Thursday, September 18, 2014

Daddy Peterson

Adrian Peterson will end up one of the best 10 running backs in NFL history. Peterson was so gifted in physical talents as well as vision that he could have made the jump from high school to the NFL. Peterson is fun to watch on the field. I will tell my grandkids about how he looked like a man running around boys on the field. He is a multimillionaire. He has endorsement deals. He has a wife who was in Playboy. He has it made. Many guys would kill for his life. Peterson is too good for the league to sacrifice to the altar of the outrage mob; he is a treasure for the NFL. He's also not the primary dad to his kids.

A little detail buried in every report on Peterson's whupping of his 4 year old son is this quote from the boy, "Daddy Peterson hit me on my face". Not dad, not daddy, not father, but Daddy Peterson. Peterson has like 7 kids to 5 women, and that might not include the kid he had that he just discovered last year right before the boy was murdered by the baby momma's male friend. What number of them call him dad or daddy? How many call another guy dad? Alpha fucks, beta bucks. Not really in this case since Adrian is paying for these guys as baby momma's live off the ample child support. He better settle with the moms or else he'll face the Travis Henry future of child support payments that do not decrease when the pro football career is over (dumb judges).

Daddy Peterson. It sticks out because here is a kid who is just 4. I won't touch the overboard whupping on a 4 year old, which involved stuffing leaves in the kids mouth, beating him with a stick, and leaving cuts and bruises that still showed a week later when the kid returned home to Minnesota... or the outrage cycle going after him. Peterson has it made, and this kid is like "you're not primary dad, you're daddy X". It probably doesn't matter to Peterson but ever talk to a guy who has a kid that calls him "Steve" and the mom's new guy "dad". I've been there the first time it has happened to a guy. Crushed him. You're not the dad. You're another guy, with a different relationship and you're never getting that dad relationship back. Not the real father-son relationship with ups and downs but the perfect dad image that you build up and maybe lie to yourself about being to your kids. Even when the family broke down, you lied to yourself that you could still be the same dad, and then your kid hit you with it. "Jim", "Mike", "Scott" whatever your name is, it leaves that 10 year old's mouth and destroys that perfectly constructed, eggshell thin shield.

It sucks. It's reality. This might bother you, but hey, you can be the best running back of your generation and it won't matter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Note on ISIS Beheading Videos

The ISIS beheading videos were interesting. No blood. No actual beheadings. One reporters speech was gelded SWPL approved blaming America and wishing he wasn't American. That's the spirit. Way to go out on top! This is the exact opposite of Jeremiah Denton who blinked MORSE code to people back home to reveal the Vietnamese were torturing him. The videos have done their job as public opinion is attuned to ISIS and the problems ISIS might send our way. How did we get those videos? A little group called SITE released the videos.

SITE is an acronym for the Search for International Terrorist Entities as a play on words with the SETI science program (they also now track white supremacist groups). The SITE Institute is a terrorist tracking organization that has provided some scoops like the 2007 video of Osama Bin Laden looking tan, without any greys and kind of CGI-ish. A site with amore critical eye on them is Source Watch, which reveals that this is basically a front for the NatSec Deep State. SITE is a 501c3 which multiple years received over $500,000 from the federal government. The founder of their organization has briefed different security agencies, and they run a subscription service to keep tabs on terrorists. How many dummy accounts are paying for subscriptions in that boondoggle?

It is amazing how they get the videos and information even before big media entities. How do they infiltrate? Looking at tanned and rested founder Rita Katz, an Iraqi Jew and IDF veteran, has gone undercover in the past and has deep contacts within multiple organizations. Please read the Wikipedia entry for Katz to learn the horror story of her father's death (true, false, who knows). In the CNN video I linked two sentences ago she lies that Sotloff was beheaded in the video. No beheadings in these videos. Katz is a bit of a self promoter, and plays well with the national security team. This institute was founded right after September 11th to help track terrorists and gin up support when the powers that be need it. She is at that weird nexus of a "mediapolitics" and power.

