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Bane as Bain: There’s Nothing to See Here

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Let the pundit pontificating begin. The third and final film in Christopher Nolan’s superb Batman trilogy is due to be released this Friday, and already the dogs are barking about its political nature. The Dark Knight Rises features a character named Bane, who is apparently concerned by economic inequality and isn’t opposed to resorting to terrorism to make his message known. Sound familiar?
Conservatives, after being tipped off by liberal bloggers about the homonym nature of Bane and Bain (as in Capital), have been tripping over themselves trying to sound all conspiratorial and savvy to pop-culture. Even Rush Limbaugh got into the silliness by asking: “Do you think it is accidental that the name of the really vicious firebreathing, four-eyed whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?” Um, no Rush, it is not accidental. The word bane means “a cause of great distress” and it fits perfectly the character’s demeanor and goal. Not to mention that Bane, the character, was created nearly 20 years ago by comic writer Chuck Dixon. Either Dixon is a brilliant prognosticator, or he chose the name because the definition of the word fit the character. I’m thinking it’s probably the latter.
Democrats and Republicans alike need to stop finding a partisan message behind every tree. There’s no doubt that director Christopher Nolan is sending a message with his film (all directors and films do this), but trying to turn a script written more than two years ago and filmed more than one year ago into a modern parable about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is beyond ridiculous. The themes discussed in the movie may contain echoes of modern events, but this is simply because the political climate has been charged with terrorism and income inequality (the “banes” of modern America) for years. Viewers may be able to read modern events back into the film, but saying the film itself is about modern events is overstating the case. Actor Gary Oldman (who plays Commissioner Gordon in the trilogy) states the situation well: “At the time, I don’t think two years ago, two-and-a-half years ago, that you can predict that. You can take the temperature of something, but you can’t — as brilliant as Christopher Nolan is, he doesn’t have a crystal ball. So, it’s very much culture and our consciousness, isn’t it? Our subconscious, where we’re at in the world right now. So, you can read in rather than read out.”
Oldman’s fellow actor in the film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, said this: “I think it will start a lot of conversations, and that’s a good thing; that’s really what a movie ought to do. A movie like this shouldn’t necessarily propose the solution to our economic crises, but to get people talking, that’s good.” Indeed it should: getting people to talk to each other rather than past each other. Looking for boogeymen in the film doesn’t constitute conversation, whether it is coming from the left or the right.
All of this highlights a deeper problem with modern political debate. Both sides are only looking to reinforce their own view, rather than even considering the points the opposition is making. Commentators get paid to speak, even if they have nothing of particular value to say. Rush Limbaugh needs to talk for three hours every day; even if that day’s events doesn’t warrant three hours of analysis. Sometimes a non-story gets mistaken for a real story and takes on a life that it never should have had. Bane as Bain is just such an example. Move along people, there’s much more to see up ahead. There’s nothing left to see here.

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Arts/Entertainment

Hate Hoaxer Jussie Smollett Faces Six New Indictments in Chicago

Chicago Police aren’t done with Jussie Smollett just yet…

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There are few things in this world that are more despicable than racism.  In America, these heinous beliefs are all the more out-of-place thanks to our national belief that all are created equal.

You can’t have any real freedom without equality, making bigotry of any sort a stain on our great nation.

Even worse than racism itself are the attempts to weaponize this ugly reality for personal gain.  This exploitation of evil is simply inexcusable, as television actor Jussie Smollett learned several months ago.

Smollett alleged that he was the victim of a horrendous, racially-motivated assault on the street of Chicago, where two men allegedly hurled ethnic and sexual slurs at him while brandishing a noose and spouting some suspiciously-generic political epithets.  Chicago Police soon discovered that Smollett had hoaxed the entire incident in order to gain notoriety, which sparked a righteous outrage.  That anger grew after the charges against Smollett were dropped by a well-connected DA.

The Chicago Police Department was rightfully furious about Smollett’s surprise vindication, and promptly sued the actor for $130,000 – a figure said to represent the amount of resources wasted on the hoax.

And that’s not the end of the trouble that Smollett faces, either.

Television actor Jussie Smollett will be arraigned Monday on a six-count indictment charging him with falsely reporting that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago home.

Smollett, 37, was expected to plead not guilty to felony charges of disorderly conduct during his appearance in Cook County Circuit Court a day after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared that he should be should be “held accountable” for falsely reporting a crime.

Smollett believed that the fame he would have gained by surviving the purported “hate crime” would have allowed him to request a pay increase in Hollywood, making the entire fiasco all the more disturbing.

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Arts/Entertainment

LA Times Says Trump’s Taste in Movies is Now ‘Racist’

Well this is just silly.

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When it comes to insulting the President of the United States, the so-called “resistance” has tried it all.

They’ve thrown everything at Trump, from spray-tan accusations to intimating that he is the second coming of Adolph Hitler.  They’ve given book deals to washed up porn stars in order to humiliate him, and they’ve tried to convince the world that he worked for The Kremlin.

Now, inexplicably and ridiculously, even Trump’s taste in movies is an issue.

Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang said Friday on CNN that President Donald Trump mentioning the movie “Gone With the Wind” at his rally was a “racist dog whistle.”

Chang said, “It’s kind of unfortunate, I think, that we have a president whose entire presidency is founded on xenophobia and of course his comments are not surprising coming from someone who likes to dehumanize people of other cultures and people of color. So none of that’s surprising.”

He went on:

He continued, “Well, that whole thing, “Gone with the Wind” and “Sunset Boulevard,” that all smacks of a dog whistle hearkening back to an earlier era of Hollywood greatness. Look, we can love “Gone with the Wind,” and also acknowledge it’s the romantic view of the old South, which many people find problematic. That is another racist dog whistle as well.”

Chang would later go on to say that Trump is also “lazy” for not having a more current repertoire of Hollywood films to speak of.

 

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Arts/Entertainment

Baldwin Goes on Tirade, Says ‘Sniveling’ Republicans Akin to Germans Under Hitler

Inevitable. Imbecilic. Insensitive.

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America’s political cauldron has reached a boil in 2020.  We are at our hysterical peak.  There is nothing that surprises us anymore…not in the least.

Case in point:  The melding of politics and entertainment into one cohesive and all-consuming unit.  Just earlier today we reported on two Hollywood Walk of Fame recipients were working together to solve the homeless problem in California.

Now, one of the small screen’s biggest names is again inserting himself into the political conversation, this time evoking one of history’s most maniacal men in order to raise a petulant point.

Actor Alec Baldwin is doubling down on his Nazi rhetoric by once again equating President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

In a recent tweet on Thursday, the 30 Rock actor blamed Republican senators for lacking the courage to stop “Hitler” — i.e., Trump — from seizing power.

“You wonder how Hitler took control of a once great country,” Baldwin wrote. “For those of you too young to recall the War or its aftermath, simply watch how this GOP-controlled Senate behaves. Their sniveling fealty and lack of courage. And you begin to get it.”

It was only days ago that Baldwin insisted that Trump is pushing our nation toward a “lawless and malignant” dictatorship.

Much of Tinsel Town has resorted to smearing the President as some sort fo Hitlerian figure, which is deeply offensive to those whose families were affected by the Holocaust.

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Hollywood Predictably Bashes Republicans as Oscars Turn Political

Two thumbs down.

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While it may not have come as much of a surprise to hear that there were moments of political gibberish during last night’s Academy Awards, just how pointed the entire affair has become is a bit shocking.

It has become almost a prerequisite for Hollywood’s biggest names to wear their political beliefs on their sleeves as of late.  It seems, at times, that being announced as the recipient of one of these awards is only a partial victory, as you’ll still need to knock your politically-tinged speech out of the park to make it into the headlines the morning after.

Tinsel Town’s most eligible bachelor, Brad Pitt, found himself in precisely this sort of situation last night while accepting the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The four-time Academy Award nominee won the best-supporting actor accolade for his role as a stuntman in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The win marked his first-ever Academy Award win for acting. He immediately took the stage and got political by taking a jab at senators who voted against Democrats’ requests to call new witnesses in the impeachment trial, specifically former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who claimed he was willing to testify.

“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” Pitt said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”

Joaquin Phoenix, star of controversial Batman-adjacent film Joker, was similarly inspired, albeit in the realm of animal rights.

“I think whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against the belief, one nation, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity,” the animal-rights activist said.

“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow,” Phoenix continued. “And when she gives birth, we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable and then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”

For those of us who look to Hollywood to escape the political fracas of our national landscape, the entire affair received a hearty two-thumbs down.

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Arts/Entertainment

CNN Attacks Trump Supporters as Unintelligent ‘Rubes’ Who Can’t Read a Map

This incendiary gibberish is simply un-American.

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There is little doubt that what passes as “news” these days, at least on cable television, is little more than incendiary infotainment meant to rile the masses into a feverish fanaticism.  This is how networks like CNN and others keep viewers from tuning out, as our emotional connection to the world of politics makes us chemically dependent on the drama of it all.

This is easy to spot.  Just pay attention to how each network is faring in the ratings, and you’ll find that those trending downward in that department will often trend skyward in sensationalism.  They add anger and vitriol to the mix in order to bring attention to themselves, often shamelessly, in the pursuit of profits.

The latest hyperbole from left-leaning CNN takes that tactic to another level, with host Don Lemon and guests expressing their belief that supporters of President Trump are dimwitted and illiterate.

A partial transcript follows:

DON LEMON: [The NPR reporter] has a master’s degree in European studies from Cambridge University. Also, [Pompeo] doesn’t really say that she couldn’t identify Ukraine on a map, he insinuates it’s just a — it’s just a petty attempt to put her down, right? Is that what this is?

