So recent events, mainly of the looting and property destruction variety, have had the old wheels-a-turning in this noggin of mine. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things like anarchy, nihilism, and cowardice. I’ve also been thinking about how these ideas and actions fit into America in these modern times.
Well, my thoughts turned to a 50-year-old movie called Dirty Harry, which if you ignore the terrible clothes and ridiculous hairstyles could be about today. It would never be made today for a variety of reasons. First, “Woke” Hollywood couldn’t stomach all the political incorrectness that would hurt their precious feelings.
Secondly, guys like Clint Eastwood, (and Steve McQueen, and Lee Marvin and many others – too many to list actually) would never get cast nowadays. Eastwood and his ilk: raced cars, rode Harley’s, drank like sailors, and served in the Armed Forces. Basically, everything modern Hollywood executives despise. But I digress.
Dirty Harry is Harry Callahan, a San Francisco cop that gets stuck with “every dirty job that comes along”. He does what needs to be done to deliver justice and restore law and order, even if it means crossing ethical and legal boundaries to serve and protect the innocent and victims of crime.
Harry’s nemesis is known as Scorpio, an anarchist serial killer that wants to sow fear and chaos. He’s a craven weakling that knows the system of failed bureaucracy and incompetent politicians won’t ever truly stop him because even if he is caught he’ll eventually get back out on the streets.
So, do you gots to know about how Dirty Harry applies to 2020?
Well, these looters (Antifa or whoever) are a bunch of emasculated weaklings just like Scorpio. They want to cause trouble and inflict as much damage as possible while ruining lives in the process. Scorpio wants the exact same things. His methods are different (sniper rifles murders, kidnapping) but the true objective of anarchy and fear is the same as these shitheads stealing flat screens out of Target.
When Scorpio kidnaps a girl the Mayor and Chief of Police insist on having Harry deliver the cash. He tells them the girl is already dead (she is) but they insist he does what Scorpio says anyway. Scorpio gets away with the ransom money but Harry soon tracks him down and in an effort to find the girl shoots Scorpio in the leg on a football field and tortures him by standing on it to learn the girl’s location.
The D.A. lets Scorpio go because his rights were violated by Harry. Had the Mayor and Chief of Police listened to Harry prior to delivering the ransom they could have caught Scorpio in a more orthodox manner, but they didn’t. Harry took matters into his own hands and Scorpio goes free. After being released Scorpio kidnaps a school bus of kids and Harry finally kills him.
This is similar to the poor leadership by people like Mayors Eric Garcetti (who wants to defund the police to the tune of $250 million) and Bill DeBlasio who let the looters run wild, and working against the police trying to do their jobs.
A lot of critics hated this movie upon release. Roger Ebert being one. He wrote –
“The movie’s moral position is fascist,”
Garrett (no blue check on Twitter) Epps of the Atlantic wrote while at Harvard in 1972 –
“…we can all place some pressure on producers and distributors to stop offering us fascist propaganda and sado-masochistic wet dreams.”
(Note: Epps also wrote “Harry tracks the killer into a stadium, and there publicly enacts the audience’s fantasies by stomping of his wounded arm until he tells where he has hidden his victim,” so who knows if he actually watched the movie).
It’s interesting that both of these reviewers use “fascist” to describe this film. In his review, Epps defines fascism as
“the quest for the meta-experience of violence as a validation of existence, along with contempt for and brutalization of women.”
Merriam Webster, however, defines fascism as –
“a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”.
It is no surprise that Epps doesn’t understand what fascism is considering that he couldn’t pay attention while watching a movie to determine if a character got shot in the arm or the leg.
Audiences loved Dirty Harry. Why? People want to feel safe. They want law and order. They want to see criminals be punished. Not much has changed in 50 years.
Incidentally, the torture scene on the football field the most popular scene in the movie. Why? Human nature. The football field is the Colosseum in Rome. Harry is the gladiator and Scorpio is his prey. Not much has changed in 2,000 years.
Maybe I’m totally off the mark in this article. It’s possible I’m completely out of touch. But I don’t think so and the fact that gun sales in America are up 80% over last year. People want law and order, not chaos.