Here is an interview Alex did back in March 2017 with Pilleater (of Asian-Aryanism troll fame) and Robert Stark of The Stark Truth.
Here is an interview Alex did back in March 2017 with Pilleater (of Asian-Aryanism troll fame) and Robert Stark of The Stark Truth.
Canto IV – Mars Concerto
Intense \disorder, disarray
The Fog of War everywhere but no bullets
A silent war – A cultural war, A demographic war, A war of representation and replication
Softness, Collusion, Peace
Faggots, Jews, Niggers
“A man with no fortune, but with a name to come.”
The Will brutalized into fatalistic tendencies
The old spinner spins without regard to goodness or wickedness
A mere functionary at a Job
“So that the high may become low and the low may become high.”
But not always, sometimes the low remains low and the high remains high
Metempsychosis sometimes to the seventh generation
Supine and Karmic the Myth of Er
But the Will rises, cuts through, destroys, bestial remnant
Ascension, divination, retention, strangulation
A guiding principle
A compass within dark woods
Lost without our myths
Without our Gods
Without our Glory
Inclemency and wine
They will ask “Is poetry a war crime?”
Radovan’s “deaf amphorous dough”
Prating about covenants
Smug and self-satisfied
Purchases and pointless chatter
There can be no covenants between warrior-poets and the bourgeois
Only hand Grenades in the morning
And slit throats in the afternoon
Mai Tai’s and the silver spoon
Reclining into the newfangled unthinking existentialism of Positive affirmation
The lesser demons compel the condemned to smile and leisurely masturbate whilst in limbo
Bishop Danilo, brooding on the evils of Islam
The Serbians knew
They sang to the girls while shooting their fathers:
“Beautiful Turkish daughter,/Our Monks will baptize you.”
“Give me the making of a nation’s songs, and let who will make their laws.”
The Fat Jew:
“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws”
The new Colossus, a gaping hole to be filled, a void, an asshole – Promiscuous Women – “Tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” – Relativity…
The old Colossus, an Ideal, a warning, a robust fullness, Occidental assertion of boundaries – Righteous Men– “Saviour of cities, harnessed in bronze, strong of arm, unwearying, mighty with the spear” – Clarity of Vision.
The Thin Jew, inviting the world, slipping inside – lukewarm – eels, centipedes, vermin, slimy amorphousness
They let the Moors into Visigoth Spain
Weimar Whores reclining in windswept palaces full of casting shadows
Bread and circuses retain the name of the footprint alone
Fleecing chivalrous conventions of bygone eras for the last of the last men
Morons! Everywhere mass retardation!
Hang the moralists! Crucify the Lord!
Gadget nerds and gay marriages, usury, sitcoms and sodomy!
Cleanse this House!
Papiols, Papiols, to the music!
Mar’s instruments – Volcanic Eruptions!
The Clarion Call, the Cornu Wail, the Standards Raised!
It beckons to all patriots –
“Death to all traitors, life everlasting to our Brethren!”
Hail Europa and despair!
The Soviet futurist Vladimir Mayakovsky once wrote, “I’m a poet. That’s what makes me interesting. That is what I write about.” This egotistic statement of the self-regarding poet is in line with Mayakovsky’s iconoclastic and self-aggrandizing style – “to his own beloved self,” but does it not tell us something about the nature of poets generally, namely, their conceit? After all why should anyone care about the scribbling that a solitary consciousness produces; very often abstrusely or even esoterically, as Eliot wrote, “We expect to have to defend a poet against the charge of obscurity.”[i] But the poet does not just compose verse willy-nilly, and does not just scribble, as in Horace’s phrase, “a book whose different features are made up at random like a sick man’s dreams.” There is method and form and rhythm to this madness. As the critic Northrop Frye tells us “There is no private symbolism,”[ii] and everything he composes is parcel: his dreams, his illusions, his visions, his fantasies, his impressions, his memories, his thoughts, his knowledge, his politics, his loves, his joys, his fears, his delusions and his creativity; he wishes to share.
