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A Man, Measured

The newest installment in an ongoing series of essays on culture

Having a birthday this week lead me to some reflection.  Not on myself, of course, since I’m already too hip for the room. But I’d just seen the very decent 12 Strong the weekend before and I’d been contemplating why this enjoyable story of duty, heroism, and general smack-down of some very real, very bad guys had performed rather poorly at the box office after receiving the traditional golden shower from a lot of film critics.

To ask the question is to answer it: because it’s an enjoyable story of duty, heroism, and a general smack-down of some very real, very bad guys.

Imagining a Good Message Movie

Hint: First, make a good film

This year’s Oscar-winning The Shape of Water applied this “building a story using only good-think legos” method and managed to squeeze a lot of them into one drippy film. Trouser Trout and the Hot Mute Chick­ –– working title –– was able to hit the trifecta of (allegedly) timeless tropes: saintly black woman is heroic, bad guy is a Bible-quoting sexual abuser who loves torture, and the saintly gay character is the quiet moral guide and center of the film. But wait, there’s more! Bonus points for the communist spy character who turns out to have a heart of gold.

The Anti-Trump Zone: A Land Beyond Imagination

When the personal is political then every goddamned thing is political, and that’s just insane

From the New York Review of Books, in a discussion of the work of Rod Serling, after a description of a how a character suffers from fevered dreams, comes what is a tiresome and all-too-predictable (bordering on, if not actually invading and annexing) cliché: “I also wake up adrift, in a desperate and unfamiliar reality, wondering if the last year in America has been a dream—I too expect catastrophe, but it’s impossible to know from which direction it will come, whether I am right to trust my senses or if I’m merely sleepwalking while the actual danger becomes ever-more present.  One thing I do know is that I’m not alone: since the election of Donald Trump, it’s become commonplace to compare the new normal to living in the Twilight Zone.”

From the wails of our betters, you’d think the Nazi flag was flapping over the entrance of the Pentagon…

Recommended Viewing for Patriots: ‘Monuments Men’

This fine film never had a chance.

I know a lot of conservatives (myself included) had some hesitation about this film.  I mean, we’ve got Clooney (Conservatives are Scum) and Damon (Sarah Palin is Stooopid), together again – admittedly, not quite as funny as Hope and Crosby, but in these troubled times, we take what we can get.

Thoughts On The Sh*tty Man Witch-Hunt & Bro-Bashing

‘The Crucible’ Was Written by a CIS-Het White Male, so it’s Invalid

You may have heard of “The Shitty Media Men List”. When the revelations about overwhelmingly GoodThink Liberal Men Who Were Slimy Sexual Predators began to gather steam, the list was put together anonymously by Moira Donegan. She claims this was the first attempt “at solving what has seemed like an intractable problem: how women can protect ourselves from sexual harassment and assault.” For someone with such an awesome command of Google Docs, I’m surprised she hasn’t heard of “Lawyers” or “The Second Amendment.” As to that last, perhaps her ignorance can be forgiven, as she seems to live in a deep-blue enclave of civility and concern for the rights of the oppressed where exercising one’s right to self-defense is severely restricted. I could be mistaken.

The Kevin Spacey Story: Now One of 2017’s Most Acclaimed Movies

Year End Top Ten Lists: Authentic Glimpses into the Zeitgeist or Self-Congratulatory Liberal Circle Jerk? You Decide.

Speaking of throwing off your chains… it’s important to recognize how powerful film and television are at creating the functional mythos of our time. They are being overtaken by social media/web sources, but the effect is similar: A story is told repeatedly that supposedly explains the true workings of the world – think of the hold the Catholic Church had on intellectual and daily life in the Middle Ages – and through repetition, it becomes accepted as defacto reality.

Cultural Dispatch from the Alamo: 2017 In Review

Why, yes, my middle name is hubris.

At Liberty Island, we’re all about breaking the worker’s paradise-friendly paradigm, so sure, why not?  Let’s do a “Year in Review” column, even though it’s only the second column of Dispatches from the Alamo… and it’s the end of the freaking year.

You know how it hurts me when you doubt me.