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Gran Torino: Kill the White Man

by David Yeagley · June 5, 2011 · 47 Comments ·

The message of the movie, Gran Torino (2008), is loud and clear. The white man must die. The darkies either kill him, or he sacrifices himself, or both, but the point of the movie is clarion: kill the white man.

Clint Eastwood as “Walt Kowalski,” Holloywood’s racism on display.

Gran Torino may be pawned off by Hollywood as a message of “Catholic” styled forgiveness, restoration of good will, confession, etc. It may be cast as a wondrous group hug of evil whitey with the poor “gook” descendant of some tribe of Southeast Asia. But, any good will costs the life of the white man. Oh, yes, there’s that little bit about Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) coughing up blood, or dying of lung cancer, so, he was going to die anyway. Why not make it count, for good? That’s better than J. B. Books (John Wayne) did in his swan song of a gun play at the end of The Shootist (1976). And besides, Eastwood has been imitating John Wayne since The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966), when he copied the poncho attire Wayne wore in the opening of The Searchers (1956), but that’s a different issue.

Heroes tend to die in movies, or in any great dramas. That’s all. It makes them greater, to die for their cause. But, the ‘hate America, hate whitey’ Communist cause of Hollywood always makes sure its the white hero that dies. The white American man dies. Disguise it as they may, in high morals, grand causes, overwhelming personal sacrifice and greatness, Hollywood makes the white American die. The satisfaction is apparent. The popularity of the theme in American culture is profound. It is the virtual marketing of white guilt, the capitalistic employment of a guilty white conscience. It is social prick-ism, at the highest level.

Whitney Kua “Ahney” Her, who
played “Sue,” in Gran Torino.

Since Columbus (1492), the European white man’s exploration and exploits into the dark world have been proverbial, momentous, and inexorable. No other race ever had the will, the power, or the ability. One might see it as some strange, abiding Persian spirit, but, essentially, it is European, because white Europe successfully resisted the onslaught of Medieval Islam (with a little help from the incidental Mongolian Empire). Since America (1776), the European white man realized his grandest ideological development (with a little incidental influence from the American Indians). Since World War II, however, the American white man’s involvements in the dark world have been basically a follow-through of the English evangelism of the Third World. America never intended to be a watchman of the world, or to bring “civilization” to the Third World, as the English did.
The bloody aggressions of Communism in the dark world tempted America into myriad involvement in every country in the world. And now America has the blood of the world on its hands, so Hollywood yearns to convince us.

Gran Torino is indeed a touching movie. Yet it is full of deceptive liberal racism (as are most Hollywood attempts to portray humanity). A bull-headed “dumb” Polack (an American of Polish descent) is the frame used to house all supposed white prejudice against the darkies of the world. That’s Hollywood racism right there–against the Poles. The Catholic religion, with its ostentatious, dramatized constructs of right, wrong, and forgiveness, is the justification or sanctification of Walt Kowalski’s involvement with his non-descriptive Asian neighbors. The Hollywood uses the Catholic Church as kind of visual aid prop, or backdrop, of dramatization of “moral” concerns.

Hollywood must give its honor and fame to the lowly Asian tribe of Hmong people, the mountain people of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. How noble of dear Hollywood. The Hmong don’t even have a nation; they are a like the Kurds of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. An ethnicity without a nation. Is this not the goal of all liberals, the elimination not of ethnicity, but of nationhood? So, Hollywood strikes big in this one. We have a remote people, a general east Asian group, used to represent all the “victims” of American aggression in east Asia (as long as we forget that all American military activity there was invited, not invasive, and was there to aid in the development of freedom, and in the resistance to a cruel and murderous Communism). Suddenly the people are made the recipients of total compassion from the American fame machine, Hollywood. A psychologically crippled old white man, full of spiritual malady as well as physical ailment, is given a chance to demonstrate ultimate love and forgiveness to all Asians: he sacrifices himself. In his last act, he absolves his guilt, triumphs over racial prejudice, and dies a hero.

This is what Hollywood wants. This is what Democrat Communists want. This is what liberals want. The grand white American must die. He must repent, and die. Yes, Hollywood will let him die heroically, but, the white American male must die. He is just too great to live. He is too much to bear. He is too grand, too mighty, to triumphant to be allowed to live. He must die for the darkies.

Bee Vang, as “Thao,” initiated into manhood
by a sacrificial American white male.

Funny. Of all the “victims” of the white man, the American Indian doesn’t find the same treatment in Hollywood. Oh, certainly, the liberals love to decry the white man’s treatment of the Indian. But, Hollywood can’t find a redemptive story for the white man when it comes to the Indian. He can’t make the white man love the Indian, or forgive himself for his treatment of the Indian, even in fiction. Even in Dances with Wolves (1990), personal admiration for the Indian is the most that can be generated. At least, personal acceptance.

