Posts Tagged ‘exploitation’

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My bwain hurtz.

 

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World economic system is ‘madness’, puts money ahead of people, 

It’s enough to get me to go to church. You go, Pope Francis…

“We discard a whole generation to maintain an economic system that no longer endures, a system that to survive has to make war, as the big empires have always done,” he said.

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Facebook has turned everyone into exhibitionists, parading every detail of their lives all over the web.  How convenient…

 

Could A Stranger Trick You Into Thinking You Were Friends?

 

Not sure who’s behind this PSA or their agenda.

 

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American Psycho

I’ve slogged through so much crap this week as a result of Elliot Rodger’s final act that I think I’ll upset a few and call it for what it is. The rampage has been claimed by women, of course, ranting about rape particularly.

Elliot Rodger didn’t rape anyone. There is no indication that he could even talk to a woman. He saw himself as the opposite of brutal, uncouth rapists, labeling himself repeatedly as the “ultimate gentleman.”

He was next claimed by the religious prophecy crowd, which had no trouble tying him to the gay agenda. Gay marriage and women working outside the home were clearly to blame. That Rodger was an extreme hetero, obsessed with finding a woman to the point of insanity, seems to have been edited out of this week’s sermons.

Of course the anti-gun lobby claimed him immediately, and that was obvious. This brought in the pro-gunners and so that noise blares at the usual cacophony. When white people get shot laws get enacted, and so stay tuned to see where this initiative goes.

Critics of Hollywood were quick to jump on board too. Elliot also played World of Warcraft for 14 hours per day at one point in his life. So anti-Hollywood and anti-video games, check, check.

So it was “rape culture,” Hollywood, video games, the gays, Godlessness, gun laws etc. that created Rodger. Can’t forget the mental health establishment, which failed him with non-prescription therapy. Speculation abounds that he was on anti-depressants, and so that theory spreads widely without evidence. The reporting so far suggests that Rodger refused to take drugs, and he felt he was beyond perfect as-is, as any of his many vlogs will establish.

The extreme right was typing “false flag” the evening of the spree. They discredit themselves.

I’ve seen a lot of prefabricated agenda-driven hype on Elliot Rodger, preformed ideologies that his rampage fit neatly into. The narrative that impresses me the most, the one with the most evidence and substantiation, however, is this one:

Portrait of a Psychopath: UCSB Shooter Elliot Rodger a Child of Hollywood, Privilege, Isolation

Elliot Rodger, if you listen to his words, is the closest thing we’ve had yet to American Psycho.

“I always loved luxury and opulence.”

The virgin spree-shooter, like the others, had a broken spring in his head. His drive for love, superiority, sex and acknowledgment are fairly universal themes though. Elliot was a lonely, shy person who couldn’t relate to others, and he never did figure out how to approach women. He also had a case of extreme narcissism. This victim-complex became more severe over time with each failed attempt at romance. Rodger, an American neo-Caligula, believed himself to be the most deserving of all, and it shocked him to his fibers that he was unwanted and alienated, when in fact he did everything the culture suggested would work out for him. He was a product of magazine advertisements, television and movie iconography, red carpet galas and paparazzi hysteria. He wore the right clothes, drove the right car and he bragged in exasperation that his sunglasses cost $300. So why not the expected rewards of attention, sex and love, his consumerist fairy tale? Movie actors just across the room received all that and more without even trying.

They’re kissing right now. It’s torture for me to watch, but I have to do this. I have to film this. I have to show the world why life isn’t fair. I have to show everyone why I hate the world, ’cause no girl would do this with me.”
-Elliot Rodger (My reaction to seeing a young couple at the beach, Youtube, May 23, 2014)

Elliot Rodger forces us to consider his case, because we don’t expect him. We assume someone with everything, all the luxuries, the youth, the potential, the connections, will automatically thrive in our society. He was well positioned to follow the yellow brick road into Hollywood, but he had a loose screw. Perhaps a biological problem with his brain, that coupled with his sense of superiority and entitlement made him the perfect psycho killer.

Seven cops descended upon his apartment last month, and yet none bothered to search his bedroom; they were so charmed by this “ultimate gentleman.” The story of which of his videos triggered the police alert and whether the police actually watched it remains fuzzy. Further, the particulars of his admissions at that time, and whether they clearly showed him to be a threat, are hard to piece together. Add to that a number of deleted videos from Youtube, and the picture may be getting fuzzier by the day. ‘What did the police know, and when did they know it,’ is a valid question. ‘Why didn’t they know it’ would be another. Rodger’s own mother had alerted his therapist over disturbing videos he had posted. The therapist eventually contacted police to check on him, but what exactly was said? And what wasn’t?

So love turns to hate, jealousy to rage. It’s a timeless descent, and we’ve seen this show before. Interestingly Rodger accepted a compromise, an escape plan for a while.

…if I could somehow become a multi-millionaire at a young age, then my life would instantly become better than most people my age…. That was a form of peaceful, happy revenge and it became my only hope.”

His only hope at avoiding the planned “Day of Retribution,” is what he means. Elliot seems to have been America’s son, a true believer ready to kill and die for the Consumerist Dream. He’d accept multi-millions of dollars in lieu of love and sex. That sum was easier dreamed than achieved, it turns out.

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I am not part of the human race. Humanity has rejected me… Magnificent, glorious, supreme, eminent… Divine!” (Manifesto)

Elliot Rodger began by throwing drinks at couples at coffee shops. He progressed to trying to push girls off a ledge at a party, for which he was thrown down himself and then beaten.

“A dark, hate-fueled rage overcame my entire being, and I tried to push as many of them as I could from the 10-foot ledge.”

He purchased a Supersoaker to fill with orange juice in order to attack those he felt were inferior – and that could be pretty much anyone. Perhaps he longed to fill it with his own urine, but his gentlemanly sensibilities prevailed.

In addition, I had to suffer the shame of other boys respecting me less because I didn’t get any girls. Everyone knew I was a virgin. Everyone knew how vulnerable I was to girls, and I hated everyone just for knowing it.” (Manifesto, Epilogue)

Elliot Rodger stabbed three boys to death prior to his shooting rampage. His hatred of men whom he felt were inferior is similar to his hatred of the beautiful women who had rejected him, “the stupid, degenerate obnoxious men.” Those undeserving inferiors received all the affection in Elliot’s world because women were blind to his magnificence.

They think like beasts and in turn they are beasts. Women are incapable of having morals or thinking rationally. They are completely controlled by their depraved emotions and vile sexual impulses… The most beautiful of women choose to mate with the most brutal of men, instead of magnificent gentlemen like myself.”

On the day of the rampage that loose screw finally fell right out. Whether any mental health treatment could have affected Elliot Rodger or not, we’ll never know. Whether there was enough evidence to hold him in custody, we can’t be certain. His manifesto, My Twisted World, was emailed out just prior to the spree. It would be read too late to affect the outcome.

Near the end, we find the true depth of Elliot Rodger’s psychosis…

In order to completely abolish sex, women themselves would have to be abolished. All women must be quarantined like the plague they are, so that they can be used in a manner that actually benefits a civilized society. In order to carry this out there must exist a new and powerful type of government, under the control of one divine ruler, such as myself. The ruler that establishes this new order would have complete control over every aspect of society… The first strike against women will be to quarantine all of them in concentration camps. At these camps, the vast majority of the female population will be deliberately starved to death… I would take great pleasure and satisfaction condemning every single woman on earth to starve to death… It is the only way to purify the world.”
-Elliot Rodger, infamous Isla Vista psycho killer

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SHOCKING PINK: ‘BACK ISSUES: THE HUSTLER MAGAZINE STORY’

 

 

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The Human Cost of Electronics

 

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Roger Ebert once called Fight Club a “fascist movie.”  Although that might have been misplaced, it may apply more aptly to these murder is fun films, Kickass and Kickass 2.

It’s so frustrating when the ideas are so nakedly presented to offset the other malignant ideas that were just presented moments ago.  The level of manipulation reaches schizophrenic heights when torture is fun, but all of a sudden another character pretends to have a moral conscience.  We have a battle of marketing manipulation memes, selling fascist ideas, but trying to also wrangle those peacenik dollars and assuage the consciences of parents who let their kids watch these assaults.

I was shocked at the prospect of “Hit Girl” (Chloe Moretz) the moment I read about the first film in production.  This was a kind of line that had to be crossed, inevitably, but for what purpose?  What is the meaning of Hit Girl?  She’s some kind of super enforcer freak show that could never exist in real life.  She’s also a bloodthirsty mass murderess, with flashy colors and makeup to sell killing as cool.  Of course a collection of lowlifes are presented for her to mow down.  What are people to make of this murder as fun and games, it’s all part of the modern lifestyle, kind of vibe?

The society has drifted quite a bit from the times of peace protests and antiwar movements.  We’ve regressed to a kind of infantile love of mindless violence.  Meaning and consequences are stripped away in favor of blood and circuses.  Now in Amerika it’s easy to sell violence as the solution to just about anything.  Little girls playing dress up is now little girls playing dress up with hollow point rounds and machetes.

