Category Archives: Hollywood

UPDATE II: ‘The New Hunger Games: Empty Calories’

Film, Hollywood, Intelligence, Pop-Culture

I was unable to endure more than 15 minutes of the first, much-ballyhooed Hunger Games. Much to the consternation of the company present, I muttered about obedient America in-thrall to DC warfare propaganda. Writes Steve Sailer about the next installment: “Like the Twilight series, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games young-adult novels are aimed at 12-year-old female readers. This puts the movies squarely in the intellectual wheelhouse of average Americans, a sizable fraction of whom don’t read much at all”:

… Perhaps we might eventually see a smile from Jennifer Lawrence (no relation to Francis), the Oscar-winning (Silver Linings Playbook) actress who plays the PTSD-addled heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Much of Lawrence’s star appeal to teenagers comes from being a normal-looking pretty American girl, a Homecoming-Queen-second-runner-up type. Her apple-cheeked face is distinctive mostly for her wide, well-padded cheekbones.

Since she’s only 23, everybody predicts a great career for her. But she strikes me as a girl built more for comfort than for speed, one whom Hollywood will hound to keep her weight down, with unpredictable consequences. Already, they seem to be doing something strange with her face. Lighting? Makeup? Digital manipulation in postproduction? Collagen injections? Beats me, but ever since X-Men: First Class she hasn’t looked the same as she did in her early low-budget films Winter’s Bone and The Beaver.

… Perhaps The Hunger Games works best as an allegorical critique of poor dumb Red State Americans volunteering to serve in the Capitol’s wars without even getting a cut of the Beltway’s black-budget contracts.

Thus the heroine is never tempted to side with the rich and powerful, although you can’t really credit her for that considering their taste in couture. The Capitol denizens are addicted to godawful conspicuous consumption rather than to the current status system in which you show off what esoterica you notice (how much carbon was emitted bringing your carrots to market, for instance) and all the massive facts you ostentatiously fail to notice.

Conversely, the movie’s portrayal of West Virginians is straight out of a Works Progress Administration writers’ project. The mountaineers are all hardworking coal miners. Nobody is on disability due to morbid obesity. The working class isn’t trapped in a web of invisible debt, they aren’t having their heavy industry jobs outsourced, nor are they having new populations insourced. In other words, there’s little to unsettle contemporary viewers in The Hunger Games. …

MORE.

UPDATE I (11/29): Facebook thread. I hate allegories; libertarian, left or right. They’re cumbersome, inorganic, artificial—all the more so when done by dumb Hollywood types. A movie has to present a good script and story and be well acted and well-put together. I don’t want symbolism. Stay away from politics, Hollywood. Above all, to please my tastes, it has to resemble reality. That’s the general rule, although I have been known to lose myself in “Avatar” lately. Never watched it when it came out. I think it’s b/c the actual scenario is a possibility; man destroying other civilizations and animals has happened—still does. Kerry: You are right. I deserve a medal for watching the bit of Hunger foolishness I watched.

UPDATE II: Kerry Crowel, I was a kid when Ingmar Bergman was popular in Israel. I recall trying to read subtitles and figure out the agonized themes and plots. (And fiddle the bunny rabbit TV antenna to get a picture.) A lot like a Nordic Chekhov he was. Actually, whatever he did, Bergman was way too sophisticated to compare to “Hunger Games.” More in the league of Fellini, who also delivered plots that made you forget the symbolism behind it. It wasn’t labored. You could still get absorbed in the plot. The reason I like a straightforward plot these days (then I was able to watch Bergman starring Liv Ullmann) was b/c simple is all the current crop can manage. I do like thrillers. I confess.


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Overall, Tom Cruise Is Better Than A Soldier

Celebrity, Hollywood, Military, Psychiatry, War

There, I’ve said It: Tom Cruise is selling himself short by jokingly comparing his action-hero movie stunts to being “deployed overseas in Afghanistan.” The moron media is hyperventilating over Cruise’s alleged sacrilegious comment.

I’ve been meaning to come to the defense of the iconoclastic, embattled actor yet again.

Fact: Tom Cruise has created real value for all those hundreds of millions of film fans who’ve consumed his products over the decades. He makes movies people enjoy and want to see. He’s an industry unto himself.

Cruise makes peace, not war. He generates wealth; he doesn’t consume the wealth of taxpayers. He creates a product, rather than wreck property not his.

Enough aid.

American masses and media can’t stand a non-conformist. The actor’s heroic stand against the “psychiatric peanut gallery” drew vitriol, but failed to dampen America’s enthusiasm for Cruise’s product.

Cruise, you should know, is a principled devotee of the late (great) anti-psychiatry thinker, Thomas S. Szasz.


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Stand-Up Guys Jay & Jeselnik

Barack Obama, Hollywood, Propaganda, Socialism

Those who don’t follow late-night TV (check) fail to understand why the nitwork that employs comedian and late-night host Jay Leno is threatening to retire or fire him. Whenever I catch a glimpse of Leno, he’s on fire. Always is. Alas, I was unaware that even American comedy has been tainted by the left-liberal politics of its purveyors. Jay does what American journalists ought to try: skewer everyone that needs it.

At the 2010 annual “Sycophant’s Supper,” Leno’s brutal barbs were met with silent disapproval:

“President Obama loves to socialize — health care, car companies”, or that ”he has the most diverse staff at the White House. They represent every ward in Chicago.”

Breitbart’s Big Hollywood reported (back in May of 2013; shows you how up to date I am about this stuff) that, “It’s too late for Leno to save his job, which will fall to Obama sycophant Jimmy Fallon next year.”

Fallon? That feminized fool? People watch him? Apparently so.

I’m surprised the comedy community has not yet banished Anthony Jeselnik, my favorite stand-up satirist. He’s easy on the eye too.

Although politics isn’t really his schtick, I hope Jeselnik “stands up” and fills the Leno gap with a smattering of Obama material. If Jeselnik can do rape and Holocaust jokes, why not Obama jokes? Is the leap so huge?

CC:Stand-Up
Get More: Jokes,Jokes of the Day,Funny Jokes


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‘Rock Star Preaches Capitalism,’ Or, Rather, Emerges From Retardation

Capitalism, Celebrity, Foreign Aid, Hollywood, Intelligence

Bono, a chap who fronts a three-chord band of unimpressive droners, has emerged from retardation to preach capitalism.

Said BONO (via EPJ): “Commerce—entrepreneurial capitalism—takes more people out of poverty than aid, of course.”

Free-market capitalism, baby.

This was not always the case. Read “BONO AND HIS BAND OF BANDITS” and “FOREIGN AIDS,” which tells how Bono joined professional confiscators and colossi of ignorance like the Clintons to “claim that human misfortune is a result of external contingencies that can be fixed by social planners like themselves. They hammered home the wicked lie that the wealthy—individuals and nations—thrive at the expense of the poor and essentially deserve to be relieved of their possessions.”

In the not-so-distant past Bono used to point “an accusing—and untalented—finger at the West [for AIDS in Africa]. At the same time, the self-righteous activist used to reserve only praise for Africans for being a ‘rare and spirited people,’ concealing that if the spirit didn’t move them in some pretty wild ways, rates of infection in Southern Africa would not have reached 20 to 33.7 percent of the adult population.”

Now that Bono has emerged from a coma, he should brief that bimbo Charlize Theron, who just the other day complained about her adopted country’s abysmal contribution to foreign aid coffers. In fact, America’s generosity in response to “disasters all over the world makes USAID and other ‘compassionate’ state pickpockets as unnecessary as they are unethical.”

MORE.

U2′s Bono Speaks at GU Global Social Enterprise Event from Values & Capitalism on Vimeo.


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Self-Mutilation In Pursuit Of Certainty

Celebrity, Healthcare, Hollywood, Intellectual Property Rights, Pseudoscience, Science

Angelina Jolie tells of undergoing a radical procedure, a “preventive double mastectomy,” to remove all her healthy breast tissue, so as to mitigate against the possibility of future disease. Jolie carries the “‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases [the] risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.” She writes:

My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer …

In response to an earlier spate of such surgeries, Karen de Coster spoke out against “Big Pharma and a medical establishment that has … [built up] a tremendous level of hysteria that has people lining up for quick solutions to complex problems that have yet to materialize.”

Karen recommended “following the money trail”:

… this has nothing to do with a noble choice between life and “beauty.” Allyn, like so many other women, was frightened into this procedure by the medical establishment that has so much to gain from these costly interventions that insurance companies agree to cover. Yet, try getting your insurance company to cover $500 worth of acupuncture or non-standard physical therapy. The government’s cancer institute gently promotes this procedure, as well as the satellites of Big Cancer.

And back in 2009, Karen panned the “truly sick development of the modern medical state. Women who are told they are at-risk for breast cancer choose major, invasive surgery, based on these risk conclusions, when they are perfectly healthy”:

Cancer organizations recommend genetic counseling before and after the test, produced by Utah-based Myriad Genetics. During the past 13 years, the company has tested thousands of blood samples, and revenues have grown 50 percent in the last year, though the company declined to reveal details about the number of tests taken each year.
Myriad is the sole source of the test, for which it holds a gene patent — a controversial issue that is being challenged in federal court in New York by numerous medical groups, including the American Medical Association, which argue that granting a patent for a part of the human body impedes research and treatment.
So there is one company that can conduct the test, and it holds a patent to keep out competition?

These are poignant questions.


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‘Mad Men’ Go Mad Over MLK

History, Hollywood, Media, Propaganda, Pseudo-history, Race, Racism

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 from 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.


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