SCRIBE (Michael Herr, R.I.P.)

Sunshine, blue skies and 2016, please go away…

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Happens I just read (and mini-reviewed) his masterpiece, Dispatches, here mere days ago. I don’t have much to add, except to note that two of the best filmmakers of his, or any, era, Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now) and Stanley Kubrick (Full Metal Jacket), tried to capture what he had written on film. He even contributed to the scripts. It didn’t help. They didn’t come close. He wrote one of those books where any given word might be worth a thousand pictures. I hope he found a little peace here. It would have been little enough reward for doing the best job of anyone describing why we’ve never walked away from ’68 and never will.

For his memory, then…

 

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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 JamesBowman.net, 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)