January 24, 2011

"[T]hink a play about a bunch of conservatives getting together each week to kill a lefty (and then maybe having second thoughts) would get such a favorable review?"

"Or get produced, by any theater company, anywhere?"

The first comment following a positive review of a play called "The Last Supper," on stage here in Madison, Wisconsin.  First line of the review: "It's almost eerie that a play about extreme political rhetoric and vitriol would open just two weeks after the terrible shootings in Tucson."

136 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Well at least it is called the"Last Supper", which would put the Conservative in the same metaphysical position as Jesus, while the Leftists get to play Herod or Centurians? or Judas?

/sarc off

Of course art by leftists is just art, by conservatives, it's hate speach.

Ask Leach

Saint Croix said...

I saw that movie! It was a "kill the Republicans" fantasy.

SteveR said...

I guess they surcame to the temptation. These are people who would claim intellectual and moral superiority, right?

David said...

Not eerie but gouhlish.

gouhl: a being that robs graves and feeds on dead flesh

Saint Croix said...

Well at least it is called the"Last Supper", which would put the Conservative in the same metaphysical position as Jesus

Well, they're mocking Christians with that.

You remember the global warming ad where they murder all the skeptics?

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/22170

It was like that. Except 90 minutes and really boring. And nobody blows up. I think they poison them?

Cameron Diaz is in that movie, if I remember right. One of the "smart" liberals. This is the same Cameron Diaz who brought a Mao bag on her trip to Peru.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/cameron-diaz-shocks-the-people-of-peru-with-maoinspired-bag-13453553.html

shoutingthomas said...

I seriously doubt whether the play is interesting or compelling.

My friends and I joke about this type of play/movie. It's the common tripe of lefty film festivals and plays.

Almost always, these productions are stale propaganda. Only the true believers find the productions engaging.

Not edgy or compelling. The usual.

virgil xenophon said...

The challenging "thought-experiments" proffered by one Larry Kaufman in the comments section were on-target instructive. The oh-so-polite smarmy replies even more so. Even worse were the comments of the reviewers who concentrated only on the actors techniques--sort of like commenting approvingly on the technique of the operators of the ovens and gas-chambers at Bergen-Belsen without bothering to note--even in passing--the moral depravity of it all..

Lamar63 said...

Is today's theme, "shut-up. Just shut-up!"?

TosaGuy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TosaGuy said...

I read the Kaufman comments also. He should be careful if he accepts the comp tickets to the production. He might became part of "reality" theater.

TWM said...

This was a movie . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Supper_(1995_film)

Which was better than it sounded, mostly because in the end the conservative radio personality (a Rush Limbaugh wannabe) they set up to kill, in fact, kills them.

It's worth sitting through it just to see the ending.

shoutingthomas said...

It's interesting to note from the review that the first person murdered is that favorite foil of leftists... the truck driver.

My best friend in high school was a long-haul truck driver when he died. In high school, he was a National Merit Scholar and a math genius who received a full ride to Northwestern University.

Psychological problems led to him falling out of school and the known universe for some years, during which he did a stint in the Navy and another in Scientology.

When he finally came back to earth, he borrowed $3,000 from his mom and got a job as a truck driver.

Why do these morons assume that a truck driver would issue some sort of apologia for Hitler?

The assumptions of the playwright about the nature of people like truck drivers are slanderous bunk.

Lucien said...

Isn't a play like this an indictment of the smugness of the leftists portrayed in it? The idea that a certain group is so sure of itself and blind to reality that it views murder of strangers with different views as a good deed is a condemnation of that group, is it not?

That's what made the green ad with the exploding skeptics so weird -- it was a critique of itself, but so tone-deaf that it dd not realize the fact.

former law student said...

Those crazy MadCity liberals, portraying liberals as evil! And applauding the result!

PaulV said...

Long history of murder by the left,
Lenin, Stalin, Mao, NVN, Cambodia and Yugoslavia. Movie reflects hate of the Left.

WV: dacta my post has dacta, combo of fact and data

LarryK said...

Imagine my surprise...I check into the Althouse blog before beginning my work day, and the first thing I see is a comment I left a few days earlier at The Daily Page. BTW, as you can tell from the other comments there, I've agreed to see this play courtesy of the Mercury Players Theater. I fully expect to hate it, but I'm going to do my best to keep an open mind.

And thanks, Tosa, for your concern, but I think I can handle myself - and TWM, for spoiling the ending.

shoutingthomas said...

The syndrome on display here has long been noted.

A Hero of Our Times.

TMink said...

Republicans are not interested in that sort of masturbatory fantasy in general.

Trey

Fred4Pres said...

There was a movie about this.

MrBuddwing said...

This was a movie . . .

Which was better than it sounded, mostly because in the end the conservative radio personality (a Rush Limbaugh wannabe) they set up to kill, in fact, kills them.

It's worth sitting through it just to see the ending.


Well, as long as we're giving away the ending ...

The talk show host was played by Ron Perlman. He came across as very reasonable, very intelligent, someone you could "agree to disagree with," which splits the group that's been executing right-wingers one after another; some want to kill Perlman, others don't. As noted, in the end, he turns the tables on the group and hoists them with their own poisoned wine petard.

