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by Gary Gordon, Sept. 24, 2007
I saw the remake of “3:10 To Yuma” last week, big movie, big stars, acclaimed western. It stars Cameron Crowe. He plays a moviemaker who used to be a writer for Rolling Stone who has to take Christian Brando, a killer, to the train station in Yuma so he can go to prison for killing Lana Turner at a record producer’s home—she was the actress who used to hang out at the Formosa Inn during the days of L.A. Confidential, you remember. She was married to Ted Turner, the Confederate Colonel who died in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg when the rebel soldiers ran headlong into the famous impenetrable Yankee line, the DiMaggio Line, named by General “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio who was a record-setting Yankee soldier before he became a Yankee ballplayer.
DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe who later married Roger Miller, who was King of the Road, a songwriter who became a playwright who adapted Twain’s “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy” into a musical starring John Goodman who went on to star in Farrelly Brothers movies like, “Oh Brother, You’re Dumber”. Miller was friends with Elia Kazan until they parted company when Kazan named names during the great Folk Music Scare of the early 60s when everyone feared Peter, Paul and Mary would dominate the charts for ten years. But the British finished in Iraq and then there was the British Invasion when the Beatles came over and they partied with Cassius Clay before he was Muhammed Ali and refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War and lost his title although he was still the greatest, then the Beatles partied with Elvis, who was drafted, leaving America with Bill Haley & The Comets.
They saved rock n’ roll by recording “Rock Around The Clock” which became the theme song and soundtrack for “Blackboard Jungle”, a movie about juvenile delinquents played by Vic Morrow and Sidney Poitier who team up with right-wing evangelicals and Islamic fundamentalists and break all the music records their teacher brings to class to play for them—no music left behind.
The teacher was played by Glenn Ford, who was the original bad guy in the original “3:10 to Yuma”—you thought this wasn’t all going to tie together— who is taken to jail by Van Heflin—not Van Halen, because that joke would be too easy-- when everyone else is too scared to escort the outlaw for fear of his murderous gang—“3:10 to Yuma”: was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, who went on to write “West Side Story” about two gangs at war with one another, then a member of one gang falls in love with someone who’s part of the other gang’s neighborhood, you remember, Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton, so Jenna’s dad says “You can’t marry Chelsea Clinton, her dad was impeached!” and then the Clintons respond “Blow me!”
Then George Clooney announced he would produce and star in the remake of the movie about the Clinton impeachment but the studio heads tell him he can’t make a remake of a movie that was never made so Clooney says well he was gonna update it anyway with the current president so the studio heads said well you can’t make that because George Bush never got a blowjob so there’s no historical precedent, there’s no grounds for impeachment. “You can’t impeach a president for mooning everyone,” they say.
So Clooney decides to make a movie called “Blackwater’s Eleven” about eleven corporate and political cronies who plan a heist to steal billions from the American treasury, it’ll be slick and clever and they’ll get away with it because they’ll be played by popular, likeable actors and the audience always roots for bad guys like that.
But Senators Daschle and Leahy hear about this and decide to hold hearings to investigate remakes because it looks to them like the Iraq War is a remake of the Vietnam War. But on the verge of their hearings, which will also be hearings on the proposed Patriot Act, they get mail delivered to their offices that contains Anthrax so Congress is adjourned for several days and the hearings are never held.
So a lot of people are wondering why the Democrats aren’t working on impeaching Bush and Cheney but those people have forgotten about the anthrax (that came from Ft. Detrick) that was sent to party leaders who were planning hearings and they don’t know about the phone calls Senators and Congressmen and women get in the middle of the night where a menacing voice says “Remember the anthrax”.
Why should they risk their lives when the only people who are risking their lives are the soldiers in Iraq and the people over there that oppose the occupation, and everyone here is just holding candlelight vigils, marching in the streets and enacting theatrical, symbolic civil “disobedience” at carefully choreographed events permitted by those who are the targets of the march—get it?-- shouting at buildings, watching movies and ballgames and moaning and wailing?
So Clooney thinks about doing a movie called “Good Night and Fat Chance” but opts instead to do a remake of “3:10 to Yuma” in which a country has to escort a killer to jail but they choose not to because they’re too scared, so the killer gets away.