New Chomsky interview: the environment

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There’s a good interview published in Jacobin, where Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian talk. Here’s a short snippet on Chomsky’s view on the environment in the near future. Read the entire interview here.

There are a couple of questions I want to close with, actually from our latest book, Power Systems. I ask you, “You’ve got grandchildren. What kind of world do you see them inheriting?”

The world that we’re creating for our grandchildren is grim. The major concern ought to be the one that was brought up in New York at the September 21 march. A couple hundred thousand people marched in New York calling for some serious action on global warming.

This is no joke. This is the first time in the history of the human species that we have to make decisions which will determine whether there will be decent survival for our grandchildren. That’s never happened before. Already we have made decisions which are wiping out species around the world at a phenomenal level.

The level of species destruction in the world today is about at the level of sixty-five million years ago, when a huge asteroid hit the earth and had horrifying ecological effects. It ended the age of the dinosaurs; they were wiped out. It kind of left a little opening for small mammals, who began to develop, and ultimately us. The same thing is happening now, except that we’re the asteroid. What we’re doing to the environment is already creating conditions like those of sixty-five million years ago. Human civilization is tottering at the edge of this. The picture doesn’t look pretty.

So September 21, the day of the march, which was a very positive development, an indication that you can do things, it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’re going to wipe everything out, that same day one of the major international monitoring scientific agencies presented the data on greenhouse emissions for the latest year on record, 2013. They reached record levels: they went up over 2 percent beyond the preceding year. For the US they went up even higher, almost 3 percent.

The Journal of the American Medical Association came out with a study the same day looking at the number of super hot days that are predicted for New York over the next couple of decades, super hot meaning over ninety. They predicted it will triple for New York, and much worse effects farther south. This is all going along with predicted sea-level rise, which is going to put a lot of Boston under water. Let alone the Bangladesh coastal plan, where hundreds of millions of people live, will be wiped out.

All of this is imminent. And at this very moment the logic of our institutions is driving it forward. So Exxon Mobil, which is the biggest energy producer, has announced — and you can’t really criticize them for it; this is the nature of the state capitalist system, its logic — that they are going to direct all of their efforts to lifting fossil fuels, because that’s profitable. In effect, that’s exactly what they should be doing, given the institutional framework. They’re supposed to make profits. And if that wipes out the possibility of a decent life for the grandchildren, it’s not their problem.

Chevron, another big energy corporation, had a small sustainable program, mostly for PR reasons, but it was doing reasonably well, it was actually profitable. They just closed it down because fossil fuels are so much more profitable.

In the US by now there’s drilling all over the place. But there’s one place where it has been somewhat limited, federal lands. Energy lobbies are complaining bitterly that Obama has cut back access to federal lands. The Department of Interior just came out with the statistics. It’s the opposite. The oil drilling on federal lands has steadily increased under Obama. What has decreased is offshore drilling.

But that’s a reaction to the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Right after that disaster, the immediate reaction was to back off. Even the energy companies backed off from deep-sea drilling. The lobbies are just pulling these things together. If you look at the onshore drilling, it’s just going up. There are very few brakes on this. These tendencies are pretty dangerous, and you can predict what kind of world there will be for your grandchildren.

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Movies I've watched recently:

  • Insomnia (1997) - IMDb 7/10

    2015-02-15 21:43
    * * * * * * *

    Quite exciting at times paired with a slow pace in every way, this film shows a Swedish detective coming to Norway, trying to solve a murder. The detective is unable to sleep, which is dealt with in an interesting way: is what the detective sees reliable or not, as the film progresses? At times it feels a bit slow, but mostly, I think it works. It's a far cry from stressed-out films at any point, and kept me interested throughout.

