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This and that

Some people say Bob Herbert is well-meaning but dull.  They won’t be saying that today—the man is en fuego.  And he is also entirely right:

If Professor Gates ranted and raved at the cop who entered his home uninvited with a badge, a gun and an attitude, he didn’t rant and rave for long. The 911 call came in at about 12:45 on the afternoon of July 16 and, as The Times has reported, Mr. Gates was arrested, cuffed and about to be led off to jail by 12:51.

The charge: angry while black.

The president of the United States has suggested that we use this flare-up as a “teachable moment,” but so far exactly the wrong lessons are being drawn from it—especially for black people. The message that has gone out to the public is that powerful African-American leaders like Mr. Gates and President Obama will be very publicly slapped down for speaking up and speaking out about police misbehavior, and that the proper response if you think you are being unfairly targeted by the police because of your race is to chill.

I have nothing but contempt for that message.

Me too.

It was the police officer, Sergeant Crowley, who did something wrong in this instance. He arrested a man who had already demonstrated to the officer’s satisfaction that he was in his own home and had been minding his own business, bothering no one. Sergeant Crowley arrested Professor Gates and had him paraded off to jail for no good reason, and that brings us to the most important lesson to be drawn from this case. Black people are constantly being stopped, searched, harassed, publicly humiliated, assaulted, arrested and sometimes killed by police officers in this country for no good reason.

Yep, even when they’re EMTs in ambulances taking people to the hospital.

And if I had a Bud Light for every time someone has told me that Gates was “arrogant” and/or that Obama was “foolish” to weigh in on the matter, I’d have myself a whole lot of Bud Light.  I am not making this up.  It has been most depressing.  Though when I’m arrested for disorderly conduct after breaking into my house and giving my ID to a police officer and eventually invited to the White House for a beer, I plan to make mine a Duff.

On a whole nother note, I have been trying to see movies about which people say, “Merciful Moloch!  You mean to tell me you’ve never seen ...?” So a few months ago I saw Casablanca for the first time.  At age 47-1/2.  Wow!  It’s better than I thought it would be.  But on the down side, it’s full of quotations.  And last night we saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, because Janet said, “Merciful Moloch!  You mean to tell me you’ve never seen ...?” It too was better than I thought it would be.  And halfway through, the thought occurred to me that maybe, just maybe Mad Men owes a thing or two to this movie.

Have a fun weekend.  And in order to have a fun weekend, be sure to avoid people whose opinions on Gatesgate differ from Bob Herbert’s.

Posted by on 08/01 at 10:55 AM
  1. After nearly three score years of blissful ignorance I finally saw African Queen a few weeks ago. I don’t have enough movie moxie for a film to offend my sensibilities. But. A laugh track would have improved the film I saw.

    Jack Daniels and ice for me, Mr POTUS.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  01:12 PM
  2. Dooley Wilson’s obsequiousness to Bogart strikes me as way less please-hit-fast-forward-NOW cringeworthy than Mickey Rooney’s caricature Japanese. And Bogie vs. George Peppard is no contest.

    47 across in today’s NY Times crossword is “Black marketeer in ‘Casablanca,’” six letters.

    Captcha: “europe,” as in what the Nazis chased Victor Laszlo out of.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  01:20 PM
  3. Mickey Rooney’s caricature Japanese

    which is utterly gratuitous WTF bearing no relation whatsoever to the rest of the movie.  A baffling way to kick off the film any way you look at it.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/01  at  01:54 PM
  4. UGARTE!!!!!!!!

    Casablanca is exceptionally good and I find it improves on multiple viewings. One, because you know the film so well you can concentrate on the performances in a way that only knowing a film by heart will allow, and two, I tear up at the La Marseillaise scene every time

    I must know, what other films have you not seen as of yet, from the following list:

    Notorious
    The Third Man
    M
    Shanghai Express
    Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    Posted by Pinko Punko  on  08/01  at  01:54 PM
  5. Talk about the bigotry of low expectations - just because Bob Herbert doesn’t spin, lie, or make bad jokes like the NYT’s other intellectuals such as Brooks, Douthat, and Dowd he’s “well-meaning but dull.” I would hardly call him well-meaning to bigots.  He forcefully but calmly describes the realities of Living While Black in America.  It is a sign of how bad our MSM has become that the superstars are clowns like the aforementioned (and don’t forgot Kristol, who’s still around although even the liberal NYT dumped him).

