Sunday, August 30, 2009
WWW--Grey Machine is Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Final, Techno Animal, Napalm Death, ICE, etc.), Dave Cochrane (Head of David), Aaron Turner (Isis), Diarmuid Dalton (Godflesh, Cable Regime, Final), and their first release together that came out earlier this month promises to conquer, especially old school Godflesh fans like myself.
After the 2002 demise of that band, Broadrick moved on to form Jesu, his new rock project, and the first releases were pretty heavy, not that I haven't liked the Eno and postpunk inflections along the way, but...
Let's be honest: the last wide-release album of Jesu ("Conqueror") wasn't very good at all, it had a couple good tunes and lacked any real dynamic and fell pretty flat creatively. The singles, small-run releases on Broadrick's Avalanche imprint, and EPs since then have been a significant improvement even without the heft, the heaviness. If you don't like really heavy experimental music that eschews the rules of genre you won't like this, not that I care.
Apparently Justin was feeling a little wounded by the criticisms coming from old fans like myself and decided to show everyone that he's just as capable of apocalypse rock as he ever was and the first reviews are confirming that Grey Machine's "Disconnected" is that very thing, so it's time to breathe a sigh of relief. A review is forthcoming at this site, but have an ear-bleeding, soul-destroying listen of some song samples here in-the-meantime: http://www.last.fm/music/GREYMACHINE .
"Vultures Descend" is absolutely stunning in itself and also reminiscent of some of the best output by the Swans. Someone has to do the soundtrack to the apocalypse, and that man is Justin K. Broadrick along with his numerous collaborators. Projects like this transcend the boundaries of mere rock music. Enjoy (or don't).
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Once again, Rob Zombie amazes, frightens, horrifies, and even enlightens us with another film which is being called the final installment of the new story-arc in the Halloween franchise. If you really love having the living crap scared out of you, this isn't going to disappoint at all. Zombie continues his theme of the horror of violence in American life and culture and its repercussions, giving us the best of both worlds: b-horror bliss fused with elements of high cinema and social criticism.
The original 1981 sequel was a terrible disappointment, even coming from writer/director John Carpenter and the late Debra Hill (a woman whose loss I'll always mourn, a great movie producer), it wasn't good at all and the direction was flat and uninspired, and we won't even go into how bad Halloween III (1983) was, it's unwatchable and literally has nothing to do with any of the series in any incarnation.
Part of this is because it took a good two years for the original Halloween to gain a following, and by that time, Carpenter was putting the finishing-touches on The Fog (1980) and beginning pre-production on the infamous remake of The Thing (1982). He and his production company were stretched too far, and it showed in that original sequel that can only be called a meaningless and gratuitous piece of drivel. But there's still no real reason for the existence of the original sequel to the legendary Halloween other than money, to keep a franchise going, and it would get unimaginably worse as time went on. That's not the case with Rob Zombie's sequel to his own reimagining of Carpenter's and Hill's original storyline, and that's why he felt the responsibility to have meaning and a message behind the violence of the film that is both unflinching and even self-accusatory, a very brave act for a filmmaker of almost any stature.
The basic story elements of the original sequel are in-place: Michael Myers somehow survives being shot and enigmatically disappears, returning to kill Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton). It's been established already in the first Zombie remake that Laurie is really Michael's sister, and he wants a family reunion. This was never handled with any real insight or imagination by the original sequel, but Zombie takes a page from expressionist film and also introduces us to Jung's concept of the "shadow self" and the archetype (deep psychological symbols common to all humanity), this time in the form of phantasms of the young Michael and his dead mother (Sherri Moon Zombie), sometimes accompanied by a white horse. There is a hinting that Michael and Laurie have some kind of psychic-link, but this is kept very ambiguous and there are no real answers, a nice touch. The 1981 version is almost entirely isolated to a hospital, not the case in Rob Zombie's version, which wisely dispenses with just about the entire plot of its original.
After a prologue that I don't want to give away, we're taken into Laurie's very sad life just one year after the horrific events of the first film, and another Halloween is approaching. While she's treated well living with Sheriff Lee Brackett (Brad Dourif) and his daughter Annie (Danielle Harris), her life is tormented. This isn't the same girl we met in the first film at all. She's become very traumatized and cynical, and it shows. Her preoccupation with nihilistic youth culture makes that pretty loud and clear, and her nights are punctuated with nightmares of that night...but also of some very curious archetypes of Michael Myers as a child and his late mother, dressed in white, signifying a strange obverse of purity. Bizarrely, Laurie begins seeing archetypes from the mind of Michael Myers (starting with the dreams, very Jungian), and on one occasion, as he's disemboweling and eating an animal on his path to her and destiny, she connects with it and becomes nauseous and has a bout with vomiting.
