Spewings from Mr. Down-head

“The movies haven’t been very good the last three or four years, they really haven’t,” author/screenwriter/director Michael Tolkin tells N.Y. Times profiler David Halbfinger. “Everybody knows that. At least that, maybe more. And what [movies] were will never return.

“I don’t think America’s had a good [big] movie made since Abu Ghraib,” Tolkin continues. “I think [that Iraqi prison-torture scandal] showed that a generation that had been raised on those heroic movies was torturing. National myths die, I don’t think they return. And our national myth is finished, except in a kind of belligerent way.”
Tolkin sat for this interview, which was published on Wednesday, 8.30, to plug his new book, “The Return of The Player” (Grove, 8.28).
I’ve been calling Tolkin and runnning into him at parties and various industry fuctions off and on for 14 or 15 years. He’s a good guy to know, although every now and then he can be cautious to the point of being a flatliner.
Tolkin has a very sardonic sense of humor. He’s the funniest down-head I’ve ever met in this town. There was a line in Deep Impact when the astronauts have just committed themsleves to a sucide move that will save the earth, and one of them says, “Well, at least we’ll all have junior high schools named after us” — that’s a Tolkin line.
And never let it be forgotten that Tolkin directed and wrote one of the scariest and eeriest films made in the last 20 years, as well as the most damning film ever made about born-again Christians who believe in the End of Days — The Rapture (1991).
“The source of [Tolkin's] creative-industrial-complex angst,” Halbfinger writes, “is the death of what he both eulogizes and parodies: the classic journey-of-the- hero story structure, analyzed by Joseph Campbell in the 1940′s, popularized a generation ago by George Lucas through Star Wars , spouted and shorthanded by studio executives ever since, and all but trampled to death, Mr. Tolkin said, by nearly every subsequent action movie and thriller that Hollywood has turned out.
“Or, as Tolkin’s Griffin Mill puts it in the new book: “Physics cracked the atom, biology cracked the genome and Hollywood cracked the story.”

49 thoughts on “Spewings from Mr. Down-head

  1. “And our national myth is finished, except in a kind of belligerent way.”
    How many times has the national myth died to leftists? How many times CAN it die?
    Am I to assume, then, that Tolkin thought the national myth was fine and well during and after Vietnam?
    The national “myth” has been dead to the Left for a long time already; this is news?
    That said, The Player was quite enjoyable.

  2. And when the media’s focus, and Anglo-American left-wing’s focus in general, is 100% on the “torture” that those evil, nasty American soldiers do, and barely ever, if at all, mention that while we used guard dogs and sleep deprivation, Islamic fascists BEHEAD their captives, who are innocent journalists and civilians most of the time, or lynch and hang homosexuals from trees?
    Where is the outrage? Where is the international outcry against beheading journalists? Against forcing captives to convert to their religion at gunpoint?
    And they wonder why they’re so gosh-darn unfairly tarred as being against our troops?

  3. Oh crikey.
    I thought Tolkin was smarter than that. I thought he was smarter than the average Malibu liberal know-nothing-about-history type.
    Iran executes rape victims for the crime of being raped, and the worst thing in the world is that a few GIs did the kind of stupid things every army has done at some point, and that the regimes we’re fighting do as a matter of national policy. (Except, minor little point, we PROSECUTE the people who do it. They promote them.) Yeah, I’m sure that’s how they really think in Uzbekistan or Indonesia, as opposed to ginning up outrage because it works for the cause.
    Hey, Michael Tolkin, you wanna make a movie about American heroes? Make a movie about Abu Ghraib, that shows how we prosecute crimes like that because we, imperfect as we are, hold to an ideal of the rule of law, even in a battle zone. Except to make a pro-US military movie in Hollywood today, you’d have to BE a hero.
    No doubt why nobody in Hollywood has ever made a Scientology expose, either, eh Michael Tolkin?

