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Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Climbing Everest Porn or Hero Porn
This is a good bio movie with fine performances. So let's get that out of the way. It has just the right number of good cliche scenes for the chicks who stay at home while hubbies buy their way into hero porn for 65 THOUSAND DOLLARS Or lead the expedition for 65 thousand a pop. It's true. And many died on this trip, and still freeze away on the mountain.

What is of importance though is watching the moving image of assembly line manufactured capitalistic romantic climbing of the highest mountain PORN! All the romance is gone however as the leader leads his merry band of bonding men who have no more wars to fight as tek does all that now, in a line worthy of a sargent into battle. Follow me! And they follow holding a rope as they go to keep them together, just like kindergarten plus kids out on a school trip.

They are cattle plodding along to maybe their death as they clump their way through the snow, avalanches to the heights of the top - or death. Imagine the first ones to do this. The long years of preparation, the solitary partnerships your life depended upon, the exaltation of achieving it, the risk of death. All taking place in the Symbolic Order of the Sacred:risk, reversibility, event, sacred, life, living, passion and then compare that with this film so wonderfully showing you this supposed event turned into the Order of Production:irreversibility, survival, continuity, accumulation, capital, fascination - in fact into the Production of Porn mountain climbing where if you pay enough you will do it and be guided back to safety. How's that!

The bonding of the men to each other in some drinking, buddying, back slapping, encouragement, out for a trek in the wilderness to show our stuff. No more wars to die for. No Christendom to spread, Nazis to kill, fascism to destroy before it destroys our freedom. Nope. So the successful ones who have the money or who scrape it together to LIVE THEIR DREAM! BECAUSE IT'S THERE!To fulfill the ideology they still believe. Wonderful!

We see our entire western world of DETERRITORIALIZED CORPORATE CAPITALISM monetizing an EVENT by replicating it with cell phones, high tech weather reports, group tourists going mountain climbing, the new eco type tourism. To see the hoards of people at the base camps, all the leaders of tourist groups squeezing in that window of opportune time for climbing to the peak.

This is not exploring how to get to the top. This is replicating the map of how to get to the top. Desiring to reach the top of Everest by being led there by a more experienced person. A teacher, one who leads. And they blindly follow.

Passion of Exploring the South Pole,Northwest Passage
In these essays Connell has recounted the extreme passion, desire,preparation and gamble these men went through to go there first without a map, just raw courage and dedication. The incredible hardships, the incredible death experiences are riveting. This is no account of a tourist guided trip but a REAL experience, felt with all their soul. Their exploration is not a COMMODITY to buy and do. NOT a trophy to tell about.

This is akin to Dr. Walter Palmer's killing of the great too domesticated sanctuary lion, Cecil. 
Cecil was not a wild lion but one used to being fed by humans from time to time I guess. He was lured with a bloody kill to be killed.
A Canned Hunt - A Trophy Killing without Risk

Another assembly line manufactured trophy porn SPECTACLE. Maybe they will want to climb Everest next. Would that be too dangerous for them? With a very experienced guide? 
All this is HERO PORN manufactured like Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans. The hero and his ordeal have been monetized by DETERRITORIALIZED CORPORATE CAPITALISM.
How do you like your world?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog Interview/Review by Gary Kramer

Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog

Laurie Anderson’s wistful, elegiac film, Heart of a Dog, uses animation, video, home movie clips, and dream sequences to chronicle not just her life with Lolabelle, her rat terrier, but more generally how humans and animals communicate, their shared sense of companionship, and our processes of death, grief, and coping with trauma.

A Clip from Youtube of Heart of a Dog

GMK You once described language as a virus from outer space. You get political in Heart of a Dog when you discuss the homeland security advisement, “If you see something, say something. Hopefully, it’s nothing.” You also talk about Lolabelle understanding 500 words and the speech a vet gives when he suggests putting an animal down. Then there’s mention of Wittgenstein’s notion that “language has the power to create the world.” What are your thoughts on the power of language, which has been such an important theme in your work and in this film?

LA I think it’s never very satisfying to share your dreams with someone else. In fact, when somebody goes, “I had this dream…” I go, “Oh please, don’t tell me your dream, please!” No! It’s not a film you saw! It’s something like a hallucination that only you have a code for. Now that is a wonderful thing—stories only you appreciate, only you value, and only you understand. That is a really underrated thing in our culture. You have this wonderful dream world that’s only for you. Let’s keep it that way. Don’t try to tell other people what’s going on. It’s like when only you think something is funny. That’s really great. But why do we share stories? Because otherwise, life is too lonely, you know? 

GMK I interpret it such that you are telling these things to me. It’s episodic, and therefore it doesn’t feel like a monologue. As a viewer, you get into some stories, and sometimes you just watch, but I made all these connections and took it all in. I could see the film again and have a totally different response.

LA I think I was exploring this idea: Does language help you in a situation like that? The Tibetans would say it does, because they wrote a whole book about it. They are expressions of grief. The no crying thing is about trying to understand what is going on not with your own emotions, but to pay attention to what’s going on with the drama of the person who is dying and dead. Their idea is to focus on their transition, which will also be used when you die. But it’s to focus on their death, not your reaction to it.

GMK You mention in the film about your mother loving you unconditionally. When did you love Lolabelle unconditionally?
LA It’s different with a dog or an animal. They don’t have the same conditions that humans do. They have a default mode of unconditional love. I don’t know why they love us—we are sources of food, and we are alphas, and to some extent we protect them and give them rides in cars. Cats do not want rides in cars. That’s a really fundamental difference! I think that using an animal to talk about love is a different kind of relationship. For me, dogs represent a kind of purity that isn’t often found in human relationship, which are more complicated. Very few people will have the joy that dogs do when running to the door to say hello. They’re very openhearted.
Heart of a Dog is currently playing at Film Forum in New York through November 3, 2015.
Gary M. Kramer is the author of Independent Queer Cinema: Reviews and Interviews and the co-editor of Directory of World Cinema: Argentina.
Excerpts from Gary Kramer's Interview/Review of Heart of a Dog. I know I shall love it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Goodnight Mommy Review by Molly Laich

I hope I don't go to prison for reposting this but Molly Laich is just so good a reviewer I have to risk it. TPP is going to try to do this to people like me.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Reading Neil Burger's Divergent Through Deep Green Resistance

Reading Neil Burger's Divergent Through 
Deep Green Resistance

First Scene in Divergent Displaying Acting Credits
This is Lake Michigan in the future all dried up.Rotting, rusty hulks of huge ships are stranded on what was once a 
mighty lake.
There is no voice over telling us what happened only the beginning music of Philip Glass I think, as the shot goes over the fence and floats towards Chicago's buildings, people walking in their different color faction clothes as Beatrice tells us there has been a war and their city is divided into separate factions.
For anyone who has seen Lake Michigan this is imagining the future time in the novel/movie to us.

But it is also revealing the recent past to us.
A sea once so huge all of Ireland could have fit into it.
A Sea of 1000 islands.
Beautiful, rich with fish and sea animals
Ruined by USSR dams blocking the water for industrial use.
1000 Islands between New York and Ontario - Resorts and homes for wild animals and people
A Comparable body of water.
The ARAL Sea
In 44 years less than 10% is left.It is saline.All life is gone or dying

Aral Sea with crumbling buildings looking like Chicago in

Around the Aral Sea now is a Desert.The camels like it.

See it to the East of the Caspian Sea

Chicago in Divergent
Crumbling buildings in disrepair

I would say that this is one of the most profound scenes in any film in decades.Time is twisted so that the future is past and the past is future. Time as a continuum, conceptualized as linear, progressive has been spiraled into a
 Mobius Strip destroying all conventions of 

 Reality has been confabulated by the Imaginary.
Simulated Reality is Reality and Reality is Simulated.
The REAL is coming from the future and the past.

This is the message of the book Deep Green Resistance. We are all fixated on our favorite tragedies, fragmented, divided by our emotions, our ideologies, our political beliefs.
This is the way they want it so they can continue to plunder the planet until ...


This is VIOLENCE and it will not be stopped without force.It never has and it never will - Frederick Douglass

Our worst enemy is our neo-liberal ideology

Saturday, October 4, 2014

REVIEW:Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - A Reading Through ZIZEK

They are not interchangeable - The Players
Darren at them0vieblog.com in Dublin is my go to person for blockbusters.
He seems to have seen them all multiple times, loves them but critiques them wonderfully and integrates them with each other. 
He truly loves them.

But the real deep readings come from UnemployedNegativity

I never used to watch them, I have no history with them, but I have started to go based on what Darren says. I recommend him for anyone. And do take your children.I now see why Jean Baudrillard used to go to multiplexes when in the US instead of independent art films. It is far more interesting to see what Hollywood wants the young - testosterone parade - to be injected with. We watch the Invisible Real from Hollywood's POV.

Not intending to see this film I hit it on my last night at the discount theater The Palace in Springfield MO. What a surprise for me. I loved every minute of it.

I am assuming you know the plot if you are reading this. The asshole breaks trust between Caesar and Malcolm when he pulls out a gun that was supposed to have been confiscated. On the surface this looks like what starts everything and in a way it does. But there is always someone who breaks the trust so count on it as a cliche. Reading a little deeper we are introduced to the betrayal of the Native Americans by the White Man. There always was a White Man then who had integrity, became trusted by the Native Americans, negotiated the treaty that led to the betrayal he had never intended. In other words he was the "trusty" that fronted for the duplicitous generals, leaders, et al who had other intentions. We see this in govt today. At the moment this "trusty" is Elizabeth Warren. She is being watched to see if she breaks the faith. (Clue: she already has by supporting the recent increase in war in the Middle East.Women cannot appear soft on war if they want to win elections.)

And so war begins between the apes and men, then conflict among the apes themselves and rivalry and conflict among the humans. And so it begins. 

And as this war plot unfolds we see the same-old, same-old story.

Here it is in a 2 minute video:

127,000 have watched it it's that good.

What comes through in this movie when watching through Zizek eyes is the Zizekian INVISIBLE REAL.

The men want power to continue the lifestyle they used to have before the viral disease decimated the population. The apes have acclimated to the world that exists now. Men want to create the same simulacrum all over again, based on capitalism.

With Keri Russell's medical knowledge and the power of anti-biotics, saving Caesar's mate, we see the marvelous benefits medical knowledge has brought. No one has nay doubt about this in the movie or now with us. Capitalism brings many benefits. 

It is the Trojan Horse.

It also brings weapons and the military and war. And never have I seen this so clearly imaged, so simple to see, in a movie before. I know it from reading Zizek of course, but to see it concretely is thrilling for me. 
Power/Knowledge is a relation
The two cannot be separated and each needs the other.Because it is a relation you cannot reify it, nounize it, give, take, trade, etc whatever. It seeps through the interstices of the Foucauldian Grid and is irreversible. It is a relation that metastasizes.

This is what makes it so difficult to challenge the ideology of capitalism.

And this is what we see happening in the movie. Caesar cannot resist. Humans have taught apes sign language - which they use with subtitles throughout the film - and words are a gift without compare for him.
Koba who has learned signing from other apes after being released from the torture of experimentation, distrusts them all.
He mistakes humans for The system of power/knowledge that has not yet intersected with capitalism in the movie.

The system will grow stronger as power/knowledge feed each other. Humans will grow stronger and then the apes will lose, -  just as the Native Americans did -  so they must war now. Humans will want more and more and more. The power/knowledge relation will be cumulative, progressive, linear, unending. And isn't this what we are living today. It cannot be fixed although most people still think it can. We can slow it, have revolutions that then incorporate the revolt making it stronger. This is the meaning of Snowpiercer.
This is what unemployednegativity describes in his review of  Bong Joon-ho's

What Unemployed Negativity says is that no one inside the train can imagine life outside the train in the ice-age out there. And we in our world now cannot imagine our way out of it. Only one person on the train knows about snow.

None of the humans in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes can imagine a different way of life than the one they used to know.They cannot create a different world.As one character says, "They are stronger than us because they don't need power."

So they will go to war for the ideology of the capitalism they used to know when it had intersected with power/knowledge/capital in the Foucauldian Grid.

This is the ZIZEKIAN INVISIBLE REAL, the system Koba only senses, displacing his feelings and awareness on the humans themselves. And this is what we ourselves are also doing. We cannot see the Invisible Real because it is invisible. The humans cannot see it and the apes cannot see it and this invisibility is what drives war through history. Our differences with the Middle East are the same as they were with the Native Americans. Our way of life will devour all before it including ourselves. And the toys of capitalism are so fun, we want to keep them to play with.Just as those on the train with privilege enjoy them.

It will be Caesar that understands there are differences in humans as well as apes, that neither can be stereotyped. But this reasoning will do him no good.As Simon Critchley has lectured at GCAS, in times of heightened violence, reason is useless, which he traces from classical times. An important concept to understand.

When violence is aroused, reason disappears, dissolves, gets trampled on, is of no use whatsoever. (Think going to war with Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that weren't there, if they ever were.)Malcolm and Caesar cannot influence the mobs on either side.Violence will triumph.

As long as we see our differences in terms of us and them, we will have war.This is binary thinking. We must change the way we think. Only then will we be able to see all the different kinds of snow because then we will have the language that allows us to think differently, perceive differently, and talk differently with each other.

This is what Benjamin Lee Whorf and Edward Sapir were after.

Moving to Slavoj Zizek's reading in his The Year of Living Dangerously (p.101) He refers to Jameson's  reading of The Wire:

The Wire is a whodunit in which the culprit is the social totality, the whole system, not an individual criminal (or group of criminals). But how are we to represent (or, rather, render) in art the totality of contemporary capitalism? In other words, is not totality always the ultimate culprit? What is so specific about contemporary tragedy? The point is that the Real of the capitalist system is abstract, the abstract virtual movement of Capital - here we should mobilize the Lacanian difference between reality and the Real: reality masks the Real
I think this is at the core of the wild pouring of emotion over the dolphin slaughter at Taiji Cove in Japan. The reality of it is so excessive, so much horror for us to watch, that the Lacanian REAL is masked. The REAL is Capitalism which abstractly demands Taiji Cove exist. 
Slaughter of Dolphins in Taiji Cove
We cannot see the Real because we are so emotionally wrought by reality. In this way it is not addressed, nor confronted.
stealth poison pill

Friday, September 19, 2014

Help Us Stop the Murderous Slaughter at Taiji Cove in Japan - FORM LETTER OF PROTEST

Taiji Cove Slaughter

Japanese Business Name:

Your name:
Your Address:
Your email:
Your phone:

Dear ( name of business, owner,someone you know there):

You may not remember me but I have eaten many times at your restaurant. (Or am planning to buy a car, etc) and for a number of years I have been deeply disturbed by the murderous slaughter of dolphins especially at Taiji Cove in Japan. We have organized nationally now to protest this horrible bloody despicable killing of these beautiful creatures. We have decided to use more force in our numbers to stop them at Taiji Cove. We are concentrating on Taiji Cove as we think it is wiser to focus all of our attention on the place in the film The Cove instead of spreading to many different places where it is also going on.

Documentary Awarded Many Honors
This is to tell you we will not be eating at your restaurant, (buying a car from you, etc) until this slaughter stops. We need to make sure you are feeling it here in the US so you will add your voice to our protests. We would like to ask you to write to the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. to flood their office with letters and emails. We need to get them involved. Below is a form letter for you to download, print out, and send to the embassy to inform them.Please feel free to personalize it to suit your needs and desires.

Thank you and I hope we can soon do business again with each other.


sign and print your name.

  1. Enclosed is a sample letter for your download/printed copy. Please enclose the letter to the Japanese Embassy that is below for your convenience to give to your local Japanese businesses with your own letter above. An addressed and stamped envelope will also help to speed it  up. You may print it with images or not as you choose. Or add your own.I am just trying to make this as easy and fast as possible.
  2. ______________________________________________________________

  3. Japanese Embassy
  4. Address2520 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
  5. Name of your business:
  6. Address:

We are experiencing an extension of the protests concerning the dolphin slaughter at Taiji Cove in Japan.Our regular customers are incensed over this bloodbath of dolphins which have become dear to the hearts of  many Americans. We understand that many are sold to SeaWorld to live under torturous conditions and made to entertain customers. The dolphins sold for meat in Japan are contaminated with mercury leading to the most terrible birth defects in Japan where it is consumed. We are asking you to help us as it is now affecting our business in the States. America is already in a deep recession and we have felt it. This situation is going to worsen it for us,  so again, please see what can be done to help us through diplomatic channels. We thank you very much.


Monday, August 4, 2014


Review Here
A Most Wanted Man              
I find the designs of these posters echoing each other for these two films quite interesting.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is about an American educated superstar Middle Eastern financial genius beginning to shine on Wall Street when 9-11 happens to him and he starts to become scapegoated. Then his girlfriend "betrays" him and that is the end of his time in the US as he goes home, becomes a religious leader. The Americans with their ham fisted approach to everything turned him into a formidable enemy.

There is also a true counterpart to these two stories of a religious leader who was assassinated by drone I think  and his US educated son was also assassinated - In A Most Wanted Man he is kidnapped. This is the meaning of our present strategy of pre-emptive threat. They figure the son will want to avenge the father, so they take out both.

Almost all of the reviews of AMWM have emphasized that both POV are understandable and blame cannot be assigned to either side.

People know what they do.
They frequently even know why they do what they do.
What they don't know is what they do, does.
Michel Foucault

American intelligence is drowning in information.

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not made for knowing. Knowledge is for CUTTING.
Michel Foucault

Bachmann does understand that what the Americans want to do will have catastrophic consequences.While working in espionage he maintains as much of his integrity as is possible for him under the circumstances; his human moral sense of ethics. He realizes that his generation is no longer in charge, and he is confronting the Deleuzian Body Without Organs, the machinic. He tries to deal and decides to trust.
And he makes one fatal mistake.

In his last meeting with Robin Wright he deals. He accepts his perfidy and says to her that something must make it worthwhile. What is it that she tells herself that makes it worth while for her.

Wright says, "To make the world a safer place."
And in his last meeting with all of them he ends with his final statement to them,
"To make the world a safer place." 
Is Bachmann mocking her or does he really believe it, does he want to believe it, the sentence is ambiguous.

He is mirroring Wright's words to all of them including Wright.
What he doesn't know is that she didn't believe what she said, or did she? It was a "floating signifier" acting as a mask denying the utterance, the jargon of ideology - propaganda. Or did she perceive her own false belief in that ideology when he mirrors her in the meeting. Her face is a marvel of ambiguity at this moment. 

She will make him pay for mirroring her whichever way it went for her: mocking her or sincerely felt words that call her use of that sentence to him as sham.

Le Carre's real name is Cornwell. Members of his family took part in the making of this film and you will see them listed in the credits. Knowing a number of interviews he has done, he believes that the facts of our present world can best be understood in the context of fiction. 
His fiction is permeated with bitter truth.

We are seeing this film post Snowden and that makes all the difference. 
Snowden is an EVENT whose irruptions and echoes will be felt for as long as anyone now living is alive, and beyond. 

It is not possible that Seymour Hoffman did not know that the World is so damaged that it cannot be fixed. This movie reveals and conceals that awareness. We view the horror of the ending, the reality we already know is coming for them but we do not see the Zizekian INVISIBLE REAL.

All of them are totally evil. And their evil is total, so permeated and embedded in each one of them that EVIL IS INVISIBLE. 
These people are obscene. What they are doing is an obscenity.

They are all doing their job to "make the world a safer place."
The way Herzog writes about the jungle so drenched in sin that sin is invisible. The jungle is OBSCENE

Clearly Seymour Hoffman sees this. And as Russell Brand says to an audience about his own heroin addiction - 10 years clean he says.

Heroin is not my problem. Reality is my problem.

We have this ideological belief that people suffer from addiction. They don't suffer from addiction. They suffer from reality. Our world is a reality no awake person can tolerate, cope with, or live in. Survive yes, but always there are those who desire and demand to live, 
not to survive.
No one has ever said it better than 
David Foster Wallace 
in his great novel
Infinite Jest.