This New American Life
I write this in a booth waiting for my current delivery order to be prepared in an empty restaurant that ten years ago would have been crowded. The music is a soft bossa nova and the kitchen while busy is careful to avoid clangs. The decor is standard a medium brown stain colors the wood and the carpet is green and clean. A mother and her retired son are the only other customers. She is dancing while waiting for the spring rolls to arrive. The owner hands me a thai tea on the house while I wait. I can’t help but worry for the fate of America. I can’t help but wonder where do we go from here.
The internet has redefined what and why we eat. It’s less about what we like and having haunts we return to but posting from the current trends to be considered a cool kid. Even those who do not post on social media still Google and Yelp their choices based on the impression that the best rated by those apps have more value experience wise for their dollars. The hive mind that is social media causes attention inequality and narrows culture especially food culture.
Speaking of the Hive Mind. What do we talk about when we say we shouldn’t give someone a platform. As in the current uproar over Megyn Kelly interviewing Alex Jones, a man who has been paid to spew filth since my childhood. He long ago built his alternative media platform and give a place for wayward views. He helped Trump win without a doubt and his org Infowars will have white house press credentials. He doesn’t need an interview on NBC but NBC and those who oppose his views do need these kinds of interviews. Darkness cannot be allowed to fester. Pre-internet denying mainstream outlets was a good way to slow repulsive thought but now mainstream media is one if the last shared spaces in American life and is more effective as a means of exposing.
The tendency of the internet to drive conformity from food and fashion trends to preventing public discourse is disconcerting to say the least. Humanity’s story is one driven by innovation through diversity not just the kind on a college application check box. How much have we lost? What will it take next?
A fake news editor didn’t want to be known to protect his reputation while he flung shot for a dollar. Cameron Harris is his name and any potential employer should remember and see his spineless nature. I hope he can’t work a job for the rest of his life, a scarlet Google search. I hope the money he made peddling trash is the only dollars he earns.
Harris, a Trump supporter, says he can’t believe that his fellow Trumpers believed his postings but still voted for the man and published libelous filth. He is the shittiest form of human, a being who stands for nothing but self profit. He wasn’t even trying to help Trump but exploit fellow citizens.
The NY Times should be ashamed of their profile of Harris. He has been rewarded for his dishonesty. His Twitter is full of claims of major publications publishing fake news. The most recent being Buzzfeed and the Trump dossier. I disagree with Buzzfeed’s publishing of the unverified document. However there is a massive difference between Buzzfeed’s actions and Harris’, he never believed his claims to be true and doctored evidence to falsify his claim. He deserves jail time for his intentional and knowingly false smears.
His defense of everyone in politics stretches the truth is ridiculous. First it isn’t an argument just a cliche. Second there is a difference between misunderstanding and lying. No wonder he supports the grandest liar to ever enter American politics. Harris and his ilk are leeches in our politics and need to be drained from the swamp. I doubt Trump has that kind of courage being a spineless draft dodger and career huckster.
Update: He has been fired
The “lala land” haters say escapism is a waste of time and just amusement but lala land is an expression of inner emotions that we all in la trying to make it face every day. It is a real truth in that sense. Moonlight on the other hand is escapism as exotic as a scifi piece in that I will never know the ghetto or that life and I get to visit distanced by screen from the hardness I and all the haters wont ever know that truth.
To be sure “Moonlight” is a masterpiece that will stand with the classics of Lang and Murnau. It is a brilliant and moving film. It saddens me how people ignore the pure quality to focus on highlighting the diversity. Despite the foreignness of the world it is set in, I did connect with Chiron. I do think “Moonlight” has universality to it but I think most praise it for being what the SJW call “important” aka not white. “Important” is a word used to silence discussion it is to say shut up and repeat after me as if life is an unending college lecture. It has become meaningless. Industry awards are inherently pointless but to give them out based on white guilt is insulting to the craftsmen.
“La La Land” is a great film as well. Shot on cinemascope, as big as the frame is the narrative and performances make it feel like a blackbox play at times. One of it’s greatest strengths that Jack Delaney reminded me of is it is sincere. Most retro old Hollywood inspired films rely on the irony: nudge nudge can you believe this used to be the pictures or that more people went to see these than the great stuff we have today. Much like Postman’s analysis of “1984” party members, Jack noted how eventually the mocking gaze becomes honest enjoyment like the party member running the antique shop front. Most are set in the time of peak Studio System especially the overserious nonironic period pieces that treat the subject like a simpler time as a background to smolder in front of. “La La Land” embraces cinema’s history and the timelessness of the struggles to succeed creatively. Set in present day, it challenges us to question our emotions and what we value. It is beyond postmodern pastiche and is a Hollywood jazz musical about love and not the empty Coldplay love sold to us. It is not novel and that rubs the haters wrong. They are upset that their shiny new toy isn’t new or shiny but worn with age and care. That dedication to yourself and others is something more than just to be satired. That self love isn’t buyable or postable, it is a reward in itself. That the audience’s urban community isn’t a community at all but a parasite that consumed the community that existed and now is dying without a host. People hate on “La La Land” because they feel they must change after viewing.
The president elect loves Twitter. Why shouldn’t he after all it is an never ending rally and the news loves it. It is a danger in the limit of the length the tweet can be. 140 characters is not a full position. It is a reaction and we react to a reaction. Trump is the puppeteer in the cave casting shadows. In 15 days, he will be the commander of the top military, head of state, and the decider of foreign policy. He can broadcast in anyway with the American people and chooses the least vocal. He jabs and pokes Beijing. Putin will not follow he has no dog in the fight. The bromance is a one way show. I wouldn’t mind weekly hour long firesides it would be enlightening to see the long form thought.
“Children of Men” is a great movie but I disagree with the notion it is representative of 2016 is wrong or more accurately why the left says it is accurate is wrong. Just like the 2016 election, Brexit, and the anger of the poor. Especially the Vulture article, as much as the author claims that the solution can only come from new ideologies. I cannot disagree more.
We have a crisis of humanity. The Global Elite to which a majority of critics belong to point the death of compassion on the white poor and religion. It is simple and easy to label their fear as xenophobic or racist. First xenophobia is a medical condition and to be an armchair doctor from high without certification or actual medical knowledge never has cured a soul. Second the modern refugee is not the professional class Jew of antebellum Germany, they are a manual skill laborer. A class that the Western professional class has waged war against for 46 years. Robbed of living wages, the current wave of rage began in earnest with the election of Clinton in 1992 who pandered to the deindustrialized people on the campaign. Once in office, their quality of life was ignored for the P. C. culture wars. Now the few jobs that they are allowed to work due to the investment in their communities that makes the cost of college and credit rating needed for fair loans out of reach. Even jobs that don’t require education or specialized skills such as data entry are reserved for the privileged conferred degrees as a consolation to the damage digital disruption is wreaking on our world. Now the professional class wants to further dilute the opportunities by increasing working class competition without sacrifices of their own.
The worshipped tech “geniuses” who take from those with the least to trickle up luxury to the anointed upper class look at us from their environmentally friendly manors sitting on their hoards. They bestow gifts on those who believe in their dogma without question or defiance. Charter schools selective in the children to be saved and the majority go to global causes to expand their influence and control on new populations. They ignore the communities who raised them because we are not islands. The false interpretation of the enlightenment as the individual above the world ignores the wisdom of our predecessors. Kings exist beyond job titles and the tech and financial worlds have returned aristocracy and fiefdoms into our lives long before Trump declared his candidacy. It is the loss of morals not the inadequacy that created this moment. Cuaron is not immune to luxury take “Gravity” a decadent experience that was not revelatory as much as indulgent.
There are no quick solutions to the challenges of climate change and overpopulation but some of the most inspiring innovators live by traditional values like Elon Musk. Investing in the future rather than paying out short term profits. Will the critics who spend their days judging mostly forgettable entertainment that needs no comment ever use their existence to better humanity? Of course not they would have to give up their celebrity chef curated tasting experiences and gilded bars with bartenders who frame themselves as scientists. Television and amusement in all forms especially pop culture academia have narrowed our worlds. There is no global pillars rather the peoples of the world were sold snake oil. Bending the knee and toppling the temples that carried them through the ages for the false idol that is cosmopolitanism. Falsely accused of being the true vision of enlightenment cosmopolitanism is the antithesis. Consider the difference between “Yes, We Can” vs “I’m with Her” and “Make America Great Again”. To the contrary of Trump’s later speeches his slogan is a call to action that offered an ignored people a hand in their faith. Clinton’s slogan was a pledge of fealty that asked people to give into the will of the elite, perhaps even further degraded a fashion statement.
The modern elites to which every member of the mainstream media is apart of (important note: local media such as small circulation newspapers are not the same as much as the titans of attention try to frame them as such) view us the people as malfunctioning machines. Think about how the jargon the media uses to explain psychology and sociology is borrowed from tech. We are “programmed” beings “wired” to “function”. We are not machines but souls born. We are not “designed” to serve but created by God to live and exist. Even the notion of the individual stems not from writing but the shift on architecture and technology. In the age of Socrates ideas needed more than one to be thought through discussion. The advance of the written world through the convenience of the printing press created a new medium of conversation. Rooms began to separate us. Our ancestors shared a space with each other and their livestock. The individual bedroom made the self which found itself in writing. The expansion of the world that writing allowed for was far beyond the seven mile radius that existed in the feudal villages. This new world connected by ideas allowed the new individual to group and create without the intimacy of proximity. That was the birth of the Enlightenment. Film continued the same, premeditated images shared.
Television ended the Enlightened world no longer was the audience separated by time from the idea and image. We all could share the events of the world as they happened disconnected from location. McLuhan’s global village. More than 90% of Americans knew that JFK died within 2 hours. Most of the country watched the live coverage of his funeral 3 days later. A moment almost literally shared by the nation. Now with smartphones and the livestream have completed the village. We are no longer ever alone. We are no longer selves as in the Age of Enlightenment. Our actions known to all as we act. The elites have used this to prey on the people for profit. Now the people understand the new age and have come for control of the village.
This time of year and particularly on Christmas Eve I revisit two monumental works that aren’t defined by our celebration of the birth of our savior by actually define how we celebrate this joyous occasion when God became man. Those works are Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Created a hundred years apart in the birth and the peak of the industrial age. In light of the election, I’ve relished my reviewing this season.
I was in TJ Maxx and came across the attached image of Ivanka Trump’s, the woman behind the throne, fashion line. The Trump family has no morals no values. They have spent their lifetimes nickel and diming us the people. Profiting from questionable chinese labor and then inciting the same people they made unemployed to lash out. They are a family of Potters and Scrooges.
I’m reminded of the case against Abacus Bank, a relatively small community bank based in Chinatown New York that never peddled subprime mortgages or sold securities of dud mortgages. The crime as seen by the NY DA office was acting like a community service organization. Abacus used community connectedness rather than solely income and job title. Their default rate was a tenth of the national during the peak of the crisis. What else is a bank if not the financial heart of our community? The DA’s comments certainly supports the view that our modern financial institutions exist to enrich the already wealthy.
We were founded on the idea capitalism tempered by our morals gave us the most free economic system that supported the citizens that was less inclined to create an aristocracy. It was a mean to the end. Large profit an occasional bonus not the goal. Generosity was as important as being informed to the founders. Kindness and compassion were paramount to the functioning of the republic.
The Trumps and the other transnational elite have left our American community. They have abandoned our values. They created a mockery of the lives we hold dear. We hound combat veterans to pay back an accidental overpay long after the payment was made but Trump can write off a shitty decision on his civic duty.