Reply Sat 2 Apr, 2005 05:32 pm
I doubt that Yossarian would have been interested in a thread like this, except if it would have helped get him safely home. Anyway, he was fiction, so, nobody cares what he thinks. How many A2Kers are in sympathy with this man? His one path of reasoning was this: "They are trying to kill me. I've got to get out of here." In a wildly funny novel, he tries and tries and quite possibly makes good his escape from the war. Is there a deeper meaning to Catch 22, or is that all there is? No deeper meanings are alluded to, that I recall, but, I was much younger and perhaps lacked the subtlety to pick up on it.
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Apr, 2005 11:38 pm
The 1964 film, The Americanization of Emily, also makes the point that dying is not glorious. In it, James Garner tells Julie Andrews that he would fight if someone were attacking his family, but that he would not be bamboozled into going off to war, knowing as he did that wars could be avoided.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 02:18 am
Deeper meanings?

Oh - just the usual human condition stuff, I guess - how to respond to the sheer awfulness of so much of it - you know? Snowden's secret? Man is meat?

You know how the whole structure of the book leads up to, and back from, then up to - and finally into - that awful moment when Snowden's terrible injury is revealed - and Yossarian is sitting cradling his head, and saying "there, there", helpless but compassionate - and making no false promises.

You know, I was reading today about how Vietnam was such a fracture line for America (and so, but less so, for Oz) - and I wonder if Korea was also that for its generation? Heller's black and nihilistic view of the system (remember the soldier in white - the tube dripping in, and the tube dripping out - and Milo Minderbinder?) is the ultimate post-Vietnam view, isn't it - but Heller was in Korea.

I think the book is also about personal integrity in the face of the madness and evil - maintaining the clarity of your vision of reality - and jumping, Yossarian - JUMP!

Or - that's some of 'em.

Remember the old man in Italy? The one who takes out the General's eye by throwing a flower at him, when the Allies roll in? Who also welcomed Mussolini - whatever it took to survive - and maintained his weary cynicism throughout all history?

Thing is - is it ever reasonable to fight? Is evil ever THERE, more than HERE?

Sometimes I think it is - but we hafta be damn careful about it...
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 08:20 am
you buy eggs in egypt for 3 cents, sell them in Italy for 2 cents, the profit comes from volume.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 08:22 am
Yer a bad man, Dys - why, I hear you even have a yellow streak a mile wide, and FLEW away from war!

:wink:
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 08:29 am
The yellow striped bird of peace best known for its ability to live without killing is often maligned but just as often outlives its detractors. :wink:
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 09:21 am
I went from a hawk in the early days of Vietnam to the quivering mass of sh-t you see in the avatar.

Really I should re-read Catch 22. My favorite character, Major Major Major Major Major Major Major Major, gets little play in the film.
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 09:59 am
bookmark
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 02:16 pm
It's all about business. M & M Enterprises contracts with the Germans to bomb its own airbase. Nately(Art Garfunkel) is killed. Milo Minderbinder tells Yossarian, "That's too bad, but he died rich. He has many shares in M & M.

Yossarian says, "But he's dead."

"Then his family will get it," replies Milo.

"He didn't have a family yet."

"Then his parents will get it," says Milo.

"They're rich; they don't need it," replies Yossarian.

"Then they'll understand," says Milo.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 02:21 pm
Precisely.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 02:34 pm
"You think you've got problems!?"
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 02:44 pm
By golly, I went to my shelves of books and dug it out, sitting next to an unread copy of Something Happened; Catch 22, 75 cent Dell paperback, sixteenth printing, 1966. I hope it don't disintegrate in my hands. Oh, yeah; page one in the hospital; already it's a riot.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2005 08:13 pm
Artist/Band: Clark Terri
Lyrics for Song: Catch 22

A farmer on a tractor
Plowing in the field
Doing all he can to increase the yield
But the more he raises
The more the price goes down

Over at the factory
Working on the line
You do a good job and never fall behind
So your quota goes up every time you turn around
It ain't nothing new, it's called a Catch 22

Heads they win, tails you lose
It's all the same either way you choose
It's all the same either way you choose
You're damned if you don't and even if you do
It's a Catch 22

Tell a man you love him
He starts backing up
Tell him you don't and he's a lovesick pup
You try to get together
And watch it fall apart
Hey, I've been there too, what a Catch 22

Heads they win, tails you lose
It's all the same either way you choose
It's all the same either way you choose
You're damned if you don't and even if you do
It's still a Catch 22

Oh, it's a Catch 22
No matter what you do, it's a Catch 22
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2005 03:39 am
I'm in Minderbinder and Corn's party.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2005 06:31 pm
How I Won the War

Article ©1966 Look Magazine

Whoever would have dreamed that beneath that mop lurked a Renaissance man? Yet there, shorn, sits John Lennon, champion minstrel, literary Beatle, coarse truthsayer, who turned Christendom on with one wildly misunderstood gibe at cant. Now, face white, tunic red, playing wounded in a field of weeds, this pop-rock De Vinci is proposing to act for real. Relaxed to all appearances, he is all knots inside.

