Titanic

Not rated yet!
Director
James Cameron
Runtime
3 h 14 min
Release Date
18 November 1997
Genres
Drama, Romance, Thriller
Overview
84 years later, a 101-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning.
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  • 'I Don't Think I'll Ever Feel Sure Again About Anything'
    Lifestyle One Saturday night in late September, after photoshopping Roger L. Simon into William Shatner's Star Trek uniform (don’t try this at home kids…), I watched the Criterion Collection Blu-Ray of A Night to Remember, the great 1958 British retelling of the Titanic disaster. The one that featured a cast of grownups rather than Leo and Kate romping around amid a backdrop of a zillion extras.After seeing James Cameron's teen romance-meets disaster movie take on Titanic on the big screen in 1997, I remember saying to my wife as we left the theater that I wanted to see Lawrence of Arabia again for the next film we watch. Why, she asked? Because it’s all desert, no water.I had seen plenty of YouTube clips of A Night to Remember, but this was the first time I had watched it all in sequence. While A Night to Remember is over an hour shorter than Cameron's mammoth production, and watching it on a 55-inch TV instead of a 70-foot multiplex screen, I felt similarly wiped out afterwards. I poked around Amazon Prime on the Roku box for something that was as least like A Night to Remember as possible. I ended up watching a segment of Firing Line from 1981, in which William F. Buckley interviewed Tom Wolfe on his then-new book, From Bauhaus To Our House. But even there -- because I'm me, and this is what I do -- my brain was trying to work out the connections. Mr. Guggenheim, whose daughter would found the modernist museum that bears the family name, went down with the ship along with his valet, after uttering the famous quote, "We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen."The sinking of the Titanic is universally seen as foreshadowing the horrors of World War I. (“WORLD’S LARGEST METAPHOR HITS ICE-BERG,” recalls the classic Onion headline.) That’s implicit on screen in A Night to Remember as well, of course. As L.A.-based film critic John Patterson wrote in his 2012 retrospective on the 1958 film in the leftwing London Guardian, where he notes that Eric Ambler, the film’s screenwriter was “by then an ex-Marxist,” with what sounds like a trace of tacit disappointment:His heroes and villains, cowards and charlatans, are spread evenly across the social spectrum [in A Night to Remember], but he emphasises the numbing and mindless social deference of 1912 to a 1958 audience for whom a good many of those assumptions were still firmly in place, although their erosion was already under way. Ambler can sense a foretaste of the Somme in these events, a whole social order upended, quite literally, just as Scott's failed Antarctic expedition, the other great British debacle of 1912, tolled the death knell for the cult of the English Gentleman Amateur.And as Wolfe mentioned in From Bauhaus to Our House, and during his interview with Buckley, modern art and modern architecture grew out of the horrors of World War I and its aftermath. The rubble of WWI, the blood-stained trenches, and the rapid ascension of various forms of socialism all made the "Start From Zero" mindset of the Weimar Republic's Bauhaus possible. History? The past? Tradition? It should all be tossed into the Atlantic, along with all those stuffy old toffs who went down with the ship dressed in their best. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/12/18/night-to-remember/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • The Return of the Vampire
    PJ Media One can’t help but notice the growing prevalence of the vampire archetype in contemporary fiction and film, corresponding to the popular fascination with the Titanic story. The vampire and the Titanic constitute cultural paradigms, aspects of the subliminal awareness of deep social currents, suppressed forces, and nocturnal apprehensions expressed as aesthetic configurations.Regarding the Titanic, poet Robyn Sarah speculates that the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster “struck a chord with the popular psyche as we steamed towards a new millennium” because it “bowls us over that what seemed so substantial -- the multi-storied castle of lit ballrooms, grand staircases, fine furnishings, a self-sufficient man-made world of beauty and luxury -- could slip so swiftly into oblivion.” In other words, people have identified psychologically, culturally, and civically with the fate of the great liner, intuiting that our Western way of life, “first-class tickets for all, lifeboats for none,” as Sarah writes, is no longer sustainable.Analogously, since Anne Rice’s 1976 Interview with the Vampire became a bestseller, the vampire myth has taken wing, so to speak, giving new life to Bram Stoker’s chiropteran seigneur. Its exemplars are to be found wherever we look: in novels, movies, video games, and TV serials. Even the famed critic and cultural maven Harold Bloom reportedly takes in every vampire movie that hits the marquees. Often the vampire is portrayed sympathetically, as a suffering and misunderstood creature resisting the curse he (or she) bears and seeking redemption for his predatory impulses. But the rehabilitation of the vampire does not change the fact that the vampire remains a vampire, subject to cravings that augur poorly for the larger population upon whose vulnerability he preys. The vampire’s thirst, as Byron wrote in his poem "The Giaour," is “unquenched, unquenchable.”What is more interesting than charting a mere literary phenomenon, however, is asking ourselves why this particular legend or superstition has acquired such prominence among us today, preying in its own way upon the modern sensibility. As with the Titanic mystique, it may develop as a trope or representation of a profound cultural malaise, a sense that under the surface of daily life destructive forces prowl. As a character in Robert Walser’s surrealistic 1909 novel Jakob Von Gunten says, adjusting for the historical calendar, “Concerts and theatres are going down and down, the standpoint sinks lower and lower. There is, to be sure, still something like society to set the tone but it no longer has the capacity for striking the notes of dignity and subtlety of mind.” Nor, for that matter, the note of assurance.The premonition that something is awfully wrong haunts the imagination, although much of the time we cannot isolate precisely what it is that lurks in the shadows of our doubts and misgivings. Terrorism and a revived Islam, for example, clearly stalk the collective psyche. According to ancient lore, the vampire must first be invited into the premises he subsequently terrorizes, and this is certainly the case with the Islamic demographic. At the same time, all too many of us refuse to consciously acknowledge the threat and strive instead to prettify the image of Islam as a “religion of peace” -- just as the modern vampire tends to be nipped and tucked into a cosmetic semblance of nobility and innocence.As Toby Lichtig writes in the TLS, reviewing a shelf of new publications on the subject, the vampire persists as a vehicle of universal fears, “of life being sapped by death, of health by disease, of the deserving by the selfish,” which explains why it remains “such a powerful metaphor, whether in terms of economics…racial chauvinism, politics, science or domestic relationships.” And indeed, the vampire is no longer the esoteric personage he once was, plying his mischief in the remote fastnesses of Transylvania or the fog of 19th century London, but is now just as likely to make his home “in the Sunnydale of Buffy.” The vampire is ubiquitous. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-return-of-the-vampire/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • The 10 Most Damaging Chick Flicks Ever Made
    Lifestyle There's no denying it: ladies love the chick flicks. For men, they're instruments of torture they must endure with their woman so they can be rewarded at the end of the night. Women, however, eat them up -- especially the under-30 crowd. They'll drag their boyfriends to them, bond with a group of girlfriends while watching them, or sit at home alone crying to them. Never mind that they're vapid, formulaic crap that Hollywood can churn out faster than Sandra Fluke can go through condoms. They're still successful.Too bad they also send some of the worst messages to women in the history of mankind. Horrible stereotypes, insulting characters, idiotic relationship advice... it's all there. Some chick flicks are better at hiding it than others, but generally, you can count on the same thing each time. The worst part is, women are actually starting to believe the lunacy they see in these movies!So which are the worst offenders, and what damaging messages do they send?10. The Notebook var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Notebook Movie Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: Cheating Is Great!Also Seen In:Six Days Seven Nights, Sweet Home AlabamaThe Notebook is considered by many women to be one of the most beloved movies ever, a perfect example of what romance and long-lasting love are supposed to be. Too bad about half of the movie revolves around the main character cheating on her fiance.For those who haven't seen it, Allie and Noah are high-school sweethearts. Allie's rich and Noah's poor, so they break up after one summer. Noah joins the Army and fights in World War II; Allie goes to college and gets engaged to a handsome soldier turned lawyer. After getting engaged, she runs back to Noah, rolls around in the hay with him a few times, and ends up insulted at her mother's insinuation that she's a tramp. None of this matters, of course. Noah and Allie love each other so much that cheating on the man she promised to marry was perfectly acceptable. Heck, even her fiance didn't get mad at her. It's romantic, see?The lesson here is that, hey, it's totally cool to cheat on someone if that's what your heart is telling you to do. It doesn't matter if it's right or wrong. If you're following your heart, then cheat away!9. Clueless var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Clueless - Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: Pretend to Be Dumb and Everyone Will Adore YouAlso Seen In: Legally Blonde, Along Came PollyThe heroine of Clueless, a teenage girl named Cher, is ditzy, superficial, and shallow. She spends most of the movie butchering the English language, screwing up virtually everything she touches, and ruining relationships left and right. But because she's pretty, sweet, and rich, everyone around her just adores her. Of course, by the end of the movie, we see that she's not really stupid. She suddenly becomes wise, driven, and even gets involved in charity! But she never loses that adorable dumbed-down persona that made everyone love her to begin with.The idea that women need to dumb themselves down to be liked is vomit-inducing, but it caught on post-Clueless. Many of Cher's catchphrases ("Whatever!", "As if!", and excessive uses of the word "like") remain popular today. Girls see in this movie that they should appear intelligent by using big words, albeit words they don't actually know the meaning of, but make sure to not actually be intelligent. Because that's not quite as cutesy and adorable, or something. Even if you decide to become all smart and stuff, make sure you don't take it too far. Don't want to lose that dumb, adorable charm!8. Dirty Dancing var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: Have Sex With a Player, and He'll Totally Fall In Love With You!Also Seen In: Fools Rush InDirty Dancing probably ranks right up there with The Notebook in classic chick-flick status, although for completely different reasons. Dirty Dancing makes you feel happy at the end, while The Notebook makes you cry. And Dirty Dancing tells girls to ignore the advice that their mothers gave them, and to just go ahead and give it up to that guy who has a bad reputation, because deep down, he's really looking to fall in love!In the movie, Baby hears that Johnny has a reputation for sleeping with the married women at the club where she and her family vacation. No matter. Within days of meeting him, she convinces herself she's in love and hops into bed with him. Now, in real life, she'd probably never see the guy again. But in the movie, he's in love with her too (of course!), and has been dying for that one magical lay that would make him see the error of his whore-mongering ways.Let's face it: girls make this dumb mistake all the time. Sure, they may know that the guy they've got a crush on is a player. But he sure is a smooth talker, and they're just following their heart, right? And you can't ever go wrong if you're following your heart. (Gag.) So while Johnny may have been so entranced by Baby that he gave up his player status, it's not realistic.In real life, Baby probably would have ended up a one-night stand, crying her heart out to her sister while Johnny moved on to his next easy catch.7. Hitch var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Hitch - Officialu00AE Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: Men Are Bumbling IdiotsAlso Seen In: Fool's GoldHitch revolves around the currently popular premise that men are stupid, especially when it comes to women. And in this particular movie, they are so clueless and dumb that they actually need to hire a dating expert to help coach them through interaction with women. Men, without the training of Will Smith, are bumbling, messy, lazy, and incapable of forming a coherent sentence in the presence of a woman. You get bonus points if the guy is fat and unattractive, too.And we just eat it up, don't we? It's a running cultural joke. It's everywhere: sitcoms, commercials, even e-cards and internet memes feature this oh-so-funny idea that men are useless and stupid. And while most chick flicks have insulting stereotypes about women, Hitch clearly shows that the men don't exactly escape unscathed, either.6. Jerry Maguire var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Jerry Maguire - Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: You Should Give Up Everything For Your GuyAlso Seen In: Leap Year, Knocked UpDorothy has a thing for her boss in Jerry Maguire. So she quits her stable job to work at the company he founds after being fired, and makes the spur-of-the-moment decision to marry him. When it seems obvious that he's not invested in the marriage at all, Dorothy decides to call it quits, move away, and take another job where she could actually, you know, get paid and provide for her child. But because this is a romantic comedy and not real life, Jerry comes crawling back, gives the perfect "take me back" romantic speech, and she decides to give it all up, yet again, for her man.Now, while sticking by your husband is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, the movie trope of women dropping everything to be with their "perfect" guy is ridiculous. And unlike the movies, when women give up their family, friends, jobs, money, etc., to land a guy, it usually doesn't end well. If he's requiring that kind of sacrifice, while giving absolutely nothing in return, that should show up as a a big red flag. And if it does work out, how is the girl likely to feel the rest of her life? You can bet that every time they hit a rough spot in their relationship, she'll be throwing it in his face that she gave up everything for him.5. Mean Girls var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Mean Girls - Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: Girls Are Evil, Catty BitchesAlso Seen In:Bride Wars, My Best Friend's WeddingMean Girls taught us that girls are horrible creatures. One wrong move and not only have you made an enemy for life but she'll make sure to punish you endlessly in all kinds of creative and psychotic ways. In Mean Girls the two main characters, Cady and Regina, find all manner of underhanded methods to torment each other. They steal boyfriends, cheat, spread rumors, and on and on. The end of the movie is supposed to show how they've resolved their problems and realized that they don't have to be mean girls, but the movie still ends with a joke about hitting younger girls with a bus.Catty women exist in real life, sure, but unlike what Hollywood and chick flicks would have you believe, they're not that common. Most women don't actually pride themselves on being conniving, lying, back-stabbing harpies. Most women value their friendships. You could excuse Mean Girls by saying that the characters are immature high schoolers, but plenty of chick flicks feature adult women who act the same way. That's how Hollywood sees women: they will turn on their friends in a second if they're crossed in some imaginary way, no matter how dumb the reason. Because women are just that mean.4. Bridget Jones's Diary var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Bridget Jones Diary - Official Trailer (HD) Renu00E9e Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: Neurotic Overanalyzing Is Totally Normal!Also Seen In: Sex and the City  How To Lose A Guy In 10 DaysThe entire premise of Bridget Jones's Diary is how Bridget chronicles her need to find Mr. Right, and her struggles between two men, Mark and Daniel. Her life has almost no other meaning beyond losing weight and finding the right guy, and so all she does is obsess about how to figure out who Mr. Right is and then land him.Women tend to overanalyze anyway, but chick flicks take it to a whole other level. In Hollywood, women have no other interests, passions, stresses, worries, nothing. Not only are men the only thing they think about, they obsess over it every second of the day. Time spent with friends is only to hash out every last detail of whatever hookup, relationship, or argument they happen to be going through. And everything is critiqued -- what he says, how he says it, what his actions mean, when he'll propose... just thinking about it all is stressful, not to mention insulting.It may blow a lot of minds, but believe it or not, women should have more going on in their lives than just obsessing about men 24/7.3. Titanic var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Titanic - Official Trailer [1997]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: True Love Happens Right AwayAlso Seen In: The Wedding Planner, The Sweetest ThingThe fact that Titanic is considered one of the most romantic movies of all time is nauseating. Jack is a poor guy who meets Rose, a rich girl, aboard the Titanic. Naturally, in the three or so days they know each other, they fall madly in love. Rose has sex with him, and makes plans to leave behind everything -- her mother, her fiance, her money -- to run away and be penniless with him. Then, when the ship hits the iceberg, she abandons her fiance and her mother and sticks with Jack to the end. This is a sure sign of their undying love. (Astute viewers, however, will note that Jack never even tells Rose he loves her.)Leaving all of that idiocy aside, it's a common notion in chick flicks that when you meet the right person, you just know. You'll fall in love either right away, or very quickly. Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship, though, knows that those feelings of passion quickly fade. And now, there are all too many people who think that this means they're falling out of love with their significant others. They don't feel the "passion" they felt when they first got together, so clearly, they aren't in love anymore.Message to women everywhere: chick flicks are not real life. You don't form a deep, meaningful bond in a matter of days.2. Pretty Woman var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Pretty Woman (1990) - Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Damaging Message: All Women Need Is Clothes and CashPretty Woman is considered to be another chick flick classic, a modern-day Cinderella. But instead of a beautiful princess who is kind and elegant, we instead get a street-walker who has no class, no tact, and yet somehow is just what a single, wealthy businessman wants. Vivian is in every sense of the word a fallen woman, but all it takes to turn her life around are some pretty clothes. After a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive, her entire attitude changes. And after her week with Prince Charming, she's ready to turn her life around... with her fabulous designer clothes and her new rich boyfriend.What does that say about women? Chick flicks have this tendency to make their heroines broken in some way, until their perfect man comes along to complete them. In Pretty Woman, the message isn't even that women need the perfect man -- all they need are designer clothes and a wad of cash.1. Twilight var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Twilight - Final Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); The Most Damaging Message of All: If A Guy Treats You Badly, It's Because He Loves YouTwilight is pretty much the worst thing to ever happen to literature or film, but let's focus on just one point. In Twilight, Bella is strangely drawn to Edward. It's true love, of course, but how does Edward actually treat her? Well, he's just rude at first, and acts as if he hates absolutely everything about her. Later, once he decides he doesn't loathe her very being, he admits that he's murdered people before. He says he's never wanted anyone's blood as much as he wants hers, and that he originally wanted to kill her.This, in Twilight-land, is love. In the real world, it's called domestic abuse waiting to happen. In a less extreme case, women already suffer from the delusion that if they just hold on, the guy who treats them like dirt will eventually come to his senses and confess his true love. And it's because of claptrap like Twilight. Real men do not treat women they are in love with like they hate them. If a guy acts like he cannot stand the sight of you, guess what? He probably can't. This idea that if you put up with his horrible treatment long enough you'll be rewarded with a happily ever after is one of the worst lies women have ever been told. But it just keeps getting perpetuated in chick flicks, time and time again... and women just keep on believing it.****More on movies, lists, pop culture, and relationships at PJ Lifestyle:The 7 Most Overrated Blockbuster Movies Of The Last 20 Years My 3 Replacements for the 10 Macho Movies List The 3 Most Poisonous Movie Clichés of the 60s and 70s Wayne Brady: Bill Maher Likes His Black Men Violent and His Black Women Prostitutes 5 Myths That Will Destroy Your Marriage10 Guaranteed Methods To Lose a Man, as Seen on The BachelorAnd don't miss these previous hit articles from Cassy:9 Reasons Down Syndrome Won’t Ruin Your Life Fighting the Battle for Sluts EverywhereIn Defense of Slut-Shaming Choosing Life and Beating the Odds: Accepting Down Syndrome The Depraved Girl Scouts The Silent Sacrifice of Military Families We Are Parenting the Post 9-11 Generation class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/9/10/the-10-most-damaging-chick-flicks-ever-made/ ]]>
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  • Page One: Gray Lady Down, the Documentary
    Ed Driscoll class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/1/6/page-one/ ]]>
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  • What Makes a Great Movie?
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The LEGOu00AE Movie - Official Main Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Often film critics like to break a film down to its elements and weigh each of them independently, as though great cinematography, editing, acting, whatever adds up to a great movie. Not necessarily. These trades can all be brilliantly done or poorly done but they aren’t the reason we go to the movies. A film about industrial lathing techniques could be impeccably shot and edited and carry the most magnificent musical score since Wagner, but it probably wouldn’t make anyone’s top ten list -- because film exists to tell us stories.The acting, sets, score and everything else are on hand to serve the story and characters. Does the narrative hold your interest? Do you care what happens to the people (or animals, or plants, or Lego figures) in it? Are you caught up in their quest? Movies are simple. In the words of David Mamet, when you’re watching you want to know, “Who’s this guy? What does he want?” class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/10/18/what-makes-a-great-movie/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
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  • 'I Don't Think I'll Ever Feel Sure Again About Anything'
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll This past Saturday night, after photoshopping Roger L. Simon into William Shatner's Star Trek uniform (don’t try this at home kids…), I watched the Criterion Collection Blu-Ray of A Night to Remember, the great 1958 British retelling of the Titanic disaster. The one that featured a cast of grownups rather than Leo and Kate romping around amid a backdrop of a zillion extras.After seeing James Cameron's teen romance-meets disaster movie take on Titanic on the big screen in 1997, I remember saying to my wife as we left the theater that I wanted to see Lawrence of Arabia again for the next film we watch. Why, she asked? Because it’s all desert, no water.I had seen plenty of YouTube clips of A Night to Remember, but this was the first time I had watched it all in sequence. While A Night to Remember is over an hour shorter than Cameron's mammoth production, and watching it on a 55-inch TV instead of a 70-foot multiplex screen, I felt similarly wiped out afterwards. I poked around Amazon Prime on the Roku box for something that was as least like A Night to Remember as possible. I ended up watching a segment of Firing Line from 1981, in which William F. Buckley interviewed Tom Wolfe on his then-new book, From Bauhaus To Our House. But even there -- because I'm me, and this is what I do -- my brain was trying to work out the connections. Mr. Guggenheim, whose daughter would found the modernist museum that bears the family name, went down with the ship along with his valet, after uttering the famous quote, "We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen."The sinking of the Titanic is universally seen as foreshadowing the horrors of World War I. (“WORLD’S LARGEST METAPHOR HITS ICE-BERG,” recalls the classic Onion headline.) That’s implicit on screen in A Night to Remember as well, of course. As L.A.-based film critic John Patterson wrote in his 2012 retrospective on the 1958 film in the leftwing London Guardian, where he notes that Eric Ambler, the film’s screenwriter was “by then an ex-Marxist,” with what sounds like a trace of tacit disappointment:His heroes and villains, cowards and charlatans, are spread evenly across the social spectrum [in A Night to Remember], but he emphasises the numbing and mindless social deference of 1912 to a 1958 audience for whom a good many of those assumptions were still firmly in place, although their erosion was already under way. Ambler can sense a foretaste of the Somme in these events, a whole social order upended, quite literally, just as Scott's failed Antarctic expedition, the other great British debacle of 1912, tolled the death knell for the cult of the English Gentleman Amateur.And as Wolfe mentioned in From Bauhaus to Our House, and during his interview with Buckley, modern art and modern architecture grew out of the horrors of World War I and its aftermath. The rubble of WWI, the blood-stained trenches, and the rapid ascension of various forms of socialism all made the "Start From Zero" mindset of the Weimar Republic's Bauhaus possible. History? The past? Tradition? It should all be tossed into the Atlantic, along with all those stuffy old toffs who went down with the ship dressed in their best. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/9/30/night-to-remember/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Nearer My Gaia, To Thee
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Belmont Club When A Night to Remember was released in 1958 no one had to inform the audience that it was a fictional depiction of a real event. But on the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic tragedy there were fewer left to remember. The centenary produced a strange blizzard of messages on Twitter. One said: “I didn’t know Titanic actually happened, thought it was just a film.” Another added “holy s--- im never gooing on a cruise.”  Of course, the Titanic's voyage wasn't actually a cruise in the modern sense. Lest people think: "that was so unnecessary -- why didn't they just take the plane?" the answer is back in the day ships were the only way people could travel over the ocean. Really.If some things become real because they're in the movies, as in "I know it's true, oh so true, 'cause I saw it on TV," or so the song goes, the rival point of view is that nothing is truly real. Everything's a movie.You can't just assume the context any more. There were enough viewers in the audience of  A Night To Remember who had living memory of the actual Titanic disaster to implicitly know it was once a real news story. There were probably enough people around in the 1950s to remember when guns were once used to defend civilization against tyrants.  And nobody needed to explain that kids playing GI Joe were neither doing something antisocial nor were they fixing to be the next Lee Harvey Oswald.By contrast, you have to explain that sort of thing today. For example, Pippa Middleton, who is related by marriage to Britain's Royal Family was said to be in serious legal trouble after someone in her car pointed a toy gun at paparazzi.Royal bridesmaid Pippa Middleton could face arrest and interrogation after a friend aimed a gun at a photographer in Paris, reports The Sun newspaper.Pictures published by the British newspaper show the younger sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in the front seat of a convertible as the male driver produces the gun and takes aim to the amusement of another man in the car.French authorities are cracking down on gun crime in the wake of a recent shooting in Tolouse where seven people, were killed, and police are poised to launch an investigation into Saturday's shocking event which could include Pippa's arrest, The Sun reported."If the evidence points to her involvement, she will be prosecuted," an unnamed source said of Pippa."Anybody involved in the illegal use of a handgun in public is liable to arrest and interrogation."Even if the gun was found to be fake, punishment for such crimes can include jail time, The Sun said.Never mind that she didn't the point the gun. Never mind that the thing was in fact fake, and shown to the photographers. "One of the photographers said after Middleton's car stopped, he got to hold it, and it was obviously fake."  She was guilty by association. Tainted by proximity to somebody who had a toy gun.But those who think this mania over guns is overblown don't understand. There's a serious Toy Disarmament movement, led by "people [who] believe they can teach children violence".In 2007 ... the National Union of Teachers in England argu[ed] that toy guns "symbolize aggression" and that encouraging boys to play with them fosters gender stereotypes ...Toy guns were removed from the Sears Roebuck 1968 Christmas catalog after the assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. Senator, former United States Attorney General, and presidential candidate Robert Francis Kennedy.English Children's Clown Barney Baloney AKA Tony Turner is a practitioner of balloon modelling. He was banned from providing children with shaped toy balloons because a national supermarket chain said the latex may be harmful. Barney stated "I also go into schools to entertain children and recently in Rotherham I was told that I mustn't make guns out of balloons because it could encourage violence but I was told it was okay to make swords"People no longer remember the time when a Lee-Enfield or an M1 Garand was all that stood between mankind and enslavement. Today it's a symbol of gender stereotypes. And you can't tell them they've taken leave of reality because they no longer remember what reality is. All they know about it now is what they've seen in the movies or watched on TV.Fortunately Calvin was taught how reality actually worked. When he asks his dad why old photos are always in black and white, his father explains. "In fact those old photographs are in color. It's just that the world was black and white back then."But to Calvin it doesn't make sense. The boy asks, "but then why are the old paintings in color? If the world was black and white, wouldn't the artists have painted it that way?"That's easy to explain, says dad. The paintings, like all other real objects, were also in black and white but turned colors right around the time color film became commonplace.  It's reality that changes to fit the narrative, not the other way around. When faced with a decision between logic and the symbol, print the symbol.Patrick Pexton, the Washington Post's ombudsman, described his agony over whether to put a story that Obamacare would actually cost double what it was originally said to cost on the front page. "Putting the story on A3 was the right judgment for a print publication. Montgomery urged her editors, correctly, not to put it on the front page: it wasn’t worth that." However, the online readers thought differently.  "On The Post’s Web site, the story took off, even though it was prominent on the home page for only a short time. It immediately entered the partisan spin cycle of exaggeration, distortion and hyperbole." As in someone figured out that the Titanic really happened.There's one last loose end. Some may ask: what is color film? Don't you remember Kodachrome? Oh you don't? Well never mind. It was something that once existed. Like the Titanic. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Dumb and Dumber - We Landed on the Moon!', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); How to Publish on Amazon's Kindle for $2.99The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99Tip Jar or Subscribe for $5 class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2012/4/17/nearer-my-gaia-to-thee/ ]]>
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  • The Last Days of Tehran
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll As Alfred Hitchcock once told Francois Truffaut, suspense is a far greater device for a movie director than surprise. If a bomb goes off suddenly in a movie, that's about 30 seconds of surprise in the immediate aftermath. But if you include a shot of the baddie placing the bomb under the dinner table first, then several minutes of otherwise routine conversation among the stars is instantly transformed into suspense, as the audience sits on the edges of their seats awaiting the bomb's detonation.Some Hollywood films play out that idea on a grand scale — The Last Days of Pompeii, and the story of the Titanic are both perennials for filmmakers, because the audience knows the characters are doomed, and thus watching their otherwise everyday quotidian details takes on a whole new dimension, as we await the tragic denouement.Mad Men does this sort of thing near the end of every season: the first season climaxed with the gang at Sterling Cooper awaiting the election returns in 1960, certain that their presidential candidate, handsome young ex-Navy war hero -- Richard Nixon! -- had it in the bag. The following year was their take on the Cuban Missile Crisis. And of course, the second to last episode in the just-concluded season began with Don and the boys complaining about their office building's HVAC system on the fritz, the boss being a jerk again, having to watch the clients' moronic TV commercials for a living, until suddenly, on one of the TVs in the office was the familiar black & white image of Walter Cronkite in his thick horn-rimmed glasses, broadcasting tragic news from Dallas.All of which is a long set-up to a blog post found by Steve Green for his Week in Blogs segment on PJTV. It's from a blog called Page F30, and titled, "Iran in the 1970s before the Islamic Revolution."It features numerous color snapshots that could have been taken anywhere in the west in the 1970s: guys in Qiana shirts with collars the size of B-52 wingspans, big lapeled-polyester suits, women with big blonde hair and Liza Minnelli-inspired looks, plenty of makeup, etc. In other words, normal everyday folks not knowing that their lives were about to be completely upended by the end of the decade.It makes an equally eerie double-feature with this earlier post by Phyllis Chesler featuring photographs of Cairo University's graduating classes from 1959 until 2004. As Mark Steyn wrote about Phyllis's post:Whenever I give a speech on Islam, some or other complacenik always says, "Oh, but they haven't had time to Westernize. Just you wait and see. Give it another 20 years, and the siren song of Westernization will work its magic." This argument isn't merely speculative, it's already been proved wrong by what's happened over the last 20 years. Compare the Cairo University class of 1959 with those of the 21st century, and then see if you can recite your inevitablist theories of social evolution with a straight face. The idea that social progress is like the wheel or the internal combustion engine — once invented, it can never be uninvented — is one of the laziest assumptions of the Western Left.But hey, don't worry. Our president is totally up for moving the clock forward in the region once again. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2010/5/16/the-last-days-of-tehran/ ]]>
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  • You Will Believe A Domo-kun Can Float!
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll Having inadvertently remade Pocahontas as Avatar, James Cameron is currently hard at work at remaking his earlier film Titanic, this time starring Domo-kun as Leonardo DiCaprio: class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2010/1/6/you-will-believe-a-domo-kun-can-float/ ]]>
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  • In Between Sermons, Avatar a Stunning Experience
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    PJ Media Director James Cameron set himself up to fail with Avatar, his first feature film since 1997’s Oscar-winning Titanic.Cameron all but promised Avatar would reinvent the way we look at 3-D movies. And darn if he didn’t live up to his own hype.Avatar is a thing of beauty, a 3-D movie of clarity and power. And, at a time when the special effects bar is raised with every new blockbuster, Cameron’s film sends that bar rising through the rafters.So why did he retrofit his film with an immature Iraq war meme and, much worse, politically loaded dialogue that rips you right out of the movie time and time again?The futuristic film stars Sam Worthington as Jake, a partially paralyzed Marine who agrees to go back onto the battlefield in order to glean information about the Na’Vi, a blue-skinned race living on the planet Pandora.Their planet is loaded with a mineral called unobtainium that doubles as a energy source. The military -- and its corporate tag team partners -- need to retrieve the mineral because the Earth’s resources are depleted.You’d think by the year 2154 we’d have solved those pesky green solutions like solar power, hydrogen cells, and wind-driven turbines.But before you can say “no blood for unobtanium,” Jake starts to identify with the tall, elegant creatures who agree to teach him their culture for less than clear reasons. He’s particularly fond of Neytiri (voiced by Zoe Saldana of Star Trek), a beautiful 10-foot-tall humanoid whose gruff exterior quickly melts away.Suffice it to say, the creatures respect nature to a fault, going so far as to apologize after killing a creature for sustenance or survival. That probably means little to the slain creature, but it makes the Na’vi feel so much better.Jake is a Marine on a mission, but after becoming enmeshed in the alien culture he starts to question the military’s plan for Pandora.The film echoes the war in Vietnam when the military starts strafing innocent Na’vi from above, but the biggest ideological sights are set on this country’s adventures in the Middle East.Phrases like “shock and awe” pour out of the actors’ mouths, instantly ripping us out of the story and back into the last op-ed column we’ve read.Why a filmmaker as smart and gifted as Cameron would use reportedly $300 million to immerse us in a unique fantasy only to yank us out of it is a mystery for the ages.Then again, in Hollywood, ideology too often trumps all. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/in-between-sermons-avatar-a-stunning-experience/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Making the Redford Version Look Like Citizen Kane
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll At the start of 2009, I warned "Uh Oh — I Smell Yet Another Pathetic Gatsby Remake." Sadly, I may have been all too prescient: var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Great Gatsby Official Trailer #1 (2012) Leonardo DiCaprio Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); As Tom Shillue wrote at the time at Big Hollywood:According to this story in the Guardian, Hollywood is geared up and ready for the recession, and it seems they are eager to entertain us with a series of big-budget “I told you so’s”.Baz Luhrmann is all set to mount a re-make of The Great Gatsby because, according to him, "People will need an explanation of where we are and where we've been, and The Great Gatsby can provide that explanation."Oh, boy. Here we go again. Do I really need another lesson in why the American dream is a charade, and our materialism leads to emptiness and despair? I've heard this all before.The time it takes to complete a film can do strange things to its message. What might have seemed like a warning about economic excess at the start of the Obama administration can now be viewed by many as a cautionary tale about the identikit persona of Mr. Obama himself, and a reminder of the blindness of those who eagerly followed him. Regarding the former, Mark Steyn wrote in his latest column:“I suppose he’d had the name ready for a long time, even then,” says Nick Carraway in “The Great Gatsby.” “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people – his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself… . So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.”In a post-modern America, the things that Gatsby attempted to fake – an elite schooling – Obama actually had; the things that Gatsby attempted to obscure – the impoverished roots – merely add to Obama’s luster. Gatsby claimed to have gone to Oxford, but nobody knew him there because he never went; Obama had a million bucks’ worth of elite education at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard Law, and still nobody knew him (“Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him”). In that sense, Obama out-Gatsbys Gatsby: His “shiftless and unsuccessful” relatives – the deportation-dodging aunt on public housing in Boston, the DWI undocumented uncle, the $12-a-year brother back in Nairobi – are useful props in his story, the ever more vivid bit-players as the central character swims ever more out of focus, but they don’t seem to know him either. The more autobiographies he writes, the less anybody knows.Like Gatsby presiding over his wild, lavish parties, Obama is aloof and remote: let everyone else rave deliriously; he just has to be. He is, in his way, the apotheosis of the Age of American Incredibility. When just being who you are anyway is an incredible accomplishment, Obama managed to run and win on biography almost entirely unmoored from life. But then, like Gatsby, he knew a thing or two about “the unreality of reality.”To borrow from one of Gatsby's most famous scenes, the shirts have no emperor. Though one huge difference: attendance at Gatsby's wild parties was entirely voluntary. We're all trapped in Obama's cocktail party until at least November. And whatever happens then, we'll be working off the hangover for quite some time to come.But back to the film itself. My first thought while watching the above trailer was, to paraphrase the perceptive veteran film critics Beavis and Butt-head, this really sucks -- but it sucks in unique ways we've never seen before. Or actually, we have; the same problems that plague Martin Scorsese's The Aviator -- killer production design, great wardrobe, phony looking CGI, and the same unbelievable lead are at work here as well. Here's what I wrote in 2005:Over the summer, I finally caught The Aviator. Wonderful 1930s and ’40s production design, but its casting reminded me why I skipped it on the big screen in the first place. There was simply no way I could buy the babyfaced perpetual child-man Leonardo DiCaprio as business tycoon Howard Hughes. He simply lacked the gravitas to play the character, despite the fact that at 30, DiCaprio is only a few years younger than Hughes himself was at the start of the era depicted in Scorsese’s picture.(Incidentally, could you imagine DiCaprio as the title character in Citizen Kane? And yet Orson Welles was actually four years younger than DiCaprio when he played Charles Foster Kane.)It isn't entirely DiCaprio's fault; just about every Hollywood period movie made post-Brat Pack suffers from the same problem. (For example, the Dorthy Parker film from 1994 with Jennifer Jason Leigh in the title role, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, comes immediately to mind. At least in Titanic, DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were supposed to be callow youths, and were surrounded by an army of veteran character actors.) class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/5/23/making-the-redford-version-look-like-citizen-kane/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • How Western Civilization Lost It at the Movies
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll "Movies really have become awful, haven't they?" Ace writes. And who can argue with him?I don't mean politically; sure, there are a lot of liberal zingers put into movies for no very good reason, except to make the filmmakers think they've done something positive with the piece of shit project they're foisting on people.Hollywood has always made most movies for a juvenile crowd. A producer, I think his name was Zanuck, worked out the logic like this: Girls will see anything boys will see, but boys will not see most things girls will see. Younger kids will see anything that older kids will see, but older kids will not see things made for younger kids. Adults will see most things that older teenagers will see, but older teenagers will not necessarily see things that adults would see. Therefore, the correct money-making demographic to make a movie for is a 17 year old boy.Read the whole thing, and follow Ace's link to screenwriter Eric Heisserer, at the appropriately named industry blog The Bitter Script Reader.So is the real problem the declining intelligence and taste of the average 17-year-old male, or is it the declining intelligence and taste of Hollywood, or do the two -- along with the declining intelligence and taste of the American education system -- combine to form the complete Red Queen’s Race to the bottom? I'd blame the latter scenario, especially after contemplating what the average 17-year-old male likely dug when he went to the movies over the years:1950s: Alfred Hitchcock’s best decade, and loads of war movies, both pro and con (Strategic Air Command, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Paths of Glory, et al). 1960s: The birth of the James Bond movie franchise, plus big-budget middlebrow epics like Spartacus, Lawrence of Arabia, and Dr. Zhivago, plus the rise of the counter-culture, with Dr. Strangelove, Blowup, Bonnie & Clyde, 2001, and the Beatles’ movies.1970s: More Bond, rock movies (Woodstock, Gimme Shelter), B-movies/exploitation/violence galore (Easy Rider, Clockwork Orange, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Taxi Driver, Death Wish, Dirty Harry), the Godfather movies, and then the rise of Spielberg and Lucas, which led to…1980s: The Empire Strikes Back, ET, Jedi, Blade Runner, the Star Trek movies, Platoon, Wall Street, Full Metal Jacket, and the SNL movies (Stripes, Trading Places, Ghost Busters, et al). Plus plenty of horny teenager movies (Fast Times, Risky Business, etc.)1990s: T2, the Batman movies, and the omnipresent summer action movie with Arnold, Bruce, Tom, Harrison, et al. Plus the 1998 digital mind-f*** movies: The Matrix and Dark City. And Titanic,  which brilliantly combined the chick-flick with an ending filled with plenty of digital FX and carnage for the boys.2000s: Brit-lit such as the Lord of the Rings and Narnia, the horrible but exceedingly profitable Star Wars prequels, and wall-to-wall superheroes.2010s: Avatar and even more superheroes. Did I mention the superheroes?Sense a trend here? And don't forget -- a tiny percentage of the most aggressive of those moviegoers in the '70s and '80s are the ones who headed to Hollywood to write today's drek. Their idea of deep and complex middlebrow culture aren't the books that inspired Hollywood's golden age, but the actual movies themselves. Or as John Podhoretz wrote at NRO on the eve of 9/11, "A century dominated by movies has left the movies starved for inspiration."Even beyond that mammoth dumbing down of the average hit movie's writing when middlebrow culture was nuked and paved by the new left, after 9/11, the combination of PC and fear of failure completely numbed Hollywood, resulting in the Big Screen's current malaise. And oddly, television's renaissance, a topic that Mark Tapson discusses at Acculturated.com, in his review of television critic Alan Sepinwall's new book, The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever:In “an interesting role reversal” with the movie biz, the TV revolution gained momentum as “the 21st century slowly saw the extinction of the middle-class movie. If a film couldn’t either be made on the cheap or guarantee an opening weekend of $50 million or more, it was out.” That meant that studios began to depend heavily on big-spectacle blockbusters (something I touched on in the previous article in this series). “Movies went from something really interesting,” as The Sopranos creator David Chase put it, “to what we have now.”That left a growing void of more artistically and dramatically compelling fare–a void that television filled with Sepinwall’s list of the dozen American TV shows “that changed TV forever,” as his subtitle puts it: The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, and, of course, Mad Men and Breaking Bad.As an example of this revolutionary fare, Sepinwall points to the balls-out opening of Breaking Bad, in which former sitcom father Bryan Cranston’s character–a middle-aged, cancer-ridden chemistry teacher wearing saggy tighty-whities and a gas mask–careens down a desert highway in a mobile meth lab, a dying pair of drug dealers on the vehicle floor behind him. At the end of that jaw-dropping sequence, your inevitable two responses are “What the hell was that?” followed by “More, please. Now.”The revolution didn’t materialize ex nihilo: “The millennial wave of revolutionary dramas,” Sepinwall writes, “was built on the work put in by a group of other series” that paved the way: cop dramas like Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, the hospital dramas St. Elsewhere and ER, the sitcom Cheers, the “MTV cops” of Miami Vice, the hallucinatory Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and others.But hey, cheer up movie fans, because help is on the way. Who's up for Ridley Scott's production of Monopoly: The Motion Picture?!Or this: "What Hell Hath Disney-Lucasfilm Wrought? ‘Star Wars’ Meets ‘Extreme Makeover.'"Update: In addition to the dumbing down of American culture via PC, I should have mentioned how the need for a film to compete in a worldwide marketplace can also dumb down the writing. Tapson addressed this in his previous essay:As an example, [David Denby] notes that 2010’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which he calls “a thundering farrago of verbal and visual gibberish,” grossed $1 billion worldwide in a month: “Nothing is going to stop such success from laying waste to the movies as an art form.”It doesn’t help that international audiences now account for two-thirds of box office receipts. Denby feels that this makes studios gun-shy about making their movies about anything. “Aimed at Bangkok and Bangalore as much as at Bangor,” Denby writes, “our big movies have been defoliated of character, wit, psychology, local color.” He cites director Christopher Nolan’s Inception as an example of “a recent trend in which big movies have been progressively drained of meaning.”That essay/extended blog post by Tapson is also well worth your time. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/12/4/how-western-civilization-lost-it-at-the-movies/ ]]>
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  • Tea Party Rallies for Romney in San Francisco
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Zombie If you thought that big political rally in San Francisco on Saturday must have have been a "Romney for President" event, then you are forgiven — because it sure looked that way.But it actually was Tea Partiers from around the Bay Area who gathered on the Embarcadero for the biggest Tea Party of the 2012 election season so far. (That's right — they're ba-a-a-a-a-ack, demanding fiscal responsibility and smaller government, and not letting the mainstream media's lies silence the debate.)And although early in the campaign Mitt Romney was not at first the Tea Party favorite, they're now rallying to his side, if Saturday's event was any indication."Hear us shout! Vote Obama out!" was the rallying cry of the day. And that meant only one thing: Vote Romney like your life depended on it. The event's official motto was "NObama 2012," and after a bruising primary season, there's only one NObama left to vote for: Romney.True, there was a small contingent of Ron Paulians at the San Francisco rally, but they were overwhelmed by the nearly universal Romney support. I have no doubt that among the true hardcore conservatives in the crowd, that support was more pragmatic than ideological; but contrasted against free-spending big-government Obama, even a moderate conservative like Romney seems like a messiah by comparison. And just about everyone at the rally realized that.Photo courtesy of Larry in SFRomneysiacs plied the crowd with Romney stickers — and almost everyone took them up on the offer. By the end of the day, the place looked like a Romney rally.The Tea Party is good at math, and there's one very simple equation they've solved:- America will go bankrupt unless spending is reined in and the size of government is reduced;- Obama is charting the exact opposite financial course from what needs to happen;- Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president, whether or not he was everybody's first choice;QED, we must support Romney if we want to save the country.Meghan McCain staffed the Romney table. (No, not really, but she sure was a lookalike.) The guy on the right was saying, "Romney is no milquetoast — he will crush all opposition with his mighty claws, like so!" Or something like that.About 600 people showed up; one of them was "Larry in SF," who has also posted a photo essay about the rally on his Fund47 blog, including hi-res crowd shots to verify the attendance numbers. Larry has kindly consented to the use of a few of his photos (as credited) in this report; if you like them, check out his full photo essay here.Even the pooches planned to vote for Romney. And why not? No voter ID is required. Just walk into any polling place and bark, "Woof! My name is woof! Eric Holder woof! Give me my woof! ballot!" Affix a pawprint as a signature, and you're good to go! class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/zombie/2012/4/16/tea-party-rallies-for-romney-in-san-francisco/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
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  • Around the World in 80 Basis Points
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll And now for news of fresh Blue State disaster, both home and abroad.But first, some background. Back in 2010, Theodore Dalrymple explored the revival of centralized economic planning in general, and the fortunes of its most prominent 20th proponent, John Kenneth Galbraith, specifically:His books sold by the million and were available everywhere in cheap paperback editions; titles such as American Capitalism and The Affluent Society were known to almost all educated people. A teacher at Princeton, Cambridge, and Harvard, he was the editor for a time of Fortuneand the American ambassador to India. He was also the first economist to be widely known on television, not least through his sparring with William F. Buckley, Jr. (a close personal friend). His omnipresence as the voice of economics was both the result and the cause of a whole climate of opinion.As is commonly the way, a reaction set in. Galbraith, who lived from 1908 to 2006, grew not only old, but old hat. His Keynesianism appeared outmoded in an era of unprecedented growth and prosperity apparently brought about by adherence to economic theories very different from his. No one believed any longer that demand management—the governmental regulation and, if necessary, provision of the demand for goods and services within the whole economy—was the way to combine prosperity with social justice. Rather, the market’s invisible hand and unconscious wisdom would lead us into the sunny uplands of expanding wealth and diminishing poverty.But recently, there has been a reaction to the reaction. No sooner had Lehman Brothers collapsed than the printing presses started to roll out copies of Galbraith’s book on the debacle of 1929, The Great Crash. In fact, it couldn’t be printed fast enough, paperback books being affordable even in times of crisis. Galbraith was the hero of a recent PBS documentary extolling the value of big government. And demand management à la Galbraith is now back with a vengeance, of course. If the improvidently indebted but now impecunious private citizen won’t spend and thereby expand economic activity, the improvidently indebted but infinitely expandable government will do it for him.So how's that working out? Pretty badly, if these recent stories are any indication. First up, at Big Peace, founded by the late Andrew Breitbart, John J. Xenakis has this news of fresh disaster from Europe: "Spain Unemployment Near 25%; Britain Enters Double-Dip Recession":Spain's economy keeps spiraling downward as unemployment rises to 25%Switzerland considers paying illegal aliens to leave SwitzerlandBritain's economy moves into a 'double-dip' recessionGermany's Angela Merkel angrily repudiates François Hollande's campaign promisesGreece's elections driven by anti-austerity, anti-immigrant fervorRomania's government collapses, Czech government survives, in anti-austerity angerWhile President Reagan was working to expand entrepreneurship in the US in the 1980s, statist-oriented economists trumpeted the top-down economy of Japan as the better model -- recall '80s and early '90s era-films such as Gung Ho, Black Rain, and Rising Sun. Two decades later,  Ross Douthat describes Japan as the "Incredible Shrinking Country," facing demographic, and presumably economic, collapse as well, in the New York Times, and living out a real-life version of The Children of Men, PD James' 1992 novel:Japan is facing such swift demographic collapse, Eberstadt’s essay suggests, because its culture combines liberalism and traditionalism in particularly disastrous ways. On the one hand, the old sexual culture, oriented around arranged marriage and family obligation, has largely collapsed. Japan is one of the world’s least religious nations, the marriage rate has plunged and the divorce rate is higher than in Northern Europe.Yet the traditional stigma around out-of-wedlock childbearing endures, which means that unmarried Japanese are more likely to embrace “voluntary childlessness” than the unwed parenting that’s becoming an American norm. And the traditional Japanese suspicion of immigration (another possible source for demographic vitality) has endured into the 21st century as well. Eberstadt notes that “in 2009 Japan naturalized barely a third as many new citizens as Switzerland, a country with a population only 6 percent the size of Japan’s and a reputation of its own for standoffishness.”These trends are forging a society that sometimes evokes the infertile Britain in James’s dystopia. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the developed world, and there were rashes of Internet-enabled group suicides in the last decade. Rental “relatives” are available for sparsely attended wedding parties; so-called “babyloids” — furry dolls that mimic infant sounds — are being developed for lonely seniors; and Japanese researchers are at the forefront of efforts to build robots that resemble human babies. The younger generation includes millions of so-called “parasite singles” who still live with (and off) their parents, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of the “hikikomori”—“young adults,” Eberstadt writes, “who shut themselves off almost entirely by retreating into a friendless life of video games, the Internet and manga (comics) in their parents’ home.”And speaking of Japan and Europe, "Europe faces Japan syndrome as credit demand implodes," Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in the London Telegraph:This slump in loan demand is more or less what happened during Japan’s Lost Decade as Mr and Mrs Watanabe shunned debt. Zero interest rates did nothing. The Bank of Japan was "pushing on a string" (though it never really launched bond purchases with any serious determination).It is true that banks have slowed the pace of credit tightening, but they are nevertheless still tightening. "A banking crisis remains very much in play for much of the region," said David Owen from Jefferies Fixed Income.The credit squeeze is entirely predictable – and was widely predicted – given that banks must raise their core Tier 1 capital ratios to 9pc by July to meet EU rules, or face nationalisation. (The pro-cyclical folly of this beggars belief: by all means impose higher buffers, but not during a recession, and not by letting banks slash their balance sheets. The US at least forced its banks to raise capital, an entirely different policy since it does not lead to a lending crunch.)The IMF said last week that Europe’s banks would slash their balance sheets by €2 trillion – or 7pc – by next year. This amounts to an economic shock. The Fund said deleveraging on this scale at a time of sharp fiscal tightening risks a "bad equilibrium".Indeed it does. It ensures hell for countries containing 200m people, or more. Judging by the rise of Sinn Fein, the Dutch Freedom Party, the Dutch Socialist Party (hard-Left), France’s Front National, and some true fire-breathers in Greece, they victims will not readily put up with this.Oh well, what's another potential "European Civil War" amongst friends and neighbors? Over on this side of the Atlantic, America's Bluest of Blue regions are undergoing similar demographic and economic convulsions, as we'll explore right after the page break. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/4/29/around-the-world-in-80-basis-points/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Trump: Dancing with Wolves on the Titanic
    Robert Fisk put it best: “Trump Is About To Really Mess Up In The Middle East”. Following his fantastically stupid decision to attack the Syrian military with cruise missiles, Trump or, should I say, the people who make decisions for him, probably realized that it was “game over” for any US policy in the Middle-East so they did the only thing that they could do: they ran towards those few who were actually happy with this aggression against Syria: the Saudis and the Israelis. Needless to say, with these two “allies,” what currently passes for some type of “US foreign policy” in the Middle-East will only go from bad to worse. There are many ways in which Saudi Arabia and Israel are truly unique: they are both prime sponsors of terrorism, they are both nations deeply steeped in ideologies which can only be described as uncivilized (Wahabism and Jewish supremacism) and they both are armed to the teeth. But they also have one other thing in common: in spite, or maybe because of, their immense military budgets, these two nations are also militarily very weak. Oh sure, they have lots of fancy military hardware and they like to throw their weight around and beat up some defenseless “enemy”, but once you set aside all the propaganda you realize that the Saudis can’t even deal with the Houtis in Yemen while the Israelis got comprehensively defeated by 2nd rank Hezbollah forces in 2006 (the top of the line Hezbollah forces were concentrated along the Litani river and never saw direct combat): the entire Golani Brigade could not even take Bint Jbeil under control even though that small town was only 1.5 miles away from the Israeli border. This is also the reason why the Saudis and the Israelis try to limit themselves to airstrikes: because on the ground they simply suck. Here again the similarity is striking: the Saudis have become “experts” at terrorizing defenseless Shia (in the KSA or in Bahrain) while the Israelis are the experts on how to terrorize Palestinian civilians. Trump Dancing with Wolves With Trump now officially joining this ugly alliance, the US will contribute the military “expertise” of a country which can’t even take Mosul, mostly because its forces are hiding, literally, behind the backs of Kurdish and Arab Iraqis. To think that these three want to take on Hezbollah, Iran and Russia would be almost comical if it wasn’t for the kind of appalling bloodshed that this will produce. Alas, just look at what the Saudis are doing to Yemen, what the Israelis did to Gaza or Lebanon or what the US did to Iraq and you will immediately get a sense of what the formation of this nefarious alliance will mean for the people of Syria and the rest of the region. The record shows that a military does not need to be skilled at real warfare to be skilled at murdering people: even though the US occupation of Iraq was, in military terms, a total disaster, it did result in almost one and a half million dead people. What is also clear is who the main target of this evil alliance will be: Iran, the only real democracy in the Middle-East. The pretext? Why – weapons of mass destruction, of course: the (non-existing) chemical weapons of the Syrians and the (non-existing) nuclear weapons of the Iranians. In Trump’s own words: “no civilized nation can tolerate the massacre of innocents with chemical weapons” and “The United States is firmly committed to keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias that are causing so much suffering and chaos throughout the Middle East”. Nothing new here. As for how this evil alliance will fight when it does not have any boots worth putting on the ground? Here, again, the solution as simple as it is old: to use the ISIS/al-Qaeda takfiri crazies as cannon fodder for the US, Israel and the KSA. This is just a re-heated version of the “brilliant” Brzezinski plan on how to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Back to the future indeed. And should the “good terrorists” win, by some kind of miracle, in Syria, then turn them loose against against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against the Shias in Iraq and Iran. Who knows, with some (a lot) of luck, the Empire might even be able to re-kindle the “Caucasus Emirate” somewhere on the southern borders of Russia, right? Wrong. For one thing, the locals are not impressed. Here is what the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, had to say about this: “The Israelis, are betting on Isis and all this takfiri project in the region… but in any case they know, the Israelis, the Americans, and all those who use the takfiris, that this is a project without any future. I tell you, and I also reassure everyone through this interview. This project has no future.” He is right, of course. And the newly re-elected President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, openly says that the Americans are clueless: The problem is that the Americans do not know our region and those who advise US officials are misleading them It is pretty clear who these ‘advisors’ are: the Saudis and the Israelis. Their intentions are also clear: to get the Americans to do their dirty work for them while remaining as far back as possible. You could say that the Saudis and Israelis are trying to get the Americans to do for them what the Americans are trying to get the Kurds to do for them in Iraq: be their cannon fodder. The big difference is that the Kurds at least clearly understand what is going on whereas the Americans are, indeed, clueless. ORDER IT NOWNot all Americans, of course. Many fully understand what is happening. A good example of this acute awareness is what b had to say on Moon of Alabama after reading the transcript of the press briefing of Secretary of Defense Mattis, General Dunford and Special Envoy McGurk on the Campaign to Defeat ISIS: My first thought after reading its was: “These people live in a different world. They have no idea how the real word works on the ground. What real people think, say, and are likely to do.” There was no strategic thought visible. Presented were only some misguided tactical ideas. A senior British reporter, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, the President of Iran and a US blogger all seem to agree on one thing: there is no real US “policy” at work here, what we are seeing is a dangerous exercise in pretend-strategy which cannot result in anything but chaos and defeat. So why is the Trump administration plowing ahead with this nonsense? The reasons are most likely a combination of internal US politics and a case of “if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail”. The anti-Trump color revolution cum coup d’état which the Neocons and the US deep state started even before Trump actually got into the White House has never stopped and all the signs are that the anti-Trump forces will only rest once Trump is impeached and, possibly, removed from office. In response to this onslaught, all that Trump initially could come up with was to sacrifice his closest allies and friends (Flynn, Bannon) in the vain hope that this would appease the Neocons. Then he began to mindlessly endorse their “policies”. Predictably this has not worked either. Then Trump even tried floating the idea of having Joe Lieberman for FBI director before getting ‘cold feet’ and chaning his position yet again. And all the while while Trump is desperately trying to appease them, the Neocons are doubling-down, doubling-down again and then doubling-down some more. It is pretty clear by now that Trump does not have what it takes in terms of allies or even personal courage to tackle the swamp he promised to drain. As a result what we are seeing now looks like a repeat of the last couple of years of the Obama administration: a total lack of vision or even a general policy, chaos in the Executive Branch and a foreign policy characterized by a multiple personality disorder which see the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, the CIA and the White House all pursuing completley different policies in pursuit of completely different goals. In turn, each of these actors engages in what (they think) they do best: the Pentagon bombs, the State Department pretends to negotiate, the CIA engages in more or less covert operation in support of more or less “good terrorists” while the White House focuses its efforts on trying to make the President look good or, at least, in control of something. Truth be told, Trump has nothing at all to show so far: Russia: according to rumors spread by the US, former corporate executive Rex Tillerson was supposed to go to Moscow to deliver some kind of ultimatum. Thank God that did not happen. Instead Tillerson spent several hours talking to Lavrov and then a couple more talking to Putin. More recently, Lavrov was received by Tillerson in the US and, following that meeting, he also met with Trump. Following all these meetings no tangible results were announced. What does that mean? Does that mean that nothing was achieved? Not at all, what was achieved is that the Russians clearly conveyed to the Americans two basic thing: first, that there were not impressed by their sabre-rattling and, second, that as long as the US was acting as a brain-dead elephant in a porcelain store there was no point for Russian to work with the US. To his credit, Trump apparently backed down and even tried to make a few conciliatory statements. Needless to say, the US Ziomedia crucified him for being “too friendly” with The Enemy. The outcome now is, of course, better than war with Russia, but neither is it some major breakthrough as Trump had promised (and, I believe, sincerely hoped for) during his campaign. DPRK/PRC: what had to happen did, of course happen: all the sabre-rattling with three aircraft carriers strike groups ended up being a gigantic flop as neither the North Koreans nor the Chinese were very impressed. If anything, this big display of Cold War era hardware was correctly interpreted not as a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness. Trump wasted a lot of money and a lot of time, but he has absolutely nothing to show for it. The DPRK tested yet another intermediate range missile yesterday. Successfully, they say. The Ukraine: apparently Trump simply does not care about the Ukraine and, frankly, I can’t blame him. Right now the situation there is so bad that no outside power can meaningfully influence the events there any more. I would argue that in this case, considering the objective circumstances, Trump did the right thing when he essentially “passed the baby” to Merkel and the EU: let them try to sort out this bloody mess as it is primarily their problem. Karma, you know. So, all in all, Trump has nothing to show in the foreign policy realm. He made a lot of loud statements, followed by many threats, but at the end of the day somebody apparently told him “we can’t do that, Mr President” (and thank God for that anonymous hero!). Once this reality began to sink in all which was left is to create an illusion of foreign policy, a make-believe reality in which the US is still a superpower which can determine the outcome of any conflict. Considering that the AngloZionist Empire is, first and foremost, what Chris Hedges calls an “Empire of Illusions” it only makes sense for its President to focus on creating spectacles and photo opportunities. Alas, the White House is so clueless that it manages to commit major blunders even when trying to ingratiate itself with a close ally. We saw that during the recent Trump trip to Saudi Arabia when both Melania and Ivanka Trump refused to cover their heads while in Riyadh but did so when they visited the Pope in the Vatican. As the French say, this was “worse than a crime, it was a blunder” which speaks a million words about the contempt in which the American elites hold the Muslim world. There is another sign that the US is really scraping the bottom of the barrel: Rex Tillerson has now declared that “NATO should formally join the anti-Daesh coalition”. In military terms, NATO is worse than useless for the US: the Americans are much better off fighting by themselves than involving a large number of “pretend armies” who could barely protect themselves in a real battlefield. Oh sure, you can probably scrape a halfway decent battalion here, maybe even a regiment there, but all in all NATO forces are useless, especially for ground operations. They, just like the Saudis and Israelis, prefer to strike from the air, preferably protected by USAF AWACs, and never to get involved in the kind of ugly infantry fighting which is taking place in Syria. For all their very real faults and problems, at least the Americans do have a number of truly combat capable units, such as the Marines and some Army units, which are experienced and capable of giving the Takfiris a run for their money. But the Europeans? Forget it! It is really pathetic to observe the desperate efforts of the Trump Administration to create some kind of halfway credible anti-Daesh coalition while strenuously avoiding to look at the simple fact that the only parties which can field a large number of combat capable units to fight Daesh are the Iranians, Hezbollah and, potentially, the Russians. This is why Iranian President Rouhani recently declared that “Who fought against the terrorists? It was Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia. But who funded the terrorists? Those who fund terrorists cannot claim they are fighting against them” and “Who can say regional stability can be restored without Iran? Who can say the region will experience total stability without Iran?” In truth, even the Turks and the Kurds don’t really have what it would take to defeat Daesh in Syria. But the worst mistake of the US generals is that they are still pretending as if a large and experienced infantry force like Daesh/ISIS/al-Qaeda/etc could be defeated without a major ground offensive. That won’t happen. So Trump can dance with the Wahabis and stand in prayer at the wailing wall, but all his efforts to determine the outcome of the war in Syria are bound to fail: far from being a superpower, the US has basically become irrelevant, especially in the Middle East. This is why Russia, Iran and Turkey are now attempting to create a trilateral “US free” framework to try to change the conditions on the ground. The very best the US are still capable of is to sabotage those efforts and needlessly prolong the carnage in Syria and Iraq. That is both pathetic and deeply immoral. * * * When I saw Trump dancing with his Saudi pals I immediately thought of the movies “Dances with Wolves” and “Titanic”. Empires often end in violence and chaos, but Trump has apparently decided to add a good measure of ridicule to the mix. The tragedy is that neither the United States nor the rest of the planet can afford that kind of ridicule right now, especially not the kind of ridicule which can very rapidly escalate in an orgy of violence. With the European politicians paralyzed in a state subservient stupor to the Rothschild gang, Latin America ravaged by (mostly US-instigated) crises and the rest of the planet trying to stay clear from the stumbling ex-superpower, the burden to try to contain this slow-motion train wreck falls upon Russia and China. As for Trump, he made a short speech before NATO leaders today. He spoke about the “threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders”. QED. ]]>
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Amerika.org Staff1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Affirmative Action And South African Rugby
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Affirmative Action And South African Rugby

