Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Jean-Luc Godard


French newspaper Libération reported Godard's death Tuesday. Godard, whose works defined the French New Wave moment, was 91.

French president Emmanuel Macron confirmed Godard's death in a tribute on Twitter.

"It was like an apparition in French cinema," Macron wrote. "Then he became one of its masters. Jean-Luc Godard, the most iconoclastic of New Wave directors, had invented a resolutely modern, intensely free art. We lose a national treasure, a genius outlook."

Godard was born in Paris in 1930. He began attending film society clubs as a young man and was a film critic for Cahiers du Cinéma during its heyday of the 1950s.

The director released his debut feature film, Breathless, in 1960. The crime drama starring Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival that year and marked the triumph of the French New Wave.

Godard went on to direct such films as A Woman is a Woman, My Life to Live and Alphaville in the 1960s. Many of his films featured his first wife, Anna Karina, and his second wife, Anne Wiazemsky.

BREATHLESS is a classic.  However, a lot of his work is unwatchable. I can watch and enjoy TOUT VA BIEN where Jane Fonda covers a strike but a lot of it was more of an exercise in film than an actual film, sorry.  And I'm still not sure what the point of LETTER TO JANE was -- other than to mock.
It's interesting that he worked with two of the most persecuted -- by the US government -- actresses of the 20th century: Jane Fonda and Jean Seberg.  Jean starred in BREATHLESS, she sales THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE.  Her look was much copied and the film inspired many.  It's among the finest of the French New Wave.  But he never worked with her again.  He only worked with Jane once as well.  (Jane's part of the French New Wave as well via the films of Roger Vadim.)  
 I've seen probably 15 of Godard's films and I would recommend that others do as well.  Even the ones that do not work for me as films, I learned from.  They were more exercises than a narrative or anything like that.

He was a master of film technique.

But his early films had a point and he seemed to have lost interest in that.  WEEK-END and TOUT VA BIEN are his last films in the sense that most of us use the term "film."  In addition to those two films and BREATHLESS, I would especially recommend CONTEMPT and MADE IN THE U.S.A.  Another film, MASCULIN FEMININ is considered one of his master works -- it didn't do much for me (we saw it in film history class) but it is considered one of his finer works.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, September 13, 2022.  The fawning never ends for the imperialists, Joe Biden can't find Jackson, Mississippi but he's gearing up to visit London, a rally for Julian Assange took place in Mexico City, and much more.

On July 24, 2020, a false tweet was posted that claimed Queen Elizabeth II had posed in front of a gold-colored piano that was “stolen” from former Iraq President Saddam Hussein. It read, “The golden piano is owned by the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It was stolen from Iraq during the Gulf War. And it was recently seen behind Elizabeth the Queen of Britain in the Royal Palace!”

SNOPES then wants to offer background on Saddam Hussein.  Why not background on the Brit royals who have over $80 billion?  

King Charles III attended a special meeting of both houses of parliament held at Westminster Hall Monday. He was greeted with fawning speeches from Lords Speaker, Baron John McFall, and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, both former Labour MPs.

They delivered a “humble address” agreed by each of the houses of parliament while Charles sat on a raised podium surrounded by assorted figures in outlandish costumes, including the King’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms.

The ceremony was meant to sanctify “our constitutional monarchy”, as “a symbol of stability in an ever-changing world”, in Hoyle’s words. He noted that the late queen had visited Westminster Hall many times to mark historic occasions, including the 300th anniversary of the “Glorious Revolution”. In an example of the rampant cynicism of the event, Hoyle commented, “It is perhaps very British to celebrate revolutions by presenting an address to Her Majesty, but those revolutions led to our constitutional freedoms.”

Like most of the historical references thrown around in the days following the queen’s death last week, it is best for the ruling class that they remain vague. The Glorious Revolution refers to the 1688 war of succession that began with an invasion of England by William of Orange and which deposed the Catholic James II, after which the protestant King William III and Queen Mary swore an oath to uphold the laws made in parliament.

What was therefore being celebrated at Westminster Hall is the ability of Britain’s imperialist bourgeoisie to utilise the monarchy as a means of sanctifying and reinforcing its own power.

This is the essential function of all the daily rituals surrounding the queen’s death that have been given saturation coverage by Britain’s media, presented always in solemn tones no matter how ludicrous the events being reported.

Don't know who is the worst liar and enabler these days on the royal family?  Two worth naming right away.   Patrick "We are the Communist Cockburns!'' writes of his mommy's coming out as  a deb at Buckingham Palace.  The other? Ava and I were going to reference Riverdaughter on something she'd written in 2009.  But it's . . . Riverdaughter.  So we checked her site and the second newest entry was on Queen Elizabeth and wanted the world to know "she's the only queen I've known in my lifetime" or some such garbage.  Riverdaughter met the Queen?  No.  She knew of her but Riverdaughter always struggles with writing.  (Her garbage meant we didn't highlight her from 2009.)  

The uproar over the tweet posted by Carnegie Mellon University professor Uju Anya has revealed the hypocrisy of the democratic pretensions of the ruling establishment, and its readiness to resort to censorship to silence dissenting or unpopular voices.

The Nigerian-born Anya, an associate professor in the linguistics department at CMU in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, tweeted last week, upon hearing that Queen Elizabeth II was near death, “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.”

Among those quickly responding to the tweet was Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, currently listed as the third-wealthiest billionaire in the world. “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better,” tweeted Bezos. “I don’t think so. Wow.”

Anya’s post was quickly deleted by Twitter, which claimed that it violated the social media company’s guidelines.

Anya’s employer also responded, with the following statement: “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account. Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”

In the typical two-faced style perfected in such circles, the university pledged its commitment to free expression and attacked it at the same time. Anya was using her personal account and was not speaking for the university. If free speech is “core,” why was the statement necessary, not simply dissociating the university from Anya’s views, but also denouncing them?

Multi-billionaire Bezos, it turns out, donated $2 million to Carnegie Mellon in the last few years. The Chief Financial Officer of Amazon, Brian Olsavsky, is the recipient of an MBA degree from the same institution. The statement from CMU was issued quickly after Bezos’ tweet. It is hard to imagine a more direct expression of the way in which today’s institutions of “higher learning” are tied to their wealthy donors. CMU was evidently concerned about its “image,” but this means above all its reputation within the ruling elite.

The professor refused to back down. “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star,” she said in a further tweet. She later sent an email to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette declaring, “I stand by my tweet and do not have any regrets ... I am the child and sibling of survivors of genocide. From 1967-1970, more than 3 million civilians were massacred when the Igbo people of Nigeria tried to form the independent nation of Biafra. Those slaughtered included members of my family. I was born in the immediate aftermath of this genocide.”

British imperialism, under the Labour government headed by Harold Wilson, secretly supplied arms, and ammunition to the Nigerian government during the civil war of the late 1960s. Nigeria had been granted formal independence only at the beginning of that decade, after a period of British colonial rule spanning three-quarters of a century.

Anya’s tweets and other statements reflect a pan-Africanist outlook, one that separates the history of colonialism and imperialist exploitation from the international class struggle as a whole. In any case, billions of people around the world, the descendants of those ruled by the British overlords on almost every continent, in Ireland, Kenya, India and elsewhere, have no reason to mourn the passing of the Queen. The current social media storm has brought to the fore the issue of the history and legacy of colonial rule, and the justifiable hatred it engendered.

This reality was also addressed on DEMOCRACY NOW! yesterday.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden's prepping to attend the funeral which begs two questions.  First, didn't the US fight a war to be free of British royalty?  Second, I'm sorry but what funeral did Liz attend.  Liz didn't show for Ronald Reagan's funeral or George H.W. Bush's or Lyndon B. Johnson's or JFK's or . . .

Why the hell does our president need to fawn over Liz and leaves his duties in this country?  

She's dead.  Rich and privileged, allowed Liz to live to an elderly age (96). That's 15 years longer than the average British citizen and much, much longer than the citizens of the countries the UK robbed and enslaved.

Elderly Joe needs to get his fat and flabby ass on a plane, alright, but not the UK.  He needs to go to Jacksonville, Mississippi.  Cordell Gascoigne (WSWS) notes:

The 150,000 residents of Jackson, Mississippi once again have water running to their homes and businesses after the city’s public water and sewage system collapsed amid flooding at the end of August. However, the water remains undrinkable and the city remains under a boil-water notice, which has been in place since July, before the current crisis hit.

Despite officials reporting water pressure having normalized, many residents of Jackson have reported very low water pressure and discolored water coming from their taps. On Friday, Molly Minta, reporter for Mississippi Today, recorded herself turning on the faucet at her home in the Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson, only to reveal an ongoing social crime: coffee-brown water. The video was posted on Twitter and has been widely circulated, garnering more than 12.5 million views. 

Notwithstanding the the lack of clean drinking water, as of Friday, Jackson’s public schools resumed in-person learning, doubly endangering students in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves said, “This water system broke over several years and it would be inaccurate to claim it is totally solved in the matter of less than a week,” continuing, “There may be more bad days in the future. We have, however, reached a place where people in Jackson can trust that water will come out of the faucet, toilets can be flushed and fires can be put out.”

On Tuesday, Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said there was “some optimism” about samples being taken of the city’s water.

For the water to be declared safe and the water boil advisory to be dropped, two days of successful testing is required for health officials in Jackson to issue a declaration clearing the water for consumption. But emergency repairs are temporary, given the system’s aged infrastructure that could malfunction at any point, as it did during the colossal winter freeze of 2021, and again this year.

Joe Biden had no plans to help anyone as president.  He ran for the yearbook credit only.  Now he hears the clicking of cameras in London and, attention whore that he is, he wants to be part of that.  He doesn't want to roll up sleeves and work to address this very serious problem in the US.

Turning to Iraq, ARAB WEEKLY notes:

As he received Turkish intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, in the capital, Baghdad, the head of the Sunni Sovereignty Alliance Khamis al-Khanjar, sparked a widespread controversy in Iraq, especially, since he does no official capacity to hold such meetings with top foreign intelligence officials.

Political analysts said that Khanjar's hosting of Fidan, in the presence of a number of deputies and leaders of the Sovereignty Alliance, reflected the growing political clout of Ankara among Iraq's Sunnis.

Along with its ties to Khanjar's alliance, Turkey maintains a close relationship with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which runs the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, as well as the Turkmen Front, which is influential in Kirkuk and Mosul, in particular.

Analysts do not rule out the possibility that the meeting took place based on an understanding between Ankara and Tehran to convince the Sovereignty Alliance of the need to meet the demands of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework amid the current political crisis, especially over the choice of a president and prime minister and the formation of a cabinet.

The head of Turkish intelligence visited Baghdad, Saturday, the first such Iraqi trip by a high-ranking Turkish official  since the Turkish attack which last July targeted a tourist village in the Dohuk governorate in northern Iraq, causing many civilian casualties and sparking a diplomatic row between Ankara and Baghdad.

The political stalemate continues.  People continue to either lie or not know the facts -- I'm looking at a man writing for THE NATIONAL.  I'm not in the mood for it this morning.

Let's note Julian instead. Sunday, Sarah Abdallah Tweets:

Today we remember Julian Assange who is facing life in prison for publishing evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. Meanwhile, those who invaded Iraq on a pack of lies, launching an illegal war that killed and displaced millions and gave rise to ISIS, remain free. #911NeverForget

Joe Biden needs to be called out for the persecution of Julian Assange.

"Congress shall make no law (. . .) abridging the freedom of speech, or of th press; (...)."
-- First Amendment of the US Constitution

With this part of the First Amendment of the US Constitution in mind, one should assume that these rights are actually being granted for everybody in the United States.  This should also apply to the US government requiring it to be transparent and to treat the press accordingly.  Nobody should be infringed in these fundamental rights of freedom, even if the execution of this law may harm the government.
However, the government is often in a superior position and abuses its power to the disadvantage of the individuals.  In the US, a  man striving for governmental transparency and open communication is charged for over 18 counts of violating the Espionage Act . . . 

So opens Hannes Matthias Faulhaber's LEGAL PROCEEDINS AGAINST JULIAN ASSANGE: A SYMBOL FOR US PRESS OPRESSION.  US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian.  In Joe's decaying mind, the US government is supposed to punish those who reveal War Crimes, not those who commit them.  Back to Faulhaber:

In summer 2010, Assange was contacted by an IT-speicalist of the US Army (who was at the time deployed in Iraq).  He possessed secret files about the Guantanamo-prison, the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war filled with a lot of until then unpublished data, reports, pictures and videos.  As time went by, the soldier, now called Chelsea Manning, provided Assange with more and more secret documents -- about 750,000 in total. 
[. . .]

If the US really wants to limit the damages to its reputation and even repair its image, it should follow a wiser theory.  Instead of continuing to evade responsibility, it should take corrective action as its repair strategy.  Including the First Amendment of the Constitution mentioned in the beginning, the appropriate corrective action would be the unlimited freedom of the press.

Sunday, a protest took place in Mexico City calling for Julian to be set free. 

The protest took place  in front of the US Embassy in Mexico City.  SPUTNIK spoke with the John Shipton, the father of Julian who states that his son is a symbol of freedom of the press around the world.  MERCO PRESS reports:

Relatives and supporters of Julian Assange's gathered Sunday in fron of the US Embassy in Mexico City to protest against the impending extradition of the Wikileaks founder to the United States to face espionage charges, on the wake of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's arrival.

Joining Assange's father were the #24F Coalición Vida y Libertad collective who called for a rally and demonstration prior to Blinken's visit. ”I want to thank Mexico for its hospitality and support for Julian Assange, their support has been tremendous particularly (President) Andrés Manuel López Obrador,“ said John Assange.

Julian's brother Gabriel Shipton argued that Blinken could not travel around the world ”lecturing countries about their freedom of press, while keeping one of the most important editors in the world [under arrest] in Great Britain.”

"I want to thank Mexico for its hospitality and support for Julian Assange. Its support has been tremendous, particularly President Lopez Obrador," Assange's father said.

Blinken "travels the world saying that free speech is a top concern in Washington, but they continue to persecute Julian Assange... He is a global symbol of free speech," Gabriel Shipton said, adding that the U.S. cannot give lessons on free speech while "the best journalist in the world" remains in prison.

And the world is watching.  As Joe persecutes Julian and attacks freedom of the press, the world watches.  October 8th, there will be a rally in London.  Graham Elwood has  already announced that he will be taking part in the rally.

There are actions taking place around the world.  October 8th will also see action in the Bay Area.

Here in the Bay Area please join us as we participate in this worldwide solidarity event of the Surround Parliament human chain. We will meet at noon on October 8th at Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco. Bring #YellowRibbons4Assange, signs, your family & friends, or just yourself. We will form a human chain of yellow ribbons, come rain or shine. If you can’t make it to San Francisco, create a chain or stand alone in your city and let us and/or @Candles4Assange know about it.

October 8th, a protest rally is planned for DC, in front of the US Justice Dept, starting at noon.

The time to find your voice is now.

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