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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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Hollywood’s Fraud-Free Fantasies: Entertainment industry fails to explain why the economy collapsed

from In These Times:

Hollywood’s Fraud-Free Fantasies
On the big and small screens, the entertainment industry fails to explain why the U.S. economy collapsed.

BY Chris Lehmann

As protesters continue to provoke fresh real-life confrontations with our financial oligarchy, the American culture industry has followed its own instinctive path, forging heroic narratives about the nation’s financial woes that gravitate into a Neverland of angst-ridden comeuppance and consensus.

This fall’s Serious Hollywood Statement on the 2008 crisis, Margin Call, deployed an armada of scowling method actors to erect a mythical tale of a frenzied market dump of toxic debt. The central action in the film was meant to echo the downfall of Lehman Brothers–itself an abject retreat into Tinseltown fantasy since Lehman was the outlier bank in the great mortgage conflagration–the one investment shop that regulators did not treat as too big to fail.

And this, evidently, is why Margin Call is so afraid to conclude anything about anything–even as it tries to lay out the backdrop to the great financial crime of our century. The film’s final incoherent gesture belongs to Kevin Spacey–whose wounded sense of pride in his vocation resolves ludicrously into elaborate devotions over a dead family pet. Unable to bring this plot to rest on any human-based catharsis or approximation of justice, the movie’s screenwriters reached for the manipulative tear-jerking gambit known in Hollywood as “shooting the puppy.”

Last spring, HBO aired a faux-Homeric account of the global mortgage collapse with Too Big To Fail, a fable about the wholesome protective urges of federal regulators based on the fanciful book of the same name by New York Times financial reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12411/hollywoods_fraud_free_fantasies

Science taboo for Republicans seeking White House

(AFP) Many of the Republican candidates vying for their party's nod to take on President Barack Obama, dismiss science in favor of strong evangelical faith, playing to a hardline conservative electorate.

Only one of the White House contenders, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, has come out with force to proclaim a belief in man-made climate change, as he condemned his party's hostility to science.

"To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," he wrote in an August post on micro-blogging site Twitter.

"The minute that the Republican Party becomes the anti-science party -- we have a huge problem," the former US ambassador to China later told ABC television's "This Week." ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://news.yahoo.com/science-taboo-republicans-seeking-white-house-192057100.html

En fuego in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four more car fires broke out in the Los Angeles area New Year's Eve, leaving authorities to probe for any links to a series of arson blazes that burned dozens of cars and spread to some structures in recent days.

In a sobering counterpoint to the typical revelry of the night, fire trucks were stationed in neighborhoods, police patrolled the city, switchboards took hotline calls and thousands in rewards were offered.

Firefighters quickly put out a car fire at about 6 p.m. Saturday in Hollywood that "fits the profile of concern" authorities have been following for the arsons, fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

A crew of 10 put out the fire in minutes. The flames did not spread beyond the car and no one was injured. Humphrey could not immediately say how the fire started. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://news.yahoo.com/more-car-fires-hit-la-years-100302702.html

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