Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
The NYT’s block of editorial blockheads have had quite a week for themselves. First Tom Friedman embarrasses himself by writing about economics as if he knew what the word meant, and now David Brooks notices the country isn’t in very good shape after years of the austerity and corporate theft he’s been championing as solutions without actually realizing that’s what he’s doing. Pretty good trick for a normal person but a necessary skill for right-wingers. Without it their heads would explode collectively. Read the rest of this entry »
A few little tidbits:
1) Thomas Friedman isn’t just an idiot, he’s ignorant too. But then he’s an ideologue and ideologues are professional morons.
2) The 1% can justify every single policy in their (financial) favor…but only if they lie their asses off.
3) Jeff Bezos has just made Amazon a CIA asset and himself The Bagman. In retrospect, it was predictable if not inevitable.
4)Exxon CEO and Frackmeister extraordinaire Rex Tillerson is a strong advocate, even a champion of fracking technology but only until it’s his backyard getting fracked. Then, not so much.
Rex Tillerson has joined a lawsuit to stop construction of a water tower near his $1.3 million estate on Dove Creek Road. That water would be used in fracking, a process to drill oil and gas.
Tillerson even appeared at a Bartonville Town Council meeting to speak against it.
The lawsuit claims the project would create a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.
Yah. Well. You know.
5) Budget hawks Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles – two of Pete Petersen’s most reliable anti-SocSec thugs, set up an anti-deficit group. In the Irony of Ironies category, this group is now, um, broke. (scroll down)
Reprinted from 12.24.06 – And it will continue to be printed until the O’Reilly-originated “War on Christmas” BS ends. There’s no antidote to lies except truth.
This would be the time, if ever there was one, to reflect on the meaning of Christmas, but before we can do that to any purpose we need to clear away some of the dead wood by exploding a couple of the myths that have built up around it since the holiday became popular in the late 19th century. Chief among these is the legend that Christmas is Christian, or even religious. Read the rest of this entry »
Salon’s Jos Truitt complains that tv’s female characters are 2-dimensional. My response is, “Well, at least it’s 2 occasionally. It was only 1 for a few decades and it’s still mostly just 1.”
Look, Jos, it’s no good saying, “Men have it better on tv” because it’s an absurd claim. TV doesn’t treat anybody well. What, the automatons of Mad Men are deep, complex characters with layers of sophisticated feelings behind those moronic masks? Gimme a break.
Tee Vee is a cesspool run by corporate sales forces as a way to access consumers. You’re lucky the talent still has enough juice to demand better material and enough people remain unenamored of dreck like Duck Dynasty, Jersey Shore, and American Idol that money can still be made on half-assed attempts at “complexity” like Breaking Bad, Scandal, or Weeds.
Movies rarely take chances with risky material, tv virtually never. Every dangerous idea is safely watered down, every potentially offensive moment analyzed for its commercial value before it’s allowed to air. TeeVeeLand is a place where no truth is to be spoken unless it’s covered in enough sugar to gag a maggot, no character is to have more sides than an English professor can explain in one sentence, and every plot has to be simple enough that even George W can understand it without Cliff Notes.
To expect any more than that is an exercise in reality-denial.
One of the easiest adjustments to make as we re-work our psyches to fit the pre- and misconceptions of the New American Oligarchy is the one where we have to re-write history. This has become such a common tactic of the corporate media that it almost goes without saying but it can still come as a surprise when you’re not expecting it.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his party maintain that Washington policy plays a limited role in entrepreneurial success, and is often more of a hindrance than a help.
In pushing that theme this week, though, some of the speakers have left out part of the story.
In a convention floor speech Tuesday night, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin boasted that people rushed into her state in the Great Land Run of 1889 with only their own grit to thank, and no help from the federal government.
“And in 1897, eight years after the land run, a handful of adventurous pioneers risked their own money – not the federal government’s money – to drill Oklahoma’s first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone,” she told conventioneers.
However, Fallin’s characterization omitted major chunks of federal government involvement, including the Dawes Act of 1887 and other measures that forced Indian tribes onto reservations, freeing “open” surplus lands for white settlers. Oil later was found on some of that land. The Homestead Act of 1862 provided the method by which the land was distributed to settlers.
This is known as “history by omission”: not actually a lie, all you need do is leave out the part of the truth you’d rather people didn’t know. Read the rest of this entry »
One thing is certain, that the well-developed, well-integrated personality is the highest product of evolution, the fullest realization we know of in the universe. ~ Julian Huxley, “Transhumanism”
After six thousand years of Western civilization we are finally living in the time when that childish belief can be put to rest once and for all. For we, the humans – especially the American humans – of the 21st century have proved beyond all doubt that the highest product of human evolution – in fact the only product worth cultivation – is a well-developed, well-integrated sense of greed. We now understand that our highest evolutionary function, indeed our only important function as a species, is the making of money. Read the rest of this entry »
A hundred years ago – OK, 89, I rounded it off, so sue me – Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel called Babbitt, the first ever about what our wanna-be-aristocrat upper middle class was really like. It was a hugely successful book, not least because it skewered a smug, self-satisfied, arrogant section of our society that even in 1922 was hated and feared by normal folk for its corruption and thievery. And rightfully so, since these bozos were mainly the ones who created the financial mess that would eventually melt down and give us the Great Depression. Read the rest of this entry »