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Interesting YouTube Channel: Renegade Cut

September 29, 2019 11 comments

A few months ago, I came across yet another interesting channel, known as Renegade Cut, which uses movies and TV shows to analyse philosophical ideas and ideologies. While I don’t agree with everything on that channel, some of the content makes sense and is thought-provoking. Here are two clips which many of you might find particularly interesting.

Clip #1: Saturday Neoliberalism This one uses short clips from SNL (the “comedy” show) over multiple decades to show how all of the so-called “subversive” comedy in neoliberal countries such as USA was, and is, always about commercial considerations than being truly subversive or standing up to power and money. It explains why shows such as SNL loved HRC in 2016 while dumping on Bernie and has hated Trump since his election. The explanation also holds for all those other “celebrities” who expose supposedly LIEbral causes.

Clip #2: Frank Grimes – The Cult of Work The second one uses the famous character of Frank Grimes in “The Simpsons’ to show how CONservatives view the world around them. It provides some very interesting insight into why those losers fetishize “work” and who they scapegoat for everything wrong with the world. To make a long story short, CONservatives willingly suffer from multiple delusions including the one where they will all attain salvation, also known as becoming rich.There is a reason, I have always found CONservatives a bit more detestable than LIEbrals.

What do you think? Comments?

Historically Significant Clip: Kanye West on TV After Hurricane Katrina

September 6, 2019 2 comments

Over the past two years, Kanye West has become increasingly infamous for wearing a MAGA hat and supporting Trump. However, in my opinion, he has a unique place in the history of american empire- specifically, as an unintentional commentator on its public decline. See.. after seemingly “winning” the cold war in 1991, USA appeared to be the only and uncontested global hyperpower for almost ten years. However three events in the first decade of this century showed the rest of world that USA was neither a hyperpower nor especially competent. Somewhat fortuitously, all three events occurred in the month of September, albeit in different years.

The first one, is especially well known, occurred on September 11, 2001. Enough said. The third one, also known as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, came into its own on September 15, 2008. While the last one marked the official end of american empire, the second or middle one is often overlooked or not seen as such. I am talking about the completely inadequate response and public debacle in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In my opinion, Kanye West’s famous remarks on September 2, 2005 at A Concert for Hurricane Relief about the clusterfuck which occurred after Hurricane Katrina are historically significant because they are the most concise and best record for the second act in terminal decline of the american empire.

Enjoy the clip in all of its 240p glory!

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting YouTube Channel: Lindsay Ellis

August 15, 2019 2 comments

A few years ago, I came across a YouTube channel about critical analysis of films and TV show. It is likely that some of you might have also heard about Lindsay Ellis or watched a clip or two on her channel. While I don’t agree with a significant minority of her views, she does a pretty good and through analysis of whatever she is talking about. One does not have to agree with every view of another person to appreciate their competence. In any case, she does a much better job than almost every film and TV show review site on YouTube.

Clip #1: The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes is the second in a series of reviews she made about GOT. In my opinion, this one and its previous part are two of the best analysis about GOT and other similar large-budget HBO shows on YouTube. They go into a lot of detail why show like GOT and Westworld start so promisingly only to become sad clusterfucks.

Clip #2: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Studios (Part 2/2) is the second in a three part series about why the Hobbit “trilogy” was such an epic clusterfuck.. and ya, it was due to insatiable greed of, and short-sighted decisions made by beancounters at, big movie studios. I would also highly recommend watching Part I and Part III of this series.

What do you think? Comments?

Mark Fischer’s Critique of Neoliberalism and the Death of Hope in West

August 8, 2019 3 comments

A couple of years ago I came across a short clip of a YouTube talk by a critic and cultural theorist named Mark Fischer. FYI, he committed suicide in 2017 at age 48. Anyway.. getting back to the topic, I first came across some of his ideas in 2010 or 2011, when his critique of Neoliberalism first became somewhat popular. There is however a good chance that many of you haven’t heard about him because he was not a big self promoter unlike some others.. David Graeber or Thomas Piketty. Fischer’s critique of Neoliberalism and its offshoots such as financialism, managerialism etc are far more interesting than those of Graeber or Piketty, since they focus on something most critics of Neoliberalism have largely ignored.

A few years ago, I made the point that the willingness to commit most crimes requires the person to have hopes for a better future. In that post, I also made the comment that decrease in crime rates in USA and the west over past 20-30 years have a peculiar connection to the loss of hope for a better future. Readers might have also noticed that dress and hair styles in the west have been fairly constant for almost the last 25 years (since the mid-1990s), which is odd when you compare this relative stagnation to the massive shifts which occurred between 1950s and 1970s or 1960s and 1980s. It is as if something changed during the 1990s which stopped any hope of a better or different future. And this applies to everything from life expectancy, treatment of common diseases to movies, music and literature.

