Tuesday, June 2, 2009



Here's a quote I heard last on night while watching Cable TV:
I don't know what the government is coming to. Instead of protecting businessmen, it pokes its nose into business! Why, they're even talking now about having "bank" examiners. As if we bankers don't know how to run our own banks! Why, at home I have a letter from a popinjay official saying they were going to inspect my books. I have a slogan that should be blazoned on every newspaper in this country: America for the Americans! The government must not interfere with business! Reduce taxes! Our national debt is something shocking. Over one billion dollars a year! What this country needs is a businessman for president!

Here's your choices:

A) Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of House and GOP Ethics Expert

B) Larry Kudlow, MSNBC Talking Head and Free Marketeer

C) Henry Gatewood, Bank President, Lonto Bank & Trust

It's Mr. Gatewood.

Wow, seventy years and the Right hasn't changed their talking points since the New Deal.

I was watching (curse you Tuner Movie Classics!) John Ford's 1939 classic Stagecoach last night. The Henry Gatewood character is described per AFI database as "the town's sanctimonious banker who mouths respectability while clutching a carpet bag filled with stolen money." Almost sounds like he could be a Wall Street Investment Bank?

I'm not a big fan of Westerns, and even less of a fan of John Wayne, but this is a wonderfully subversive film and great story telling, if you have 90 minutes its well worth your time. The heroes, all flawed, are social outcasts: an alcoholic, a prison escapee, and a prostitute. Yet their behavior is more moral than their "betters" who take every opportunity to slight them. In John Ford's world character is revealed by a person's behavior, not words or social standing, now that's an out of date concept.

Credit where credit is due, the screen play is by Dudley Nichols best known for his collaborations with John Ford, notably "Stagecoach" (1939). Nichols also worked with Howard Hawks, Jean Renoir, Rene Clair, George Cukor and Fritz Lang.

(Spoiler Alert!) You know it's Hollywood, because at the end of the film the embezzling banker is arrested and carried off to jail accompanied by an angry mob. Now days they get a bonus and are invited on FOX and MSNBC to cry about how lazy the American people are.

If you don't trust my judgement (wish choice) here's Roger Ebert, Film Critic:
John Ford’s mixture of character depth and hard-riding action reminded audiences that the winning of the West was more than just popcorn fodder. Ford’s work inspired Orson Welles, who screened the film 40 times while shooting "Citizen Kane."
Bonus humorous aside or snark: Separated at birth, Larry Kudlow and Donald Meek? Meek who plays Peacock, the whiskey drummer is in the center of the poster below.

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