Archive for October, 2013




John Perkins has quite reformed himself after a career of participating in US foreign policy empire building.




Rebels conduct new chemical weapons attack in Syria near Turkish border – report

“The rebels used chemical weapons in north-eastern Syria near the border with Turkey on Tuesday, a Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen reported.

The toxic shell exploded near a Kurdish defense forces’ checkpoint close to the border with Turkey in the city of Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah.

The attack was reported by Kurdish defense forces who are conducting military operations against the rebels in the region.

They are quoted as saying they saw toxic yellow smoke that followed the shell explosion, while some of them had symptoms of severe chemical intoxication accompanied by nausea.”

It is very likely that ALL gas attacks inside Syria have been perpetrated by the Jihadi “rebel” factions, often made up of foreign fighters and supplied with arms from outside the war zone.

Free Syrian Army (rebel) fighters have already admitted that they received banned chemical weapons from their Saudi sponsors, specifically Prince Bandar bin Sultan.


Terror, horror, fear…


Night of the Living Dead (full movie)


30 Days of Night (full)

dvd Aaah! Zombies

Ahhh! Zombies (full)

Or read a book:  Hell of a Deal – A Supernatural Satire (free until Nov. 3rd)

Party Music 4 Halloween

Posted: October 31, 2013 in -
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This contained mind-mash pits an opportunist against nature, as celebrity obsession enters the realm of disease collecting.  Meaning: fans buy diseases so that they can better imitate and commune with their celebrity idols.  By willingly infecting themselves in order to better worship their idols, fandom has created a new commodity to exploit.  Beyond simple exploitation, the competition to obtain celebrity viruses and to sell them on the black market is fierce and criminal.

Such is Brandon Cronenberg’s directorial debut, a small noirish thriller of blood, disease and the underworld.  People who are inclined to appreciate David Cronenberg’s films will probably respond well to the movie.  The story’s Cosmopolis vibe addresses capitalist ruthlessness and the depravity associated with marketing the world to the highest bidders.  With cultural criticism (assault?) rivaling films like Idiocracy and God Bless America, here we have a very subtle, tempered version of business as usual in an unusual racket.


The market for satire, criticism and any kind of thought whatsoever is pretty small.  DVD reviews of Antiviral made clear that a lot of people didn’t get the movie, or care to.   I thought the film was well done and thought provoking, a lot more so than Contagion anyway.  Caleb Landry Jones is a fantastic actor, and he pushes it to the edge here.  The film carried a dark, creepy sensibility even in glaringly sterile white rooms.


ACLU Strongly Supports Sensenbrenner-Leahy Bill Reforming NSA Surveillance Authorities
USA Freedom Act Would Limit NSA Spying

October 29, 2013

CONTACT: 212-549-2666,

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan reform bill to rein in the National Security Agency’s bulk collection, analysis, and storage of Americans’ electronic communications was introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives today. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly supports the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), one of the original authors of the Patriot Act.

“The last five months have proven that the NSA cannot be trusted with the surveillance authorities they have been given by a secret court without the knowledge or approval of the American people,” said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. “The only way to stop the NSA’s collect-it-all mentality is for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits the intelligence community from engaging in the dragnet surveillance of Americans’ communications. The legislation introduced today by Sen. Leahy and Rep. Sensenbrenner is a true reform bill that rejects the false and dangerous notion that privacy and our fundamental freedoms are incompatible with security.”

The bill, The USA FREEDOM Act, would enact the following core reforms to NSA surveillance authorities:

  • It would end the bulk collection of Americans’ records shared with third parties and put reasonable limits on Patriot Act powers targeted at people in the U.S. The new restrictions would apply not only to phone records collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but national security letters and pen registers that have also been abused.
  • It would amend the 2008 FISA Amendments Act to require court orders before the government could use American information collected during foreign intelligence operations.
  • It would increase transparency by allowing communications providers to disclose the number of surveillance orders they receive, mandate the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance orders, and make public significant FISA Court opinions since July 2003.
  • It would create a public advocate that could advise the secret surveillance court in certain cases.

The bill pulls language together from the many House and Senate bills introduced over the last several months by members of both parties.

“The bulk collection of Americans’ phone records is an extraordinary and intrusive power government should not have,” said Richardson. “This legislation rightly shuts the program down and provides additional protections to ensure the government doesn’t engage in the bulk collection of any other records. Proposals described by the Intelligence Committees would only make the current situation worse by entrenching privacy-busting practices. Congress should focus on reforms like Sensenbrenner-Leahy.”

The bicameral legislation has attracted prominent, bipartisan support.

In the Senate, 16 bipartisan cosponsors include Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

In the House, more than 70 bipartisan cosponsors include Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), John Mica (R-Fla.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

The ACLU has also filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ call records. Oral argument has been set for Nov. 1. For more on ACLU vs. Clapper:

More information on the ACLU’s work rolling back NSA spying can be accessed at:


An African mockumentary about European culture…

From Dangerous Minds:

Hilarious mockumentary ‘Darkest Austria’ goes where ‘no black man has set foot before’


Possessed tonight, by a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, Give it away, give it away, give it away now (song)…

Hell of a Deal is now FREE on Smashwords
until November 3rd.  Download here.

Coupon Code (required):


[I would ask that people write reviews and post them to the novel’s Amazon page.]






To me, a pontificating Internet blowhard of questionable character, it’s not hard to differentiate a good short film from a bad one.  There’s a very easy litmus test, and it usually works.  It works so well that I click right on out of there when a film fails this test, and I have a strong suspicion that I’m not alone.

Perhaps festival snob judges use different criteria (a probability).  Perhaps the masses use this one.

Here is the magical secret to a short film that is truly worth spreading:

A good short film feels too short, and a bad short film feels too long.

That’s it.  That’s the whole ballgame.  I can stop writing now.  It’s the same criteria for longer works as well, but this basic characteristic, this essential and fundamental property of good film vs. bad is usually the last thing that most amateur filmmakers consider.  They obsess over every other aspect of making a movie, the nuts and the bolts.  They don’t even consider the editing of the thing until everything is shot.  Then they don’t want to cut the excruciatingly boring stuff, because a lot of work went into filming it in the first place.  These decisions should have been made at the script stage, in pre-production, thinking about why every shot actually is needed or isn’t.  But more importantly: why the shots they have written are boring and don’t convey enough story in a short enough amount of time.

Craft shots that give multiple channels of information to the viewer, instead of leaving viewers waiting, and waiting, and waiting for your God damned pretentious piece of shit to actually start.

That means an inciting incident right at the beginning that can hook people and set up an interesting story.  Without front-loading your film with a unique and meaningful opening scene you’re dead.  You are done.  I have already clicked onto something else, and I have no regrets about leaving you behind.

Now these are general principles, and building it is easier said than done.  How does one craft an opening scene that can hook people and ensure they keep watching?

Well no one can tell you that.  It’s subjective, entirely dependent on the story.  Each story has its own trajectory, its own unique set of parameters, unless you’re copying others and basically stealing (in which case a career on Wall Street might be more appropriate rather than in the arts).  Art is supposed to take it to the next level, to build, to make connections that others simply hadn’t made before.  Even working in a genre, new situations and consequences can, and must, present themselves.  Remakes of popular films tend to innovate new twists.  Or else what’s the point?  What is the point of shoveling the same story?  Why are you, the filmmaker, required at all?  A machine can rehash the past, and probably with better efficiency.

But the main problem in most short films I come across (and that is quite a lot) is that they are boring as fucking hell on ice.  The opening scenes don’t portend anything at all.  They aren’t intricately thought out situations, and they aren’t much of a story.  They are banal, trivial, pointless and not worth watching.

Perhaps I’m jaded, not wowed by the ability of twenty-somethings to press record on a DSLR.  Perhaps even with filmic visuals the pretty pictures’ complete lack of meaning and drama registers most with me.

Film is dramatic if it is anything.  It needs the conflict of opposing ideas (and an educated writer).  It needs the spark of antagonism.  Something must be off and the resolution unclear.  That’s what compels us to keep watching.  A camera can meander down all the long boring hallways of the world, but who cares?  Each second and each frame of film must be justified: why are you wasting the audience’s time?

When one looks at a photograph he or she can look for a second or for a minute.  The choice is up to them.


When one looks at a movie, the duration of every image has been decided by someone else for them.  They are powerless, stuck, trapped, helpless, at the mercy of the editor now.  Film exists in time.  Time is a factor that is a basic fundamental aspect of every shot, every scene, every sequence, and the work as a whole.  Time is unique to moving pictures and needs to be considered as an important aspect of the process.  It needs to be considered at various stages and reconsidered over and over again until the finished film doesn’t waste the audience’s time at any point.

Wasting a minute of screen time on scenery may not seem like an egregious sin.  But with 1,000 people in the audience, you’ve wasted 1,000 minutes of people’s lives on the scenery.  That’s not a formula for success, I’m sorry to say, but it happens all the time.  Economy in the presentation is paramount.

That means giving people more and more of the story through as many channels as possible.  This is where amateurs and professionals tend to diverge.

Reveal vs. conceal is the eternal struggle for writers of all media.  When is the correct moment to show something, and will showing it reveal too much, making the story predictable?  This is where experience and knowledge make all the difference.  Apparently most of these boring films err on the side of concealing everything.  They don’t want to give away the ending, and so they keep it all hidden until the last scene.  Unfortunately, no one is watching by then.  The problem needs a more nuanced approach, a way to reveal a larger truth in tiny increments.  These stages of revelation are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that come together and suddenly jump to life at the end.  Figuring the correct sequence of incremental revelations (and getting it moving soon) is the crux of the game.

A good film will hit the viewer with sound and imagery in abundance: background sounds, foreground sounds, music, specially chosen sound effects that are relevant to the story, foreground imagery, background imagery, the perfect location, the perfect lighting, the perfect camera motion, a perfect transformation as the drama unfolds during a take.  While the student film lingers on some background scenery, the more accomplished film has already conveyed a dozen things about the world, the characters and the conflict to the audience.  The interplay of background to foreground in visuals and in audio keeps the watchers watching.  Shots should be mined for opportunities to give clues in the background as well as in the foreground, by the first frame as well as the last frame of a shot.  The action that unfolds during a shot can convey many different pieces of information, if one abandons linear thinking.

Front-loading, providing sufficient story information up front to set up the narrative through to the end, is the major missing ingredient in bad shorts.  The boring films just exist on a simple linear line.  The amazing films exist on multiple lines of storytelling, weaving a tapestry. Boring films focus on a single, obvious and unremarkable element, and hope that people will wait for something interesting to happen later – maybe.  Films need to start interesting and accelerate from there.  Life’s too short.

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From Indiewire.   The most twisted, poetic mindfuck of the season.  I don’t know what to think about this ode to cruelty, psychopathy, nightmares and gore.  I don’t really get Rob Zombie or the French author whose psychotic musings overlay the imagery in this “video essay.”  But tis the season of the witch, and terror is in the air.


Rush Limbaugh and right wing talk radio and their malevolent effects on Americans…

This is a Kickstarter Project (needs help).