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The Dark Knight Rises

On the strength of Mary Ann Johanson's 4-star review of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises in the Monterey Weekly,, I did something for the first time since the releases of Gran Torino and Mystic River, I bought a ticket to see a non-arthouse film. Given Johanson's expansive rave, I was expecting not only a cinematographic tour-de-force of but also scathing social commentary decrying the overlordship of New York, er Gotham, City by financial robber barons.

Instead, I suffered through a bombastic, repetitive, over-long, and occasionally incoherent fascist fantasy. I have not seen the first two Dark Knights, so at least some of my confusion may be due to unfamiliarity with details in the previous films. To be fair, I'll concentrate here on my problems with Dark Knight Rises that could not result from ignorance of its predecessors and conclude with a critique of its retrograde politics.

The NY Giants will win the Super Bowl

If I were a betting man, and I'm not, I'd bet the house on the Giants beating the spread which currently has them 3 point underdogs versus the Patriots.  In fact, I'm very confident that they will win the Super Bowl.  For the life of me, I can't figure out how the Patriots are favored.  Okay, I can.  Tom Brady. 


Keystone Extra Large

It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If you're honest you're poor your whole life and in the end you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star.

Lon Chaney, Jr., asking Marshal Will Kane played by Gary Cooper why he goes out into the street to get shot at. High Noon.


Elia Kazan Reconsidered

I've been meaning to write about film for a while but haven't gotten around to it. For me, like most of us I guess, writing well requires both knowledge and passion about a topic and a sense that I have something unique to add. Lots of times, I have one or two but not all three. In late Spring 2011, I wrote a brief article entitled The San Francisco Giants have the Best Pitching Staff in Baseball.

A Proposed Declaration for the Occupiers

We, the General Assembly of Occupation ___________, constituting all who have joined together in __________, whether in person or virtually, to be part of our movement to reclaim, through non-violent means, American democracy from the corporatists, militarists, and theocrats, declare the following to be our operating principles and goals:


The San Francisco Giants have the Best Pitching Staff in Baseball

Last year, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 5 games.  They beat the Texas Rangers, who may have had the American League's most potent offense because the Giants have the best pitching staff in baseball.  Before embarrassing the Rangers, the Giants convincingly outpitched the Philadelphia Phillies, who had and have the second best staff in baseball, and who were also supported by the most powerful lineup in the National League. 


The Great Media Purge of 2010 - UPDATED

The decision by MSNBC and its owner GE (Comcast is currently finalizing the purchase of MSNBC) to suspend Keith Olbermann without pay signals the start of a purge of liberal-leaning commentators.  With an activist right-wing Supreme Court, corporate media owners can, without fear of successful legal suits, prune from their trees anybody who speaks for limits on corporate power and against the redistribution of wealth upwards.  With a blood red House of Representatives, the masters of media know that no legislative response to their fiat will be forthcoming.  Some have questioned the decisio


The Difference Between Them and Us - Why They Hate the Estate Tax

I read with great interest and admiration David Seaton's post here: "Observations of and on the Rich".  Seaton contrasts the relatively modest and even awed reactions of some Americans to their financial success with the self-satisfaction and arrogance of others.  Seaton identifies correctly the latter group as the backbone of the reactionary movement that is destroying our world.  Seaton describes the neo-fascists as:




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