Hi I am an old hippie and a "beat" poet and writer. I have 40 book of poetry, and 3 novels.I have had 3 tours of U.S. and Europe. My work has been taught in colleges in the U.S and Soviet Georgia. I was co editor and publisher of "Alpha Beat Press" alpha beat soup, bouillabaisse and cokefish and cokefishing in alpha beat soup magazines with my late husband Dave Christy.
I am passionate about writing, My novel "eeenie meenie minee moe is for sale on amazon books. I also write short stories and create collages. Do check out my other blogs
http://museaholic.com all about #art. and
http://beatnikhiway.com about #hippies and #beatniks, #counterculture, #america, and #cool people and
tilliespuncturedromance.wordpress.com about #trends, #humor and the #weird. The blog is named after a Charlie Chaplin movie.
Tyler Kish recalls Pastor Matt Makela’s heartless counseling
Yesterday we covered Pastor Matt Makela, the anti-gay Michigan pastor who was outed on Grindr.Today a young man and his mother have stepped forward with their own story about Pastor Matt Makela. Tyler Kish was a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and sought counsel from Pastor Makela. His advice nearly caused Tyler to commit suicide:
“If he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide,” Jennifer Kish said, regarding what Makela told her son.
He didn’t stop there:
Jennifer Kish said the pastor also became vocal on social media about how he felt her son being gay was wrong and that as a parent she shouldn’t support him.
After listening to Tyler Kish, it seems Pastor Makela could’ve used some support and counseling of his own:
“Honestly feel very bad for him, because looking at it everything he was telling me, he was telling himself too, and I think that he was really kind of self destructing and hurting people around him,” Tyler Kish said.A hurt that could’ve changed this family’s lives forever, but Tyler Kish said love conquers all and he has found it in his heart to forgive the person he once blamed for his darkest days.
See a heartfelt interview with Tyler and his mother, Jennifer Kish at WNEM.com. And hats off to Jennifer Kish for taking a stand and removing her son from Pastor Makela’s hateful counseling.
Since 1992, husband and wife Wayne Adams and Catherine King have lived completely off-the-grid in a floating home made of 12 platforms in Cypress Bay, British Columbia. The Canadian couple and their two kids are completely self-sustaining, eating whatever King grows in her garden as well as the seafood that Adams catches fresh from the ocean. With electricity powered by solar panels and photovoltaic generators, and water from rainfall and the nearby waterfall, the family has created an utterly unique, green lifestyle.In addition to being environmentally friendly, their home—called Freedom Cove is an incredible work of architecture, design, and pure fun. Painted turquoise and magenta, the floating abode includes a dance floor, an art gallery, a guest lighthouse, five greenhouses, and a studio where the family lives. During their free time, Adams, 66,…
Before people had hundreds of channels, if they wanted to watch surgery or gawk at celebrity babies, they had to actually leave the house.
1. ATTENDING PUBLIC DISSECTIONS
Thanks to advances in science and the relaxing of church and government laws, the dissection of human corpses came back into vogue in the 1300s. At first these dissections were performed in small rooms or houses for the benefit of a handful for medical students. Then, almost overnight, a bored and apparently pretty morbid public started clamoring to attend them as well.
Specially designed “anatomy theatres” were purpose-built in many of the major European cities; most could seat well over 1,000 people. Tickets were sold to the public and the prices often varied based on how “interesting” that particular corpse was. The most expensive tickets sold in Hanover were 24 Groschen to see a woman who died while pregnant. The audiences were so excited about what they were watching that as early as 1502 a surgeon recommended having guards present at each dissection to “restrain the public as it enters.”
While most etchings from the period show only men at the viewings, women attended as well. In 1748, the crowds to see cadavers dissected at the theatre in Dresden, Germany were so large that they started having “ladies only” viewings, during which the women were invited to touch the corpses.
In many countries, these viewings only happened three or four times a year due to a lack of available bodies. In Bologna, Italy, dissections became fancy events, with women wearing their best clothes to the viewing, and balls or festivals followed in the evening.
Then in England in 1751, Parliament passed the Murder Act, allowing for all executed criminals to be publicly dissected. The increase in the number of public dissections did not diminish their popularity, and thousands of people continued to attend them each year until they were finally outlawed in the 1800s.
2. WATCHING PEOPLE INFLATE BALLOONS
Starting as early as the preparations for the first-ever hot air balloon flight in 1783, watching balloon ascents was incredibly popular, drawing some of the biggest crowds ever seen in Europe. Even the filling of the first balloon, which took numerous days, drew such huge crowds that they were in danger of interfering with the process, and the balloon had to be secretly moved the day before the flight. Benjamin Franklin, then the American Ambassador to the court of Louis XVI, was among the thousands of people who witnessed the first unmanned flight in Paris on August 27th. When the balloon came down in a village a few miles away, the locals were so terrified that they attacked it with pitchforks and rocks, destroying it.
The Montgolfier brothers sent the first living creatures (a goat, a duck, and a rooster) up in a balloon at Versailles in front of an enormous crowd that included the King and Marie Antoinette. The first ascents with humans drew upwards of 400,000 people, or “practically all the inhabitants of Paris,” with many of them paying large sums to be in special “VIP sections” close to the balloon.
The first hot air balloon flight in England was orchestrated by a man named Vincenzo Lunardi and drew a crowd of 200,000 people, including the Prince of Wales. One woman in the crowd was so astonished at the sight of the balloon that she supposedly died of fright and Lunardi was tried for her murder; he was eventually acquitted. George Washington was part of the crowd that viewed the first ballooning attempt in America in 1793.
Despite the overwhelming public interest in ballooning, it, like everything always will, had some detractors. Among their biggest fears were that women’s “honor and virtue would be in continual peril if access could be got by balloons at all hours to [their bedroom windows.]”
3. POKING PATIENTS WITH STICKS
If you were bored in the 1800s, you could always pop down to the local insane asylum to liven up your day. Many of these institutions allowed the public to pay a small to fee to walk around gawking at the residents. Most patients lived in what was basically squalor, and the liberties afforded to these head-case tourists did not make things any better.
The most famous mental hospital of all time is probably St. Mary Bethlehem, aka Bethlam Hospital, aka Bedlam. The bastardized version of its name is where we get the word for absolute craziness. And in the 1800s it was very crazy at Bedlam. Visitors paid a penny to look at the patients and if they were being too calm and docile for the visitor’s liking, they were allowed to poke the patients with sticks. Many people smuggled in beer and fed it to the patients, just to see how the mentally ill acted when drunk.
