Against Kubrick 2

This is part 2 of my polemic against the great filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. My premise basically is that his great films had negative effects on the world and that Kubrick was anything but a humanist. I will go after his great films one at a time, starting with…

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

In this film, Stanley Kubrick commits the sin of making his protagonist Mandrake the only sane and intelligent person in the story and at the same time a stuttering and ineffectual twerp.

strangelove-sellers

But that's okay, you say. The film satirizes the Cold War. It takes aim at things like McCarthyism, the military-industrial complex, the arms race, and certain military gaming concepts such “Deterrence” and “Mutually Assured Destruction”. You can't expect such a film to play it straight like Fail-Safe, do you?

Fair enough. But to satirize well, you have to really nail what you're satirizing. Further, if you're going to conclude the film with the End of the World you sure as heck better satirize the things that most need satirizing. After all, the fate of the world lies in the balance.

Let's look at the remainder of the characters:

This is part 2 of my polemic against the great filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. My premise basically is that his great films had negative effects on the world and that Kubrick was anything but a humanist. I will go after his great films one at a time, starting with…

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

In this film, Stanley Kubrick commits the sin of making his protagonist Mandrake the only sane and intelligent person in the story and at the same time a stuttering and ineffectual twerp.

strangelove-sellers

But that’s okay, you say. The film satirizes the Cold War. It takes aim at things like McCarthyism, the military-industrial complex, the arms race, and certain military gaming concepts such “Deterrence” and “Mutually Assured Destruction”. You can’t expect such a film to play it straight like Fail-Safe, do you?

Fair enough. But to satirize well, you have to really nail what you’re satirizing. Further, if you’re going to conclude the film with the End of the World you sure as heck better satirize the things that most need satirizing. After all, the fate of the world lies in the balance.

Let’s look at the remainder of the characters:

peter-sellers-President-Merkin-Muffley-dr-strangelove

The President of the United States Merkin Muffley: A man of no distinction whatsoever. So whom exactly are we satirizing here? FDR? Truman? Ike? Kennedy? When did we ever have a president who even remotely resembled such a cipher? This is not satire. It is a useless conceit, a running gag for those who like to gripe about authority.

Notice also the sophomoric sexual gags in the man’s name. Why? Why did Kubrick include such X-rated Dickensian naming conventions other than to be sophomoric? Was Kubrick telling us something about the American presidency? Did he really believe that presidents are all about the sex? The only person this could apply to of course is Kennedy. The man was ridiculously promiscuous. But compared to both his post-World War II predecessors, he was the softest on the Soviets and therefore least deserving of this kind of satire. Truman and Ike, on the other hand, toed a much harder line, and were, by and large, scandal free.

Compare this to Charlie Chaplin’s naming conventions in his spoof on Nazi Germany, The Great Dictator. Nazi Germany was called Tomania (as in ptomaine poisoning). Adolf Hitler was Adenoid Hynkel. Goebbels was dubbed Garbitsch. Benito Mussolini was christened Benzino Napaloni the dictator of the nation of Bacteria. So there are ways to be clever and funny with names without resorting to pornographic portmanteaus that would make Beavis and Butthead snicker. But Kubrick is not interested in that. He would rather taint the office of the President like an errant teen writing dirty words on a wall.

021-dr-strangelove-theredlist

General Buck Turgidson: A war-mongering, philandering, gum-chewing, tummy-slapping buffoon who is as believable as his name is subtle. There were three major 20th Century American military leaders whom Kubrick may have been satirizing here: George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Curtis LeMay. All were brave and brilliant men, but of course Kubrick is not interested in any of that either. In Kubrick’s universe Turgidson isn’t brilliant at all, yet gets a seat in the War Room at Hour Zero. In reality, Patton never got close to such political power, LeMay could barely get a word in edgewise with the Kennedy and Johnson administrations during Vietnam, and MacArthur got fired by Truman for being too, well, war-mongering.

