This weekend, 6,500 Canadians will jam Montreal's Olympic Stadium to share in a timeless spectacle involving bravery, farm animals, and Velcro. What is it?
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Wednesday's Question (No. 292)--Military-Industrial Cineplex:
Porcine screenwriter John Milius praises it as "another link between Hollywood and the military that seems to have broken down over the years." What is it?
"The dismal failure of Planet USO."--Beth Sherman
"Both 'institutions' are now 'forced' to 'admit' 'women.' "--Seth Mnookin
"Manly homosexual love. If you don't believe me, watch any John Milius-written screenplay, like Conan the Barbarian."--Dan Ricci
"Putting some teeth into the drug war, Colombia's right-wing paramilitary death squads will now be aided by apple-cheeked American teen-agers. Wolverines! Wooo!"--Daniel Radosh
"Bob Hope."--Brian Jacobsmeyer (Colleen Werthmann had a similar answer.)
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There are three types of people in Southern California: entertainment people, aerospace people, and everyone else. Oddly, if you're an entertainment person, you never meet anyone from the aerospace industry. That's always struck me as strange. They make death at places like China Lake and Point Magu, we sell death at places like Sony. They're conscienceless white guys with money, and so are we. Why don't we hang out? I don't know, but I'll bet Joan Didion does.
Hey, remember that debate with Walter Mondale where Ronald Reagan said that the military needed money for "wardrobe"? Oh, how I laughed. Of course, at the time I was living in Canada.
Producing training material. This week, the Army announced the creation of a $45 million Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. The institute will work with film studios and video-game designers to create the next generation of military simulators. The studios and designers will then be free to use the technology they develop to create theme-park rides and special effects. "It's a win-win for everyone," says Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera.
It's good for the country, it's good for the studios, and it's good for us. Like when Howard Hughes took all that money for airplanes and shoved it down Jane Russell's shirt.
The New York Times asked screenwriter John Milius for his opinion, and the Conan the Barbarian scribe said it sounded just fine to him.
In 1966, John Wayne sent a cable to Lyndon Johnson to secure his support for The Green Berets. Johnson adviser Bill Moyers responded that "it sounded like an exciting venture." Wayne followed up with an eight-page list of the things he would need to make his movie.
Which of these items did Wayne really ask for, and which have I just slipped in for fun?
- 5,800,000 rifles and carbines
- 102,000 machine guns
- 28,000 trench mortars
- 53,000 field and heavy guns
- 13,000 airplanes
- 24,000 airplane engines
- 50,000 ammunition wagons
- 11,000 field kitchens
- 1,150 field bakeries
I didn't add anything to this list. Wayne received full military cooperation on his terms and was billed $18,623.64.
Tim Carvell will be the guest host for next week's News Quiz. Randy Cohen returns Aug. 30.--C.K.