Friday, December 27, 2013

Precious Stones I

When Oliver Stone turned over the dozen parts of his documentary masterpiece Untold History of the United States to Showtime in the early fall of 2012, Showtime balked. They had contracted for only ten episodes -- the first to begin with World War II, the last ending with Obama's corporate totalitarian murder state. But Stone (with co-writer Peter Kuznick) had composed two "prequels" as well: prequel A covering the birth of US imperialism under McKinley through the end of World War I; prequel B continuing through the 1920s and 30s. The prequels were not broadcast. But they have been, alas, included in the just-released Blu-ray and they are -- like the rest of the series -- as beautiful and passionate as they are dark and despairing. Stone has found his place. He has become a great American filmmaker. Perhaps the only one we have, currently working.
"My goal is to make enough money so I can hire half of the American workforce to kill the other half." -- Jay Gould
Prequel A seeds the birth of the American war state in the ground of post-Reconstruction industrialization and the "end to frontiers." William McKinley found some: Cuba, Panama, the Phillipines. After his assassination by brave anarchist Leon Czolgosz, it was racist gangster Teddy Roosevelt's turn. Then devil iceman Woodrow Wilson. All done, all the wars and expansions and repressions and demonizations, to crush one thing: the nativist American socialism of the 1880s and 90s, and from the turn of the 20th Century. Yet out of worldwide carnage aided and abetted by Wilson and US capital, the Soviet State is born.