Tuesday, February 21, 2023

LAT won't stop pimping Spielberg's bomb and Cathal Gunning is an idiot

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES has yet another story about THE FABLEMANS.  Can they please stop trying to make that film happen?  The bad movie came out November 11th.  All this time later, it's only made $17 million at the box office in North America.  It's a bomb.  People don't like it.  Maybe if he hadn't cast someone as off-putting as Michelle Williams in the lead role, it would have worked.  Instead, it's his second big budget bomb in a row -- after WEST SIDE STORY -- and the press needs to stop coddling him.

Spielberg has no great talent as a director.  He makes candy corn, manipulative films.  If they can't sell tickets, there is no reason for them to exist.  At 76, maybe it's time for him to stop directing?  He certainly doesn't need to be handed another $40 million shooting budget.  Grasp that.  $40 million.  To shoot a non-musical, non-special effects film.  Talk about wasting money.  

THE FABELMANS is not happening.  It's had four months to happen.  As a country, we don't want to see it.  

Does Cathal Gunning have a brain? Reading her rant at SCREEN RANT, I have to wonder:

Warning: Contains potential SPOILERS for MarloweNow that Jessica Lange’s latest vehicle Marlowe has flopped with critics, it is fair to say that the screen veteran is overdue a triumphant return to American Horror Story. Jessica Lange has had a long, storied career as a Hollywood star. First rising to prominence in the late ‘70s, Lange dominated the box office throughout the ‘80s with a string of string performances in a wide variety of roles. However, her recent screen outings haven’t seen Lange find much critical success.


When, in the 80s, did Jessica dominate the box office?

I know when Jane Fonda did.  I know when Goldie Hawn did.  I even know when Sally Field did.  But Jessica?

She's one of my favorite actresses of all time but what were the big box office hits Gunning thinks Jessica had in the 80s?

She had a supporting role in TOOTSIE -- and won an Oscar for it.  She's incredible.

But box office?  SWEET DREAMS making $13 million is amazing when you look at the domestic numbers on her 80s films and, no, $13 million is not amazing.  CRIMES OF THE HEART teamed her with Diane Keaton and Sissy Spacek and it made it up to $22 million.  Otherwise, we're looking at 12 million on a good day. 

I'm okay with $26 million being considered a hit in the 80s (for North America) but I'm not going to pretend that $12 million -- or less than a million in the case of FAR NORTH -- is box office.  

Jessica made dramatic films when the studio was thrilled if those films might make forty or fifty million.  They really don't make those films anymore.

After TOOTSIE, her biggest box office of the 80s (North America) would be SWEET DREAMS and  CRIMES OF THE HEART.  I'm not insulting that movie.  It's funny and I've watched it so many times I can quote it.  BABY BOOM was considered a hit in the eighties and I love it and I love Diane Keaton.  It made $26 million (North America) so, again, a film geared at adults making $26 million, I'll applaud it as a hit.  But even applying that definition, Jessica's not box office. 


She brings outstanding acting.  And she's one of our best actresses working.  I don't know why you'd lie and say she was box office.  I also don't know why you'd lie and say she's lost it with MARLOWE -- an under-promoted film that stars Liam Neeson -- Jessica is not the star.  It just seems really idiotic for Golling to have written that nonsense. 

And, no, I don't want to see her back on AMERICAN HORROR STORY.  She's done it.  Repeatedly.  She did it very well. But she's not an actress who repeats herself.  What an idiot Golling is.


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


Tuesday, February 21, 2023.  A look back at how we fool ourselves.

On February 2, U.S. prisoner and former al-Qaeda courier Majid Khan was released from the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba after more than 16 years of imprisonment. "We are very pleased with Majid's release," says J. Wells Dixon, a senior staff attorney at the New York City-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

"Majid's transfer to Belize is the culmination of nearly 20 years of work by the CCR and the law firm Jenner & Block," Dixon tells The Progressive. "Our only regret is that he was not released sooner."

On October 7, 2001, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the United States, together with Great Britain, launched "Operation Enduring Freedom," the war in Afghanistan and the beginning of the "global war on terror." It was followed, in March 2003, by the U.S. invasion of Iraq ostensibly to end Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and to destroy his alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

On January 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees were delivered from CIA black sites to the Guantánamo military prison, known as Camp X-Ray, on the island of Cuba. Over the following two decades, approximately 780 detainees would be held there. Today, 34 detainees remain imprisoned in the detention facility. Most troubling, this prison held more than 150 innocent men for years. The Guantánamo prison and associated military courts currently cost U.S. taxpayers about $540 million a year (with about $13.5 million being spent on each detainee). 

That has got to be a typo.  There is no way that $540 million a year is being spent.  I remember Barack Obama running for president and promising that if he was elected he would close Guantanamo.  And he was elected to two terms as president.  I remember.  I remember he said he would codify ROE V WAD -- his first thing he'd do as president -- to ensure that a conservative Supreme Court could never, ever rob women of their reproductive rights.  He said that.  And he said he'd bring all US troops home from Iraq and that he'd close Guantanamo and, heck, I even remember him promising he would end veterans' homelessness.

Surely Saint Barack kept everyone of his promises.  I mean, don't you think he would left office in shame after eight years if he didn't do a damn thing he promised?  

People would have to be pretty pathetic to glorify him -- to this day -- while he and Bruce Springsteen kickback on David Geffen's yacht and Barack sucks up all that money from NETFLIX while failing produce anything anyone wants to watch if Barack didn't keep his promises.

Sadly, that is the reality.  

We didn't get action and we didn't get accountability.  We did get The Cult of St Barack and those losers did ensure that he didn't do a damn thing, he didn't keep any promises, and the results are all around us: Guantanamo remains open, ROE has been overturned, US troops are still on the ground in Iraq and many US veterans continue to be homeless.

The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in '68
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark café
You laugh he said you think you're immune
Go look at your eyes they're full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies
Only pretty lies just pretty lies

-- "The Last Time I Saw Richard," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her BLUE.

Remember that song?  While Ann Wright and others did nothing of value and refused to hold Barack accountable, we'd trot out that song and not the "You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you all those pretty lies, pretty lies, when you gonna realize they're only pretty lies, only pretty lies, just pretty lies."  Did any other song capture both the lies of Barack and the pathetic cult that surrounded him?

From August 3, 2008, that's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS  "Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels." Barack's with Cult of St. Barack members Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matthew Rothschild and Betsy Reed.  They -- and many others -- were there to whore for him and get him to office, they just weren't there to hold him accountable.  After he became president, they were like Marilyn Monroe trying to potty train a puppy (she would 'strike' the puppy with a Kleenex).  

They were so inept and they brought us to this point.  

Instead of holding these people accountable -- the Medea Benjamins who, after Barack got elected, started talking about how it was okay for US to remain in Afghanistan -- today's YOUTUBERS treat them like royalty -- and I don't mean they're publishing memoirs calling them out, I mean they lap at their feet and pretend that these people haven't spent forever and a day whoring.

I just shake my head at the stupidity.  Like I do at the former soap opera actress and her filthy church that hates gays and lesbians -- honey, we all know what you did -- and who you did -- in the 80s and 90s.  Maybe your church doesn't, but we do.  And what I'm really waiting for is for your fans from those days to find out what you're doing now.

The stupidity of it all just gets to me.

Tonight, I believe, TCM will be airing two Carole Lombard films -- one of which, NOTHING SACRED, it an all time favorite of mine.  WIKIPEDIA notes of the film:

Nothing Sacred is a 1937 American Technicolor screwball comedy film directed by William A. Wellman, produced by David O. Selznick, and starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March with a supporting cast featuring Charles Winninger and Walter Connolly. Ben Hecht was credited with the screenplay based on the 1937 story "Letter to the Editor" by James H. Street, and an array of additional writers, including Ring Lardner Jr., Budd Schulberg, Dorothy Parker, Sidney Howard, Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman and Robert Carson made uncredited contributions.

The lush, Gershwinesque music score was by Oscar Levant, with additional music by Alfred Newman and Max Steiner and a swing number by Raymond Scott's Quintette. The film was shot in Technicolor by W. Howard Greene and edited by James E. Newcom, and was a Selznick International Pictures production distributed by United Artists. The film's opening credits feature distinctive caricatures of the leading actors, as 3d-figurines, and creative artists, as 2d-cartoons, by Sam Berman.[3]

This was Lombard's only Technicolor film. She stated that this film was one of her personal favorites.


New York newspaper reporter Wally Cook is blamed for reporting a Harlem bootblack Ernest Walker as an African nobleman hosting a charity event. Cook claims he was unaware, but he is demoted to writing obituaries. He begs his boss Oliver Stone for another chance, and points out a story about a woman, Hazel Flagg, reportedly dying of radium poisoning. Cook is sent to the (fictional) town of Warsaw, Vermont, to interview Hazel. Cook finally locates Hazel, who is crying both because her doctor has told her that she is not dying and because she realizes she might be stuck in Vermont for her whole life. Unaware of this, Cook invites Hazel and her doctor to New York as guests of the Morning Star newspaper.

The newspaper uses her story to increase its circulation. She receives a ticker tape parade and the key to the city, and becomes an inspiration to many. She and Wally fall in love, and he asks her to marry him even though he still thinks she's dying. After a medical exam by three independent doctors, it is finally discovered that Hazel is not really dying, and city officials and Stone decide that it would be better to avoid embarrassment by having it seem that she went off to die, "like an elephant". Hazel and Wally get married and quietly set sail for the tropics. 

1937.  The film addresses the way the press lies, the way it spins, the way it deceives.

What we too often think we're discovering today is a system that's been decried for decades.

And we're unaware of it.  The same we're unaware that CODEPINK was used to clear the field in 2008 to get Barack Obama the nomination and that CODEPINK then did nothing.  There was a time when you could find reality on that at DISSIDENT VOICE before CODESTINK cried crocodile tears and got the comments closed.  Various people -- including several prominent writers now featured at INFORMATION CLEAING HOUSE -- would show up in the comments to note the reality of CODEPINK.

Now days, we just ignore reality and YOUTUBERS tells us how wonderful CODEPINK is.  They don't even know that men were in CODEPINK pulling the strings.  They know nothing.  They take everything at surface value.  They don't examine, they don't do anything but they want to host their YOUTUBE programs and for what reason?

Because if things are ever going to change, it's going to require honest criticism.  If we can't even hold the pathetic I-Need-Attention Medea Benjamin (Susan, let's be honest) accountable, how are we ever going to hold politicians accountable?

The knowledge is out there, if we'd only embrace it and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

We're going to note this action from WSWS:

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary weekend of the criminal U.S.-invasion of Iraq, a major set of actions, including a demonstration at the White House in Washington, D.C., will take place Saturday, March 18, demanding “Peace in Ukraine — Say NO to Endless U.S. Wars” and “Fund People’s Needs, Not the War Machine.”

Since 2003, the U.S. has engaged in sanctions (economic war) on more than 40 countries. These targets of U.S. economic warfare include the people of Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran and many other nations. Even in the wake of the worst disasters, like the recent deadly earthquake, Washington keeps its cruel sanctions in place against Syria. 

U.S. bases and “commands” blanket most of the world. It is a global empire.

The Biden administration is determined to escalate the Ukraine war. The real goal of the massive arming and training of Ukrainian forces has nothing to do with the interests of Ukrainian, Russian or U.S. people. The aim instead is to “weaken Russia,” as stated by the U.S. Secretary of Defense himself, even at the risk of a catastrophic nuclear war that could end life on Earth. 

A U.S. general commanding 50,000 troops in the Pacific also issued a letter to his sub-commanders in recent days, informing them that he believes that the United States will be at war with China within two years. The danger of global war is growing! The people must act!

The demonstration will make connections between the human and financial toll of U.S. militarism at home and abroad. Key demands include:

  1. Peace in Ukraine — No weapons, no money for the Ukraine War!
  2. Abolish NATO — End U.S. militarism and sanctions!
  3. Fund people’s needs, not the war machine!
  4. No war with China!
  5. End U.S. aid to racist apartheid Israel!
  6. Fight racism and bigotry at home, not other peoples!
  7. U.S. hands off Haiti!
  8. End AFRICOM!

Click here to help build this action

Click here to endorse the action


United National AntiWar Coalition; ANSWER Coalition; Black Alliance for Peace; The People’s Forum; CodePink; World BEYOND War; Popular Resistance; Veterans for Peace; International Action Center; Party for Socialism and Liberation; Al-Awda; The Palestine Right to Return Coalition; Labor Against Racism and War; Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; Universal African Peoples Organization; Workers World Party; East Bay Democratic Socialists of America; Socialist Action; Nevada Green Party; Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network; Ohio Peace Council; Green Party of Connecticut; Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee; Environmentalists Against War; Pacific Green Party (Oregon); Linn-Benton Chapter, Lauren Faith Smith Ministry for Nonviolence; Maine Cumberland County Greens; Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace; San Jose Peace and Justice Center; Servicio Particular Alacran; Minnesota Peace Action Coalition; PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick; UPWARD (Uniting Peace With Actions Respect and Dignity); Socialist Party of America; North Country Peace Group; . . . and more.

I can remember when certain groups ran from ANSWER.  We never did here.  But I can remember certain groups and individuals -- some of whom were at the recent fake action in DC -- felt ANSWER was just . . . I don't know.  I guess the term would be "too left."  Well they certainly found the antidote last weekend, didn't they?  The antidote to ANSWER and trying to work with the left was, for them, to stand the extreme right.  

We'll wind down with this from Black Alliance for Peace:

BAP-Baltimore Statement on New Maryland Governor Wes Moore: Another ‘First Black’ In a Colonial System

Recently, Maryland swore in its first Black governor, Wes Moore, in a “historic” ceremony cemented with a tearful introduction by Oprah Winfrey and a hand on Frederick Douglass’ Bible. The Black elite flocked to fill the rooms of the inauguration to witness the third elected Black governor in U.S. history. Yet, this “first Black” gubernatorial win is history repeating itself. 

African/Black communities have witnessed “first Blacks” consistently continuing over-policing, surveillance, criminalization and austerity policies. 

As Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) member organization Ujima People’s Progress Party understands

“The Black middle-class’ allegiance to capitalism, and not Black liberation, has largely led the Black political leadership class to function as a comprador misleadership class over the Black majority of working peoples on behalf of the capitalist parties, and political machines they are members of.”

For nearly a century, radical African/Black people have criticized elements of the African/Black community as being designed to serve as buffers to ruling class elements. Whether discerned as “neocolonial,” “the comprador class,” or “the Black Misleadership Class,” this sector has evaded accountability to the masses of African/Black people, while using their Black identity as cover for self-serving opportunism.

Moore first became famous for his 2010 bestselling memoir, The Other Wes Moore, an inspirational story of two boys with the same name and ties to Baltimore City. In interviews, Moore is depicted as a Black boy from an economically struggling background who became formally educated, rising to become a U.S. military veteran, and thus a socioeconomically developed Black man. The framing of his “life story,” as told through the book, not only helps manufacture an Obama-like image, politically. But in juxtaposition to the “other Wes Moore,” it leaves room to question how this narrative will affect his policies.

It remains unclear if Moore had been raised in Baltimore City. Yet, as the backdrop of Moore’s life story, the city has been central to his platform on crime. The Public Safety and Criminal Justice page on wesmoore.com states, “Violent crime is on the rise across Maryland and people are dying in our streets.” The solutions presented, however, will be nothing short of a plan to continue what former Governor Larry Hogan started in his campaign to “refund the police,” which increased resources for state law enforcement agencies following the 2020 uprisings. 

Citing an “ineffectiveness of leadership,” Moore ignores that not only is Baltimore City already occupied with an array of federally funded police directives, it has just received an additional $7.9 million in federal funds to “fight crime.” This funding is a part of the Biden administration’s $350 million American Rescue plan to “fund the police,” as he enthusiastically announced in his 2022 State of the Union address. Unsurprisingly, in 2022, 1,192 people were killed by police, exceeding any other year in U.S. history. Also, Moore has ignored the existing consent decree issued in 2017, acknowledging the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) engaged in a pattern and practice of conduct that violated the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, and specific provisions of federal statutory law. 

“The BPD has access to the Department of Defense (DOD) 1033 program budget. They also train with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) through the ‘deadly exchange program’ and continue to receive federal agents through Trump’s 2020 Operation Relentless Pursuit policy,” says Petros Bein, member of the Baltimore City Wide Alliance of the Black Alliance For Peace (BAP-Baltimore). “This is in addition to the approved privatized policing for universities, like Johns Hopkins, engulfing Black communities.”

These continued failed approaches to “crime” have only proven that added resources, as well as changes in policy or the law, will not contribute to public safety. Moore cannot “rebuild and strengthen relationships between communities and law enforcement agencies” by “increasing accountability and transparency” in a city in which the police department constantly violates its consent decree. Nor should funding community-policing initiatives that “recruit diverse officers that reflect the diversity of communities they serve” be taken seriously. The recent death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee (a city also operating under Operation Relentless Pursuit) has been the most illuminating example of the fallacy of Black faces occupying these spaces to the benefit of the African/Black community. 

Policies that address crime in an over-policed city cannot be presented in the abstract. As the country celebrates a “first Black” governor, Maryland continues to imprison more African/Black people, per capita, than any other state. Moore needs to provide more specifics to explain what will be done and how this builds or departs from existing efforts to return control of the Baltimore City Police Department from the federal government to Baltimore City.

“Wes Moore’s connections with Mayor [Brandon] Scott’s office and the city design/city planning committee will shape or harm what’s happening in Baltimore. With no control over the city's policing, Moore's decisions directly affect the most marginalized of us,” acknowledges BAP-Baltimore core member, Kimya Nuru Dennis. 

The Democratic Party has been able to  depict Moore as a trusting solution for Maryland, in general, and for African/Black people, specifically. His socioeconomic status, as well as that of his donors, indicates to BAP-Baltimore what will undoubtedly shape whose voices matter most in prioritizing health, education, and safety-based policies and laws.

The lack of equitable housing that causes displacement, as well as food deserts, and low wages, have been pressing issues in Maryland. African/Black elected officials have not resolved the economic and social crisis facing the African/Black working class of Baltimore City. Instead, their lack of solutions have resulted in the overt criminalization and over-policing of African/Black communities. Police are constantly and consistently well-funded and well-resourced. BAP-Baltimore understands police are used to enforce the status quo of white power and colonial control over the lives of African/Black and other oppressed nations of people. This comes as the city has increasingly privatized and priced out our people. More police funding, while ignoring the causes of crime, cannot resolve the ongoing dilemma facing the African/Black working class in Baltimore City.

No Compromise! No Retreat!

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

No comments: