Friday, June 15, 2018

Fat Man

Let's talk about Nuclear Weapons and how dangerous they are. In 1945 Harry Truman ordered one to be dropped on Hiroshima, Japan (August 6th) and obliterated the city in a flash. I've been there and it's a powerful testament to man's inhumanity to man when you consider the horrifying power of the weapon and it's lingering after effects. Not that the firebombing raids over Japan and Germany were any less horrific - in most cases they killed more and did more damage than the A-bomb - but the fact that so much destructive power could be contained in a relatively small package was mind boggling and terrifying. In popular culture the 8/6/1945 date is a touchstone for the beginning of the Atomic Age because it's the first time one of these WOMD's had been used on a population center but I prefer to use August 9, 1945 because that's when the USA dropped the A-Bomb AGAIN!!! Do you get what I'm saying? If you drop one Nuke you've made a point and you could just sit back and wait for the magnitude of the attack to sink in to your enemies mind (and your own mind) - let them stew on instantaneous vaporization leaving only a shadow behind, children with their skin pealed from the bone in a flash, undrinkable water and toxic food, fire everywhere-poison everywhere. But no, 3 days after the first bomb went off, while people were still milling around zombi-like and trying to process what the hell just happened to their city, another bomb was dropped just 300 kilometers to the south (that's NYC to Bmore for us provincial Yanks). It was supposed to be closer - the primary target for Fat Man was Kokura (think NYC to Philly) but there was so much smoke from various firebombing raids and, of course, Hiroshima that was still burning that the US pilots couldn't see the primary target so they went with option number 2. Now there's such a thing as bad luck and then there's something that is so far beyond bad luck that there really isn't a name for it short of fate or God's wrath or something so inexplicably horrible and unfair that you simply can't name it and whatever that word is, is what happened to the people of Nagasaki on that hot August day. They weren't even the target!!! The pilot had to drop this mammoth bomb SOMEWHERE and, what the fuck, let's drop it on Nagasaki - so they did.

That event - the bombing of Nagasaki - is what sucks about nuclear weapons. You're sitting in a Tiny Town row house, minding your own business, and some Jihadi nut job wants to incinerate Hymietown or the DC Swamp but can't figure out how to get their nuke through security so they decide to slip it into the Port of Baltimore and light your ass up. That ain't right! You're not even the primary target but you (and pretty much everyone you know) get wiped off the map - gone in 0.6 seconds and when I say gone, I mean gone. No more body, no more building, no more anything - no bones to collect and bury, no dog to adopt, no photo albums to pass down because it's a bright flash of light that melts your eyeballs in their sockets and then a massive wave of energy that hits you BEFORE you even hear the explosion. These bombs that the USA dropped on Japan 70+ years ago have been vastly "improved" in the ensuing years and the thermonuclear WOMD of today is much more powerful than most humans can even imagine. In fact, no one even thinks about WOMD's in their day to day existence because doing so would put a thinking person in a catatonic state of insecurity and doubt. The fact that they exist can't be undone but the mass proliferation of these bombs is not acceptable and must be rolled back at whatever cost because they are simply too dangerous for anyone to posses. The great powers, America, Russia and China will have them but nobody else and though that might not seem fair it is what's going to happen because keeping tabs on these nukes and controlling their potential use is a top priority for EVERYONE.

That's why Team Trump went crazy over Justin Trudeau's "back-stabbing" press conference given while the Elvis from Queens was in flight to Singapore to meet with the North Korean leadership about abolishing their nuclear armaments and missile programs. That's why Robert De Niro's gratuitous "Fuck Trump" showboating at the Tony Awards on the night before the USA/NK Summit was so poorly timed and inappropriate. It's okay for Justin to threaten reciprocal tariffs on the US and it's okay for De Nero to say what "they're all thinking", but couldn't they wait 3 days until AFTER the summit had taken place and Kim Jong Un had signed an agreement to scuttle his nukes? Is that too much to ask? Do these world leaders and cultural icons want a WOMD toting North Korea making mischief around the world and teaming up with bad actors and terror states to spread more nukes around? Are trade agreements and hurt feelings really more important to these ass-wipes than peace and prosperity - building a future we all can live in and look forward to? Trump dispatched Justin in short order:
Take that Queen Elizabeth and put a leash on your yapping dog.

The De Niro situation is more complicated because it's obviously personal, long standing and deep. Trump must have really screwed De Niro over on some deal or with some woman back in NYC - probably something no one will ever know the full story on and who knows, maybe De Niro has a legitimate grievance which fires his hate and disrespect but...

The best part of this clip is the cut aways to a theater full of clapping seal thespians dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns whooping it up over De Niro's "remarks" and for most of America that is what they'll see (if they see it at all). The truth is that half the country doesn't vote and of the half that does a relatively small (but vocal) percentage follow the lead of actors and actresses and an even smaller percentage are fans of the theater and the 6.3 million total viewers of the Tony Awards are not going to move any elections. So why even respond to the taunting from a washed up septuagenarian? It's an information war - a meta war and only one side is going to win and when De Niro throws a punch he's doing it with almost 50 years of cultural muscle which he developed in the '70's. Five films with 5 distinct characters - Mean Streets (John "Johnny Boy" Civello), The Godfather Part II (a young Vito Corleone), Taxi Driver (Travis Bickle), The Deer Hunter (Michael Vronsky), Raging Bull (Jake LaMotta) - from 1973 to 1980 this guy earned it and so what if he just phoned in a lot of performances after this run - it was a hell of a run. In these movies and a select group of follow on films (The Untouchables, Goodfellas, Casino, etc.) De Niro normalized the tough truth talking NYC boss who did his dirty job and let the bodies fall were they may - exactly the kind of persona that Trump's enemies (like De Niro himself) paint on the Elvis from Queens. So let's wipe that fantasy persona out:

It's "Punchy" De Niro from now on.

Usually DJT just tosses a giant rock with his Twitter Trebuchet but sometimes he'll stick a nuke in the harness and let 'er rip. Why did Trump decide to incinerate De Niro like a Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki? Because De Niro deserved it.  While he is a full throated Knight of the Golden Circle the truth is that De Niro is not a stage actor and has nothing to do with the Tony Awards but having Tommy Tune dance out on stage and say "Fuck Trump" just wouldn't have an impact so the shows producers asked De Niro to do it. Since the mid-1980's the acting has been a sideline to his real passions and as the NYTimes made clear back in 2011 the De Niro's are a real estate family.
THE De Niros never had a portfolio to rival the Trumps, or the blended fortunes of the Tishmans and the Speyers, but real estate runs deep in De Niro blood. The family, Raphael De Niro said, talked about real estate as “an art, like finding jewels where people may not have found them.”
In 1994 De Niro teamed with chef Nobu and launched a restaurant/hospitality empire every bit as over the top and gauche as anything The Elvis from Queens could dream up. De Niro is a grubby real estate whore just like all the rest and he's got zero moral authority to insult Donald Trump or anyone else so don't let the acting awards blind you to the truth. Donald Trump knows the truth (and probably a lot more) about Robert De Niro and he wouldn't let the fraud play out any longer.

No comments:

Nuclear Fallout