the delinquent juvenile civilization andnaesthetics. The alleged humans whichnpopulate the screen have the intelligencenof a protozoan, a two-dimensionalncreature. They do not sense danger;ndanger is detected by their cognitivenapparatus only when the shot is firednat them, or when the club makes contactnwith the skull. Even the dumbest Hollywoodnmovies of the ’30s, when picturingna group fighting for survival, be itnagainst nature or other people, alwaysnemphasized cunning, however primitive;ntaking conscious advantage of externalncircumstances was perceived asnan element of the struggle, a connectionnbetween some individual skills, or aptitudes,nand the physical assault. Neithernthe Warriors nor their persecutors evernattain this stage of human evolution:nthey do not think, they react, they arenthe final and logical conclusion of thenGestalt psychology, radical sociologicalntheories, est. Playboy’s and PeoplesnTemple’s “philosophy.” Why their “reactions”nprove victorious over the “reactions”nof their enemies, who havenequally, if not better developed armnmuscles and more bicycle chains, isnnever explained or rationalized.nWatching the New York of thisnmovie, not a soupQon crosses one’s mindnthat it’s a place where Columbia University,nChase Manhattan, CaravellenRestaurant, Carnegie Hall, the NewnYork Times, Ladies’ Garment WorkersnLabor Union, and even Arthur Schlesinger,nJr. could also exist. The lovenstory is handled by a dialogue of grunts:n”You’re a tough chick . . .”; “Yeah.?”;n”Yeah…”nThe social angle, even if interpretednin the trivial socialist-realistic termsnwith which the liberal critics once assessednBlackboard Jungle, Hells Angels,nor West Side Story, is gone. Today,nthey approach The Warriors with wordsnlike “mystery play,” “fantasy,” “eerienbeauty,” “New York nocturno,” “choreographynof violence,” “a punk fable.”nPauline Kael, an insipidly garrulousnand the most venerated of the libcultistsnin movie criticism, wrote:n”The story, which has a classic shapenand suggests the Odyssey, is actuallynXenophon’s Anabasis retold in modernnurban terms .. .”nWith an equally “critical” insight shencan claim that Valley of the Dolls isnthe other side of Magic Mountain, thatnDick Tracy has “something” in commonnwith Achilles, while Lucullus andnJackie Gleason are one—as they bothnlike to eat. A Village Voice contributornwas more succinct. He confessed:n”On the surface. The Warriors isncowboys and Indians, and, to thisnviewer, the most lovingly moral andnbeautiful film of the past year.”nMovie, Movie is a leisurely littlenspoof of the American movies of then’30s—their ethos, philosophy, moralitynand ideals. All these fit neatly into onenvocable—glamour—and this is exactlynwhat movies tried to make out of thenAmerican worldview throughout then’30s. As we all know, virtue and skillnwere always rewarded in those movies;nit was, perhaps, at variance with lifenand truth, but as we can now see withnpainful clarity, it performed certainnsocial and civilizational functions thatnwe sorely miss in today’s reality.nMovie, Movie is a spoof with somethingnto ponder: the social force of melodrama.nIn the ’30s melodrama becamentantamount to Americanism. It didn’tnvalidate any values, but it didn’t annihilatenany either. The truth or untruth ofnthe prizefighter’s story in Movie, Movienis irrelevant. What counts is the socialneffect of its cultural imagery on yesteryear’sneverydayness. When a childish,neven dimwitted, apotheosis of braverynwas put to good use, it had a force to determinenthe victorious Americanism, soninstrumental only a few years later. Thus,nan unsupportable simplism was in factna carrier of a certain inner, even higher,ntruth that could act as a social cohesive.nBoth the Shakespearean or Moliereanndeus ex machina had the same functionnat the time when the classics were popnart. Still, in the ’30s we could buy Popchik’sninstant and miraculous transmutationnfrom a boxer to a lawyer, and thennarrative consequences of this metamorphosisn. If in the second part of Movie,nMovie a fledgling composer writes anshow in one night and becomes the instantnNew York matinee idol, it is quitenokay that a moronic pugilist could acquirena law degree just in time to prosecutenhis archenemy and villain.nDetractors call this a dream factory ornHollywood’s big lie. They are right, butnmiraculously enough, somewhere,nsometime schmaltzy untruth began toncoexist with truth in America in suchna way that plenty of social profit rensuited. Even if people only wanted to bensuperficially as good as those in thenmovies, such a synergic mass inclinationncould improve a civilization. And,nafter all, isn’t it something terrifyinglynAmerican that in one night a successfulnshow is written here and there? DnMusicnnnEstablishmentnas Avant-Gardenby John Hastingsn”They never forgave me!”nThe words—in a letter—were thosenof a leading twentieth century composer.nHis name: Ernest Bloch.nWho were “they”.” And what transgressionnwas so unforgivable.”nBloch was referring to the collectivenresponse—not by the public but by manynof his professional contemporaries—tonhis “America Rhapsody.” This is thenwork that, by a unanimous verdict ofnthe judges, had been awarded the MusicalnAmerica prize in 1926. An “epic”nJohn Hastings is a New York tvriternand music lover.n•S5nChronicles of Cultoren