clinton era

latimes.com
Guillermo del Toro's highly personal monster film 'The Shape of Water' speaks to 'what I feel as an immigrant'
Director Guillermo del Toro speaks about his latest movie, "The Shape of Water," one of the breakout films of the Telluride Film Festival.
By Josh Rottenberg

Obviously the world has changed dramatically since you were shooting this film. I can’t imagine you could anticipate the way those themes would resonate …

I did. And the reason why is that I’m Mexican. I’ve been going through immigration all my life, and I’ve been stopped for traffic violations by cops and they get much more curious about me than the regular guy. The moment they hear my accent, things get a little deeper.

I know it sounds kind of glib, but honestly, what we are living I saw brewing through the Obama era and the Clinton era. It was there. The fact that we got diagnosed with a tumor doesn’t mean the cancer started now.

Hopefully one of the things the movie shows is that from 1962 to now, we’ve taken baby steps — and a lot of them not everyone takes. The thing that is inherent in social control is fear. The way they control a population is by pointing at somebody else — whether they’re gay, Mexican, Jewish, black — and saying, “They are different than you. They’re the reason you’re in the shape you’re in. You’re not responsible.” And when they exonerate you through vilifying and demonizing someone else, they control you.

I think the movie says that there are so many more reasons to love than to hate. I know you sound a lot smarter when you’re skeptical and a cynic, but I don’t care.

But you’re not on a mission to change the way people see genre?

No, I can’t. I know that what I saw when I was a kid had redemptive powers. Some people find Jesus. I found Frankenstein. And the reason I’m alive and articulate and semi-sane is monsters. It’s not an affectation. It’s completely spiritually real to me. And I’m not going to change.

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Full thread here by @joeprince__


Of the new generation of standard Clinton era liberals, Kamala Harris probably has the best odds of being “radicalized” into more progressive, anti-corporate, social democratic policies like Bernie and Warren, but that’s going to take open criticism and pressure from the grassroots.

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Guillermo del Toro’s highly personal monster film ‘The Shape of Water’ speaks to 'what I feel as an immigrant’

Throughout his career, Guillermo del Toro has bounced between large-scale studio films like “Pacific Rim” and “Hellboy” and smaller, more idiosyncratic ones, like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone.” His latest movie, “The Shape of Water” — the story of a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with an aquatic humanoid creature being held captive in a secret government laboratory during the Cold War — is, perhaps needless to say, one of the latter. It’s also being hailed as one of his best.

Building on the raves it earned in its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the movie — a fable of improbable love in the face of fear and intolerance — drew cheers at its first North American screening Saturday at the Telluride Film Festival. It will play the Toronto International Film Festival next, before opening Dec. 8, in the thick of awards season.

The morning after the Telluride bow, The Times sat down with del Toro to talk about what inspired his surreal adult fairy tale and why its fantastical, period-set beauty-and-the-beast story is all too relevant in today’s real world.

* * *

Your friend and fellow director Alejandro Iñárritu has said that he thinks “The Shape of Water” is your most personal movie. Do you agree?

It’s the movie that I like the most. It’s this one, then “The Devil’s Backbone,” then “Pan’s Labyrinth,” then “Crimson Peak,” and so on and so forth. That’s the order for me — it doesn’t mean people have to agree. It’s sort of the aim-and-target quotient for a filmmaker — did it land where I wanted it? This landed exactly where I wanted it.

But “most personal” also suggests that, of all the films you’ve done, there’s the most of you in this one.

There is the most of me. Most of the time — in “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “Devil’s Backbone” — I’m talking about my childhood. Here, I’m talking about me with adult concerns. Cinema. Love. The idea of otherness being seen as the enemy. What I feel as an immigrant. What I feel is an ugly undercurrent not in the past — not in the origins of fascism — but now.

It is a movie that talks about the present for me. Even if it’s set in 1962, it talks about me now.

That era is often depicted through a nostalgic prism as somehow being the good old days. But this movie paints a very different picture, bringing out the undercurrent of fear and intolerance.

I think when people say “Make America Great Again,” they’re thinking of that America, which actually never ended up really crystallizing. If you were a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, then things were great. You had jet-fin cars, super-fast kitchens. But everyone else didn’t have it so good. And the creature sort of represents everybody else.

Obviously the world has changed dramatically since you were shooting this film. I can’t imagine you could anticipate the way those themes would resonate …

I did. And the reason why is that I’m Mexican. I’ve been going through immigration all my life, and I’ve been stopped for traffic violations by cops and they get much more curious about me than the regular guy. The moment they hear my accent, things get a little deeper.

I know it sounds kind of glib, but honestly, what we are living I saw brewing through the Obama era and the Clinton era. It was there. The fact that we got diagnosed with a tumor doesn’t mean the cancer started now.

Hopefully one of the things the movie shows is that from 1962 to now, we’ve taken baby steps — and a lot of them not everyone takes. The thing that is inherent in social control is fear. The way they control a population is by pointing at somebody else — whether they’re gay, Mexican, Jewish, black — and saying, “They are different than you. They’re the reason you’re in the shape you’re in. You’re not responsible.” And when they exonerate you through vilifying and demonizing someone else, they control you.

I think the movie says that there are so many more reasons to love than to hate. I know you sound a lot smarter when you’re skeptical and a cynic, but I don’t care.

Going back to the beginning, what was the initial germ of this movie?

I’ve had this movie in my head since I was 6, not as a story but as an idea. When I saw the creature swimming under Julie Adams [in 1954’s “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”], I thought three things: I thought, “Hubba-hubba.” I thought, “This is the most poetic thing I’ll ever see.” I was overwhelmed by the beauty. And the third thing I thought is, “I hope they end up together.”

I kind of doubt that’s what most 6-year-olds were thinking.

No, I’m a weird one.

Is there part of you that feels like, as soon as there’s a monster or any fantasy or genre element in a movie, it automatically gets put in a box and isn’t taken seriously?

Oh, for sure. But that would be important if I cared — but I don’t.

Look, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. If I thought it was not the route to go, I would have changed. To me, the genre is my Campbell’s Soup can if I was [Andy] Warhol, or my comic book vignette if I was [Roy] Lichtenstein.

We forget that the primal motor of storytelling is fable and parable. I don’t come at it from an illiterate or a pop point of view. I come at it with every literary tool I can, every artistic tool I can. I truly try to create beauty and reflection and all of that as conscientiously and judiciously and minutely as I can. And then it’s up to people.

But you’re not on a mission to change the way people see genre?

No, I can’t. I know that what I saw when I was a kid had redemptive powers. Some people find Jesus. I found Frankenstein. And the reason I’m alive and articulate and semi-sane is monsters. It’s not an affectation. It’s completely spiritually real to me. And I’m not going to change.

This movie has a real spirit of innocence and old-fashioned romance, but at the same time, there are aspects that are very adult and sometimes jarring. The first time we see Sally Hawkins’ character, for example, she is masturbating.

Well, to me, there is no perversion in sex if you’re not perverse. You can do whatever you want and as long as you do it in the most beautiful way, it doesn’t matter. A woman masturbating makes it clear to you that this is not your regular Disney princess.

The movie is in love with love and in love with cinema. Sex, violence — whatever it is — the spirit of the movie is so gentle. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids, but for adolescents, it’s a beautiful movie. It’s sort of liberating.

And because you were making it on a budget of under $20 million, no one told you, “Let’s make this safer and more broadly appealing”?

Never. That was the point. The reason why the exercise of cramming a $60-million movie into a $19.5-million budget is worth it is that you get the freedom. I think that money takes freedom away. More money, less freedom.

So as you go on, are you finding yourself pulled more away from the part of the business where there are those kinds of money pressures? If you were approached to direct a tentpole that had to be a huge, four-quadrant blockbuster, like a mainstream superhero movie or a Star Wars movie …

If I choose a franchise of that size, I try to make sure that we’re aligned — and if we’re not, I walk away.