In the mean time, Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm MacDowell) has become even more famous as a bestselling crime and psychology author, and it shows. He's become what he calls himself in one later scene when he views himself and his shadow self in the mirror: an "asshole." He couldn't be more correct. His new book on Michael Myers and his primadonna behavior at PR events and book-signings shows us that Dr. Loomis has become nothing more than an exploiter and an opportunist, and his new book exposes and damages the life of Laurie in telling the world that she's the sister of Michael Myers. The psychological effect on her is profound and permanent and there's no going back afterward.
Even Loomis's literary agent hates him for it, one of the movie's real shockers! As in the original 1978 Halloween and Zombie's reimagining, these lives will eventually converge with tragic results, but it all began back in the squalor of the Myers home during the 1970s, hence the occasional nod to past pop songs, a nice tip of the hat to Kenneth Anger whose style is also echoed in the visual style of the film. And so, after leaving a trail of dead bodies, things finally do converge once again in Haddonfield, Illinois, with "mother Myers" beckoning Michael and Laurie to an inevitable conclusion. To tell you any more would be to ruin it, but rest assured that there is a finality to it all, even with the ending that's right out of the original Psycho (1960).
Interestingly, the only moment of the film where John Carpenter's original score cues come are in the final scene and the credits. Welcome to the dark side of America and the products of abuse and neglect, coupled with a culture rife with violence cues and the actual thing itself. The shadow world is here, now, and Zombie's trying to show us the bloody-maw before it's too late. Family truly is forever in the world of the mind, the Platonic forms, and the realm of the archetype, birth imagery-and-all. A must see. Ignore the bad reviews, this is the real deal, real horror.
Friday, August 28, 2009
House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chair Henry A. Waxman was looking into selective prosecution in Palfrey case in 2007
Washington D.C.--They say the wheels of justice are slow...especially when you're on the short-list. In 2007, California Rep. Henry A. Waxman was chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and was apparently showing some interest in the DC Madam's legal plight and whether it might be politically motivated, even possibly having a connection to the U.S. Attorney firings. Why show interest, then drop it? Sure, perhaps there were other fish to fry, or he didn't think that there was much there--fine-and-well--but that doesn't appear to be the case and sounds more like another Democratic cop-out.
Waxman was presented with materials sometime in December, possibly January, by counsel regarding Palfrey's case. Apparently, he and his staff did look into it, but short-listed her, and even confirmed it did appear that her case was politically motivated, but then it went nowhere as it often does in the nation's capital. So much for oversight and due process, get in line, lady. Did I mention that Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter was also pushing for a probe into the procurement of prostitutes by a DHS contractor, Christopher D. Baker (who has a 60+ page rap sheet), "proprietor" of Shirlington Limo?
DHS rebuffed Slaughter entirely, imagine that. They weren't alone: the CIA and DIA were stonewalling in such matters. And surprise-surprise, Baker kept getting multi-million dollar contracts from Congress to unnecessarily ferry appointed turds around DC on our dollar. One has to ponder if I and many others were correct in assuming that Palfrey's problems were directly related to "hookergate," a scandal involving cigar-and-hooker parties with CIA staffers, GOP congressmen, and government contractors such as Brent Wilkes at the Westin and Watergate Hotels. It sure looks like there was more than smoke...
On 2/4/08, Jeane Palfrey <jeanepalfrey@> wrote:
Bil… isn’t it realistic to think the Feds were looking at me in the same way, they viewed Michael? Perhaps, they thought I too was “in cohoots” with the Poway Mafia. Gotta admit – lots of connections (San Diego, Wells Fargo Bank, Shirlington Limo, Wilkes’s ongoing patronage of my business, Smoking Gun’s bizarre phone call to me in Germany). After several years of investigation though, they honestly had gotten ‘no where’ from what I have been able to ascertain. It is only my abnormal actions, in the summer of 2006, i.e. abrupt business closure, move to Europe, etc which I believe caused alarm and the rationale for the subsequent and sudden California trip. All this discussion about being a diversion is a little out there. Don’t you think? A bit too conspiratorial. I have found most things in life are rather simple, when you get right down to it. Yet, both Jason’s investigation and contacts and Waxman’s investigation and contacts are leading in the direction, that my case was part and parcel of the DOJ’s efforts, to prosecute selective targets verses any sort of garden variety screw up here. -Jeane
This relates back thematically (politically motivated prosecution) to a 12/23/2007 email, posted below for the public record, a primary historical document. My personal opinion is that Smoking Gun editor Bill Bastone was told by federal prosecutors--illegally, mind you--that Palfrey was somehow connected to a very specific corruption scandal emanating out of San Diego and Poway, California from just a few years ago. She had a property in Poway, Vallejo, and a condo in Florida. It sounds like she made more than the $2 million she and the government were claiming in court filings. Why would they all lie? In her case, exoneration, but what of the prosecutors? Perhaps it was the same for them.
