No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood

More Insanity for your delight

Well you may not be delighted at the first item, especially if you have kids looking for a house in New Zealand.

I’ve removed the name of the real estate company as I see no reason to give them free advertising after they dropped this through our mailbox the other day.

A 71% increase above the CV. Obviously the house and other structures on the site are worth nothing.

This is not a flash area, even by the moderate standards of Glenn Innes in Auckland, yet this is what’s happening even there. They’re also quite open about land banking and development, as if things like the “brightline test” and no longer being able to deduct expenses as a renter just don’t amount to a speed bump.

That’s because these are companies with teams of lawyers and accountants, and there is no limit to how “money” can be shuffled around to avoid the prescriptive revenge of Leftist governments.

Friends of ours, a Russian immigrant family we met twenty years ago when they landed in NZ at the same time we did, lived in this very street until last year and after years of scrimping and penny pinching, did well enough out of this insanity to be able to buy a section not far away and build a new house. Given the racism from their neighbours that they had to put up with for years they were glad to go.

==================================

The second item is something we all try to avoid, getting tangled up in government bureaucracy – and death.

Many years ago I laughed at one of the crazy stories from the book Catch 22. One of the characters, Doc Daneeka, is gaming extra income by getting flight pay via signing up to fly on standard shakedown flights of bombers that have been repaired. A quick flight around the base and it’s all good, but Daneeka doesn’t even want to do that and the pilots let it slide. Then one of these bomber flights – with his name on the roster – crashes into a nearby mountain in full view of the base. “Poor Doc Daneeka” says one man, even as the Doc, standing beside him, is saying, “but I’m right here”. He ends up living in a ripped up tent on the edge of the base, stealing food wherever he can. Even the amoral capitalist genius of Milo Minderbinder and the evil bureaucratic genius of PFC Wintergreen, cannot resurrect him. It gets to the point that people ignore him when he speaks to them. He also just vanishes from the story eventually, his true fate unknown.

Meet the modern French version of the Doc, Jeanne Pouchain, and marvel at real-life insanity.

‘They said I don’t exist. But I am here’ – one woman’s battle to prove she isn’t dead.

The letter informed her that a lawyer in a court case relating to her cleaning business had told the court that she had died, aged 53, in February 2016. Somehow, this unverified claim – there was no official death certificate, how could there be? – was allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged.

The thing that really gets me is that a relatively minor court could let this happen, but somehow higher courts and supposed authorities can’t seem to reverse the process:

Several courts, including the Cour de Cassation, the highest in the French judicial system, have examined the case and conceded there appeared to be “irregularities”, but deemed it was beyond their competence to bring Pouchain back from the dead. So who can? Pouchain’s local MP’s office tells me they have taken up her case. The MP, Valéria Faure-Muntian, told Pouchain she has spoken to the justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti, who is a member of the French bar and will keep a close eye on the case.

Aside from frozen bank accounts and not being able to access the French healthcare system, there’s also ordinary things like not having a passport and a driver’s licence, which crimp your lifestyle to say they least, although when I read this bit …

Then [the gendarme] looked on the central database and he said, ‘I wouldn’t drive if I were you, because you don’t exist. You don’t have a licence.’”

Ok. So what happens if they arrest her for that? Or for anything really? How can you charge a dead person with a crime, convict them and send them to jail? Perhaps she should have tried getting the system to fight itself to a resolution.

==================================

The last concerns the hopeless story creation in Hollywood in the last twenty years, with a seemingly endless line of re-boots, sequels and super-hero movies being made – and starting to sag in box-office returns.

Somebody on social media decided to spark some ideas using merely the photos of two actresses.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 11, 2021 at 4:00 pm

In the future everybody will be cancelled for 15 minutes

Even scientists with a great pedigree of credentials and research papers.

Like Robert Malone.

But when he began to speak up about the potential downsides of the mRNA-“spike protein” approach to vaccines, that was not acceptable to TPTB, even though it’s his field of expertise.

First he found podcasts involving him getting pulled from YouTube, and then even the supposed business-connecting site LinkedIn took their shot:

Malone pays for the premium version of LinkedIn for the biotech and government consulting business he runs, Just the News reports. That page remains intact, but its last post is three weeks old. 

“He was given no notice, no warnings” before he was removed on Tuesday, his wife Jill said. “He has a 10-15 year old account – has never even had a warning. 6,000 followers.”

“The historic record of what I have done, stated, figured out (and when) etc. over time is a key part of establishing my credibility and track record as a professional,” Robert Malone tweeted Wednesday. “And that has been erased completely and arbitrarily without warning or explanation.” 

Well at least he can still Tweet!

===========================

There was one piece of cancellation news that was funny. There’s an outfit called Right Wing Watch, which is dedicated to posting clips of conservatives saying things in an effort to get those conservatives de-platformed. Unfortunately they were a little too good at their job of pushing YouTube on those rules:

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

My, how schadenfreudialicious that is. Something, something reaping.… something something sowing

But now that they’ve been kicked off of YouTube, they can simply go start their own multi-billion dollar video platform, right? I mean, that’s what the Left has continually told conservatives who complain about censorship online.

I think they’ll be fine. Once YouTube realises the political and ideological mistake of taking out one of their own, RWW will be allowed back.

===========================

The same might also be true for actor Tom Hanks. Early in June, Tom decided to sheer his experience and feelings about racism in American by publishing an op ed in the New York Times entitled “You Should Learn the Truth About the Tulsa Race Massacre,”, in which he confessed that he’d never heard of this during his 1950’s/60’s Whitebread schooling. Hanks has been activist (a quiet one) and a donor to many Democrat Party candidates and causes over the years.

But none of that was good enough for one Eric Deggans’, who used his platform on none other than NPR (National Public Radio, basically the equivalent of the NZR’s National Program) to unload in response, “Tom Hanks Is A Non-Racist. It’s Time For Him To Be Anti-Racist”. Because you can never be good enough, especially in the eyes of a 55 year old Black man who specialises in “issues of race and social justice”:

“The toughest thing for some white Americans … is to admit how they were personally and specifically connected to the elevation of white culture over other cultures,

His work, so often focused on the achievements of virtuous white, male Americans, may have made it tougher for tales about atrocities such as Tulsa to find space.”

The revolution, like Saturn, devours its children.

Perhaps the best response to Deggan’s bullshit is this article from Frontpage by Danusha Goska. It’s lengthy but you should read it. She makes several important points but it was this one that struck me, based on her experience teaching and living in Africa and the reality of limited good:

An insight into why villagers resisted change, including change that might save their own lives, was provided by the fate of one villager, a man I knew personally. When development workers advised the locals on how to improve their agricultural output, he carefully applied every suggestion. His farm prospered and he enjoyed a much higher yield than any of his neighbors.

His neighbors burned his farm down. That’s limited good. This man, by increasing his yield, had monopolized all the good to be had in that village, and his action would result, his neighbors believed, in their farms doing poorly.

It applied to other things in the village too, even beauty. That’s what Deggan is actually putting forward for the US and other Western societies:

Deggans is back to that limited good, zero-sum worldview that insists, falsely, that one man’s success equates to the next man’s failure. If Tom Hanks has two cows, Eric Deggans can’t have any cows. If Hanks’ farm is doing well, Deggans’ farm will wither. If Hanks’ baby is attractive, Deggans’ baby must be ugly.

The “solutions” offered also amount to the same thing; burning the farm to the ground:

For Hanks to atone, he must lower himself, and elevate black people in the place he previously occupied. That’s being an anti-racist. That’s Ibram X. Kendi. That’s the “8 White Identities” chart that says that the only good white is a white who participates in the abolishment of whiteness. And it is a Maoist struggle session. Deggans calls for “Hanks and other stars to talk specifically about how their work has contributed to these problems and how they will change.” This is the self-accusation that occurred during Maoist struggle sessions. The less successful, fueled by their envy, publicly humiliate the more successful.

Goska also makes the point that should be obvious:

Deggans can read white people’s minds. White people all think alike. And Deggans can speak for them. Any similar set of statements by a white man about black people would be taboo.

===========================

Lastly, there are places where the reverse is happening, with opposition ideologues taking over their opponent’s world, as Daniel Greenfield points out:

When Sultan Doughan signed a hateful letter falsely claiming that Israel and Zionism were based on “Jewish Supremacy”, a term popularized by Neo-Nazi leader David Duke, that ugly rhetoric wouldn’t have attracted much attention in an antisemitic time… except for one thing.

Doughan is a Muslim postdoctoral associate at Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Always Scotch. Always drunk. Always critical. Always brilliant.

A few days ago I put up a post about the catastrophic collapse of TV viewership ratings for Hollywood’s annual, ritual orgasm of self celebration, The Oscars: Die Hollywood, Die.

Once again here are the figures for yet another industry that’s destroyed itself by going full Woke (and New Left).

But as an update on this I thought I would throw in this wonderful piece from The Critical Drinker, drunken Scottish movie critic par excellence. Watch, laugh, and then check out his reviews of individual movies.

My only difference of opinion with him is that I’d be quite happy for Hollywood to burn to the ground. Fortunately, they’re apparently determined to make the wishes of Right-Wingers like me come true.

And I say that as someone who loves the movies.

A free bag of Chocolate Fish for anybody in the comments who can identify even 50% of the movies whose clips he shows: WARNING: they’re fast.

Die Hollywood, Die 🤣

So apparently the annual Hollywood movie awards show, known as “The Oscars”, has just happened.

What? You didn’t know about this? It’s not a topic for discussion in the shops or at work? What movie won Best Picture? Which man won Best Actor? Which woman won Best Actress?

Well I’m glad to inform you that you’re not alone in not knowing.

As Oscar Wilde once remarked, regarding a key character in Dicken’s novel, The Old Curiosity Shop:

One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.

MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Or perhaps we should paraphrase a more modern saying:

The Oscars have gone full woke. You never go full woke.

Ironically the original line came from a movie character who would never make it on-screen nowadays, Robert Downey Jnr’s brilliant piss-take of an actor so high on his own skill (“five-time Academy Award-winning Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus”) that he’s willing to try and portray a Black soldier in a Vietnam War movie in the satire, Tropic Thunder.

“Never go full retard

Even funnier is the fact that this 2008 role by Downey was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

As those declining viewer numbers show this has been coming for a long time:


The Oscars always had problems but in the last decade they’ve become turgid, sanctimonious, predictable, joyless, and boring, not to mention bitter and negative about the country that has created so much splendor and wealth for the lucky few who get to appear onstage at the ceremony.

But I have to admit that even I’m shocked by the collapse from just last year:

Ratings crashed 58 percent off last year’s abysmal viewership, down to 9.85 million Americans. Let that sink in: In a nation of 330 million, not even ten million Americans watched the Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ strategy of embracing diversity as a supposed means to bring in younger viewers has proven a complete failure: Ratings were down even more for young adults. In the 18–49 demographic, ratings crashed 64 percent. The star power is gone. The glamour is gone. The public interest is gone.

That article finishes on the usual pathetically hopeful note I’ve come to expect the likes of National Review, basically from the Bush wing of the Republican Party, but the following comment is closer to the reality:

When you break up with someone — or break up with an industry, or a hobby — at first you’re angry about the alienating direction the industry or hobby is taking, and you complain about it.

The more intensely you complain, however, the more you show that you still care.

At some point, you stop complaining.

That doesn’t mean you’ve accepted the industry turning woke.

That means that you now don’t even care that it’s turned woke — it’s out of your life, and you care about it as much as the person you broke up with four break-ups ago.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Written by Tom Hunter

April 27, 2021 at 4:58 pm

Kansas Can Go Fuck Itself

Sixteen years ago a man named Frank Thomas wrote a book that rapidly became required reading among Democrat politicians and activists in the USA.

