Monday, October 24, 2011
Featured Articles : Representing Islam, Terrorism, and Violence ; An American Reflection: Steven Spielberg, The Jewish Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ( Shai Ginsburg ) "This paper examines Steven Spielberg`s vision of the State of Israel and, to a lesser extend of the U.S., as presented in Munich (2005). The paper argues that Spielberg mounts a critique of the two states and their security apparatuses. The willingness of the two to resort to violence either in the name of their own protection or under the guise of protecting their citizens, Munich suggests, does not merely undercut their claim as democracies to embody the universal values of liberty and justice, but also the very well-being of their citizens. Spielberg`s mistrust of the state (and of the State of Israel in particular) is already hesitantly suggested more than a decade earlier in his treatment of the Jewish Holocaust in Schindler`s List (1993). I trace this mistrust to two cinematic sources: Otto Preminger`s Exodus (1960) and Laurence Jarvik`s Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die (1982). Whereas the former Hollywood epic sought to align American audiences with the State of Israel and its military campaigns, the latter documentary exposed the inaction of both the Roosevelt administration and the Zionist leadership in the face of the mass murder of European Jews during World War II. Spielberg`s films could thus be seen as a revision－both in plot and in form－of Preminger`s spectacular celebration of the State of Israel in light of Jarvik`s damning revelations. Exodus turns the story of the rise of Israel out of the plight of Holocaust survivors into "spectacular cinema." Spielberg`s films, on the other hand, and Munich in particular, suggest that spectacular cinema conceals the incommensurability between the plight of individuals and the logic that guides the action of the state and its apparatuses. In that respect, Spielberg`s films－considered prime examples of the latest incarnation of spectacular cinema－undercut their own logic of representation. " SOURCE: PaperSearch.net Article: An American Reflection: Steven Spielberg, The Jewish Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
George Orwell described Two Minutes Hate, a daily ritual designed to brainwash the population into hating Emmanuel Goldstein and the current enemy of Big Brother in 1984. As Oscar Wilde famously quipped, life imitates art, so now we have Occupy Wall Street, a daily ritual of two-minute clips shown on television news designed to brainwash the population into hating the current enemy of the Obama Administration, intended to bully Wall Street and Republicans into submission much in the way anti-Globalization protestors extracted NGO payoffs from the World Bank and IMF and Starbucks (anyone remember those "broken windows" of a few years back?). As if on cue, Andrew Breitbart has published emails showing coordination between major media and Occupy DC demonstrators, and the "Occupation" has been publicly endorsed by leading Democrats, celebrities, academics, and President Obama himself. The purpose of Two Minutes Hate v.2011 is clearly twofold: 1. To generate hatred against political opponents, most notably Wall Street veteran Mitt Romney and the GOP (despite Obama's own Wall Street support); and 2. To distract public attention from the Obama administration's unsolved political problems, such as wars actual (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Uganda) and potential (Syria, Iran); economic collapse; the Obamacare fiasco, as well as general political stagnation. As George Orwell would no doubt have said more eloquently: You can't make this stuff up.
Monday, October 10, 2011
James Taranto skewers Jesse LaGreca in Best of the Web:
Behold Jesse LaGreca, who boasts of his working-class street cred while speaking the elitist jargon of the professor-cum-president's failing administration. And he does so on ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co. He's an Audio-Animatronic revolutionary.
All that said, there is some truth to his statement that "we have succeeded tremendously in pushing the narrative." But the truth of it makes his posturing all the more ridiculous.
"Occupy Wall Street" began as a left-wing protest, something about as exceptional as a pigeon in New York. It didn't become a "narrative" until the narrators made it into one. Who are those narrators? They work for companies like Disney, CBS Corp., Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co. (co-owners of NBC), Time Warner, News Corp. (our employer), the New York Times Co., the Washington Post Co., the Tribune Co., Thomson Reuters Corp. and Bloomberg LP.
These corporations make their profits (or attempt to) by pushing narratives--by selling stories. Sometimes their narratives are as preposterous as Jesse LaGreca's. An example is yesterday's New York Times editorial that begins: "As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread from Lower Manhattan to Washington and other cities, the chattering classes keep complaining that the marchers lack a clear message and specific policy prescriptions."
The disdainful reference to "the chattering classes" is just priceless. To which class, pray tell, do New York Times editorialists belong? Though come to think of it, at least the anonymous hack who wrote that editorial got paid for his effort. That makes his claim to working-class status stronger than LaGreca's.