In 1814 over 96,000 people visited just that one hospital. Of course, not everyone had a penny to spare for entertainment, and the hospital management knew everyone should be able to poke powerless and mentally unwell individuals with sticks, so every first Tuesday of the month admittance was free.
The first escalators completely blew people’s minds. Nothing remotely similar had ever been seen before. Jesse W. Reno patented his idea for an “Endless Conveyor or Elevator” (later called the “inclined elevator”) in 1892, and by 1896 the first working example had been installed…as a ride at the popular Coney Island amusement park.
It differed from modern elevators in that you sat on slats rather than stood on stairs, but the general principle was the same. The belt moved the riders up about two stories at a 25 degree incline. It was only displayed at the park for two weeks, but in that short time an astonishing 75,000 people rode it.
The same prototype was moved to the Brooklyn Bridge for a month-long trial period. It remained popular there, and in 1900 was shipped to Europe and displayed at the Paris Exposition Universelle, where it won first prize. Shortly thereafter, the Otis Company bought Reno’s patent and started producing escalators for businesses.
The novelty and excitement of riding an escalator was such that in 1897, the first department store in New York City to install one, Frederick Loeser, actually included it in its advertisements, promising customers that they could reach the second floor in a mere 26 seconds!
But while these escalators were very popular, they all had something in common: They only went up. It took the public and businesses almost three decades to accept that the far more frightening down escalators were safe to use.
5. STARING AT QUINTUPLETS
At the time of the Dionne Quintuplets’ birth in 1934, in Ontario, Canada, no one even knew conceiving five babies at once was possible. Not only was it possible, but babies Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, Emilie, and Marie thrived despite being delivered two months premature. Their existence was so astonishing that newspapers paid huge sums for photos of them. A year later their father signed a lucrative contract to display the girls at the 1935 Chicago World’s Fair.
The Canadian government stepped in, claiming that their parents were obviously not fit to raise the quints if they were willing to exploit them like that. The Canadian parliament quickly passed a bill making the girls wards of the state. The quints were placed in a hospital/nursery directly across the street from their parents, where the Canadian and Ontario government proceeded to exploit the girls themselves, to an astonishing degree.
In less than a decade, 3 million people, sometimes upwards of 3,000 a day, passed through “Quintland,” as the compound the girls were held in became known. This was at a time when the entire population of Canada was only around 11 million. Visitors viewed the quints playing, eating, and sleeping through special one-way windows. The quints were by far the most popular tourist attraction in Canada, drawing more visitors than Niagara Falls. It is estimated that the girls’ popularity directly contributed half a billion dollars to the Ontario economy in just nine years. Celebrities flocked to see them as well, including Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Mae West, and the future Queen Elizabeth II.
And in case any particularly sharp readers are saying to themselves, “Surely televisions have been commercially available since the late 1920s,” don’t worry. Canada didn’t start broadcasts until 1952, nine years after Quintland closed. By that time, the girls had been returned to their family.
6. MUMMY UNWRAPPINGS
Mummies have always been a source of fascination, especially to the English. One of Charles II’s mistresses, Nell Gwyn, supposedly owned a mummy way back in the 1660s. But it was 200 years later when the Victorians really went crazy for Egyptian mummies.
Egypt became a popular tourist destination and one of the must-have souvenirs was your very own mummy. No one is quite sure when it started, but at some point the owners of these mummies got curious about what exactly was inside the dusty wrappings. And if they were going to find out, why not invite all their friends over as well? And serve food and drinks! Eventually, the mummy unwrapping party was born. Some of these events were more scholarly than others, but there is evidence that dozens of parties had as their after dinner entertainment rather botched amateur unwrappings, after which the body and wrappings were just thrown away. Hundreds of mummies are estimated to have been lost in this manner.
Due to an export ban in the 1830s, mummies were much rarer in America than in Europe. Their unwrappings were huge events and advertised in the papers, although usually only men were allowed to attend, as the subject was “deemed inappropriate for women and children.” One famous unwrapping promised to include an Egyptian princess. The chance to see royalty, even long dead royalty, led to a crowd of 2,000 people, all of whom were shocked to eventually see the “princess’s” mummified penis.
7. PUBLIC EXECUTIONS
Public executions were quite possibly the most attended events in history. Almost every country publicly killed convicts at some point, and everyone from little children to royalty showed up to watch.
The crowds that turned out, especially if the condemned was infamous by the time they were put to death, could be enormous. In 1746, the hanging of a Protestant pastor in Paris drew 40,000 people. The hanging of a man and woman in London, who had together killed a man, drew 50,000 people in 1849. The last hanging of a forger in England, in 1824, drew over 100,000 people, the largest crowd ever assembled for an execution in the UK. To put those numbers in perspective, the recent Super Bowl in New Jersey was held in a stadium that seats about 80,000 people.
While these executions were ostensibly a lesson to the crowd (“don’t do bad things”), in reality they were a grisly entertainment venue, illustrated by the fact that people often paid huge sums to be as close to the scaffold as possible. Ballads and short (heavily embellished) histories of the condemned and their crimes were sold to the crowds, along with food and drink from vendors. Every aspect of popular executions was covered in the papers; ladies in high society often discussed at length the pros and cons of the outfits condemned women chose to wear to their deaths.
The executions themselves could last hours from start to finish, with the condemned often driven in a cart through throngs of onlookers, as if he or she was on a parade float. Sometimes they stopped off at pubs along the way, where the giddy public got many a condemned man drunk before his ultimate demise.
8. MILITARY BATTLES
What better way to enjoy a lovely day than with a picnic? And if your country happens to be in the middle of a war at that moment, and a battle is happening just down the street, well, you‘ve got yourself some free entertainment to go with your sandwiches.
When wars were fought in fields with weapons whose range was short, people regularly turned out to enjoy the spectacle. There are unsubstantiated accounts of this occurring during the Battle of Bosworth and various battles of the English Civil War. But perhaps the best war for picnicking was the American Civil War.
The Battle of Memphis was only 90 minutes long, but 10,000 people turned out on the cliffs overlooking the Mississippi to watch the ships fight in the river below. Even a Confederate loss didn’t dampen the festive mood. That was not the case during the First Battle of Bull Run. The people of Washington had expected an easy victory for their side and the fashionable elite of the city, including numerous congressmen, grabbed their picnic baskets and their children and settled down for an afternoon of bloody entertainment. When the Union army retreated in defeat, the panicked picnickers fled, blocking the streets back to Washington.