The book is called What’s The Matter With Kansas, and it dealt with the seeming inability of the Democrats to take electoral advantage of things like the Iraq War and economic issues in the heartlands of America. The author, Thomas Frank, is a good writer and thinker and was tackling contemporary issues, but for me the book boiled down to the same old “false consciousness” argument that Marxists have been banging on about for over a century in trying to explain the failure of Marxism to take root among the toiling masses.

Frank’s analysis fell into the same world of hand-wringing “Why do they vote against their own interests?” explanations and his wasn’t much better than the Marxists’ one:

Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they’re protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there’s a good chance they’ll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower.

The Culture War in other words, with one side a coalition of social conservatives (abortion, gay marriage, etc) and economic liberals (tax cuts and deregulation, spending cuts, free trade). Frank, as a Mid-Westerner himself, had harsh words for the Democrats:

The Democratic Leadership Council, the organization that produced such figures as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Terry McAuliffe, has long been pushing the party to forget blue-collar voters and concentrate instead on recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues. 

The DLC was the direct result of two damaging elections for the Democrats. The first in 1984 when Walter Mondale – with his traditional Democrat ideas of increased taxes, union support and restrictions on free trade – lost in a landslide against Reagan. The second in 1988 when “Good jobs at good wages” Dukakis went down to a humiliating defeat against the colourless George H W Bush. The DLC was a direct response to those losses as it crafted the Clinton world, a post-Mondale age that stopped hating on CEO’s and learned to love NAFTA and its ilk:

The move seemed smart. This was the go-go eighties, we were all Material Girls (for whom the boy with the cold hard cash was always Mr. Right)

But one of the secrets to Trump’s 2016 victory was that he actually reversed some of these Right-Wing 80’s wins. Even though the DLC had died (and is actually spat upon by sections of the Democrats now for all its 1990’s compromising and triangulation with the GOP), it left the affluent, white-collar professionals in total control of the Party – and they despise the blue-collar crowd more than ever.

Trump swooped in and got enough of these “deplorables” to win key swing states. No other GOP politician could have done it because none of them had Trump’s history on the subjects. Go back thirty years and you’ll see him saying exactly the same things about free trade deals and wars and America getting screwed. And ordinary people who watch Oprah and reality TV shows knew this. Trump was not trimming his jib to the polls: this is what he really thought, but it was only in 2016 that such ideas finally broke through.

However, to do this, he first also fought and defeated a similar crowd inside the GOP, who had begun to despise their working class social conservatives, their Reagan Conservatives. Were not income tax cuts and slight restraints on spending enough? Especially combined with all that good culture war stuff on the hustings – that somehow never turned into anything but defeats in the Supreme Court and elsewhere. Plus wars fought for the ideal of International Liberalism.

When you also look at the insane spending of the US government and Trump’s pledge to never touch Social Security and Medicare you’re actually seeing a new coalition: call it Social Conservatives and Fiscal Liberals. It’s actually very much the mid-20th century Democrat Party and despite the MSM amplified squeaks from Democrat newbies like AOC about unions, healthcare and welfare it’s very much not today’s Democrat Party.

No, today’s Democrat Party is one that has learned nothing from Frank’s book, and is described well in a recent article by Lefty Matt Taibbi. It’s longish but if you are at all interested in what’s happening in the USA right now I suggest you read the whole thing. Taibbi starts with Frank’s old book.

That Democrats needed Thomas Frank to tell them what conservatives fifteen miles outside the cities were thinking was damning in itself. Even worse was the basically unbroken string of insults emanating from pop culture (including from magazines like Rolling Stone: I was very guilty of this) describing life between the cities as a prole horror peopled by obese, Bible-thumping dolts who couldn’t navigate a Thai menu and polished gun lockers instead of reading.

I wish more journalists were as self-aware as that. Readers will note that our regular diet of Lefty trolls here at No Minister (including ones at our old site) continue to throw around the exact same accusations, but they at least have the excuse that they don’t value election victories and “ideas” beyond opportunuties for taunting. As Taibbi points out, he was hardly alone:

The news media and Hollywood shifted accordingly. Working-class voices disappeared from the press and earnest movies like Norma Rae and The China Syndrome gave way to a new brand of upper-class messaging that reveled in imperious sneering and weird culture-war provocations.