They also leaked an unsigned warrant to him, also illegal, but nothing's illegal for some of us it seems. From the December 23, 2007 email:
Blair… if you ever doubt that my case is politically motivated OR simply “can’t go there” with the mounting circumstantial evidence of selective prosecution, I would ask that you read the highlighted portion below in particular, from Bil earlier today. Never forgot that son-of-a bitch, Bill Bastone’s first question to me in Germany, just days after the warrant was executed on my property had to do with Cunningham and Bastone’s insistence that I professionally knew the “Dukester”; this, despite my continued statements to the contrary. -Jeane
I have no reason to think that Palfrey was lying about the Smoking Gun's editor Bill Bastone and his statements directed at her that she was part of the scandal surrounding convicted GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, now residing in a federal penitentiary for taking bribes, gifts, and sexual favors. Someone told him this, and that someone was probably part of the investigation and the prosecution, probably the someone who was directing the whole puppet show.
These bribes were given to former representative Cunningham for his votes on specific legislation and appropriations that went directly to convicted government contractor, Brent R. Wilkes and others like former number three man at the CIA, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo. With nicknames like these, you'd think you were dealing with the mafia, but what's the difference? Do you think Cunningham's alone in this, taking bribes, bedding prostitutes for his vote? Nah, me either.
By the way: ever see that crappy 80s movie, "Top Gun"? That was "based" on Cunningham's experiences as a combat fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. You can get it in blow-out at Walmart now for around $5. Cunningham wasn't exactly a hero in Vietnam either, but that's another story altogether. What he is now is a convicted felon who even has other more pressing problems. From some of the public statements made during his criminal proceedings, it sounds like he couldn't always get-it-up, but that's politics for you. Cunningham's a good metaphor for American-style politics and capitalism, meaning corrupt, embarrassing, delusional, and impotent. Except that it's not a metaphor.
Site Meter--Their snuffling about from "old blighty" again. Could it be Mosleyite David Irving, former closet queen of Holocaust deniers? Who gives these assholes the money to do their non-Harlem globetrotting anyway? Sure, they actually sell a few books to squareheads like themselves, but that doesn't explain it all. They have some very wealthy backers, I'd wager. Still, they get to schtupp some fine, goyische punim.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009
WWW--Surely, a hot body, to be sure, although she could eat a hamburger or a steak more often, she could use a little more weight on her ass and her trunk. I know, I'm picky, I like a woman with a natural figure, call me a Nazi. Still, very hot, very physically attractive, but then--like many women in America--she'd start talking and ruin the mood, the ambiance...OK, the delusion that she and most American women are reasonable. I have to say that while very few American women deny that 6 million Jews were exterminated by the National Socialist state under Hitler, they sure don't give a shit about America's victims and prefer shopping to the exclusion of the sun itself.
That's right, Jaenelle's not the only good-looking fascist out there, and I'm sure that had she not opened her mouth, posted on Stormfront, and gotten a regular schtupping by Der Fueher Irving (maybe even gang-fucked by some Storm Troopers), you wouldn't have noticed her at all, would you? We all stand accused, just some more than others.
Quit fooling yourselves, we're all fucking liars headed over the cliff. We have a chance here to avert it, but would it surprise anyone if we piss it away? When you have a public that thinks their main responsibility is to pull a lever or push a button every 2-to-4 years, it's called mutually assured destruction, not democracy. Citizenship is a lifetime obligation and it's time that we all started accepting this responsibility.
Small wonder then that Jaenelle and her fellow morons think that they have a chance at mainstreaming their pathetic white hate bowel movement that's going nowhere fast, but they really do since they're just a part of the Lollipop Guild. Apathetic or pathetic? It seems to be an admixture of both. If you don't assert yourself and stand up to power and challenge it, you deserve the lousy life you have. Anything less is your own fault. Democracy isn't a microwaveable pizza, but if you approach it the same way it's going to be about as satisfying. Anything worthwhile takes work, real work. No wonder the elites hate us. I would too...
Postscript, 08.29.2009: A piece-of-shit named Chris Downie wrote a worthless comment that I'm never going to post for its inanity. He claims that Jaenelle's "brave" and that I "should provide a counterargument," not that he says to what, but I assume that he's saying it's on me to prove 6 million Jews died under National Socialism. It's on you, and I don't waste my time on idiots, but I felt like beating-up on you tonight since it's entertaining to me to do so to someone so clearly moronic and pathetic, so easily hateable.
Fuck you Chris, you troglodyte motherfucker, you are not a man, even if you were one of the Storm Troopers that gang-fucked Jaenelle and did so for the four years you claim to have known her. You're all dysfunctional, emotionally retarded sociopaths who probably can't get-it-up anyway, and I defy you and your worthless life. You are kitsch-made-flesh, a pathetic anachronism, even more sad than a politician. You are flotsam, puerile shit that was fashioned into a human form that somehow moves, is somehow animate.
