Skip to content

Only the Ignorant and the Evil Still Deny that the Rich Cause Homelessness

Supervising Judge Jean T. Schneider belongs in prison for violating New York City’s right to counsel laws. This is why I hate judicial elections. We know nothing about them, even in the voter guides, and they have no competition, so if they run, they get in, assuming they meet eligibility requirements (which include a law degree and passing the bar–yes, people have asked me why I haven’t run for judge in off-year elections, such as 2019, and this is why–2022 was the first year I theoretically could have run for office since 2016 and didn’t).

There are some very evil people in the comments listening to far-right corporate propaganda about the high level of job openings. Others are correctly pointing out the mass layoffs at major companies that betray that lie, one that was debunked for even the lowest-level jobs.


Testimony Before the New York City Council General Welfare Committee, January 18, 2023

My name is Scott Andrew Hutchins, and I am currently in the third year of my CityFHEPS voucher and very concerned if I hit year 5 without finding steady employment. I just turned 47 years old. I came to New York City as a graduate student in 2003 and completed my master’s degree in 2005. In 2012, I entered the shelter system because medical issues in my back and legs make anything but desk work unsustainable for me. The only reason I got into an apartment on CityFHEPS is because Urban Justice Center intervened after DHS had an in-house doctor declare me mentally ill (after numerous independent specialists had not) so that they could move me into supportive housing where I could be drugged up and continue to make them money without causing a nuisance. Submitted as evidence on my behalf were Excel logs of 3,895 job applications since 2012 that resulted in a mere 33 job interviews that were mainly scams.

I am here to demand several corrections be made to the CityFHEPS program. The first of which is expanding eligibility. The shelter system costs the city more than double each month to house people in shelters rather than in apartments, but CityFHEPS, like the Linc voucher I had before it, is dependent on the whims of employers in a weak job market where employers continue to ghost potential employees and claim that no one wants to work. The eligibility also needs to be expanded to the undocumented. DHS doesn’t collect data on immigration status for the shelter system, so we don’t even know precisely how large this problem is, only individual cases who have come forward. This eligibility expansion needs to come in the form of actual legislation, as resolutions have not worked.

Another problem with CityFHEPS are unnecessary rules that create a backlog of wait times, such as the 90-day rule, the utility deduction that has wasted many a homeless New Yorker’s time on housing for which they are not found ineligible until the last minute, and the rent reasonableness rule, which again makes homeless people innocent victims of those with money and power.

Then there are the internal abuses by those with money and power such as the extraordinary processing times for apartment approval. This is a continuation of the Robert Doar tradition of making shelter clients start their housing packages all over again after being involuntarily transferred to another shelter, as happened to me eight times, five of which were in the middle of the night. These are serious bureaucratic issues that need to be resolved to increase the efficiency of the process to get people out of shelter. While I don’t know the specific issues, I can say that the system seems to drag its feet. As one of the authors of the Picture the Homeless white paper, “The Business of Homelessness,” it seems that the profit motive is again behind these issues, namely the NGOs that provide shelter making too much money off the city. It did not surprise me to learn that in 2019, the CEO of Bushwick Economic Development Corporation, which runs Eddie Harris Men’s Shelter, the first shelter to which I was sent after Bellevue, was convicted of embezzlement, something that I believed to be true seven years earlier simply based on the fact that they kept running out of food before the serving period was over.

Finally, there needs to be an expansion of the Source of Income Discrimination unit in the City Commission on Human Rights. This unit is underfunded and has too few attorneys to deal with the magnitude of the problem. Brokers and landlords have been repeatedly identified as serial discriminators against those with vouchers. If the enforcement were not so lax, this would not be the rampant problem that it is. The council needs to push back against the mayor’s insistence on disinvesting from anything other than the police force. We know that cops are not the solution to homelessness or much else, either, and the city’s budget needs to reflect that.

Stop Spreading Nazi Propaganda: on Holodomor

Socialist Musings

Holodomor is the term given to the early 1930’s famines in the Soviet Union. The popular anti-Soviet propaganda states that the famine was man-made, especially to orchestrate a genocide of the Ukrainian people. The supposed millions of deaths from the “famine-genocide” are usually counted in the deaths under communism. It is not only a popular anti-communist myth that is circulated around in capitalist circles but also one that is believed by a large sector of the socialist left.

View original post 955 more words

The Best Films I First Saw in 2022

I made this in conjunction with a ListChallenges version, which can be found here:

Rated 10/10:

La belle captive [Beautiful Prisoner] (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1983)
Head (Bob Rafelson, 1968)
The Ladykillers (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 2004)
Automata/The Devil’s Machine (Lawrie Brewster, 2019)
Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (David Lynch, 1995)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
The Infiltrators: A True Story (Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera, 2019)
The Black Cat (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1934)
Orpheus in der Underwelt/Orpheus in the Underworld (Gyula Trebitsch, Joachim Hess, 1971)
A Ghost Story (David Lowery, 2017)
Interior N.Y. Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (G.W. “Billy” Bitzer, 1905)
乾いた花/Kawaita hana/Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964)
Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952)
The Baron of Arizona (Samuel Fuller, 1950)
One Hundred a Day (Gill Armstrong [Gillian Armstrong], 1973)
West Side Story (Steven Spielberg, 2021)
Inoperable (Christopher Lawrence Chapman, 2017)
Encanto (Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith, 2021)
Come Away (Brenda Chapman, 2020)
Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989)
आनंद/Anand [Joy] (Hrishikesh Mukherjee, 1971)
Seeing New York by Yacht (Frederick S. Armitage, A.E. Weed, 1902)

Rated 9/10:

London Road (Rufus Norris, 2015)
The Nanny Diaries (Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman, 2007) 
Histoires extraordinaires [Extraordinary Tales]/Tre passi nel delirio [Three Steps Into Delirium]/Spirits of the Dead/Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, Federico Fellini, 1968)
Shazam! (David F. Sanders, 2019)
मेरी प्यारी बिंदु/Meri Pyaari Bindu/My Sweet Point/My Sweet Bindu (Akshay Roy, 2017)
The Princess and the Frog (John Musker, Ron Clements, 2009)
Je t’aime je t’aime/I Love You, I Love You (Alain Resnais, 1967)
Correction Please, or How We Got Into Pictures (Noël Burch, 1979)
All the Creatures Were Stirring (Rebekah McKendry, David Ian McKendry, 2018)
The Bishop’s Wife (Henry Koster, 1947)
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made (Michael Laicini, David Amito, 2018)
No More Excuses (Robert Downey (a prince), Robert Soukis, 1968)
Savage Messiah: The Story of a Young French Art Student and the Lonely Polish Woman He Met in Paris Just Before the First World War (Ken Russell, 1972)
The Alphabet (David Lynch, 1968)
Trans-Europ-Express (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1967)
The Bed Sitting Room (Richard Lester, 1969)
Land of the Dead (George A. Romero, 2005)
Behind the Movement (Aric Avelino, 2018)
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)
Coney Island at Night (Edwin S. Porter, 1905)
После смерти/Posle smerti/After Death (Yevgeni Bauer, 1915)
Cimarron (Wesley Ruggles, 1931) Review
Un’ombra nell’ombra/A Shadow in a Shadow/Ring of Darkness/Circle of Fear/Satan’s Wife (Pier Carpi, 1979)
Aquaman (James Wan, 2018)
E Dio disse a Caino…/And God Said to Cain… (Anthony Dawson [Antonio Margheriti], 1970)
Алекса́ндр Не́вский/Alyeksandr Nyevskiy/Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein, Dmitri Vasiliev, 1938)
The Way (Emilio Estevez, 2010)
La ragazza che sapeva troppo/The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Mario Bava, 1963)
Black Magic (Gregory Ratoff, 1949
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Stacie Passon, 2018) 
Бежин луг/Bezhin lug/Bezhin Meadow (Sergei Eisenstein, 1937) [1967 Naum Kleiman reconstruction]
Cinema Senza Temp: Così è la vita/Timeless Cinema: That’s Life: Vittorio De Sica (Sandro Lai, 2001)
Termination (Scott Robson, Andrew Jaksch, Philip Mckie, Daniel Holliday, Francisco Garcia Mateos, 2019)
Le Golem/The Golem of Prague/The Golem (Julien Duvivier, 1936)
Heller in Pink Tights (George Cukor, 1960)
My Brilliant Career (Gill Armstrong [Gillian Armstrong], 1979)
Sneakers (Phil Alden Robinson, 1992)
Town Bloody Hall (Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker, 1979)
Kedi (Ceyda Torun, 2016)
Heartless: The Story of the Tinman (Brandon McCormick, 2010)
La Nuit americaine/Day for Night (François Truffaut, 1973)
डरना ज़रूरी है/Darna zaroori hai [Must Be Afraid] (Sajid Khan, Ram Gopal Varma, Prawal Raman, Vivek Shah, Jiji Philip, Chekravarthy, Manish Gupta, 2006)
Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise, 1959)
The First Part of Henry the Sixt/Henry VI, Part 1 (Jane Howell, 1983)
Strefa nagosci/Nude Area (Urszula Antoniak, 2014)
Luna (Dave McKean, 2014)
Lady Macbeth (William Oldroyd, 2016)
The Second Part of Henry the Sixt/Henry VI, Part II (Jane Howell, 1983) 
The Doctor’s Dilemma (Anthony Asquith, 1958)
As You Like It (Kenneth Branagh, 2006)
Real Life (Pamela Yates, Newton Thomas Sigel, 1986)
Lunacy: A Film Timeline (Dave McKean, 2015)
Evil Eye (Mario Bava, 1965) [AIP English-language re-redit of La ragazza che sapeva troppo with new music by Les Baxter]
Naboer/Neighbours/Next Door (Pål Sletaune, 2005)
Dreams of Cinema (:: kogonada, 2015)
A Ghost Story and The Inevitable Passing of Time (Trailer Park Content, 2017)
Us Again (Zach A. Parrish, 2021)
The Dark Depths of Black Manta (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Superhero Hooky (Jason Badower, 2019)
“Shazamily Values (2019)
Ciné regards: Hollywood U.S.A. en Australie: Judy Davis, une emission de Catherine Laporte-Coolen (Michel Minaud, 1980)
My Brilliant Career: Luciana Arrighi (Kate Elmore, 2019)
The Last Performance/De tolv Klinger./The Twelve Swords (Paul Fejos [Pál Fejös], 1929)
Raya and the Last Dragon (Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, with Paul Briggs, John Ripa, 2021)
Far from the Tree (with introduction) (Natalie Nourigat, 2021) 9

Rated 8/10:

Futureworld (Richard T. Heffron, 1976) Review
La dama rossa uccide sette volte/The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Emilio P. Miraglia, 1972)
Black Moon (Louis Malle, 1975)
The Raging Moon (Bryan Forbes, 1971)
State Fair (Walter Lang, 1945)
Mulan (Niki Caro, 2020) 
Pursued (Raoul Walsh, 1947)
The Wolverine (James Mangold, 2013)
Nine (Rob Marshall, 2009)
Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949)
The Golem (Yoav Paz, Doron Paz, 2018)
The Story of Hansel and Gretel (Ray Harryhausen, 1951)
The Skin Game (Alfred Hitchcock, 1931)
Emelie (Michael Thelin, 2015)
Never Steal Anything Small (Charles Lederer, 1959)
Looney Lens: Split Skyscrapers (Al Brick, 1924)
Westworld (Michael Crichton, 1973) Review
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (John Newland, 1973)
The Passaic Textile Strike: The Prologue (Sam Russak, et al., 1926)
Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (Nadia Tass, 2004)
Billion Dollar Brain (Ken Russell, 1967)
The Making of a Film About a Bunch of People in Virgil Texas/The Making of True Stories (Kim Hendrickson, 2018)
Deadline – U.S.A. (Richard Brooks, 1952)
Le meraviglie di Aladino/The Wonders of Aladdin (Henry Levin, [Mario Bava], 1961)
Happy Christmas (Joe Swanberg, 2014)
A Day in Virgil, Texas 30 Years Later/No Time to Look Back (Bill Ross, Turner Ross, 2018)
Happy Family/Monster Family (Holger Tappe, 2017)
Geometria (Gullermo del Toro, 1987, revised 2010)
Jack the Giant Killer (Nathan Juran, 1962)
Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre (Frederick S. Armitage, 1901)
Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Review (Ray Harryhausen, 1946)
The Blizzard (American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1899)
The Steam Engines of Oz (Sean Patrick O’Reilly, 2017)
Lower Broadway (Robert K. Bonine, 1902)
The Long Walk Home (Richard Pearce, 1990)
Scenes from Ford Educational Weekly (1916-1924)

I gave the following DVD featurettes all 8s, alphabetical order:

Becoming Aquaman (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Behind the Scenes of Lady Macbeth (2016)
Bringing the Dead to Life (Jim Bacon, Michael Meadows, 2005)
Camino Americana: Taking The Way on the Road (2011)
Comic-Con 2017: Twin Peaks Panel (2017)
A Day with the Living Dead (Jim Bacon, Michael Meadows, 2005)
Germaine Greer (Kim Hendrickson, 2020)
Gillian Armstrong (Kate Elmore, 2019)
Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman (Arnold Skotland, 2018)
Heroines of Atlantis (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Imagine Performance (Warner Bros., 2004)
James Wan: World Builder (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Kingdoms of the Seven Seas (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
The Magical World of Shazam! (Aaron Skotland, 2019)
Making Emelie (edited by Elijah Drenner, 2016)
Musical Montage: The Eisenstein/Prokofiev Partnership (Russell Merritt, 1995)
Norman Mailer (Kim Hendrickson, 2020)
The Remaining Bits [deleted scenes from Land of the Dead]
Scene Study Breakdown: Submarine Attack (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Scene Study Breakdown: Showdown in Sicily (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Scene Study Breakdown: The Trench (Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., 2018)
Shazam! Carnival Scene Study (2019)
Super Fun Zac (2019)
Tibor Kalman (Kim Hendrickson, 2018)
Town Bloody Hall Reunion 2004 (Kim Hendrickson, 2020)
The Way: Father & Son: Uncovering the Characters (2011)
Welcome to Bleak House (Curtis Tsui, 2010)
When Shaun Met George (Daniel Medford, 2005)

Kamala Harris: Black White Supremacist

I had a friend since second grade, who is the daughter of a longtime Black Panther chapter leaser who was regularly featured on the local news, block me on Facebook during the Democratic Primary for calling Kamala Harris a black white supremacist for her actions while a district attorney.

Here is Kamala Harris displaying white supremacist symbols written on a Ukrainian flag:

The woman who blocked me is a doctor. Surely she is intelligent enough to understand how problematic even a successful black woman can be.

People Complaining About Twitter But Not Facebook Have No Ethics

I was prevented from posting the Jimmy Dore video quoting a NATO official stating that he believes NATO is pushing for World War III because I responded to Moshe Rosenfeld ‘s comment with “Fuck you, racist pig.” I am entirely in the right, and Facebook is entirely in the wrong. I unfriended both Moshe and Jeff about a day each after they friended me because I saw that they were making racist posts and comments, some of which I have reported. The last post I was allowed to make was “Had to unfriend a Zionist and an anti-Semite who both asked to be friends with me.”

Facebook’s community standards clearly state that haye speech and incitement are not allowed. They do not say that vulgar language is suspension-worthy, and one can easily find other examples of it. Anyone who thinks that what I said is worse than what Moshe Rosenfeld said has no ethics.

I appealed, but I have had tweets from December 9 in appeal at Twitter for saying basically the same thing in the same context. I am right, Twitter is wrong, and 100% of people with ethics will take my side.

The only difference is that the mainstream discourse is that Twitter suddenly became racist when Elon Musk took over ownership of the company, but neither Facebook nor Mark Zuckerberg are treated as racist by most media, even leftists on YouTube. This is because anti-Arab racism is socially acceptable, which is a disgusting hypocrisy.

In our depraved society that is so close to self-destruction, ethical people are constantly being deplatformed while racist capitalists are protected. Around 2003, I read a book that said that the reality of “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” is that the one-eyed man is dismissed as a freak. It may have been D.G. Compton’s The Unsleeping Eye, but I wasn’t able to find it when scanning for it.

Update 12/29: Facebook insists that Moshe Rosenfeld did nothing wrong, which is absolute proof that whoever reviewed the comment is also a racist pig.

Why Anybody Who Complains About Poor People Getitng Money from the Government Is a Whiny Idiot

Film review: Westworld (Michael Crichton, 1973) and Futureworld (Richard T. Heffron, 1976)

I saw the original films Westworld and Futureworld back to back on the 1st. I actually thought the latter was darker and more interesting, but only a couple of critics at the time did, possible out of prejudice for AIP as a disreputable company. Westworld is the more fun, but it’s lighter and runs out of ideas halfway through to make it basically a horror film stalk. They don’t use the term “computer virus” (a term that had yet to be coined), but they use language suggestive of it, which was very much science fiction at the time. It seems to me that the robots would have to be AI, and that they’re learning to assert themselves, although artificial intelligence is never mentioned. The gunslinger was a jerk from the moment he was introduced (a masterful performance by Yul Brynner, who looks convincingly mechanical), but I thought it was cool when Daphne (Anne Randall), a castle servant in Medievalworld slapped a guy who tried to force himself on her despite her programming. I think the film says a lot more about people who want to kill and rape robots as a vacation than anything else, which I think Crichton said was the point. He complained that audiences laughed in the wrong places.

The more sinister Futureworld gives Delos two additional parks–Futureworld and Spaworld (Eastworld, full of samurai and geishas, is shown to be in development) with the previous three rebuilt (the old Westworld, which was actually called Westernworld for the first half of the original film, appears abandoned in three key scenes). We get stats about all the deaths and injuries in the first film, including 54 guests and more than 95 employees. I kind of wonder which of the featured androids killed people. Did Arlette (Linda Scott), the prostitute that thought Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) was “very nice,” kill people? Daphne didn’t kill that guy (Dick Van Patten) because the king did, but it wasn’t out of character. Romanworld was a mess of killing, but we only got glimpses of it. Peter saves a robot in a torture chamber (Julie Marcus) only to accidentally kill her with water in spite of her refusal, thinking she is one of the guests.

In Futureworld, everyone is an android including the staff, and Delos Corporation tries to off two reporters who get too nosy as the androids make clones of world leaders. This film looks particularly ’70s with the locations used (I really like the style of the grand entrance, which reminded me of the holding room when you report for jury duty at the Indianapolis City-County Building, but the location is actually in Houston). We get glimpses into more invasive technologies such as a recorder of dreams (something that would be useful for a creative artist but a nightmare as a surveillance technology). This is where the gunslinger reappears from the first film, apart from recap footage of the previous film, which uses actual footage from Westworld. The main hole seems to be the question of why the androids would want to kill world leaders and replace them with cloned puppets. (The trailers of both films give away the entire plot.) Does their programming make them inveterate capitalist imperialists because they were made by a big corporation? Do they think controlling world leaders is the only, or most efficient, way that they will be granted human rights? Such a violent means seems self-defeating. The idea of humans being replaced did come to me as I watched the first film, but it wasn’t realized. There are even heat sensors in the guns that make it impossible to shoot another guest. It seems to me that passing as human and getting elected would be the best way for androids to get rights, not replacing existing people, but that would be a drama and not an action thriller. That makes me think of the ending of Gattaca, in which the main character forges a lot of stuff so that he can pass as genetically engineered when not being so makes one a second-class citizen, and is ultimately given a pass for his efforts despite getting caught. Would an android be treated the same way? Was the ending of Gattaca realistic? I found it heartwarming but implausible when I watched it.

One imagines that Delos would have been shut down for good once the reporters escaped and presumably published their findings at the end of the film. Assassinations of leaders of countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Japan would not be tolerated. The climactic scenes are pretty high tension, and I had a hard time telling for sure who was the original and who was the clone, which seemed to be by design. This leads into a rather sexist moment. Wikipedia says that it was set in the eighties. If either film specified that it was in the future, I missed it. It seemed to me that it was about new tech introduced to the then-present. It definitely has some egregiously sexist elements like bosses in romantic relationships with their employees in an uncritical way. This comes into play at the climax when the reporters assume that their clones won’t kiss the same way despite having all their memories, strengths, and weaknesses.

Neither film is perfect, but they do both have great ideas and are pretty consistently compelling. I give them both 8/10 or a B and can’t understand the huge disparity of praise that persists between the two. I thought Dana Lee as Takaguchi’s aide was an influence on Joe Dante’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch, as both this character and the one played by Gedde Watanabe in the latter film are Japanese guys whose character is largely built around taking photographs constantly, something that perturbs the Delos staff. Futureworld pulls you right in because it starts with a guy winning a trip to Delos on a game show in a comically exaggerated manner. He shows up mutliple times for comic relief, including asking Tracy Ballard (Blythe Danner), one of the reporters, if she plans to have sex with a robot, which she doesn’t. (The film was given a new rating of PG-13 when it was released on DVD. Westworld probably should have, too.) More tension is built by having Frenchy (Ed Geldard) get assasinated at the beginning of the film, but I suppose enough thrillers use this setup that critics preferred the breezy, accidental nature of the original film (which Crichton was clearly revisiting when he wrote Jurassic Park, which was much more cynical and sinister in the novel than the film–Dr. Dennis Bingham suggested in class that John Hammod was softened so much for the film version (the screenplayt is credited to Crichton and David Koepp, who also wrote the first of the sequels) because Spielberg personally related to both him and Oskar Schindler as people wanting to improve the world, one in a more frivolous way, and the other in an important way, reflecting Spielerg’s frequent shifting back and forth from popcorn movies to earnest historical dramas) to the sinister conspiracy of the sequel.

