Thursday, October 16, 2008

THE HORROR

Earlier this year, I wrote a post comparing Willie Randolph's impending dismissal with Capt. Willard's mission to terminate Col. Kurtz's command. Now I know that our readers are more Pulp Fiction than Apocalypse Now. More Old School than Caddyshack. More Something's Gotta Give than When Harry Met Sally. But let's be honest. John Milius took Joseph Conrad's novel and made it into a never ending referendum on life. So with that in mind, I will take you through the downward spiral of Michael Patrick Francesa. The following is a back and forth with Francesa of the last 2 months and the various players of Apocalypse Now:


FRANCESA
"Something is wrong with this team. You have to break up the core."

KURTZ
"We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig,
cow after cow, village after village, army after army.
And they call me an assassin. What do you call it when
the assassins accuse the assassin?"


FRANCESA
"I think it will hurt the Rays if they win the World Series."

CORMAN
"Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called
the better angels of our nature. Every man has got a
breaking point. You and I have. Walter Kurtz has reached his.
And very obviously, he has gone insane."


FRANCESA
"My source told me that Ryan Church is very unhappy in New York."

WILLARD
" They told me that you had gone totally insane and that your
methods were unsound."
KURTZ
" Are my methods unsound?"
WILLARD
" I don't see any method at all, sir."

FRANCESA
"There's a David Wright on every team."

LUCAS
"Your mission is to proceed up to Nung river in a Navy
patrol boat. Pick up colonel Kurtz' path at Nu Mung Ba,
follow it, learn what you can along the way. When you find
colonel infiltrate his team by whatever means available and
terminate the colonel's command."
WILLARD
"Terminate ? The colonel ?"
CORMAN
"He's out there operating without any decent restraint.
Totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.
And he is still in the field commanding his troops."
CIVILIAN
"Terminate with extreme prejudice."

8 comments:

Gene said...

I would just like to say that the Rays still look absolutely TERRIFIED to me. Can you imagine how nervous they are going to be when they get to the World Series?

wtsherman said...

Gman,

You muster some compelling and apt quotes here. Quickly, however, I've never really appreciated "Now" nor understood the hype. Is it sublety? psychology? brute force? troubling, inscrutable Vietnam circumambience? expansive social commentary? I guess I find it a bit sparse.

You guys have a knack for the killer, crystallizing quotes from films, and you don't disappoint here. I watched Deliverance the other night, and while I think some of the motifs are maybe, MAYBE heavy-handed, I see it as a prior and superior (and similarly-concerned and in certain ways subtler) antecedent to Apocalypse Now. The cliches at hand are obvious: gothic Appalachia vs. drugged War. But I think both movies grapple with the same atavistic struggle when, as the Reynolds character warns, "the system breaks down."

One more thing, is it me or is Burt Reynolds circa Deliverance crazily Brando-esque, from his thick slanting eyebrows to his surly Alpha-dog impatience?

Another thing, I love Conrad but I had to read HOD for something like eight different humanities and history classes in college and it was always so dreadful, couched as it was in academia's obsession with colonialism.

KBilly said...

What do you know about surfing? You're from God Damn New Jersey.

But I do like the comparison. Mike smells the napalm, that gasoline smell...But is sure can't smell like...Victory.

wtsherman said...

I think I speak safely for at least Loki and myself when I say that we're not watching romantic comedies, be they When Harry Met Sally or Something's Gotta Give. I guess we know what you guys watch, but maybe you don't know what we do, lol.

Fwiiw, f we must have Billy Crystal I'll take Throw Mama From The Train or City Slickers, and I've always liked Nicholson's The Last Detail. Every other Nicholson movie sucked!!!! Am I right?

wtsherman said...

Gman,

No way does NC go blue this year, despite all the lawn signs in Durham and Ashville and Raleigh.

gman26 said...

WT

Did you just catch up on the blog in a drunken spree?

I appreciate the John Boorman reference. In comparing Deliverance to Mike's current scenario, who is Ned Beatty? Probably every potential host that sits in with him. I do like this line - "surly Alpha-dog impatience." Burt was like that in Sharkey's Machine as well.

You're probably right about NC as well, but the fact that it's in play is surprising.

wtsherman said...

GM,

Drunken spree is almost right, except that a spree implies irregularity, what does "binging" mean to a guy who puts in a good day's work...sad, very sad, i know.

Early this week I was in Asheville w/ my gf going on Trolley tours and breathing the salubrious blue mountain air, peeping Thomas Wolfe's resting place. We climbed Mt. Pisgah, for pete's sake! Funny thing, somewhere between Marion and Statesville, NC we heard the beacon of goodly familiarity that is Jerry Recko on the 20/20 on 660 AM - clear as day. Has anyone ever experienced the same shit driving thru DC, where every other station is Chicago local, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, Boston, Jacksonville...when driving thru DC! It's crazy.

Can't think of a Beatty equivalent, but I can only wish that Chernoff was so bold and ASSertive as the hillbilly that "pwned" poor old Bobby in Deliverance. (side note: wtf is "pwned?" anyway)

I agree about NC being in play. Crazy. Me, roughly 30 days ago to a friend: "Well, historically NC on the presidential level is firmly GOP. Polls are showin' something like 51-38. I'm a Connecticut transplant, and I'm gonna keep it that way to vote in CT..."

Today, a fully legit NC voter, I'm singing a different tune. We'll see. Anyway, guys check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR9V_aOCga0

My friend just made this video about Sarah Palin...it's not the salvific jingle, but I think it's good.

wtsherman said...

Well I made no sense above, but check out this video fellas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR9V_aOCga0