  4. “And when the media’s focus, and Anglo-American left-wing’s focus in general, is 100% on the “torture” that those evil, nasty American soldiers do, and barely ever, if at all, mention that while we used guard dogs and sleep deprivation, Islamic fascists BEHEAD their captives,”
    So sodomizing and beating captives to death isn’t so bad?
    “who are innocent journalists and civilians most of the time,”
    We recently bombed a hotel full of journalists and have the blood of 50,000 dead Iraqi civilians on hour hands. Israel just killed 1,000 of them in Lebanon.
    “or lynch and hang homosexuals from trees?”
    So now it’s convenient to defend gay rights back when you were trashing gays in another thread? Stop flip-flopping. I guess what we did(and by we I mean we as a country) to Matthew Sheppard is an isolated incident in your eyes, huh?

  5. By that logic, D.Z., any act by any citizens of a country reflect on the entire populace?
    So the argument that it isn’t Islam in general but terrorist offshoots that are the problem…isn’t true? It IS right to kill civilians and children in Lebanon, Iran, Syria, or Iraq, because “they as a country” are committing terrorist acts?
    I disagree, but if you say so.

  6. Noah…Tolkin had nothing to do with Joe Roth’s travesty America’s Sweethearts. He did, however, have a hand in writing the brilliant and under-seen movie Changing Lanes.

  7. Is The Rapture really as anti-Christian as you claim Jeffrey? I think it is more complex then that.
    Remember, at the end of the film everything she prophesized came true. She ends up going to Hell because she loses faith.
    I have no idea what Tolkin’s beliefs are, but I do not see The Rapture as anti-Christian as perhaps you think it is.
    Daniel,
    So everyone is responsible for the acts of a few in your eyes. Interesting. Do you want to be arrested for the slaughter of the Coptian Christian Egyptian family that happened in New Jersey two years ago?
    It was the product of a cultures negligence far more then Sheppard’s was.

  8. Ah, actionman, you are correct…it was Peter Tolan who did America’s Sweethearts…loved Changing Lanes, but Tolkin is still the asshole who brought us Deep Impact and Deep Cover…I hear his next movie is called Profound Disappointment.

  9. Aw, no love for DEEP COVER, Noah? Not going to argue with you, but I love that movie.
    As for DEEP IMPACT, well, it’s not the worst sell-out job ever, but it’s pretty indefensible.

  10. L.B., do you REALLY hate selling-out that much, and wish it would be eradicated? I mean, think of it in a yin-yang, Buddhist way:
    If there weren’t people who sold out, we couldn’t celebrate those who don’t! Thus, it is a necessary part of the great circle of life.

  11. W#asn’t really making an argument, NYC. There are defensible sell-out jobs and indefensible ones. IMPACT is a leaden piece of crap (Jeff’s favorite line aside). Can’t defend it. Had Tolkin made it more fun, I’d fully support it. I don’t care if you sell-out. I just expect you to be entertaining when you do it. Otherwise all you have to show for it is the money. But having money and a fun movie? That’s the best reward.
    Now stop spoiling for a fight from people who weren’t talking to you or addressing anything you were yapping about. Realize it when people are tuning you out.

  12. I can excuse Peter Tolan for America’s Sweethearts…he runs one of the best–if not THE BEST–television shows currently going…Rescue Me. That show is GOLD.

  13. I wasn’t spoiling for a fight at all. It was fully intended in an agreeable, light-hearted manner, trying to have a funny idea and way of looking at something we both don’t like, i.e. selling out. I liked that you’d brought up the point of selling out, and was just kinda running with it.
    I fully admit it might not have been funny or creative, but I certainly didn’t intend it to be antagonistic.

  14. “I guess what we did(and by we I mean we as a country) to Matthew Sheppard is an isolated incident in your eyes, huh?”
    I’m still upset about my role in the Lindbergh kidnapping, thank you very much.
    Even by the standards of stupidity, that’s stupid. Oh, and you might want to do a Google search on Matthew Sheppard and crystal meth. There could be more to the story than the media served up, though I still wouldn’t be 1/300 millionth guilty of killing him.

  15. NYCBusybody, I think everyone who reads this site is well aware of your political orientation at this point — you make an angry statement about “wimpy, annoying liberals” every single time Jeff posts an item — but do you ever think that maybe the right vs. left smackdown is irrelevant to some of these news items? I don’t see what’s so controversial or divisive about Tolkin’s statements. I think all Americans can agree that their reputation has taken a beating over the years (and yes, this goes back to Vietnam…Tolkin never said it didn’t) and many movie fans have a harder time swallowing shallow, black-and-white cliches of heroism, as a result. That’s not a provocative statement. It’s just a perceptive diagnosis of one of the problems in a struggling Hollywood.
    And Mgmax, these statements have absolutely NOTHING to do with Iran or any other country. Is your sense of patriotism so battered that your only defense of the US is to say “well, at least we’re not Iran.” That’s totally irrelevant. Tolkin isn’t comparing the United States to Iran, he’s just talking about the United States itself. Why can’t the United States and its enemies both have problems? Why does one have to be the good guy in every way and the other has to be a bad guy in every way? I guess in some people’s eyes the Rambo myth is alive and well.

  16. Changing Lanes really was a terrific movie…I hadn’t thought about it in a while. I actually went to see it by myself the day it opened because Jeff raved about it and he was absolutely correct on that one. Affleck has never been better and it reminds me that Samuel L. is capable of wonderful things on the screen when his tongue isn’t tearing a hole in his cheek.

  17. JD, who do you think is usually blamed for the destruction of the “national myth” that Tolkin is referring to? Who would YOU blame?
    If the answer isn’t conservative Republicans, I’ll stand corrected and apologize for assuming this type of rhetoric isn’t meant divisively, at least by you.
    It’s one thing to blame Republicans for being evil oppressors who ruin all the sweet, innocent peoples of the world. Fine, do that (not saying you do specifically). But to pretend it’s not divisive to say or believe that, come on.

  18. More to the point, I think it can be safely assumed that Tolkin would blame righties for this problem.
    I wasn’t arguing whether he’s right or wrong (yes, it’s clear I think he’s wrong, but I didn’t bother arguing in my post). I simply said I didn’t find this quote-worthy.
    It would be like posting that Rush Limbaugh believes the 60′s generation destroyed morality in America. You can disagree or agree, but is it really quote-worthy, at this point?

  19. Mgmax: “Iran executes rape victims for the crime of being raped,”
    And we force women who’ve been raped to have a rapist’s children. What’s your point?
    “and the worst thing in the world is that a few GIs did the kind of stupid things every army has done at some point,”
    You mean most soldiers massacre an entire village?
    “Yeah, I’m sure that’s how they really think in Uzbekistan or Indonesia,s opposed to ginning up outrage because it works for the cause.”
    Um, Uzbekistan has some of the worst human rights violations, and we’re still their trading partner.
    “Hey, Michael Tolkin, you wanna make a movie about American heroes? Make a movie about Abu Ghraib, that shows how we prosecute crimes like that because we,”
    You mean by denying it happened and letting people go free?
    “I’m still upset about my role in the Lindbergh kidnapping, thank you very much.”
    Well it was the norm to abuse children back then…
    NYC: “By that logic, D.Z., any act by any citizens of a country reflect on the entire populace?”
    In the case of segregation, apartheid, the Holocaust, the genocide of the Indians, and lynchings, yes.
    “So the argument that it isn’t Islam in general but terrorist offshoots that are the problem…isn’t true?”
    Well we apparently started two wars over it.
    “It IS right to kill civilians and children in Lebanon, Iran, Syria, or Iraq, because “they as a country” are committing terrorist acts?”
    That’s been our policy for 60 years. It’s nice to know we can finally agree on something.
    Nicol: “Do you want to be arrested for the slaughter of the Coptian Christian Egyptian family that happened in New Jersey two years ago?”
    No, but I think we as a society have certain issues we need to reconcile before we start bombing other people.
    “It was the product of a cultures negligence far more then Sheppard’s was.”
    Except Matthew Shepard never provoked anyone.

  20. JD,
    “Why does one have to be the good guy in every way and the other has to be a bad guy in every way?” you ask.
    Fine, name for me the recent Hollywood movie, or find me the mainstream media report for that matter, in which American soldiers in the middle east were depicted as good guys in any way, and then we can discuss nuance.
    I read a lot of history, at least enough to know that the lives of men are ever nasty, brutish and short; that cruelty, exploitation and wholesale slaughter has ever been the way of humanity, and that to the extent we have established institutions which promote the growth of civilization and decency toward one another, we have carried on a heroic struggle against the insincts inside each of us whenever we have a little power. So no, I don’t react in shock when I learn that some soldiers did something terrible somewhere, like a 12-year-old girl horrified to learn that her dad looks at Playboy. I expect little enough more from men and women in general, armies throughout history have been little more than bands of rapists and thieves, but I respect those today who serve in our military and protect us all with honor and personal dignity, and thus set a higher standard against which they themselves will be judged even when their enemies will be given every excuse for every barbarity. They ARE heroes, whether that news ever reaches the ultrarefined coasts of Malibu or not.

  21. While I agree that movies haven’t been good the past few years (1999 was amazingly good and it’s been getting worse every year since then), what the hell does Abu Ghraib have to do with it? Is this tongue-and-cheek or something?

  22. This guy is making a totally simplistic point. When Nixon had to step down due to being a criminal, the journalists who exposed him were heroic, risking the hatred of their own people in order to do what they believed was best for their country. These days, people who speak out against American atrocities, or even better, try to do something about it, are American heroes to many. The myth of heroism does not die, it simply changes form to suit its era.

  23. I think the journalists who exposed Nixon’s crimes were commendable citizens doing a good public deed. I don’t think it makes them heroes, though.
    Heroic stature in our country today is reserved for our soldiers. They have to fight not only against their enemy, but against claims like Magga’s that they are committing atrocities, while pointedly and repeatedly ignoring and excusing much larger atrocities committed by those we’re engaged to fight.
    I feel deep pity for those who believe American soldiers are equal to terrorists. I just cannot imagine the casual, blinding hatred it takes to come to this conclusion.

  24. I mean, I do know WHY they come to these conclusions. They watch films like Farenheit 9/11 and “Why We Fight” by Eugene Jarecki and eagerly gulp up the lies and manipulations told therein.
    Following the herd has never been so dangerous.

  25. One day a three-way “argument” between Busybody, Nicol D, and D.Z. will create a singularity that will cause this site to crater and form a black hole that will devour all into its endless maw.
    Just watch. It’ll be the perfect storm of Internet soapboxing.

  26. Oh crikey.

    I thought Tolkin was smarter than that. I thought he was smarter than the average Malibu liberal know-nothing-about-history type.

    Iran executes rape victims for the crime of being raped, and the worst thing in the world is that a few GIs did the kind of stupid things every army has done at some point, and that the regimes we’re fighting do as a matter of national policy. (Except, minor little point, we PROSECUTE the people who do it. They promote them.) Yeah, I’m sure that’s how they really think in Uzbekistan or Indonesia, as opposed to ginning up outrage because it works for the cause.

    Hey, Michael Tolkin, you wanna make a movie about American heroes? Make a movie about Abu Ghraib, that shows how we prosecute crimes like that because we, imperfect as we are, hold to an ideal of the rule of law, even in a battle zone. Except to make a pro-US military movie in Hollywood today, you’d have to BE a hero.

