Most of us have heard of pulp fiction, hard core crime fiction whose must famous practitioners included Dashiell Hammet, Jim Thompson and Raymond Chandler among others. Then there was the cinematic style associated with hard core crime fiction, film noir ( from the Free Dictionary: the movie characterized by low-key lighting, a bleak urban setting, and corrupt, cynical characters ) and I would add that with some exceptions hard core crime fiction and film noir’s central character was the anti-hero. Anti-hero should not be interpreted to mean a character that was antithetic to heroism or virtue, but rather flawed, frequently lacking idealism or at least traditional idealism. There was also a little known facet of pulp-film noir art culture, pulp photography. Pulp photos, at least the ones intended for other uses all look staged, melodramaticaly so and at least one theory behind them was they were used later as the basis for book covers for pulp/hard core novels and magazine covers ( 1 wonder if berets for women will ever come back into style, required wear while witnessing some kind of roust ). While these photos are clearly sexist in the context of modern mores, to this reader anyway they are not especially mysogynic. After all why would our pulp heros go to through so much trouble and the resulting bruises, scrapes, and gun wounds for a gender that he hated ( 2 would a hard drinking unfiltered Camel cigarette smoking misogynist carry a ruler around to measure windows. ) Just some psychological deduction on my part, but any man that goes to a fortune teller is in touch with his sensitive side ( note the nude neo-classical statue in the background ). Rather then portarying women as mere witnesses to the action, the action that propelled the film or novel was frequently initiated by women or as a result of some nefarious action perpetrated against a woman( though in this pic it is hard to tell if this nefarious action is a wicked rendezvous or she has the world’s worse reflexes ). There’s no guessing with this photo, he’s the kind of guy that gives men in general a bad rep ( again something to be said for the fashion – what movies need today – a return of the slip. Remember a young Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof(1958) or Claire Forlani in The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997)). Frequently a woman in a hard boiled novel or crime film appears to have things under control because she’s thought things through to the middle of next week or the next chapter while Chester is still trying to get the gun out of his pocket. I’m sure whether this picture did not inspire Hitchcock’s infamous shower scene in Psycho (1960), but one can appreciate how different artists use different techniques to suggest you’re seeing something when they are creating an illusion with the viewer’s imagination filling in the blanks; in Hitchcock’s case it was camera angles and quick cuts in Janet Leigh’s shower, while in the pulp picture its soap bubbles. The all American Doris Day used soap bubbles to great effect in The Thrill Of It All , though this film is noticeably lacking any of the seedy elements found in film noir, thus all the sexual innuendo is rendered squeaky clean and safe for suburbia.
For those looking for a photograper that can more realistically be called the Raymond Chandler or John Houston of photography one need look no further then Arthur Fellig, aka Weegee ( his photo Booked for Killing a Policeman 1939 )
Fellig gained a reputation for knowing where disaster would strike next, hence the name “Weegee,” a reference to the fortune-teller’s Ouija board. He was aided in scooping competing photographers by carefully monitoring police and fire-department radio dispatches. In 1938 he was the first photographer to obtain permission to install police radio equipment in his car.
Weegee had a gift for self-promotion which led to his stamping the backs of his prints with “Credit Photo: Weegee the Famous” in the early 1940s. He did not become truly famous, however, until the publication of his book, Naked City, the rights to which were bought by Hollywood for a film and television series. This book contained his crime photography and images of New York City’s lonely and dispossessed.
Two highly classified intelligence reports delivered directly to President Bush before the Iraq war cast doubt on key public assertions made by the president, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials as justifications for invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, according to records and knowledgeable sources.
[ ]….The disclosure that Bush was informed of the DOE and State dissents is the first evidence that the president himself knew of the sharp debate within the government over the aluminum tubes during the time that he, Cheney, and other members of the Cabinet were citing the tubes as clear evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program. Neither the president nor the vice president told the public about the disagreement among the agencies.
When U.S. inspectors entered Iraq after the fall of Saddam’s regime, they determined that Iraq’s nuclear program had been dormant for more than a decade and that the aluminum tubes had been used only for artillery shells.
The second classified report, delivered to Bush in early January 2003, was also a summary of a National Intelligence Estimate, this one focusing on whether Saddam would launch an unprovoked attack on the United States, either directly, or indirectly by working with terrorists.
The report stated that U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that it was unlikely that Saddam would try to attack the United States
It does look as though Bush gleaned what he wanted to hear from the CIA, and just ignored the caveats of the State Department and the Department of Energy, as Larry Johnson notes at No Quarter, Bush Told Hussein Attack “Unlikely”
Clearly, these documents were carefully distilled by State Intel and DOE down to a single page in order to suit Bush’s insistence on, um, brief briefings because of his short attention span. Even a cursory glance would have informed him that two major executive branches disagreed with the CIA assessment at the time.
In the perennially favorite game of Blame Shifting or the pocket version known as Gotcha, after yesterday’s morally indicting video of President Do-nut’n Bush’s response to Katrina, the breathless right bloggers found a Democrat and a female no less to bounce their perniciousness off , Update 22: In New Video, Blanco Says Levees Are Safe. I guess they’re hoping that either their readers will not click the link or have the literacy level of a junk yard dog. Governor Blanco may not come off as Superwoman, but she was a level up from the culture of incompetent cronys.
