The Rules of the New Aristocracy
If one of you takes a hundred dollar bill from the cash register, you will go to jail. If we take billions out of the savings of ordinary people then crash the economy, costing thousands of jobs, not one of us will ever be prosecuted. Because the New Aristocracy is above such things. So we’ll just keep on doing it. Enjoy the ride.
Your local police belong to us now. We have militarized them into soldiers who treat you like terrorists. If you speak against us, we will ensure that you are tear gassed and beaten and handcuffed and caged into “free speech zones” designed to make you forget that the whole country was supposed to be a free speech zone. But now you have free speech only when and where we say you can have it. Meanwhile, we can say and do pretty much anything we want, to you or anyone else, and get away with it.
If you happen to figure out our game and talk about it, we will accuse you of Class Warfare, in order to distract anyone from realizing that yes, there was a class war, that it was against you, that the war is over, and we won.
Who Bullies the Bullies?
Don’t think about where the lines are drawn, think about who draws the lines.
Building a Bigger Action Hero
Brando never did crunches. Al Pacino didn’t slurp protein shakes. Cary Grant had never even heard of burpees, BOSU balls, or human growth hormone. But not one of today’s leading men can afford the luxury of a gym-free life. You simply don’t get your name on a movie poster these days unless you’ve got a superhero’s physique – primed for high-def close-ups and global market appeal. Getting there takes effort, vigilance, and the dedication of the elite athlete: high-intensity training, strict diets, supplements, and hormone replacement. If that fails, there are always drugs. Today’s actors spend more time in the gym than they do rehearsing, more time with their trainers than with their directors.
And I grew up as a huge comic book fan.
Not anymore. I can’t stand the fucking movies they’re doing.
I’ll take Jimmy Stewart fighting the entire country with only his voice in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington over any goddammed actor in a latex costume with steroid-assisted bulk.
I again quote Nikki Finke, who saw it all coming back in 2008:
Pretty soon, every single fucking Hollywood film is gonna be based on a comic one way or another. Ugh.
New Yorkers, Take Back Your City
This is not normal. It is state-sponsored, corporate-driven and turbo-charged.
Manhattan has become a Corporate Abyss.
There’s no place in midtown where you can place your eyes that doesn’t hit a corporate logo.
The Blade Runner-like ads are just the tip of the iceberg.
The Bloomberg push to “clean up” things have led to a city-corporate one-two punch driving out small businesses for the sake of national brands.
I’m newly disgusted every time I venture into Manhattan. I’m totally disoriented, not finding familiar landmark stores that were once present for ages. Now replaced by shiny national corporate brands and national brand wannabes.
And it’s encroaching on Chinatown too, perhaps the last part of Manhattan that has any actual human life remaining in it.
I don’t know how it can be changed. But it has to be stopped.
Go look. Just go look. There are no words I can add.
Apparently the President was in Manhattan yesterday. This is the shit he brought:
There have been some stunning images via Twitter of the Presidential Palace captured by victorious Ukrainian protesters.
This image …
… exemplifies everything that is wrong with those who currently — and temporarily — hold power.
More photos here.
The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch
Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.
While in Kiev,
the government those in power have deployed snipers to kill whoever they can in the mass of protesters.
It’s clear that those who hold power will do anything to retain that power. The law is shredded and all that matters is who has the most force — or who is willing to do the most killing.
Something to keep in mind here in America.
Scientists find secret to writing a best-selling novel: Computer scientists have developed an algorithm which can predict with 84 per cent accuracy whether a book will be a commercial success — and the secret is to avoid cliches and excessive use of verbs
What’s behind the future of hit movies? An algorithm
What happens when the screenplay of the book that was successful passing through the first algorithm is sent through the second algorithm?
Fuck you is what.
The Rise and Rise of Television Torture
But this prevalence of torture that you see in otherwise very comparable shows is not limited to [the TV series] Fringe. It is everywhere in American entertainment now.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929
Ortega’s brilliant insight came in understanding that the battle between ‘up’ and ‘down’ could be as important in spurring social and cultural change as the conflict between ‘left’ and ‘right’. This is not an economic distinction in Ortega’s mind. The new conflict, he insists, is not between “hierarchically superior and inferior classes…. upper classes or lower classes.” A millionaire could be a member of the masses, according to Ortega’s surprising schema. And a pauper might represent the elite.
The key driver of change, as Ortega sees it, comes from a shocking attitude characteristic of the modern age — or, at least, Ortega was shocked. Put simply, the masses hate experts. If forced to choose between the advice of the learned and the vague impressions of other people just like themselves, the masses invariably turn to the latter. The upper elite still try to pronounce judgments and lead, but fewer and fewer of those down below pay attention.