Category Archives: America

UPDATE II: Russia And The Pussy Riot Press (Pussy Rioting Again)

America, Feminism, Journalism, Left-Liberalism, Media, Russia

“Very little of the US media’s reflexive demonization of Russia and the Sochi games should be trusted,” we cautioned, on Feb. 8. “The trashing began well before the games and came from the usual menagerie of media morons, who, from studios in the US, were able to attest to everything from the availability of toilet paper to the overlapping dangers of terrorism and toothpaste.”

Now the left wing of the “Legacy Media” has awoken to the fact of systematic bias against Russia in US media. The blanks are filled in most ably by Stephen F. Cohen, writing in the February 11, online edition of The Nation:

… a general pattern has developed. Even in the venerable New York Times and Washington Post, news reports, editorials and commentaries no longer adhere rigorously to traditional journalistic standards, often failing to provide essential facts and context; to make a clear distinction between reporting and analysis; to require at least two different political or “expert” views on major developments; or to publish opposing opinions on their op-ed pages. As a result, American media on Russia today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War. …

… Since the early 2000s, the media have followed a different leader-centric narrative, also consistent with US policy, that devalues multifaceted analysis for a relentless demonization of Putin, with little regard for facts. (Was any Soviet Communist leader after Stalin ever so personally villainized?) If Russia under Yeltsin was presented as having legitimate politics and national interests, we are now made to believe that Putin’s Russia has none at all, at home or abroad—even on its own borders, as in Ukraine.

Russia today has serious problems and many repugnant Kremlin policies. But anyone relying on mainstream American media will not find there any of their origins or influences in Yeltsin’s Russia or in provocative US policies since the 1990s—only in the “autocrat” Putin who, however authoritarian, in reality lacks such power. Nor is he credited with stabilizing a disintegrating nuclear-armed country, assisting US security pursuits from Afghanistan and Syria to Iran or even with granting amnesty, in December, to more than 1,000 jailed prisoners, including mothers of young children. …

… Not long ago, committed readers could count on The New York Review of Books for factually trustworthy alternative perspectives on important historical and contemporary subjects. But when it comes to Russia and Ukraine, the NYRB has succumbed to the general media mania. In a January 21 blog post, Amy Knight, a regular contributor and inveterate Putin-basher, warned the US government against cooperating with the Kremlin on Sochi security, even suggesting that Putin’s secret services “might have had an interest in allowing or even facilitating such attacks” as killed or wounded dozens of Russians in Volgograd in December.

Knight’s innuendo prefigured a purported report on Ukraine by Yale professor Timothy Snyder in the February 20 issue. Omissions of facts, by journalists or scholars, are no less an untruth than misstatements of fact. Snyder’s article was full of both, which are widespread in the popular media, but these are in the esteemed NYRB and by an acclaimed academic. Consider a few of Snyder’s assertions: …

MORE.

UPDATE I: In “About Russia With Hate,” Eugene Girin exposes a cast of particularly slimy US media characters prating on about Putin.

UPDATE II (2/17): PUSSY RIOTING AGAIN.The Pussy Pukes are at it again, showing the foolish fluff women are made of.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, along with seven others, were held by police near Sochi’s ferry terminal, a popular area for fans celebrating the Olympics. Police said they were questioned in connection with a theft at the hotel where they were staying. No charges were filed. …

MORE.

READ “Will The ‘Pussy Riot’ Sisterhood Storm The Sistine Chapel?”


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UPDATED: Camelot Culture Vs. Pimp Culture (Categorical Confusion)

Aesthetics, America, Art, libertarianism, Music, Pop-Culture

The truth is that Camelot in the title stands for the West; for high-culture compared to low-culture. The great music of the West vs. the sewer of sound that has replaced it and which is second nature to this president.

In any event, the leader of the country whose press snickered at Russia for its enduring affection for classical music is offering up Mary J. Blige as entertainment, at a state dinner for the French President Francois Hollande.

Being a classless act in his own right, Hollande will probably dig it.

Oh, what would Jackie O say! That most cultured, knowledgeable and bright First lady was in the habit of seeking out the likes of cellist Pablo Casals for her state dinners.

Here are some of the cultural highlights from the Camelot years. The White House might have been occupied by a statist, but by one who loved high Western culture:

1961

January 20 ”Camelot” opens in Washington as John Kennedy is sworn in as president, instructing Americans to ”ask what you can do for your country.”

January 21 Bernstein’s “Fanfare for JFK,” written for the new President, premieres at the inaugural gala with the composer conducting. Pianist Earl Wild, currently a Columbus resident, performs Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

March 9 President Kennedy sends a letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of House urging early enactment of legislation on the proposed National Cultural Center.

May 3 The Air Force Pipers and the Drum and Bugle Corps perform on the South Lawn after the first state dinner for President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia.

July 11 The Kennedys hold the first White House state dinner away from the White House, at Mt. Vernon, to honor the Pakistani President, complete with the National Symphony Orchestra playing Mozart, Debussy, Gershwin, and Morton Gould.

August 22 Jackie Kennedy sponsors the first “Concert for Young People by Young People,” performed by the Transylvania Youth Orchestra from the Brevard Music Center on the White House South Lawn.

November 13 Pablo Casals plays for a state dinner honoring Governor Luis Munoz-Marin of Puerto Rico. Broadcast nationally by NBC and ABC radio, a recording was distributed commercially by Columbia.

1962
January 19 The Kennedys fete the 80-year-old Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky, who calls the two “Nice kids.”

February 20 25-year-old black mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry makes her American debut at the White House after a state dinner.

April 29 The White House honors 49 Nobel Prize winners, prompting JFK to comment upon the “most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

May 11 André Malraux, the French Minister of Cultural Affairs, is honored at a White House dinner with entertainment by the famous Stern/Rose/Istomin Trio performing the complete 45-minute Schubert Trio in B Flat.

September 11 Mrs. Kennedy unveils Edward Durell Stone’s model for the National Cultural Center.

October 16 The President proclaims November 26 through December 2, 1962, National Cultural Center Week.

November 19 Following a tour of Latin America under President Kennedy’s Cultural Exchange Program, The Paul Winter Jazz Sextet gives the first jazz concert in the White House.

November 29 During Kennedy’s “National Culture Center Week,” a closed-circuit television broadcast airs to raise funds on behalf of the National Cultural Center.

1963
February 21 JFK broadens the scope of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to include persons who had made especially meritorious contributions from just “(1) the security or national interests of the United States or (2) world peace, to (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

June 4 The Opera Society of Washington, with Columbus’ own Clara O’Dette in the chorus, performs for the President of India.

June 12 Kennedy issues a statement establishing the Advisory Council on the Arts.

October 26 President Kennedy remarks on the importance of the arts at Amherst College.

November 13 President and Mrs. Kennedy join 1,700 children on the South Lawn for a performance by the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch of the British Army.

November 25 At the request of Mrs. Kennedy, the Marine Band led the funeral procession of President John F. Kennedy.

December 6 Cellist Pablo Casals, contralto Marian Anderson, and pianist Rudolf Serkin are given Kennedy’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, the first musicians ever recognized for this award. John and Jackie Kennedy had studied, revised, and approved the design submitted for the medal which was handed out to all 31 recipients.

UPDATE (2/12): On Categorical Confusion. I never pollute and muddy a discussion of culture with politics. That is positively postmodern. An error. (And so lite libertarian). Some readers are in the habit of causing this categorical confusion among my readers. If only they’d learn. Jackie was the quintessential Renaissance Woman. She cultivated great culture—and knew this “culture” well; she was no culture vulture. This is the focus here. This is ALL that is relevant to the discussion here.

From “Will The Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?”:

Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s envy of what he labels “’European’ achievements is palpable. Why else would he have devoted an hour to listing ‘European’ accomplishments, mocking them, and defining as difference the failure to emulate them?”

“To illustrate how African music differs from ‘European’ music, this so-and-so emitted a caterwauling which was supposed to come-off as a cantata. To emphasize the pomposity of the cantata, Wright launched into Brother musical mode, jovial and jolly. Black music was different, not deficient, to white music, said he. But Wright’s contemptuous tone and mimicry implied that the former was filled with joie de vivre, the latter just jejune.”

MORE.


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Worse Than The 2012 T & A Lineup In Bump-N’-Grind Britannia? Never!

America, Art, Russia, Sport, The West

Very little of the US media’s reflexive demonization of Russia and the Sochi games should be trusted. The trashing began well before the games and came from the usual menagerie of media morons, who, from studios in the US, were able to attest to everything from the availability of toilet paper to the overlapping dangers of terrorism and toothpaste.

Not even in my current misery would I watch the opening ceremony. However, CNN mentions—horrors!—the playing of “classical music” at the opening ceremony. What the Russians played CNN did not say. Would that the Russians played Pathétique, or even better, Violin Concerto in D by The Big T. I might have watched.

I suppose Anglo-American aging hipsters think of Tchaikovsky as a poor substitute for Jay Z.

In any event, for an assault on the ear and the eye nothing can beat the horror show put on by Bump-N’-Grind Britannia in 2012.

Among that talentless lineup of T & A (as awful as anything you’d find in our country) was one Jessie J, aka The Crotch, who did a poor man’s version of Beyonce’s God-awful bump and grind. This British primal screamer destroyed “We Will Rock You” (admittedly one of Queen’s worst numbers) and drowned out Brian May with ease. Another sequence in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics (The Idiocracy at home was charmed) saw a chorus-line of prancing nuns and “men” stomping about with garbage cans.

Then there were the fucking kids. They mimed and gesticulated to the hackneyed sounds of “Imagine.” Their affectatious performance was reminiscent of the performance “art” of the 1960s and 1970s. Passe.

More about that puke fest in Britain here.


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UPDATE II: Go Seahawks! (What Are We Doing? Winning!)

America, Drug War, History, Nationhood, Sport, The Zeitgeist

Go Seahawks! Go Richard Sherman; do whatever it is that a cornerback does. Remember: “Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws ‘ducks.’”

I probably botched that one up. What I know about American football is dangerous, other than that it originated in the game of rugby (Go Springboks).

I grew up mostly with basketball and real football—the kind Pelé played with no dog muzzle and some real hot footwork. Nevertheless, I am rooting for my home team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Why? It occurred to me that the football fetish in the US has arisen in the context of a country whose inhabitants share very little other than The Game. The host country’s history and founding documents have been turned into a liability by its educrats. The language has been dumbed down and demoted as the number of non-English-speakers clamoring for official recognition for their respective tongues rises. And the faith that once united those who fought to establish the republic has been banished from the public square and confined to the shopping mall, where adherents shop for God.

I love The Evergreen State. However, bar a few of them, I do not love its inhabitants. I share almost nothing with the pinko statists, except for the Seattle Seahawks, my adopted team.

So go Seahawks!

UPDATE I: (2/1): How could I have forgotten the other vital thing I share with residents of the Evergreen State? My bad. Drug legalization. Stop the drug war. “VICES ARE NOT CRIMES.”

UPDATE II: Anthem sung by a real singer, Renée Fleming, not by the likes of the wailing Beyonce and her booty. Gorgeous. Some real cuties on the respective teams.

We’re winning. Sharon Smith Fox is keeping score on Facebook. She writes, “Yes! and we just scored another touch town! Ilana. The score now is 29 to 0 (our favor) Go Hawks!!”


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Whitewashing-Martin-Luther-King-Jr. Day

America, Celebrity, History, Political Correctness, Propaganda, Race

“I don’t know if you had seen this,” writes EF. “Oliver Stone just quit the Martin Luther King Jr. documentary because of editorial issues. He says the King estate forced him to remove all reference to King’s marital issues as well as his late life radicalization. This reminded me of your blog about the Mad Men portrayal of King’s death.”

The reader is referring to the “Mad Men’ Go Mad Over MLK” post, which is reproduced below for the little good in can do in combating prosstitue MLK propaganda (Glenn Beck will be a mess today):

I WAS UNDER THE impression that “Mad Men” was intended as a period drama. Last night, however, the Madison Avenue advertising team, generally true-to-the-times, enacted today’s racial scripts. “Mad Men” is set in the 1960s.

(A period drama is where “elaborate costumes, sets and properties are featured in order to capture the ambiance of a particular era.”)

The backdrop to this politically correct revisionism was the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Struck by political correctness, one “Mad Man” even berates a colleague for not grieving appropriately. The annoying Megan Draper, who has begun to sound very 2013, drags the Draper kids to a nighttime vigil, as rioters rage around them. Don Draper suddenly finds love in his heart for one of his neglected waifs, when the child directs a syrupy word to a black man.

Really? A little too forced and didactic, if you ask me.

Jacqueline Kennedy, as revealed in audio recordings of her historic 1964 conversations with historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., held a low opinion of Martin Luther King. America’s most engaging first lady called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “terrible,” “tricky” and “a phony.”

“His associations with communists” is why Jacky’s husband ordered the wiretaps on King. Mrs. Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Robert Kennedy—recounts Patrick J. Buchanan in “Suicide of a Superpower”—”saw to it that the FBI carried out the order.”

I guess our Madison Avenue advertising wizards could have been to the left of Jacqueline Kennedy, but it strains credulity.

[SNIP]

As much as his own limitations—and those of that moron forum—allow, Oliver Stone took to Twitter to “explain”:

Sad news. My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won’t go with it.


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The Costs Of The Drone & Family

America, Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Media

Praag.org (where my weekly column can be read too) is a good source for unreported or underreported US news.

Item: “The Council on Foreign Relations has released its estimates on the year’s covert targeted killings in Yemen and Pakistan, carried out primarily by drones. The Council estimates a total of 3,520 casualties since the drone strike program began in 2004, of whom 457 have been civilians. …” MORE.

Item: The Obama daughters were listed as “senior staff” for “the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by First Lady Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. The passenger manifests confirm the presence of Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha on the trip. …” MORE.

Those are some of the costs to this- and other countries of The Drone and his family.


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