Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Untimely meditations (filmic): "Burn After Reading"

The Coen brothers' latest basically embodies one of their major themes, as established to greater or lesser degrees in films such as "Raising Arizona," "Fargo" and "The Man Who Wasn't There," which is that the vast majority of human beings are stupid and treacherous.*

That is, although dim-witted, they nonetheless possess a certain low-level, animal cunning, which is just enough to get them into trouble and not enough to get them out of it, and which, when they engage themselves in a criminal scheme, usually and perhaps justifiably results in their deaths.

"Burn" got very mixed reviews, and I was leaning towards a thumbs-down until about halfway through, at which point the comedy starts to kick in. Some of highlights are when George Clooney's character reveals what he's been working on in the basement and the scenes between a CIA officer played by David Rasche ("Sledge Hammer!") and his superior, who's played by J.K. Simmons (the dad in "Juno").

*This, more or less, would be the Coen brothers' entry for the human race in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, instead of the "mostly harmless" designation that Ford Prefect gives for the Earth.

.: posted by hornswaggler 8:26 AM

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