26 November, 2016

The Digest—Saturday, 26 November, 2016

[The Digest is a collection of articles, videos, and other media I've viewed and found significant throughout the day. It is a way to divest myself from other social media that is more reliant on likes, click-bait, and peer-approval rather than quality, intelligence, and diversity of opinion, which are the qualities I find important. It is also a way to devote myself to daily contributions to this space...at least in theory.]

-=Summary: Denying Trump, interviewing Trump, Batman v Superman, & documenting the Holocaust=-


No, Trump, We Can't Just Get Along
from The New York Times, by Charles Blow


Donald Trump's New York Times Interview: Full Transcript
from The New York Times

This was difficult to read through—the rambling incoherence, the obsequiousness of NYT editors and staff, the pretense mutual respect. I understand that the NYT feels it needs to have a relationship with the President, but how much will they self-censor in the next four years to keep that relationship viable? How much restraint will be placed on reporters who don't want to give Trump an easy time, like Charles Blow above?

Here are some memorable quotes:

"But I kept reading polls saying that I’m not doing well with women. I think whoever is doing it here would say that we did very well with women, especially certain women."
"Certain women." That's rich. He means "white women," and everyone knows that's what he means, but saying it aloud is to admit something he keeps denying, which is the predatory nature of his campaign on the fears of white America. White America is not limited to white people, either, but is the status of white Americans, the privileges they are afforded, and the lie of the version of the American dream that tells those Othered they can bleach the bias from their lives if only they embrace the vision of white America. 
"I don’t care about anything having to do with anything having to do with anything other than the country."
This is the most intelligible and concise version of Trump's nonsense rambling I could locate.
"To me more important is taking care of the people that really have proven to be, to love Donald Trump, as opposed to the political people. "
Well, there it is.

There are many other things he said that I found problematic and worth discussion, but the way he speaks makes it very difficult to pull an intact sentence from the broken up, broken down nature of his "discourse." Most replies also dedicate a fair amount of time to self-aggrandizement, sometimes to the point that you don't even know what he's talking about. Straight answers are not in our future.


Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
via HBOgo

Uhhhhhhhh...I will be brief. Way too complicated a storyline for a film-sized narrative that's supposed to be a romp, but instead delves into the complexities of ethical heroics and political responsibility. I think most people just wanted to watch those two duke it out. Alien v. Predator suffered from a similar problem on a much smaller scale. And all of these giant stars...they were trying to make a prestige film. It's Batman vs. Superman, not a 3-hour illustration of Jane Eyre. Oh well.

via HBO

It's hard to know what to say when confronting such horrors, so I will just publish the notes that I took while watching without editing, without format or formality. 

film about the unfinished film about Nazi atrocities and made, in part, by Alfred Hitchcock at the end of World War II. "German Concentration Camps National Survey" 

It begins with British soldiers taken behind enemy lines to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; british soldier they are interviewing weeps at describing their entrance into the camp; 30,000 dead prisoners just lying on the grounds of the camp; the BBC waited to broadcast descriptions of the camp because they doubted the veracity of these reports; Sidney Bernstein headed the army film dept in Britain; 

Toby Haggith, historian, about filming evidence, having to get very close to document actuality of death

his directives were to "film everything which would prove one day this had actually happened and be a lesson for all mankind" sidney bernstein -- forced all the bigwigs in the local towns viewing what had been done to prove that they had seen it; german SS officers made to bury the bodies, well, drag them to the pit and throw them in, one on top of another on top of another on top of another; 

death camps, skeletons still smoldering, piles of shoes and clothes and hair and eyeglasses and gloves and children's toys and dentures and toothbrushes and the luggage all of it came in; the recreation of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Russian Army, given stripes to wear over their clothes for dramatic effect; the twins experimented on by Dr. Mengele, Buchenwald, bodies, starved to death, that barely look human; the first use of color film, more parading of townspeople to look, look, look; Dachau, 4 hours of horror in negative, a railway car of 3000 potential inmates abandoned in the snow, and all but 17 perish, frozen to death

Sidney Bernstein hires Alfred Hitchcock to direct, to give the film cohesion, an arc, and then the war is won, and crowds are jubilant, dancing in the streets, while survivors continue to struggle in the camps, to keep surviving, a sick man thinks bagpipes are calling him to heaven, former prisoners rehumanizing themselves, women trying on clothes, self-care

Hitchcock's strategies to prevent people from perceiving the films were faked, to show maps to denote how close communities were living to these piles of dead, normal lives, privileged lives, romantic lives, well-fed lives, clean lives, lives with baths and beer and hats and jam, inmates, now liberated, remaining in camps, for where else do they go? America won't take them; England won't take them; as if the indifference and apathy to their capture, their ghettoization, their internment, incarceration, starvation, their murder, their genocide, were not bad enough, NO, we won't have you, NO, we have problems of our own. Refugees, crisis. 

The film becomes a "political inconvenience" for the sympathy it would create, for the fear it might encourage citizens to want to help those who have survived, not wishing to "alienate" the Germans who remain, not wishing to force more guilt down their throats. Taken from the British, handed to Billy Wilder, "Death Mills" unleashed, shortened, propagandized, women called deadly Amazons, the original movie filed away, entombed, raw footage for Nuremberg. 

70 years later, the film is completed with original scripts, worksheets, shot lists, notes, intentions. "unless the world learns the lessons these pictures teach, night will fall." Pictures without skulls, with bullets to the head, with eyes wide in terror, with gaping mouths, silenced screams, final moments brought by hate, by stereotype, by building a regime of intolerance that crossed to state-sanctioned, state-demanded brutality, torture, murder, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and doom. 

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