Wednesday, October 22, 2014

come upstairs

October 22, 2014
R.I.P., Ben Bradlee

another member of what Tom Brokaw named "The Greatest Generation"

After the scene in Charlie Wilson's War where Gust Avrakotos airs his disgust with the Agency's broken promises regarding his career ("I spend THREE YEARS learning FINNISH!!!!!!!!!!! -- I wanna know why I'm not going to be your Helsinki station chief..."

Promises were made!

Not by me!...etc.)  CUT TO:

a cafeteria where Avrakotos is going through the line with another CIA guy, getting food on tray, heading for cash register, to pay.

Avrakotos speaks with a fuming, growly style -- weary-and-energized at the same time:

"There's a woman in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, named Nitsa.  And she thinks she's a witch.  Yeah, she offered to put a curse on Cravely for me."

Other agent -- "Yeah?"

-- "And she...She asked me do I want a professional curse or a health curse.  'If it's a health curse, I can do it right away, but a professional curse takes longer.'  Well, I'm living proof she's right about that."
He grumbles aggressively, "I'm reading transcripts of phone conversations between French and German generals arguing over office space at NATO headquarters and analyzing wiretaps out of Mercury Bay, New Zealand.  You know -- historically not a hotbed of anti-American activity.

Yeah, nobody will come near me.
I'm in the weeds."

The other agent -- "You know, a typical case officer doesn't walk into his boss's office and tell him to go [have physically intimate romantic relations with] himself.


-- I just told you, I paid a witch in Pennsylvania $80 to put a curse on Henry Cravely for me.  Do I sound like a typical case officer?

-- No.

-- Well, then, let's assume I'm not.

-- Listen.  If you're really not doing anything, why don't you come upstairs and work with us?
-- What are you doing?
-- Killing Russians.

{Charlie Wilson's War.  Mike Nichols.  Aaron Sorkin.  2007.  Book by George Crile.}


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