Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shirley bassey n' the muppets, c. 1980:

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Adios to the American dream"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the "FKN news" vs. Oliver Stone

from Elbert Ventura, Slate, "Why Hollywood Keeps Insisting That Bush Is Lovable":

The general intent of these depictions has been to cut Bush down to size, but there's an argument to be made that pop culture has not been up to the task of representing this president's momentous tenure. Our image of Bush via the movies has been stunted—he's a goofball, a bumbler, an amiable frat boy. In the days before 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina, that irreverent caricature may have sufficed. But just this summer we were subjected to the sight of Harold and Kumar toking up giddily with W.—this from a movie with the word Guantanamo in its title. As the weight of his eight years becomes fully felt in the slumping present, the question needs to be asked: Is Bush the buffoon the best Hollywood can do?

I must admit I haven't seen "W." Nevertheless, the ads on tv for it and the snippets on Slate and elsewhere make it look like it's pretty dreadful, like a film that was made by somebody who wouldn't allow the director of Natural Born Killers on the set.

I'm reminded a little of the SNL sketches with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and their supposedly eviscerating take on politics, in which overly broad smiles are supposed to indicate insincerity and, in recognizing this, we're supposed to admire their daring and roll on the floor with hyperventilating glee. I suppose the reason US popular culture has failed, thus far, to really take on the GWB era with satirical teeth is because such satire would have to address our collective complicity.

Anyway, somewhat coincidentally, I also chanced upon Deek Jackson and the (not-worksafe) FKN News recently, which in its coarse, overbroad way is a nice corrective to lame old Oliver Stone and his huggable George, jnr:



correction: Deek, not Derek.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus day 2008

library of congress

Undoubtedly you've heard people say, "I don't know much about [thing x], but I know what I like." Well, I like art, and I know essentially nothing about it. Why was Jackson Pollock's splattering valuable, and your two year old cousin Jeff's splattering a thing to be outgrown and simply lamentable? I dunno.

All the same, I suspect, in my untutored way, that this lithograph is visual doggerel. I think it might be famous, and of course I could be dead wrong, at least about the critical rep of the original. Nevertheless, I felt sufficiently bold to draw a nice little yellow arrow on the middle-right side of the panel to show you a Pre-Columbian Native, so you'd notice him, lurking behind the fern.

Why is he there? Does the artist want us to see the Native Indian Indigenous guy as ominous, representing a threat to Columbus?

Or maybe we're supposed to see the Indigenous Guy as fearful, knowing his place and conveniently staying out of the picture.

I'm tempted to say that a psychoanalytical view would say that the artist wants to banish all thought of Indigenous Guy's presence, but nevertheless feels a compulsion, perhaps out of unresolved guilt, to represent our friend Indigenous Guy. (Such a view might also note in passing my childishness in drawing the arrow.) But then, psychoanalysis is yet another field I know nothing about, so I really shouldn't say this...

[here's a larger view.]

cross-posted at "Dead Horse"

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sarah, the witch-hunter, and you

I don't give a damn who "won" tonight's debate between Biden and Palin. It's hard enough giving a damn who wins the presidency. I used to think that at the very least, federal court appointees still mattered, even if everything else a President Obama might do was likely to be GOP-lite. I still think Roe-v.-Wade matters, but it disgusts me to think the democrats are dangling this before us as a sort of blackmail, as in "what else are you gonna do? vote for the speaking-in-tongues party?"

To be honest, I had no stomach for watching the whole debate. Even though the mind-numbingly irrelevant conversation they had about tax cuts certainly suggested, at least to me, that they didn't really take the apparent pending implosion of the economy seriously, maybe they gave this some lip service at another point, either before or after I was tuned in.

"Palin's appeal to the average American voter should NOT be under-estimated. Most American voters + non voters alike, are either uninformed or mis-informed when it comes to their own interests, let alone foreign policy issues. Most people make their choices based on emotional appeals alone, with logic or reason playing a very minor role. Last minute appeals to the emotions are thus extremely effective as campaign strategies. All politicians employ lies and obfuscation, it is a pre-requisite of sorts. But some lies turn out be bigger than others. The McCain/Palin ticket is NOT good for the people or the world. Our other choices are not much better, but this ticket MUST [be] defeated. Palin is pro-corporate on the domestic front, ALL THE WAY. Her religious views, for 22 years, are extreme and completely nuts. She NOT pro-average American. She lives in a mansion, tax free, while spouting off 'anti- elite' sentiments, when it is politically convenient for her. She does not believe in science (only when it comes to oil), and she believes the earth is 6000 years old. Do you want this woman to have the nuclear launch codes someday? Bringing about Armageddon, which her religion FAVORS?"- ella2007k

cross-posted at Dead Horse

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