    by Jonathan Peter Wilkinson on May 2, 2018

    If you know anything about upscale communities in South Africa, you know these predominantly white enclaves root passionately for The Springboks.

    The ‘Boks are The South Africa Rugby Football Union National Side. They are world renowned, were featured in the movie Invictus, and vie with Australia, Ireland and England to be considered the team good enough to compete consistently with The New Zealand All Blacks. In order to handle the second part of this mandate, and start fielding sides that would stand up to the infamous All Black Haka and all of the mayhem unleashed soon thereafter, an ex-Springbok player with the wonderfully convenient name of Jake !WHITE! has suggested they field a squad of Springboks that is, in fact, All Black.

    The Test against Wales in Washington D.C. falls outside the official window so it’s very unlikely that the overseas-based players will be released for duty. June is the point of the European season where the playoffs take place and teams like Montpellier, Toulon and Saracens won’t release players. So how can we work the situation to get the most out of that Test while still giving the Boks a chance to make a winning start to the season, and at the same time ensure we’re ready to host England the following week? If I was the Bok coach, I’d look to pick a team against Wales that is made up of local players with a special emphasis on those that count towards the transformation targets. Siya Kolisi would potentially captain a side that featured Tendai Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Trevor Nyakane, Marvin Orie, Lood de Jager, Thembalani Bholi, Nizaam Carr, Embrose Papier, Damian Willemse, Raymond Rhule, Damian de Allende, Lionel Mapoe, Ruan Combrinck and Warrick Gelant. This team would serve the dual purpose of banking transformation credits to create selection breathing room for the England series, and would also give all of these players a chance to put their hand up on the international stage..

    I like it, myself. It’s not the ultimate troll job. They left the mercurial and battle-hardened Cecil Africa over on The Blitzbok 7’s Squad. But the red-pilled cynicism and the effort to continue excelling in the face of an enstupidating bureaucratic melange of mediocrities is recognizable to anyone in Modern Amerika. To understand Jake White’s cynical gamesmanship, it helps to understand Post-Apartheid South African Legal Latin.

    The official test window is a period of time where every major professional league sends its players home to either rest or play international matches for their country. If you play someone outside that window, you often get their second tier or younger, developmental players. Playing Wales outside the window puts you up against The Baby Dragons.

    A transformation credit is when you fire Whitey and hire yourself a Brotherman. A fifty percent goal means that half of the players you pick all year have to be black. You pick twenty-three total players for a side. If the ‘Boks play six matches, they make 138 selections. Sixty-nine have to be Black Athletes to meet the transformation goal. Take twenty-three black players to play against Wales and you are now down to picking forty-six out of 115 remaining selections and can get a team that is potentially 60% Caucasoid.

    The Cucking predictably ensued. Former Springbok Ollie Le Roux denounced Jake White’s plan, not the policy that made White dream it up, as….!RACIST!

    Le Roux, who played 54 Tests for the Boks between 1994 and 2002, told Netwerk24 that he understood White’s plan, but said “that is a racist policy”. “It is a very sharp idea when he says we should give more guys exposure. I understand what he wants to achieve, but there’s only one problem: the one team is white and the other team is black. What he’s actually saying is that the black team is weaker than the white one,” Le Roux said.

    England and New Zealand laugh. Irish eyes are smiling. South African Rugby is doing what much of the rest of what remains of functional society in Cucked Western countries is doing. They’re performing complicated Operations Research modeling on just how to properly arrange the deck chairs as the water gushes into the midships near where that damn inconvenient iceberg struck Titanic.

    Athletics is supposed to be an escape. It is supposed to be how we get away from the things that make our workplaces suck. That apparently won’t happen for fans of The Springboks. The Diversity Matrons have come for their enclave as well. It will have a 50% transformation goal to turn into what sucks about everything else in South Africa these days.

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Stefan Molyneux1
Free Domain Radio



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  • "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" The Freedomain Review
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
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    (Review Source)

Conservative Film Buff1
Letterboxd



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • Titanic: The Legend Goes On..., 2001 - ½
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    It’s not every day you watch one of the worst movies you’ve ever seen.

    “Titanic: The Legend Goes On” is a Spanish-Italian animated movie that puts a Cinderella story aboard the Titanic. Not only is everything about it bad, it’s also tasteless towards the historical tragedy in the way that it is completely unconcerned with the deaths happening during the sinking. It’s a complete mistake from start to finish.

    What struck me most was just how much they wanted to cram in here. Let me list some of the things that are directly stolen from: James Cameron’s Titanic, Cinderella, Lady & the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, Aristocats, Rescuers, Oliver & Conpany, An American Tale, Looney Tunes, the list goes on. And I don’t just mean there are references, I mean there are major characters that are basically copied and pasted from all these sources. Yes, there are a ton characters.

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    (Review Source)

Counter Currents Staff5
Counter Currents Publishing



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • Passengers
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]676 words / 4:30

    Minor spoilers

    Audio version: To listen in a player, click here [2]. To download the mp3, right-click here [2] and choose “save target or link as.”

    Passengers, directed by the Norwegian Morten Tyldum, is the best science fiction movie of the current season, so if you have seen Rogue One [3] or are simply skipping it, you have an even better option. Passengers is something quite rare: a science fiction film that is entirely fresh and new, not part of a series, and not a reboot, remake, or rip-off of other films. Passengers has a unique and gorgeous visual style, interesting music, and first rate acting — and it tells a fascinating story.

    Passengers is set on the starship Avalon, which is transporting 5000 colonists to a new planet, Homestead II. The passengers and crew are in hibernation for the 120-year journey, but one of them, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) wakes up after only 30 years and has no way of getting back to sleep. At first, he decides to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle offered by the starship. But after a year, he is going mad with loneliness, so he awakens Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), a sleeping beauty with whom he has fallen in love.

    I found Passengers to be engrossing because, despite all the sci-fi trappings, it is essentially mythic. First of all, it calls to mind Adam and Eve. Then it folds in elements of Sleeping Beauty and Robinson Crusoe. But the most subversive and unsettling myth it recapitulates is the rape of the Sabines and similar stories about men in a state of nature kidnapping brides. Aurora falls in love with Jim, but she is also outraged by in effect being abducted by him. In the end, though, they have to stick together “for survival” (as Pratt’s character says in Jurassic World [4]).

    Passengers is also a recapitulation of European emigration and the American frontier in space, including the tensions between old world and new, or “back East” vs. the “wild West.” The Avalon is the epitome of technological civilization, including some Titanic (or RMS Titanic) hubris. Aurora also epitomizes civilization. She is a writer from New York City. Jim, however, is a mechanic from Denver. On the Avalon, Jim is in the equivalent of steerage, and in her old world, Aurora would have never noticed him. Jim, however, is needed on the frontier — he wants to live in a world in which his abilities to fix and build things matter — whereas Aurora is only going as a tourist. The frontier, however, subjects civilization to crises that can be mastered only by a rougher breed of men, like Jim, whose heroism and technological mastery save the day.

    Passengers, in short, is a deeply paleomasculine film, and Chris Pratt again plays the heroic alpha male to perfection. Jennifer Lawrence’s Aurora, by contrast, is largely passive. First, she is a princess being wooed. Then she is a princess in a snit. But then the frontier comes crashing in, and she no longer has the luxury of lounging about. So, like many generations of frontier women before her, she finds it in herself to fight like a fury for survival.

    Passengers is an overwhelmingly white film, both in its story and lead actors. (There is a brief appearance by Laurence Fishburne.) Its Faustian, man-against-adversity in space theme reminded me of The Martian [5]. The spareness of a movie with such a small cast, its careful lingering over motives and moral questions, and its occasionally leisurely pace might annoy some viewers, but I found it completely engrossing. Some might feel that the action sequences near the end are pat and manipulative, but they had me on the edge of my seat. Because this is a fairy tale, of course they live happily ever after.

    The reviews from the lying press have not been good, and Rogue One is hogging the spotlight. Passengers must be seen on the big screen, so see it while you can. Drag the normies to it after Christmas. Then recommend it far and wide. A movie this good deserves to do well.

     

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  • The Meaning of Avatar
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]600 words

    To a certain degree a book, a poem, or a movie can mean what we want them to mean. That is, in addition to the objective thing, there is our subjective reception of it. If a poem, particularly, means something to me, then I am satisfied with that meaning even if the poet had no intention of conveying such a meaning, or would be appalled that anyone would interpret it that way.

    This may in part account for the differing interpretations here of Avatar, a movie I have not seen and do not intend to see unless, perhaps, it is broadcast free on TV one day.

    That being said, mainstream media reports suggest that Avatar is intended as a relatively straightforward Leftist (and therefore anti-white) production. In “Does ‘Avatar’ Contain Hidden Messages?” Brett Michael Dykes writes:

    Are you beginning to get a sense of why some viewers noticed what they believe are underlying messages in the film?

    Some prominent members of the media who screened the film certainly took note. In a glowing review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert noted that Avatar “has a flat-out Green and anti-war message” that is “predestined to launch a cult.” Meanwhile Ben Hoyle, writing in the Times of London, noted that the film “contains heavy implicit criticism of America’s conduct in the War on Terror.” Further, Will Heaven of the Daily Telegraph said that the plot line involving people of color who wear “tribal” jewelry while sporting dreadlocked hair, being saved by a noble white man gave the film a “racist subtext” that he found “nauseatingly patronising.

    But are these hidden messages really all that hidden? James Cameron himself hasn’t been shy in publicly proclaiming the fact that he’s an environmental activist who believes that humans and “industrial society” are “causing a global climate change” and “destroying species faster than we can classify them.” In a recent interview with PBS’ Tavis Smiley, Cameron admitted that he made “obvious” references in the film to Iraq, Vietnam and the American colonial period to emphasize the fact that humans have a “terrible history” of “entitlement” in which we “take what we need” from nature and indigenous peoples and don’t give back.’” http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/hmg-avatar-hidden-messages.html [2]

    What I do with any production I’m interested in is trace its racial and ideological genealogy.

