Movies

The Video of Our Moment – This is America

“Call me maybe,” this isn’t. Or is it?

Posted in Movies, Music, Operation American Greatness

The Honorable 47 Rogues of the Palpatine Era

Rogue One’s fish-eyed admirals running the space battles were far more credible figures than the Fisher’s sex dollish image clone – hallelujah!

Posted in Movies Tagged with: , , ,

Michael Moreci: Starship Troopers: Paul Verhoeven’s Manic, Misunderstood Satire – Tor.com

Satirizing war—condemning war—is easy. What’s not easy is extending the tragedy of war beyond the politicians, beyond the world leaders, beyond those higher-ups that are typically held responsible and laying some of that blame on our shoulders—us watching at home—as

Posted in Movies, Noted & Quoted

Charlie Jane Anders: The Essential Difference Between Star Wars and Star Trek – io9

The later Star Trek series are frequently concerned with the wisdom of command—Picard, in particular, obsesses about choosing the wise path and being a responsible leader. Deep Space Nine and Voyager try to take away some of Starfleet’s awesome power

Posted in Movies, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, TV Tagged with: , ,

Star Wars VII and the Ultra-Real

The cinematic rather than merely narrative objective of Star Wars VII is to persuade by being overwhelmingly Star Wars VII.

Posted in Featured, Movies Tagged with: ,

In This Galaxy, Now

The Alt-Right is criticizeable in many ways, and is undoubtedly full of unpleasant people given to saying repugnant things and taking pleasure in doing so, but the Alt-Right is not wrong to point to a transformation whose existence is obvious, but whose significance is difficult to discuss. The denial their statements receive may in turn reflect a determination on the part of a type of true believer to accept the narrative as a kind of sacred truth, rather than as an even conceivably debatable proposition.

Posted in Featured, History, Movies, Neo-Imperialism Tagged with: , ,

Only a Zombie Walks in L.A.

BBQ, bad booze, and worse TV on the agenda: Or a typical Sunday evening out here at Dunvegan West. New on the TV schedule, however, replacing HUMANS, is, of course, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. Moving the TWD setting to L.A.

Posted in Movies, notes, TV Tagged with:

I, Madman

…also busyman – in that I’ve been busy with business a lot for the last few days, and expect to continue to be so for a while. Much of what I’m doing consists of selling off the remainder of a

Posted in Art, Meta, Movies Tagged with:

man-killers

As for our Achilles-Nemesis, what reason is there to believe, along with apparently the professor, that it is our decision alone, or within anyone’s ability, to define the fight in some essentially different way, and still to fight at all?

Posted in Art, Books, Featured, Movies, notes, Political Philosophy, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , , ,

awfulsome

  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akX3Is3qBpw ]

Posted in Movies, notes

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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