Wednesday, March 30, 2011

. . .Though Your Heart is Aching

Barbara Ehrenreich (and RSA Animate) on that most American of political ideologies: smiling.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Comandante II

Fidel Castro new on Libya: "NATO's Fascist War"

Monday, March 28, 2011

More Joe

One of his last interviews, from October 2010.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Joe, RIP

After a four-month battle against cancer, the great Joe Bageant has died at the age of 64.

In an age of Obama-ian greasy pole climbers masked as progressives, Joe was the real thing. His life and writings embraced the wounded and the lost, all of us not egotistic enough, not psychopathically ambitious enough, to make it big in this greatest of all possible societies. His work is filled with concerns one would never find on MSNBC or Daily KOS: the poor, the working class, the frightened, the kind, the gentle.

I was blessed enough to know him slightly and to have an irregular email correspondence with him. He was always available, and responsive to whatever momentary rage or confusion I might throw his way. He lived his writings.

Most of his work can be found here. As our contemporary Big Dark gets darker and stranger, Joe's light will be missed every day.

One sample, as this guy had Obama's number back in 2006.
I don't know a single black person who is nearly as impressed with Barack Obama as they are with Bill Clinton, and yes, most of them DO understand that Clinton fucked everybody who works for a living with his shell game called NAFTA. Not to mention the cruel farce of "workfare." Obama, the child of a black/white student tryst in Honolulu, (natural daddy was from Kenya and a Harvard man) was raised in Indonesia by a diplomat step-father and white mother, then he was sent off to Punahou School, Hawaii's equivalent of Sidwell Friends in DC, where Chelsea and similar children of royalty go. B.O. just doesn't fool American blacks into believing he sweats bullets every time a police car lights up behind him in the traffic. Unlike Clinton, he does not gain weight easily and does not even attempt to play the sax. To Obama's credit, he does have at least as many body guards as any hiphop star ... and let's face it, he only has to pass with white urban liberals to be deemed the great mocha hope of urban liberal Americans who swear they have not an ounce of race consciousness.

Aw shit. Now I've gone and pissed in the liberal punch bowl again, so I guess it's no more fancy little water crackers with brie and truffle preserves for me at the next Democratic fundraiser. I'm too fat anyway.

I nevertheless rooted for the Democrats just like everybody else. How could anyone in their right mind and possessing a smidgen of morals not have been pulling for the Democratic Westchester Country Club Pussy Mafia, sheerly out of revulsion for the other choice -- a real mafia. It's the old American political pendulum thing, back and forth between parties.

Americans take comfort in the spoonfed "pendulum" theory of politics. No matter that the pendulum smacks them in the goddamned head at either end of the swing, because supposedly, it achieves some democracy preserving balance. To my mind, it merely offers a different faux target for citizen discontent every four years, so the same powers behind the powers can continue to extract wealth and sucker the public into consumer confidence and the latest Wall Street Ponzi scheme, or fighting wars to obtain more wealth and to protect what the elites have already piled up. Yet American tolerance for this pendulum bullshit, for this set of fake choices between two powerful groups of political elites who are dancing in the Washington conga line, asshole to belly button pretending they are alternatives to each another, seems endless.

Just what on god's green earth do liberals think the Democrats are going to do after they finish singing "This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius?" Really? What to do after they spend a few more years indexing the Republican crimes? The Republicans have the stolen geet, the Dems have a two-year ticket to ride, and the working guy and the middle class are pretending they are not about to get the worst reaming since Herbert Hoover was president. What are the Democrats to do, dear Nelly, pray tell? Well, it would be nice if they would immediately move to dismantle the police state that is so well under construction. And ideally they might begin to address the real problems that constitute the very shaky stage upon our delusional "American lifestyle" movie is being played out -- peak oil and the collapse of the environment. When it comes to the peak oil crisis, their best shot seems to be Al Gore telling us to hang our clothes on lines and turn down the thermostats, never once mentioning, much less blaming, the corporations that keep our nation addicted to oil, and are responsible for bankrolling the Bush/Cheney junta that brought us this ongoing national nightmare in the first place.

If Dems have not learned from what nearly happened to America's constitution in the past six years, we are in deep shit. We are still in deep shit even if they did learn, but at least have cause for fresh false hope. But we may assume, until they prove otherwise, that the elites of the Democratic leadership are immune to the real life consequences of their economic and political decisions. I seriously doubt that they will push for any of the things inherent to a civilized post-industrial society, such as ABSOLUTELY FREE universal health care, or ABSOLUTELY FREE universal higher education, or even letting the tens of thousands of poor hapless fucking potheads out of this nation's now privatized prison system. Or kicking McDonald's and Coke out of the nation's school lunch programs. And do you actually think they are going to address America's unspoken class system? Nope! But they will use the word class a bit more, just for its resonance of authenticity, but only should it become absolutely necessary.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Odyssey Dawn

Professor Peter Dale Scott is our greatest political historian. For 40 years he has been defining (and refining) his concept of the "deep state" -- defined by Scott as: "all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged" -- and in those years the deep state has swallowed the public state whole. Scott's masterpieces Deep Politics and the Death of JFK and The Road to 9/11 are among the best understandings of those two monstrous crimes.

He has been following the curious events occuring this winter in the Middle East and North Africa. Absolute must reads.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Happy 100th Birthday, Jack!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The classic 50s brunette. R.I.P.

Yet, what has she left us? With the exception of Minnelli in the two Father of the Bride movies (and doing very well for him), she never worked with a great director. There is that magnificent game room scene with Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun (1951), but that's more Clift than Taylor. And she is an angel adolescent in her child movies of the middle-1940s.

Not much.

Still, try as they may, who else in the world looks like this?

And speaking of cigarettes, the great Lewis Lapham on the evil of banning them.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Explains Libya.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rules of the Game

Written, produced, and directed by Mr. Charles Ferguson.

What has Mr. Ferguson done with all this control? Well, we get about 2,000 helicopter shots of Manhattan island. Another couple thousand low angle/high angle views of New York's postmodern monstrosities. And a bunch of hooker/cocaine/Bentley montages straight out of a 1986 Miami Vice episode. (And like those montages, how can we feel anything but envy?) The whole movie is clean and well-scrubbed.

So we are left with the faces and voices of the gangster class. This is the tribe that intentionally crushed the world's economy, stole $20,000,000,000,000 (and counting) from U.S. taxpayers, thereby crippling (also intentional) all public functions of the United States government? These are the Masters of the Universe, so brilliant and driven and complex their work is beyond mere human ken? These pinched, cheeseball faces? These stunted, third-rate minds? My, how the game has been fixed. To quote Mr. Ferguson's kinsman Michael Collins on the Brits: "How did these people ever get to run an empire?"

A very poor documentary on the subject of our time, yet a large helping of proof that the last thing 21st Century U.S.A. resembles is a "meritocratic" society. (Unless merit has been reduced to nothing beyond being a weasel fixer. I guess it has.)

And speaking of weasels . . . Barack Obama, the planet's currently most famous weasel, is not mentioned in this movie about Wall Street power until minute 98 of 102 (sans end credits). The word capitalism not at all.

2010's Inside Job.

On the same subject (actually I'm not sure what Ferguson's subject is), only much much better.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Means War?

Michael Moore.

Naomi Klein:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


On this Happy Girls Day, Part 10 of Haibane Renmei, "Abandoned Castle"

The rest.