Guardian on Expelled: A step to the right

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The actor Ben Stein has switched from TV comedy, where his talents really lie, to political apologias, where his talents simply die, says John Patterson

Not a very good start but things get better, or worse

Comic actor and game show host Ben Stein isn’t at all happy, according to the trailers for his spurious-looking new documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he berates in overheated, lachrymose and rhetorically manipulative ways the American academic establishment’s reluctance to recognise intelligent design, the pseudoscientific, inbred second-cousin of biblical creationism, for which Expelled offers straightforward propaganda. Stein isn’t making a political crossover here, just a formal one - from TV comedy, where his talents really lie, to political apologias, where his talents simply die. His deeply rightwing political opinions haven’t shifted one iota since he was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon. (If you can believe it, Stein was once suspected of being Deep Throat.)

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After reading this review of Expelled!, (HT: The Panda’s Thumb) based only on the 10 minute trailer, I decided to go view the various trailers for myself. This is a movie that I have very little interest in seeing. Let me explain that. It... Read More

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Got a linkie to the whole review?

From Wikipedia:

After Mark Felt’s identity as Deep Throat was revealed, Stein stated that Richard Nixon would have prevented the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge if he had not been forced to resign. For his actions leading to that resignation, Stein said “If there is such a thing as kharma, if there is such a thing as justice in this life or the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide”.

Elazimm, that sounds like Stein really believes in the end justifying the means. Scary.

Ah, but where would we be without the good old Grauniad*?

*Spelling an affectionate remembrance of the many, many wonderful typographical errors for which this daily was so justly famed.

Ben Stein’s greatest talent is comedy?

That’s news to me.

For most of us, the first exposure to Stein was as the laconic high school teacher in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He provided the comedy by illustrating the reason why most high school students didn’t go into college.

Of course, most actors use method acting these days. Stein stayed with character acting.

Stein’s stayed in character for 22 years?

That must be some sort of record.

Ben manages not to speak in a dull monotone (sometimes) when he has something “interesting” to say as a commentator on “CBS Sunday Morning”. Am hoping that he’ll open his big mouth about “EXPELLED” there, so CBS can offer him the same “award” it bestowed upon Dan Rather not so long ago; severing its ties to him. After that, maybe The New York Times will stop publishing his business columns too.

Here’s hoping,

John

Nigel D: always nice to find another Private Eye reader. Apologies to the non-Brits in the audience and for the off-topic comment.

Boyce Williams Wrote:

For most of us, the first exposure to Stein was as the laconic high school teacher in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He provided the comedy by illustrating the reason why most high school students didn’t go into college.

Since following “Expelled” I have read dozens of references to Stein’s role on “Bueller,” yet at most two (besides mine) to his recurring role as the science teacher on “The Wonder Years” circa 1990. I never saw “Bueller” but remember him well from TWY. How can anyone forget his “Uranus” episode? He was the stereotype of the boring, nerdy science teacher. In retrospect, I have to wonder if he disrespected science even then, and welcomed the opportunity to mock science teachers.

Expelled is so iconic a bad film that it takes an icon do it justice :

http://www.adamant.typepad.com

Oh, hey, I just got the reference in the title of this posting. It’s from The Time Warp, isn’t it?

Put your hands on your hips…

@ Stanton:

Ben Stein’s qualifications as a scientist are the same as his qualifications as a comedian,

0=0.

Russell Seitz :

Expelled is so iconic a bad film that it takes an icon do it justice :

Alternate title; PLAN 9 FROM BEN STEIN SPACE

Alternate title; PLAN 9 FROM BEN STEIN SPACE

how about “Plan Stein from Outer Space?”

:)

Blaidd Drwg:

@ Stanton:

Ben Stein’s qualifications as a scientist are the same as his qualifications as a comedian,

0=0.

In retrospect, I think that Ben Stein makes a better comedian than he does a scientist.

But, that is akin to saying that it’s better to die by being crushed to death by a falling grand piano than it is by being bitten by an Egyptian horned asp on the tongue.

gabriel:

How about “Plan Stein from Outer Space?”

Oh, silly me, I missed something that obvious. Hmm, instead of starring Bela Lugosi PLAN STEIN stars … Richard Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins

I don’t think that’s in the listing.

His artist name seems to be The Dick to The Dawk to The PhD.

Nigel D:

Oh, hey, I just got the reference in the title of this posting. It’s from The Time Warp, isn’t it?

Put your hands on your hips…

…and pull your knees in tight …

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 29, 2008 12:26 AM.

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