away, but that is not often. Sucking on drugged milk, mumblingrninanities about the 60’s, putting liis hair up with a pin,rnlolling on his back instead of sitting up straight, serxing as arnsperm bank for a pushy feminist, lying in his tub, losing cvcr’rnphysical encounter he has with anyone, unemployed and unemployable,rnthis whiny bowling bum is only one hilarious characterrnin a movie fidl of them. But important for our purposes,rnhe is no kind of a man. He is literally a baby, perhaps thernmost passive and put-upon schlemiel in the history of film.rnI do not think that the Coen brothers meant to advocate anyrnpolitical position when they created Jeff Lebowski—they haverninstead brilliantly satirized a figure who represents what has alreadyrnhappened in a certain subculture of L.A. Chandler’s herornof modest proportions has become the hapless victim of thernslightest force—passivity can go no further than the pathetic asrnwell as ridiculous weakness and narcissism of the little Lebowski.rnAs the narrator says in introducing the film and parodyingrnChandler himself, “Sometimes there’s a man . . . The man forrnhis time and place, he fits right in there.” We can add that JeffrnLebowski is a member of a trio of losers, a male menage that hasrnbecome a twosome, an odd couple, by the end. They wind uprnhugging and returning to their bowling alley. But havingrnclaimed so much for this superbly crafted movie, I have to sayrnalso that “the f-word” is used in it more often than in any otherrnfilm: an average, I think literally, of more than two and a halfrntimes a minute. You have been warned.rnWhat does it all Well, let’s see. I remember when arnprofessor asked me only half ironically, “What is our place inrnthe world-historical process?” II we could figure out that one,rnthen we might coherentiy answer. So here is one way of puttingrnit: We live in a world that, instead of projecting a HumphreyrnBogart (as not so long ago it did), now lives by the image ofrnWoody Allen whining about not being as heroic and romanticrnand strong as Humphrey Bogart.rnLet’s put it another way: Feminism should be seen as a symptomrnand not a cause of modern decadence, endorsed by menrnbecause of lust. The destruction of masculinity is an essentiallyrnpost-industrial reqiurement, sponsored by government and justifiedrnbv science as well as ideolojrv Plaving their part in the dernstruetion, and making a lot of money, movies help in urging tiicrnprocess along. The consumers —that is to say, ourselves—havernbeen complicit in self-destruction, and have cooperated with it,rneven helping pay for it. The agenda of “change” was identifiedrnby Mary Shelley and Nathaniel Hawthorne, among others, arnlong time ago. Seizure of control of life itself, and of its creationrnand destruction, is part of a Faustian agenda that has beenrnagreed to again and again by the denizens of democracy. ThernGothic tradition, as known to us through the horror movie andrnthe science-fiction flick, speaks to us most powerfully as to thernimplications of our politics. With her knowing smile, SigournevrnWeaver in Alien Resurrection has managed to imply bothrnriiat lesbianism is a Gnostic privilege and that we must becomernflic alien Other.rnWatching comedies that are horrible and horror movies thatrnare morally, not only graphically, grotesque, we may perhaps reflectrnupon the progressive agenda that permeates the Zeitgeist:rnfeminization, infantilism, dehumanization. Classics like thernoriginal The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers showedrnordinary human love as the last defense against the very dehumanizationrnwhich is now the ineffable and inevitable goal ofrnthe elite who define “popular culUire.” ‘i’hafs entertainment.rnIs everybody happy? crnCorrectrnby Paul LakernHcrmione Herperson examined her consciencernAnd found herself guiftless on ever)- score:rnNo unspeakable isms deserved her remonstrance;rnHer views were all sound: her tenure, secure.rnFor holding an endowed chair of English (Romantic)rnOnly heightened her horror of things hierarchical;rn”Woman-centered,” she was otherwise whollv uncentric,rnUnchauvinistic, and antipatri-otie and -archal.rnShe had an ardent affection for all tilings ecological,rnThough she never wrote “nature” except in scare quotes,rnHer passion being primarily ideological,rnHer world’s flora and fauna confined to footnotes.rnSo imagine her shock when a large |)regnant ratrnEyed her back from a shelf, and her first inclinationrnWasn’t pacifist-anarchist, but a cruel-intemperaternPolicy of total annihilation.rnShe sat on the couch till flie first impulse passed,rnThen decided that permanent cohabitationrnWas far better than having the poor creature gassedrnLike some conscienceless Nazi or cold corporation.rnPassing months brought the small pitter-patter of feetrnTo nerve-torturing heights as Hcrmione graded theses,rnTeeth clenched, till a step caused their sudden retieat,rnLeaving bare kitchen floors punctuated with feces.rnAs she skimmed yet another stiff hair from her tea,rnHcrmione wondered. Could this be the source of diseasernThat had plagued her for weeks? then recalled dizzilyrnI’he’ • aches, the odd swellings in knuckles and knees.rnGrowing hot with alarm . . . Or perhaps it was fever!rnShe flew to the nearest emergene’ room,rnWliere the doctors tried every known cure to relieve her,rnDrugging her into a nightmare deliriumrnIn which Hcrmione had such a starfling visionrnOf militant lymphocyte and macrophagernFuriously deploying, division after division.rnIn xenophobic frenzy, and so fierce to engage,rnShe recoiled in shock from her body’s defenses,rnWliich seemed to her now like angry white men —rnOr quarreling factions at feminist conferences—rnAnd rejecting the doctors’ too-rigorous regimen,rnShe surrendered to sleep, in which razor-beaked vultures,rnDeconstructed her flesh and unraveled her brain;rnHer body became a host to diverse cultures,rnAnd, ungendered, imclassed, slipped being’s binding chain.rn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn