What Do the Coen Brothers, Jan Brewer, and Huggies Have in Common?

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Forget The French Connection, Bullitt, or The Italian Job. The best chase scene in modern cinema—bring it on, boo boys—appears in Joel and Ethan Coen’s bizarre, pitch-perfect 1987 classic, “Raising Arizona.” (It also features the best chase scene one-liner. Mustachioed truck driver to Nicholas Cage with the cops hot on his trail: “Son, you got a pantie on yer head.”) Behold:

Why the clip? One of the nation’s largest labor unions has drawn on the Coen brothers oeuvre as it wages the latest battle over workers’ rights in America.

In Arizona, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer and state GOP lawmakers have taken a cue from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by taking aim at the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions. Except Arizona’s assault on workers’ rights is more extreme than Wisconsin’s. The bills introduced in the state senate there would eliminate all collective bargaining for public employees at the state, city, and county levels.

To fight back, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees launched “Razing Arizona.” The new campaign rips Brewer and calls Arizona’s anti-union legislation “the latest orchestrated attack from extreme right-wing lawmakers, think tanks, and their corporate cronies who are hell-bent on wiping out what’s left of the middle class.” AFSCME also released an ad bashing Brewer in the style of VH1’s Pop-Up Video:

The Brewer video has been viewed 2,100 times on YouTube. The Razing Arizona campaign has a thousand “likes” and counting on Facebook. And with the Arizona anti-union legislation still wending its way through the legislature, you can plenty more union counterattacks, film-inspired or no, are on their way.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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