Another point: Kubrick portrays Turgidson as receiving a kind of pathological, autoerotic pleasure from his job, especially when contemplating the deaths of millions of Russians. Not only is this complete make-believe, but in order to find this funny, one would have to downplay or simply be unaware of some of the aggressive and unspeakably barbaric things the Soviet Union did to cause men like Patton, MacArthur, and LeMay to want to go after them in the first place.

guano

Colonel “Bat” Guano: A soldier so stupid that he doesn’t realize that his last name means bat shit and goes with the nickname of “Bat”. Get it? He’s a soldier. And he stupid. Get it? And he’s also crazy, as in bat-shit crazy! Get it? Seriously, by having few if any intelligent soldiers in his film, Kubrick implies that all soldiers are as dumb as this guy. Nice.

kong

Major T.J. “King” Kong: This Southern good ol’ boy famously mounts a nuclear warhead like a steer and rides it into oblivion waving a cowboy hat. It’s a brilliant, unforgettable image, no doubt. But what’s being satirized here? The fact that good ol’ boys tend to get a little wild and crazy every once in a while? A pretty small payoff for big big satire, don’t you think? Remember, we’re destroying the world here, so there’d better be a big point at the end of it. The only other point I can think of is that Kubrick is telling us that good ol’ boys are dumb and take their patriotism too seriously. Either way you cut it, it’s a nasty little dig at the American South.

DrStrangeloveFINAL

Dr. Strangelove: A wheelchair-confined, certifiably insane former Nazi nuclear scientist who’s in charge of US weapons research. He is called into the War Room to explain the inner-workings of the Soviet “Doomsday Device”. This character is not in Red Alert (the novel on which the film was based), and so is the invention of Kubrick and the actor who plays him, Peter Sellers. Strangelove also famously suggests that after the Doomsday Device detonates, US government and military personnel should live in mineshafts with ten women for every man. And this, by the way he tells it, is a good thing.

Like Turgidson, Strangelove could care less about the tragedy playing out all around him. He keeps smiling and giggling and struggling with his errant right hand like a sociopath while the world is about to burn. So whom are we satirizing here? Who in the United States government or military even remotely resembled this lunatic? Wernher von Braun? Yes, he was a Nazi. I make no arguments on that account. But as a rocket scientist at NASA he never had the kind of power or influence that Strangelove wields. He also wasn’t insane. Edward Teller? Yes, Teller was a nuclear physicist (the father of the hydrogen bomb), an anti-Communist, and a hawk. He also had a prosthetic leg, which made him disabled like Strangelove. But Teller was also a Jew who hated Nazis as much as communists. To characterize him as a Nazi would be ridiculous.

One final point about Strangelove: with this character, Stanley Kubrick commits the unforgivable sin of implying that the United States, free society that it is, in waging the Cold War against the Soviet Union, one of the most murderous and oppressive regimes in history, is somehow morally on par with Nazis. An implication so childish, so offensive, so ignorant, and, frankly, so stupid does not even warrant rebuttal.

ripper

General Jack D. Ripper: The paranoid and suicidal officer of the phallic cigar who starts World War III under the delusion that the commies have impurified his bodily fluids. They made him sexually dysfunctional and robbed him of his “essence”, you see. Based on Ripper’s anti-communist rants, Kubrick is clearly satirizing McCarthyism here. And this is fine. McCarthyism, like almost any other faddish “ism”, is fair game for satire. But when you blow up the world at the end of your film, you’d better satirize the things that most deserve satire. In other words, satire should be framed by what it satirizes, not the other way around. Here are some examples of other black comedies that actually follow this rule:

• Heathers satirizes high school in-crowds and concludes by blowing up a high school. (Appropriate and clever)
• Monty Python and the Holy Grail satirizes the King Arthur legends and blows up a rabbit. (Appropriate and funny)
• This is Spinal Tap satirizes heavy metal and blows up a couple drummers. (Appropriate and pretty hilarious)

So far so good, right? But Dr. Strangelove satirizes the very rational American response to Soviet hegemony and in the end blows up the world. Am I the only one who sees how inappropriate this is?

I believe a spreadsheet might be most helpful to illustrate my point.

Here is what Stanley Kubrick wants us to believe:

So, like, you know, if there’s ever a nuclear war, it will be the Americans’ fault, of course. With such loathsome people as Ripper, Turgidson, and Strangelove in charge, how could it not be?

On the other hand, here is a more accurate scenario, given the premise of the film:

Kubrick thinks he’s satirizing the grey boxes in the middle, but by blowing up the world at the end of his film, he inadvertently satirizes everything in this spreadsheet. And for the satire to work, his audience can’t know or care about the big red boxes on the left. This shows how satire fails when it frames its object rather than the other way around. It introduces external elements it cannot control. And audiences familiar with these elements will react very differently than audiences who are not.