Hollywood doesn’t understand the Indian. Why? Hollywood is weak, morally. Hollywood has no appreciation of strength. The Indian fought against the white man, many times. Indians killed hundreds of thousands of white people, over the years. The Indian was the first and most formidable enemy the white American ever faced. The white American won out, only because he out-numbered and out-gunned the Indians. The real white American doesn’t feel sympathy so much as respect for the Indian. And the fact that the Indian still shows no special desire to be part of the white American’s society, like all the other darkies of the world so desperately desire, leaves Hollywood stumped. What can Hollywood do with the Indian? One thing it cannot do: depict the truth of the story. It’s too complicated, too long, and too personal, and too nationalistic.

Chewing Elk, Comanche, ca. 1872.

Hollywood dare not glorify the Indian in any triumph over the white man. Hollywood allows only Custer (Son of the Morning Star, 1991) Why? It was incidental. The white man dies, of course, but, not really because the Indian hated him, but because he was invading the Indians. Yet, the “wrong” done to Indians cannot be remedied, even in fiction.

I mark this as the greatness of the Indian. I also mark this as the greatness of the American white man. Hollywood can’t handle it. Just like Hollywood can’t handle the simplest Bible story accurately, Hollywood can never market the truth, but only versions, or parts of it, with its own liberal spin, a slosh-bucket emotionalization pawn off as “morality.” Hollywood can never really even tell the truth.

Harry B. Adams, of Yale Divinity, used to say, “Every sermon is a heresy.” It is incomplete, and therefore inevitably misleading. The same is true for movies–especially when they’re not really even trying to tell the truth.

Posted by David Yeagley · June 5, 2011 · 10:50 am CT · ·

Tags: American Indians · American Patriotism · Asian · Bad Eagle Journal · Communism · Liberalism · Politics · Race · White Race

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47 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Thrasymachus // Jun 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm   

    “Is this not the goal of all liberals, the elimination not of ethnicity, but of nationhood?” — David Yeagley


    Food for thought:

    “Interestingly, many nineteenth-century liberals agreed that liberalism is viable only in countries with a sense of common nationhood, a view shared by some recent theorists of “liberal nationalism.” Most post-war liberals, however, have rejected the idea that liberalism should ally itself with nationalism and have instead asserted that a common commitment to liberal principles is a sufficient basis for social unity even in multicultural countries. Habermas’s idea of ‘constitutional patriotism’ is one example of this view, explicitly offered as an alternative to nationalist theories of social cohesion.” — The Oxford Companion to Philosophy

  • 2 writesong // Jun 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm   

    This story takes place in Detroit, but the writers chose to make the conflict between White and Asian, rather than admit the truth, which is that it is the Negroes, not the Asians, who have destroyed Detroit, Michigan.

  • 3 Sioux // Jun 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm   

    Leftists of all persuasions, both Blacks & White enablers, destroyed Detroit – they chased away industry and decent paying jobs – they taxed companies for leaving Detroit. White flight then and black flight now. The Rulers of Detroit have lived like African warlords. Mayor Bing seems to be a good guy, but there is no saving Detroit – so large swaths need to be bulldozed. Right across the river in Windsor, Ontario, the area is thriving from what I could see.

    As a high school student back in the 60’s, my friend and I would ride the bus from the suburbs to downtown Detroit to shop and go to lunch & the movie. Never a moment’s fear – no one would do that today. People can’t sell their houses, so they abandon them– then come the refugees, legal and otherwise, from other nations destroyed by the poverty of Leftism.

    While I liked Gran Torino on an emotional level, it didn’t ring true as to how people act today. Hollywood lives in the past and lies that there has been no progress. Not even a dumb Polack would act like Clint Eastwood did, even if he was dying. Lip off so openly, and your house would have been shot to smithereens and your brains blown out today. People, young & old, die for way less in the urban jungle of Detroit and every other city where the Democrats have ruled for decades.

  • 4 Pamela K. // Jun 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm   

    “Hollywood must give its honor and fame to the lowly Asian tribe of Hmong people, the mountain people of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. How noble of dear Hollywood. The Hmong don’t even have a nation; they are a like the Kurds of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey.”
    – Dr.David Yeagley

    So, because the Hmong people have no nation to call their own, this makes them less then honorable as human beings?
    The Hmong people are in fact native to southern China. Persecution by the oppressive Quing Dynasty forced them into exile and most ended up in Southeast Asia.
    Did you know that during the Viet Nam conflict, 30,000 Hmong, mostly from Laos, were recruited to fight for America?
    Do you also know that after America pulled out of Southeast Asia in 1975 and the Communists took over, the Hmong were singled out for horrific persecution?
    In the 1990’s the Clinton Administration tried to “repatriate” the Hmong people to southern China. It did not work. These people were persecuted by the Chinese government.
    Fortunately, through the work of both missionary and humanitarian groups, many Hmong have been able to come to America to live in freedom.
    You also mentioned the Kurds. Their nation was taken away from them through the persecuton and genocidal policies of Saddam Hussein. Hundreds of Kurdish villages were entirely wiped out by the Arab dictator’s use of chemical warfare against civilians in Kurdistan in 1988 Kurds have also suffered persecution from the governments of Iran and Turkey and Syria, which like Iraq, are all Islamic nations that will not tolerate whom they deem as infidels to live among them.
    Being an American Indian, I would think you would have a little more compassion for people whose homelands have been forcibly taken away from through the greed and selfishness of others. Because most American Indians live on reservation lands today, does that make them less honorable as human beings?

