Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It's a Wonderful Life?

George Bailey's nightmare.

Gambling, alcohol, pool, pawnbrokers, dancing, and floozies!

A nightmare worthy of the iron heart of Rudolph Giuliani. . .

Frank Capra was a phony. While obviously a technical master within a factory system humming on all cylinders -- and the director of many interesting and speedy movies before he became classical Hollywood's Social Artist of the Day (American Madness, The Miracle Woman, Forbidden, Platinum Blonde, and the very special Bitter Tea of General Yen) -- Capra-the-Award Winner (and that happened fast) played it safe, took the road most traveled by while adding nothing new to it, and became increasingly sexless, reactionary, anti-romantic, witless, and slow, with every Oscar. (Also, his "Know Your Enemy" entry on Japan must be seen to be believed, worth sharing company with The Eternal Jew and Jew Süss.)

A different sort of nightmare. Produced by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, here's a view of 1946 a lot closer to the daily concerns of the daily American, for all its technical messiness.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Saturday, December 8, 2018

In Memory of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark

49 years ago this month, unarmed Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered in their beds by the Chicago Police and the FBI, on orders of the Nixon Administration. (Funny how Woodward and Bernstein missed that one. Maybe because the operation's Bureau ringleader was Mark "Deep Throat" Felt.) Straight-out death squad killings, and a fitting conclusion to Assassination Decade.

Amy Goodman remembers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rest in Pieces

Satan, make room for one more!

Saturday, December 1, 2018


In a century almost devoid of real heroes, here's one -- the greatest and bravest journalist of our time.

And now the victim of media whores, MeToo man-haters, Identity Politics finks, Zionist Neo-Cons, Clintonoids, and the Trump "Justice" Department.

Again, Chris Hedges.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Worst Person of the 20th Century

No, not Hitler. This piece of shit:

Milton "Grand Vampire of Neo-Liberalism" Friedman

Chris Hedges and David Harvey with more on this malignant midget.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


The best documentary so far on the Dallas background, mostly made from outtakes of Assassination Weekend: reporters primping themselves before going on-air; color home movies of the entire motorcade, not just Dealey Plaza; local security warnings announced before Kennedy's arrival; corridors of the panicked Parkland Hospital; the sinister suffocations of the police department and Sheriff's office. Rare and fascinating stuff from pre-Technology Land.

The movie takes no POV on what happened that day or why. One thing stands clear: Lee Harvey Oswald was a tough motherfucker. Through the two days under arrest and before his public execution and silencing, Oswald never backed down, never stopped complaining about his treatment or lack of legal representation, never lost his cool, never made a single political pronouncement, and never admitted guilt. This isn't a man who's just committed political murder. This is a man with terminal confusion.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Darkness at Noon

"Kennedy is moving toward something that is not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity, and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compassion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole: a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will fully break through into that some day by miracle. But such people are before long marked out for assassination."
-- Thomas Merton, November 18, 1962
John Kennedy's decision to turn toward peace regardless of the consequences to himself is reason for gratitude. We should think of him around Thanksgiving Day, which always falls around the anniversary of his death. And sometimes, as it does this year, on the anniversary itself of the gift of his life. If he had not turned and given us that gift, the world would now be a nuclear wasteland. The fact that he did turn -- and was murdered by an unspeakable power which continues to rule us more strongly than ever -- raises profound questions about our own need to face the same darkness, and to accept the consequences. As he did.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Girl We Left Behind

Of course, there were more than two Rosemary Clooneys. This lovely and emotionally complicated woman had many rooms to her mansion, creatively and otherwise. Yet there is a dividing line in the forward movement of her life that most people can agree upon -- her 1968 breakdown, coming after years of a Catholic holding-together of a marriage to the brutal and ever-cheating Jose Ferrer (a marriage and remarriage, resulting in five children) while falling ever deeper in love with arranger Nelson Riddle -- the final breaking point her presence at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, June 5th, 1968, witnessing the National Security State elimination of her close personal friend Robert F. Kennedy.

For years after she did not perform. In '77 she came back - dramatically different look, dramatically different sound. Most jazz fans seem to prefer the post-breakdown, slatternly, husky, wearied Rose. Not a chance.

The young Rose was a blue ribbon for blonde ladies in black. Her eyes were blue with a pannier of diamonds, wistful, looking out with tenderness, offering up, timidly, a little love. And they would glow. It is not common for blue eyes to glow in the dark of modestly-lit rooms of bars or clubs or recording studios, but Rose's light came from within. Her sound back then was full of red cheeks and Christmas, the color of it on most songs as startling as a view of wild red berries in a field of snow. And something more, a warning: with each song she seems to be burning a piece of the distant past, ash deep within her purity thickening from a membrane to a shroud. If love is a state of grace and must be protected by sacramental walls, then Rose did all she could to do the protecting.

Friday, November 16, 2018


And on a scale of 1 to 100, this episode pretty much hits the top: "One Hundred Terrible Hours" from 5/5/65.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Murder Inc.

The best essay ever written on "our veterans."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Winding Lee

Monday, November 12, 2018


I dwell in Possibility
A fairer House than Prose
More numerous of Windows
Superior of Doors

Of Chambers as the Cedars
Impregnable of Eye
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky

Of Visitors, the fairest
For Occupation, this
The spreading wide of narrow Hands
To gather Paradise

-- E.D., 1862

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Midterms

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Heroes of Their Time

And ours.

Jim DiEugenio on the time when it was still possible for the powerful to protect the powerless. (And those who lie about that time.)