Saturday, April 25, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - April 25, 2020

(Buy books from independent bookstores. My recommended books list)

John Oliver dissects one of the two major problems that are behind the recent protests against social distancing policies. What happens when a sizable part of our society follows Limbaugh's maxim to never trust the government, academics, science or the media? Buckle up, this is quite the ride: "As COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle, John Oliver looks at the various sources of misinformation about the disease - from televangelists and the right wing media, to President Trump himself."


Bacevich, Andrew. "The Age of Illusions." Open Source (January 30, 2020) ["Soldier and citizen, Andrew Bacevich is the overqualified expert who turns the standard take on our distress inside out. It’s not President Trump that divides us, Bacevich says. Rather, Trump got to be president because the country was worse than split: it’s in a 30-year slow-burn rage around a loss of our restraint, our reputation, our identity. Donald Trump is the loathsome cover on our confusion, he says, but the confusion comes out of Clinton, Bush, and Obama time, in the arrogance of military might, unleashed by a Cold War victory, as if we were licensed to rule the world. The reckoning Bacevich wants, with Trump or without, is about what three reckless decades have cost us abroad and at home."]

Finnegan, Lorcan. "Housing Crisis." Letterboxd News (March 25, 2020)

Gonzalez, Juan. “'Make No Mistake: This Country Is Edging Closer to Neo-Fascist Authoritarianism.'” Democracy Now (March 21, 2020) ["We get an update from Democracy Now! co-host Juan González about his mother and wife, who were infected with COVID-19, and discuss how right-wing Trump supporters are brandishing automatic weapons at protests to demand an end to coronavirus shutdowns and are being egged on by the president. “We should make no mistake, that this country is edging closer and closer to neo-fascist authoritarianism,” says González, expressing concern these actions will become normalized in the lead-up to a bitter national election in November."]

Kantor, Jodi and Megan Twohey. "OTM presents: Here's the Thing with Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor." On the Media (January 29, 2020) ["Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. For five months -- perpetually in danger of losing the scoop -- they cultivated and cajoled sources ranging from the Weinsteins’ accountant to Ashley Judd. The article that emerged on October 5th, 2017, was a level-headed and impeccably sourced exposé, whose effects continue to be felt around the world. Their conversation with Alec Baldwin covers their reporting process, and moves on to a joint wrestling with Alec’s own early knowledge of one of the Weinstein allegations, and his ongoing friendship with accused harasser James Toback. The guests ask Alec questions about the movie industry’s ethics about sex and “the casting couch.” Over a respectful and surprising half-hour, host and guests together talk through the many dilemmas posed by the #MeToo movement that Kantor and Twohey did so much to unleash."]

Monbiot, George. "The horror films got it wrong. This virus has turned us into caring neighbours." The Guardian (March 30, 2020)

Packer, George. "We Are Living in a Failed State." The Atlantic (June 2020) ["The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken."]

Wynn, Natalie. "The Trouble with Cancel Culture." On the Media (January 31, 2020) ["There’s a standard way the conversation on "cancel culture" goes: on the one side, male comedians and right-wingers saying cancel culture is out of control, you can't say anything anymore without getting dragged. On the other, progressive think piece writers saying cancel culture is blown way out of proportion, and is really just powerful people finally being held accountable for their actions. But according to YouTuber Natalie Wynn, creator of the channel ContraPoints, neither of these argument is quite correct. Wynn herself has been canceled. Many times over. For a host of offenses. And it’s given her plenty of time to reflect on all the ways the dominant conversations around cancel culture miss the particular pernicious effects of the phenomenon. In her most recent video, "Canceling," she takes an honest look at her own cancellations and its effects, and outlines a set of principles around cancel culture to help clarify what, exactly, it is — and what it can lead to. In this conversation, Wynn breaks those principles down for Brooke."]

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