Apart from Yul Brynner, composer Fred Karlin was the only major creative personnel to return for the sequel. His score for the first film is sparse, and much of what it does include is light-hearted honkytonk-style music for the saloon scenes and suspense cues. The score for the sequel is darker, but the action and suspense music is more melodic, and the use of brass is more characteristically 1970s. I immediately wanted to buy the soundtrack, but balked at the three-figure prices I found for it on eBay (it can be heard on YouTube if you want to have to hear commercials in-between every track).

Futureworld wasn’t successful, and a television series in 1980 called Beyond Westworld ignored it but still flopped after five episodes were produced and only three aired. The complete series is available on DVD, and I have an interlibrary loan request for it before I go into the more contemporary series, which the library also has.

Colonizer Kid Musk Suspends Me for Anti-Racist Tweets, Endorses Anti-Palestinian Hate Speech

These are currently in appeal, and I can’t use the site until a decision is made because I’ve so far refused to remove the tweets. One friend said that it’s because I sound like a petulant child and am calling someone a pice of shit, as though that Trumps racist rhetoric and calling an organization like Jewish Voice for Peace a hate group.

It’s really disgusting how these powerful racists seemingly have the right to control the narrative.

Facebook’s Oversight Board Is Run by Racist Pieces of Shit

I got a 30-day suspension from Facebook in September for saying “Zionists are scum.” How is it any less true than the perfectly acceptable “Nazis are scum?”

Another Capitalist Reveals Himself to Be a Genocidal Pervert

The fact that he states that he is a parody account of Alex Jones kind of undermines my title, but he certainly sounds like a typical conservative…

The Idiocy of Telling Me to Blame My Homelessnes on Myself

Dr. Richard D. Wolff (around 11 minutes in): “We could have a society that says that to you, ‘We’re very sorry. You’d love to be that. Screw you!’ but this is very likely to get you upset. Upset at a system that encourages you to study and learn in order to get this job which we then say that we’re not going to give you. It’s like telling the dog to jump for the biscuit and raising the biscuit each time the dog jumps higher. At a certain point, the dog is going to bite you. And this happens with people, too. So we have to come up with a way to distribute too few jobs to all the people who want them, who are qualified to do them, who would be passionate about it. We have to figure out a way that they won’t get angry at the system that has failed to provide them with a job. Solution: ‘meritocracy,’ school, university. We are gonna make sure that we’re gonna grade–I’m asked as a professor, all my life, to grade my students, you are an A, you are a B-; you are a D. What’s that for? I don’t know enough about the student to give them a grade. I’ve had them in my classroom for a few weeks. This is ridiculous! And it’s offensive! So why do we do it? Because we have to make sure that the employer can give the job to the one with an A. Why? Because the ones with Bs and Cs will then blame themselves for not getting the job rather than the system that has failed to provide them with work. It’s a political issue. We want to make sure that those of you who aren’t going to get a job because this system has no job for you are instead angry at yourself and will bury yourself in a happy hour because you’re so upset. That’s all it’s about. The reality is, it’s one of the many mechanisms that takes a failed system and transforms the failure not of the system, which we could change, but of something in you that’s inadequate. It is a cruel form of torture, and those of you that suffer from it, and everyone in this room to some degree has this in their lives, and if you don’t think so, you need to think about it some more. The system can be changed. The movement around the world now to change this system is greater than anything I have seen in my lifetime. I have been able in the last little while to talk to you in very profoundly in very critical ways about capitalism.

“I’m tempted to end in the way one of my favorite comedians, George Carlin, used to. While I was talking critically about capitalism, did any lightning come through? Did anybody die? Do you think you’ll managed to get home? Is it all such a big deal? Come on. Capitalism is now failing! It’s failing the vast majority of people on this planet. it’s making a tiny number of people wildly wealthy. Last week we had a report in The New York Times that a milestone had been reached, a two-bedroom condo that was sold for over one hundred million dollars. For those of you who know, it’s Madison Park, Madison and 23rd Street, a tall, slim building–the top four floors are occupied by Rupert Murdoch, but he’s not the one–somebody else paid–he paid less–because the prices are going up. This is obscenity, and the mass of people are more open now to understanding this when it’s presented fairly clearly, and maybe with a little humor, than ever before. It’s our job to take that message where we work, where we live, and spread it, and try to get people to see what’s going on, which they three-quarters already do, and then, the big one, get over the anxiety about organization.”

Let’s look at my own grades. I didn’t have anything lower than an A- in my first three semesters of graduate school. In my fourth semester–two Bs and a B+. One of the Bs came from Dr. Cynthia Chris, whose comments on my paper said that I didn’t dig deeply enough in my analysis but that she had no suggestions for how to do so. At best, it was a gut reaction based on nothing concrete. At my exit interview, Dr. Edward Miller told me that any time I came up in faculty meetings, they said that I was the smartest person in the program, smarter than any of the faulty, but not personable enough. Why? Because I wasn’t hanging out with them on smoke breaks, one of the minority of the 15 or so of us in the graduate program who didn’t smoke. I have a very negative reaction to tobacco smoke, and my nonsmoking grandmother with two smoking husbands, and who worked in an office full of chain smokers after she lost the second one, died of metastatic lung cancer. It was also briefly noted that I don’t strike up conversations with professors in the hallway, which is pretty typical introverted behavior. Were they striking up conversations with me in the hallway? Generally no. A decision was made to lower my grade point average to below the 3.66 minimum required to stay on to write a dissertation. Those two As and a B+ brought my graduating GPA to a 3.46. I’m sure people who are better at math than I am can calculate what my GPA was before that fateful semester, but I’m pretty sure it comes out to higher than 3.66. There was also Dr. Ying Zhu, who went from “you’re very talented” in class to, “I’m sorry I won’t be able to do that >>click<<” when attempting to get a letter of recommendation to a postgraduate program.

On November 20, 2004, I had my first attack of sciatica. On June 2, 2005, I walked for commencement with a degree that said August 31, 2005 because I applied too late for spring graduation, a deadline that had passed by the time of said exit interview. On June 15, 2005, I was in the emergency room with my diagnosis of scoliosis and herniated discs and identification of sciatica. The correct diagnosis of bilateral tendinosis in my feet was delayed until an MRI on February 25, 2020, after nine years of treatment for an erroneous diagnosis of plantar fasciitis on October 25, 2011 that led to nine years of treatments with no changes, and previous writing off as either caused by shoe shape (a contributing factor, but more to pain on the side of my feet) before 2005 or a side effect of my herniated discs between 2005 and 2011.

Apart from the fact that I never personally partook of a happy hour and do not drink alcohol in general, I think Wolff is incorrect about employers caring about your grades. None of the resume books I got from the library when I finished my B.A. in 1999 said anything about putting your GPA on your resume, and no prospective employer ever asked to see transcripts or even inquired about my GPA back in 2000 when I got an interview every few months or so, not counting temp agencies. Later books I used after graduate school told me to do this, but I eventually got to a point where people said that 2005 was too far back for my GPA to be relevant. I think the true reality is that there are so few positions available that businesses already know who they want to fill them, and it’s usually their nephew, niece, or friend’s kid.

If I sound angry, I’ve been arguing with people on Twitter who think that they’re better than me for not going to trade school (which, amongst my slashed finger in sixth grade industrial arts, and the shape of the metal dustpan I made in seventh grade industrial arts, and the plastic letter opener handle that was never smooth enough for the teacher no matter how much I filed and buffed it, was never going to happen) and are being ableist in the extreme telling a 46 year-old on a cane to go into an apprenticeship now coupled with idiots using circular reasoning to “prove” that lack of interviews equates to lack of ability, yes I’m extremely angry right now. It’s still a bunch of pompous asses saying “major in what you suck at because ‘demand,’ then blame yourself when you fail” who are also anti-intellectuals who dismiss academia, whether it’s gifted and talented classes, which I was in before the normal age threshold of grade 2 (and which also had nothing to do with math, which was the only academic subject I didn’t do well at when I put forth the effort–my high school grades were mediocre because they were often based more on completion of busywork than on papers and tests, which tended to bring my grades up, but not as much as they should have), or university.

If You Think Stalin Was Worse Than Churchill, You’ve Been Propagandized

Here a right-wing historian admits that the claim that Stalin killed more than Hitler is utterly false, whereas Churchill killed three million in the Bengal famine. The video shows that the survival rate in the gulags was far greater than in capitalist French prison camps.

The Left Really Needs to Start Voting Green and Not Democrat

It’s not just far-right capitalist loons like Jim Burkiewicz who reject academic studies for the desires of megacorporations. Bernie Sanders, The Young Turks, Kyle Kulinski, and Mike Figueredo are all sellout shills.

Facebook Just Keeps Getting Stupider

TIn the previous post, I noted getting suspended for someone else’s post that I shared. Her suspension lasted the full two days, but when I disagreed, they realized they had made a mistake and put it back up. Because Facebook is completely unprincipled and does whatever it feels like, she was not even given the same options to fight the decisison.

I have now been suspended again because they don’t comprehend the use of hypotheticals in a debate to show that the other person’s argument is nonsense.

This is my appeal:

Jim Burkiewicz and I have been “debating” for months regarding capitalism vs. socialism. I put the word in quotation marks because he’s sending stupid memes while I’m sending him peer-reviewed academic papers that get immediate hahas without reading them. The post in question was a direct response to a meme that says, “There is no success in blaming others. Success starts when you take responsibility for your life.” ( As a response to this, “So if I beat you with my cane, blame yourself” cannot reasonably read as an actual threat of violence, it’s simply pointing out the absurdity of his logic, which I have described in previous threads as “religious.” The point is that if he were physically attacked, he wouldn’t take responsibility for it and absolutely would blame others and would be correct if he did so. I don’t know how an intelligent person could possibly consider this an actual threat of violence in context, which you claim to take into account. If you examine the thread futher, you will see that some tweets from Jim Burkiewicz, along with Billy Sayre, and, to a certain extent, Rōbért Kight, are bordeline abusive. Sayre is harassing me as a physically disabled person for not doing physical labor despite physical disabilty on the grounds that his brother fractured his back doing so. It’s misery porn mixed with lies of the extreme right such as insisting that Nazis were actually socialists (example:, posts that Facebook rightly should have been flagging as false information, as they are easily debunked.

If you believe that this was a serious threat of violence or incitement, I would have a couple of choice words beginning with “i” to describe you that I won’t state because I have been suspended in the past for using them.

Considering that none of my appeals have ever actually been addressed by the appeals board, I doubt this one will be either.

While People Deactivate Twitter Because They Hate Elon Musk, Facebook Keeps Getting Worse

They suspended Elizabeth, and they suspended me for sharing it. They called it hate speech, but they usually allow ableist right-wingers to keep posting.

Even more unethical, Elizabeth git a two-day suspension while I got a 30-day suspension. Anyone who agrees with this decision is utterly depraved.

This reminds me of third grade when Jason Stowe made up a poem with the N word in it. I told people he was saying it, and eventually two of my teachers, Mrs. Sharon Johnston and Mr. Brent Andrews, were all in my face about it insisting that i made it up despite Jason’s admission that he had.

I found Mr. Andrews, now in his eighties, on Facebook some months back. A number of my fellow students were connected with him, so I added him, too. I doubt these two things have anything to do with one another.

Funny How People Who Defend Capitalism Are Consistently Ableist AF

I said that I am “not able” to do grunt work. I swear trolls like this must be paid off by the right because that “beneath you” smear demonstrating their lack of reading comprehension skills is here…

If You Are Pro-Cop, You Might as Well Be a Nazi.

“Arbeit Macht Frei”: Capitalism Embraces Slavery

A Perfect Example of Why 100% of Rational, Intelligent People Support Police Abolition

And n o one will be held accountable again. It’s as though cop killers are the only protection regular people have from these pieces of shit, but they never seem to be in the right place to actually protect someone like this. If they are fired, they will just be transferred somewhere else and continue to leech off taxpayers.

Cops are garbage people who should all be locked up.

How much trash do cops get away with that don’t get made public?

Crafts and Cons

I went to this presentation at the Grolier Club. Unfortunately, Michael was already up to The Woggle-Bug (1905) by the time I came in, although that’s my fault–I was about 15 minutes late. I bought Notes on a Cowardly Lion. I wanted The Art of Oz but didn’t feel comfortable spending that much money at present. Even buying Notes on a Cowardly Lion, a book I’ve known about since childhood but never read except a little bit when my parents wanted to tour a new subdivision, and that book was on a desk in one of the houses, at $22 was very anxiety producing, especially since I had already splurged what I thought I could afford of my artist grant for the month. I already have The Annotated Wizard of Oz.

Stephen Schwartz, whom I met for at least the third time (previously at The Dramatists Guild and Unity), said he read Wicked thinking of it as source material after a woman whom he met on vacation mentioned it and felt blessed to have gotten the rights. It was interesting how the feedfback he got from audiences was basically that the MGM Wizard of Oz was a documentary that he couldn’t contradict, although Baum (and Maguire) could be contradicted all he wanted–Maguire was generous in that respect. There’s just something about it that seems to make book-faithful adaptations of Baum too trepidatious for producers, much like adaptations conforming Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus to ideas in “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (author disputed), which Baum felt free to ignore in his 1902 novel, giving Santa Claus ten reindeer (Glossie, Flossie, Racer, Pacer, Reckless, Speckless, Ready, Steady, Fearless, and Peerless), for example.

I remember a young woman at my first Oz club convention, Michelle Naylor, telling me that she was disgusted by a traveling puppet show early in the novel Wicked that depicted a mother and daughter in a threesome with the same man and throwing the book against the wall when she reached that point. It is certainly interesting the way Oz fandom, at least at that point, had its conservative strands. An incident in which the International Wizard of Oz Club’s founding secretary, Fred M. Meyer, parked his wheelchair in front of the door Dee Michel’s talk, “The Appeal of Oz for Gay Men” at the Oz Centennial convention at Indiana University and prevented children from entering even though I’m told the talk was no more sexual than the heterosexuality in Disney films, garnered a lot of negative attention. (Not being LGBTQ+, I was more interested in another panel–there were something like four each session that year–but I did briefly see Fred pulling this stunt, and people talked about it for many years after.)  That might have been the panel about aging and death in Oz, in which Nathan pointed out that Belfaygor of Bourne in Ruth Plumly Thompson’s Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz proves that cellular growth occurs in Oz even though we are told in later Baum Oz books that Ozites don’t age or die, and this is inconsistent with the early books, particularly The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which not only the two witches, but over 100 animals, are killed, and Nick Chopper mentions providing end of life care to his parents before he became a woodman and eventually became tin.

Nathan and I did see each other there, but we didn’t really speak except to say hi.

My 1st cousin once removed, Johanne Hunter Fairs Grewell (daughter of Dad’s Aunt Eleanor and Uncle John), who unfortunately passed away last year (on my birthday, no less, which might have explained some of sadness I was feeling that day even though it took several months before I found her obituary) told me that she and my Uncle Clarke got to see The Wizard of Oz in the theatre in 1939 (Dad was born in 1941), and my grandfather, who was known as Oz (short for Osburne), was really angry because they were so terrified by the Winged Monkeys that they wanted to leave. At the panel, that was frequently brought up as being more frightening than Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch.  I always liked the Winged Monkeys and gave one a cameo in my novel, Tip of Oz, in which one was sitting in a theatre, his wings taking up too much space making my original character, Aubrey the Elf Queen, physically uncomfortable.  The Multi-Toy Winged Monkey was the first of that doll collection that I bought (I previously bought the 3 1/4 inch action figures, but honestly, those weren’t very well done, and there were only six of them).  My parents proceeded to buy me all the dolls in the collection for Christmas, then within a year complain that I owned dolls–after all, I was a 14 year-old boy by that point. Baum never used the Winged Monkeys again after the first book, but in a backstory taking most of a chapter, he presented them as innoccuous pranksters who were magically enslaved to a Golden Cap (seen briefly in the 1939 film near the poppy scene but pretty unrecognizable before DVD) out of revenge and forced to do its bidding, and, as in the film of The Wiz (in which Michael noted that they were played by members of the Hells Angels, none of whom were black in 1978), are helpful and friendly when not magically compelled to do otherwise by a wicked person.  At the end of the novel, Glinda promises that after having them take Dorothy’s friends to their new homes, she will give the Golden Cap to the Winged Monkeys so that they can never been enslaved again.  (In the Ralph Griffith/Stuart Kerr/Bill Bryan comicbook from the 1990s titled simply Oz, it is stolen.)

It was also really interesting that Stephen Schwartz said he was initially pronouncing Elphaba with emphasis on the second syllable until Gregory Maguire told him how he pronounced it, and that it was based on sounding out L. Frank Baum’s initials as a word. That’s how I pronounced it until I learned otherwise, too.

Like Nathan, I haven’t seen Wicked, but I do really enjoy the cast album. I even found the German version at a thrift shop (as one can see in my music collection, the German cast album uses the same orchestral backing as the original album, and only the vocals were recorded separately).

Michael noted that the only actors “Maggie” Hamilton didn’t get along with were Don Ameche, Tony Randall, and Ray Bolger, which was pretty amusing. Both Jane Lahr and Scott Meserve gave the impression that Bolger was not very well liked. Bolger was married but never had children, so we don’t really get to have his side of that. Sarah Bolger, who played Aurora on Once Upon a Time, has been quoted saying that she gets asked a lot if she is related to him, but said she wasn’t. For years, I also said that I wasn’t related to Robert Maynard Hutchins (University of Chicago president) but found out that I was, although our common ancestor was named Joseph Peck–our Hutchins lines reach unknown without touching–but even then it’s pretty distant, 8th cousin three times removed), so I won’t be surprised if someone finds a connection between Sarah Bolger and Ray Bolger, but she didn’t know him, so it’s pretty trivial.

When I got home, I watch The Steam Engines of Oz, which I bought on a DVD+Blu-Ray combo at Dollar Tree. I liked the writing but found the look of the film rather disappointing, looking more like a video game than Frozen, although Victoria Wright is definitely drawn in that style. Sean Patrick O’Reilly picked and chose rather randomly from the books and the 1939 film, including a couple of famous quotes from the movie, one of which he incorrectly attributes to Baum rather than to Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf, who wrote the screenplay (and no, I was not the one who added that to the goofs on IMDb–it was already there). The opening line of the film is “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” a line I always found a bit cheesy and is particularly irrelevant to this film since it, like The Marvelous Land of Oz, has no visitors from the outside world (unless one counts Oscar Digg [sic] and his brother Phadrig (which is one of Oscar’s many middle names in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz), who have been in Oz for years by the time of of the film, and Dorothy appears only in flashback. The Good Witch of the North, unnamed in the novel and called Tattypoo by Thompson (likely a reference to The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan), although she is revealed to be someone else at the end of the novel, is called Locasta as she was in Baum’s 1902 musical, which moved from Chicago to Broadway the following year.


As I said last week, I’ve already written about the 2003 Oziana across twoposts back when it was new, and I still agree with what I wrote. I didn’t go into much detail, though, so I’ll examine it a little more closely now. The cover was drawn by Melody Grandy and colored by Marcus Mebes, and shows several characters who appear within the issue, including a few new ones.

“The Bashful Baker of Oz,” by Kieran Miller – As I said before, this tale is focused on Ozites who aren’t part of Ozma’s court or people who get swept into an adventure, but rather some more ordinary types from the Gillikin town of Crafton. Everyone there is encouraged to pursue a specific craft, but Maria and Derek feel they don’t really belong. Maria does her job as a baker quite well, but even her own family thinks she’s kind…

View original post 995 more words

Facing Bigotry When Buying Clothes

I can’t stop thinking about that time FEGS slapped me with a Failure To Comply for not wearing the correct pants. I gained about 40 pounds during the pandemic and had to start wearing the size 44 pants mentioned in that older post as being too big for me at the time. I had to stop wearing one bigcause the zipper wouldn’t stay up, and eventually broke from overuse. The other one came apart and the seams on the right side when I was bending while assembling drawer boxes in my apartment. I first tried Kmart’s big and tall section despite them not having anything small enough at the waist or long enough at the inseam the last time I tried only to discover that there is only one Kmart left in the area, and it’s in New Jersey. The one in Astor Place is becoming a Wegman’s, and the one at 1 Penn Plaza is also vacant, but I didn’t see anything identifying what would be there next. I couldn’t find anything larger than a size 40 and usually too short at Target or thrift shops, even going online I found that the big and tall was more like huge and short. I wanted to buy something a size large (46) with the same length and literally couldn’t because nothing was in stock.

On Saturday, I Googled “46×34 pants near me,” and it showed me JCPenney, Macy’s, and DXL. I didn’t look at it too carefully and attempted to go to the Herald Square JCPenney only to discover that it, too, was out of business. The proximity to the flagship Macy’s store confused me because I didn’t enlarge the map enough. For JCPenney, I needed to go to Jersey City, and there wasn’t time enough before they closed. I was in Manhattan for a meeting that started at 3 but went on until almost 6. I didn’t go to Macy’s because the prices Google was showing me were $50 or more for a single pair. Next to the Burlington at 23rd and 6th Avenue is a DXL Big & Tall Men’s store. Their prices are way above my budget, but I was able to at least try on a 46×34 pair of pants (the cheapest they had were $55 each, but they knock off ten dollars if you buy two) and determine that, at least woth that brand (always the problem), I didn’t need any larger. There wasn’t much of a selection. Their bread and butter seems to be 50+ waists and lengths 30 or below, more of that “huge and short” nonsense that seems to pervade “big and tall” clothing. It’s bait and switch when a store or department calls itself “big and tall” but mostly caters to people of below average height. I did find two black pants in 46×34, but there was very little in the store that would fit me. I checked the Burlington next door. They had $18 pants, but nothing over size 40, mostly 32 or shorter.

I’m not alone. Here a Redditor in Sharonville, Ohio, is dealing with exactly the same problem:

FEGS gave me a list of places where I could redeem a clothing voucher, but most were open one day a month (e.g. second Tuesday). It took me at least two months to visit all of them, and by then, I was found in failure to comply. Not one had anything in my size. Riverside Church had me try on 40×30 black corduroy pants, but I looked stupid in them because they stopped above my socks, but they seemed incredulous that I didn’t want them. It was truly a systemic evil to find me in “Failure To Comply” for their own failures. To live in a homeless shelter requires an open public assistance case. Public assistance pays $45 a month but, pre-pandemic, forced clients to go to the Back to Work program for 35 hours a week, or 29 cents an hour. If they found black jeans unacceptable, it should have been on them to supply me with the pants that they wanted, but they failed to do so and blamed me for it.

I’m under similar pressure now not only because it looks really bad to have my pants splitting apart at the seams, but a matchmaker set me up on a date this coming Friday. I could wear my suit, but the dress code for the restaurant says casual, so that might be overdressing, and I don’t know how well my suit fits. I had the smaller of my suits, which is the one I wore in my high school senior portrait, taken in when I lost weight, but I think my larger one may be too big. My parents bought it for me when I finished college. They were convinced I was gaining weight at the time even though I wasn’t. I’ve been told that I look like a little boy wearing it, but now that I’m bigger than ever (the dietician appointment keeps getting moved–I’m supposed to go in two days, but it’s not showing on the health portal, so they may have canceled it without telling me again), so it might work, although it’s grey rather than black or navy.

It really is not right that some people should not have a choice about paying markup prices. It’s just like I have to buy $200 orthopedic shoes just to get width where I need it. I’ve been finding a lot of articles lately on how Americans are eating fewer calories but continuing on average to gain weight, which is largely being blamed on food additives that aren’t even required to be on nutrition panels, so one can’t truly know if one is avoiding them unless they make everything from scratch.

Capitalists. Are. Scum.

This guy wins the award for most punchable face and most deserving of spending the rest of his life in a dungeon.


Here’s Someone Putting on the Clown Wig

Although I can’t imagine anyone with “Lust” in her user name wants to be taken seriously.

CNN Is Fake News; Jake Tapper Lied; Another Real Journalist Fired

Real Journalists End Up Murdered or Imprisoned

Any intelligent person would be able to generalize and never trust Katie Couric or Matt Lauer again. Michelle Kosinski’s career was probably ruined when it’s obviously not her fault unless it was her idea, likely another fall guy for fake capitalist narratives. She may still have a career–I haven’t checked–but anyone would be a fool to trust her again. While an actor can claim to seek truth through art, that’s more plausible if everyone knows you are in a play or film, and you’re not pretending to be a journalist on allegedly real news. At least the more recent footage at the beginning of the clip didn’t include the guy’s name so he won’t be so humiliated. One can only dream–she has continued her career as a journalist and lives in a $5.3 million-dollar house, which shows you how corrupt out capitalist system is: . Meritocracy is a lie, and my homelessness is not the slightest shred my fault.

And people wonder why i’m willing to present an honest story about going from graduate school to homelessness through no fault of my own while these young reporters are trained to falsify everything. It makes me glad I didn’t major in journalism instead of English if this is the garbage that passes for corporate news.

If I had gone to school with Kosinski, I would probably be calling her Canoeski until she threatened to block me on Facebook.

Meanwhile, real journalist Julian Assange has never reported anything false, and he is unlawfully imprisoned in the so-called “free world,” our terrorist ally Israel murdered real journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with their deceptively named “Defense Force,” and our terrorist ally Saudi Arabia murdered real journalist Jamal Koshoggi. Our country is everything they told us to fear about so-called “Communism,” which was really an authoritarian bastardization of Marx, as our government has marched toward fascism my entire lifetime regardless of the party in power.

Normally, Being an Accomplice to a Crime Is a Crime

Here is a situation where they are criminalizing something that people have little control over. The average American is a paycheck away from homelessness, yet instead of punishing those who cause them to be homeless, thus making them accomplices to the “crime,” this is a situation where the accomplice is rewarded.

Only in a State run by a crime syndicate could a landlord raise a tenant’s rent beyond their ability to pay, evict them to bring in a wealthier tenant, and not have any responsibility toward the former tenant’s impact on society while reaping rewards. In many places, this is the landlord profiting at the expense pf the taxpayer because in many municipalities taxes pay for homeless shelters rehgardless of whether people in need have access to said shelters when they need them.

There is simply no career path where someone can automatcally avoid homelessness by doing everything right, not even medical doctors. And the trade school claim is stupid, too. Plenty of people in shelters have trade school backgrounds. I had a roommate who was a machinist caught in a mass layoff who didn’t see much likelihood of getting hired again because he was in his fifties. He told me about a job fair at a hotel on 58th Street where the line to get in was around the block, and they held it for longer than the scgeduled time in order to accommodate everyone he showed up, but once he got in, he realized it was all sales, and they didn’t see prepared to recuit more than about 20 people (I stopped going to job fairs when it became clear it was all sales jobs, plus NYPD, FDNY, and the military–I went to one that was supposedly a media job fair, but it was media companies looking for sales people) . I don’t know the actual stats on this, but it’s commonly cited in arguments for bringing back “sweat equity” (during the Koch administration, in which people bought apartments “as is” for $200 and brought them up to code), that the shelters are full of tradespeople. I would guess it’s true from my experience, but there are also plenty of college graduates, including an old attorney who had given up his practice to give his mother end of life care and couldn’t find clients after she passed. And yes, young lawyers are having trouble, too.

This is what happens when peple vote Democrat instead of Green and expect things to change. It simply allows oligarchs to continue their crimes against humanity “legally.”

Of course, how dare I suggest that people go to prison simply for being good at capitalism and not caring who they hurt in the process?

More Evidence The New York Times Is Fascist Trash

If The New York Times were even slightly left of center, they would not have killed this story.

Most Americans Are Stupid When it Comes to Homelessness

Also take a look at the comments. Numerous people with mechanical engineering degrees talking about dealing with homelessness, which shows how all the more idiotic the “yOu SHoulD hAVe mAjoRed iN eNgiNeErINg” crowd is.

The New York Post‘s Editorial Board Deserves to Be Homeless

This editorial, credited to the editorial board rather than any specific person, is typical fascist trash from the Post. The fact is, I’m most likely more qualified to be a newspaper editor than anyone on the board, even though I could never work with anyone with an agenda like theirs.

If they want to claim that they’re more qualified to be newspaper editors than me, they should be forced to prove it by having GRE scores better than this. I scored better than 94% of takers at verbal skills (vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and the like) and better than 73% at analytical writing (I don’t remember the details, but I remember that I found the practice writing question far more relatable than the actual writing question). If the editors of the Post editorial board can’t do better than this, then they have no meritocratic standards and need to be cast out onto the street as they would have the city do to me. The GRE is especially perfect because everyone who takes it has a college degree and is seeking to pursue higher education, so the cohort of comparison is not the general population, but an already academically advanced group of people.

And they should have their fellow conservatives saying to them, “yOU sHOuld Have maJoReD In ENgiNEerInG,” especially if their math scores are anywhere near mine…

Facebook Suspends Me for Speaking Out Against Racism and Genocide

Calling Palestinians “filthy lazies” is completely acceptable to them when that’s clearly racist hate speech. Nor did they take down a post by ken Wallman saying that Palestinians are animals who all need to be walled off because of some bus bombings.

I wasn’t the only person who called out his racism, either. I’m not sure how blaming all members of a particular race for specific acts of violence could be construed as anything other than racism, particularly when Israelis have so much power over Palestinians.

Zionists believe that you have the right to kick people out of homes their families have lived in for generations because your ancestors lived there hundreds if not thousands of years ago. You might as well force me at gunpoint to go back to England without providing me any means of transportation there. I support indigenous rights even though I have direct ancestors who were killed by indigenous people, but indigenous people aren’t trying to kill me or expel me from the only country I’ve ever (unfortunately) been in because Europeans in the past vilely treated them as subhuman. The Palestinians are not the Nazis despite convoluted efforts to connect them. Zionists also believe it’s appropriate to use fighter jets of the world’s fifth-largest military to bomb innocent civilians who have nothing but stones and bottle rockets to defend themselves. They even jokingly refer to it as “mowing the grass.”

Anti-Zionism is not hate speech because it does not target anyone based on their ethnicity. Joe Biden and Donald Trump proudly identify as Zionists, and I have called both of them “scum” on Facebook (with an article attached that shows why I’m responding that way) without punishment. The Jews I met in Occupy Wall Street and the Independent Socialist Organization are quite vocally anti-Zionist, as is Jewish Voice for Peace. One year I was part of Picture the Homeless’s contingent for the International Women’s Day march, and one of our organizers, Jenny Akchin, who is Jewish, carried a sign in suport of Ahed Tamimi. She said that she felt that her identity as a Jew emphasized the gravity of the situation. There are a lot of propagandists on Facebook equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and it simply isn’t true. Sherry Wolf, also Jewish, gave a presentation before ISO in which she stated that most working-class Jews do not support Zionism or any sort Jewish isolationism. Tony Buontempo, an Occupier, who was raised Catholic but is Jewish on his mother’s side gets in Facebook jail a lot, often for saying much worse things about Zionists than I said. There is a large contingent of Hasidic Jews who say that the Tanakh says that Jews cannot return to Israel until they start fully obeying God. The God of my understanding expressly forbids coveting others homes, let alone forcing them out at gunpoint and moving in.

The most reputable of all Israeli papers, Haaretz, says this:

“Israeli Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone – Except Israelis
“‘Hasbara’ is the Israeli euphemism for propaganda, and there are some things, said the late ambassador Yohanan Meroz, that are not ‘hasbarable.’ One of them is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.”

Given the actions of Israel, there is little difference between saying “Zionists are scum” and “Nazis are scum,” which I have also posted on Facebook without incident.

The above image got me in trouble with LinkedIn, but I successfully contested it, although it was later used against me when I was banned, which doesn’t seem right to me, kind of like when the Indianapolis Public Library kept a “claims returned” on my account even after they found the item in question, which I checked out on a later occasion.

One of our board members at Unity of New York said that he felt Israel was similar to the abusive child that grows into the abusive parent. Many of our congregants at Unity of New York identify as Jewish, including today’s speaker, David Friedman. I have heard many people at our church object to what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, as well as to what the United States is doing to more than a dozen countries throughout the world, and what Putin is doing in Ukraine. The Unity church in general deplores violence and embraces all faiths and ethnicities. While I think we would mostly agree that calling someone “scum” isn’t exactly “Unity language,” many of us have admitted to using aggressive language like that on social media. Shawn Moninger, staff minister and David’s partner, has scolded from the pulpit about how many of us do it. While he gives good spiritual reasons for not doing so, I also think on how Holmes Osborne, in the actors’ audio commentary track of Donnie Darko, said that he once heard at a Unity church that the only the only acceptable intolerance is intolerance of intolerance, which is exactly what I was doing.


