There are reasons why my knowledge of NFL history is ridiculous. During my childhood, watching football was always a comfort for me. Nothing made me more excited than Week 1 of a new NFL season. This brings me to a conversation about my dad. My father was a simple man and took great pride in just a few things in life: food, music, and sports. He was his own walking encyclopedia especially involving any sports history from the early 1950s into the present day. Sports (And to a certain extent, music) was a great comfort to him also and it was something that we bonded over. Even though we shared a few favorite teams: the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL, the Anaheim Angels (Even though the San Francisco Giants was the main focus of his dedication, and I became a huge San Diego Padres fan in the early 1980s. The Angels were always our number two), and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. But the NFL is where our greatest divergence occurred. Growing up in the suburban town of Torrance about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, I became a huge Los Angeles/St. Louis (From 1995-2016) and again Los Angeles Rams fan. This was in direct opposition to my father’s lifelong love of the San Francisco 49ers.
Starting in 1979, the Rams upset both the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make their first Super Bowl. Despite putting up a good effort, they faded in the 4th quarter and lost Super Bowl XIV 31-19. This began my personal journey of becoming a huge Rams fan. A few short years later, the San Francisco 49ers had their own dream season ending with a victory in Super Bowl XVI over the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21. For my dad, this began an unbelievable 13 year run where the 49ers won five Super Bowls after the 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994 seasons. Since 1981 into the present day, the 49ers beat my team 17 times in a row in the 1990s during the regular season and are on another 6-game winning streak against them at present. The 49ers since 1981 have 56 wins, the Rams have 26, and there has been one tie between these rivals. My father’s team has been a consistent thorn in my side throughout my entire life. The Rams would need to win 30 straight games to tie the all-time series which would happen after I turn 63 years old. This is just not going to happen.
My fortunes turned in 1999 when a player delivered to the Rams straight from heaven led us to our first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXIV and another appearance in Super Bowl XXXVI in 2001. Now, I was only four Super Bowls behind my dad, but the monkey got off my back. The 49ers returned to the Super Bowl two more times and lost both their appearances, in 2012 to the Baltimore Ravens (No, that was not a holding call in the end zone) and 2019 to the Kansas City Chiefs (Eliminating the 5-0 Super Bowl record that my father took such pride in). The Rams got back in 2018 and lost to the New England Patriots…again. Fast forward to today and my father’s San Francisco 49ers are now facing my Los Angeles Rams for a trip to the Super Bowl. If he was alive, there is nothing that would have brought him greater joy than the chance to snatch his son’s happiness away one more time for a chance at another championship.
Here is where the ‘nerd’ part of me takes over. I love statistics. Here is the comparison between these two teams. Lots of statistics coming your way!
San Francisco 49ers own a record 20 NFC West titles. The Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams have a total of 16 including the most recent one in 2021.
The Rams lead in playoff appearances with 30. The 49ers have 27. The Rams also won two championships before the Super Bowl era giving them two less championships than the 49ers (1945 in Cleveland and 1951 in Los Angeles making them only one of two professional sports teams (The Braves are the other) to win three championships in three different towns.
With playoff wins, the 49ers currently sit at 35 tying them for 4th place all-time with the Cowboys. If they go onto winning the Super Bowl, they will tie the New England Patriots for first place all-time with 37 playoff wins while also tying the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowls (6). The Rams are not slouches in this category either. Despite having a losing record (25-27) in the playoffs, the Rams have passed four teams this postseason to tie for 7th place all-time in playoff wins with the New York Giants. For the record, only the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders sit in front of them. If they win the Super Bowl, they will end up 6th place all-time in playoff wins with 27 and even their record to .500 while also passing the Raiders and breaking the tie with the Giants in victories.
The Rams have a successful playoff record against their division. The Rams never played the Atlanta Falcons or Carolina Panthers while they were part of the NFC West in the playoffs. They later lost to both teams when they were part of the NFC South (Atlanta is 2-0 against the Rams knocking them out in 2004 and 2017, the Panthers beat them in double overtime in 2003). The Saints beat the Rams as part of the NFC West in 2000 in a wild card game but later lost to them in the 2018 NFC Championship when they were part of the NFC South. The Rams are 2-0 against the Cardinals in the playoffs (1975 when they were in St. Louis and the NFC East and 2021) and 2-0 against the Seahawks (2004 and 2020). The 49ers are the only team that the Rams have not beaten as a legacy NFC West rival.
The only time these teams faced in the playoffs was during the 1990 playoffs after the 1989 season was complete. The Rams split with the 14-2 49ers during the season and other than one quarter of play when they blew a 17-point lead in the 4th quarter to lose to San Francisco 30-27, they outplayed the 49ers during the two regular season matchups. The Rams reached the NFC Championship by squeaking into the playoffs by stopping a last-minute New England Patriots drive and getting in as the last seed at 11-5. The 49ers were the top seed. Due to NFL playoff rules at the time, two teams from the same division could not play until the NFC Championship game (The exception was the Wild Card if both teams qualified from the same division). The Rams beat Philadelphia 21-7 in the NFC Wild Card and then the New York Giants 19-13 in OT in the Divisional Round. The 49ers destroyed the Minnesota Vikings 41-13 in their divisional matchup. This set up the first ever meeting between these rivals in the playoffs with the Super Bowl on the line. The game started well with the Rams taking a 3-0 lead after the 1st quarter and hanging tough with the defending champions. Then, the 49ers woke up. 45 minutes later, the Rams had only 156 yards total in a complete and total 30-3 humiliation. In Super Bowl XXIV, the 49ers would later do the same thing to the Broncos in winning their 4th title by dismembering them 55-10. The 1989 49ers may have been the best team they have ever fielded during their long existence and my Rams were a small road bump on their path to greatness.
One last tiny note: my Rams have only won two playoff games in a postseason six times in my lifetime: (1979, 1989, 1999, 2001, 2018 and now 2021). The only year they did not make the Super Bowl after winning two playoff games was 1989, the year the 49ers destroyed them in the NFC Championship Game. The other four years resulted in Super Bowl losses after two wins (1979, 2001, and 2018). The Super Bowl win in 1999 is the only time they had three wins in a postseason. So after the 49ers and Rams have now won both their playoff games this postseason, they now face each other in the NFC Championship for a trip to Super Bowl LVI on the line and that elusive third playoff victory. If either team wants to win the Super Bowl, they will have to win four playoff games in one postseason for the first time in either team’s histories. For the Rams, they will not have to travel the rest of the season. They play the 49ers at home for this NFC Championship and if they win, the Super Bowl happens to be in their home stadium in Los Angeles. After 32 years of having to live with the horrifying memory of what the 49ers did to my team the last time they played each other in the playoffs, the Rams get their chance for revenge. Or my father’s team will continue its dominance and haunt me again for an undisclosed number of years.
Thanks for reading this deeply personal rant. As you can see, this game on Sunday means a lot to me personally. Feel free to comment and leave me your thoughts and predictions.
FINAL NOTES: Rams are the first team since the 1981 Chargers to blow a 24-point lead in a game and still win. That was the famous 41-38 OT classic versus the Dolphins. Rams led 27-3 before Tampa tied it through the Rams own incompetence only to be rescued with a last second field goal.
Rams became the first team since the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers to win a playoff game after committing four fumbles.
Rams become only the 2nd team in history to host an NFC Championship game as a #4 seed. The 2008 Arizona Cardinals were the first and beat the #6 seed Philadelphia Eagles to earn their first and only trip to the Super Bowl. The Rams may also become the first to play at home in both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl.
Hello everyone. Welcome to my annual NFL playoff prediction blog. Before putting any money on these picks, keep in mind that I am a complete and total moron who really knows nothing about the world. With this out of the way, I do want to brag about my divisional picks this year. I successfully picked six of the eight division winners (In order, Buffalo in the AFC East, Kansas City in the AFC West, Dallas in the NFC East, Green Bay in the NFC North, Tampa Bay in the NFC South, and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West). I missed on Cincinnati in the AFC North (I picked Baltimore), and Tennessee in the AFC South (I picked Indianapolis). My wild card picks were the Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins. As you can see, I absolutely missed on these predictions (The actual wild cards are the Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers) even though the Chargers and Dolphins missed the playoffs by half a game and the Browns missed by a game and a half. In the NFC, I did much better. My wild card picks were the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Arizona Cardinals. (The actual wild cards were the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles). Getting eight out of 14 is not a bad year (The same as my predictions the previous season). Since I broke the 50% barrier again, I think this allows me to make playoff predictions once again. Here you go.
SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND
Kansas City (2) will easily dispatch the incredibly fortunate (7) Pittsburgh Steelers sending Ben Roethlisberger into his much-deserved retirement where he can continue to harass women all around the Western Pennsylvania region.
Buffalo (3) will win a squeaker against the (6) New England Patriots. This pick is giving me trouble as I can totally see New England shutting Buffalo down and upsetting them in Western New York. I also think that New England is going to be a team to watch next year as Mac Jones continues to mature. Buffalo is the better team during the 2021 season, and they should win this game.
Cincinnati (4) will handle the (5) Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders are playing well, and they are in a ripe position for the upset. The difference in this game for me is Joe Burrow. I am going to put my money where my mouth is and confirm that this man is a generational talent who performs well in the clutch. The type of quarterback that Cincinnati has not had since the days of Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason. This could also go terribly wrong, and the Raiders easily dispatch the Bengals and move onto Tennessee. I am going to stick with Cincinnati on this pick.
Tampa Bay (2) easily beats (7) Philadelphia. If you look at Philadelphia’s schedule, their best win during the entire season was against the 9-8 New Orleans Saints during their mid-season slump. They preyed on the N.Y. Giants and Washington (3-1) as well as teams like Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, and Carolina. Against a team like Tampa, I don’t think they have a chance to even keep it competitive. But the building blocks are there for a much better 2022.
San Francisco (6) beats (3) Dallas. This 49er team is an interesting dichotomy. It often seems like they take five or six games off during the season. But when they are playing at their best, this team is a legitimate Super Bowl threat. Dallas went 6-0 in its division against clearly inferior teams. They went 6-5 against the rest of the league. Like Arizona did to Dallas back in Week 17, a powerful NFC West team is going to come into Dallas and destroy the Cowboys.
L.A. Rams (4) beats Arizona (5). The Rams sold out their future to acquire Matthew Stafford. Even though the Rams improved to 12-5 and won the NFC West in 2021 over their 9-7 non-playoff season in 2019 and 10-6 (1-1 in the playoffs) playoff team in 2020 under Jared Goff (Who also led them to a divisional title in 2017 at 11-5 and an NFC Championship in 2018 at 13-3), Stafford has also thrown 17 interceptions with his 41 touchdowns. But what people have missed about this team during their recent five game winning streak is the defense. This will be the deciding factor against the Cardinals. The Rams can blow them out if Stafford is at the top of his game. But I think a few Rams mistakes will keep the Cardinals in this game.
Buffalo (3) will upset the (2) Kansas City Chiefs. The defense of the Chiefs which has made clutch plays when the team has most needed it has been the biggest disappointment this season. I think Mahomes keeps the Chiefs in this game, but the Bills will hang on and win it.
Tennessee (1) squeaks past (4) Cincinnati. This game could very likely be an upset. But I also want to give recognition to the amazing job that Mike Vrabel has done in Tennessee. This has to stand for something. Even though they are burdened with lots of injuries, I think an injury recovered Derrick Henry and the play of Ryan Tannehill gets them past the Bengals.
Green Bay (1) over San Francisco (6). This is an incredibly dangerous game. But my prediction is that after coming off the high of the Dallas game, the 49ers will fall apart and lose by at least two scores. This has been the problem with this team since the Super Bowl season in 2019. But if San Francisco does play their best, this could be a very difficult game for the Aaron Rodgers’ Packers.
L.A. Rams (4) over Tampa Bay (2). This will be an upset. The problem that the Buccaneers have is that their wide receiving core has been decimated. The Rams has also had this team’s number during the regular season in 2020 and 2021. I believe this game will come down to the last minute and the Rams defense will come though and stop the Buccaneers.
Buffalo (3) over Tennessee (1). The Bills, who struggled for a month and a half of this season, will complete their turnaround, and bury the Titans in Nashville winning their 5th AFC Championship and sending them to their first Super Bowl since the end of the 1993 season.
Green Bay (1) over L.A. Rams (4). The Rams will come into this game (If they survive the previous 2) fatigued and exhausted (This will be their 20th game). I believe they melt down and the Packers win this game easily which will send Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to their 6th Super Bowl.
SUPER BOWL LVI
Green Bay beats Buffalo for their 5th Super Bowl title tying the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers and only trailing the 6-time winning New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Enjoy the playoffs. Feel free to comment and tell me why I am wrong about all these picks.
My next blog was not going to be on this topic. I wish this blog was a multi-paragraph explanation about the catchiness of the song My Sharona by The Knack. Or an evaluation of the mineral Trona and its importance as sodium carbonate. But instead, I am going to be writing about my ‘Coronavirus’ experience. The fear surrounding this virus has hit a nuclear level. The ability to talk about it rationally disappeared the second our government locked us down for the first time back in March 2020. I will discuss my experience, what I have done to heal myself, and close the discussion out with three pieces of media that need to be experienced. With internet censorship becoming such a gigantic problem as YouTube, Twitter, and other large tech companies buy into the government narrative surrounding the vaccines and COVID-19, I believe it is vitally important to expose these voices to as many people as possible. Keep in mind that as the mRNA inventor Dr. Malone got permanently suspended by Twitter for questioning the vaccines, a person who is an actual murderer, OJ Simpson, has almost 900,000 followers and is thriving on the platform. If this is not a sign of the apocalypse, then I don’t know what will convince you.
Dr. Malone’s interview on Joe Rogan is the first piece of media that should be required listening to everyone interested in the political events of the past 22 months. Props to Spotify for keeping the interview active despite the pressure to remove it (YouTube has already taken it down). Besides the fact that giving this mRNA vaccine to a child should come with a prison sentence (This virus continues to be non-threatening to children), the interview also dives into a topic of fascination for me, Mass Formation Psychosis. Dr. Matthias Desmet studied this issue and concluded that about 20-30% of a population (Intelligence level does not seem to be a signifying factor) will believe a lie or convince themselves that the argument they support is based on a factual reality. When in fact, the personal belief is actually a form of delusion. When this begins to impact the smartest people in a population, this can directly lead into authoritarian systems and tools of oppression that can spin any society down a dark rabbit hole as the lie quickly becomes that society’s own form of ‘truth.’ This type of psychological flaw in the human mind can be exploited by the worst individuals inside any society including dictators or large authoritarian democratic governments. One of my favorite books written by Robert Mackey in the 19th Century, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, dives into the philosophy of this problem. Mackey understands that falling into delusion is easy. The hard part is getting out of the delusion because it can only happen one individual at a time.
The second piece of media is Rogan’s interview with Dr. Peter McCullough. Besides his own issues with the mRNA vaccines and their continued usage in children, Dr. McCullough points out another factor that often gets missed. Our medical system does not have an effective treatment protocol for COVID-19. The only treatment is the vaccine or pharmaceutical medications that do not work. Going to non-profit organizations like America’s Frontline Doctors is the only place that actually has a real protocol proven to work. This brings about difficult questions. For instance, could the millions of people that have died from COVID-19 possibly been saved with current drugs and medications? Have we experienced a medical genocide in our time? These are difficult questions that need to be answered.
Finally, I have purchased Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s book on Dr. Anthony Fauci called The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. The book is a 934-page monster that just destroys every argument that has pushed our way over the past 22 months. The book is incredibly researched and there has been virtually no pushback from Dr. Fauci other than a weak interview he gave insulting Robert F. Kennedy’s character (But disputing nothing about the book). Totalitarianism is coming for us, and it will be at the tip of a needle in the form of a vaccine.
My family got sick during the Christmas to New Year’s weekend. Was it COVID-19? Well, my partner Nancy tested positive for the virus and since there is a shortage of PCR tests, the doctor refused to test my children or me because our symptoms were minor. If I did get COVID-19, the sickness was not life altering. As a person who believes that he was originally infected with it back in early 2020 and had lingering effects from that infection for over 9 months (Again, the sickness itself was not bad but the symptoms of a ticklish throat and a sore chest kept coming back every time I had a bad night of sleep), this infection was much easier to deal with. I had a terrible headache for about 36 hours and a stuffy nose with a minor fever (Something I did not get last time). Since my partner tested positive, I immediately went to Americas Frontline Doctors and scheduled a tele-visit. 600 dollars later, I have a prescription for Ivermectin, Azithromycin, two Nasal Sprays for clearing my sinuses and opening up my bronchia, and Benzonatate, which helped with my ticklish throat. Throwing in my liberal usage of Vitamin C, D, Quercetin, Zinc and Aspirin, I knocked COVID-19 on its ass in record time. There are still lingering effects which I am treating (If you have one bad night of sleep, it comes roaring back). But the medication has absolutely worked, and I can feel my body expunging whatever virus I had. These treatments because they are not approved by the FDA must be paid OUT-OF-POCKET. Do not feel ashamed of being seen as a Trump supporter or rejector of science by getting these medications. These medications absolutely worked for me (There are different treatment protocols for various individuals) and have been proven effective with millions of other people (Just ask the countries of India and Japan).
Back to blogging about more important cultural topics next week. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about this post.
No. This is not a review of the music store that was popular in the Los Angeles region in the 1970s and 1980s. This is a review of the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie that hit theaters on Christmas. Day. Not counting the short films, documentaries, and dozens of music videos that he has directed, Licorice Pizza is Anderson’s 9th feature film. As a director who has an allergy to making bad movies (Even though Inherent Vice came close), Licorice Pizza definitely takes its place as a classic alongside the similarly 1970s era Boogie Nights as one of his best films and very possibly the best movie of 2021.
It is really hard to classify a Paul Thomas Anderson film. But when you go to a theater to watch one, his filmmaking style becomes instantly familiar. Often loaded with wonderfully long vibrant takes that help establish atmosphere mixed in with amazing cinematography and deep characterization, a PTA film is an exercise in organized chaos. Characters feel alive on the screen and their behavior and actions take the story into interesting and original directions. Licorice Pizza has a slightly different style. Really lacking a unifying plot, the movie is broken down into vignettes that revolve around the relationship of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine as they grow up in the Valley of Los Angeles in the 1970s. Alana Haim plays Alana Kane, a 25-year-old girl working dead end jobs who has no real direction in life. Her counterpart is Gary Valentine played by Cooper Hoffman, the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman who appeared in multiple Anderson films, who is an extremely confident 15-year-old teenager that owns multiple businesses throughout the movie and has made courting Alana Kane his goal despite their age difference.
Whether through an introductory scene where the camera follows our two protagonists as they meet for the first time at Valentine’s high school, to a political campaign where the sexuality of the candidate needs to be hidden at all costs due to the culture of the time, to the exceptional water bed delivery scene revolving around real life jackass Jon Peters, who was dating Barbara Streisand at the time, the movie never has one single moment of boredom. Each moment, including the Peters scene where the oil embargo in the 1970s plays a key role in what happens to each character, is pulled off with masterful precision. A simple scene where Kane is looking to get an agent with Gary’s help evolves into a wonderful monologue where the agent focuses on Kane’s Jewish nose as well as her other more superior “traits.” As a person who was born and raised in the South Bay of Los Angeles in 1974, Licorice Pizza celebrates the craziness of growing up in an area where all possibilities were endless and bad behavior and cancerous personalities existed everywhere. Everything I loved about growing up in Los Angeles and hate is wonderfully reflected in this movie. The dirty suburbs and strip malls of my childhood are well-represented. Anderson’s ability to remember this era with such exquisite detail really brings back the nostalgia of a time and place not too far in the past that almost feels completely alien.
The movie has been subjected to some controversy. Like so many of these cynical takedowns of an era that no one under 40 seens to understand (Look at the age of this kid that wrote the article about being offended. He is an infant), the movie is actually an accurate portrayal of the 1970s right down to the oil embargo. This is the way that people acted in the 1970s. Is John Michael Higgins character a racist and using his Asian wives for his own personal benefit? Absolutely. But this is what people did in 1973. Did a casting agent focus on appearance and make multiple comments about Alana Kane’s nose? YUP. Looks were an important aspect of getting cast into films. When a young kid makes a comment about an era and a timeframe that he has no understanding of, should we really take this review or controversy seriously? Looking at something with 21st Century eyes does not give you a moral say or the experiences of people who actually lived during that era and experienced these exact same problems. If anything, PTA reflected them back with incredible accuracy.
There is nothing else for me to say. I am not sure if this movie is going to work with younger people. My daughter loved it, but she also has studied history and Los Angeles culture (Mainly because of her dad) more than most kids her age. Licorice Pizza is charming as hell and does a wonderful job reflecting an era through amazing vignettes that will keep you thinking about this film for days. Go see it when you get the chance. This is going to become a cult classic.
Expectations can always be seen in two distinguishable contexts. First, when a piece of pop culture entertainment achieves the lofty goals that match your personal expectations, there is no greater feeling of joy than getting to experience this art. But on the reverse side, expectations can often ruin a personal experience. Sometimes, a movie is good (Avatar) but because the expectations surrounding the film were escalated due to it becoming the highest grossing film of all time during its release, you can leave the theater feeling like the underlying culture misled or misguided you. I have felt this way about other cultural iconic experiences like Black Panther or the play Hamilton. Cyberpunk 2077 is 2020’s best example of this type of entertainment. No game was more eagerly anticipated by the video gaming community than CD Projekt Red’s follow-up to the Witcher franchise. So even though I played the game to completion, why does it feel like Cyberpunk 2077 was missing something?
Entertainment is always objective. My opinion on Cyberpunk 2077 will likely not match the majority of video gamers who likely enjoyed the experience. But when compared to some of its modern-day contemporaries and thinking about the game and its use of the open world, Cyberpunk 2077 is a letdown. The game begins with you choosing one of three paths (Corporate, Nomad & Street Kid) that will lead the main character “V” to one of five possible endings. This idea of multiple pathways has become popular since the Mass Effect franchise helped push the idea of personal choice into the forefront of video gaming experiences. The problem is that like Mass Effect, these personal choices still feel like pre-selected destinies that do not lead to much diversification in the gameplay other than certain conversation choices and slightly modified ‘solutions’ to some of the side stories. No matter what you do, only five choices await you at the end.
Second, being a fan of open-world games like the Red Dead franchise, the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and the Fallout franchise, Cyberpunk 2077 tries to create a vivid lively world that feels alive. The best open world games exist as a sandbox that your player has influence on. But even without your character roaming the irradiated hills of Washington D.C. or the beautiful landscapes surrounding the town of Strawberry, these worlds feel like they have been lived in. Have you ever watched one character in Red Dead Redemption 2 just go about his day as a blacksmith? Even if you are there observing him, the character has a routine that they follow. Accidents can happen between NPCs even if your character is not around. The police arrest criminals even if you were not involved in the crime. In a game like Fallout, random attacks can occur between people living inside settlements and mutants looking to survive. The world has randomly generated events (Just like real life) that can impact how a mission is completed. This type of world is not what you will get when playing Cyberpunk 2077. While the graphics maybe some of the most stunning in any video game I have every played, the world feels like a digitally created sandbox that only reacts to the “choices” that you make. There are random events around the city, but they usually fall into a set category of missions that become repetitive very quickly. You can talk to any character. But follow that character and watch their actions. It looks like they are on a pre-destined routine and if you talk to them a couple of times, they quickly start to repeat. This is the biggest failure of Cyberpunk 2077. The world just does not feel real. It feels like a simulation created for your character. The tragedy of this is that The Witcher franchise engaged with the open world experience in a fundamentally more realistic way.
Despite these two main complaints, the game has its positive aspects. The gameplay is fun once you figure out its various complications. Many of the side quests which often involve deep dives into a character that you associate with are the highlights of the game. Despite the tediously slow start, the relationship between ‘V’ and Johnny Silverhands (Played by Keanu Reeves) actually evolves into the heart of the main story which allows the ending to have a respectable payoff. The game was savaged upon release for its various technical flaws which has led to loss of faith in CD Projekt Red and various class action lawsuits that have led to millions of dollars of payouts. But upon my playing experience, the technical flaws were mostly ironed out after I waited five months for the company to repair them. There were still some characters that walked through cars, or disappeared after I talked to them, or walked into the street only to have another car drive right through them. But in terms of the main story, I only had one instance where the game caused a technical issue, and it was resolved upon resetting my Xbox Series X.
My completion time of the game took 66 hours. After playing many of the gigs and random open world missions, I quickly grew bored of them. Once you reach the Street Cred Level of 50, there is really no reason to continue with them unless your completionist tendencies overwhelm you. I found it quite acceptable to finish the main side quests and the primary story without diving into the deepest corners of the map to find a random mission that needs completion. Unlike other open world games, Cyberpunk 2077 is just not enjoyable enough for exploration despite the superior graphics. In fact, there is a moment during one of the endings where you can contemplate your time in the city at a scenic overlook before you ride off into the future. I spent absolutely no time contemplating the city. Because the city just did not do enough for me to be emotionally invested in it. I quickly jumped in the car and ended the game.
If I had to recommend Cyberpunk 2077 to another video gaming aficionado, I would recommend it but with caveats. If they asked me to give them one open world game to play so they could experience what these type of games is like, I don’t think Cyberpunk 2077 would even crack my Top 10 of recommendations. But there are some good ideas here even if the recent real-world events involving the tech industry seem to be moving us into the dark dystopian future that this game represents. Keanu Reeves’ story is not nearly as cringe inducing as some other journalists mentioned and the game does have an underlying heart mixed in with all the dehumanizing technology. But my opinion is only that, one person who found his most anticipated game of 2020 as his biggest disappointment of the past year. But if this type of science fiction future dystopian world is interesting to you, then feel free to buy Cyberpunk 2077. But count me out on any future replays. I just have no interest in committing another 70 hours of time to this video game.
