- - Monday, February 14, 2011

Scarlett lessons

“[‘Gone With the Wind’] Story: Southern aristocrat pursues hot-blooded Southern belle who loves someone else. He finally gets her, but ultimately realizes he doesn’t want her anymore.

“Reason for breakup: A child’s death is a difficult thing for any couple to endure. It’s also a bit of an issue when half of a couple is only in it for self-serving reasons.

“Practical, universal lessons: Don’t marry someone whom you already know has a history of marrying people solely to make a crush object jealous. Also, when you walk out for good, make sure you have a killer exit line.

“Narrow, film-specific lessons: For that matter, don’t marry someone who said she wasn’t interested in you and never would be, but starts chasing you when she needs money. Your primary goal of having a mutually loving, supportive relationship isn’t necessarily compatible with her primary goal of never being hungry again.”

AV Club staffers on “I Learned It At The Movies: How to Break Up,” on Feb. 11

Wrong trailer

“Apart looking like a bad movie, I found [the ‘Atlas Shrugged’ trailer] jarring. It should be in black and white, or muted colors, with the palate and overall look of a [Luchino] Visconti film.

“It has some Art Deco architecture (good), but signs of the modern world intrude at the wrong moments. It should not have high-speed rail (will this confuse conservatives? Did those governors end up cutting Medicaid and coughing up the money?) and it should not postulate unrealistic speeds for freight trains. It should not have 2011 cars and Dagny Taggart should not look like a mousy actress imitating Nicole Kidman playing a local news reporter. ‘If you double cross me, I will destroy you’ doesn’t ring true.

“Hank Rearden’s line about only wanting to earn money comes across as either a parody of Gordon Gecko or as something worthy of Gecko’s parody. To be properly post-Wall Street, Rearden must somehow contain and yet leapfrog over Oliver Stone’s vision; a pretty boy look will not suffice.

Tyler Cowen, writing on “The ‘Atlas Shrugged’ movie trailer,” on Feb. 12 at Marginal Revolution

Not socialist now

“The Socialist International — the global federation of center-left parties that includes Britain’s Labour Party and the French Socialist Party — finally got around to expelling Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party this week, after giving Tunisia’s RCD the boot last month. In a letter to the NDP, the International’s Secretary General writes: … ‘we consider that a party in government that does not listen, that does not move and that does not immediately initiate a process of meaningful change in these circumstances, cannot be a member of the Socialist International.’ …

“The obvious point here is that it’s a bit rich for the International to suddenly discover that the NDP isn’t democratic — when it joined the federation in 1989, Egypt had already been under emergency rule for nine years. For that matter, it hasn’t even been particularly socialist in recent years. The International may want to consider a thorough housecleaning of its membership list. I notice, for instance, that still-refusing-to-step-down President Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front is still listed as a member.”

Joshua Keating, writing on “Socialist International finally kicks out Mubarak,” on Feb. 3 at the Foreign Policy blog, Passport



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