    0.3
  • The Imitation Game (2014) - IMDb 6/10

    2015-02-14 13:41
    * * * * * *

    A quite nice little film, although too packaged for Hollywood, for my taste; still, it's nicely wrapped up. Quite in the vein of "A Beautiful Mind", it follows the genius mind of Alan Turing as he searches to break the Enigma cipher, i.e. the code machine used by the nazis during WW2. It bounces between Turing's aspergeroid personality, his growing up, his intolerable self, his homosexuality and back, where he faces obstacles, success and, ultimately, death. The obvious irony: he worked to save people from death, but was himself condemned to it, and posthumously "saved" by the UK monarchy, which is a farce and condemnable by itself. All in all: entertaining, and well made.

    0.3
  • American Sniper (2014) - IMDb 1/10

    2015-02-09 21:20
    *

    The long review is here: http://niklasblog.com/?p=17093

    0.3
  • Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake (2015) - IMDb 9/10

    2015-02-07 15:19
    * * * * * * * * *

    This is one of the most radiant documentaries that I've seen in years. It deals with how Afghanistan was built-up by a US company in the 1950s, where dams were implemented in order to modernise the entire country. Loads of money was pumped in, but to little avail. The dams didn't work apart from generating insane levels of salt, that only allowed poppies to grow. And that's how the opium and heroin started flowing. Anyway, from the get-go, the documentary shows reality, and - lo and behold - treats the viewer as a thinking being. I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the start of the documentary, but it's literally plastered with images from reality, and far from only shot by the film makers. The viewer is served a metaphor of Tarkovsky's "Solaris", where the protagonist - spoiler alert! - at the end of the movie no longer knows what to trust. Spoiler off! Anyway, thanks to imagery like this, we know what to know: the banks, the corporations, the governments have created the mess that Afghanistan is currently left in, a state of near-anarchy and corruption, due to its "liberators", who rather are its captors and the reason to why organisations such as IS and cliques like al-Quaida exist. See this. It's eye-opening and commendable. It breathes and lives humanity.

    0.3
  • Foxcatcher (2014) - IMDb 8/10

    2015-01-31 21:54
    * * * * * * * *

    One can tell that Dan Futterman - who wrote "Capote" - has been here. The film breathes where it could have been cramped by excess dialogue or soundtrack, but instead, one gets a seldom seen insight into the head of a wrestler - played by Channing Tatum - who otherwise could have been portrayed as a thick slab of concrete, not to mention his coach - played by Steve Carrell - a rich man who tries to solve his problems (seemingly all based around his will to impress his mother) by throwing money at them. This is a deeply human and somewhat scary film that allows the viewer to make its own mind up. The components really blend to make this film work, and it's very well written, directed, acted and shot. The photography alone makes this film worth watching, but the script brings this to such heights. See it!

    0.3

Review: Kati Marton – “Wallenberg” (the Centennary Edition)

Wallenberg
Wallenberg, Centennary Edition by Kati Marton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book that succeeds in ambition, but fails in depth; while it is plainly and succinctly written, I feel it would have increased in rating if the style were more personal; here, there are a lot of anecdotes, of which a lot are smarmy, yet interesting; it’s a bit “Schindler’s List” which goes to serve memory and what the Holocaust was about, on a human level, but this is really not for historians, neither for people looking for an in-depth version of the Raoul Wallenberg story.

The story kicks off in a good way, where Raoul’s relatives are concerned (bar his mother):

The Wallenberg who is best known and most admired in this family of remarkable characters is one who was never fully accepted into their ranks. Raoul Wallenberg did not have the total support of his powerful relatives in his early professional struggles. More tragically, the Wallenbergs failed to play a vital, positive role in the life of their cousin, the Soviet captive. They have done precious little to win his freedom.

[…]

When, in 1947, President Harry Truman offered Marcus Wallenberg his personal help in extricating Raoul from Soviet custody, the elder Wallenberg thanked the American but declined the offer. “Raoul,” he told Truman, “is probably dead by now.”

Raoul Wallenberg was on his own, clearly. A man from a very wealthy family in Sweden, he kissed his riches and former life goodbye in order to try and help people whose fate he learned more and more about. And, as such, he cajoled, lied, begged, forced his way, stole and borrowed as much as possible to get somewhere.