9. TAKING X-RAYS
Today X-rays may evoke bad feelings, associated as they are with hospitals and being unwell. But when they were first discovered in the 1890s, people went mad for this new technology. Here was a cheap, seemingly safe technique to actually look inside people! It was unlike anything that had ever been seen before. Even the name was sexy; “X-rays” sounded futuristic and mysterious.
Since the basic setup needed to make X-rays was both small and cheap, they started showing up in the oddest of places. Thousands of “Bone Portrait” studios sprang up, where photographers calling themselves “skiagraphers” specialized in taking X-ray photographs. These were especially popular with newly engaged couples. X-ray slot machines appeared in major tourist destinations, where for the cost of a coin you could stare at the inside of your hand for a minute.
Perhaps the oddest use was in shoe shops. In 1927, a device called a “fluoroscope,” or the retrospectively creepier “pedoscope,” started showing up in all good department stores. It X-rayed your feet while you tried on different pairs of shoes. This allowed you to see how different fits affected the bone structure of your feet, ensuring you bought the perfect size.
X-ray equipment was so easily obtainable and popular that a trade even sprang up in lead-lined underwear so that one could save one’s modesty from all the creepy Peeping Toms that people assumed were now walking the streets.
10. TAKING SELFIES
Some things never change.
While there were different versions of photo booths starting in the late 1800s, they didn’t produce great pictures. The beginning of the modern photo booth is usually traced to one man, a Russian immigrant named Anatol Josepho. He trained as a photographer in Europe and after a spell in Hollywood learning the mechanics of cameras, he moved to New York City. There he managed to borrow the astonishing sum of $11,000 to make his first photo booth. It produced clear pictures and could run completely on its own. He opened a studio on Broadway in 1925, put the photo booth inside, and sat back to watch the money roll in.
For 25 cents, customers were led to the box by a “white-gloved attendant,” who would then direct them to “look to the right, look to the left, look at the camera.” Then after about ten minutes, the booth spit out eight photos and the customers went away happy. They probably told all their friends to check it out — and check it out they did. Soon, the line to the studio was stretching around the block, and up to 7,500 people a day used the machine. According to the April 1927 issue ofTIME, more than 280,000 people visited the photo booth in the first six months alone, including the Governor of New York and at least one Senator.
Within a year, Josepho was astonishingly wealthy and dating a famous silent film actress. Then a consortium of investors offered to buy his patent for $1 million. He accepted the deal, and immediately put half of that money into a trust for various charities. He invested the other half in several inventions.
Imitation photo booth studios popped up around the US and Europe, and even the Great Depression didn’t diminish people’s desire to look at pictures of themselves. One shop owner in NYC was so busy he managed to keep his entire extended family employed for the entire Depression.
With 11 nominations and five wins for Hugo at the 2012 Oscars, Martin Scorsese remains one of the most influential directors in Hollywood. But what influenced him? Here’s an A-Z list of the films that mattered to Scorsese.
Interviewing Martin Scorsese is like taking a master class in film. Fast Company’s four-hour interview with the director for the December-January cover story was ostensibly about his career, and how he had been able to stay so creative through years of battling studios. But the Hugo director punctuated everything he said with references to movies: 85 of them, in fact, all listed below.
Some of the movies he discussed (note: the descriptions for these are below in quotes, denoting his own words). Others he just mentioned (noted below with short plot descriptions and no quotes). But the cumulative total reflects a life lived entirely within the confines of movie making, from his days as a young asthmatic child watching a tiny screen in Queens, New York to today, when Scorsese is as productive as he’s ever been in his career—and more revered than ever by the industry that once regarded him as a troublesome outsider. Hugo leads the Academy Award nominations with 11 nods, including Best Picture and Best Director. Several Oscar pundits believe he’ll nab his second Directing win. If so, he owes a lot to movies like the ones below.
Ace in the Hole: “This Billy Wilder film was so tough and brutal in its cynicism that it died a sudden death at the box office, and they re-released it under the title Big Carnival, which didn’t help. Chuck Tatum is a reporter who’s very modern—he’ll do anything to get the story, to make up the story! He risks not only his reputation, but also the life of this guy who’s trapped in the mine.” 1951
All That Heaven Allows: In this Douglas Sirk melodrama, Rock Hudson plays a gardener who falls in love with a society widow played by Jane Wyman. Scandale! 1955
America, America: Drawn directly from director Elia Kazan’s family history, this film offers a passionate, intense view of the challenges faced by Greek immigrants at the end of the 19th century. 1963
An American in Paris: This Vincente Minnelli film, with Gene Kelly, picked up the idea of stopping within a film for a dance from The Red Shoes. 1951
Apocalypse Now: This Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece is from a period when directors like Brian DePalma, John Milius, Paul Schrader, Scorsese and others had great freedom—freedom that they then lost. 1979
Arsenic and Old Lace: Scorsese is a big fan of many Frank Capra movies, and this Cary Grant vehicle is one of several that he’s enjoyed with his family at his office screening room. 1944
The Bad and the Beautiful: Vincente Minnelli directed this film about a cynical Hollywood mogul trying to make a comeback. It stars Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, and Dick Powell. 1952
The Band Wagon: “It’s my favorite of the Vincente Minnelli musicals. I love the storyline that combines Faust and a musical comedy, and the disaster that results. Tony Hunter, the lead character played by Fred Astaire, is a former vaudeville dancer whose time has passed, and who’s trying to make it on Broadway, which is a very different medium of course. By the time the movie was made, the popularity of the Astaire/Rogers films had waned, raising the question of what are you going to do with Fred Astaire in Technicolor? So, really, Tony Hunter is Fred Astaire—his whole reputation is on the line, and so was Fred Astaire’s.” 1953
Born on the Fourth of July: Produced by Universal Pictures under Tom Pollock and Casey Silver, this Tom Cruise movie (directed by Oliver Stone) was an example of how that studio “wanted to make special pictures,” says Scorsese. 1989
Cape Fear: As he once explained to Steven Spielberg over dinner in Tribeca, one of Scorsese’s fears about directing a remake of this film was that, “The original was so good. I mean, you’ve got Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, it’s terrific!” 1962
Cat People: Simone Simon plays a woman who fears that she might turn into a panther and kill. It sounds corny, but the psychological thrills that directors Jacques Tourneur got out of his measly $150,000 budget make this a fascinating movie, with amazing lighting. 1942
Caught: “There are certain styles I had trouble with at first, like some of Max Ophuls’ films. It took me till I was into my thirties to get The Earrings of Madame de…, for example. But I didn’t have trouble with this one, which I saw in a theater and which is kind of based on Howard Hughes [protagonist of The Aviator].” 1949
Citizen Kane: “Orson Welles was a force of nature, who just came in and wiped the slate clean. And Citizen Kane is the greatest risk-taking of all time in film. I don’t think anything had even seen anything quite like it. The photography was also unlike anything we’d seen. The odd coldness of the filmmaker towards the character reflects his own egomania and power, and yet a powerful empathy for all of them—it’s very interesting. It still holds up, and it’s still shocking. It takes storytelling and throws it up in the air.” 1941
