Category Archives: Culture

NEW COLUMN: Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ At 20 — Still Overrated Snoozer

Art, Celebrity, Culture, Film, Sex

In “Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ At 20,” I revisit my original review of the classic cult film and come to that same conclusion, it’s an Still Overrated Snoozer. The column, “Was Kubrick’s Iconic ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Ever Sexy?,” can be read on WND, Townhall.com Entertainment, and on The Unz Review, which now surpasses The New Republic and The Nation in traffic.

Excerpt:

Stanley Kubrick’s last film, “Eyes Wide Shut,” turned 20. I had reviewed it for a Canadian newspaper, on August 9, 1999, and found it not only pretentious and overrated, but quite a snooze.

This flick is the last in a series of stylized personal projects for which the director became known. Given the mystique Kubrick acquired or cultivated, this posthumous flop is unlikely to damage the legend.

For all the film’s textured detail, its yarn is threadbare and its subtext replete with clumsy symbolism. The screenplay consists of labored, repetitive and truncated dialogue, where every exchange involves protracted, pregnant stares and furrowed brows. “I am a doctor,” is Tom Cruise’s stock-in-trade phrase. An obscure, campy, hotel desk clerk delivers the only sterling performance. This is cold comfort considering the viewer is stuck with over two hours of Tom Cruise’s halfhearted libidinous quests.

“Eyes” is really a conventional morality play during which Cruise prowls the streets of New York in his seldom-removed undertaker’s overcoat, in search of relief for his sexual jealousy. Cruise’s jealousy is aroused by a fantasy his wife—played by then real-life wife Nicole Kidman—relays in a moment of spite, and involves her sexual desire for a naval officer she glimpsed while on holiday with their family. So strong was her passion, she tells Tom, that she would have abandoned all for this stranger.

The confession follows a society party the couple attends in which they both flirt unabashedly with others. Again, the sum total of the dialogue here consists in back-slapping guffaw-inducing genuflection to doctorness. We are treated to a grating peek at Kubrick’s view of the professional pecking order, a view which is reinforced when Cruise makes one of his house calls to a patient whose father has just died. The woman, body writhing like that of a snake in coitus—is this method acting?—throws herself at Cruise. Sex and death commingle in one of the many larded, symbolic moments in the film. The woman’s fiancé, the geek math professor, is depicted as a lesser mortal than the handsome doctor. ….

 

… READ THE REST. The column, “Was Kubrick’s Iconic ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Ever Sexy?,” can be read on WND, Townhall.com Entertainment, and on The Unz Review.

* Image courtesy E-Online.

Indian-Americans: Tribal, Politically Aggressive, Reliably Leftist

Business, Culture, Democrats, Globalism, IMMIGRATION, Left-Liberalism, Multiculturalism

Kamala Harris’ mother migrated to California from Chennai, in southern India. But the senator “rarely mentions the Indian side of her family while campaigning.” I wonder why?

They’re a relatively new addition to the country’s state-planned multicultural mosaic. Most Indian-Americans have “arrived in America over the past two decades.” But they are highly aggressive politically and leftist.

Thanks to chain migration, the number of highly aggressive leftists will be increasing exponentially (well, almost).

Could Indian-Americans really grow into a significant political force? Their numbers look too puny to matter as a national voting bloc. Devesh Kapur, at Johns Hopkins University, estimates that only 1m voters of Indian descent are politically active. That number could double within two decades through immigration, more naturalisations and as children age. …

Most are reliably Democrats—77% of Indian-Americans backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, for example—who cluster in partisan strongholds such as California, New York and Illinois. …

… Capitol Hill, for example, is crammed with staff and interns of Indian-American heritage. They also appear to be “over-represented” in academia, the media and other influential posts. He talks of the growing significance of informal networks, as well-connected Indian-Americans find jobs for each other’s offspring. Ms Jayapal also points to the prevalence of skilled Indian-Americans (perhaps subsidised in their first jobs by well-off parents) who work as assistants to senators and representatives in Washington.

What the gentleman interviewed means—and as many in the corporate world know all too well—ONCE an individual of South-Asian descent gets into a position of power, he hires others of the same persuasion.

Anglo-Americans, on the other hand, hire by talent, not by tribe.

In the image attached, Microsoft employees cheer on the India Cricket team.

MORE: “To Washington, via Chennai: The Rising Clout of Indian-Americans.

First, India Locks Up Suspected Foreigners, Then, Asks Citizenship Question

Culture, IMMIGRATION, Race, Racism

“Indians are the second largest group among Asians in the U.S. “Among U.S. immigrants, Indians are the third largest group” after Mexico and China.

Other than that they are better than you; that they come from a rich, ancient civilization, and are really impressive people—educationally, spiritually and cuisine-wise—you aren’t really told much about East Indians. Or, people from India, a country in South Asia.

If you want to be a fusspot—one of those angels that dances on the head of a pin—there is that minor thing Indians practice. “Social stratification based on caste,” as this bit of barbarism is politely termed. But don’t let trivia mar the fantasy cultivated by the immigration-industrial-complex.

While The Economist would never encourage its readers to link immigration policy preferences to the cultural proclivities of the candidates—the liberal magazine does, at least, report on the things Indians do (while calling Americans racists).

From “India’s Hunt For Foreigners“:

Since 2016 this hilly tea-growing state [of Assam] in India’s north-eastern corner has been compiling a National Register of Citizens (NRC). Billed as a scientific method for sorting pukka Indians from a suspected mass of unwanted Bangladeshi intruders, the seemingly banal administrative procedure has instead encoiled millions of people in a cruelly absurdist game.

Rather than find and prosecute illegal immigrants, [the state of] Assam has instead tasked its 33m people, many of them poor and illiterate, with proving to bureaucrats that they deserve citizenship. Those who fail risk being locked up. Some 1,000 people currently moulder in Assam’s six existing detention centres for “foreigners”. The Indian public has lately been shocked by stories of people, such as a decorated war hero and a 59-year-old widow, who have found themselves jailed for failing to prove their Indian-ness. But the state of Assam is clearly expecting a lot more to come. Ten purpose-built camps are planned.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

The TV Tarts’ Reign of Terror

Critique, Culture, Donald Trump, Feminism, Gender, Intelligence, Media

NEW COLUMN is “The TV Tarts’ Reign of Terror.” It’s exclusive to The Agonist.

Excerpt:

The particular CNN segment I was watching concerned Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. It was meant to help terminate the controversial anchor’s career. I recognized the sourpuss, dressed in marigold yellow, who was presiding over the seek-and-destroy mission, targeting the ultra-conservative Mr. Carlson. She was no other than Poppy Harlow.

“TV’s empaneled witches and their housebroken, domesticated boys are guided more by the spirit of Madame Defarge than by Lady Justice.”

It transpires that years back, Carlson had routinely called into a Howard-Stern-like shock-jock radio show and made naughty comments, some about women. Women were “extremely primitive,” he had quipped. Yet to watch the countless, indistinguishable, ruthless, atavistic women empaneled on CNN, MSNBC, even Fox News—one cannot but agree as to the nature and caliber of the women privileged and elevated in our democracy, and by mass society, in general.

They are certainly not women with the intellect and wit of Margot Asquith—countess of Oxford, author and socialite (1864-1945). Would that women like Mrs. Asquith were permitted to put lesser “ladies” like CNN’s Ms. Harlow in their proper place!

When asked by American actress Jean Harlow how she pronounces her first name, Margot Asquith shot back, “The ‘t’ is silent, as in Harlow.” Naturally, you’d have to have a facility with the English language to know what a “harlot” is. You’d certainly need an education, as opposed to a degree, to recognize the next character referenced.

TV’s empaneled witches and their housebroken, domesticated boys are guided more by the spirit of Madame Defarge than by Lady Justice. If parents saw to it that children got an education, not merely a degree, the brats would know who Madam Defarge was. But our uneducated ignoramuses no longer seek out the greatest literature ever. This is because most of the best books were penned by the pale, patriarchal penile people. Given this self-inflicted ignorance, few younger readers will know this most loathsome of literary icons, from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens…

… READ THE REST.  The TV Tarts’ Reign of Terror” is on The Agonist.