Octopussy by Other Means | The Nation


Octopussy by Other Means

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It makes sense that the mojo thief would be Dr. Evil (who is also Mike Myers), because he's got this totally globular bald head with a long scar that looks like a vein. It's like, he is Austin Powers's mojo, or what happens to somebody's mojo when it gets to be middle-aged and creepy. Dr. Evil's son, Scott Evil, more or less points that out to him, whenever he tells Dr. Evil what an old dick he is. Then, for a second thing, Dr. Evil now has a dwarf clone called Mini-Me. Dr. Evil really loves Mini-Me and sings songs to him, until I got the feeling Mini-Me was like this other Phallus that had got loose, and Dr. Evil was kind of playing with himself.

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Stuart Klawans
The Nation's film critic Stuart Klawans is author of the books Film Follies: The Cinema Out of Order (a finalist for...

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A more apt comparison would be between the surviving staff of the satirical magazine and the brave abortion providers who carried on after the murder of Dr. George Tiller.

Clouds of Sils Maria is prolonged debate about the passage of time and the ceaseless rivalry of generations.

But the funniest part of the whole movie, no question, is Dr. Evil's rocket, which looks exactly like a Phallus. Everybody says so--airplane pilots, Little League umpires, teachers in China, Woody Harrelson. Only the joke is, they don't say it. Every time they come close, the movie cuts to somebody else, over and over again, so it looks like people all over the world are sort of saying this thing you're not supposed to say in public, and the rocket Phallus floats around, not attached to anything.

I can't describe it. You'd have to see the movie, which I guess you have, in order to grade the papers.

To complete what I'm doing in this paper in summarizing The Spy Who Shagged Me and Western Civilization, I will now point out the third and final trademark that Mr. Klawans mentioned, which he called cultural hedge money. Being the teacher of a non-major requirement course who doesn't really know about business, I think he was pronouncing this a little wrong. Also, we usually say "hedge fund." But, if you make allowances, Mr. Klawans probably had the right idea when he talked about winners and losers, and how you're not supposed to let on about how they get that way.

In my career, once I'm managing a hedge fund or whatever, I know I will be a winner. That's because if you can conceive it, you can achieve it, unlike people who become losers. However, even if you point out to people how it's their own fault if they're not winners, like I will be, you still feel sorry for them a little. So the main thing is to not let that get out of hand, where it would interfere with your success, even though you want to be a nice guy. This is an example of cultural hedge money.

For example, the third person Mike Myers plays in this movie is a really disgusting, ugly Scotch guy called Fat Bastard. They make a lot of fun of Fat Bastard, and I noticed that one or two of the people in this class who are pretty big themselves were laughing really loud at these parts of the movie, but not like they thought it was funny. Then, at the end, Felicity Shagwell asks Fat Bastard if he's happy, and he makes this sensitive speech, and for a minute you actually feel sorry for him. At that point I had to think about the one or two people in the class. But then the movie made another joke against Fat Bastard, and I understood being sensitive was also funny. This shows it's OK to laugh at these people, as long as you put in a little sensitive speech as a hedge.

Another example of cultural hedge money is when you get to look a whole lot at Heather Graham's great body, without having to worry that you're going to hear about it from the women in class. The hedge is, Mike Myers right away does something goofy, like put himself in a bikini, too, which lets you get away with it. Or it's a good use of a hedge when Dr. Evil does a rap number, so they don't need to put any black people in the movie.

In conclusion, I thought The Spy Who Shagged Me was really funny, and I would watch it again, though probably on video the second time. The movie also made me appreciate how for some people of the older generation, like Mr. Klawans, the sixties are kind of like their Phallus, which got detached.

Speaking as someone who is looking ahead and building an agenda to win, I want to say in public in this paper that I would give this course a high grade, sincerely, no hedge. The course was very interesting and well taught, and youthful in the way it showed me how The Spy Who Shagged Me represents everything that makes Western Civilization great.

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