Our Disease 5

Podcast 337

”Former president Dimitry Medvedev once talked about ”legal nihilism,” which in his case, was the pervasive pessimism concerning law and order in Russia,” Harry was soft-spoken today, he felt the blues coming on hard. He promised to change things but he never was able to escape the shadow of Putin, who refused to let Medvedev run the show, fearing that he would do irreparable damage to his criminal empire. Even after Putin’s death, Russia never was able to escape legal nihilism. Still now, people wanted a leader like Putin because only he was able to bring stability to their troubled country. Legal Nihilism is now hardwired in the survival code of the Russian people.”
Miguel Stone and Dale were smoking a huge joint behind the soundproof glass. Stone was giving him the thumbs up. Harry gave them the finger which delighted Stone immensely.
”Corporate giants and criminal political leaders breed ‘legal nihilism’ in a way, to sow distrust in any supervisory or regulatory practices. In order to do this, you must show them that you don’t need them. You have to spin it that any supervision on their practices is an act of tyranny. Not just a danger to them but a danger to all of us…” Harry lights his cigarette, sits there for a moment. Dead air. Dale and Stone sat there, waiting for what he was going to say next.
”It all boils down to power and letting the people believe that morale or any such ideology is involved. It used to be but those days are long gone. Not that ideological forces did much good. In many ways it could just as much trouble. But there were some in our American history that managed to struck a certain balance. Possibly the most underrated president of the Twentieth-Century is Jimmy Carter. The only former president who didn’t became just another corporate shill. Much has been said that Reagan started the disastrous economic policies of deregulation, trickle-down and though much could be blamed for the eventual inequality that transpired, at least he was a strong force for good. Least he stood for something. He talked about dreams. America meant something again. We were all still mourning our failed acid trip, the lost promise of the Sixties. He exchanged psychedelics for Jesus. A superior trade if you ask me. But people couldn’t evolve in this dream either…” Stone was talking to someone on the phone. Some important client. He was nodding, smiling.
”So the people fought to keep this dream. But things just kept going the other way. The sexual degenerate Bill Clinton came to office and they couldn’t destroy him. Bush seemed like a comeback but even the hardliners know that perhaps the years, the start of the world-changing destruction of the Twin Towers probably were too hard on him. There was need for new blood. A change from the Neo-Conservative dream. So came Barack Obama. It was time for the Liberals to dream.”
”But we all woke up from this too. His accomplishments, though underrated, was undermined by the relentless sabotaging by the republicans. The false narrative was given that he was a covert communist aiming to destroy America. He could have set it back on track but the republicans couldn’t allow it. Perhaps the world would have been a better place if John McCain had been president. Despite Obama’s admirable character, McCain was a man of honor. He would have stood up against the true evils of this world. He wouldn’t have let Putin fool him. This was a man that deserved the spot. But the truth was, much of the base he needed to appeal, was beneath him. In fact, the people they appealed to were changing. They were in an existential crisis. Things got really bad during Bush’s rule. Even though most of them bought that Obama was a danger to the nation, how could they trust their establishment republicans?
Something bigger was going on. The conspiracy nuts were growing. Alternate news-sources were warping the minds of the American people. The liberals had their shot and lost. Obama became just another establishment figure. They needed someone different.
So came Trump. So came motherfucking Trump.”
Stone smiled, hollering Trump’s name through the sound-proof class. ”Trump was the epitome of legal nihilism. Even though he was a celebrity, a noted philander and born in wealth, the people saw him as one of their own. It didn’t matter that he could hardly think of a Bible quote, the bible belt accepted him quicker than they did Hilary’s stated love of scripture. Putin saw his opportunity and filled the anti-establishment media with pro-Trump news. The ones who could see through the bullshit saw that he was merely a puppet of Putin’s regime and Trump really wanted to be Putin. He didn’t care about Putin’s beliefs or where he came from, he just wanted his kind of power. He just wanted to own the room and kill a journalist or two if they pissed him off. The American nation became an embarrassment, in a time when the world really needed our support since the legal nihilism was seemingly kicking off throughout Europe, dividing us and eventually destroying the European-Union’s dream.”
A deep puff, a sigh. Harry got to a peaceful, if bittersweet part in his mind as he spoke the last words: ”So what do we have now? I’m not say the American dream is dead because that corpse has long been decaying. The American dream is a zombie with a fake smile. It’s walking around slowly, moaning the national anthem. It’s only a matter of time before it collapses indefinitely.”
Stone mimes the word ”beautiful”, Harry nods, feeling for a moment, good about himself: ”So what do we have now? Our country is divided more than ever right now. Every state is being left to their own devises. We can smoke joints freely in this state but on the other side, the Mormons are running the show and women aren’t even allowed hot pants. Our current president says this is the best way now. Every state by himself. The government just there to protect us from foreign enemies. And while this is happening, they are stealing from the coffers and getting unimaginably rich. They don’t need anything, they have everything.
And what do we have? We have each other. This used to be enough.”
Harry nods to himself. Time for real life.
”That’s all I have to say for today. You have a goodnight. Take care of each other.”
End transmission.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania basquiat
Art by Jean-Michel Basquiat


Blame it on the Deep State

The Russian trolls are getting to people. Fake News is like a parasite of the brain, it latches onto the subject’s preconceived notions of the world, its natural distrust for Western authorities and makes the subject share it to his friends and families. The message is clear: ”we are all being duped people. This is the truth. Don’t trust the mainstream media. This is what’s really going on.”
The establishment did this to themselves but perhaps, it was inevitable. We enraged the demons long ago and these demons will always be there. The more we fight them, the more fire we leave behind. The fire always comes back.
Globalization was never going to make us like each other better. It’s too hard to understand the world, the people and ourselves too. The more information we receive, the more we realize that it’s far more complicated than we had initially suspected. So we simplify. We seek a comforting reality. We find the kind of news that reflects our world view. Leaders come around and tell us what we believe. Their colorful language makes them seem different. Maybe this guy is different. Maybe this guy is telling the truth.
Putin saw this happening long ago. Maybe the credit should go wider. Russian history is full of managing popular opinion. A former KGB-man, someone who spied on his people and considers himself a patriot, knows very well that the truth is too painful. The truth can ruin everything. Gorbachov can tell you this: just look at what perestroika and glasnost did! It opened borders and gave people the right to question the history of their glorified empire. No. A populist, a leader with authoritarian knows the golden rule: you close borders, you demonize the enemy and you get the journalists in line. Journalists are a pesky sort. Make sure the people hate them. Tell them they work for the establishment, that they write fake news.
Another one that’s popular today is the DEEP STATE. The opposition-this time Robert Mueler and his legal team- within the government is secretly trying to get Trump impeached. They are all using it. Not sure who started it. Perhaps it was Roger Stone. I sort of like Roger Stone. I mean I don’t like him as a person, he’s basically everything that’s revolting about humanity, but he’s upfront with it. There’s a genuineness about him. He’s pure evil and he knows it and he doesn’t care. He’s an entertaining sort of demon.
Even Newt Gingrich mentioned The DEEP STATE. This useless and irrelevant tub of lard says the president cannot obstruct justice- except if he received a blowjob, something that enraged Gingrich when he tried to get Clinton impeached. There’s also Sean Hannity, a man with such a hard-on for Trump that he wouldn’t be surprised if he was writing fan-fiction about him.
All of these supposedly respectable people have been infected by the Russian Troll. It could very well that the Trump support is just a niche market, but especially in the case of Hannity, they seem like true believers. There’s just something about about his charms, that they just can’t resist.
Watching Trump’s cabinet taking turns sucking Trump’s dick (metaphorically speaking) was painful. How could it ever get this far? I know they all have some financial stake in the game but I don’t think I could do this. Maybe if my girlfriend was taking hostage and I was forced to do this to save my life, then maybe, maybe I would consider it. But I don’t understand how they could do this and not immediately watch their mouth with soap. They had to have been high when they did this. Maybe it’s like a game of who can suck up to him the most. It was like a staged scene of Russian propaganda. Did Trump really think this was convincing to the American people? Well since many of his voters actually think he’s a Christian, I guess it could.
Meanwhile Putin is smiling, high-fifing Pepe the Troll. The divide in America was so great, it made it easy for his Russian Trolls. The infection is spreading meanwhile. Even in Holland, the message board is full of Putin supporters. There are educated people who say that perhaps Putin’s vision of the world isn’t quite so bad.
And anybody who’ve seen a glimpse of Putin’s world, knows why I’m scared. This is a world where facts are subjective, we don’t know who to trust, we don’t know if this event or that event was planned by the state, perhaps even the opposition is bankrolled by the state. Everything is a joke, nothing means anything anymore. People turned mad by the state, hunting for opposition leaders- or maybe those mad killers are bankrolled by the government? The most shameful history is warped into something glorious. The heroes could be the villains and the villains are the only ones we can trust.
Many people have been fooled by the Russian troll’s narrative. This Free Press reveals our shortcomings and in turn could instigate our own kind of perestroika and glasnost, but in reverse: close borders and a suppression of dissent. This story has been told before. It’s nothing new. Institutions can fall easily, it’s only as strong as its people. If just takes enough fools on election day.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania ralph steadman nixon

Art by Ralph Steadman

Anna’s Sacrifice

Recently, I did a presentation about Putin’s Russia. It was split in two parts: the first one was about the rise of Vladimir Putin, the second was about his regime. It starts with hope, it ends in tyranny. That’s how it always starts. We always wake up too late.
My main thesis was nothing extraordinary: he’s an autocratic undermining democratic values and we must recognize him for what he is, not be swayed by his increasingly popular propaganda. I made references to the monsters and heroes of the past. The monsters we willingly voted into office. The heroes who were murdered telling us the truth about who they really were.
Examples were made. How do we recognize the autocrat? When they try to undermine the free press is a good example. Soon enough they’ll start to suppress it. In the free World they call the free press ‘fake news’ and sometimes, they dare call the free press dangerous. But the government, as far as we know, doesn’t hunt them down. And if they are hunted down, they better hope no other journalist finds out.

In Putin’s Russia, journalists are hunted down and if other proves it, Putin’s regime will say that it was the ‘Anti-Russian activists’ who sacrificed this journalist to stoke anti-Russian sentiment. There is the continues fear of disorder, memories a young spy who saw the world turn against his empire.
Watch out for talks about ‘extremism.’ The humanization of groups of people is easy to spot. The Jews have always been the target, even now. But Muslims are the more popular target now. The debate about adaptation to the Western culture or the reformation are ones we should have, but the autocrat doesn’t want an honest debate. They tell us they should adapt or get the fuck out. Soon enough they will tell us that the culture simply does not fit here and that something drastic, has to be done about it.
I told people about my own journalistic ambitions, about the moving and bittersweet sacrifice of Anna Povlitkovskaya. She knew that most of her reports would be not read by the necessary majority of the Russian people. Most minds will continually be hooked on state propaganda. You can’t blame them. They grew up in a world full of loud noises and pretty lights. It takes a keen eye and per haps life experience beyond one’s borders, to see past the facade. The face is beautifully simple. All complications nullified. The enemy is clear. The mission is to protect our culture from liberal invasion. Who doesn’t want to live in a world like that? It’s comfortable, the truth ruins everything. Nobody wants to wake up and realize everything they’ve believed in is a lie. Nobody wants to wake up and realize their God was the devil all along.
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania putin protest
I live in an imperfect, yet relatively free world. I can doubt our leaders openly. I can cast dispersions about their character, the nature of their patriotism. If I was an infamous rapper, I can go on stage and rhyme about how the government is an evil entity, bend on destroying the foundations of our culture. A large mass will follow me and think my delusions to be wisdom. This is the free world I live in. In the free world we can share our delusions without being arrested. In Putin’s Russia, a rapper like MC Noize will be hounded by the government, suffer threats, have his career derailed by government agencies. It doesn’t matter if what he says is true or not, he’s talking about the great leader. He’s talking about the idol they indoctrinate to their kids. The kids who admire Putin, like modern-day Hitler Jugend.
In Putin’s Russia, reality is a subjective thing. The pretty lights are there to confuse the people. Some are turned mad. They wander the streets seeking for gay Ukrainians with Obama T-Shirts who are seeking to destroy Russia from within. If they hear about this reporter with a big mouth about their glorious leader, they will shit on his car. Men dress like dead patriots and sing songs about the Soviet Union. Less than Twenty-years ago, Stalin was perceived as the mass-murdering lunatic he was, no suddenly, he’s become misunderstood. In Russia, if you want to tell the truth, you better be prepared to die for it.

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Soon enough some guy in the classroom held up his hand. He had a notebook with him- so he could ”watch my lies”,  he told me. He told me that my facts were biased, concocted by the West. He told me we couldn’t trust Human Rights watch or Amnesty International. He was confused why I would support NATO. This is a person that lives in a free world and he is basking himself in information which tells him that the Free World isn’t free at all. The democratic institution is doubted upon. Perhaps we need a bold new leader. Perhaps we need a guy like Putin.
There are heroes like Anna Politkovskaya, heard across the world, years after her untimely death. Her death on 7
th October 2006 was a birthday present to his glorious leader. On this day I honor her, while her culprit still roams free. Perhaps he’s even running the country she gave her life for.
Political theatrics aside: Putin is an old monster dressed in modern clothing. He’s nothing special, old tricks but written in computer code. A reboot, a remake. The new playing field of information-warfare in a globalized world, where its adherents are addicted to tiny screens and get a jolt of dopamine whenever someone liked their comment. We are in it together but we pretend we are all alone. We have all the means of connecting with each other, yet we decide to isolate ourselves.
All Putin is a series of managed photo-shoots. A good enough photo-shoot can make you the leader of your own religion. Some are highly susceptible to the cult of personality, the nationalistic parasite. Perhaps they’ve always been waiting for that one person that tells them who to hate and who to kill. Perhaps there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for that true believer. Maybe if you give him everything, you just might reach it.
At the end of the presentation, I asked my audience: ”how do we destroy the monsters we have cultivated for so long?”
And I didn’t really have the answer. So I either made one up or stole it from someone smarter than me: ”try to remember the heroes and the monsters. Try to remember the ones who reminded us about the heroes and the monsters. Live the story of the hero.”
I knew one of them wouldn’t listen. To be honest this drives me crazy: the story seems so obvious to me. Why can’t he see it? Why can’t he see the difference between the Free world and Putin’s Russia?
I don’t have an answer to that now. Several come to mind but I want that answer that will convince him. I don’t think I can think of one. And this worries me.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania anna politkovskaya


Another Ghost

You got to be a spirit! You can’t be no ghost.”

A common thing you hear from Trump supporters, is that they’ve finally found a politician who isn’t burdened by political correctness. He tells it like it is. He tells the truth. It doesn’t matter how ugly it is. Factually, this could not be less true; the range of misinformation and downright lies that have been spewed by this bloated showboat (yes using his words against him) has been higher than most campaigns of the past two decades. Donald Trump’s file on Politico is insane.
This isn’t to say that lying has never been part of the political process; it certainly has, as it’s all part of the game. Everybody knows this very well, hence the reason people look at politics with such sneers of cynicism. So when Trump came along, his bold, unabashed nature had not, if never, been seen in the American political sphere. His defense was priceless: call him out for his nonsense, he will make you out as one of the political elites trying to take him down.
He’s the spirit, the others are ghosts.
In “Bulworth”, we have a corrupt Democratic candidate, who in a fit of suicidal depression, begins to tell the awful truth. Notwithstanding that the film is one of the most underrated political underrated satires ever made, the central concept seemed like something we should have seen before. This is a dream come true; finally, a politician who reveals to us what is really going on.
But Trump is not like Bulworth at all. He might tell the truth as he sees it or as he wishes to see it, and the sad thing is, this probably makes little difference to him. He doesn’t care about the truth; it can be altered as long as it suits him and his interests. An egomaniac never serves the people; he will only ever serve himself.
This is the stuff of tyrants. The tyrant speaks in a language people can understand: he’s impulsive, blunt, crass, unfiltered. Sadly, these characteristics have him confused as a truth-teller. It should have ruined him, instead it has made him a king.
Compared to the careful, corporate-approved language of Clinton, he just seemed like the more exciting candidate. Bulworth found redemption in the end, even though it ended in death. Trump is beyond redemption. Even if he makes many mistakes, his ego will always escape the ultimate judgment.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania bulworth trump
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Life is a State of Mind

This is an excerpt of my article ”Top Ten Political Movies to Watch During the Trump Presidency”. This segment details why Being There is a relevant political film in the Trump era:

”Life is a state of mind.”

The story of a simple-minded gardener becoming a political icon had been Peter Seller’s pet project for years. The reason why Sellers had been so fascinated with the original source novel by Jerzy Kosinski was because he saw himself as the main character; an empty vessel, a person without a defining personality.
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Seller’s interpretation of Chauncy might have been right, yet one must not forget the central point of the story: that we are easily led by our own hubris. One could therefore state that Sellers’ perception of the character might very well have been what Sellers wanted him to be. This is something we all do, especially with our leaders.

Chauncy’s diatribes about gardening are perceived to be profound statements about the state of the economy, even though Chauncy is simply talking about gardening. Compare this to Donald Trump; his comments about making America great again are interpreted by people’s own bias of the myth of America.

White supremacists harken back to the days of Jim Crow, Evangelicals dream about a Christian utopia, blue-collar workers want to live in an America where there were jobs aplenty, others want an America that wasn’t ruled by political correctness, and others saw Trump as a weapon against the elites. People saw Trump as a man of the people; someone who wasn’t like those Washington fat cats, who could really make a difference. Most of these groups are, just like Chauncy’s followers, victims of their own hubris.

Trump is part of the elite, born into wealth, yet many see him as the quintessential self-made man – notwithstanding that the businesses Trump managed, inadvertently like Chauncy or with Machiavellian wit, tapped into the myths of people. This is what politicians do, but Trump’s character had been perfect for this political climate where people want definitive change.

This is a common thing that happens throughout history. The facts are all there, but people want to see him as they want to see him; the same way people started viewing Clinton as a progressive candidate even though she was anything but. In the end of “Being There”, when Chauncy walks over water, many interpretations have been made, from Jesus allegories to the filmmaker just having fun with the audience. In the end, just as one could be befuddled by people’s interpretation of Trump, we can only sigh and say: life is a state of mind.

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Read more: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2016/top-10-political-movies-to-watch-during-donald-trumps-presidency/#ixzz4gW7P0J2e

Why Oliver Stone Should Know Better

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I have a rather conflicting relationship with the work of Oliver Stone. Certainly there’s a lot to admire from his contributions to cinema and naturally, to his country, which nearly cost him his life. Irregardless of one’s own political affiliations, one cannot say that Oliver Stone hasn’t done his duty. I have seen many of his films more than once: from the deeply underrated Talk Radio to the highly questionable yet fascinating Shakespearean biopic Nixon. I’m not ashamed to admit that I also have a particular fondness for the gonzo madness that is Natural Born Killers. There’s a special kind energy in many of his (note: earlier) films: a sense of social outrage about the state of the world, psychological unease, creeping demons that keep lurking from our subconscious. Tones swift from blackly comic, melodramatic and the disturbingly violent.
In my teens I often saw Oliver Stone as the voice of reason. A necessary contrarian, similar to the spirits of Bill Hicks, a squeegee of my third-eye. Someone who wakes you up from long slumber, telling you: ”get up! You are being screwed!” I remember vividly defending Oliver Stone’s JFK and its conspiratorial allegations to an ex-girlfriend of mine. In my regular smug moments, I called her naive and felt myself enlightened for believing the exciting lies of Oliver Stone’s infamous film.
This all changed in my mid-twenties, when I (finally) started taking history more seriously. And when it came to historical accuracy, his films were as farcical as any Hollywood patriotic Michael Baye Jerk-fest. Well-intentioned perhaps, more than often than not beautifully made, but its artistic license on history cannot not be denied.
In his later career, Oliver Stone’s movies have not been exactly critical darlings and for good reason. His big budgeted Alexander biopic was hampered by a not-so-great Colin Farrell and an annoyingly over the top Angelina Jolie. His sequel on Wall Street (Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps) was a frustratingly dull one, with none of the bite you would think it would have considering it came out after the financial crisis of 2008)- no clearer film shows the decline of Stone’s artistry. His biopic on George W. Bush was strangely forgettable even with a great central performance of Josh Brolin. His adaptation on Don Winslow’s Savages finally ended my faith in anything good coming from Stone. The book had been one of my favorite crime novels and Stone absolutely butchered it.
But through all of his he also made some curious documentaries. There is his short documentary mini-series The Untold history of the United States, which had some questionable tales about its central subject. In my opinion, a man that likes to play so loosely on the history should not make documentaries.
His most curious documentaries were his documented interviews with the likes of Fidel Castro (Comandante) and Hugo Chavez (Mi Amigo Chavez). In both these films, we see a more humanized looks on these controversial leaders. Oliver Stone wishes to share the alternative view to American-exceptionalism, which is an admirable position. But his coziness with these leaders, his willingness to believe their side of the stories, despite the countless tragedies and death surrounding them, makes it hard for me to take him seriously. I’m not if he cares about revealing the failed dream of the American Dream, it seems that he just wants to further his controversial persona. 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania castro oliver stone

The upcoming four-hour Showtime documentary: The Putin Interviews, is simply despicable. It shattered whatever illusions I had about him. Oliver Stone’s verbal rationale with this project does not bode well either: ”It’s not a documentary as much as a question and answer session… It opens up a whole viewpoint that we as Americans haven’t heard,”
Is he really that naive? For a man that loved to unveil the masks of the authoritarian evils, he surely does not seem to understand the ways of despots. Does he really think Putin cares about spreading spreading his message to the West? It’s about sending a message, it’s about distorting the truth, it’s about causing as much confusion to the general populace of the East and West as possible. The more he bends the truth, the longer he can reign.
Oliver Stone is only aiding him as it will undoubtedly convince many people that perhaps, Putin is an morally equal among the political establishment. The teaser trailer of the documentary is infuriating in itself: Putin winking knowingly at the camera, as he’s teasing the more enlightened audience that yes, he’s going to get away with this and many people, smart and dumb alike, will be fooled by this. It ends with Oliver Stone asking him point-blank about why hacked the American election, with Putin’s response being a charming smirk. This is a crime and now it has become a show. Good job Oliver.
Undoubtedly this documentary will be just another fluff-piece for the Russian despot. It will make him look equal and respectable to the eyes of his own people, many of them lost in his state propaganda. Many curious in the Western world, will undoubtedly be charmed by his forward rhetoric just as many were charmed by his American presidential ally. It doesn’t matter if you ask him ‘the hard questions’, Putin will have prepared for anything that comes with his way and will use some exceptional ‘whataboutism’s. This is not his first rodeo, he’s not Sean Spicer: he actually knows what he’s doing. He’s been doing this game for a long time. Remember: he was KGB, they are trained in all manner of deceit. Some articles have compared this to the David Frost interview with Richard Nixon. Unlike the charming stage play or Ron Howard”s film suggest: it was not a battle of wits, Nixon had carefully prepared the whole thing so it could be done in his favour as he wanted to humanize his already tarnished persona. Apparantly the irony of many seem to be lost on this fact.
This is the hard truth: you cannot engage a tyrant like Putin, the same way you do any other politician. Seeing as he’s already the biggest political superstar in the world (next to that other goofy bastard currently in the White House), this will only further his excruciating anti-establishment persona.
If Oliver Stone really cared anything at all about combattng the evil forces of this world; he wouldn’t give Putin some prosperous propagandistic ammo. Maybe like much of Oliver Stone’s work, he means well and he really does want to give another perspective or harmonize the current Geo-political frictions. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. Maybe he’s just a media whore. Could very well be. Just another sad tale of one of your former heroes.
It will certainly boast great ratings and yes, I’ll probably watch it. But I won’t be fooled, I can promise you that.
But i’m afraid that many others will…
Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania putin interview oliver stone