"I was just a bundle of nerves the first day. I couldn't hardly speak I was so nervous. My first speech was in a forest, on patrol. I was suppose to say, 'My heart's not in it any more' and it wasn't. I went home and said to myself, 'Either you're not going to be like that, or you're going to give up.'"

As he casts his weak brown eyes at the camera, the entire movie company jockeys for a glimpse. "I don't mind talking to the camera-- it's people that throw me."

Sure enough, he blows his lines. He waggles his head in shame. "Sorry about that." But under the low-key coaxing of Director Dick Lester, Beatle John becomes Private Gripweed, a complex British orderly, in an unorthodox new film, How I Won The War.

Lennon on his own-- rich for life at 26, yet poor still in what men of all seasons crave-- full knowledge of himself. Beatling by itself, he has found, is not enough. "I feel I want to be them all-- painter, writer, actor, singer, player, musician. I want to try them all, and I'm lucky enough to be able to. I want to see which one turns me on. This is for me, this film, because apart from wanting to do it because of what it stands for, I want to see what I'll be like when I've done it."

They stood silently in the deserted German square that Sunday morning, three young British actors costumed like the soldiers who had taken the town 22 years before. Then the one whose notorious locks had recently been chopped short observed, "I haven't seen so much fresh air together for about four years."

For John Lennon, the Beatles' leader, it had been one swift crazy ride to the top. But now, there were distortions, and he had recoiled. Grownups were twisting a Beatles' kids' song into an LSD trip-- an ingenious lament that he and Beatle Paul McCartney had polished off one wild night was, current rumor had it, actually the synopsis of an opera so bitter it could not be sung. A passing remark about religious hypocrisy had made Lennon a devil or a saint, depending on your tastes. Others might enjoy them, but to Lennon, who is nothing if not honest, the distortions had become a threat.

"I don't want people taking things from me that aren't really me. They make you something that they want to make you, that isn't really you. They come and talk to find answers, but they're their answers, not us. We're not Beatles to each other, you know. It's a joke to us. If we're going out the door of the hotel, we say, 'Right! Beatle John! Beatle George now! Come on, let's go!' We don't put on a false front or anything. But we just know that leaving the door, we turn into Beatles because everybody looking at us sees the Beatles. We're not the Beatles at all. We're just us."

"But we made it, and we asked for it to an extent, and that's how it's going to be. That's why George is in India (studying the sitar,) and I'm here. Because we're a bit tired of going out the door, and the only way to soften the blow is just to spread it a bit."

In that kind of mood, a Dick Lester set was just the therapy for Lennon. Each man is the kind who makes the New Theologians jump. To them, the individual is more thrill than threat-- a unique being who should be taken for what he is. Lester, who directed both Beatle films, gratefully recalls his first meeting with the group, when the movies were just an idea. "They allowed me to be what I damn well pleased. I didn't have to put on an act for them, and they didn't put one on for me."

This is what a Lester set is like: Once more, they are in a deserted German square, now, with all the paraphernalia of movie-making, with British 'soldiers,' Lennon among them, ready to comb the streets, with German 'soldiers' lying in wait. "Quiet please!" an assistant shouts-- just as a little boy walks into the scene. Apoplectic, the assistant rushes forward and shoves the child aside. Lester, whose normal weapon is humor, flushes. "Don't push!" he commands.

Once again, they are ready to shoot-- and once again, the child intrudes. For 15 seconds, Lester eyes the man silently. Then, "Boo," he calls, and "Boo" the cast joins in.

For Lester, a director makes no statement against violence by having thousands die. To him, each death must matter-- and in his new film, each does. Such were the ideas that captured Lennon, despite his doubts about himself.

He did not doubt alone. How I Won The War is staffed with seasoned British actors, all trained in repertory, all well-known at home and all suspicious. But none is today.

Samples:

"We expected someone a bit kinky, bitchy, arrogant. He is none of those things. He's completely natural."

"You're not working with another actor, you're working with an OBE, a multimillionaire-- in sterling, not dollars-- whose every word will be reported in the world press. The miracle is that he's so normal. I could wrap him up dialectically in two minutes, intellectually, in three. But he's got a certain inborn, prenatal talent. I have my talent, which I think is considerable, but it doesn't compare in his field."

"I don't think he does anything with a conscious thought of trying to impress. He's remarkably free. He does not act the part."

"We talk about him all the time. All of us feel the same thing. We find it difficult to be as normal with him as he is with us."

Lennon's lack of pretense astonished the actors. "He's someone who just tries anything," one of them marveled. "No stand-in, no special treatment, no chair for him."

During a break for tea one raw morning, Lennon queued with the rest. When his turn arrived, his heart's desire was gone. "You don't have to be a star to get a cheese sandwich," he mused. "You just have to be first."

They like his humor too. That same morning, a German mother pushed her three-year-old son up to the Beatle, clutching his autograph book in his hand. "Sign it!" she demanded. Lennon did as bidden, telling the boy, "Yes, sir, you put us where we are today." On location in Spain one afternoon, the script required Lennon to drive a troop carrier along the beach. Accelerating too fast, he spun the wheels; the rear of the carrier sank. As his crestfallen director approached the cab, Lennon peered sheepishly over his glasses and gave him a limp salute.

Lennon is not on; he is simply original. "America used to be the big youth place in everybody's imagination. America had teenagers and everywhere else just had people." He recognizes his own impact on the changes since then, but he refuses to concede that youth today is all that different-- particularly youth in England.

The last generation might have been just like today's young adults, he maintains, had it not had to fight the war.
"If they said, 'Fight the war now,' my age group would fight the war. Not that they'd want to. There might be a bit more trouble gettin' them in line-- because I'd be up there shouting, 'Don't do it!'"

"It just so happens that some groups playing in England are making people talk about England, but nothing else is going on. Pop music gets through to all people all over the world, that's the main thing. In that respect, youth might be together a bit. The Commie youth might be the same as us, and we all know that, basically, they probably are. This kind of music and all the scene is helping. But there's more talk about it than is actually happening. You know, swinging this, and all that. Everybody can go around in England with long hair a bit, and boys can wear flowered trousers and flowered shirts and things like that, but there's still the same old nonsense going on. It's just that we're all dressed up a bit different."

"The class thing is just as snobby as it ever was. People like us can break through a little-- but only a little. Once, we went into this restaurant and nearly got thrown out for looking like we looked until they saw who it was. 'What do you want? What do you want?' the headwaiter said, 'We've come to bloody eat, that's what we want,' we said. The owner spotted us and said, 'Ah, a table sir, over here, sir.' It just took me back to when I was 19, and I couldn't get anywhere without being stared at or remarked about. It's only since I've been a Beatle that people have said, 'Oh, wonderful, come in, come in,' and I've forgotten a bit about what they're really thinking. They see the shining star, but when there's no glow about you, they only see the clothes and the haircut again."

"We weren't as open and as truthful when we didn't have the power to be. We had to take it easy. We had to shorten our hair to leave Liverpool and get jobs in London. We had to wear suits to get on TV. We had to compromise. We had to get hooked, as well, to get in and then sort of get a bit of power and say, 'This is what we're like.' We had to falsify a bit, even if we didn't realize it at the time."

If Lennon is compulsive about anything today, it's about truth as he sees it. But he protests when he's labeled a cynic.

"I'm not a cynic. They're getting my character out of some of things I write or say. They can't do that. I hate tags. I'm slightly cynical
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2005 07:01 pm
Terrific thread, edgar!
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2005 05:13 am
Dylan didn't compromise when they wouldn't let him do Talkin John Birch on the Ed Sully show.He told 'em to shove their something programme.He didn't need that.And what's an OBE compared to the French Order of Merit or the Swedish thing or playing for The Pope (RIP).They give OBE's and such like to thousands for being good little boys and good little girls.They go to pick them up in their Sunday best.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2005 06:24 am
I well recall the day Dylan refused to change his song for Ed, unlike the Stones, who changed Let's Spend the Night Together for Time Together for him.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2005 07:28 am
Ed:-

Jagger goes to cricket matches now.Sits in the members enclosures with the posh end.All day long.Can you believe that?
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2005 12:39 pm
Getting back to Yossarian, I can't help but think that we identiy with him because he represents the ordinary man who, confronted and overwhelmed by the machinery of war and capitalism, maintains his humanity in all its weakness. He's the Luke Skywalker in opposition to Darth Vader, the unformed man given over completely to the machine, as are Col. Cathcart, Col. Corn and Milo Minderbinder, who all stand in contrast to humanity, weak and ineffective as it may be.

The same helplessness is evident in many of us who have been overwhelmed by the political machine, represented by George Bush, who many see as the unformed man having forsaken his humanity for political and economic security.
0 Replies
 
 

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