Eye on Hollywood
Reel Bad WASPs
August 7, 2008
Today the leisure suit of
the mid-to-late 1970s is rightly ridiculed. Many things were askew in those
years of economic “malaise” and high interest rates. Most importantly for
whites, the 1960s cultural revolution had settled into a prolonged assault
on the cultural image of whites.
Needless to say, Hollywood was an enthusiastic participant in this assault. An interesting example is the movie Caddyshack, starring Chevy Chase. Caddyshack is doubtless a trivial movie, but it has been heralded as one of the funniest movies of all time, and it continues to be shown endlessly in TV reruns.
Although the point is
presumably lost on the vast majority of its audience, the real narrative of
the movie is the Jew-as-outsider “comically” assaulting the WASP-as-insider.
The setting of
Caddyshack is apt, for the private country club represented
one of the last bastions of WASP privilege.
Jewish resentment over WASP snobbery toward upwardly mobile Jews continues to rankle among Jews. For example, Jacob Heilbrunn emphasizes this resentment as a key motivator for the neocons who have been so influential in the current Bush administration. The early neocons attempted “to overturn the old order in America …. There were the fancy clubs, the legal and financial firms that saw Jews as interlopers who would soil their proud escutcheons and were to be kept at bay. Smarting with unsurpassed social resentment, the young Jews viewed themselves as liberators, proclaiming a new faith” (p. 28). The same could be said of Jews in Hollywood, doubtless including Harold Ramis, the director and a co-screenwriter of Caddyshack.
The tension in
Caddyshack revolved around the way the uncouth Jew played by
Rodney Dangerfield upset the elite country club’s leader, played by Ted
Knight, creator of the Ted Baxter buffoon from
The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In
Caddyshack, he reprised the role
of a “vain, pompous, dim-witted” WASP. As Judge Smails, Knight was always an
Accompanying Judge Smalis
are other representatives of the WASP elite: Episcopal Bishop Pickering and
a medical doctor known as “Dr. Beeper.” In addition to humiliating Judge
Smails on the links, Dangerfield’s character continued to do so in the
dining hall of Bushwood Country Club, loudly passing gas and vulgarly
insulting the judge’s wife.
When the film moves to a
sailing competition, the ethnic warfare becomes explicit. Dangerfield
commands a massive cruiser that outclasses and destroys the judge’s more
modest craft, tellingly christened “The Flying WASP.” The boat is destroyed
when Dangerfield drops his anchor through its deck. “Hey, you scratched my
anchor,” is his cry.
The film ends by making the
statement that the gentile characters represented by the judge, bishop, and
doctor are both bumblers and hypocrites, thus undeserving of their status.
The judge, for instance, cheats in the final golf match and also bribes his
caddie to remain silent.
When the sequel
appeared 1988, acerbic comedian Jackie Mason took Dangerfield’s role (Mason,
like his father and three brothers, is an
and sounds like a Yiddish speaking refugee from an Eastern European shtetl).
From the beginning, a clear binary is established: good Jews/bad WASPs. This
begins when Mason’s daughter is mocked by the outrageously WASPy coed “Miffy”
with whom she is playing golf.
When Mason first appears, he is the wealthy boss of a multicultural
crew of laborers—mostly Mexicans and blacks. Showing sympathy for the plight
of his Mexican workers, he deliberately loses at a game of cards. In
contrast, when he meets a white male iron worker high up in the girders of
his new building, he tells him “Take chances, I’m insured.”
When Mason comes down from the building we see the
animosity directed at majority American culture. Two local WASP activists
wish to preserve a decrepit shack they call The Armstrong Estate, an
important part of their history. Mason, on the other hand, indicates that
their worthless era has passed, and commands one of his workers to level the
shack with a bulldozer. The symbolism is clear: WASPs are being dispossessed
by a multicultural crew led by a Jew.
The action in the club house is similar, with the diminutive Mason
warily confronting standard issue WASPs. Displaying the common Jewish trait
that all gentiles are pretty much the same, Mason takes in a roomful of
dozing WASPs and utters “Take a look at this place. This is what the world
would have looked like if the Germans had won.”
As in the original Caddyshack,
a gentile setting is defiled by Jewish flatulence. This time it occurs
during the refined sport of horseback riding. When his flawed WASP opponent
(played by Robert Stack
as Chandler Young) observes that “Your horse has quite a gas problem,” Mason
replies, “It’s not the horse.”
denouement to Caddyshack II
is very much the same as its predecessor. Conflicts are to be settled by
a "gentlemanly" round of golf, where once again the WASP cheats. Well, he
does not exactly cheat; he hires an assassin to kill his rival Mason.
Naturally, his plan backfires, and Mason wins. In addition, his daughter
Kate rejects the opportunity to assimilate into WASP society by refusing to
change her name from Hartounian to Hart. She embraces not only her father,
but her father's heritage as well.
later we saw a sequel to Caddyshack II
in the form of the
Adam Sandler vehicle
Happy Gilmore. Here Sandler
(performer of the
Chanukah Song, which relates how excluded Jewish children feel
around Christmas) plays the crude outsider, the "Jew" wearing the mask of a
hockey player in a country club setting. The movie establishes the pathology
of gentile society by introducing a thoroughly corrupt defending WASP golf
champion. In contrast, Sandler plays the unschooled neophyte who can,
nonetheless, drive the ball amazing distances.
As the film unfolds, a
goyishe champion is yet again shown to be an unprincipled cheat. He
stumbles and is exposed, while Sandler perseveres and wins.
Culture of Critique
Kevin MacDonald emphasized Jewish hostility
toward gentiles, where “Western civilization is portrayed as a failing,
dying culture, but at worst it is presented as sick and evil compared to
other cultures.” MacDonald caught this filmic version of hostility perfectly
in a footnote to the original
Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in
Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements.
There MacDonald argued that
Jews had been “at
the forefront of the adversarial culture in the United States, England, and
France since the mid-1960s, especially as defenders of the adversary culture
in the media and the academic world. The text of
Culture of Critique,
however, only skirted over Jewish efforts in the media to unravel the
culture of their hosts. His note, which also describes the three country
club comedies above, gave the promise of what could be found in a more
A recent, perhaps trivial, example of this type of intellectual ethnic
warfare is the popular movie Addams
Family Values (released in November 1993), produced by Scott Rudin,
directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and written by Paul Rudnick. The bad guys in
the movie are virtually anyone with blond hair (the exception being an
overweight child), and the good guys include two Jewish children wearing
yarmulkes. (Indeed, having blond hair is viewed as a pathology, so that when
the dark-haired Addams baby temporarily becomes blond, there is a family
crisis.) The featured Jewish child has dark hair, wears glasses, and is
physically frail and nonathletic. He often makes precociously intelligent
comments, and he is severely punished by the blond-haired counselors for
reading a highly intellectual book. The evil gentile children are the
opposite: blond, athletic, and unintellectual. Together with other assorted
dark-haired children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and white gentile
children rejected by their peers (for being overweight, etc.), the Jewish
boy and the Addams family children lead a very violent movement that
succeeds in destroying the blond enemy. The movie is a parable illustrating
the general thrust of Jewish intellectual and political activity relating to
immigration and multi-culturalism in Western societies. It is also
consistent with the general thrust of Hollywood movies.
Trivial it is not,
for MacDonald’s insights provide the framework for examining modern
Hollywood fare more generally, with results consistent with the above.
Of course, this
scripted message about the low standing of majority culture is not
restricted to what Hollywood crafts for the big screen. A similarly
consistent message can be found in Hollywood’s television fare as well, as I
argued in my essay
The Jews of Prime Time.
Whether big screen
or small screen, the message has been the same, as Hollywood insider Ben
Stein noted. Writing in 1976 (and
updated in book form in 1979), Stein explained how the
preponderance of Jewish writers—men who assumed mainstream America hated
them, so the writers loathed them in return—meant that a false image of
majority Americans was being created:
A national culture
is making war upon a way of life that is still powerfully attractive and
widely practiced in the same country. . . . Feelings of affection for small
towns run deep in America, and small-town life is treasured by millions of
people. But in the mass culture of the country, a hatred for the small town
is spewed out on television screens and movie screens every day. . . .
Television and the movies are America's folk culture, and they have
nothing but contempt for the way of life of a very large part of the folk. .
. . People are told that their culture is, at its root, sick, violent, and
depraved, and this message gives them little confidence in the future of
that culture. It also leads them to feel ashamed of their country and to
believe that if their society is in decline, it deserves to be.
It really amazes me
that American WASPs mounted absolutely no response to their scripted
demonization, all in preparation for America changing from a Majority-ruled
nation to one ruled by neocons and a nebulous global elite. This has
amounted to an abdication with stunning consequences for those millions of
Majority Americans who used to live under a regime that more or less liked
David Gelernter pointed out in a
wonderful essay that “the old elite used to get
on fairly well with the country it was set over. Members of the old social
upper-crust elite were richer and better educated than the public at large,
but approached life on basically the same terms.” The new, heavily Jewish
elite is not only different from the non-Jewish masses, in Gelernter words,
“it loathes the nation it rules.”
And that explains why Caddyshack, Caddyshack II, and Happy Gilmore excoriate the WASP characters in country club comedies.
Edmund Connelly is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. He has previously written for The Occidental Quarterly.
Permanent link: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/Connelly-ReelWASPs.html