Beating heads - 52 years ago

Posted On: Tuesday - June 2nd 2020 11:57PM MST
In Topics: 
  History  Movies  ctrl-left

Unz commenter Joe Stalin, who's chimed in here before*, pasted in this scene from the 1969 movie Medium Cool in a comment under Mr. Sailer's recent post The Sacking of Fifth Avenue, about NY City's experience with the current rioting. (Yes, Mr. Sailer's pun was intended.)

As it turns out, Peak Stupidity noted this obscure movie as the 3rd try in an attempt to watch a decent, well un-Politically-Correct, movie in our post Tried to watch a movie - here's 3 reviews in one! from 2 summers back. Man, that was right at 50 years after the action in the movie - I just realized that now.

From the youtube notes and comments, I learned that this scene in Medium Cool was almost all real footage from the area near the 1968 Chicago Democrat political convention in that turbulent time. The lady in yellow, one of the movie's stars, played by Verna Bloom (deceased early this year), is looking for the guy that appears briefly up high inside the arena. (The scenes inside the arena must be real too.) Apparently, this was a major new thing in the movie business, as the director Haskell Wexler did all this filming right in the middle of the action.

One could just skip right to 10 minutes in, near the end, to see the real action, but I've got this starting at 6 minutes, so the viewer can get the flavor of the whole scene. Starting from the beginning may be boring for you, but you can just skip back, of course. If nothing else, just the picture of the cars, the scenery, and the Americans of 52 years ago is cool to see. It's no depiction, this is THERE.

That Happy Days are Here Again brings back memories. I wonder how long one can go back and find that played at campaign stops and conventions in American history. As far as I know, it's a thing of the past. Young people don't go for this kind of music, but then, I don't watch these things anymore, so I can't be sure. Also, Peak Stupidity reader/commenter Vic Lougheed wanted to hear some Frank Zappa, and this movie has the song Oh No in the soundtrack, played as the two reporter (stars) are riding around Washington, FS.

The young people (mostly) in the crowd here chanted about Vietnam, as it was the US heavy involvement in that war by summer 1968 that was the biggest reason they wanted to disturb the D political convention. Candidates were truly picked at the conventions back in those days, albeit with delegates mostly chosen via primaries. It was no done deal already, as is the case now. The left in America did not want Hubert Humphrey, the favorite, as he was too Conservative for them.

This story is just one of this time in American political history told in Pat Buchanan's The Greatest Comeback. (Peak Stupidity has a short review, but we promised more posts to originated from this interesting book.). Many of the protesters seen in this scene were hard-core leftists and flat-out Communists, as I suspect of the crowd today. Because they had a lot more of a cause back then and actually knew something about the issues, I have a little more respect for the agitators 50-odd years ago then the idiots we've been seeing this past week though.

The cops went overboard in Chicago that day (or days?). They were backed up by their major (one of the Daley's that keep on being mayors there), who wanted to keep Chicago known as a place with law and order. This is the opposite of the case today, in which the mayors are generally not on the side of the cops, until, of course, things get really bad, and they will need them to save their asses.

I'm not really picking sides here on this Medium Cool footage. One can't help but wish that these cops** were around today though and given orders to bust some heads as 5 decades ago. Yeah, in this case I am picking sides, not so much in what originally happened in that one event in Minneapolis but with respect to busting heads of these black and antifa rioters. Back to Pat Buchanan, Peak Stupidity noted in this short post and in Mr. Buchanan's description in The Greatest Comeback that he kind of enjoyed watching the scenes such as this from his 19th floor of his hotel room in Chicago, Illinois that long-ago summer day. It meant his immediate boss, Richard M. Nixon, had a better chance of getting elected. Is there a parallel with today?

* We haven't heard from Mr. Stalin in a while, but I note that he wrote in under the Peak Stupidity post about the movie in question, in fact. Mr. Stalin has been a stalwart for the 2nd Amendment on the unz site, something Steve Sailer does not bring up much, if at all, from what I've read.

** Note the huge difference in the lack of body armor and militarization of the cops 52 years back. The National Guard, of course, is a different story as seen in this scene.

Thursday - June 4th 2020 8:15PM MST
PS: Just when you thought you were out, your work pulls you back in, huh? It sounds like you must be doing something very valued. That's got to be a good feeling.

OK, so you haven't watched that movie. What do you think about that one scene here? Does it bring back memories? (probably some bad and some good).
Thursday - June 4th 2020 11:14AM MST
PS I haven’t seen the movie. At the moment, I’ve got parts of three jobs on my desk (and I’m supposed to be retired, at least that’s what Mme B says), but when the load lightens up a bit, I’ll give it a look at write up a little review. One thing that we old guys can do is to pass on what we’ve seen and experienced to those coming after us. It’ s not that we’re the fonts of all wisdom, but dissidents especially need some sources on the past other than those that come from approved sources.
Wednesday - June 3rd 2020 6:05PM MST
PS: Thanks for that, Mr. Blanc. I would like it very much if you wrote up a comment for a post on your experience. Does that footage from "Medium Cool" bring back your memories? I also want to know if you saw that movie. (For me, it was a totally random pick from the library, along with the 2 others that started out too PC for me to risk stomaching them.)
Wednesday - June 3rd 2020 4:31PM MST
PS The real Mayor Daley almost certainly made a bad strategic choice in the summer of 1968. There were some bad actors in Chicago who deserved to have their heads broken. The city should have targeted them and given them some of the justice that they deserved. Instead, they went after everyone, including thousands of people who were simply exercising their right to peacefully assemble (I was one). The almost complete refusal to arrest and prosecute rioters in part derives from Mayor Daley’s decision.
WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)