This blog has only had one post over the past six weeks. I apologize as my responsibility as the patriarch of a family sometimes takes priority over my journalistic ramblings. As a person who is always open-minded and fascinated with learning new skills, my mind has been distracted by economic questions mainly revolving around proper money investment and historical economic doctrines. This research will likely lead to a series of blogs at some point in 2022 on this topic. I am also in the process of doing final edits and adding photos into my U.S. Route 95 book. Since I have never published before, I am going to begin the process of figuring out how this works (On Amazon and possibly a few other places). As mentioned in a previous blog, I intend on releasing the book for a decent price with the ultimate goal of converting it into a free e-book once I acquire an advertising identification that pays for hyperlink referrals. So now that you are caught up, I have an outline of some new ideas that have been floating around in my mind. Starting with this blog, I am going to start a new minimum three-part series on the politics in the United States in comparison to Europe and other neo-liberal countries. This ties into the seven-part series I still need to complete revolving around the degradation of our educational system. The former will involve a comparison between these continents and how it relates to the still ongoing COVID-19 “Pandemic” which has long since evolved from a medical emergency to a political problem. It will likely also dive into history and reflect back on the American and French Revolutions and explain why the aftereffects of these two historical moments are still being felt in the present day. I also just finished a game called Cyberpunk 2077. I am going to submit my review as well as the complicated technical history and debates that this game has created since its release last year. But first, this blog is going to ask three questions about our current political and social climate that need to be answered. Plus, I am going to squash some frustrating “conspiracies” that have irritated me over the past decade. I hope you enjoy!
Question 1: Is the Mainstream Media serving as “propaganda” for the United States Empire?
This first question is a doozy and one of the solutions can be found here in my last blog. Since the orange-haired narcissist took office back in 2017, the mainstream media has been losing its mind over “fake news.” There is an arrogance among these media ‘elites’ that the election of Donald Trump was some sort of “mistake” made by American people that were lied into electing this so-called racist to office. The election was actually a rejection of the neo-liberal and neo-conservative globalization doctrine which has been ongoing in this country since the Clinton era (And likely was started during the Nixon era). One of my favorite aspects since Trump was elected is to understand two key things I have seen inside the media since taking my first job in the industry back in the post September 11th days in late 2001. First, the propaganda mechanisms behind the media have come out of the “dark” for the whole world to see. For anyone who thought the mainstream media was ‘independent’, this belief is the real conspiracy ‘theory.’ Second, if you believe that the mainstream and social media are working in unison to manipulate your thoughts, this opinion has more factual legitmacy than anything that these billion dollar companies and their puppets tell you on a nightly basis. What Donald Trump really exposed was how much control the media was under from political organizations and our own government (Through these corporations). This is why censorship had to escalate. The narrative they have spent almost my entire lifetime promoting is slowly starting to slip away because of the freedom that many of the tools created during the technological revolution has given us. A recent speech by Antony Blinken and a warning issued by the most recent Nobel Peace Prize winners show how dangerous the media has gotten. Thankfully, the men behind the masks are being revealed.
Question 2: Why is it so hard to believe that organizations formed by rich people (WEF/Davos, Bilderberg Group, Tri-Lateral Commission) and government entities that they control (WTO, United Nations) would not be competing against one another but instead, planning a future of technocratic authoritarian control over the entire global population?
I have my issues with Alex Jones. His emotions allow him to offer opinions or subjective judgments that come across as ridiculous. Trying to get inside the mind of people that are trying to control you can come across as a fool’s errand. We can argue that billionaires are plotting and scheming to create this type of system without giving an opinion on what YOU PERSONALLY BELIEVE is going to happen. This is why the mainstream media can destroy Alex Jones and censor him online. But this does not mean that his concern over these organizations should be completely dismissed. Billionaires do seem to be in alliance with many corporations, governments, and foundations (Like George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, Bill Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Koch Foundation, and the Clinton Foundation) in creating a new type of world. They have been arrogant enough to tell us about their plans. So to believe this is not the case is its own form of ‘conspiracy theory.’ These foundations all seem to hide behind some sort of societal problem where the solution almost always seems to lead to the same place, a new form of ‘governance’ (See a technocratic, authoritarian future) for the entire globe. I also find the debate between liberals who find the Koch Brothers as the epitome of evil and Republicans who feel the same way about George Soros as idiotic. I hate to tell both political parties that each of these men are power hungry sociopaths often in alignment that are actually looking to control your life through the issues that are important to each one of them. They are both trying to take the world to the exact same place. Instead of believing that they became rich through their own good fortune and a healthy dose of luck, these extremely wealthy people believe that their intelligence and wisdom surpasses all other human beings and that we need to submit ourselves to their control as they go about saving the world. There have been thousands of years of history proving the dangers of this type of rationalization.
Question 3: Why the United States Political System Continues to Prove its Superiority over the Asian and European Options?
I will dive into the answer to this question in more detail during my look back at the French and American Revolutions. But, for those Americans who take pride in this country and the values that it stands for, 2021 has given cynics a tremendous amount of hope. As Biden’s “Build Back Better” Plan (For those who think this is a conspiracy, I am guessing that his choice of words was completely and totally unrelated to the plan being implemented by the WEF. Nothing to see here, no conspiracy at all), seems to be on life support and Americans have started to understand the political implications of these COVID-19 lockdowns, the United States (Like the Chinese) seem to be rebelling against the neo-liberal, globalization agenda. (Generation Xers already knew how this would turn out in 1999. We fucking told you so.) Two things that are vitally important to understand: The United States history of federalism especially with the 9th and 10th Amendments is the reason that the United States has never fallen into tyranny. With the separation of powers described in the Constitution, the states (Who have the majority of power in our form of government) and the Courts (Who can invalidate the laws that the State or Federal Government create) have gone back to exercising their power against the Federal Government. This movement really started in the 1990s with the states individually legalizing marijuana over the federal prohibition (A right that is being properly exercised by the states). This has now become an issue with the Legislative and Executive Branch’s attempt to mandate health care and vaccines onto the general population. Over the last five years, all of these things have happened:
Trump eliminating ObamaCare’s Health Care Mandate with the Help of the Judicial System: CHECK. Ironically, my home state California (Using their 10th Amendment Rights) immediately re-instituted the mandate for Californians.
The Courts freezing Biden’s Federal Mandate on Vaccination for Employers with 100 Employees or More: CHECK and with the recent United States Senate vote: DOUBLE CHECK. This bill still needs to pass the House which seems unlikely. But the Court decision still stands making the mandate invalid.
