As you may (and should) know, the classic Western “High Noon” was and is regarded by some conservatives as anti-American. I think it is, as excellent as it is. The ending, where the heroic law man (played by Gary Cooper in an Academy Award-winning performance) throws his star in the dirt in disgust (imitated by “Dirty Harry” for very different reasons in that conservative film years later), is widely seen as a rejection of American society as hypocritical. (The fact that the screenwriter, Carl Foreman, was a Communist doesn’t help.)
My favorite scene in the movie, where Cooper begs the church congregation to help, plays like a “Twilight Zone” episode, with the whole town rationalizing furiously to avoid helping the desperate law man minutes away from having to face, alone, vengeful thugs determined to kill him. (The whole scene is not on YouTube; I searched.) “Rio Bravo,” one of the best John Wayne Westerns and a personal favorite, was devised by director Howard Hawks as a direct rebuke of the selfish and craven America “High Noon” posits. In the Duke’s movie, the lawman, Wayne, constantly rejects the offers of help he receives, though he knows hired killers are massing to free his prisoner. Yet people go out of their way, at great personal risk, to help him anyway, time after time. “High Noon” is a better movie (maybe), but “Rio Bravo” is a fairer depiction of American values and history.
1. This is why I tell lawyers and government employees that it’s unethical to use Google for professional communication and client matters. Mac programmer Jeff Johnson has discovered that if you set Google Chrome to eliminate all website cookies and site data when you close the browser, the data remains un-erased for YouTube and Google itself.
What a coinkydink!
“Perhaps this is just a Google Chrome bug, not intentional behavior, but the question is why it only affects Google sites, not non-Google sites,” Johnson says. “I’ve tested using the latest Google Chrome version 86.0.4240.75 for macOS, but this behavior was also happening in the previous version of Chrome. I don’t know when it started.”
Bottom line: Don’t trust Google. Like I’ve been saying….
2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Here is an article highlighted by AOL from the Associated Press, suggesting that the fact that Amy Coney Barrett was a trustee at a private Catholic school that officially and in its policies disapproved of homosexuality places LGBTQ rights at risk. Some sample passages:
- “The AP spoke with more than two dozen people who attended or worked at Trinity Schools, or former members of People of Praise. They said the community’s teachings have been consistent for decades: Homosexuality is an abomination against God, sex should occur only within marriage and marriage should only be between a man and a woman.”
Anonymous sources: unethical journalism.
- “Interviewees told the AP that Trinity’s leadership communicated anti-LGBTQ policies and positions in meetings, one-on-one conversations, enrollment agreements, employment agreements, handbooks and written policies — including those in place when Barrett was an active member of the board.”
100% irrelevant. A judge’s job is to interpret the law, not to advance his or her own religious beliefs. AOL and the AP are advancing the same unethical argument the Democrats used against Barrett when she was nominated as a federal judge: religious beliefs should disqualify judges.
- “[M]ost of the people the AP spoke with said her deep and decades-long involvement in the community signals she would be hostile to gay rights if confirmed.”
3. Do I really have to write about this ridiculous issue again? No, actors do not have to be the same race, ethnicity or even gender of the characters they play. (Nor height, if you are Tom Cruise and you want to play Jack Reacher.) This time, the target is Israeli actress Gal Gadot, best known for playing Wonder Woman even though she’s not Greek. Or an Amazon. Or a superhero. Gadot has been cast as Cleopatra, for which she is eminently qualified, having a head, two arms and two legs just like the legendary Egyptian ruler had. But race-hucksters are screaming that Cleo should be played by an African-American, or an Arab, or at least someone “darker than a brown paper bag” as US writer Morgan Jerkins tweeted. He thinks t that would be more “historically accurate.” Two points on that, you ignoramus: 1) There’s this stuff called “make-up” and 2) Cleopatra was Greek—you know, like me. I’m lighter than a paper bag, though wearing one might improve my appearance. Nobody complained the last time Gadot played a Greek.
Not to be left out, Israeli commentators suggested that the attacks on Gadot were based on anti-Semitism. The Jerusalem Post journalist Seth Frantzman said it made no sense to exclude Jews from playing roles from the Middle East, “when Jews are primarily a people from the Middle East either with distant or recent roots…. The idea that casting should exclude Jews is shameful and shows a lack of education for the commentators,.”
How things have changed; when Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra, critics said she was too fat. (And she was.)
4. Finally, this brief “Brian Stelter is a shameless hack” note. Spinning for his disgraced and probably ex-CNN colleague, that guy I’m not going to humiliate by mentioning him by name any more, Stelter tweeted that the legal analyst
“…has been sidelined at a pivotal moment in the run-up to the presidential election. The reason: He exposed himself during a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues in what he says was an accident…”
Yes, he masturbated during a Zoom meeting by accident! Boy, I hate when that happens! Even Toobin, in his apology, didn’t describe what happened as “an accident.” He called it a “mistake.” It was a mistake all right, just like CNN keeping incompetent, biased, dishonest fools like Stelter in from of the camera is a mistake.