(or, I hate polls, part two…)
So, what do you think?
Or do you get Guffaw in AZ via blog reader or email, and not even see the extrania?
(Feel free to leave comments, but don’t hurt me too badly! )
*for you youngsters, one of the first mainstream X-rated films released in the U.S. was I am Curious (Yellow) (1967)
and the pic below, with an approximation of the spoken line, is from Dirty Harry (1971).
It was a different time.
I LOVE History. Especially American. Especially Twentieth Century – post War era. Film(s) noir, depicting such a period. And stuff based on real events.
The Hat Squad was a loose team of L.A.P.D. detectives, roughly from the late 40s to the early 60s. Popular culture has used them in such films as The Hat Squad, Mullholland Falls, and L.A. Confidential. And Stephen J. Cannell (of The Rockford Files and about 20 other shows) even pegged a short-lived television show on them.
But the real Hat Squad was something much more than lauded in West Coast crime fiction. They were real men who lived by a code – not the code of Mulholland Falls, but not the police department service manual, either.
LOS ANGELES – In this city where everything and everyone can be reinvented, true crime has long become true drama.
The Los Angeles Police Department stars in both.
The LAPD Hat Squad of the 1940s and ’50s starred four detectives in crisp fedoras and matching suits costing two weeks’ pay.
Publicly revered, the squad became known for its more secretive duties, including getting rid of Eastern mobsters seeking to expand business. According to legend, the Hat Squad discouraged visiting gangsters by meeting them at the airport and beating the wanderlust out of them.
Two of the detectives later became judges. None was ever disciplined.
“They were so feared and respected that when we’d announce such-and-such a case had been turned over to the Hat Squad, many of the suspects in those cases would voluntarily give themselves up,” department veteran Dan Cooke, now dead, told a local newspaper in 1987.
Inevitably, a movie depicted the well-dressed quartet. In 1996′s “Mulholland Falls,” Nick Nolte played its leader. In an early scene, a bloodied don is about to be tossed from a canyon ledge.
“You can’t do that, this is America,” the gangster squeaks.
“This isn’t America, Jack,” says Nolte. “This is L.A.”
And here, fact and fiction continuously blend.
I don’t think anyone had done a definitive work on them. Perhaps they are afraid. Just like no one will touch the FBI’s Cointelpro program with any depth. Funny, they’ll do the NSA’s MK Ultra…?
We need to look at the triumph and tribulations of our police past to make certain history doesn’t repeat itself on a
national federal scale.
Perhaps it already has.
Most of us have have seen foot surveillance. At least, on the big screen…
Not too much in the movies – because it’s boring! Notice, they rarely film foot surveillance scenes outside of congested city centers. That’s because it’s next to impossible. If you are the only two persons on the block, it’s bound to be obvious.
Back in the day, I was tasked to perform surveillance on a residential home in central Phoenix. A couple blocks South of a main street, in the middle of town. Nice, older neighborhood. Built in the 40s and 50s – I know, not old for you New Englanders!
The problem was, with little or no automobile traffic, scant foot traffic, and many folks at home during the day, parking near the home was a big red flag. You were bound to have someone call the police on you if you were just sitting alone in your car for any length of time.
My solution was to park a block away, at a business (hoping I wouldn’t be towed!) and walk by the residence, every 45 minutes or so. First one direction, then the other. Changing sides of the street. And taking breaks in my car between walks. Not exactly as exciting as Bullitt or The French Connection. To an outside observer, it would have looked odd or silly. I felt odd and silly.
No one came out of their house and confronted me. No one called the cops. The subject never left his home for me to follow on foot or by car. Eight boring hours.
Thank the gods I was paid hourly!
Woulda been more fun if I’d walked as in The Ministry of Silly Walks.
h/t You Tube
Big Brother Watch tells us the tale of a mouse – a big, internationally corporate mouse.
It appears DISNEY is planning on using RFID technology on it’s
lab rats customers!
Today’s Independent reports on the latest front in retail convenience and privacy, with Disney’s plans to utilise RFID technology.
“The latest kerfuffle has resulted from Disney’s plan to introduce an RFID wristband – “the MagicBand” – at its parks during 2013. It would function as a room key, a parking ticket, a pass for certain rides, a payment system and, if you opted in, a personal ID that would, say, allow Disney characters to greet you or your children by name. The online reaction to this plan ranges from “awesome” to “terrifying”.
Disney says that it’s trying to “appeal to customers more efficiently” in a way that’s “transformational” to its business; critics say that it enables the company to “monitor, track and analyse your every activity”. When the plans became public, Congressman Ed Markey complained to Disney about the “surreptitious use of a child’s information”, a claim that was deftly rubbished by the company – but the move still furrows the brows of privacy campaigners, including Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch.”
Go and read the whole article at the above link. Perhaps it IS a small world after all – and a less private one.
h/t Independent Reports, BBW
I was raised in a police-loving,respecting family. My Dad’s Dad had been a railroad cop, as was my Dad for a short time. He went to the Rhode Island State Police Academy, but washed-out due to health reasons.
And I went to community college majoring in Administration of Justice. That’s what they changed to from Police Science. And I ate it up. Graduated with high distinction.
BUT, I was disabled, and in the mid-70s environment of inflation and job problems, there were many more physically-capable folks in the line at police personnel. No cop job for Guffaw.
