Thursday, March 19, 2009
Art, talent and beauty make those hard times less painful for some of us. I am addicted to them like Madoff was addicted to added zeroes in his bank accounts. Brodskaya's talent is one I admire. The precision and dedication needed to create her figures are staggering. And, of course, like any really talented artist, she makes it seem like a breeze. You can see more of her art on DesignBoom.
President Obama still doesn't seem to understand that he won.
It's over, you're in. You don't have to charm and cuddle anymore. You got the job.
Now, it will be good if you could get the job done.
I don't know who got the bright idea of putting him on Leno but now, thanks to this 10 watt light bulb, Obama might lose most of his political capital and the confidence of the American people at the time where he needs it the most.
The nation is suffering and scared of what's to come. It doesn't need a star or a comedian (except for Jon Stewart) but a President that seem conscious of the degree of damage afflicted by the financial crisis and capable of mitigating the worst of what's to come. It needs ideas, inspiration, faith, a clear-headed leader and a new path. Not a chuckling, silly beer buddy. We had one for awhile. Didn't do us much good. Left us with a hell of hangover and an empty wallet.
Even Clinton, who was a congenial crowd pleaser, could put a serious face when needed, though an attentive viewer could fell a jocular smile hovering just beneath the daddy-knows-best mask. I'm sure we all know a guy like this who just can't resist a joke , even in the most inopportune of moments. Usually, I love this kind of humour. My husband is one of those guys always seeing the absurd facet of every situation, wowing the crowd with a joke a minute and loving it. But it all can get a bit tiring when every circumstances gets trivialized and humour becomes a crutch, or worse, an apparent escape from reality.
With in-fighting within the Democrats ranks and the neonuts job getting trigger happy and closer to the looney bin day by day, with financial crisis, unemployment, military uncertainty, poverty and crooks getting away with murder, President Obama have enough on his plate that parading on Leno does not count as a capital imperative let alone a sane decision. Cleaning house at AIG looks less glamorous but much more urgent in the grand scheme of things.
Obama does not have a Cheney to act as his rapacious looney watchdog. Or a Rove to be his personal Machiavellian voodoo witch doctor. He has to do it all himself and play the bad cop/good cop role alone. But he does need to find a way to stop being a mere sitting duck for criticism. And finding the real culprits in these messy affairs is the only logical beginning. Gave the public the real frauds. Madoff didn't not act alone. Create a sense of justice being accomplish or the Obama presidency will be tainted as accomplice to the deeds instead of exactors of redress ant truth.
We elected a President, not the class clown. If President Obama needs our help, he has to ask us through the proper presidential channels, not with a comedy routine on late-night TV. His foe, in the meantime, are very serious. And they seriously want to see him and this country fail miserably. You better get on the same page quick, Mr. President, and get serious too.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Really. He does.
His article in Counterpunch, "The Cash-for-Trash Economy", is the most comprehensible and extensive explanation of how we got into this horrendous financial mess.
To read Hudson is to finally understand that the "too big to fail" doctrine does not apply only to different American industries but to America as a whole.
"Our deficit, their problem" "Our war, their problem" " Our gas guzzling SUV, their problem": we have been letting the world clean up our problems for so long while stuffing their banks with our worthless money and wriggling our holier-than-thou middle finger under their noses that we just thought we could go on forever.
Well, the party's over and Wall Street still doesn't get it. Bernanke still thinks we should give more money to the bank so that they could keep doing business as usual. "Our deficit, the taxpayer problem". But let's keep all the players and the deficient structures in place and hope for different results.
So your taxes' dollars should go 1/2 to the military, 1/4 to repay those banks' debts and the rest for tax cut for the rich or interest repayment. Shame on you should you ask for good schools, good health care or consumer protection. The market will provide. The Repugs have only your best interest at heart. And yes I said Repug. If Obama does not accomplish a clean break with the past 8 years or so, it will only be a continuation of a destructive "conservative" philosophy that rhymes with sacrificing the weak and poor for the profit a very small incredibly toxic minority. It's too bad many take their toxicity for strength, power or even worse, wisdom.
Landrieu, Lincoln, and Bayh will be to the Obama's what Sam Nunn, Patrick Moynihan, and George Mitchell were to the Clinton's.
Long after Bayh's forgotten and out of office, it will be remembered that Obama's agenda collapsed on account of Michelle Obama's bare arms.
Healthcare will have deteriorated further, and the Obama's will be blamed for the failure to pass any reform at all.
