Monthly Archives: March 2016

United States Aggression on the Korean Peninsula.

  The history of American aggression on the Korean Peninsula and in the South Asian theater, filled with unspeakable War crimes, begins in the late ’40s and early ’50s when the new superpower, eager with its ascendance after WWII and its successful deployment of nuclear weapons, clashed with the other victor – and the party primarily […]

Cimarron (1931)

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 is the most mind-blowing historical event you’ve never heard of. OK, that sounds like click bait, and maybe you have heard of it, but until I saw Cimarron, Wesley Ruggles’ 1931 Best Picture winner, just about the only thing I knew about the opening of the “Unassigned Lands” to […]

Hunger (2008)

Currently there are about 2 million Americans in prison. Some of them are genuine criminals. Some, like Chelsea Manning, Barrett Brown, and Leonard Peltier, are internationally recognized political prisoners. Most are somewhere in between. In the United States, the dividing line is race. A young black man will do time for marijuana. A young white […]

Why I won’t be voting for Hillary Clinton (Even against Donald Trump)

I voted for Barack Obama twice. I won’t say I regret it. The alternative in 2008 and 2012 was much worse. I also think he has been a failure as President. While even in 2008 I realized that Obama was a lightweight plucked out of obscurity by the neoliberal elites to be their compliant puppet, […]

A Rumor About the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” (2000)

What is antisemitism? How did the persecution of the Jews under the Roman Empire differ from the persecution of the Jews under the Nazis? What part did the widely disseminated literary hoax The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion play in the Holocaust? Even though A Rumor About the Jews: Reflections on Antisemitism and […]

Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina is a film about misdirection, just not the kind of misdirection you think. Caleb Smith, a 26-year-old computer programmer at Bluebook, a thinly fictionalized Google, is chosen by Nathan Bateman, the immensely wealthy founder and CEO of the company, to participate in an experiment on Artificial Intelligence. He’s flown out to Bateman’s secluded […]

The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

In a biographical article for the June 14, 1987 edition of New York Times Magazine, the historian, and Marine Corps veteran William Manchester tells us why he hated the classic 1949 war movie The Sands of Iwo Jima. “It was peacetime again when John Wayne appeared on the silver screen as Sergeant Stryker in ”Sands […]

What Happened Miss Simone? (2015)

There is a controversy on social media. Zoe Saldana, a light skinned black woman, has been cast to play the singer songwriter Nina Simone, who was a very dark skinned black woman, in the upcoming biographical drama Nina. After having watched Liz Garbus’ brilliant documentary What Happened Miss Simone, I can fully understand why casting […]

The Martian (2015)

The Martian is half Robinson Crusoe, half Gravity, and one-hundred-percent empty, manipulative, self-satisfied Hollywood blockbuster. It’s not exactly what you would call a bad movie. The first half is a mildly entertaining sequel to Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon with a high-IQ, now a well-adjusted graduate of the University of Chicago using every once of […]

The Danish Girl (2015)

Tom Hooper’s film about Danish painters Gerda Wegener and Lili Elbe has received positive, but mostly lukewarm reviews. I can understand why. Hooper has given The Danish Girl a high-toned, somewhat restrained quality that seems more suited to a Merchant Ivory costume drama than to a film about the first person in Europe to undergo […]