The Court halting Biden’s Federal Contracting Vaccination Mandate: CHECK
The Court blocking Biden’s Vaccination Mandate for Health Care Workers: CHECK
Just two days ago, there was more good news. The state of Pennsylvania invalidated the School Mask Mandates (An issue that I am personally involved in because forcing masks onto children should be considered criminal behavior.): CHECK
This is why the United States Federalist System is the best form of government in the world at present (There are still better forms if you believe in true freedom and even less centralization).
If you happen to be a liberal and have a “hatred” for the United States (Not necessarily based in irrationality) over our political system, this should give you hope for your future. Because you could have ended up in any number of countries that do not have or respect a general rule of law which makes tyranny a painful possibility in these countries’ future.
Look at Austria.
Or Australia (With Concentration…sorry…COVID Camps)
Or even Canada (This one continues to shock me).
And the U.K.
If you think that there is a cabal of billionaires trying to create a globalized system of control, then two continents have already fallen under their control (Europe and Australia) as well as Canada. Thankfully, protests are happening in these countries over these obviously authoritarian measures. Plus, countries like Hungary and Poland (As well as the non-European Union Russians) are fighting back against these corrupt measures and the EU which is looking to gain (And likely will) full legal control over its vassals in Europe. All I can say about this is, “God Bless America”; flaws and all.
Since this blog got away from me in terms of its length, I have two more questions that will be answered next week (Involving the military and “green” energy). I hope everyone had a satisfactory Thanksgiving. More to come next week!
I apologize for not posting any new content over the past month. There have been a few changes in my life that has made research and a deep dive into topics that are important to me very difficult to pursue. Like everyone, I have a complicated family life and the needs of the family come before the drunken ramblings of a Cultural Studies Master’s Major. With this blog, I want to make a quick point about something that is occurring right before our eyes in real time. A war has started and the voices of good and evil are as clearly defined as the morality shown in the LORD OF THE RINGS universe. One side is represented by the Hobbits, Gandalf, and the rebels standing up for the forces of good. The other side is only interested in power, control, and shutting down any opposition to their dictates (THE EYE OF SAURON). This battle is currently ongoing in the legacy media. Whether the hobbits (New Media) are able to destroy the ring and bring some positivity back into our lives is still unknown.
As I promote on my own website under the WEBSITE RECOMMENDATIONS category, many of the independent media websites listed have become part of an important contradictory political force whose influence on our culture continues to grow as the 21st Century continues. These websites are trying to change a medium that has been completely taken over by government sycophants and left wing authoritarians and bring back the ethical standards that used to define the journalism industry. Since I first began working in television in 2002 (Until finally leaving in 2014), I have been a first-hand witness to the state-run propaganda. This really changed me psychologically during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War as information that questioned the narrative proposed by the Bush administration was usually attacked full force by opinionated journalists while the lies that helped lead to the war were defended and often never analyzed. The grade for the major media outlets since this disastrous war remains a gigantic ‘F’ for their massive FAILURES. The lesson of this humiliation still has not been learned. The list of things the media has been wrong about could fill a book the size of a Bible. Here are just a few of the worst egregious examples over the past twenty years.
SADDAM HAD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION - FALSE
SADDAM WAS INVOLVED IN 9/11 - FALSE
OBAMA ENDED OUR TORTURE PROGRAMS - FALSE
Since Trump got elected, the lies from the media have only gone to 11 (Thank you SPINAL TAP!)
RUSSIAGATE – FALSE
RUSSIA HACKING OUR ELECTRICAL GRID - FALSE
COVID-19 Lockdowns have really expanded “fake news” narratives to every corner of the world.
THE VIRUS WAS NOT CREATED NOR DID IT ESCAPE FROM A CHINESE LAB AND WAS NOT CREATED WITH TAXPAYER DOLLARS - FALSE
MASKS WORK - FALSE
This is just a small list of the crimes that our media have committed against us over the past 20 years. As you can also see, the lies occur on a bi-partisan level (Unless you are Donald Trump where anything you do is actually THE LIE). Could it be that party affiliation has nothing to do with this problem at all? In actuality, the real problem is that the media is acting like stenographers for our own government and its interests.
With just a small sampling of these problems (If I put all the things the media and government have lied about over the past 20 years, this post will be 30 pages long), should it be any surprise that people are looking outside the traditional forms of media for new information? With the loss of legitimacy continuing among the mega-corporations FOX, ABC (Disney), CBS (Viacom), NBC (Comcast) and the increasingly propagandized social media networks FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE (Google), and TWITTER, why would people continue to trust these sources for important information with this failing track record? 20 years on, there has been no reflection or “apologies” ever issued for the media’s egregious behavior. In fact, the biggest source of “FAKE NEWS” continues to be these corporations and the large newspaper outlets like THE WASHINGTON POST (Amazon) and the NEW YORK TIMES (Sulzberger Family).
But there is hope. Even though it is only one example, many of the ethical and classical journalists who have been dismissed from their jobs over the past have started blogs on SUBSTACK. This website runs on a subscription-based model and has attracted some of the most famous journalists over the past couple of years. I currently pay for five subscriptions on the website as my own form of protest against the failings of the mainstream media (Who will never again receive one second of my time unless they change their ways). People I subscribe to are ex-INTERCEPT co-founder Glenn Greenwald, ex-Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi, ex-YOUNG TURKS journalist Michael Tracey, ex-NEW YORK TIMES journalist ALEX BERENSON, and whistleblower extraordinaire Edward Snowden. Other wonderful bloggers are Caitlin Johnstone, Doomberg, and Quoth the Raven who have a free subscription from me. Right wing journalist Bari Weiss is also on the website. Michael Moore is also. So are other journalists with notoriety like Matthew Yglesias and Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski who used to have a popular morning show on THE HILL. The revolution in journalism is here. It is time to bring attention to it so the American people can get on board and send a message towards the mainstream companies who still believe that they are the only important purveyors of information for the citizens of this country. It is time to jam a gigantic middle finger in the air and let them know that they no longer have any influence over us.
I wish everyone a good Holiday season. I will be back after Thanksgiving with Part 6 of my educational blog on the present-day disaster that is the American higher educational system.
FINAL NOTE: My book is complete. I am going back over the content for final edits, while adding photos and reference links for final publication. More information on the release of my book will be discussed in the 1st quarter of 2022.
Watching documentaries that are produced by Netflix is hit and miss. As a billion-dollar corporation, it can be hard for Netflix to release a product that treats a political or cultural problem with true objectivity. Netflix has produced a bunch of content that seems to serve either a liberal agenda or masks as pure propaganda. There are three very recent examples of this trend. The movie “REVERSING ROE” gives a supposedly objective look at the abortion issue but upon viewing, it feels like a very one-sided liberal propaganda film. The excellent documentary “AMERICAN FACTORY” was incredibly interesting, but the filmmakers missed a larger point about the issue being portrayed. Even though the movie tries to come across as a pro-union counter to the Chinese company that opened this factory and was pushing the workers to perform above their abilities, the Chinese investor makes it very clear that productivity can be achieved inside the factory without the use of human beings. This point seems to be missed with its pro-union message when robotics have taken over and dominate the production inside the plant. The final example is the abysmal documentary “THE WHITE HELMETS” which has been proven over time to have been a false portrayal of a movement inside Syria that actually comes across as the worst type of government funded propaganda. So going into watching THE SOCIAL DILEMMA, I had to acknowledge my objectivity as a reviewer but understand that Netflix can often portray a very specific one-sided bias inside their productions.
The documentary does three things exceptionally well. As a person who has followed the technology industry very closely over the past dozen years, I have taken a personal interest in the psychological impacts of this new technology. My cynicism for social media has unfortunately come true with the recent events over the past five years. This documentary does a deep dive on the psychological impact on social media on the young mind and how it directly impacts children’s personal sense of self and creates insecurities where they compare themselves against their peers. Another fascinating impact revolves around how the advertising algorithm works and the fundamental purpose of what it is trying to achieve. This is the highlight of the documentary and portrays the social media companies in a way that George Orwell never could have imagined. The internet went from a knowledge acquiring decentralized tool and has devolved into a surveillance and propagandistic technology where the richest and most powerful interests use the tools available to help guide the cultural discussion. This is the primary reason why these companies are worth trillions of dollars. Finally, technology was originally invented to improve efficiency and with the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989, it was supposed to open and expand our minds to unlimited knowledge. But it actually has created divisive personal bubbles where people with differing perspective and points of view no longer work together to compromise and negotiate so we can move our society forward. Instead, it has radicalized different points of view and hardened people’s feelings towards their opposition which is starting to lead to violence among these individuals best explained by the groups ANTIFA and THE PROUD BOYS. For these reasons alone, this documentary should be seen just to understand how destructive social media has gotten. Like any good drug, social media is something that needs to be appreciated in moderation.
Even though the “whistleblowers” in the film seem to be truly disgusted with what their inventions have done to our society and explain the motivation behind ideas like the “Like” button which has become controversial, they slide into promoting resolutions that I call the Michael Moore Problem. Defined, the Michael Moore Problem is: “The creation of a documentary over a vital political and cultural issue that exposes injustice and other social problems. But the resolution promoted by the filmmaker may actually be more destructive than the problem.” Like his films SICKO, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, and BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, Michael Moore is fantastic in analyzing an issue that he is passionate about. But when you look at his final resolution in these films (Which is to embrace more ‘socialism’ or the banning/regulation of guns), these solutions will not resolve the issues that Moore is trying to fix. In fact, these problems will likely only get worse with government intervention. Almost every single person in THE SOCIAL DILEMMA calls for ‘government regulation’ as a solution to the problems of social media. Just like the recent fake…sorry…real “whistleblower” Frances Haugen who exposed the evils of Facebook and is asking the government to be the solution to the problem. First, can any of these people think of something that the government has done well over the past decade? Second, where is the analysis that government regulation is likely to not only make the internet a much worse place but could give corporations and the government more control over the content. These ideas are never discussed. All these tech workers default to is the need for ‘regulation’ and certain types of censorship that can be deemed ‘misinformation.’ If they truly believe this will make the internet a better place, I have a million-dollar mansion in Thailand that I will give you.
Again, take this documentary with an objective grain of salt. The content is fascinating, and the little story told inside the film which is used as an example of the destructive impact of social media is very well done (Shout out to MAD MEN alumnus Vincent Kartheiser for playing the “social media algorithm’). But understand that you can perceive this film as having an underlying agenda that may help the social media companies more than it hinders them if you follow the advice of the individuals inside the movie. Until next week!
Film Analysis was my first class in Spring Semester 2020. When this class ended in mid-March, our world was about to spiral down into a pandemic lockdown that has done more to change the political structures and the psychologies of global citizens than any other event in my lifetime. This was one of my favorite classes. It was a classic evaluation of analyzing the context of motion pictures and how their unique visual form of artistic expression can be discussed. My professor was the best one I had during my Master’s classes. He had a nerdy and intellectual understanding of the industry that was much appreciated. With this essay, we are going to study the positives of the class and a handful of negatives. Like the two earlier classes discussed here and here, you start to see a pattern on how these classes that are supposed to be based around the idea of critical thinking, analysis and educational study quickly morph into reading articles on social activism and extreme politically left-wing thought.
Like the previous classes, the early weeks of the class actually study the content which the course describes. The first two weeks are the introduction to film analysis and a discussion on film genre. As any film studies student will tell you, both of these subjects are key to any deeper understanding of the film industry. It is important to understand film analysis from a critical thinking perspective and how different individuals perceive the themes and ideas portrayed. Film genre is important because every person has particular type of films that they prefer to watch. So going over these categories as a “refresher” with the educational research attached was refreshing.
The first section of this class that led me to start questioning the content was Module 3 on Film Authorship. Later in my educational career, I actually take a class on the concept of authorship in general which will get a much deeper dive later. This module discusses the debates that the educational establishment has about the idea of authorship. It was fascinating but my first experience with social indoctrination that has nothing to do with the subject of this course occurred within the chapter of the book that was recommended to read. Film and Television Analysis: An Introduction to Methods, Theories and Approaches was written in 2015 by North Texas Film Studies Professor Harry Benshoff. This book comes back later into this course as the modules go by. The problem with the book is not his analysis. Like most educators, he makes an important point about the idea behind authorship. But this Amazon reviewer also hits the nail on the head with why I had a particular problem with his overall analysis. The book often abandons film analysis for social justice promotion. As THE GHOST OF OLD J.B. points out,
“I wanted a book on film analysis -- and got a politically fueled lecture. I'm aware that Hollywood is 99.999% "hard left", and I'm aware that most films are trying to make some sort of social, cultural, or political statement. This goes without saying if you're a movie buff. Lastly, I'm also aware that the ability to analyze film and TV has zero to do with politics, and everything to do with psychology, and being able to train your brain. I wanted a lesson on how to read into what I view in a different manner. I wanted exercises, methods, suggestions, and results. But aside from a hint of methodology, this book has very little to do with such things. So much of this book is how depictions of almost everything we see can be reduced to western imperialism, race (as well as racial supremacy) and the LGBT struggle against the oppressive "hetero-normative" patriarchy.
Frankly speaking, I feel this book suffers from an inappropriate title. Calling it "Film and Television Analysis: An Introduction to Methods, Theories, and Approaches" pales in comparison to the title it should have been given: "How Everything Written For The Screen Can Be Tied To The Evils Of America, Capitalism, Imperialism, And Straight White Men" -- Now THAT'S the book you're going to read!”
He is absolutely right with this analysis.
The educational “research” only gets worse from here. During Module 4 on ‘Gender and Film’, the second paragraph of the article, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema written by Laura Mulvey begins like this.
“The paradox of phallocentrism in all its manifestations is that it depends on the image of the CASTRATED WOMAN to give order and meaning to the world. An idea of woman stands as lynch pin to the system: it is her lack that produces the phallus as a symbolic presence, it is her desire to make good the lack that the phallus signifies.”
Do you think it is going to get better from here? Well, if you are in the mood to read about sexual organs, than Yes. If you are looking for a psychological analysis of a film not based in ridiculous Freudian concepts and simplistic thought patterns, than the answer is No. The problem with analysis like this is that it subjects the idea of ALL OF FILM HISTORY into a concept that woman exist to satisfy the ‘male gaze’ which men appreciate and allows them to protect or sympathize with that woman and become heroes through virtues like honor or sacrifice to prove their good nature. Like many educational articles, it is filled with words that make the author appear intelligent like fetishistic scopophilia and psychoanalytic terms (Dear God, Freud again!). Castration is written WAY TOO MANY TIMES. Her film analysis picks and chooses films that fit into her point of view. She completely dismisses the concept that while women maybe on screen to be objectified by men (See any Michael Bay movie), this is still a small minority of the actual films that are being produced. The word “fetish” appears a lot because all men apparently have one. The article is feminist bullshit that engages more in attacking masculine culture than doing any actual film analysis.
Module 5 is on Race and Film. The article assigned was called “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. This module was actually very interesting. The documentary 13 by Ava Duvernay opened my mind to ideas I had never considered about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that led to the ‘freeing’ of the slaves. This article is absolutely correct about the evils of the Drug War and how it has led to more incarcerations of African Americans than any other race. Her analysis of the Republican Party in the 1970s and 1980s using the fear of “blacks” with a new ‘get tough on crime’ Southern Strategy is based on historical truths. She also puts the blame where it belongs, on the U.S. government instead of our present-day fixation on individual actors who have become the “terrorists” of the 21st Century. Mentioning the fact that Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party also ran on “tough on crime” laws is also an important analysis. But I disagree with her on two important points. First, she said this is a symbol of a racial caste system. This is where her argument loses some of its legitimacy. If this was the case, why are poor rural people of different race also targeted heavily by the police? To me, this is more of a class-based problem than a racial one. Second, what the hell does this have to do with film analysis? There is not one mention of a film inside of the article. Am I reading a well written treatise on the evils of the drug war and the impact it has had on African Americans or am I reading an article about how these injustices are portrayed on film? Unfortunately, it is the first one. This article would be more appropriate for ethnic, anthropological or political studies. Why it was put into my film analysis class is a question I cannot answer.
The sixth module was fascinating. For this one on Immigration and Film, two articles were assigned. The first was “From Immigrants to Ethnics: The Italian Americans” by Humbert Nelli. This was a deep historical look into the economic and cultural reasons why Italians started fleeing their homeland and coming into the United States. While the article is an interesting historical analysis, it was probably more appropriate for a history class than a film one. But the background is given to explain the film that was assigned in this module. Nu0vomondo which was released in 2006 is a fictional historical film about an Italian family’s journey to the new world of the United States in the early 20th Century. Like Duvernay’s 13, this was the only other movie assigned during the class that I had not previously seen. The film is a fascinating look into a historical time that is not often shown in films. The educational article attached comes from the novel by Barbara Alfalo called “The Mirage of America in Contemporary Italian Literature and Film.” Specifically, it focuses on three films: the above mentioned Nuovomondo, the documentary The Last Customer and the novel Vita. This article actually does dive into a proper film analysis of the aforementioned film above. The quote that America is an “ideological mirror” reflects many of the dreams that immigrants felt upon imagining their new lives in the U.S. The United States will reward you through your own hard work and self determination.
So Part 5 did not have some of the same ridiculous over-the-top ridiculous research as the previous module examined in Part 4. Counting the one egregious exception, the biggest problem was the need to explain historical circumstances or social justice problems inside a research article instead of actually analyzing film which was supposed to be the purpose of the class. This is also the reason why you are starting to see the backlash against this type of teaching. No matter what type of “studies” class you take, it all seems to point in one ideological direction.
Until next month! Enjoy!
It has been three weeks since my last blog/essay. Sorry for the delay. A few circumstances have occurred in my personal life that has eliminated much of my free time. With the ever evolving COVID-19 virus still circling the globe mixed with a changing political climate whose rules seem to change monthly, the results of these new mandates or orders has made it difficult for me to write. Until things settle down and this blog comes back at the end of October, there are two things I want to share with my readers.
First, a debate between an antiwar libertarian Scott Horton and neo-con warmonger Bill Kristol can be seen on YouTube. As a person who admires the former and despises the latter, this could not have gone better for the antiwar movement. By the end of this debate, Horton had the crown on his side and Kristol looked befuddled and strangely quiet as he often declined to reply to Horton’s factual claims. It went to prove what I have been saying about these neo-conservatives since 2003. The movement is filled with imperialist warmongers who have never fought in any of the wars that they proudly imagine on their keyboards. But when confronted with any form of logic or common sense, they fold their tents and go back into the woods waiting for the next organism to infect like deadly parasites. Horton’s dismantling of the neo-conservative movement can be seen here.
Second, I decided to cancel my Google Fi account this past week. Due to the abruptness of the cancellation, it left me scrambling at the last minute. I started paying my account with my American Express Gold Card (Proudly referred on my website here.) After some monitoring, American Express confronted Google over some of my past charges. I ended up getting refunded 250 dollars from American Express who promptly took it from Google. American Express reached out to Google for an inquiry that was ignored. Now, Google insists that the 250 dollars is legitimate and shut my Google Fi account down as a consequence. Since I don’t like being blackmailed or intimidated, I immediately found Mint Mobile and its 30 dollars a line unlimited data which after adding my wife and daughter, only costs me 90 dollars a month with taxes. This is 20 to 30 dollars cheaper than my monthly Google bill. Except with that bill, I did not have unlimited data and Mint uses Verizon which makes their service two times better than anything Google could have provided. So I thank Google for their outright corporate greed. I would never had discovered this alternative if it was not for their actions.
See you again at the end of the month!
EXPERT OF SOME