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Film Review: Stealing Chaplin

The Great Gravediggers British director Paul Tanter’s droll Stealing Chaplin may be a comedy that will keep audiences laughing from beginning to end, but the other movie it reminds me of is screenwriter Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami. Although the latter is a heavy-hitting drama, the fanciful stories of both Miami and Stealing are loosely inspired by real life events. In the case of the former, following his 1964 championship bout with Sonny Continue Reading...

The Chauvin Verdict: Random Observations at the Beginning of a Long, Difficult Road

1. Sometimes I think about all the times that police murdered or beat a Black or brown person and no one was there to record it. It makes me sick to my stomach, as it should every person, as it especially should every white person. I can't get my head around that, and I'm not just talking since the Rodney King video came out 30 years ago, in March 1991, showing a group of Los Angeles police officers beating a Black man, King, who was on Continue Reading...

New Wind and Solar up 50% globally in 2020, as China beats US by over 4 to 1

The new report on 2020 by the International Renewable Energy Agency reveals that the world’s renewable energy generation capacity increased by an astonishing 10.3% in 2020 despite the global economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic. It beats the previous record for an annual increase in this sector by a healthy 50%. The bad news for Americans is that most of this increase took place in Asia, especially China. In this Continue Reading...

Film Review: M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity

A Method to M.C.’s Madness: Expressing Endlessness Robin Lutz’s visually compelling, inventive M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity strikes just the right note of whimsy in exploring the graphic art of a talent known for his sense of the whimsical. Just as his compatriots Bosch, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh, created new ways of seeing with, respectively, surrealistic symbolism, chiaroscuro, photorealist style and Post-Impressionism, the Dutch Continue Reading...

Would a Good Guy with a Gun Have Been Justified in Saving George Floyd?

The testimony coming out of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has been beyond heartbreaking and beyond enraging. Today, for instance, Floyd's girlfriend revealed on the stand that his pet name for her was "Mama," which is what he called out over and over as he died. It's been this way throughout the testimony of the prosecution's witnesses. Darnella Frazier, now 18 years-old, was 17 when she took the video that Continue Reading...

Attacks on Asian Americans are Rooted in over a Century of Racist Exclusion

The spine-chilling attacks on Asian-Americans around the country, in San Francisco, New York, and now most bloodily in Atlanta, are manifestations of a white supremacism that has deep roots in American history. The odious Trump and his minions whipped up hatred by branding the novel coronavirus the “Chinese flu” or “Kung Flu.” He was not doing something new. The coronavirus, of course, came to the United States from Europe. Homo sapiens is a Continue Reading...

Grappling with Andrew Cuomo’s Scandals

There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty or bad because you found comfort in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings during the lockdown early in the coronavirus pandemic. While President Bumblefuck Magoo was prancing around and lying about the severity of the situation while shitting on anyone who would dare ask the federal government to do more, Cuomo was a soothing voice of calm, seemingly honest and straightforward, ready Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Paul R. Williams Story

The Jackie Robinson of Architecture Undaunted, the pandemic can’t stop the Pan African Film Festival and in that immortal show biz tradition, the show must go on! Albeit virtually, as this year in order to stay cinematically safe, America’s largest and best yearly Black-themed filmfest since 1992 is moving online and starting later than usual, kicking off on the last day of Black History Month. 2021’s 29th annual Pan African Virtual Film + Continue Reading...

Best of Web

Trump, McConnell, Putin, and the Triumph of the Will to Power

At a critical moment in the 2016 presidential campaign, President Obama met with Republican congressional leaders and, after presenting them with evidence of Russian tampering, asked that they uniformly condemn it.  GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others refused.  The evidence just wasn’t there.  But it was.  And many of the same lawmakers eagerly condemned Hillary Clinton’s perceived misdeed, as reported by the FBI.  So much for love of country.

Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy

Liberal democracy faces grave dangers, most significantly, perhaps, from rapacious capitalism that unremittingly concentrates wealth.  Putin is another threat.  After consolidating his own power in Russia, he has stepped up a campaign against liberalism abroad, first in Russia’s “near abroad” in Eastern Europe, and now the US.  Is Trump his latest trophy?

The Victory of ‘No’

For eight years, the GOP employed strategic obstructionism to stymie Obama’s mildly progressive agenda, even when his proposals, such as the Affordable Care Act or the stimulus, closely aligned with their own.  Putting country first?  Nope.  This was pure partisanship in the service of partisanship.  And it worked!

Dangerous idiots: how the liberal media elite failed working-class Americans

Is the so-called “liberal,” “elite” media really as cosseted and cloistered as its critics suggest?  Actually, yes.  Like the Democracy Party, the media – defined here as the mainstream variety – largely comprises well-educated, coastal types who have little in common (and often disdain) middle-America, working class whites.  Little wonder it has earned the latter’s ire.

Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt

What happens when the purported party of the working class abandons its proletarian roots, while the other major party pushes crazed conspiracy theories, paranoia, and racism as an obfuscatory tactic to conceal its plutocratic agenda?  A virulent populism that threatens the republic.  Whose to blame for Trump?  We all are.

In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

How did a clownish buffoon rise from obscurity to lead one of the world’s great civilizations that produced soaring art and culture?  Historians have been asking the question since the demise of the Third Reich.  Hitler confounds.  Here are some clues: cunning exploitation of nativist fears, exploitation of irresistible propaganda, and “bottomless mendacity.”  Found familiar.  It should.