    No doubt why nobody in Hollywood has ever made a Scientology expose, either, eh Michael Tolkin?

  27. “And we force women who’ve been raped to have a rapist’s children. What’s your point?”
    DZ, what in hell planet do you live on?
    “Except Matthew Shepard never provoked anyone.”
    The two little Coptian Christian girls who had their throats slit in NJ did?

  28. “I guess what we did(and by we I mean we as a country) to Matthew Sheppard is an isolated incident in your eyes, huh?”

    I’m still upset about my role in the Lindbergh kidnapping, thank you very much.

    Even by the standards of stupidity, that’s stupid. Oh, and you might want to do a Google search on Matthew Sheppard and crystal meth. There could be more to the story than the media served up, though I still wouldn’t be 1/300 millionth guilty of killing him.

  29. JD,

    “Why does one have to be the good guy in every way and the other has to be a bad guy in every way?” you ask.

    Fine, name for me the recent Hollywood movie, or find me the mainstream media report for that matter, in which American soldiers in the middle east were depicted as good guys in any way, and then we can discuss nuance.

    I read a lot of history, at least enough to know that the lives of men are ever nasty, brutish and short; that cruelty, exploitation and wholesale slaughter has ever been the way of humanity, and that to the extent we have established institutions which promote the growth of civilization and decency toward one another, we have carried on a heroic struggle against the insincts inside each of us whenever we have a little power. So no, I don’t react in shock when I learn that some soldiers did something terrible somewhere, like a 12-year-old girl horrified to learn that her dad looks at Playboy. I expect little enough more from men and women in general, armies throughout history have been little more than bands of rapists and thieves, but I respect those today who serve in our military and protect us all with honor and personal dignity, and thus set a higher standard against which they themselves will be judged even when their enemies will be given every excuse for every barbarity. They ARE heroes, whether that news ever reaches the ultrarefined coasts of Malibu or not.

  30. Nicol: “DZ, what in hell planet do you live on?”
    Apparently the one which Republicans claim that the morning-after pill is a form of abortion.
    “The two little Coptian Christian girls who had their throats slit in NJ did?”
    No, but the dad should have at least gone to the police if he valued his children’s safety more than his ego. It’s sort of like that dipshit Theo Van Gogh. He exploited his ancestor’s name to promote racial and religious divisions in his community, and he’s suddenly “surprised” that people are pissed off at him. If you’re not willing to die for your beliefs, then you’re a fraud, and shouldn’t be getting into fights you will lose by default in the first place. You know, like Bush.

  31. We should be able to agree, at least, that there IS something called a “national mythology.” It consists of all those familiar stories we tell ourselves, stories we teach our children–our myths of origin and conquest, of both triumph and tragedy. Such stories may have a basis in fact, but, at some point in the churning cultural whirlwind, fact becomes legend, and we know what gets printed then–now don’t we?
    Tolkin’s point seems rather clear.: Reality of late has done a hell of lot to subvert these stories we tell ourselves. In any conflict, we like to believe that we Americans are the good guys–freedom loving, pure of heart. We tell ourselves that we live in a democracy, that we treat prisoners with dignity, that we observe the Bill of Rights. This is the legend, and it’s a comforting one. The facts on the ground tell us a different story.
    Perhaps, as some here suggest, this should come as no surprise. Human beings are nasty, violent and evil–always have been since the Fall. Yet a critical part of the American mythology has been a belief in Exceptionalism. Supposedly we were different.
    In the new reality, Americans torture prisoners; some prisoners die. Those who commit such deeds are then scapegoated by a system that previously was egging them on. In the new reality, Constitutional rights are routinely violated. There’s nothing “conservative” about such a radical project. Libertarians on both the right and left are justly concerned.
    Tolkin suggests that these real-world events are having a profound impact on culture–on cinema in particular. It may take awhile longer to see this in greater relief. What would be truly shocking, however, is if such revelations had NO IMPACT.
    Some, here, for example, seem to take torture in stride; they take Constitutional subversion in stride. What kind of “conservatives” are these? When you’ve broken every idealistic promise you’ve ever made to yourself or to your country, what is left to CONSERVE?
    Only power.

