Foo Fighters – Someting From Nothing (2014)

These guys consistently deliver.

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The Whiteness Project

Salon has an article on “Why the Whiteness Project is so endlessly mortifying”, about a PBS documentary exploring, however one-sidedly, the concept of white identity.

If you read between the lines of this writer’s snarky political correctness (a prerequisite for Salon articles), it appears the documentary might be, however circuitously, arriving at a realization of there being a formative and growing, latent, sense of white racial consciousness (or at least sense of ‘white identity’) in the U.S.:

A new PBS documentary asks whites to “experience their ethnicity.” This appears to mean disparaging other races…

Into this charged atmosphere comes the Whiteness Project, an online documentary series that could easily be mistaken for satire were it not for the involvement of PBS and filmmaker Whitney Dow’s assurances that he is “deadly serious about this.” Dow plans to interview 1,000 “white people from all walks of life and localities” about how they “experience their ethnicity.” The first 24 of those interviews were conducted this summer in Buffalo, N.Y.

Dow may have a point when he argues that white people who want “to participate in changing the racial dynamic in this country” are “going to have to deal with their own shit first.” The problem is, a lot of his subjects aren’t talking about their race—they’re criticizing minorities…

“White people have been very tentative about engaging” with his line of questioning, Dow said. No kidding: the contortions of some interviewees as they struggle to put across a blinkered worldview without sounding openly racist are terribly painful to watch.

From the Whiteness Project’s website, project lead Whitney Dow, between canned liberal statements about Ferguson, et al, writes the following:

After almost two decades of making films with my black producing partner, Marco Williams, I have come to believe that most whites see themselves as outside the American racial paradigm and their race as a passive attribute. Subsequently, they feel that they do not have the same right to speak about race as non-whites. The Whiteness Project hopes to bring everyday white Americans, especially those who would not normally engage in a project about race, into the racial discussion—to help them understand the active role their race plays in every facet of their lives, to remove some of the confusion and guilt that many white people feel around the subject of race and to help white Americans learn to own their whiteness—and everything positive and negative it represents—in the same way that every other ethnicity owns its ethnic identity.

In Slate, black writer Jamelle Bouie’s reaction to the Whiteness Project interviews is telling. Read between the lines of Bouie’s acknowledgement that, among whites, there might be a silent majority who actually have vestiges of a positive sense of white racial identity.

The interviews for the Whiteness Project—a new series from PBS and documentary filmmaker Whitney Dow—are varied, succinct, and candid. “Because slavery happened, does that mean we owe black people something?” asks one participant, who continues with other, similar observations. “I think it’s hard to talk about race as a white person because, maybe, black people are just looking for a reason to tell you why you’re wrong, or tell you why you owe them something,” he said. “I just don’t buy into that nonsense about discrimination,” says a doctor. He insists: “If you have it upstairs, and you really commit to doing what you want to do with your life, I don’t think race has anything to do with anything.”

These interviews are just the first part in a larger series, and already, they’re valuable. It’s rare that white Americans talk about race. It’s even rarer that they do so on camera. And it’s rarer still that they reveal ignorance, confess to prejudices, and share their fears.

With that said, watching the interviews is jarring. In general, you don’t expect anyone to openly say he or she is “proud to be white” or warn that “a lot of white boys aren’t going to be pushed around.”

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Jewish Action Figures

Piece of History (which would be more accurately named ‘Piece of Jewish History’) is a merchandiser who sells, among other Jew-centric items, a series of Jewish action figures, such as those of David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Menacham Begin; and Golda Meir:

The complete Zion’s Action Figures 4 pack – in a very special price! Can it get any better? A must-have for the Jewish living room and office, for the Zionists, Israelis, history enthusiasts, and action figure collectors! Also a great holiday or birthday gift for all ages.

JewishActionFigures

However, the site’s bestselling action figure is, of course, Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism.

Piece of History studios are proud to present the first “Israeli action figure” ever made: The AustroHungarian journalist and “Visionary of the Jewish State,” Theodor Herzl. This 3D action figure is a miniature replica of the famous photograph of Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, 1897.

HerzlActionFigure

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Sussman vs. Taylor

Jared Taylor responds to some sloppy writing from a liberal Jewish professor attacking AmRen:

Salon.com has just published an article called “America’s virulent racists: The sick ideas and perverted “science” of the American Renaissance Foundation.” It is an excerpt from a book called The Myth of Race, written by Professor Robert Sussman of Washington University and published this year by Harvard University Press. It is also the most sloppy, tendentious, deceitful piece of writing I have seen in a long time. The language alone should raise doubts about the author’s objectivity. He describes me, my work, and associates as “shockingly ugly,” “hateful, dangerous, ancient, and outdated,” “virulently racist,” not to mention “neo-Nazi” and “white supremacist.”

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JYT: 10/15/2014

What’s crawling up the NYT “Most Emailed” list?

Why, an article on the death of David Greenglass, of course.

NYT_2014_10_15

Greenglass, you may not know, provided testimony against his sister and brother-in-law, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who the U.S. executed in 1953 for espionage. (The Rosenbergs were that most rare of species: NYC Jews who were active communist sympathizers.)

Greenglass was himself a Young Communist League member, active communist sympathizer in his adulthood, and later a convicted Soviet spy involved in conveying top-secret Manhattan Project information to the Soviets in conjunction with the Rosenbergs’ schenanigans.

So, while flyover America doesn’t really care about Greenglass or his death, in the NYC Jewish social milieu, it is front and center. From another article on Greenglass’s death:

To some, Greenglass came to be seen as a symbol of betrayal. In the 1989 Woody Allen movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Allen’s character says of his smug and annoying brother-in-law: “I love him like a brother — David Greenglass.”

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NYT: When Racism Was a Science

Here is how a hilariously hysterical NYT article titled “When Racism Was a Science” begins:

An old stucco house stands atop a grassy hill overlooking the Long Island Sound. Less than a mile down the road, the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory bustles with more than 600 researchers and technicians, regularly producing breakthroughs in genetics, cancer and neuroscience.

But that old house, now a private residence on the outskirts of town, once held a facility whose very name evokes dark memories: the Eugenics Record Office.

In its heyday, the office was the premier scientific enterprise at Cold Spring Harbor. There, bigoted scientists applied rudimentary genetics to singling out supposedly superior races and degrading minorities. By the mid-1920s, the office had become the center of the eugenics movement in America.

Today, all that remains of it are files and photographs — reams of discredited research that once shaped anti-immigration laws, spurred forced-sterilization campaigns and barred refugees from entering Ellis Island. Now, historians and artists at New York University are bringing the eugenics office back into the public eye…

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Houston’s Lesbian Mayor Subpoenas Pastors For Their Sermons

The Gay Mafia, which has permeated the highest levels of government, inches further toward Full Totalitarianism Mode:

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

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WSJ: Lovecraft’s Racism

In a WSJ article titled “Here’s Why H.P. Lovecraft Matters More Than Ever“, Lovecraftian fans Leslie Klinger and the far-left Alan Moore grapple with HPL’s “racism”:

H.P. Lovecraft died nearly 80 years ago, but his work is as important and controversial as ever, reaching beyond the realms of horror and science fiction and into the pop consciousness, while scholars and readers continue to grapple with the author’s racism and how it informed his fiction…

That kind of horror was also intertwined with Lovecraft’s racism. “During his two years in New York City, unable to find a job, he hated the crowds and the ‘mongrels’ he saw on the streets. He hated Jews (but married a Jew and counted a Jew as one of his closest friends — ‘good’ Jews, in his view, who had lost their ‘Jewishness’),” Klinger said. “He hated black people; he hated Italians, Polish, Portuguese, Puerto Ricans, and deplored that their cultures were changing ‘American’ culture. He supported the eugenics movement in America and initially applauded Hitler’s policies.”

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Birdman (2014)

I haven’t been this excited for a movie since… I don’t know when.

Michael Keaton as ‘Birdman’… a not-altogether-hidden, nor irrelevant nod to Keaton’s Batman… and then a no longer hot commodity, practically disappearing from the big budget movie scene which he once dominated…

A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory,” reads the IMDB storyline summary.

birdmanFor sure, man, for sure.

That is likely the point.

And it’s something that all of us — in our more banal, pedestrian, and Prufrockian lives — can relate to.

Life, and the normative, self-imposed expectations which greatly shape our appraisals of life, are in many ways constructs of our own fragile egos. We are trapped by our own expectations, however rightly or wrongly such expectations arise. The magical realism that appears to be present in Birdman (at least through its trailers) is conveyed, so it seems, through the protagonist’s mental breakdown and its aftermath.

From the film’s trailers — and from the sustained meditations on the subject which a recent Charlie Rose segment emphasized [here's a short clip from the segment], the film’s main contributors appear to be fully invested (in the philosophical sense) with the film’s trajectory.

Keaton is accompanied by co-star Edward Norton (his sublime humility and enlightened view of the Hollywood machine greatly impressed me), cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (“Gravity’), and most importantly Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose philosophical depth and overall charm is simply… superlative. (The film also features Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts… so you know it’s gonna be reliable.)

It’s worth noting that the full title of the movie is Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which it would seem highlights the moral and existential dimensions of the film, and while Birdman is, at one level, an ostensible take-down of Hollywood egos and pretensions, the film works (and can only work) if it speaks to the experiences of the average moviegoer… that is, the Everyman.

There seems to be a universality to Birdman, projected through the long, continuous takes… the ‘movie’ narrative which emanates from life’s inherent Steadicam lens (to quote Norton), and which propels the Walter Mitty-like imaginings that fire off in the distance or simply in our peripheral vision.

I look forward to seeing the film’s resolution, which I anticipate will be a thoughtful meditation on… life itself.

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Failures

Mass illegal immigration from Mexico.

Ebola brought to the U.S. via Africans.

Home-grown ISIS sympathizers from Muslim countries.

The U.S. government continues to fail in its primary responsibility: the protection of its citizens.

And this failure pivots on who we decide to allow (or not allow) into this country.

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