But why did Kubrick keep the big Cold War picture out of his big Cold War satire? If he wanted to make the biggest, most all-encompassing satire, why didn’t he take on the people who most deserved satire? Why didn’t he skewer the Soviets with his razor sharp wit? They had more blood on their hands. They had the bad intentions and the aggressive aspirations. They were the ones who were truly paranoid, belligerent, and psychopathic—not the Americans. Further, Kubrick was from America. It was a free society like America’s that enabled him to make a living as an independent filmmaker—something that would have been impossible in the Soviet Union. It would make sense that a first-rate filmmaker and intellect like Kubrick would decide to lampoon the Soviets, not the Americans. This is certainly something a humanist would do.

But not Kubrick. Sadly, not Kubrick. Instead he opts for the easier target while posing as some brave satirist who stands up against the entrenched conventions of his day. Dishonesty and cowardice, the double-whammy that sinks Dr. Strangelove.

And as for the negative effects of Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick made it cool to blame America before blaming the Soviet Union, which was a truly despicable regime. Just what the world needed, a film that makes the Soviets look good in comparison to the Americans.

Originally, Kubrick wanted John Wayne to play the part of Major Kong. Wayne turned the offer down. Apparently, other actors weren’t exactly jumping at the chance to be in Dr. Strangelove either. When distributing the script to agents, one of them passed it off as “too pinko.”

Too pinko. Yeah.

Next up, 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Author: rcspeck

Hello! My name is RC Speck, and I'm a writer and computer programmer living in Durham, North Carolina, USA. After some experience writing for WCPE the Classical Station and posting on the WCPE blog, I'm finally starting my own blog. The topics will be many, but mostly I will focus on novels, short stories, music, films, and comix. I may occasionally dabble in art, TV, history, or poetry. Also, don't be too surprised if I hit you with the occasional post on boxing or MMA.

8 thoughts on “Against Kubrick 2”

  1. OK, fair enough, I never really looked at it that way. Your analysis would be more complete, if more tedious, if you treated the antics of the Soviet Premier and Ambassador de Sadesky, and the deep decency and intelligence of Lieutenant Lothar Zogg. While Zogg serves merely to complicate your picture of an entirely idiotic soldier echelon, the premier and the ambassador help to round out a model slightly different from what you’re proposing: the premier is shown as a parallel with Muffley – an ineffectual, relatively good-natured buffoon. So Kubrick’s model, while falling short of the standard which you advocate, justly in my opinion, is more as follows:

    1. Political leadership: ineffective, hapless, not malevolent.
    2. Top military leadership: psychotic, malevolent
    3. Military ranks: stupid, duty-following to the point of irrationality.

    And of course, the Strangelove character – in your treatment of him, you leave out the major inspiration (aside from Von Braun): Rotwang the mad and evil inventor, in “Metropolis,” who sports the same withered, leather-clad hand.

    None of that exonerates Kubrick or his film from your critique, but it does provide a more rounded approach.

    1. Daniel

      Interesting points. I neglected to mention Zogg since he was a minor character. Further, the others you mention don’t exactly play major roles in the story other than for exposition. It’s also interesting that 2 of the 3 people you describe as positive in Strangelove are Russians. This speaks to Kubrick’s unjustly negative opinion of Americans (and by default his positive opinions of non-Americans who happen to be communists). No wonder he became an expat, although he would have been more in line with his positions in Strangelove had he just defected to the Soviet Union.

      Anyway, putting decent, inelligent people on the edge of a story filled with so many negative stereotypes is no major accomplishment and fails to budge my initial model. Had one of these people displayed courage and acted in a way to make a difference in the story, I might be persuaded (and I am not convinced about how “good-natured” the prermier or ambassador are since we have so little to go on). I will add that Mandrake does eventually produce the recall numbers, so technically is not entirely ineffectual. But his stuttering mannerisms and lack of initiative does little to endear us to him.

      Finally, your point about the Metropolis connection is correct, only it was Peter Sellers’ idea to pay homage to to Fritz Lang with the single glove, not Kubrick’s.

  2. “One final point about Strangelove: with this character, Stanley Kubrick commits the unforgivable sin of implying that the United States, free society that it is, in waging the Cold War against the Soviet Union, one of the most murderous and oppressive regimes in history, is somehow morally on par with Nazis.”

    But of course, historically, the US is as bad as, and even worse, than Nazi Germany. Indeed, the US supported Stalin and proceeded to divide post-war Europe and Africa between itself and Stalin. And the US is not a free society, and whatever freedoms it has were fought for by movements that the “US as an entity” would have preferred squash. Your post reads like an apologia for a century of horrible, opportunistic blood shed.

    “But Dr. Strangelove satirizes the very rational American response to Soviet hegemony and in the end blows up the world. Am I the only one who sees how inappropriate this is?”

    Question: do you think dropping A bombs on Japan was “rational”?

    There was no Evil Soviet Hegemony that “needed to be rationally dealt with”. There were 5 Empires on the map busy bullying smaller countries for resources and fighting proxy wars in the guise of ideology. Rationality and ethics does not enter into it. Just greed and hypocrisy; a global pissing match in which people die so some can get fat. At the start of the 20th century, the US, itself having just wiped out the Native Americans, promply set about killing millions across South and Central America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East etc either directly or via proxy dictators. All this was done in the guise of “preventing communism from spreading”. This, of course, was a lie.

    Look at one good example. Today killing the Taliban is celebrated as a legal virtue. To leave the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, says the US and NATO, is to leave a haven for terrorism. Yet before 9/11, these same “terrorists” were Washington’s close allies. They were funded, supported and hailed as “freedom fighters” who with “our help” would be able to fend off the Evil Soviet Union, whom the American public were told sought to destroy Afghanistan and “spread communism”. Under the pretext that the Afghan government was a Soviet puppet, which was false, the then Carter Administration authorised the covert funding of opposition tribal groups. These groups were armed and trained in secret camps set up in Pakistan by the CIA.

    Thus was born “mujaheddin”, a campaign of terror which resulted in the Afghan government in Kabul requesting the help of the Soviet Union, resulting in an ill-fated military intervention which ended ten years later with the retreat of Soviet forces and the descent of Afghanistan into an abyss of religious intolerance, poverty, warlordism and violence. So contrary to “official history”, the mujaheddin did not arise in response to a hostile Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union intervened at the request of the Afghan government in response to the instability being wrought by a US funded and armed insurgency.

    After 9/11, the White House then turned against the very “allies” they supported, a pattern which we find occurring throughout history. Think Washington’s funding of Saddam Hussein against Iran (under the pretext of “keeping Iran in check”), prior to sweeping in and wiping him out decades later. In the case of the Taliban, the justification for their newfound status as “our enemies” became their supposed links to the WTC attacks and their sudden “oppression of women”. In reality the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11, and were the White House concerned about women’s rights they wouldn’t be close allies with countless other counties, most notably Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, both of which practise an “Islamic Law” akin to the Taliban. The real reason for the West’s change of stance toward Afghanistan? During the mid 90s several mega oil corporations began to seduce the Taliban, all seeking approval to build pipelines across the country.

    So is there was no “we need to stop Communism” scenario and the arms race was anything but “rational”. It was just a couple of Empire’s scrambling to steal land and resources in the wake of the collapsed British Empire. Incidentally, the Soviet Union was never even communist.

    The rest of your blog post misses the point that the target of the film’s satire is the phallus. Aggression and sex occupy the same space, as do creation and destruction. The target of the film’s satire are libidinal drives, the drives which govern everything we instinctively do. The very drives which produce your own art.

    The film also suggest that sex (creation) and warfare (destruction) are grotesquely intertwined. We kill others with our phallic toys in order to mate and repopulate. Man destroys to create. This cycle is highlighted by the copulating airplanes at the start of the film and the orgasmic atomic explosions at the end of the film. In the film, the nuclear stalemate itself becomes a kind of sexual frustration (or strange love) to the technocratically evolved males, and there seems to be strong, dangerous unconscious drives conspiring to launch the ultimate attack. No surprise that the film is awash with sexual imagery, from the copulating aircraft in the first scene, to the atomic ejaculation in the final scene. Phallic Guns, cigars, swimsuits, playboy centrefolds, dominant young bucks and sexually dysfunctional wheelchair bound degenerates…the film’s entire semiotic language is a consistent ballet of creation (sex) and destruction (war).

