Tagged: United States

Review: The Great Dictator

The Criterion Collection edition of The Great Dictator.
The Criterion Collection edition of The Great Dictator.

If you want, you can picture an image of the Pokémon Slowpoke with the words “Hey, The Great Dictator is a great movie!” around him.  After all, the movie came out in 1940, and was a critical and commercial success.  So you know, duh.  But sometimes obvious things need to be said, so… Hey, The Great Dictator is a great movie!  But more than that, it’s a surprisingly brave movie, showing the brutality of Hitler’s reign while  coming out before the United States got involved in World War II.  (It’s Chaplin, so it’s also funny.) Continue reading

Ernest Hemingway

Richard YatesSince I have like three venues to publish it in, and I told Tao I needed a galley, I feel obliged to write a review of Tao Lin’s novel, Richard Yates.  I don’t think I will ever read anything by Richard Yates.  Reading Tao Lin has a way of erasing any literary knowledge one had.  I eagerly anticipated this release after reading Eeeee Eee Eeee and Shoplifting from American Apparel.  He sold shares in this novel to publish it and not have to work at a vegan restaurant while he was writing it.

I feel not conscious enough of how I’m mimicking Tao Lin’s Style.  Tao Lin’s Style is infectious and hypnotic.  Writing about Tao Lin in Tao Lin’s style, as The Observer, or rather Christian Lorentzen, did, is hard to resist.  I think The Observer was lazy.  I approve of that laziness.  Of course, as with Hemingway, another “bad” writer whose parody comes easy, and whom Tao Lin namechecks as much as Yates, and includes in the index, the style slips in anyway.  While reading Tao Lin I find myself becoming much drier and flatter.  I lose my obligation to feel strongly about anything, especially about how I feel about anything.
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Torture Playlist

The Torture PlaylistMother Jones Magazine released a list of songs used in American military prisons and on bases to induce sleep deprivation, “prolong capture shock,” disorient detainees during interrogations—and also drown out screams. The compiled list of 24 playable songs is both fascinating and schizophrenic. Continue reading

Review: POLYSICS – Seattle, Studio Seven, 9/21/03

It’s still POLYSICS week at Kittysneezes! To celebrate my trip to NYC to see POLYSICS on their last tour with Kayo, here’s a review of one of their concerts, back from 2003 — posted as written 7 years ago.  Mang, that’s a while.  Also — footage from this show is available on the PippikippippiP in USA DVD — and I’m in some of the crowd shots!

POLYSICS are the greatest band in the world. If you want evidence of this claim, you could pick up one of their records, or better still, go to one of their shows. I have done both. This is about the show.

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“Lou Dobbs And The Case of the Naive Nativists”

Lou Dobbs
Lou Dobbs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lou Dobbs For Presiden…n…n…nevermind

The Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), a group branded a Nativist group by The Southern Poverty Law Center and tied to hate groups by the Anti-Defamation League, recently turned its unwavering support for Lou Dobbs’ outspoken anti-immigrant (read “Anti-Latino”) rhetoric into dismayed anger after Dobbs appeared on the television network Telemundo promoting the idea of amnesty for undocumented aliens:

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Ronald Reagan: Success, or Failure?

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...
Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ronald Reagan is the quintessential conservative – a president whose memory stirs passionate emotions of almost anybody that was alive during his tenure in office. And depending on who you ask, he will more than likely be described either as a wise and charismatic leader whose policies and vision led America on the path to peace and prosperity, or he was a corrupt corporate shill who took from the poor, gave to the rich, ruined America’s economic standing in the world and screwed over the American middle class. But exactly how much of this is based in fact?

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A Good Reason?

Crowd in support of Gay Marriage
Crowd in support of Gay Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve long said that I’d LOVE to hear a GOOD reason against gay marriage. I don’t necessarily mean that I want to be swayed to the other side — and I don’t even think a reason would have to do that to be “good”. It’s just that — radio ad aside — the reason I’ve heard is always some variant on “It’s an affront to God” — which, well, being an atheist hasn’t ever really flown with me. (And, to be clear — it doesn’t fly with a lot of Christians either. I don’t want to lump everyone together here.) But there’s gotta be a good reason, right? Right? Continue reading

Interracial Marriage & Gay Marriage

English: Interracial married couple with Hmong...
English: Interracial married couple with Hmong traditional clothing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gay marriage isn’t the only type of refused marriage in the news — a Louisiana Justice of the Peace refused to wed an interracial couple. The JP, Keith Bardwell, said his decision was because life was harder for bi-racial children. Continue reading

Book Review: The Quiet American

The Quiet American

Image via Wikipedia

[Purchase Book]

Graham Greene‘s classic novel The Quiet American, though written in 1955, is still a biting indictment of American foreign policy. His novel takes place in Vietnam (prior to the US/Vietnam war); the narrator, Thomas Fowler, is an English newspaper correspondent who meets Pyle, an American CIA operative, the “Quiet American” of the title. Pyle, one of two Americans in the novel — the other being Granger, a fellow correspondent.

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Music Video Treatments: Living Room Annoyance

Peluche / Music Video
Peluche / Music Video (Photo credit: Alberto+Cerriteño)

For a song about two characters.

We see the band set up, rocking behind two characters, a boy and a girl on the couch (for example; these would be the characters sung about in the song) watching television. During the first half of the video, the band is pretty much rocking like in a straightforward rock video. The couple on the couch gets marginally annoyed, as they’re trying to watch TV and a band is rocking loudly behind them.

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