Earlier this week, conservative blogs and the Twittersphere exploded over President Obama’s handshake with Cuban president Raul Castro at the funeral services for former South African president and overall legendary hero to billions, Nelson Mandela. And when I say exploded, I am not kidding. Senator John McCain even compared it to then-UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain shaking hands with Adolph Hitler. Seriously?
The vitriol was truly astonishing. A handshake is just about the most basic pleasantry that can be exchanged between two world leaders and, well, that’s just what you do. Especially considering it’s hardly the first time a US president has done something like this. Clinton shook Fidel Castro’s hand, Nixon shook the hand of Mao Zedong. It’s called diplomacy and considering they were at the funeral of a man who was able to reconcile with his former jailers and end Apartheid, I am happy that the spirit of diplomacy prevailed.
[Oh and Senator McCain? Douche. Why? That hypocritical fuck shook hands with Gaddafi! See hysterical and frustrating Daily Show clip below.]
Continue reading Obama And Castro: The Handshake Heard ‘Round The World
If any of you were hesitating to mourn irony, wait no longer. Wal-Mart has slain the giant by offering prints of Banksy’s print entitled, I shit you not, Destroy Capitalism. According to Salon.com….
According to the Huffington Post, the link has been removed, but still… this rivals the recent JP Morgan Twitter hubbub. There is no cure for corporate idiocy.
Congratulations to director Kirby Dick and producer Any Ziering for the pickup of their powerful new doc The Invisible War by Cinedigm Entertainment Group and New Video. I saw the film at Sundance and in addition to being a great film, it’s extraordinarily important in these times of increasing violence against and institutionalized subjugation of women. [Trailer and other videos at the bottom.]
In my wrap of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival I wrote of the film: “A heart-breaking and shocking look at rape in the military, Dick’s film details the pain, shame, horror and lasting damage caused by the attacks as well as the shocking hypocrisy and cover-ups endorsed by the military establishment.”
Some stats from the US Department of Defense:
20% of ALL servicewomen have been sexually assaulted while serving.
Women who have been raped in the military have a PTSD rate higher than men in combat.
An estimated 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the US military.
In 2010, according to the Department of Defense, there were 3,158 case of sexual assault within the U.S. military. It is estimated that more than 80% of those who are sexually assaulted don’t report it.
The film presents many more statistics, equally as disturbing.
While the subject matter is grim and at times the film is emotionally tough to watch, I will categorically say that this is a film everyone must see, especially educators. It’s a film that could potentially cause a sea change not only in the halls of Congress but in the high schools of America.
At the Q&A following the Sundance world premiere, a 17 year-old young woman in the audience stood up and said that while she had never been physically assaulted, verbal abuse was the norm in her school and she felt that every high school student needed to see the film because boys were not being raised to respect women. It was another poignant moment in the most emotional Q&A I have ever witnessed.
Continue reading “The Invisible War” and the Ongoing Subjugation of Women in America
Oh yes, I am an idiot….
I don’t usually post personal, erm, shortcomings on this blog, but once in a while, I do something so stupid as to warrant disclosure. As a result, I am naming myself a Stupid Bastard and giving myself a Bernie Award.
Last night I went to the party for upcoming IFC release and Tribeca Film Festival selection You Kill Me, directed by John Dahl and starring Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni and Luke Wilson. While it was a decent party (not too crowded, some nice vittles, good crowd) the DJ lost the plot about 1/3 of the way through the party, moving from a pretty hip selection of Smiths/Fratellis/Stroks/Peter Bjorn & John and the like to, well , crap. However, that’s not my point. My point is, I am an idiot. Why? This is why:
This is Diana, the beautiful young Portuguese woman I met at the party. As you can see in the above photo, she is quite fetching and looks lovely in my fedora. Now, why am I stupid? Well, Diana and her friends (including her cousin who rather off the cuff decided I should marry Diana) went on after the party to a local club, asking me to go with them. But me? I went home.
Oh yes, I am an idiot.
So apparently I had the junk filter on my blog set a little bit too high and several legitimate comments were deemed junk by the filter and thus were not emailed to me for approval. If the comment is by a legitimate person and not a spam ad for viagra, xanax, online poker, etc. I am generally of a mind to publish them and then respond to them, if needed. Thus, I apologize to Claire, Tully, Dickmac, Manohla Dargis, Richard Schenkman and others whose comments were inadvertently left off the blog. As a bit of a “make good,” I will post them all in full here, complete with links to the original posts and I will, over the next day or so, reply to some of them on the original posts, themselves. Even the following insane, moronic and anti-Semitic rant by “Claire” (whose email address I was extremely tempted to post…):
You stupid kike, CNN was NOT celebrating Castro’s illness, the cubans [sic] in Miami were. Why? Castro has tortured and killed thousands of Cubans during the past 40 years, that is why. CNN was just reporting their joy over that dictator’s possible death. Don’t you dirty jews [sic] have dozens of hollocaust [sic] movies coming out every year? should [sic] people feel happy about concentration camps? should people mourn Hitler’s death? get real asswipe!
From a post entitled: CNN International – Offensive Ghouls
Well Claire, you’re wrong, stupid and a bigot and really, I shouldn’t waste my time responding to anyone who starts a comment with “you stupid kike” and includes the insane ramblings that you do….so I won’t. Engaging people like you in debate is like trying to convince a chair that it’s a butterfly. It’s just not going to happen. Just crawl back into your hole and please…don’t breed. Out of curiosity, does anyone else see the inherant contradiction in someone attacking Castro’s perceived human rights violations while at the same time calling me a “dirty Jew?”
Which brings us to our next comment. Click the link below to see Richard Schenkman’s far more rational, eloquent, educated, reasonable and intelligent response to this post: It’s Time To Go, Joe: An Open Letter To Senator Joe Lieberman and the rest of the comments I missed over the past 6 months or so….
Continue reading Some Great (Some Not) Missing Comments