Also, what Edie Doyle said: Peter Cvjetanovic, who's 20 years old, took part in last weekend's ridiculous, pitiful and ridiculous Charlottesville march. Apparently, he's a college student at Nevada-Reno.
As Cvetanovic marched around chanting his ridiculous chants, he was photographed; later, he was identified. As he achieved local notoriety, he explained his thinking to a Nevada TV station:
CVETANOVIC: I did not expect the photo to be shared as much as it was. I understand the photo has a very negative connotation. But I hope that the people sharing the photo are willing to listen that I’m not the angry racist they see in that photo.We got these quotes from this post by Josh Marshall.
I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture. It is not perfect; there are flaws to it, of course. However I do believe that the replacement of the statue will be the slow replacement of white heritage within the United States and the people who fought and defended and built their homeland. Robert E Lee is a great example of that. He wasn’t a perfect man, but I want to honor and respect what he stood for during his time.
Those comments by Cvetanovic strike us as rather dumb. Then again, did we mention the fact that he's only 20?
Beyond that, we can't speak for what this young person actually does and doesn't believe. That said:
On Monday, in that same post, Marshall recommended a twitter thread in which a bunch of our brightest liberals were aggressively egging each other on, seeking ways to kill this particular pig. We're surprised that Marshall would recommend this approach.
When we read that twitter thread, we thought of The Mortal Storm, a fascinating 1940 fictional film about the rise of Nazi Youth. We thought of the many deaths which occurred during China's "cultural revolution."
We thought of Lord of the Flies, and of course of killing the pig. We also thought of Edie Doyle.
Edie Doyle is the main female character is the great, somewhat testosterone-laden film, On the Waterfront. The part was played by Eva Marie Saint in Saint's first film role.
Edie Doyle's working-class parents have saved their nickles and dimes to send her off to be taught by the nuns, far away from the corruption of the waterfront. On Christmas vacation, her brother is killed. She insists on learning how he died before she returns to the nuns.
With this, a note about this unusual film:
On the Waterfront's major theme involves the exciting world of street-fighting real men. The more significant undercard involves the values of Edie Doyle, and the discovery of same by Terry Molloy, the Marlon Brando character.
Early in the film, Saint and Brando walk through a park, recalling the fact that they attended parochial school together. Brando recalls the way the nuns abused him. In reply, Saint expresses the time-honored views of the bleeding-heart liberal:
TERRY: You know, I've seen you a lot of times before. Do you remember parochial school out on Puluski Street? Seven, eight years ago?Cinematically, you have to be there. Saint's performance is angelic. Beyond that, she's plainly lit to glow.
You don't remember me, do you?
EDIE: I remembered you the first moment I saw you.
TERRY: By the nose, huh? Some people just got faces that stick in your mind.
EDIE: I remember you were in trouble all the time.
TERRY: Now you got me. The way those sisters used to whack me, I don't know what. They thought they was going to beat an education into me, but I foxed them.
EDIE: Maybe they just didn't know how to handle you.
TERRY: How would you have done it?
EDIE: With a little more patience and kindness. That's what makes people mean and difficult. People don't care enough about them.
TERRY: Are you kidding me? I'd better get you home. There’s too many guys around here with only one thing on their mind.
Am I gonna see you again?
At any rate, how would Edie have "handled" Terry? "With a little more patience and kindness," she says.
For our money, the greatness of this film begins in that scene. Rather plainly, Terry sees that Edie is a better person than he is. An unusual desire is also signaled: as he absent-mindedly slips the glove she has dropped onto his own hand, we can see that he wants to be more like her, more like this better person.
In very, very few major films do you see the major male character observe and accept the moral superiority of the major female character. But that's the (secondary) theme which plays out all through the rest of this film, as the Brando character turns his back on the values of the waterfront where he's been raised.
In this famous film, the Brando character has played an unknowing role in the killing of Edie's brother. Last weekend, in Charlottesville, a lost soul named James Field killed an admirable young woman named Heidi Heyer. A few hundred other people paraded around on Friday and Saturday, exhibiting tremendously unfortunate behavior and saying ridiculous stupid things.
As it turned out, Field was already badly disturbed by the time he was 13 years old. "There but for fortune"—or so we liberals used to say in the face of such a miserable, profoundly unfortunate story.
Edie would have handled him with a little more patience and kindness. Josh encouraged our liberal teammates to go out and start killing the pig.
Why was Cvjetanovic at that pitiful rally? We can't tell you that. But we're going to guess that the best results don't come from aping the hatred.
Susan Bro was Heidi Heyer's mother. She says that hate will breed more hate. That's what Dr. King also said! As a general matter, we the humans aren't wired to see things that way.
Susan Bro said she felt sorry for the lost soul who killed her daughter. "Jesus Christ is here on the waterfront." That's what the local priest, played by Karl Malden, says in Elia Kazan's great film.
We thought that twitter thread was deeply unwise. In fairness, we humans have always been wired that way. People are dead all over the world because of this inbred reaction.
A few more words of advice: Should we call the marchers dumb? Or should we call them evil?
When we call people evil, we tend to invest them with substantial power. When we say they're pitiful, lost and remarkably dumb, we create them a different way.
When we call a lost soul a terrorist, we encourage the next lost soul to achieve notoriety that same way. What makes us build these people up? It seems to us that Edie Doyle, like Susan Bro, would have looked for a better way.