But his life is not without critique. For example, even though he saved many thousands of lives through his great, unselfish actions, he saved the young and at times discarded people due to feeling unable to help them. Hence, yes, he was a human being. Hagiographies suck.

The pace between how Wallenberged lived and worked and how Adolf Eichmann was, worked well:

Eichmann invited the Jewish Council of Budapest to his headquarters. He faced eight frightened old men—bankers, lawyers and industrialists who had been stripped overnight of whatever position they had still retained in Hungarian society. They were now beggars. Eichmann made an attempt at humor. “You know who I am, don’t you? I am the one known as the bloodhound!” He roared with laughter, but it was not picked up by anyone else in the ornate lobby of the Majestic. He tried another approach. With his narrow, angular face, which was itself a broken promise, he leaned toward his “guests” and in low, confidential tones reassured them that all new measures would be temporary: “When the war is over, you can go back to your normal lives. Help me, and you can avoid a lot of trouble.” He told the old men what they wanted to hear: “I am a reasonable man. Trust me, and keep your people calm.” It was all very genial, very lulling. They were to print their own newspaper, but it had to be drafted first in German, for the SS censors. Actually the paper, like the Jewish Council he had just summoned, was to be a vital link between the death squad and its quarry.

He had humor:

Humor, the mainstay of Budapest life, second only to paprika as the national staple, thrived. The riddle that was making the rounds was: “What is the difference between Hitler and Chamberlain? Answer: Chamberlain takes his weekend in the country. Hitler takes his country in the weekend.” And so he did. One early spring Sunday, when the chestnut and plane trees on Margit Island were starting to show off their first greenery, the Reich’s army marched in and the music died.

Tales from the lives of people in Hungary are strewn throughout the book, to show how people’s lives changed from bad to worse.

How explicitly the Jews observed the new instructions presented them each day is described in the diary of a thirteen-year-old girl. Eva Heyman had an adolescent’s passion for recording her own reactions to the days’ events. She and her family of middle-class Jews lived in Nagyvarad, near the Hungarian-Rumanian border. March 31 Today an order was issued that from now on Jews had to wear a yellow star-shaped patch… . When Grandma heard this she started acting up again and we called the doctor. He gave her an injection and she is asleep now. Agi [Eva’s mother] again wanted to telephone the doctor but couldn’t. Then Grandpa told her that the telephones had been taken away from the Jews… . They also take the shops away from the Jews. I don’t know who will feed the children if the grownups aren’t allowed to work… . April 20 … Today they took all our appliances away from us: the sewing machine, the radio, the telephone, the vacuum cleaner, the electric fryer and my camera… . Agi said we should be happy they’re taking things and not people. But very soon the gendarmes ran out of “things” to take away. Then they took people. The thirteen-year-old continued to fill in her diary from the ghetto. May 10 Every time I think: this is the end, things couldn’t possibly get worse, and then I find out that it’s always possible for everything to get worse and even much, much worse. Until now, we had food, and now there won’t be anything to eat. At least we were able to walk around inside the ghetto, and now we won’t even be able to leave our house. May 14 … We can’t look out the window because even for that we can be killed. … May 18 … I couldn’t sleep so I overheard the adults talking … They said that the people aren’t only beaten but also get electric shocks … The gendarmes don’t believe that the Jews don’t have anything left of their valuables. For example, we deposited Grandma’s jewelry for safekeeping with Juszti, that’s true. Agi said people are brought to the hospital bleeding at the mouth and ears and some of them also with teeth missing and the soles of their feet swollen so they can’t stand. … In the ghetto pharmacy there is enough poison and Grandpa gives poison to the older people who ask for it. Grandpa also said it would be better if he took cyanide and also gave some to Grandma. … The gendarmes finally came for Eva Heyman and her family on June 2, 1944. At Auschwitz she was allowed to live for four months before she was sent to the gas chamber on October 17. Her diary was kept by the family’s Christian housekeeper.

I shan’t “spoil the ending”, but as a Swede – which I am, born and braised – I know that both the Swedish government and the Wallenberg family hasn’t exactly tried to pry information from Soviet fingers, to know what happened to Raoul; we know the Soviets claim he died in 1947, which buckets of people contradict. Mostly, these persons are former prisoners who have met and/or communicated with Raoul Wallenberg. There are indications that he lived well in the late 1960s, which means he lived for at least 20 years after the war ended.

All in all: interesting and well-written, but could have gone far deeper.

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Review: Ric Rawlins – “Rise of The Super Furry Animals”

Rise of the SFA
Rise of The Super Furry Animals by Ric Rawlins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quote from the start:

Within weeks, CB was more popular than ET. As soon as night descended on the valleys, entire networks of teenagers began transmitting messages to one another, using codenames to protect their identities from the police. The police, meanwhile, would be stationed on the other end of town, listening in from their vans. As far as they could fathom, an underground criminal network had come to town; it would be some weeks before they realised it was just a bunch of kids. Meanwhile, the codenames grew ever more mysterious: Gruff became known as ‘Goblin’, while the weediest kid in school renamed himself ‘The Black Stallion’. It was communication chaos – a kind of primitive social network – and the more it continued, the more an interesting side effect emerged: since all the coded language had been inspired by truckers in American movies, a weird hybrid language began to develop that was part Hollywood bandit-speak, part Welsh tongue.

This is one excerpt from how the Furries worked, and how they allowed shoots and outbursts of inspiration to guide them, and their creative process.

This story is not really rambunctious, neither in disarray; SFA was – and is – a group of highly clever, funny and well-tuned musicians who go where they may. Feet doused in psychedelia, their inspiration is everything and accidents, and this shows in their music. And how they’re not afraid – unlike most lock-jawed pop stars – to say what they mean, be it about the royal family, corporations or very large animals.

At the Super Furries’ next London gig, at the Monarch in Camden Town, it wasn’t journalists that made up the audience, it was publishers, record labels, fans – and McGee. ‘Nice work, lads,’ he said after the show, patting Gruff warmly on the back, ‘but you might want to try singing in English next time!’ Gruff laughed nervously, keeping it to himself that they had in fact sung in English throughout.

SFA’s final EP for Ankst demonstrated a combination of pop flair and cheeky mischief. The title Moog Droog is a knowingly anglicised subversion of the Welsh slang for marijuana (‘mwg drwg’, meaning ‘bad smoke’), as well as a nod to Moog synthesisers and the dystopian ‘droogs’ in the film A Clockwork Orange.

And they drew inspiration from everywhere:

Another new instrument, the balalaika, would not. It had been decided that the Russian folk instrument would match the desolate atmosphere of ‘Gathering Moss’, so the band dialled up a session player from their Musician’s Union book. A Russian arrived the next day wearing a t-shirt that read ‘I LOVE AIRPLANE RUNWAYS’. Naturally enough, Guto enquired as to what this meant. ‘Well, you know those guys who protest airport expansion?’ said the man. Guto nodded. ‘I’m not one of them. I’m pro-airports.’ Suddenly there was a shout from upstairs that the lights had gone out. Then the ground-floor lights went out. Then the whole studio was plunged into darkness, leaving the Russian airport supporter in a confused panic. Guto ran upstairs to find Gruff looking out the window. There, out in the darkness of night, was a strange shower of sparks. ‘What the fuck is it?’ whispered Gruff. ‘It’s the twenty-third day of the month!’ howled Gorwel from behind a sofa. ‘We’re doomed!’ The next day it all became clear: a swan had flown into a nearby power line, exploding in the process and shutting down Rockfield’s electricity. Naturally the beast had croaked – but it was commemorated for posterity the next day in a song called ‘Fuzzy Birds’. It was the strange duality of the songs they were recording – that were both simple and twisted – that led to the band naming the record Fuzzy Logic. The phrase is traditionally a computing term, used to cover degrees of truth which can register anywhere between completely true and completely false – shades of grey, in other words. In the studio, fuzzy logic of a different kind was manifesting itself as the band began referencing a scrapbook of heroes and pop icons, including everyone from Bunf’s hamster Stavros and Ron Mael of Sparks, to the Welsh weathergirl Sian Lloyd and American stand-up comic Bill Hicks, whose leftist libertarianism appealed to SFA’s taste for outlaw culture.

Thankfully, there’s a lot of Pete Fowler – their main designer of all things graphic – in here:

A month later, Pete was driving through the car park of a Bethesda music festival where SFA were due to headline. It was a sunny afternoon, and he smiled as he drove. Then he hit the brakes. The car skidded. He blinked a few times and got out of the vehicle – walking carefully sideways with his head tilted towards the sky. Up there, from behind some tall trees, a fifty-foot monster was slowly moving into view: a huge red bear with demonic eyes strapped behind a Zorro mask, its polyester belly gently but powerfully breathing in the sun. The monster’s creator took a few moments to take this in – then paused for a quiet laugh. His painting had travelled further than just the album cover; it had morphed into reality. It had all started at one of John Andrews’ notorious pub meetings. ‘OK, chaps, we’ve two grand in the bank – those Oasis albums have been selling very nicely indeed – and it’s time to whip up a marketing campaign for Radiator. Let’s have a look at the cover then!’ Gruff handed John the artwork, which depicted a cartoon bear strolling through a city with a drink in his hand. The bear was looking at his reflection in a shop window, which depicted an evil version of himself, with pointed ears, lizard eyes and a skull logo on his cola cup. ‘Nice artwork … very nice!’ said John. ‘So what did you want to do with the bears again?’ ‘Well,’ said Bunf, slurping on a margarita, ‘the idea is that we have life-sized versions of the good and evil bears on stage with us, during the tour. What do you think?’ ‘I don’t see why not,’ said John, stroking his chin. ‘Perhaps they could even be inflatable balloons. Tell you what,’ he said getting up, ‘give me twenty-four hours and I’ll let you know. Now I’ve got to get out of here. Anyone else for another margarita before I go?’ * The next day, John called Furry HQ in Cardiff. ‘Good news, guys: we can afford the bears!’ Gruff held the phone away and relayed the news to the band, who let out a small cheer. John continued. ‘And in fact it was curious, because as I was talking to the inflatables company, they mentioned that it would cost exactly the same price for an eight-foot balloon as it would be for a fifty-foot balloon! Can you believe it? Naturally I told her that … er …’ John noticed that the line had gone quiet. ‘Gruff?’ There was mumbling in the background. Mumbling, followed by another small cheer. Gruff returned to the call. ‘John?’ said the singer. ‘I think we’ll take the large bears.’

…and:

The following week, the bears were hand delivered in their crates to Creation, from where the band and John Andrews excitedly took them down to Primrose Hill. Once there, a pair of jet-powered steel burners were hooked up to the first bear – the evil one with the Zorro mask – and Gruff grinned as he prepared to pull the chain that would inject life into the creature. But then, suddenly, a cry came from over the hill. ‘Wait!’ John Andrews looked up to see a junior A&R scout, apparently in some kind of panic. ‘Stop!’ he shouted, staggering towards them. ‘We just got a call from the council. They’re aware of what we’re up to and phoned to see if we’ve got a bouncy castle licence …’ John Andrews raised an eyebrow. ‘What the fuck is a bouncy castle licence?’ ‘That’s beside the point – we’ll almost certainly be arrested if we inflate without one.’ Daf, sensing a publicity blitz, clapped his hands together. ‘Even better! Pull the chain, Gruff!’ ‘Wait!’ shouted John, moving between Gruff and the chain. ‘We have to take this seriously: if you inflate that bouncy castle it could spell the end of Creation.’ The band looked at one another, suddenly aware of the gravity of the situation. After a second’s pause, Bunf quietly spoke. ‘It’s not a bouncy castle, John. It’s a bear.’ ‘I know it’s a fucking bear!’

…and on how Fowler and SFA influenced each other:

With mobile phones and Shinto deities now informing aspects of Guerrilla, it was clear that Pete Fowler was inspiring the band just as they were inspiring his artwork. The two artistic entities were close to looping into one other, especially on themes such as technology and communications. ‘Almost every picture of Pete’s at the time contained a reference to mobile phones,’ confirms Gruff, ‘so I think it was Pete’s influence that led to us picking up on those themes in Guerrilla.’

I think it’s lovely to read excerpts from a point in time when a) there were some great, mid-level record companies that endowed bands with cash and b) allowed weird things to happen, cue Mr. Alan McGee:

‘Hello, the British ambassador speaking,’ he piped up in a precise, BBC accent. ‘It’s reception, señor. There is a creative director on the phone from England. He says he wants to speak with you about the political situation.’ ‘Well, I suppose you’d better put him on.’ There was a click. ‘Hello, the British ambassador speaking.’ Brian immediately went into speech mode, explaining how he worked for a Sony-backed record label who wanted to shoot in Colombia. The video would be a celebration of their culture, promoting tourism and casting the country in a positive light. ‘But,’ he added, ‘I’ve been told there’s a civil war breaking out?’ There was a pause. ‘Just a minute, Brian,’ said the ambassador, putting down the receiver and leaning out the window. He paused, listened for a few seconds, then returned to the phone. ‘Everything looks jolly fine to me!’

Speaking of the Furries’ wonderful outlook on monarchy:

Inside, the Furries were already getting reacquainted with Colombiana, a local drink consisting of lager, rum and soda. Behind closed doors, however, a small crisis was developing in the kitchen. Several of the club staff were gathered around a TV, which appeared to be announcing news of a fatal car crash. The junior waiter suddenly yelped. The words on the screen read: ‘THE PRINCESS OF WALES HAS DIED’. Minutes later he was explaining the situation to his boss. ‘No!’ exclaimed his superior, mopping his forehead with a tissue. ‘Our guests will be inconsolable. You must announce this terrible news to them! But … make sure you do it while offering them the best cocktails known to man.’ ‘Si, señor!’ nodded the waiter. Out on the club floor, the messenger nervously approached SFA’s table. He laid down his tray of cocktails, coughed, and respectfully made the announcement. ‘Your princess is dead!’ Bunf raised an eyebrow. ‘What?’ ‘Your princess is dead!’ Daf laughed. ‘I don’t have a fucking princess, mate!’ ‘You know Diana? She die in a tunnel! Is terrible car crash.’ ‘Ah,’ said Gruff. The band patted the waiter on his back and thanked him for delivering this tragic news. Bunf then promptly bought a round of drinks for all the locals. A huge toast was proposed: ‘Death to the monarchy!’ ‘The band wouldn’t wish death on anybody,’ remembers Brian Cannon, ‘but clearly they were not only not English but also republicans, and simply didn’t give a flying fuck.’ It was decided there and then: everyone was to have a big night out in Bogotá.

All in all, the Furries did a lot of things, a lot of more things, in fact, than what the above let on, and developed far beyond a noisy psych-band. It’s the Beach Boys of the modern ages, people. Get in it.

This book is written kind of the way Jon Ronson writes, especially where “Frank” is concerned; it’s a simple read, extremely entertaining and loads of fun. And it contains a long list of translations from Welsh to English, which was a boon for me! SFA OK.

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Review: “American Sniper” (the film)

DemocracyTotalitarianism-1

If the above picture could stand up, find somebody with skin darker than the background of the sign in that picture, and/or somebody who speaks a different language than English, and start to piss on that person, well, then that would be the perfect allegory for this film, named “American Sniper“; and oh, almost forgot: then the picture would sniper-kill said person in the face.

OK, seriously though, if that picture could do all that, and avoid explaining why somebody who lives in Iraq, who’s been fucked by the US government (and other so-called “allies”) to no end, would attack US troops other than for being a complete barbarian Just Because That Person Isn’t American, that would be close to a complete and truthful allegory.

This film fails on all levels; I’m not exaggerating.

The film is about a very “successful” sniper, i.e. a person who’s killed a lot of non-Americans, and his awful day-to-day business, i.e. killing people. Don’t get me wrong! The film doesn’t deal with any problems such as “why does he kill any of those people to begin with?” or “why doesn’t the film at least try to make sense of why the US invaded Iraq to begin with, and merely accepts the premise that going into war is a-OK, and why don’t any of the negative aspects of war really come up in any way, apart from some placid and simplistic view of what could be described as PTSD at one point during the entire movie (amidst all the killings of Iraqis)? Could it be because the US loved Saddam until he started working against the US?”. It’s all gung ho and shooting, jingoism and actually just accepting, from the get-go, that killing people is a-okay, American Pie and The American Dream: shoot a guy, get paid. “I’m backing my guys”. Mm-hm. Tell that to the child you just murdered.

Non-Americans just shout and carry projectiles everywhere – until they’re killed by The Reliable Sniper – and they’re dirty and there sure are a lot of them, won’t they just stop coming? No, so let’s go ahead killing them some more. Sha-la-laah. There’s no chuckle? No joke? Oh-kay, let’s kill them some more. Sha-la-laah.

While watching the film, in my head, I heard Bill Hicks saying this:

You know we armed Iraq. I wondered about that too, you know during the Persian Gulf war those intelligence reports would come out: “Iraq: incredible weapons – incredible weapons.” How do you know that? “Uh, well…we looked at the receipts.”

There is nothing good about this film. Nothing. It’s all woo-waa-kill-wee-go-propaganda until you puke. Not much PTSD. No real remorse. This film makes “Platoon” look very scary and possibly made up; I mean, bad guys can’t win right? Oh, and don’t question what makes a bad guy bad. Or is it all black or white, really? Argh. Shoot me. I’m almost praying for the sniper to come and take me out from the misery that this clownboat film created for me. I know, I know – I should maybe not have seen it, so consider this an opportunity to vent.

See “Bitter Lake“, not that it has to do with Iraq, but it translates well into what “American Sniper” is about, even though there are some massive differences: “Bitter Lake” will treat you, the viewer, as a thinking person, and not a slack-jawed idiot who’s ready to eat anything and accept everything. Just think: in “American Sniper”, what really differentiates the murder of a child in the beginning, from the sniper not being able to murder another child later on? Sense? GOD? Evil-doers who’ve done the sniper’s head in? You shall never know, but know this: if you don’t like this film, you’re being un-American.

Bonus: every woman in the film is basically a prop. Well, women and non-American white males alike. Are you surprised? All of that, the misogyny and xenophobia is straight outta Bush; yes, both the first and the second installments.

At least Oscar should go to Sienna Miller for this film, as she made herself look completely different; that way, somebody may view her with respect in the future. Bradley Cooper should also receive some awards for oozing to the top of the Hollywood cream of the moment, despite being unable to act. I remember Dennis Pennis, who quickly interviewed Hugh Grant at one point, who said “I found your acting a little bit woody. When you made your appearence in the film ‘Sirens’, I thought someone threw a chair into the room.” Cooper is far worse. And Clint Eastwood. Don’t get me started on his woodenness.1 This film is directed by a person who should stop. Doesn’t someone in the high Hollywood echelons have the power to descend upon Eastwood and take back this film and leave it on the cutting-room floor, entirely? Well, if only capitalism didn’t reign–oh, hang on! D’ya think that’s why this film doesn’t contain any form of critical thinking at all? Y’know, what schools ought to be teachin’ us? Naw. Instead, it’s all a man and a gun. And we’re supposed to swallow it. Fuck you, Clint, and all of this muck that you rode in on, in the name of Murica.

Thursday RNC

  1. Is that a word?[back]
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