    I agree with writesong’s assessment of “Gran Torino.” While there might be Asian members of street gangs, on a whole, Asian people who have come to America are usually law-abiding, hard-working citizens who contribute positively to American society.
    Here in the northeast, most gang- related violence is between two Hispanic gangs, the Crips and the Bloods.

  • 5 Pamela K. // Jun 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm   

    Postscript to #4: Clinton tried to repatriate the Hmong to Laos, not China. Although Laos initially agreed to repatriate some 60,000 Hmong, many eventually came to relocate in the United States. One of the largest groups of Hmong live in Pennsylvania.

  • 6 Thrasymachus // Jun 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm   

    “So, because the Hmong people have no nation to call their own, this makes them less then honorable as human beings?”
    — Pamela K

    You are missing the central point of the article. The point is that White America MUST DIE. It is “sinful” and guilty of the most terrible “racism.” It must atone for its sins and DIE!

    Those who founded the United States, WASPS, and their related European Americans, such as Poles, etc., must hand the nation over to the immigrants from the Third World. This is “social justice.” This is Dr. Yeagley’s point, in the main.

    No! White people are not magicians; we cannot work moral or economic magic. We cannot simply import billions of people to these shores and transform all of them into replicas of George Washington and Thomas Edison. The same goes for Europe: it cannot cure the problems of non-European nations through massive immigration.

    Is it OUR fault — the American people’s fault — that there is poverty and injustice in other parts of the world?

    The real solution, if there is one, is to fix whats wrong for those peoples right where they live, now, not bring them here. This importation only gives temporary relief to a tiny minority of these unfortunate peoples. It ultimately will destroy the U.S. while leaving the nations of origin of the immigrants with unsolved problems — possibly even worse than they have now, in many cases.

  • 7 Edwin M. Wright // Jun 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm   

    Hmong people ?

    Any one who wants them, should have them move in with them. Other wise your a fool or for the genocide of Whites in N.A. IMO.

    Remember that Hmong trespassing in WI. in a Tree Stand on private property, and he had been told previously NOT to trespass on it again.

    Whem six p.c.IMO White men showed up to hunt on their property he was in the tree stand with a fully loaded SKS 308. The foolish p.c. TV/media brain washed White men had their weapons pointed at the ground. The Hmong was in the tree stand 20 feet ? above them, and he shot and murdered them all, except I think the wounded were a 18 and 20 year oldsI who had run 300 feet and were un armed, and he shot them in the back. I think they lived with painful wounds.

    The enemy alien media actually stated in a news article that the White Hunters in WI may have uttered a “Racist” comment. !?

    In these Regime murder of Whites is really just fine to some.

    I remember a 40 year White man a few years back going to work on a Seattle WA. city bus at 8 AM and he was sitting by the rear door. A Congoid male got on the bus and stabbed him to death.

    The S.Times newspaper showed a photo of paramedics by a man on the side walk with an oxgen mask on and jacket with a tie on as he was going to work. He died on the sidewalk.

    The article stated that some thought they heard the White man Utter a Racial phrase. THe victim left three children with out a father and the perp was never found.

    Thats my point.

    Random, and Racist these words p.c. for journalist who like working..

    The Hmongs have caused tremendous problems nation. Wide, from over harvesting on North CA. beachs and coves etc.

    The have no business in N.A. and Whites, Blacks,or Indians did not ask for them to be shipped here.

    Those hate Whites very much or are nutz IMO want this type of insanity.


  • 8 tigerjd62 // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm   

    The Bloods and the Crips are Hispanic gangs? When did Raymond Washington and Tookie Williams become Hispanic? There are now, and have always been “gangs” of all ethnicities. There are many Asian gangs in the US, going back many,many years (just ask the San Francisco Police, the LAPD, or the Chicago police) David’s article wasn’t about the gang in the movie anyhow. It was about how the hollywood (I refuse to capitalize it) left believes that the white man can only be redeemed by dying for some oppressed “minority”. And isn’t “Being an American Indian, I would think you would have a little more compassion for people whose homelands have been forcibly taken away from through the greed and selfishness of others.” a little condensending. I don’t know you or your politics (we might even have a lot in common), but that has a distinct liberal sound to it, and I know that is something Dr. Yeagley does not like. The majority of all groups who have come to America are law abiding, whether they come from the Far East, Near East, Europe, Africa, and Central and South America.
    PS I admire the Hmong for their service next to our troops during Vietnam, and were in fact hung out to dry by Washington and our higher command at the withdrawal of troops at the end of the war

  • 9 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm   

    As an American Indian, I am proud to be distinguished from all other non-white peoples associated with America in any way. I do not wish to see Indians compared or associated with any of these other non-white groups. It is insulting to American Indians. There simply is no comparison. The geographic, demographic circumstances are dissimilar, and allow no logical comparison.

