Thursday, February 05, 2009

A recent exchange with a reader, regarding my column on Clint Eastwood

Reader critique comes with the territory in journalism. When you lay it all on the line for 35k-plus on the daily grind, someone's bound to have an opinion.
My recent column on the Oscar jury's snub of Clint Eastwood's "Gran Turino" garnered the most response of any column I've written to date, most in agreement with my stance. Cool.
But not all were in favor of my view that Eastwood deserved an acting nod for his role. Below is an exchange between myself and a reader whose initial tone is heated, but chilled out soon after.

Initial response:
MC, sir:
When it comes to film art, concerns around a "possible final acting role" (one can only hope) should not be a factor, lest it cloud objectivity.
Your Torino comments reenforce my decision to NOT see the movie. I do not need any more older crankier curmudgeonly Clintness.
Enough with his squinty glares and grunted tough talk already.
Torino's predictable story line: "Bigoted old fart does simpatico make-over and has feel good epiphany."
As for his "constant analysis on changing America", what's the big deal? A chimpanzee could devine the difference. Poignant cultural details are unremarkable in movieworld.
Kudos to the Academy! They are not artistic slouches. In Torino, unmindful of nostalgia, they recognized stereotypical dreck for what it is.
— A discerning movie-goer for 70 years.

My Response:
Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment on my story. I respect your opinion.

Marc Cabrera

His final response:
I want to express my appreciation for your return message. It smacks of Obama's credo of reaching out instead of smacking down.
I admit to being confrontational on this issue. Sometimes I get carried away by my own rhetoric.
My intensity is seasoned partly with personal knowledge of Clint having a one night stand with -----, a dear friend of mine. She was to him a commodity for consumption. Well, what the hey, I indulged myself back in the day; I think it in her case, it was tinged with the big star's wham- bam- thank- ya- m'am syndrome. Overtones of position and power as a tool.
And I suppose there is factored in that Clint is allied with the PebbleB preoccupation with money/property development.
In my calculus I include the photo of him modelling a sweater for Tehama; which in my collegiate days was a virtual uniform for adornment for the pins of the fraternity set, steeped in status and snobbery.
I like that Eastwood is a devotee of jazz, a local touchstone. And who can wrangle with the stats?--- like Torino topping the money charts?
Oh -- one more thing in his favor. My daughter married a man 20 years her senior, which engendered ripples of famiial anxiety. I helped smooth it over by quoting Clint regarding his own marriage; "Well, if she dies, she dies!" Cool.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why I love my jobby-job.

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