Facebook’s Disgusting Pro-War Censorship

Facebook Says That I Failed Their Fact Check, Then Admitted No Fact Check Was Done

This is how you know Facebook “fact checks” are propaganda:

More Evidence the Mainstream Media Are Extreme-Right Propaganda Artists

Here’s Why 100% of Rational, Ethical People Support the Overthrow of Capitalism

If you’re not supporting the overthrow of capitalism, you are either a thief or a happy slave. Don’t be either.

The United States Government Is Run by Thieves and Criminals

The government has no legitimacy, and there is nothing we can do about it. They exist to keep the rich on top and everyone else enslaved and prevent anyone who disagrees with that from attaining power. This is precisely why I don’t believe that fascist Kathy Hochul won 68% of the vote in the Democratic primary for New York State Governor.

If Incompetence Causes Homelessness, Why Are Mike Parry and Greg Kelly Rich?

Their educations aren’t better than mine, and both of them demonstrate themselves to be dumb as stumps. Why are they allowed to make fools of themselves before such a wide audience who won’t necessarrily realize how foolish they are because of the professional pacakaging? Presumably because they do their part to help sustain capitalism a little bit longer as it ncauses equatorial regions to become ininhabitable…

If homelessness and competence had any relationship, they would be the ones who experienced homelessness, not me.

Gandhi is the most successful hypocrite in the world– Nirad C. Chowdhury.

More ACP Lies

I want the FCC to explain to me where the fuck the ACP credit is going. I want it to go to Optimum, the transition letter from EBB said it would stay with Optimum. The FCC keeps telling me that it’s going to Assurance Wireless, which is already a free program, and this is the second time Assurance Wireless told me that they’re not getting it. If Optimum and Assurance both say that they’re not getting it, what is the FCC doing with the $30 credit that is supposed to reduce the je cost burden of my internet service?

Capitalists Are Lying Shits

The mainstream media demonstrates that it’s far to the right when it has no rebuttals for these dishonest businessmen.

Fascist Tyranny Is the Law of the Land

And the skyrocketing homelessness will continue to be blamed upon the victims. What else is new? It’s like the businesses that make people pay to use the restroom, then wonder why the streets smell like pee. Landlording is theft. Eviction is violence.

“Reality Check” Loves When People Like Stefan Breznac Die Prematurely, Calls Such People “Lazy,” and Wants That for Me

To “Reality Check,” people like Mr. Mulius are great, admirable men whom everyone should aspire to be like and are lazy if they aren’t like him.

More Proof Facebook Is Run By Morons

This is a prety clear-cut violation of Facebook’s community standards on racial hate. To any intelligent person, Kristian Schüller posted something far worse than anything that has ever gotten me suspended.

Objective Proof YouTube Is Run by Fascist Imbeciles

Next they are going to make it a policy violation to say that Israel murders Palestinian civilians. YouTube needs to be either regulated or made a public utility. What Kyle says about YouTube censoring Jordan Chariton but not the mionstream outlets that licensed his footage ought to be illegal.

“Reality Check” Is a Liar

Either that, or he just doesn’t know what a receding hairline is.

The Democratic Party Opposes Voting Rights

They write unconstitutional laws and have the power of attorneys to enforce them, just as they illegally and unconstitutionally threw the Green Party off the New York state ballot after the 2020 election. Bought-off judges ignore the Constitutional arguments for ballot access for third parties and instill fear in voters even though if all eligible voters who didn’t vote vote Green, Green would win.

The Democrats are just as fascistic as Republicans. Case in point: the failure of the Democratic Party-controlled legislature to pass Good Cause Eviction, a bill that would prevent landlords from large rent increases without justification, something more than 70% of voters support. People willbeome homelss as a result of this failure, and some of them will meet an untimely death as a direct result of these Democrats’ choices, yet they won’t be rotting in prison for what is, in effect, legalized murder for profit. Placing profit above human life is the epitome of fascism and the epitome of evil, and both of the two major parties are guilty. Even so-called leftists, such as Julia Salazar, who wrote the Good Cause legislation, has sponsored another legislation privatizing NYCHA and eliminating Section 9 housing. In New York City, Eric Adams supports raising the rents of people in rent-stablilized housing 6% when people are still reeling from the massive job loss from a pandemic that is far from over.

People who believe that the United States is anything other than a fascist dictatorship are fools.

Looking Back at my VHS Want List

The asterisk indicates flms I had not seen. “Still want” does not ncessarily mean on VHS if a DVD exists, noted if known.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Funky Fables/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

The Accident (Biu Lun Liu, 1983)* still want; frequently find a different film with same English title but different Chinese title.

Aladdin & His Magic Lamp (Funky Fables/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

Ali Baba & Forty Thieves (Funky Fables/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

American Boy:  A Profile of:  Steven Prince (Martin Scorsese, 1978) want Criterion DVD of Martin Scorsese shorts

Bang the Drum Slowly (Daniel Petrie, 1956) [original television production] want Criterion DVD set The Golden Age of Television, which also includes the 1953 version of Marty and the 1957 version of Requiem for a Heavyweight, both of which I own on VHS.

The Barking Dog (unknown as Alan Smithee, 1978)* still want; it’s possible that Videohound’s Golden Movie Retriever made it up as a plagiarism detector; the editor did not respond with my inquiry. They claim it was released by Continental Video, but I was informed by another VHS collector who had cataloged Continental releases on a website that this is unlikely.

Baron Munchausen (Karel Zeman, 1961)* saw; want Criterion DVD set Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman

Battle of the Commandos (Umberto Lenzi, 1969) bought VHS in February 2022

The Black Klansman (Ted V. Mikels, 1966)* bought Blax DVD from Majors Records on Staten Island–I couldn’t watch it due to disc damage but still have (no refunds or exchanges)

…but the clouds… (Donald McWhinnie, 1977)* still want

Les Créatures (Agnès Varda, 1966)* Criterion released this on Blu-Ray only: The Complete Films of Agnès Varda (I don’t own a Blu-Ray player or a TV that would make one worthwhile).

Cudotvorni Mac (Vojislav Nanovic, 1950)* still hoping for a subtitled release

Daredreamer (Barry Caillier, 1990)* still want

Daitozoku (Senkichi Taniguchi, 1963)* still want

Disturbing the Peace (Thomas Patrick Smith, 1996)* still want

Double Vision (Terrence O’Hara, 1990)* still want

Eh, Joe? (Alan Gibson, 1966)* still want

Endgame by Samuel Beckett (Tony Coe, 1989) still want

The Events Leading Up to My Death (Bill Robertson, 1991)* still want

The Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1966) want OOP Criterion Boxed set Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Fantasía… 3 (Eloy de la Iglesia, 1966)* still want

Film by Samuel Beckett (Alan Schneider, 1965)* saw; want DVD

Free Amerika Broadcasting (Dean Wilson, 1981)* still want–copies go for around $100 on eBay

Fright Show (Linda Laias, Damon Santostefano, 1985)* saw; own VHS

Ghost Trio (Donald McWhinnie, 1977)* still want

Gorath [Video Gems] (Ishirō Honda, 1962)* want on DVD but would buy VHS if box were in good condition (matched set with The Human Vapor and The Last War)

Grendel Grendel Grendel (Alexander Stitt, 1981)* still want

Der Große Verhau (Alexander Kluge, 1971) saw; want DVD

The Headless Terror (Tulsi Ramsay, 1967)* This film is believed to be a hoax, predating Ramsay’s career.

Human Highway (Neil Young, Dean Stockwell, 1982)* still want

Humanoid Woman (Richard Viktorov, 1981)* saw subtitled Ruscico DVD, To the Stars by Hard Ways, from library–want it

Hunter (Leonard Horn, 1973)* still want

Idaho Transfer (Peter Fonda, 1973) own budget DVD; would buy better if existed

Jack and the Beanstalk (Puppy Dog Tales/Doug Parker, 1991)*

Jewel of the Gods (Robert Van der Coolwijk, 1989)* bought on DVD–meh

Journey to the Center of the Earth (Funky Fables/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

Lift (Andy Thiesen, 1997)* own poor quality DVD and would buy improved release (there is a better Region 2 release, although it’s an American film). Director’s name is Anthony, not Andy.

The Lift (Gordon Tressler, 1972)* Director is Georg Tressler, still want, as well as Dick Maas’s better known Dutch remake, De Lift/The Lift

The Loved One (Tony Richardson, 1965)* own DVD–love it

Lunatics:  A Love Story (Josh Becker, 1988) own VHS

El Mago de Oz with Fernando Rey* This was listed in Trade Service Corporation’s Videolog but probably does not exist. The company they attributed it to, Madera Cinevideo, simply released the Million Dollar Video Corporation VHS of the Angélica Ortiz 1985 filmed staged production with their sticker on it. The stock number attributed to it in Videolog was Contrato con la muerte, an action movie starring Eduardo Yáñez.

Messenger (Norman Loftis, 1994)* saw; own VHS

The Method (Joseph Destein, 1989)* still want

The Milpitas Monster (Robert L. Burrill, 1975)* bought VHS–meh

Monaco Forever (William A. Levey, 1984)* bought DVD but sound is atrocious–have not watched

Monkey Boy (Lawrence Gordon Clark, 1991)* still want–read source novel

Mr. Stitch (Roger Avary, 1996) bought VHS

Nacht und Träume (Alfred Behrens, Michael Kuball, 1983)* still want

Night Terror (Paul Howard, Michael Weaver, 1988) bought VHS

Night Vision (Michael Krueger, 1987)* still want

On the Edge of Innocence (Peter Werner, 1997)* still want

Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (Douglas Williams, 1985)* saw; liked better than most people did

Quadrat 1+2 (Samuel Beckett, 1982)* still want

El Rayo Disintegrador (Pascual Cervera, 1966)* still want

The Red Shoes (John Clark Donahue, John Driver, 1983) bought VHS

The Royal Diaries: Isabel – Jewel of Castilla (2000)* bought DVD

Rubin and Ed (Trent Harris, 1991)* still want

The Secret Garden (Sugar & Spice/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

Shirley Temple’s Storybook, Volume 4:  Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1959) want DVD boxed set

Skidoo (Otto Preminger, 1968)* saw on DVD; want

Sinbad the Sailor (Funky Fables/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

That Man Is Pregnant! (Simon Nuchtern, 1972)* still want

They Called Him Amen (Alfio Caltabiano, 1972)* still want

Thumbelina (Sugar & Spice/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

Tom Sawyer (Puppy Dog Tales/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

Treasure Island (Funky Fables/Doug Parker, 1991)* still want

Tuck Everlasting (Frederick King Keller, 1981)* still want –people try to sell me 2002 Jay Russell film all the time, which I want on DVD

The Ugly Duckling (Sugar & Spice/Doug Parker, 1991) still want

Warriors of the Gridiron (Randy F. Martin, 1985)* correct title is Masters of the Gridiron, want DVD

Wicked, Wicked (Richard L. Bare, 1973)* want to at least see Warner Archive Collection DVD

The Young Poisoner’s Handbook (Benjamin Ross, 1995) saw; released on DVD by Echo Bridge, would buy if saw at Dollar Tree, which often has Echo Bridge releases

Voting Democrat Instead of Green/Socialist Is a Vote for the Extreme Right

This is what voting for either of the corporate parties gets you. I keep saying I told you so, and you people keep calling me a fool.

Gee, why aren’t you fully unpacked after nearly two years?

I lost two tall bookcases and a short bookcase–antoher short bookcase fell apart in a mover’s hands–when I moved into storage. Most of my income goes to pay bills, do laundry, buy toilet paper and cleaning supplies. The little money left does often go for more books and DVDs (+ three rarities on VHS– Battle of the Commandos (Umberto Lenzi, 1969), The Sea Shall Not Have Them (Lewis Gilbert, 1954) (which came in a lot with the previous), Starship (Roger Christian, 1984)). Tall bookcases are expensive, and although sometimes you can find people giving them away, I have had no practical way to transport them within the available time frame in these cases because few of my friends have cars because this is New York City.

The lamp has no shade because the movers accidentally smashed it and left it behind in the storage unit even though it works perfectly fine. I haven’t been able to find a replacement because the only comparable-sized lampshades I’ve found at Home Depot weren’y comparable in terms of that top circle–they all plunged quite a bit downward so that they wouldn’t cover the bulb, making them pointless here.

The short bookcase under the Peter Schickele poster holds books by authors Dr-Fr. The next holds DVD/VHS From Cr-Ev. The next holds books from Fr-He. The next holds DVD/VHS from Si-Tw. The next holds books from Thackeray to the end of the alphabet. I have another short shelf with VHS/DVD U-Z because I started at both ends of the alphabet and worked inward. The same is true for my CDs, where artists A-G and Karr-Z are shelved, but H-Karajan and Q through Schwartz are in boxes mostly no more than three high across the floor of the apartment. I don’t like it, and I worry about getting evicted, but spending more money without a way to replenish it makes little sense to me.

It’s very galling to be told I live in a pigsty or be told I can’t organize when I clearly can organize and simply lack the appropriate tools to do it well, tools that could be acquired with money. I’ve had grandstanders publicly offer to help and then not follow through, which makes it worse than if no one had said anything, reminiscent of that time when someone offered to buy me the Philip Glass Symphony No. 5 CD, which came in elaborate packaging and cost over $30 (and is no longer in print), but never did.

And here I have all these parts of bookcases that I can’t really use right now and frequently fall over and cause me problems and pain but am not going to simply trash:

Simply reassembling them is not an option because they are incomplete. The tall ones lack sides. I think a friend had them in his basement, which got flooded during the last hurricance, so he had to get rid of everything. There should be a complete 100-CD case here, one I watched fall apart it one of the movers’ hands, but I have found all of the parts except one of the sides, so I have been unable to reassemble it. I’m assuming it’s here as opposed to having been left in the truck and subsequently discarded, but like I said in my Yelp! review, I would never use Divine Moving and Storage again despite their history of good reviews including from my own church.

So this is a really lousy situation, and as long as I’m making only about $400-450 a month, I really don’t see a reasonable way to change it. Of course, it doesn’t help that IKEA stopped making its tall, space-efficient Gnedby towers in North America even though they can readily be purchased from their European and Asian sites.

Proof HR People Are Paid to Be Incompetent

Vivian has the correct answer.

The author of this test is either…

A. An imbecile.

B. Brainwashed

C. Both of the above.

The Affordable Connectivity Program Is a Grandstanding Scam

After the Emergency Broadband Benefit program ended, in February my internet bill went up from $30 per month to $80, plus a $10 late fee because Optimum makes me pay at the end of the month, but I get my dividend (a little over $400 lately) on the first business day of the month, which then takes 2-3 business days to transfer to my checking account so that I can actually use it. According to the FCC’s website, “Most Emergency Broadband Benefit households will not have to take any action to continue receiving the new $30 monthly benefit after the transition period ends on March 1, 2022. If your out-of-pocket costs will increase as a result of the reduced monthly benefit amount, your service provider will contact you to let you know if you need to take any additional steps in order to continue receiving the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit. ” This is a lie. No one contacted me. I was just slapped with an enormous bill increase.

I was found eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program on March 22, and I was told over the phone to expect the credit to start appearing on my May bill. That didn’t happen. I called Optimum on May 19, and I was told that the billing department had made an error, and that my case would be escalated. After no change to my bill, I called Optimum billing again today. I had made several attempts to contact ACP customer service via e-mail only to be told that my internet service provider is Assurance Wireless, which provides me with free phone service, but the data is limited. If I access the internet on my phone, I use Wi-Fi. When I’m at home, I prefer to use the regular keyboard on my laptop and use my phone as a phone except for a few apps that are phone-only (e.g. Iris) or have more features in the phone app (e.g. Replika). I explained to them that Assurance Wireless is my phone provider and that Optimum is my internet service provider. The last person to reply to me (further messages from me have yet to receive a response) was Hector C. on May 25, although I have sent furhter e-mails. He told me to de-enroll from Assurance Wireless and enroll in Optimum. The fact that I applied through the above link and stated during the application process that my internet service provider was Optimum apparently meant nothing.

When I spoke to Optimum billing today, they said nothing about any mistake on their end as they did on the 19th. They transferred me to ACP customer service, which told me that they had credited my ACP benefit to my Assurance Wireless account, and that I would need to call Assurance Wireless to have the credit refunded back to ACP, then wait another two billing cycles to have it applied to my Optimum account. They also said that this was a common problem, and that I was far from the first person to whom they had spoken about it. This is absolute garbage, effectively punishing me for a mistake on their end, but it gets worse.

I called Assurance Wireless today as ACP customer service directed me. I had to explain several times what I wanted done because the representative thought I wanted to enroll my Assurance Wireless account in ACP. When I finally got through to her what I was trying to do, I was told that my account was not enrolled in ACP and that there was no such credit on my account. This means that someone involved in administering ACP has pilfered my benefit, while I get slapped with another late fee because I was lied to by ACP customer service.

Urban Justice Center referred me to New York Legal Assistance group (NYLAG) to help me with benefits issues, but this isn’t something they deal with, nor were they able to refer me to someone who could.

This program is just another excuse for the Joe Biden administration and the Democratic-majority Congress to pretend that they are the people’s only choice while they continue to not do anything but fund wars for profit in other parts of the world. They are worse than the Republicans because at least the Republicans admit that they don’t give a shit about poor people. I wish more people would wake up and vote for alternatives to the fascist two-party system. “Did not vote” wins every election. Imagine if everyone who didn’t vote voted Green. That’s the only way things in this country are going to change for the better.

Evidence in my favor:

There is simply no evidence that I was ever involved in the program with Assurance Wireless, and Assurance Wireless customer service clearly stated that fact over the phone. This means that the administrators of the Affordable Connectivity Program are either figuratively embezzling the funds by unlawfully keeping them in government accounts or literally embezzling the funds by taking them and pretending they are going somewhere else, namely, Assurance Wireless.

View Post

Book Review: Wonder Woman Book 1: The Last True Hero by William Messner-Loebs

Wonder Woman Book 1: The Last True HeroWonder Woman Book 1: The Last True Hero by William Messner-Loebs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Messner-Loebs isn’t bad, but I had a hard time getting into this the way I did when George Pérez was writing. When The ComicbookDatabase existed, these issues had really low ratings around 3 and 4 (out of 10). A lot of this probably has to do with the art. I wasn’t crazy about Paris Cullins’s work here, and Lee Moder makes everyone look ugly and androgynous. Moder’s style would be more at home in humor comics, and he seems to have a strong penchant for drawing bare feet and hirsute bodies.

I didn’t reread the first part, which I read in single-issue form in 2019, but it involves a team-up with Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, the Terminator and the end of the Barbara Minerva Cheetah, and the company-wide crossover with Eclipso: The Darkness Within, in which Diana becomes one of many hosts of Eclipso. The Phantom Stranger’s old foes Tannarak and Tala, Queen of Evil are partly involved and continue to operate under pseudonyms (Tannarak calling himself Randolph Asquith and the White Wizard) throughout the volume, mostly behind the scenes. #65 is omitted because it’s a fill-in by Joey Cavalieri. The focus is on Dr. Psycho trying to take advantage of Vanessa Kapatelis’s jealousy of Diana, who has been like a big sister to her living in the same house. Diana doesn’t even make a quantifiable appearance in the issue. The only illustrations of her are scenes in which others’ think about her. The omission is kind of silly beause where else are people going to find it? Wonder Woman back issues from this period aren’t particularly expensive, but dealers tell me that they can’t keep them in the bins. It actually took me a long time to find #63 for a reasonable price–this collection did not come out until August 4, 2020, over a year after I acquired and read the back issue.

The second part of the book is a five-parter in which Diana is hired to rescue cosmomaut Natasha Terranova (rather corny name for a cosmonaut), who forunately taught herself to speak Greek as part of her interest in stage magic because she doesn’t speak English and Diana doesn’t speak Russian. They end up being sent into deep space and enslaved by an alien race that is normally all one gender for a millennia until it’s time to reproduce, and are massively sexist in their enslavement. Diana leads a revolt that takes over six months, and despite Natasha having a little girl at home, to whom she writes letters that she expects she will never see. When she finally leaves, it’s with the confidence that her followers will continue the slave rebellion without her.

When Diana gets back we finally see her unofficial adoptive mother, Julia Kapatelis, also writing letters to her. As she concludes the last letter, now certain she is dead, Diana comes to the door. Unfortunately, Julia has rented out Diana’s room to a woman named Quinn Thomas whom I mistook for a man. She is either very butch or trans, but like I said, the artwork is not very good.

Diana is now using the Prince surname that she brushed off when Mindi Mayer suggested it early in the series, although everyone knows who she is. Quinn even makes mention of the mental radio that she used in the Golden Age comic books by William Moulton Marston, so apparently such things are public knowledge in the DC universe, at least to fans. Diana makes reference to receiving a living stipemd from the Justice League. There hasn’t been a mention of her even being in the Justice League post-Crisis that I can recall, and she in fact joined in Justice League America #78 (August 1993) (collected in Wonder Woman and the Justice League America Vol. 1 ). The final issue collected here is cover dated July 1993, although the chronology of the stories can’t be evaluated strictly by the cover date.

