Table of contents

Joy 2

The Protestant Ethic & the spirit of capitalism

Joy & her family are Italian Catholics, but the religion in the movie is American Protestant Christianity. It comes in two indirect suggestions. One goes back to the original reformation: Joy’s dreams can become reality somewhere in Amish country. The other is of our times: Advertising […]


How prosperity makes room for our humanity

Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address that middle-class life, in being an aspiration, made of Americans heroes in some way. This story shows you how. Joy is a young woman in a very bad situation. Her eventual success & the fact that such woman did exist […]

Hail, Caesar! 4

A case of an unfortunate apotheosis

Two supposedly serious things, a Roman turning Christian & an American turning Communist, are done in comedy. That’s the beginning & the end of our world: The end of the pagan world is where we begin–the rising of atheism is where we will end. In both cases, the […]

Hail, Caesar! 3

Why isn’t the ugly truth enough?

There really was an Eddie Mannix working for the studios; he really did commit these kinds of crimes, & much worse. Why not make that picture? It would be justice & it would flatter the times. Why display the good things in Hollywood & America in such an […]

Hail, Caesar! 2

Americans at the movies

Leaving aside the Westerns-the most American genre!-we’re shown four spectacles of the ’50s: The end of old Hollywood & the American dream. Two are aristocratic spectacles: One is a Christian-Roman story-swords & sandals-called epic-lots of cruelty & suffering. The other is a British-American high society drama: Psychological, about mores & […]

Hail, Caesar!

The fifties revisited, or What faith was the country keeping?

Americans have a certain loyalty to the fifties, mostly on partisan lines. The left loves the unions & such; the right loves the mores & civil peace. Maybe the age should be compared for better & worse to the Victorian age. This story shows […]

Deadpool 2

The hero telling his own story, or the psychology of blockbusters

To Deadpool, it’s all the same, that’s what’s remarkable about him. He treats his friend & his woman with the same sarcasm he offers strangers & enemies. The difference is, his friends are just as sarcastic. All serious things are unserious to him. […]


On the birth of new gods

Deadpool recalls Guardians of the galaxy in that it’s part of Marvel‘s appeal to young people as loners. The protagonists are orphans; creatures without family; victims of the world of men. Deadpool is the most violent of the Marvel heroes & he is here to introduce the worldwide […]

The assassin

Yinniang, for whom the story is titled, was brought up to be an assassin in the service of the people who hold state in China. She kills without feeling a man she is told has murdered his own brother & father in order to acquire state in some province. She is then required to […]