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20180522

Civil War: Whose Side Are You On?

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NAUSICAA:

If you ask me, I'd say Captain America has been taking things a little bit hard, wouldn't you say, Bartender?

BARTENDER:

Well, if the Gentlelady will forgive me the platitude, I'd say that reality is stranger than fiction, Ma'am.

NAUSICAA:

Or maybe fiction is informed by reality?



BARTENDER:

As is reality by fiction, I suppose. Joseph Campbell used to say that it has always been the prime function of myths and fiction to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward. In counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.

NAUSICAA:

We all know what side Bucky Barnes eventually joined.

BARTENDER:

Bucky has his heart in the right place, Ma'am. And so does Captain America. They ended up on the same side.



NAUSICAA:

"There are but two ways to win the game: to play heart or to cheat."

"Cheating is difficult; a caught cheater is beaten. Playing heart is simple. You must have some, that's all. You believe yourself without heart? You are looking at your cards poorly."

It's a quote from Jean Cocteau.

BARTENDER:

It was once remarked there are two kinds of people in the world——those who divide everything in the world into two kinds of things and those who don’t.

Kenneth Boulding, I think. An economist, Ma'am.

NAUSICAA:

It figures.

BARTENDER:

I much prefer Robert Benchley's take on it: "There are two kinds of people in the world—those who divide people into two kinds and those who don’t."

But I've always had a fondness for humorists.

Which is not to say that economist have no sense of humor.

NAUSICAA

I was told once that there are actually three kinds of people in the world, but that only two types really mattered.

BARTENDER:

It would depend on whom you ask, I suppose.

NAUSICAA

I know, right? But this was not your usual run-of-the-mill pop-psychology/astrological Myers-Briggs analysis "revisited according to your Zodiac sign" kind of stuff or some such. Rather, the commentary came from one of those auto-proclaimed pragmatic men of power who pride themselves in having no time for idle intellectual speculations or artistic pursuit, much less psychology or "pseudoscience."

BARTENDER:

"Time is money!"

NAUSICAA

Precisely. You know the kind. Your typical nondescript "self-made" trust fund kid, stuck on hisself, who fancies himself up in the upper crust. I imagine the man ostentatiously displays a copy of Machiavelli's Prince or Sun Tzu's Art of War on his coffee table. Anyway, according to him, people can be grouped into "us" and "them," and the "irrelevants." Those assigned to the "them" category, as opposed to the "irrelevants," being mostly comprised of those he views as either resources to use as long as they are useful, or obstacles to overcome. I don't know, it seems to me like a rather limited and self-limiting, constricted, unimaginative, spiritless view of the world.

BARTENDER:

It has been my experience that all attempts at lapidary categorizations oftentimes lead to unfair misrepresentations, but, as it seems to have become the recurring theme of the evening, allow me to present one of my own.

There are three kinds of people in the world:

1. People who have enough money so they are "not so poor that they have to work for a living," as I have once heard it stated at the bar by a gentleman of a socioeconomic station I imagine to be the same as the self-referencing fellow you were telling me about.

2. People who are working (be it for money or out of vocation) at their dream job, as the saying goes. They are part of what's commonly referred to as the workforce but they don't mind because they love and have a genuine interest in whatever it is they are doing for a living. I suspect these people are possibly even fewer than the people in the first category I was just describing.

3. That leaves the rest of mankind. "The tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free." And (in the shrinking job market of this brave new world, where labor is cheap and human life even cheaper) "the wretched refuse on the teeming shore" of global corporatism and organized crime. The homeless, "the tempest-tossed," are sleeping in the streets at night—or on the beaches of this gentrified coastal city of ours, where they are being tolerated just so long as they don't ruin the scenery too much for the tourists. The city, after all, has an image to uphold.

NAUSICAA

This "gentrified coastal city," and who knows how many more?

Honolulu comes to mind.

BARTENDER:

Or New York, New York, Ma'am?

"She lifts her lamp beside the golden door"! But see them, she does not.



NAUSICAA:

She is looking for Diogenes.

BARTENDER:

Diogenes lived in a barrel. Or a large ceramic jar, as the story has it.

He also was sold into slavery (after being captured by pirates.)

NAUSICAA:

What a world!

BARTENDER:

His Philosophy, Cynicism, is at the root of what was to become Stoicism.

NAUSICAA:

Stoicism! Who wants that? The endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feeling and without complaint? Really?

Mankind overlords want that—that's who!—not for themselves, of course.

The masses? They want to be free!

No, wait... Cross that out.

Spirit! Spirit wants to be free!

Yearns to be free!

This is where creative expression springs from.

BARTENDER:

Music. Creative writing. The arts.

NAUSICAA:

And new evolving media...



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20180428

May the Farce Be With You

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I kid Bernard-Henri Levy!


Related entries:

- The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland
Jade Lindgaard, Xavier De La Porte, translation John Howe, 2012

- BERNARD-HENRI LEVY: A French Imposter
Doug Ireland - 02.28.2012

- Fake ‘intellectual’ with delusions of grandeur: Bernard Henri-Lévy
Justin Raimondo, April 06, 2011



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20180420

In Case You Missed It

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Her name is Polly Boiko...



And she is a hoot!



This is the kind of stuff that the Rachel Maddow of old used to do—before she sold out and morphed into the Glenn Beck of MSNBC.



It is also the kind of stuff SNL used to do back in the days, when they did not carry water for the man and had not sacrificed their soul on the altar of Political Correctness.





DISCLAIMER:

- RT is "funded in whole or in part by the Russian government."
- And MSNBC is owned by Corporate Media.

Now you know...



When questioned about the ads, Anna Belkina, the director of strategic development and head of communications at RT, said that "President Putin personally approved" the copy in the ads.

When asked if that was a joke, she responded that "Russians are not allowed to joke about Putin."

Sarcasm is lost on some people:





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20180219

As it so happens...

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I ended up here just about the same way you did, you know?




I know, right? Easy for her to say.





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20180123

No point crying over Spielberg

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The question is: do some people do it on purpose, or are they just simply genuinely out of touch with the reality of their times?

Or is it just their age catching up with them?

Case in point: Rely on Peter Travers for almost systematically getting it wrong, those days.



No, Peter, actually, the truth of the matter is that, "Steven Spielberg's Journalistic Thriller," The Post, could not have been less timely, as a matter of fact! Especially not in the neo-McCarthyism era we have been subjected to.

On what planet have you and Steven Spielberg been living, those past two years?

Meanwhile on planet Earth:


More here.

I know, right?

You’ve got to give it to the NSA, or the FBI, for that matter (My Samsung 5 ate my homework), for sheer brazenness.

The Post of old, that Steven Spielberg is glorifying, would have gone after a story like this. For this is what speaking truth to power meant in those much glorified times. But it looks like The Post of our era is more at ease with political propaganda and yellow journalism, and, by and large, for all practical purpose, essentially acting like a mouthpiece for the CIA, than it is with any real true investigative reporting.

"Democracy dies in darkness," not just simply a motto, insofar as The Post is concerned, it seems, but a mission statement.

As for Steven Spielberg... It is not an easy thing for me to see in an unflattering new light a figure of which I have been so fond for so many years. I find it hard (not to mention painful) to reconcile the person who gave us The Minority Report (2002) with the director of The Post (2017).

On a peripherally related matter, which just so happens to coincide with an interview of the director about his recently released film,  it is a strange spectacle, indeed, to witness "a white old man" imparting his dismissive pronouncements from the top of Tinseltown Phallocracy about the validity or lack thereof of the very legitimate voices of some 100 prominent French women artists and intellectuals who authored and/or cosigned the Anti-#MeToo Manifesto signed by Catherine Deneuve. Has Steven Spielberg even read it? Or, in this man’s opinion, are women’s voices only to be given any respect and due consideration when they happen to coincide with his own agenda or with what happens to be politically correct according to which way the wind is blowing in the current climate of Tinseltown groupthink?

For those of us more concerned with facts than propaganda, here is an extract from a full English translation of the French Anti-#MeToo opened letter signed by Catherine Deneuve published in Le Monde :



The rest of the translation along with the full list of signatories can be found here on Wordcrunch.

It is an old truism:

Man is neither angel nor beast, and the misfortune is
that whoever presume to act the angel, acts the beast.

— Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). Thoughts, 358

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20171207

To LOTE vote or Not to LOTE vote

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Fascinating article, here, by Shawn King, about the Atlanta Mayoral race that points to the core of an old problem, mainly—to keep in tone with the Shakespearean reference of this post subject title—that there is something deeply rotten in the kingdom of DNC: a common liberal hypocrisy which, as it so happens, is unwittingly exposed in the way the article sees progressives as a frustrating problem out of step with the “pragmatism” of the corporate owned democrat machine.

While the author attempts to make the point that “progressives” haven’t learned anything from the last Presidential election, there is, quite ironically, a case to be made here that the article itself serves, as it turns out, as a most perfect illustration of how establishment liberals and DNC apparatchiks are the ones, in fact, who are stubbornly refusing to draw the lessons from the past, not through ignorance but through willful denial, and possibly some degree of self-delusion—though the DNC apparatchiks themselves (who have been actively purging progressives from the party), no doubt, know better.

The author portrays “progressives” as unrealistically demanding perfection and as being sore losers, then goes on to state that NONE of the candidates are perfect, so that the author can encourage people to give up their ideals in a way which the author thinks is more pragmatic and guarantees the continuation of the status quo of which the author is a member.

