NANCY SINATRA? SAM THE SHAM? KILLING GOOKS? HEY, WHAT’S THE DIFF? (Found in the Connection….Rattling Loose End #15)

From the “It Isn’t Just Elvis They Say Stupid Stuff About” department:

“For the duality I mentioned earlier is really a ruse, since Kubrick has a unified field theory of the psychosexual origins of conflict which manifests itself equally in the perfect discipline and the spotlessly clean barracks of Parris Island and in the chaos, mud and blood of Hué at the time of the Tet offensive. He cleverly embeds the war culture in the US, as represented by Parris Island, and the popular culture of what the grunts all call ‘the world’ in Vietnam. The latter takes the form of some of the most brutalist and repellant popular music of the period — ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’’ by Nancy Sinatra, ‘Woolly Bully’ by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, and ‘Surfin’ Bird’ by the Trashmen most notably — all played at top volume, in order to present to us a vision of the war as a kind of wild fraternity party.”

(Source: James Bowman, being the sort of pro-war intellectual who works daily to ensure we will win no more wars. Diary entry on Full Metal Jacket published on, July 10, 2013.)

I mean, the “brutalist” Nancy Sinatra is one thing. I expect that sort of he-must-be-a-genius-because-no-ordinary-man-would-ever-think-of-it insight from the Conservatives-Who-Do-Not-Conserve, even those, like Bowman, who–believe it or not–can sometimes pass for intelligent.

But “Woolly Bully?”…“Surfin’ Bird?”

Jeez. Now they’re dissin’ the poets!

These people have no shame whatsoever!

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs “Wolly Bully” (Television Performance…Proving that one man’s “brutalist popular culture” is another man’s idea of heaven)

And just for good measure, here’s Nancy, circa 1966, conducting somewhat more effective foreign policy than the War…er, Defense Department.

Nancy Sinatra “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” (Live on Italian Television)

3 thoughts on “NANCY SINATRA? SAM THE SHAM? KILLING GOOKS? HEY, WHAT’S THE DIFF? (Found in the Connection….Rattling Loose End #15)

  1. Kubrick showed in A Clockwork Orange that he knew all about brutal, repellent art. Of course, the film, like all of his work, was praised for its brilliance. Kubrick is as overrated as Sam the Sham and the Trashmen are underrated, If, that is, you buy into the concept of over and under rated, which I only do when I want to make a cheap point.

  2. Hey, we are definitely not above making cheap points at this location. I’m with you on Kubrick (post Strangelove anyway..and I know you don’t like comedies!) I think Pauline Kael said somewhere or other that he just wasn’t interested in mere human beings and I have to agree. I do think Paths of Glory is worthy. But I wouldn’t take it over “Woolly Bully!”

  3. He made many fine movies, up through Strangelove … Paths of Glory definitely, and I like Spartacus and The Killing quite a bit as well. Starting with 2001, it all went downhill for me, which is fine, except I’m always being told that he was a great director.

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