I was taught the purpose of the police was not only to enforce the law, but to make certain the individual’s rights were protected. THIS is what separated us from banana republics. And made their job much more difficult.
But, according to the media, it appears there is police incompetence and corruption everywhere. Websites and news stories abound with tales of bribery, malfeasance and crime by sworn officers.
And then we have the L.A.P.D. Lauded in song and story. Well, story, anyway. (In)famous Chief Parker decided after the war that there was simply too much graft, corruption and mob influence in his department. He established ‘The Hat Squad’ to get the mobsters out of town, and worked with film and TV producers to make the image of the department better. TV shows like Dragnet and Adam-12 were the result.
I grew up on this stuff. They further reinforced my already sainted image of police, and did so in other major cities as well. Naked City, The Detectives, and M-Squad were among the other shows. Federal law enforcement was not left out. The Untouchables and The FBI come to mind.
But the twenty-four hour news cycle has evolved into the instant Internet news cycle. And now we hear about this recently-fired L.A.P.D. officer killing other officers and firing on them.
And the panicked police were firing willy-nilly on anyone who might be a suspect. And other folks.
The latest news stories indicate this maroon has died in a fire, saving the taxpayers the cost of a trial. And a professor on CNN praised the cop-killer!
I truly believe most police departments consist of good folks trying to do an ever-more-difficult job. But, that doesn’t excuse this kind of behavior. We have a sheriff here locally who has done some remarkably positive things, like having inmates staff county animal shelters, saving many tax dollars. Of course, the many costly lawsuits against the county for prisoner abuse and ‘accidental’ or ‘negligent’ death of inmates cost many tax dollars, also. I’d like to see comparison spreadsheets, just for fun.
We need to support the police. They are the blue line between the criminal and the citizen. But we need to make certain they are properly trained and policed themselves, to keep aberrant behavior to an absolute minimum. They are, after all, the in-your-face, on-the-street representatives of government and it’s power. Let’s hope it’s not gone to their head.
And that government needs to recognize we have the right to also defend ourselves. That sometimes, the best they can do is to draw the chalk line and write the report.
h/t Weasel Zippers
I like Jim Carrey for his comic acting and ability. The Mask is hysterical, and snippets of his skits on In Living Color are as well. He wrote Pet Detective at night, then filmed it during the day – no sleep. He’s comedically brilliant.
And he’s from Canada. Seems like much of Hollywood emigrated from the Great White North to seek gold in California. And many have done just that. Lorne Greene and William Shatner are among the many others.
But, here Mr. Carrey and I part company…
Then there are the other Canucks…
I could list many more. And I value their opinions much more than I do Mr. Carrey’s.
Regardless, I’ll probably still watch him. We have rights to differing opinions in this country.
Of course, if he begins posing with enemy anti-aircraft guns, calling all U.S. forces war criminals or hugging Hugo Chavez, I will stop watching.
h/t Weasel Zippers
The Burning Platform directs us to The Daily Beast (quoting from Newsweek magazine)…is that convoluted, or what?
However, we’re given an essay by David Mamet, award winning playwright and former liberal.
In commenting on it, Yojimbo states:
What a brilliantly written essay. Concise and powerful. Essay like this help me understand the mental illness of my fellow Massachusetts residents that we politely call “Liberalism”. First, Liberals actually have a profound TRUST of government, instead of a healthy distrust and skepticism. Second, Liberals fundamentally misunderstand human nature, and believe that, if only given more government intervention and power, the failings of human nature can be perfected. Mamet displays an excellent understanding of the nature of The State and why we must be deeply mistrustful of it.
Mr. Mamet, in part, says:
~All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.~
~What possible purpose in declaring schools “gun-free zones”? Who bringing a gun, with evil intent, into a school would be deterred by the sign?
Ah, but perhaps one, legally carrying a gun, might bring it into the school.
We need more armed citizens in the schools.~
Go and read the entire essay. Mr. Mamet and I may disagree on minor points, but he speaks his truth with reason and passion. It’s worth the five minutes.
I admit it. I tend to believe in conspiracy theories. Not ALL of them. But, I do believe many times the ‘powers that be’ shield us from all the facts. For our own good. Because, after all, we are children.
JFK, RFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, George Wallace shootings don’t pass my smell test. There’s more there.
911 does. Sandy Hook, maybe not – the jury is still out.
I ran into this video courtesy of Miss Cellania. While I may disagree with some of it’s content, I still found it hilarious.
Sometimes, you just gotta laugh!
Will Rogers was a comedian and actor from the early part of the Twentieth Century. Before becoming a stage personality, he had actually been a cowboy – some of his act involved lasso tricks!
finally ~ If you don’t learn
to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.
h/t my dear sister, Ellie
I’ve always liked character actors. He is among one of my favorites, although I was only four when he passed away. Thank goodness for old film nights on TV, and VHS/DVD recordings!
Petrified Forest, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, The African Queen, Sabrina. The Big Sleep. If you’ve not seen these films (and many others) you’ve missed something.
He was politically incorrect before such a phrase existed. A smoker, drinker and brawler, although thin and 5’9″, he was married four times. The last time to Lauren Bacall, 24 years his junior. They had two children.
Lauren Bacall as ‘Slim’ to Bogie in To Have and Have Not:
“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
He died of esophageal cancer. His wife placed a gold whistle in his cremation urn. It reads, “If you need anything, just whistle.”