The truth of the matter is that there was no either/or there, and neither of the two candidates deserved any support.

The vivid exchanges and comments on the thread following the article are actually more interesting than the article itself, and are pointing out to an old festering wound that is not about to go away—while the DNC stubbornly goes on refusing to even admit it is ill and out of step with the zeitgeist of our times.

The Zeitgeist is with the movement that brought Obama to power. (A movement that, quite unfortunately, Obama failed to tap into once elected.)

The Zeitgeist is with the Bernie Sanders progressives.

Clearly, where the zeitgeist is not, is with the DINOs (Democrats in Name Only) of the DNC.

I have heard the oft repeated talking point that HRC won the popular vote. Which is factually true. Equally true, however, is the fact that, if one were to exclude California (which is but only one State of the Federation) from the count, HRC, as it turns out, no longer wins the popular vote (which, by the way, is why we have an Electoral College in this country—the other states of the Federation would not take it too kindly if California were to decide for them who the next president ought to be). The bottom line is that HRC managed to lose to Trump (aka "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory") and this is no small feat and certainly nothing to brag about, and, no, I don’t think that the Russians did it!


* LOTE: Lesser of Two Evils


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20171102

Squaring the Circle

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Or ought Samhain to be celebrated, as some traditions would have it, on the night that the Pleiades star cluster culminate, on November 21?



Me? I am more of a traditionalist

Just waiting for the NEW MOON:







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20171002

Word up it's the code word

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No matter where you say it you know that you'll be heard.




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20170911

IT




It's a story that has been told many times over under many forms, from Friedrich Nietzsche’s admonition about those who would "gaze into an Abyss," to Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, or, in more recent date, George Lucas’s Star Wars epic space opera.

Joshua Rothman really does go to the heart of it, in his September 10, 2017 brilliant analysis of IT for the New Yorker:







In the final confrontation:





Did you get that Hillary Clinton?

"What's really needed is imagination."

The acceptance of Machiavellianism is a trap.



By the same token, this is why Georges R. R. Martin is NOT "the J.R.R. Tolkien of his generation."

Game of Thrones glorifies Machiavellianism (there are those who have referred to it as Campy Machiavellian Porn) and has no spiritual dimension.


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20170725

Valerian and the City of Planet Hollywood

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My date (the cool girl I picked up at The Wulfshead, last Friday) and I were very, very, very lucky indeed, though we didn't know it at the time, to decide to go to the movie that night and be amongst the very few who got to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in full XD 3D at the Howard Hughes Cinemark wide screen auditorium (THE ONLY PLACE IN TOWN, and apparently, as it turns out, also possibly the only day, THE MOVIE WAS ACTUALLY FEATURED IN 3D ON A WIDE SCREEN, at the time of its release.



You can still see the movie in 3D, but, for some strange and baffling reason, well beyond my comprehension (I don't know much about Hollywood politics), you won’t find it featured on a wide screen anywhere in LA, and, for all I know, in the rest of the country either.

If I were to be pressed to speculate about this, and formulate some kind of an opinion, my guess would be that the U.S. doesn’t care much about cities of a thousand planets, all it cares about is Planet America, but that’s just my unqualified opinion and perhaps I am making too much of this—with my date being such a Francophile and me such a great fan of the Valerian and Laureline comic series, and all. What do I know?

According to an interview with Luc Besson, dated November 2016, Valerian had been scheduled for some time already to be released in IMAX on the 21st of July, and then, apparently, Dunkirk (which was shot mostly in IMAX) coveted the same date on the calendar and Valerian got kicked out of the IMAX theaters, as a result. Dunkirk also secured a quasi-monopoly on all the wide-screen theaters too (like, from what we've been able to tell, Cinemark XD and Arclight WS).

When asked, at the time, in that same interview, whether he had considered moving the release of Valerian to an other date, Luc Besson explained that they chose the date two years ago and that the movie was set to be released not only in the U.S., but everywhere else in the world already: "You can’t move just because one director comes here. So we will go 21st of July no matter what. But we are in 3D, so we have a 3D version and RealD and IMAX everywhere else in the world."

That said, it is unfortunate, in this great country of ours, that the film couldn’t be given a fair chance and got deprived of being shown in the format that does it the most justice.

One would think that in America, out of all places, the entertainment industry would not be so suppressively reductionist.

Is it naive of me to believe the world is large and complex enough to afford people more of a choice and that there ought to be more to planet Hollywood than just black and white, or the false dilemma of being made to choose between apples and oranges, or between Nolan and Besson, two directors featuring two very different kinds of movies?

Scott Mendelson at Forbes, had this to say about it:








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