Archive for the ‘Joe Giambrone’ Category

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The economics game is rigged from top to bottom. Having been force-fed this crap for years now, at university, it’s clear that schizophrenia is at the heart of the endeavor.

Economists, such as those who pen the overpriced textbooks, all concede that there are major problems: pollution, global warming, resource depletion, etc.

However, every single one of them prays on the altar of “Growth.”

Everything they do, everything they recommend, everything they dress up in pseudo-scientific justification is in the service of unlimited “growth.”

The word “growth” is the very cornerstone of our failing paradigm. Infinite growth is cancer. Cancerous expansion is what these people preach, these high priests of Globalization. It is the basis for their world view, despite the monumental problems directly caused by this growth.

While lamenting the gobbling up of the world’s arable lands, the over-fishing of its seas, and the rising thermostat, nearly everything discussed by these people concerns how to do more of it, not less.

That’s schizophrenia, and that’s what has gotten us here. So, this Earth Day say “Fuck you” to an economist. At least you’ll feel a bit better as we sink together into the hell flames.

Originally posted on J. Giambrone:

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I had forgotten that I’d already seen this years ago, which usually doesn’t portend a positive review. In this case, we have the exception. Underrated genius I’ll call it.

This elite high school satire / black comedy is in the nasty genre of films like Heathers, Cruel Intentions, To Die For, andAmerican Psycho. With a deliberate, formalist approach to the cinematography and sound, it begins like a dark fairy tale.

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With a disturbed Evan Rachel Wood the main character I couldn’t possibly look away. Ms. Wood is so stunningly gorgeous and talented that I’ve simply loved every role she’s ever inhabited. This time she plays a sociopath who takes a new Middle Eastern girl under her wing and shows her the lay of the elite landscape.

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Wood’s family has money, but not the prestige of many of the other high-powered teens at the academy. She’s…

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one-of-them copy

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Solstice Publishing, 320pp.
$4.99 at Amazon

Book Website

“There is nothing about Transfixion that won’t excite you and keep you reading late into the night. So if you’re ready for an ‘end of days’ novel with a one-of-a-kind experience, I say you order now and buckle up.”
“This book was AMAZING! …I loved this story! It was action-packed, constantly moving, and definitely worth the read!”
“Every so often, you read a book that makes you stay up till all hours of the morning just so you can finish it. Transfixion is that book.”
“Fast paced page turner!!!!! Can’t wait to see more by this new author!!!!”
“The plot was brilliant. Kaylee is both brave and resourceful, showing strong characterization. This book is well worth its price.”
“Loved it!!! I couldnt stop reading!!!”
Transfixion is a window into a world gone insane and asks us how long we could fight against insanity before falling prey to it ourselves. It’s The Hunger Games meets The Walking Dead! More than worth a look.”
“I found that I could relate well with Kaylee Colton… The fact that she returns to her book is that she isn’t ready to realize what her new reality is. She would rather hole herself up in literature.”
Transfixion held my attention from the start. A fight to survive against extreme odds with the heroine of the hour nose buried in a book more often the not.”
“Great YA thriller – be hooked!  …The story is cleverly elaborated, focuses on Kaylee and her personal growth. I was drawn in, felt like a member of her comrades.”
“It will have you questioning what you would do if in their situation.”
“She has enough drive to keep you on her side and enough smarts to stop you looking down on her or her choices without Kaylee turning into some kind of action hero movie star.”
“At its core, the novel is a thought-provoking science fiction thriller. At the same time, however, Giambrone weaves in elements of paranormal fiction.”
Transfixion is an action-packed novel that will leave you breathless and full of adrenaline. You might need to stop and take a breath every third page or so. At least, I did.”
“Giambrone’s integration of Kaylee’s coping mechanism with the storyline is a nice touch that could be missed if you aren’t reading too closely. As it is, I think that it enhanced the story and the characters, and definitely made me smile at the end.”
“This book is a great YA book, the violence is not so descript that I would fear young teens reading it, it did not have a lot of sexual content and I have actually already recommended to several teens in the 12-15 age range. I really enjoyed this book, it moved very quickly and had a great flow to it.”
“J. Giambrone did a great job of building up the depth of the confusing emotions the characters were experiencing as they muddled their way through a scary turn of events. He gave the teenage characters faults that were realistic and true to their development.”
“This is a good read, great for YA. I will be seeing if my 13 year old son wants to read it.”
Lastly, this analysis by Kieran Kelly is fascinating:
“Fast-paced, thought-provoking and at times moving.”

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betterthisworld
http://betterthisworld.com/

Post 9-11 Clusterfuck America

The scene is Minneapolis at the end of democracy, 2008, at the Republican National Convention, protected by a massive police and surveillance state.

It was like a war zone. It was a police state.”
-Brad Crowder

The story involves activism, protest, non-violence, FBI provocateurs, the federal injustice system, endless war, Nuremberg violations, domestic terrorism, and Molotov cocktails. It has the entire post 911 experience wrapped up in a neat bow.

