Browsing Posts in Media

Dennis Hopper died yesterday at the age of 74 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He had quite the illustrious acting, directing and writing career spanning over 50 years.

It is his work as an actor and director in Easy Rider that has left an indelible impression on my life’s journey — though I would be remiss to leave out his role in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet; truly a humorous and frightening portrayal which would stimulate my interest in abstract and beautiful film making as well.

I had obviously been acquainted with Hopper’s work for many years. Probably my first lasting impression came from viewing Hoosiers when I was about 11 years old. Despite the unintended sappiness — and lack of depicting the racial antagonisms and schisms which were inherent in rural Indiana during that time — Hoosiers still remains atop my all time favorite sports movies.

But it is Easy Rider that gave me a real love for true independent film-making and a notion of the fallacies of freedom in a society that celebrated the notion yet thwarted its actual practice.

At the age of 18, in December of 1994; sitting in a bedroom in suburban Arizona with a fine young lass and a water-pipe filled with Mexico’s finest herbal remedies, my life and my appreciation of cinema would take a turn as I watched — mesmerized — Easy Rider for the first time. Captain America and Billy would ride freely through the South West toward a mythical idealism manifested through Mardi-Gras. Yet it ultimately was a hollow and empty journey such as our own lives when we force meaning on the intangible quests that we participate in. continue reading…

With BP fervently (make note of the sarcastic use of fervently) trying to ‘plug’ the leak of their offshore oil drill which has continued to wreak environmental havoc for over a month, no one has suggested the obvious: go get MacGyver and have him cap that spill with a little duct tape, a swiss army knife and a dab of nitroglycerin.

It seems so blatantly obvious that I can’t believe no one has thought of it before. Not only could MacGyver’s unique brand of using tried and proven scientific techniques with common everyday items cap that spill, it would give MacGyver a raison d’être since his departure with the Phoenix Foundation.

In fact, MacGyver has done it before. If one goes back to 1985; Season 1, Episode 8: Hellfire, MacGyver capped a raging oil well quite successfully. Here’s IMDB‘s description:

During a trip to visit some friends, an accident starts a fire in an oil-well owned by MacGyver’s friends. MacGyver and his buddy then go to fetch dynamite in an abandoned mine at great peril to themselves after they decide the dynamite is the only feasible way the fire can be put out. However, when they use it, the fire only becomes more intense. Can MacGyver and his Hellfire friend survive the incredible heat to put out the fire and save the oil buried underneath the well…? continue reading…

On May 27, 2010, President Obama held a press conference for the first time in 10 months to address the BP Oil Spill which continues to rage in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen as well as devastating the ocean for years to come.

Obama actually took responsibility for the blatant corruption in the Government Agencies which have been wined and dined by Big Oil, resulting in a complete lack of oversight to the practices which have allowed BP and other Oil giants to evade proper regulations which ultimately are designed to prevent catastrophes like this from happening.

I have to applaud the President for actually admitting that his administration bares some culpability in perpetuating and continuing the practice of allowing our tax-funded agencies to be unduly influenced by the same industries that they are paid to regulate.

For too long, for a decade or more, there’s been a cosy relationship between the federal agency that permits them to drill, it seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.

I am somewhat skeptical however. I am fully aware that the Bush Administration (and to a lesser extent, the Clinton Admin. before that) made coziness with industry an art-form, yet Obama ran a campaign two years ago that promised to clean up the corrupt practices of W, yet he perpetuated the same practices up until the BP Oil Spill catastrophe brought it to the forefront. continue reading…

I am reclaiming two articles of mine that were written for another website which I am no longer affiliated with. I thought I would share them with any readers of mine who might not have read them.

From Clinton to Obama

Reconciling Hope with Reality

Having spent my entire adult life living through the Clinton, W., and now Obama administrations, not only do I have the intellectual and academic tools to put these political years in proper historical context, I have the sometimes rare blessing of actual real-time critique and analysis—rare to Historians such as myself at least. Around the time Clinton took office, we saw an explosion of cable news and right-wing talk radio, and a little later, the internet became a widely available source for the propagation of information from all corridors of political debate.

By and large, this wealth of information would ultimately serve to further divide what is largely a politically moderate population. Rather than thoughtful debate on real issues, the prevailing apparatus of political discussion was merely more than a screaming match between two sides, “Liberal” and “Conservative,” that produced little actual meaningful dialogue, but further divided an electorate that in reality is not too far apart on most issues. continue reading…

If the title seems inflammatory, it is not because I am trying to be divisive or radical for the sake of “shock and awe.” I am truly of the belief — a belief developed and honed through rational observation of American Democracy — that the only losers of today’s primaries, donkeys and elephants alike, will be our democratic process. The only winner will be the system of the powerful and wealthy who use the representatives we vote into office to propagate and maintain their stranglehold on policies and legislation designed to benefit their moneyed interests at our expense.

I genuinely and honestly ask all members and supporters of the Democratic Party, without intended derision: please tell me what democrats as a whole have done the past 20 years to further the interests of the people, the one’s who vote them into office, over the interests of global imperialism which includes the banking, military, prison, insurance, pharmaceutical, agricultural, manufacturing, media and telecommunications industries?

Please do not offer rhetoric and lip service as examples of furthering the people’s interests. That’s all the Democrats offer: “we will change this; we will change that; we will stand up to so and so.” I am not out to bash Democrats, as I truly believe most members of the party actually are good, intelligent people who actually care about other human beings. But the historical realities of the past 20 years overwhelmingly show a party that gives lip service to progressive causes, yet does nothing other than maintain the same corporate fascism that Reagan and Bush Sr. and Jr. maintained. continue reading…

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