ISIS is a group the US and its allies have given support to since 2011. ISIS is a convenient danger to rouse people to more action in the Middle East, more arms spending (haha budget cuts), and more meddling with those designated villains we have not dealt with (Assad and Iran). SITE comes along with videos of beheadings. SITE is a designated non-profit (lay people incorrectly think nonpartisan) that acts as an expert for talking head shows. The talking heads scare just enough of the population and then, bang, we have an urgent need for intervention from just enough people. I am not saying these videos are fake or that the reporters are alive. The links just stink to high heaven.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Media has True Power

It might sound repetitive, but our media is the most powerful piece of the American power structure. We live in an information age so their ability to soft censor, hard censor, edit, and share information is extremely powerful. Banks could buy media entities, but the media still has the power. The fear that the NSA program, and therefore defense contractors, could have all your secrets at their fingertips is the potential blackmail or coercion force that the media (and the Mob) formerly only enjoyed. A weird example of the power was on display when the CIA asked Simon and Schuster to not print James Risen's State of War. The book was published, and revealed who has real power in America.

Edward Bernays discussed the invisible government in his book Propaganda.

Those who manipulate the organized habits and opinions of the masses constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of the country... It remains a fact in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by this relatively small number of persons.

The invisible government is in play here as sources leak information to fill a best seller. We find out here the goofs by the CIA with regards to Iraq, the bull charge to go to Iraq and the underestimating of the Iraq insurgency. We hear from these sources that the Bush team never contemplated them or even had them discussed as a possible problem. We don't know if that is 100% true as we do not hear the other side, but the goal is to get you thinking these cowboys ran into an invasion without thinking. That concept of mindless warmongering is so important to the left that Zero Dark Thirty has an exchange of dialogue about the OBL raid and there is the explicit mention of not wanting to jump on a rumor too fast. Message NY Times bestseller readers: the left is deliberate about war and would never have gone into Iraq.

The CIA attempted to stop publication officially for the botched Iranian operation that would risk exposing current operations or secrets with what was going on in Iran. Unofficially, stopping publication of embarrassing details and discussion of Afghanistan being a heroin narcostate would be helpful as well. This was not CIA coordinated leaks and story filtration. The CIA wanted to get CEO Sumner Redstone to stop publication. Whoops, Sumner could not stop it as it had been published. Contrasted with the treatment of Deborah Davis' book on Katherine Graham, we know that is garbage. Simon and Schuster could have compensated Risen, pulled the book and pulped all printed copies unsold just as the publisher had done to Davis. Davis was truly printing what the system did not want out while Risen's book was something the system was fine with seeing printed. Specific elements within the system that the media deemed acceptable. Risen protected his sources for years, and in the end, it was revealed one of his sources was a disgruntled former CIA agent who was let go when the CIA and the employee could not settle a racial discrimination lawsuit.

This is why I harp on the media as sovereign. They shape opinion and do so by any means, all of which are protected. Risen's source eventually was punished for leaking security data, but Risen continues working. This book most likely put operations at risk or at a minimum damaged effort in meddling with Iran's nuclear program. The push to get it published also was to properly vet and debate the situation with Iran before we rushed into war with them like we did with Iraq. The Iraq war plan was actually formulated over years. It was debated for months if not years. It was the elite's idea. Look at 2000 presidential debates and guess which candidate was the bigger hawk on Iraq. This book was released to cripple our efforts in stopping an Iranian nuclear program. This book was to make the current administration look bad. This book was written by a NY Times journalist, approved by a Simon and Schuster editor and marketed by their marketing department. The CIA could not stop them, and the CEO of their parent company could not stop them. So I ask once again, who besides our media is the sovereign in America?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fellow Traveler Drew Pearson

It is easy to mock Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias in the new journalism game for their obvious bias, the Journolist coordination, their femininity, and the visible steps to progressive punditry. They are anointed as policy brains by the media with no actual policy innovation. They are just spokesmen meant to guide the public for academic and lobbyist policy makers. A minion of theirs, Dylan Matthews, went from Harvard (writing in the Crimson while there) to WaPo (added to Journolist) and now to Vox. He is 24 and a tool for the progressives. We see this now, but has it always been this way? This college commie to media commie move is old, and just more overt and in the open now. If you read about the intrigues of Congressional investigations into subversion, the career arc of Drew Pearson reads similar to our modern journalists.

