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This publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International. Call toll-free 800-521-3044. In Michigan, Alaska and Hawaii call collect 313-761-4700. Or mail inquiry to: University Microfilms International. 300 North Zeeb Road. Ann Arbor, MI 48106. tion that preoccupies me throughout the convoluted exposition of plots within plots. For all the effort required to follow this script, I might have been reading Stephen Hawking and at least learned something about the history of time. Towne is not Proust, though he does exert a great deal of energy remembering things past, particularly the success of Chinatown. The elaborate mechanism of the movie’s murder mystery is little more than what Hitchcock called a MacGuffin, the gimmickry of plot that is as tiresome in itself as “an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish highlands.” In the lower moral terrain that the movie surveys, where the muck of the La Brea Tar Pits is hailed as “the greatest record of life on earth,” time is the most compelling character. It is a preoccupation with the burdens of memory that saves this sequel from the tedium of events. Recovering the energy of Chinatown without director Roman Polanski and, ultimately, without the cooperation of Towne was not easy, but Nicholson builds into his work a sense of loss. Gittes is forever brooding over the past, over his regrets about the dead Evelyn and his obligations toward her daughter Katherine. Extremely brief fl ashbacks hint at a connection between the two films, but they also suggest a disjunction that is Jake’s abiding sorrow. “You can’t forget the past any more than you can change it,” declares Jake. We, too, watching The Two fakes in 1990, peer back at 1948, ponder the past and its connection to the present. The film is rich in images of a vanished era Jake’s Pontiac roadster, an Ajax commercial on a primitive TV, the stocking garters that bares to befuddled Jake. The judge at Berman’s hearing cautions the attorneys that evidence from a tape recording is a courtroom novelty. It is a world in which movie theaters still show double bills, but the titles advertised on a nearby marquee Gentleman’s Agreement and The Paradine Case are reminders of hinnan failing. Frequent seismic temblors and a spectacular explosion over an oil patch disrupt the movie’s proceedings and any sense of security. A turbid fossil fuel flows through the faucets of a model home. Jakes is a slang term for outhouse. The Two fakes reinforces its predecessor’s vision of feculence triumphant. AFTERWORD A History Lesson for Pat Buchanan Dear Mr. Buchanan, While I was vacationing in Colorado, I read your syndicated column that appeared in the June 28, 1990 issue of the Denver Post, in which you rejoice at the prospect of our country annexing some of the eastern Canadian English-speaking provinces, and in which you also deplore immigration from Mexico, because you somehow perceive that as the source of a future separatist movement in our country. You also apparently resent the fact that ethnic minorities have spokespersons for their problems, and you ask: “Who speaks for the Euro-Americans who founded the United States?” Look, Buchanan, over 90 percent of Mexico’s non-Indian population are Spanish mestizos. The last time I checked, Spain was still in Europe. So, what the hell are you talking about when you refer .to non-minority Americans as Euro-Americans? What do you think we Mexican-Americans are? Asians? Australians? Middle Easterners? You also say that your people “founded” our country, the U.S.A. Your ignorance astounds me. For your information, our hemisphere was discovered by Cristobal Colon in 1492, under the auspices of the flag of Spain. The Spanish explorers De Leon, Onate, DeSoto, Rodriquez-Cabrillo, Coronado, and others, explored and/or settled about two Ramiro Casso is a physician who lives in McAllen. thirds of continental United States. From the first-ever U.S.A. settlements, in Florida, to most of the deep Southern states, to the Mississippi River, to most of the Midwest, to the West Coast including California, to most of the intervening states, to Texas all were first explored and/or settled by Spain. In 1540, Vasquez de Coronado explored New Mexico, and in 1598 Don Juan De Onate established a permanent settlement at San Juan, New Mexico, and that is at least nine years before the first Jamestown, Virginia, settlement, and 22 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the capital of the province of New Mexico 10 years before the Plymouth settlement. Two of my family’s ancestors settled in Texas Spanish land grants given to them by the King of Spain in the mid-1700s. They were farming and raising cattle in Texas a full quarter-century before the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed at Philadelphia. Come again, Buchanan, who was it that first settled most of our country? Who? Also, when you impugn the loyalty or patriotism of a whole ethnic group \(the that we are possible future separatists \(like ask: How can anybody that misinformed be a national syndicated newspaper columnist, and a national TV-news commentator? Do you not know that in World War II, MexicanAmericans were among the most-decorated soldiers for bravery in action? Do you not know that Mexican-Americans served and died in numbers way out of proportion to our percentage of our total population in both the Korean and the Vietnam wars? We Mexican-Americans fight our country’s wars, Buchanan, because we love our country, because we love liberty and the freedoms that our country stands for, including your right to insult us as you have done. I want you, Pat, to come down to South Texas to my home county of Hidalgo, and I want to take you to the grave of Congressional Medal Honoree Freddy Gonzalez, and I want you to explain to him and to me what it is that you mean by a Mexican-American separatist. Shame on you, Pat Buchanan, shame on you. Ramiro R. Casso, M.D. Captain, U.S. Army Reserve McAllen THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23