    Posted by Rugosa  on  08/01  at  02:24 PM
  6. Avoid me if you wish but when I first heard of the incident I thought - you can’t be serious. Then I read that it was Gates who was involved (a man with a tendency toward hyperbole) and I paused to await additional information and reflect further.

    You might suggest racism/profiling was involved with the initial call to the police (who, in a neighborhood such as Gates’ doesn’t know their neighbors - it was during daylight hours).  Beyond that I believe it was more likely a testosterone-induced pissing match between one man who, as a professor at an elite university, places himself above a lowly cop and another man who believed he was a higher authority in the situation and didn’t like having that authority questioned.  They both behaved badly and the officer did wrongly arrest Gates as he certainly had no reason to fear for his own safety and being an ass in your own home (or elsewhere) is not a crime.

    Then racism definitely entered into the picture when the press asked the POTUS for his view on the matter - does anyone think that John McCain would have been asked his view were he in office. 

    Men can be assholes (okay, occasionally women as well) without factoring in race -we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one (the whole abominable EMT incident is another matter). True, racism is alive and well in America but so is classism.

    Obama should have been faulted for his comments when he stated up front he didn’t have all the facts but went ahead and commented (indicating only the officer over-reacted, only he acted “stupidly") anyway.

    If he really wanted a ‘teachable moment’ he could have stated matter-of-factly that racism and racial-profiling exist and whether or not or to what degree they were involved in this incident he did not know, however, the officer was clearly in error in making the arrest as Gates’ posed no threat and had committed no crime but I’d like to know if you’d be asking me to weigh in if I were a white male. A teachable moment and honest discussion necessitates that the knee-jerk everything is racism reaction is also avoided.

    Personally, for their beer choices alone, I find the three equally stupid.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  02:29 PM
  7. And in order to have a fun weekend, be sure to avoid people whose opinions on Gatesgate differ from Bob Herbert’s.
    Where were you last week, when I really needed you?

    I must know, what other films have you not seen as of yet, from the following list:

    Black Sunday
    Don’t Look Now
    Sammy and Rosie and Ernest Get Laid
    Stroszek
    I am a Fugitive from Sherman’s March

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  02:30 PM
  8. Am I to understand that you’ve never seen Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam?  If you haven’t, you’re now ready.  Well, maybe not quite yet; probably you should see Casablanca another fifteen or twenty times first…

    Oh, hell, go ahead now.  It contains the single funniest physical ‘bit’ in any movie ever.

    Posted by Nell  on  08/01  at  02:38 PM
  9. CJ, where are you getting your narrative?

    You might suggest racism/profiling was involved with the initial call to the police (who, in a neighborhood such as Gates’ doesn’t know their neighbors - it was during daylight hours).

    Please see the transcript of the 911 call. There was indeed, at least, racial profiling going on w/ the initial call, but note that it was committed by the 911 operator, not the caller herself:

    911 OPERATOR: Do you know what apartment they broke into?

    FEMALE WITNESS CALLER: No, they’re just they first floor. I don’t even think that it’s an apartment. It’s 17 Ware Street. It’s a house, it’s a yellow house. Number 17. I don’t know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key but I did notice that they kind of used their shoulder to kind of barge in and they got in. I don’t know if they had a key or not because I couldn’t see from my angle. But, you know, when I looked a little closely that’s what I saw.

    911 OPERATOR: (inaudible) guy or Hispanic?

    FEMALE WITNESS CALLER: Umm.

    911 OPERATOR: Are they still in the house?

    FEMALE WITNESS CALLER: They’re still in the house, I believe, yeah.

