Friday, August 26, 2005

Broken Flowers, Bullshit, and Social Control

Movie Review: Broken Flowers

Filmmakers like Jarmusch have an extremely limited sense of what goes on in the US. They inhabit small, incestuous, quasi-artistic circles, imagining themselves to be the most advanced of men and women. In fact, they settle for vague and pale images, an America that exists largely in their heads. They always miss the important thing, the social mainspring of American life. In Broken Flowers, frankly, the images of the New York and New Jersey towns and suburbs through which Don drives suggest in and of themselves a complexity that the film’s narrative does not. One wants to see more. At present filmmakers lag far, far behind.

Book Review: On Bullshit

On Bullshit was inspired by author Harry G. Frankfurt's concern with what he sees as an abundance of utter bullshit in our society. The book represents his attempt to explain exactly what it is and why it exists. The trouble, he says, is that the phenomenon of rampant bullshit has gone almost completely unstudied because most of us are confident that we recognize it when we hear it and so are smart enough to avoid it, which is a mistake. In my opinion, the popularity of FOX News and the (sigh) re-election of President Bush should be enough to demonstrate that perhaps even a majority of the population falls somewhere between autistic and legally retarded, remaining totally oblivious to the proliferation of bullshit from our political pundits.

National News: Our Good Friends in the CIA - Not!

This is the heavily, slickly-promoted notion that within the CIA (and FBI) are loyal, patriotic Americans (Edmonds, Scheuer, McGovern, et al) outraged by the Neocon coup. They are fighting the Neocons. They are on our side. Rubbish. This whole thing is a CIA deception.

World News: Iraqi Women Worried They Will See No Liberation

Unlike the women in Afghanistan, women in Iraq were not under radical Islamic oppression in Iraq. Now, there is a very real fear they will be.

World News: 20 Massacred in Port-au-Prince Soccer Stadium

During a soccer game on Saturday funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the US-backed interim Haitian government, hooded police and men with machetes attacked people they called "bandits." This according to Reuters.

World News: Unanswered questions about Sri Lankan foreign minister’s assassination

Based on what has been made public, there are many unanswered questions about the Kadirgamar assassination. Moreover, much of what has been leaked to the media is either dubious or has been later shown to be misleading or false.

Audio Page: The Dark Tower and the Ivory Tower Part-1-mp3 Part-2-mp3

How is it that a small group of people are allowed to decide the fate of a society and make decisions that benefit those few elite? The first part of this two hour program begins with George Draffan, co-author of Welcome to the Machine, who explains the way technology is used to manage the public. The program ends with a talk by John Taylor Gatto, a former teacher who goes into the history of education and how it plays into social control.