Friday 10 December 2010


There's a definitive Golden Period for movies in American Cinema that roughly extends from the mid to late sixties through to the mid seventies. I got thinking about this again last night as I downloaded Network on the advice of Tariq Ali and at first wasn't convinced but I stuck it out as Faye Dunaway was looking absolutely hot (even in Beige), and then when the Howard Beale (Peter Finch) started to get Messianic I realised that it was going to be some straight shooting commentary on the United States. The feedback on Twitter was very positive and it seems that it's a favourite for many of you. 

It also unveiled a contrast on the other Network movie I coincidentally caught this week which was The Social Network.  A movie I couldn't complete it was so banal, as I could see that it only worked because Facebook is worth Gazillions otherwise it would be a straight to video affair of the 'Breakdance' and 'You've got mail' genre. Generally spindly attempts by Daddy "Capital C" culture to parasitically subsume the stuff we do to break away from it. Also sometimes called 'Counter culture' and which Madison Avenue hoovers up relentlessly.

I've previously written why Culture (capital C) is most definitely not your friend, though recently I listened to the most comprehensive and devastating explanation of why culture is everything we are not, or even as humans. Sounds illogical but the enlightenment is worth a listen from one Joseph Chilton Pearce. I'm going to name check a couple of bloggers I think should listen to this stuff too so Robert and Johnnie please make time to listen to these three podcasts when/if you can: 1, 2, 3.

I really do procrastinate don't I? I haven't even mentioned Al Pacino in Serpico. The reason it's such an iconoclastic movie in Thailand is that the cops are so corrupt that when the movie was aired here in Thailand, it was an incredible success. The real life story of Frank Serpico as played by Pacino was instantly adopted as a folk hero against corruption and greed by the cops. His sticker was mass produced and paraded on pickup trucks and motorbikes because invariably they are the people that the parasitic police most penalise with petty fines, while leaving the better off problem-free for the same minor law transgressions. 

It was a counter culture "fuck you" to the police that a White Boy parachute planner in Thailand would never get to know. Particularly if they're dropping into middle class bourgeoisie planner-land that is telling them a buffalo is an insult in Thailand, when in point of fact to the majority pro red working class, it's like the "nigger" word amongst blacks. 

A point of perverse pride. 

In any case, this is all rather a dramatic build up to "Collapse" which is a documentary Lee Maschemeyer in New York brought my attention to some time back. I didn't download it because, hard to believe, I don't get off on pessimism porn as much as you might expect. But as it resurfaced in my data stream, I put off the washing up, and it's really good. The music is well arranged and poignantly appropriate for a documentary interview style , making it compelling.

Most enjoyable for me was correcting a false perception I'd had for a while now when estimating Michael Ruppert. He's an ex-cop who was hounded out of the force for blowing the whistle on CIA drug dealing (yes they deal drugs, get over it) but I always assumed he was probably not on the smart side of things, and that is why he lost his job. I know from repeated experience that most cops aren't paid because they are clever but instead are paid to be loyal. 

I wrongly assumed Michael was one of those kind of cops, but instead I learned earlier that like Serpico he was one of the finest and bravest cops that the LAPD ever had in their ranks. His academic credentials are excellent, his story telling is blunt and rivetting and even though I don't know any more than you as to precisely what the future holds for us, I do know that if you refuse to see that the times they are 'a changing, then it's highly likely you're planning ability is flawed. Particuarly if you're a planner defending the Corporate Ancien Regime on the flimsy basis that it pays the bills.

Here's the first part. Inform yourself.  Because You're Worth it.

I've had to post the second part seperately for html embed ju jitsu reasons that you don't need to know about. So look above or look to 'newer posts' if you're coming back from the future so to speak.