THE ARTISTS, POETS and PROFESSORS of BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE (the college featured in the film THE LONGEST RIDE) Part 13 Charles Perrow (MARXIST)


The Longest Ride Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Britt Robertson Movie HD

My first post in this series was on the composer John Cage and my second post was on Susan Weil and Robert Rauschenberg who were good friend of CageThe third post in this series was on Jorge Fick. Earlier we noted that  Fick was a student at Black Mountain College and an artist that lived in New York and he lent a suit to the famous poet Dylan Thomas and Thomas died in that suit.

The fourth post in this series is on the artist  Xanti Schawinsky and he had a great influence on John Cage who  later taught at Black Mountain College. Schawinsky taught at Black Mountain College from 1936-1938 and Cage right after World War II. In the fifth post I discuss David Weinrib and his wife Karen Karnes who were good friends with John Cage and they all lived in the same community. In the 6th post I focus on Vera B. William and she attended Black Mountain College where she met her first husband Paul and they later  co-founded the Gate Hill Cooperative Community and Vera served as a teacher for the community from 1953-70. John Cage and several others from Black Mountain College also lived in the Community with them during the 1950’s. In the 7th post I look at the life and work of M.C.Richards who also was part of the Gate Hill Cooperative Community and Black Mountain College.

In the 8th post I look at book the life of   Anni Albers who is  perhaps the best known textile artist of the 20th century and at Paul Klee who was one  of her teachers at Bauhaus. In the 9th post the experience of Bill Treichler in the years of 1947-1949  is examined at Black Mountain College. In 1988, Martha and Bill started The Crooked Lake Review, a local history journal and Bill passed away in 2008 at age 84.

In the 10th post I look at the art of Irwin Kremen who studied at Black Mountain College in 1946-47 and there Kremen spent his time focused on writing and the literature classes given by the poet M. C. Richards. In the 11th post I discuss the fact that Josef Albers led the procession of dozens of Bauhaus faculty and students to Black Mountain.

In the 12th post I feature Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) who was featured in the film THE LONGEST RIDE and the film showed Kandinsky teaching at BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE which was not true according to my research. Evidently he was invited but he had to decline because of his busy schedule but many of his associates at BRAUHAUS did teach there. In the 13th post I look at the writings of the communist Charles Perrow. 

Drinking Deep at Black Mountain College

From: Southern Cultures
Volume 19, Number 4, Winter 2013
pp. 76-94 | 10.1353/scu.2013.0034

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Click for larger view

Black Mountain College, near Asheville, North Carolina, was an icon of progressive education during its short life, from 1933 to 1956. Isolated in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, it was one of the very few schools in the country that was open to experimentation. Buckminster Fuller’s students demonstrate the lightness of the dome during the 1949 Summer Architecture Institute, photographed by Masato Nakagawa. All photographs from the North Carolina Museum of Art Black Mountain Research Project, courtesy of the North Carolina Digital Collections,

Black Mountain College, near Asheville, North Carolina, was an icon of progressive education during its short life, from 1933 to 1956. When I was there, from 1946 to 1948, there were sixty to eighty students and twenty faculty. There were few formal academic requirements, no required courses, no grades, limited resources, but an amazing abundance of creative students and faculty. Students in my two years included such notables as the writer Jose Yglesias, director Arthur Penn, painter Kenneth Noland, and sculptor Ruth Asawa. The Summer Art Institute in 1948 had John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Richard Lippold. The regular faculty had as its star the abstract painter Josef Albers, and many notables in painting, mathematics, chemistry, weaving, and music, including Ilya Bolotowsky, Max Dehn, Natasha Goldowski, Anni Albers, Erwin Bodky, and Edward Lowinsky. The rest of the faculty included lesser-known but often distinguished writers, philosophers, musicians, historians, and a progressive psychologist.

The college was always a dynamic, explosive, self-destructive hothouse. Since its inception, it had been a hotel for progressive ideas in American education, the arts, and the social sciences. Isolated in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, it was one of the very few schools in the country that was open to experimentation. A busload of new faculty and students arrived yearly, welcomed as refreshers and feared as competitors by those who had been there a year or two. Some tried to renovate BMC in their own image, some simply basked in its tolerance and idealism. The most authentic of the students and faculty were seeking to feed deeply on its vibrant flesh, immersing themselves in the unique experience and embracing its contradictions. All but a few moved on after a year or two, gratified or rejected, and a new busload arrived. A small core faculty stayed, providing some continuity and every three or four years wearily congratulating themselves on staving off another educational challenge and on disposing of the disruptive faculty and students who sought renovations (and sometimes achieved them). The core faculty sullenly cleaned up and tried again to square the circle, to create stability and security while proclaiming innovation. My busload, I believe, was quintessential.

Making Our Way

Almost everyone there at this period seemed a poster-child of some sort, representing a fragment of our culture—the closet gay, the civil rights activist, the communist, the avant-garde painter, the urgent truth-seeker, the parent-escaper. My poster was being about the only student from the West Coast (most were from the Northeast, particularly New York City); about being the only one without parents and siblings who had attended college (most students, but certainly not all, were from a well-educated upper middle class, or intellectual elite class); and being one of the few, I suppose, who had had little contact with Jewish people. BMC, in my retrospective judgment, was predominantly a Jewish culture. Tacoma, Washington, had a few Jews (including a friend), and some of my army friends were probably Jewish, but I never thought much of it. My acquaintance with Jewish culture was so limited that, even after I left BMC and went to live on the Lower East Side (East 6th and Avenue A), it struck me as very strange as I walked in my neighborhood (a Jewish enclave in 1948-49) that all the people chatting on the front steps spent their time telling Jewish jokes. I finally realized that BMC was the only context in which I had heard those wonderful jokes and theatrical accents.

I was probably one of the few students who had no conscious…

[FUKUSHIMA UPDATE] “Fukushima: Nuclear Ticking Time Bomb, Fukushima Worldwide Consequences”

Published on Nov 12, 2013

Radiation Treatment See;… get complete details…[FUKUSHIMA UPDATE] “Fukushima: Nuclear Ticking Time Bomb, Fukushima Worldwide Consequences” Interview with Dr. Charles Perrow, on the dire situation, and cleanup-up efforts or lack of them by ‘TEPCO’ at “Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster in Japan and the current affects with worldwide implications. For radiation treatment, prevention and exposure preparedness, see complete details @ take action… sign petitions, and be prepared!

TRUNEWS Guest: Dr. Charles Perrow, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Yale University

Topic : Dr. Charles Perrow, PhD and Emeritus Professor at Yale University, discusses his deep concern regarding the perilous decommissioning process recently undertaken at the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. According to Perrow, if any two of the 1,535 fuel rods held within the reactor touch, it could cause an uncontrollable nuclear reaction that would warrant the evacuation of Japan and the West Coast of the United States.

BIO: Charles Perrow (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1960) is a past Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society; a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavorial Sciences (1981-2, 1999); Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science; Resident Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 1990-91; Fellow, Shelly Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, 1995-96; Visitor, Institute for Advanced Studies, 1995-96, Princeton University; former member of the Committee on Human Factors, National Academy of Sciences, of the Sociology Panel of the National Science Foundation, and of the editorial boards of several journals. An organizational theorist, he is the author of six books, including: The Radical Attack on Business (1972), Organizational Analysis:

A Sociological View (1970), Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay (1972; 3rd ed., 1986), award winning Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies (1984; revised, 1999), award winning The AIDS Disaster: The Failure of Organizations in New York and the Nation (1990) with Mauro Guillen, award winning Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of American Capitalism (2002) and over 50 articles.

His interests include the development of bureaucracy in the 19th Century; the radical movements of the 1960s; Marxian theories of industrialization and of contemporary crises; accidents in such high risk systems as nuclear plants, air transport, DNA research and chemical plants; protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure; the prospects for democratic work organizations; and the origins of U.S. capitalism.


Charles Perrow

Charles Perrow's picture


Charles Perrow (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1960) is a past Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society; a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavorial Sciences (1981-2, 1999); Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science; Resident Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, 1990-91; Fellow, Shelly Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, 1995-96; Princeton University; Visitor, Institute for Advanced Studies, 1995-96, Princeton NJ; former member of the Committee on Human Factors, National Academy of Sciences, of the Sociology Panel of the National Science Foundation, and of the editorial boards of several journals. An organizational theorist, he is the author of six books, including: The Radical Attack on Business (1972), Organizational Analysis: A Sociological View (1970), Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay (1972; 3rd ed., 1986), award winning Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies (1984; revised, 1999), award winning The AIDS Disaster: The Failure of Organizations in New York and the Nation (1990) with Mauro Guillen, award winning Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of American Capitalism (2002) and over 50 articles. His interests include the development of bureaucracy in the 19th Century; the radical movements of the 1960s; Marxian theories of industrialization and of contemporary crises; accidents in such high risk systems as nuclear plants, air transport, DNA research and chemical plants; protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure; the prospects for democratic work organizations; and the origins of U.S. capitalism.

Selected Publications


Research Interests

vulnerabilities to terrorism; organizational theory


Charles Perrow is an emeritus professor of sociology at Yale University and a visiting professor at CISAC in the winter and spring terms. Among his award-winning research is Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of American Capitalism (Princeton, 2002), and Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies (Princeton, 1999).  A revised edition of his 2007 book, The Next Catastrophe, will be published by Princeton in 2011. His recent articles include “Modeling Firms in the Global Economy,” Theory and Society, 2009, v 38:3, May, 217-243, “Organizations and Global Warming,” in Constance Lever-Tracy, ed. Handbook of Society and Climate change (Routledge, forthcoming, 2010), “Complexity, Catastrophe, and Modularity,” Sociological Inquiry 78:2, May 2008 162-73; “Conservative Radicalism,”Organization 15:2 2008 271-77; “Disasters Evermore? Reducing our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters,” Social Research 75:3 Fall, 2008. His recent membership on a National Academy of Science panel on the possibilities of certifying software led to his current work on cyber security. He is also writing on the economic meltdown, but his major interest now is the institutional/organizational aspects of global warming. He received his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, all in sociology.


Black Mountain College below:

‘The Longest Ride,’ A Love Story About Luke, A Champion Bull Rider, And Sophia, A Young College Girl, Is Based On The Bestselling Nicholas Sparks Novel, Hits Theaters April 10, 2015

Ira and Ruth, Luke and Sophia –– two couples separated by time and age – have little in common until a series of unexpected events are set in motion and their lives become intertwined. From New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes an extraordinary love story that begins when a box of old letters, filled with a lifetime of love, wisdom and experience, set Luke and Sophia on a path to discover their true values and the real meaning of love.

Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke (Scott Eastwood), a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia (Britt Robertson), a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City´s art world.

Sophia (BRITT ROBERTSON), a senior at the University of Wake Forest, sees her lifelong dream about to come true. With just weeks to go until graduation, she has landed an internship with a prestigious New York art gallery. Sophia is on her way. That is until a friend barges through her door with a pair of cowboy boots and an invitation to a bull riding event. Though not her thing, Sophia relents and the two friends make their way to their seats, past the band of female fans known as Buckle Bunnies.

Sophia (Britt Robertson) in 'The Longest Ride' by 20th Century Fox

In the chute, Luke Collins (SCOTT EASTWOOD) prepares to ride the eight seconds that will put him back on the road to the top spot on the Professional Bull Riding circuit. Returning from a serious injury suffered during a previous ride on the world class bull known as Rango, Luke is determined to regain the riding championship. But the bull has other thoughts. He charges Luke, who climbs onto a fence and out of harm’s way. As his hat flies off and into a surprised Sophia’s lap, their eyes meet for a brief moment – just long enough for Luke to decide he wants to get to know this beauty. “Hold on to it for me, will ya?” he asks Sophia. And as the bull crashes into the fence, Luke is gone, leaving Sophia breathless.

That evening, Sophia, wearing Luke’s hat, runs into him, but instead of asking for his hat, he asks her for a date. She accepts, never guessing that the course of her life has changed and will become far removed from the one that she had imagined.

Luke (Scott Eastwood) and Sophia (Britt Robertson) enjoy getting to know each other while dining al fresco in 'The Longest Ride' by 20th Century Fox

Ninety-one year old Ira Levinson (ALAN ALDA) is also on a life-changing course. Having lost his wife Ruth some eight years earlier, he begins a journey to Black Mountain, North Carolina and Black Mountain College, an art colony where he bought Ruth her first painting, starting a collection that would span the decades of their marriage.

Ira’s trip is interrupted when, on a rain-slicked road, he loses control of his car, crashes through a guard rail and down an embankment. As the car begins to burn, Ira is aware of someone pulling him from it. It’s Luke, with Sophia right behind him. Though semi-conscious, Ira can only think of the simple, worn box filled with letters left behind in the car. “The box; get the box,” he murmurs and Sophia braves the flames to rescue it.

Later, at the hospital, Sophia looks inside the carton and finds it filled with old letters. Ira is secretly pleased and asks her to read them to him. The two develop a bond and Sophia discovers how much the two couples have in common and how, in spite of the age difference, Young Ruth (OONA CHAPLIN) and Young Ira (JACK HUSTON) have lived a life filled with many of the challenges facing Luke and Sophia. The two couples’ lives will converge, providing the wisdom that will guide Luke and Sophia on their journey.

Ruth (Oona Chaplin) and Ira (Jack Huston) revel in what will become a decades-long and inspirational romance in 'The Longest Ride' by 20th Century Fox


With The Longest Ride, Nicholas Sparks marks the third feature film adaptation of his novels with producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey. The author and Temple Hill producers previously teamed for the 2010 romantic dramaDear John and for 2012’s Safe Haven.

Neither project prepared the author for the preparation required for The Longest Ride book-to-film journey.

The Longest Ride is something I’ve never done in film before,” says Sparks. “It’s really two stories in one. It’s the story of Ruth and Ira, a couple who’ve been married for a long time. Ira is now a widower. Their life together, told in flashbacks, is a fascinating story that Ira tells to Sophia, a college student at Wake Forest, and to Luke, a professional bull rider.

The Longest Ride has an epic quality that applies to both love stories,” continues the author. “It covers the love story between Ruth and Ira, which starts before World War II, and it’s contrasted with the entirely different world of professional bull riding. What differentiates this film from the other adaptations of my work is its epic quality and the dual love story. It’s about the way the two love stories come together.”

Sparks continues: “When you meet the person with whom you fall in love, the feeling’s the same, whether you’re in the 1930s or in the present day. Everybody goes through the same emotions. There’s universality to the way we feel and that’s what I wanted to show. I think the fun of the film is trying to figure out how on earth these two stories are going to come together in the end.”

Bringing Sparks’ story to the big screen is director George Tillman, Jr., whose eclectic body of work encompasses romantic comedy (Soul Food), action-drama (Men of Honor) and biopics (Notorious). “George has the ability to marry emotion with masculinity, both of which are required to tell this story,” says producer Marty Bowen. “I begged him to read the script and he called me and said, ‘You know what, Marty? I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 25 years, and to me, what I take out of this film is sacrifice, which is the most important thing in a relationship.’ And I’m sitting there listening to George and thinking ‘Oh, I’ve found my director.’

While Tillman appreciated the love story, he was also captivated by the bull riding elements. “One of the things that I enjoy as a director,” he explains, “is discovering cultures where people can experience new things.

“I’ve always been a fan of bull riding,” he continues, “and there hadn’t been a lot of films dealing with that subject. I was so excited to see a story set against that background,” he exclaims. “I wanted to direct The Longest Ride.”

Tillman’s partner at State Street Pictures, and one of this film’s executive producers, Bob Teitel, was, like the director, taken with the film’s theme of sacrifice. “When I read The Longest Ride, the first thing that came to my mind was the word ‘sacrifice.’ With Luke and Sophia, as well as Ruth and Ira, it’s about what do you sacrifice for one another.”


Finding actors who could bring the vivid characters to life on film was a challenge, but one that the filmmakers were excited to accept. “Scott Eastwood was one of our initial top five for the role of Luke,” says Sparks. “We bantered around a lot of different names, but Scott was always there. When we brought him in, Scott proved to be just what we were looking for. He looks like a leading man, and had a good understanding of the characters.”

Bowen adds that, “Casting the male lead in a love story is very, very hard. You want the actor to be emotionally accessible, but you also want him to be masculine, vulnerable and strong. That combination of traits is difficult to find.

“When Scott came in to talk to us about the part, he left with the movie being his. It’s as if the movie was written for Scott. He has real charisma and toughness. We had to keep close tabs on him during the shoot because if he could, he’d get on the bulls and ride them himself. That’s just who he is. It’s in his DNA. He had that blend we were looking for.”

Eastwood’s onscreen love interest, Britt Robertson, notes that she was “drawn to Scott’s different qualities. He’s a guy’s guy who’s also vulnerable, sweet, and a bit shy. When we filmed a scene where Luke and Sophia go on a date, it was amazing to see all the different colors Scott brought to the role.”

Eastwood notes that “Luke is very determined, at times selfish, but he’s a good guy. He’s a gentleman and a hard worker. Luke is coming back from a life-threatening injury and is determined to be the number one rider.”

The filmmakers tapped Britt Robertson to play Sophia because, says Bowen, “With a love story, women want to put themselves into the lead actress’ shoes. You have to be beautiful but accessible at the same time, and that’s an unusual marriage of characteristics.

“Britt is captivating and she can change an entire scene in just a moment,” Bowen continues. “She feels a scene’s subtext. It’s instinctual.”

Robertson has always been drawn to Sparks’ work, and especially to his depiction of the character she would portray on film. “I love that Sophia is passionate about art and how driven she is to succeed. I was drawn to the fact that Sophia was so goal oriented at such a young age.”

After finding the actors for the contemporary love story, the filmmakers turned to the task of casting the couple that inspires Sophia, beginning with Oona Chaplin, who plays Ruth. “Oona really selected herself for the role,” says Sparks. “She was just so vibrant. She practically leaped off the screen and said, ‘I’m Ruth!’ Oona has spent most of her time overseas, like Ruth, so she really brings that authenticity to the role. Her energy was just what we were looking for in casting the role.

For Chaplin, the fact that she could portray a character from ages 17 through 45 was a dream come true. “I really respect Ruth because she’s very strong,” says the actress. “Like Ruth, I was fortunate to have an upbringing that was full of different types of culture. There was art and music and film, and it was interesting to explore that background with the character and how she would react if that was suddenly ripped away. The [film’s flashback] historical context of the Second World War and having to leave behind everything that you know, was an interesting thing to explore.”

The filmmakers knew it would take a strong actor to portray Ruth’s husband, Ira, someone who would match Chaplin’s formidable energy and with whom she would have great chemistry. Jack Huston filled that bill. “Jack was fantastic,” says Teitel. “We knew his work from Boardwalk Empire, but his character in The Longest Ride was the trickiest to find.” “Jack is hilarious,” adds Chaplin. “From the beginning, we were on the same page about where we wanted to take Ira and Ruth. We really wanted to bring a bit more humanity and grit to the onscreen relationship. It’s been so wonderful to explore that dynamic between them.

“Oona and I quickly developed a very strong friendship,” concurs Huston. “We spent the first couple of weeks of pre-production just getting to know each other. George [Tillman, Jr.], Marty [Bowen] and Bob [Teitel] were really happy that we wanted to bring it to life and insert our own ideas.”

The story’s romantic elements drew Huston to the film. “The theme of enduring love is so beautiful,” he explains. “I loved the challenge of making an authentic love story. I wanted to explore the reality of love rather than its fabrication.”

Completing the starring cast is Alan Alda. The acclaimed actor’s character, Ira, is a central figure in the film, says Sparks. “He has his own story with Ruth, and another with Sophia and Luke, and we wanted someone who had the depth to be able to link the two love stories. Alan brought levity and lightness to the role.”

“Who doesn’t, at some point in their career want to do a project with Alan Alda,” interjects Bowen. “He’s been a consummate actor for decades. He’s a national treasure. He brings together Ira’s gruffness and humanity, which combined create maximum emotional impact. In a single take he can upset you, make you laugh and then right into it, he can make you cry.”

Alda embraced the film’s story and characters. “I’m in this wonderful spot in my life where I can do things that interest me,” he says. “And this story really interested me. It’s about deep and enduring love. I was also interested in the challenge of mostly playing a guy in his 90s. I had never done that before, and it intrigued me. I wanted to see what the problems were and how I would approach them.”

“Alan gave me so much to work off of,” says Robertson. “He’s such a kind and generous human being and actor. I learned so much about life and this business from him. Our relationship really did parallel the one between Ira and Sophia. I was constantly on the edge of my seat wanting him to just keep talking.

“That’s how Sophia feels about Ira,” she continues. “She wants to learn from Ira’s experiences and use it in her own life.”

Eastwood found Alda to not only be a great actor from whom he could learn, as well as “an overall good guy. He’s almost from my dad [Clint Eastwood]’s era and sometimes I would look at him or he would comment on something and I was just ‘God, you remind me of my dad right now. I think he would say something almost exactly like that.’”



Sparks did more research for The Longest Ride than he had for any of his other novels. “My explorations covered many areas I didn’t know anything about,” he explains. “I needed to find out what the art world was like in the ‘30s and ‘40s; what life was like for Jewish people in North Carolina in the 1930s; and the many facets of the Professional Bull Rider’s tour and its riders.”

A key source for this research was Professional Bull Riders (PBR), the world’s premiere bull-riding organization, which the filmmakers brought on board as technical advisors. PBR produced the movie’s bull riding events. The PBR segments were filmed in Jacksonville, North Carolina and Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Current and active PBR Built Ford Tough Series riders served as stunt doubles for Scott Eastwood, with a few of them, such as 2009 PBR World Champion Kody Lostroh, and Billy Robinson appearing as themselves.

“Nicholas Sparks captured the essence of a PBR bull rider with his character Luke Collins,” says PBR chief operating officer Sean Gleason. “We enjoyed working with Scott Eastwood to bring the character of Luke to life on the big screen as a PBR cowboy in and amongst the real-world stars of the sport.”

Bowen actually had some experience with bull riding. He was born in a small Central Texas town called Wortham (population: 1000), which, he says, didn’t even have a stoplight. “But once a week, for six weeks every summer, there was a rodeo with bull riders. I learned then that there’s a section of the United States that thinks of bull riding like others think of basketball. It’s part of our cultural institution.

“There is something primal about watching a man on the back of a two thousand pound beast,” Bowen continues. “I think conquering that fear must be an incredibly liberating thing to do. With the character of Luke, bull riding is about conquering that fear. But it’s hard to confront it when you know that it could kill you.

“You know,” Bowen adds, “bull riding is like running into the fire, instead of away from it, and it takes a special breed of person to think in those terms. It’s mesmerizing to watch, and it’s an incredible culture.”

Director George Tillman, Jr. says his first encounter with PBR was an eye-opening one. “During pre-production we traveled to Las Vegas, where we saw the PBR finals,” he recounts. “Being in a real bull riding environment, seeing the power of the bull, how much life and death this can really be – and at the same time, seeing the energy, the love of bull riding.”

Going into production, Tillman discovered he had a few misconceptions about bull riding. “The riders have to hang on for eight seconds to win,” he explains. “On television, that seems very slow and normal, but when you are actually at the ring, those eight seconds go by very quickly.

“It’s the toughest sport on dirt.”

While the actors and stunt crew/bull riders were always professional, Tillman found his four-legged performer to be a handful. “We had a top bull named Rango,” says Tillman. “The first day of shooting, we had five cameras set up. Rango goes into the chute and is very quiet. He was renowned for his toughness.”

Rango was more than ready for his close-up. That first ride was unbelievable: Rango came out of that gate, jumped about five feet in the air, and our rider held on for the eight seconds,” Tillman continues. “In fact, he may have gone on nine or ten seconds and then he flipped up in the air. It was all that we needed and on top of that, the rider landed on his feet.”

Sadly, on September 15, 2014 Rango died of heart complications while receiving treatment for an intestinal ailment.

Rango’s rider was Brant Atwood, a PBR cowboy who doubled for Eastwood. “Brant really has the swagger we needed for Luke,” explains Tillman, “and he’s one of the top bull riders in the country. When you work with the real bulls and the bull riding PBR, you’re working with some of the best riders around.”

“The great thing about the PBR,” says Bob Teitel, “is that its members are probably the last American cowboys. We captured PBR like no other film has. They get bucked off a bull and they’re lying there. The doctor comes out to check them out and they refuse help. It’s just wild!

“I don’t think people realize how dangerous the sport is,” adds Eastwood. “Bull riders are probably the toughest guys in the world. Even our stunt guys were in awe of them. I’m fascinated by the sport and have tremendous respect for the riders.”

Eastwood traveled to a ranch to train. The facility’s owner, Troy Brown, raises bucking bulls and is a stunt coordinator. “Scott was a joy to work with,” says Brown. “He put in the time and effort and he really cared that his bull riding looked right. He was always asking the bull riders for advice. We had the best bull riders in the world – the who’s who of the PBR – in this movie and Scott worked with them to make it look as real as possible.

“Scott had no bull riding experience coming into this,” Brown continues. “He rides horses but that’s a whole different ball game than bulls. But he’s a great athlete – he surfs – so he picked it up quickly. And Scott looks like a bull rider. He’s muscular but not too big. He’s very fit.”

From the art of bull riding to the art of…art, Nicholas Sparks’ research took him to unexpected places. “One of the story’s principal locales ended up being one of the greatest moments of kismet in my entire career,” he continues. “I remember sitting at the desk thinking, how on earth is this couple [young Ira and Ruth] from North Carolina going to become big art collectors?

“My research led me to Black Mountain College, which was the center of the modern art movement in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.”

Black Mountain College was founded in the 1930s as an experimental college. It came to define the modern art movement. “Everyone from de Kooning to Rauschenberg was there,” says Sparks. “Robert De Niro’s father, another noted artist, attended Black Mountain College. There were very famous artists there and if you look at the American modern art movement in the 1940s and 1950s, there were important intersections there with the great works of this century.”


The Longest Ride took its cast and crew across the state of North Carolina, from the coastal city of Wilmington to Lake Devotion, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Sparks, a transplant to North Carolina, had fallen in love with the state and decided to raise his family there. He takes great pride in making sure that he shows the rest of us what it really means to be a North Carolinian.

Scouting for a location to match the town where Ira grows up was a pleasant surprise for the filmmakers. “We found this town in North Carolina called Wallace,” says Teitel, “and it looks like it was still back in time – like nothing had changed. We took over this one-block street, which didn’t require much set dressing. The buildings felt like they were from the 40s and we captured the celebrations at the end of World War II. It was an amazing scene to capture – like almost a parade downtown.”

For the scenes with Ira and Ruth set in the 1940s, the city of Wilmington served as home, providing a synagogue and beautiful Victorian houses. The town of Wallace served as the location where Ira grows up and meets Ruth. A farm near Wilmington doubled for a World War II battlefield, and other locales included Caswell Beach and Eden, the latter standing in for Black Mountain College.

Scenes set in the present day, featuring Luke and Sophia, were filmed in Jacksonville, home to the story’s outdoor bull riding ring; and in Winston Salem, among other locations.


Production designer Mark Garner pulled together the designs for the film’s various sets, encompassing the period between 1940 and 1945, and the present.

“To differentiate between the present and the past on this movie was to split it into three areas,” says Garner. “We had Sophia’s world, Luke’s world, and the past.”

For the scenes with young Ira and Ruth, Garner says he “kept everything kind of muddy with more earthy colors, which were prevalent during the period. I used deep cinnamon and browns and tans and cocoa colors with a little green. I stayed away from the bright blues and pinks, because those colors transition into Sophia’s world.”

“I kept the foundation of Sophia’s world fairly neutral because I wanted the artwork to provide the color. I wanted the art to pop against the neutral background to show where she was. When we are in the galleries, the walls are creams or pale greens so that everything pops against it. You don’t see the architecture.

“In the period world,” he continues, “you want to see the architecture, brick colors, mortar colors, and sidewalk colors. In Luke’s world, I took a middle ground and stayed with primary colors – reds, blues, greens, yellows. There are no shocking colors, just primary tones that also then relate to the PBR or the bull riding world.

Although the production was unable to film at Black Mountain College, Garner was eager to showcase the institution’s architecture. “To evoke the past, the buildings at Devotion Lake, which stood in for the college, were a little more rustic, but they were still in keeping with some of the buildings of the college,” he explains. “We chose to stay away from modern architecture because I’d already used that in other areas of the film. The structures at Devotion Lake provided a better setting for the period.”

Garner’s vision of Luke’s ranch stemmed from the story point that Luke’s father was a bull rider who passed away five years before the story begins. “We display Luke’s trophies from when he was a kid and his ribbons and belt buckles,” says Garner. “There are also a lot of family photographs of Luke’s father riding bulls.”

Selecting the pieces of art for Sophia’s dorm room took Garner back to the artists at Black Mountain College. “Because Sophia is studying at Black Mountain, I wanted to use a lot of the art that came from the people who were involved in it, and the script dictated some of the pieces,” Garner points out.

Bull riding was another area that Garner had to research before he could begin his designs. “The PBR people were incredible, and we worked very closely with their creative team,” he says. “That world had to be authentic. If you watch PBR on television, or if you see it live, every venue is exactly the same. They don’t change anything, wherever they’re riding. I needed to differentiate each location, so PBR worked with us to incorporate the color palette for each location.

“Then there’s the soda shop set,” muses Garner. “I have to say that was my most favorite set in the film, because that was an empty store that had been a beauty parlor. It was all chopped up into little cubbies. It had six layers of floors and a dropped ceiling. We found this little corner shop that was in pretty rough shape, but I could see its potential. Ultimately, it was like you were back in 1941.”

Charles Perrow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles B. Perrow is an emeritus professor of sociology at Yale University and visiting professor at Stanford University. He is the author of several books and many articles on organizations, and is primarily concerned with the impact of large organizations on society.[1]


Academic appointments[edit]

After attending the University of Washington, Black Mountain College (N.C.), and UC Berkeley, he received his PhD in sociology from Berkeley in 1960. He has held appointments at the universities of Michigan, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, SUNY Stony Brook, and Yale, where he became emeritus in 2000. Since 2004 he has been a visiting professor at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, in the winter and spring quarters.

His notable accomplishments include serving as the Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society. Perrow was also a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Perrow served as a Resident Scholar for the Russell Sage Foundation at the Shelly Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. Perrow was a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton NJ. Perrow was a member of the Committee on Human Factors at the National Academy of Sciences of the Sociology Panel for the National Science Foundation. Charles Perrow is an organizational theorist and the author of six books, most noteworthy being: Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies (1984; revised, 1999), The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters (2007; revised, 2011) and Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of American Capitalism (2002).

Notable works[edit]

Normal Accidents Theory

Normal Accident Theory suggests that in complex, tightly coupled systems, accidents are inevitable. In this theory, common engineering approaches to decrease system vulnerability and failures add to much complexity to the system and cause just the opposite effect leading to inevitable failure of the system. In numerous books and articles, Perrow explains the theory and provides examples to visualize the theory in action.

