Friday, December 28, 2007

My 2007 List

Here is an unordered, rambling mess of observations from my personal experiences this year. So for example, saying I thought "once" was the best film of the year is doesn't imply I have seen all. Suggestions and comments welcome!

Best Song: Leja Leja
Shreya Ghoshal (or is it Goshal? It's often spelled both ways) ...what is it about her voice? I don't know, in some ways both her and the best Bollywood songs remind me of old Motown - not literal copies but having the same 'sweetness' to them that you just don't find in Western pop anymore - too much cynicism, I guess.

Best New Artist: Katie Melua
Yeah she's been around for four years, but I only discovered this year.

Best Film: Once
Shot for 160,000 US, everything film making should be and in America, often is not. A simple story about about a busker (street musician) that meets a young woman who, like and guardian angel, is the force to take his life from mediocrity and avoidance to life again. Told largely through music.

Most Disappointing Film: Salaam E Isque. So much talent, a big production, but largely a waste of time. My favorite living actress gave a great performance, but wasn't given a good story or lines to work with.

Best Book (that I read this year) White Gold
Over a million Europeans - as far away as Iceland, Ireland and England - were captured and made slaves by Barbary pirates. And forced to build palaces for Molay Ismail and other despotic rulers. Most died from the brutal conditions. MSM mostly on the liberal side, tries to ignore this now forgotten episode in history - and the contorted Washington Post review in the link above is a perfect example. Why would they do this? Well, all the sudden beating us over the head with various guilt trips becomes decidedly less effective.

Best Non Fiction Business Book: Getting Things Done
Yeah, a lot of it was common sense, but it wasn't common with me.

Books and writers which everyone can ignore at their peril:
Death of the West, Day of Reckoning , The Long Emergency, anything by Peter Hitchens (the smart one of the Hitchens family) - Pat Buchanan - like him or not everything he has predicted has come true, while none of the rosy predication from the necons have materialized, and James Kunslter - a little curmudgeonly and perhaps over the top, but his analysis of the vapidness of American society is spot on. As his assessment of suburbanization to drive the economy 'the biggest misallocation of resources in the history of the world". If only 10% of what he says comes true, it is still cause for grave concern.

Buchanan's sobering critique of our failed, fake free trade/open borders + democracy crusade is a wake up call none of our elite or heeding but as Ben Franklin said, if you don't listen to reason she'll soon rap your knuckles.

Best Museum No One's Heard of: Sorolla Museum, Madrid, Spain.

Writers and Artists Due for A Revival:
Washington Irving, Sargent, Sorolla

Artists and Writers That Should be downgraded to garbage status:
Picasso, Pollack, Frank Gehry, and just about every living "starchitect' and the whole concept of starchitect, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens.

Enough of these irrational hypocritical ranting idiots whose own ideologies make them blind to reality- literally resulting in buildings that fall apart in the case of Gehry and in the case of Dawkins firmly believing that poof, if religion just went away there'd be no wars!.

Most Loathsome: A three way tie between:
George Bush:
The man who ran on a 'humble foreign policy' in 1999 has done more in two destructive terms, to damage America's credibility, moral capital and good will. He has launched an unnecessary war that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and has no end in sight.

He has done nothing remotely conservative, except paying lip service to naive voters (shamefully I count myself as one of them, but only because Gore would have been no better).

Bush long ago crossed the line into treason when he embraced Neoconservative ideology. Nowhere in the constitution does it allow or desire the president to go on idealogical crusades in other nations, yet Bush has done just this while intentionally ignoring his constitutional obligation to protect our borders. This is paramount treason.

Because of his focus on this crusade and the embrace of idiotic unilateral free trade, our country has seen a rapid decline in the dollar and standard of living. I would not blame Bush altogether - liberals conveniently forget that Clinton initiated many of these policies - including making changes in our policy towards China and essentially handing over the State department to AIPAC. But George Bush may be remembered as the fool who pushed our Republic to attempt Empire and in doing so, permanently damaged our position in the world and eroded any capital both real and abstract.

Abe Foxman:
This grossly hypocritical bigot spearheads one of the most destructive, divisive organizations in America, - the misnamed "Anti Defamation League" whose sole purpose these days, other than lobbying for legislation to stifle free speech, is to slander and 'defame' anyone who does not agree with their Pro-Israel/Likkud, anti-Christian, anti-Western party line.

Because of friends in high places this fat ass has been remarkably successful. Some people still fall for his BS, but most are intimidated by the ADLs creepy influence on law enforcement agencies and government.

Foxman reached new levels of hypocrisy this year, by first lobbying Congress to not recognize the Armenian genocide piously calling for historians to sort out the matter- something he won't allow for his "aren't we special" genocide. Why? well recognizing the Armenian genocide was bad in two ways - first it detract from the special status Foxman demands for specifically Jewish victims of Nazi brutality during WWII, he feels their lives or their tragedies are somehow more worthy of consideration than the millions of Christians killed by Bolsheviks, the non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murder, and the millions of others innocents killed by communists in China, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and so on. Secondly, Turkey is an ally with Israel and that trumps any consideration of Armenian feelings. Personally I think congress should get out of this 'business' altogether - - and it is just that - and historians should decide -but that Foxman would constantly plug his own 'road show' and try to stifle another is beyond deplorable.

Foxman constantly leverages the Holocaust as moral sledge hammer to stifle criticism of Israel, and his own corrupt organization which has ties to organized crime, pornography mogals and scumbags like Marc Rich.

That this man would misuse one tragedy to allow Israel to continue another - a 50 + year program of slow but steady ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, just illustrates what a hypocritical bigot this man is.

Bruce Ratner
Greedy corrupt, land grabbing, incompetent developer who is propped up by public subsidies. His projects have mostly been financial, aesthetic and design failures and have steered Brooklyn from a city of small neighborhoods, middle class businesses to globalist corporations. He is a pathological liar, or as he says 'I have a memory problem'.

He has intentionally tried to exacerbate racial tensions and use the poor for his own financial gain. He has robbed the public coffers for his ill conceived projects putting the tax burden on the productive businesses and people that actually took the risks and revived Brooklyn without help from and often in spite of, the government.

Least Loathsome:

Daniel Goldstien & the property owners/renters whatevers in the footprint for standing up and spearheading the fight to keep Bruce Ratner from screwing up Brooklyn more than the bastard already has. It's one thing to bitch about it, or just cut a check and show up at some volunteer meetings, as I have done, its a quite another to put your livelihood, your home, ect on the line for principle.

Our national security agents: who took the bold step forward and went public with the information that Iran was not pursuing nuclear capability - derailing, if only temporarily (because the Neocons are thinking up new lies as we speak) the Neoconservative/AIPAC drive to attack Iran. I suspect they took this unusual step because Bush, Cheny & the Neocons have crossed the line into outright treason.

Ron Paul for taking a principled stand against the globalists/neocon/liberal alliance that is hell bent on ending our status as a nation. I used to think this was nutty conspiracy theory but as Sam Huntington has documented, it is not: Transnational elite are pursuing world government and see nationhood as archaic and in the way of their agenda. Literally, Americans who care need to excercise their right to be bear arms and be prepared, because as the Neocons have shown they care little for the lives of the people who get in the way of their grand schemes.

Producers and male lead of Bella,

The lead actor gave up a career as the most popular soap star in the Spanish speaking world, because he realized his roles were negative stereotypes and were 'hurting people' in his own words. After a reconversion to Catholicism (a faith in which he was raised but had largely ignored) he set out to make films that would inspire people.

Liberal/lefty critics sneered as producer Sean Worthington put it:

'....., yet some elitist critics are attacking' Bella' for its positive portrayal of life, family, and friendship - calling it 'un-realistic and cliche.'
There is another film being released today that critics are raving about - 'Before the devil knows your dead.'

This movie is about two men who kill their parents and critics are praising this film as:


'a realistic portrayal of the human condition'.

'Family, and the core ideals that hold them in place, are blown to
smithereens by the ravaged heart of Sidney Lumet's scalding new thriller.' -Newsday

nuff said.

What do these unloathsome people have in common? They were willing to sacrifice for ideals, for what is right, willing to take risks, and forgone easy gain for long term good which we all benefit by. It is this long term sense of Noblesse oblige is why we have Prospect Park instead of a 19th century version of Atlantic Yards - why Santa Cruz Island out in California is a National Park instead of a resort/Casino (no doubt what Ratner would do with it). In the post sixties America such ideals are largely forgotten - even most so called philanthropy is really a veil for self interested agendas.

Sometimes I think we become oblivious to these stories since we largely connect to the world through the filter and unreality of mass media, but if you look at your own live (unless your Daniel Goldstien or one of the above) you probably realize that most of it is quiet desperation compared to living 'truthfully' as G- well not Gandhi but Gandhi's character in Lage Laho Munnmabi put it.

The Story that's FINALLY being discussed that should have been talked about a long time ago:
The Israeli Lobby and its undue influence on our foreign policy. It's a moral crisis and damaging situation that US, and US citizens cannot continue to ignore, nor can they still buy the bellyaching and lies of the Israeli Lobby .

Things have gotten so absurd that few remember, but I recall the Howard Dean had to 'recant' his statement during the 2004 campaigns that he wanted a balanced middle east policy. That little freudian slip on the part of the lobby says it all.

Still under-reported but increasing, is the dark underbelly of globalization: the sex slave trade, drugs, pirate products, sky rocketing violent crime- that now account for about 1/4 of global trade - that's enough to bribe and/or violently intimate enough officials for the problem to get worse.

Most Undiscussed Story of 2007 (and 2006, 2005)
...and one I have some personal interest in.... will be discussed tomorrow.

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