THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Monday, August 17, 2009

McCARTHY AT HOLLYWOOD AND VINE; Episode #124 (Or, CUCKOO FOR CUCKOO'S NEST)

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[From the STMcC archive; August 21, 2006.]

HOW BIG OF AN IDIOT TAKES ONE OF THE GREAT FILMS OF THE 20TH CENTURY AND TURNS IT INTO RIGHT WING PROPAGANDA? I HOPE HILLARY DOES GET YOU AND THE REST OF YOUR FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS.
~ JOAN P.

Last night, Brother Nappy and I watched the movie ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST for the 1,674th time. At one point, I turned to Nappy and I said, “I just don’t have any respect for anybody who wouldn’t include this movie on their Top Ten Favorite Films list.”

Three years ago I wrote a review of this movie which I posted on BigBitch.com (that’s Amazon.com to y’all). I had dreamed up my own political interpretation of the movie and made a review of it. This was before USAP exploded on the scene with his “Hope” and “Change” slogan, and there was no clear leader emerging from the Republican party to run for the presidency. Without a doubt, Hillary Clinton was considered the White House frontrunner at that time. I was genuinely concerned about her winning the next election and my review reflected that concern.

Shortly after posting my review, a woman named Joan P. left the comment I opened this Blog Bit with on my ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ review. My review really ticked Joan off and that totally tickled me. In fact, it still tickles me. She was so ticked and I was so tickled that I’m thinking this review might be worth posting here even though it’s now very outdated.

***SPOILER ALERT***
If you’ve never seen the movie ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and you’re thinking that someday you might, you should read no further because I will be discussing important plot points that you won’t want revealed in advance.

Still here? OK, then don’t blame me for spoiling the movie for ya.

In viewing this great film again last night, I was particularly impressed with Jack Nicholson’s ability to "play dead." It’s not easy to play dead when there’s a big camera close up on your face and you can’t twitch, blink, breathe or belch. It requires a good deal of concentration. Or relaxation. Something. Whatever it requires, Nicholson has it.

I know of what I speak because in 1979 I had to “play dead” on an episode of the television show M*A*S*H. Although I am anti-war, I was not a fan of the TV show; way too Leftist for my tastes. But any true fan of the show will remember the episode I’m referring to because it was notable for its story which unfolded in real time and which included a ticking clock in the lower right corner of the screen throughout the episode - an episode which was titled “Life Time.”

A bloke named George needs an aorta graft within 20 minutes or he ain’t gonna make it. Another bloke named Harold has had half his brain blown away (I was Harold – typecast as the "brainless bloke" again!), and the doctors are hoping that Harold will die in time to provide the missing aorta for George. Meanwhile, Harold’s buddy, Roberts, can’t accept the fact that B.J. and Hawkeye aren’t trying to save the life of his friend - to the contrary, they are hoping he will die quickly.

Anyway, I had to gasp and cough a little and then die on camera. But I didn’t really die. See? It was all pretend! “The report of my death has been greatly exaggerated.” But I gotta admit, Jack Nicholson "did dead" better than I did. But then that’s why Jack made the big bucks. “I don’t know Jack!” but still I can tell ya that dying in front of the camera ain’t as easy as it looks. There’s a lot of pressure and the seconds feel like days. Nevertheless, it was good practice for when Uncle Sam comes for me.

I now dedicate this old review to all of my "ferret-faced fascist friends." You know who you are:

INTERVIEWER: Hello, and welcome back to McCARTHY AT HOLLYWOOD AND VINE. We’re here today with Stephen T. McCarthy and discussing one of his very favorite films: ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. Tell us, Stephen, when did you first see this highly acclaimed film?

McCARTHY: CUCKOO’S NEST was released in nineteen seventy-five, and I saw it numerous times at The Avco Cinema Center in Los Angeles. I and a group of friends – some who later went on to become police officers – sneaked into the theatre repeatedly during its initial run. To this day, it remains entrenched on my all-time Top Ten movie list.

INTERVIEWER: Stephen, you little criminal! We never would have thought it of you. I understand that you have a rather original perspective on this classic film. Want to share that with us?

McCARTHY: Well, back in seventy-five, I thought I was just viewing a magnificently crafted and masterfully acted film centered on the important theme of individualism and finding and being true to one’s own voice. I had no way of knowing that the movie was actually remarkably prescient with regards to the American political situation that would manifest over thirty years later.

INTERVIEWER: Would you care to elaborate?

McCARTHY: To the viewer in nineteen seventy-five, this movie, which won five Academy Awards, appeared to tell the story of a man who feigns mental illness in order to avoid his prison work detail. While he is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, his rebellious, individualistic spirit “infects” the real “nut cases” who begin to assert themselves much to the resentment of the domineering head nurse at the mental institution. But here in aught six, we can see that the movie was actually foretelling the political situation that this country now finds itself in.

INTERVIEWER: To you, the characters in this movie represent something completely different, don’t they?

McCARTHY: Yes. Actually, CUCKOO’S NEST is about the 2008 Presidential Election. The mental institution itself symbolizes the United States – a loony bin if there ever was one. The domineering, manipulative, and vindictive head nurse, Mildred Ratched, represents Hillary Clinton – a power-hungry woman driven by her insatiable quest for control. It should be pointed out that Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for her remarkable portrayal of Ms. Clinton. Capturing every aspect of the senator’s traits, she paints us as good a portrait of Clinton as Clinton herself could have done.

INTERVIEWER: But the senator’s road to The White House is not without obstacles, is it?

McCARTHY: No. Standing in her way is the rebellious underdog, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a man who seeks to bring the nuts around him back to their senses. McMurphy personifies the true American spirit opposed to the Socialism of Nurse Ratched. There is one scene in particular that forcefully illustrates this friction: McMurphy petitions to have the television in the community room turned on so that he and his fellow Americans – or “the mental defective league”, as he accurately refers to them - can watch the second game of the 1963 World Series. Baseball, being “America’s Pastime”, is naturally repugnant to the Leftist Nurse, and so she resorts to her unique brand of sophism in order to prevent genuinely American traditions from being broadcasted into the community (room).

INTERVIEWER: And Nurse Ratched is aided and abetted by-

McCARTHY: She is voted into power and protected by women and minorities. This is conveyed by her ever-present subordinate female nurse and by the mental institution’s watchful and protective orderlies. Ratched’s eventual success in quashing all sense of individualism and driving the country deeper into the pit of Socialism is “shockingly” revealed in the eventual castration of America’s spirit, that being R. P. McMurphy. The castration, however, is thinly veiled by the fact that the scalpel is actually wielded against his “Northern” hemisphere.

INTERVIEWER: Is there no happy ending here?

McCARTHY: No, I’m afraid not. With the true American spirit now impotent, Ms. Clinton occupies the ultimate position of power that she coveted, and the principles of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Mason, those formerly enduring ideals NATIVE to America, “fly the coop” - that is, “they leave the cuckoo’s nest.” This is represented by the “Native American”, Chief Bromden, who heads for the hills.

INTERVIEWER: And isn’t it true that-- Hey, wait, Stephen, where are you going?!

McCARTHY: To pack my bags! I’m afraid that Nurse Ratched really is going to win the 2008 election, and I also need to be ready to escape this insane country and “head for the hills.”

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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10 comments:

  1. Oh and to add to Joans comment, I hope USAP gets your little dog too.

    Too funny!! Loved reading it for the second time.

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  2. BR'ER MARC ~
    When I went to the original review to copy Joan's comment, I saw the comment you had posted there later. That was good "stuffs", my Ferret-Faced Fascist Friend. Thanks!

    This reminds me of the time that I left a comment on your review of the movie "A Christmas Story." Remember, I concocted all this pseudo-symbolism which supposedly proved that "A Christmas Story" was really Communist propaganda? By the time I got finished dreaming up all that phony stuffs, I had nearly even convinced myself that the movie was a vehicle for promoting Socialism. Ha!

    I wish I'd had the foresight to make copies of some of the comments I left at BigBitch.com. I never dreamed that one day they would delete every comment I'd ever left throughout their entire website. And truthfully, I think some of my comments were superior to my reviews.

