Ava and C.I.'s latest is "TV: Can anything be worse than fall 2020?" and they note a number of things but I want to especially emphasize this:
As 2020 drew to a close, the general consensus was that 2021 had to be better -- it had to be. Actually? It could be worse. It could be. We'd like to think 2021 will be better for American television but it might not be.
HBO appears eager to let everyone down. Saturday nights? Since June 6, 1992 -- barring a sporting event, concert or something similar -- that's when HBO airs a new movie -- debuts one for the network. It can be an original HBO film or it can be a theatrical release that is airing on television for the first time. Did you miss they're offering Saturday night?
A 17-year-old film. Is HBO trying to be TCM now?
Where's the new movie?
Don't think it was over on HBO MAX because it wasn't.
[. . .]
While HBO can't deliver a new movie a week, NETFLIX is promising to do just that throughout 2021. It's already delivered the best show of January.
So let's look at the movies NETFLIX plans to offer this year.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Thursday, January 21, 2021. Bombings slam Baghdad, US media gushes over Joe Biden.
This morning, Baghdad is slammed with bombings "in a busy commercial area near Baghdad’s al-Tayaran Square."
, "Twin suicide bombings ripped through a crowded marketplace in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 32 people and wounding at least 75 others in the first such attack in Iraq’s capital in more than two years." The writers insist that "the explosions shattered a period of relative calm." It hasn't been relatively calm in Iraq but it does provide cover for your outlet that's ignored the ongoing violence -- especially the violence aimed at the protesters -- when shocked readers see the story. As and Justin Malcolm (WALL STREET JOURNAL) reportXINHUA points out, "sporadic deadly incidents still occur in the war-ravaged country as IS remnants have since melted into urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians" Samya Kullab and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) note, "Blood smeared the floors of the busy market amid piles of clothes and shoes as survivors took stock of the disarray in the aftermath." The first bomb helped draw the crowd, the second one then went off. Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN) explains, "The interior ministry said the first bomber had claimed he was ill and when crowds gathered to help, he detonated his bomb." Aqeel Najm, Jomana Karadsheh, Kareem Khadder and Tamara Qiblawi (CNN) add:
ALJAZEERA's Abdelfattah Fayed states, "The injured were rushed to the nearby hospitals. Local reports suggest that the number of fatalities will rise as the large number of those injured are in very critical condition." Ramadan Al Sherbini (GULF NEWS) notes, "Photos carried by Iraqi media showed bodies lying on the ground in the aftermath of the attack." XINHUA reports:
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Thursday condemned in the strongest terms the twin suicide bombings at a crowded commercial area in Iraq's capital Baghdad.
"That terrorist attack is a heinous act that came at a very important time. It undoubtedly aimed to hinder Iraq's efforts to restore the country's security and stability and achieve the aspired economic reform," Aboul-Gheit said.
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR offers this context, "The latest bombings come just days after the government unanimously voted to postpone the country's general elections to October this year. They were scheduled for 6 June. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had pledged to hold early elections after taking office last year, to appease anti-government protesters demanding a reform of the country's political system and an end to rampant corruption and poor public services."
Among the many hideous moments on US TV yesterday? The efforts to turn Bully Boy Bush into someone worthy of admiration. The War Criminal is beloved by those who whore for corporations. Hannibal Khoury Tweets:
Corporate whores are happy. They spent yesterday ooh-ing and ahh-ing over aged debutante Joe Biden's coming out party. The rest of the world? Not so much. Kooky | Destroyer of Mayo notes:
Palestine is not celebrating today Venezuela is not celebrating today Iran is not celebrating today Syria is not celebrating today Iraq is not celebrating today Cuba is not celebrating today Bolivia is not celebrating today Yemen is not celebrating today
Chile is not celebrating today Afghanistan is not celebrating today Honduras is not celebrating today
I'm not letting liberals enjoy this. There is nothing to enjoy, only the continuation of capitalist terror and hegemony
Yeah the new president is a war criminal who has terrorized the places I listed. Take your smart comments to other places
Joseph Kishore (WSWS) reports of the inauguration:
President Joseph Biden’s inaugural address yesterday was significant above all for its banality. Amidst an unprecedented political, social and economic crisis of the entire capitalist order, Biden delivered remarks filled with cliches, incoherent non sequiturs and the emptiest of abstractions.
One would not, of course, expect Biden to deliver a socialist speech. He is a capitalist politician assuming the position of “commander-in-chief” of the most powerful imperialist country. However, in the tradition of American politics, the inaugural address of the incoming president used to be an occasion for speaking in some form to the political situation and the policy of the incoming administration.
[. . .]
The poverty of Biden’s remarks is not just an intellectual failure. He knows full well that any hint at a significant shift in policy would spark a sell-off on the markets. As it was, the markets rose during his speech. In the minds of the political establishment and the media, this is the main factor in concluding that the speech was a great success. They were all somewhat richer at its conclusion than at its beginning.
Moreover, the political representatives of the ruling class, and particularly the Democratic Party, are acutely aware of the fact that any serious examination of reality—including the political and social forces behind the rise of fascism in America and the bipartisan policies that have produced the catastrophic spread of the pandemic—risks a social and political explosion that will threaten the entire capitalist order.
Biden’s appeal to “unity” is, ultimately, a desperate effort to cover over a massive social chasm. This chasm does not separate the Democrats from the Republicans, who, whatever their differences, both represent the same oligarchy. It is the unbridgeable division between the capitalist ruling elite, on the one hand, and the working class, on the other. It is the fear of the open eruption of this conflict that drives Biden to his abstractions.
ADDED: Glenn Greenwald Tweeted:
The following sites updated: