Best of David Fincher not giving a fuck: “And thank you to all the talented people involved in making this film without whom I could not be here giving one last desperate squeeze to the bruised teat of the corporate cash cow that is Fight Club.” (x)
Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. Newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon has made a fortune from corporate interests. ‘He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.’ The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon’s funding.
Watching the evolution of economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been a disheartening experience. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; with stunning speed, the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis — regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir — have regained their hold.
The US media and political establishment insist on reading Bernie Sanders’ presidential run as a Don Quixote story – an underdog’s doomed, if poetically heroic, challenge to an immutable status quo that offers little hope to the poor.
But Sanders’ performance and prospects can’t be assessed by the metrics of traditional electoral politics, because he has always set the goals of his campaign on terms that defy the yardsticks of campaigning as we know it.
Despite the “Bernie” thing, Sanders presents his persona as no more than the sum of the ideas and principles he puts before the electorate in pursuit of a “political revolution” against a political system in thrall to corporate cash. It’s a project he hopes will outlive his candidacy, and even his person. Like Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, he is inviting any citizen running in local, state or nationwide elections – or waging local-level citizen campaigns – to be Bernie Sanders.
That’s not a win-or-go-home presidential bid.
“A campaign has got to be much more than just getting votes and getting elected,” he told an interviewer soon after launching his run. “It has to be helping to educate people, organize people. If we can do that, we can change the dynamic of politics for years and years to come.”
All of 2015’s sweet blockbuster bank was primarily made by two studios, while everyone else took a beating like Vincent D'Onofrio during the blanket party scene in Full Metal Jacket. In fact, 2015’s success falls squarely on the four top-earning films. Everything else either did the same as 2014 or bombed spectacularly. So what in the world happened? Have Disney and Universal finally hoarded all the marketable franchises to form an unbeatable uber-duo like a corporate Tango and Cash? Or is there some detectable reason so many studios failed this year?