back then at least a self-described Communist who was teaching philosophy at UCLA. Who was calling for the release of men that she saw as political prisoners in California state prisons.

The 1960s was a crazy radical time. Especially compared with the very conservative establishment status-quo decade of the 1950s culturally. And by 1968 or 69 and perhaps especially in California where radical leftist movements tend to get started, it was even more so. And it looked like the country might be falling apart over Vietnam and other cultural issues. The emergence of the New-Left that Professor Davis was obviously was part of is now on the scene. And they want to take America apart and create a different type of country. That is more collectivist and communitarian and even socialist and less individualistic.

1966 was the exception to this social revolutionary period in California. Where Mr. Status Quo Establishment Conservative Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California. And one of the first things that he does as Governor in 1967 is take on the campus radicals in California. And goes a step forward and takes on a radical professor in Angela Davis and has her fired at UCLA. California takes it a step forward than that and tries to make a criminal out of her and get her sent to prison. And charge her with a court shooting in the Oakland area that she wasn’t part of. When you take on the establishment, they can hit you back. Which is what happened to Angela Davis.

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img_0479Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Angela Davis should’ve never have been in jail, at least for what she was charged with here. Which was being involved in a Marin County court-house shootout in 1970. They had nothing on her other than the fact that she was legally involved and helping people who were accused in the case, like George Jackson. This was about the California establishment trying to take down a women that they were terrified of. Because she was fighting against racism, the prison industrial complex and wanted a different type of government and economic system. That was different from America’s liberal democratic capitalist system.

And to show you that California had nothing on Professor Davis, just look at the fact that she was found innocent. Even though I doubt she had the personal resources that she would’ve needed to defend herself. But had such a large following and different groups that wanted to help her, she was able to get the defense that she needed and deserved. I’m not a Socialist or Communist obviously. Just read this blog on a regular basis if you’re still not convinced. But I wish there were more Angela Davis’s today regardless of race or gender. People who are willing to take on the prison industrial complex that benefits so many wealthy people and business’s at the expense of everyone else. And will risk their freedom to fight the system.

California didn’t try to put Angela Davis away because she was a criminal, terrorist or did any other illegal activities. They tried to put her away because of her political views and what she was fighting for. Which was a different type of government and economic system for America. Which I would’ve opposed her on, but she has every right as a an American to advocate for it. As well as fighting against the prison industrial complex that puts non-violent offenders away for long periods of time. For committing minor offenses mostly on the so-called War on Drugs and things like shoplifting. It was fascists in California that tried to put Angela away simply because of her political views.
AP Archive: Angela Davis- Radical on Trial

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Free Angela
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Freedom of speech in America is not about the right to say things that most of the country already agrees with. Or the right to be friendly, or the right say non-controversial things that people don’t necessarily agree or disagree with, but haven’t thought much about. But freedom of speech is exactly that, the freedom to speak freely. Even if it may intend to offend others. Which is why I’m so against political correctness in America, whether its practiced by the Far-Left or Far-Right. And will defend the Far-Left’s and Far-Right’s ability to speak freely as best as I can. Because political correctness is illiberal and Un-Liberal Democratic. Because it is a form of fascism.

That is exactly what this movie, Free Angela is about. One women’s struggle a UCLA professor in Angela Davis who got that position in her mid-twenties, not just her age, but a young African-American women in the late 1960s early 70s getting such an important position as a great school like UCLA. And she was in a fight for her life to be able to speak against injustice in her community and America as a whole. And even use provocative if not extreme far-left rhetoric to express how she felt about America and the state of the African-American community. She didn’t and doesn’t still have the right to express her feelings about these issues because a lot of people agree with her. But simply because she’s an American with the right to free speech.

And then throw in the fact that she was a Communist back then and even though she’s given up communism since and is a Democratic Socialist today, but back in the late 1960s and early 70s she was a Communist in the heart of the Cold War and she offended too many people. And the establishment in California decided that they can’t have a young African-American women with that much power, that big of a platform and that big of a following loose on the streets. And came up with a bogus case to put her away in jail. Ultimately the good guys and gals won this case and Angela Davis was free in I believe 1971. But she should’ve never of had to go through that as an innocent person.

I’m not defending Professor Davis’s communist and now socialist views. Simply her constitutional right to express them, as a Liberal Democrat myself. I’m not nearly that far to the Left as a center-left Liberal and not a Socialist, but we do agree on the prison industrial complex. Which simply needs to be destroyed and replaced with a responsible and sensible criminal justice policy in this country. If we want to remain a liberal free society. But again Socialists on the Far-Left have as much right to express themselves in America, as Christian-Theocrats and Neoconservatives on the Far-Right. The constitutional right to be heard and express yourself. And that to me at least is what Professor Davis’s case was about.

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Attachment-1-673

Source: Dark Documentaries 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I can’t say that I’m shocked about what happened to O.J. Simpson post 1997 wrongful death civil case against him that he lost and of course he literally getting away with murder in 1995. Actually not what happened to him, but what he did to himself, but I’m certainly surprised by it.

O.J. will never get mistaken for a genius or for the twin of a genius, perhaps the evil twin of a genius. But I would have to think he was smart enough to at least have people around him who were smart enough to tell him, “look O.J., you literally just got way with murder here. Even with the 1997 judgement against you, you still have the resources to live the rest of your life fairly comfortably. Don’t blow it! And stay out of trouble and enjoy the rest of your live as a free man”. O.J. never figured that out and literally pushed his luck.

The message O.J. got was, “I just got away with murder here! I must be a God or something, lets see what else I can get away with!” Again we’re not talking about a genius here or someone who would be confused as the twin of a genius. And instead figures what the hell and starts his own criminal career around 2006 or so and is apparently broke and decides he’ll steal to support himself. Dumb narcissistic people do dumb things, because they believe they are either untouchable, or don’t deserved to be touched, or a combination of both. And what happened to O.J. is that he finally got caught in 2007. And is now doing the time in prison in Nevada that he should be doing in California for the 1994 double homicide.

Dark Documentaries: True Crime With Aphrodite Jones- O.J. Simpson 2010

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Source: The New Democrat 

Even with Bill McKay’s wishy-washy answer to the first question in this debate, this is still my favorite scene in a great movie about the classic underdog Bill McKay, played by Robert Redford against classic establishment incumbent Crocker Jarman, played by Don Porter. One candidate, Bill McKay, except for school busing and abortion, two critical issues where he essentially dodged the questions, says what he thinks. The incumbent, Crocker Jarman, gave classic sound-bite answers allowing no insight into his philosophy.

Nevada Kubrick: The Candidate 1972- The Jarman-McKay Debate

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Counter Culture

Counter Culture

Source: Ian Ramsley: Sixties Berkley

The emergence of the New-Left in America of leftist radicals who had socialist anarchist tendencies, that saw it as their duty to take on the conservative as well as liberal establishments in America. And to move America further to the Left politically and culturally and a lot of this happened at Berkley in the late 1960s.Groups like The Weather Underground and Students For a Democratic Society, Democratic Socialists USA, groups that were basically Occupy Wall Street of the 1960s, the parents and grandparents of OWS, all coming in the scene in America as Baby Boomers were starting and graduating from college. And deciding they didn’t like the America they grew up in. And were going to try to create a new America.

There was sort of a perfect political storm happening in the 1960s. The Baby Boom coming of age. A huge generation that was born in the 1940s and 50s that were growing up in both of those decades, as well as the 1960s. And then you have the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Cultural Revolution in and outside of Hollywood. That the Boomers were part of, as well as their elders in the Silent Generation who were in their late twenties and thirties at this point. You have roughly 70-80 million Baby Boomers (depending on how you define that generation) who were coming of age in a very turbulent decade. And saw an America they didn’t like or wasn’t as good as they thought it should be. Who were much further left than the Progressives in Progressive Era. And wanted to remake the country.

That is how you get the New-Left in America and Berkley was the center of it. A very collectivist establishment era from the 1950s and before, going too far with the Cold War and the Vietnam War (as the New-Left would see it) and with millions of young adults just graduating high school, starting college, graduating college, wanting nothing to do with the military draft and the Vietnam War, other than to oppose it. Who had more in common with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, than they did Jack Kennedy, when it came to politics. Who wanted to live their own lives and not go with the party-line and lifestyle that they parents and grandparents lived. Who were now old enough and organized enough to make their politics well-known.

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