Built to Scale (Open Thread)

I know this is gonna sound crazy, but hear me out — the mostly male, mostly Republican politicians who work in Florida’s state capitol building in Tallahassee (pictured below) have been acting like giant dicks for years:

Here’s the skinny from the Tampa Bay Times:

For decades, sex has been a tool and a toy for the politically powerful in the male-dominated world of politics in Florida’s capital. Now it’s a weapon.

Allegations of sexual assault, harassment and infidelity among the state’s legislators flew like shrapnel from a bomb blast in recent weeks, destroying much of the trust left in a Republican-controlled Legislature and replacing it with suspicion and finger pointing.

The latest target, Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala, has been accused by six unnamed women of inappropriate touching and verbal harassment. Shortly after Politico Florida first reported the allegations on Friday, Senate President Joe Negron called them “atrocious and horrendous” and ordered an investigation…

The dangerous mix of exploiting rumors of sex between consenting adults, and serious accusations about victimizing women, has the potential to turn Florida’s next legislative session into an emotional powder keg.

Ka-BOOM.

Here’s one for the “Didn’t Think I Could Love Her Even More” file — Maureen O’Hara called out sexist pigs in Hollywood 70 years ago:

Reminds me of my favorite line from Maureen O’Hara’s character in “The Quiet Man” (a movie I love despite the fact that it’s sexist AF), when she’s urged to place her bonnet on a stake at a horse race finish line to catch a man:

“I will do no such shameless thing!”

Open thread!






126 replies
  1. 1
    Eric U. says:

    I was riding my bike, finishing up a long ride when I first saw the legislature building in Tallahassee. I thought it was hilarious, nobody I was riding with saw the joke. Didn’t they have a model or rendering of the thing before they built it?

  2. 2
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Is it safe to say that the state Democratic Party will be too inept to capitalize on it by winning any seats next year?

  3. 3
    paradox says:

    // sigh // Feeling discouraged with it all. Bake peanut butter cookies, wash the truck, vacuum the house, watch the Raiders lose, is this as good as it gets?

  4. 4
    evap says:

    My husband’s aunt came in second place in a beauty pageant in Ireland many, many years ago. Maureen O’Hara was the winner!

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    I didn’t read the story but unless there are firearms involved somewhere then can we really blame this on Florida Man?

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    Betty, Imma gonna argue with you about the sexism of The Quiet Man. It shows a sexist society, and O’Hara’s character has internalized the sexism of her society, but the movie itself is not sexist, and neither is the John Wayne character. He doesn’t understand why it’s so important to her that he fight her brother to get her dowry, but he accepts that the symbolism of it is important to her and does what she needs him to do so she can hold her head up in that sexist society.

    Also, in before someone complains about the “rape” scene — the entire point of that scene where he throws her on the bed is that they don’t have sex. He storms off and sleeps in the living room instead, and they don’t consummate the marriage until she has her little talk “in the Irish” with the priest and he scolds her for holding out (and convinces her to do what she wanted to do anyway but felt conflicted about).

    So: non-sexist movie that takes place in a deeply sexist Irish village.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    @evap:
    Cool.

  8. 8
    ArchTeryx says:

    And right along those lines the GOS reaches an absolute nadir.

    You see “both sides do it, but Democrats are worse” crap in the Rec List there all the time, but now it’s a front pager calling openly for purges and purity, right before the elections in Virginia and a year before our first post-Trump midterms. There are many times I curse the fact that the blogosphere has virtually zero influence in the larger Democratic party and its activists, but at this point I celebrate that fact. Let them play in their little purity sandbox and treat voting as an atomistic consumer choice. The rest of us will get back to work to try and take the country back from the Nazis.

  9. 9
    Yellowdog says:

    Not built to scale. The middle building should be much, much shorter.

  10. 10
    Emma says:

    Open thread? I need some advice.
    The old laptop that I use mostly for web surfing, some Calibre reading, and using Yahoo Messenger is dying. I’m thinking of a tablet. It has to be android, I think, because neither a Chromebook nor an iPad will run YM.
    Any suggestions?

  11. 11
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also too the beret is so gorgeous and simple to make. Made one for my mom.

    How did they not notice what the state capital building looks like?

  12. 12
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Emma: The Samsung tablets are pretty good – I’ve friends with them. I also use a Microsoft Surface Pro, which has full-featured Windows and can run YM (and anything else Windows can run) but is pricey.

  13. 13
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @paradox:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. Do you have any creative outlets besides, perhaps, baking? Sometimes a new project, I find, helps. Also, a good walk to get those endorphins a-flowing can help. A nice chat with an old friend sometimes works.

  14. 14

    Greenwald had a piece today about how in this day and age falsehoods can just spread so fast on social media! His four examples were pushback against people saying Hillary didn’t rig the primary, and something about how you can’t really prove a document was doctored (say by adding/removing a ‘confidential’) because there are different versions of documents!

    God, please tell me nobody reads him seriously any more. That is some blatant pro-russia shit-stirring.

    @ArchTeryx: Oh, screw Egberto, I’ve hated him for years.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MomSense:
    Maybe it is what they wanted.