    The major force behind Avatar is filmmaker James Cameron, who is evidently white (a Canadian of Scottish or at least part-Scottish ancestry). His studio made the movie, and he wrote, co-produced, directed, and co-edited it. It therefore largely reflects his views as mediated by the Hollywood Establishment which would break any white man with an independent point of view.

    Cameron, while multi-talented, is like any white politician, journalist, or academic. He is successful because the rigid socialization process characteristic of his profession is congenial to him.

    A cursory examination of published information about his views suggests that he is a conventional Leftist and therefore anti-white. The two go together nearly 100% of the time. (When they do not, the Leftist in question usually is not conventional.)

    I remember that the depiction of the Irish and other non-British passengers in Titanic, an earlier Cameron film, and particularly the malevolent portrayal of the ship’s English captain and crew, represented simpleminded, indeed childish (anti-Brit) racist stereotypes.

    Other significant contributors to Avatar are co-producer Jon Landau and co-editor Stephen E. Rivkin, who are Jewish, and the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox Film Corp., a subsidiary of neocon media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

    However, due to his pivotal role in the film’s production, Avatar’s views are essentially Cameron’s.

    TOQ Online, December 23, 2009

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    (Review Source)
  • The Loved One
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]1,455 words

    The Loved One [2] (1965) is my all-time favorite comedy. Based on a 1948 novel of the same name [3] by Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One stands alongside Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood [4] (the book and the movie [5]) as a savagely on-target, dark comic satire on American Protestant civilization.

    Both Waugh and O’Connor, of course, were Catholic. But much to my surprise, the movie of The Loved One measurably deepens Waugh’s Christian satire of the spiritual emptiness of American religion and capitalism, even though that could have been no part of the intentions of director Tony Richardson and screenwriters Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood.

    Henceforth, I will be speaking of the movie of The Loved One, and side references to the book will be clearly identified.

    The setting is Los Angeles at the dawn of the Space Age, i.e., about 1965. A young Englishman, Dennis Barlow (Robert Morse), has won a free airline ticket and decides to visit his uncle, Sir Francis Hinsley (John Gielgud), who works as a painter at Megalopolitan Pictures in Hollywood. The opening of the movie is thus a very droll satire of Hollywood, where, as Sir Francis says, people “talk entirely for their own pleasure, and they don’t expect you to listen.” Remembering that, he tells Dennis, is “the secret of social ease.”

    The comedy turns a bit darker, however, when Sir Francis is fired from the studio and commits suicide, which provides the segue from the prologue to the main part of the picture, which is a satire on the American way of life—and death. The leader ofthe British expatriate community in Los Angeles, Sir Ambrose Abercrombie, a character actor who plays Prime Ministers and butlers (Robert Morley), believes that Sir Francis has let down the team. He persuades Dennis that the best way to ease Sir Francis’ disgrace is to sell his uncle’s house to pay for an expensive burial at Whispering Glades Cemetery (based on Forest Lawn).

    A necropolis by way of an amusement park, the best word for Whispering Glades is “kitsch,” meaning the prostitution of beauty to sentimentality and commerce. Whispering Glades is the creation of the Blessed Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy (Jonathan Winter in his greatest role). Like William Randolph Hearst, Glenworthy plundered the whole world of European high culture, meticulously re-creating buildings and monuments, but larger and in concrete and steel. It was perfectly pitched to the sentimentality and social insecurity of its middle-brow, high-dollar clientele.

    Both Waugh and Richardson were anti-American snobs, as is Dennis Barlow. But Barlow soon follows in the footsteps of his uncle, Sir Ambrose, and the Blessed Reverend when he realizes that the social prestige and objective worth of European culture can be used to profitably bilk American Philistines out of some of the nation’s embarrassing riches. Although in Dennis’ case, he merely passes off English Romantic poetry as his own to woo Miss Aimée Thanatogenous, whom he meets at Whispering Glades. (She is the cosmetician of the Gothic Slumber Room. Her name, by the way, means “loved one generated by death.”)

    Aimée Thanatogenous, beautifully played by Anjanette Comer, who perfectly captures the “glint of lunacy” Waugh ascribes to her in the novel, is the central character of The Loved One. She is the tragic portrait of a cultureless, almost feral American whose moral, religious, and aesthetic longings are cruelly betrayed by the soulless American void.

    The novel fleshes out her back story a bit. She was named for Aimée Semple Macpherson. Her father lost all his money in religion. Her mother was an alcoholic who abandoned her. She studied art, psychology, and Chinese for a semester or two, then was forced to leave college and earn a trade as a cosmetician and hairdresser. She is not religious, but she regards herself as “progressive” and “ethical.” Her ethics regarding sex, however, are more prudish than progressive.

    She has a strong but uncultivated aesthetic sensibility, which does not, however, provide her with sufficient foundations for life. (In the movie, she assembles a magnificent collection of kitsch—in a condemned house, hanging over a void in a slide zone — a metaphor as majestic as the Titanic.) As her substitute for religion, she writes regularly for advice to the Guru Brahmin, a local newspaper columnist. She also has total faith in the Blessed Reverend Glenworthy and the “eternity” of Whispering Glades.

    Dennis’ chief rival for Aimée’s affections is Lafayette Joyboy (Rod Steiger), the Chief Embalmer of Whispering Glades, an unctuous, effeminate mama’s boy and company man who shares Aimée’s absolute faith in the Blessed Reverend.

    The Blessed Reverend is merely mentioned in the book, but he is one of the film’s best-realized characters. A narcissistic egomaniac, he runs Whispering Glade as a cult of personality. But the Blessed Reverend does not run a religious cult, because in reality he is a cold and cynical businessman in pastoral vestments.

    Winters plays Glenworthy with a magnificent voice, capable of conferring cant and heresy with the aura of holy writ. (His characterization may have been inspired by the novel’s description of Mr. Joyboy’s authoritative, radio-announcer voice.) The movie masterfully captures how yesterday’s resonantly intoned con-artist’s spiel become tomorrow’s earnestly (or desperately) repeated pieties of the little people (particularly when the Blessed Reverend’s words are repeated in the breathy, panicky voice of his brother Henry, also played by Winters).

    One of the drollest subplots is the Blessed Reverend’s scheme to turn Whispering Glades to more profitable use as a retirement community for undignified American old people. There’s only one problem: how to “get those stiffs off of my property.” This being the Space Age, he naturally takes inspiration from a tow-headed boy-genius named Gunther (Paul Williams) and tries to create a trend of blasting bodies into “an orbit of eternal grace” using US government surplus rockets, a scheme he dubs “Resurrection Now!” (It all seems much more plausible when Glenworthy voices it.)

    Although the “loved one” of the title is Glenworthy’s euphemism for the stiffs he inters, it also refers to Aimée Thanatogenous, who is the central character not as an agent, but as the object of the affections of several men. She is charmed by Dennis’ poetry but irritated by his unethical interest in sex, so the Guru Brahmin advises her to marry Mr. Joyboy.

    She is impressed by Mr. Joyboy’s status and professionalism, but she finds his obese, gluttonous (and unforgettably hilarious) mother unaesthetic, so the Guru Brahmin advises her to marry Dennis. Then the jilted Mr. Joyboy avenges himself by revealing that Dennis’ poetry is plagiarized and that he works at the Happier Hunting Grounds, a pet cemetery that Aimée finds unaesthetic (and perhaps unethical as well).

    The movie reaches its climax when Aimée turns in her hour of crisis to her two spiritual authorities, the Guru Brahmin and the Blessed Reverend, and discovers both are frauds. The Guru Brahmin turns out to be a cynical, malevolent old drunk named Hump (Lionel Stander) who tells her to jump out a window.

    Then she goes to the Blessed Reverend for reassurance after Dennis tells her of the plan to close Whispering Glades. When he admits its truth, she protests, in her cartoon mouse voice, that Whispering Glades is “eternal!” To which he thunders, like a prophet of the true American religion, “Nothing is eternal! All must change!” Then he tries to seduce her.

    Her world shattered, Aimée takes Hump’s advice, and, in a shocking sequence, commits suicide by embalming herself alive, thus joining the rest of Glenworthy’s “loved ones.”

    A cultureless void is great for clearing away all impediments to the strivers and achievers and go-getters among us as they rocket toward their goals. But as Aimée shows, when one stumbles, one falls, for there is nothing to brace oneself against.

    Joyboy finds Aimée’s body and, fearing disgrace, bribes Dennis to cremate her at the Happier Hunting Grounds. The movie’s addition of the “Resurrection Now!” project makes possible a less distasteful dénouement: Aimée is substituted for the corpse of a washed-up astronaut and fired into space, while the astronaut is consigned to the ash heap, and Dennis departs for England courtesy of Mr. Joyboy, to a rousing chorus of “America the Beautiful.”

    The movie strikes only one false note. While the novel makes it clear that Jews and gentiles alike were buried in Whispering Glades, the movie features a scene in which a Mr. and Mrs. Bernstein are politely rebuffed. You know, to show just how evil the Blessed Reverend really is.

    With brilliant performances by the lead actors; bit parts and cameos by Roddy McDowell, Tab Hunter, Milton Berle, James Coburn, and Liberace; and some achingly beautiful late Romantic music by John Addison, The Loved One is a philosophically profound and deeply disturbing dark-comic masterpiece. It is also one of the most anti-modernist and anti-American films of all time.

     

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  • Florence Foster Jenkins
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    1,431 words

    [1]In many ways, political correctness is like an artificial night. It obscures freedom. It obscures Truth. We all know this, of course. And while it’s great that sites like this one actively resist political correctness, sometimes it’s nice to stumble upon places that act as if it had never existed at all. 

    If you want to have a refreshing and invigorating couple hours away from our darkening days, see Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Stephen Frears and featuring Meryl Streep as the titular character and Hugh Grant as her common-law husband St. Clair Bayfield. Taking place in 1944 Manhattan, the plot focuses on a 76-year-old woman who fancies herself an opera singer and has everything going for her — gobs of money, the best teachers, plenty of time — except the one thing she really needs the most: talent. Indeed, Florence Foster Jenkins is most likely the worst opera singer to ever perform onstage, yet somehow, at the film’s conclusion, she makes it to Carnegie Hall.

    While this is based on a true story, I wouldn’t quite call it a biopic since FFJ is fairly obscure as far as historical curiosities go. This perhaps allowed screenwriter Nicholas Martin some leeway that a more well-known subject wouldn’t allow. There have been a few plays written about her. Marguerite, a 2015 French film, borrows much from her story. The classical label Naxos released all nine of her recordings in 2003 on a CD they appropriately entitled Murder on the High C’s [2]. The music itself doesn’t quite rise to the level of kitsch since the execrable quality of the singing renders taste all but meaningless. Given that what FFJ is attempting is so difficult and her failure so spectacular, we cannot even give her an A for effort the way we would for the Shaggs and other lost souls who naively make lasting music despite their limitations. Her music also lacks the self-consciousness of a Mrs. Miller or a Pat Boone in black leather singing heavy metal since she was never in on the gag. Despite what everyone around her knew, Florence Foster Jenkins, who possibly suffered from mild dementia in real life, actually thought she was good.

    Due to her sheer incompetence, Florence Foster Jenkins was perhaps the first classical performer to require postmodern attitudes of irony to appreciate. And irony leads only to one place: comedy. This is the reason why people flocked to her concerts in the 1940s: she was so bad she had to be seen to be believed. But because they were laughing at Florence and not with her, this irony also flirts with tragedy, which the film deftly takes full advantage of.

    Of course, Florence Foster Jenkins contains scenes which are side-splittingly funny. Meryl Streep perfectly executes FFJ’s off-key warblings and shriekings. Juxtaposing such discordant awfulness with the stunned faces of her audience or of her accompanist Cosme McMoon (effectively played by the doe-eyed Simon Helberg) is also hilarious and alone worth the price of admission. Yet the film takes the story much further than this by depicting Florence’s complicated relationship with St. Clair as well as the deeply tragic circumstances surrounding her life. She may have been a wealthy socialite, but she suffered more than she or anyone had a right to.

    If there is a literary parallel here, it can be found in Don Quixote. Both Florence Foster Jenkins and Don Quixote had lofty goals hampered by a less-than-tenuous grasp on reality. Where Don Quixote seeks to perform noble acts as a ‘knight errant,’ FFJ wishes to provide music for GIs who have returned from World War II. Given her own very real passion for music, she’s quite genuine about this. She is also the only character in the film who appreciates what the soldiers are doing and tries to do something about it. This makes the audience love her, despite the complete fool she makes of herself when attempting to sing.

    There’s a great scene in which Florence shares some of her past with Cosme. She had been a very talented pianist who, as a girl, once played for President Rutherford B. Hayes. But significant nerve damage in her left hand cut short her career. She attempts to play a piece by Chopin on the piano but can’t quite do it. Cosme then lends her his left hand, and together the two make the song. For the transcendent joy that music provides and for the urgency with which many of us need that joy, you will not find a better scene in all of cinema.

    Florence Foster Jenkins departs from Don Quixote however in the treatment of her husband St. Clair as Don Quixote’s sidekick Sanch Panza. Where Sancho has a firm grasp on reality and constantly tries to rein in his master’s flights of fancy, St. Clair simply encourages Florence. He knows she can’t sing. But since her heart is in the right place, he doesn’t have the heart to bring her down. Reality can be such an ugly thing, after all. Despite his infidelities and overall dissolute lifestyle, St. Clair’s indignation at people who laugh at his wife and the lengths to which he’ll go to hide bad reviews from her demonstrate that his heart is in the right place too.

    Aside from the sterling quality of its script, direction, acting, costuming, and set design, Florence Foster Jenkins also benefits from an entirely artless lack of political correctness. Certainly, the story takes place before political correctness had sunk its talons into American culture. But that never stopped modern filmmakers from splattering history with modern notions of cultural Marxism, feminism, white guilt, or anti-white racism. Alex Haley’s plagiarized 1970s mini-series Roots represents the gold standard in this department. Other examples of such crass revisionism include Michael Mann’s Last of the Mohicans [3] and the first half of James Cameron’s Titanic. Florence Foster Jenkins, fortunately, has very little of that. In fact, it portrays white people as inherently good. Imagine that! Even the whites who laugh at Florence are depicted sympathetically — after all, she is funny whether she realizes it or not.

    Midway through the film, a wealthy patron of Florence brings his streetwise, gum-chewing floozy of a wife to one of her concerts. She’s vaguely ethnic, perhaps Italian, and her loud clothing and platinum-dyed hair scream tackiness. Clearly, she doesn’t belong, and in her schreechy ‘New Yawk’ accent she announces that she hates classical music. Once the performance begins, however, she is the only one in the hall who sees Florence Foster Jenkins for what she really is. Everyone else is either a friend of Florence or is too polite to do more than snicker. As one would expect, she falls on the floor laughing and had to be dragged out to not cause a scene.

    Later, however, when Florence begins her performance at Carnegie Hall and the hundreds of GIs in the audience start laughing at her as well, it is this selfsame woman who stands up for our heroine. She whistles at the GIs to shut them up and then chews them out in language right off the street for not letting the lady perform. Not only did she save the evening, but she had undergone a lifetime of transformation from crude gawker to crude admirer entirely behind the scenes. The filmmakers could have treated her as a stereotype. Really, she could have been just another low class white person revealing her ignorance and stupidity at every turn. Hollywood gives us a lot of that these days. Most of us are so jaded we might not have even noticed. But instead, they humanized her. They humanized everyone in the film. From a racially-conscious white perspective, this is downright liberating.

    Florence Foster Jenkins is, above all, a film about white people. Sure, it’s also about how art and show-biz intersect like avenues and streets on a busy Manhattan afternoon. It also addresses the sublime nature of music and its profound effects on people in a singular and memorable way. But without centuries of rich history and culture given to the world by European whites, none of this could have been possible. Just as Florence Foster Jenkins the woman bucked the musically-correct trends of her day and inadvertently gave joy to her audiences, Florence Foster Jenkins the film bucks the politically-correct trends of its day and inadvertently celebrates the white, Western culture which gave us great classical music to begin with. And it does so at a time when sticking up for white people is considered taboo and can ruin lives and careers. Sunshine in a dark place indeed.

     

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Armond White2
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Boy Erased Preaches Secularism
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The gay hero finds paradise by the New York Times’ light.
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    (Review Source)
  • CNN Fakes Movie History as Well as the News
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    New pop culture series slants toward fanboy populism.
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    (Review Source)

Brett Stevens1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Steering Away From The Iceberg
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Steering Away From The Iceberg

    by Brett Stevens on December 16, 2016

    Generation X grew up under the shadow of doom: we recognized that our society, as designed, was headed for collapse and that the Baby Boomers had taken everything good for themselves and then set a timer to destroy it so that others could not have it.

    This created an apocalyptic generation, aware of the inevitability of its doom and the certainty that it would not live the blessed life that previous generations had experienced. For one thing, wages began stagnating when women entered the workforce; for another, new rules and mandatory education made it hard to rise without the right credentials, keeping the most competent out and ensuring that every office was run by over-qualified nitwits.

    In addition, social decay had taken hold. Sexual liberation meant that one never found an innocent spouse, but a jaded one, unlikely to stay married. Diversity meant ruined cities and a manic need for money to escape the ever-advancing decay. Equality meant that every product would be the lowest common denominator, every election a defeat, and social interaction a matter of dodging morons to find time alone.

    We were doomed and we knew it.

    Our musical choices reflected that. Perhaps the most telling symbol came from this metaphor for decay:

    Those who came before us had sabotaged us. They set us up to fail and ruined what we would inherit. Then they blamed us for being “lazy,” as if the same rules that applies fifty years prior somehow applied to our careers, after regulations, lawsuits, affirmative action, a female workforce and the power of academia shattered our own prospects. They wanted us to fail so they could conclude the problem was within our generation and not the actions of the generation prior.

    The metaphor comes alive in this moment:

    You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage
    I’m trying to tell you now it’s sabotage
    Why; our backs are now against the wall
    Listen all of y’all it’s a sabotage

    Most good music is metaphorical, both so the artists avoid retribution and because communicating a spirit and pattern is more flexible and effective than arguing with people. Metaphor brings out the feeling of an age and the sensations of a generation which they perceive but cannot yet articulate. Songs give them a reference point to discover years later.

    Another:

    This is a song of frustration. It seems both metaphorical and literal in that many of the acts it threatens are not intended at all to be carried out by the musicians, but are expressive of their frustration; at the same time, it appears addressed at the world at large. The point is that all actions in this new world will fail because other people hold the strings, and they are oblivious to noticing reality.

    We don’t care, it’s not our fault that we were born too late
    A screaming headache on the brow of the state
    Killing time is appropriate

    …Now I know what is right
    I’ll kill them all if I like
    I’m a time bomb inside
    No one listens to reason,
    It’s too late and I’m ready to fight!

    Born too late? No one listens to reason? Sounds entirely like the 1980s: when the time bombs of Leftist 1960s policy and 1930s social changes came home to roost and essentially ruined everything good. The fundamental change of the USA from a WASP-oriented, conservative society to an inclusive and standards-free place resulted in the creation of a unique hell, which accelerated the police state around us as social order imploded.

    But while the edgy kids listened to Ministry, those who were more seriously ready to drop out and get the heck away from the lit fuse were listening to Slayer:

    It even sounded epic, like the cathedrals and battles of yore. Couched as a song about judgment day, it uncannily described the environment we grew up in. Social order had failed, the end was near, and judgment was at hand if not by God, by our own actions. In a crisis, people divide into those who can face the crisis, as we see in horror films as a trope of the genre, versus those who go into denial. This was an anthem against the pathology of the Baby Boomers, oblivious self-congratulatory denial.

    Bastard sons begat your cunting daughters,
    Promiscuous mothers with your incestuous fathers.
    Ingrate souls condemned for all eternity,
    Obtained by immoral observance a domineering deity.

    Chaos rampant,
    An age of distrust.
    Confrontations.
    Impulsive sabbath.

    This was the music that came after the wistful and romantic pop of the 1980s, in which instead of commenting on the decay or longing for something better, we confronted the hard fact: the good guys lost and the bad guys won, and in the resulting society, idiots and jerks would always win. Decay was not a risk, but a reality. The apocalypse was now.

    Where in the past people had the chance to steer Titanic away from the iceberg, now the course was set. Anyone who rushed to the bridge and demanded a change in course would be branded a heretic or fool and destroyed. And the ship would churn onward, guided by the addiction to illusion that was necessary for the Baby Boomers to feel good about themselves, which seemed to be all they cared about.

    At this point, the gash is in the side of the ship and water is rushing in. We cannot stop it from going down, but we can plan our next destination. We have lifeboats and if we are sane, we will load those who noticed the decline into them and let them set up a new civilization, then let the others sink with the ship and clear aside the wreckage to start anew.

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Kyle Smith4
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • No One Saw ‘Moonlight.’ Why Did it Win the Oscar?
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    The hilarious fiasco that ended the 89th annual Academy Awards may have given us all something to talk about, but Oscar’s real problem isn’t that he tripped over his own shoelaces. It’s that he has turned his back on us. For decades, the top honors from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences went … Continued

    The post No One Saw ‘Moonlight.’ Why Did it Win the Oscar? appeared first on Acculturated.

