TV

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

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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.

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The things the body cries out for…

In the totalitarian totality of entertainment for entertainment’s sake and no other sake, THE AMERICANS is therefore condemned to a dark corner of television Siberia. Its inhabitants, including its fans as fellow inmates, are left to seek the peculiar victories achievable only there.

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Buy this TV now, or some books – thanks!

Amazing TV. I only give it 4 stars because they didn’t mention the importance of securing it to the wall. My dog was running through the house and bumped the stand causing the device to fall over. Luckily the dog

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Comment and Tweets on the True Detective Season 1 Finale…

(Comment at Crooked Timber, “Wonders of the Invisible World,” by Henry Farrell) Nicely done, though I think the critique of the ending is in its own way as too-neat as the ending itself, or simply recapitulates or re-extends the, of

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2014.02.18 – Unhappy Consciousness and True Detective (Title Sequence)

Perhaps disappointingly, perhaps necessarily, TRUE DETECTIVE will likely end up having to mean something, and not stand merely as an assertion of the impossibility or pointlessness of assertion – the kind of statement nearly credible, because comical, coming from a character in a Thomas Bernhard novel or in the theater of the absurd: the never believable claim, because destructive of any belief, that it would be better on balance for our hero, for the story’s tortured victims, and for us, never to have lived at all.

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On Breaking Bad 3 – Post-Finale

Breaking Bad has often exploited this reversal from meaningless to most meaningful, whether for an incidental ironic laugh or for the sake of overarching awe, and always both at once to some greater or lesser extent, but such devices, when over-used, will turn around again. Rather than being converted by the naturalism of scene, dialogue, character, and logic into an image of “fate,” the next incredible plot plot, or one or a few too many, can subvert them under the sign of “fake” – a danger all but the most naive viewers understand instinctively. The over-accumulation of improbabilities risks falsification of the whole, threatening to turn the self-sufficient fictive world into a mere artifact, a collapsed assemblage of meaningless gestures. Put simply, too much contrivance refers us to TV writers on deadlines, not to anything that could possibly matter more.

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On Breaking Bad (2 – Present Absence of Religion)

The very title of the show announces a morality tale, an investigation of “good” and “bad,” with an implicit come-on to enjoy the thrill of “breaking” the rules, before finally being delivered up to the proper message- at which point rather than “breaking to or into the bad,” the show will, one presumes with some confidence, finish “breaking the bad”: Hallelujah! The key challenge for the writers has always been, perhaps until now or next Sunday, preserving the thrill but ensuring the wholesome delivery in a way the morally depraved can accept, for their own good, despite themselves. Medieval morality tales almost certainly worked the same way, but Gilligan and company (probably?) cannot rely on horned demons dragging Walt down to painted flames of Hell – or on a chorus of the dead appealing for his salvation.

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On Breaking Bad

He didn’t and couldn’t anticipate the consequences of his actions, which is the main theme of the show, that seemingly rational or “scientific” solutions to immediate problems turn into their opposites due to the complex interwovenness of real life or society: i.e., Crime Doesn’t Pay. Even when it seems to pay, it turns you into an unhappy monster, or someone who has “earned” millions of dollars for his family but is unable to put it to use for them in any way. He can’t even find a way to get a fraction of it to them. They don’t even want it.

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A Global Force for Goods

What the commercials want to tell or remind us is this: The US Navy is the US global-historical role and purpose objectified, American ideology concretely, defined by a presumption that the two meanings of “for good” become the same meaning over time, are always approaching each other via that arc “bending toward justice” that the President likes to recall in his seemingly most heartfelt speeches.

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Noted & Quoted

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[C]limate scientists have a strange kind of faith: We will find a way to forestall radical warming, they say, because we must.

It is not easy to know how much to be reassured by that bleak certainty, and how much to wonder whether it is another form of delusion; for global warming to work as parable, of course, someone needs to survive to tell the story. The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do. Nevertheless, by and large, the scientists have an enormous confidence in the ingenuity of humans — a confidence perhaps bolstered by their appreciation for climate change, which is, after all, a human invention, too. They point to the Apollo project, the hole in the ozone we patched in the 1980s, the passing of the fear of mutually assured destruction. Now we’ve found a way to engineer our own doomsday, and surely we will find a way to engineer our way out of it, one way or another. The planet is not used to being provoked like this, and climate systems designed to give feedback over centuries or millennia prevent us — even those who may be watching closely — from fully imagining the damage done already to the planet. But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

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They were concerned that any pre-election response could provoke an escalation from Putin. Moscow's meddling to that point was seen as deeply concerning but unlikely to materially affect the outcome of the election. Far more worrisome to the Obama team was the prospect of a cyber-assault on voting systems before and on Election Day. They also worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign. By August, Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged. Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia's efforts to discredit the outcome and potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph.

This, right here. This is where they choked. The American people had damned close to an absolute right to the information their government already had. The most fundamental act of citizenship is the right to cast an informed vote. The idea that the Obama administration withheld the fact that the Russians were ratfcking the election in order to help elect a vulgar talking yam is a terrible condemnation of the whole No Drama Obama philosophy. Would Donald Trump have raised hell if the White House released what it knew? Of course, he would have. But, as it was, the American people went to vote with only about half of the information they needed to assess his candidacy. This was a terrible decision.

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Changing views of U.S. presidents over past decade and a halfAs Pew Research Center’s global surveys from George W. Bush’s presidency illustrated, many of Bush’s key foreign policies were unpopular, and by the time he left office Bush was viewed negatively in most of the countries we polled. His successor, Obama, generally received more positive ratings throughout his White House tenure.Today, in many countries, ratings for President Trump look very similar to those for Bush at the end of his term. This pattern is especially clear in Western Europe. In the UK, France, Germany and Spain, the low levels of confidence in Trump are very similar to the poor ratings for Bush in 2008.

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State of the Discussion

Wade McKenzie
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+ …the desperate last-gasp radicalism of American reactionary conservatives before the demographic deluge and the expected relegation of white-European Americans to “minority” status in “their own” [. . .]
Holy American Major League of Nations (Notes on Baseball and the Re-De-Nationalization of Americanism)
Wade McKenzie
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Speaking of George Friedman... The party of Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer uses the word “friend” to describe the United States in its platform. But in [. . .]
German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

just a note on your observation about the whiskey rebellion

https://youtu.be/ASZ7NXD4i1s

Holy American Major League of Nations (Notes on Baseball and the Re-De-Nationalization of Americanism)

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