Tuesday, November 22, 2005

'Good Night and Good Luck' 

This review by Martha Bayles is generally positive, in that the movie is worth watching, but it rips the film for ignoring the complexity of the era in which McCarthy carried out his hunt for communists. The conluding paragraph of the piece contains the spirit of the review:
Good Night, and Good Luck is insular. The only character whose mind ranges wider than a smoke ring is Paley, and his worries are mostly about the bottom line. And the decision not to have an actor play McCarthy--to reduce the dreaded witchhunter to a flickering shadow in a cathode ray tube--places the political reality of the time at an even greater remove than usual in such films. In the end, the movie is so swaddled in layers of artistic self-referentiality that it totally shuts out the concerns that made McCarthy's witch hunt possible. Maybe the Communists of the 1950s were not under every bed or in every State Department closet. But neither were they trick-or-treaters in black pointy hats. Some witches are real.
What's really fun is when a few people with a tendancy to support the political left get together to talk about this film (John Stewart and George Clooney on The Daily Show, for example). Then they like to say that McCarthy's witch hunt is a lot like the Bush Administration now. Har har.

Unlike the magical type, there are 'witches' in the world. Terrorists and Islamo-fascists are no fantasy. If more liberals would become more self-aware of how fragile our cushy way of life is and how many evil people wish to destroy it, they might not hold such naive and foolish opinions about what we need to do to protect our way of life.

Unfortunately, and especially lately, I think when I hope for such a turn around I'm doing nothing but indulging a fantasy.

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