Movie Review: A Few Good Men (1992)

A Few Good Men (1992)_____9/10
A morality play that hits on all cylinders

Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Rob Reiner

Tom Cruise … Lt. Daniel Kaffee
Jack Nicholson … Col. Nathan R. Jessep
Demi Moore … Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway
Kevin Bacon … Capt. Jack Ross
Kiefer Sutherland … Lt. Jonathan Kendrick
Kevin Pollak … Lt. Sam Weinberg
Wolfgang Bodison…Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
James Marshall
… Pfc. Louden Downey
J.T. Walsh … Lt. Col. Matthew Andrew Markins

Harold, you don’t need to wear a patch on your arm to have honor.” — Lt. Daniel Kaffee

What’s special, or even topical, about this movie is it speaks to how military honor can be so readily suborned by the authoritarian impulse.  And second, how the same honest pride—not to mention competence—is necessary to bring such posturing would-be tyrants to justice.

No, I”m not going to launch into another angled criticism of the Bushoviks; but the facts are apropos: in the name of a notion of high-minded military protection the Cheney-Bush Oil Junta (CBOJ) performs criminal acts of the highest, deadliest, and most treasonable nature.

CBOJ’s acts are much worse in scale than what Colonel Nathan Jessep (Jack Nicholson in an Academy Award-winning role) is ultimately accused of, which is ordering a “Code Red” that winds up killing a Marine in his barracks on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). But what he’s accused of is of the same essence, bred of the same perverse conceit of absolute power. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Liberty and Celebrity

Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement

This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places[1].  Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”[2]

Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson.  The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading