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Dec 112013
 



In a long life spent mostly poring over words, few ideas have stuck a chord with me like political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s famous concept of Banality of Evil.

Countless articles and several books have been written on Hannah Arendt and her concept of Banality of Evil.

In 2012, an eponymous biographical movie Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, debuted to an enthusiastic reception from the critics (86% rating by Rotten Tomatoes)!

What is Banality of Evil?

Arendt came up with Banality of Evil in the early 1960s while reporting on the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem for my favorite magazine New Yorker.

In its essence, Banality of Evil means that great evils in the context of a state’s action are committed by normal, ordinary people.

For great evil to exist, the evil doers do not have to be (but can be) demonic, terrifying monsters with twisted minds like Narendra Modi, Ivan the Terrible, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, or Richard III. Continue reading »

Dec 102013
 

A few blessedly good movies never lose their charm.

The passage of time only extends their allure and appeal to a new generation of movie buffs.

Last night I watched Charlie Chaplin’s first full length film The Kid (six reels and 52:30 minutes long), made 93 years ago and released in 1921.

The Kid is available for streaming on HuluPlus as part of the Criterion Collection of classic films ($7.99 monthly subscription required). Fortunately, with the Kid I was not subject to the usual barrage of ads that has ruined the HuluPlus experience for me and made the service seem like a mighty big ripoff.

Besides writing, directing and producing the film, Chaplin also composed the music and acted in it.

As is to be expected from movies of that far-off era, The Kid is a silent film.

The Kid features Charlie Chaplin as, what else, a tramp; Jackie Coogan plays the kid and Edna Purviance is the mother/film star.

Beautiful Film

The Kid is a remarkable film, one of those rare movies that has delighted hundreds of millions over 90 plus years.

After the Kid is abandoned by the Woman, a series of circumstances lands the kid into the tramp’s hands.

Like all great movies, The Kid is a clever amalgam that raises many emotions to the surface. Continue reading »

Dec 062013
 

(For SI Blog Reader Boops)

Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.
Nelson Mandela in the 2009 Hollywood film Invictus

The genius of the White Man is his extraordinary grasp of the power of Violence.

No other race has understood, practiced and perfected the use of Violence the way the White Man has.

The English, Dutch, Spanish, Americans, French, Belgians, and the Vikings long before them owed their fame, success and enormous wealth to the brutal Violence they unleashed on their victims.

When the White Man condemns Violence by others today, you can be sure it’s only because he considers other races are infringing on his divine right. ;)

The White Man’s greatest legacy over the last 1,000 years is the successful use of Violence to amass power, pelf and privilege!

South Africa – Blacks Under White Boots

In South Africa, Whites accounted for about 19% of the population. Blacks made up 68% of the country and Asians and other colored people accounted for the rest.

Despite their numerical minority status, South African Whites, with the active support of their White trash brethren like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in Europe and North America respectively, were able to violently crush the Blacks and keep them squirming under their boots for several decades through the racial discrimination policy of Apartheid.

Clint Eastwood’s Invictus (2009) is a dramatized look at the newly released Black leader Nelson Mandela, after 27 years in prison, in 1991.

The mood among Whites is grim in the early 1990s – Some leave the country and many fear that when the Blacks take over the government there will be retaliation for past injustices.

At the same time, there is resentment and simmering rage among Blacks over past injustices.

Invictus is the story of how Mandela appeases the White minority through his support of their Springboks rugby team.

Rugby in the apartheid era was a White Man’s game, which was understood or played by few Blacks. The game was hated by Blacks because in their eyes it was a symbol of apartheid.

Despite opposition from close advisers to his embrace of and support for the Springboks rugby team when there are far more pressing challenges, Mandela is undeterred and declares:

This country is hungry for greatness!

Director Clint Eastwood portrays Mandela’s support of the Springboks team as a clever political/human strategy to get Whites to support the new ANC government, maintain stability, grow the economy and foster reconciliation between the two races.

That is balderdash in reality but works well in movies.

Although running on predictable lines, Invictus is for the most part entertaining.

In the movie, Mandela is presented as a great man who transcended petty human frailties of violence, anger, revenge and hatred to unite a disparate nation.

Forgiveness liberates the soul,” Mandela intones. In my view, 99% of South African Whites would have laughed themselves into a stupor upon hearing such drivel!

Morgan Freeman as Mandela is a great performance that justifiably won him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Matt Damon is alright as the Springboks team captain.

I’ve always expected less of Matt ‘Jason Bourne’ Damon and he’s never disappointed me by delivering more. ;)

Mandela Screwed Blacks

By pursuing the path of reconciliation, forgiveness and refusing to punish the White beasts who unleashed unspeakable atrocities on Blacks for over 100 years, Mandela did an enormous injustice to the Black victims.

In the movie, Mandela justifies his strategy by referring to the Whites’ control of the economy, military and police.

That’s like Obama or George W.Bush declaring that the U.S. must support Wall Street/Banks despite their venal behavior because they’re too big to fail.

Whites have rarely ever paid the price for collective bad behavior, be it in South Africa, England, Holland, France, Belgium or in my adopted country America.

If Invictus proves anything, it’s that Mandela was a traitor to his Black people.

No wonder then that millions of Blacks in South Africa are still struggling to survive, living on the margins of existence in ghettos and shantytowns like Soweto and Khayelitsha.

Dec 042013
 

Why does God bestow upon us a sexual desire that he then wishes us to resist.

The thing is, I didn’t even know I had a clitoris, Martin.
– From the remarkable film Philomena, based on Martin Sixsmith’s book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee

I was in Washington DC yesterday with some time to kill.

So I took a long walk circumambulating the White House, walked past the ubiquitous Secret Service agents and the scowling DC police officers and eventually ended up at E Street Cinema (intersection of 11th St NW and E St) to watch Stephen Frears’ new film Philomena.

Philomena is a Lovely MoviePoster in Lobby of E Street Cinema
Washington DC

Philomena features the nonpareil British actress Judi Dench (of M fame from the James Bond movies) along with Steve Coogan and a bunch of no-namers.

Christians –  Bastards Über Alles

As the peerless SI has often said, all religions are evil and, paradoxical to their tenets, bring out the worst in humans.

But some religions like Christianity are infinitely worse than the others.

The horrors inflicted by Hindus, Jews, Muslims and people of all other faiths combined pale into insignificance besides the untold suffering imposed on the world by Christians for the last two millenniums.

Jesus, if indeed such an idiotic masochist even existed, would be appalled at the supreme inhumanity of his followers, both the laity and the clergy.

Catholic priests find their jollies in buggering and traumatizing young boys while Catholic nuns get their orgasm by inflicting maximum cruelty on young girls placed in their care.

Our eponymous heroine Philomena Lee was one of countless victims of the heartless Church, cruel to the end.

Beautiful Story

Philomena is an extremely moving account of our Irish Catholic protagonist’s search for her son Anthony.

And the unholy, cruel, deceitful obstructions placed by the Catholic Church to Philomena’s search even 50 years later.

Anthony, the illegitimate son Philomena had in 1952 when she was but a young girl with little knowledge of the world,  was taken away from her by the Convent and sold to wealthy Americans.

Yes, yes, yes, Catholic nuns are no different from you and me in their insane greed and unseemly love of money. Continue reading »

Nov 222013
 

For me, the 75th Hunger Games proved to be as tiresome, and no less unfulfilling, as the 74th.

Barely have Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her cohorts returned to their impoverished District 12 after their victory in Hunger Games 74 and embark on the victory tour when they’re caught up in President Snow’s plot to destroy Katniss for inspiring rebellion in the districts.

Kill or Be Killed

Snow is beset by the same worry that besets all tyrants, from Stalin to Kim Jong-un.

The constant fear that rebellion could lead to an uprising that could bring forth the dreaded revolution.

Along with a violent crackdown on the districts, Snow orders all current champions to compete in the Quarter Quell, a once in 25-years event a.k.a. 75th Hunger Games.

Katniss and her boy-toy Peeta get the dire warning from their mentor Haymitch Abernathy:

Last year was child’s play. This year, we’re going to be dealing with disciplined killers.

The rest of Hunger Games Catching Fire is a regurgitation of the wild, Darwinian kill or be killed adventure in the forests.

Escape from the poisonous fog; Escape from the wild baboons; Escape from lightning; Escape from blood rain; Escape from the rivals.

None of which I found stirring.

Meanwhile, I prayed for escape from the endless tedium but to little avail. Continue reading »

Nov 212013
 

America has gone mad over the second installment of Hunger Games – Catching Fire.

Starting Thursday, theaters across the U.S. are running a gazillion shows for Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

I watched the first episode of Hunger Games and wasn’t impressed.

But then I’m among the rare few that can distinguish class from crass!

Why the Madness

Frankly, I don’t understand the hysteria behind Hunger Games (although I’m a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence, the heroine of the two Hunger Games movies).

I suppose one must be young, White, born in America and have an IQ below 75 to enjoy a movie where the central theme of the first episode was children killing other children in a vicious fight to death.

The audience in the hall where I’m writing this blog post, waiting for Hunger Games: Catching Fire to start, is mostly White, 75% below 25 years.

I’m guesstimating 65% of the people in the hall belong to the distaff sex.

There’s still another 30 minutes for the movie to start and the hall is already 85% full. And this is just one of the 11 halls where Hunger Games: Catching Fire is playing tonight.

SI will have the review of Hunger Games: Catching Fire later tonight.

Related Stories:
Hunger Games Lacks Strong Emotional Heft