    911 OPERATOR: Were they white, black or Hispanic?

    FEMALE WITNESS CALLER: Umm, well there were two larger men, one looked kind of Hispanic but I’m not really sure. And the other one entered and I didn’t see what he looked like at all. I just saw it from a distance and this older woman was worried thinking someone’s breaking in someone’s house, they’ve been barging in. And she interrupted me and that’s when I had noticed otherwise I probably wouldn’t have noticed it at all, to be honest with you. So, I was just calling ‘cause she was a concerned neighbor, I guess.

    The police report does bring race into it, and it’s certainly possible that Whalen said something about ‘two black men’ when Crowley spoke to her in person prior to making his arrest. However, given that Whalen says, in essence, that Crowley is lying, it’s just as possible that Crowley was just making things up to justify his colossal screwup.

    They both behaved badly

    Getting arrested is a hell of a lot worse than being yelled at. So is presenting what might be a false report of the incident (cf. the police report to the 911 transcript), as is a cop (shall we say allegedly) not providing his full name and badge number as required by law: see here. My sense, then, is that one person is this incident broke the law, but it wasn’t Gates. False equivalences, when no one should scape whipping, just mystify the whole situation.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  02:45 PM
  10. OK, CJ, we’re not meeting this weekend after all.  Yes, some town/gown stuff was going on as well as black/white stuff.  And whatever Obama might have or should have or could have said—and I thought his remarks were rather circumspect, as spyder pointed out in comment 5 of this thread—the fact remains that Crowley was in the wrong from the moment he stayed in the house after Gates had shown proper identification.

    As for the initial call, apparently there was no racial profiling involved.  But I agree with your penultimate paragraph anyway.

    Notorious
    The Third Man
    M
    Shanghai Express
    Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    Only the first, Mr. Punko, though we did see The Bicycle Thief this summer as part of the new program.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/01  at  02:49 PM
  11. Boy, talk about a generation gap between 40’s and 50’s.  Everyone I know has seen Casablanca b/c they saw Play it Again, Sam. 
    The only imperfection in Casablanca I have been able to detect is that weird paisley frock(?) that they forced Ms. Bergman to wear--maybe to rob her of perfection?

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  03:12 PM
  12. Also, Mickey Rooney’s awful role in B at T’s?  I’ll bet if you go back and look at the posters, The (other) Mick was promptly featured, as audience-bait.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  03:14 PM
  13. Sorry, make that “prominently.”

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  03:15 PM
  14. Since that is the film I would most have expected you to have seen from the list, I need to confirm whether that is a film you have NOT seen, before denouncing you on both the high and low streets.

    In an odd coincidence, that (Notorious is my and (I believe) Bob Somerby’s favorite film.

    It features many times in revival house double features with Casablanca, due to the presence of Bergman and Rains in both, when they are not instead featuring The Maltese Falcon with Casablanca, as both have Bogey, Greenstreet and Lorre (the latter two more prominent in TMF).

    Captcha: Quality, as in the pronounced lack thereof on the interwebs.  I am in a dark mood indeed!

    Posted by Pinko Punko  on  08/01  at  03:18 PM
  15. I respectfully submit you do The Third Man next.  Orson Welles as Harry Lime is sublime.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  03:19 PM
  16. I need to confirm whether that is a film you have NOT seen, before denouncing you on both the high and low streets.

    I have seen it and loved it.  As for denouncing me:  this is about “Monkey Man” again, isn’t it?  Also, as I proved by algebra in another thread, Somerby is the devil.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/01  at  03:36 PM
  17. No, now I need to denounce you for lack of drumming videos, those fine films you have not seen, your correctness on the issue at hand today, various and sundry etc.  As it ever was in the world of Dangeral Studies, a field I expect to encompass more backstabbing and incestuousness than even the theater or the restaurant world.  If this world had its own Siddons award, you’d be clutching it with bloodstained hands, sir.

    Captcha “down” as in lower than ground.

    Posted by Pinko Punko  on  08/01  at  04:21 PM
  18. For your viewing pleasure Michael:

    http://www.archive.org/details/M_

    capcha “progress” as in “what you are making.”

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  04:35 PM
  19. I first saw Casablanca on German television in 1973 in English with German subtitles.

    So Michael, I’ll make some recommendations:

    1.) Anything by Masaki Kobayashi: Hara Kiri, Samurai Rebellion, Kwaidan, The Human Condition (the latter is coming out as a boxed set in September). He’s probably (along with Mikio Naruse) Japan’s most underappreciated major director).

    2.) Kaos by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. An enticing collection of several Pirandello short story adaptations.

    3.) Christ Stopped at Eboli by Francesco Rosi. Based on a memoir by Carlo Levi about his time in internal exile in Basilicata during the Mussolini years.

    4.) Coup de Torchon by Bertrand Tavernier, an adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel relocated to colonial French Africa. You can only push a man so far . . .

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  08/01  at  06:27 PM
  20. Michael,

    I’m not sure we can assume that there was “racial profiling” in the 911’s operator’s response, either. It seems conceivable that she was asking for information for the purposes of identification, which is very different from acting on the assumption that some ethnic groups are more likely than others to commit crimes. Or am I missing something, here?

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  06:29 PM
  21. Yeah, The Third Man. Also. Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Testament. If you don’t see them and love them you are a wanker.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  07:19 PM
  22. @unhummer

    I made that claim rather than Michael. Arguably so, although the ‘[inaudible] man or hispanic’ question is still peculiar and hard to justify.

    ==
    I’m an anomaly here, as I find Casablanca so-so and I don’t think I rank Notorious even in my top 5 Hitchcock (which are, in no particular order, Rebecca, The Birds, Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, and Shadow of a Doubt, with the final 10 minutes or so of Foreign Correspondent thrown in for good measure).

    Third Man is of course fantastic, as is Lady from Shanghai, and, also in the ‘Orson Welles is more Peter Lorre than Meryl Streep when is comes to accents’ dept. is the AMAZING Mr. Arkadin (comprehensive version), which I saw for the first time a week or so ago. Blew my freakin head off.

    Thanks Randy for the suggestions. I’ve heard of none of those. I’ll give you, in exchange, How Tasty was My Little Frenchman, if you’ve never seen it, and this wonderful thing.

    Posted by  on  08/01  at  09:47 PM
  23. An alternative narrative, from Sgt. Crowley’s perspective: this guy is a big shot, and he’s pissed. Cops get the racist stuff all the time, but this one looks like he’ll be pulling strings, already is, that’ll have the top brass on my case, not just pulling me out of teaching sensitivity but undergoing hours and hours of remedial training, not to mention modified duties. And he’s got the cred to make it stick. How do I get out of this? Hey, if he wasn’t in his own house giving me this kind of flack, I’d be able to shut it down within accepted discretionary operating parameters by charging him with DTP ... and the brass would have to back me up, even though the charge won’t stand. So, out to the porch, and if he calms down after coming out, then he’s not going to follow up, so OK, sir, my badge number, sorry to have disturbed you; but if he doesn’t, and he’s not going to, at least I stand a chance of coming out of this with my career alive ...

    Posted by nnyhav  on  08/01  at  11:22 PM
  24. The nation is shocked, shocked to find that structural racism still exists in American society! Actually, that reaction would at least show a glimmer of self-awareness and understanding. I’m still not able to completely organize my thoughts on what I think has gone wrong in the discussion, but Herbert’s column does focus it a bit for me by highlighting the rapidity of the events. Thought I had more but I guess I don’t.

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  01:52 AM
  25. It’s possible that Mad Men owes more to “The Apartment” than Be Fast Antipathies. “The Apartment” is certainly worth a watch if you haven’t done so previously.

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  02:07 AM
  26. Karl,

    I suspect you have wonderful taste, so I would really push for repeat viewings of Notorious- it may be one of those films that works better once you already know where it is going as opposed to feeling it out while viewing for the first time. Vertigo is my number two Hitchcock, but I can only watch it on a big screen.  I need to be immersed or I wander.  The Hermann score there is phenomenal.  And Bel Geddes was really quite good.  I think I need to rewatch Rebecca.

    Since I just saw it last month, let me give a recommend the Mamoulian/Garbo Queen Christina- there are a few astounding scenes.

    Posted by Pinko Punko  on  08/02  at  03:50 AM
  27. PPunko:

    Nah, I’m probably just a pretentious jackass who’d rather watch movies than do most things, but thanks anyhow! I’ve seen Notorious only twice in, say, 15 years, so, sure, I’ll try it again. On your rec., I added Queen Christina to my queue, and maybe, if you haven’t seen it yet, the von Sternberg/Deitrich The Scarlet Empress, if only for the sets.

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  08:47 AM
  28. It’s possible that Mad Men owes more to “The Apartment” than Be Fast Antipathies.

    Sure, but the hick-from-the-sticks living in NYC under an assumed name, haunted by the past....

    Posted by Michael  on  08/02  at  11:12 AM
  29. While people are throwing in suggestions for classic movies, I’d like to throw in Night of the Hunter.  I’m not sure that not having seen it rates a “Merciful Moloch!”, but it sure is worth seeing.

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  12:05 PM
  30. Totally dissatisfied with my incomplete response on Gates* (should it be Crowleygate?), but I guess movies are more fun. No racism there!

    Play it Again Sam must of course be watched after you’ve seen Casablanca, but if you like your Casablanca homage to have stilted acting and a demented storyline you need to watch Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.

    When caught watching “Casablanca” at his desk, Fingal [Raul Julia! - JP] is required to undergo rehabilitation therapy called “doppling.” Doppled patients find their minds transferred into the bodies of animals for a new outlook on life (and for a number of amusing nature documentary sequences narrated by Julia). ...Fingal manages to reprogram himself into a simulation of Casablanca and eventually gains access to Novicorp’s financial computers, bringing the company to its knees

    In particular, the Casablanca scenes are a hoot. (The MST3K treatment is probably easier to find than the movie itself. 2.1 rating at IMDB.)

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  01:38 PM
  31. Yesterday I saw “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” for the first time. Read the George Higgins book back then. There was a scene in the book from a HoJo’s in Cambridge I used to go to. It took me back to my days stationed at Fort Devens outside of Boston in the early seventies. There’s a scene where some soldiers are selling machine guns to a gangster and they didn’t have the ammo for them, and it reminded me of the Christmas Eve where they had a group of us soldiers guarding the ammo dump with unloaded weapons.

    It was a good movie. Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle.

    Speaking of Cambridge, there are still people out there who have no clue that Crowley repeatedly lied in his police report. Having worked as a union rep for a couple of decades learning the code of postal inspectors’ reports you could see the lies hopping out of it. Two curious things: Crowley invents talking to witness Whalen before going into the house and invents the “two black men with backpacks” story. He never mentions getting Gates’ driver’s license in his report, even though it’s in police custody minutes later to identify who they’re arresting.

    So what happens to Crowley? Does he get a slap on the wrist for perjuring himself? I’ll drink my beer when that happens.

    Posted by Bob In Pacifca  on  08/02  at  03:56 PM
  32. Aside from any Mad Men indedtedness, “The Apartment” is worthwhile for Fred MacMurray’s portrayal of a total dick who looks and talks exactly like Steve Douglas.

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  09:38 PM
  33. Well you should really see “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.” Actually the whole gamut of Powell/Pressburger is worth watching:  Blimp, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, Tales of Hoffman, A Canterbury Tale, I Know Where I’m Going.  And you can always go to theyshootpictures.com and see what happens when you crunch 1500-1800 movie lists into the top 1000 movies of all time.  You can start on the top 100.

    Have you seen these six English language movies?

    Barry Lyndon
    Days of Heaven
    Paris, Texas
    Tess
    Red River
    A Woman Under the Influence

    Or these six foreign ones?

    Andrei Rublev
    Fanny and Alexander
    A Man Escaped
    Weekend
    Voyage in Italy
    Charulata

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  10:24 PM
  34. I’ve seen all but Charulata, but I have seen a number of other Satyajit Ray films.

    Andrei Rublev is a must see.

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  08/02  at  10:53 PM
  35. Seconding (thirding?) The Third Man as well as the general advice to see all the Powell and Pressburger you can get your hands on (in addition to the excellent flicks in Partisan’s list, seek out The Small Back Room).

    The one Kobayashi film I know is Kwaidan, which is certainly worth seeing.  There were so many terrific films made in Japan in the 1960s.  I recently saw Woman in the Dunes for the first time; it’s fabulous.  Onibaba is also wonderful.

    Agree also about Andrei Rublev and Weekend (though the latter is showing its age). 

    I’ll add general advice to seek out French films noirs from the ‘50s and ‘60s:  e.g. Touchez Pas au Grisbi, Bob le Flambeur, and Le Samourai.

    Posted by Ben Alpers  on  08/02  at  11:35 PM
  36. Michael:

    Because you have mentioned watching films that one could cry, “Oh, Moloch!” for you not having already watched, and because we spend too much time on the Internets, I will now insist that you watch all the things I love.

    1.  Doyle-Murray and Ramis, Caddyshack, 1980.
    2.  Berri and Brach, Jean de Florette, 1986.
    3.  Sedelmaier, Directors Cut of “Where’s the Beef!” 1984.
    4.  Sanburg, Schaffer, Taccone, Timberlake. Digital Short, “Mother Lover,” SNL, May 9, 2009.
    5.  Turner and Mitchell, “Mork Goes Erk,” Mork and Mindy, Feb 8, 1979.

    I would give links if I were that savvy, but I am not.  I previously mentioned The Third Man, which I am sure you are getting soon on Netflix.  Let me know what you think.  Also, Mark Bauerlein has written in the Chronicle recently on “Diminishing Returns in Humanities Research.” After viewing all my favorite films, please tell him why he is wrong.  Thanks.

    P.S.  No hurry.  Looking forward to your response.

    Posted by  on  08/02  at  11:59 PM
  37. Some excellent movie suggestions here!  Let me second a few of them (The Third Man, Powell/Pressburger, Randy Paul’s list in #19, Night of the Hunter, Barry Lyndon) and add a few more:

    Seven Samurai [just making sure, here]
    The Adventures of Robin Hood [w/Errol Flynn]
    Miller’s Crossing
    A Tale of Winter [Rohmer]
    The River [Renoir]

    and if you’re up for a real mindf#@%:

    Celine and Julie Go Boating
    The Falls
    The Saragossa Manuscript

    Posted by Dave Maier  on  08/03  at  01:10 AM
  38. I know The Red Shoes is getting a deluxe restoration now, so I would wait until that is out.  In my current and soon to be former home we have one of the most outstanding revival houses in the US, and are able to see many of the more well known films mentioned above on the big screen. I have been able to catch Black Narcissus and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp on the big screen, and they were both revelations.  Blimp I think was especially a masterwork.  Incredibly layered and delicate in many ways.

    Posted by Pinko Punko  on  08/03  at  01:34 AM
  39. “Mickey Rooney’s caricature Japanese” which is utterly gratuitous WTF bearing no relation whatsoever to the rest of the movie.

    yes, to his credit or discredit, mr. julie andrews did his best to mainstream several asian stereotypes, including the less gratuitous though no less marginal and cartoonish kato in another blake edwards franchise—the pink panther series (well yes, at least edwards used a “real” asian—burt kwouk—to parody a another asian—the bruce lee character in the green hornet tv series) as well as the bumbling though still offensive (to south asians) hrundi v. bakshi (peter sellers) in—the party.

    of course, edwards may have been practicing his own form of affirmatve unction, for better (the fact that asians were featured at all as central characters in hollywood movies) and worse (that these characters lived down to the worst prevailing stereotypes of their time).

    Posted by  on  08/03  at  04:24 AM
  40. I have been eagerly waiting for your response to this incident. And Bob Herbert is totally correct.

    Three things that make this a “teaching moment” for me. First, what I noticed when I read the officer’s report is that he didn’t arrest Gates until they both went outside the house. From the officer’s point of view, I am guessing, he might argue that Gates was making a public disturbance because he brought the hysterics out to the public. But my read on this is that the cop suddenly found himself being watched by people in the street, and feeling a sudden lack of authority before the Gaze of the Other—I mean before the stares of the people outside, sorry for the Lacan reference—he flipped out and “acted stupidly” (as Obama rightly evaluated his action.) What I think makes this a teaching moment is that the cop clearly misrecognized how he was being interpellated (which complicates Althusser’s theory by flipping it.)

    Second, nobody has thought to carefully use Gates’ own theories to analyze this case—least of all, Gates himself. So, would we call the cop a racist if we were deconstructing race?

    Third, yah, the media sucks.

    Meanwhile, Mickey Roony’s over-the-top racist portrayal of the Japanese landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany’s… WTF… especially considering that in the original novel by Capote, the Japanese guy is a soft-spoken intellectual who speaks perfect English and is the narrator’s friend. Seems relevant to this Gates case, so glad you mentioned them together.

    ... and The Third Man is one of the best movies ever.

    Posted by steventhomas  on  08/03  at  09:36 AM
  41. Crowley may not have been committing racial profiling, but he invented a racial profile in order to justify after the fact his mistreatment of Gates. The “two black men with backpacks” equals “two young black men breaking into the house”.

    Since there weren’t any black men with backpacks in the 911 call and the whole conversation Crowley had with witness Whalen never occurred, if you are judging Crowley in terms of “racist/not racist” you have to consider whether his lies were made with the intention of sticking it to a black man or whether he was inventing a story including racial stereotypes in order to create a reason to stick it to a black man.

    It’s hard to prove what was inside Crowley’s mind during this incident but it’s clear that he invented a story about potentially scary black men to justify his shabby treatment of the black professor.

    So if you make up a story about scary black people in order to justify mistreating a black man wouldn’t that qualify as using racism as a tool to falsely arrest an innocent man?

    +++

    By the way, if you read Gates’ version of events he seemed to sense that from the time that he first met Crowley at the door of his home that the cop was up to no good. I don’t think that Crowley’s decision to arrest/not arrest Gates had anything to do with being disrespected in public on the front porch. By Mass. law you cannot disturb the peace inside your own home. That was the reason why Crowley (illegally) withheld his badge number and told Gates to step outside if he wanted to talk with him any further. It was a setup and the other cops on the porch knew the routine for this okeydoke.

    Posted by Bob In Pacifca  on  08/03  at  10:08 AM
  42. They both behaved badly

    No. One of them behaved badly. The other behaved illegally. And it wasn’t the one who got arrested.

    Posted by Michael Drake  on  08/03  at  10:31 AM
  43. My wife had the same reaction when I sat her down and showed her Casablanca. “I never saw the movie but I already knew half the lines!” is a fair approximation of what she said.

    Posted by Keith  on  08/03  at  12:08 PM
  44. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t take the holy name of Molech in vain.

    Posted by Bulworth  on  08/03  at  05:13 PM
  45. Wanted to add this movie list into the mix since all of them that I’ve seen are high on my favorites list and all that I haven’t are high on my priority list.

    http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/reviews/mindfuck_movies.php

    Captcha - “doubt” a movie that is on my priority list but not on the above list

    Posted by  on  08/05  at  12:38 AM
  46. Boyce,

    If you’re going to talk about mindfuck movies then you have to include The Saragossa Manuscript.

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  08/05  at  09:12 PM
  47. I’ll say~!

    Posted by 纯水设备  on  08/14  at  02:21 AM
  48. Talking about old movies, two of my favorites are My Fair Lady and 12 Angry Men.

    Posted by Shine  on  02/04  at  08:42 PM

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