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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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20170615

Doesn't anyone proofread anything any longer?




I know... I shouldn't let it get to me.

Just a couple of typos in Conn Hallinan’s otherwise well-written article, Europe: the Danger of the Center.

1. First paragraph:

Ought to read: “FIVE years from now”—and NOT “six” years from now.

The next presidential election in France is currently scheduled to take place in April 2022, with a second round of voting in the following May, if no candidate wins a majority in the first round.

2. 30th paragraph:

Ought to read: "Macron’s new centrist party, En Marche!, won, but mostly due to the anti-Le Pen vote. His program of austerity, restraints on unions, and corporate tax cuts is NOT popular with everyone...”, and most certainly not "is popular with everyone."

Duh! Like…obviously!

I am sure there are more typos, but those were the most glaring ones.

Great article, otherwise, by all accounts.

The author does take the time of explaining a lot about a not so simple situation (delving into some concepts, pretty basics, I am sure, to many informed readers, and possibly not so basics to Americentric readers when it comes to Europe in general and France in particular).

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20170504

Change We Can't Believe In

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I am bestowing the much coveted Honest Scrap award to Jon Schwarz for this witty and incisive oped at The Intercept:



It’s tough to imagine any two human beings more different than Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

...states the author.

One’s black. One’s white. One writes books. One doesn’t read books and may not be sure what books are. One grew up on the periphery of the U.S. empire and it made him deeply cosmopolitan. One grew up in New York City and it made him a provincial hick.

One has the self-control of a 1,000-year-old Zen monk. One responds to any stimulus like an amoeba. One’s a slender athlete. One’s a fleshy endomorph with whorls and folds in his face like a Shar Pei.

But their elections have one critical thing in common:

They both came out of NOWHERE to become president, with characteristics that previously would have throttled their chances before they delivered their first speech in Iowa.

There’s no need to recount everything from Trump’s florid life and campaign that sensible people were sure disqualified him. But we’ve forgotten how the sensible people at first saw Obama in much the same way, and for reasons that went far beyond him being African American. He’d been a senator for just two years when he started running and would have to beat the entire party establishment. His father was Muslim. He wasn’t just not named Henry Smith, his middle name was Hussein. He’d even used cocaine, and openly admitted it.

Yet both Obama and Trump vaulted over everyone and everything into the White House. Tens of millions of Americans were willing to place their lives in the hands of political anomalies whose central pitch was that they would deliver profound change. The rise of Bernie Sanders, who’s proven that you can become the most popular politician in the country without owning a comb, demonstrates the same thing.

"What does this mean?" Schwarz asks.

I’d say it means that something has gone incredibly wrong with this country’s political system, that large numbers of us are desperate, and are willing to hand over power to absolutely anyone. That brings us to the peculiar reality that it’s not just Obama and Trump’s elections that had something significant in common, it’s likely their presidencies.

Obama said American healthcare was in crisis and that "plans that tinker and halfway measures now belong to yesterday." Obama was also outraged by pharmaceutical companies gouging Medicare.

According to Trump, "People all across the country are devastated" by the healthcare system, but if we put him in charge, "Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now." Trump was also infuriated by Big Pharma and just like Obama vowed to crush them.

Yet Obama delivered a halfway measure that tinkered with the problem, and never went after drug manufacturers. Trump is now poised to give America … literally the same thing.

Obama called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake" in 2008. In 2016 Trump said NAFTA had caused "devastation" and was "the worst trade deal maybe ever signed." But Obama didn’t renegotiate NAFTA. Trump just announced he’s not going to pull out of it, and it seems clear the odds of any real renegotiation are slim.

Obama attacked Wall Street, and so did Trump. Both then stocked their administrations with bankers.

And Obama and Trump both ran against the Iraq War, and both of their constituencies understood them to mean they would rethink our entire policy toward the Middle East. Both Obama and Trump then faithfully continued the Afghanistan War, bombed Syria, and helped Saudi Arabia starve Yemen.

Of course, "this doesn’t make Obama and Trump the same," Schwarz amends. "Obama’s policies made life better for many regular people at the edges. Trump’s will unquestionably make them worse — and that’s the best case scenario, in which he doesn’t accidentally terminate human civilization."

But it does mean that on the core issues of politics — the ones about which the one percent/globalists/Bilderbergers/disguised space lizards truly care — Obama did not produce genuine change. And, it now seems more and more likely, neither will Trump.


Given Trump’s atrocious methods and goals, it’s impossible not to take joy in this. “Now that we have vanquished the Dhimmicrats and cuckservatives,” Steve Bannon proclaimed, “we shall —” and then tripped on his shoelaces and fell down 97 flights of stairs.

We can’t enjoy this for long, though. If left unaddressed, the anguish that Americans demonstrated by voting for both Obama and Trump will not evaporate. I once believed there could never be a worse, lazier, more frightening president than Ronald Reagan. Then I was sure of the same thing about George W. Bush. Now I’ve learned my lesson. We have to get busy creating a place for this country’s anger and despair to be used constructively, or it will eventually birth something even worse than Trump.

What happens to an American dream deferred? We lucked out once when it elected Obama. We may survive it electing Trump. But if we keep deferring it, it is absolutely certain that one day it’s going to explode and take the whole world with it.


In other News:

- Esquire (Matt Patches) 05.28.2015:
Shepard Fairey on the Future of Political Art and Whether Obama Lived Up to His 'Hope' Poster


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20170501

Major Hellstrom

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The resemblance is uncanny:



Not quite sure why that is—They both are sharp dressers?


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