    Of course like most Kubrick films, what we have here is also a system failing. Man requires structures to exist, and yet these systems also corrupt and impose infringements. In “Strangelove”, ironically, it’s precisely a series of fail safes and precautions that kill us. Note, it is Ripper’s super rationality (he is perfectly right under the stupid system’s logic), not madness, is what sets off the whole system’s grotesque reasoning.

    Paradoxically, the men who kickstart these huge cycles of destruction are the impotent leaders of our society who treat warfare as a compensation for their own sexual or physical handicaps. Ripper, for example, like most of the character’s in the film, is sexually dysfunctional. He misinterprets his post coital fatigue, or perhaps his erectile dysfunctions, as a Communist plot. In short, he believes himself to be sexually weak because of the enemy. To reassert himself and his masculinity, it becomes his duty to deny or destroy Russia. As Ripper gains power, he munches on phallic cigars and unsheathes huge machine guns to assert himself.

    You mock the names of the characters, but fail to go further. Mandrake is too weak and effeminate to overpower the psychotic general. Note that Mandrake, a nervous flight commander named after a flightless male duck, himself has a broken leg, frequently stammers, and, dispite his intelligence, is simply not masculine enough to overpower the deranged Ripper.

    Meanwhile, Buck Turgidson is a war loving general who seeks to capitalise on Ripper’s sneak attack for America’s own gain. Buck’s name itself is a symbol of sexual virility (Buck: vibrant male, turgid: swollen). And once again Sellers plays the effeminate foil to his masculine counterpart. He plays the role of President Merkin Muffley, a bald and small man, unable to commit to combat and constantly seeking to work with the enemy. Like the rest of the cast, his name is symbolic. “Merkin” and “muff” are slang terms for pubic wigs and female pubic hair respectively. So a certain cycle repeats throughout the film, a dance between masculine/feminine/creation/destruction/blowing/sucking/. These contrasting poles occupying the same space gives rise to the hypocricies of all wars: killing in the name of humanitarianism, killing to spread freedom etc.

    1. Your comments equating the United States in the 1960s with Nazi Germany are asinine and ignorant and should be ignored the way a parent ignores a smart aleck child. Sorry to be harsh here, but I suggest you do the math. Nazi Germany instigated a world war and committed genocide. Had the Nazis not done these things around 60 million lives would have been spared. You cannot hang nearly that many deaths on America’s head. And in the 1960s the US, with its wars and actions across the world, was resisting the Soviet Union, which by then directly killed had more people than the Nazis had. Further, I love how you conveniently fail to consider all the people from all over the world who were given a better life in America as immigrants. That number will be well over 50 million. Will you give America credit for that? How many immigrants did the Soviets or Nazis take in and give a better life to? Again, do the math.

      Finally, your treatise on Strangelove reads like scholarly dreck. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, frankly. “We kill others with our phallic toys in order to mate and repopulate. Man destroys to create.” In what feminist theory film studies class did you learn that nonsense? Ask a war vet if he considered his gun to be a toy or if used it with the intent to “mate and repopulate”. What you’re saying may sound clever on the pages of an academic dissertation, but in real life it is ridiculous to say the least. It’s also offensive to anyone who has ever been in the US military.

      You are doing a lot of intellectual legwork to find meaning in a film that really just aims to make America look bad. If Kubrick cared about humanity he would have satirized the Soviets. Instead, he went after the soft target in America, which was truly the good guy in the Cold War. And for that, some people label him a hero. You can tease out all the meaning and symbolism you want from Dr. Strangelove, but that does not negate the fact that its premise (that Cold War strategies such as containment, deterrence, and MAD were irrational) was wrongheaded, ignorant, and (at worst) shamefully sympathetic to the Soviets.

  3. “Your comments equating the United States in the 1960s with Nazi Germany are asinine”

    His comments are perfectly fine. The US’ 130 invasions since its inception, as well as its copious coups, backing of dictators and proxy wars have netted it over a hundred million corpses.

    “Nazi Germany instigated a world war and committed genocide.”

    Actually no. The West positively loved Hitler and adored his crushing of worker movements and Marxists. He was their tool until the Stalin pact.

    “Had the Nazis not done these things around 60 million lives would have been spared.”

    This Nazis bad/ West good binary is tedious and butchers history. German imperialism was no different to British and American imperialism (you know, that little thing called the Indonesian genocides, and dont forget Latin America) of the time.

    “It’s also offensive to anyone who has ever been in the US military.”

    lol. Of course a pro American, war mongering fascist like the author would hate Kubrick.

    “Instead, he went after the soft target in America, which was truly the good guy in the Cold War.”

    wow. 87 US coups since 1953 says hello.

    The level of ignorance Americans have toward their own history is staggering.

    1. Hi Trent. You’re an idiot. Let’s take apart your comments one by one.

      “The US’ 130 invasions since its inception, as well as its copious coups, backing of dictators and proxy wars have netted it over a hundred million corpses.”

      Oh, really? First, I don’t trust your numbers. You seem to want to blame deaths on America when Americans may not have done any killing themselves, like when we supported anti-Communist forces in Cambodia in the 1980s and 1990s. Second, you ignore how despicable some of the people the US was trying to oust were, like the Khmer Rouge. Third, I wasn’t talking about what America did in places like the Philippines a hundred years ago. I was talking about America during World War II up until the time of Dr. Strangelove, which was the mid-60s. Because America is a democracy, it’s not right to blame someone like Truman or Eisenhower for something that was done 40-50 years before they took office. See, in America, we have new leaders every 4 or 8 years. Go figure. So whatever America did during its inception isn’t relevant. I was comparing the Soviet Union, which had more or less the same leadership in 1965 as it had in 1935, to the US, which didn’t. Finally, the US might have supported some unsavory dictators in some nasty little wars during the Cold War. But you know what? The Soviets were doing the exact same thing. The difference here being that the US was a free country where most people wanted to go to, and the Soviets were an unfree country that kept people from leaving. Or they would kill you or work you to death in a gulag. That happened to 55 million people from 1917 to 1953. And to close to 7 million people after that. Can you do math? That’s 62 million people. No 62 million were ever enslaved and murdered like that in the US since 1917. So, yeah. Criticizing the US while not criticizing the Soviet Union 62 million times worse makes me wonder about you. Do you support slavery and mass murder? Sounds like you do, buddy.

      “Nazi Germany instigated a world war and committed genocide.” Actually no. The West positively loved Hitler and adored his crushing of worker movements and Marxists. He was their tool until the Stalin pact.”

      Two words. Fuck. You. So you’re denying the Holocaust now? So exactly what happened to those 6 millions Jews and the half million Gypsies during World War 2? Did they just disappear? Like that?

      “Had the Nazis not done these things around 60 million lives would have been spared.” This Nazis bad/ West good binary is tedious and butchers history. German imperialism was no different to British and American imperialism (you know, that little thing called the Indonesian genocides, and dont forget Latin America) of the time.”

      What are you talking about? There are some things that can compare to the Holocaust, and what the US did in Latin America ain’t it. Further, what Nazi Germany did when it invaded Czechoslovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Poland, and the USSR as well as murder millions of innocent civilians was not “imperialism” like what Britain did in India or South Africa. No, it went far beyond anything that had happened before. And the Indonesian genocide? That took place during the Johnson administration. Are you saying LBJ is to blame for it? Where is your proof?

      “Of course a pro American, war mongering fascist like the author would hate Kubrick.”

      I don’t hate Kubrick. He was a genius and possibly the best film maker who ever lived. I support limited government and democracy, so I am not a fascist. I support only a vigorous war against people who wish to slam airliners into our buildings and kill me and my family, so I am not a warmonger. Further, you say “pro American” like it is a bad thing. Only a malicious egghead who’s got nothing better to do than read too much post-modern Leftist bullshit would say such a thing.

      Get a life, son.

  4. Great writing, kudos to RC and the commentors, even the deranged liberal ones (excellent point about the phallus symbol-Hellenic, I even think Kubrik said something to this effect.) Now, on to my point. I won’t disagree that Kubrik’s motives could have been driven by anti-Americanism, but I also think it was much easier to make fun of the US. Mainly, because Americans know so little about Russia or the Soviet Union, when this film was made and at present. So, a Russian archtype would not be known to stereotype ala Slim Pickens. And if Kubrik was trying to do anything with this film it was to entertain, which it does.

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