With the 10th Life during quarantine playlist Nick Triani reflects on last week's tragic events whilst fleetingly celebrating the life of American icon Clint Eastwood.
Marshall Law in all but name
This week’s events in the USA will cast a long shadow, not only over the country, but everywhere else in the world. As news and footage of peaceful protestors being brutally treated by their own police force started to flood in on social media, I shed a tear for what was happening. Still this shit. Much has been written, soul searching has begun in earnest, blackout days have occurred on social media and speculation as to why is rife, but it all leads to two things: racism is real and one person.
The current president of the USA is a racist, has used racist rhetoric throughout his tenure – and a race war with his own people now works as a timely distraction from the more than 100,000 dead this president has presided over during the pandemic. In short, Trump must go. Can we wait for an election in November? And will that election bring the desired result? What is clear, amongst all the rhetoric and threats against his own people, to this president black lives don’t matter.
Clint at 90
Amongst all the distress of the last week, another American icon had a birthday. There seemed to be a massive irony that Clint Eastwood‘s 90th birthday fell at this time. Famed for playing Dirty Harry, the ruthless lawman dishing out his own brand of violent and brutal justice on the streets of San Francisco – even he would have balked at some of the treatment being dished out this last week from the various police departments across the USA. Often accused of representing fascism, the Harry Callahan character was far more in touch with the blue collar community than actually given credit for – even though this is in some quarters an idsealised version of a white policeman. This is something that Eastwood has often represented in his cinema, both as a director and actor.
Despite Eastwood being an avowed republican and a no-nonsense supporter of some pretty awful politicians over the years, much of his cinema has the trait of a genuine libertarian. Eastwood’s films have tended to be cyphers for left-wing ideology or at least they tend to display a certain humanity not associated with the right. I have written about this before, and whatever you think of Eastwood, even if you don’t like his politics, he has built a formidable body of work that stands up to the deepest scrutiny cinema offers.
I’m not sure how much longer this quarantine holds, or even if it exists anymore. Certainly in Finland people seem to be relaxing. We have to wait to see if a second wave arrives before popping the champagne. But I think I’ll keep the playlist going in any case. So see you next week – same time, same place?
Nick Triani is an editor and contributor to One Quart Magazine