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  • Critics Reward Thoughtful Films; So What?
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I don’t quite understand my esteemed colleague Richard Corliss’s argument, here at Time.com, that there is anything particularly worrisome about the habit of critics’ groups to reward such films as the (dark) “No Country For Old Men” or the (very dark) “There Will Be Blood” or the (recondite) “Persepolis.” I thought “Ratatouille” was a far better film than “Persepolis,” which though invitingly drawn is essentially a grab bag of anecdotes about growing up in Iran, but it doesn’t bother me (much) that my colleagues in the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday gave “Persepolis” the award for Best Animated Feature by acclamation. Corliss correctly points out that this year’s Oscars are destined to face poor ratings yet again, because audiences only show up when a big, “Titanic”-sized hit is to be crowned. But “Pirates 3” and even the brilliant “The Bourne Ultimatum” aren’t going to make the Oscar shortlist this year. So what? It isn’t our job to pump up Oscar ratings, and the “Pirates” franchise doesn’t need our help.  It’s closer to the point to say it’s our job to try to shame the Oscars into giving their brass dolls to deserving pictures. The Oscars generally do this, much to their credit. The Oscars are the reason behind the two-tier system at work in movieland. There are big, expensive pictures built to earn profits; there are small, cheap pictures built to win awards. The latter group tend to be more interesting. Though movies made for the marketplace are enormously expensive, the same talent that makes the blockbusters is willing to work at budget rates if it’s an Awards (TM) type picture. To put it another way, that Oscars go to “Brokeback Mountain” and “Crash” means “No Country for Old Men” gets made.  To say that the Oscars should reward blockbusters is like saying that Harvard should select its incoming class based on good looks. Corliss doesn’t really argue that, though he does seem concerned that critics are out of touch.  I’d argue that though we are out of touch with the mouth-breathers who think “Transformers” is a great film, we provide helpful guidance for the most intelligent segment of the population. Moreover, does the Academy actually care that Oscar ratings are dwindling? Even if you assume the Academy is just another profit generator, not a group interested in promoting artistry, ad rates for the Oscarcast remain stratospheric.]]>
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  • "The Dark Knight" Headed for $500 Million?
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The massive success of “The Dark Knight,” which as of today becomes the biggest earner of the year at the box office, raises the question of whether it can become the second film to top $500 million at the domestic box office. I think it can, though it’s highly unlikely it will approach the $600 million “Titanic” took in. Studios are usually crazed to be the first big movie of the summer, but “The Dark Knight” is going to show the advantages of the last major blockbuster of the summer. Though movies like “The Mummy 3,” “Tropic Thunder” and “Pineapple Express” will attract sizeable audiences, having opened on July 18, “The Dark Knight” is not going to have to face anything on the scale of “Shrek the Third” or “Pirates 3,” as “Spider-Man 3” did last year. As is almost always the case, early September is also a write-off, movie-wise, meaning “The Dark Knight” could easily linger in the top ten well past Labor Day. ]]>
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Hugh Hewitt3
Salem Radio Network



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Thomas E. Ricks, Pt. 2
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    HH: If you missed yesterday’s show, you missed just an incredible interview, the first part of a two-hour interview with Thomas E. Ricks, author of The Gamble, best-selling New York Times book shooting up the charts, General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure In Iraq, 2006-2008. But I taped a second hour, because I wanted to make sure we gave enough time to at least teasing you into reading this. It’s comprehensive, it’s got some controversial elements in it, of course I don’t agree with everything, but it’s such a well-reported book, I want people at least to have a good grounding in what has happened. Let’s start, Thomas Ricks, and welcome back, with this line from Page 123, “Bush turned the fate of his presidency to Petraeus and Odierno. Over the next six months, he would mention Petraeus in speech and press conference at least 150 times, but he was at ease with the move.” Now I’ve had a couple of Oval Office conversations with President Bush about the war, and in each of those, Lincoln figured heavily. And I think he’s just trying to find the right general. Is that…once you put the general in, leave him to do? Is that what he did with Petraeus? TR: I think he did. He found a commander, kind of an odd duck, in many ways, his client was, but someone who seemed to figure out the nature of this war. And Clausewitz says that is the key task, in fact the sole task of the senior commander, to understand the nature of the fight you’ve gotten your fight into. And Petraeus seemed to grasp it. And the Lincoln analogy is interesting, because Bush developed a closer personal relationship just in talking constantly with Petraeus than any American president has had with a battlefield commander since the Civil War when Lincoln would hop on a steamboat and go down to visit Grant and Sherman at City Point, Virginia. HH: Do you think that Obama being an intellectual himself will have the same ability to forge that kind of relationship with David Petraeus now at CentCom commanding the new war in Afghanistan? TR: You know, I think they might have irreconcilable similarities. HH: (laughing) That’s great. TR: They’re similar guys. They’re tough, smart, ambitious, athletic, and a little bit more remote and cerebral than a lot of their peers in their fields. And they’re both very successful men. That’s why it surprised me when Obama went out to Iraq last summer, and Petraeus essentially lectured him for 90 minutes. This is not typically what a general does with a visiting presidential candidate. HH: Right. TR: But Petraeus felt that Obama had kind of run roughshod over him in the hearings, the two sets of Congressional hearings on Iraq, that he hadn’t given Petraeus time to talk, hadn’t heard him out, and so Petraeus’ attitude was okay, you’re on my turf, I’m going to tell you what the facts of the case are. And I think he might have rocked Obama on his heels a little bit. HH: A little out of order here, you revealed to me for the first time that David Petraeus was a Republican at some point in his life. Do you sense in him any political ambition after this storied career in the military uniform concludes? TR: You know, the left hates me when I talk about this, because they always suspect he does, partly because of that relationship with Bush. I don’t think he does. I don’t think…he likes talking to politicians, I don’t think he wants to be one. I think he actually was very put off by the two rounds of hearings. In fact, he kind of quoted approvingly what Ambassador Crocker said after the first round of hearings when he turned to Petraeus and said between gritted teeth, I am never doing this again. HH: Page 129, David Petraeus talking, “there are three enormous tasks that strategic leaders have to get right. The first is get the big ideas right, the second is to communicate the big ideas through the organization, the third is to ensure the proper execution of the big ideas.” In other words, you stay away from the details. Does he ever get down into the details? Or does he leave that for chain of command? TR: Well, you make sure that the big ideas are being translated into the details at the tactical level. This is actually something that I really get my hats off to both Petraeus and Odierno, is I’ll be interviewing a brigade or battalion commander, and they would mention oh yeah, General Odierno or General Petraeus was down here the other day asking me about that. These guys got down, partly because I think they thought their division commanders really didn’t get it. And Petraeus and Odierno were ramming down the military’s throat a whole new approach to the war. And this is, I think, Petraeus’ great achievement. In 2007, for the first time, the whole U.S. military in Iraq was on the same page. Back in ’03, ’04, ’05, you’d go to Iraq, and different divisions, even different brigades would be fighting different wars with different rules of engagement, different ways of dealing with Iraqis. And for the first time, the war seemed, everybody seemed to get it, like platoon leaders would talk about counterinsurgency. I saw a private once sitting at L.Z. Washington, a helicopter landing spot in Baghdad, reading Galula. And this was very different, to have everybody operating the same way. I think also, they had the advantage of a generational shift. When Petraeus and Odierno took over, for the first time in Iraq, everybody running this war had fought in it. Previously, Casey, his predecessor, Sanchez, and his predecessor, Franks, none of them had actually fought on the ground in Iraq. Petraeus and Odierno had both commanded divisions, the guys around them had commanded battalions and brigades. They knew what the streets smelled like. They knew what night patrol felt like when you do it day after day after day out there. HH: I got an e-mail yesterday from an Army captain in Afghanistan who is light army, talking about some of the interviews I’ve been doing with Barnett and Barnett’s theories about light army. You also talk about not just generational transition, but when Petraeus arrived, it was light army taking over from heavy army, although I gather Odierno’s heavy army. TR: Odierno is as heavy army as they come. He just looks like a big old artillery guy. HH: Explain to people what that means in terms of the culture of the United States Army. TR: It’s very different. It was brought home to me once when I was sitting around with some tankers, and we were talking about MRE’s. And they said something about how they had loved the spaghetti and meatballs MRE, and it was the military rations from the front lines. And I said I just can’t eating them cold. And they all went ooh, you eat MRE’s cold? Tankers live a different life. When they wanted to warm up their food, they turned on the tank and the jet engine in the back of the M-1 was essentially a 70 ton microwave. They would take nice warm showers. They’d hang a bag of water off the tank barrel, the barrel of the gun, and everybody got a shower every day. I’ve been in with infantry for weeks in Somalia, and didn’t get so much as a face cleaning. The heavy guys, which is tanks and artillery and mechanized infantry, have a different approach. It’s bigger, more ponderous, somewhat less agile. Petraeus represented a light force, which had had a different experience. They were not focused during the Cold War on fighting in Europe. They tended to get a lot of the window washing jobs, they called it – Sanai peacekeeping, invading Panama, go do Haiti, go do Hurricane Andrew, go to Somalia. And I think they had learned a bit more about operating in the third world than the heavy, Europe-centered Army had over the last twenty years. HH: We are in an information war, you quote Petraeus as telling his generals shortly after arrival in Baghdad. 60% of this thing is information. Don’t worry about getting out there much. I will tell you if you are. Now as I said in our interview yesterday, that just is hard to get the military to do, and I’ve been chasing General Maddis for a long time, and others down there. I’m hoping to get Petraeus back. Do you think that that’s a lasting change, because there’s not much to win in doing an interview for a senior officer, there’s a lot to lose. TR: Yeah, all they can see is the downside. And Petraeus said hey, fellows, you’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to tell your side of the story. You can’t go hiding. And he also recognized that while the surge was about a lot of fighting, and I want to talk about that, it also was about talking. And in many ways, more about talking. But the ideal thing you could do with your enemy is talk. This was really brought home to me in one of my favorite parts of the book. It’s called the insurgent who loved Titanic. HH: Yes, the captain, yeah. TR: It was a captain named Sam Cook. HH: Yup. TR: Oddly enough, his father was a profession of religion in Rhode Island. HH: He was born in Belfast, right? TR: Yeah, raised in Belfast, but winds up in the U.S. Army, good commander in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, well-trained by H.R. McMaster, and Cook in this little town finds out that there’s a local insurgent who boasts truthfully of having planted 200 bombs against the Americans since he was radicalized by the Abu Ghraib scandal. Now two or three years ago, a smart, tough, young Army captain hearing about a local insurgent planting 200 bombs would promptly locate this guy, get his troops together, and launch a raid and either kill or capture the guy and be patted on the back for a job well done. Cook did something almost un-American. He invited the insurgent over for tea. And the guy was kind of puzzled, intrigued, shows up and says I’m here. Why aren’t you arresting me if you know where I am? And Cook said well, you’re my guest. And under the rules of hospitality, I will not arrest you. You are free to go at any time. But I’d like to talk to you. And they begin a series of conversations. And they’re also very aware of each other. And Cook points out, look, if I see you on the street tomorrow, I might shoot you. But while you’re here, you’re my guest. And he also finds out later that the insurgent has been circulating a photograph of him in case he wants to have him killed. But they continue to talk once a week, and one day the insurgent says to Cook, I hate America, everything about America, it is the Devil, nothing good can come of it. And Cook, who’s been around Iraq a while and knows that the movie Titanic is a big favorite in Iraq, and in fact the favorite ringtone for Iraqi cell phones is the theme from Titanic. He says but you like the movie Titanic, didn’t you? And the insurgent says oh yes, absolutely. I’ve watched it seven times. HH: Cries. TR: I cry every time when Leonardo Dicaprio slips into the water at the end. And there’s a sort of momentary understanding that hey, there is some commonality here. We’re never going to be buddies here, but let’s talk. And they continue to talk for several more weeks, and finally the guy says look, I’m going to bring myself in, I’ll bring my network in, and we’ll have a reconciliation ceremony. Now as a matter of pride, I can’t surrender to you, and he did surrender to Iraqis. But after that, put me on the payroll, and I’ll tell you some things. HH: An amazing story. There are others, lots of them in Thomas Ricks’ new book, The Gamble. – – – – HH: Thomas Ricks, you mention, and I want to make sure people understand, there is a lot of compelling war reporting here, a lot of close up fighting, a lot of recognition of the thousands of Americans who did not come back, specifics on what the surge cost, 1,124 soldiers killed in the surge, 7,710 wounded, 24,000 Iraqis killed. So it’s not a political book, it’s a book about war. But it’s hard to summarize that. We can do that by talking about some of the characters. And so let’s go back to another character. He just got done talking about Captain Samuel Cook. Brigadier General John Allen is the man who loved Gertrude Bell, and there’s a line in here about Allen saying remember, there’s a thousand years in this operating system which was a takeaway for me. That’s a pretty important thing for anyone operating there or in Afghanistan to know. TR: Allen’s an unusual guy, and I just wanted to finish a thought on Cook. When the insurgent came in, he said hey, by the way, the reason you never caught me is every time you came to my neighborhood, the Iraqi police at the checkpoint called me. HH: Wow. TR: So you might want to take away their cell phones. He also says, by the way, that Iraqi major, you know, he’s the guy who gave us the sniper rifle you found. HH: Yeah. TR: And again and again, that type of conversation took place in Iraq over the last couple of years. John Allen, the interesting Marine general, very unusual sort of guy, told me one day that if he hadn’t become a Marine general, he probably would have become an archaeologist. And he actually fought a totally unseen war. He fought a war outside Iraq in the hotel lobbies of the Gulf states of Jordan. What he would do was go meet with people with connections with the insurgency, sheiks who were running parts of the war from outside the country. And he’d sit down and talk to them. And there was a lot of this talking going on. And he would talk guys into coming back into the country and starting to work with the American effort. So he’s say one day you’d have a meeting in the lobby of a hotel in Jordan, the next day after one phone call was made, three hundred members of that sheik’s tribe would sign up in the local police force. HH: Wow. Now let’s go back to the Petraeus headquarters operation, and to something called the brain trust. This is also a very unusual aspect of the book. I knew about it, I knew about Meese because I worked for the old AG, but I didn’t know that Col. Meese had many, many other sort of brains running around Baghdad with David Petraeus. TR: I think this was the most elite club in the world, which is Army officers who had commanded in combat in Iraq, brigades and battalions, but also had PhD’s from elite universities – H.R. McMaster, military history from the University of North Carolina, as you mention, Mike Meese, PhD in Princeton, economics, other people, PhD in economics from MIT, or PhD’s from Stanford. They were smart like Petraeus, warrior intellectuals. I think the experience of the civilian university had made them able to look at situations differently than most Army officers. They were kind of aware of the bigger world out there. But three of the most interesting advisors they brought in were actually foreigners. HH: Right. TR: One is David Kilcullen, the king of counterinsurgency, kind of the Crocodile Dundee of counterinsurgency. He’s an Australian who was in infantry officer who became an anthropologist, an expert in the nature of violence in Iraq. He observed, for example, that violence against Shiites, the Sunni violence against Shiites, took place in Shiite public places during the daytime, bombing attacks on marketplaces and mosques, while violence against Sunnis took place at night when they slept. So he said your responses need to be different. Put up checkpoints outside mosques and marketplaces, and if a bomb goes off and kills two soldiers at a checkpoint rather than 70 civilians in the market, consider that a victory. HH: Now you also, though, you indicate that there is some dispute as to his centrality to the effort, that there’s maybe a little murmuring against him, but not so much against Saadi Othman or Emma Sky. TR: No, that’s because Kilcullen’s a pretty high profile guy, and he is so damned quotable that reporters like him. HH: Okay. TR: He’s profane, he’s funny, he’s witty, and he would say things that American officers couldn’t say. He turned to me one day in the Green Zone and I asked him what he was doing that day, and he said look, just because you invade a country stupidly doesn’t mean you should leave it stupidly. HH: And now Saadi Othman and Emma Sky. TR: Saadi, interesting character, Brazilian born, Palestinian-American, raised in Jordan, six foot-seven inches tall… HH: Wow. TR: The first person ever to dunk a basketball in Jordanian University competition. On 9/11, he’s a taxi driver in New York City, and he tells me he’s outraged as a New Yorker, as an American, and as a Arab, and decides to do something about it, winds up in Iraq working as an interpreter. One day he meets this little guy coming out of the latrine in Mosul just wearing a brown T-shirt and running shorts. And they begin to talk. They had an interesting conversation, and got in an argument about Iraq for about an hour at the end of which the guy says well, I want you to come work for me. Well, Othman doesn’t know who the little guy is, and says well, who are you? And he said oh, I’m Dave Petraeus, I command this division. And they become close, and in the last couple of years, Saadi Othman became Petraeus’ ambassador to the Iraqi government. Interestingly, Othman was educated in the United States by Mennonites, and is something of a pacifist, as was the third advisor they brought in, another foreigner, and perhaps the most extraordinary of all, this tiny bird-like woman. Her name is Emma Sky, British, anti-American, anti-military, pacifist, winds up as Odierno’s political advisor, although Petraeus at one point referred to her as Odierno’s insurgent. HH: (laughing) TR: Odierno told me later I will never go to war again without somebody like Emma Sky sitting at my side. HH: And expand on her role. It’s fascinating. Tell people what she was doing. TR: She was out talking to Iraqis constantly, she was working with Iraqi politicians. She had a deep distrust of the entire military briefing system. She would not, as a matter of principle, believe anything said to her in briefings, but would go out and talk to Iraqis and check it out. So she said when she came back from leave in the summer of ’07, and the briefers said you know, we’re actually turning the corner out here, violence is going down, she said well, I don’t believe it. I don’t think violence can end violence. She went out and talked to Iraqis and came back and said my God, this is working. HH: Now to the symbol of what happened next, the Mesopotamian stampede based on Frederick Remington’s 1908 painting, The Stampede, how does that become a symbol for what happens? TR: That was David Petraeus’ personal metaphor for the chaos that he was among. Don’t let the chaos freak you out, let’s just make sure the stampede’s moving in the right direction. Affect it as you can, understand there’s going to be lightning bolts coming in at you. Understand that we could fall off the horse at any minute and be turned into mush by thousands of hooves. But take some risk out here. It’s interesting, because when I mentioned this to Ambassador Crocker, he said oh, that’s not my self-image at all. My self-image is of two convicts chained together on the lam, which actually was a reference to that old Sydney Poitier-Tony Curtis movie whose name escapes me at the moment. HH: Last question before the break, Ryan Crocker, Raymond Odierno, political careers for them after this war? TR: Crocker told me he was going to disappear into the desert of Eastern Washington, but I think he’s going to end up probably writing something. I don’t see a political career. Odierno, I think, wants to be like Petraeus, a great captain, a great warrior, perhaps chief of the Army and then chairman of the joint chiefs. HH: But not elected? TR: No, in fact I asked Petraeus about politics one day, and he kind of almost winced. What he said is what he would really like to do is be dean of the Woodrow Wilson of International Relations at Princeton. – – – – HH: Let’s go to a question that David Petraeus asks a number of times, how does this end, and then April 20, 2007 memo from Major General Fastabend, how this all ends, it’s an important memo that has in it two lines I wrote down. It’s fourth and long – go deep, and if this is the decisive struggle of our time, be decisive. Explain the centrality of that memo, and of Major General Fastabend in the strategy of General Petraeus. TR: Fastabend is a smart, profane general who the first time I sat down with him in Baghdad, began by saying you need to understand, we’ve done a lot of dumb shit out here. HH: Oh, you can’t say that, okay. TR: Well, you can bleep it. HH: Okay, we’ll cut it out, go ahead. TR: You know, this is how soldiers talk. HH: I know, but this is how the FCC doesn’t like them to talk, but go ahead. TR: Well, they should grow up. HH: I agree, but you don’t pay the fine, but go ahead. TR: (laughing) And really was saying let’s stop mucking around out here. You’re not going to make big gains without taking big risk. And actually I think Petraeus took it to heart. He goes out and he goes to the Sunni insurgents, who have been the key in this battle for years, the people fighting us, killed thousands of Americans, and he says hey fellows, what is it going to take to have you stop fighting me? How about if I pay you? They don’t surrender. They don’t even really have a ceasefire. They come over to help us out on their conditions. They remain armed, and he pays them $30 million dollars a month. HH: Yup. TR: This is a stunning change in how the Americans fight wars. I say to him one day, in my last interview with him, General Petraeus, one thing I don’t understand here is how did you sell the President on that deal? How did you say to President Bush, look, President Bush, I want to actually pay the Sunni insurgents to stop fighting us. And he says, well, I didn’t ask. I said wait a second, this is one of the biggest policy moves in this war, and you don’t mention it to the President and you’re talking to him once a week? He said no, it was within my existing authorities. HH: Well… TR: Well, that’s quite audacious of him. I think it’s the edge of perhaps what a general should be doing without checking it out with his President, but it worked. HH: And he was talking to Bush…in fact, your discussion of the weekly telecoms with Bush is fascinating, especially the preparation cycle. But so, too, how the soldiers reacted to Bush who were not in the conversation, but were on the sidelines. Explain that to people. TR: Yeah, they were watching him in these weekly meetings, and they actually, these were guys who had been pretty skeptical of Bush by this point, who had thought the war had really been poorly handled. As I said, there were a lot of the dissidents in the military involved in this. They came away pretty impressed with Bush, and I want to say, because you know, I’ve taken my pops at Bush through the years, I think that the surge was his finest moment. What he did between the election of November, ’06, and announcing the surge on January 10th, 2007, I think he finally rose to the occasion. In fact, in the book, I compare him to FDR giving one of the fireside chats early in World War II. HH: The library speech. TR: Yeah, the difference of course is that FDR got to this point three months into World War II. It took George Bush four and a half years to get up and say you know, this isn’t working, we’re getting our butts kicked, we’re going to do something different here. HH: Now talk to me, again, I’m not debating Tom Ricks today, people want me to debate him. I’m drawing out his story. Talk a little bit, though, about the transition, the Army, the military had to make from a speed kills Army to strategic patience, because that’s one of the reasons the President isn’t going to get the advice you’d hoped he’d gotten, because it was a speed kills Army. TR: It’s extraordinarily difficult to start fighting a war differently, especially if everything you’ve been taught all your life is one way, not the other way. And this was an Army that believed in quick dominance, a blitzkrieg warfare, coming quickly with tanks and airplanes, overwhelm the enemy, and pronounce the war over. The problem was when we buzzed into Baghdad in the spring of ’03 and pronounced the war over, that’s when the real war began when we thought it was over. And to fight this type of war required a really different skill set. You mentioned tactical patience. Patience is a really unappreciated virtue generally in American society, but especially in the military. This is one of David Kilcullen’s observations, that in this type of warfare, sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing. – – – – HH: I’ve got to cover a lot of ground here in our last two segments, Thomas Ricks. You quote Lt. Col. Steven Mark. “First, people weren’t working with us, then they would work with us covertly, and now most people work with us openly.” But never al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was different from the Sunni insurgents who turned and went on the payroll. Who was al Qaeda? Who are they in that country?TR: Al Qaeda was not there before we invaded. They were a lot of Iraqis and also foreigners, surprisingly a lot of them from Northern Africa, the Magreb, who came to Iraq to make big jidad. And these were people who were more or less determined to die fighting the Americans. These are not people you can pay off, they are not particularly reconcilable. And I think this is one of Petraeus’ most common sensical but also brilliant approaches, which is let’s obey the law of conservation of enemies. Don’t make any more enemies than we need to have. Figure out if we can pay off some guys just out fighting. And figure out if you pave a road for a guy, will he lay down his weapons. But he also recognized that there were some people who as General Maddis likes to say, just needed killing. And that was al Qaeda. And they went after them very hard and strong, and very effectively, partly because of an unheralded woman, a Lt. Col. in intelligence who figured out how to do a lot of good signals interception, and then get the information very quickly to the brigade level where it could be used. HH: This is outside the scope of the book, but I’ve got to ask you while I’ve got you. Are these lessons going to be applicable in the terrain of Afghanistan and the Pakistan frontier? TR: The recipe book won’t be. You can’t go in and say do steps 1 through 10, but I think the attitude is, and I think you’re already seeing Petraeus apply it in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is let’s bring an attitude that we don’t have all the answers, that the American way is not the only way to do things, that we’re willing to show a little humility and listen and finds ways of disaggregating the enemy. HH: Now you talked a lot in this book, and detailed the Army, 2006 versus 2007, FOB, forward operating base-centric versus joint security stations. Do you expect the same push out into the countryside in Afghanistan? TR: Very much. I think what you’ll see is a sense that we need to get troops out among the people for two things. First, to protect them from Taliban, second to protect them from our allies, the Afghan police and army. The Afghan police have been a real problem. I was told the other day that when you drive from the Pakistani border to Kandahar, which is only about 120 miles, there are five checkpoints at which Afghan police shake you down. HH: Wow. TR: Now if you get troops out there, you can stop that from happening a lot. HH: One of the things that General Petraeus was reluctant to discuss is the Petraeus-Fallon feud, the Fox Fallon feud. I don’t think we have time to cover it, but was part of that just the Navy doesn’t, is not involved in this war except maybe in their air components in the way that the Army and the Marine Corps have been fighting it? TR: I think so. The Army, you know, everybody in the Army and Marine Corps is basically, anybody who is a combat soldier has spent time out there. I mean, this is a very seasoned, savvy force. And I think also, Fallon was part of the problem you see in the Pentagon a lot still, which is pursuing peacetime processes and protocol, you know, you have to be polite to me because I’m officially your commanding officer. Well, sometimes the best thing to do with your commanding officer in combat is say you know, sir, you’re full of it and here’s why. HH: And in terms of the hearings, very vivid recounting here, and pretty much a searing moment. Can the Democratic Party get back the trust that they need to have in the Pentagon after that display of sort of contempt for what was going on? TR: I think so by providing adult leadership. I think actually the move to keep on Gates really helped with a lot of people in the military, which was to say Obama’s not a radical, he’s keeping this former CIA chief, Republican secretary of defense because he’s been very effective. One thing I want to talk about, though, is how this all ends. HH: Yeah, let’s do that, because I also want to get the Basra gamble, or I’ll just tell people, if you want to know what happened in Basra with Maliki, it’s all in the book. Let’s talk about how it all ends. TR: It doesn’t end, and I think this is the biggest problem that Obama’s going to have as he talks about Iraq. Obama’s going to be changed more by Iraq than he changes it. What do I mean by that? It’s what I was talking about yesterday, in that this over-optimistic approach, I can get out of Iraq quickly. No, you can’t. You’re stuck. Now I don’t think it’s Obama’s fault. I think that George Bush made a horrendous mistake in invading Iraq. The question is, how do you fix this? And my response is, and it kind of agrees with Petraeus, there is no good answer. The question is what’s the least bad answer. I think staying in Iraq is immoral. I think leaving Iraq is even more immoral. HH: Have you read Barnett’s new Great Powers book? TR: No, I’m not as big a fan of his work as you are. HH: I know, I gathered from the book. You didn’t like the Esquire article, either, that became very, very famous. But I am, and of course the counterargument there is that we will not know whether you are right about what Bush did for at least ten years, and you could be, and I think you’ll probably admit this, you could be very, very wrong about that. TR: Oh, absolutely. I totally believe in Cromwell’s admonition – Gentlemen, I beseech you to the bowels of Christ, think you may be wrong. It’s something I try to keep in mind every day as I report. But I’ll tell you, I actually think history is going to judge George Bush more harshly than we do right now. HH: And that’s where we really disagree. But let’s go and talk about sitting on the ruins of Rome, and what you’re thinking about when you’re doing that. Are you done reporting from wars? TR: My wife has asked me to stay out of war zones. I essentially, since 9/11, have been out and about, and this is something I understand from talking to military people as well. Being in Iraq is much easier than having a spouse in Iraq. I really feel for the deployed, for the families of deployed soldiers, for the kids of deployed soldiers. I do expect to write another Iraq book, but only when it’s over, which means I don’t expect to start writing it for another ten to fifteen years. HH: Let me ask you, and think about this, we’ve got a minute here, Michael Yon and John Burns have been on this program a lot. They’re not in this book. Why? TR: They’re reporters. Why should they be? HH: Because they’ve written stuff on it, stuff I thought would help inform. TR: Oh, lots of people have. I like Michael Yon’s stuff. I like John Burns’ stuff. I think they’ve got good perspectives on it, but there’s lots of good reporters out there who don’t show up by name in the book. HH: All right, I’m just curious about that, because it seemed to me all the stuff is in here, and the guys I keep missing…well actually, Michael Ware’s in the book. He’s been on this program before, fairly contentious interviews. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Mark Steyn on After America: Get Ready For Armageddon
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    HH: Mark Steyn is Columnist To the World. He is author of After America: Get Ready For Armageddon. It is linked over at Hughhewitt.com. Mark Steyn, I was watching you with Neil Cavuto, and you are hitting the zone, but I’m afraid it is not what we want, because the country is falling apart (laughing). MS: Yeah, no, on the one hand, it is great publicity to have the United States downgraded for the first time in 94 years to mark the launch of my book. But on the other hand, I understand that when the rubble, the dust has settled, and we’ve got to crawl out from under the rubble, my kids are going to be in amidst that rubble, and I would rather this were a genuine AAA nation again. But I’m afraid it’s not at the moment. HH: Mark Steyn, I read your book back and forth to Phoenix yesterday. I was flying around with Governor Jan Brewer in her plane yesterday, telling her, among other things, about the interview upcoming. And she’s fighting for states rights. She’s really fighting for that vision of America that you put in the last chapter – Decentralize, Degovernmentalize, Deregulate, Demonopolize, Decomplicate, Decredentialize, Disentitle, Denormalize. And she does it, as do a number of other people. So I’m going to ask you the pessimist/optimist question, but there are people who have this agenda and are pushing it out there as a political platform. MS: Yeah, and I wonder, I think the question is, whether there are enough of them, because at some point, people in certain states where that spirit survives will think, well, do we really want to be…if Illinois and California and New York are determined to go down this path unto oblivion, do we want to go down it with them? That’s what is the question that’s being asked in Europe at the moment – the Scandinavian economies, the German taxpayers. The German taxpayers are figuring well, do we really want to yank our future, tie our chain to the Greeks and the Portuguese and the Spaniards and the Italians? And I don’t want people to start asking that question in the United States. But they will, they will, if the national government does not get the hell out of people’s lives to the degree it’s in them at the moment. HH: Mark, in After America, you quote my good friend, Dennis Prager, your friend as well. And in fact, the day he gave that speech about American education, he was on a platform with Sarah Palin and myself. MS: That’s right. HH: There were 6,000 people there, and that video, Dennis’ speech, has been viewed a million times. Where are all those people? Why aren’t they back out there marching and organizing for 2012? MS: Yeah, because I think Dennis’ speech was, he was asked, I think, what was the greatest problem facing America today, and there were people, people in the crowd cried Obama. And he said no. He said it’s not Obama. And I go into that a bit in the book, that Obama, it’s not the fact that there is a man called Barack Hussein Obama. It is the fact that that man was elected by, whatever it was, 53% of the American people. HH: Yes. MS: A man who would have been simply not credible as leader of a functioning superpower under almost any rational circumstances. HH: We are now engaged in sort of a great experiment, Mark, about whether or not, whether the country can survive, but whether we can survive without a president. I view the office as essentially vacant, and that we have to, you know, he walked out today, and the market fell 600 points after he spoke. MS: Right, right. HH: And so it’s a true test of our mettle, but you write he’s not the problem, he’s a symptom. But boy, we’d better treat the symptom right away, don’t you think, in terms of January, 2013? MS: Yes, I think so, and I think in that sense, American conservatives fail to draw the right lesson from what happened in 2008. He was a product of the broader culture in that there are millions and millions of people who think like him at American campuses all over this country. And they hold influential positions in other elite institutions in this country. Their sensibility, the Obama sensibility, is widely shared in the United States. And it’s deeply…and this was their moment of triumph, by the way, that they managed to get one of their own elected as president, not a guy like Bill Clinton, who would kind of toss them a bone from time to time, or like Jimmy Carter, but actually one of their own, a member of…so that we wound up with a faculty lounge administration, with more Harvard/Yale types than any other administration in history, and less experience of business and wealth creation than any other American administration. Nobody knows how wealth is created in the Obama administration. He doesn’t know. I mean, he thinks you create wealth by writing another unreadable autobiography, because that’s how it worked for him. Timothy Geithner doesn’t know. He’s the creature of government. But they’re claiming to be able to run a multi-trillion dollar enterprise. You know, Obama today was quoting his pal, Warren Buffett, again. What I find odd is that you and I could possibly run a million dollar business, multi-million dollar business. That’s a relatively common skill. To be able to run a billion dollar business is less common. The skill set required to run a multi-trillion dollar enterprise is unknown to human history. HH: Right. MS: And we decided to let Obama and Geithner run one. We’re the crazy guys. HH: I know. If you think forward, and I’m going to come to your letter from the future in the next segment, but if you think forward, they will simply be astonished. It is though, you cite the Roman republic as turning into the Roman monarchy. It’s as though we found someone from the hinterlands, and turned over the empire to them, sua sponte. MS: Right, right. HH: Mark, in terms of, last hour I spent talking about the Navy SEALs and their fellow special operators who died. And one thing in After America that you hint at is that there remain incredible Americans, the people who are out there at the front end of the spear. They fight the war. We’re very not aware of them. MS: No. HH: 90% of America isn’t aware of them. But I think, are there enough of them to continually and renew sort of the civic culture? MS: Well, this story was almost, when I heard the news from Saturday, it was almost, I didn’t write about it, because in a sense, it was too sad to write about… HH: Exactly. MS: …because it went with the downgrade on the Friday that is was too poignant a symbol of a superpower in eclipse, because the theme of my book is that it starts with the money, but it very quickly turns into questions of geopolitical power and of military reach. And to have this, what for the moment remains an incredible stroke of luck on some Taliban guy with an RPG, that he manages to kill over 20 of the elite of the elite, over 20 of America’s most highly-skilled warriors, it was almost too poignant a symbol of the way that financial decay always results, and very quickly to, in military decay. And believe me, as a foreigner, I well know that. And as the citizens of prior great powers would be able to tell you, the two always go together. HH: Mark, are you surprised at how little marked this has been? I played some tape from the Today Show, but I couldn’t, I wrote a column about it, and I said this is simply wholly inadequate to the task, but someone’s got to try. I just don’t see anything…I know people lost some money today, but 30 special operators, 22 SEALs, this is, it’s like Beirut, actually, in 1983. MS: No, and what I find interesting is the way the official media performed the task that Victorian ladies were properly said to do to overly curvaceous piano legs. They draw a discrete veil around it, for fear that it might be embarrassing. And I think that’s the function they perform for the Obama administration, that it would be too much to take both the downgrade and the worst day in Afghanistan within 24 hours. That is not a good day for the United States, and it’s not a good day for the Obama administration. And this kind of reflexive protectiveness they extend to him is doing grave damage to their own reputation. But it’s also not doing the nation or its citizens any favors. HH: Mark Steyn, when I finished After America, what occurred to me was actually a scene in Dickens’ Christmas Carol, at the end, when Scrooge is with the ghost of Christmas future, and he says to the ghost, “Before I draw near to that stone to which you point, answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be? Or are they shadows of things that may be only? Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends to which if persevered in, they must lead,” Scrooge continues, “but if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.” My question, Mark Steyn, say it is thus with what you write about After America. MS: Yes, I think Dickens is right in that sense that our fate is not foreordained to the degree that I lay out in After America. I wrote After America, because I don’t want it to come true. I’ll be very sad if it comes true. When I wrote about Europe in America Alone, everything that has happened in the five years since has confirmed my thesis, even thought the smart guys of the Economist said my book was alarmist. I think if anything, it was insufficiently alarmist. I don’t want this, the vision of a post-American world, to come true. But to do that, Americans have to understand that when Obama stands up today and talks about long term problems, no. It’s not about…you can’t sit around and form another commission that you’re going to ignore, and talk about your long term problems. We’ve got to fix the short term problems, or we’re not going to be around long enough to get clobbered by the long term problems. HH: It’s now, and the book for now is After America. It’s linked at Hughhewitt.com. It’s at Amazon.com. You can get an autographed copy at www.steynonline.com. – – – – HH: I want to urge everyone, buy it for your Democratic friends, really, for people that you love in your life who just are clueless about what’s going on, and have this attitude which we’re going to talk about so brilliantly described and laid out in After America. But also, and this is off the ordinary course for me, if you’re in a small group, in a church small group, and you’re tired of reading the latest inspirational book, and you want to do something different, order up a number of copies of After America, and spend nine weeks going through the nine chapters. It will do you good. Mark Steyn, I want to focus on Chapter 8 – After: A Letter From The Post-American World, in which you’ve got a time traveler looking back from mid-century, you know, 2050, 2061, I guess it would be, and they write of, for example, a Sino-Russo-Islamic cyber shield that shutters the internet’s many portals, and of a desiccated and energy-starved North America. It’s not really science fiction. It’s really, simply, pushing the trend out a little bit. MS: Yeah, I think that’s all I did. I didn’t want to get too weird. I mean, weird stuff is happening already in the world. I mean, Japan has a shortage of young people, so it’s already developing welfare robots to give you assisted baths in the old folks home. And you don’t, so you don’t really need to push that to the next stage. I mean, we talk here about we need immigrants to do the jobs Americans won’t do. In Japan, they’re developing post-humans to do the jobs that there aren’t any humans around to do. HH: Yes. MS: And I didn’t want to push that, because then you, you know, you start off talking about debt to GDP ratio, and you’re in science fiction territory. So I didn’t want to push it too far, but I look at, for example, the way China is solidifying its grip on Indian Ocean trade routes. And I think it’s pretty clear that at some point, China will go to a lot of our friends in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, and the various other less insane polities in that region, and will make them an offer in which it will be greatly to their advantage to redirect the direction in which their oil ships. And I don’t think, and meanwhile, we sit around here saying oh, no, we don’t want any of that vulgar oil exploration off our coasts, or in our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, because we don’t, we want the world’s largest mosquito herd to be able to frolic and gamble in its pristine wilderness forever. We’re still indulging ourselves with this kind of 1950 attitude that we’re the last man standing at the end of the Second World War, everything else is kaput, and we have the money to fund our own stupidity unto the end of time. And this idea that we can still indulge ourselves, and not do any oil exploration, and not supply our own energy, even as China gobbles up resources all over the planet, is deeply, deeply corrosive. HH: And I stress, it’s not like our friend, Robert Ferrigno’s novels, which are post-Apocalyptic novels that are supposed to illustrate, you know, big, big changes that could come. MS: Right, right. HH: These are simply accretions of detail. And I go back to the cyber shield, because you know, Vanity Fair this month has got two stories on the People’s Republic of China-sponsored attacks across the globe on infrastructure, cyber infrastructure. MS: Exactly. HH: And Egypt, Iran, Russia, they all control the internet. Our tech-happy buddies in Silicon Valley think oh, the internet will liberalize everything. It ain’t so. MS: No, and I think what’s interesting, and you don’t even have to go to those countries. If you look at Canada, Australia, Europe, they’re talking in various free speech areas of setting up controls over the internet for some kind. So I think this idea that cyberspace will liberate everybody is delusional. I think it’s also the case that if you look at the industrial espionage and the cyber espionage that China engages in, the idea that somehow, which is the delusion of your Thomas Friedman types at the New York Times, that moving to a world of Chinese economic dominance is just the merest, it’s just one of the many colorful features of globalization, celebrate diversity and all the rest of it. It isn’t. It’s a once a half millennium civilizational shift. And if you just look at what…and so it’s not like, I mean, I compare at one point in the book the transition from pax Brittanica to pax Americana. Well, the transition from the United States to an era of Chinese economic dominance isn’t going to be like that at all, and it’s precisely because that British-American transfer of power was so smooth, and so benign, that nobody even noticed it. I mean, nobody even, people occasionally mention it in, you might find it mentioned in the footnote of an Andrew Roberts or a Martin Gilbert history book. But it’s basically unnoticed in human history, because it was so rare. HH: It was gentle. MS: It was so rare. HH: I’ve got to also tell people that if they read After America, they will realize the future, if it is not changed, if the course correction doesn’t come, will not only be far less energy-filled, but it will be far less Jewish, far less gay, far less religiously tolerant, and indeed, all of the world’s current hellholes, you write, like Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, they will all be less civilized than they are now in 2011, Mark Steyn. It’s stark. MS: Yeah, what I find odd, again, is this assumption that…the assumption of the sort of globalists… HH: Yeah. MS: …is that the natural course of events is for the world to turn into, you just leave this, this country starts out as a dump, and then it gets a couple of factories, and the next thing you know, it’s turning into Sweden. And it doesn’t work like that. A lot of the world has actually gone backwards. Pakistan, which is the source of a lot of American problems at the moment, Pakistan is far worse than it was in 1950. It’s gone backwards. Sudan has gone backwards. Sierra Leone has gone backwards. And then when you look at the tensions in various other corners of the map, what’s to prevent them from going backwards, too? HH: Yeah, and liberalization, come hither and celebrate diversity, that’s not going to be the case under an Islamicized, radicalized Middle East. It’s not going to be the case in China. And North Korea certainly isn’t going to have the rainbow flag flying over the DMZ anytime soon. MS: No, no, and I find it, again, I find it odd that there are sort of inevitablist theories of history, because there is nothing inevitable about this stuff. And most people understand, I think, that at a basic level, freedom, liberty, requires vigilance. And what I find distressing is when you go to an American college town, and the assumption that because it’s been this way all these guys’ lives it will always be that way, I quote the line, I quote at one point a line from Cecil Rhodes, the great British imperialist, who said that to be born an Englishman is to win first prize in the lottery of life. And a century later, Americans think that to be born a U.S. citizen is to win first prize in the lottery of life. And George Bernard Shaw turned that thought around on the eve of the First World War. He said do you think the laws of God will be suspended for England simply because you were born in it? And I think that’s the question for America. Do you think the laws of God, or if you prefer, the laws of nature, or if you prefer, the laws of reality, will be suspended forever simply because you happened to be born in the United States? No. At a certain point, reality reasserts itself. – – – – HH: Mark, two things I want to cover in this segment. First, the personal, I’m wondering if you think, because you brought this to my attention on Page 109, I’ve been broadcasting for 20 years. I am at this moment an inch away from a microphone. Do you think if I went to Greece, I can get two decades worth of credit for exposure to microphone bacteria? MS: Well, I love that, because people wonder how Greece ended up in the hellhole it’s in. And this is a very good example of how government metastasizes, because Greece introduced a law that if you worked in a hazardous profession, you could retire at 50. And initially, hazardous professions included things like bomb disposal, which is, you know… HH: Genuinely hazardous. MS: Yeah, I don’t know how often you’ve ever disposed of a bomb, but you know, you have to say is it the red wire? Do I take the red wire away from, which one is it? And it’s quite tricky stuff. I can understand. So you get to retire at 50. Then of course, they extended it until eventually, it embraced hairdressing. You know, hairdressing is now regarded as a hazardous profession in Greece, because you have to work with all this hair color. So you know, you can be doing, you can be at the salon and doing somebody’s hair, and that takes a toll. And then they moved it to TV and radio hosts. HH: Yes. MS: Because of the risk of microphone bacteria. Now you’re a Salem Radio host, and you said you’ve just been doing this for 20 years, Hugh. HH: Yes. MS: You, and you mentioned Dennis Prager earlier. HH: Yes. MS: You and Dennis Prager and Bill Bennett and Michael Medved, you are going to have… HH: Mike Gallagher. MS: …greatest class action suit against Salem for exposing you to this dangerous microphone bacteria, and for shortening your life. It’s going to be like the tobacco companies all over again. They’re going to be, Salem is going to want to give you a billion dollar out of court settlement for this microphone bacteria. So as a result of that, you know, it’s very hard to find a non-hazardous profession in Greece now. And of course the reality is that when you eventually declare, you know, radio hosts and hairdressers hazardous professions, what you’re doing is really creating a hazardous employment market. HH: Yeah, it is. Everybody…but I just wanted to relate back, if I moved to Greece, I have a vision of a little island where the Greek government will send me money based upon my two decades. But perhaps I reach. Everyone does. But I’ve got to get to my absolute favorite paragraph, and it’s tragic, but it’s on Page 260. And I put down the book, and I just said that says it all. Here it is. “There is a fairly recent journalistic genre, specimens of which now turn up on the news pages with numbing regularity. A cougar kills a dog near the home of Frances Frost in Canmore, Alberta. Miss Frost, a ‘environmentalist dancer’, with impeccable pro-cougar credentials, objects strenuously to suggestions that the predator be tracked and put down. A month later, she’s killed in broad daylight by a cougar who’s been methodically stalking her.” Mark Steyn, I feel bad for Ms. Frost, but that is a metaphor for everything. MS: Yeah, I just started collecting these little stories a few years ago, because I found it so, I find it fascinating, for a start, the suggestion of game wardens that wild beasts may be losing their fear of man, because you know, in the old days, when these creatures used to encounter a guy, he was usually like, he was usually wearing a cap and a plaid jacket and holding a rifle, and his vision of the animal was that he’d look great stuffed and mounted over the guy’s fireplace. And now when he runs into humans, it’s just as likely to be some kind of Bambi boomer who’s trying to get in touch with himself. And I started thinking is this an emblem not just of the relationship between Western society and animals, but Western society and other kinds of predators. HH: Yes. MS: And I think if you look, I think it’s possible that if you read these sad stories, the Italian lady who dressed as a bride, and who walked to Palestine for peace, and her body was found raped and murdered, gang raped and murdered a couple of weeks later, her illusions met reality. When you look at these silly feminists, or these gay guys marching in the gay pride parade, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, these are people, the only construction work you could get in Afghanistan under the Taliban was when they built a wall specifically for the purpose of crushing a homosexual underneath. And the silliness, these people are like that environmental dancer with the cougar. They don’t, they’ve lost the survival instinct. They don’t understand. HH: It’s, as she, as Frances Frost to the cougar is, it’s Thomas Friedman to China. MS: Right, right. HH: It’s such a perfect metaphor. It is in the middle. You have to work hard. You have to get to Page 260. But you’ll fly through After America, America. – – – – HH: It’s got everything in it that you need, including quick reviews of Harvey Mansfield’s book on manliness, which you can’t carry on a plane or you’ll be arrested, I think. It’s got James Cameron. I did not realize, Mark Steyn, that James Cameron had slandered First Officer William Murdock of the Titanic. To paraphrase Ray Donovan, where do you go to get your reputation back when you’ve drowned? MS: Yeah, no, his whole thing on Titanic was that it was a class thing, you know, that the people were pushing past the women and children to get onto the lifeboats. And this particular fellow from Scotland, who’s just an ordinary member of the Titanic’s crew, in fact, he gets slandered in the movie, because he’s shown taking a bribe and then murdering a third class passenger. And in fact, in real life, this guy, Murdock, went down, he did the dull, decent, British thing. He stood on the deck throwing life belts to passengers in the water to help them keep afloat until help came, and then he went down with the ship, all very dull, decent, stiff upper lipped and British. James Cameron slandered him in that movie of his, and then to add insult to injury, offered, I think it was, five thousand pounds for a memorial to the guy in his hometown in Scotland. HH: Now really, it’s outrageous. MS: It is outrageous, because what’s fascinating about that is that the social conventions held up. The thing hits, the ship hits the iceberg. People haven’t, men, I mean, you imagine it, Hugh, you or I being in that situation. You’ve got an hour to kiss your wife and children goodbye, and then have a final smoke and a glass of cognac in the lounge as they go off in the lifeboat, and you go down with the ship. And I think there’s something, I worry, and this is beyond mere politics, this is beyond the debt crisis, but that we have so reconfigured the basic building blocks of society, that we can no longer rely on centuries-old social conventions like that. And one day, we may have to rely on them. HH: And as I think you very poignantly put, it’s not that you worry about not living up to it. That’s a test that everyone passes at the time it occurs. You worry that no one’s aware of the test. MS: Yes. HH: That the standard itself is gone. MS: I know, and I think that’s really the issue here. I think whenever I write about this stuff, people always say to me oh yeah, like you, Mr. Pansy Columnist, the guy who sings A Marshmallow World, yeah, right, like you’re going to be taking a bullet for somebody. But the point, Hugh, is that you have to, society has to set that standard. HH: Yes. MS: Otherwise, I think that is one of the tragic things, that in this atomized society, increasingly atomized society, it’s really the paradox of Europe and of societies that go down that path, that the more collectivized you become, the more you’re asked to supposedly share everything with the government because it’s fairer, the less communitarian, actually, people become. HH: Right. MS: And that gets to the heart of why I think what Dennis Prager was saying, you mentioned what Dennis was saying at that thing you and Sarah Palin did with him, his point there was that nobody in Europe gives money to charity. Their charitable giving is far less than the United States. Their civic participation is far less than the United States. And he’s right, because why would you? When you give all your money to the government, the government does that for you. Why do you need to give money to Africans? The government gives money to Africans on your behalf. Why do you need to go down and man the bake sale for your local church? The government takes care of the poor people. And that is the central issue, that big government expands at the price of citizenship, and especially at the price of self-reliant citizens. HH: And it leaves Dependistan, as you write, in its wake, and in collapse. And again, your timing is impeccable and tragic, because you write about the collapse of Britain, and Tottenham goes up in smoke last night. MS: Right. HH: It’s as though you had press agents inciting riots in East London last night, Mark Steyn. MS: I would like to say that my publicist was arranging the riot in London to show London in flames. But in fact, she was far too busy, actually, arranging the U.S. downgrade. HH: (laughing) MS: You know, she can’t be everywhere. HH: You know, people are going to become very suspicious, Mark. MS: But I do find it slightly depressing when on the weekend before the book’s release, quite so many news events align themselves to fit its thesis. HH: And again, you haven’t connected these dots, yet, but Fast And Furious is breaking. I spent yesterday talking with Paul Gosar, who is a Congressman on the committee, and Governor Brewer and others about Fast And Furious. Not only do we have a cartel state south of our border, we’re sending them weapons now. MS: Yeah, yeah. And I think this is really, I mean, I think this is really astonishing, the idea that somehow stimulus funds are being used to stimulate the, effectively, the Mexican coffin industry. HH: Yes. MS: I mean, real Mexicans are being shot dead with these guns, aside from the Border Patrol guy on our side of the thing, but just real Mexicans are being shot dead with these things, and federal agencies regard it as some sort of interesting, hypothetical exercise. HH: But you know what it was? It was an extension of that attitude you talk about so much in After America of elitism, the arrogance that they actually know better, that they could actually follow the guns back to the cartel. MS: Right. HH: It’s crazy what people think they can accomplish in the government. MS: Well, and I think, I mean, I do think on the whole, and again, this has nothing to do with entitlements. When people say to me oh, well, the entitlements are all very complicated, well, the DEA, ATF, FBI, that isn’t complicated. And they’re all competing with each other. And half the time, you’ve got, like, undercover guys from the DEA staking out undercover guys from the ATF, staking out undercover guys from the FBI. Then you’ve got, like, the Department of Education has a SWAT team. Think about that. HH: Yes. MS: The United States is the only country in the developed world where the Secretary of Education has his own SWAT team. The Agriculture Department has its own SWAT team. I mean, you’re getting to the stage where there’s very few federal government departments now that can’t kick your door down and stick a gun in your face. This is, I mean, leaving aside all the civil liberties aspects of it, it’s actually profoundly unrepublican. HH: Yes. MS: And at some point, Americans have to say, you know, I have a line that the people who work for me say I shouldn’t use too often, because it’s likely to make Americans enraged. But I have a line, you know, George III wouldn’t have done this to you. And that’s true, but it’s true at a basic level. George III would not have sent his education secretary to kick your door down. – – – – HH: Mark, I don’t even have a chance to go through the fact that we’ve got inventile dysfunction in the United States, that the ten year hole at Ground Zero is the memorial, and not a good one, the small and vulgar pleasures of the social media addiction, your wonderful advice to authors. Don’t just write there, do something. MS: Yeah. HH: And all of these other things, but I want to close on a somewhat light-hearted note. I had no idea that you were the anti-Obama for the Globe And Mail. I kind of thought that the President likes show tunes? MS: (laughing) No, I was astonished to find the Globe And Mail, on the eve of the inauguration, claimed that Obama embodied the sort of new hybrid spirit of mankind, and that I was everything that old, vengeful, bitter, white men… HH: (laughing) MS: You know, essentially, Obama and I are basically the same generation, and in fact, we’re both, you know, the children of British subjects. HH: (laughing) MS: And in that sense, I mean, you know, I’m sure I could pull out a Hawaiian birth certificate… HH: (laughing) MS: I’ve got the Hawaiian accent down pat. So I don’t, I never thought of ourselves as being widely different. But what I find interesting about that is that the delusion of the rainbow coalition, because it’s like that increased black turnout in California, for example, all the people who stayed in the voting booths long enough to vote for the proposition banning gay marriage in large numbers, the rainbow coalition gets far more complicated the more you look at it. And that’s before you’ve got, like, the nice gay couple standing next to the big, bearded polygamist imam with his four child brides. HH: All right, I’ve got to close with my tough question, though. If you had to be governed by either Mayor Nanny, Michael Bloomberg, or Mayor Rizzo of the City of Bell, whom would you choose? MS: (laughing) Well, I’ll say this, that when there’s a big snowstorm, and Nanny Bloomberg flies off to his pad in Bermuda just before it hits, at least he’s doing it on his own plane, and on his own dime. That disgusting city manager in Bell, California, taking from a broken down loser town, taking a million bucks plus in pension and benefits, that is depravity. ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • Dr. Larry Arnn on the letters of Paul and Revelation
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    HH: It’s the hour of Hillsdale, the Hillsdale Dialogues. Once a week in the company of Dr. Larry Arnn, the president of Hillsdale College, or one of his wonderful colleagues, I take the audience into the one of the great works of the Western canon in an effort to lift everybody up and get everyone back on the same page. It’s become wildly popular in the two months that we have been doing this. Every single one of these podcasts is available free of charge from Hillsdale College. All one needs to do is go to www.hillsdale.edu and find the dialogues. There’s a shortcut – www.hughforhillsdale.com. And there’s a button at www.hughhewitt.com, but everything, including incredible lectures on the Constitution and the progressive, and American civilization and the West, Hillsdale puts a great deal of material available to anyone who will just simply sign up at www.hillsdale.edu. They’ll even send you Imprimus free. Their idea is to build a free people who actually understand what’s going on around them, and they do so in many wonderful ways. Dr. Arnn, before we dive into the New Testament and the letters of Paul, I must say Hillsdale’s commitment to online and open learning is remarkable. LA: Yeah, thank you for that. But you know, we’re teachers, so it’s relatively easy. And we find that people love to learn. And if you really get serious about it, you’re going to have to quit your job and come back and enroll in class, and sit in classrooms with 15 or 20 people in them with very learned people and get all your questions answered, because they show up on your face even before you can answer them. That’s the best way to learn. But the second best way to learn is learn and think, and listen to people who know. And the way we do in these courses, and we’re going to make them better all the time, it’s our intention, there will be more and more, you’ll be able to have input and get responses back and talk with other people. And we want to encourage the highest kind of friendship, which is the kind that’s gathered around learning the best things. So we want that to spread very widely. HH: And I am pleased to be an agent in that. Now let’s talk about the highest kind of friendship. I don’t know that Paul had any friends. He had colleagues. LA: He wasn’t a very friendly guy. HH: The apostle Paul, or St. Paul of the New Testament, and I must say I have a handicap as a product of Roman Catholic education, K-12, you don’t read much Paul, You’re a little leery of Paul. You stay away from Paul. You read the Gospels a lot, and you get the Church fathers, but you stay pretty far from Paul, so you have to go back and learn that later on. How do you approach Paul when you sit down with your Hillsdale students? LA: Gingerly. No, Paul is terribly important, of course. And sometimes, he’s a self-righteous prig, you know, going on about how great he is and how great his pains are, and sometimes, he’s the most humble person in the world. I was a persecutor of the followers of Jesus. And sometimes, he seems to expect, by the way, that the world is not going to go on for very much longer, because he doesn’t seem to think that it’s the best thing…you know, if you could do it, it would be a really great idea not to get married. Of course, if we don’t do that, given the rules of Christianity, you’re not going to have any kids, so I guess it would be only the Christians who wouldn’t be procreating. So there’s a lot of stuff in here like that. He’s very stern. Now having said all that, we read that passage, right, and he wrote that passage. HH: Two weeks ago. We should reread it to people from Hebrews 12:18-29. LA: It’s very beautiful. And Paul, the reason you have to read Paul is because first of all, it’s most of the letters. But second, it is very important in the working out of some things that require to be worked out for Christianity to go, because I’ll list some of those things, and they’re all huge things. What is the status of the Mosaic law now? Jesus was a Jew. The Jews, in the understanding of Christians, were the people preparing the way for Jesus, and they are very important, still are after Jesus is born, and now. But what about all these laws they’ve got? Do you have to follow those things or not? How are we to understand this succession line that Jesus is in? And the succession line partly comes from Kings in lineage. But also, the succession line comes from priests in authority. Is Jesus some kind of a new priest, high priest, different sort of high priest, grander yet? There are sacrifices in the Jewish faith. Do we still need those? No, Jesus has now made the sacrifice that is sufficient to atone. The scale, the justice of the incarnation and the crucifixion and the resurrection are explained in Paul. And by justice, I just mean there’s a price to be paid when a wrong is done, or a right is done. And that price was paid in the old law, according to Paul, by sacrificing valuable animals, mainly. And now, and that could never do anything. That could never atone fully for a human wrong, the great weight of human wrong. But for God to come and be a human, and sacrifice Himself, that is sufficient. And that is worked out in the pages of Paul. Then another thing, really important, what are we going to do about all these people who are not Jews? And Peter and Paul, in particular, are the ones who are sent to sort that out. And the idea is now we’re all one. Now there’s not a chosen people. Everyone who chooses God, with God’s help, is a chosen soul. And so those things, oh, here’s another thing, this is very important, how can God have a Son? How are we going to understand now about this? You know, God seems to have parts. And the beginnings of that are worked out in Paul, especially, but in the New Testament after the Gospels. HH: I thought you were also going to say that he engages not just Rome in his famous epistle, but also Greece, so that he is taking the new way into the heart of the old ways, to the two powers of that era. LA: That’s a good point, because Paul is a learned man. He was a Jewish learned man. And so he has the intellectual tools to explain things. And he does that especially in the Aeropagus, and he gives a big talk and introduces them to the unknown God, you know, they’re worshipping an unknown God. They want to make sure they cover all their bases, and the Romans were pantheists, right? If you get conquered by the Romans, and everybody did, whatever your gods were, we’re glad to have them, welcome in. We’ll all worship them all now, and we’re even have one for the unknown God. And Paul is very artful in explaining that I can now tell you who that God is. This is what this fellow is like. And he shows how Nietzsche, he didn’t mean this kindly to Christianity, but he said that Christ is Plato for the masses, that is to say the one idea, the great good, incarnate, the good that rules all the other goods. And so yeah, and he has to work it out with the classical world. And I do want to say something about this idea of a God with parts, because that comes to be worked out in the letters, but also later in learned discourse, that God has three parts, and that His having three parts, they have to be eternally there. There’s not one part, and then other parts come later. But if there are three parts, God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit, then there can be an activity going on from before time, and for all eternity. And that activity is love. And so that gets worked out, and the ground is laid for that, at least. And if I were a better scholar of it, I could say whether it was fully worked out or not, in the letters of Paul, because the Jews didn’t think of God that way, and that the fact that God is an activity, an activity of love, you know, the one explanation of it is the Father loves the Son, and the Son is what the Father has to say. The Son is the Word. And then because there are two of them there, there’s also a Spirit of their relationship. And so that all has to be figured out, right, because then what about the fact that the Messiah has come, and he doesn’t establish a polity? He doesn’t set up a regime, a governance? And so there’s not anything to join up and make laws. There’s just this Church to join up and believe things, and have some practices that go along with the beliefs. HH: And that’s got to be reconciled to the world as well, another task for Paul. We’ll continue to talk about the letters of Paul and Revelation when we return. — – – HH: Dr. Arnn, when we were talking last segment, and you were talking about the things that Paul had to accomplish, I was marveling to myself again at how the extraordinary just existence of the events, Jesus enters into the world at a particular time and place, and Paul enters immediately thereafter to provide the transition to the new world so that just the sequencing of events ought to give a non-believer pause, because none of this happens but for the miraculous intervention and the reality of Christ, and then the following on of Paul to establish, along with Peter, the working out of how this is going to grow. It’s really kind of remarkable, and it’s never happened to anybody else. LA: That’s is. It’s, you know, and it’s…they’re struggling. You know, these letters, by the way, you see, Paul writes these letters to people. They’re called letters, because they’re letters. You know, Dear Joe, Dear Philemon, Dear whoever I’m writing to. And many of the contentions, many of these subjects, I think it’s probably true to say most of these big, theological subjects that are made, that are raised by the phenomenon of Christ, are worked out in the letters of Paul in an argument through correspondence, because you say it’s this, and no, it’s got to be like this. That won’t work, right? And that’s a preview of what the great Christian synods and arguments have been about, and the work that was done to develop the creeds that are since early Christianity, still recited today in most Churches. So Paul is doing that work, and it’s an intellectual work. And of course, it’s more than that, too, because Paul’s body is on the line, just like Jesus’ was, and just like Peter’s eventually would be. Paul is stoned, he is arrested. Several of these letters, and several of the best of them, are written from prison. And sometimes, he goes on about that, this sounds to me like a little unmanly, like maybe he’s whining a bit, but most of the time, not like that. Most of the time, they’re simply sublime. And he counts the privilege of being there. And so he produces these writings. And you know, here’s another thing about it that I wish I were a better scholar. I studied Greek in graduate school, and I’ve not used it for 30 years, so I’m miserable. But not New Testament Greek, and so I can’t, I don’t really know how it works. My favorite translation is the King James translation, because it’s very beautiful. But Paul can be terribly awkward to read. And if you read it carefully, you can see what’s he’s saying. But Lord, why doesn’t he just say it, you ask yourself, and I don’t know for sure if that’s a translation problem. HH: But there are points where in Corinthians, if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clinging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flame but I have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love it kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease. Where there are tongues, they will be stilled. Where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and prophecy in part. But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part. Then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain – faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Is that not a perfect chapter? LA: Sometimes, I think God abandoned him to poor grammar and construction. But God talked to him often, too. It’s just lovely. I’ll counter back. My favorite passage in the letters, I think my favorite letter, is to Philippians. And in the fourth chapter, here’s advice for all young people and old people. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there be any excellence, if there be anything worthy of praise, think about these things. HH: You must tell your students that all the time. LA: Oh, yeah. We don’t shut up about that around here. HH: I may put that on the cover of my next book. That’s a good thing for student to learn. So of course, though, he does not, he doesn’t, he’s a very human person, and he goes back to Jerusalem, and he fires people, and people dump him, and people jump in with him, and the Romans end up killing him, because he’s such a pain in the neck. What a person. What a man. LA: Yeah, and see, you know, doesn’t he fall prey to Nero, right, one of the worst men ever to live. HH: Yes. LA: And we can outdo Nero in the modern world, because we’re more modern. But if he’d been a modern, he would have been like Hitler or somebody. And you know, Paul is first when he’s arrested, you see, this is sort of a parallel to the story of Jesus. Paul is treated as a really interesting guy to listen to. When he’s arrested, these Jews bring a complaint against him, and when I say these Jews, I always want to remind people he was a Jew. And they take him up before the Romans, and they take him around the way they did Jesus after his arrest, and people talk to him. And they’re curious about him. And you know, they’re near to letting him go several times. And then he gets to Rome, and he’s very well treated, and he’s given a soldier to live around him, to make sure he doesn’t run away. But people can come and see him, and he does a lot of talking, and gives a major address in Rome. And so Paul was a galvanizing man, and Christ-like in this, he was very radical and uncompromising, and yet people could tell that he was not, he was loving. HH: A minute to the break, and then we’ll come back and talk about the letters of Peter and John, and then in the last segment, Revelation. But tell them, how do you, which of the letters do you actually make sure the students read at Hillsdale? LA: Well, they read Acts, and it’s not a letter, actually, but it was written by Luke, one of the, the author of what I think is my favorite of the Gospels. And we read Philippians, and I can’t remember what else we read. HH: Do you tackle Romans where a million Sunday School hours have been spent? LA: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we read Romans. HH: My friend, Mike Regele, has taught two year sequences on Romans. I don’t know that that’s the way they were intended to be read, Dr. Arnn. I thought as letters, they ought to be sat down and read as letters would be read. LA: Yeah, and you know, by the way, that’s the way to read anything. We do read them that way here. And you know, to read something closely is a different way of reading it than to read it just through. But you know, the Galatians and the Ephesians, and the Corinthians, they probably read those letters really closely. HH: Repeatedly. LA: Yeah, sure. And you know, they’ve been read repeatedly for two millennia now. — – – – HH: About these, I won’t call them minor letters, because they’re not minor men. They do not receive the same amount of attention, Larry Arnn, as does the letters, as do the letters of Paul. But they are, they’re vastly important to the working out of the same issues we talked about that Paul had to address. LA: Very much, and each of them add something important. And you know, maybe I’m thinking during the break, but I probably have had the same attitude you have. I never liked Paul when I was young. I always liked Peter. HH: Yes. LA: And I liked his letters better than Paul’s letters. And I don’t, why did I like, I can tell you why I liked Peter better. Peter is impulsive and brave and cowardly. And he’s passionate, and he becomes like the grand poobah after the crucifixion. And Paul and he never get on. HH: Never. LA: And how could they, thinking what they’re like? And you know, Paul is a late comer compared to Peter. And so they have their joustings in Paul’s letters. But so anyway, it’s like a great review I read once of a publication of the books of Cicero. Okay, okay, Cicero’s really important, but what we’re trying to figure out is do we like this guy? HH: (laughing) And we do like Peter, and we root for him to win, right? LA: We really like Peter. HH: We’re glad, and you know, the Catholic, if you are a Catholic, a cradle Catholic and educated Catholic, you get all the letters of Peter, and they kind of push Paul over to the side. LA: Oh, yeah. HH: And then they throw James at you, because James is very workish. LA: Yeah, that’s right, he’s very workish. And you know, upon this rock, I will build…thou are Peter, and the word Peter, petros is stone, right? HH: Yes. LA: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My Church. And what you bind on Earth, I will bind in Heaven. And what you loose on Earth, I will loose in Heaven. That is the justification for the papacy, right? HH: Yes. LA: A strong, Scriptural one, and it was said to Peter. So the Catholics love Peter. And I love Peter. And I love him almost as much for his failings, because you know, what misery can it have been for the man who was ready to fight to have denied Jesus? HH: Yeah. LA: So…and that’s in his background when he writes these letters. And they’re great to read, and he’s the one who has the dream about the gentiles, and about the food doesn’t matter, and stuff like that. And he is glad, as is Paul, crucial to the opening of Christianity to all the peoples on Earth. Jesus says that, but it has to be worked out in practice, and it’s Peter and Paul more than anyone who do that. HH: I have to ask you, even though it’s a diversion, you are a Churchill scholar. And Churchill lived in a country that had a very uneasy relationship with Catholicism. What did Churchill think about, you know, he loved the Church of England, of course, but about the Catholic institution? LA: Oh, well, he thought very important that England be a Protestant country. In his History Of The English-Speaking Peoples, he’s on the side of Elizabeth, and not on the side of James, but that’s because Catholicism, he though, and I think he was right, in those days, was meddling in politics in a way that it ought not to be. And by the way, it very much doesn’t do that today, and you know, the doctrines about that are taken to their utmost advance by John Paul and Benedict. So he thought that. So in other words, as a political matter, and looking at the history of England, needed to be Protestant. But Churchill was radically in favor, as any decent person is in my opinion, of freedom of religion. And so Churchill lived, by the way, for the years of the 1930s when he was in London, overlooking the playgrounds of the school of the Roman Catholic cathedral in London. And it just so happens that all of the land around that was bombed out, but the cathedral was spared. And his block of houses was spared. And his house was for sale not long ago, and I longed to buy it, but 11 Morpeth Mansions. And when people come and see, you give them directions and you say, he’d write, this is a house of many mansions. That was always the first sentence. So to find that place, he’d start out, this is a house of many mansions. Yeah, but he thought Catholicism a great force in the modern time, and Christianity in general, he thought terribly important that it be vibrant and strong in England. He wrote a letter about the Titanic to his wife, and how brave they were. HH: Afterwards, after the break, I’ll be right back with Dr. Larry Arnn. — – – – HH: Dr. Arnn, we were going to break, you were saying Churchill thought about the people on the Titanic. We can’t leave that one without returning to it. LA: Oh, it was really good. I’ll paraphrase it. It’s a letter to his wife, because you know, the Titanic story is not as it is presented in the great terrible movie by James Cameron. There was incredible acts of courage. And Churchill reflects, he says, and this is a paraphrase to his wife, in the Greek and Roman worlds, he said, the satraps, with their concubines and retainers, would have taken to the boats and leaving everybody else behind. Our Christian civilization has nothing to apologize to the ancient world from the point of view of courage. HH: Nicely said, beautifully said. Let me turn to Revelation, and in an interesting time. We are talking as the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Curia are electing a new leader. About this new leader there is a great deal of, lots of speculation. It’s the last portrait in St. Paul outside the walls. There’s only room for one more. There’s much talk about whether or not St. Malachi made his prophecies about the last pope, and whether or not they are true, and how you count, and all this different stuff. But eschatology comes in big, and Revelation starts getting brooded about. I never read Revelation. I still don’t read Revelation. What’s your assessment of it, Dr. Arnn, and of its utility? LA: Oh, it’s great. Yeah, you can read it. It’s Scripture, Hugh. Well first of all, it’s hard to read. And a great guide is what does it say? And so there’s all these images and all that stuff. But…and there are these plagues that come, and there’s a woman and a dragon and a baby, and so what does all that mean? Well, it’s worth it so sort of parse that out and see what it means. And it is the story, apocalypse or Revelation, apocalypse means uncovering. And so it is a revelation of the climax. HH: It’s a very dangerous book, though, because it will, it has tempted people to spend their whole lives parsing it. LA: Yeah, but that’s true. And by the way, it kind of has to be vague, right, because nothing like it had ever happened before. HH: Right. LA: Nor of course ever shall again, when it happens, we Christians believe. But there has to be a coming to the end of the world, and the doing of justice, and that is foretold in the words of Jesus in the Gospels. And so what’s going to be like when it all happens? And you know, if you want an easy way to sort of figure out the action of it, the Left Behind series, you know, is very literal, right? And they sort of make it into a kind of contemporary human drama in a way. And it takes it very literal. And so if you read that, and I have read it, then you can, it’s easier to know what’s going on at any given point. And it is a revelation of how things end. HH: So do you read that at Hillsdale? LA: Well, not in the core… HH: Okay. LA: But in the, of course, most students do read it. HH: We do know that things will end. Every scientists, Richard Dawkins, everyone will agree with us, this world will end. We know that. So there’s no disagreement. It’s just about how and timing and when it up for grabs. And it could be much sooner as we speak. As we talk, an asteroid has just flown past the Earth at very close proximity, I might add, that no one knew about. And so there’s all these terrible things that could happen to us. But when you teach end times literature, are there other myths that Hillsdale will bring up and contrast with Revelation as to what the winding up is all about? LA: Well, you know, in physics, of course, they teach… HH: Sure. LA: The universe is expanding, and it will lose touch with itself, I guess, eventually, the parts of it. And there’s a cooling going on. So they study that. And I don’t think anybody knows for sure that that’s what’s going to happen, that everything’s going to be cold and dead eventually. But there’s a possibility of that, so they study that. But about the myths and stuff, I mean, mostly, remember that in the logic of Christianity, there’s a reckoning to come that will involve everyone, living and dead. And we’re to imagine this world, in Christianity, as a temporary state, however long-lived it may be, that comes to a conclusion, and the separation of mankind into Heaven and Hell. And so what’s it going to be like when that time comes? And here we have a Biblical expression of that. HH: Yeah, that’s what my friend, David Allen White, always says. Catholics are to think on four things every day – death, judgment, Heaven and Hell. And then, they’ll be in good shape. A word, Dr. Arnn, as we turn from Scripture to Herodotus, how ought people to prepare for next week? LA: Well, the book by Herodotus is called The History, and it was the first book of history every written, so the name wasn’t taken, I like to say. And now you couldn’t use it after that. But it’s the story of the Greek and Persian wars, among the greatest wars of the classical world, and the great revelation or uncovering of the difference between the Greeks and what they called the barbarians. And of course, it’s an extremely exciting battle story, but also it is a parsing out of these many civilizations that come into conflict in this war between the Greeks and the Persians. HH: Now often do you dip into it? LA: Well, I live Herodotus, so I’ve read it, you know, extensively, and you know, Thucydides, too. And I, sometimes, I think I like Herodotus a little better, so I have read it often. HH: And do the students take to it? LA: Yeah, especially the Greeky ones. And everybody reads it, or parts of it. But…and it’s, like Leo Paul de Alvarez at the University of Dallas wrote years ago a commentary on Herodotus, a paper I think he gave at the American Political Science Association. And Doug Jeffrey gave that to me years ago, my colleague here, a student of de Alvarez. And it’s just very insightful. And if you read that paper, you can, then you’re on to what’s going on in this thing. And it’s very good. I’ll try to tell you some of that. HH: Dr. Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College, thank you. To get this podcast, go to www.hughforhillsdale.com. www.hillsdale.edu has all sorts of massive open online courses. And mostly, they’ve got the goods when it comes to wisdom. Do not miss these podcasts. Thank you very much, Dr. Arnn. End of interview. ]]>
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Jay Dyer1
Esoteric Hollywood



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  • The Esoteric Meaning of Time...
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)


    By: Jay Dyer In a long line of odd kids’ movies from the 80s we’ve detailed, an important missing piece from the to-do list has been Terry Gilliam’s Time...

    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff7
The Federalist



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  • Watching Life And Death On 'Everest'
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    This review contains spoilers for the 2015 film “Everest,” and for real life. If you’ve read Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” even once (or about four times, in my case) you might come into “Everest” knowing exactly who will die, and who will make it home. Neither the actors’ fame nor their prominence in the film will give you a clue. If you wish to remain ignorant, best read no farther. It’s a simple story of (mostly) men, mountains, and mistakes. Kiwi Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) has pioneered guided climbs of Everest with his Adventure Consultants. Clients may pay him $60,000 to get them up the mountain. Hall is a warm, friendly fellow, and a gifted climber, but he is also the sign of the competitive times on Everest. In 1953, when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first summited, a whole team was devoted to getting someone to the top. In 1996 (to say nothing of 2015), everyone wants his individualized glory. However, the weather in the death zone—above 26,000 feet—can easily get in the way. It did on May 10, 1996, when climbers from multiple expeditions were caught out in the open during a violent storm. Meet the Cast of Characters One of Hall’s clients is author Jon Krakauer, played coldly by Michael Kelly from “House of Cards.” Krakauer generally lurks in the background, except when he asks the group why they’re there (George Mallory already answered). More interesting is Josh Brolin as Texas pathologist Beck Weathers, who first appears on screen in a Dole/Kemp ‘96 shirt. The actual Weathers told The Los Angeles Times in March he thinks Brolin plays him as more of a jerk than he was, but his wife agrees with the movie version of her husband. (Weathers also cheerfully accepts that it’s “almost impossible for a Hollywood screenwriter faced with a conservative Texan to not engage in a little bit of enjoyment in creating that character.”) The number of clients, guides, and Sherpas in Fischer and Hall’s groups are hard to keep track of, even for someone who has read the Krakauer book. Another character who feels archetypical is rival Mountain Madness guide Scott Fischer, frenemy of Hall, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal is a great actor, but the aggressively chill Fischer is a thankless part. The number of clients, guides, and Sherpas in Fischer and Hall’s groups are hard to keep track of, even for someone who has read the Krakauer book. The notable include Anatoli Boukreev (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson), the Russian guide under Fischer whom Krakauer controversially criticized in “Into Thin Air.” Under Hall, we have guides Mike Groom (Thomas M. Wright) and fellow Kiwi Andy “Harold” Harris (Martin Henderson). Clients include Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), a weedy man from Seattle who works three jobs and whom Hall turned around a few hundred feet from the summit the year before. There are a few women, but besides Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), they tend to stay at the lower altitudes if they have dialogue. Peach Weathers (Robin Wright) is nearly estranged from her husband and waits at home in Texas with the children. Hall’s pregnant wife, Jan Arnold (Keira Knightley), always waits and worries, but presumably understands the appeal of mountains better (the real Arnold climbed Everest in 1993). Rounding things out is basecamp manager Helen (Emily Watson) and doctor Caroline (Elizabeth Debicki), who are a bit of an audience proxy in that they can only react in horror and grief over to the radio to the unfolding disaster. A Magnifier for Human Error A vital part of climbing so high safely is having an early turnaround time. The good weather window for climbing to 29,028 feet is miniscule, and you need time to get back to camp. Aggregating the situation in “Everest,” the mountain is too crowded, the fixed ropes are not put up in time, and a radio or two malfunctions. Hansen cannot rest with having ‘nearly climbed Everest.’ So he is back. “Into Thin Air” hammers this point home: the summit is only the halfway point. Part of the drama of Hansen in “Everest,” and sadly in real life, is that he cannot rest with having “nearly climbed Everest.” So he is back. Hall, more dangerously, cannot bring himself to be the bad guy again by turning Hansen back. The fact that Fischer gets all of his clients to the top—and Hall has several people, including Weathers, drop out in the presence of reporter Krakauker—is hinted at as an additional explanation for Hall’s reckless behavior. (Fischer mostly just endangered himself.) Hall as a character isn’t entirely let off the hook for his mistakes in the film, but we don’t see “Into Thin Air’s” description of him talking Hansen into not giving up on the climb. Krakauer was criticized for his portrayal of the guides. But though he has inherent bias and error, Krakauer appears to be an empathic, fair, human reporter. Here, Kelly’s chilly acting job and the squabble between Fischer and Hall (later resolved in a very human, non-Hollywood fashion) over who got the reporter makes Krakauer something of a villain. A Restrained Take on the Events Krakauer wrote that he asked Beck Weathers, who had eye trouble and was waiting in the snow to see if it would go away, if he needed help getting down the mountain (then is secretly relieved when Weathers says no, he’ll wait). In “Everest,” Krakauer actively tells Weathers to go with the other climbers who are coming up behind him, which dooms Weathers to his fate of 15 hours of catatonia and frostbite so severe he had his nose, half an arm, and four fingers amputated. ‘Everest’ could engage in the drama of the events more than it is willing to. Krakauer is also shown saying “I don’t want to die” when the surviving climbers who weren’t caught in the storm discuss the risks of trying to save Weathers. Krakauer doesn’t appear to have addressed specifics, but he did tell the LA Times that “Everest” is “total bull.” This is excessive, but it’s hard to blame Krakauer for being annoyed by his oddly harsh portrayal. However, Krakauer’s book is the best-known look at the events of 1996. He was the main character in the clunky, but accurate 1998 TV movie called “Into Thin Air: Death on Everest.” Perhaps, then, director Baltasar Kormákur isn’t working out some angry, anti-reporter fantasy, but is trying to differentiate his film from a previous representation of the tragedy, much like James Cameron’s “Titanic” has real-life characters—mainly British crew—who seem reactionary compared to their counterparts in 1958s “A Night to Remember.” Strangely, “Everest” almost has the opposite problem of most supposed true stories. It could engage in the drama of the events more than it is willing to. It’s hard not to attribute some of the directing restraint to the fact that Kormákur isn’t an American. He’s Icelandic. If this were an American movie, there would be more sentimentality and more about the spiritual need for men to climb mountains. It would, perhaps, be more like “Into The Wild,” Sean Penn’s adaptation of Krakauer’s previous nonfiction work. It would not end with a lonely shot of Rob Hall’s snow-covered body. Life and Death on Mount Everest In fiction, either Hall or Fischer would survive. Fischer would at least earn a more poignant end. Instead, he is played by the biggest-name actor, yet gets only ignoble collapse and death. There is nothing uplifting about the demise of this goofy hippie character (nor is there any sign of the amazingly tough climber Krakauer describes). Clarke and Knightley do a splendid job breaking the audience’s heart in this fictional version. Hall gets his dramatic death. He even gets to say goodbye to his wife. This is the heart of the film, but it is strange for any viewer who feels as if he has already almost seen this. Legendary climber David Breashears was working on an IMAX film during the events of the tragedy in 1996, and in fact risked the $7 million movie to help the imperiled climbers, particularly Weathers. At one point in the documentary, the real Hall’s hypothermia-ravaged, slurred voice can be heard over the radio. Clarke and Knightley do a splendid job breaking the audience’s heart in this fictional version—especially Clarke, who is the stand-out actor—but it’s an echo of the stomach-clenching sound of a real man near death. In some ways, Hall was lucky. He hung on long enough that he and Arnold could discuss the name for the baby growing in her stomach. They settled on Sarah. And though Kormákur refuses to pull punches with his ending, you could consider his final say to be the footage of the real Sarah Arnold-Hall smiling and walking towards the camera after photo tributes of each dead climber. That is our redeeming moment. Not that this wasn’t a needless disaster, but that somewhere this child is now a woman in the world. There’s a reason the overly fictional Cameron “Titanic” had to have a woman’s slightly anachronistic self-actualization as a plot. Otherwise, you just have a brave band, and then a bunch of people dying of cold because of hubris about lifeboats. Hollywood generally craves a spoonful of fiction to help miserable reality go down. Missing a Real-Life Portrayal of Hope Strangely, Kormákur doesn’t appear interested in the aspect of May 10, 1996, that is most uplifting. Weathers’ resurrection after hallucinating his family in front of him, and his slog back to camp after nearly 15 hours unconscious, is pure, inspirational drama. So is the moment where the daredevil Nepalese pilot lands a helicopter at 20,000 feet in the dangerously thin air to rescue not just Weathers, but another dangerously frostbitten climber. Kormákur includes all this (although not the pilot returning for Weathers a second time) but his restraint becomes a little prosaic. Strangely, Kormákur doesn’t appear interested in the aspect of May 10, 1996, that is most uplifting. The sound of the ice cracking from the inside as Weathers slowly gets up from where he was left for dead is skin-crawling. Krakauer writes that this mummy figure with his hand in a sort of “frozen salute” appeared suddenly in camp. The audience should see that exactly as described, and should see Weathers left to presumably die in his tent alone the night after his rescue, because everyone assumed he was a hopeless case. They don’t. Weathers doesn’t need to wake to a chorus of violins on the soundtrack. This isn’t that movie, thankfully. But Weathers’ bizarre survival is the story that taught me at ten years old that reality can be as enthralling as a storybook. I have a strange attachment, then, to Weathers, the man who has always said the trip was worth it because he traded his hands for his family. But something is missing in how it plays out on screen. Near the end, we see Peach Weathers surrounded by friends and family phoning embassies—and, weirdly in real life, Democrat Rep. Tom Daschle and GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who helped—demanding a helicopter rescue for her husband. But when Peach and Beck are reunited, the movie doesn’t bother to ground the moment. Brolin looks like hell—though he oddly looks a lot better than the real Beck did—and the reunited couple’s embrace should be sweet, but it’s unclear if they’re in Kathmandu or Texas, or somewhere else. This careless ending is atrocious, after a beautiful, frightening middle of a film. In spite of these frustrations and Krakauer’s legitimate annoyance, “Everest” is mostly a success. The scenery is stunning and tangible (though avoid 3D). The acting ranges from good to great. The tone is serious and intense, but never overwrought. Unfortunately, Kormákur hits nearly all the marks of the real story, but he doesn’t seem to know he should let a powerful moment like Weathers shambling back into camp linger for a few more beats. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • It's Not The Envelope—The Oscars Keep Choosing The Wrong Film
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    When the Best Picture award was given to “La La Land,” it was not a surprise. Hollywood loves musicals, and is always seeking to present musicals with awards. While not a fan of musicals outside of “The Blues Brothers,” this makes sense: musicals are difficult to make. They combine elements of music, acting, singing, and dancing all in one production. Alas, the euphoria for the producers of “La La Land” was short-lived. As it turned out, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope. Minutes later, we found out the Best Picture winner was Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age film, “Moonlight.” This time the envelope was correct. Unfortunately, the choice of “Moonlight” for Best Picture was not. Instead, it appears to have fallen victim to the “message movie” trap of choosing the best movie of the year. When Did Best Picture Choices Go Wrong? Voting-based awards will invariably lead to debate—because for the most part, it is a subjective issue. When “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” won in 1975, it was not difficult to make a compelling case for “Jaws” or “Dog Day Afternoon.” That’s not to say “Cuckoo’s Nest” didn’t deserve the award—but that other choices would have been just as worthy. However, since 1980, Best Picture winners usually fall into specific categories. First, there are the “socially aware” movies: Academy voters focus on the social aspect of a film and choose to award it over something more deserving. The Academy also, at times, has a penchant for choosing films that elicit the response, “What the hell were they thinking?” In that vein, it would be hard for anybody to make a case for “Ordinary People” winning in 1980 over “Raging Bull.” The former is a terrific film with stand-out performances from Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton, and Mary Tyler-Moore. It touched on themes such as suicide, the loss of a child, feelings of inadequacy in the face of siblings, and more. “Raging Bull,” on the other hand, is a masterpiece and arguably Martin Scorsese’s best film. Some have argued that the Academy simply was not ready for the impact of “Raging Bull.” But it was recognized by voters. Robert De Niro won Best Actor for his portrayal of boxer Jake LaMotta. “Raging Bull” stood out in every aspect of filmmaking—from the acting to direction, cinematography to script and story. The Oscars Often Go To Bewildering Choices That blunder aside, no Best Picture winner encapsulates the combo of head scratcher and blockbuster favoritism better than “Titanic.” The film was a box office juggernaut, knocking “ET” from the perch of the highest grossing film of all time. It made Leonardo DiCaprio a household name for young teenage girls everywhere. Despite being a special effects stand out, “Titanic” was plagued with a hokey script, a well-worn storyline, and mediocre acting. That didn’t matter. The movie was nominated for 13 Oscars and won 10, including Best Picture. Meanwhile, “L.A. Confidential” is a film that wraps up every element of the “Best Picture” category into its two-hour running time—story, directing, acting, script, and production value. It remains one of Oscar’s biggest snubs. Other odd choices include “Shakespeare In Love” over “Saving Private Ryan,” arguably one of the best war movies ever made. Another is “The English Patient” over “Fargo.” Have you ever watched “The English Patient” more than once? “Fargo,” meanwhile, demands multiple viewings. “Moneyball” was so much better than “The Artist.” And all I remember from “Chariots of Fire” are guys running in slow motion to Vangelis’s synthesized score. The movie that should have won, “Raiders of The Lost Ark,” is close to cinematic perfection. Films Often Win For Their Message, Not Their Merit Despite all these bewildering moments the Academy has provided over the last 36 years, it’s nothing compared to the head-shaking moments they’ve bestowed upon audiences. Nary a chance exists when voters, examining Best Picture nominees, choose films that convey an “important message” to audiences. Channeling a message via film is not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s bad when films wins because of their message, and not because they’re superior. The following all fall into that category: “Dances With Wolves.” Used as a means of highlighting the plight of Native Americans. The film does not hold up well and is filled with cartoonish stereotypical characters, none of which are memorable. What should have won: “Goodfellas.” Scorsese unfairly snubbed again. “American Beauty.” Highlights suburban white families and the issues they deal with on a daily basis. It’s loaded with clichéd characters doing clichéd things along with a clichéd script. What should have won: “The Insider.” Michael Mann’s film, which explores the intersection between corporate America and journalism, is a tour de force. Al Pacino and Russell Crowe both delivered Oscar-worthy performances. “Million Dollar Baby.” It “created a dialogue” about issues such as women in sports and assisted suicide. What should have won: “Sideways.” Alexander Payne’s road trip comedy/drama served up equal parts of laughter and heartache. Pinot Noir was never more popular as a result. “Crash.” Forget about undeserving. This overrated muck shouldn’t have sniffed a nomination, let alone take home the big prize. It’s the kind of film about racism that is safe for people to say they liked because it blends clichés and narratives about racism people aren’t afraid to discuss. Complete with unrealistic, wooden characters, a lousy script and giant plot holes, it’s one of the worst choices the Academy has ever made. What should have won: “Brokeback Mountain,” ‘Capote,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” or “Munich.” Any of them were more deserving. ‘Moonlight’ Is Very Good, But Not Oscar-Worthy “Moonlight” fits the criteria of the “message” movie. It’s a beautiful film with standout performances from some of the cast. It’s a moving film that allows the viewer to connect with the main character through three stages of his life. The story of Chiron, shown in three separate stages of life, is illustrated in believable detail. He grows from an innocent, young black boy into a hardened drug dealer in 12 to 14 years. The fact that Chiron is gay makes his story that much more compelling. That said, the film suffers from familiar tropes: the drug addicted mother, poor casting (Trevante Rhodes is just not believable as the adult Chiron), and it doesn’t quite have the courage to explore the issue of sexuality with the two gay characters. Critics were united in their praise, and therein lies the problem. Because of the subject matter—and the fact that the entire cast and director are black—it would seem some critics are hesitant to point out the film’s flaws, for fear of being criticized themselves. Movie critic Owen Gleiberman talks in great honesty about the politicization of film criticism in a podcast with Bret Easton Ellis (Go to minute 70), using “Moonlight” as the springboard for the conversation. They both agree that identity politics is what keeps people from being negative about the movie. The Film With The Greatest Artistic Value Should Win It’s a shame this happened because the film is worth seeing. I would recommend “Moonlight” to anybody, but it is not a better film than either “Hell or High Water” or “Arrival.” Both of these films explored familiar territories but in a way that elevated them from run of the mill dramas to Oscar-worthy art, aided by standout performances by cast members in both films. The fact that “Moonlight” creates some societal discourse about race and sexuality does not mean it is the best movie of 2016. Hopefully, at some point, the Academy will put aside the tendency to judge Best Picture based on societal trends, and instead just choose the best movie of the year. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Paul Scheer Needs A New Podcast Co-Host For ‘Unspooled’
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    This podcast should be fantastic. The premise of a charismatic comedian experiencing many of these treasured movies for the first time held promise.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • ‘Tolkien’ Distorts And Flattens J.R.R. Tolkien’s Incredible Life Story
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Why bother with people from another time if we have to always reduce them to boring, conventional people of our own times?
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • How The Oscars Can Find Their Way Out Of The Identity Politics Wilderness
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    It’s a time for the Oscars to celebrate stories that challenge us to be the best we can be and give us heroes to emulate.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Hollywood Punishes VidAngel For Cleaning Up Their Smut
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    On June 17, VidAngel was handed a $62 million bill, payable to Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. While the company appeals, let’s puzzle over what Disney could possibly do with more control and money.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Mark Steyn4
Fox News



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Voyage to Disaster
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    We have a cornucopia of entertainment for you this weekend at SteynOnline. Later tonight we'll be presenting our Mother's Day audio special. Also among our audio extravaganzas to mark the first anniversary of The Mark Steyn Club is a selection of
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Silent Star
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    It's pre-Oscar night at SteynOnline. I've reviewed three of this year's big contenders - Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. But from the Sunday Telegraph corner of the Steyn archives here's my profile from a few years
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Polytechnique
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Last Wednesday marked the 28th anniversary of the "Montreal Massacre", when fourteen female students at the École Polytechnique were murdered by a man known to posterity as "Marc Lépine". Much followed from that terrible slaughter, including various "gun
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Flower Arranger
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    "Nobody comes out of the theatre whistling the sets," the great Broadway composer Jule Styne said to me many years ago. And that goes treble if it's a movie theater. And yet the visual appearance of a film is vital to its success: If the room doesn't
    ...
    (Review Source)

Plugged In3
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ClearPlay Streaming: The Reason My Film Editing Days Are Over
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    When my kids were growing up, my wife and I were not only intentional about what movies they watched, I found myself going to some bizarre extremes to follow through on that intentionality. For instance, my daughter asked about seeing the movie Titanic when she was in middle school. With its nudity and two sex scenes, there was no way this DiCaprio/Winslet film was going to play on our boxy television set. Or at least not without some editing. So, I set about a rather primitive process of doctoring the VHS (remember those?!) copy we owned. Here’s what I did. First I put a piece of tape over that back-of-the cassette square hole. That allowed me to be able to record. Then, I found each offensive scene, pressed “record” and essentially taped “nothingness” for as long as I needed. Eventually I had a version of Titanic that was family-friendly. In fact, somewhere in my house I still have it if you’d like to borrow it sometime! Soon thereafter, thankfully, I discovered I no longer had to pretend I was a film editor. I became acquainted with a service called CleanFlicks that did the actual editing for concerned parents like me in a much more professional way. All I had to do was go out and buy the film, mail it to them, and they would edit it and mail it back. Suddenly (and with less hassle and lot less static), our family film world opened up significantly. Doing what I do here at Plugged In, I ran across dozens of films over the years that I found encouraging and inspiring, the types of movies I wanted my kids to see … except there were frequently content issues. For instance, I liked Cinderella Man and Sea Biscuit, but a number of misuses of our Savior’s Name in each spoiled them for me. I admit it was a bit difficult for this penny pincher to “buy” the film twice (once at the store and again to have it edited), but to protect my kids (and myself), my wife and I felt it was worth it! Well, CleanFlicks has been gone for years now due to a lawsuit and court decision revolving around copyright and resale issues. But taking over the job is a terrific film-editing service called ClearPlay. I’ve been a fan for years, and now that you know my illustrious “film-editing” background, you know why. ClearPlay doesn’t create a new copy of your movie. Instead, it orchestrates a series of digital “edit cues” that either skip over the carefully selected scenes that are offensive, or mutes foul language while you’re watching the original movie. Now, up until recently, to utilize ClearPlay, a family needed to purchase a ClearPlay DVD player and download those cues to a memory stick. While the players weren’t (and still aren’t) all that expensive and the downloading isn’t that difficult, it’s still a bit of a hurdle for some families. So, I’m happy to announce that ClearPlay has made it even easier to watch edited films with some new technological advances. Families can now stream edited films with no need to purchase a ClearPlay player. The quick version of how it works is this: You go to ClearPlay and choose a film to watch. You’re then directed to Google Play to pay a rental fee (or you can buy the movie, too, in some cases), and then back to ClearPlay to control the level of editing desired. With this method, watching an edited version of a film has reached a new level of convenience. And in collaboration with ClearPlay, Focus on the Family has seen fit to let you link directly to all that techie safeness right from the Plugged In website. On every video review page, you’ll now see ClearPlay’s “Stream Here” link. Just follow the instructions once you’re on ClearPlay’s site. Sure, there’s more involved in the process than simply streaming something in its raw form. But the extra couple of steps will be so worth it when it comes to protecting your family and teaching discernment. And it’s sure a lot easier than the Titanic steps I used to take! ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Soiled Sinema4
Soiled Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

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  • Total Eclipse
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Arthur Rimbaud was the greatest and most revolutionary poet of his time in part because unlike most artists, he was not a member of the b...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is an early prelude to what could be called a Tales from the Crypt: Motion picture saga, including Bord...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Over the years, I have compiled of mental list of must-see films that I procrastinate watching because I want to be in the right...
    ...
    (Review Source)

National Vanguard1
National Alliance



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • Allied Sinking of the German Refugee Ship Gustloff: the Worst Naval Atrocity of All Time
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The little-known stories of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the General Steuben and the Goya by John Ries FOR MANY PEOPLE, the image of a great maritime disaster calls to mind the well-known sinking of the Titanic, which went down in April 1912 after striking an iceberg, taking the lives of 1,503 men, women and…
    ...
    (Review Source)

Crosswalk2
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 5 Reasons You Should Watch Run The Race
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Zach Truett is a talented high school quarterback with college football aspirations. That’s his ticket out of his small town. It’s also the door to a better future for him and his brother, Dave.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 4 Reasons Unplanned Should Not Be Rated R
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    More than 10 years ago, the faith-based movie Facing the Giants gained national headlines due to a controversy over its PG rating. It was free publicity that helped propel it to become a box office hit.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kelly Jane Torrance4
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Costner's 'Swing Vote'
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Kevin Costner is an old-fashioned movie star. He's an Oscar-winning director and a financier-producer, too. He's also a plain ol' movie lover. Published August 1, 2008

    ...
    (Review Source)

Steve Sailer1
Taki Mag



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • What’s Your Type?
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Four LAPD squad cars pulled up in front of my house, lights flashing. Why? It turned out that the middle-aged divorced dad who had recently rented the house down the block had misplaced his keys and tried to break in through his window. A neighbor who hadn’t met the newcomer saw him and called in […]
    ...
    (Review Source)

John Hanlon1
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 9 Movies I Can’t Wait to See: April 2012:
    (”Titanic” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    It’s hard to argue that March 2012 belonged to any movie other than The Hunger Games. March had its share of disappointments and successes but The Hunger Games really won the month, pill both critically and commercially. Breaking box office records, doctor it could be...
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)


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