Saturday, August 15, 2009

Julie & Julia (and The Hollywood Ten)

"I feel very strongly that actors haven't any business at all to shoot their faces off about things I know we know very little about." - Gary Cooper

"Actors have no damn business in politics, period." - Spencer Tracy

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My wife and I went to see the movie "Julie and Julia" today.

A charming little film, it's a character study of a young woman in Queens who cooks her way through Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in its entirety, one recipe at a time, over the course of a year. Interspersed throughout the movie are scenes from Julia Child's own life, during the time she spent in France while her husband worked there.

Right in the middle of the film the characters engage in a diatribe about Joseph McCarthy. The movie shows how Julia Child's husband Paul had to go through interviews over the course of a few days about his politics and character. Julia and Paul spend time lamenting about the whole thing, speaking of it as if it were some sort of horrible ordeal.

Several things crossed my mind about this.

First of all, this is a movie about cooking as an art. It is a movie about two women, at different times, undergoing personal journeys of growth and transformation as they perfect their knowledge of food. Along the way, they discover themselves and strengthen their love for their husbands. Why on earth, then, is it absolutely necessary to talk about Joseph McCarthy in a film about cooking? There have been a zillion movies about that, piled high ad nauseum -- why ruin a perfectly good dramatic character study with a diatribe about politics?

Second, they complain about the inquiry as if it were some kind of massive affront to their dignity. Give me a break. Paul worked for the State Department. That profession involves national security. Applicants to the FBI and other federal agencies have to go through far stricter background checks, before and after they are hired, all throughout their careers. It's standard procedure.

That particular period of history was very dangerous. Soviet Premier Kruschev vowed that he'd bury us, as he held his finger over "the button" during the Cuban Missile crisis. In recent years, the former KGB confirmed that they had people buried all throughout the State Department. Even if McCarthy never said a word, the Federal government still would have searched high and low for agents, because the threat was very real.

Paul and Julia should be glad that they weren't interrogated by the Communist Khmer Rhouge in Toul Sleng prison. They should be glad they weren't interrogated by the Viet Cong in the Hanoi Hilton, where John McCain was tortured mercilessly. They should be glad they didn't have to make forced confessions in a Moscow kangaroo trial, and then die in a Siberian prison, like several Catholic priests did. The McCarthy hearings were high school sock hops, compared to Communist torture.

What was an enjoyable movie experience was jarred by the socialist keyboard masturbation of a pinko Hollywood script writer. Only a Hollywood pinko could find a way to take a neutral subject like cooking and pump it full of totally unrelated socialist politics. I did a little digging. It turns out the script was penned by Nora Ephron, a veritable poster child of Hollywood Communist scriptwriting for decades. She regularly contributes to The Huffington Post. I should have known.

Let me quote the words of Anton Ego, food critic in the movie Ratatouille: "I don't like food, I love it. If I don't love it, I spit it out." When a wonderful movie tries to shove liberal sh* down my throat, I too spit it out. I want to spit it all over the screen.

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