  16. 16

    @Emma: By dying what do you mean, is it the battery or the hard drive? Or RAM. I successfully changed all 3 and got 10 years out of my old laptop.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @Emma: While I’ve not used it myself, a brief Google search suggests that Yahoo Messenger has an iOS app. So, an iPad might be an option for you.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Major Major Major Major: As far as I remember, Egberto Willes has always been something of a pompous twit but I can’t recall him going full-on Firebagger before this. The timing can’t be any coincidence, either – even if it’s not any sort of conspiracy, “Burning the village in order to save it” has been the order of the day for certain nihilistic lefties since the turn of the 20th century.

  20. 20

    @MomSense: I mean, at some level it must be.

  21. 21
    jeffreyw says:

    Who is collecting photos for the pet calendar this time? I have some ready to go.

  22. 22
    divF says:

    I’m sitting in a cafe, with two people to my left reading to each other short essays from 18th century US, and Handel playing over the sound system. I’m going to take advantage of the extra hour of sleep to Be Productive.

    – Write letters of recommendation.
    – Read / write proposals.
    – Do the grocery shopping.
    – Make cheesecakes.

  23. 23
    dogwood says:

    @ArchTeryx:
    The blogs themselves may not reach enough people to effect elections, but the stuff that is posted on blogs is cross posted on platforms like Facebook where it really can do serious damage.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Emma:

    BillinGlendaleCA is probably our resident Android expert, but he’s more of a night owl.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s a period piece that reflects the values of its time. There’s tons of abuse and misogyny, which in some cases reflected the sexist society it depicts, as you point out, but in other cases are validated by the storyline. Doesn’t stop me from enjoying it immensely — it’s a great movie!

  26. 26
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Amir Khalid: There’s a certain building in Knoxville TN referred to locally as “Testerman’s last erection”, after the mayor who had the building put up as part of the 1982 World’s Fair. None of the locals I’ve ever talked to there believe the shape of the building is any sort of coincidence, though it isn’t half as blatant as the FL Capitol building.

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Is it safe to say that the state Democratic Party will be too inept to capitalize on it by winning any seats next year?

    Well, be careful. Ohio Republicans are having a smaller scale sexual harassment scandal but the GOP Party county chair chair here believes it’s not politically damaging with GOP voters. He thinks they’re going along with it because it’s such a high profile issue nationally but he also believes their voters don’t give a shit and it won’t hurt them at all. This makes some sense. Look at the white women who voted for Donald Trump in droves- those people haven’t changed that much.

    The optimism reminds me a little of how racism was over when Obama was elected. Republicans are out and proud racists now. They’re worse. Trump launched his campaign on it.

    Ohio Republicans aren’t worried about some political tide of outraged women storming the gates. They don’t think it’s a politically damaging issue for them, and they are probably right. The country hasn’t changed that much in a year. All of the tens of millions of people who blew off Trump’s transgressions as “locker room talk” or lying scheming bitches are the same fucking people. They’re no different than they were a year ago.

  28. 28
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @PsiFighter37: If voters do what they’re supposed to do and vote for Democrats at every level, the ineptitude of the DNC/DLCC can be mitigated. I say we do what we can to capitalize on Trump’s awfulness which is getting out the vote by working with organizations like OFA and the ACLU. Doesn’t make any sense to throw our hands up in the air in despair even though the DNC/DLCC are pretty much useless orgs. We need to find a way to work around them.

  29. 29
    ArchTeryx says:

    @dogwood: I guess in this case, what it comes down to is: Will the same wankers that never show up to elections keep not showing up and leave the hard work to the rest of us, or will they convince a bunch of non-wankers to not show up and throw the elections to the Nazi party?

    I sure as hell know what happened in 2010, and we’ve been suffering the effects ever since. Yet none of the wankers that convinced people to spite Obama and stay home have EVER taken responsibility for the knock-on effects – the extreme gerrymandering, the poisoning of Flint, the near total lockout from power by the non-Nazi party, etc.

    How’s that heightening the contradictions working out for you, assholes?

    It’s enough to make me quote Casey Stengel. “Can’t anyone here play this game?!”

  30. 30
    jeffreyw says:

    @Emma:
    Yeah, what schrodingers_cat said. I kept an old Dell laptop going for years. If you are really just jonesing for a tablet I concur with the Samsung rec. I have an 8″ S2 and a 10″ S3 and they are both good for what you want to do, the 8″ S2 is more portable.

  31. 31
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    I’ve been thinking recently about taking up mosaic art using ceramic tiles. I think it would be cool and rewarding. My big problem has always been patience and planning. I always like to rush into something. I’m not very good at drawing and that’s a snag I think I’ll hit in creating designs. Plus once you put down the glue and make a mistake, you can’t just erase it.

  32. 32
    germy says:

    What on earth has gotten into Chuck Todd? This is not like him.

    This morning Matt Lauer asked the host of Meet the Press, “Is Jeff Sessions in trouble?

    Todd replied, “You know, in a normal Washington, I would say he’s an extraordinary trouble. And, look, he doesn’t have all the confidence as far as the president’s concerned, but the president’s lack of confidence has nothing to do with why Capitol Hill is upset with him, since it is now apparently I believe we’re up to the third time that Jeff Sessions has had to suddenly correct the record about either a meeting with Russian officials or something involving Russia,” Todd said.

    He continued, “And this last one, look, senators don’t take kindly to being misled under oath, especially from the chief law enforcement officer.”

    Lauer explained, “It boils down to this, if you’re in a meeting on March 31st, 2016, and you hear this talk coming from George Papadopoulos saying I got someone in the UK who can connect us to Putin in Russia, you shut it down if you’re Sessions, saying I don’t like the idea and I don’t even want to talk about it because it might leak. Would you not remember that conversation later?”

    Todd replied, “It’s hard to fathom, Matt. …you know when controversial things get offered up and you’re the person that says ‘no, that’s a bad idea,’ which according to reports Jeff Sessions did say that. Yeah, it’s hard to come around to this idea that you might have just ‘oh, I have so many things going on I forgot about that one.'”

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Mmm … I still disagree, but it’s that tricky distinction between showing something and endorsing that something. It’s a misogynist society, but the story never buys into it and the Wayne character never accepts it. There’s that moment where an old village woman hands Wayne “a stick to beat the lovely lady with” (which is misogynist as fuck!) but Wayne carries it for a few minutes and then discards it, because he and the movie do not share that village’s misogynist values.

    Heck, John Wayne lets a woman drive the vehicle he’s riding in when he gives Mary Kate her own horse and buggy and then moves over to let her drive it.

  34. 34
    JMG says:

    @Kay: Public opinion on an issue can change more quickly than you might think. Look at gay marriage. It is quite possible that the attitude towards sexual harassment/outright abuse is significantly different than it was last year, because it is becoming less possible to dismiss each case as an individual aberration as more women come forward.

  35. 35
    David Evans says:

    @Emma, I’m very happy with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10 inch tablet, but it’s quite expensive now. I’m reading very good reviews of the Amazon Fire 10 HD which is less than half the price, and seems good enough for what you want.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    What women struggle with is credibility. They aren’t believed, even among other women. Look at how many outlandish things people believed about Hillary Clinton without a SHRED of evidence- that she was a child sex trafficker. Compare to Donald Trump who was recorded bragging assaulting women and had all those women come forward and women voted for him in droves. They were much more open to believing the worst about Clinton than they were to believing the worst about Trump.

    This is a stubborn bias- it runs deep. It isn’t going to flip overnight – it has to reach some mass section of voters to matter and I’m not sure it has. For all I know Republicans will be claiming their freedom to sexually harass or assault people is being infringed by 2020.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @JMG:

    I sort of disagree that public opinion on same sex marriage flipped quickly. There’s a tipping point but that’s the moment it flips – a single snapshot. That doesn’t look at the long trajectory.

  38. 38

    I love Maureen O’Hara. After hearing she was calling out the sexist behavior of men even back in the 1930s makes me love her more.

    That red hair of hers was no lie :)

  39. 39
    sharl says:

    In case anyone missed it, the 41-second clip in this tweet from Uma Thurman offers sound advice that seems almost universally applicable: don’t respond to something while extremely pissed off

    Uma Thurman's response when asked about the flood of sexual misconduct allegations….wow. pic.twitter.com/Sw5Br1GwFg— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 4, 2017

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @paradox

    Just once, for a change, wash the peanut butter cookies and bake the truck.

    ;)

  41. 41

    @Emma:

    You can still look for a decent laptop as much as a tablet would go for, and still be more powerful than the laptop you have now.

    I own a Galaxy Tab 4 but configured to work as a BN Nook ereader. I think the modern version is a Tab A. It’s pretty good to use.

  42. 42
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    A thought experiment: say you had a book that you could write the name of anyone in and that person would die depending on how you specified. The method of death has to be physically possible. Let’s further say that you decide that the best use of this book is the cleaning house of the political landscape, domestically and internationally. There’s no way to trace this back to you (how could there be?)

    In your opinion, what would be the likely outcome of such a thing happening? For example, say Trump, Putin, his prime minister, the entire Republican line of succession to the presidency, Bibi committed suicide about the same time as each other in public ways (to minimize conspiracy theories). Also, any Republican replacement elected in a special election (or otherwise) would die in a similar fashion. How would the GOP base react?

  43. 43

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: yeah, mosaics, while cool, are not for non-planners. Perhaps some smaller ones would be a good opportunity to try out some planning and see what it’s like! I mean, you can fuss over the drawing and do all your false starts and erasing and sharing with friends there before you start.