Your beloved Adolph Hitler's "thousand year Reich" lasted a mere twelve, which makes you a loser who worships nihilistic losers. If you love Hitler so much, go to Moscow, ask to see his jaw, and tongue it, asshole. My grandfather shot at asswipes like you and came back with trinkets off their stupid dead asses. With luck, you'll die in prison. And that's right asshole, I'm a socialist and an actual man. You're a pathetic child without a fucking clue about anything.
WWW--Of all of the pieces, articles, and observations I've written on this site since August of 2006, I can say that this series written on Edgar Allan Poe comprises some of the very best of my writing. I have related very deeply to Poe almost my entire life for a host of reasons and consider him above Whitman and the New England "mystics." His only real peer in my opinion is Mark Twain, possibly Herman Melville, and Ambrose Bierce coming close on his heels.
Poe saw the horror that was the America of his time and the darkness of the human soul, while Melville, Twain, and Bierce saw where it was all heading, Melville even before the American Civil War in his prescient short story, "Bartelby, the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall Street" (1853). Read this story now and tell me with a straight face that the man wasn't brilliant, wasn't aware of the wrong-turn America began taking around that time, now culminating in what could very well be the endgame of the species.
For being the bearer of bad news, Melville's incredible popularity waned, and he died poor and all-but-forgotten. Edgar Allan Poe wasn't much luckier, yet the notion that he wasn't popular or famous during his short life is inaccurate--he was. The problem was that Poe's publishers were greedy scumbags who paid him poorly, just like most employers nowadays; he was literally the very first American to attempt making a living by writing alone, which should tell you something about the rest of his literary peers at the time.
At the very end of his life, things were looking up. I admire all of the aforementioned writers deeply, but with Poe--with Poe--I feel like one of many of his humble protectors. In the last few years, morons in various America cities have tried to claim him as their own, and without any merit. Philadelphia is perhaps the most egregious case in their claim to his remains, but Boston might be even more galling, the town he hated the most and called "frogpondia." What do these people want?
Publicity, of course, and God knows they don't have the moral courage Poe had to be himself, for better or for worse. What they want is to take the easy route: none of the suffering and poverty that the great writer had to endure, with some of the benefits he was barely able to have in life. The legend came after his death. Riding on the coattails of a dead man who suffered the tortures of the damned is immoral. Enjoy (or don't)...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Rest in peace good Prince Edward, sleep well. You were one of the few to speak out against the current wars in the Middle East, and you tried to help working-class people. You were one of the few to abstain from the madness. You did the best you could, even with your imperfections, your human frailty. That's the most anyone can ask of someone. You wanted the American public to have universal health coverage as a right, not a privilege, which made you human in the best sense of the word. Goodbye.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
WWW--This, of course, is my own humble opinion regarding why Jews, Blacks, other minorities, and immigrants are so hated by rednecks and nouveau nativists whose own ancestors were subjected to the same generations ago or even recently: because many in these groups have retained some semblance of their original culture, while those who "hate" or are "suspicious" of them in-the-main, do not, they've been Americanized.
The United States is the most business-dominated nation state in human history. We are constantly bombarded with propaganda that's routinely called "advertising" which has not only decimated traditional cultures here at home, but has essentially resulted in near cultural genocide in other nations that came under the sway of American commercialization in the immediate aftermath of WWII. America was the "last man standing" at the end of the Second World War. Traditional empires like the French, British, Belgian, & the Dutch (among others), were on-the-ropes after the war, it being their crazed attempt to dominate the Continent, meaning each other. Germany was a latecomer to the game of empire, hence Hitler's drive to create a Germanic one, one that we all know failed. Who taught him to do that?
In America and it's captive postwar markets, television and other media played a tragic role in the dumbing down of foreign populations in countries like Italy, France, Germany, and so on. Had the Marshall Plan never happened or had it failed, it's likely that Continental Europe would have gone to the far left, something that certainly wouldn't have been the end of the world. Aid came at a price: American dominance of the domestic markets of "captive" nations, a reverse-side to the rhetoric of the Cold War, but one thatwas just as true as its obverse. When that didn't always work, proxy armies were created under the umbrella of NATO in an overarching program called GLADIO, and they were essentially comprised of criminals, Nazi-collaborators, racists, anti-Communist extremists, and other cuddly people. In other words, counterinsurgency, repression. So much for the invisible hand of the marketplace...
But what really did the job of killing the heart of most cultures under the sway of American-style capitalism? That's right, it was television. Regional dialects vanished; people's diets degraded; wage-slavery, already a problem before the war, became virtually ubiquitous; cultural attitudes and viewpoints became more narrow; the partisan resistance and its memory were quelled; and people throughout the world basically became greedy consumerist slobs like many Americans were during the Cold War, and are today. The medium is the message alright, and that message is submit or die, or perhaps "conform, buy, or die." Not only is this a pathetic message, but a peculiarly millennial and American one transmitted by clerks with too much power, American businessmen and investors. America was never the savior of the world and never will be.
The same destruction of culture has occurred domestically, but it hasn't been total. What's one of the number one problems of our youth at any given moment? The lack of an identity, and the search for a new one, or moves to create one where one no longer exists. In the "eternal" (not looking so eternal anymore, thank God) consumer model, we inhabit a timeless present with no beginning and no end, just the now. That's also called "death," and it can only be a road to cultural death, and ultimately, the death of the species.
To hate Jews, Blacks who have retained some of their original culture or reinvented themselves, creating a new one, or hating immigrants and other minorities, then, is a subconscious admission that you have no culture, that you're a hollow man. The reality is that those who are racist in the modern world aren't just expressing classic anthropology, they're expressing that they want what these so-called groups want: an identity. They're the wretched of the earth, and these are the vagaries and dysfunctional behaviors of the oppressed. If they keep it up, they'll kill us all.
Ed.--This is part of what the Court and the rest of the players unknown wanted suppressed and kept out of the record. Palfrey asked me about this, but I'm not an attorney and couldn't give her legal advice. Decide for yourself. I am 100% certain that her criminal counsel Preston Burton dissuaded her from this route or any other route that Montgomery Blair Sibley was going to invoke at trial.
I'm pretty sure she read the statement, and Judge Robertson, being the hoodwinking, biased jurist that he is, more-or-less ignored and/or neutralized the statement. Imagine that. As we all know, this other legal strategy--besides Sibley's, the one that got 86'd for reasons unknown--worked-out gangbusters, Ms. Palfrey was exonerated, and is currently living in an apartment on the outskirts of Eastern Berlin. Ms. Palfrey's family might want to consider such facts when considering any deals with the Devil...
----- Original Message -----From: Jeane PalfreyTo:Cc:Sent: 1/13/2008 12:51:03 AM
Judge Robertson has ordered me back to Washington for Wednesday's hearing. Completely expected. I will be reading a five or six page statement in open court (about 10 minutes) outlining events to date, as well as justifying my reasoning for terminating Blair (terminate is now the correct word since he won't leave of his own accord). In addition, I intend to invoke the names of the " D ukester" and Wilkes. In particular, I intend to describe the Smoking Gun incident and state how I remember Wilkes regular patronage of my former business. So, you two – just how much "holy hallelujah" (a favorite saying of my mother) and drama do you think will happen next Wednesday morning, in D .C. Federal Court? -Jeane
Postscript, 08.26.2009: I should add here for the sake of clarification that Ms. Palfrey ran her case pro se, meaning that she was in charge of it after the departure of Mr. Sibley, although one could argue she always had been and insisted on such.
The January 18, 2008 email below makes it pretty clear she wasn't coerced into taking Burton back on to assist her. It seems to me that he did much more than that and worked very hard at persuasion in several directions of their strategy, namely not calling any witnesses at all. They lost the case.
...FYI – Judge Robertson called this morning, to inform me that he has had second thoughts about appointing a CJA attorney to me. Correspondingly, he suggested I might want to reconsider Preston Burton; especially since, Mr. Burton is considered to be one of the finest attorneys in Washington . I agreed. I will continue in pro se, with Preston's assistance. In many ways, this is the best of both worlds. Realistically, he will do ALL of the work, but will not be able to act – even if well intended – without my full knowledge and consent. Best of all – unlike Blair – he can get the job done. This is the guy, who successfully argued to have the phone records injunction lifted, last June/July. –Best, Jeane
Monday, August 24, 2009
WWW--Below is a link to a set of observations I wrote nearly three years ago. At the time, I don't think most people really "got" it at all or still do, not that I was the only one predicting an economic crisis, perhaps even a collapse. A groundswell was needed then and is needed today. I believe it's coming, and that Americans never rise to the occasion until their asses are pushed to the wall. So be it...
Sunday, August 23, 2009
WWW--You think they'll take ads for unrated movies now? I mean it, really. Who's laughing now? Me, and all the indie filmmakers the newspapers have screwed over the years. Good riddance, die already, will yah?
Kansas City-based AMC helped shine a spotlight on the trend last month when it pulled its listings from The Washington Post, prompting the newspaper's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, to deflect readers' ire in his blog.
"Most readers believe that it was the newspaper's decision," Alexander wrote, comparing it to The Post's recent move to cut back on the newspaper's television listings. "In fact, movie listings in the print product are paid advertising, and it was AMC's decision to stop paying."
The Post declined further comment, and Alexander wrote in his column that the newspaper wouldn't tell him either how much revenue the AMC ads provided.
AMC spokesman Justin Scott said daily movie listings are expensive and the theater chain believes that that money would be better spent promoting its value programs or other theater events.
"In an era when many moviegoers are using alternative resources to access show times, AMC has chosen to reallocate its show-time information methods," Scott said.
Scott wouldn't say where else AMC has cut its listings and how much it has saved. But he said "so far we've seen no impact on attendance."
Regal, based in Knoxville, Tenn., said its in-theater and online surveys found 60 percent to 80 percent of respondents saying they received their movie listings online. ("Movie theaters cut print show times as Web gains," AP, 08.22.2009)
And you, Hollywood: there's something called the Internet. You can't keep people from watching independent cinema like you used to, not anymore. People can and do watch movies on iPods, laptops, and their own home cinemas. Soon, very soon, most people will be able to download what they want to watch and bypass what they don't want to watch.
DVDs have opened-up most of the history of cinema to young people and many of them know where the movies have been and what's possible. When they look at the usual Hollywood fare, they're unimpressed, unmoved by it, because it generally sucks. The party's over, welcome to that brave new world you boors knew was always coming, a viewing public with considerably more savvy. Let's be honest: that was always the case, but you had a captive audience. That's over.
You used the newspapers to keep foreign film and indie cinema from competing at all; you got legislation passed that subsidized your bottom-line, shut-out the smaller distributors, and got you subsidized advertising in foreign markets. People are tired of most of your product, they want more. Eventually, you're going to have to deliver or go away, like the rest of the corporate monoliths that are toppling right now. With the rapid death of the newspapers, media conglomerates are going to keep taking major-hits. This can only be a good thing. Does consolidation sound so good now? All fall down.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter has another ethics complaint filed against him, this time by Louisiana Democrats
Baton Rouge, Louisiana--And it's about time. It seems that Davey is still unaware of or doesn't care about campaigning laws. In recent months, he attempted to and was allowed to used campaign funds to pay for his legal expenses surrounding the fact that he used the prostitution service of the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey (aka "The DC Madam"), but it helps to have friends in the right places--put their through crony political appointments.
Now, it seems that Davey is going around on the taxpayer's buck (wouldn't you?) campaigning against Democratic U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon throughout Louisiana, very openly uttering the man's name in-the-pejorative.
Louisiana Democratic Party Chairman Chris Whittington filed a sworn complaint with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics Thursday accusing U.S. Sen. David Vitter of using taxpayer-funded town hall meetings to engage in campaign activity.Whittington’s complaint is based on Vitter’s statements at several taxpayer-funded town hall meetings criticizing U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, a potential re-election opponent. At one town hall meeting, Vitter encouraged the audience to “keep up the pressure on” Melancon.Vitter has said that Melancon supported the health care revamp legislation proposed by the Obama administration when he actually voted with Vitter against the measure. ("La. Democrats file ethics complaint against Vitter," The Advertiser, 08.21.2009)This is similar to the rules surrounding "franking." Sorry, you can only lie on the taxpayer's dime when you're in the nation's capital.
While they're at it, they might want to drag a dead madam into the picture. It seems that the Senator's counsel threatened Palfrey with legal costs around February 25th, 2008. Three days later, she sent this email to journalist Jason Leopold, cc'd to me and a co-researcher in the defense:
Jason… let’s put it like this, the bastards aren’t going to take me alive. Of course, anytime that you want to do an interview – I will make myself available. However, I doubt that I will be doing any interviews once I am in D.C., for the trial. –Best, JeaneDid the threats from Vitter's counsel at Wiley, Rein & Fielding finally push Palfrey over the edge and onto a firm course leading to suicide? Don't ask Alex Jones, Geraldo, or even Alex Constantine, you won't get a rational answer anyway--not that that should be any surprise. Yet, it's all about the big, bad "government," that boorish catch-all, when it's really about morons like Vitter abusing their office and the bureaucracy. Like any tool, government is amoral. How it's used or abused is the real issue. Abusing power is what it's all about for morons like Davey.
I'd ask Vitter and his counsel about whether they think they pushed Palfrey too far, but I don't expect an answer that wouldn't insult my intelligence. Life is too short. Never let it be said that David Vitter is unwilling to crush anyone who gets in his way. Lying is fine, obfuscation is fine, and a general tone of ruthlessness runs through his political career as one would expect it to be in American poltics. I'm sure that if the people of Louisiana really knew the man for who he truly is, they'd recoil in terror and chastise themselves for being so delusional as to have ever voted for him. Nah...
Revised 08.23.2009"La. Democrats file ethics complaint against Vitter," The Advertiser, 08.21.2009: http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090821/NEWS01/90821020
Friday, August 21, 2009
Where in the world does one begin with Mr. Tarantino's new opus? Let me say first, that he's got a winner on his hands here, hands-down, and that Inglourious Basterds is going to woo even the hardest hearted Tarantino hater, it's that good, that funny.
In 1983, I had the pleasure to see the original "Inglorious Bastards" (1978), directed by the great Italian action director, Enzo Castellari on cable television. It became a kind of legendary movie for me and my friends over the years, and like Tarantino and his crew, we used the short-hand of "Inglorious" when were referred to it. The reason it became a kind of legend to us has a lot to do with the availability of movies almost thirty years ago: there was literally no other way to see this film over the years, and occasionally, I would see an article or a blurb about it, even meeting others who had seen it, but no dice, it eluded me on home video for over two decades.
Finally, belatedly, the word was out that Tarantino was directing his "homage" to the movie and many other war films and the original was re-released onto DVD in 2008 by Severin-Films. How times change. Now you can find the most obscure movies ever lensed, and easily, even cheaply. I assume Tarantino somehow saw the original "Inglorious" either the same way (TV), or through his job with Roger Avary (now in deep doo-doo over...you don't even want to know) at that legendary video store he was once a mouthy but knowledgeable clerk at. It must have been one hell of a well-stocked video store, that's all I'm saying. The critics are already weighing-in that this is a tale of revenge, and it is, but that's if you take the surface-level of the film with the utmost seriousness which is losing the entire point with his movies. Yes, Tarantino goes to incredible pains to create a convincing cinematic reality, and yes, this is based on Castellari's original tale in some very basic areas (like the title, and the fact that it takes place in occupied France during WWII), but that's about where it ends; this is about movie reality and the homage once again. You either like the director's writing and directing style, or you don't, and I'm with the former.
Recall that Castellari's original 1970s "rip-off" of The Dirty Dozen (1968) is really more an homage to Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), a story about another group of scoundrels that you end up at least respecting by the end of the film because they do something good to redeem themselves. To cut it short, Inglourious Basterds isn't even a revenge film or a revenge fantasy at all as some critics have written. It's more and less than that because it's not really about WWII directly but about the cinema before, during, and after the war, the cinema surrounding the rise of National Socialism and its demise, and the movies made about it after-the-fact. Once again, this is a movie about movies, so just enjoy the ride.
If you really wanted to reduce a good part of the movie itself to its fundamentals, you could equate it with someone talking about WWII cinema and the nature of the movie business in the 20th century, which when referring to Hollywood means that the subject of Jews in the business is inevitably going to come up (and not necessarily in a negative-light). It's not a political film, but it does have some interesting political implications to it; one way of describing it is that it's WWII through the movies, even being "won" by the end through cinema, film itself, quite literally, as part of the plotline. Fortunately, that's not giving away too much. As with most Tarantino movies, we get the famous chaptering. The very first scene is very reminiscent of the style of Sergio Leone and many parts of the film could be compared to a Spaghetti Western with faces serving as landscapes, and landscapes serving as faces; and as you might expect, many of the characters are "stock" ones grabbed from other WWII films. There are even occasional nods to the great war movies of Sam Fuller.
But then, we get a lot of references to the cinema of the 1930s--mostly German and French, a little American--like the references to Leni Riefenstahl, who as a Teutonic heartthrob of their "mountain films" wowed German audiences and had a certain sex appeal among the Nazi cadre. Riefenstahl had other talents that would flourish under National Socialism. She later went on to direct the most well known Nazi propaganda film, "Triumph of the Will" (1935) and "Olympiad" (1937). But then, we also hear about G.W. Pabst ("Pandora's Box" with the sultry Louise Brooks), and even Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Le Corbeau" (1943). This is all going to be over the heads of most moviegoers when they go to see Tarantino's new work, but it adds to the experience and cinematic richness nonetheless.
And then there is the violence: it's not nearly as graphic as many reviewers are painting it, and it's not present in much of the film. I'm sure some Jewish members of any given audience watching this movie might view it as a revenge story of some sort, and to some extent it is, but so is Death Wish with Charles Bronson. Everything is a prop in Inglourious Basterds, used by Tarantino to drape his dialog and vignettes on. I think that's about as deep as Tarantino wanted to get into that aspect of his tale, a story that could be seen as autobiographical in some strange way. There's not much that I can say that's bad here; from the production design that's right out of Tinto Brass's "Salon Kitty" (1976), to the musical-stings by Ennio Morricone copped from several Italian classics of the 1970s, and even to the use of David Bowie's "Putting Out Fire With Gasoline," this is about style, and little else. There's nothing wrong with that.
There is gore (a couple scalping scenes are probably referencing William Lustig's "Maniac," not even a war movie), there is violence, and you could be forgiven for thinking that Tarantino decided to place Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs in the midst of WWII, but it's all very deadpan, very funny material. The comic timing itself is pretty impressive and the dialog is up to the writer's normal standards. Perhaps what's most impressive is that Quentin Tarantino has forced American audiences to sit through a roughly 3 hour motion picture where 3/4's of it is subtitled, no mean feat. I predict a hit here. There is no real political message to Inglourious Basterds anymore than there was in a lot of the WWII genre, and if there was, it was unintentional and purely a product of the times they were made in. With the ousting of an "ugly American" president in George W. Bush, there is at least for this brief moment that one thematic-thread that runs through most of the postwar WWII genre: the mutual-ties between the former allies and their cultures, their people. Even Star Wars reads like a retelling of WWII, but Inglourious Basterds could read like a retelling of the movie industry after it. So far, Europe has been "liberated," conquered at Cannes.
In a telling scene with comedian Michael Myers and a character actor playing Winston Churchill, the British high command wants a briefing on German cinema under the Nazis from one of their officers. The look is right out of the films of Michael Powell and even Lindsay Anderson. The Myers character brings-up the fact that "Goebbels has gotten the Jews under control" in their motion picture industry. Churchill chimes-in: "We need to find-out how they did it." An enigmatic statement if ever there was one, but a funny one; Inglourious Bastereds is a knuckleheaded flick for cineastes, a must see, and almost as funny as 1984's "Top Secret."
Guns don't kill people......, Phil Spector kills people.
..., morons who should never own a gun kill people.
...., people who say "Guns don't kill people," kill people.
..., a loaded gun pointed at a person and discharged at them, kills people.
..., an ignorant redneck pointing a gun accidentally kills people.
..., Libertarians who should never own a gun, kill people.
..., a pathological version of penis envy (in men) kills people.
..., gun and ammunition companies that sell guns to fools, kill people.
..., children with their parents' guns, kill people.
..., white supremacists who should never be allowed to own an air rifle, kill people.
..., mentally-ill people with the God-given right to own an assault rifle, kill people.
..., God created people, and therefore, guns, so God kills people and must be evil on weekends.
..., but my .50 belt-fed machine-gun is good for hunting deer.
..., a bad political culture fed by the ignorant coward, kills people.
..., but Ted Nugent kills animals, and thankfully, isn't allowed to kill people.
..., but America is very good at killing people to turn a buck.
..., a projectile going faster than the speed of sound crashing into a human trunk or brain-pan, kills people, usually for no logical reason whatsoever.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Songs from the Site Meter: Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP come snooping over former US Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor Pt. II, the plot thickens...
Site meter--All that this probably says is that Orrick's an unofficial follower of this blog. But it's interesting nonetheless. I'm not especially surprised since Preston Burton and Orrick are running the late DC Madam's estate for her mother, ostensibly "pro bono," a curious act of charity if ever I saw one. Perhaps they're watching out for the interests of other clients?
|IP Address||199.108.76.# (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliff)|
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|Visitor's Time||Aug 20 2009 12:26:16 pm|
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Baghdad, Iraq--The images below were sent to me by a source (thank you!) in private security today. The first two are the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. Newsflash: Iraqis want us out, now.
Songs from the Site Meter: Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidenrich LLP come snooping over former US Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor
Site Meter--You'd think that Deborah Jeane Palfrey (aka "the DC Madam") was still alive. I have to wonder if Mr. Taylor is worried about his reputation after a recent article at Rawstory by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane exposed his plea deal shenanigans with Chiquita bribing paramilitaries in Colombia not to disrupt their banana plantations. This is something I find funny since he offered Palfrey a very good plea deal, so he has a strange habit of offering criminals good ones!
Surely, Taylor was breaking the law as much as he could for the people who appointed him while he was at the DOJ (under Bush II, the DOH!). And while I'm on it, why hasn't President Obama fired all the Bush II appointments? One would think he's no different from the last guy, contrary to stupid comments coming from Michael Moore (who's looking more and more like Father Coughlin these days).
Naturally, I googled the name of this firm, and what did I get? First entry: DLA Piper, who "Represents emerging growth and high technology companies, with offices throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US." A global firm that originates out of the UK. Sounds familiar, like Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. You think they've done busiess with each other, know each other? DLA Piper has "acquired" Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidman recently, in 2005. Oh sure, they didn't read, but they're searching on Jeffrey A. Taylor. Why? Does he need help? Are they investigating him for someone? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he needs help, and he should get it. There are literally hundreds of mental health professionals in most directories...
|IP Address||66.54.170.# (Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP)|
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|Visitor's Time||Aug 19 2009 11:06:55 am|
The Department of Justice, Corporations, Buying the Law – Part II: Strange Bargains, by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane