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Is it Oscar night already?

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Israeli racist Natalie Portman, The Kings Speech

I haven't seen a damn thing. I just hope the Zionist Natalie Portman doesn't win anything for that swan movie.

And Christopher Hitchens attacked another Oscar nominated movie, The King's Speech, as historically inaccurate. He wrote that, in the movie, Winston Churchill
is shown as a consistent friend of the stuttering prince and his loyal princess and as a man generally in favor of a statesmanlike solution to the crisis of the abdication.

In point of fact, Churchill was—for as long as he dared—a consistent friend of conceited, spoiled, Hitler-sympathizing Edward VIII. And he allowed his romantic attachment to this gargoyle to do great damage to the very dearly bought coalition of forces that was evolving to oppose Nazism and appeasement...

By dint of swallowing his differences with some senior left and liberal politicians, Churchill had helped build a lobby, with strong grass-roots support, against Neville Chamberlain's collusion with European fascism. The group had the resonant name of Arms and the Covenant. Yet, as the crisis deepened in 1936, Churchill diverted himself from this essential work—to the horror of his colleagues—in order to involve himself in keeping a pro-Nazi playboy on the throne. He threw away his political capital in handfuls by turning up at the House of Commons—almost certainly heavily intoxicated, according to Manchester—and making an incoherent speech in defense of "loyalty" to a man who did not understand the concept. In one speech—not cited by Manchester—he spluttered that Edward VIII would "shine in history as the bravest and best-loved of all sovereigns who have worn the island crown." (You can see there how empty and bombastic Churchill's style can sound when he's barking up the wrong tree; never forget that he once described himself as the lone voice warning the British people against the twin menaces of Hitler and Gandhi!)

Hitchens discusses Edward VIII's support for Chamberlain and his Nazi sympathies. He concludes:

In a few months, the British royal family will be yet again rebranded and relaunched in the panoply of a wedding. Terms like "national unity" and "people's monarchy" will be freely flung around. Almost the entire moral capital of this rather odd little German dynasty is invested in the post-fabricated myth of its participation in "Britain's finest hour." In fact, had it been up to them, the finest hour would never have taken place. So this is not a detail but a major desecration of the historical record—now apparently gliding unopposed toward a baptism by Oscar.
Read the whole thing here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2282194/

Fear of public speaking is common enough. People can understand the king's feelings. I'm not sure what it tells you. That hereditary monarchy is stupid.

Maybe democracy isn't so bad after all. One of its weaknesses seemed to be that a smooth-talking dullard is more likely to be elected that an intelligent, well-informed, competent stutterer whose views were in line with the will of the people. But this movie may show that this isn't an entirely terrible thing.

Many years ago, in the early days of Home Box Office, they showed a pretty good World War Two British propaganda film called The Lion Has Wings. They included a long clip of the king looking ill at ease. He was playing some sort of patty-cake-like game with a large group. And they had a point. You'd never see Hitler or Mussolini do that.

Something else about movie stuttering

I know almost nothing about stuttering. But there were two scenes I can think of from film and television that I always assumed would be rather offensive to those who stutter. The same thing happened in both things.

In The Cowboys with John Wayne and an episode of Room 222 with Karen Valentine, they cure a young person of stuttering by making him mad until he starts yelling at them.

Maybe this was real. I haven't seen the movie, but I heard a clip on the radio. When the speech therapist meets the king for the first time, he takes a seat on the throne to make him mad so he'll start yelling.

(By "mad" I mean "angry". The British think it means crazy.)

Aristocratic internationalism

One thing some people mentioned---they thought it was implausible that the therapist would address the king by his first name. I didn't know kings had last names. I know they made up the name Windsor during World War One to conceal the fact that the British Royal Family was German. They were all related, the British Royal Family, the Kaiser, the Czar.

Years ago, I read an intellectual (Eric Hoffer?) attack the Communist notion of an international proletariat. He argues that it was the bourgeoisie that was international. They all dress alike and act the same no matter where they come from. But it turns out that royalty was international, too. And they had a sense of solidarity. The British Royal family is still mad at the Bolsheviks for killing their cousins, the Czar and his family.

Maybe they HAD to kill the Czar

It's too bad they killed the Czar. They should have reformed him, like the title character in The Last Emperor. Czar Nicholas was a pathetic person in a number of respects, although he still thought he was the shadow of God, or whatever the Czar called himself.

He was sort of like George VI. During World War One, he decided he would inspire the troops by visiting the front lines. But when he got there, he couldn't think of anything to say. So he just stood there, tongue-tied with the troops wondering what was wrong with him.

The Romanovs could have become citizens of their country and achieved personal liberation through Communism.

I don't think the Bolsheviks had much choice but to kill them. They were in a Civil War. Millions were dying. The White Army was about to free the Royal Family, and if they had, the war would have gone on forever.

The same thing happened in Romania. The government was overthrown, Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife were captured. Their captors set up some card tables and after a quick "trial", took them out the side door and shot them both. Hard to tell why they went through the pretense of a trial.

But people defended the executions because their followers would have fought on and on as long as they were alive.

And, right now in Libya, some people are calling for Gaddafi to be killed for the same reason.

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