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The Oscars: a decadent and stupid ritual, an orgy of luxury branding and self-congratulation

  • “You know what? Fuck 'em. You made a very good film, so feel good about that and start working on the next one,” director Spike Lee said last month during a candid interview with The Daily Beast in response to Ava DuVernay's omission from the Best Director category.
  • Part 1: Why It Should Bother Everyone That The Oscars Are So White
  • Part 2: We are all d**k-measurers now: The Oscars and awards-season devalue and pervert art.
  • Hollywood Heroism in the Age of Empire: From “Citizenfour” and “Selma” to “American Sniper”

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Jimmy Margulies



Part 1: Why It Should Bother Everyone That The Oscars Are So White

Since the first Academy Awards were held in 1929, just 7 percent of winners in the Best Actor category have been black men. Halle Berry’s 2002 win for her performance in “Monster’s Ball” made her the first black woman to win the Best Actress award. There has not yet been a second.

Brennan Williams, Christopher Rosen, and Irina, Huffington Post

s-HALLE-BERRY-DENZEL-WASHINGTON-large640.jpgDenzel Washington and Halle Berry share a laugh while holding their Oscar statues after winning the awards for Best Actor ("Training Day") and Best Actress ("Monster's Ball"), respectively, at the 74th Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California.

2/20/2015 | #OscarsSoWhite that if Common and John Legend win an Academy Award for Best Original Song this Sunday, it will be only the 32nd time in 87 years that a black person has held a competitive Oscar on Hollywood's biggest stage. That's 32 times out of more than 2,900 winners.

"It's a white industry. Just as the NBA is a black industry. I'm not even saying it's a bad thing. It just is," Chris Rock wrote last year in a thoughtful op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter. Rock's piece went viral because of how clearly he laid out the problems in Hollywood: It's a place where at every level, from the top on down, diversity is lagging behind society.

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Part 2: We are all d**k-measurers now: The Oscars and awards-season devalue and pervert art

 

"Boyhood" or "Birdman"? Beck or Beyoncé? Who cares. We must stop turning creativity into another dumb competition.

Steve Almond, Salon

sniper_beyonce_birdman_beck.jpgBradley Cooper in "American Sniper," Beyonce, Michael Keaton in "Birdman," Beck (Credit: AP/Jordan Strauss/John Shearer)

Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 | The other night I watched “All Is Lost,” the 2013 film about an aging sailor whose solo voyage in the Indian Ocean goes horribly wrong. The aging sailor happens to be Robert Redford. He’s the only person on-screen for the entire film and, other than a brief opening voice-over, he’s virtually silent.

I’ve never been a huge Redford fan, but I was blown away by his performance: by the physical rigor of the role and by how he uses his body and his face and his hands to convey emotion. “All Is Lost” is about a lot of things—solitude, hope, invention—but at its heart, it’s a parable about the human compulsion to try. Cunning and effort not only keep the old man alive; they express his essential selfhood in the face of nature’s indifference.

Steve Almond's new book is "Against Football."

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Related:

Hollywood Heroism in the Age of Empire: From “Citizenfour” and “Selma” to “American Sniper” TGP Staff, the Greanville Post

  • Moral and political courage is in short supply these days and rarely represented in any form in the Hollywood celluloid universe.
  • Under a regime of neoliberalism, a persistent racism and politics of disposability are matched by a theater of cruelty in which more and more individuals and groups are considered throwaways.
  • The Oscars: a decadent and stupid ritual, an orgy of luxury branding and self-congratulation

Special Project | Have They No Shame?: Week Ending February 21, 2015

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  • And so, let me echo the attorney Joseph N. Welsh, in his famous rebuke of Sen. Joe McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
  • The Barbarians Inside the Gate
  • 7 New items including:
    • Indiana Republican: ‘No One Has the Guts’ to Let the Poor ‘Wither and Die’
    • Michigan pediatrician: God doesn’t want me to treat your baby because you’re lesbians
    • Rudy Giuliani: Obama 'Doesn't Love' America
    • GOP Begins Assault on Elderly, Poor, Disabled, Math, and Reason
    • Open Letter to John McCain: Get Out of Washington, You Low-Life Scum
    • Jesus Hates Gays, Loves Bacon…Apparently
    • Have They No Shame? August 11, 2014

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

RJ Matson

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Indiana Republican: ‘No One Has the Guts’ to Let the Poor ‘Wither and Die’, Allen Clifton, Forward Progressives

  • John Johnston proved just how much Republicans loathe Americans who are living in poverty.
  • GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled
  • New Budget Chair to cut Social Security! 

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Michigan pediatrician: God doesn’t want me to treat your baby because you’re lesbians, David Ferguson, Raw Story 

  • Only 22 states have laws prohibiting doctors from refusing to treat patients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The American Medical Association (AMA) strongly urges physicians not to deny care to LGBT people, but has no explicit rules regarding the practice.
  • The Contrerases say they hope that by going public with their story, they can ensure that children from same-sex families won’t face discrimination in the future.

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Rudy Giuliani: Obama 'Doesn't Love' America, Igor Bobic, Huffington Post

  • The former New York City mayor reportedly said Wednesday night (2/18) at an event for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) that Barack Obama "doesn't love" America.
  • "I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America," Giuliani reportedly said at a private New York dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). "He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

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GOP Begins Assault on Elderly, Poor, Disabled, Math, and Reason, Richard Zombeck, Huffington Post 

It's unfortunate, based on the first two days of the new Congress, that the responses to upcoming GOP policies won't be so humorous. This first week back from vacation paints a pretty grim picture of coming attractions and the American people are the ones who will suffer.

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Open Letter to John McCain: Get Out of Washington, You Low-Life Scum, Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News / Nation of Change  

In an open letter to Senator McCain, Carl Gibson writes, "Either resign now with some semblance of dignity, or prepare to be thrown out of office in 2016." It's time we see some fresh faces in Washington who will stop doing damage to veterans and working people.

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Jesus Hates Gays, Loves Bacon … Apparently, Retroactive Genius, Daily Kos

Let's be clear: the imbecilic Fischer rails against homosexuality because it is 'forbidden' in Leviticus. Without missing a beat, the odious Fischer sings the praises of bacon, which is also expressly forbidden in Leviticus.

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Have They No Shame? August 11, 2014, Compiled by David Culver <>, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • And so, let me echo the attorney Joseph N. Welsh, in his famous rebuke of Sen. Joe McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
  • The Barbarians Inside the Gate
  • Part 1: If You're Blaming The Iraq Crisis On Obama's Troop Withdrawal, Answer These 4 Questions
  • Part 2: Rush Limbaugh Says Robin Williams Killed Himself Because Leftists Are 'Never Happy'
  • Ignorance Uncensored

Fifty Shades of Capitalism: Pain and Bondage in the American Workplace

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The symbol of capitalism was lately a vampire. Enter the CEO with nipple clamps.

Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet

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water_cooler_chat-e12923498956023.jpgJuly 12, 2012 | AlterNet Editor's Note: AlterNet writer Lynn Stuart Parramore wrote this article in July of 2012.  But it is especially relevant today, as the movie 50 Shades of Grey is in massive distribution, and sparking many a conversation. In the meantime Mary Wild has used Parramore's prose to create a clever video drawing from scenes in the movie.  In addition, writing for the Guardian, Hadley Freeman penned "Strip Away the Sex and 50 Shades and is Just About Money and Dubious Merch, " also quoting Parramore.

If the ghost of Ayn Rand were to suddenly manifest in your local bookstore, the Dominatrix of Capitalism would certainly get a thrill thumbing through the pages of E.L. James’ blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey. Rand, whose own novels bristle with sadomasochist sexy-time and praise for the male hero’s pursuit of domination, would instantly approve of Christian Grey, the handsome young billionaire CEO who bends the universe to his will.

Ingénue Anastasia Steele stumbles into his world -- literally -- when she trips into his sleek Seattle office for an interview for the college paper. When she calls him a “control freak,” the god-like tycoon purrs as if he has received a compliment.

Lynn Stuart Parramore is an AlterNet contributing editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of 'Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.' 

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Angry, Armed and White: The Typical Profile of America's Most Violent Extremists

  • White men, usually right-wingers, are the dominant threat.
  • Tea Party and the Right 
  • America’s angriest white men: Up close with racism, rage and Southern supremacy

Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

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screen_shot_2015-02-12_at_8.27.25_pm.pngFebruary 12, 2015 Police in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, say they’re investigating the role racial hatred played in the killing of three Muslim students by suspect Craig Stephen Hicks. They’re saying the 46-year-old white man had a history of fights over a parking space with the victims, suggesting the killings could be reduced to road rage.

Meanwhile, Hicks’ social media posts show that he was an ardent atheist who equally mocked Muslims and Christians, an avid defender of the Constitution’s separation of church and state, and a gun nut who posted pictures of his revolver. The Associated Press quoted neighbors who say “he always seemed angry and frequently confronted his neighbors” and “his ex-wife said he was obsessed with the shooting rampage movie Falling Down" and showed “no compassion at all.”

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America's retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of "Count My Vote: A Citizen's Guide to Voting."

outhern_pickup-620x412.jpgFull story … 

Related:

America’s angriest white men: Up close with racism, rage and Southern supremacy, Michael Kimmel, Salon 

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