It is as if the west, especially USA, is stuck in a terminal loop where it keeps reliving the 20th century but cannot seem to find a way forward. Fischer attributes this to the rise of neoliberalism and how its incentives, philosophy and hierachy has created a society which cannot dream, innovate or do much more than keep repeating the past. This ties in with what I wrote about late capitalism and the glut of movie prequels, sequels and remakes we have seen over the past decade or two. The point he makes in his book, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, is that the ideology of unrestricted capitalism which gained a fresh lease of life after 1991 has now infiltrated western culture to the point where it has destroyed hope for a better future.

Here is YT clip providing a quick overview of what Fischer wrote about..

I would also recommend reading an other book written by him, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures. In this one he goes into the connection between the extremely high levels of depression, anxiety and hopelessness seen in the declining west today and its connection to an embrace of capitalist ideology at the personal level.

Also, here are links to free versions of his two most well known works.

Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? – PDF of a scanned copy.

and

Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures – link to e-book version.

What do you think? Comments?

Good Explanation of Physics Behind the Chernobyl Reactor Explosion

June 21, 2019 1 comment

A week ago, I came across this very good YouTube clip about the nuclear physics underlying that disaster. While I have seen dozens of reviews of the currently popular HBO miniseries about the Chernobyl disaster, this is one of the very few which goes into the physics of why things went so wrong. To make a long story short, the reactor design was less idiot-proof than should have been the case for something designed for routine power generation. FYI, Chernobyl-4 was the only one of the RBMK type to actually suffer such an accident. It might interest readers to know that all other reactors of this design type never experienced any major issue and ten are still completely operational and generating power as usual. The most important lesson of Chernobyl is that any product or service meant for mass use has to be way more idiot-proof than otherwise necessary.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting YouTube Channel: David Hoffman

May 17, 2019 2 comments

A few months ago, I came across an interesting YouTube channel containing many interview clips from the late 1980s. Here is a link to the channel- David Hoffman. They are interesting because the interviewer allows the interviewees to speak without interruption and touch on many of the issues which still haunt american society today. Topics range from race relations in the 1950s and 60s to how the mainstream media promotes fake news and propaganda.

Clip #1: He Saw The Media Manipulate The Story In 1968 Chicago

Some people act as if democratic establishment and mainstream media stealing the presidential nomination from Bernie Sanders in 2016 was something new. Well.. it wasn’t. And the way things are going, we may see something similar in 2020. How little some things change..

Clip #2: Magnificent Storyteller Soldier Reveals What He Saw In Vietnam

This clip is interesting because what he says about his initial opinion about, and later experience in, 1960s-era Vietnam are not that dissimilar from those who ended up in Afghanistan and Iraq after 2002-2003. As I have long maintained, people do not learn until they suffer consequences for their actions. Also, USA lost the wars of Occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan just like it lost in Vietnam. Guess somebody made tons of money selling weapons for all those conflicts..

What do you think? Comments?

Ben Shapiro Was Exposed as a Mediocre Fraud by a British Conservative

May 10, 2019 7 comments

Was going to post a short and quick piece on the recent deplatforming of Roissy by WordPress, but thought that the topic deserved more substantial treatment. I intend to write about it in next 2-3 days. So here is something else which I came across today, which is darkly comic for reasons that will soon be obvious. There is a good chance that most of you have some passing familiarity with an imp named Ben Shapiro. While it is tempting to poke fun at the level of insecurity Ben exhibits about his diminutive stature, I shall instead focus on how this pathetic imp got exposed as a mountebank by Andrew Neil, who happens to be a highly conservative British journalist.

Yes.. you heard that right. Ben Shapiro was exposed as a sad fraud by a CONservative. In case you want to see how little Ben got his ass handed to him, I had inserted links to a YouTube clip of that interview further down in this post. To quickly summarize, the loser who constantly pretends to be DESTROY others based on LOGIC and FACTS was woefully unprepared to defend his many nutty public positions such as Arabs being subhuman, non-Zionist Jews not being “real Jews” and women having no legal agency over their own bodies. While it would have been more desirable to have him exposed as a fraud and ‘snowflake by a progressive- it was far more entertaining to see that happen at the hands of an unimpeachable CONservative.

Some of you might have noticed that Ben Shapiro’s view on many social issues are very similar to those of Nazis and Fascists- which is.. well.. ironic. It was nice to see someone finally take him to task over them and expose him for being an intellectual lightweight with an especially thin skin. That it took a CONservative British journalist to finally DESTROY little Ben in such a manner does however tell you a lot about the sad state of American mainstream journalism. I mean.. some time ago, NYT wrote a puff piece about him in which he was depicted as some sort of philosophy wonk rather than a Koch-brother funded racist grifter. In summary, it is nice to see that little racist imp being DESTROYED by LOGIC and FACTS and exposed as a pathetic “snowflake”.

What do you think? Comments?