In the video of the conference call, Blanco appears uncertain about the reliability of her information and cautioned that the situation “could change.”
Blanco said floodwaters were rising in parts of the city “where we have waters that are 8 to 10 feet deep, and we have people swimming in there.”
“That’s got a considerable amount of water itself,” the governor said. “That’s about all I know right now on the specifics that you haven’t heard.”
Let’s also remember that regardless of the details known about the condition of the levee’s on Aug. 29, Governor Blanco ( Blanco Releases Katrina Records ) requested immediate federal assistance that same day,
“We need everything you’ve got,” Blanco is quoted in a memo as telling President Bush on Aug. 29, the day Katrina made landfall. But despite assurances from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that 500 buses were “standing by,” Blanco’s aides were compelled to take action when the FEMA buses failed to materialize, documents show. “We need buses,” Andy Kopplin, chief of staff to Blanco, said in an e-mail to Blanco staffers late on Aug. 30, the day after the storm hit. “Find buses that can go to NO [New Orleans] ASAP.”
Two days later, on Sept. 2, Blanco complained to the White House that FEMA had still failed to fulfill its promises of aid. While cloaked in customary political courtesies, Blanco noted that she had already requested 40,000 more troops; ice, water and food; buses, base camps, staging areas, amphibious vehicles, mobile morgues, rescue teams, housing, airlift and communications systems, according to a press office e-mail of the text of her letter to Bush.
and as the Moderate Voice reminds us for the ump-teenth time, The Press Will Be Asking Bush About Katrina
What makes this revelation particularly bad for Bush is that it directly contradicts his by now famous statement on the Good Morning America television show days after the hurricane. “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees,” he said.
The video makes clear that such levee breaches were definitely anticipated by experts like Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center who told the federal officials assembled for the videoconference as much, including Bush who participated from his Crawford, Texas ranch. Mayfield warned that the hurricane would be among the worst to hit the U.S. in recorded history.
There have been some questions about that Zogby poll showing that the majority of the troops want out ASAP. This doesn’t show that the poll wasn’t representative of the troops in general, but casts a shadow over the poll and unfortunately any future polls that asks the same questions. This is a diappointment to those of who are partisan, but try not to be hacks. On the other hand I’m sure the Optional Wars and Death is Bright and Beautiful crowd are pleased that the partisan poll designers may or may not have had a hand in designing the survey. The ” may or may not” gives them enough of a wedge that they are all too happy to fill with the exaggerated pangs of their own agenda. The right is generally a wimpish and characterless bunch, qualities usually not associated with good citizenship and hypocritical in armchair warriors.
update:When it came to the cartoons of Muhammed suddenly the conservatives of the media and right-wing blogs discovered the moral certitude of free speech. In the last couple of weeks they’re climbed back down into the ditch of fascism-lite where they are far more at home. First they were in an old fashioned tizzy over Al Gore, now they’re in a rabid lather over this, High school teacher’s comments investigated by district
Allen’s father claims the comments made in the recording are biased and inappropriate for a geography class.
“I’m not saying Bush and Hitler are exactly the same, obviously they’re not. OK? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use,” says Bennish in his critique of U.S. economic and foreign policy.
Towards the end of the class, Bennish goes on to say, “I’m not in anyway implying that you should agree with me, I don’t even know if I’m necessarily taking a position. But what I’m trying to get you to do is to think about these issues more in depth and not to just take things from the surface.”
The Cherry Creek School District is conducting a thorough investigation of the complaint from the Overland High School parent and student concerning comments.
We sure don’t want kids going home and having deep thoughts about the issues, that would be dangerous. Right-wing blogger, Tales of A Wandering Mind (?) writes, “While I do not think any public high school teacher should be bashing the President..” Bashing is in the eye of the beholder, what this blogger really resents is critical thinking. What did Bush, Limbaugh, Malkin, O’Reilly, Fox, the MSM tell you today that wasn’t true. Internment camp advocate Michelle Malkin uses this tiresome headline for her post, “UNHINGED TEACHER CAUGHT ON TAPE”. A unhinged wing-nut who lacking any imagination uses the word unhinged as an adjective in half her posts. Here’s a new word for MM, pro·jec·tion – The attribution of one’s own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others. I would say that MM should learn the word hypocrite, but she knows that word very well, she appears to have swore an oath to live her life as one.
Certain it is, that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual, with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squabbles; and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle. The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long stories of ghosts, witches, and Indians. Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him with impunity; and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood.
The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor. It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance; for he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and heavy as a Tartar’s lance, and fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble. He would carry a fowling-piece on his shoulder for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons. He would never refuse to assist a neighbor even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics for husking Indian corn, or building stone-fences; the women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them. In a word Rip was ready to attend to anybody’s business but his own; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible.
In fact, he declared it was of no use to work on his farm; it was the most pestilent little piece of ground in the whole country; every thing about it went wrong, and would go wrong, in spite of him.
excerpt from Rip Van Winkle & The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving