EPISODE 193: Cross Dressing

4452“I’m absolutely captivated by a movie called The Gallant Hours (1959), starring James Cagney and directed by Robert Montgomery.

For one thing, it presents an ideal picture of how a person should be thanked for faithful service. And what a piece of work the “Church” is,
that it’s so rarely able to give thanks for the work of its servants. (Oh, unless they’re newly dead. Thank God he’s dead!) It’s almost as if the Church specializes in forgetfulness concerning the brightest and best. I’ve seen that happen in about 500 cases, my own, of course, being an exception.

More importantly, however, The Gallant Hours is right about professional vesture. The last scene, in which the main character is required to change his clothes, should be required viewing for every single member of the clergy. What happens is SO refreshing.

Look, you’ve got to see this movie. And by the way, let’s be clear on the subject of proper vesture for the clergy: the future of the planet depends upon it.”

Episode 194: Left Hand Path

MOV_f0207063_bI guess I know we’re all supposed to understand how right-wing intolerance works. But how come there’s so much left-wing intolerance? I thought liberals were all about freedom of expression and diversity. But I don’t see as much of that as I expected to see. What is the problem?

Anger is the problem. (Hence the opening track “Fury” by Deke Dickerson and Los Straitjackets.) If you feel you were badly treated at a point in your life, but you’ve now got some power and influence, well, why not get back at those mean people who held you down. It’s about time they did some suffering.

A movie was released in 1952 that is pretty notorious today, though it was basically impossible to see for 60 years. (It’s been on DVD since 2012.) The movie was called My Son John and starred Helen Hayes and Robert Wagner. It was produced and directed by the famous Hollywood director Leo McCarey. Today My Son John is regarded as almost the prime Hollywood example of reactionary Cold War thinking.

But it’s not! Rather, My Son John is an excruciating psychological journey into the righteous birth pangs of an intelligent and reflective American who becomes a Russian spy. Why does he do this? What makes him want to destroy the country and “way of life” from which he sprang? Anger does it. Anger makes him want to do it. And it’s primarily anger against his father and his mother. And when you see the movie, you’ll be sympathetic. You may actually say to yourself, I could become that way, too — at least if I had a father like that and a mother like that. No wonder he wants to “Tear Your Playhouse Down” (Ann Peebles).

This cast aims to understand why a certain established version of the left hand path has no time for you if you’re judged to be anywhere near like… ‘My Son John’s’ mother or father. They’ll be first on the list for incarceration.