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Showing posts from July 30, 2017

George Osborne comes to France

Macron is combining the failed approaches of George Bush and George Osborne. But he’s so cute! And Le Monde is following behind, ever the faithful chien de garde. What is the dog’s task? It is to skip the first order of argument – does a country with a growing population really need to cut its spending, or increase it?. And in what areas?  Just assume that we don’t need this discussion, and all bien-pensants are agreed we have to cut spending. Then it is just a matter of going around in a circle, greeting all complaints with the remark, well, we have to cut spending you know. For example – a few weeks ago, one of Le Monde’s Macron-archs was considering the petty complaints of petty people on the cultural front about cuts to their funding by the gov. He came up with a brilliant justification – it would be unfair not to cut the funding for the arts when everything else is being cut! The brilliance of this is that it skips right over whether the arts need to be cut or need, on

ritualized humiliation in the awards ceremony - an american tradition

In the August 3, 1963 New Yorker, there was a funny in the Talk of the Town. It concerned a beauty pageant. It makes remarkable reading. The beauty pageant was for National College Queen. The New Yorker reporter visited the contestants as they were posing before the ABC news cameras in Central Park for the contest in the Seven Lively Domestic Arts. One of them, of course, was coffee serving. Which is what the girls were doing. A spokesman pointed with pride to the fact that there was a Fullbright scholar and a Phi Beta Kappa among the candidates up for the crown. While they displayed their ability to brew up and serve coffee, they wore crowns on their heads. This scene seems, today, rife with rage. How could any woman stand the patronizing, debasing, ridiculous treatment they were being accorded – basically, a quick course in second class humanship? But the New Yorker, a magazine which had employed Dorothy Parker and, in 1963, employed, among others, Renata Adler, didn’t see it

on: los angeles plays itself

Last week A. told me that we needed to watch Thom Anderson’s Los Angeles Plays Itself . She also told me a funny story, told to her by the person who recommended the movie. Because the movie stitches together clips from about fifty films shot in Los Angeles, the film could only be shown for a time if Mr. Anderson was sitting in the theater. His presence ensured that the film was being played for private reasons, and not public – profit making – ones. Since I was able to download the film from Youtube without inviting Thom Anderson over to our place to see it, presumably the fair use issues have been resolved. That is all to the profit of the films that are sampled in the film. Anderson has an eye  for a stunning sequence; especially when the sequence involves some Los Angeles site. In fact, the sequences far outweigh many of the films. I doubt that there are many fans of Messiah of Evil, a 1973 zombie film, but the sequences Anderson pulled from that film – of a gas station and a gr