"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling

10.25.2005

"Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts."

I had my two day suspension last week. It was pretty relaxing. I am not sure if giving me two unpaid days off is as an effective act of punishment as it sounds on paper.

Tuesday night I began on Level 3 of my improv classes at the IO West for the second time. Don't know if I mentioned it, but I was held back the last time and took a bit of a break before jumping back in.

After that class I believe I have an idea as to why I'm not progressing as fast I would like in improv. I've been trying to Not Look Stupid too much. I have to be willing to look Very Stupid Indeed, and that's just the nature of the animal.

On Wednesday I saw the movie Good Night, And Good Luck. Have you seen it yet? You must, as it is mighty.

In the early 1950s the Communist 'witch hunts' were full swing in this country. While not solely responsible for the climate of hysteria, no one made more hay of it than Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. His smear tactics destroyed the lives and careers of many, and scared even more.

In short, Joseph McCarthy, Republican Senator from Wisonsin was a fucking ASSHOLE.

Into the fray stepped broadcast journalism god Edward R. Murrow. Murrow made his reputation during WWII, reporting on live radio from the London Blitz. When the Allies marched into Buchenwald, it was Murrow who told the world of the horrors found there. His credentials and integrity were beyond reproach. Murrow was a hero.

The movie tells how Murrow used that same sort of courage and tenacity to help bring down Joe McCarthy. It's a shame they couldn't have gone into it even more, but what they have is awesome. The movie is as factual as possible, everything in it has been "double sourced" as if it were a news story and not a movie about one.

Oh, and it's filmed in the crispest, most glorious black and white this side of Frank Miller's Sin City. The soundtrack contains a bunch of jazz standards sung by Diana Reeves. Everyone smokes in the movie, EVERYONE, and I think that's cool too.

You can find a long radio interview with the George Clooney about the making of the movie here. An interview with Bob Edwards, author of the book Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism can be found here.

Good Night, And Good Luck is a film well worth your time and money.

2 comments:

Chris Uhl said...

Ah yes, McCarthy's always good to drag out and beat a little more. That guy's corpse just never seems to get tattered enough to finally bury.

Edward R. Murrow gave birth to more than broadcast journalism in that crusade as well. He also spawned it's evil twin - advocacy journalism. Noble enough for the purpose it was put to in this particular case, but behind it was an endless line of trucks full of good intentions, and boy have they gotten busy on that road we're always hearing about...

Secret Mojo said...

Yeah, yeah. Poor McCarthy. Just a guy getting beat up by the system. Over and over. Poor man.

And poor poor journalism, it's been in tatters ever since the first printing press was exploited to express an opinion....