    People have tried to compare Indians to so-called “Palestinians.” People have trie3d to compare Indians to Jews and their Holocaust. If you just take a minute and consider the circumstances, there is no effective comparison of either, or any.

  • 10 Pamela K. // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm   

    ” Is it OUR fault — the American people’s fault — that there is poverty and injustice in other parts of the world?”- Thrasymachus

    No, I do not blame the American people. But much of the suffering in the world has been caused by the meddling of the United States Government in the affairs of other nations.

    The Hmong people were victims of America’s involvement in Southeast Asia. We lost 58,000 young servicemen and women in the Viet Nam conflict. Do you know why it was never officially declared a “war”? So the international arms merchants, with whom certain US Senators had invested money, and who sold weapons to the Viet Cong to kill our soldiers could not be prosecuted for war crimes. Furthermore, the CIA recruited thousands of Laos Hmong to fight for the Americans and then after the conflict ended, abandoned them to suffer horrific persecution under the brutal communist regimes that came to power in Viet Nam and Laos.

    The reason why the United States Government is unwilling to crack down on illegal immigration from Mexico is because they are receiving money from American businesses that have employed illegals. These businesses not only pay taxes to both their state and the federal government for illegal Mexicans but must supply them with Social Security cards. This is the reason why Obama freaked out when Arizona passed their anti-immigration law. The federal government has been collecting this tax money on the illegals long before Obama came into power and now he’s been left with holding the proverbial bag. If he pushes for harder immigration laws, the government will lose all the money they’ve been collecting from American businesses that have hired illegals. And you know Obama and the rest of his ilk are not going to give up all that money!

  • 11 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm   

    The Hmong bit was simply to point out how Hollywood liberalism would pick a people with remote identity, probably to dramatize the artificially created prejudice in the character Walt Kowalsky. Like, all “gooks” are alike, He fought Koreans, but Hmongs were “slope heads,” “gooks,” and “chinks” just the same. That made a good line for the story.

    My point was not to disparage the Hmong at all, but to point out their rather remote identity, and how Hollywood liberals love to promote such. They could have used Somalies, Kurds, some Amazon tribe, etc. But, the age of Eastwood put the Kowalski character in the Korean war bracket. Therefore, the “oppressed” minority group had to be Asian of some kind.

  • 12 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm   

    But I consider Pamela a perceptive commentator. I must have said something wrong, or inadequately, or incorrectly, else she wouldn’t have responded the way she did! Let me review my statements.

  • 13 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm   

    Pamela K: So, because the Hmong people have no nation to call their own, this makes them less then honorable as human beings?

    I don’t know that they have ever had their own nation, at least during the time since the advent of cartography. Nor have the gypsies. Nor have the the post-70 AD Jews until 1948.

    I don’t see that I implied anything regarding their “honor.” That’s not what’s involved. Nor did I mean that they should have have been chosen as the people in the story. (Although, I don’t know if they were properly chosen. My understanding is that the Muslims are the chief foreign ethnic issue in these times. I’ll have to check out the stats on that.)

    I meant to suggest that a relatively unknown people were chosen, by Hollywood racist liberals, to make the social heroes of white guilt.

    Like I said, whatever significance that choice of people, I’m proud to distinguish the American Indian from that choice, or any other choice.

    Custer died for his own “sins.”

  • 14 Pamela K. // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm   

    I hate Hollywood. Hollywood is a bastion of liberal thought and anti-Americanism.
    Clint Eastwood is a phenomenal actor and director as is Mel Gibson and both have been ostracized by the Hollywood communist elite.
    I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative either. And like Dr. Yeagley, some of my ancestors were on this continent long before any white people lived here.
    Furthermore, Walt Kowalsky spewed a lot of racial epithets. But once he got to know his Hmong neighbors, he realized that beneath the Asian features they were human beings just like himself.
    May be the message out of Hollywood and Washington is to “kill whitey” but there are many non-white people who do not adhere to this hateful sentiment. There is good and bad in all races of people, and love, like hate, is a choice…

  • 15 Thrasymachus // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm   

    In no event do I mean to say that the U.S. has always behaved innocently and honorably in foreign affairs. In point of fact, the government (and this is not the will of the American people) does not hesitate to create serious problems in other nations and then proceed to import potentially very angry citizens from those nations as refugees and immigrants! T do not want to see the U.S. meddle in the affairs of foreign nations. I want to see the power of government used to fix what’s wrong here at home first and foremost.

  • 16 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm   

    One thin very interesting. All of these foreign groups become particularly proud of themselves when they get established in America. Except for the Muslims, who do seem to hate, the other groups like to compete, and to participate in the society.

    The Muslims want to dominate, without earning it. That is what is repulsive about their attitude.

  • 17 Sioux // Jun 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm   

    Now that would have been a movie – have it set in Dearborn-istan that is totally dominated by the Muslims. Wonder how long the Eastwood would have lasted in that scenario. Kill Whitey Infidel ! And Uma Thurman could save the day.

  • 18 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm   

    The other true fantasy element in the artificial story of Gran Torino was the police scene at the end. No, Walt didn’t have a gun, but he had “witnesses.” That would save the day! The police were there for the clean up, and we’re all supposed to be happy that the LAW–the court system would take care of those mean gang members!

    Like, pure fantasy.

  • 19 Pamela K. // Jun 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm   

    But that’s why Walt let himself be killed like he was in the end, so the criminal justice system would put away the gang members that raped Sue. He figured he was dying anyway so he decided to go out with a bang!
    I liked this movie but I think “Taxi Driver” was also an interesting, if often disturbing portrayal of private justice from the viewpoint of an angry white man. Taxi driver Travis Bickle,(Robert DeNiro) is a disillusioned Viet Nam veteran who makes it his personal crusade to clean up the mean streets of New York by killing all the scumbags that prey on society. I just hope some politically correct Hollywood yahoo doesn’t try and remake this movie someday because it is one of a kind.

  • 20 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm   

    In the case of the American Indian, the white man came to foreign territory, and created a nation on it. America’s subsequent involvements in foreign territories I don’t believe has been for the purpose of creating new annexations of America. Masses of American white people have not migrated to these new territories like Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., to make new “Americas” full of white Americans.

    Therefore, again, I see no comparison between the American Indian and an other chapter of the American story.

  • 21 David Yeagley // Jun 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm   

    Pam, you don’t think Walt was trying to do the best thing he could for Thao and Sue? That’s the impression I got from the movie. I meantioned that he knew he was dying, yes. But, he could have brought a grenade or at least a gun. But then, that would have spoiled the plan. He obviously wanted that gang arrested and convicted. That was clearly the way Thao and Sue understood his action.

    Ah…it’s just a story!

  • 22 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 9:56 am   

    “Ah…it’s just a story!”

    So many people get their history lessons from movies! I’ve watched as people interpreted movies, sometimes very mistakenly, and took these interpretations to be the truth.

    One super-quick example: in showing “Les Choristes” [ La Nuit de Rameau ] to family and friends, and afterwards part of a live performance of Jean-Baptiste Maunier [Live Performance of La Nuit (same soloist as in the movie backed up by a live chorus], someone remarked: “Why didn’t the rest of the chorus perform live with him, as they’re so gifted?” This person never noticed that the kids in the movie could not sing professionally and that a prerecorded version of the music was used at this point in the movie, to which the child-actors merely lip synced!

    I cite this example (one amonge countless) not to make fun of people but rather to show how readily ADULTS can believe what they see on screen.

  • 23 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 9:58 am   

    A movie is a magical thing. Sure looks real. It’s a special art form. It uses reality as a tool. Real elements–to fabricate something imaginary.

    That’s beyond stage drama, music, and even literature. A movie plays with reality. Very powerful.

  • 24 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 10:02 am   

    Jean-Baptiste Maunier (the soloist) being the exception! He DID sing his parts in the move, even where these were also prerecorded, as well as professionally. Maunier was in fact a celebrated and genuinely gifted boy soprano.

    Jean-Baptiste Maunier sings in English (recorded live).

  • 25 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 10:33 am   

    “A movie is a magical thing. Sure looks real. It’s a special art form. It uses reality as a tool. Real elements–to fabricate something imaginary.

    That’s beyond stage drama, music, and even literature. A movie plays with reality. Very powerful.” — Dr. Yeagley

    I agree 100%

    This raises the question: Can we really have a free society in an age of movies and television?

    (Only about 5% (?) of viewers are able to see beyond the lights and camera action to the producer’s point of view. Sounds an aweful lot like Huxley’s “Brave New World” propaganda machine!)

  • 26 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 10:44 am   

    Jean-Baptiste at his best: Pueri Concinite.

  • 27 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 10:53 am   

    Communication by story telling. ‘Tis an ancient art. That’s what every advertisement it these days, a story. Every news report, every TV show, every movie. It’s all a grand mix. I’m beginning to think reality is lost in that mix.

    It takes a stern soul, a Captain Ahab, to remember what he’s after in this life.

  • 28 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 10:54 am   

    I have a funny true story to tell about this music.

    A few summers back, as I was doing yard work, I put on a CD of this music. Suddenly, out of a thicket of trees flew a song bird, all excited! The bird got on the roof-top and directed its eye at the CD-player with fixed attention — and began singing with all its might right along with little Jean-Baptiste! The song bird was totally mesmerized by the voice of J.-B.! I can only wish I had a camcorder of this extraordinary example of music appreciation!

  • 29 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 11:12 am   

    No story humans tell is without humanity in it. The plethora of Greek gods is basically soap opera. Even the Bible is all stories about human beings. The one difference is that there is the story of God in the Bible. One God. I suppose that is therefore different from all other stories on that basis alone.

    There is merit to story, even to fiction, as in the case of a parable or a pericope. Even Jesus had a few little such episodes. I think the danger is in fascination with the art of the story telling, which all too often supersedes the value of any “lesson.” The emotional involvement of something like a movie generally nullifies any real absorption of any serious morale, if there is one.

  • 30 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 11:15 am   

    “It takes a stern soul, a Captain Ahab, to remember what he’s after in this life.” — David Yeagley

    Exactly. I really lost my way because of exposure to mass marketed entertainment and wasted much of the first half of my life in confusion resulting from it! And others have given me career advice based solely on the political and business agendas “revealed” to them in the mass media of news and entertainment!

    I definitely would have preferred to live in a simpler time in history.

    And you know what? I think we’d have more people studying serious music, as was the case 100 years ago, if recorded music did not convince so many people that it would be a waste of time and effort and money, as they’d never sound as great as those on CD. And this doesn’t even include those whose tastes have been harmed by the ghetto culture that reigns in popular music today.

    No, I do not think people are anywhere near as free as they imagine themselves to be. Most people are slaves living lives of quiet desperation.

  • 31 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 11:41 am   

    “I think the danger is in fascination with the art of the story telling, which all too often supersedes the value of any “lesson.” The emotional involvement of something like a movie generally nullifies any real absorption of any serious morale, if there is one.” — David Yeagley

    Yes, in Hamlet, the actors are warned not to destroy the moral of the story with the art of acting, but are instructed to “hold the mirror up to Nature.”

    My best idea of entertainment is to put on a professionally acted full-length audio production of a Shakespeare play and relax and just listen in the hours just after dusk. Something like Old Time Radio — but with the quality of England’s greatest poet. Of course, plenty of other great authors are also to be included in this for variety — Poe, Dickens, etc. ad infinitum! The world of audio books and classic motion pictures on DVD has replaced regular television viewing for Thrasymachus.

  • 32 Thrasymachus // Jun 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm   

    So, in short, I think that the mass media of news and entertainment has an immense power to lead people astray. This is why the book “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television” by Jerry Mander is noteworthy.

    No monarch of ages past ever held anything like the subtle and yet often direct power that the television and motion picture industry has over the modern world. The Pilgrims could flee England, but now there’s no place to flee!

    Television Addiction.

  • 33 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm   

    There is indeed a large, famous Hmong community in Detroit, with a 501c3, of course. Hmong Community of Metro-Detroit. (I note that their news page feels obligated to include an educational piece on Muslims.)

    There are apparently about a quarter of a million (250,000) Hmong in the United States, mostly in Michigan, Wisconsin, and California. Eastwood picked the Michigan locale because of some tax breaks initiated there.

    Here’s an article from the MichganDaily about the Michigan Hmong (“mung”).

  • 34 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm   

    As with all persons of color, among the Hmong is very colorful clothing. Persons of color love color!

  • 35 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm   

    Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, as nearly all people from a non-Christian background, or a non-practicing Christian culture, they are subject to vice and temptation.

    Two dozen charged in Midwest Hmong gambling and drug ring
    MILWAUKEE | Thu Jun 2, 2011 2:47pm EDT

    Following a year-long investigation, the defendants, all of Hmong descent, were charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, and 13 were accused with operating an illegal gambling business, said U.S. Attorney James Santelle.

    But, then, look at Mexico, nice Catholic country…

  • 36 Pamela K. // Jun 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm   

    Chinese historical sources indicate that the Hmong have lived in China since 2000 B.C. Many scholars believe that they may have lived in Siberia prior to this date because blond hair and blue eyes are occasionally found among the Hmong..

    In December 1975 the United States agreed to begin resettling the Hmong in America and Congress admitted 3,466 individuals. In 1976, 10,200 refugees from Laos (who had fled across the border into Thailand) were admitted to the United States; some of these immigrants were Hmong, although there is no official record of them. The number of Laotian immigrants then dipped to only 400 in 1977, but climbed to 8,000 in 1978. By the early 1980s, about 50,000 Hmong were living in the United States. By the time of the 1990 U.S. Census the number of Hmong in the United States had doubled to almost 100,000 people. Of the foreign-born Hmong in the United States in 1990, 75 percent had arrived during the 1980s, the majority of whom had arrived in the first half of the decade.

    In 1990 the majority of Hmong Americans lived in California (43,000), Minnesota (more than 17,000), and Wisconsin (16,000). By the summer of 1999, the number of Hmong in Minnesota had reached an estimated 70,000. When the Hmong began arriving in the United States in the mid- to late-1970s, American refugee resettlement agencies dispersed the 12 traditional groups all over the country, placing small groups in 53 different cities and 25 different states, where voluntary agencies such as churches could be found to sponsor the refugees. Between 1981 and 1985, however, the Hmong reassembled through massive secondary migration, making their way across the country in small family groups. Drawn by the lure of reforming their kingroup-based society and by the moderate climate of the Pacific Coast, the majority congregated in farming towns and small cities in California, primarily Fresno (18,000), Merced (7,500), Sacramento (5,000), Stockton (5,000), and Chico, Modesto, and Visalia (6,000).