The Conversation: Gene Hackman stars in this thrilled directed by Scorsese’s friend, Francis Ford Coppola. It’s a classic example of studio risk-taking in the early 1970s. 1974
Dial M for Murder: When discussing the creation of Hugo, Scorsese referred to this Hitchcock film as an example of other directors who have tangled with 3-D over the years. In its original release most theaters only showed it in 2-D; now the 3-D version pops up in theaters from time to time.1954
Do The Right Thing: Spike Lee’s film was the kind of risky production that drew Scorsese to Universal Pictures when it was run by Casey Silver and Tom Pollack. “Then Pollock left,” says Scorsese, “and it all changed.” 1989
Duel in the Sun: Scorsese went to see this movie, which some critics called “Lust in the Dust,” when he was 4 years old. Jennifer Jones falls hard for a villainous Gregory Peck in this lush King Vidor picture. A poster of the movie hangs in Scorsese’s offices. 1946
The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse:Rex Ingram made this movie, in which Rudolph Valentino dances the tango. Ingram stopped making films when sound came in. Michael Powell’s father worked for Ingram; living in that milieu gave Michael the cultural knowledge that informed his own movies like The Red Shoes. 1921
Europa ’51: “After making The Flowers of St. Francis, Rossellini asked, what would a modern-day saint be like? I think they based it on Simone Weil, and Ingrid Bergman played the part. It really takes everything we’re dealing with today, whether it’s revolutions in other countries or people trying to change their lifestyles, and it’s all there in that film. The character tries everything, because she has a tragedy in her family that really changes her, so she tries politics and even working in a factory, and in the end it has a very moving resolution.” [Also known as The Greatest Love] 1952
Faces: “[Director John] Cassavetes went to Hollywood to shoot films like A Child is Waiting and Too Late Blues, and after Too Late Blues he became disenchanted. Those of us in the New York scene, we kept asking, ‘What’s Cassavetes doing? What’s he up to?’ And he was shooting this film in his house in L.A. with his wife Gena Rowlands and his friends. And when Faces showed at the New York Film Festival, it absolutely trumped everything that was shown at the time. Cassavetes is the person who ultimately exemplifies independence in film.” 1968
The Fall of the Roman Empire: One of the last “sandal epics,” this sweeping Anthony Mann picture boasted a stellar cast of Sophia Loren, Anthony Boyd, James Mason, Alec Guinness, Christopher Plummer, and Anthony Quayle. And it failed miserably at the box office. 1964
The Flowers of St. Francis: “This Rossellini movie and Europa ’51 are two of the best films about the part of being human that yearns for something beyond the material. Rossellini used real monks for this movie. It’s very simple and beautiful.” 1950
Force of Evil: Another picture that defined the American gangster image, this noir stars John Garfield as the evil older brother whose younger sibling won’t join his numbers-running conglomerate. 1948
Forty Guns: Barbara Stanwyck stars in this Sam Fuller Western. She plays a bad-ass cattle rancher with a soft spot for a local lawman. 1957
Germany Year Zero: “Roberto Rossellini always felt he had an obligation to inform. He was the first one to do a story about compassion for the enemy, in this film—it’s always been hard to find, but now there’s a Criterion edition. It’s a very disturbing picture. He was the first one to go there after the war, to say we all have to live together. And he felt cinema was the tool that could do this, that could inform people.” 1948
Gilda: “I saw this when I was 10 or 11, I had some sort of funny reaction to her, I tell you! Me and my friends didn’t know what to do about Rita Hayworth, and we didn’t really understand what George McCready was doing to her. Can you imagine? Gilda at age 11. But that’s what we did. We went to the movies.” 1946
The Godfather: “Gordon Willis did the same dark filming trick on The Godfather as he had done on Klute. And now audiences accepted it, and went along with it, and every director of photography and now every director of photography of the past 40 years owes him the greatest debt, for changing the style completely—until now, of course, with the advent of digital.” 1972
Gun Crazy: A romantic example of film noir, this one features a gun-toting husband and a sharpshooting wife. 1950
Health: This Altman movie came out at the same time as King of Comedy. They were both flops, and we were both out. The age of the director was over. E.T. was a very big worldwide hit around then, and that changed the whole business of film finance. 1980
Heaven’s Gate: Scorsese was with United Artists in the ’70s, with producers he describes as “understanding and supportive.” Heaven’s Gate, one of the ambitious films UA backed at the time, was a critical and box office bomb, although its reputation has improved over the years. 1980
House of Wax: This was the first 3-D movie produced by a major American studio. It starred Vincent Price as a wax sculptor whose sourcing was, shall we say, unusual. 1953
How Green Was My Valley: “I appreciate the visual poetry of [director John] Ford’s film, like in the famous scene where Maureen O’Hara is married and the wind blows the veil on her head. It’s absolute poetry. No words. It’s all there in the image.” 1941
The Hustler: Scorsese liked the Paul Newman character (Eddie Felson) in this movie so much that when Newman came calling about a possible update of the movie, he agreed to direct The Color of Money. He says the movie’s box office success helped rehabilitate his career after a tough slog. 1961
I Walk Alone: One of several movies that Scorsese says clearly defined the American gangster ideal, this one stars Burt Lancaster and the smoldering Lizabeth Scott. 1948
The Infernal Cakewalk: One of the many George Melies movies that have been restored and can now be seen on DVD. Melies, a French director of silent films, is at the center of the plot of Hugo. 1903
It Happened One Night: “I didn’t think much of this Frank Capra film, until I saw it recently on the big screen. And I discovered it was a masterpiece! The body language of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, the way they related—it’s really quite remarkable.” 1934
Jason and the Argonauts: As part of his film education of his daughter, Scorsese screened a bunch of Ray Harryhausen classics, including this one. 1963
Journey to Italy: “After Rossellini married Ingrid Bergman he wiped the slate clean and left Neo-Realism behind. Instead he made these intimate stories that had a great deal to do with a certain intellectual mysticism, a sense of cultural power. In Viaggio [Viaggio in Italia is the Italian title], for example, the English couple played by George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman are traveling in Naples on vacation while marriage is falling apart, but the land around them—the people the museums, and especially their visit to Pompeii, these thousands of years of culture around them—work on them like a modern miracle. The film is basically two people in a car, and that became the entire New Wave. Kids may not have seen this film, but it’s basically in all the independent film of today.” 1954
Julius Caesar: “This is another example of Orson Welles’ risk-taking, with Caesar’s crew as out-and-out gangsters.” 1953
Kansas City: “This is one of the great jazz movies ever. If you could hang on with Altman, you were going to go on one of the great rides of your lives.” 1996
Kiss Me Deadly: A great example of the noir genre that so inspired Scorsese. This one stars Ralph Meeker as detective Mike Hammer. 1955
Klute: “There are movies that change the whole way in which films are made, like Klute, where Gordon Willis’s photography on the film is so textured, and, they said, too dark. At first this was alarming to people, because they’re used to a certain way things are done within the studio system. And the studio is selling a product, so they were wary of people thinking that it’s too dark.” 1971
