Badham’s cartoon. The teen begs thenman to come to the missile-commandnheadquarters to, in a sense, pull the plugnon the computer. The response is somensort of gibberish about the fate of the dinosaurs,nwhich sounds as if it could havenbeen written by Jonathan Schell. Finally,nthe man comes to what senses he has,netc.nSo what is the point? The messagenpresented on the screen—figuratively andnliterally (in computeresque alphanumericncharacters)—^is that there is nonvictor in a nuclear war. The implicationnfor Badham is that some—^politiciansnand military men, as opposed to teenagencomputer hackers and zany professors—nthink that victory is possible. That is nonsense.nCertainly they—soldiers, in particular—knownand understand what thenconsequences of nuclear war are. ManynAmericans, thanks to the vicious attactenon the mOitary—some of which werenpresented on the screen—that occurrednduring the 60’s, have forgottennthat “peace-keeping soldier” is not annoxymoron. Fortunately, there are somenin the present Administration who stillnunderstand that role, who are lookingnfor sensible ways to keep thousands ofndeadly mushrooms from erupting. Morenfortunate is the fact that the ideas ofnCannes-touted directors aren’t reigningnwhere it counts—^but November 1984nis only months away. (SM) DnCheap TricknTrading Places; Written by TimothynHarris and Herschel Weingrod; Directednby John Landis; Paramount.nOf Mark Twain’s works. The Princenand the Pauper is one of the few thatnisn’t readUy identified in the popular mindnwith Twain, even though it, with ThenAdventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventuresnof Huckleberry Finn, is morenoften portrayed in the cinema than, say,nA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’snCourt. The first filmed version of ThenPrince and the Pauper appeared in 1909.nTripping the Light FantasticnAfter decades of unanimously denouncingnthe “bourgeois family” and applaudingnall movements subversive of its undergirdingnethic, many leftist intellectualsnare now currying respectability by denouncingnhomosexuality, drug abuse,nand leisure lifest’les as “decadent” andn”apolitical.” The success of this effort,nhowever, has been hampered by theirnerstwhile champions’ refusal to be thusnwritten off. For example, in a recent LSSUCnof The Nation we find associate editornAndrew Kopkind denouncing “the newncold war liberal consciousness” for tr’ingnto deny kinship with “the ‘liberationist’npolitics” which fostered “feminism asnwell as the gay movemeiu… daiKing andndrugs . . . street politics, comnuiual lifenand the revolution of the ^pi^it.” I le is .secondednby a corresponden I \ hi > idem i liesnhimself as “a commie quivr who lovi’s inndance” and who insists that “ietiiM heavies”n.should recognize that “:lie women’s andngay movements are, indeed, political.”nWe agree with Mr. Kopkind and hisnsupporter. We wonder, tliinigh. just whatnsteps and to what music ‘commie i|ueeiV’nCrossed Swords (1978) was, perhaps,nthe last. Trading Places can be added tonthe chronological list. In terms of a qualitativenranking—well, the lead in CrossednSwords was played by the young mannwho had the tide role in Oliver! in 1968;nhe was semicute in ’68; puberty wasn’tngood to him. Crossed Swords, triflenthough it is, is a more palatable—^andnsensible—^movie than Trading PlacesnSubtlety is something foreign to JohnnLandis—^which isn’t a remarkable observation,ngiven the fact that it was he whondirected National Lampoon’s AnimalnHouse (1978), though one would hopenthat he would have undergone somenadolescent development since then. Insteadnof twins, there are a white preppienand a black jivester who switch posi­nLIBERAL CULTURE 1nnnthink tliey will be dancing if totalitariannleftists ever come to power and slam thendoor on that huge closet known as thengulag. They still are unable to grasp thenfact that their only surefire shield in thisnworld of insane alliances arc the rednecksnin the Marine Corps—the brutish defendersnof the only social order that guaranteesnthe survival of commie queers whondo everything they can to subvert the verypoliticalnsystem that protects them. Dntions. That, presumably, is meant to benhilarious, the more so as the men playingnthe roles are widely touted as “comedicngeniuses.” There is a wide gulf betweenngenius and an ability to tell jokes. Thensubstitution of places is forced by twonwealthy brothers, who are typical commoditiesnbrokers: uncharitable, unfeeling,ntight, etc. This portrayal, I suspect, isnsupposed to be what now passes for somensort of Hollywood Brand of socialistnrealism, a suspicion bolstered by the factnthat one of the brothers has a picture ofnRonald Reagan at his side while the othernhas Richard Nixon, vwth Ike framed fuzzilynin the background. Twain, skewer innhand, is undoubtedly waiting at whateverngate he’s at for Messrs. Landis,nHarris, and Weingrod. (SM) DnSeptember 1983n