“the next person at the door
will be a poet.
this one teaches
and that one lives with his mother
and that one is writing the story of
oh, brothers, we are the sickest and the
lowest of the breed.”[iii]
Perhaps, for Bukowski, in his bottommost core, his poems were a kind of therapy – one pictures a madman searching for his “little gems,” divine moments of inspiration in intoxication, even in there, even in Ginsberg, to whatever weird and degenerate gods they summoned between them, there was something of the spark. But then, the factotum dipsomaniac gave perhaps the best defense of poetry ever devised when he wrote simply that “non-poetry is ugliness.”[iv]
While Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, perhaps justly, grew weary of the poets condemning them, “A little lust and a little boredom: that has so far been their best reflection.”[v] As I have read my Bukowski and have read my Rumi and my Nietzsche, who had much of the Dionysian dithyramb in him,[vi] and each of them I loved and each of them I absorbed and outgrew. I discovered Pound and Eliot and Yeats and Keats and Coleridge and Ovid and Dante and the Troubadours and the French Symbolists and the Decadents and the English Romantics and so on. I have always returned to the poets and always found and sought new ones. Why?
Frye once referred to the poet in the modern age as a kind of savage; that is as a remnant of both a literary and indeed a pre-literary time. In an age ruled by utility and a mass cultural apparatus facilitating la société du spectacle, the epic and the comedic forms have long since transcended their original medium, who could care about the individual’s subjectivity – if that indeed is the sum of it – but even if not – what can a poem say that prose or science or the gesamtkunstwerk of film cannot? His scribbling may as well be cave-markings after all. Poets are at once the most useless and anachronistic, contemptible and tatterdemalion of creatures, without purpose or place, existing as it were in some half-forgotten realm between sentiment and learning, impression and form, and because of this, their purpose is also as the most necessary of creatures; because of the nature of their art, the part he shares of his consciousness, both requires and subterfuges the tyranny of reason in a manner entirely its own. For to “wander lonely as a cloud,” in trousers or otherwise, such phraseology produces a connection between the inner experience of poet and the that of the reader, whose internal voice reads the words within the confines of his own consciousness, the reader may not be aware that they too ‘wander lonely’ as that selfsame ‘cloud.’ Within the image and the feeling produced there is something of the mystery of revelation. For Wordsworth, “the poet is ‘a man speaking to men’, and all men have within them the capacity for poetry, or at least for the brightness and unity of perception which may be called the poetic vision.”[vii]
For Bataille this shared inner experience of poetry, “the dark radiance of poetry” is linked to forms of expenditure or excess, it is that which is beyond the law and nature, “it conceals the known within the unknown…. Poetry’s escape, its excess, follows an Icarian path: it drives upwards in a transgressive trajectory only to reach its limits and fall.”[viii]
For almost as long as there has been poetry, there has also existed the defense of poetry, as though the dainty and utility-less ‘excessive thing’ always needed its advocates. In the Ion dialogue, Socrates compares poetry to Euripides’ magnet, the Heraclean stone, that “attracts iron rings inducing in the rings the power to do the same themselves in turn-namely attract other rings, so that sometimes a long chain of iron rings is formed, suspended from one another, all having the force derived from the stone… the spectator is the last of the rings… You – the rhapsode or the actor – are the middle link, and the poet himself is the first.”[ix] Thus, the poet is closer to the Muses and divine nature – “I’m a poet. That’s what makes me interesting,” the Russian futurist is not far removed from the classical understanding of the social role of the poet. “The spectator being the last of the rings” – within the confines of a traditionalist hierarchy of being, the furthest rung is both the most numerous and least individuated; the uninteresting masses. The inartistic, untouched by the muses, catches merely the fleeting secondhand catharsis of the poet’s connection with the divine, if he is lucky. What aristocratic conceits these poets have!
For my own conceits, not merely prolonged metaphors and contrived revelations; as Plath writes, “Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle, Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.”[x] My Cantos is well inspired by that of Pound’s corpus and gods and the style is somewhere closer to that of Eliot in places, and its subject matter tends towards Yeats and Mallarme; for certain it is thoroughly modern verse. And for certain Pound and I worship at the same temple of Western Civilization, longing for its palingenesis – after all, if only in mock jest, “Every woman adores a Fascist.” Contrasting from Bukowski’s sickest and lowest pedigree who is “writing the story of Pound,” my cantos are not merely a retelling of Pound or of an attempt to replicate his style; rather, it is my own, as I am my own. As Pound utilized the conventions, themes, motifs and images of the Canon to relay his own trials; the Ariadne thread runs through mine as well.
[i] Eliot, T. S. Essays on poetry and poets. London Boston: Faber and Faber, 1957. Print. 229.
[ii] Frye, Northrop. The critical path : an essay on the social context of literary criticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971. Print.
[iii] Bukowski, Charles. Love is a dog from hell : poems, 1974-1977. Santa Barbara, Calif: Black Sparrow Press, 1977. Print. 240.