I have been offered massive stuff, and I’ve turned it down. Why? Because, A, I live a very sort of simple life. I dress like [garbage], I drive a 4-year-old car, I spend all my money on rubber monsters. So I’m OK [laughs]. And also I have this idea that if you do movies for any other reason than the stories, you’re screwed. It means something just gave in.

Photographs:

  • Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer
  • Sally Hawkins is Eliza Esposito
  • Michael Shannon portrays Strickland and Michael Stuhlbarg is Hoffstetler
Trump’s Russia Problem, Explained

So, if you’re exposed in any way to US news media, you’ve heard that Trump has a problem with Russia.  You may have heard that his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned/was fired due to this scandal.  But if you haven’t been following this story all along, you may be unsure exactly what the scandal is.  

What do we know?

This scandal involves a handful of solid facts, and oceans of speculation about what those facts mean.  Here are some of the key facts:

  • Russia interfered in the US elections by hacking the Democratic National Committee and releasing materials damaging to the Clinton campaign, 
  • and by releasing completely baseless rumors (”fake news”).  One example of the latter is the rumor that Clinton was tied to a child sex trafficking ring that operated out of a pizza joint.  The pizza joint exists, but sex trafficking ring does not. 
  • These efforts were intended to help Trump win the presidency, according to 17 US Intelligence agencies.  
  • After the election but before Trump’s inauguration, President Obama imposed sanctions against Russia in response to these actions.  He threw 35 Russian “diplomats” (aka intelligence operatives) out of the US and imposed economic sanctions barring US entities from selling certain products and services to the Russian intelligence agencies.  
  • Russia did not respond with counter-sanctions, which is unusual.  
  • Michael Flynn, who was at that time a private citizen, spoke with a Russian ambassador about the sanctions. 

What questions still exist? 

Beyond these facts, there’s a lot of speculation.  Here are some of the main questions and theories:

  • Why did Russia want Trump to be president?  One possibility is that they simply thought he’d be more friendly to Russia and/or easier to manipulate than Clinton.  If this is the explanation, the Trump campaign may not have known anything more about Russia’s interference than the American public did.  This explanation would be embarrassing to Trump–but not incriminating.
  • Did Trump and/or his campaign know more about Russia’s interference than the public did?  We now know, thanks to leaks from US and other intelligence agencies, that Trump campaign officials were in what CNN calls “constant contact” with Russian intelligence during the campaign.  We don’t know what they talked about or how much Trump, personally, knew about this contact.
  • Does Russia have incriminating information about Trump, which can be used to blackmail him?  This is another possible explanation of why Russia wanted Trump to be president, and it’s where the infamous “dossier” comes in.  The dossier includes the infamous pee-pee story, along with many other less eye-catching allegations about shady business deals and suspicious contacts with Russian intelligence officials.  Some aspects of the dossier have recently been corroborated by US intelligence, but all they will say about which ones is that it isn’t the pee thing.  If this explanation is the correct one, it would be both embarrassing and incriminating for Trump, but would not necessarily implicate him in treason, depending on exactly what the blackmail material was and what concessions he made to Russia as a result.
  • Did the Trump campaign actually collaborate with Russia to interfere in the election, either by assisting with the interference or by promising favorable treatment in exchange for their help?  This is the most explosive of the possible explanations for why Russia favored Trump: if true, it would be highly incriminating and treasonous; removal from office would be pretty much the only appropriate remedy.  Right now, there is no hard evidence that any collusion occurred, just speculation and the suggestion that it accounts for many things about Trump’s stance toward Russia that are otherwise hard to explain.  The new information about “constant contact” bolsters this theory, but that contact could also be explained by other theories, including blackmail or even run-of-the-mill economic corruption (many members of Team Trump have business ties with state-run corporations in Russia, so they could have been talking about that).  
  • Whatever was happening between Russian intelligence and Trump campaign staff, did Trump, personally, know about it, or even order it? This is a very important question, and right now, we have no idea.   The intelligence officials who confirmed contact between Russian intelligence and the campaign have said that he was not personally on the phone during any of the calls they’re speaking about, and declined to say whether or not his name was even mentioned.  

What’s the deal with Michael Flynn?

So that brings us to the matter of Michael Flynn.  It was known during the transition that Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador around the time the sanctions were imposed, and when Russia didn’t respond, it was widely speculated that he’d told the Russian ambassador not to worry about them.  He denied this, right up until the day the Washington Post broke the story that he had, in fact, talked about the sanctions during those calls.  Afterwards, his claim was that he didn’t remember, and that if he did mention the sanctions, whatever he said must have been so brief and noncommittal that he forgot the topic even came up.  Several other people in the transition team/administration, including the Vice-President, repeated his claim that he hadn’t talked about the sanctions, and the official story is that they had no idea it was a lie.  

However, about three weeks ago–shortly after the inauguration–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates told the Trump administration’s lawyer that Flynn was lying, and that, since the Russians presumably knew he was lying, this left him open to blackmail.  The Trump administration took no observable action based on this information until it hit the papers, two and a half weeks later. After the information hit the papers, three more days passed before Flynn resigned.  

Now that Flynn’s out, there are two ways of looking at the situation.  One is that Trump’s Russia Problem has “taken care of itself”:  it began and ends with Flynn, and now that he’s gone, there’s nothing more to see.  This is the position taken by the (Republican) chair of the House Oversight Committee, among others.   

The other position is, “are you fucking kidding me?”  Unanswered questions, which are not resolved by Flynn’s resignation, include:

  • What else did Flynn talk to the Russians about, during the campaign and the transition?
  • Who in the administration knew he was lying about not discussing the sanctions, and when did they know it?  Did anyone repeat this lie after knowing it was a lie?
  • Why did the administration wait so long to do anything about it?
  • Did Flynn also lie to the FBI about this, when he was questioned last week?  If he did, that would be a felony.
  • Literally every question from the second bulleted list above.  

Who is investigating this whole mess, and what’s so important about a Special Prosecutor or Independent Commission?

This matter is being investigated, by a lot of different entities.  None of the investigations are free from concerns about accountability/transparency, political bias, and/or interference with other ongoing investigations.  

  • Various US Intelligence Agencies, including the FBI, are carrying out their own investigations.  Most of what we know about the scandal comes from people in these agencies leaking information to the media.  These agencies typically carry out much of their activities in secret, so we, the public, only know what they want us to know.  The Trump administration considers many of the intelligence agencies to be hostile to them; by contrast, FBI director Comey is believed to be squarely in Trump’s pocket.  
  • Congressional Committees, including the House Oversight Committee and the Intelligence Committees in both the House and the Senate, have authority to investigate.  All committees include both Republican and Democratic members; however, since Congress is controlled by the Republicans, every committee is chaired by a Republican.  Members and leaders of these committees are doing a lot of talking about investigations, but it’s not completely clear what’s actually happening. Some committee proceedings are televised and/or transcribed for the public, but others are not; so far, the action has been confined to closed-door sessions.
  •  Intelligence committees in particular operate mostly out of public view.  Republicans (with very few exceptions) maintain that these committees should be responsible for investigating.  Many Democrats have suggested that this preference belies an intention to limit the scope of the investigations and to shield Trump from blame.  
  • The Justice Department is another possible investigator.  In the Clinton era, the Whitewater investigation, which culminated in the Starr report, began under the auspices of the Justice Department.  Starr was an Independent Counsel appointed by a panel of federal judges; he replaced a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Attorney General.  The Justice Department is part of the Executive Branch; its head, the Attorney General, is appointed by the President, as are many other high-level posts in the department.  It’s likely that Clinton instructed his AG to appoint a Special Prosecutor in the first place because he knew he hadn’t done what he was accused of doing and believed an independent investigation would clear him–which it did, of the original charges, but then took an unexpected detour into his sex life and revealed his affair with Monica Lewinsky.  You’ll have to draw your own conclusions about the likelihood of Trump authorizing AG Jeff Sessions to appoint someone to paw through everything he’s ever done.  

Democrats, and many commentators in the media, have called for an independent commission (also called a select commission, special commission, or “9/11 style commission”) to investigate.  What makes an independent commission “independent” is that the members are not current officeholders or employees of any government agency (though they may be former ones–see, for instance, the members of the 9/11 commission).  Therefore, they are less likely to be swayed by concerns about electability, the reputation of their agencies, or maintaining cordial relations with other officials or agencies in order to carry out other priorities.  The investigation is their whole job.  

Such a commission would be set up by Congress, and the members would be chosen by Congress, but once they got started, Congress would not have control over the direction of the investigation.  The example of the Whitewater investigation is useful again here:  the Special Prosecutor-or-Independent-Counsel setup is the executive branch equivalent, and even though Bill Clinton authorized the investigation in the fist place, he was not able to stop it from going in a direction he (presumably) did not want it to go.  

An independent commission can also be set up with an expectation of transparency.  Since it would be created specifically for this investigation, it wouldn’t have a history of secrecy, like the Intelligence Committees do.  The 9/11 commission’s final report was available to the public, and much of the testimony before the commission was transcribed for eventual release (although certain officials, such as then-President Bush, were allowed to testify privately).  The Starr Report, from the Whitewater investigation, was likewise  available to the public, and most of the hearings upon which it was based were televised and/or transcribed for the public.  

Finally, an independent commission would serve as a central hub for all information that emerges about connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.  Intelligence agencies do not typically share everything they know with each other.  An independent commission operates outside of the rivalries that exist between agencies, and can call on them to testify.  This is a puzzle with a lot of pieces, and the full picture won’t emerge until those pieces are all collected in one place.  

So, that’s what’s going on with Russia.  

Idk if this is a comforting thought for The Youth but, at least based on my memories of being a college student during the early Bush years, is that Bush’s policies were wildly, enormously popular.  Yes, there were protests at Bush’s inauguration, but they were mostly the frazzled remnant of the anti-globalization movement that was struggling to re-define itself in opposition to Neo-Conservatism as opposed to Clinton era Neo-Liberalism. 

The Iraq War and the Afghan War were both incredibly popular.  While there was a huge march in New York to protest the Iraq War before it began,  that march was lightly covered by mainstream news.  The left wing belief at the time was that broadcast and cable news deliberately under-covered anti-war activism because they were afraid of losing (even more) viewers to the new and ascendant Fox News. (this was probably a combination of truth and wishful thinking bias).  News anchors all wore giant american flag pins on their lapels to symbolize there patriotism and there were periodic mini scandals about any given person’s flag pin being missing or simply not large enough.  The New York Times  generally covered Bush favorably and they even had infamous Bush propaganda hack Judith Miller on staff (until she outed a CIA covert operative).

Now, I’m just a regular non-expert who was all of 22 years old when this stuff went down, but, to me, none of the reporting on the protest movements against Trump would have looked normal in 2001-2005. 

Edited to add summary:  If you are young-ish and wondering “is this what it felt like to be looking down the barrel of eight years of Bush-Cheney?”, then my hot take, right now, today, is No.  Bush in the spring of 2001 wasn’t like this.  Bush in the spring of 2002 had something like a 90% approval rating.  

adofom1  asked:

What is with this celebration of Maxine Waters as a political figure? Did she start representing the best interests of African people? Has she climbed out of the back pocket of Israel? If I had to have an "Auntie" in Congress, it would be Cynthia McKinney, not Waters. Why do we continue to celebrate people like Waters and her ilk?

Maxine is truly a tragic figure. 

She’s kind of a Political Pied Piper for Blacks; here’s how:

MW was elected right on the cusp of the Clinton Era, Clinton had a plan to move the Democratic Party away from New Deal Social Reforms of the Post WWII Era and towards the Neo-Liberal Globalist Economics of the Post Cold War Era.  Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council knew that since the Cold War was over, the Soviet Union Dissolved, and Capitalism had won the day, that the Western Capitalist nations didn’t have to even pretend that they gave a shit about anything anymore, they could just carve the world up and hyper-exploit everything to death, like they did prior to the Communist Revolt of 1917. 

This back story is important, but too vast to really get into; so, long story short: Black people were going to be the first lambs to be sacrificed on the alter of Globalization and Neo-Liberal Economics.  Were were the first to be toss out of industrial and manufacturing jobs…starting in the 70s and completed in the early 90s; then we had our communities flooded with crack by the CIA in the late 80s, then came the War on Crime in the 90s, mass incarceration, etc. All this shit converged and fully manifested by the early 90s when MW took office and Bill was elected to implement the final stages of the larger Post Cold War & Globalization agenda. (I’m glossing over so much but I can’t really cover it all, just wanted to show what the political landscape looked like when MW came on the scene.)

MW consistently voted against Clinton’s Policies while being fiercely loyal to the Clinton’s and the Democratic Party; even during Heelary’s run for POTUS.  MW ain’t our Auntie, she’s actually the Queen of Contradictions.  

She forced the head of the CIA to come to LA to answer to the community for their involvement in the Crack Epidemic, at the same time she was rasing funds and encouraging Blacks to vote for the very party that was overseeing the CIA’s Crack trafficking.  

Her whole career has played out like this. 


Her voting recorder in Congress is commendable, but it ain’t really accomplished shit for her constituents or the Black population in the US, or the Global African Community as a whole.  

She’s like a political Lawn Jockey, she’s there for decorations, but she don’t really do shit. 

Right now she’s bulldogging for the Democrats against Trump, as she sat silent while Obama was neglecting Blacks in the US and expanding the US empire deeper into Africa and the rest of the world.  

Black people love here cuz we on that “Style Over Substance” bullshit when it comes to Politics, she looks good, sounds, good, puts on a good show, but she never has been able to deliver.

If MW was truly principled she would have left and denounced the Democratic Party and the Clinton’s before Bill Clinton’s first term was over; but she was content to win symbolic victories, or moral victories for Blacks, while helping White Elites win military, resources, and substantive victories against the rest of humanity.  

When MW started to raise in the public eye after Trump was elected…, I’m sorry, after Trump stole the election; I stated that MW was a mass incarceration, and some other things. 

One of her fans pointed out that she voted against the Omnibus Crime Bill and other mass incarceration policies, but the bills passed anyway, they were put forth by her party, and remained in the party, raised money for the Party, endorsed candidates for the party, so I still lump her in with her party dispute her individual vote, and will do so until she leaves & denounces the party.

I can’t be a gang member, and say, “well, the drive-by my gang did that killed those children, I voted agisnst that during the gang meeting, but I was out voted, I’m still loyal to the gang, I still secure guns and ammo for my gang, but I’m not to blame for what my gang dose, cuz I cast a no vote.” LOL! SMH.

But MW ain’t the only tragic New Negro Success Story, she shows us we can’t secure Liberation from the inside, we can bring resources to the struggle from the inside, but that’s about it.

Cynthia McKinney is a true example of a Black Politician that put her constituents interest, the entire Black community’s interest, the interest of the Global African population interest over Party, over everything; and that’s why she was pushed out of Congress, by the Democratic Party…., and the Zionist Lobby; but that’s a whole different tragic Story.  I’ll just say she’s the best politician we’ve had since Adam Clayton Powell. 

Oh, & HBD Homie!

its honestly best to understand the last 30 years as an extremely conservative era of american politics. a piece of legislation that made a huge swath of americans become the customers of private health insurance companies was decried as socialism. the “progressive” social achievements of the last 3 decades basically amount to being thrown scraps. the only two ostensibly “left” presidents of this era were clinton (lmao) and obama. i have no idea why people are framing it as a volatile back-and-forth between the right and the left. it’s a back-and-forth between the far right and the center right (and that’s honestly kind of being generous).

Warren rips Clinton policies, generates '2020' chants

(NEW YORK TIMES) — ATLANTA — Senator Elizabeth Warren used a speech to a grass-roots conference Saturday to take direct aim at Democrats’ diminished moderate wing, ridiculing Clinton-era policies and jubilantly proclaiming that liberals had taken control of the party.

While not invoking former President Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton by name, Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history.

“The Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill,” she said, highlighting measures Mr. Clinton signed into law as president that are reviled by much of the left. “It is not going to happen.”

How Shinden9 got into vaporwave, which he abandoned for future funk

It was February of 2013, I was on a trip to southwestern Connecticut, which has to be the most bland, beige, generic area in the country. No local culture, it was just the epitome of early ‘90s bubble.

I had just come back from a dying mall (storefronts are closed, barely anything in it, grungy leftovers of the bygone era of Reagan-Bush-Clinton era prosperity). In a melancholic, late february mood I went up to my ersatz bedroom in the attic.

A member of the IRC chat of the imageboard I was (am) part of linked me a now defunct Youtube video of Fortune II by Luxury Elite, and as the sun set over a condo park in Shelton, Connecticut, the late february snow starting to refreeze on a corner of New England that time forgot since 1999, I laid back with my headphones on riding a wave that just encapsulated my mood perfectly.

I got it immediately, I loved it, and I was immediately hooked.

Now I have moved onto future funk, which is far better suited to my tastes and feelings, but I still will always have a special place in my heart for Fortune II

anonymous asked:

Doesn't matter who supports who. The truth is all this dirt goes back to the Clintons era. Bill knew exactly what was going on. Hilary knew. There is no excuses for them.

The truth will always prevail…it may take time….but it will find you!

A is for...

I keep seeing people vehemently declaring “The A is for Asexual!"  I’ve mostly stayed out of it, but Asexual Awareness Week seems to be a good excuse for me to dive in and share my thoughts on the whole thing, since, at the core of it, it’s about awareness.

A is for Acronym

Quick backstory here:  You’re likely all familiar with the abbreviation “LGBT”, for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender”.  The acronym is often extended, sometimes to “LGBTQ” (Where “Q” is for “Queer”) or “LGBTA”, or some other variant with more letters.  At issue is the “A”, whenever it appears.  What does it stand for?  Many people say “Allies”, but recently, there has been a push to claim it for “Asexual”.

A is for As Defined

The reason people say that “A” stands for “Allies” is because, well, it does.  That’s what it has been for years.  It’s in club names and mission statements and posters that have been around since the Clinton era.  That doesn’t make it right, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change, but recognition of where it’s coming from is important.

A is for Awareness

It’s important to note these groups, for the most part, are not doing this to spite us.  They don’t want to erase us.  They’re not against our inclusion.  They’re not deliberately elevating “allies” over asexuals.

They don’t even know about us.

And that’s where part of the problem lies.  Things will never change if they don’t understand who we are.  And they won’t understand who we are if we don’t introduce ourselves.

A is for Ad Infinitum

The other part of the problem is the concept of an inclusive acronym itself.  It’s impossible.  By the time you include gays, lesbians, transgender people, asexuals, bisexuals, pansexuals, lithromantics, two-spirit and questioning people, you’ve got a long string of letters that no one can keep track of.  And you haven’t even mentioned the polys, androsexuals, aromantics, intersex people, demisexuals, neutrois, and genderqueer people.  And so on and so on.  By trying to come up with something that has a shoutout for everyone, you end up making something that no one can use and that still will leave people out.

A is for Abandon

The acronym can’t be fixed.  There aren’t enough letters to list everyone, you can’t patch it with stars or plus signs or a Q like some kind of Gilligan’s Island “And the Rest” and think that’s adequate. 

It has to be abandoned.

There are several alternatives out there that attempt to avoid the issues inherent with seeking an alphabet soup of inclusiveness:

Queer:  Reclaimed and adapted to be a catch-all.

GSRM:  “Gender Sexuality Romantic Minorities”

MOGAI:  “Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments, and Intersex”

Pick one and start using it.  Push for its adoption.  Or try to make one that’s better, because plenty of people have issues with those choices, which are beyond the scope of this post.

A is for Animosity

Leaving aside the acronym problem for a moment, I’d also like to address the other issue I see here:  The demonization of allies.

A lot of people are painting allies as self-centered entitled cishets that are demanding a cookie for being decent.  That’s not what an ally is.  An ally listens to you.  An ally supports you.  An ally fights for you.  An ally can be any gender, any orientation, anyone who’ll step up to say, “I believe you and I’m on your side.”

We need allies.  We should be collecting them like a ten year old collects Pokemon.  They will be there when we need them.  Without allies, our “A” will stand for “Alone”.

A is for Action

And so, from this view, the answer isn’t to run around screaming “The A is for ‘Asexuals’, not ‘Allies’” at the windmills.  The answer is to work to tear down and replace the foundation that leads to the conflict in the first place.

If you know of an organization that lists “Allies” and not “Asexuals”, go to them and tell them how they’re not being a good ally for you and others like you.  If you don’t speak to them, they won’t know there’s a problem, and they won’t fix it by themselves.  If you just shout at them from the sidelines, they will never understand what you’re upset about.

If you know of a group that calls itself an “LGBT Center” or something like that and claims to be inclusive, go to them and tell them how their name itself is exclusive.  Many centers are starting to call themselves general names like “Rainbow Center”, “Pride Center”, “Queer Resource Center”, and so on, precisely because they’ve come to recognize that calling themselves the “LGBT Center” leaves out people they want to include.

Faith goes hand-in-hand with subversion when you’re not the controlling power. It’s all fine and well to talk about skepticism and science being valuable in a society where reason is in control. […] Faith is required when you’re in occupied Judea. Faith is required when you’re in the Matrix, because what other weapon are you going to use to get out of an Orwellian situation than something other than logic? Because they use logic to box you in. They tell you, for instance, that if UFOs were real, we’d be seeing them more often. They use logic to make you feel like you’re insane, so conspiracy theory mythology is just a beautiful expression of raw anti-authoritarianism and human spirit.
—  Dan Harmon on The X-Files Files

Warning: a few spoilers follow (for a new movie (that’s the same movie you badmouthed in the Clinton era)).

4 Ways the New Godzilla Movie Ripped Off the Crappy ‘98 Flop

#3. The Cast Is Amazing (and Completely Misrepresented)

1998’s Godzilla starred three Simpsons cast members, Jean Reno from The Professional, and Ferris freaking Bueller, as if director Roland Emmerich had made a bet on how many fan-favorite actors he could cram into a ridiculous movie (this same formula had previously worked to his advantage in Independence Day). … Much of the promotional material for the new Godzilla was centered on fan-favorite actor Bryan Cranston, who plays a character that fucks off 20 minutes into the film. He never even sees Godzilla. The two don’t share a single moment of screen time, like Pacino and De Niro in The Godfather Part II. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the movie’s actual protagonist, has an eye-blink cameo in the trailer, while the trailer itself promises a movie about TV’s Walter White and his sidekick, Ken Watanabe, as they obsessively try to expose a giant monster coverup (the movie is about none of those things).

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African-Americans of some accomplishment have a deep acquaintance with this kind of white incredulity. Yesterday it was cries of unlearned, ordinary Negro. Today it is cries of Affirmative Action. (Even when you went to a black school.) Or it’s Donald Trump demanding Barack Obama’s college transcripts. The spectacle of a black man forced to present his papers to white people is not some new incomprehensible response to our first Hawaiian president. It is an old and predictable response to black achievement. It may well be true that Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have endured the same amount of disrespect. But the nature of that disrespect matters. It matters that Rush Limbaugh did not refer to healthcare in the Clinton era as reparations. All kinds of crazy are not equal, and in America, racist crazy has a special history worthy of highlighting.