Perrow, Charles. 1999. Normal Accidents. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

In Charles Perrow’s book Normal Accidents, Perrow analyzes the social side of technological risk. The critical finding discussed in the book is that the conventional engineering approach to ensuring safety, which includes building in additional warnings and safeguards do not work because the added system complexity only makes failure inevitable. Perrow states that by adding to the complexity of the system creates new possibilities of accidents. These systems are usually so intertwined that the failure of one part leads to the failure of the entire system. He provides several examples to visualize his theory in action. A failure example Perrow uses is the Three Mile Island Nuclear accident, in this situation, all the major systems experienced failure in just 13 seconds. There was no possibility for the operator to fix the problem before it was too late. Perrow concludes that systems need to be designed with the human operator in mind and realize that the system will fail and plan the system to calculate for all possible failure scenarios. If that is not possible, the system should be abandoned. [2]

Perrow’s Power Theory

Perrow believes that it is in our human nature to accumulate without bounds. He suggests that efficiency is not in our nature, and so what drives capitalism is the desire to accumulate resources. One argument he makes is that individual capitalists prefer accumulation to efficiency, and will focus their efforts on accumulation. This theory has changed the way people view the history of large organizations.

Charles Perrow, Organizing America: Wealth, Power, and the Origins of Corporate Capitalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002

In his book, Perrow discusses the evolution of the American society and economy from the 1800’s until now. Perrow talks about how the industrialists used their power to create bigger and bigger organizations, and were focused on gaining more wealth and power. The conditions were right for this to occur with little or no government regulations the two big industries attributed for creating this movement are the textile and railroad industries. Perrow insists that it was a lust to accumulate wealth and power that drove the American capitalism evolution. Charles Perrow examines classic organizational theory and redefines it in his own terms. Perrow introduces several theories and models including: the human relations model, the Neo-Weberian model, the institutional school model, the agency theory, and transaction-costs economics and discusses power in organizational analysis. [3]

The Next Catastrophe

Charles Perrow has brought the vulnerabilities of the United States systems forward in an attempt to encourage the planning and prevention efforts of failures whether accidental or by design.

Perrow, Charles (2011, New Edition) (2007). The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

In his book, Perrow argues that instead of focusing efforts to protect targets the U.S. should reduce their size to minimize damage and reduce their attractiveness to terrorists. He mentions three causes of disasters: natural, organizational, and deliberate. Perrow suggests that our best hope lies in the deconcentration of high-risk populations, corporate power, and critical infrastructures such as electric energy, computer systems, and the chemical and food industries. Perrow discusses the rise of the catastrophe threats whether from terrorism, natural disasters, or industrial accidents. He reveals that FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security are so ill equipped to protect us. [4] [5]

Research interests[edit]

His major theme is the impact of large organizations upon society. His structure and power view is explored in successive editions of Complex Organizations: A Critical Essay, first published in 1972, 3rd edition, 1986 (McGraw Hill). It is applied in the award winning Organizing America: Wealth, Power and the Origins of American Capitalism (2002, Princeton).

A related theme has been the structural analysis of risky systems, emphasizing “interactive complexity” (non linear systems) and “tight coupling” (cascading failures). This was explored in the award winning Normal Accidents: Living With High Risk Technologies (1984, rev. ed. 1999, Princeton). The inspiration for Perrow’s book was the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, where a nuclear accident resulted from an unanticipated interaction of multiple failures in a complex system. The event was an example of a normal accident because it was “unexpected, incomprehensible, uncontrollable and unavoidable”.[6] The role of organizations in disasters is discussed further in The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters (2007, rev. ed. 2011)

His other books are the award winning The AIDS Disaster: The Failure of Organizations in New York and the Nation (1990, Yale, with Mauro F. Guillén); The Radical Attack on Business (1972, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich); Organizational Analysis: A Sociological View (1970, Tavistock Press); and Organization for Treatment: A Comparative Study of Juvenile Correctional Institutions (1966, The Free Press, with David Street and Robert D. Vinter).



Communism catches the attention of the young at heart but it has always brought repression wherever it is tried. “True Communism has never been tried” is something I was told just a few months ago by a well meaning young person who was impressed with the ideas of Karl Marx. I responded that there are only 5 communist countries in the world today and they lack political, economic and religious freedom.
Tony Bartolucci noted that Schaeffer has correctly pointed out:
Hope in Marxism-Leninism is a leap in the area of nonreason. From the Russian Revolution until 1959 a total of 66 million prisoners died. This was deemed acceptable to the leaders because internal security was to be gained at any cost. The ends justified the means. The materialism of Marxism gives no basis for human dignity or rights. These hold to their philosophy against all reason and close their eyes to the oppression of the system.
Communism has always failed because of its materialist base.  Francis Schaeffer does a great job of showing that in this clip below. Also Schaeffer shows that there were lots of similar things about the basis for both the French and Russia revolutions and he exposes the materialist and humanist basis of both revolutions.

Schaeffer compares communism with French Revolution and Napoleon.

1. Lenin took charge in Russia much as Napoleon took charge in France – when people get desperate enough, they’ll take a dictator.

Other examples: Hitler, Julius Caesar. It could happen again.

2. Communism is very repressive, stifling political and artistic freedom. Even allies have to be coerced. (Poland).

Communists say repression is temporary until utopia can be reached – yet there is no evidence of progress in that direction. Dictatorship appears to be permanent.