The nation is to be shocked by the existence of 8 Molotov cocktails. This is the evidence that will convict two Texas boys and send them away to federal prison. It’s fitting that they were Texans, protesting the Republicans, who had previously stolen two presidential elections, with frontman Dubya. The political alternatives seemed bleak to non-existent, and the two Texas boys were enamored of a particular older figure, and with the allure of direct action, street action, protest.

They said they weren’t anarchists. It’s not at all clear that both of them even wanted to use the gas bombs. They were clearly influenced by their mentor, the usual undercover FBI provocateur seeking to entrap them.

They were faced with the prospect of having a fair trial, as the Constitution is supposed to provide, but in the twisted world of federal prosecutions games are played. Plea bargains are used as tools to enforce silence and cover-up, while the maximum sentences are jacked up to ridiculous terms. This gives the prosecutors all the power to railroad people, pressure them, compel testimony, etc. Not justice. Something else.

This case may simply have come down to David McKay being a reckless dolt, unsophisticated enough to not know what he was getting himself into.

On the other hand, McKay didn’t actually hurt anyone. He just talked about it. His intent seems to have been property destruction, that old reckless anarchist standby, lauded by some, and clearly a useless counter-productive gateway to a world of shit.

I recall filming at the 2000 DNC convention in Los Angeles. It was there I first encountered the “Black Bloc.” These were the young hooligan types in masks that started shit, petty vandalism, spray paint, knocking over newspaper boxes. One unmasked, but particularly angry boy screamed at the MTV reporter, “Corporate! It’s corporate! Turn off your televisions!” It was a wild night. Events culminated in violence, the police shooting at everyone with rubber bullets and some kind of pellets. When I say everyone, I mean they were shooting at me! As I filmed. I got the shot.betterthisworldposter2

The next day photographs revealed that a handful of violent anarchist types climbed up the 12 ft. fence and threw trash, rocks, water bottles, or whatever at the delegates entering the (corporate) Staples Center arena. Fitting all around that Al Gore would accept the nomination in a building owned by an office supply company.

Rattled but undeterred, I went back to LA later that week for the march to demand the release of political prisoners. I also videotaped that subsequent night. A portion of the kids were anarchist types, prone to angry outbursts and unwise acts of random vandalism.

You don’t change things by smashing a few windows. All you do is give your cause a bad reputation.

You change things by getting elected.

You are greatly outnumbered, child. And outgunned. 

Back to Better This World

The hypocrisy of the smug FBI agent and federal prosecutor are hard to stomach. To accept the federal government’s Pollyanna clinging to the rule of law and the sanctity of life shtick when one knows the full reality, well it’s just surreal.

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Ukraine on fire, cheered on by official Washington, which has given the coup leaders billions and continues to support the firebombing neo-nazi “Maidan” regime as they have murdered over 5,000 people in the east of the country.

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The Iraq war may have cost over 1 million innocent lives, and it is a Crime Against the Peace, the “supreme international crime.” As Hitler invaded Poland, Bush invaded Iraq. There is no technical legal difference in International Law. The US breached the UN Charter in an absurd maneuver that its officials disingenuously claimed was to support UN resolutions.

Prior to 2003, the US enforced sanctions on Iraq killed over 500,000 children alone. Clinton’s ghoulish Secretary of State Madeleine Albright admitted on TV to this fact, and she claimed, “the price is worth it.”

This is the real world, not just words. And then we have David McKay, who filled 8 bottles with gas and never used them. So scary. Why did he fill them? Was he convinced to do so by his handler? Would he have burned anyone, or not, or just some cars? We’ll never know.

The bigger question is: when will those who burn thousands of civilians to death be brought to justice? And why does government authority confer immunity from prosecution and impunity to kill?

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This Palestinian film, from the makers of Paradise Now, is well done and emotional. It shows the barbarism and the psychological stress of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Very little comes out of Palestine, and these are refreshing for their portrayals of the ongoing conflict from the Palestinian side. While Israel’s penetration into media is an over-representation, the Palestinians are severely under-represented, and this contributes to western ignorance over the situation there.

The plot veers a bit into the implausible a couple of times. For this reason I prefer the previous film, Paradise Now, for its brutal honesty and gripping tension.paradise-now

Omar incorporates a love story, two lovers separated by the massive apartheid wall, which Omar must repeatedly climb in order to see Nadia. Each time he does so, he is exposed to potential sniper fire. Each visit could be a deadly sacrifice.

The Palestinian resistance fighters are inept tactically, and strategically. They are outgunned and outsmarted by their Israeli occupiers. Played against one another, divided and conquered, it is a hopeless situation on the wrong side of the wall. It tears apart alliances, and the lives of those who resist are shattered.

It’s a good film, maybe not great, but there is plenty to think about.


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No, you can’t make this shit up. Edward Bernays wrote, in 1928:

“The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions.  The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation.”

My article Propaganda in the Cinema 101 has been read over 1400 times since I posted it here. If you haven’t seen it, then it’s definitely worth considering.

-Your Editor