Category Archives: Politics

Link Dump: #88

This week’s kitty is gazing ominously at the title character of Edward Dmytryk’s The Sniper, which I wrote about recently. Never have I seen a cat with more accusing eyes. And now, some links:

This week’s sexual search terms include “slippery teen twat first time with looney toons” (ewww…?) and the amusingly self-censoring “bondage mind-effing.” Mind-effing!

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Blood Money

Motifs in Cinema is a discourse across some film blogs, assessing the way in which various thematic elements have been used in the 2012 cinematic landscape. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy to a drama? Are filmmakers working from a similar canvas when they assess the issue of death or the dynamics of revenge? Like most things, a film begins with an idea – Motifs in Cinema assesses how various themes emanating from a single idea change when utilised by varying artists.

My subject is “Economics and Money,” which has me thinking about how Mitt Romney—that scion of wealth, that symbol of the 1%—worked his way into the movies of 2012. You could see him, for example, in The Dark Knight Rises and its garbled vision of class warfare; in the resilience of its “job creator” hero Bruce Wayne. You could feel the GOP’s “We built that!” ethos writ large in Wayne Enterprises and in the way Wayne’s money entitles him to our trust, because he and only he can build “all those wonderful toys.” (I also spent election season thinking of Romney in terms of another iconic Christian Bale plutocrat: American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman, who exhibits precisely the same supreme confidence and nonexistent empathy as Romney’s public persona.)

Ah, but The Dark Knight Rises was a wish fulfillment fantasy where the rich got richer and retired to Italy. Whereas Romney lost. So maybe a more accurate avatar for him would be David Siegel, the real estate mogul whose downgrade from “mega-rich” to merely “rich” provides the narrative for Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles. It’s hard not to laugh at Siegel, who’s really the victim of his own mammoth hubris, but it’s hard not to pity him either; post-2008, liquid exhaustion seems to have replaced blood in his veins. So while Christopher Nolan depicts the rich as our saviors, Greenfield turns them into a queasy cosmic joke. The film does humanize the Siegels, but I still occasionally felt like cackling at the screen: “That’s what you get, motherfuckers!”

Yes, Mitt Romney oozed his way into superhero movies and documentaries. But you may be wondering, “What about middlebrow dramas?” He was there too! In Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage, that is—2012’s “Wall Street thriller” follow-up to Margin Call. Robert Miller, the stock market savant played by Richard Gere, is not unlike Bruce Wayne or David Siegel: like them, he depends on an elaborate façade. As with them, it’s all that keeps him from personal and financial ruin. Although Gere squeezes some pathos out of the film’s half-dozen dilemmas, it’s obvious that Miller’s morally compromised down to his bones, willing to endanger family, friends, anyone to save his own ass. Yet he’s still allowed to impress the audience with his quick maneuvering, which is symptomatic of the thoroughly disposable Arbitrage’s have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too inclinations.

Light-years from the pedestrian likes of Arbitrage lies my favorite 2012 manifestation of Recession-era anxiety: it’s David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, with heartthrob Robert Pattinson starring as Romney-ish lizard-god Eric Packer. Cronenberg takes a tack opposite that of most filmmakers, choosing to anti-humanize Eric, to embalm him in theory and harsh lighting until he becomes this throbbing, phosphorescent thing. It’s alienating to watch, since you can’t give Eric your pity or sympathy or love. But for a year so full of unfeeling, digitized violence (whether physical or economic) and with more of both on the way… I suspect Cronenberg got it just about right.

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Link Dump: #81

This week’s spooooky kitty is from Michele Soavi’s Cemetery Man, which also blessed us with this image of Rupert Everett. And now, some links for early October…

Some spooooky search terms: “10 kid pussy,” “man and women rectum,” and the wonderful Yahoo! Answers fodder (or maybe rejected Macbeth dialogue?) “does wanking make a black spot under nipple appear.”

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Link Dump: #79

More from People Holding Cats: this time it’s a scruffy Anthony Hopkins cuddling the world’s smallest, fluffiest kitty. And just like that, any Hopkins-related fears you may have from watching Silence of the Lambs melt away. Look at him with that kitty! No way he’s a cannibal who makes creepy noises with his tongue. And now, lotsa links:

A few hilarious/pornographic search terms over the past couple weeks: “royal_princess_pussy@yahoo.com,” “стерильная лаборатория” (apparently Russian for “sterile laboratory”?), “mmm que vagina,” and finally, “fuck like thunder womens.” Indeed.

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Link Dump: #63

Following up last week’s Jean Vigo kitty, we have one from Vigo’s short À propos de Nice. It’s just sitting by a sewer grate in Nice, when all of a sudden, there’s Jean Vigo and Boris Kaufman! And now it’s immortalized in film history. Yay kitty! Now here are some links:

We had a smattering of fantastic, strange search terms this past week. Like “docters do the opration of chute pussy.” Or the very valid inquiry “why is it called porn and not something else”? Imagine a world where it’s not called porn. Just imagine it! And lastly, “google to sex women to women love firends both lesbian gether weddnig pussy pussy in is the moives.” Jesus, that’s an epic search term!

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We Are Penn State: Victim-blamers and Apologists

In light of the horrible allegations of child sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky and the implications of Joe Paterno, Penn State University president Graham Spanier and the county police in covering up/ignoring reports of the abuse, there’s been a great deal of talk on my campus (Penn State Abington, about 3 hours away from main campus) about sexual abuse, victims, athlete privilege and so on.

Quite frankly (and unsurprisingly) I’m pretty disgusted with a lot of what I’m hearing coming from my fellow Penn State students.

Let me lay out the allegations for those who may be unaware: Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State football coach was arrested on 40 counts of child sexual abuse. According to the allegations, Sandusky used his status as a Penn State coach to take advantage of young boys; he founded the Second Mile program to help underprivileged boys from troubled backgrounds–these are the boys it’s alleged that he abused. This abuse has supposedly gone on for the past 15 years and there are all kinds of implications that Joe Paterno (head coach of Penn State) and  Graham Spanier may have had a hand in keeping his crimes on the down-low–after being notified by an incident of sexual abuse they barred him from bringing children on the Penn State property but still allowed him to operate a summer camp. More and more details leak out every day–today a mother of one of the alleged survivors claimed that Sandusky admitted to her that he touched her son inappropriately in the shower.

So basically, there’s a lot of fucked up shit going on here. And there are a lot of high profile people involved. This has become big news, not just in Pennsylvania but nationwide. Penn State is a big name school in the U.S.; people know what you’re talking about when you say Penn State and it’s considered a Public Ivy university. There’s been tons of discussion on my campus (and other Penn State campuses too, I’m sure) about all of this and, while some of it has been interesting in-depth discussion, a lot of it has been nothing more than disgusting victim-blaming, apologist bullshit. I’ve talked about rape-culture, rape-apology, victim-blaming and even athlete privilege (which is at play here in a big way) an astounding number of times. So I think, to keep myself sane and my blood-pressure normal, I’ll just list some of the more horrible and/or ignorant things I’ve heard said on this campus in regards to these crimes.

  • There’s no reason why this should reflect badly on the school/affect the Penn State name.
  • I don’t see why this is such a big deal/why it’s national news
  • This is just like the Duke Lacrosse team case and I think it’s being blown out of proportion
  • The parents are just looking for attention/money
  • I don’t think Joe Paterno/Graham Spanier should be blamed for their actions

And possibly the worst of all….

  • Children lie.

I really don’t know what else to say other than I don’t have much Penn State pride right now. I refuse to blame these children, who may have gone through immense trauma and abuse–children who came from troubled or lower income backgrounds and were taken advantage of by someone in a position of power. I refuse to make excuses for people who may–in any fucking way–have aided in hiding these crimes. And I refuse to participate in shaming, the blaming, and the bullshit. Penn State: get your shit together.

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Link Dump: #49

You know a horror cliché that I just love? When animals hiss at people who they just know are going to transform into monsters. Kitties, especially, seem to have a sixth kitty sense about these things. For example: the kitty above, hissing and clawing at Henry Hull just before he changes into Werewolf of London‘s titular lycanthrope. Keep at it, awesome kitty! And now, links:

  • The reliably excellent Roderick Heath of Ferdy on Films writes about MST3K’s Manos: The Hands of Fate episode.
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum objects to Pauline Kael’s Raising Kane while the New Yorker picks five essential Kael reviews.
  • Mark Harris names three stupid Oscar rules. (And when it comes to stupid, inconsistent, counterproductive Oscar rules, this is just the tip of the iceberg.)
  • If you want to read the text of the frivolous Drive lawsuit, you can do so here. It actually reads more like a bad essay out of Film History 101. Highlights include the following:

“Virtually no film critics described in any detail, if even mentioned, the allegorical nature of DRIVE, despite the importance of allegory in DRIVE. This is for inexplicable reasons.”

Well, we have a clear winner out of the past week’s search terms, and it’s “betty boops pussy on fire.” Yeahhh.

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