Arts and Clture and Politics

More on Barton Fink: Aggression and Intellectual Superiority

I saw Barton Fink a long time ago, before I had any sense of things Jewish, so Andy Nowicki’s fascinating TOO article was a real eye-opener. I was intrigued enough to take another look. What sticks in my mind are the characters of Jack Lipnick and Ben Geisler as prototypical Hollywood figures of the period. Lipnick’s aggression, his massive ego, and his brutal treatment of everyone around are a sight to behold.  As Nowicki notes, Lipnick is “a brash, loud, frightening and hysterically tyrannical man, who proudly declares himself to be ‘bigger and meaner than any other kike in this town.’”
There’s an amazing scene where Fink tells Lipnick that he doesn’t feel comfortable talking about his screenplay before it’s finished. Lipnick nods to his underling, Lou Breeze. Breeze has to figure out what his boss wants, so he berates Fink for daring to defy Lipnick by not giving him an account of his screenplay. But he guessed wrong. Lipnick verbally assaults Breeze and demands that he kiss Fink’s feet in apology on pain of losing his job. Breeze finally walks out without kissing Fink’s feet, but we see him later in the film, indicating that everything was patched up even after his humiliation. Working for Lipnick must have been an ulcer waiting to happen.

Michael Lerner as Jack Lipnick

Jewish Racialism and Jewish Capitalism: An Analysis of the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink

The recent high-profile firings of Rick Sanchez, Helen Thomas, and Octavia Nasr leave the eager-to-please among us with an uneasy feeling in their collective gut. What is the “proper,” socially-sanctioned way to react to such shocking displays of high-handed, sanctimonious, censorious overreach on the part of one’s party bosses, as it were?

Crystal clear as it seems that Sanchez, Thomas, and Nasr, all entrenched liberals with impeccable establishment credentials, were sacked for making critical remarks about Jews (or in Nasr’s case, mildly positive remarks about a deceased member of Hezbollah), such a assertion cannot be allowed to stand, because it would seem to reinforce “anti-Semitic” notions about Jewish control of the media, which are assuredly un-kosher to imply, much less state aloud. To criticize the principalities and powers for sacking critics of Jews thus means condoning anti-Semitism, which in today’s Zeitgeist quickly makes you little better than a genocidal and deranged Nazi. The gutless careerists, to be sure, want no part of that order! Read more