He quotes Frank’s 2004 book on this matter:

“The state [Kansas] watches impotently as its culture, beamed in from the coasts, becomes coarser and more offensive by the year... Why shouldn’t our culture just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?”

As Taibbi caps it: We have the answer to that now, don’t we?. We do indeed: cue Netflix and their pedophilic movie, Cuties.

The rest of the article deals with a new book by Frank, The People, No. It’s a history of the American Populist movement of the 1890’s and Taibbi speculates that it’s a response to reactions to Trump:

Also: the word, “populism,” became a synonym for plague or menace. Post-Trump and post-Brexit, pundits tended to use the term in tandem with other epithets, e.g. the “populist threat.” For Frank, a liberal intellectual whose breathless admiration for the actual Populist movement of the 1890s had been a running theme across two decades, this must have stung.

Although Frank may not have intended comparisons, Taibbi draws them, especially when Frank gets to the 1930’s where Populist policies that had been defeated 30-40 years earlier began to win with FDR and the Great Depression:

F.D.R. himself was a genteel aristocrat, but battered as a Russian agent… His followers were “people of low mentality” who backed policies that were the “laughingstock of the leading monetary authorities of the world.” This campaign, which should sound familiar, failed over and over…

But those victories of policy were not ones of culture, especially in government, and the following also sounds familiar as Taibbi gives a synopsis of Frank’s take on the post-WWII era:

The model of enlightened government for this new “technocratic” class of “consensus thinkers” was John Kennedy’s “Camelot” cabinet of Experts in Shirtsleeves, with Robert McNamara’s corporatized Pentagon their Shining Bureaucracy on a Hill. This vision of ideal democracy has dominated mainstream press discourse for almost seventy years.

The myth of “The Best and The Brightest“, which was seen again with Bill Clinton’s presidency and may have peaked with President Obama. On that note there is reference to a 2016 Frank book I’d not heard of: Listen, Liberal, which seems to have been a warning to the Democrats that things had actually not gone all that well for ordinary people during Obama’s time and that this spelled trouble for Hillary Clinton. It’s probably not a surprise that I hadn’t heard of it, for it was buried by the likes of the NYT (“pessimistic note”). Taibbi was in the same space when he started covering Trump:

When I was first sent out to cover the Donald Trump campaign years later, I assumed the editorial concept would be simple: mockery. New York’s infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” had taken over national headlines in the summer of 2015 with a foul-mouthed stream-of-consciousness rap, organized around an impossible Pharaonic wall project and scare tales about rape-happy Mexicans – the Diceman doing Pat Buchanan. If this was taking over the Republican Party, there wasn’t much to report. The enterprise was doomed, and journalism’s only mission was to make sure the silliest bits were captured before being buried under the sands of history.

The Diceman doing Pat Buchanan: that’s very clever and sounds like so many Lefties to this day. But he soon got scared:

Twenty minutes into my first Trump campaign event, I knew this was wrong, and was seized by a sinking feeling that really hasn’t left since. Trump in person sounded like he’d been convinced to run for president after reading What’s the Matter with Kansas? His stump act seemed tailored to take advantage of the gigantic market opportunity Democrats had created, and which Frank described.

Frank and Taibbi were not quite, but almost, alone in this. Before Frank’s book was this article from early 2016, Donald Trump, Class Warrior, by a writer called Clive Crook. I’d been reading Crook for years without knowing that he was an English ex-pat, and that background added to the power of this observation:

I’m a British immigrant, and grew up in a northern English working-class town. Taking my regional accent to Oxford University and then the British civil service, I learned a certain amount about my own class consciousness and other people’s snobbery. But in London or Oxford from the 1970s onwards I never witnessed the naked disdain for the working class that much of America’s metropolitan elite finds permissible in 2016. 

Incredible is it not, knowing the English class system, and in 1970? He and his wife decide to buy a house in West Virginia in preparation for retiring from Washington D.C. Naturally this leads to lots of jokes, “about guns, banjo music, in-breeding, people without teeth and so forth“. He strains to emphasise that his Washington friends are “good people”:

They’d be offended by crass, cruel jokes about any other group. They deplore prejudice and keep an eye out for unconscious bias. More than a few object to the term, “illegal immigrant.” Yet somehow they feel the white working class has it coming.

And then he describes his new neighbours.

My neighbors in West Virginia are good people too. Hard to believe, since some work outside and not all have degrees, but trust me on this. They’re aware of how they’re seen by the upper orders. They understand the prevailing view that they’re bigots, too stupid to know what’s good for them, and they see that this contempt is reserved especially for them. The ones I know don’t seem all that angry or bitter — they find it funny more than infuriating — but they sure don’t like being looked down on.

And he goes on to point out that they were not being stupid in voting for Trump. They knew he was “coarse”, crude, impolite, outrageous and unfairly vicious in a fight, and also how he bullshits constantly – just like most people in real estate. And that was exactly what they wanted:

Trump wages war on political correctness. Political correctness requires more than ordinary courtesy: It’s a ritual, like knowing which fork to use, by which superior people recognize each other.

But the Democrats and Never-Trumpers on the Right, and their friends around the world, have learned nothing, judging from four years of ever-escalating attacks not just on Trump but on anybody who works with him or supports him. They’re simply not interested in learning from their mistakes and have gone even further in making sure that nothing is to be learned from The Deplorables, who are to be simply shunned. I’ll leave the last word to Taibbi, including the line that forms the title of his article and mine:

By 2020, the official answer to What’s the Matter with Kansas? was Kansas is a White Supremacist Project and Can Go Fuck Itself.

Burn Baby, Burn: Hollywood edition

My PhotoI think this fits nicely with my series of articles under the tag Die MSM, Die.

Except this is Hollywood.

Hollywood’s identity crisis: Actors, writers and producers warn of ‘reverse racism’ in the film industry which has created a ‘toxic’ climate for anyone who is a white, middle-age man.

Shaken by #MeToo, paralysed by Covid-19, the $50 billion film industry is finally emerging from a four-month lockdown – only to find a new and very different world, where tension is rising as surely as the thermometer. For if the very public Black Lives Matter protests have polarised America, the silent fallout has now reached Hollywood.

Oh Noes! Somebody call the Whambulance!

The first sign came with one of the most powerful black directors in Hollywood, Oscar-winning Jordan Peele – the man behind box office hits such as Get Out and Us – stated in public that he did not want to hire a leading man who was white.

‘I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie,’ Peele said. ‘Not that I don’t like white dudes. But I’ve seen that movie before.’

As one studio executive responded privately: ‘If a white director said that about hiring a black actor, their career would be over in a heartbeat.’

Ya think? And the result is fear – lots of fear.

“The pendulum has swung so far, everyone is paralysed with fear by the idea anything you say could be misinterpreted and your career ended instantly. There are a lot of hushed conversations going on, but publicly everyone is desperate to be seen to be promoting diversity and too terrified to speak out. It’s imploding: a total meltdown.”

You see Hollywood there were three steps:

Step one: The Sowing

Step two: The Reaping.

Step three: The Burning.

Hollywood is discovering that Step one – which they absolutely loved – is much, much more fun than steps two and three.

They’re in step two now.

You should also watch this YouTube clip by a guy who escaped the industry titans to form his own production company.

The article also covers other such “cancelling” events that have hit little known people, from Gay Pride Parade organisers to Radio Show hosts to professors – and Communists.

30658200-8513727-Civil_servant_Stella_Perrett_had_supplied_edgy_cartoons_for_the_-a-61_1594514208052.jpg

Civil servant Stella Perrett had supplied edgy cartoons for the Communist Morning Star newspaper for years until February 2020 when she found that being on the Left is no protection against cancellation.

 

Written by Tom Hunter

July 15, 2020 at 10:48 am