The title character, Kickass (Aaron Johnson), represents the common knave. He’s brought into the world of murder for fun and Hit Girl, as a way of establishing his own identity as a superhero.  He’s a scaredy cat and inept.  The contrast between the two remains throughout.

With Kickass attempting to bring balance to the vigilante ideal, the films meander toward gore and death and back toward justice and forgiveness.  The people behind it coldly manipulate the storylines to sell death and supremacy one moment and high school innocence and the rule of law the next. 

Vigilantism is pitted against a useless law and justice system that essentially does nothing positive, ever.  This is an ideological attack on the idea of a justice system at all.  Never are the police called or do they do anything positive.  The only solution is massive force and violence by unaccountable individuals.  Similarities to other vigilante comic book stories (Batman) are intentional, but to what end?  What is it these people think they’re saying in the end?

My guess is that they’re saying: ‘we put x in there to counter y, so give us lots of money, assholes.’

Sounds about right.

No trailer.  Fuck you, Kickass.

2/5

 

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“People get rich complaining about this shit.  Complaining is a respected industry.”

This is a mockumentary about the fashion industry, that’s rather edgy in its black comedy.  (A different film of the same title was released in 1999.)  A new top fashion model endures the depravity of the business, but not so well it turns out.  She dies right in the middle of her biggest photo shoot.

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With her death the centerpiece of the film, the nutty and exploitative cast of characters are confronted about what they do and why.  This is not a well-loved film, and yet it was far more interesting in concept than the Robert Altman fashion industry film Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter).

Many issues are touched upon, including the nature of for-profit documentaries themselves.  Everyone has an angle to play, especially when the dead model is used to sell clothes, post-mortem.  Turns out that supermodels are worth more dead than alive.

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The blitzkrieg of artsy bullshit and rationalization which follows calls into question not just these industries, but the consumers who are ultimately responsible for them.  That includes the movie audience.  It’s discomforting by design, intended to disturb.  That’s probably why it remains under the radar…

 

UNDER

 

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Reckless Endangerment in the Movies

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Trouble in Panem

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You’ll definitely want to catch the next installment of The Hunger Games, which is done even better than the first film. The arbitrary shaky cam is gone, and the story is tense and moves along at a slightly faster tempo.  The characters are true to themselves, and the situation escalates from bad to worse.  Catching Fire played to a packed audience, and the crowd stayed with the film to the end.

Donald Sutherland’s stunning call for a revolution aligns with the story itself.  The comparisons with America’s slide toward despotism and a police state are intended and striking.  Even more so than the first movie, a lot of young people are going to be contemplating political messages embedded in the film.  This is not a neutral situation, and neither is our current reality.  While we are in no way as oppressive a society as is Panem, we edge continually toward it with each passing power grab in “the capital,” a place nearly as out of touch with average Americans and their plights today.

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What delights is the blatant shredding of propaganda, the political exploitation of the manufactured heroes, and how they are stage managed to placate the masses. The thinly-veiled propaganda techniques, such as those used by Stanley Tucci’s character mirror our own TV media reality.  There isn’t much difference except for the hyperbolic degree which Panem takes their messaging.  Our real world version is far more subtle, far more insidious and yet retains similar goals.

The family can’t wait for the next film, and hopefully it won’t be so long off.  Jennifer Lawrence remain truthful, beautiful and powerful, an icon for the next generation.

 

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Strong performances from all involved, and an unexpected turn elevate this biopic.  Linda Lovelace’s story of coming of age and rising to stardom is worth noting for a couple of reasons.

She became an icon, largely the result of being in the right place at the right time.  Taboos were fading fast, and oral sex was suddenly out of the closet.  Now that it was suddenly permissible to mention it in the media, the wave of success swept up Lovelace unexpectedly.

Across the spectrum this sexual discussion became a joke, a source of ridicule and even a symbol of liberation and empowerment.  The idea of empowerment through porn is exposed during the film when set against the reality.  It was a disempowering experience, in the extreme.  A strong patriarchal oppression runs throughout both her home life and in the larger society.

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Her life and the narrative take a hard turn because of a particular party, the pimp whom she married.  The film has a real bad guy, and he’s the central focus.  The story is based on Lovelace’s telling in her book, and events are filtered through her.  She may not be a completely reliable narrator, and then again the filmmakers may not have included enough of the story for it to make several points clear.  They did keep the movie moving along pretty well though, and the look and feel are fluid and cinematic

What is clear is the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her husband, and that he was the motivating factor to push her into that world.