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By Earnest Everhard IV - (see end note for source of the name)

 I am not sure how to start. How do you describe something that people don’t want to believe? And, for which I can really not offer answers.

 At times, I feel like the very last scene in the original movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or, to be a bit more archaic – the characters out of Gilberts and Sullivan’s “The Sorcerer” in the song “Aline.” In both cases, the people are shouting or singing - “it’s too late!” And, for those around them, who don’t understand the danger that is in front of them, the characters—especially the one in the “Body Snatchers”—seem to be unhinged.

 Perhaps I should just say I feel like the painting titled “the Scream” – if that is not too much of a cliché by now. The subject of that work seemed unhinged as well.

 What I am about to say may indeed seem unhinged, yet as in both the movie, the play, and the painting, the crying voice was correct; their fears were not understood. To quote Bertolt Brecht, from his play about Galileo; “Before all can know the truth – one must know the truth.” But I can’t be so arrogant as to think I am the only one thinking this.

 Perhaps this essay should be called the “Invasion of the Freedom Snatchers” and as with the movie, I believe it is too late for this country. We who support democracy and freedom have already lost, and there is nothing we can do. Our attachment to the institutions that form this republic have allowed this takeover or “snatching” by forces intent on having a “Single Party State. They want a country ruled without real opposition, and for the benefit of the very few; not based on love of freedom and opportunity, but on fear and hate of the “other.” They “won” power through “democratic means” but are intent on keeping that power by manipulating the very system that they really hate.

 Do I sound unhinged yet?

https://soundcloud.com/literal-media/interview-w-greg-palast.mp3

By Michael Calleri

 

 

"Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” could also be called “Movie Director Versus Style, Cohesion, Simplicity, Common Sense, and Believability.”  

A chorus of critics and moviegoers have attacked the movie for being a mess. No spoilers herein, but as someone has already written: "there's nothing to spoil."

Here are my thoughts. To the use of the word "mess" you can add: cinematic atrocity, utter catastrophe, bewildering stupidity, and an assortment of whatever negative words and phrases you like. 

"Batman v Superman" is brutalist cinema, a mean-spirited pile of shallow, derivative, and cheap-looking distortions. Director Zack Snyder quickly stifles your enthusiasm, as well as your eagerness to be entertained.

The overlong film speaks more to Snyder’s fetishes than to anything else. Sigmund Freud would get an entire book out of Snyder's pathetic neuroses and selfishness. The fragmented film is thematically and visually dark. In fact, it's almost morose. It panders to a place in somebody's soul they shouldn't want made public.

It’s the fetishism that helps send “Batman v Superman” careening into chaos as Snyder links his fetishistic impulses to his call for a New Comic-Book Movie Order. The director wallows in a celebration of Fascism, the dark demand that a person or movement’s authoritarian practices are essential to ridding a society of enemies and holding down the population, usually with fear and mayhem.

Snyder has applied a sense of tone to his effort directly from “The Night Porter,” a feature that celebrates the sexual undercurrent of fascism. In “Batman v Superman,” tight uniforms are a visual reminder of power. Bodies glisten as muscular, shirtless men are hung from a hook and tortured.

Snyder’s Batman is a fascist. He dresses like a monolith; his costuming is rigid, heavy; less blue than that of a hardened black-shirt from another era. Batman’s actions are dangerous and abrupt; his dictates fierce and unrelenting. The character’s single-minded desire is to remove Superman from the equation because the “man of steel” threatens Batman’s governing principles. 

The movie has minimally interesting acting from everybody in it. I didn't think Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman) could be any more wooden an actor than he has been. I was wrong. Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman) obviously understood the apparent direction to make a sad face every second he's on-screen. Amy Adams as Lois Lane lacks spunk. She says spunky words – "I'm not a woman, I'm a journalist," for example, but the heavy-handed atmosphere of the entire production stifles her energy.

Interview with Steve Pigeon

https://soundcloud.com/literal-media/literal-media-steve-pigeon-mp3

By Michael Howard

 

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz loves Donald Trump. Loves him. Know why? Because he has effectively guaranteed another Democratic presidency. Your own reasons for loving him, however, needn’t be so cynical, and I’ll tell you why.

By pushing the rhetoric so far outside the bounds of seriousness, and consequently dominating the media, Donald Trump has forced the other crackpots running for the Republican ticket to more or less abandon any pretense of credibility. 

Trump, in other words, has hijacked the right (space, not morals) side of the election. In order to keep up, his competition has had no choice but to prove to the American people that he’s not the only one who can say shockingly stupid things. We can be absurd too! has been the GOP field’s indignant response to Trump’s electoral blitzkrieg.

The best article that I’ve read about the 2016 election was a short piece by Christopher Orr in The Atlantic, where he used the movie Caddyshack as a (rather profound) analogy for the GOP race.

In Orr’s analogy, the Republican Party is Bushwood (the exclusive country club where the film is set), and Trump is Al Czervik, the obnoxious outsider played by Rodney Dangerfield. Czervik’s personality is not one that the stuffy Bushwood members would normally countenance—he is rude, crude, and disrespectful to the social elite. But he has money, which means he can say and do whatever he wants.

According to Orr, Trump is “basically a real-life Czervik: rich, yes, but an aggressive anti-snob who says whatever the hell he pleases and misses no opportunity to stick it to the establishment.”

Which is why so many genuinely progressive people were – and perhaps still are – excited about Trump’s campaign. The initial hope was that he would eventually jump ship and run as a legitimate third party candidate, taking a good chunk of Republican voters with him and thus breaking up the unholy GOP. This would in turn threaten to subvert the inveterate two-party (or two-factions-of-the-same-party) political structure that makes real change in this country so impossible.

Unfortunately, Trump has assured the Republican National Committee that he will do no such thing. Disappointing, surely; but it doesn’t mean that his campaign is totally worthless.

During the first Republican debate last August, Trump pulled a Czervik, and made some heads in Washington explode, when he explained to the millions of people watching that the American political system is essentially founded on graft.

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