Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trump's Ides of March: Of Arenas, Actors & Assassination Fears

Remember John McGraw, the elder individual who sucker-punched the protester who was peacefully being escorted from the Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina? McGraw, intriguingly, like Thomas Dimassimo who rushed the Trump stage a few days later in Vandalia, Ohio, is an actor too.

Arenas and Actors

Inside Edition interviewed McGraw after he allegedly threw the punch. McGraw told reporters that he didn’t think the protester "acted like an American” and that “next time we might have to kill him.” Source.

It does seem to be a bizarre "coincidence" that two media identified figures in two separate potentially violent incidents inspired by a reality television personality named Donald Trump were actors. Three actors, thus, acted out a melodrama for ratings in the media's wall-to-wall broadcast arenas.

The fact that actors are part of what is occurring in the theater of the campaign of 2016 has been confirmed by organizations created for this purpose.

UCLA graduate Adam Swart is the CEO of a company called "Crowds on Demand," which will stage rallies and demonstrations for any almost candidate or cause.

As NBC4 Los Angles reported:
Swart says he has employed actors to sway city officials in meetings across the country.
"I have worked with dozens of campaigns for state officials, and 2016 presidential candidates," Swart told NBC4, adding that he won't name any names.
"I can't go in to detail... if I did, nobody would hire us."
NBC4 also discovered these two other incidents:
The New York Post reported in 2013 that Anthony Weiner has paid for phony supporters at campaign events, although Weiner denied that.
And last year [2015], the Hollywood Reporter reported that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump paid actors $50 to wear T-shirts and carry signs for
his campaign launch [of June 16, 2015]. Trump denied this.
The Simpsons appear to have lampooned this:

As I mentioned previously,

the stage jumper Thomas Dimassimo is a fourth-year acting major at Wright State. According to IMDB.com, Dimassimo was a child actor with roles on the TV shows Yes, Dear, Reno 911!, and House of Payne.

Ohio's Dimassimo is a youthful counterpart to North Carolina's McGraw.

So who does McGraw turn out to be?
Meet John Franklin “Quick-Draw” McGraw, modern-day cowboy. Over the years McGraw has roamed the country making a living as a horse-trainer, ranch manager, gun-slingin’ entertainer, hog hunter, artist, blacksmith, soldier and boxer. You may have met him at Pisgah View Ranch, the dude ranch in Candler where he worked the last seven summers entertaining vacationers as a gun slinger, 
wrote Amy B. McCraw, a Times-News Correspondent, in 2009.

McGraw's persona resulted in him being a member of The Single Action Shooting Society, an international organization created to preserve and promote the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting, a timed sport that features shooters competing on a course of different shooting stages, the reporter shared. 

John Franklin McGraw is a quick draw re-enactor. An actor.

McCraw continues, in part:
McGraw traces his wild-ranging interests back to his formative days in Polk County in the 1930s and ’40s.
His father taught him to box at age 6. Then he discovered horses at 9.
“I always loved horses and wanted to work with horses,” he says.
Despite the interest in boxing he shared with his father, McGraw describes his home life as, “Not good.”
After dropping out of high school at 16, he moved in with a kind Tryon family he calls his foster parents....
And where would McGraw end after his youth? In the lands of make-believe and play acting...Las Vegas and Hollywood.
McGraw began his military service in 1955 at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. He worked with jet engines on the base and began a boxing program, spending as much of his free time as possible in the ring. McGraw became a Golden Gloves amateur boxer. He never weighed more than 138 pounds, but defended titles in several weight classes including light weight, welter weight and middle weight.

When he wasn’t on the base working or boxing, McGraw hung out at the former Showboat Hotel and Casino in Vegas. He met Sammy Davis Jr., Lee Marvin and boxers Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano, among others. He credits Davis with getting him interested in what’s known as single-action shooting. The entertainer was good with a gun, McGraw recalls.
“I knew half the people in Vegas. I never thought anything about it. We were all just the same bunch,” he says. “Vegas was a little town in the ’50s.”

After finishing his time in the Air Force in 1959, McGraw stayed in the Las Vegas area and continued boxing.
Through his connections with celebrities and stunt men he met in Nevada, McGraw found his way to California and the movie studios. “I would go to the studios,” he said. “They tried to get me into the stunt work.”
When that career move didn’t pan out. Times-News.
The Times-News confirmed after the Trump rally assault video that the John McGraw arrested was the same one as in their 2009 profile.

The result of the rally fights and conflicts is an elevation of violence that self-enforces itself. Donald Trump, as he says often, loves the excitement, the conflicts, and this is all "fun" for his rally attendees.

But it has escalated to the point where events more dangerous may be in the works. Senator Rubio noted the potential for something awful happening this week.


The 2016 Campaign, now as we know, populated by actors and others, "feels" like a movie. Finally, the mainstream media is catching up with this sense of unreality.

The Washington Post looked at this with a new article that begins, thusly:
Trump’s rule-smashing romp may have no precedent in the annals of presidential campaigns, but the template for his remarkable rise — and the potential for a hard fall — was laid out in a little-known film masterwork half a century ago. A Face in the Crowd, a 1957 movie written by Budd Schulberg and directed by Elia Kazan — the same team that had already made the classic On the Waterfront — stars Andy Griffith as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a folksy, charming Arkansas traveler who soars from a filthy jail cell to the pinnacle of American celebrity and political power.
Rhodes is neither the first nor last movie character to rise and fall by appealing to the base anxieties of the American people. He is a model for Howard Beale, the TV news anchorman who rallies the nation to shout “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” in Network (1976). His lineage flows through Chauncey Gardiner, the dim gardener whose unwitting folk wisdom turns him into a possible presidential contender in Being There (1979), and on to the brutal truth-teller Sen. Jay Bulworth in the eponymous 1998 movie.

Lonesome Rhodes is coarser and blunter than the others. He goes through women like they’re cheap snacks. He calls minorities names. He makes big promises and then denies ever having made them. He tells it like it is — or at least like the people thought it had once been, back in the gauzy time when things were good. Like Trump, he calls people in power dumb and phony.
But he quickly returns to selling his sponsor’s dubious vitamin pills. Like Trump, Rhodes is given to reciting his ratings in response to unrelated questions. “53.7 this morning,” he says at one point. “I got another million.”
His sudden fame and fortune convince Rhodes that he is more than a millionaire entertainer: “I’m an influencer, a wielder of opinion, a force — a force!”
Last month, when I asked Trump what effect his TV show, “The Apprentice,” had on his decision to run for president, he reeled off his TV ratings, talked about his best-selling books, and then said that his reality show “was a different level of adulation, or respect, or celebrity. That really went to a different level. I’m running to really make America great again, but the celebrity helped — that’s true.”
Andy Griffith as Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd reminds many of Trump.

It is a wonderful article, and touches three movies - A Face in the Crowd, Network, and Being There.  I recommend you read the Washington Post article, and see the weird parallels with 2016.

The Ides of March: Assassination Fears

Today is March 15, 2016. The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15th. It was marked by several religious observances and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.

This Tuesday may be pivotal in terms of the entire future of the United States of America, and the World.

There appears to be no worry about an assassination, but the date's links to assassination seem worthy of pondering.

It must be recalled that Donald Trump is fearful of an assassination, which appears strange since he likes to whip up his crowds into an irrational emotional frenzy.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reportedly always wears a bullet proof vest while he’s out campaigning. Sources 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Trump's inability to button up his coat is blamed on his wearing this bullet proof gear. Source.

So if we add assassination to the cinematic sync mix, what film is worth noting?

The movie few want to talk about that partially overlaps with what seems to be happening in this political year is All The King's Men.

All the King's Men is a 1949 Film Noir drama film set in a political setting directed by Robert Rossen and based on the Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name. The production features Broderick Crawford in the role of the ambitious and sometimes ruthless politician, Willie Stark.

It is a movie about a populist who gains a huge following, becomes corrupt, gets involved with many women, and eventually is assassinated before he reaches a higher office.

The main story is a thinly disguised version of the rise and assassination of real-life 1930s Louisiana Governor, Huey Long. But some see a mirror to the early part of the Trump campaign with the movie. and with Long's story.

Huey Pierce Long, Jr. (August 30, 1893 – September 10, 1935), nicknamed The Kingfish, was an American politician who served as the 40th Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a member of the United States Senate from 1932 until his assassination in 1935.

Long was shot a month after announcing that he would run for president. On the day of the shooting, Sunday, September 8, 1935, Long was at the State Capitol attempting to oust a long-time opponent, Judge Benjamin Henry Pavy. At 9:20 p.m., just moments after the House passed the bill, Dr. Carl Weiss approached Long for the third time and, according to the generally accepted version of events, fired a .32-caliber Browning Model 1910 handgun at him from four feet away, shooting him in the torso. Long's bodyguards, two of whom were elected sheriffs in 1936, Elliot D. Coleman in Tensas Parish and Larry Sale in Claiborne Parish, returned fire, killing Weiss instantly. Long was rushed to the hospital, but died two days later, on Tuesday, September 10, 1935, at 4:10 a.m. Long was 42 years old. 

Historians do not accept the speculation that Long actually died after accidentally being struck by a bullet fired by one of his own bodyguards as they fired at Carl Weiss. A 2014 documentary, 61 Bullets, throws some doubt on the lone assassin theory.

Political assassination is a rarity in the United States, but not as rare as once thought. The United States Secret Service has a tough job, as evidenced by what happened this weekend in Vandalia, Ohio, when an actor-protestor rushed the stage at a Trump Rally.

Assassinations change history. Let's hope this year's events slow down, and don't repeat those of the "hot" years of 1933 and 1968.

Before Long's assassination in 1935, it must be recalled that FDR was almost killed in 1933. While shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933, the 44th Mayor of Chicago Anton Joseph "Tony" Cermak was shot in the lung and mortally wounded when Giuseppe Zangara, who at the time was believed to have been engaged in an attempt to assassinate Roosevelt, hit Cermak instead. At the critical moment, Lilian Cross, a doctor's wife, hit Zangara's arm with her purse and spoiled his aim. In addition to Cermak, Zangara hit four other people, one of whom, a woman, also died of her injuries. Zangara told the police that he hated rich and powerful people, but not Roosevelt personally.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American clergyman and civil rights leader who was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday, April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. The assassination of Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy, a United States Senator and brother of assassinated President John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, took place shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, during the campaign season for the United States Presidential election, 1968. After winning the California and South Dakota primary elections for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, Kennedy was fatally shot as he walked through the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel and died in the Good Samaritan Hospital twenty-six hours later.

At this point in the year, no telling what movie is being written.

1 comment:

SJ Reidhead said...

The SASS connection is interesting. Due to the fact that I write about the Wild West and Wyatt Earp, I've had quite a bit of interaction with people who are part of the organization. I like working with them because they are so level-headed and have an excellent grasp of history. This one truly surprised me. He's completely contrary to the people I have met who are part of the organization.