So I got a complaint for a reader about the all-Newt blogging. I agree he doesn’t deserve the attention. And I think Pete, John P, Jim Ceaser, Carl, and I have told you he doesn’t deserve to be (and won’t) be president.
So I’ve seen two of the new (not Newt) movies.
J EDGAR is just boring, because you really don’t get to know the MAN. Mr. Hoover was obsessed with and paranoid about his own power, an excellent publicity hog, probably too concerned about the Communist threat (after 1920 or so), worried (with some but maybe not enough reason) about the dangers posed by the reckless personal behavior of JFK and MLK, was a homosexual who didn’t “practice” much and didn’t want to be outed, may have worn a dress now and again, denied the reality of organized crime, had a touching and complicated homosexual (but with little if any actual sex) relationship with his classy top aide, had issues with his mom, and a had very loyal secretary. These random factoids that have become conventional wisdom doubtlessly vary in their level of real truth. They’re all presented in the movie without any sense of putting the whole guy together, the guy who was singularly remarkable and built a huge and mostly admirable bureau of investigation.
The movie mentions Hoover’s obsession with professionalism and the latest forensic technology etc., but it doesn’t do anything with those undeniably positive features either.
The movie is psychologically lame, and the older Edgar looks like an ET (due to incredibly bad make-up). The acting is good, as is the filming. This is Clint’s biggest screw up.
I wish I could go on and explore the similarities and differences between Gingrich and Hoover. I would begin, of course, by noting that Newt is not gay and not an effective administrator, much less a builder of an enduring institution. But I’m sticking with the no-Newt policy for a moment.
The next film I saw was THE DESCENDANTS, which is about the irresponsibility of aristocrats without power. It’s overrated but very beautifully filmed. More on that later. (The characters are very short on grandiose ambition and generally think too little of themselves; they’re not at all like Newt.)