Each year at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend the Annie Taylor Award is given. Annie Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. After tumbling over the falls and being found, she emerged from the barrel and said, “No one should ever do that again!”
The award is given to someone who shows courage despite threat of physical or political harm. This year’s recipient of the Annie Taylor Award was blogger, author and activist Pamela Geller. Geller’s blog, Atlas Shrugs, has been at the forefront of reporting about “honor” killings, the radical Islamic movement and the mosque and community center to be built at Ground Zero.
Geller, along with Robert Spencer, is the author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton wrote, “This book carries forward the ongoing and increasingly widespread critique of Barack Obama as our first post-American president. What it recounts is disturbing and its broader implications are more disturbing still. Many Americans believe they elect a president who will vigorously represent their global interests, rather than electing a Platonic guardian who defends them only when they comport with his grander visions of a just world…
If, by contrast, Obama continues to behave as a post-American president, our adversaries will know exactly what to do.”
Luckily, Geller doesn’t live by Annie Taylor’s philosophy. She remains one of the movement’s most adamant supporters of Israel and will never shy away from a debate.
1. If there were a television channel that only showed one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
GELLER: Any Orson Welles RKO production - Citizen Kane, A Touch of Evil, Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai or Welles in Europe, The Third Man.
Early Welles! All day every day!
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
GELLER: “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.” - The Godfather II
Honorable mention: Faye Dunaway, Mommie Dearest Pepsi Cola board meeting.
3. In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he was "cured." If you could give President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid the "Clockwork Orange treatment," what movie would you make them watch?
GELLER: Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
GELLER: The full collection of Ralph Ginzberg's first major work, Eros, which was a quarterly hardbound magazine/periodical which had these extraordinary articles and photo-essays on love and erotica. Gorgeous. Only four issues of Eros were published - the third carried the now famous 18-page photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe who had died just six weeks prior to publication. This, her last photo session, was photographed by Bert Stern and it is her most haunting, beautiful and revealing - literally and figuratively.
I was 15 when I bought my very first piece of artwork with money I earned from babysitting and various jobs. It was a Bert Stern silk screen of Marilyn Monroe from this very session. I have it still. And I love it.
Only four issues of Eros were published, because Ginzburg was indicted under federal obscenity laws for the fourth issue. These hardbound books are so beautiful - his arrest is almost impossible to believe in so morally bankrupt an age as this. The low state of our culture could never produce art like Eros.
5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
GELLER: TCM (Turner Classic Movies) If I could I would have classic movies playing 24/7/365. Pre-code films, even better!
The only show that I love on that rare occasion that I catch it, is Project Runway. It is extraordinary and I marvel at the talent exhibited in that show. Very cool.
6. Which movie, television or rock star would cause you to lose your ability to speak if you ever met?
GELLER: Alive? No one.
Dead? Robert Mitchum
7. What do you remember most about going to the movies as a kid? How has that experience changed for the better or worse for your kids?
GELLER: The movie experience that is seared in my memory was sitting down in the red velvet movie theater chair when I was like five years old and seeing Ann-Margret literally explode off the screen in the opening intro of Bye Bye Birdie. She just blew me away. I was transfixed. Thrilling. I recalled nothing of the movie after except her in that gold dress, red lipstick, blue screen, gyrating, dancing feverishly, running, jumping ........OMG. She was....hotter than that.
What can I say about movies today? Nothing. There is no there there. Nothing worth seeing. I feel sorry for kids today. There is nothing noble to aspire to, no role models. They have to jump through hoops for the least bit of entertainment. Norma Desmond didn't know how right she was when she said, "I *am* big. It's the *pictures* that got small.." They didn't just get small, they disappeared.
The art of film in America is dead. What a loss.
It is fun to go to a Miley Cyrus flick with my girls because they love her. But there are no moments of life changing cinematic greatness. More's the pity.
8. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
GELLER: I went to see Stevie Wonder with my best friend, Bonnie Goldsmith. My dearest, closest friend, we were attached at the hip for close to 30 years. We sat in nosebleed seats, of course.
9. What are your two favorite non-news websites?
GELLER: There are non-news websites?
10. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2010 what would they be?
GELLER: Republicans: The Ramones, "Blitzkreig Bop"
Democrats: Elvis Costello "The Imposter"
11. What question do you wish reporters would ask you? What’s your answer to that question?
GELLER: Why do you do what you do?
For Art! Music! Love!
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
GELLER: September 12, 2001