Sunday, July 16, 2017

Come and talk recent literary/film history with me!

I specifically have one or two questions that Someone Else might be better-equipped to answer:

The Hitchcock film Lifeboat... it has issues, of course, but... well, in a rather peculiar circumstance, it includes a Villain, which villain is
  1. according to the Logic of the Film's Setting
  2. according to opinion spoken by other characters, and
  3. (most importantly) according to his own actions
a Nazi. Whereas plenty of films include "Straw" Nazis (their only dramatic action is to oppose our hero) or "reluctant/in-name-only" Nazis (think of the submarine Captains in both Enemy Below and Das Boot); whereas "Nazi" is often tossed around as an epithet; and whereas "Nazism" and "anti-semitism" are frequently used interchangeably (which is an error)1 in public chatter: Therefore I suspect that the confluence of those three Nazisms in one character (as in Lifeboat) is Comparatively Rare, especially in English-language Fiction.

I have some impression that also there are acting-believing Nazis shown in other English-language films, both as hero (Million-Dollar Baby) and villain (perhaps the Potter saga?), but actually calling it out seems also to be Comparatively Rare.

Are these impressions of probability, do you think or know, correct? Or have you other examples to suggest? (one other film that has been rattling in my mind since I started puzzling this question is La Vita E Bella, whose believing Nazi is a well-dressed woman complaining of arithmetic word-problems in public schools)

1) The existential opposition between any non-Jewish Nazi state and the Jewish Diaspora follows of necessity from the tradition of Jews calling and keeping themselves a People Set Apart while at the same time insisting on staying here amongst these other Gentes. It is, however, not logically impossible that a particular local Jewish Polity should also become National-Socialist — such would be opposed to the Torah Commands to Love thy Neighbour, and to Protect the Stranger and Orphan... but since the Jews are a people and not simply a religion thus they are capable of violating Torah while remaining Jewish. Meanwhile, (recalling that Nazi Germany was also pleased to export its Jews in exchange for gold) Nazi-Jewry-in-Jewish-State would be entirely compatible with Nazi-Germany-in-German-Empire and Nazi-Japan-in-Japanese-Empire and Nazi-Afghan-State-in-Afghanistan... and the latter three together were a genuine live idea during WWII.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Thought Experiment

Her Majesty is supposed, these days, not to be "Political", as it is called. I remain uncertain as to what this really means, except that "Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, though she doesn't have a lot to say..."

Who-Was-Saturday recently affirmed "Je suis la mère de Charlie Gard", to which a commentator has replied "Je suis son grand-père". I should like to ask, therefore, of Her Majesty,
What if rather than wee Charlie, it had been wee Prince George?
Would the Decision be so finally left in the hands of the National Health Service? And would they be so keen to suspend extraordinary support? It's not an idle question, either, as the late King Edward's last physician boasted for decades of having hastened that royal succession1 (over loud royal cursing, I might add), and even now I can't recommend Her Majesty anymore visit this particular Crown Realm whence I write, lest in some emergency the local medical establishment show her less care than we once showed to the then-expectant Queen of Holland (in memory of which myriads of tulips are sent hither each year...)

Dearest, Your Majesty, who sit as mother over all your kingdoms, and indeed a great-grandmother, the question is not a political question. It's a question of family.

1) one may note with some interest that Mrs "Simpson" Spencer never did have any children, so with or without King George VI, we'd probably have welcomed Queen Elizabeth II anyways. But that would have been a very Different World.