JASON HIRTHLER—In many respects what all this superhero cinema reveals is the startling infantilism of the American mind. Benjamin Barber foresaw this some years ago in his excellent cultural exposition, Consumed. The infantilization of the American masses produces the ideal state for consumption: blissfully ignorant and driven by impulsive desires and fears, largely uninformed by any evaluative research let alone the consequences of spending. The critical faculties of adults are absent in the infantile consumer. Surely adults that continually appease their fears (or boredom) with fantasies of caped crusaders rescuing the sheeple from certain destruction participate in this sophomoric recidivism.
ARTS & FILM
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TUCKER CARLSON—Julian Assange embarrassed virtually everyone in power in Washington. He published documents that undermined the official story of the Iraq War and Afghanistan. He got Debbie Wasserman-Schulz fired from the DNC. He humiliated Hillary Clinton by showing that the Democratic primaries were, in fact, rigged.Pretty much everyone in Washington has reason to hate Julian Assange. Rather than just admit that straightforwardly, “he made us look like buffoons, so now we are sending him to prison!”
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PHILIP A. FARRUGGIO—Why would Polanski choose to take on three such storylines? Well, I wish I could interview him for my radio show, but for creative license allow me to extrapolate a bit. In all three scenarios it seems that the ‘ forces of evil’ were so powerful ( in one case the devil himself) and had so many minions serving their interests, that truth alone was held hostage. The ‘ bad guys ‘ always get away with it! Sad but true. Yet, and this is the painful and obvious truth: if the ‘ bad guys ‘ did not have so many minions working for their interests, then perhaps the ‘ good guys’ would triumph.
AMERICAN STUDIESAMERICAN WAY OF LIFEARTS & FILM
ERIK SCHREIBER—The death of Marilyn Monroe (and attendant controversy) in 1962 prompted Warhol to paint “Gold Marilyn,” a publicity still of the star silk-screened onto an iridescent gold background. “Silver Liz” likewise reproduced a silk-screened photo and was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s extramarital affair with Richard Burton. “Nine Jackies” (1964) is a grid of three repeated photos of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy taken just before and just after her husband’s assassination.
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Much to our chagrin, other nations have a thing or two to teach us about art, culture, and how to live life. Chauvinism is a recipe for self-inflicted imbecility.