The ending of the movie is a bit ambiguous, but apparently, Perlman then turns into the Hitler-like threat the group thought it was trying to prevent. The movie's message seemed to be that when the new Hitler arrives, he won't be some loud-mouthed, obnoxious bigot, but someone who will totally charm you. (And a conservative, at that.)

Word verification: blegiali.

Big Mike said...

The last paragraph of the review made me want to hurl.

And then there's the characterization of the conservatives. If the playwright believes that conservatives drive trucks and routinely run around praising Hitler, then I guess he doesn't know many conservatives.

Ann Althouse said...

The review talks about the movie.

Phil 3:14 said...

from the review describing two of the victims:

This young man, a patriotic Desert Storm vet, first startles the group when he insists on saying grace before the vegan meal and then goes on to praise Hitler, alarming and repulsing the other dinners...
Reverend Gerald spewing hateful statements about gays in mellifluous tones before his spectacular, red-faced demise


Unspoken message is:
I mean we don't condone it but you can sure see why people would be moved to violence against such monsters

Now lets try to reconcile that message with this one:
The Price of Prop 8

I guess the other unspoken message is:
opposition to gay marriage is tantamount to the Taliban or Nazism or something like that

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe I should go see this production so I can blog about the audience response.

LarryK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

The producer has "a keen eye for detail."

shoutingthomas said...

Why would anybody assume that because a guy drives a truck, he's ignorant and he's a Hitler admirer?

I know a lot of truck drivers. What a slander!

LarryK said...

Hey Ann - I've got an "in" with Mercury now. If you come with me, I bet I can get you comped.

Comrade X said...

do you know who also loved socialism, gun control, government health care, and veganism?

PatCA said...

TWM did not reveal anything of a surprise. The ending is typical, and designed to absolve the troupe from any guilt in espousing the death people they don't like. The students get their just desserts, so liberals can watch the play or movie and revel in the killing of conservatives and Christians...and then reaffirm their hatred when a bad guy makes the students pay for their sins.

MikeR said...

Larry, if you want a preview,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Supper_(1995_film)
Sounds like I'd like the ending, anyhow.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Hey Ann - I've got an "in" with Mercury now. If you come with me, I bet I can get you comped.

Don’t fall for it Althouse! He’s just trying to ply you with liquor and steal you from Meade….

MrBuddwing said...

Don’t fall for it Althouse! He’s just trying to ply you with liquor and steal you from Meade….

If you see the movie/play, you will be told it's not a good idea to accept alcohol from a liberal ...

Word verification: rachy.

edutcher said...

I do believe I detect a theme.

And a very good one, considering how The Zero is up in the polls on his bogus Conciliation Offensive.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe I should go see this production so I can blog about the audience response.

Hey, why not? You'd undoubtedly show up Frank Rich.

Pogo said...

What Would Lefty Do?

"Kill your enemies", sayeth the Left.

LarryK said...

Joe, I'm a happily married guy, and the Professor is a happily married gal. The offer was only designed to promote (possibly) more interesting blogging.

Also, the word verification - slypeece - has no implications for my intentions.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Professor Althouse,

Here's another review.

And a quote:

However, on the heels of the more recent shooting deaths in Tucson, Ariz., the idea of murdering people with opposing political views on either side — and the audience’s gleeful laughter that followed these scenes — falls somewhere between slightly uncomfortable to blatantly offensive.

That's a preview of that audience reaction you're wondering about.

TWM said...

"Well, as long as we're giving away the ending ..."

Yeah, yeah, I should have added a "spoiler" warning but then again I really didn't expect many of the folks here to actually watch the thing. I only managed to sit through it barely when I caught it on HBO a while back. If, after having me spoil it for you, want to watch it to see how it ends, check out this Youtube video . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuW3GSbk5NU&feature=related

shoutingthomas said...

We are giving what is undoubtedly a very bad, ham fisted piece of propaganda a lot more publicity than it deserves.

This will only serve to amplifying the propagandists' conceit.

Thorley Winston said...

I’ve seen the movie several times, consider it one of my favorite “political” movies, and have recommended the movie to my conservative/libertarian friends. I actually think releasing a play based on the movie is timely now for a couple of reasons:

First, in the movie, Ron Perlman’s character addresses the question of whether he feels any responsibility if someone listens to his show and commits an act of violence. He argues in a principled manner for the importance of allowing vigorous dissent even when the dissenters throw a few (rhetorical) elbows.

Second, the transformation of the protagonists (the five liberal graduate students who murder their dinner guests) seemed far more true to life than the conservative caricatures that they killed. Initially they rationalize their acts as preemptively “killing the next Hitler” but and as the story progresses you start to see how increasingly intolerant they become where a fourteen-year old girl who didn’t want to participate in a sex education class almost became one of their victims. At one point one of the guests was on the verge of “repenting” his views on the homeless but they talked him out of it so that they could rationalize poisoning him.

EDH said...

about a bunch of conservatives getting together each week to kill a lefty...

Geez, Althouse, at last week's meeting you said you were all for killing...

oops, never mind.

Pogo said...

The dark night of fascist violence is always descending among the conservatives and yet lands only on the left.

jr565 said...

I do have to agree that the movie The Last Supper does in fact indict the liberals who kill the backwards conservatives. They ultimately come across as smug and petty and arrogant. The character who the audience ultimately identifies with is the arch conservative who they set up to kill because he actually argues from principles, whereas they are simply arrogant elitists.
That being said they do poke fun at the conservatives with their backwards views as well, but it's the liberals that are the vicious murderers, smug in their beliefs that they killed "the next hitler" simpy because they were against welfare or something really miniscule.

Kurt said...

Isn't the leftist fascination with murder of either political enemies or at least those not part of the accepted "circle" an established theme in movies and theatre and literature going back for many, many, many years? One needn't just look at this example (or even at anything within the past ten years). The classic example in film, it seems to me, is Rope, though of course the leftist intellectuals there were based on Leopold and Loeb who were anarchists not socialists, but in some respects not that far removed from the types described here. And we could go further back into literature with some of Dostoyevsky's works. Given time, I'm sure I could think of more examples.

bearing said...

I've seen the movie -- it was quite a few years ago but I remember it as smart and funny. I definitely saw it as an indictment of the smug liberals. They are worse than any of the people they hate, and they cannot see it.

How it comes off in a play is going to depend on how it's directed. You could probably swing it right or left depending on emphasis and tone.

wv: silly. Huh.

Pogo said...

Whether the play indicts the murderous arrogant leftists is immaterial.

This play would never be produced or filmed if the roles had been reversed.

There would be protests, official investigations, demands for reeducation, and a wild gnashing of teeth.

Bruce Hayden said...

The dark night of fascist violence is always descending among the conservatives and yet lands only on the left.

Could that happen to be, because the fascists were actually leftists, and their disputes with the communists were over which version of socialism should prevail?

Michael said...

"It's almost eerie that a play about extreme political rhetoric and vitriol would open just two weeks after the terrible shootings in Tucson."

Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is...

Oh to hell with it. Do they even assign 1984 to these twits any more?

Rick67 said...

I have not seen or read the play. So we can only guess how it ends. Some of the comments to the review give us much on which to guess.

My guess/impression is that the play is ironic. That the lefties get to act out their fantasies and attitudes upon "conservatives" that are rank caricatures of the real thing. These are not real "conservatives" who are dined then murdered. These are "conservatives" as the *left* view them.

Therefore the play might in fact be a mirror that challenges lefties to take a hard look at themselves and how they view people who hold different views. "Do you hear yourselves? see yourselves? Do you realize what this ghoulish scenario is basically what goes on in your head each day? Do you understand where this will lead?"

Which is why I am shocked - if my guess is right - that such a play can be staged in Madison Wisconsin. Would such a play about conservatives get a positive review? Heck - we might ask how such a play about lefties can get a positive review.

@rick - Behold. :-)

former law student said...

This play would never be produced or filmed if the roles had been reversed.

There would be protests, official investigations, demands for reeducation, and a wild gnashing of teeth.


pogo characterizes conservatives as a bunch of thin-skinned whiners?

Bruce Hayden said...

My guess/impression is that the play is ironic. That the lefties get to act out their fantasies and attitudes upon "conservatives" that are rank caricatures of the real thing. These are not real "conservatives" who are dined then murdered. These are "conservatives" as the *left* view them.

I have always wondered if the irony excuse is really often developed after the fact, when liberals using it are caught with their pants down.

Or, is it the left's answer to the cynicism seen on the right? (And, yes, I am one of the more cynical).

The problem is that if they really were all that ironic, they wouldn't be liberals, because that would require that they understood the hypocrisy and deception of their positions, which require Utopian wishful thinking to believe.

aronamos said...

This weekend my husband was couch-potato'd all weekend and watched this awfully boring movie called "The Road" in which all the cannibals in this ruined dystopia were truck drivers, even down to the gimme caps.

I was kind of rooting for them to eat Viggo Mortensen and his whinyass kid. Then I went upstairs and played Farmville.

Fen said...

Somehow, this is all Sarah Palin's fault.

The lefties are radicalizing me. I need to check my ammo storage, and re-clean some weaps. Thanks for the reminder libtards!

Pogo said...

fls, read it as saying that the left would go apeshit were such a play about killing liberals be made

Dark Eden said...

"Maybe I should go see this production so I can blog about the audience response."

Trying to decide whether this is a masochistic or martyrdom impulse or both.

Coketown said...

Awesome main picture for the review. Even the black guy looks white. Can't look intellectual wearing FUBU, can we?

Beyond that, the play sounds neat. The Left needs sadistic political porn, too. I always find movies/plays/music that are heavy in politics and "pop culture references" to be shallow and easily forgettable, so I doubt this play, of all plays, will leave a lasting impression on the cultural landscape. It's just fun, mindless escapism (but catering to progressives, it has to have pretenses of intellectualism, of course). As with Wall-E, I'm sure I could suspend my political bias and enjoy the dribble for what it is. Hopefully the play comes out on video or has a tour; I'd see it.

pst314 said...

"I have always wondered if the irony excuse is really often developed after the fact, when liberals using it are caught with their pants down"

Without a doubt.

Greg Hlatky said...

My guess/impression is that the play is ironic. That the lefties get to act out their fantasies and attitudes upon "conservatives" that are rank caricatures of the real thing. These are not real "conservatives" who are dined then murdered. These are "conservatives" as the *left* view them.

Sort of the left-wing political version of one of those pornographic films where, after an hour of hard-core sex, someone in a white coat comes out and reminds the viewers about the dangers of STDs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The interesting part about the comments to the review was that no one was willing to seriously address Mr. Kaufman's proposal on how they would feel if the play were about conservatives murdering liberals for their ideology.

Evasion of the question is often more revealing than answering the question.

Alex said...

Maybe I should go see this production so I can blog about the audience response.

The only people who would see such a play already approve of its values. I don't see what you'll glean from it.

PatCA said...

Yes, Kurt, the fascination with killing on the extreme left has been going for many, many years--since the French Revolution, at least.

William said...

The play, as described here, is meta-smug. The writer and the liberal theatre goers congratulate themselves on their ability to see the dark undertones of their ideology. That is why they are different than conservatives who cannot see the real world damage their views impose. Total crap. These are the kind of people who think that if you deconstruct a patriotic truck driver, you will find a Hitler sympathizer. The liberal descent into murder is presented as a what-if fantasy while are the conservatives are, of course, the real world murderers.....The record to date: no artist has yet presented an accurate representation of the leftist as nihilist failure. We have had Babbitt, Stanley Kowalksi, Sammy Glick and a long line of fictional characters that illustrate different dimensions of the human character. But where in literature is there someone like Stalin. Stalin engineered a bank robbery that killed forty two innocent bystanders and was still sensitive enough to write poetry that was published in anthologies. I have never encountered a credible leftist monster in fiction or movies.

Coketown said...

And if any of you are in Madison, go see the play and report back! It's only $15 ($13 with non-perishable food donation). And if you see it on the 28th or 29th, Dan Rosen (the writer) will be in attendance and will take questions at the end of the performances. So you can ask, "WTF, commie?"

Kurt said...

PatCA--Yes, in my list of examples from theatre, I was going to reference Marat/Sade which is sort of intriguing as a play within a play set in the days of revolutionary France.

Pogo said...

"The Last Supper"
Synopsis:

"I really really want to kill everyone who disagrees with me, but that would be kinda sorta wrong, maybe."

Paul Zrimsek said...

Will be keenly anticipated by all who thrilled to their last production, "Lying in Wait For Godot".

JAL said...

Well if the Lefty was someone who thought Mao Tse Tung (Or Zhou or however they spell it now) was their favorite philosopher, that would equal it out with the kind right wing Hitler loving Desert Storm vet.

Right?

(Actually the Cohen Brothers version of this was pretty funny IIRC. This context, not so much.)

JAL said...

Since the Tucson shootings had nothing to do with the "vitriolic" political rheotirc, I don't think the opening of the play is connected to the shooting discussion.

Now, it might be appropriate to say that in light of all the recent *discussion* about vitriolic political it was an odd choice, but my guess is they have been in rehearsal for a while.

Just saw the video of the guy in Denver screaming "Kill Michelle Malkin" in a crowd a couple years back. Along with a lefty radio guy pursuing her screaming ugly things at her. So don't talk to me about right wing vitriol.

As for the "vet" who is murdered (haha!) in the play -- it's like those Law & Order shows where if there is a military character, they are always the bad guy or crazy. The sterotyping of our men and women in the military by the left disgusts me.

Nuance is something they don't do well.

Revenant said...

[T]hink a play about a bunch of conservatives getting together each week to kill a lefty (and then maybe having second thoughts) would get such a favorable review?

I haven't seen the film of "The Last Supper" since it came out, and I've never seen the play.

That being said, my recollection is that the group of lefties eventually moves beyond "killing right-wing extremists" to killing "innocent" people, too. Ultimately they are outsmarted and killed by, basically, Rush Limbaugh. So "The Last Supper" isn't exactly left-wing fantasy material.

JAL said...

That's "rhetoric."

(Need to write first in WORD and spellcheck.)

Pogo said...

"So "The Last Supper" isn't exactly left-wing fantasy material."

Perhaps instead the message was that any hesitancy will defeat you.

Better to be ruthless like Stalin and Mao.

kcom said...

The fact that many liberals seem fascinated with the idea of killing everyone who disagrees with them (like this play and that global warming video referred to) goes some way toward explaining their obsession with gun control. They are afraid what they might do with a weapon. They have to assume (all people are the same, right?) that conservatives must feel the same way so even more reason to keep guns out of the hands of everyone. They can't conceive that maybe the way they think really is different (and worse). But it can't be worse, because they're liberals. They're the better people.

The Crack Emcee said...

"It's almost eerie that a play about extreme political rhetoric and vitriol would open just two weeks after the terrible shootings in Tucson."

They've got a narrative and - whether it's true or not - they're going to run with it:

Keeps the whole paranoid NewAge killer angle hidden, if you ask me.

kcom said...

"The movie's message seemed to be that when the new Hitler arrives, he won't be some loud-mouthed, obnoxious bigot, but someone who will totally charm you."

Hmmm, where have I heard that before? Sounds a lot like the story of the Antichrist. And they think they've moved beyond religion.

Ralph L said...

They ultimately come across as smug and petty and arrogant
Rather like "The West Wing," and no doubt unintentional, too.

former law student said...

dbq: what would liberals think abbout a play where conservatives are the bad guy and liberals are the innocent victims?

They would think, Art imitates Life, and praise it for its authenticity.

Scott M said...

Really? Innocent? Really?

Revenant said...

Perhaps instead the message was that any hesitancy will defeat you. Better to be ruthless like Stalin and Mao.

No, that wasn't the message.

rhhardin said...

Maybe killing a lefty is just a violent metaphor for maturing.

Go see it and write a review taking that line.

Buckley had a whole magazine devoted to it.

CrankyProfessor said...

Always nice to know that I'll be up against the wall early on.

Yet another reason to tell my students not to go to grad school.

Pogo said...

"No, that wasn't the message."

Really? Why do you say that?

Revenant said...

Really? Why do you say that?

Because I've seen the movie, and it isn't a plausible interpretation of it.

Rent it. It is a decent black comedy.

AllenS said...

Ok, all you Badger fans, let's learn how to Bucky!

Pogo said...

Is the play the same as the movie?

I thought folks above said the ending was changed for the film.

Revenant said...

Is the play the same as the movie? I thought folks above said the ending was changed for the film.

The film came first, the play was adapted from it by its screenwriter. The description given at the link Althouse posted is identical to the movie, and the comments confirm that the ending is the same as that of the movie.

You would, in any event, have to change a lot more than the ending for the message to be "the left needs to be ruthless like Stalin and Mao". You'd have to change the whole story from beginning to end.

Kensington said...

The film is nothing but the worst kind of liberal circle jerk, including the last act and the ending. It doesn't have the stones to truly question any of the left's presumptions or take the audience out of its comfort zone.

For example, while the "Rush Limbaugh" character is, indeed, well-spoken and clever, he tells the liberals that he doesn't really believe the things he broadcasts and thinks his audience is a bunch of simple-minded morons.

This has always been the liberal fantasy about Limbaugh. God forbid the character actually have core conservative principles.

Also, by having the liberals all die at the end by his hand, they even get to become martyrs.

Really, they should have just filmed the actors masturbating. It would have been cheaper and more honest.

Kensington said...

Revenant:
"Because I've seen the movie, and it isn't a plausible interpretation of it.

Rent it. It is a decent black comedy"


I disagree. It is plausible. This film wants to have its cake and eat it, too. It's a mess. The ending does, indeed, suggest that they probably should have killed Limbaugh and that great evil is done by their failure.

They just don't have the guts to say it outright. Plus, becoming martyrs is more fun.

It's an enjoyable enough film if you can look past the political specifics, but intellectually and morally it's pretty obnoxious and incoherent.

LakeLevel said...

Conspiracy Theory:
The White House with it's tremendous intelligence assets found out that there really are a lot of leftys planning on assassinating Republicans (as the Governor of Missouri found out last September). As a pre-emptive strike on the damage such deeds would cause the Democrat Party they sent out a memo to make sure that any time anything that could be remotely blamed on Republicans occurs, all operatives start the dis-information making conservatives appear responsible, thus we get left wing press Tucson fiasco. (Link to Blog post about memo).
When Sarah Palin (or any Republican) gets assassinated, the Democrats will tut-tut at cocktail parties ,well they had it coming. The press reaction will reflect this.

I damn sure hope it's not true, but it does fit the facts.

Pogo said...

" The ending does, indeed, suggest that they probably should have killed Limbaugh and that great evil is done by their failure."

That's what I gathered the underlying message was, sotto voce.

AJ Lynch said...

"The sterotyping of our men and women in the military by the left disgusts me."

That reminds me- whatever happened to the Arizona state rep [Linda Lopez?] who blamed the Tuscon shooting on an vet who served in Afghanistan. The networks reported this early comment of hers but never tracked her down to see whyshe claimed it.

pst314 said...

"My guess/impression is that the play is ironic."

Above the gates to the liberal utopia are engraved the words "Ironic Macht Frei".

Revenant said...

The ending does, indeed, suggest that they probably should have killed Limbaugh and that great evil is done by their failure.

I'm curious what about the ending gave you that impression.

Leo Ladenson said...

The record to date: no artist has yet presented an accurate representation of the leftist as nihilist failure. . . . But where in literature is there someone like Stalin.

Or in Hollywood, for that matter.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Revenant, assuming Wikipedia is trustworthy (always a risk):

A closing shot of a painting portrays all five students collapsed on the floor, with Norman standing next to the blue bottle and smoking his cigar. The film ends with audio of Norman speculating about his possible presidential bid to a cheering crowd, pledging to do the people's will, for as always, he is the American people's "humble, humble, servant."