  32. From what I remember about “The Rapture” (I saw it about ten years ago and it was genuinely disturbing), the ending was about dissent. Which is argueable the bravest (or most insane) thing Mimi Rogers’ character could do when you’re talking about dissent with God; and you’re watching everything in Revelations come true around you. I don’t really buy that she’d choose what she chose, but it sure was a hell of an idea to film.

  33. “When you’ve broken every idealistic promise you’ve ever made to yourself or to your country, what is left to CONSERVE?”
    One could as well ask, when you actively oppose those who would fight the most reactionary, primitive, cruel and illiberal regimes on earth, how can you call yourself liberal?

  34. Mgmax: “One could as well ask, when you actively oppose those who would fight the most reactionary, primitive, cruel and illiberal regimes on earth, how can you call yourself liberal?”
    How is doing trade with Saudi Arabia, China, Uzbekistan and Libya fighting primitive and cruel regimes?

  35. “When you’ve broken every idealistic promise you’ve ever made to yourself or to your country, what is left to CONSERVE?”

    One could as well ask, when you actively oppose those who would fight the most reactionary, primitive, cruel and illiberal regimes on earth, how can you call yourself liberal?

  36. I appreciate the fact that Joseph Campbell was invoked, but he would probably disagree with the idea that the American mythology is dying, going away, etc. Campbell didn’t have a problem with the old idea that all stories have already been told. The importance of myth to Campbell was the reinvention, the retelling. So maybe the story has been done a hundred times, Campbell never said the stories had to be good or inventive. He expected all heroes to travel basically the same path. If the details that get put in aren’t liked by all, it doesn’t matter.
    I think the hero has become more shallow in comparison to the heroes Campbell compares over time/space in Hero with a Thousand Faces, but that is more of a commentary on the way we seek entertainment than anything else.

  37. Well, D.Z., it’s working with real world as you find it, rather than mouthing off about absolutes.
    Uzbekistan allowed us to establish a base for the war against the Taliban; then we criticized its human rights abuses, and the government reacted by restricting our use of the base. What exactly do you find dishonorable about that series of events as an example of pragmatic, yet principled, diplomacy?
    And to mention China… do you really believe for one second that China’s regime, ugly as it remains in many ways, has not been enormously liberalized by trade already, compared to the days of the Great Leap Forward (and the resulting famine) and the Cultural Revolution? If so, you got some history-readin’ to catch up on.
    I’ve answered this one when I usually skip your undergraduate Chomskyite ranting because I think you attitude, and so much of that on display in this thread, is a corrosive one– for the country and certainly for the liberal side ever regaining and wisely wielding power. The assumptions underlying it give so little credit to the other side for good intentions– all but saying that the war was fought FOR torture– that they convince no one who is not already on your side and tuned to Air America 24/7. You can believe the war in Iraq was an ill-conceived cockup of the first order, but to fail to even grasp the idealistic political philosophy underpinnings– an END, in at least the middle east, to the sort of realpolitik dictator-coddling you oppose, in the belief that it is the breeding ground of terrorism against ourselves; a perhaps naive belief that democracy could take root quickly in such dysfunctional polities– is to show up unarmed for debate.

