Welcome Back Michael Moriarty: Bertolt Brecht’s Chicago
Even while writing for Andrew Breitbart’s publications, I never felt entirely comfortable in any corner of “Hollywood” – “Big”, “Small” or otherwise. I somehow knew that the image of whatever comes out of “Hollywood” was more important than the substance. Unfortunately I discovered that the same goes for whoever might be in charge of a Big Hollywood.
I feel now a bit like the jazz critic, Nat Hentoff, after his departure from the Village Voice. Hentoff once said that since he was against capital punishment, he also had to be against legalized abortion.
Made sense to me.
Not, apparently, to New York’s decidedly Leftist Village Voice.
Now Big Hollywood is perhaps bored with not only my anti-abortion position and my faith in God but also fed up with the nags that George Soros’ Media Matters have become. Soros and his increasingly long-armed, literary thugs made Big Hollywood tighten its editorial policies which, indeed and eventually, mean “Bye-bye, Michael!”
In the end, George Soros has a lot more money than Andrew Breitbart. Even with the kind of mega-money and mega-power Rupert Murdoch has, it may have been Soros and Friends who really convinced Murdoch’s Fox News to say bye-bye to Glenn Beck.
I’m flattered to be thrown “under the bus” and into the now-rebellious company of Nat Hentoff and Glenn Beck. All three of us might hate each other on sight but there’s no complaining about the “heft” associated with Hentoff and Beck.
Because of a massively important pen pal, Pat Hickey of Chicago, I’m being drawn to the city that my father and grandfather were weaned on.
Home of my family’s South Side and Barack Obama’s political pal, Rahm Emanuel.
Hmmm … the opposite of New York: “Nice place to live but I’m not sure I’d want to visit.”
There is nothing “Hollywood” about Chicago, except for the tons of material the Toddlin Town has provided filmmakers. Why did I begin to feel last night that the great and bitterly Brechtian musical, Cabaret, seemed to be set as much in Chicago as in increasingly Nazi-occupied Berlin? Bertolt Brecht, the German Communist playwright, set many of his plays in Chicago. I’ve appeared or did public readings of four of them: Three Penny Opera, Arturo Ui, Jungle of Cities and Baal.
Two of them, Arturo Ui and Jungle of Cities are set in Chicago.
The first, Ui, 1941, is a metaphorically American setting for Adolf Hitler as a Chicago gangster. I played two victims of Ui/Hitler, a newspaperman and Dollfus, the Chancellor of Austria, eventually Austria’s dictator in a war against both Nazism and Communism. Both of those characters I played are portrayed as Chicago enemies of Ui/Hitler.
Brecht’s Baal, 1918, on the other hand, has prophetic allusions to Mao Zedong on State Street all over it. A Chinese lumber dealer takes on a seemingly harmless, Chicago book clerk.
As one might expect from the most theatrically fertile of Communist intellectuals, Bertolt Brecht, the increasing stridency of his “epic theater” is intended to leave its audiences warned. Why the home of America’s most Marxist President in its history should come to Washington via Chicago is, for one, a tribute to Brecht’s prescience and a confirmation of Marxism’s obsession with thugs.
For Brecht, Gangsterized Chicago is the ultimate reality for all of life!
Hmmm … I, as a very lapsed Catholic, hadn’t agreed with that estimate of either life or Chicago at all … until the Marxist and very Brechtian underbelly of the Democrat Party out of Chicago suddenly ended up in the Oval Office.
“Oh, the shark has
Such teeth, dear,
And he shows them
Just a jackknife
Has MacHeath, babe,
And he keeps it
Out of sight!!”
That’s the very Chicago-ized lyric for a Threepenny Opera, set in a very Berlin-ized London, England! These plays and musicals are not just a vision of the urban centers of the English/German-speaking world. They are Brecht’s view of not only all of humanity but all of humanity’s future as well.
His Jungle of Cities is the jungle of Man himself.
After Berlin, Chicago held most of Brecht’s literary attention. Why? Chicago’s history of organized crime and violence. The simple message being: “You fight Nazi, Fascist and Capitalist thugs with Communist thugs!”
Brecht is not as profound as Kurt Weil’s music was intended to make him.
The comedian, Chris Rock, predicts “Gangsta Sh-t” in Obama’s second term.
With the Obama Nation’s Chicago connections and the President’s love of the Godfather, are this comedian’s seemingly lighthearted, horror prophecies any surprise?
Where and what corner of America will this “gangsta sh-t” explode in first?
I don’t think so.
Even gangsters try not to make a mess in their own backyard.
That’s why a switch from Big Hollywood to Chicago Daily Observer has already been explored. Chicago’s Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel tell Hollywood what to do. Not the other way around.
Michael Moriarity is a welcome return to the Chicago Daily Observer
image Prof Moriarty doing his thing