Only Landrieu, Lincoln, and Bayh will gloat, knowing they led the bible thumper's splintering of the Democratic agenda.
Beautiful pieces from the artist Dale Chihuly. You can see more of his pieces at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix Arizona right now. Or visit his web site at chihuly.com.
Found on the Very Very Fun web site.
The owners are probably living in their car by now but this house makes me sigh with envy and delight.
It's more museum than home but it is beautiful with wood, light and great design galore.
From the Furniture Fashion web site.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I saw the Watchmen movie last week-end. I loved it if you really want to know. I seemed to be one of the few that did.
I have to applaud a superhero movie that finally did not forget to be a movie too. I loved the interplay of time, music and visual American icons, I loved the stylized fights, I loved the different textures that could be rendered on the screen from gritty polar noir to slick 80's rock video designs. I really love the syncretism of different moments in American history that created a surreal portrait of what it could mean to be an American in such times and how do one dealt with the anxiety of living in an empire gone mad. With masks and self-defeating prophecies or harrowing auto-fictions, seemed to suggest Moore and the directors. And love, love, love, of course... Girls, put your f*ck me leather boots on!
I was surprised to found out that Zack "We are Sparta" Snyder was responsible for such a coherent, successful, sharp-eyed adaptation of Alan Moore's comic. It was far from perfect, mind you. Xena look-a-like Silk Spectre, played by actress Malin Ackerman, was gorgeous and could deliver a kick but her acting was a bit as thin as her costume, unfortunately, with no second degree. Compare it to the three-names-guys, Jackie Earle Haley or especially Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who's somehow channeling a very, very mean Robert Downey jr, and it's clear that Spectre was not in the same league.
Nixon, Kissinger and all the other crazy boys of "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb..." make an appearance and the only one missing was Peter Sellers. But every single frame is charged with a sense of hopeless irony and absurdist folly that Sellers himself would probably have recognize. Of course, if you like your movies quick and empty, this one is not for you. It's fast and furious enough but catching a bad guy and beating him to a pulp is not the whole point here. In this story, the villain is within. And catching him makes for a bitter harvest, indeed.
But I digress...
While we're watching the Watchmen, who's watching Wall Street? In fact, who's watching the government guys who are supposed to watch Wall Street?
We're in a freaking deep mess that is itself in a deeper mess. in literature, we call this "une mise en abyme" - or to be put into an abyss. Harry Shearer from HuffPost just discovered that in New Orleans (remember them?) just as much was spend in administrative cost than on building affordable housing units there. We're talking 40 to 50 millions for the pencil pushers and another 40 to 50 for the contractors/landlords to fix their units. Results? A little more than a 1000 units in two years. And the money keeps on coming...
I hope you see there is a big problem here.
Henry "Hank" Paulson worked at Goldman Sachs, he headed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and repealed the "net capital rule" that required brokerage firm to hold reserve capital that limited their investments and could offset their risks. He championed "voluntary regulation"(!!). In a way, he was one of the Wall Street elite, to use a word the Repugs love to hurl around, and he was ask to cuddle their way out of a mess he helped create. And somehow his decisions were made non-reviewable or unchallengeable by law.
I hope you see there is a problem here.
So not wanting to alarm the Rush Limbaugh of this world, we cannot talk of temporary nationalization as we should, so we can't clean house, we can't move in and react quickly enough to stop the crisis from getting worse. Obama is caught trying to be all thing to all people, unable to believe that we put him in power so he could tell a major "Fuck you" to the Wall Street Frat boys and their Bush Dynasty crew. He is stuck in pleasuring the masses mode warming up to the crooks and forgetting his main plan: getting Main Street it's due after years of numbskulls rulers.
So, Obama, you are either FDR or a sitting duck. Your choice. Emergency Banking Act, a restructuration of the SEC, a bonification of Unemployment benefits, Homeowner Loan's Corp. II and jobs, jobs, jobs…
Or be ready to start licking Limbaugh's feet like the rest of the yellow livered Dems BNO.
But incredibly, I still believe you can...
Monday, March 16, 2009
We can laugh before, during and after the Revolution.... Just like a real Chuck Norris show!
In the meantime I just love these. StumbleUpon, marry me, please!
And thanx to JustWhatever web site' Musical Statistic by redboobs. Can't believe I just typed that...
I have just met Glen Beck today. A girl goes for some education, comes back and what's the first thing she sees on her computer after witnessing Obama finally putting some fear in AIG smug face? Glenn Beck.
I never watched Fox News, I never will. I tried once, on YouTube so it doesn't count. But what the American public now calls tv "news" or "journalism" have no more credible link with reality. So I avoid it. But today I wanted to know why the creation of a governmental banking overseer was taking so long or why the Summers/Geithner duo could not remember that they're not in Wall Street anymore partying on but protectors of Main Street assets. But what I found was this: Glenn Beck.
At first, I thought it was just another infomercial for some 12 steps-like program to get rich fast. But no, it was a new breed of stupid and dangerous from the same guys that gave us O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson: the desperate Republican dittoheads. But this one was just a little bit more creepy than your usual brand of crazy.
The language used by the this particular nutjob is actually not funny at all: he's deliberately putting a religious fervor into his demented political ideals while denying actually doing it. The denial is the usual Repug tactic. But the feverish emotional hysterics coupled with hypnotic speech pattern and images are all too close to cult-like group models to my liking.
"Belief v/s intellect", "Uniqueness of the movement", "Shared belief in a saying" are all some of the "most common features of religious movements" or cults according to the Cult Help and Information web site and I would add the "Us v/s the World" mentality, "shared common rituals giving shared powers" and those regular rituals becoming a necessity to rid members of their collective anxieties and fears. And guess what? Glenn got them all covered in his show, with Chuck "Texas President" Norris as the Looney Star cherry on this mess of a sundae.
Glenn "emotionally disturbed" Beck, prone to give 2 sorts of speech - a lenient one and a raving mad "fire and brimstone" other one - just wants to save America from the Big Bad Government in a Patriotic way that doesn't sound like Anarchy or Right Wing Led Class Warfare . Here's an example taken from BuzzFlash Blog:
What gets me is the fact that all his "outrage" is a reflection of what I felt towards the Republicans when they were selling out this country to the highest bidder while trying all they could to bankrupt it morally as well as financially, sucking it dry of any hope. The controlling GOP mentality who made sure to call every dissent voice unpatriotic, telling others who they should marry, love, hire, fire, let live or harass, was patiently tolerated for all those years. But threatening to secede 4 months after the legal election of a Democrat. And to give way to what solution? More big men with big guns!!!
Beck lists nine principles guiding his new movement on his Web site. The principles contain the usual right-wing "government ain't the boss of me," pro-Christianity propaganda. My favorite, though, marks a turnaround for the hardcore right. After years of conservatives screaming that those who don't support the president are un-American and want our troops to die terrible deaths, Beck comes out with principle number eight:
"It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion."
Beck said this on his show when introducing the eighth principle: "My opinion or others' opinions may be anti-American. Anti-American rhetoric would be anything that's destructive to the Constitution and our country as the founders understood it unless you want to change that."
He then called his audience to action saying, "If you agree with seven of these nine, please, stand up and fight for them."
If you want to know how it feels to be in the Revolution with Glen and Chuck at your side, just knock yourself out and watch the video. Bet you'll feel an urgent need either to pray to any god out there or to take a very long shower before you get to the end of it all....
I know I haven't been posting for a long time. I just gave priority to my studies for now and my outrage towards the Repug camp and their desperate head games to paint Obama as the father of the deficit or to cut unemployment benefit program during a national financial crisis of THEIR doing or again to spit on Limbaugh before kissing his feet and crowning him Repug-in-chief....
What can I say, I can't wait to come back to my firebreathing days so I can burn some neocon ass once angain...
But what brought me back was not the usual backstabbing or yellow pissing of the Democrats once in power - this behaviour is nothing surprising and, like spring, it's a messy, stinking rite of new beginning where all the hidden garbage resurface and rot. Hope it doesn't kill the burgeoning talents or wonderful momentum Obama was able to foster. (Though: Why why why the Tonite Show??!)
No I decided to do a Schwarzenegger-style come back to tip my hat to one of the best singer, poet and overall artist that France ever had: Alain Bashung.
He died this week-end and it's a great lost. In inventiveness and creativity he was unequal or only by Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronc. Musically, he succeeded where a lot of his compatriots failed and gave an American feel to his very personnal chansons francaises without kitchiness or overkill. His French rock was based on blues, steel guitar and the evocation of an elegant Western, cool as suede. He was cool, with a wonderful malleable dark rhum voice, and not a lot of modern French artist will be able to make us forget his unique contribution and place he held in the music scene.
So, goodbye Alain, mon gangster prefere. Bon retour chez Madame Reve....