While not definitive, that sounds a lot like the one guy they didn't kill turned out to be exactly what they feared all along: the next Hitler.

yashu said...

William,

For a great literary representation of "the leftist as nihilist failure," "someone like Stalin [who] engineered a bank robbery that killed forty two innocent bystanders and was still sensitive enough to write poetry that was published in anthologies," "a credible leftist monster," I highly recommend Dostoevsky's Demons (otherwise translated The Possessed or The Devils). An amazing novel, a masterpiece, a profound dissection of the horrors of left-wing radicalism, published in 1872... uncannily prophetic.

Revenant said...

Let me be a little more specific.

The film (and, apparently, the play) goes into a lot of effort setting up the Limbaugh character as dangerous and nasty.

When he actually shows up, though, he turns out to not only be reasonable, but to have much better defenses for his beliefs than the ostensibly "intellectually elite" grad students do. By this point in the film the grad students have moved beyond murdering dangerous/violent political enemies, to killing people whose politics are merely stupid (the librarian who wants to ban Catcher in the Rye), and finally to killing people who have done absolutely nothing "wrong" at all, even by the warped standards of the killers (i.e., the sheriff).

In short, by that point in the film the protagonists are established as the ones who are guilty of horrible crimes perpetrated under an intellectually indefensible ideology -- i.e., exactly what they initially accused the right of. At that point they are killed, in the exact same manner that they had been killing others. Thematically, they are executed for being guilty under their own rules. They are intellectually and morally bankrupt, unrepentant, and a clear danger to society.

The bit at the end where the Limbaugh character contemplates a Presidential run can't plausibly be interpreted as "they should have killed him", because the movie has just finished establishing that he's not all that bad. A more sensible interpretation is that the one person in the movie willing and able to defend his ideas on their own merits is the one who wins.

pst314 said...

Some defend the play on the grounds that its depiction of the murderers and their victims is not cartoonish but sophisticated.

This is, of course, a bullshit defense offered by dishonest partisans.

Nor is such a defense new.

Remember the leftist literary icon Paul de Man? During WWII he wrote for the Nazi collaborationist newspaper Le Soir.

In one notorious article, "The Jews in Contemporary Literature", he argued against "vulgar anti-Semitism", saying it should be replaced with a sophisticated anti-Semitism. This "sophistication" argued that Jews had contributed nothing positive to European culture and that they should be expelled from Europe.

When de Man's wartime writings were revealed, many postmodernists tried to defend him by arguing that his opposition to vulgar antisemitism somehow absolved him.

No matter how "sophisticated" and "nuanced" those Madison liberals think they are, they are nonetheless the intellectual and moral heirs of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

Timon said...

I thought the movie was just a brief history of modern times, assuming the history of the modern world since 1789 or 1793 is leftists going on a killing spree that paves the way for more efficient killers (with a messiah complex) to take control by manipulating the enemies/victims of the revolutionaries, or hijacking the revolution itself.

I don't remember if the moral is about the fruit of the poisonous tree, or that no good deed goes unpunished.

former law student said...

Remember the leftist literary icon Paul de Man?

I have checked the leftist literary pantheon painted on the bedroom ceiling, and see no Paul de Man there.

In fact, as a Nazi collaborator would he not be a right-wing icon? The Nazis and their coalition parner, the German National People's Party formed the right wing of the Weimar political spectrum.

shoutingthomas said...

In fact, as a Nazi collaborator would he not be a right-wing icon? The Nazis and their coalition parner, the German National People's Party formed the right wing of the Weimar political spectrum.

Same old lie.

The National Socialist Party was the "right wing." Sure, fls, that's an oldie but a goodie.

Outright lying suits you somehow.

ampersand said...

Are the Mercury players named after the god of war or the toxic element?

Pogo said...

Sorry, fls, that bullshit history doesn't wash anymore.

Methadras said...

"It's almost eerie that a play about extreme political rhetoric and vitriol would open just two weeks after the terrible shootings in Tucson."

No it isn't. It's what leftards do. They love death in all it's forms and then wail and gnash their teeth when it happens to them, but oh, the unwashed masses?

Marshal said...

"Almost always, these productions are stale propaganda. Only the true believers find the productions engaging."

Keep in mind the target audience: politically naive college students. It's old and stale if you've seen it 20 times. The point of propaganda is to influence a new crop crop of activists.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

ampersand, my first thought was Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre of the Air. I'm sure there's no connection, but it's a natural associatin to my mind.

Revenant said...

The Nazis and their coalition parner, the German National People's Party formed the right wing of the Weimar political spectrum.

Well, yes, the Nazis were in fact to the "right" of the Communist Party.

So is Barack Obama. That does not qualify him as a right-wing icon. :)

former law student said...

The National Socialist Party was the "right wing."

Fine. What were the right-wing parties in Weimar Germany, then? Or did Weimar Germany uniquely lack a right wing, condemning it to roll over and over as it attempted to fly?

The Nazis were neither Marxist nor Socialist. At the beginning of their regime they built a literal military-industrial complex, uniting tycoons and generals.

