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| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
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"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
intriguing review of errol morris' standard operating procedure
Morris takes the viewer beyond the frame, weaving a forensic analysis of the photos with penetrating interviews of the soldiers who took them and posed in them. At first the meaning of the photos seems as grotesquely clear as pornography. A human pyramid of naked prisoners. A female guard with a naked man on leash. But as Morris uncovers the stories behind the images, we begin to see the guards as ordinary people trapped in an insane predicament. He argues the soldiers convicted of abuse, the so-called "bad apples," were scapegoats — punished not so much for humiliating Iraqi detainees as for humiliating the U.S. military.
You might expect that a two-hour movie documenting torture and abuse in an Iraqi hellhole would be hard to watch, or at least unpleasant. But Morris is a master of the seductive image, and what is most disturbing about Standard Operating Procedure is its eerie beauty, which feels almost perverse under the circumstances. There are three layers to the filmmaking — photo forensics, dramatic re-enactments and interviews — and they're all mesmerizing.
From the placement of local sorority members along camera sight lines to the instructions to the audience members about when to stand and how to wave their hands, “American Idol” is as scripted as a “reality” show dare be.
“At the end of every performance you will stand on your feet.” That is one of the commandments offered by Cory Almeida, the indefatigable warm-up man who exhorts and instructs the audience for 15 minutes before each performance and during the numerous commercial breaks.
For the audience members who stand in the “mosh pit,” the area immediately in front of the stage, special instructions are required. “When you are applauding after a performance, we need your hands above your head,” Mr. Almeida said before a recent Tuesday performance. “Otherwise we can’t see that you’re clapping.” As he spoke other stage technicians offered more individualized guidance to mosh pit enthusiasts, including how to wave their arms from side to side over their heads during slow songs.
A mystery that has occurred to at least one frequent viewer of “American Idol” is just how the show manages to draw so many homogeneously attractive, well-dressed women to pack the mosh pit, where they produce high-pitched squeals that could probably perk up the ears of dogs in the San Fernando Valley.
The answer: They are recruited.
In early April it was the turn of the women of Alpha Phi, a sorority at the University of California, Los Angeles. About 25 members trekked to the studio one Tuesday, said Rachel Lorack, a member from Half Moon Bay, Calif., and another two dozen were to attend the following week. Last week it was the Delta Gamma and Delta Delta Delta sororities.
The perk is a recruitment tool for some sororities as well. “We sometimes talk about this at rush,” said Courtney Lauwereins, a member from Laguna Beach, Calif. “Join Alpha Phi, and you might get to go to ‘American Idol.’ ”
The show, of course, does not just throw a bevy of sorority women in front of the cameras and allow them to cluster as they may. Stage assistants choose specific women and place them where the hand-held cameras will swoop during performances. (Print journalists, are generally consigned to the back row of the bleachers, where, thankfully for viewers, they are well out of camera range.)
When Mr. Seacrest and others bill “American Idol” as being live, they are slightly fudging the truth. Parts of many shows are recorded, particularly some performances by guests and the segment where callers pose questions to the contestants or judges. “We pretape it because we’re afraid somebody might say something bad,” Ms. Williams explained to the audience.
with gong, yellow magic orchestra, funkadelic, gang of four, hip hop & reggae shows and a live mix of an orchestral blade runner soundtrack (and movie screenings, including taxi to the dark side), it's got interesting choices anyway. don't know what original members of the first two acts will show up.
To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.
Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.
a long excellent article, evidence the Times is actually reporting news once in a while.
see also the short video accompanying the article here.
Health Canada is the first regulatory body in the world to call bisphenol A dangerous. It could be the first step in Canada banning the chemical altogether.
Earlier this week, the U.S. government's National Toxicology Program said that there is "some concern" about BPA from experiments on rats that linked the chemical to changes in behavior and the brain, early puberty and possibly precancerous changes in the prostate and breast. While such animal studies only provide "limited evidence" of risk, the draft report said a possible effect on humans "cannot be dismissed."
With more than 6 million pounds produced in the United States each year, bisphenol A is found in dental sealants, baby bottles, the liners of food cans, CDs and DVDs, eyeglasses and hundreds of household goods.
In Canada, Health Minister Tony Clement said a draft report on bisphenol A has found the chemical endangers people — particularly newborns and infants — and the environment.
Ottawa is giving the public 60 days to comment on the report and Clement said it will ban its use in baby bottles if no new relevant information comes forward.
"It is our intention to ban the importation, the sale and advertising," Clement said of its use in baby bottles. "Canada will be the first country in the world to take such action to limit exposures to bisphenol A."
This then is Obama's problem now: not so much that he's an elitist but that he's surrounded by them, funded by them, guided by them - and for too long has been trying to imitate them. If Ed Rendell was not so foolishly infatuated with the latest pretender to the Bush-Clinton duopoly, he might take Obama aside and give him a few lessons in talking like a real person again. Look at what a good job Rendell is doing making Clinton sound like one.
But Obama doesn't seem blessed by that sort of advice. Both his white liberal and black constituencies love him too much for getting this far and wouldn't think of suggesting that he dismount his great stallion and reach out beyond the Ebenezer Baptist - Harvard Law axis to people who are seeking something more.
It wouldn't be hard. He could join a majority of doctors in this country and support single payer health insurance. He could go after usurious interest rates. He could propose a housing policy in which the government become equity partners with less wealthy home buyers and recovered its share at sale.
Hell, he could take just one position without a dozen conditions and it would probably help.
But instead, it looks like he will continue to be the man his fans adore and the rest can't quite figure out.
That's not the best way to win an election.
and also through undernews: why dubai is a place to avoid unless shopping is your drug of choice, and you don't like poppy seed bagels.