The Intercept Podcast

The Intercept just aired the first episode of it's new podcast.

Um, yeah.  Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, hosted the episode, and Glenn Greenwald, another founder, made an appearance at the beginning.  

I have to say that I like Glenn Greenwald.  After reading his book No Place to Hide and hearing him in several interviews and reading his tweets he seems matter of fact, says what he thinks, and generally has sensible things to say.  Take, for instance, his recent interview on Tucker Carlson where Greenwald says that there isn't any evidence for Russian Hacking in the election.  A breath of fresh air he is.


Studio Polished

Just discovered this term "studio polished", from Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood's Comedy Film Nerds podcast.  It describes when characters in movies are dressed perfect, have perfect make-up, the scenery is perfect, and not one of their hairs is out of place.

Can kind of take me out of the movie when it's too studio polished.  Consider this preview for Hidden Figures.

These women are just looking too damn perfect and it makes me uninterested in seeing it.  You know what, it reminds me of that Steel Magnolias-ey movie from several years back, The Help.  Now that movie looked bad.  Hidden Figures looks interesting but then, like I said, I just can't stomach the perfection.  It also reminds me of all those over-the-top dated "costumes" that the women in Mad Men wore.

K, you know a directed who more than shies away from Studio Polished?  Ramin Bahrani.  I really like his movie Chop Shop.  Read that he didn't even hire professional actors to play in that movie.  And they did such a good job.

Need to see more of his stuff.


Neal Brennan

Just listened to 1/2 of his Netflix Special.

He had some really great jokes in there, the one-liners that he read at the beginning on the index cards, omg.  "The Internet is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, except every adventure ends with me masturbating."  And "Women love the movie Pretty Woman but they do not love it when you bring your new prostitute girlfriend to their birthday party."

And the emotional stuff that he touches on--pretty reminiscent of Maria Bamford.  That got intense and depressing, listening to him lecture us about how we need to become more open minded about mental illness and the litany of procedures that he's gone thourgh in an effort to reduce his depression.  Kind of lost the comedic element there for a bit.

Then in the third-ish section, or halfway through (when I turned it off) he became sickeningly banal and pc.  Talking about slavery, how horrible that is.  How blacks are entitled to continue to lord it over the rest of us due to how awful that was.  And then he actually says that in an effort to end racism that we all just need to breed across races--essentially put an end to individual races and produce one big melting pot.  Oh, towards the beginning he also included some Catholic-bashing as well.

This guy is the product of some serious mainstream brainwashing.  More and more I'm coming to see that this drive towards multiculturalism is an effort to weaken the collective will; as multiculturalsim is no culture at all.  It's the loss of all cultures.  This quote, taken from Alex Jones' Twitter feed, drives at the point I'm making.


Jill Abramson, the Ambassador of "Facts"

Love this--in into to this article in The Guardian Jill Abramson writes "I've spent my career being scrupulous about the truth, whether on crowd size or on health care.  I know an attempt to deceive the American public when I see it."

This is the same Jill who, three years ago, wrote in the New York Times "the historical consensus [for Kennedy's death] seems to have settled on Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin."  And, as the former editor of the NYT it's certainly safe to assume that she's essentially a MSM hack who maintains that boxcutters are responsible for all of the buildings that collapsed on 9/11.

Jill, in other words, then, is saying that she's up for a good partisan fight with Kellyanne Conway.

Not, however, that's she's at all interested in confronting basic facts and proclaiming them in her writing.


MSM and the Pro-Planned Parenthood Spin

This article from The Guardian "Healthcare without Planned Parenthood: Wisconsin and Texas Point to Dark Future" leaves little to the imagination as to the position its author is taking on an extremely controversial topic.

I find it rather incredible that an enormous journalistic enterprise such as The Guardian would take such an implicit "Planned Parenthood is good, shutting it down would be a return to the dark ages" stance.  Particularly given that the article's title also implies that the majority of the people are in fact on the side of shutting Planned Parenthood down.

And just yesterday I listened to an interview on the rather execrable show Fresh Air with Nat Hentoff where, in the introduction, Dave Davies says that "many feminists were shocked when he wrote in opposition to abortion".  What about all of the pro-life people who were very pleased with what Hentoff wrote?


Vanity Fair Exorcist Article

It's pretty cool that Vanity Fair publishes articles like "The Devil and Father Amorth: Witnessing "the Vatican Exorcist" at Work".  In this article, Exorcist director William Freidkin travels to the Vatican to witness an exorcism first hand.

Cool in that, to the "modern mind", the devil and possession seem like sheer superstition and hocus pocus.  It's great to see that a spiritual reality; a reality beyond what we can rationally see with our five senses; is acknowledged in a more mainstream publication.  It indicate, as do so many of VF's other articles, that it has an open-mindedness to its journalism which is a genuine breath of fresh air.


The Man!

Here we go.  The beginning of a new era, perhaps.

The Intercept's article "Trump's Homeland Security Team Likely to Emphasize Facial Recognition Bilmetric Surveillance" really hit on some of the anxieties that I have with this president.

Homeland Security is bullshit to begin with, as it sprouted out of the bullshit terrorist attack from 2001.  Essentially it's a successful effort to turn our country into a police state, achieved through a widespread mind-numbing (hypnosis) of the masses.

It's freaky.  We're living in a freaky age and given the amount of support that Trump has for and has from the military (the greatest advocates of "fighting against the evil 9/11 terrorists"), it's no surprise really that he'll "want to protect us" by increasing the amount of freaky surveillance placed upon us.  

The post that I wrote on Friday I still entirely agree with.  We're headed towards some sort of government jack move.  This current president will only increase the amount of surveillance that we're under, and increase our inability to get out of it w/out some radical paradigm shift.  


Trump's Inauguration

I guess that I should find something to say about this momentous occasion.

Mostly my reaction is "meh".  Somewhere along the way the shock of Trump having won the election has waned, I suppose as all enthusiasm wanes with time.


Sophia Coppola Movies

Just finished watching Lost In Translation, The Bling Ring, and Marie Antoinette.  Omg there's some eye candy for you.  Each of these movies is so, so good.

Alright, fine, maybe not "so, so, good", but "so good" anyway.

Coppola loves color, she loves whimsey.  Which makes The Bling Ring, the movie about the teens in L.A. who broke into celebrities houses and stole tens of thousands of dollars of bling, the perfect movie for her.

I love the scenes where you get to watch the kids try on designer clothing.


The Crown

Just finished watching the first season of "The Crown".  The recommendation that I've been giving to all of those people who've been asking for it goes something like this: "It's a slow burn, worth watching if you have a lot of time on your hands."

And yeah.  Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, is really good.  Love all of the accents, the proper British way of behaving, etc.  Her husband can be quite annoying.  He has a lot of scenes where he's staring at her with his mouth half open, his eyes narrowed...my description doesn't entirely do it justice but he looks painfully annoying and ridiculous.  Almost enough to stop watching.

And the reviews that say the show is as slow as hell and that nothing's really at stake for these characters (and so why get involved with them) is true.

Dunno, not sure exactly what captivates me about this show.  Although I will say that discovering that the second season probably won't be coming out until November has me a tad bit upset.  I actually have to wait THAT LONG??

So it does draw you in, somehow.  Kind of like a lullaby, lulls you in, then you find yourself practically falling asleep halfway through the episode.

Guess that it's an educational show, as it's historically accurate.  So watching The Crown is way of improving yourself.  Kind of like watching Silence.  


Reason Enough to Boycott the NYT

“A few weeks ago I met a guy in Idaho who was absolutely certain that Donald Trump would win this election. He was wearing tattered, soiled overalls, missing a bunch of teeth and was unnaturally skinny….He was getting by aimlessly as a handyman. I pointed to the polls and tried to persuade him that Hillary Clinton might win, but it was like telling him a sea gull could play billiards.”

--The Arrogant, Liberal Elitist Ass, David Brooks on November 4, 2016

Brooks goes on in the article to say "Everyone (the handyman) knows is voting for Trump, so his entire lived experience points to a Trump landslide".

The reality of the situation is this "aimless handyman" was perceiving a political reality that Brooks could not see.  Brooks, in fact, was in the place he claimed the handyman to be--as his entire lived experience was with Hillary voters, Brooks pointed to a Hillary landslide.

Brooks's delusions really puts into question who really is the aimless one in this assessment.  I love Michael Tracy's incriminating article, "How Pundits Get Everything Wrong and Still Keep Their Jobs" which points out that these flagrantly wrong pundits aren't facing any sort of consequence, and we're going to have to go on listening to them.  

I wish that rather someone would to put the spotlight onto the handyman.  He seems to be  more in touch with things.  


Scorcese's Silence

Martin Scorcese's Silence tells such an unusual and untold story--for that reason alone it's worth seeing.  Set in the 1640s, Silence, based on Shusaku Endo's book by the same name, tells the story of two Jesuits' trek to find their mentor, who, they've heard rumor, has apostatized the Catholic faith and become a Buddhist.  What these two young priests encounter in their journey into Japan--well I guess that I don't want to spoil it but let's just say that Buddhist are, lol, not exactly always staid pacifists.

No, this movie clearly demonstrates that torture and cruelty in the name of religion/ideology is not reserved primarily to the Christians in the Crusades.  In their effort to make the Jesuits and Japanese Christians apostize, the Buddhists employed tactics reminiscent of those used by the interrogators in In the Name of the Father--that is, a mental and physical torture so excruciating that the victims were essentially forced to capitulate to the dictates of their captors.


Roger Stone's Best & Worst Dressed from 2016

This article is much worth the read.  So, so fun to look at the pictures and read Stone's merciless commentary.

A few standouts from the best dressed;

Milo.  No surprise really that he made the list.  His sense of fashion makes me envious, honestly.

Justin Trudeau.  Again, no surprise.  Apparently some of the best tailors in the world make his suits.  And I read that at some point in the recent past he had a penchant for wearing capes ;)
Isn't this guy just, well, beautiful?

And from the worst dressed--

Hillary.  LMAO at the photo Stone picked out for her.  Clearly, there's an overt political tone to these choices---since another worst dressed is.....

Lena Dunham.  Honestly, can someone in a seat of high power banish this woman?  Forever?  Probably not, since her fame essentially comes from the fact that she's a juggernaut of the liberal elite.

(An aside--the best Tweet I've read about her---


Silicon Valley

I just watched the first two seasons and like this show.  It has great characters.  I like that it's a comedy yet they don't allow the somewhat comedic and exaggerated characters spin off into totally ridiculous caricatures.

The J.T. Miller character, for example; he's silly and pot smoking but also contributes credibly to the development of Pied Piper.

And the main character, the audience member of sorts, who plays the same role as Tim Canterbury in the BBC Office as the rational person who's looking at other crazy characters and rolling his eyes, is very good.  Sometimes his reasonableness gets a bit tiresome, but overall I like it.

And Kumail--well I do like him.  Maybe he's a little trendy for me, but overall a good guy.  And the Freaks and Geeks character--I like him too, in that he doesn't seem to be crazy ambitious like some of the other characters from that show.  Had a good interview on Marc Maron's podcast from awhile back.  Worth listening to.

How much of this show reflects Mike Judge's voice?  He's directed several episodes, is the co-creater and executive producer, but hasn't been given credit for having written any of the episodes.

Given Idiocracy and the fact that he's been seen hanging out with Alex Jones--well he's definitely writing from a somewhat edgy perspective.

And is this perspective reflected in Silicon Valley?  I don't quite know exactly.  The characters make lots of commentary about "things that've gone down" in the tech industry; for example Google's interviewing Yelp, asking them to reveal their secrets in the interview, then blowing them off and creating something very similar to Yelp.

But I don't see that it's making any exceptional statements other than to tell a funny story.

Maybe I'll have to give that question some more thought.


Lindy West Quits Twitter

Lindy West just announced in this article in The Guardian that she's deactivated her Twitter account.  Her rationale, essentially, is that Twitter is in part responsible for Trump's election into office, since Twitter did nothing to stop his supporters.

I hate to disappoint anyone, but the breaking point for me wasn’t the trolls themselves (if I have learned anything from the dark side of Twitter, it is how to feel nothing when a frog calls you a cunt) – it was the global repercussions of Twitter’s refusal to stop them. The white supremacist, anti-feminist, isolationist, transphobic “alt-right” movement has been beta-testing its propaganda and intimidation machine on marginalised Twitter communities for years now – how much hate speech will bystanders ignore? When will Twitter intervene and start protecting its users? – and discovered, to its leering delight, that the limit did not exist. No one cared. Twitter abuse was a grand-scale normalisation project, disseminating libel and disinformation, muddying long-held cultural givens such as “racism is bad” and “sexual assault is bad” and “lying is bad” and “authoritarianism is bad”, and ultimately greasing the wheels for Donald Trump’s ascendance to the US presidency. Twitter executives did nothing.

Ugh.  Unbelievable.  A journalist advocating for widespread censorship, and claiming that Trump has only been elected to office due to unregulated free speech of horrible, hate-filled, inhumane people.

Smug and self-ritechous woman.  She reminds me of Joe Klein's idiotic statements on Charlie Rose about the need for a convening of "sanity caucus"--that a bunch of "sane people" need to meet and decide things for our country.

Since clearly, these two obviously think, the 48% of the country who voted for Trump are not sane, and have been brainwashed by the unregulated Nazi-esques on Twitter.
And yes, LMAO, she does bring in Nazis to strengthen her point.  Always such a strong defense.  Curb Twitter bc if you don't you're enabling the Nazis.

What a joke.


Is it Good Journalism?

As much as I love reading Nathan J. Robinsons' Current Affairs article "Why You Should Never Listen to Nate Silver, Ever", and am dumbfounded that Silver's actually spinning his election prediction fiasco as positive (LMAO), I'm not so sure that the article's photograph, clearly designed to make him look like a dumb-fuck, is fair.

It reminds me of this Newsweek cover of Michelle Bachman, during her presidential run in 2012, clearly designed to make her look like a bimbo.  (According to Bachman's account of this incident in Huffington's Post's podcast "Candidate Confessional", this photo was taken as a "trial" photo by the photographer--he assured her that it would not be used--and the effect was created by flashing a bright light in her face just before taking the shot.)

My point is that good journalism shouldn't turn its subjects into cartoon like figures.  Let the facts speak for themselves, and let cartoon depictions be reserved for National Enquirer and The Onion.

Robinson compiles a convicting list of quotes from Silver that make him look like an arrogant ass--but the photograph makes a cheap shot.

As an aside....this Current Affairs publication--now what is it all about?  It looks pretty good to me, judging from the Silver article and this other--"You Should Be Terrified that People Who Like Hamilton Run Out Country"--regarding the idiocy of "our" obsession of the musical Hamilton.  

It's kind of raw--using the f-word at the end of the Silver article--zomg.  Only 8K Twitter followers, an unverified account.  Must be an up and coming kind of a thing.