Inglourious Directurds

9 August 2009

The Guardian today has this pretty brutal write-up both of Tarantino’s latest film, Inglourious Basterds, and his notoriously-fragile state of mind.  I’m not a big fan of his but even I can’t help wincing for the poor guy.

It’s definitely worth a read whatever your sentiments, so check it out.


Seen here in the offending uniform

Seen here in the offending uniform

Admiral Mike Mullen, USN.  (All this getting up in the morning is starting to have some advantages.)  He was giving a speech to some high school kids who come to AU in the summer because they’re very this that and the other from good families and want to be a senator by the time they’re 30 but eventually are schooled by the bimbo girlfriend they leave behind for Harvard Law.  (And wearing a very strange tan uniform, whose provenance I’ve not yet discerned – it was not naval dress.)

Interesting comments:

  • His first semester at the Naval Academy he finished with a .95 GPA, and in his first command as a Lieutenant (the tanker Noxubee, which I looked up on its inappropriately long Wikipedia article) failed such that he was not given another for 11 years and even then was nearly drummed out of the Navy.
  • When he was promoted Rear Admiral every sitting Navy admiral wrote him a letter (as is customary, apparently.)  So he received these two-hundred some letters which were all pretty standard.  But one he remembered.  It said “Congratulations on attaining flag rank, huge honor, blah blah blah… you need to remember two things.  The first is that an admiral never goes hungry – somebody will always feed you.  The second is that nobody will ever tell you the truth again.”
  • When asked whether the advance of technology is going to reduce the need for manpower, he replied, “Yeah, but I haven’t seen it yet.”  (I imagine comparing military spending in constant dollars to the size of the military would be instructive – military spending always goes much faster than inflation.)

Funny moments:

  • “I try to get off… with my wife…” (He was talking about taking vacation.  And to the credit of the little high school kids, nobody laughed.  I allowed myself a quiet snicker.)
  • “I try to keep up on things.  I’m on Twitter, and Facebook – that’s probably going to drive you off Facebook…”