Whenever I’m in any kind of tough spot or tight corner, I always say to myself, “How would Steve McQueen handle this if it was happening in Bullitt?” This is truly the basis and the reasoning behind most of my public behaviors — I pretend I’m Frank Bullitt and act accordingly. But let’s take this idea to the next step and imagine something else. We’re on that Pan Am jet at the end of Bullitt, waiting to depart San Francisco Int’l airport, and instead of Albert “Johnny Ross” Renick sitting in that window seat it’s Bullitt, off to Italy and a romantic rendezvous with Jacqueline Bissett.
But suddenly a couple of security guys come up the aisle and tell Bullitt that his ticket is invalid, and that he’ll have to leave his seat and catch another flight. Bullitt argues, shakes his head, refuses to leave. The security guys finally grab him and yank him out of his seat, and this is how Bullitt responds. Two questions: If Bullitt had made these sounds when the security guys grab him, what would happen to McQueen’s super-stud image with moviegoers and how popular would Bullitt have been at the box-office?
Imagine that scene in The Big Sleep when Humphrey Bogart‘s Philip Marlowe is talking to John Ridgely‘s Eddie Mars inside Arthur Geiger’s Laurel Canyon home. Mars calls in his boys, Pete and Sydney, and tells them to frisk Marlowe. But Marlowe flinches when Pete starts searching and before you know it they’re punching each other on the floor. Except Pete lands a couple of good ones and Marlowe gets rattled and starts howling. Be honest — how would this scene affect Bogart’s reputation as a chain-smoking, two-fisted tough guy?
Charlton Heston‘s Judah Ben-Hur is sitting pensively in the belly of a Roman battleship as Jack Hawkins‘ Quintus Arrius inspects the crew. Something about Ben-Hur intrigues Arrius. To test his character Hawkins lashes the oarsman’s back with a whip, and Heston, to Hawkins’ surprise, reacts with a series of screams. If Heston had howled like a little bitch, would he have won the Best Actor Oscar and would Ben-Hur have won for Best Picture?
A few days ago my Twitter-dog reputation as a horrible, vile, reprehensible person was re-enforced when I reacted negatively to the bitch wailings of David Dao. The United security guys were obviously the big villains but Dao shrieked like a bobcat, and that, to me, was the greater offense. Either you get the “man up and suck it in and act like Steve McQueen thing” or you don’t. The twitter bitches who tried to take me down a few days ago obviously don’t.