Trailer: Inherent Vice (2014)

InherentViceThe official trailer for P.T. Anderson’s upcoming movie Inherent Vice is out. Being a noir fanatic, I read the Thomas Pynchon novel last year and loved it.

Inherent Vice is like… well… imagine putting into a literary blender Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, the immortal Coen Brothers cult phenom The Big Lebowski (1998), Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973), Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, and… Cheech & Chong.

It’s the dreamscape of what we imagine Los Angeles once was, and might still be, somewhere — the moody noir conspiracies; the wacky excesses found in the Hollywood Hills; the stoner beach bum aesthetic.

“Was it possible, that at every gathering — concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, and freak-in, here, up north, back East, wherever — those dark crews had been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear?”

The book’s epigraph is the classic situationist slogan, “Under the paving-stones, the beach!”

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Coulter: Why Won’t GOP Make Nov a Referendum on Immigration?

Ann Coulter asks “Why Won’t The GOP Make This Election A Referendum On Immigration?

In Gallup polls in July and then again in August, Republican and Republican-leaning Independent voters chose immigration as the “biggest problem” facing the nation.

Commenting on its July poll, Gallup noted that more than twice as many Republicans as Democrats called immigration the nation’s No. 1 problem, suggesting that by “problem” they mean illegal immigration, not the failure to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.”

.In Gallup’s August poll, immigration was again voted a bigger problem among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents than either the economy or even Obamacare. It was the third “biggest problem” for Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents, after dysfunctional government and unemployment/the economy.

The magnificent Republican Tom Cotton, running for the Senate against amnesty-supporting Democrat Mark Pryor in Arkansas, says he’s gotten more questions about immigration than any other issue. He says voters keep asking: “What can we do to stop the border crisis. … What can we do to stop Obama issuing another unilateral amnesty?”

That sounds like a terrific opening for the GOP to shout: Vote Republican!

But while individual Republicans are talking like Tom Tancredo, the national GOP seems strangely reluctant to make this election a referendum on immigration. If there is a single Democrat running for office this year who isn’t forced to take a position on Obama’s coming amnesty, Republicans aren’t doing their job.

Which they aren’t. How about some national ads denouncing Obama’s executive amnesty?…

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RIP: Rabbi Hyman Krustofski

You’ll need your “How Jews View the World” translation manual to understand it fully, given its target audience of fellow Jews, but in Time magazine, James Poniewozik discusses the recent Simpsons episode where Krusty the Clown’s father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, dies (“The Simpsons Watch: Heaven, I’m in Jewish Heaven“.)

In a TV-sitcom medium that often ignores Jewish experience or writes it in as subtext, that relationship and its details were something special. And there was a brilliant absurdity to leaving Krusty with that Talmudic, torturously ambiguous “Eh”–that most malleable of Jewish judgments–leaving Krusty to decide, on his own, whether his life has been worth it.

What does the “Eh” mean? Over time–with the help of a whiskey funnel, a dream sequence and a comedy rabbi–Krusty finds an answer: that his father really approved of him, even if he could never express it. It’s an answer; it’s not the answer, which Krusty will never get any more than the rest of us will…

And as for you, Rabbi Krustovski, we’ll see you in non-existent Jewish Heaven. Save me an egg cream and a giant slice of dill pickle.

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France: National Front Gets First Ever Senate Seats

From Reuters:

PARIS (Reuters) – The far-right National Front won its first ever seats in France’s upper house of parliament on Sunday, as President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party lost its Senate majority.

The left still controls the lower house, which is the dominant legislative body in France, but Sunday’s ballot underlined the unpopularity of the president and the continued rise of the anti-immigration, anti-euro National Front.NationalFront

The party, led by Marine Le Pen, took two seats in the august Senate, following on from its surprise victory in European parliamentary elections in May and its strong showing in municipal elections in March.

“These results are beyond what we hoped for,” said Le Pen. “Each day that passes, our ideas are increasingly being adopted by the French people… We have great potential.”…

The National Front has successfully capitalized on growing discontent over unemployment and resentment over immigration, and hopes to score an upset in the 2017 presidential election.

France is full of xenophobic racists!

Who knew!?

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Your Village

village map

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JYT: David Brooks Edition

NYT’s “conservative” (ahem) columnist David Brooks, who sometimes writes about Middle Eastern affairs, has a son who serves in the Israeli army. Imagine that. (Via Steve Sailer via Mondoweiss):

One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha’aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks’s oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.

“Brook’s connection to Israel was always strong,” the article reports. “He has visited Israel almost every year since 1991, and over the past months the connection has grown even stronger, after his oldest son, aged 23, decided to join the Israel Defense Forces as a “lone soldier” [Ed. Note: a soldier with no immediate family in Israel]…

Chatter immediately heated up over this fact, which until now hasn’t cropped up in any Google searches. Many commenters praised Brooks’ for his son’s service. Others maintained that he and the New York Times have the duty to reveal the fact that his son is serving in the IDF as it personally colors his commentary on Israel and Middle East issues.

Said chatter is from ‘anti-Semites’, no doubt.

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Global Crises

From The Organizer’s speech to the U.N. today:

I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the MiddleObamaPodium East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

Where to start?

The implied moral equivalency.

His abstracting of the Ferguson incident to be “about America”, given his saying this at the venue that is the United Nations.

His racial navel-gazing.

His assumption that the rest of the world (i.e., those outside the U.S. cable news audience) even heard of the case.

His assumption that the rest of the world (while said world is on fire) give a shit about an isolated police incident involving the Gentle Giant.

His endless overall criticism to the world of the country he leads (something you never see other foreign leaders do.)

The line between reality and an Onion parody are increasingly blurring.

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Heidegger’s Philosophy… in the Kitchen

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JYT: 9/22/14

From the NYT’s current “Most Emailed” list:


From the “Talk in Synagogue of Israel and Gaza Goes From Debate to Wrath to Rage” article:

Israel’s occupation of Arab lands and its standoff with the Palestinians have become so divisive that many rabbis say it is impossible to have a civil conversation about Israel in their synagogues.

From the “Who’s On Trial, Eichmann or Arendt?” article:

Adolf Eichmann was banal precisely because he was a fanatical anti-Semite, not despite the fact.

Will “Met’s Opening Night Draws Protests Over ‘Klinghoffer’” enter the charts? Stay tuned!

Several hundred protesters gathered on Monday calling for the Met to cancel its performances of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

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Miles Kane – Better Than That (2013)

Once upon a time, songs like this charted in the U.S.

In the U.K., this Britpop brand of music actually does still chart.

In the ’60s it was the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Zombies, and The Who.

In the 80s it was XTC.

In the ’90s it was Oasis.

These days it’s youngsters like Jack Bugg or Miles Kane.

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