It was the end of the movie. A man was undergoing a court-martial. It was unjust and Robert Mitchum, as his defense attorney, was having a difficult time securing justice. Just post World War II, there were a lot of highly placed and well-connected Army brass who needed the accused to be found guilty. Why? Because a guilty verdict would stop any further investigation of what really happened and who was truly involved.

If the story sounds familiar, it is. When important people, movers and shakers — no matter whether they are government, military, or major corporate players, “the truth” is, as often as not, one of the casualties of whatever is going down. Truth, honesty, justice, fairness … mere collateral damage in an endless war in which we are all pawns and the power is in the hands of the rich, powerful, and well-connected.

man-in-the-middle-the-winston-affair-poster-1964Justice is not done in this case, though the outcome could be worse, depending on how you choose to look at it. It’s a British production and there is a sense of frustration and futility that even after fighting and dying, regular people are still taking the hit for those in power.

Thus, at the end of movie, when it is pointed out to Mitchum that they didn’t win, he agrees.


But then he says: “Just because you can’t lick’em, doesn’t mean you have to join’em, either.”


Maybe, in the final analysis, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes, we lose, but we don’t have to give up our sense of purpose, our honesty, or throw away the things in which we believe. We don’t have to join them.

My team, my beliefs, my principles took a major hit. But don’t think for a minute this means I’m about to passively join the mob of sycophants and “true believers.”

I do not have to join them.

Neither do you.

6 thoughts on “YOU DON’T HAVE TO JOIN THEM”

  1. Great point for all of us still shaking our heads in disbelief and disappointment.

    Mitchum was very proud of this underappreciated film. He said he knew it wasn’t a “box office job” but he loved the script.


  2. Never have and never will just go along with the ‘crowd’.

    To expand on the Can’t Beat ’em – Join ’em simile: If you can’t beat them (at their game) make sure you understand them fully so you can darn well beat ’em at Yours. 😉
    If winning counts then it’s folly to play someone at a game where they have the upper hand over you – change the game to one where you have the power.

    And on the topic – sure Trump won this time (barely) but never think you can’t beat him. His weakness is his ego and long history of self-promotion/wheeler-dealing; smart people can use this to the country’s and their own advantage and will show him to be just what he is – superfluous, supercilious and irrelevant – soon enough. Hopefully the Democrats can learn from their past mistakes and move on to a position where they can take advantage of his inevitable fall to once again stand up for the ‘little people’ (majority).

    That’s a game i bet you can win – and would want to play.



    1. We can’t get him out of office. Although a lot of people think they can, I very much doubt it. Of course, anything is possible, but our laws are not really designed to do that. He could resign, but whoever took his place wouldn’t be much better — and might actually be worse, in a more polite sort of way. The best and worst of himself is that he’s such a crazoid blowhard, most of what he says is funny and ridiculous. Some of his cohorts, though … they are serious men with a big agenda and they make my skin crawl.

      But, as I said: I do NOT have to join them. I have been a non-joiner for a long time and for many long years. I will say what I can, do what I must, and hope that the young people of this country stand up and make us all proud. Because THEY could do it, if they would.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point! On his own he’s bad enough as the Leader of your country, but the real trouble – as always – is what’s lurking in the background. There seem to be those who are more moderate and intelligent, but then there are undoubtedly those who are intelligent and are intent on serving themselves before the people. They’re the ones America needs to watch out for and kick out of high office.



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