The son of a professor, Drew Pearson went to Swarthmore College after attending Phillips Exeter. After leaving Swarthmore, he served in the Quaker organization the American Friends Service Committee, which has often been investigated or generally accused of being a communist front. Pearson was an FDR fan and was a foreign interventionist, arguing against isolationism. Pearson was critical of the US not creating a second front to relieve the USSR, he attacked Douglas MacArthur whenever possible, he made up stories on Patton, he attacked anti-Soviet Secretary of Defense James Forrestal (some blamed Pearson for Forrestal's suicide) and most odd, hired David Karr as his chief aide. We will get back to Karr.

Pearson was an effective attack dog for the internal commie interests. When the Truman State Department was shaping up, Pearson attacked Undersecretary Joseph Grew relentlessly over his comments on Japan or his lack of unwavering adulation for the USSR. Grew was asked to resign, and Dean Acheson took his spot. With the early post-war era forcing the Secretary of State into an international nation hopping job, the Undersecretary role was critical with setting up methods, departments and simple operations. This all happened as the war wound down and the State absorbed many individuals from OSS and OWI; many who were suspected communists or would be revealed as such or other security threats.

David Karr was originally David Katz. David Karr was also a KBG source for decades. Karr made good money through his connections to Armand Hammer. Karr also acted as a go between for years for Senator Ted Kennedy and Soviet leadership. Karr was supposedly cleared (this is even noted years later in Jack Anderson's memoir) despite being kicked out of government service, yet we know now that all the suspicions were correct. Karr replaced Andrew Older as Pearson's chief aide and leg man. Older was named a Communist Party member in HUAC testimony. Karr was a verified commie. This was one of McCarthy's charges at Pearson. Why is this journalist defending communists at every turn, attacking those who point out communist subversion and has commies as  sidekicks? McCarthy died in 1957. Pearson worked decades more.

Pearson was very active in his attacks on McCarthy. Unlike other media members, he did it from day one. Pearson had a history of this as he had attacked Congressman Martin Dies who started up the HUAC and Congressman John Parnell Thomas who was chairman of HUAC, who dared try to face communist subversion. Pearson would scrape up dirt on the figure to smear the accuser. Pearson went after Secretary of Defense Forrestal because he was anti-communist and in Pearson's words, "the most dangerous man in America". Pearson used personal attacks. Forrestal committed suicide; Pearson lived for decades. The best defense for his fellow travelers was a steady offense of attacking McCarthy. McCarthy whipped up the public to boycott Pearson's radio show (sounds familiar), and Pearson eventually dropped off radio. He won in the end though as the rest of the Operation Mockingbird figures chipped in and Ike leaked information to help submarine McCarthy. Weird that the CIA's program Mockingbird would allow such a fellow into its circle. Jack Anderson, a Pearson partner, had worked for the OSS and then was part of the CIA's Mockingbird program. He had been a McCarthy friend and used McCarthy as a source, but Pearson hated McCarthy from day one. Anderson brought stories of reported communists to Pearson, using McCarthy's information. Pearson would not print the stories because he did not trust McCarthy's motives. Eventually, Pearson, with his communist aide, would convince Anderson of the need to stop McCarthy. The rest of the Mockingbird crew followed.

Is it better that these types are out in the open now or cloaked in false objectivity like then? They can be open now because they rule completely. The media claims objectivity but only the most naïve or dumbest amongst us believe this. Pearson is the perfect example of the ideological fellow traveler bias that goes unreported everywhere but extreme examples like MSNBC and Fox News. "What liberal media" the progressives cry out, but how can one avoid the biases of every individual who forms our media corps. We all have biases. The social justice warriors tell us that we have privileges and constructs that I could never have dreamed of, yet they affect us in everything we do. There might be more honesty today, which is an improvement.

Was Pearson a Soviet Agent of influence? No. He was a homegrown and fostered commie working for the home team of communists that took over with the New Deal. Pearson has too many ties to the communists and too much fellow traveler behavior to not raise eyebrows and cause all Americans to question the official McCarthy story. It is not a matter of McCarthy being right, but of how horrible the first draft of history was due to the bias of the men holding the pen. Pearson was not an open communist, but defended them at every step. Pearson did not just do it to him but to everyone who went after communist security risks. Those were Pearson's friends, and McCarthy was his enemy. To schoolchildren and the paper reading public, those called to answer questions became the good guys while McCarthy the villain because as Pearson told Jack Anderson, McCarthy "was a bad man". McCarthy's motives are pure evil and not to be trusted because Pearson and his ilk say so, yet no one ever questioned Pearson.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Before Prozac

A small child does not want to play with the other kids. He is thin and not full of energy. Just doesn't have the zest of other kids. Mom is worried about her sad, nervous child. Junior, because dad was in the home and gave his son his name. Odd that the little boy just is a chill guy with his hands in his pockets. Nowadays, this would be a cause for a lifetime supply of Prozac. Back in the 1940s, you just gave your kid Ovaltine.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why I Stayed

Social Media can lead to digital maoism. It is the eprfect vehicle for modern democracy as it is purely about the retweet count, an account's reach and spread of memes. It can be scammed as well with countless fake accounts. It is a tool for the narcissists and for modern day half-hearted care. Hashtag activism does not change anything but can become a talking point for the media to push something they like as trend. Earlier this week, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was a top trend all day in response to the Ray + Janay Rice elevator punch video release. While seemingly supporting a feminist narrative, battered women, it revealed the darkness to modern women's nature.

#WhyIStayed had countless 140 character tweets of women rationalizing away why they slept with, dated and had kids with scum bags. Are the tweets real? It's the Internet, this could be fake in an effort to receive sympathy. The tweets become performance art of the modern victim. Look at me I am a victim, feel bad for me, I am righteous. There is also the rationalization wing of the tweet crowd. "Yes his name is tattooed on my arm but he beat me". Lot of single mommas on Twitter tweeting about the awful, no good horrible men that they just stuck with. Mrs. Janay Rice married Ray because he had a lot of green that she wanted a piece of. That is why she stayed. I won't touch the overinflated sense of strength and ego courage a slender woman has to charge a 200 lb NFL player in a small elevator, running straight into a left hook. That is between them to work out, and probably settle with cash in a few years (probably after one more kid). What is amazing is how these women stay with these guys in an age of no fault divorce, ample female selection and widespread encouragement from the media to go girl and be a strong independent woman. Wasn't that the lesson everyone trumpeted when Rihanna first left Chris Brown after he hit her, and then forgot when she went back to him?

There is another darker thing. There was an accompanying hashtag, #WhyILeft. It did not trend in the top ten on Twitter that day. Guess those stories were not good enough to share or numerous enough to trend. Maybe the last straw was too dark to share on Twitter or too bad to generate the proper feeling of sympathy from the faceless Twitter maw. It also reveals the fraudulent call for guys who treat a woman like a lady. Store #WhyILeft in your heart the next time a woman says she wants a great guy who treats her well. People will treat you how you let them treat you, and this culture promotes disposable relationships. These women willingly put up with this garbage because the guy has them believing they are the loser in the relationship. Both are, but she feels she is the loser who cannot find better. I cannot imagine the lonely men just hoping that cute gal working at New York and Co would reciprocate his feelings. He is probably struck too hard by her cute facial features to notice the make up covering her bruises.

This trend was not a feminist slam dunk but a mirror for the broken state of modern relationships. Little girls' toys can tell them they are awesome from day one, but it does not seem to work. Half of Beyonce's music is about being so awesomely independent and strong that it is shocking the repetitive messaging does not work (Mr. Huxley, you were wrong). Our media does not let women have agency, except when it's cool, empowering decision making, but we live in an age of blue light phones, domestic violence laws, no fault divorce, child support, women and children's shelters, and other safety nets for such an escape. How broken or damaged is someone to stay? This is the dating pool. Approach it with this hashtag in mind, men.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Was American Beauty a Classic?

There are classics like The Godfather (or Godfather 2). "Dad, that was awesome but why did Sonny get out of the car?" There are great films that age horribly like Philadelphia. "Dad, people went to see a film about a gay guy who died from AIDS and was discriminated against?" I like to think about the movies I will want to show or recommend to my kids as classics. Where does American Beauty fall on the spectrum? A classic? You probably liked it, as it did well in theaters and received awards. It's Wikipedia page is lengthy with citations of the academic analysis of it. Have those academics or reviewers watched it recently? Time has not been kind to the movie. American Beauty is a clinic for acting but is not a classic.

Beauty was released September 8th, 1999 to critical praise and enjoyed commercial success. In Beauty, Lester Burnham has a midlife crisis or awakening, his wife cheats on him, his daughter falls in love, he blackmails his employer, retreats emotionally to his teen years even getting his teen job and teen dream car, he nearly sleeps with his daughter's hot friend and then is shot by his next door retired Marine neighbor who had kissed him minutes earlier. Watch the film, and if possible, watch it with the director and writer commentary on for a followup.

The film is beautifully shot with a score that was ripped off in other film previews and commercials. remember that stretch of time when every other commercial had a xylophone. The script is clichéd, bitter, cynical and shallow. There is little joy to it. It is not a "the suburbs might have somethong dark present" film like Blue Velvet. It is a "suburbs are full of perverts" product that Hollywood cranks out annually. The kid who went to the institution is the deep, balanced one. The hot girl is a catty liar. The Marine is a gung-ho macho guy. The only normal-ish people are the two gay guys who welcome in the new Marine family and give fitness advice to Lester. It was written by a *gasp* gay man. The stereotypes make sense now.

The thing that carries the film is the acting. Spacey fully fleshes out the normal dad who is mad he wasn't a rock star or even the star in his family. This is a role that he first tried out in The Ref. He is tremendous embodying the devoted family man who is marginalzed by his wife and considered lame and an annoyance by his daughter. Listen to her criticism of her father in contrast to his behavior in front of her cute friend; it's a gross exaggeration. His cubicle drone, wearing a mask, is wonderful with deliveries like "for you Brad, I got five". Look at his dead eyes as he states what should be a cheery line. Everyone works with one guy like this. The "divorce" threat serve and volley is great as it is an argument the growing number of breadwinner women may soon face. What happens when a man has nothing to lose... and possibly something to gain? Spacey's Burnham references the nothing to lose idea multiple times in the movie. He is actually declaring his wife, his job and family have no value. They don't need or want him, so screw it. The other side to it is a man told when younger he'd reach a certain spot, and it would be a dream life, only to wake up and recognize the nightmare that it is. Did Boomers cry in the theater when they watched this?

As for women, Annette Benning should have won an Oscar for her role as materialistic and obsessed with the perfect image mom Carolyn Burnham. She's gardening in perfect clothing before work and looking peak-MILF. She'd love social media to show everyone the perfect life she wanted others to think she had. She even has the perfect empty, moneymaking job: realtor. The sequence of pre-sale ritual ("I will sell this house today"), bad showings and then face slapping meltdown pulled me in because it was not just Lester's biased narration saying she is a bitch. She revealed she was a bit loony. Nowadays, she'd be a pill popper. Here she pulled it together, no drinking, no drugs, just her. Benning was playing the true product of our competitive economic with feminism. How many moms did you know like this? Not many, but probably one or two. Benning brought that mom to the big screen. Looking back on it, was Benning just playing Martha Stewart? She lost the Oscar to Hillary Swank's performance in Boys Don't Cry as the girl who posed as a guy to get girls, facing intolerance from hicks (wow, Wikipedia's entry is trans-ed out). In other words, Benning stood no chance.

Other actors perform their roles well. Chris Cooper, a fantastic supporting actor in many flicks, plays a cookie cutter Marine. The boy next door filming everything feels totally forced now but the injection of the digital cam footage was already okay for audiences that just saw The Blair Witch Project. In 2014, we would expect young women to pose for his camera and everyone else to yell at him to shut it off. In hall of fame bad casting, the daughter with D cups wanted to save up for breast implants. Who cast her? The actress had porn star parents (seriously), so you can search and see where she got her talents. The rest are stock, cliche characters but complete a strong ensemble. The catty hot chick still has moments where she sounds like a little girl (how did Mena Suvari's career die?). The medicated, imprisoned mom (an unrecognizable Alison Janney). The married, real estate king (Peter Gallagher and his eyebrows) who makes Benning take the hypergamous jump into bed.

To date myself, I first saw the film after downloading it off Scour Media Exchange. It was a bootleg that stopped right when Spacey gets shot. We then HAD to download another version. We waited an hour to download it, and in that hour guessed who did it. A friend thought Jane (overhearing or seeing her friend with her dad), another the Marine neighbor. I predicted wife Carolyn as so much pointed to her. Was not their tension the chief conflict of the movie? Neither was happy with their perfectly cultivated family. Deep down, at the actor level, while the story is about Lester's journey, Benning stands out so strongly that she can make the film hers. Had I known the screenwriter was gay, I would've changed my answer because ding ding ding it's the antigay Marine, that just beat his kid on suspicions of homo-activity and kissed Spacey. Ah yes, every red state male is a closet case but also hates gays.

Does anyone learn anything? Sure, Lester doesn't sleep with his daughter's friend but when she asks him how he feels, he doesn't just answer but he stops to complain about no one asking him that in a long time. He still needs to bitch to a near stranger about his family. His post-death acceptance of life feels phony even with that. His wife? She hugs his clothes after seeing him shot. Hugs his clothes. Jane was running away with a teenage drug dealer that spent time in an institution because "love". The real secret: these jerks all have great lives that they could enjoy yet life is empty. Material success is not enough. Their situation as upper-middle class is a great baseline for life yet it is not enough. Married to a nice family man with a job or a sexy wife is not enough. Life is oh so bad for these unlikeable shits (okay, Lester is likeable). There is no lesson, which hurts the movie. There is no emotional core. It is hollow.

Beauty swept through the Academy Awards, but it is not a classic in a year with memorable movies. The Matrix is the classic "what is real" genre that was everywhere for a period. I have written already about American Piece and Blair Witch influencing their genres and film in general as well as marking film and cultural turns. Fight Club is more of a classic than Beauty and has aged better; this is despite containing many similarities to Beauty. Is the movie rewatchable? Yes, to see Spacey and Benning at top form. Is it dated? Yes. Ball came up with the script in '92 probably looking to smear '80s Reaganite America. By release in '99, this felt real or believable but with each year it looks more cartoonish. The movie will continue to age poorly as it has done so far just fifteen years later. It won't stop people cruising channels. It's not a "hey American Beauty is on" type of movie. Not many are like that, but that is why this is not a classic. Yet, it is still a great watch that has some beautiful shots and great performances. If the right scene is on and Benning and Spacey are trading barbs, you should stop just to see two skilled craftsmen rising to best one another and make it their film.