La Terra Trema: This Lucchino Visconti film is one of the founding films of Neo-Realism. 1948
The Lady from Shanghai: “The story goes that Welles had to make a film and he was in this railway station, and there were some paperbacks there and he was talking to Harry Cohn of Columbia and he said look, I’ve got the greatest film it’s called Lady from Shanghai, which was this paperback he saw there. And then he made up this story, taking elements of Moby Dick, where he talks about the sharks, and the whole mirror sequence in that picture is unsurpassed. I don’t know if Lady is a noir, but it’s awkward, and it’s brilliant.” 1947
The Leopard: “Visconti and Rossellini and deSica were the founders of Neo-Realism. Visconti went a different way from Rossellini. He made this movie, which is one of the greatest films ever made.” 1963
Macbeth: “This was the first Welles movie I saw, on television. He shot it in 27 days. The look of it, the Celtic barbarism, the Druid priest, this was all very different from other Macbeth productions I’d seen. The use of superimpositions, the effigies at the beginning of the film—it was more like cinema than theatre. Anything Welles did, given his background in radio, was a big risk. Macbeth is an audacious film, set in Haiti of all places.” 1948
The Magic Box: “There were a number of people who felt that they had invented moving pictures. Robert Donat plays William Friese-Greene, one of those people, who’s obsessed from childhood with movement and color. Donat was a great actor. And this is a beautifully done film.” 1951
M*A*S*H: “I saw it at a press screening. That was the first football game I ever understood. Altman developed this style that came out of his life and making television movies, it was so unique—and his movies seemed to come out every two weeks.” 1972
A Matter of Life and Death: “This is another beautiful film by Powell and Pressburger, but it was made after World War II, so people said, ‘You can’t use the word ‘Death’ in the title!’ So it got changed to Stairway to Heaven, that’s what it was called in America. Now it’s A Matter of Life and Death again.” 1946
McCabe & Mrs. Miller: “This is an absolute masterpiece. Altman could shoot quickly and get the very best actors.” 1971
The Messiah: “Rossellini’s last film in this third period, the last film he made before he died, is this beautiful TV film on Jesus. He had planned on making more such films, like one on Karl Marx. He thought TV was the way to reach young people, to educate them. But then of course TV changed.” 1975
Midnight Cowboy: One of the great movies released by UA in its glory days, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. 1969
Mishima: Scorsese describes this Paul Schrader film about the great Japanese author as a “masterpiece.” 1985
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town: In this Frank Capra movie, one of several that Scorsese has screened for his family, Gary Cooper plays a small-town boy who inherits a fortune—and a bevy of big-city sharpies that he can’t quite contend with. 1936
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Jimmy Stewart stars in this Capra movie, one of the all-time greats, which features a dramatic filibuster. 1939
Nashville: “Altman had a point of view that was uniquely American and an artistic vision to go with it. All his early work pointed to this movie.” 1975
Night and the City: “It’s the essential British noir film. Harry Fabien, played by Richard Widmark, is a two-bit hustler running through the London underworld at night, and he always oversteps, particularly with the gangster played by Herbert Lom. From the very beginning you know Fabien’s going to fail, because he’s up against a power he doesn’t understand. 1950
One, Two, Three: A classic Billy Wilder comedy, starring James Cagney as a Coca-Cola exec in West Berlin. The dialogue crackles. 1961
Othello: “It took (Orson Welles) years to finish this. There were tons of quick cuts, and there’s a wonderful sequence where two people are attacked in a Turkish bath, and it works beautifully. They’re wearing towels, and one is dispatched under the boards. It has a strange North African whiteness. It turns out that he was ready to do the sequence, and the costumes didn’t show up. So he said, let’s put it in a Turkish bath. He had the actors there! He had to shoot it!” 1952
Paisa: “This is my all-time favorite of the Rossellini films.” 1946
Peeping Tom: “Michael Powell himself gambled everything on Peeping Tom and lost in such a way that his career was really ended. The film was so shocking to some British critics and the audience because he had some sympathy, sort of, for the serial killer. And the killer had the audacity to photograph the killing of the women with a motion picture camera, which of course tied in the motion picture camera as an object of voyeurism, implicating all of us watching horror films. He was reviled. One critic said this should be flushed down the toilet. He only got one or two more movies done. He really disappeared. And now in England there are cameras watching everyone all over the street.” 1960
Pickup on South Street: Richard Widmark picks up the wrong purse in this classic noir, unwittingly setting off a series of events that come to a violent climax. 1953
The Player: “In the years before this movie, the age of the director who had a free hand came to an end. And yet Altman kept experimenting with different kinds of actors, different approaches to narrative, different equipment, until finally he hit it with this movie, which took him off onto a whole other level.” 1992
The Power and the Glory: “Directed by William K. Howard and written by Preston Sturges, it had a structure that Mankiewicz and Welles used for Citizen Kane.” 1933
Stagecoach: “Welles drew from everywhere. The ceilings and the interiors in John Ford’s classic Western inspired him for Citizen Kane.” 1939
Raw Deal: NOT the Arnold Schwarzenegger pic. This one’s a noir directed by Anthony Mann, starring Dennis O’Keefe and Claire Trevor. 1948
The Red Shoes: “There’s something so rich and powerful about the story, and the use of the color, that it deeply affected me when I was 9 or 10 years old. The archness of the approach, and how serious the ballet dancers were … When they say, “The spotlight toujours on moi,” they mean it! The ballet sequence is almost like the first rock video. It’s almost as if you’re seeing what the dancer sees and hears and feels as she’s moving. It’s like in Raging Bull, where we never went outside the ring for the fighting sequences.” 1948
The Rise of Louis XIV: “In the third part of his career, Rossellini decided to make an encyclopedia, a series of didactic films. This is the first film in that series, and it’s an artistic masterpiece. He shot it in 16mm for TV, and called it anti-dramatic. Yet, I screen it once every couple of years, and when you look at frames of it on the big screen there are shots that just look like paintings. Rossellini couldn’t get away from it, he had an artist’s eye. There’s nothing like the last 10 minutes of that film to show the accumulation and the display of power. It’s not done through the sword or the speech, it’s done through the theatre he created around him with his clothes, his food, the way he eats. It’s extraordinary.” 1966
The Roaring Twenties: James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart star in this homage to the gangsters of the 1920s. It was one of the many great films made in 1939 (like Gone with the Wind, The Women, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Stagecoach and many many more). 1939
Rocco and his Brothers: “This Visconti film was also a major influence on filmmakers.” 1960
Rome, Open City: “I saw Italian movies as a 5-year-old, on a 16-inch TV my father bought. We were living in Queens. There were only three stations. One station showed Italian films on Friday night for the Italian-American community, subtitled, and the family would gather to see the films. My grandparents were there—they were the ones who moved over in 1910. So it became a ritual. [Director Roberto] Rossellini had an intellectual approach.” 1945 Secrets of the Soul: “This was a silent movie whose flashback structure was unlike anything else. Secrets of the Soul looked almost experimental.” 1912
Senso: “An extraordinary film by Visconti, another Neo-Realist masterpiece.”
