Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - March 21, 2018

While I would like to focus on the joy I feel at the dawning of the 2018 Spring Equinox at 12:15 PM today, instead I am pulled back into darker thoughts and sadness by the realization that today is the 15th Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War (a war that has not ended despite both Bush II's and Obama's successive claims that it had).
How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?" - Bill Moyers' Journal "Buying the War." (2008)

People who think philosophy is useless also tend to think that society does not need to change. If you want to maintain the status quo, teaching people to question everything is a pretty stupid thing to do. (Existential Comics, March 21, 2018)

Ali, Zahra, Matt Howard and Sami Rasouli. "'It Was a Crime': 15 Years After U.S. Invasion, Iraqis Still Face Trauma, Destruction & Violence." Democracy Now (March 20, 2018) ["It was 15 years ago today when the U.S. invaded Iraq on the false pretense that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The attack came despite worldwide protest and a lack of authorization from the United Nations Security Council. At around 5:30 a.m. in Baghdad on March 20, 2003, air raid sirens were heard as the U.S. invasion began. The fighting has yet to end, and the death toll may never be known. Conservative estimates put the Iraqi civilian death toll at 200,000. But some counts range as high as 2 million. In 2006, the British medical journal Lancet estimated 600,000 Iraqis died in just the first 40 months of the war. The U.S. has also lost about 4,500 soldiers in Iraq. Just last week, seven U.S. servicemembers died in a helicopter crash in western Iraq near the Syrian border. The war in Iraq has also destabilized much of the Middle East. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and others have directly blamed the U.S. invasion of Iraq for the rise of ISIS. We speak to the Iraqi-French sociologist Zahra Ali, who teaches at Rutgers University; Matt Howard, co-director of About Face: Veterans Against the War, the organization formerly known as Iraq Veterans Against the War; and Sami Rasouli, founder and director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq."]

Blackhurst, Alice. "A Drama of Access: On Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman." Another Gaze (March 17, 2018)

Buckler, Dana. "Movie Theater Rant Part 6 : Dana Lives." How Is This Movie? (November 27, 2017) [Recently I hosted a screening of The Florida Project and it was a series of absurdities that continued through the next week (not the film, my favorite of 2017, I'm referring to the actual screening). Dana Buckler has been doing a series on his misadventures as a 21st movie watcher (in theaters) and he had an equally strange experience watching The Florida Project. "Dana talks about why his dependency for Coffee put him in a very awkward situation, How much he loved The Florida Project and talks about an odd thing that happened while seeing the movie!"]

Elinson, Elaine. "'Learn the Use of Explosives!': On Jacqueline Jones’s Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical." Los Angeles Review of Books (March 20, 2018)

"The Enright Files on suffering, sorrow and the search for meaning." Ideas (January 3, 2018) ["This month's edition of The Enright Files explores how the works of Viktor Frankl, Anton Chekhov and Joan Didion wrestle meaning and solace from tragedy, horror and suffering."]

Ganz, John. "As Stalin Lay Dying: On Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin." The Baffler (March 20, 2018)

Hauser, Jeff. "The Do-Nothing Discipline: How political science fell into the thrall of fundamentalist forecasting." The Baffler #38 (March 2018)

Nakhnikian, Elise. "Interview: Laurent Cantet on the Making of The Workshop." Slant (March 19, 2018)

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