    And now I'm kicking myself in the arse! It has suddenly occurred to me that instead of "Xtremely Un-P.C. And Unrepentant", I should have named this Blog "Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends." Damn! I blew it big time. I suppose I could change the name, but that might confuse my two readers. Whaddaya think? Should I change it NOW?

    Dogs, Vomit, Fools & Folly.
    ~ Brain-Dead Stephen

    ReplyDelete
  3. I guess you can't respect me Stephen T.-it was not on my top ten list. I may have to rent it, as I must 'fess up to not having seen it since high school (which was before films were actually invented).

    ReplyDelete
  4. You can save the $2. rental fee by borrowing my DVD. Someday The Kansas Kid and I will put together another one of those movie polls and you'll have the opportunity to correct your list and gain my respect.
    Dogs, Vomit, Fools & Folly.
    ~ Stephen T.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm trying to catch up with all your postings here and on the stuffs blog. You'll be happy to know that..

    Heck yeah "Cuckcoo's" is in my top ten list!!! Another thing we have in common.

    Here's another two we don't. I can't believe you hate Clint. Even the dollar trilogy's man? Well if you can hate Clint then I can admit I'm no fan of JW. That's right I said it!

    Wow, I can't believe that you're in that Mash episode I remember it distinctly and have seen it many times, but not in many years. I will now have to search it out, and check you out.

    Peace bud.

    WP

    ReplyDelete
  6. `
    >>[Heck yeah "Cuckcoo's" is in my top ten list!!!]<<

    Good man. I expected no less from you.

    >>[I can't believe you hate Clint.]<<

    Well, I didn't say I "hate" him. I try not to "hate" anyone. But I don't respect him. I will say in his behalf, however, that like U2 and Oprah Winfrey, he managed to go a great way and to make a great deal of money while suffering from NDT (No Discernible Talent).

    >>[Well if you can hate Clint then I can admit I'm no fan of JW.]<<

    I hate you.

    >>[I can't believe that you're in that Mash episode ... I will now have to search it out, and check you out.]<<

    It killed me to appear in it. ;o)

    Not at all worth seeking out, BR-O WP. Besides that, I was regularly doing "background work" for the final five seasons of M*A*S*H, so I was in many episodes, and some which were better than that particular one. Brother, save yer money and yer conservative credentials.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McCarthy, the AOT Warrior.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This one I had read not too long ago.
    M*A*S*H -- couldn't stand the show. I knew people for whom the world would stop so they could watch that show, but I just never got into it. Guess I was always more of a TWIN PEAKS kind of guy watching weird stuff on TV all by myself.

    Watched CUCKOO'S NEST just few weeks back. My wife had never seen it and she's a huge Nichoson fan, but it's mostly cause he's at the Laker's games. But that's a great film and Jack's a great actor.
    Lee

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  8. Yeah, I'm with you, Brother Lee. Although I made some money on that show (and I'm grateful for that), M*A*S*H was too L*E*F*T for me.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, Miss JOAN didn't read the book, obviously, or she would know that the story IS about oppressive government institutions (the combine.) Indeed, it can also include any large and oppressive institution, and on the more literal level it is certainly about the rampant use of lobotomies at a point in our history to control people.

    Please do read the book; Joan doesn't have a leg to stand on, the idjit.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ANNIEE ~
    Thanks for your comment.

    Of course, in this review I was taking a "tongue-in-cheek" approach and interpreting the movie scenes according to my own whim and the situation in American politics at the time.

    Nevertheless, and even without ever having read the book, it was obvious to me that the story had a subtext (and/or was a metaphor) pertaining to bureaucratic government and the abuses of centralized power over the people, and the intent to subdue and stifle the individual - to force the individual to become just another cog in the machine's wheel.

    And that's why, although on the surface 'Cuckoo's Nest' appears to be about abuses in mental institutions, I have often referred to it as the greatest movie about politics ever made.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Forman's personal experience with fascist regimes played a part in his desire to direct this particular film.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete

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