Shadows: “I saw Shadows at the 8th Street Playhouse [in Manhattan], and when I saw such a direct communication with the human experience, of conflict and love, it was almost as if there was no camera there at all. And I love camera positions! But this was like you were living with the people.” 1959
Shock Corridor: A wild Sam Fuller movie about a journalist who enters an insane asylum to try to break a story. 1963
Some Came Running: This Vincent Minnelli melodrama is definitely not a musical. It’s a tough story about an alcoholic Army vet returning home. It stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine. 1958
Stromboli: “This too was a very important film of Rossellini’s second period. Very beautiful.” [During the shooting of Stromboli, the star, Ingrid Bergman, who was married to an American dentist, got pregnant with Rossellini’s child. She divorced the dentist, and became persona non grata in America]. 1950
Sullivan’s Travels: “Billy Wilder told me, you’re only as good as your last picture. Sullivan, played by Joel McRae, is in the studio system, under that kind of pressure. He makes comedies, but one day he decides he really wants to make ‘Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?’ He puts it all on the line to learn about the poor. The resolution of the movie is very moving.” 1941
Sweet Smell of Success: Like Ace in the Hole, this classic noir is about an unethical journalist who will stop at nothing to get his way. Burt Lancaster plays the journalist. 1957
Tales of Hoffman: “This was a great risk for Powell and Pressburger. In fact, they lost it on that. He had in mind a composed film like a piece of music, and played the music back on set during the shooting, so the actors moved in a certain way.” 1951
The Third Man: “Carroll Reed made one of those films where everything came together. It made me see, with Kane, that there was another way of interpreting stories, and another approach to the visual frame of the classical films…all those low shots, and the cuts.” 1949
T-Men: Another Anthony Mann noir with great cinematography, this one’s about Department of Treasury men breaking up a counterfeiting ring. 1947
Touch of Evil: “Welles’ radio career with the Mercury Theater made him a master of the soundtrack. Just listen to this movie—you can close your eyes and imagine everything that is happening.” (Young people should listen to the radio soundtrack of War of the Worlds, which was so effective that people got in their cars and started to drive away, because they really believed that Martians were attacking.)
The Trial: “This is another film that gave us a new way of looking at films. You’re very aware of the camera, like when Anthony Perkins came running down this corridor of wooden slats and light cutting the image, blades and shafts of light, talk about paranoia!” 1962
Two Weeks in Another Town: The Vincente Minnelli movie stars Cyd Charisse, Kirk Douglas, and Edward G. Robinson. It’s a classic 1960s melodrama. 1962
Correction: Raw Deal was amended to reflect its release date of 1948.
Orson Welles directed the stage version of Julius Caesar; Joseph Mankiewicz directed the film.
By Spooky on October 19th, 2009 Category:Pics,Travel
I’ve seen some pretty bizarre-but-impressive treehouses in my day, but the Minister’s House is by far the most impressive, if only through its sheer size.
Located in Crossville, Tennessee, theMinister’s Housetook Horace Burgess 14 years to build around an 80-foot-tall white oak tree, with a diameter of 12 feet. The wooden edifice itself is 97-feet-tall and it’s supported by six other strong trees that act like natural pillars.
Burgess says he started working on this giant treehouse after he had a vision back in 1993. God spoke to him and said: “If you build me a
treehouse, I’ll see you never run out of material.” And so he spent the next 14 years building God’s treehouse, using only salvaged materials, like pieces of lumber from garages, storage sheds and barns. So, as far as Horace is concerned, God did provide him with all the materials he needed.
Although he never bothered to measureMinister’s House(he estimates it must be about 8,000 to 10,000 square feet), he did count the nails he had to hammer into it, 258,000. It cost the 56-year-old landscape architect around $12,000 to construct the world’s biggest treehouse.
400-500 people visit Minister’s House every week, most of them tourists from out of state who heard about a 10-story-treehouse somewhere in Tennessee.
I found the photos onthisobscure Hungarian site, but I doubt they actually own them. If you know who these belong to, let me know so I can credit them.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, also known as Sir, Alfred Mehran (yes, including the comma), is an Iranian refugee who has been living in the departure lounge of Terminal One in Charles de Gaulle Airport since August 8, 1988.
After he was later imprisoned, tortured and expelled from his country, he applied for asylum in many European countries without luck.
When he decided to go to the United Kingdom, he claimed that he was mugged, and his shoulder bag stolen while waiting at the RER platform to go to Charles de Gaulle Airport to take a flight to Heathrow.
Nasseri managed to board the plane, but when he arrived at Heathrow without the necessary documentation, Heathrow officials sent him back to Charles de Gaulle.
Nasseri was unable to prove his identity or his refugee status to the French officials and so he was moved to the Zone d’attente (waiting zone), a holding area for travellers without papers.
Nasseri was reportedly the inspiration behind the 2004 movie The Terminal.
Unlike Tom Hanks’ character in the movie, and since at least 1994, Nasseri does not live in the duty-free transit area but simply in the departure hall, in the circular boutiques and restaurants passage on the lowest floor.
He can at least theoretically leave the terminal at any moment, although, since everyone knows him, his departure might not remain unnoticed.