Consider that Nazis nationalized no businesses. Consider that the Nazis had no central planning authority. Consider that with rare exceptions, the Nazis set up no state run enterprises. (At most they would build a state factory and hire a private firm to operate it.) Nazis appreciated the efficiencies and innovations that competition and entrepreneurship provided.

Revenant said...

Are the Mercury players named after the god of war or the toxic element?

Mercury wasn't the god of war. You're thinking of Mars.

Mercury was the messenger of the gods and patron of, among other things, writers and poets.

shoutingthomas said...

OK, fls, now you're just creating a diversionary tactic to distract from a discussion of this play.

Good try.

shoutingthomas said...

And, interestingly, fls, you seem to be working the "Republicans are Nazis" bit.

So, do you think its permissible to kill Republicans to prevent the resurrection of the Third Reich?

Is that your argument?

Alex said...

FLS - yes the Nazis were merely supply-siders with a racial hatred!

Alex said...

Think about it.

Supply-siders with racial hatred.

Republicans are supply siders.
Republicans hate black/brown people.

thus they are Nazis.

kcom said...

"No it isn't. It's what leftards do."

Remember how they wanted to open the misnamed "International Freedom Center" at the site of the World Trade Center?

Instead of honoring the dead, they wanted to hijack the site to promote their particular political vision. They pretended like it was a noble idea that stood on its own but as soon as (within an hour) they were denied space at the Trade Center site they gave up and ended the project. In other words, when they were denied their propaganda podium they didn't see the point in continuing.

"But the head of the IFC project said in a statement that he did not think there was a viable alternative place for the museum at the World Trade Center site.

'We consider our work, therefore, to have been brought to an end,' said IFC president Richard Tofel."

In other words, his carpetbagging mission failed.

Revenant said...

Fine. What were the right-wing parties in Weimar Germany, then? Or did Weimar Germany uniquely lack a right wing, condemning it to roll over and over as it attempted to fly?

Arranged from "right" to "left", not including the Nazis:

1. (R) German National People's Party
2. (R) Bavarian People's Party
3. (M) Centre Party
4. (M) German People's Party
5. (L) German Democratic Party
6. (L) Social Democratic Party of Germany
7. (L) Communist Party

The Nazis were to the left of the Social Democrats on economic and domestic policy (their ranks included millions of trade unionists and ex-Communists) and to the right of the German National People's Party on militarism and Jew-hatred.

Or did Weimar Germany uniquely lack a right wing, condemning it to roll over and over as it attempted to fly?

If you mean "left" and "right" in terms of relative placement on that country's political spectrum then obviously all countries have a left and a right wing.

But if that's what you meant then it is obviously pretty stupid to expect American right-wingers to support right-wingers in other countries; plenty of countries have "wings" that, in American terms, are "left" and "even further left".

The Nazis were neither Marxist nor Socialist.

Of course they were socialist. They were just nationalist and socialist rather than internationalist and socialist.

At the beginning of their regime they built a literal military-industrial complex, uniting tycoons and generals.

Barack Obama and FDR did the same thing. You can quibble whether direct government management of industry qualifies as "socialism", but it sure as heck isn't right-wing! :)

ampersand said...

Oops, pardon my ignorance and redface.
Let me rephrase god of war to exterminated automobile concern.

former law student said...

Republicans are not Nazis.

The recent trend in the comments here of associating some obscure decades-dead figure with pure evil, and then identifying him as a liberal icon annoys me. (You know Wlater Mitty, the left wing icon? Well he originated the dead baby jokes.)

murgatroyd666 said...

The bit at the end where the Limbaugh character contemplates a Presidential run can't plausibly be interpreted as "they should have killed him", because the movie has just finished establishing that he's not all that bad. A more sensible interpretation is that the one person in the movie willing and able to defend his ideas on their own merits is the one who wins.

I think an equally valid alternative interpretation of the ending might be that all conservatives are evil, murderous Nazi-like enemies of The People, especially the ones who seem reasonable. The Limbaugh clone is a less-introspective, less-regretful murderer than the students were, and since the audience sees him positioning himself to become the next Hitler, then -- gosh! -- it turns out that the students were right, after all.

Remember, the students were trying to make the world a better place! Their intentions were good, which in the eyes of some leftists is more than enough justification for anything.

And that's an excuse that the Limbaugh character isn't allowed by the script. If this "reasonable" conservative were honest and moral and pure and upstanding, wouldn't he have just walked out of the house and called the cops?

Revenant said...

And that's an excuse that the Limbaugh character isn't allowed by the script. If this "reasonable" conservative were honest and moral and pure and upstanding, wouldn't he have just walked out of the house and called the cops?

If failing to call the cops disqualifies a person from being considered honest, moral, pure and upstanding, then the students are disqualified about fifteen minutes into the movie. There isn't a flaw assigned to the Limbaugh surrogate that his would-be killers don't possess in spades.

This is shaping up to be the worst case of conservative artistic confusion since the 1984 Reagan campaign mistook "Born in the USA" for a patriotic anthem. You assume that the students seem heroic to lefties not because you saw the movie and thought they were heroes, but because you assume that lefties will see other lefties murdering right wingers and cheer them on. Meanwhile, back in reality, the students are presented as a bunch of self-involved jackasses motivated not by a desire to make the world a better place, but by their unjustified belief in their own moral superiority. The message of the movie is simply that they don't measure up to their own rules. By their own standards they deserve to be killed -- and that's just what happens.

Honestly, now. It isn't like "they became that which they most feared" is some wacky new concept screenwriters came up with in the 90s.

former law student said...

Rev, the 1. (R) German National People's Party was simpatico enough with the Nazis to form a coalition with them.

bgates said...

Will be keenly anticipated by all who thrilled to their last production, "Lying in Wait For Godot".

From the makers of "The Neocon of Venice Had it Coming", "The Crucible (Is Not a Good Way to Dispose of the Remains of Our Victims Because it Releases Carbon Dioxide)", and, of course, "Death of a Salesman".

murgatroyd666 said...

You assume that the students seem heroic to lefties not because you saw the movie and thought they were heroes, but because you assume that lefties will see other lefties murdering right wingers and cheer them on.

Then why the cheers from the audience?

Meanwhile, back in reality, the students are presented as a bunch of self-involved jackasses motivated not by a desire to make the world a better place, but by their unjustified belief in their own moral superiority. The message of the movie is simply that they don't measure up to their own rules. By their own standards they deserve to be killed -- and that's just what happens.

But the conservatives are worse.

pst314 said...

"In fact, as a Nazi collaborator would he not be a right-wing icon?"

Others have already replied to your ignorant comment about the Nazis, so I'll just point out:

Paul de Man was a leftist, and was revered by leftists. Not so much by conservatives, to put it mildly.

It would help if you didn't opine about things of which you know nothing.

pst314 said...

The "Nazis are right wing" lie was invented by Stalin as a propaganda weapon. Funny how it has found a secure home among our oh-so-intelligent liberal elite.

Revenant said...

Rev, the 1. (R) German National People's Party was simpatico enough with the Nazis to form a coalition with them.

That doesn't say much. After all, just a few years later the Soviet Union was simpatico enough with Nazi Germany to form a coalition with them.

Anyway, like I pointed out above there were areas in which the Nazis were right-wing, and those areas overlapped well with the DNVP. It isn't like the DNVP was getting any offers to form a coalition with the Communists and Social Democrats. :)

Synova said...

My daughter's art school just had their first theater production. They did a play by the head of the theater department (the school has four art concentrations, dance, theater, visual art, and music) that he'd written himself (solves copyright issues) and the plot was thus:

It's soon after 9-11.
Kids buy a friend a pretty scarf.
They go out.
The girl with the new scarf gets separated from her friends.
It get's cold.
She puts the scarf on.
Girl is beaten to death by some thugs who think she is Muslim.

Yes.

Really.

Alex said...

FLS - but you have to admit. The "GOP are Nazis" meme is very strong with the left.

Alex said...

What about Steve Cohen(D-Tenn) who just compared Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare to Nazis?

blake said...

[T]hink a play about a bunch of conservatives getting together each week to kill a lefty (and then maybe having second thoughts) would get such a favorable review?

Absurd on its face: Conservatives would never have second thoughts.

Ralph L said...

Girl is beaten to death by some thugs who think she is Muslim
That's ridiculous. Everyone knows if the scarf is pretty, she can't be a Muslim.

PaulV said...

fls, the political spectrum is a circle with national socialists and international socialists (communists) (both totaltarians)
next to each other directionly across libertarian

WV: disses to smack down

kcom said...

"That doesn't say much. After all, just a few years later the Soviet Union was simpatico enough with Nazi Germany to form a coalition with them."

And just a few years after that we were simpatico enough with the Soviet Union to form our coalition with them. Sometimes, you've gotta look a little deeper.

"Girl is beaten to death by some thugs who think she is Muslim"

Is that based on that NBC report where they sent Muslims to NASCAR races and filmed them getting beaten up by...? Oh wait, never mind...

PaulV said...

FLS, Was there any difference in living in Nazi Germany and the USSR? Not really. Top down control of industry, no unions, corrupt government officials, no free speech, gun control, death camps, lack of religious freedom and oppression.
What was difference except singing the International vs Das Fatherland. Sieg Heil vs Comrade/

former law student said...

Paul, there is no difference between a left-wing hell and a right-wing hell But neither side should assume they will always be on the side of the angels.

Artmark said...

When I go to a play, or a gallery, or a concert, I consider it an opportunity for self-reflection. What is my initial feeling about the artwork? How does the artist provoke that feeling? What preconceptions or aspects of my own experience magnify the feeling?

None of the commenters has seen the play, yet the discussion has whipped into a frenzy of whether Nazis were "right" or "left", and whether the Limbaugh-clone character was Hitler or the grad-students were the equivalent of "good Germans".

You people sound crazy to me.

John Foust said...

Speaking of threats, it appears the Wauwatosa guy accused of threatening to kill Republican lawmakers in a Craigslist message written in "urban thug" style... voted for McCain/Palin.

abeer ahmed said...

For the latest news visit us on cnn.com
http://whois.domaintasks.com/cnn.com