nothing he was ever associated with ever worked

Yes the movie Goodbye, Columbus (1969) is based on a story written by a Jewish writer. And yes Neil Klugman (played by Richard Benjamin) though exceedingly smart and well educated works at a low paying job in a public library and is struggling with where he fits in as an intellectual, but working class Jew, though alternates back and forth between insecurity and arrogance. Others have covered this aspect of GC very well. Let’s look at one scene that may appear to be a kind of narrative orphan where Brenda Patimkin(Ali MacGraw) runs nude across the country club lawn to the swimming pool. In a movie filled with inner angst this moment stands out, not in a prurient way, but as a moment when a human being relishes a moment of pure joy. In the movie as in life it passes in a flash. We almost question if it ever happened at all. If it did why didn’t that moment last longer, why was it so fleeting. To know that moments like that exists is a kind of torture because we know that they cannot last, there are so few and they’re spontaneous; planning for them would just make them artificial fantasies. In the movie when Neil observes Brenda’s run to the pool, Neil is us. The episode makes him a little nervous because of social convention and at the same time leaves him awe struck. He would like Brenda’s little midnight romp to somehow be captured, but it is a kind of existential torture reminding him and the viewer of how impermanent things are.

Before we move on a sad farewell to one of the greats, Glenn Ford, Leading Man, Is Dead at 90

Video and transcript from Crooks and Liars, Keith Olbermann Delivers One Hell Of a Commentary on Rumsfeld

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald S. Rumsfeld is not a prophet. Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable comments to the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday demand the deep analysis – and the sober contemplation – of every American. For they do not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence – indeed, the loyalty — of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land; Worse, still, they credit those same transient occupants – our employees — with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

We all know by now that the Right wants to be taken seriously and if we judge the depth of seriousness by body counts and the desire to exacerbate the number of bodies one could say that they’re serious or among the walking insane. They’re not insane in the conventional sense that involves much foaming or bouncing off the walls. They seem capable of tying their shoes and stopping at road crossings. Or maybe their insanity has just manifested itself in other ways like perpetual wars where a relatively small number of blood thirsty fanatics is lumped and melded into everyone that occupies a few square feet of space in the middle-east, all of whom have by the Right’s world view morphed into Stalin or Hitler, just as the Right morphed 9-11 and Saddam into Bin Laden. If you hear the sound of one hand clapping, well thats us Orwell fans who feel obligated to give these conservative Potemkins their due. To lie incessantly about everything under the sun must be very draining even for a group of people that might be borderline sociopaths. Lets say that we all take a deep dip into the kool-aid and believe that ill defined wars wars without end are somehow good for America and western civilization, where would that get us.The Crock of Appeasement

The rightwing use of the term appeasement, however, turns it on its head. Taken seriously, the doctrine of “no appeasement” on the right would mean we are stuck in perpetual war, always doomed to be on the offensive, always dedicated to gobbling up more of other people’s territory and wealth even at the expense of living in constant dread of being blown up and being forced to give up the civil liberties which had made American civilization great.

It would never be possible to negotiate a truce with any enemy. That would be appeasement. It would never be possible to compromise. That would be appeasement. It would never be prudent to withdraw troops from a failed war. That would be appeasement. In other words, the rightwing doctrine of “no appeasement, ever” actually turns you into Hitler rather than into Churchill.

Republican Report Hypes Iran Threat

Washington – In what some critics describe as a replay of the run-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives has released a report suggesting Iran may acquire nuclear weapons much more quickly than U.S. intelligence agencies believe. The 29-page report, authored by a former henchman of Washington’s hard-line ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, charged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other agencies lack “the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments” about Tehran’s nuclear programme.

In addition, the report, “Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat”, warned that the intelligence community remains woefully ignorant about alleged ties between Tehran and al Qaeda or even its role, if any, in the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah.

The report was released in the wake of Tuesday’s reply by Iran to the U.N. Security Council’s demand that it immediately cease its enrichment of uranium as a first step toward resuming negotiations with the EU-3 – Germany, Britain and France – over the future of its nuclear programme.

The timing appeared designed to take maximum advantage of the media attention generated by Iran’s response, which rejected the demand for immediate suspension but called for additional negotiations. Normally, a report of this kind is reviewed by the entire Intelligence Committee before it is published.

Critics charged that the new report, which was carried out under the auspices of the Committee chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, appeared designed mainly to cast doubt on estimates by the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community that Iran was unlikely to develop a nuclear weapon until at least 2010.

Conservative neocons think war is a catchy toon which they just keep whistling to themselves over and over again and cannot understand why everyone else keeps looking at them like they’re loony.

The thought of spending a long evening alone in the room seemed intolerable to me. I lit the lamp and glanced around angrily. A fine hole! The two beds took up nearly all the space but Jimmy had managed to cram in, in front of the window, a small table on which stood his dilapidated typewriter. The typewriter, of course, was broken and wouldn’t work. Jimmy was always going to have it fixed—tomorrow. But then Jimmy lived in a dream of tomorrows; and nothing he was ever associated with ever worked.

from Tomorrow by Eugene O’Neill