    Hmong Americans generally have a very positive view of their new country and younger generations tend to understand both cultures quite well. However, there is a general ignorance of the Hmong on the part of most Americans. Many Americans find it difficult to distinguish them from the Vietnamese or other Asian groups. Insofar as stereotypes have arisen, the Hmong are often seen as hard-working, but also extremely foreign. Many Americans are also perplexed by the rituals of the Hmong and by the music that often accompanies them. Nonetheless, Hmong Americans tend to be friendly to members of other groups and welcome attempts on the part of outsiders to learn more about their culture. The Hmong themselves are rapidly becoming an American minority, rather than an alien group in American society. As of 1990, about one-third of the Hmong in the United States were born in this country. Since Hmong Americans tend to be very young, the proportion of Hmong who have personal memories of Laos is decreasing rapidly.

    Many Hmong customs are not practiced in the United States, especially by those who have converted to Christianity. As might be expected in a group that has experienced such rapid social change, Hmong Americans are still trying to sort out which traditions may be retained in the new land, and which traditions must be left behind.

    Source Material:

    Dunnigan, Timothy, et al. “Hmong” in Refugees in America in the 1990s: A Reference Handbook, edited by David W. Haines. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

    Hmong Means Free: Life in Laos and America, edited by Sucheng Chan. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994.

    The Hmong Homepage. (accessed August 31, 1999), last updated July 26, 1999.

    Quincey, Keith. Hmong: History of a People. Cheney: Eastern Washington University Press, 1988.

    Sherman, Spencer. “The Hmong in America: Laotian Refugees in the ‘Land of the Giants, “‘ National Geographic Magazine , October 1988, pp. 586-610.

    Southeast Asian-American Communities, edited by Kali Tal. Woodbridge, Connecticut: Viet Nam Generation, 1992.

    Vang, Pao. Against All Odds: the Laotian Freedom Fighters. Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 1987.

  • 37 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm   

    So, whatever people the US in any way touches abroad, those people have special rights to be in America, no? We owe them something? We owe Laotians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, because American armed forces were there? Because America was trying either to help them, or to defend freedom in the world?

    I don’t know. It seems too many people figure the easier thing to do is just to come to America and live. Forget the old country. Forget trying to fix anything there. Just come to America.

    I think probably most do appreciate the opportunity. I fear, however, that this all blurs what it means to be an American.

    Are they American? Does the movie make them seem more American? because the gang youth act Negroid?

  • 38 David Yeagley // Jun 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm   

    Well, being ethnically sensitive as I am, I remember soccer times back in Connecticut. You couldn’t encounter a team that wasn’t ethnic. I started out hanging with the Greeks. Then the Italians. One’s personal appearance has a lot to do with who you’re going to end up hanging out with.

    Anyway, there were Laotian groups that had soccer teams. Vietnamese. Cambodian. I got to the point that I could tell, by looking, the difference between the Cambodians and the Laotians.

    When I came back to Oklahoma, it could still tell. I used to amaze some of them, on campus, when I would single them out. “How can you tell?” they wondered.

    Fact is, I’m an absolute sucker for foreigners. I love them. I’m fascinated with them. Always have been. And yes, as a brownie, I automatically draw in to the other brownies. We’re always drawn to each other.

    But, I think it is important to keep these things in perspective. The country is more important than my personal indulgences. That’s the point.

  • 39 Edwin M. Wright // Jun 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  • 40 Thrasymachus // Jun 7, 2011 at 11:06 am   

    “Fact is, I’m an absolute sucker for foreigners. I love them. I’m fascinated with them. Always have been.” — David Yeagley

    I too find the cultural and racial differences fascinating in certain situations. But when foreigners come here to LIVE, this eliminates any novelty or fascination with the exotic or relatively unknown. I want to meet foreigners abroad, in their own countries, and talk to them.

    Simply stated, we cannot maintain a dominant culture here in the States if we do not have a heritage that we maintain.

    The French are struggling to maintain what little’s left of theirs — but for how long? How long will it be before Islam and black Africans have eliminated this from than ancient country?

    Caresse sur l’Ocean

  • 41 Thrasymachus // Jun 7, 2011 at 11:17 am   

    Let me put this another way, if you will.

    Every place — that is, locale or community — in the world has its own aura, its own collective mind for that area. This is dependent above all on the demography — that is, on the ethnic-cultural heritage of the people.

    Change the population of an area and you change its collective mind. If foreigners of a particular type settle an area, then that area is de facto a property of the land from which the new population came. It is a foreign country to the host country.

  • 42 Thrasymachus // Jun 7, 2011 at 11:47 am   

    Marxism was never an innocent political philosophy, even at the start. In January 1849, the socialist revolution called aloud publicly for the exterminations of “racial trash.” This group included the Basques, the Bretons, the Scottish highlanders, and the Serbs.

    To keep this properly relevant to the American Indian theme of this blog, one can also say that there’s no doubt that Marx and Engels would have also planned the same fate for the American Indian, because the basis of this classification had to do with being “ripe for communism.” This meant that peoples who were not already capitalists were considered “racial trash.” The video explains.

    Marxist Extermination Plan.

    Marxism is pure unadulterated evil.

  • 43 David Yeagley // Jun 7, 2011 at 11:50 am   

    I’m planning to do a blog on Max Weber forthwith…

  • 44 Siryako Akda // Jun 8, 2011 at 11:25 am   

    “Hollywood doesn’t understand the Indian. Why? Hollywood is weak, morally. Hollywood has no appreciation of strength. The Indian fought against the white man, many times. Indians killed hundreds of thousands of white people, over the years. The Indian was the first and most formidable enemy the white American ever faced.”

    Hollywood is ultimately about profit, but the glorification of certain agendas and worldviews is certainly a problem in the movie industry or any medium for that matter.

    All humanity was and still is fundamentally barbaric, ruthless, animalistic and driven by emotions (even those which are dressed up as ideals). A deeper sense of transcendence mitigates and transmutes those passions, but that should always be kept in mind.

    Well, the left (those who stand for globalism and radical egalitarianism, equality, equitability or whatever the hell they want to call it these days) do not like this sort of idea, which is why they have to put non-white archetypes (I say archetypes because they are idealized symbols of designated victims and nothing more) on the pedestal, while at the same time, creating politically correct white heroes and villains.

    In my opinion, it’s not so much that they want to denigrate white people who are assertive of their ethnic identity (although that is certainly one agenda), as it is more about pushing a particular worldview at all people.

    As you’ve rightly pointed out the narrative does not allow the portrayal of non-white groups collectively being violent or ruthless (it’s okay for individuals though) because it leads to inconsistencies with the ideology. Likewise, white people as a group have to be portrayed in a particular fashion partly because white people enjoy the feeling like martyrs and partly because the narrative informs us that group martyrdom for the sake of certain ideals is a moral and emotional imperative.

    At any rate, the mainstream global media (and you’re free to interpret that in whatever way you like) likes to pigeon hole the historical narrative in a certain way. Sooner or later though we all have to break out of it – whites and non-whites, and begin looking at ourselves beyond the historical and social narratives of a past age.

    “The real white American doesn’t feel sympathy so much as respect for the Indian.”

    Yes, but it should also be more than that. Conservatism is also about respect for the enemy and respect for differences, respect for the fallibility of man and respect for the chaos of life.

    Respect is as necessary for peace as it tempers compassion.

    “And the fact that the Indian still shows no special desire to be part of the white American’s society, like all the other darkies of the world so desperately desire, leaves Hollywood stumped.”

    One of the things which I admire greatly about your people, Dr. Yeagley. In my country, the Philippines, there is a bitter joke that goes: “Go Home Yankee… But Take Me With You”

    I pray that the different Indian tribes continue to try to live apart from the modernity’s evils while at the same time, strengthening themselves enough to survive.

  • 45 Thrasymachus // Jun 8, 2011 at 11:57 am   

    Siryako Akda,

    You are a very thoughtful and intelligent person! Thank you for your insights.

    “. . . the narrative informs us that group martyrdom for the sake of certain ideals is a moral and emotional imperative.”

    Yes, that’s the mainstream media narrative. However, group martyrdom is, as I see it, morally wrong. In fact, it is MORAL to have the Will to survive as a people and culture — a nation. Hollyweird has the thinking of the white population of the States confused and off-mark.
    The Will to Survive is moral and right.

  • 46 David Yeagley // Jun 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm   

    SA: “Go Home Yankee… But Take Me With You”

    Love it! It is the voice of the world, in one sentence.

    Okay. I’ll admit it, I feel really strong love for those Hmong people in the movie. I suppose that’s natural, for me, anyway. But it was bound up in that father-son relationship between Walt and Thao. That the male bonding could so triumphantly transcend such cultural, racial distance, this made the personal element actually the dominant, trumphant dimension.

    When the two young teenagers dressed for the funeral, I cried inside. I really did. The innocence of youth, the aspiration, the cultural tensions when those youth are in a foreign country. I’ve seen it many time, among my foreign friends.

    It was really a wonderful, touch-feely movie. Deeply moving.

    Unfortunately, there are the other overtones, like a white man totally alienated from his own family; a quick-fix religious manoeuver (Catholic), as Walt practiced it; and the whole imitation Negro dialect “bully” come-on of the Hmong gang; these were unfortunate realities also.

    Just a story, but a touching one.

    The white man died for the darkie. The white man’s burden, as Kipling would say. The white man died. That’s still the finaly point.

    Kill that white man–as a sacrifice, as punishment, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure he dies.

  • 47 powell // Jun 12, 2011 at 10:37 am   

    This is slightly off-topic but as a newcomer, I must confess that Dr. Yeagley’s measured comments on “Gran Torino” is met in the comment section not by invective and banality but by restrained and intelligent writers who seemingly wish to exchange and learn.

    Compare this to the frequently frenetic and often banal responses to articles on US interventionism, or on the Middle East situation.

    Dr. Yeagley and his respondents deserve kudos for considering dissident opinion with sane and thoughtful response

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