‘Donald Trump & white America’s anxiety: The political throes of a forgotten country’.. 

Liberals – don’t kid yourselves: ‘The Donald’ is not just a media creation. He’s a tribune of our past — and future.

Well sorry not sorry but this is all wrong. Donald Trump is not running a Potemkin presidential campaign. He is not simply the beneficiary of a restless and vapid press corps. He is not the Herman Cain of 2016.

He is not some carnivalesque distraction seducing us into avoiding ‘the real issues’. Ignoring him as Blow has vowed to do may be good for one’s blood pressure. But as a recent in-depth look at Trump’s support from the New York Times found no amount of wishful thinking will make him disappear.

Instead of comparing him to candidates like Cain (who was relatively unknown – had little media experience and was unable to consistently raise enough money) it makes more sense to understand Trump as something new. Or new rather for the modern era.

He’s a demagogic ethno-nationalist of the kind that’s succeeded before in American history – especially during times of great upheaval and dislocation.

Think of him as our Huey Long – our George Wallace.

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Source: Donald Trump & white America’s anxiety: The political throes of a forgotten country – Salon.com

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‘Director Matthew Heineman: ‘Suddenly I was alone with my camera in the middle of this shootout’.. 

Cartel Land’s director on filming the shocking truth about Mexico’s nightmarish drug war.

‘We know what harm we do with all the drugs’ muses one of them masked. ‘But what are we going to do? We come from poverty. If we were doing well we’d be like you travelling the world or doing good jobs’ – he addresses the director directly but it could be many of us almost accusing our good fortune in contrast to his lot.

‘But if we start paying attention to our hearts then we’ll get screwed over. We will do this as long as God allows it. And every day we make more, because this is not going to end right?’

He’s right. No it is never going to end; Mexico’s narco-cartel war now counts an estimated 100,000 dead and 20,000 missing so far. But there’s a twist: as we embark on this film exploring Mexico’s nightmare we have no idea who these men are or who they work for although this is a scene for which many documentary directors would give their right arm – and may have had to literally.

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Source: Director Matthew Heineman: ‘Suddenly I was alone with my camera in the middle of this shootout’ | Film | The Guardian

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‘Battle of Britain was won as much by German ineptitude as British heroism’..

Hitler’s invasion was underplanned – partly due to his ambiguous feelings towards Britain and partly out of hubris.

In his latest war book The Secret War Max Hastings compares the intelligence gathering efforts of both sides in the second world war and concludes that whatever the Allies’ blunders their rivals in Hitler’s Abwehr were ‘incomparably worse’.

Even as German-led Europe staggers through its protracted eurozone crisis German ineptitude remains a concept we struggle to acknowledge. Yet it is central to their conduct of the Battle of Britain – whose fateful climax we (but not they) are about to celebrate.

The British made mistakes too. Unlike the runup to 1914 when lurid invasion scares were the stuff of military planning – bestsellers such as The Riddle of the Sands and even West End plays – the prospect had been widely ignored throughout the 1930s until the miraculous evacuation of the army from Dunkirk in May 1940.

Then it suddenly stared everyone in the face. As hasty improvisations were made – including the new Home Guard of later Dad’s Army fame – the rumour mill spun wildly. German parachutists (they might be dressed as nuns) were reported and thousands of dead bodies allegedly spotted in the Channel.

It would all have put Twitter to shame.

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Source: Battle of Britain was won as much by German ineptitude as British heroism | World news | The Guardian

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‘Sign of the times: how Show Me a Hero captures our political mood’.. 

David Simon’s new series Show Me a Hero provides everything you might expect from a TV-maker with The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street and Treme on his résumé.

This adaptation of Lisa Belkin’s non-fiction book about Nick Wasicsko – a former cop who in 1987 unexpectedly became mayor of Yonkers after running as a populist outsider – has in the established Simon style dialogue so real that it feels as if it was peeled off the street and period images so richly composed that they could be auctioned at Sotheby’s. (It’s a sign of the high production values that the director is Oscar-winning Hollywood auteur Paul Haggis.)

Another Simon strength on display is his sense of the shape that best fits a particular tale. While The Wire was an epic five-decker novel of a show meticulously exploring every inch of one city – Show Me a Hero is a rare American example of the six-part drama format that has traditionally been the province of the British. Even within this sprint length it moves at Bolt-like speed: lesser TV-makers would have spent a lot longer following Wasicsko’s campaign but Simon has him in office by the end of the opening episode.

It’s the right decision because Show Me a Hero really begins where the movie The Candidate ends with the newly-elected politician asking: ‘What do we do now?’ Spectacularly – even by the standards of democratic back-flips – Wasicsko had abandoned the main plank of his campaign – opposition to a desegregated public housing project – even before the votes were counted.

By the second episode he has come to be seen by the electorate as a continuation of the problem rather than the solution.

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Source: Sign of the times: how Show Me a Hero captures our political mood | Television & radio | The Guardian

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‘Lentil and quinoa salad’.. 

Lentil and quinoa salad recipe

– Lentils are a type of legume and they come in different shapes and sizes.

They are favoured for their quick cooking time and ability to absorb flavours.

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Source: Lentil and quinoa salad – Recipes – Bite

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‘Earthquake Commission has spent $68m on travel’.. 

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has spent $68 million on travel-related costs since the September 2010 earthquake in Canterbury.

Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal EQC spent a total of $38m on accommodation and food for staff travelling in and out of Christchurch since September 2010 – almost $20m on vehicles – $8.2m on airfares and $880,400 on taxis and parking costs.

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Source: Earthquake Commission has spent $68m on travel | Stuff.co.nz

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‘The Movies of My Youth by Italo Calvino’.. 

There were years when I went to the movies almost every day – around the time of my adolescence. Those were years in which cinema was my world.

What flavor of a society and an era was in the air around these conventional plots mattered little – but precisely for this reason it reached me without me knowing how to define what it consisted of. It was (as I’d later learn) the misrepresentation of what that society carried inside but it was a particular misrepresentation – different from our misrepresentation which engulfed us during the rest of the day.

And like how for a psychoanalyst it doesn’t matter if the patient lies or tells the truth because it reveals something to him either way – as part of another system of misrepresentation I the spectator had something to learn both from that little bit of truth and from that whole lot of misrepresentation that the Hollywood products were giving me.

Therefore I don’t harbor any hard feelings about that false image of life; now it seems to me that I never took it as true but only for one among the possible artificial images – even if then I wouldn’t have known how to explain it.

Unlike French cinema American cinema didn’t have anything to do with literature at the time: perhaps this is the reason why in my experience it stands out from the rest in an isolated prominence: these memories of mine as a spectator are part of the memories from before literature reached me.

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Source: The Movies of My Youth by Italo Calvino | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

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