[iv] Bukowski, Charles. Notes of a dirty old man. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1973. Print.
[v] Nietzsche, Friedrich W., and Graham Parkes. Thus spoke Zarathustra : a book for everyone and no one. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. 111.
[vii] Snukal, Robert. High talk : the philosophical poetry of W.B. Yeats. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print. 91.
[viii] Bataille, Georges, Fred Botting, and Scott Wilson. The Bataille reader. Oxford, UK Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997. Print. 9.
[ix] Russell, D. A., and Michael Winterbottom. Classical literary criticism. Oxford England New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. 7.
[x] Geddes, Gary. 20th-century poetry & poetics. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985. Print. 443.
Canto I: Hortus Conclusus
I invited all the freaks
To a tea party in my garden
And all the world showed up today
So many eccentricities
Spilling into the flowers
Creating new varieties
And through it all
There is you, and there is me
Entwined ever faithfully
In these rosebushes
Mindfully, we move
Careful of the thorns
All bloody and torn
Love lost and woman scorn
There is a man with a face forlorn
With The desire to be bathed in the sun
And to die
And be reborn
When his time has come
And these roses, do they emerge from Pierian springs
Where the muses bathed
Is there a song to sing?
Of the love of a good woman who saves
A beast in a jungle
A Minotaur in a maze
A dead god’s corpse instructs:
‘A little love is a dangerous thing’
Drink deep, or taste not Beatrice’s spiral spring
Mechanistic clocks bleeding grains of sand
Such commotion outside, such arrears
To be paid, to be made, moneychangers
In temples without images – bland
They call it business, they herald its triumph
Over Tradition, above Pound, vulgarities abound
And the pleasures, herein my dear, mingling, are of two sorts:
Either too sterile to matter
Or too germ-ridden to be impressed upon the breast
But we, in here
A hortus conclusus – us
Outside the knackeries, your social niceties
Beyond the apothecaries, and between the abattoirs
There lies a perennial truth beating inside the womb
The birthing of a stillborn, Unicorn
And the paradox drags Truth down through the aestheticized mud
While an Old Ovid writes the Fasti
And Wrether travels to the Eternal City
And the Cantos connects all things to Dante’s metaphysics and Homer’s dactylics
And, and, and, never-ending…
Perhaps there is yet a cliff
On the horizon
With a burning Sun
Given something bitter-sweet
My dear, to come undone
In the company of those who forget by candlelight that love is præy
Ravaged on cliffs of abandon by demons of desire
Pulled along a winding pebbled road by a charioteer
Strumming her golden harp
Then drawn and quartered apart
On each limb – two sets – twin stallions
Two black and two white
Too dark and too light
The Skeptics on the feet
And Utopians on the other
And we non-Manicheans somewhere asunder
Caroused in the dream of the spleen
Plato and ‘The Philosopher’
Captured by Raffaello in the vesica pisces swimming in the cloth folds of the masters
Or as consciousness tortured on a crucifix, between a redemptive sinner and one who persists
A whirling dervish, and thunder, a flash of lightening, a cloud bursting into rain and naivety and necessity and madness and a banquet of undulation – the sensory world of transient things, passing through the intestines – golden egg of shit – birthing into ignorant armies clashing –
in the din of the pitch there arises a moment of clarity, of brevity, of epiphany – and one of heroism and one of cowardice and one of deceit and one of interpretation’s cutting distortion and so on and so forth… A lasso, a thread, a throughway
Wherein the reaper makes his rounds
An hourglass without a sound
The field of battle now full of wailing banshees and dark eyed ravens with wolves waiting in the wings
Mournful elegies pouring from her lips
Into her eyes
Blindfolded cupid’s aim
And now she has been carried away
By an Zephyrus wind
And I have been
Brought to function
Under false suns
Is to run
Into a gaping subterranean hole
Her skirt from which the flora flows
There is death inside the rose
A slumbering dream of repose
A sheltering bosom to uphold
The suckling lips of a youth turned old
And In the room the women come and go
Speaking of things debased and low
What greater glory than to sow
The seeds of discord, the uninvited party guest
Without whom harmony would be subjected to a tyranny of monotony, a garden of earthly delights
Better to reign, than serve
A day; a stalking breast of prey
Than a cento grazing in the meadows
Mere Choices in the Agora of Hesperos
And the meek elongation of shadows
Drawing out the growing awareness
The pair caught in a serpentine bewilderment
Naked and cloven-foot
Tiptoeing around panopticonic surveillance
Wiretapped and pigeonholed
Villages disassembled and we all go
Shuffling under the common roof
His ancestors owned two-fifths of the watermill East of Eden
Drawing liquid-mercury through lukewarm waterways
Pouring it into crystal glasses for the enfranchised masses
Placid and spellbound as Hylas in Waterhouse
Bewitching gazes longing for
That magic hour
Between her reign and that of Apollo’s
When the dissimilar similarities
Strike us with stupefying profundities
The Lord awoke, reeling with wine
“The overloaded measurelessness of all goods in the one who is their cause.”