  38. Mgmax: Uzbekistan is still our trading partner, though.
    “And to mention China… do you really believe for one second that China’s regime, ugly as it remains in many ways, has not been enormously liberalized by trade already, compared to the days of the Great Leap Forward (and the resulting famine) and the Cultural Revolution?”
    Their government doesn’t still doesn’t recognize Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Tibet’s right to independence, and they still deny any wrongdoing in Tianamen Square. Plus conservatives should care
    about the fact that they still have a policy of forced abortions for a family with more than one child.
    “all but saying that the war was fought FOR torture–”
    Actually, oil.
    “but to fail to even grasp the idealistic political philosophy underpinnings– an END, in at least the middle east, to the sort of realpolitik dictator-coddling you oppose,”
    Wait, what about Qadaffi?
    “a perhaps naive belief that democracy could take root quickly in such dysfunctional polities– is to show up unarmed for debate.”
    Wait. Our leaders said it’d be a cakewalk and that we’d be out within a year. You were the ones who were saying we were “wrong” and now it looks like, when forced into a corner, you just make it look we were the ones who made you lie.

  39. Well, D.Z., it’s working with real world as you find it, rather than mouthing off about absolutes.

    Uzbekistan allowed us to establish a base for the war against the Taliban; then we criticized its human rights abuses, and the government reacted by restricting our use of the base. What exactly do you find dishonorable about that series of events as an example of pragmatic, yet principled, diplomacy?

    And to mention China… do you really believe for one second that China’s regime, ugly as it remains in many ways, has not been enormously liberalized by trade already, compared to the days of the Great Leap Forward (and the resulting famine) and the Cultural Revolution? If so, you got some history-readin’ to catch up on.

    I’ve answered this one when I usually skip your undergraduate Chomskyite ranting because I think you attitude, and so much of that on display in this thread, is a corrosive one– for the country and certainly for the liberal side ever regaining and wisely wielding power. The assumptions underlying it give so little credit to the other side for good intentions– all but saying that the war was fought FOR torture– that they convince no one who is not already on your side and tuned to Air America 24/7. You can believe the war in Iraq was an ill-conceived cockup of the first order, but to fail to even grasp the idealistic political philosophy underpinnings– an END, in at least the middle east, to the sort of realpolitik dictator-coddling you oppose, in the belief that it is the breeding ground of terrorism against ourselves; a perhaps naive belief that democracy could take root quickly in such dysfunctional polities– is to show up unarmed for debate.

  40. uh, tolkin’s overstating things a bit, but yeah, our country has been hijacked by dunces, left and right, and our moral claims ring prety fucking hollow to an iraq neighborhood where 4 marines raped a 14 year old girl, shot and burned her and killed her family. they don’t need the left to tell them why the bush administration has no moral credibility. and that makes all of US look bad.
    btw, DEEP COVER is another favorite unsung film. a great jeff goldblum performance and killer soundtrack.

  41. D.Z., you’re right, opening a tennis shoe factory with Nike did not, immediately and in all ways, cure all ills in a country of one billion people.
    That’s the level of simplemindedness you’re on, you’re welcome to it.
    If the war was fought for oil, please explain 1) why the price of gas keeps going up, to the political harm of the current administration, and 2) the methods by which you have made your own lifestyle completely free of any use of fossil fuels.
    Bye.

  42. Mgmax: The price of gas going up is one of the benefits of the war, since the uncertainty of oil being delivered on time raises its value. And if I could afford to be energy-independent(i.e. buy a hybrid or buy a house with solar power), I would, but I’m stuck with a used car, which at least isn’t an SUV. But I do live in a state in which Arnie decided to cap emissions and look for alternative fuels.

  43. D.Z., you’re right, opening a tennis shoe factory with Nike did not, immediately and in all ways, cure all ills in a country of one billion people.

    That’s the level of simplemindedness you’re on, you’re welcome to it.

    If the war was fought for oil, please explain 1) why the price of gas keeps going up, to the political harm of the current administration, and 2) the methods by which you have made your own lifestyle completely free of any use of fossil fuels.

    Bye.

  44. NYCBusybody – you’re giving him kudos for ‘changing lanes’??? Claptrap if ever there was- A wreck, to court and through two other NYC beauracracies in a single day? where’s the musical numbers? where’s the time-travelling? the dinosaurs????

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