May 2, 2017

"As much as university administrators lament student-led intolerance and narrow ideas about free speech, they played a roll in their creation."

The editors at USA Today — which I got to via Instapundit — make a good point, while protecting their credibility within mainstream media with staunch anti-Trumpism, e.g., "Campus protesters are right that President Trump's America-first nationalism is a grave threat to many Americans. But unfettered First Amendment rights are the answer to the threat, not its cause."

But come on... "they played a roll..." If the editors of a newspaper are going to purport to instruct the plebes on what they ought to believe, they ought to take care at every moment that they are — in the most fundamental sense — editors.

Played a roll... I remember when Johnny Depp played a roll in "Benny and Joon"... played 2 rolls, actually, just got them out of the breadbasket, stuck forks in them, and made them do a little dance:



I've also seen actors play 2 roles, e.g., Patty Duke playing Patty and her cousin Cathy on the old "Patty Duke Show." I've even seen actors play 3 roles. Indeed, I've seen Peter Sellers play 3 roles twice. He was Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove in "Dr. Strangelove," and Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy, and Tully Bascombe in "The Mouse That Roared." He also played 3 roles in "The Prisoner of Zenda" — Rudolf IV, Rudolf V, and Syd Frewin — but I haven't seen that. And I've also not seen "Soft Beds, Hard Battles" (AKA "Undercovers Heroes"), which takes the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen. In that one, he played 6 roles — Général Latour, Major Robinson, Herr Schroeder, Prince Kyoto, The President, and Adolf Hitler.



Speaking of cake and free speech, what about cake makers who won't write what customers want on their cake? I'm seeing this story — about ShopRite's refusal to put a 3-year-old child's name on a birthday cake. The father said: "There's a new president and he says it's time for a change; well, then it's time for a change. They need to accept a name. A name's a name." The year was 2008, the new President was Barack Obama, and the 3-year old was Adolf Hitler Campbell.

UPDATE: USA Today has corrected the roll/role mixup, and Instapundit has corrected it on his post as well. 

IN THE COMMENTS: I get very involved in the question whether Chaplin — in the scene Depp paid homage to — used rolls or potatoes. I would have used the Chaplin clip if I'd thought Chaplin used rolls, but I'd always seen them as potatoes. This is me in the comments:

1. "'Depp's "roll" playing is a rip from (or homage to) Chaplin's doing the same thing in THE GOLD RUSH' [wrote Robert Cook]"/Yes, I know, but I couldn't use Chaplin here, because Chaplin used potatoes."

2. "Here's Chaplin with the potatoes. Of course, it's better than what Depp did, but Depp was good as a guy who tried to be like Chaplin. Or am I wrong? Is Chaplin using dinner rolls? Now, I have to look it up. I think Depp's use of rolls has caused people to see Chaplin as using rolls. I think it was potatoes!"

3. "Watch Curly do it at 15:48 in 'Pardon My Scotch.'"

4. "In the Chaplin scene, the woman on the right clearly has a potato on her plate. Is that causing me to perceive Chaplin as spearing potatoes on his forks when in fact he's got dinner rolls? But why would they pose the potato on the woman's plate like that if not to orient the viewer to understand what the relevant items are?"

5. "Or am I wrong about that being a potato on the woman's plate. It looks like a split-open baked potato, but on further viewing, I'm willing to believe it's one of those dinner rolls that are baked after cutting a slit across the top."

6. "Okay, this convinces me that those were rolls, not potatoes. Also, Chaplin wasn't first. He got it from Fatty Arbuckle. (Video at the link.)"

59 comments:

tcrosse said...

Alec Guinness plays eight roles, not all of them speaking, in Kind Hearts and Coronets. That's how he rolls.

Darrell said...

The left-wing media is a much bigger threat to our Nation.

John said...

Buddy Rich played a pretty good roll one handed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc62KMqQGio

John Henry

Bob Boyd said...

Althouse on a roll.

MadisonMan said...

That kid in 2008 is a tween now. I wonder what name he is going by.

Robert Cook said...

Depp's "roll" playing is a rip from (or homage to) Chaplin's doing the same thing in THE GOLD RUSH.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Spellcheck told the editor that "roll" was just fine. There was no wavy red line under the word.

The millennials are too busy learning about homophobia to master homophones, heterographs and homonyms.

Jeff Weimer said...

They've got to throw those "bad Republicans" notes in there; because Democrats are good, and when they're being bad, Republicans are as bad or worse and everyone needs to be reminded of that else they get the wrong ideas about Democrats.

campy said...

Alec Guinness plays eight roles, not all of them speaking, in Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Came here to post this.

John said...

Momma always said: "Never go grocery shopping or edit your newspaper when you're hungry. You spend too much and look like a fool."

Matthew Sablan said...

"At Middlebury College in Vermont, a professor accompanying libertarian author Charles Murray was injured by an angry mob. At the University of California-Berkeley and its surrounding community, protests against scheduled speakers have turned ugly."

-- Wow. Look at those twisted sentences to avoid stating this in the strongest, clearest possible terms. How those sentences should read:

"At Middlebury College in Vermont, an angry mob attacked and injured 'Person's Name,' a professor, and author Charles Murray. Protesters at the University of California-Berkeley used threats of violence to cause the school to withdraw invitations from conservative speakers, such as Ann(e?) Coulter."

If you read this, it sounds like the angry mob didn't intend to injure the guy, it just sort of happened, and that the protesters did not intend to turn ugly, and were not targeting specific speakers.

Karen of Texas said...

Don't forget Tony Randall in Seven Faces of Dr. Lao.

Matthew Sablan said...

"In just the place where the clash of ideas is most valuable, students are shutting themselves off to points of view they don’t agree with. At the moment when young minds are supposed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, they are answering challenges to their beliefs with anger and violence instead of facts and reason."

-- That's odd. Didn't a conservative university invite Bernie Sanders to speak and NOT riot? This makes it sound like this is a problem with university students, not specifically liberal university students.

Bob Boyd said...

They fixed it.

Sebastian said...

"Campus protesters are right that President Trump's America-first nationalism is a grave threat to many Americans." As much as the MSM lament student-led intolerance and narrow ideas about free speech, they played a roll in their creation.

Matthew Sablan said...

I started reading the opposing view... and it is hysterical. Not in the ha-ha way.

"The Trump administration is conducting a racial purge, a campaign of mass deportations against America’s Latino and Muslim immigrant communities. Immigrants who have lived peacefully in America for many years are being driven from their homes and families. This unfolding human catastrophe is the single greatest threat to all freedom and all rights in our nation."

-- I think this author doesn't know what "racial purge" means, is unaware about the number of deportations not rising particularly, and conflates illegal immigrants with immigrants. The opposing view is off to a rollicking start.

Ann Althouse said...

"Depp's "roll" playing is a rip from (or homage to) Chaplin's doing the same thing in THE GOLD RUSH."

Yes, I know, but I couldn't use Chaplin here, because Chaplin used potatoes.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But some of Trump’s supporters — anti-immigrant demagogues and even fringe fascist elements — are seeking to change the subject of discourse to a different sort of freedom, one that shows no signs of being in peril: the “free speech” of the anti-immigrant demagogues."

-- Was Charles Murray an "anti-immigrant demagogue?" We didn't even get to HEAR Coulter's speech, which could have been about a number of conservative hobby horses, so how do we know for sure that's what was up for her to talk about? What about the tax day protesters who had to fight back against people throwing smoke bombs and real explosives at them? Isn't the fact I'm talking about people silenced, violently, while local governments did nothing, a sign that their free speech actually IS in peril, whether the author thinks they deserve that freedom or not?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Their right to speak is effusively defended by every branch of government, by the politicians of both political parties, by every police department and by every major news outlet, including USA TODAY."

-- Oh, I guess the counter point is unaware of local city governments telling their police not to protect conservative speakers/stand down and is unaware of the "punch a Nazi" meme gaining steam.

Well, OK. So the counter point is just not up to date on current events. That explains why they're so off.

chickelit said...

Althouse is on a role lately, playing editor to the editors.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's Chaplin with the potatoes. Of course, it's better than what Depp did, but Depp was good as a guy who tried to be like Chaplin.

Or am I wrong? Is Chaplin using dinner rolls? Now, I have to look it up. I think Depp's use of rolls has caused people to see Chaplin as using rolls. I think it was potatoes!

Seeing Red said...

Rolles uber alles!

Matthew Sablan said...

"The objective of these anti-immigrant demagogues is to repress and ultimately silence the free speech of the growing Resistance: the mass movement for immigrant rights."

-- That's odd. I don't recall any violent counter protesters silencing any of the protests against the Wall or Trump. Alternative facts, I guess.

"Shanta Driver is national chair of BAMN (By Any Means Necessary)."

-- Wait. Did we REALLY get an alternate view from a group that promotes violence against conservatives as the "counter point" to "Hey, maybe we shouldn't be violent against conservatives?"

AlbertAnonymous said...

What about the fake "Love Wins Fag" cake?

CJinPA said...

"Campus protesters are right that President Trump's America-first nationalism is a grave threat to many Americans. But unfettered First Amendment rights are the answer to the threat, not its cause."

THIS is how you defend political violence without having the stones to say so outright.

You say, "Your violent rage is justified. But don't be violent."

The editors chose the word "threat" because it suggests a physical threat. So a physical response is justified.

Remember the words of our former president when labeling opponents: "That's not who we are." Meaning, "These people are un-American." It's not very difficult to get mobs to go after 'traitors who seek to hurt others.'

Ann Althouse said...

Watch Curly do it at 15:48 in "Pardon My Scotch."

Ann Althouse said...

In the Chaplin scene, the woman on the right clearly has a potato on her plate. Is that causing me to perceive Chaplin as spearing potatoes on his forks when in fact he's got dinner rolls? But why would they pose the potato on the woman's plate like that if not to orient the viewer to understand what the relevant items are?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Campus protesters are right that President Trump's America-first nationalism is a grave threat to many Americans.

Namely, those of us who are Cosmopolitan Globalists who derive economic benefit from "free" trade and importation of massive numbers of low-skilled workers who are fearful of upsetting the apple cart because of the threat of deportation. Not to mention that sweet, sweet feeling of moral superiority that our self-righteousness generates.

Ann Althouse said...

Or am I wrong about that being a potato on the woman's plate. It looks like a split-open baked potato, but on further viewing, I'm willing to believe it's one of those dinner rolls that are baked after cutting a slit across the top.

Paddy O said...

I've always thought Chaplin used rolls, and I've never seen the Drop version before. Taking a closer look at those "potatoes" in the Chaplin clip suggests to me they are rolls again, though elongated potato like. They have a flat bottom. Their tips have the baking crevice. They are easy to stab. And potatoes don't seem like a Klondike food like sourdough rolls definitely were.

Known Unknown said...

"I think it was potatoes!"


They are potatoes. A fork doesn't stick into a roll in the manner Chaplin placed his into the potato. You get a sense of the density of the material by the way the fork is plunged into it.

Did I spudsplain that well enough?

Paddy O said...

Tops not tips

Paddy O said...

Cutting the top before baking is in all sourdough recipes I've looked at.

Michael K said...

WE'll see how Portland treats the arrested "roll players."

Certainly a handsome bunch of whatevers.

Then the asskicking came. Portland PD rushed forward, arrested three anarchists, and put out the fire. They kept pushing the crowd forward, arresting more and more anarchists along the way, until finally, there were no more anarchists left to riot.

Portland PD tweeted out some of the arrests:


I wonder how they decided which prison sections to put them? Genitals check ?

Known Unknown said...

Now I just watched the rest of the clip and I'm not sold 100% on either potatoes or rolls.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, this convinces me that those were rolls, not potatoes.

Also, Chaplin wasn't first. He got it from Fatty Arbuckle. (Video at the link.)

Known Unknown said...

Yeah the flat bottom and elongated shape looks more roll-like than spud-like. But boy, the thing sitting on that lady's plate at the very beginning of the clip looks to be a baked potato.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"The Trump administration is conducting a racial purge, a campaign of mass deportations against America’s Latino and Muslim immigrant communities. Immigrants who have lived peacefully in America for many years working hard for low wages and helping Democrats hold onto power.

tcrosse said...

Now I just watched the rest of the clip and I'm not sold 100% on either potatoes or rolls.

It's a movie, so maybe they're actually props of some indeterminate material.

Rick Turley said...

Tom Hardy as the Kray twins in 'Legend.' Masterful. Best actor of his generation.

Rene' Saunce said...

Lefty push: False premise, fake news, lies, reducto absurdo, red herrings, strawmen.... Russians... mass-deportations, FASCISM!, theocracy!


You can see why they are so outraged.

CJinPA said...

Watch Curly do it at 15:48 in "Pardon My Scotch."

I am impressed. Speechless, even.

MisterBuddwing said...

There's footage of Chaplin performing the roll dance at a Hollywood party. (They sure look like rolls to me...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4LXKgOxgcc

Dave D said...

They are clearly rolls to me. The mass of a roll is much less and the swinging around he does suggest they don't weigh as much as a potato. Crusty rolls would be VERY sturdy with forks stuck in them. Potatoes, unless undercooked, would be more "plastic".

walter said...

Unis aren't so big on free speech, but I hear they have classes on sexual roll play.

LordSomber said...

Our Patty loves to rock and roll,
A hot dog makes her lose control.

Fernandinande said...

Bob Boyd said...
They fixed it.


Damn! Now there's no reason to read it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

So a black student allegedly stabbed a bunch of people at UT Austin this morning before being stopped by another student with a gun. One person is dead.

Several years ago, the suspect made a video about racism which featured a photo of himself smiling and the caption: "Do I look threatening or intimidating?"

Well, not in that picture, he doesn't. But then he got himself a knife and tried on a new roll.

I'm sure it's all Trump's fault.

buwaya said...

The rioting and blockading of political speakers is just the high profile, surface stuff. The significant part under the surface is the mechanism of "the closing of the American mind".

The fight is about far more important things than what some extremists are up to. The real villain of this situation is the entire university management - faculty subculture.

mezzrow said...

Depp/Chaplin/Arbuckle must be butta...

(you know the rest)

has the butta/roll thing expired by now? Is it in long-term detention camp with the macarena?

Is it the embarrassing 'hip' thing Gramps says in front of the fifteen year old kids by now?

Birches said...

Campus protesters are right that President Trump's America-first nationalism is a grave threat to many Americans.

I'm more open borders than most of you and I'm scratching my head at this line. How are Americans hurt by enforcing rules on the book? From a free trade perspective, I suppose pro-tariff Trump policies will end up hurting Americans, but threat is hardly the right word choice. Who is on the USA Today editorial board? Is there anyone over 30? And more importantly, what colleges did they graduate from?

Btw, I always loved Benny and Joon.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Birches said...

How are Americans hurt by enforcing rules on the book?

You have to understand that to the left, Americans are not just United States citizens. The term applies equally to anybody residing in the United States. Sometimes the term is used for anyone residing anywhere in North or South America ( of course including central America. )

Trumpit said...

I admire the president of China, President She for being a prominent transgender person on par with Bruise Jenner. All top athletes have bruises, so I'm making a little jock joke.

Getting back to She. At least She is not an It. How soon we forget Cousin It, the hairiest member of the Addams Family. It was nearly impossible to understand covered as It was with so much hair. Was It an it? That is an obvious tautology, so I'll leave It at that, and not look below Its waist. That would be an invasion of Its privacy. It is up to It to tell us what It is, if It so chooses. What difference would it make, except for prurient interest, to know if It is a he, she, or it?

Back to Trump's budding love of She and That delicious piece of chocolate cake. I won't get into That, except to ask if That cake was vegan and gluten-free. If That wasn't then Trump could have risked a international incident by giving She Montezuma's revenge. The Chinese are frequently lactose intolerant, and intolerant in general. Trump wants to build a wall, and the Chinese know a Thing or two about walls, and things in general. Thing was a hand, and who played Thing? Dumb question. A hand played Thing. I don't know if It, That, or Thing was a he, she, or it. I don't know Everything. Everything can speak on behalf of everything because "Everything is everything." And, as Bill Clinton profoundly said under oath,“That depends on what your definition of "is" is.” And, what does "that" depend on? Dumb question. That depends on what your definition of "that" is. That's obvious.

walter said...

buwaya said...The real villain of this situation is the entire university management - faculty subculture.
--
Sub, Dom..and roll play.

mockturtle said...

I wonder if I am the only female on the planet who finds the Three Stooges funny.

Smilin' Jack said...

I've seen Peter Sellers play 3 roles twice. He was Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove in "Dr. Strangelove," and Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy, and Tully Bascombe in "The Mouse That Roared." He also played 3 roles in "The Prisoner of Zenda" — Rudolf IV, Rudolf V, and Syd Frewin — but I haven't seen that.

He also played 3 roles in Lolita--Clare Quilty, an unnamed cop impersonator, and Dr. Zempf.

Ann Althouse said...

"He also played 3 roles in Lolita--Clare Quilty, an unnamed cop impersonator, and Dr. Zempf."

Well, no. He plays only plays Clare Quilty. The character Clare Quilty does imitations.

I almost made this mistake as I was writing the post, but I caught myself.

southcentralpa said...

And as long as we're obsessing over role/roll, let's not forget "Linda Chambers re-creating her classic roll" from Kentucky Fried Movie (Catholic High School Girls in trouble mock trailer (https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=999_1174148069 NSFW, you have been warned))

southcentralpa said...

Oh, yes, and if Sellers hadn't hurt his leg, he would've played the B-52 pilot as well in Strangelove