Thursday, May 11, 2017
Nuclear death is happiness. Let Trump show us how he dies
STANLEY KUBRICK – PETER SELLERS –
GEORGE C. SCOTT – DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE
THE BOMB – 1964
This film has become a cultish film because of the subject
of course but especially because of the tone that is really entirely conveyed
by two actors, Peter Sellers and his three roles and George C. Scott. We could
add Slim Pickens in the batch with his phenomenal dive into nuclear annihilation
at the end.
The subject is central in our post WW2 world since it has to
do with nuclear weapons and war. These weapons have only been used once, in
fact twice, by the USA against Japan in 1945. The deterring effect of the
possession of such weapons is supposed to keep the world as peaceful as it can
be, though we all know it is not exactly true since wars have been going on
practically constantly since 1945, for oil, for uranium, for who knows what
other resources or tribal heritage from the centuries of slavery imposed onto
black Africa, or the centuries of rife between sects in some religions. But
they were always limited geographically. Most of these wars, apart from the
direct colonial wars of Great Britain (not so many) and France (essentially two
in Indochina and in Algeria) were the deeds of the USA: Korea, Vietnam, and the
Middle East, and should I not mention Granada and Panama? The Soviet Union only
had one in Afghanistan and they stepped out of it in front of the resistance
from the Taliban and the Mujahedeen, armed and financed by the USA and the CIA.
These movements gave rise to Al Qaeda and later ISIS.
In 1964 just after
the missile crisis in Cuba the world had just gone through a terrible scare and
Stanley Kubrick wanted to produce a film that would make the world realize how
dangerous these weapons can be and how little we can stop them when they are
already in the air. He decided to make it a comedy by using Peter Sellers in
three different parts in which his improvising was able to make a real hit on
the psyche of an audience. And it is a success and it is still valid.
The argument is that there will always be some crazy guy who
will be able to bypass all limitations and firewalls to play a trick on the world,
on the USSR at the time and Russia nowadays, or even China for the more
reckless, and manage a bomb and today a missile to reach the other side and
start the ABSOLUTELY AUTOMATIC responding defense that would become a
tremendous back-attack or act of final justified but lethal compensation. As
the one who started the scare in this film, and the final holocaust, says so
well just before committing suicide “I believe there is another life on the other
side!” That is in the drastic situation the most humorous, a very black humor
indeed, remark you can utter.
The mad Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove is the most
frighteningly hilarious character you can imagine, selling his nuclear
knowledge and knowhow to the USA with only one intention: to get to the nuclear
holocaust he had been preparing in Germany for Hitler and he was not able to perform
or achieve. He is mad, he is deranged, he is physically handicapped, he is
erratic and his artificial arm is only remembering his glorious Nazi time and
is taking over from time to time to salute his leader, Heil and Heil again.
All that is dealt with humorously but it is dramatic and
today in the situation of two wars, in Afghanistan on one side, and in
Iraq-Syria on the other hand, plus the Korean situation that is poisoned by the
unpredictable erratic attitude of President Trump in front of a young leader in
North Korea who is either right to resist American imperialism or wrong to
endanger the survival of the whole planet, today we can feel it resonate with
strength and power.
Can there be any reasonable tempered, and well-tempered at
that, moderate and realistic compromise to find a solution to the problem
without having the USA continuing in their unacceptable track of dictating what
one man, one president wants, even when this is purely unethical and absurd? No
one in the world, and certainly not any god in existence, has the right to
dictate to other countries what they have to do and what norms they have to
respect and implement: the one size fits all of the Monroe Doctrine has to be
once and for all sent back to the prop-store of an out-of-use theater.
TO DIE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE, WHAT A
Kubrick touches a very sensitive subject in this film, a
subject that should remind us of man's supreme ability at destroying himself
and surviving his own destruction. He points out how any nuclear protocol has a
hole somewhere or a loophole to go around any kind of security precautions.
Nuclear weapons are our unredeemable doom. They can only lead to a catastrophe.
And humanity is such that it will enjoy destroying itself
and then mobilize its intelligence to just survive in order to start again.
There is no hope what so ever. Kubrick deals with this subject in a very
humorous way but every detail is there to show that the patriotic motivation of
any man justifies in his mind any possible crime or just folly. Man is a fool
and his foolishness can know no end.
COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.