3. No ultimate basis for morality (right and wrong) – materialist base of communism is just as humanistic as French. Only have “arbitrary absolutes” no final basis for right and wrong.

How is Christianity different from both French Revolution and Communism?

Contrast N.T. Christianity – very positive government reform and great strides against injustice. (especially under Wesleyan revival).

Bible gives absolutes – standards of right and wrong. It shows the problems and why they exist (man’s fall and rebellion against God).


In HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the late Francis A. Schaeffer wrote:

Materialism, the philosophic base for Marxist-Leninism, gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Where Marxist-Leninism is not in power it attracts and converts by talking much of dignity and rights, but its materialistic base gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Yet is attracts by its constant talk of idealism.

To understand this phenomenon we must understand that Marx reached over to that for which Christianity does give a base–the dignity of man–and took the words as words of his own.  The only understanding of idealistic sounding Marxist-Leninism is that it is (in this sense) a Christian heresy.  Not having the Christian base, until it comes to power it uses the words for which Christianity does give a base.  But wherever Marxist-Leninism has had power, it has at no place in history shown where it has not brought forth oppression.  As soon as they have had the power, the desire of the majority has become a concept without meaning.

Is Christianity at all like Communism?

Sometimes Communism sounds very “Christian” – desirable goals of equality, justice, etc but these terms are just borrowed from the New Testament. Schaeffer elsewhere explains by saying Marxism is a Christian heresy.

Below is a great article. Free-lance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

This article was published January 30, 2011 at 2:28 a.m. Here is a portion of that article below:
A final advantage is the mutation of socialism into so many variants over the past century or so. Precisely because Karl Marx was unclear as to how it would work in practice, socialism has always been something of an empty vessel into which would be revolutionaries seeking personal meaning and utopian causes to support can pour pretty much anything.
A desire to increase state power, soak the rich and expand the welfare state is about all that is left of the original vision. Socialism for young lefties these days means “social justice” and compassion for the poor, not the gulag and the NKVD.
In the end, the one argument that will never wash is that communismcan’t be said to have failed because it was never actually tried. This is a transparent intellectual dodge that ignores the fact that “people’s democracies” were established all over the place in the first three decades after World War II.
Such sophistry is resorted to only because communism in all of those places produced hell on earth rather than heaven.
That the attempts to build communism in a remarkable variety of different geographical regions led to only tyranny and mass bloodshed tells us only that it was never feasible in the first place, and that societies built on the socialist principle ironically suffer from the kind of “inner contradictions” that Marx mistakenly predicted would destroy capitalism.
Yes, all economies are mixed in nature, and one could plausibly argue that the socialist impulse took the rough edges off of capitalism by sponsoring the creation of welfare-state programs that command considerable public support.
But the fact remains that no society in history has been able to achieve sustained prosperity without respect for private property and market forces of supply and demand. Nations, therefore, retain their economic dynamism only to the extent that they resist the temptation to travel too far down the socialist road.

Francis Schaeffer notes:

At Berkeley the Free Speech Movement arose simultaneously with the hippie world of drugs. At first it was politically neither left nor right, but rather a call for the freedom to express any political views on Sproul Plaza. Then soon the Free Speech Movement became the Dirty Speech Movement, in which freedom was seen as shouting four-letter words into a mike.  Soon after, it became the platform for the political New Left which followed the teaching of Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse was a German professor of philosophy related to the neo-Marxist teaching of the “Frankfurt School,” along with...Jurgen Habermas (1929-). 

Herbert Marcuse, “Liberation from the Affluent Society” (1967)

Brannon Howse talks some about the Frankfurt School in some of his publications too. 

During the 1960’s many young people were turning to the New Left fueled by Marcuse and Habermas but something happened to slow many young people’s enthusiasm for that movement.

1970 bombing took away righteous standing of Anti-War movement

Francis Schaeffer mentioned the 1970 bombing in his film series “How should we then live?” and I wanted to give some more history on it. Schaeffer asserted:

In the United States the New Left also slowly ground down,losing favor because of the excesses of the bombings, especially in the bombing of the University of Wisconsin lab in 1970, where a graduate student was killed. This was not the last bomb that was or will be planted in the United States. Hard-core groups of radicals still remain and are active, and could become more active, but the violence which the New Left produced as its natural heritage (as it also had in Europe) caused the majority of young people in the United States no longer to see it as a hope. So some young people began in 1964 to challenge the false values of personal peace and affluence, and we must admire them for this. Humanism, man beginning only from himself, had destroyed the old basis of values, and could find no way to generate with certainty any new values.  In the resulting vacuum the impoverished values of personal peace and affluence had comes to stand supreme. And now, for the majority of the young people, after the passing of the false hopes of drugs as an ideology and the fading of the New Left, what remained? Only apathy was left. In the United States by the beginning of the seventies, apathy was almost complete. In contrast to the political activists of the sixties, not many of the young even went to the polls to vote, even though the national voting age was lowered to eighteen. Hope was gone.

After the turmoil of the sixties, many people thought that it was so much the better when the universities quieted down in the early seventies. I could have wept. The young people had been right in their analysis, though wrong in their solutions. How much worse when many gave up hope and simply accepted the same values as their parents–personal peace and affluence. (How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

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