The cornucopia everywhere blooming and rotting
Wastrels and beggars
Heroes and kings
The trees of the forest nearst the clearing
Droop and wither
The temperature fallth
And sandy dunes appear
Where once luscious hills shone
In verdant splendor
Has the hour come?
When all things are confused
In their compositions, dimensions and limitations
The binding together of things-strange
In anticipation of her reign
Her time come at last
She, holy to the lost and the dead
They too arose, joining a procession
Shuffled earth and withered rose
She, granting oblivion and holy drunkenness
From the gallows of histories hollows
Luminaries, no nobody’s
A night vigil and procession
Panther skins, dithyramb limbs
The wild wind sweeps unwelcome’d trespasses,
Whisperings extinguish solitary candles in windswept temples along pathways leading towards a precipice requiring a leap of forgotten naivety
A reshuffling of the deck and few are fallen
There are no roads that lead here now
Laughing madly in her blind alley
Contingencies upon contingencies, upon a throw of the dice
A delicate balancing act, Empress of the world, an acrobat upon her globe, imprisoning between her teeth a cruel absent rose, now departed, now come, now go
She spinning wildly
Into the great unknown, endless coastlines, star-dotted skies
Cythera; summoning the ghosts of milkmaids – piously affecting a way to dictate the terms of his own fate – squatting in squalor, squeezing the royal-purple out of the snails who sunbathe by the light of the moon
Canto II – Archipelagos
A cult of beauty blooms
Venuses on the shells of former selves
Airy and light, whimsical delight
An intonation wilting, too soon
Respighi perfectly captured the essence
The sea arches in images
As many shapes as Proteus
Winged youth and drowning Pegasus
Vessels upon her unstable aqua-heath
Ithaca in liquid modernity
Genoese for hire
Nowhere, somewhere, everywhere
A brave new world
Hovels in New York, Moscow, Bangladesh
Similitudes of “insecticide refineries”
“Chicago Semite Viennese”
Negro Siamese Canadian
Misanthrope – in a small boat
Great industries of coiled seaweed
Passing mirages, flickering gills, selfish shellfish
The solitary angler, the waterbeds he comes to know, casting out
Still the great plethora lost in the shadows of working waifs – driftwood and time’s immortal wages
Octopi, barnacles –swampage – city dwellers
Never waves – just hello’d goodbyes
Journeyed wide-eyed tourism
He stops to sip
Peering into the exquisiteness of his own tortured midnight, not eyes, not mirrors, both and neither
Solid, buried marble – the tide reveals
The sculptor, who drowned in love
With forms held above
From his own hand, fashioned
What he could not withstand, a passion’d
Beauty; the frailty of being
She, an appendage of the shell
Bivalvia, Sally sells
The shore is distant now,
And he recalls dimly
A garden abounding with pleasure
A rose snatched from the bush,
But still the new day is bright
And the water rumbles
Coughing up from her recesses
Upon powerful horses, a chariot and a trident,
A great flowing beard, upon a great knowing air
What say Poseidon, Lord of the hour, who has dethroned his brother and the Other upon a grey murderous sea?
He made the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof were still
And a great valley of time separated the words uttered as though each carried the weight of ages
“Herein, the waters coalesce, some flow towards the Northern and some towards the Southern Gate, but all who pass, whether in ascent or descent, drink of oblivion…”
With that the sun darkened
The roaring wave, towered, glassy skyscrapers, tumbling
A dizzying tempest washed him far-flung ashore
The salt water; putrid and inebriating
Heady spins, myriad colors – puke
Nineteen Sixties lotus eaters – Egyptian nymphs – desert sacraments
Fumigations, one-eye-blind, sails set against the wind, piglets, priapic wand-erings, curses, invocations, black magic, temptress, enchantress, forgetfulness, Dreams
Canto III – Western Skies
Under the Bodhi tree, awakening towards the East
Passive nihilism, illusion, maya, laissez-faire, nothingness
No reason to get worked up, go to work
Koan, Koran, Kalm
Sand, Oriental, Monsoon
Awakening towards the West
Meadow lands – God’s bounty – Monad
Kipling and the Saxon
The sneaking serpent Overthrown,
Masters of our own House
No mere mild humility
Giants upon the Earth
Made in the Image
Towards the Eternal Flame
Marbled balustrade and patient travail
The sinew, the muscle, the fortitude
Cursings and blessings upon thee
Our hour has not yet approached the nihil
We are not yet soft cushioned bed-rested geriatrics
We are still men of the West
And we ascend the immortal steps
In dialogue with Hades’ snakes and Olympus’ ladders
Never a child’s game grew so severe
As yet, the fateful hour draws near
“Thou art a dreaming thing”
Pythia, in the House of Snakes
Mandarins teaching half-learned things,
Pharisees, Sciolism; litterae nihil sanantes
We have no place in this place
No room in these rooms
Dusty recesses of the mind’s visions
Borne old too soon
In the Evening Land
Pillar of fire, cleaving the azure of the Western skies
No chiaroscuro, everything illuminated in the glow of sheer fanaticism,
Alex is joined by Brandon Martinez of nonalignedmedia.com/ for an off-the-cuff and off-the-wall conversation about alternative media, the AltRight, the Jews and their misdirection and why Canada sucks.
Keith Preston of attackthesystem.com/ comes onto The Fascist Pigs to discuss Trump’s neocon turn with his attack on Syria. They discuss current geopolitics in light of Hardt and Negri’s book “Empire,” and contextualize it to Orwell’s 1984 “Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” (((Emmanuel Goldstein played by Jared Kushner))) and other events and topics tangentially related to Cold War 2.0
Alex Fontana is back and joined by Colin Liddell of alternative-right.blogspot.com/ fame and glory along with recurring guest, the “untameable,” Bryan Christopher Sawyer – for a conversation about meme magic, the AltRight as a counter-culture, “reasonable anti-Semitism,” manlet nationalism and a host of other topics.
Originally Published at: http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-racist-wink-race-in-clint-eastwoods.html
by Alex Fontana
DiGeorgio: That’s one thing about our Harry. He doesn’t play any favorites, Harry hates everybody: Limeys, Micks, Hebes, fat dagos, niggers, honkies, chinks. You name it.
Chico: How’s he feel about Mexicans?
DiGeorgio: Ask him.
Harry: Especially Spics.
(Harry winks at Digeorgio as he walks off).
Dirty Harry (1971)
Slavoj Zizek has repeatedly made the seemingly contradictory point that Leftists should adopt “progressive racism” in order to counter racism. This would involve telling racist jokes that would produce “solidarity” by a communal sharing in obscenity. The joke and the laughter would effectively function as an assuaging mechanism to mask the very real and prescient tribal instincts, especially of whites whose countries are being invaded by a waves of foreign competitors.
The function of the racial joke for the ‘progressive racist’ is not to put down the Other, but rather to create a kind of Bakunian folk humor in which the otherness of the Other functions as a kind of post-modern grotesque realism. However, New Leftist political theorist Andrew Robinson sees potential dangers in this:
“The tendentialy resistant space of fan culture, by being displaced through repression, is turned into the pseudo-transgression of performative racism. At one level, racial abuse is transgressive (of liberal norms), but on another, it reproduces dominant structures (of underlying racism).
Such displays are similar to true carnival in their excess and expressiveness, but they ultimately uphold the transcendentalism of the in-group through transgressions which reinforce their privilege at the expense of an out-group… reactionaries and fascists are terrified of being overwhelmed by the ‘floods’ and ‘bodies’ of interpenetration with the other, though they must constantly return to the point of the threat of interpenetration so as to ward it off.”
What Robinson misses, and what Zizek and Dirty Harry both get, is that in-group hierarchies in a time of multiculturalism and multiracialism, when we have seen a two-term Black President of the United States, is no longer as racially valid as it once was. Hierarchies are much more fluid, and professional and class based, than racial. Even then, Robinson’s point about false transgressions is valid in some respects:
“Hierarchies were perhaps simpler in medieval times. We get into complexities today around the distinction between ‘true’ transgressions and those which repeat dynamics of the system at a deeper level. The system can use such ‘false’ transgressions to channel the carnivalesque into its own reproduction. Consider, for instance, how the transgressiveness of football culture has been displaced into the fascism of the EDL.”
Robinson, like most Leftists, gets it backwards. Rather than football culture being displaced by fascism, it is rather the historical movement of fascism being displaced (or rather ‘muted’ or ‘transfigured’) into the false transgressions of football culture.
Still the specter of white supremacy haunts Leftist imaginations. So much so that the mass appeal of brown racial humorists, like Russell Peters, has been more acceptable in our politically correct times than a white comedic counterpart. Although this too is rapidly changing, especially given a sampling of Comedy Central’s roasting of Shaquille O’Neil. When a white comedian can allude to ‘Shaq’ being a gorilla, the giant multimillionaire Negro can indulge in a full-bellied laugh at himself—at a joke that would likely offend most blacks.
Often when a joke pushes that politically correct line, the camera cuts to an audience member who resembles the recipient of the joke, laughing at it—”progressive racism” (freeze frame at 5:21 for the obvious Jew laughing at the Holocaust™ joke).
Shaq is part of the hierarchy of the Empire of Meaninglessness, the Empire of the Punch-line and the Slam Dunk Contest. The functions and irrationality of the market destroys and is destroying natural hierarchies between people at an unprecedented rate, helped along the way by the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world of Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood.
Shaquille O’Neil’s social status destroys the stigma of black inferiority and invites other Blacks and even whites to not take themselves so seriously. The growing acceptability of White racial humor directed against Blacks and other ‘visible minorities’ is indicative of the totalizing monolithic egalitarian tendency of what David Richards calls ‘radical constitutionalism’ in American values. Hence in Franz Kafka’s short novel Amerika, the European Immigrant Karl, adopts the name Negro for himself, because despite representing the exploitation of the immigrant worker, it functions more broadly to describe the ‘negrofication’ of all identities below a certain professional or social status in America, and more generally still of the radical leveling of the democratic type as identified in Jose Ortega y Gasset’s mass man. The solidarity of American values is the dog-eat-dog individualism of WASP capitalism and utilitarianism, emblematic of so many of Clint Eastwood’s characters—“make my day,” as Ronald Reagan said.
Eastwood at 86 years old is something of a throwback, a dinosaur, an homage to White American virility, poise, confidence and coolness. His early roles in spaghetti westerns connected him with the historical frontiersman, but in this he was always a loner, a desperado, an outsider, an individualist…an American.
These roles also connected him to the cinematic tradition of self-proclaimed ‘white supremacist’ John Wayne and the ‘Eurocentric racism’ of John Ford. ‘Blondie’ and the rest of Eastwood’s portrayals were usually gunning down swarthier gangs in credulous retroactive acclamation of the triumph of the solitary white man. Later on Eastwood achieved superstar status for his role as the straight-talking ‘Dirty Harry,’ which solidified his image of Old Stock grit. Continuing with this image, Eastwood has caught some flak for some comments in a just published interview in Esquire magazine:
Esquire: Your characters have become touchstones in the culture, whether it’s Reagan invoking “Make my day” or now Trump … I swear he’s even practiced your scowl.
Eastwood: Maybe. But he’s onto something, because secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist. And then when I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, “This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.” And I said, “Good. Let me read it tonight.” The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, “We’re starting this immediately.”
Eastwood’s Gran Torino is “politically incorrect” in the same vein of the ‘racist wink,’ that is it is performative racism, Zizek’s “progressive racism.”
Eastwood’s Polish-American character in Gran Torino identifies with, and forms a self-sacrificing bond with, his South Asian neighbors, while simultaneously making racial slurs at their expense. Ironically, Eastwood’s character appreciates the communal values of his immigrant neighbors, while his own white ethnic Catholic family has succumbed to the individualism of Americanization.
In the end the self-sacrificing white man gives his most prized possession to his Asian neighbor and snubs his own family—in part because they have grown apart and see their relationship in materialistic terms, while discarding those values of family, community, kinship, homemaking and hard work, traditionally associated with white Catholic ethnics. But the image of the young Asian driving the American muscle car down the highway at the end of the film is inclusive of that group’s own impending Americanization.
The values that Eastwood’s real life son lists as those that his father imparted to him are not those that make a community:
“It’s an interesting time. My father’s definitely old-school. And he raised me with integrity—to be places on time, show up, and work hard.”
Rather these are the values that make an obedient and efficient worker. Still, Clint Eastwood can continue to cultivate the image of himself as a straight-talking tough guy, a real Reagan Republican, while the Empire of Meaninglessness laughs and sometimes winks its way to racial dispossession.