RICK WILSON: Of course, of course. [Pompeo’s] just trying to demean her, and obviously, it’s false. And, look, he also knows, deep in his heart, that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter “U” and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it. [Pompeo] knows this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world, and so that’s partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience, you know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump — that wants to think that [does Trump supporter impersonation with southern accent] ‘Donald Trump’s the smart one, and y’all – y’all elitists are dumb!’”

WAJAHAT ALI: [Trump supporter impersonation] You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling!

WILSON: [southern impersonation] Your math and your reading!

ALI: [impersonation] Yeah, your reading, you know, your geography, knowing other countries, sipping your latte!

WILSON: [southern impersonation] All those lines on the map!

ALI: [impersonation] Only them elitists know where Ukraine is! Sorry, I apologize.

LEMON: [wiping tears, laughing] Oh, my God!

ALI: But it was Rick’s fault. I blame Rick. But, in all honesty —

LEMON: Hold on — hold on — hold on. That was good, sorry. Rick, that was a good one — I needed that.

At a time in which the nation is divided hotly, and political violence has become an expected part of the culture, this sort of demeaning diatribe does nothing but tear us apart and should be condemned with the utmost vigor.

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Arts/Entertainment

Late Night Host Throws Weight Behind Impeachment of Trump

There was once a time, believe it or not, where our politics and our entertainment were not so intertwined.

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It will be incredibly difficult to explain to our grandchildren that there was a time in which our politics and our entertainment were separate, and that, at one point in our not-so-distant past, it was distasteful to talk politics in crowds.

No, we live now in a world where the two hemispheres of the culture, politics and entertainment. are merging with one another in order to continue dividing us.  You see, it’s easier for our elected officials to get reelected if every single issue fits into one box or the other.  And it’s easer for marketing gurus to pin us down when every purchase we make has a binary choice:  Masculine or feminine?  Foreign or Domestic?  Conservative or Liberal?

Late night talk show hosts have always dabbled in politics.  In many ways, these nightly vestibules of culture became the most palatable version of “the news” that Americans could consume.

But then we took a cleaver to late night TV as well.  Suddenly, it was either left or right, and mostly left.

This week was no different. 

CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert said the impeachment of President Donald Trump should happen because, among other things, three years in office is “really [long] enough.”

Colbert began his monologue by noting that 11 million people tuned in to watch the live impeachment proceedings as the process moved into the Senate for trial, for what he believes may be “the greatest abuse of power ever by a U.S. president.” He also took a pop at Senators for seemingly lacking the conviction of their beliefs.

“Day one of the impeachment trial drew 11 million viewers. That’s a lot of people,” Colbert said. “That’s not Super Bowl ratings, but it’s at least Puppy Bowl ratings. But that’s not fair to compare puppies to US Senators – the puppies still have their balls.”

And then…

“ABCs oh that’s good. Let me try the impeachment one, two, three’s,” Colbert continued. “Trump never won (one) the popular vote; he’s too (two) corrupt to have the job, and three years is really enough.”

Colbert’s career has long been a political one, for several years hosting The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, where he played the role of an over-the-top conservative talk show host.

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MSNBC Lashes Out at CNN, Accusing Cable News Staple of Being ‘Fair’ to Trump

This is just comical.

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The very idea that two mainstream media outlets would be arguing over who is displaying more bias than the other is simply disheartening.  It’s a timid admission that this is all just for the sake of entertainment, and that politicians are the new gladiators on the coliseum that is the Capitol.

Yet, here we are, with one quote-unquote liberal media outlet lashing out at another for being too nice to the President of the United States.

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell has declared that rival liberal network CNN is too fair to President Trump.

The far-left O’Donnell appeared on former U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s podcast and took exception to Franken describing CNN as “playing it down the middle” with the exception of its negative coverage of Trump.

“No, they don’t. One-third of the people on their payroll love Trump,” O’Donnell said. “So you’re guaranteed on any hour of CNN to, minimum one-third of the programming will be supportive of Trump. Someone on their payroll saying, ‘Here’s why Trump’s right.’”

Franken said CNN’s hosts certainly don’t defend Trump, and O’Donnell agreed, noting they bring on conservative pundits as guests.

The two continued…

O’Donnell then claimed that Trump “kind of wants you to watch CNN instead of MSNBC” despite widespread acknowledgment that CNN has essentially established an anti-Trump programming strategy.

“Because he knows on MSNBC there will be no one defending him. Because we don’t bring on liars. I don’t bring on a liar. I won’t do that,” O’Donnell said.

Franken then asked if “you have to lie” in order to defend President Trump.

“Yes,” O’Donnell said. “Absolutely, how else do you defend a liar? A pathological liar who lies about everything? You have to lie.”

President Trump has consistently railed against CNN and MSNBC, claiming that these networks, among others, were trafficking in “fake news”.

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