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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Nora Ephron - How Stupid Is She?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I admit it, I'd never heard of her before. Well, actually, her name was ever so slightly familiar. Like some disposable nether body region product I hope to not need before I'm 55 or older. That kind of familiar.

Turns out she "blogs" on the Huffington Post and has this bio:
Nora Ephron is the author of "Crazy Salad," "Heartburn," "Wallflower at the Orgy," and "Scribble Scribble." She has received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for "When Harry Met Sally," "Silkwood," and "Sleepless in Seattle," which she also directed. Her book "I Feel Bad About My Neck," will be published by Knopf in August. She lives in New York City with her husband, writer Nicholas Pileggi.
In many ways you now know a lot about her. She's Hollywood (hollyweird?), lives in NYC, is married to a writer who I apparently should know. Also she writes at HuffPo, which can really be used to confirm her wholly predictable political orientation.

I ran across Nora's "writings" from a link of a link of a link (it was a quiet Sunday afternoon at the TierFlyer household!) until I got to How To Foil A Terrorist Plot In Seven Simple Steps. Her staggeringly unimaginative title (which, come to think about it, isn't surprising given that Hollywood is apparently unable to birth a movie that's NOT a sequel these days!) is about how the FBI is using felons in prison to manufacture terrorist plots.

Ah, yes, now that they're through framing the ELF and whatever else they've been doing since they stopped spying on totally innocent student organization and those darling Panthers.

Anyway, she's got typical liberal denial that we're at war, our enemies are mostly Moslem, and they want to kill us all. Hard thought to keep in one's head, I know. I betcha Nora lives within fifteen miles of JFK and probably drives over Queens to take her flights to LAX. It might inconvenience her to have to fly out of Newark for a few years, I guess. Do they have special Prius parking or does she take the towncar?

Anyway, feeling somewhat masochistic on a warm sunny Sunday, I decided to peruse some of her other "writings" and ran across: What Did You Do In The War?
I don't literally want to know what my parents did during the war. I know. My father had flat feet, so he was 4F. But what I truly wondered was what they knew and when they knew it -- about the Holocaust, for example, and the Japanese internment camps. It was a complete mystery to me. I read a half-dozen books on the subject of the United States and the Holocaust and I could never imagine how so many people could have known what they knew and done nothing. Did my parents know? Probably they did. Did they do anything? Probably they didn't. And why not?
Actually, Nora, your parents probably didn't know about the Holocaust, at least not until the end of 1944 and perhaps not even then - it wasn't widely reported in the US news media until the camps started getting liberated in late 44 and early 45. What books did you read? This is not uncommon knowledge.

And Churchill and Stalin and Roosevelt were well busy winning a war that was far from decided, even late in the way. You may have, perhaps, heard of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, etc, etc? Civilians, even ones being murdered by the enemy, were lower priority than military objectives. Properly so, given how tight things seemed at the time.

Nora, what I am pretty sure of that your parents did during the way: went without butter and sugar, bought savings bonds and stamps with every spare cent, recycled their rubber/string/foil/aluminum, wept for 'gold star' neighbors, prayed for their troops during the heavily fought Italian campaign, cheered when the allies got a foothold on Normandy, and probably got drunker than skunks on VJ and VE days. Your dad probably worked a lot of extra hours because everyone possible was in the military and the work had to be done. Your mom may have had to get a job - and if they were in NYC, she probably working in a small manufacturing plant coverted to wartime production. It was probably hot and difficult work.

Did you really read "half a dozen books?"

But I wouldn't normally give Nora such a hard time. People are ignorant of history - a combination of bad schooling from the NEA goons who mis-run our public schools, an entirely American dis-inclination to revisit the past and predilection to remain focused on the future, and the fact that most so-called intellectuals, are, well, dumb as a sack of rocks.

But another paragraph really tweaked me:
On Friday night we went downtown to see the writer Lawrence Wright, the author of The Looming Tower, perform his one-man show called My Trip to Al Queda. It's a completely riveting evening, and it begins with Wright's story about The Siege, a Denzel Washington movie about terrorism that Wright wrote and which some blamed for inciting a terrorist act that resulted in the death of one person and the crippling of another. It was a stupid, mindless act on the part of the terrorists, obviously, but Wright understands that if he hadn't written the movie, it might never have happened. It led him to write his brilliant book, and then, to write and perform his play about terrorism and torture and his own response to what he's learned.
Once again, I don't know the author, which I'm sure in not surprising, and I haven't seen the Denzel movie except on an airplane screen (enjoyed it), and don't know the incident she's referring to. But let me parse this: a screenwriter wrote a successful movie ($M), someone did something stupid because if it (maybe), so he wrote a book and a play about his experience and gives one-man shows to people like Nora. What an amazing self centered universe these people live in. Nora's parents would undoubtedly be startled beyond belief.

Oh, and Nora, the "the Holocaust, for example, and the Japanese internment camps" aren't really two things that should be in the same sentence. In the first half you have 6M people murdered, in the second half around 120K mostly US citizens were moved out of sensitive coastal areas and put into camps for the 'duration.' None were killed that I am aware of. While it is not clear that any Japanese agents were caught up in the net, it was well known at the time, and declassified Japanese documents have proved, there were significant numbers (>1000) of Japanese spys operating in the US at the time.

Finally, comparing Gitmo (350+ non US citizens, non murdered), the Japanese Internment (120K+ US citizens, non murdered), and the Holocaust (6M murdered) is just silly.

And predictable, probably, from the brief bio I read on HuffPo.


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