He does not seem to speak with anyone normally.
With his cart and bags, he almost looks like a traveler, so people either do not notice him or ignore him as if he were a homeless person.
I don’t doubt that Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World is on many a disinfonaut’s list of top novels. Apparently it’s one of Hollywood stalwart Steven Spielberg’s favorites too and now he has the green light to turn it into a television series for Syfy, per the Hollywood Reporter:
The Emmy-winning team behind Syfy’s Taken is reuniting for another science fiction classic.
Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is adapting Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New Worldas a scripted series for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Brave New World— ranked fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library — is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. Humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in “hatcheries.” Those who won’t conform are forced onto “reservations,” until one of the “savages” challenges the system, threatening the entire social order.
First published in 1932, Brave New Worldwill be adapted by writer Les Bohem, who penned Taken, which won the 2003 Emmy for best miniseries and racked up six other nominations…
Forty-five years ago today—on May 4, 1970—members of the Ohio National Guard fired on unarmed student protesters at Kent State, killing four and seriously injuring nine others. The horrific massacre is regarded as a historic moment of public unrest during the Vietnam War. Below is Newsweek‘s report from the May 18, 1970, issue.
Kent State University, in the rolling green hills of northeastern Ohio, seems the very model of a modern, Middle American university. Until last year, the most vicious outbreak of violence there was a 1958 panty raid launched against two women’s dormitories, which resulted in the prompt dismissal of 29 students. Recently, the radical spirit had begun to drift over the 790-acre campus—but only a fraction of the school’s 19,000 students was affected. Antiwar rallies attracted no more than 300 people at best, and even the appearance of Jerry Rubin of the Chicago Seven drew only about 1,000.
Given the setting, the sudden volley of rifle fire from National Guard troops that killed four Kent State students and wounded 10 others last week echoed even more loudly than it might have at one of the capitals of campus protest such as Berkeley or Columbia. The bloody incident shocked and further divided a nation already riven by dissent over the war in Indochina. More than that, the shots fired at Kent State were taken by some as a warning that the U.S. might be edging toward the brink of warfare of sorts on the home front.
The prologue to the tragedy was probably provided by Richard Nixon himself four years earlier when he announced the U.S. intervention in Cambodia. The next day, Kent State students held peaceful protests rallies on campus. Later, the combination of warm spring air and cold beer at local taverns in Kent, a leafy community of 29,000 not far from Akron, prompted some young people to pitch a few bottles at police cars. When members of the town’s 20-man police force returned to clear the area around midnight, the scene turned violent—and the night ended with the sound of shattering bank and store windows as a campus-bound mob of several hundred students rampaged through town.
Police charged that among the rioters they had spotted two militants just released from jail after serving six months on charges stemming from disorders last year. The students denied this. And the following night, antiwar elements rallied again, later turning their wrath—and fire bombs—on the rickety 24-year-old ROTC building on the Kent campus. With the building in ruins and the townspeople in an angry uproar, a request was made by Mayor Leroy Satrom that Governor James Rhodes call in the National Guard. “If these anarchists get away with it here,” said a lifelong Kent resident, “no campus in the country is safe.”
The governor was eager to oblige. Having made campus disorder a key issue in his hard campaign for the U.S. Senate, Rhodes quickly ordered in men from the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 145th Infantry Battalion, declared martial law—and then showed up himself to set the tone in a public address. Attributing the violence to students “worse than the ‘brownshirt’ and the Communist element and also the night-riders in the vigilantes…the worst type of people that we harbor in America,” the governor pledged: “We are going to eradicate the problem…. It’s over within Ohio.”
Photo from the Kent State massacre, published in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek.Newsweek archives
Off the podium, said a reliable source, Rhodes all but took personal command of the guardsmen. Without consulting top guard officials or the university administration, he reportedly ordered that all campus assemblies—peaceful or otherwise—be broken up and said the troops would remain on campus 12 months a year if necessary. “There was no discussion,” an insider informed Newsweek, “because it wouldn’t have done any good. The governor had made up his mind.”
The guardsmen were already tired and tense, having been brought in from five days on duty in the Cleveland area during the wildcat Teamsters strike. Though many were young and some were even Kent State students, most of the troopers seemed to share the antipathy to student protests characteristic of small-town Ohio. They got through Sunday with no serious incident. But with the start of classes on Monday, the scene was set for a fatal confrontation.
Despite Rhodes’s ban on rallies—or perhaps unaware of how all-embracing it was—antiwar students were gathering for a noon rally while hundreds of their less political schoolmates ambled from class to lunch. Five times a campus police official called for the students to disperse, but they ignored the directive and rang the iron “Victory Bell” usually sounded after football games. Finally, the guard began to move, fully loaded M-1 rifles at the ready, along with some “grease guns” (.45-caliber submachine guns) and .45 pistols. Barrages of tear gas from M-79 grenade launchers began to move the crowd of students up a knoll, at the top of which perched Taylor Hall, a modern, pillared building housing the College of Fine and Professional Arts, the Department of Architecture and the School of Journalism.
The eddying student mob pelted the guardsmen with rocks, chunks of concrete, the troopers’ own belching gas grenades and all the standard porcine epithets. From atop the knoll, known to trysters as “Blanket Hill” before the construction of Taylor Hall, a composite group of some 100 guardsmen from the 107th and 145th sent a smaller detachment of about 40 troopers down to clear the young people from a football field and parking lot. The hail of student-hurled rocks and cement continued. So did the guard’s gas barrage, until there were no gas grenades left. Several times, some of the troops were seen to kneel in what seemed to be firing positions, apparently to frighten off their attackers.
It was at this point, about 25 minutes after noon, as the smaller detachment marched back up to join the larger group, that guardsmen thought they heard a single shot. Almost instantly, there was a salvo from troopers on the knoll that lasted at least three seconds. No warning had been issued, and few students knew the guardsmen’s rifles were even loaded. ‘They’re firing blanks,” said one student to another, “otherwise they would be aiming into the air or at the ground.” And, indeed, some of the 16 or 17 guardsmen who fired about 35 rounds in all may have done just that; others, unbelievable as it seemed, had fired right into the crowd of students. The shrieks and moans that quickly filled the air foreshadowed the toll: four dead, 10 wounded, including a youth paralyzed from the waist down by a bullet in the spine. Ignoring cries for help, the guardsmen marched away.
Photo from the Kent State massacre, published in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek.Newsweek archives
Around Taylor Hall, the students, many with tears streaming down their cheeks, were horrified and enraged. “My God! My God! They’re killing us,” thought freshman Ron Steele of Buffalo. “I thought the soldiers had gone insane or it was some kind of accident.”
William Fitzgerald, a 29-year-old graduate student in history, felt it was no accident. “It was butchery,” cried Fitzgerald. And a correspondent for campus radio station WKSU told his editor, via walkie-talkie: “I’m coming back. I’m sick…disgusted.” Psychology professor Seymour Baron, who had persuaded guard Brigade General Robert Canterbury to have his men put up their weapons after the fusillade, now was arguing infuriated students out of trying to follow the troops across the Commons. “They’ll kill you,” he warned.
Not one of the four dead had been closer than 75 feet to the troops who had killed them—and there was not the slightest suggestion that they had been singled out as targets because of anything they had done. Indeed, all available evidence indicated that the four dead students were probably innocent bystanders.
Sandy Scheuer, 20, of Youngstown, Ohio, had been searching for a lost dog on campus only shortly before the shooting, and a friend said she was on her way to a speech-therapy class when she was hit. “Sandy must have thought it was over and stood up,” said Sharon Swanson. “I saw her lying there, hit in the neck.”
William Schroeder, 19, of Lorain, Ohio, an ROTC member, was watching “mainly because he was curious,” according to fellow psychology student Gene Pekarik.
Allison Krause, 19, of the Pittsburgh area, was walking with her boyfriend to a class when the firing began. “She had just stopped to look around and see what was happening,” said a fellow student.
Jeffrey Glenn Miller, 20, of Plainview, New York, who looked most like a radical, had carefully steered clear of the jumpy campus the night before and had told his mother by telephone: “Don’t worry, I’m not going to get hurt…. You know me, I won’t get that involved.” Miller’s connection with the militants with third-hand at best, judging by a mysterious note from a friend found later in his room. “I guess I missed you again,” it said. “My friends from Michigan are on their way here to start some trouble. I’ll look for you later.”
In the aftermath, Ohio guard brass obdurately defended the conduct of their men. They quickly whisked away the troops who had fired the fatal rounds and then tried to explain what had happened. First, they contended that the volley had not been ordered but that it was fired in response to a sniper’s bullet; the next day, they were forced to admit they had no real evidence of any such sniping. However, there was an unaccounted for bullet hole in a metal sculpture outside Taylor Hall that some felt was consistent with a sniper shot from a rooftop; and more mystery was added with reports that a bullet wound suffered by one victim, as well as some shell casings on campus, did not match the ammunition authorized for the guard.
Ultimately, guard commanders rested their case on what seemed an extraordinary Ohio National Guard regulation that permits each individual soldier to shoot when he feels his life is endangered. “I am satisfied that these troops felt that their lives were in danger,” said General Canterbury, 55, who was in charge of the troops. “I felt I could have been killed out there…. Considering the size of the rocks and the proximity of those throwing them, lives were in danger…. Hell, they were 3 feet behind us…. I do think, however, that under normal conditions, an officer would give the order to fire.”
Photo from the Kent State massacre, published in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek.Newsweek archives
Some guardsmen on campus evidenced little if any regret over the killings. “It’s about time we showed the bastards who’s in charge,” said one. And many of the townspeople of Kent shared the same sentiment. “You can’t really help but kind of think they’ve been asking for it and finally got it,” said a motel clerk. What did the troops who did the actual firing think? “They didn’t go to Kent State to kill anyone,” cried the wife of one of the men who fired at the students. “I know he’d rather have stayed home and mowed the lawn. He told me so. He told me they didn’t fire those shots to scare the students off. He told me they fired those shots because they knew the students were coming after them, coming for their guns. People are calling my husband a murderer; my husband is not a murderer. He was afraid.”
Even granting the genuine fear felt by the guardsmen, disturbing questions persist about their behavior during the episode. The guard insisted that the men fired as they were about to be “overrun” by the students. But if the troops were so closely surrounded, how was it that nobody closer than 75 feet away was hit? And if the rocks and bricks presented such overwhelming danger, how did the troops avoid even one injury serious enough to require hospital treatment?
If the danger was not quite as great as first portrayed, why could not the detachment’s cadre of officers—a top-heavy group of four or five captains and Brigadier General Canterbury himself—keep the men under control. A 22-year-old drama student named James Minard charged that he saw an officer give the command to fire. “This lieutenant had his arm raised and carried a baton,” Minard said. “When the baton came down, they fired. I was apparently the only one who saw it; nobody believed me.” A well-connected guard source flatly told Newsweek‘s James Jones and Jon Lowell: “There had to be some kind of preliminary order.”
Ohio’s Democratic Senator Stephen Young said in Washington that he had learned the firing was actually touched off by a nervous guardsman whose rifle went off when he was hit by a tear-gas canister or rock. Other observers wondered whether a student photographer, armed while on assignment for the university and the police, might have provided the spark—although an initial police check indicated his gun had not been fired.
As a spring rain washed the bloodstains from the campus, Kent State President Robert I. White ordered the university closed (for the rest of the quarter, it developed), and asked for a high-level investigation of the entire affair. After a visit by six Kent students, President Nixon announced that such an inquiry would be conducted by the Justice Department. The guard itself and the Ohio state police are also investigating the shootings. But even before the evidence was in, 1,000 Kent State faculty members rendered a verdict of their own. Prevented from meeting on the campus, they crowded into a nearby Akon Unitarian church and passed this resolution: “We hold the guardsmen, acting under orders and under severe psychological pressures, less responsible for the massacre than are Governor Rhodes and Adjutant General [Sylvester] Del Corso, whose inflammatory statements produced these pressures.”
Beyond that there was little left but to bury the dead. In New York City, nearly 5,000 mourners joined the family of Jeffrey Miller at services addressed by Dr. Benjamin Spock, who declared that the Kent State killings “may do more to end the war in Vietnam than all the rest of us have been able to do.” There were smaller, simpler services for Allison Krause, but emotions ran just as high in her hometown. “I can’t blame 18-year-olds for not wanting to go to Cambodia and be killed,” said Krause’s mother. “Look, I had a daughter and now she is dead.”
Allison’s father was even angrier. “May her death be on [Nixon’s] back,” he snapped. His daughter, he said, “resented being called a bum because she disagreed with someone else’s opinion.” “Is dissent a crime?” he asked. “Is this such a reason for killing her? Have we come to such a state in this country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?”
Sighed a neighbor: “You have no idea how this has brought the whole thing about the war and campus dissent home to this neighborhood…no idea at all. If someone like Allison is killed, my God….”
This story originally appeared in the May 18, 1970, issue of Newsweek with the headline “My God! They’re Killing Us.”