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The Rebel and the Quijote: My top pics for Oscar's Night


So often, to other, to estrange agents of change, consumer culture will seek props for stiff ideology. Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter's The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can't Be Jammed, discuss the phenomenon from a social history and critical neo-Marxian view--a book often paired with Naomi Klein's No Logo. Only this month I see what they meant reading a countercultural impresario with a raunchy sense of humor, Paul Krassner. That he outlived the tragic end of Yippie-star, Abbie Hoffman in 1989, continuing in the vein of satire into the early 2000s--in part, was a post-viewing gift of the Netflixs film, "The Chicago Seven."  The figure of the rebel presented in Albert Goldman in Ladies and Gentleman, Lenny Bruce!! there was Paul Krasser, now only a bit part as a tag-along for the stand-up comedian, Bruce, now legend for his breaking the profanity-barriers across the country. 

The sonic-boom this would create--and the stickers on CDs my generation could choose to ignore, be it on the cover of Jerky Boys or Weird Al Yankovic or Adam Sandler...was really a history none of us would learn between the more important priorities of recognizing the unholy of the Vietnam War and then the infamy of Richard Nixon.  What exactly was there to rebel against? When at sixteen the World Trade Organization comes to your corner of the planet, you are beyond your years in recognizing the historic moment and you glimpse, before a "battle" narrative can be used as distraction, the two thousand sitting peacefully, the Ambassadors from Chile and Peru turning back past you because the bodies linked by PCP piping have taught them people power. 

Have you seen on Netflix the David Fincher film Mank? Deep in, catch a mini-history course of film-study and the collusion of the media with vested interests; the disillusioning quijote, Herman J. Mankiewicz, attends the election-night ballot count on an evening when Upton Sinclair who has run for California governor--and loses--almost having won the public in the fight for fair wages and a tax strategy meaning income distribution--lost in a sweeping tide of manufactured, anti-communist slur that was paid for--according to the film--and produced by a collusion of MGM studios and the deep pockets of William Randolph Hearst. The spectacle of shunted asides, calculated calumniation heaped upon everything and anyone to do with Sinclair, fictitious allegation after allegation, landed a heavy comment on the 2020 election. 

At the Golden Globes, For best supporting Actress Jodie Foster won for The Mauritanian, the story of former Guantánamo prisoner Mohammedou Ould Slahi. Featured story on Democracy Now here.




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