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Haunting divinities II

By Michael Moriarty
web posted October 4, 2010

PicnicI was fifteen years old when I first saw the film Picnic.

Sixteen years old and working on a farm in Canada when I fantasized myself as William Holden climbing on the same haunting freight train I could hear every night with dreams and fantasies of a true love back in the hay barn.

Seventeen when I actually performed as Bomber the newsboy in Picnic at a summer stock house in Detroit.

Now – while I'm watching Frank Sinatra sing I Could Write A Book in Pal Joey –memories of Picnic draw me away from San Francisco's and Nancy Pelosi's unending problems with American men such as the Chairman of the Board.

Picnic still haunts me with the sound of a freight train's horn signaling the only way out of town and out of trouble for William Holden.

Now at my computer I'm watching Holden dance first with Susan Strasberg and then, of course, with Kim Novak.

Dancing to the musical director, Morris Stoloff's combination of George Dunning's painfully perfect film score and his love theme's erotic compatibility with the 1930's classic, Moonglow.

Miss Strasberg can't get the tempo right but … gee … Kim Novak can … and … well … she and Holden come together to begin their love affair to one of the most haunting moments in a Hollywood film score, or film script for that matter.

The extended film clip I have cited features the entire cast at their frightening best, highlighting Rosalind Russell's scorching damnations and Arthur O'Connell's irresistibly self-effacing humility.

The older I get, the more vulnerable I am to the melodies that trigger memories of an America we seem to have either lost … or never paid enough attention to.

Oh, the pain within the romantic yearnings of Picnic is the classic resentment of established families against the sudden entrance of a charismatic but troubled and troubling outsider.

The romantic key within Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, from West Side Story to Picnic, will forever hold us in its trance.

These heartaches are the eternal agony between conflicting generations anywhere in the world.

However, the end of summer rituals woven throughout the film are quintessentially American; and, in my mind, the climactic struggles of Picnic are now going on in the human comedy's highest halls of power.

Picnic helped shape my identity as a young man and it remains a seminal member of my inner family.

It is a piercing corner of my own identity.

That classic American film has done a great deal to shape my values as a man.

William Inge's undeniable depth as a dramatist has the wonderfully conflicting gifts of both naked honesty and a divine compassion for all of his creations.

RosemaryMs. Russell's savagely drunken ferocity as the school teacher, Rosemary, blossoms into the tragedy of her middle-aged rage and desperation, culminating in her bended-knee demands that Arthur O'Connell's Howard Bevens marry her.

"What made me do it, Howard?

"Maybe it's the … the harvest moon, honey!"

The meshing of that night scene's passions and George Dunning's score is flawless.

And the entire, growing nightmare happens within 24 hours.

The America we have lost?

Picnic was filmed during Dwight Eisenhower's threatened but divinely protected United States.

This film came to our movie screens during the Cold War.

That entirely self-sustaining America of the 50's, as described in Bill Bryson's Made in America is what we've contemptuously left behind in the Progressive arrogance of this bitterly vengeful Obama Nation.

Now the enemy of America is within our nation, walking its very halls of power in Washington.

What a blessing it would be to return to America's more romantic agonies.

I enjoy these Haunted Divinity breaks from battling the "fundamental transformation of the United States", yet I begin to realize how prophetic have been our modern American poets such as William Inge.

A Second American Revolution is being shoved down our throats, entirely at our expense and utterly against our wills.

We are as sick to our stomachs about it as Susan Strasberg's retching from too much alcohol and from the piercing excess of simple human realities.

Our jealousies, our human mistakes, our privileged sense of elitist superiority … all of them eventually created the insanities of a Progressive New World Order.

The roughly ten minute film clip from Picnic is the microscopic glimpse into our American Soul.

Now, however, in this third millennium, the uninformed and selfish presumptions of the Bill Holden character, Hal – albeit, sent through a Columbia/Harvard finishing school for Progressive Dictators – in charge of everything.

The narcissistic and hedonistic Hal with a Harvard degree and Nobel Peace Prize as President of the United States?!

He and his "Marxist friends", all drunk on Edmund Wilson's Finland Station, with gluttonous dreams, from Hugo Chavez to Vladimir Putin to George Soros, will "fundamentally transform the human race" to their liking?!

Rosalind Russell and her Rosemary's drunken damnation of Hal?

Too much truth to be ignored.

"Yer a fake!" she says.

"Braggin' about yer father?!"

"Bet he wasn't any better than you are!"

"Struttin' around here like some crummy Apollo!"

Are these American humiliations you are putting us through the dreams of your father, Mr. President?!

The Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh D'Souza seems to say so.

Everyone, and I mean everyone … ALL OF US … are ugly in these climactic moments of possibly America's most tragic defeat, it's House Divided, the one which Abraham Lincoln said could not stand.

The increasingly politicized Picnic of America?!

Hal drunk on whiskey and his own charm?

Obama drunk on a power he inherited from his "Marxist" affiliations, serving Red vengeance up to an American population no more or less flawed than he is?!

The American Female, like Roz Russell in Picnic or an embittered Hillary Clinton in a rage, certain that all women have the right to abort, to murder their own gestating infants?!

Hillary telling Obama what she really thinks about him!

Fairly sadistic stuff!!

But honest, by God!!!!

The divinely messy privileges of our American First Amendment.

A privilege now being sorely tested by the Progressive Movement's growing legislation against free speech and for "political correctness".

My favorite character in Picnic, as you may know by now, is Arthur O'Connell's Howard Bevens.

Howard is most of us, as we shout at the on-looking world in an enraged embarrassment:

"Turn that off!

This isn't a side-show!!

Turn out that light!!!

Go on about yer bus'ness!!!!"

The world will not turn off the light on America because it cannot afford to.

What our American family does with the privilege of individual liberty,  which we alone deemed sacred, will chart the future for every individual's freedom on this earth.

With all of its flaws, America is still the last and best hope of Mankind.


Our naked honesty with one another.

Should the Progressive New World Order and its increasingly enforced and infernal "political correctness", its Harvard lawyers actually … should they all finally silence us … the whole world is lost.

I hope you know that.

If you don't, then American lawyers, Ivy League lawyers particularly, will prove to be the true executioners of American, individual freedom.

As they serve the creation of a delusional "Collective", the American Dream is increasingly portrayed as the American Nightmare within Picnic.

However, these New World Order lawyers paint it with none of William Inge's love, nor any of God's blessings upon the divine insanities and necessities of free speech.

On a more urgent note, the miracle of music, at least as it is displayed in the Holden/Novak pas de deux within Picnic, is every individual's mysterious relationship with time.

With that in mind, America is running out of time to overturn the legalized murder of Roe v Wade. America's silent acceptance of that viciously selfish practice will inevitably plunge us into the homicidal tyranny of "enlightened despots".

Know-it-alls, such as the Progressive architects of the Ivy League, will prove to be the "Robespierre's" of America's Second and very, very French Revolution.

Why should we be surprised? Roe v Wade has been America's, very French guillotine for almost four decades. American slavery lasted almost nine decades.

What's the hurry?

We Americans are still having a Picnic, right? ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com.




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