    I also find that I tend to be a pantser in writing and such but I’m trying to be more of an outliner since it’s a skill that helps me immensely in programming.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @germy:

    I think Sessions is in trouble because the senators aren’t going away. He isn’t like the rest of the Trumpsters, who bullshit and filibuster and escape scrutiny. Sessions made those appearances and said those things and he will be called up again and again until he explains them. He can’t hide. Franken and the rest aren’t going to be distracted by some shiny bullshit Trump dangles. They’ll just dog him and wear him down.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Also, you could argue that Mary Kate falls in love with Sean because he’s not a misogynist and is willing to treat her as an actual person, but she has trouble overcoming her own internal expectations of what a man should be and how he should treat her. But by the end, the woman who mocked the idea of him growing roses instead of doing the manly thing and farming is standing next to him and smiling as he tends his flowers. (And then seems to make a naughty suggestion about how they should spend the rest of the afternoon.)

    And my own favorite moment in the closing montage is the reveal of the widow’s smug smile as Will Danahur finally starts to court her publicly rather than keeping his feelings concealed from the village.

  47. 47
    Fair Economist says:

    @sharl: Wow, you can hear how angry Uma Thurman is in that clip.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    germy says:

    One of last night’s SNL sketches was Bernie Sanders as a “Price Is Right” contestant.

    “This show is a travesty! Consumerism disguised as entertainment!” he wailed. “We’re gonna win this thing the Bernie way. Which means if I lose, I’m gonna bring everyone else down with me.”

  50. 50

    About Latvala. His family holds a lot of political sway in north Pinellas County esp. involving the school board and meddling in some of the schools directly. My mom’s got a lot of “you didn’t hear this from me” stories about their antics.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    The Law of Unintended Consequences is what makes for good drama (and fiction).

  52. 52
    germy says:

    http://www.vulture.com/2017/11.....-them.html

    On Thursday, HuffPost provided a crucial update on the case against Danny Masterson, the actor and Scientologist best known for That ’70s Show. Four women have accused Masterson of raping them in the early 2000s, and the case is currently sitting in the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. So far, no charges have been filed — the case has been “slow rolled,” according to a source — and Masterson denies the accusations. But the women who say Masterson raped them seem eager to be heard.

  53. 53

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    they would be replaced by equally vicious, dumb, greedy people filling that vacuum.

    you are doing nothing to shut down the billionaire funders, nor the right wing media noise machine, nor the ill-informed moronic voting base that put them into office in the first place.

    you may cause some shock to the political landscape, but the greedheads and evildoers will recover because they have a hearty allotment of recruits eager to continue the BS.

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    @Emma

    What was said above. Samsung Galaxy Tab A can be had new for around a hundred clams on sale. 16 GB, buffable up to 128.

    Also too, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are approaching. Just sayin’.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @PaulWartenberg:

    That’s funny. Our biggest sexual harrasser in the statehouse was a high school football coach here at one time. People say the same thing- they’re not at all surprised because he’s a big jerk.

  56. 56
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: I suspect we’ll have to agree to disagree about this, but I’ll point out that while Sean declines to use the stick to beat the lovely lady, he drags and kicks Mary Kate all the way across town to witness the showdown with Danaher. I agree that there’s a tension between Sean’s values and the town’s, but IMO, ultimately, the town’s are validated in the story. Once Sean has demonstrated that he’s a “real man” by putting his uppity wife in her place, they live happily ever after.

  57. 57
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Just a thought experiment based on that premise. I’m surprised anyone here recognized it. The way it happened in that franchise, was the MC went after literally anyone arrested by the police. I don’t recall him killing any pols, except the POTUS who opposed him. My instinct is that depending on how one used it, it could either bring about slow changes in the world or cause complete, unintended chaos.

  58. 58

    @Betty Cracker: watch out or Mnem will pull rank with her fancy college learnin.

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @germy:

    Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions was killer last night. “Ah’m a grateful lil’ possum.”

    Hope this is the full clip. She’s towards the end of it.

  60. 60
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @PaulWartenberg:
    Let’s say you kill the Mercers and other such d-bags too? Would the mouthbreathers interpret it as a sign from God?

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    So far as laptops go, low-end models from both Lenovo and Acer are often found at fire sale prices. More than robust enough for what sounds like your needs.

    One caveat: If a disc player is important to you, certain very low-end laptop models do not include one.

  62. 62
    sharl says:

    @Fair Economist: Wow, you can hear how angry Uma Thurman is in that clip.

    Absolutely; I should have made that point in my original comment in fact. There are times when a written transcript cannot come close to adequately conveying what is spoken.

  63. 63
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Knowing John Wayne, I’d bet the script was written all he-man and stuff. Maureen would have had to fight hard for the concessions she did get

  64. 64
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I thought about buying a kit with some pre-made patterns. I’d really like to try making some mosaics of simple logos, like DC’s newest one or a cityscape.

  65. 65
    debbie says:

    @sharl:

    And how hard it was to choose the words she wanted! I know I couldn’t have.

  66. 66
    jeffreyw says:

    My old addy for Anne L is no good, gmail bounced my pet calendar submissions. Sad! Where can I send them?

  67. 67
  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    Mentioned this in passing last night. It’s better for a lazy Sunday morn. A complete package of cute and funny packed into about 10 seconds.

  69. 69
    Vheidi says:

    Open thread, so two firsts:
    I twittered a vulgar and uncomplimentary msg to D Brazile

    I believe it’s the first time I’ve seen the NYT print the f word, lol it’s in a quote by George the lesser

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    @sharl:

    Wow. She’s really pissed and just waiting until she can strike with precision. I don’t always have that much self-control. And you can tell she’s exercising quite a bit of it.

  71. 71
    PIGL says:

    @MomSense: do you see the colour scheme? They noticed.

  72. 72
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    The trouble is most of the kits I’ve seen are for kids. I’ll look at them when I have more time for research.

  73. 73
    PIGL says:

    @sharl: well that was devastating. Good thing she left her swords at home….

  74. 74
    PIGL says:

    @PaulWartenberg: yup you have to include every person on the planet who controls are owns more than $100 million and all of their children and h yup you have to include every person on the planet who controls are owns more than $100 million and all of their children and heirs. And the entirety of the right wing noise machine for the lowliest blogger to Rush, the New York Times all of the enabler’s and it would have to be done not just in the USA, or everywhere.

  75. 75
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My favorite line: “Here’s a good stick to beat the lovely lady.”

    Pretty much agree with you. One of the problems with watching old movies set in the “present day” is that sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the line between the world depicted in the movie and the world outside the movie—as it was in the time the movie was made. It’s all too easy to look at The Quiet Man and think, “God, they were sexist as hell back then!” But even in the ’50s (most) audiences would have seen that the sexism in the fairy-tale Irish village of the movie is over the top and being satirized. Ditto with the saturated “Irishness” of the village and everybody in it. The whole movie is a very witty postcard sent from a fantasy Ireland that never existed.

    In the same vein, it’s easy from our modern perspective to dismiss John Wayne for his later political views. “What a pig!” And so it’s hard when we see him on screen to separate that from whatever character he’s playing. I’m not going to defend Wayne as a great actor, but he was capable of good, even somewhat nuanced performances when given the right material and the right director (usually John Ford). The Quiet Man is one of those movies. The Searchers is another, and I would throw in They Were Expendable and North to Alaska. That last one is a guilty pleasure, and the one in which Wayne’s character is closest to his cliché persona of a big, brawling man’s man. But when it shows up on TV I am always surprised at how well it holds up.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree that there’s a tension between Sean’s values and the town’s, but IMO, ultimately, the town’s are validated in the story. Once Sean has demonstrated that he’s a “real man” by putting his uppity wife in her place, they live happily ever after.

    That is definitely an issue with the movie — Sean doesn’t challenge their values, he just pretends to live up to them and the public facade is enough for everyone. Notice that although the entire town is Catholic, the only person Sean feels comfortable confiding in is the Anglican Rev. Playfair, because Sean knows that Playfair is also an outsider (even if an accepted one) and will be more likely to understand his fear of accidentally killing Will Danahur.

    I’m mostly saying that it’s a pretty complicated movie, and to say, Oh, it’s sexist doesn’t really convey how weird and complicated it is. IMO, it’s a feminist movie set in a misogynist society and shows many of the compromises that a woman in that society would have to make. There’s a reason Mary Kate had never married before Sean arrived, and it ain’t because all the men in that town are so wonderful. The movie basically says it’s okay to fake conformity but continue to live by your own values in private, which is a pretty radical message for 1952.

    @debbie:

    Wayne was a pretty complicated guy, but while he was definitely racist, he seems to generally have been respectful of the women he worked with. Besides, Wayne had his own troubles to worry about on the movie since director John Ford berated Wayne on the set for Wayne’s failure to serve in WWII until Wayne started to cry. Ford and Wayne had a weird, weird father/son relationship, and Ford was pretty abusive for most of it.

  77. 77
    aimai says:

    @ArchTeryx: He was awful during the election. Just awful. I don’t usually bother to remember the names of diarists but I remember his name on some hideous, deceptive, manipulative diaries and retractcted stories and I just gave up reading him entirely.

  78. 78
    AdamK says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wayne plays a “good guy” who slaps a woman and throws her around, but we’re supposed to think he’s redeemed. That’s a sexist movie.

  79. 79
    PIGL says:

    @PIGL: apologies everyone it is simply impossible to formulate a coherent posting from my iPhone 5.

  80. 80
    NotMax says:

    @AdamK

    Boiled down, the film depicts a strong-willed female who ‘needs to be put into her place’ to truly become a woman.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I only do that to trolls who try to claim they know more about movies than I do because they’ve never seen Star Wars. 😈

  82. 82
    J R in WV says:

    @Emma:

    We have had great service from Acer laptops, they seems to take being in checked baggage, travel, sit on a worktop, just start up when you need them.

    One started heating up, I suspect the fan gave it up, and we just got a stand to keep it up in the air and it worked fine until I bought a replacement a couple of years later. I don’t recommend that, getting a new fan installed would have been the thing to do, but it lasted in spite of elevated internal temps was my point. Fans are cheap and easy to replace, I was just too lazy to get into it.

  83. 83
    aimai says:

    @Betty Cracker: Its complicated. She leaves him because she can’t respect him for not fighting for her dowry (material goods, her self worth) and he drags her back to show her what life would be like if he behaved the way she thinks she wants a man to behave. He drags her back to “give her back” to her brother because she has no dowry and therefore, in her eyes and her brother’s eyes, no worth. The brother throws the dowry at them–preferring to give up the money rather than take his sister back–and she ends up realizing that Wayne values her more than the money and that she prefers that as well and together they throw the money into a furnace and destroy it. Then she walks home proudly–queen of her own home (dominating her brother) and feeling valued by Wayne.

  84. 84
    aimai says:

    @NotMax: No, not quite. See above. I love the movie as an anthropologist because it really shows how two people , from two different cultures, can totally misunderstand each other’s values.

  85. 85
    MobiusKlein says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: see if there are any classes for mosaics.
    My wife took a few, and has gone our and made several public projects around SF as a consequence.
    Also some amazing work at home.
    I should do a photo gallery for the site.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AdamK:

    Wayne plays a “good guy” who slaps a woman and throws her around, but we’re supposed to think he’s redeemed. That’s a sexist movie.

    You are misremembering the film — he never slaps her, though she does slap him (and he kicks her in the butt in retaliation). And we’re not supposed to think that he’s redeemed because he drags her all the way through town (“just a good stretch of the legs!”) to confront her brother. He’s figured out the show that the village wants him and Mary Kate to put on and he obliges them. Mary Kate is really worried at first because she thinks that he’s going to start acting like all of the other men in the village, but she realizes that he’s playing the part in public that’s required and that’s why she docilely returns home to cook dinner while he fights her brother — that’s the part she needs to play to complete her part of the performance.

    @NotMax:

    Have the two of us ever agreed on a movie? That’s the twist in the film — she and Sean need to play out a particular scene in public to satisfy the village, but both she and Sean know that it’s all a facade and their private relationship does not conform to what the village expects. It’s not The Taming of the Shrew, where her will is broken. She and Sean are in a conspiracy together to fake out the village.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    She leaves him because she can’t respect him for not fighting for her dowry (material goods, her self worth) and he drags her back to show her what life would be like if he behaved the way she thinks she wants a man to behave. He drags her back to “give her back” to her brother because she has no dowry and therefore, in her eyes and her brother’s eyes, no worth. The brother throws the dowry at them -– preferring to give up the money rather than take his sister back -– and she ends up realizing that Wayne values her more than the money and that she prefers that as well and together they throw the money into a furnace and destroy it. Then she walks home proudly–queen of her own home (dominating her brother) and feeling valued by Wayne.

    Yes. All of this. The one thing I would change is that Sean is the one who thinks that she values the money over their marriage, but for her the money is truly symbolic. That’s why she helps him burn it. Once he understands that it’s the principle of being given the dowry and not the actual money, that helps him understand the symbolic scene they have to play out for the whole village.

  88. 88
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Of course it’s not The Taming of the Shrew – that’s quite a leap considering her temperament is nowhere remotely the same at all. The point is that she cannot truly blossom as a woman and an individual without a man.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    The point is that she cannot truly blossom as a woman and an individual without a man.

    Welcome to the world of romance. The Quiet Man is a fairy tale, and Sean is the prince who sweeps into town to free Cinderella from her brother’s domination.

    Plus, of course, the repressive society she lives in dictates that if she did marry a man from the same village or even a similar village, she would be leading the exact same kind of life she’s currently in, except that she would have sexual duties as well. That’s why she’s opted out and become the village spinster — it’s her only rational choice.

    If you wanted her to burn her brother’s house to the ground and head off to New York before Sean ever arrived, well, that’s a completely different movie, and not the story being told. But within the world of this story, Mary Kate’s choices are to continue to be her brother’s servant or to take a chance that this American man will offer her something more.

  90. 90
    Gretchen says:

    I chaperoned a high school trip to Ireland. The head teacher loved Quiet Man, and made us go to the town where it was filmed so he could act out the love scene with his girlfriend. Which one of the teenagers described as “more disturbing than porn.”

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    And from a storytelling/screenwriting point of view, it’s interesting that while Mary Kate is willing to break her society’s expectations to a pretty large extent (running away from the courtship drive, marrying quickly instead of after a long courtship), the relationship runs aground on the one thing she absolutely cannot compromise on: her dowry. That dowry represents both her heritage (her mother’s furniture) and her own self-esteem (the hard work she put into keeping her brother’s house running) and she refuses to give that up just because Sean doesn’t understand why it’s important to her. Once he finally realizes that understanding the why is less important than respecting her feelings, that’s when they’re able to reconcile completely.

  92. 92
    Florida Frog says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you all for this conversation. I had been repulsed by The Quiet Man and even the music in it. I never saw it through this lens. I am grateful to lurk in a community in which I am challenged by such wise people to re-examine my views. Seriously, thanks.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Again, a leap from A to X with no intervening letters. Nothing I’ve mentioned (or thought, for that matter) is in the same galaxy as what you propose I want.

    But shall not bandy about with this any further; it serves little purpose. There is no absolute right or wrong, we see and take away different things from the same film, and that’s just ducky all on its own.

    The floor is entirely yours.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gretchen:

    Ah, the famous kiss scene. It’s pretty bizarre out of context when you haven’t seen them “playing pattyfingers in the Holy Water” and all of the other wordless flirtation that leads up to it.

  95. 95
    J R in WV says:

    @NotMax:

    Very true.

    High-end laptops are also too thin for an optical drive, often.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    Sorry, but I get impatient when people seem to want a movie to tell a story that’s completely different than the one that’s actually shown on-screen. If you want to see the movie that you described, then you should see Brooklyn (2015), which is an extremely fine movie and is much more about the main character’s inner journey to independence and being her own woman than it is about her being saved by romance (though her romantic relationships are an important part of that inner journey).

  97. 97
  98. 98
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I haven’t seen the movie (yet), but the book was wonderful.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Florida Frog:

    You’re welcome! I really liked aimai’s contribution from the anthropology angle, because that’s a huge part of the movie: Sean Thornton steps into this fairy-tale village that has completely different values than his and he has to navigate himself through that thicket to get to his happy ending. Most of the problems between himself and Mary Kate occur because things that seem simple and obvious to one of them are incomprehensible to the other person.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    What in FSM’s name makes you presume I wanted it to tell a different story when all I have done is describe the story it told to me?

    Sorry, I stand with Betty on this.

  101. 101
    danielx says:

    Waiting for storms to hit and repairing my storm windows for the back porch……

  102. 102
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying Sean and Mary Kate agreed to conduct the flagrantly abusive march through town as performance art that served as a fake concession to the town’s values — values that they secretly and mutually agreed to eschew within their relationship? I like the theory. That’s not how the story landed with me, but you are making a plausible argument that the film was progressive for the 1950s. That’s not the same as it being a non-sexist movie, but I’ll feel less guilty about loving it in the future, so thanks for that! :)

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    The part where you said this:

    The point is that she cannot truly blossom as a woman and an individual without a man.

    The story is about Mary Kate being trapped in her life because of the society she lives in. She thinks her only choices are to outwardly conform or to leave Innisfree entirely, until Sean appears and shows her a possible third option. That’s why, in the climax, she gets on the train to go to Dublin — she can’t stay in Innisfree because her relationship with Sean has changed her too much for her to be able to stay. In her mind, it’s better for her to take on the burden of abandoning him than to allow him to be thought a coward for not fighting her brother.

  104. 104
    J R in WV says:

    @Steeplejack:

    The whole movie is a very witty postcard sent from a fantasy Ireland that never existed.

    There are a lot of girls who were locked up by nuns who would want to argue with your “never existed” assertion. Ireland was in total control of the RC Church in a period when the Church was despicable in every possible way.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That’s not the same as it being a non-sexist movie, but I’ll feel less guilty about loving it in the future, so thanks for that! :)

    You’re welcome! I definitely wouldn’t say the movie is non-sexist, but it at least questions gender roles to a surprising extent for 1952. And I do think the march through town is meant as a public performance, which is why you have the whole village following the story (“he’s walking her back — the whole long way!”).

    Though I don’t think that Mary Kate entirely gets that that’s what it is until the end of that sequence. She’s so wrapped up in her plan to try and save Sean’s reputation by making herself look like a terrible, abandoning wife that she doesn’t get what his plan is until her brother relents and hands over the money. But when they burn her money, they exchange a glance over the door of the furnace that shows that they both know that it was a performance.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Wasn’t disputing the film in that comment, rather the blithe assignment of personal motivations which were not there.

    As for the film John Ford made as is (not what else it might or could be, both of which are irrelevant), we received differing messages. And that’s truly all I care to say about that.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I have to admit that much of this is not original to me — film critic Molly Haskell has always been a big defender of the film and TCM’s short article about it reflects her views quite a bit, as well as that of other critics who defend it as a feminist film (within its context).

  108. 108
    Steeplejack says:

    @J R in WV:

    There are a lot of girls who were locked up by nuns who would want to argue with your “never existed” assertion.

    So they would say that the Ireland of The Quiet Man did exist? Everybody looks well fed and rustically neat, the villages are clean and picturesque, the big social issue seems to be everybody’s interest in one couple’s romance, and even the Catholics and Protestants are getting along! Not a sign of mean nuns anywhere. Maybe you should reread the part about “a fantasy Ireland that never existed.”

    This may be the stupidest thing I have ever seen you say here. Somebody said something something Ireland and it triggered some nerve with you. That’s right up there with schrodingers_cat and “Somebody said something nice about the English!”

  109. 109
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I was thinking along these lines.
    Maybe the architect had this exactly in mind, politicians certainly can be dicks, and drew it up on purpose. Those that approved it just never saw anything out of the ordinary. Or even liked the idea and thought that no one else would get it.

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    When you hire the firm of Falik and Hardman…

    ;)

  111. 111
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know, the part where The Duke drags her, literally, across field and stream seemed pretty caveman-ish to me. Doh! I see Betty beat to that point.

    But I agree overall — The Quiet Man is basically the story of two strong-willed people falling in love, with both respecting and/or trying to understand the other within the mores of a 1920s Irish village for her and an upbringing as a poor in Pittsburgh in pre-WWI for him.

    Also, Betty, you might consider what happens with the dowry. Everyone “lives happily ever after” only after Sean and Mary Kate, together, throw the money into the fire — the ultimate middle finger to ALL of the societal values. I always took it as Mary Kate and Sean saying “Everybody pay attention: WE (as equals) are steering this ship (their marriage) as WE see fit, an’ ta hells wit da restayas!”

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NotMax:

    As I said at the beginning of the thread, you and I have never agreed on a single movie, so I’m not surprised that we disagree about this one, too.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @Emma:
    I just went and checked the apple store to see if any version of Yahoo messenger was available and you are correct, nothing that works is available. There are a couple of apps but they are reviewed as being useless. I checked my Android phone and it looks like YM is an app.

  114. 114
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @debbie: You knew John Wayne? Wow, BJers get more impressive everyday. ;)

  115. 115
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chief Oshkosh:

    Everyone “lives happily ever after” only after Sean and Mary Kate, together, throw the money into the fire — the ultimate middle finger to ALL of the societal values. I always took it as Mary Kate and Sean saying “Everybody pay attention: WE (as equals) are steering this ship (their marriage) as WE see fit, an’ ta hells wit da restayas!”

    Exactly! Sean and Mary Kate are going to build their marriage the way they want it to be now that Mary Kate finally feels that Sean will respect her feelings even when he doesn’t understand why she feels that way.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @Steeplejack:
    My favorite Wayne was The Cowboys. I think he showed more about being human in that than any other movie he was in.

  117. 117

    @Chief Oshkosh: I get the symbolism of the dowry, I really do, and I like the theory that burning the money means they’re equals, that they’re giving the finger to materialism, etc. But to quote another towering figure in American cinema, “That’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    To be fair, the Chief’s interpretation is the one generally accepted by most film critics (ETA in other words, it’s not just me! 😜).

    I really like aimai’s take the best so far: it’s an anthropological study of two people from very different cultures who fall in love but then must negotiate their way through each other’s cultural expectations and mores. I’m totally stealing that for the next time I talk about the movie.

  119. 119

    @Mnemosyne: Argument from authority aside, anti-materialism and adherence to form for the sake of appearance are common themes in Irish literature that don’t necessarily mitigate the sexism with which they so frequently coexists. But I agree the anthropological lens is interesting. I think that’s what the film is really about. We just disagree with which culture ultimately prevails.

  120. 120
    J R in WV says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Well, confession time. I’ve never seen the movie, and never been to Ireland. So what I was operating on was the discussion of oppression of women, which I assumed ( and yes, I do know what assume makes: ass of u and me) meant you referred to the oppression of women in Ireland was a fantasy.

    Which I strenuously disagreed with, offering a tiny crumb of evidence gleaned from reading about the laundries where young women were imprisoned by the Catholic church. The movie with clean and well fed villagers, I don’t know anything about that fantasy, and would agree that it was fantasy.

    The only place Ford made movies about with dirty villagers was probably Mexico, although I’m not a film buff and couldn’t be sure of that. Maybe he filmed verminous Native Americans? Southern slaves? I dunno.

    But thanks for your gracious correction of my uneducated opinion of Ireland and historical womanhood there. ;-)

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Which is, of course, the ultimately ironic part about the film being made in 1952: it presents an American man as being so much more egalitarian and enlightened than a bunch of Irish villagers while American women of 1952 are like, Um, what? You’re kidding me, right?

  122. 122
    Brachiator says:

    @Emma:

    . Open thread? I need some advice.
    The old laptop that I use mostly for web surfing, some Calibre reading, and using Yahoo Messenger is dying.

    Are you sure that a Chromebook won’t run YM. Seems a little odd.

    In any case, I strongly recommend the ASUS ZenPad 3S 10. The price is good compared to other tablets. The problem with Amazon tablets is that they run a quirky, custom version of Android. I think that most people are better off running as close to stock Android as possible. The Asus tablet runs Android 7, not to old. To be fair, Asus also customizes Android, but not as severely as Amazon. Also, unlike with Amazon, you can get apps from the Google Play store.

    Also, if you use Amazon Prime,you can run the app on the Asus tablet.

  123. 123
    workworkwork says:

    @Brachiator: It looks like there’s a Chrome app that will connect with Yahoo Messenger as well as other messaging services.

    So ChromeOS might be a good choice. (I have a ChromeBox on my desk alongside my Mac Mini. It’s great for distraction-free work.)

  124. 124
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Brachiator: which google play apps do you use/like?

  125. 125
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @J R in WV:

    The Quiet Man is to “real” Ireland as a Doris Day-Rock Hudson movie is to “real” America. A colorful picture postcard.

  126. 126
    Stan says:

    @Mnemosyne: Right.

    The fact that Wayne’s character and O’Hara’s character toss the dowry money into the steam engine firebox tells us pretty firmly that it wasn’t about the money.

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