As a new writer to the series, Messner-Loebs is doing a major upheaval to the supporting cast. Having difficulty sleeping in the Kapatelis basement, Diana gets a job at TacoWhiz, which she takes seriously enough that her boss, Hoppy, teases her for reading a book called The Romance of Hispanic Cooking. There’s plenty of room for Diana to make cultural criticism here, finding feeding people a noble form of work as she realizes the sort of clinetele she is serving, including college students, homeless, and retirees. Diana goes to a temp agency so that she can afford to rent an apartment, but no one seemes to be hirigng, something I didn’t know was an issue in 1993. In the Golden Age, Diana literally bought the identity of Nurse Diana Prince because the latter needed money to marry her fiance, and Princess Diana had just gotten money from a Bullets and Bracelets performance, but in our age of credentialism (which wasn’t dishonest because Amazons all received nursing training as part of their basic education), that’s not going to work the way that it did during World War II. And certainly, she doesn’t have a college degree although Themysciran education would probably help her pass a lot of Advanced Placement tests. She rents a room with no bed from a retired movie star named Camille Sly and teams up with a private investigator named Micah Rains (whose “eat the rich” T-Shirt makes him feel relevant today), whom Ed Indelicato despises.

The final issue in the volume seems to leave Diana rather glib on the death of all the Amazons at the hands of Circe–duty calls at the TacoWhiz, but a quick glance at volume 2 shows that this is the setup for the next volume. It’s really nice to see the return of Doctor Fate. Messner-Loebs wrote Doctor Fate’s series, which was cancelled with #41 (cover date June 1992). So Kent and Inza come back from their Mexican vacation for Inza to help and Inza gets rescued by Wonder Woman.

The title for the volume does not refer Wonder Woman. It refers to small-time crook named Dickie Loder whose sacrifice wins a fascistic cop, Isabella Modini, over to Diana’s side. Modini suffered serious injuries hanging from Diana’s lasso, keeping her away from Moder while she was trying to reason with him. When Loder saves Modini’s life, Diana now has a friend who used to hate her because the force is talking about early retirement when all she ever wanted was to be a cop. The politics here and throughout, as I think I’ve implied are a bit heavy heavy-handed in comparison to Pérez, but Messner-Loebs’s heart is in the right place. (I should add that Messner is his wife’s surname–they agreed to both hyphenate their names when they got married.) I am going to read the next volume, Wonder Woman Book 2: Ares Rising, but I certainly don’t blame anyone who got fed up and dropped the book during this run. The third volume of Messner-Loebs’s run, which lasted to issue #100, was published in 2016 as Wonder Woman by Mike Deodato (named for its illustrator–who, based on what I’ve seen, is an extraordinary improvement over what Moder, who would go on to create Stargirl, was doing at the time) and is already an out of print collectible, so it may be reissued soon. It includes issue #85, but otherwise picks up with #90, the issue immediately following Book 2, which ends with issue #89.

View all my reviews

Proof Positive 100% of Rational People Support Police Abolition

Cops are a complete theft of taxpayer dollars. And Reality Check will say “at least they have jobs.” Hey, imbecile, collecting money for a job you’re supposed to do but haven’t done is theft. That’s far worse than not being able to find anyone willing to pay you for something that you’re capab;e of doing. The police should bnot only be fired, but their pensions seized.

Kyle suggests that they be brought up on charges. A precedent against this was set in the Supreme Court decision, The Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005), which says that police are not required to protect anyone. As far as I’m concerned, this makes it impossible, at least as an ethical argument, to steal from police, because they are taking our tax dollars with a false justification, i.e. theft. They don’t protect. They do not serve. Except maybe people who can afford to have private security, which don’t have the legal right to touch people unless they’re touched first.

That Supreme Court decision should have set the majority of the country against police, but generations of tradition have made it hard to convince people that police are neither enforcers of law, but authoritatians who improvise, nor are they a public good. Perhaps this failure will help to jumpstart the police abolition movement.

Reality: All Capitalists Are Murderers Who Should Be Locked Up; All Mainstream Media Are Far-Right

Featured on PressTV over the Student Debt Crisis

I was expexcting there would be a bit more editing of ther uhs and pauses, and I would have loved to have had a chance to respond to the claim about college graduates earning more by highlighting Robert H. Frank’s comments on how skewed that claim is if one analyzes the statistics more deeply. At least you can tell, especially with Jameson Brewer, that we;re not actually interacting with the host. I also take issue with the blanket assumption that homeless people don’t have student loan debt.

Book Review: Savage Tales #1 by Roy Thomas, Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, Sergius O’Shaughnessy [Denny O’Neil]

Savage Tales #1Savage Tales #1 by Roy Thomas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this because it contains the first appearance of Man-Thing, which is excellent, and the best story in the book, but this magazine, which I read in its entirety over the past few nights, really has not dated well. Literally every story is about a man betrayed by a woman he loves. YouTube seems to think that I and a friend who are both single and in our 40s are interested in misogynistic incel videos, but neither of us have anything against women or difficulty forming friendships with women, and these five stories seem overloaded with the themes in such videos. Did it bother me when I read the Man-Thing story initially? Not really, because it was one character, but reading five stories in a row about this (Conan the Barbarian, The Fury of the Femizons, The Man-Thing, Black Brother, Ka-Zar), it’s clear whom the intended audience of this magazine was.

Readers in 1971 did get a lot for the 50¢ cover price–only $3.57 in today’s dollars (many factors besides inflation have caused the rise in price of comic books and other printed materials), and only three interior pages contain ads other than two full-page announcements of other Marvel publications with art that such one hestitates to consider them ads per se so much as integral material. Unlike later Marvel magazines of the 1970s, it has one text page giving the background of how each story came to be created, but no multi-page articles.

“The Fury of the Femizons” has gorgeous John Romita art, but the concept of a matriarchate that abandons 90% of its boys and enslaves the men who are left is a projection of toxic masculine fears. Mogon, the enslaved man who falls in love with Lyra is a sexist boor despite looking like a Ken doll. Both visions of the world are dystopian. Mogon’s vision is reminiscent of the right-wing men who complain about the feminist movement on social media. I don’t know if this is Stan Lee just being disgusting and what he really thinks or if he’s just trying to appeal to the “mature audiences” the cover says it’s for, clearly consisting of a certain demographic of men. As much as I love Marvel, DC has always been better at “mature readers” titles, which are usually mature in the intellectual sense as much or more as they are in the “inappropriate for children” sense. This story was never continued, although this future version of Earth was presented as the home world of Thundra in Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four vol. 15 (issue #151).

This is the second story in the book, and made me thjink less positively of the other stories in the book. The first is beautifully drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith and adapted by Roy Thomas from an actual Robert E. Howard Conan story, “The Frost Giant’s Daughter,” in which a nearly naked woman (she wears only a sheet thorugh which one can see her nipples, and which Conan takes from her) called Atali lures Conan to be killed by her brothers, the frost giants. Alone, it wouldn’t be so bad, but my point is that these stories together build to a level of misogyny that becomes overbearing. A censored and colored version of this story appeared in Conan the Barbarian #16.

The Man-Thing, written by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway from an idea by Stan Lee and evocatively drawn by Gray Morrow is about scientist Ted Sallis creating a Super-Soldier serum (the connection to Captain America isn’t mentioned until a few appearances later, but the term “Super-Soldier,” long-associated with Cap, is used–nothing here clearly indicates Marvel Universe continuity), being betrayed by his lover, Ellen Brandt (The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe says she’s his wife, but that appears to be censorship–other characters (presumably working for A.I.M. but not specified until the next appearance and not wearing the much-ridiculed beekeeper-variant suits)–call her “Miss Brandt”), becoming a mute, empathic swamp monster after injecting himself with it and driving into a “bottomless bog.” Ellen is portrayed a a gold digger who mocks Ted’s “civil servant salary” as being insufficient to her tastes. The irony is pretty delicious at the end of the story in which the second-person narrator tells him that he got his Super-Soldier–himself. Another line that I love and milked in my operatic adaptation is Ellen saying, “this is the only reality” in reference to her relationship with Ted being what matters rather than the use of Sallis’s work by the military-industrial complex. When Steve Gerber took over the character with his fifth appearance, a couple of issues later, he esablished that the Man-Thing is the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities, which is exactly what it sounds like.

This issue was unquestionably published before House of Secrets #92, the first appearance of the original Swamp Thing, Alex Olsen, which had a cover date of July 1971. This issue’s cover date is May 1971, and the last page (not counting the ads) says that the next issue would be on sale in April (comic books are traditionally dated several months later than their actual release dates to keep them on the stands longer). Many articles have dismissed the idea that Len Wein, who was roommates with Conway at the time, was influenced by Conway’s writing. Supposedly, they never discussed each others’ work. That may have been true in general, but it cannot be true in this case. Savage Tales #2 has a cover date of October 1973, and was released on June 26, 1973, according to (as of this writing, they do not have release dates for either Savage Tales #1 or House of Secrets #92). That may give an idea how early Savage Tales #1 was. The issue, which was the first of many black and white magazines Marvel would publish in the 1970s until the July 1995 final issue of The Savage Sword of Conan, ran into distribution problems. A second issue was prepared, but when it became clear that Savage Tales wasn’t going to have a second issue for the forseeable future, the stories intended for it were on inventory and needed new homes. The second Man-Thing story appeared in Astonishing Tales #12, cover dated June 1972 and, according to Fandom, was released on March 21, 1972, after undergoing some censorship that actually makes sense (reportedly, Dr. Barbara Morse wore nothing under her white lab coat, which seems unrealistic and part of what I was talking about above), and it was written by Len Wein and drawn by the recently passed Neal Adams, who signed my copy to me a number of years ago. Considering it was intended for April publication, and that the inital Swamp Thing story was not intended as an ongoing character, it is unlikely that the story had as much lead time. The ongoing version of Swamp Thing, Alec Holland, first appeared in Swamp Thing #1, cover dated November 1972. The Man-Thing, however, had appeared on a consisent bi-monthly basis from his second appearance onward, in Astonishing Tales #13 (August 1972) and in Fear #10 (October 1972). Steve Gerber was attached to the character with Fear #11 (December 1972). While the characters diverged in direction and bear less resemblance to each other than they do to their predecessors: Theodore Sturgeon‘s short story, “It!” (a swamp monster that formed around a dead man’s skeleton), and The Heap, a German pilot downed in World War I who was awakened by World War II as a swamp monster and went around eating people and animals until a soft reboot in which Ceres (really!) taught him to feed off the soil; the origin of the Alec Holland Swamp Thing bears a much stronger resemblance to the Man-Thing’s origin than to the origin of the Alex Olsen Swamp Thing, whose story was incorporated into the Swamp Thing mythos in Swamp Thing (vol. 2) #33 (Swamp Thing: Love and Death) and became a supporting cast member starting in issue #47 (Swamp Thing: A Murder of Crows and particularly in Swamp Thing: Regenesis and Swamp Thing: Infernal Triangles), and there can be no doubt by this point that Wein was influenced by the Man-Thing, having written the second appearance of the character (he would go on to edit The Man-Thing starting with issue #15 (March 1975 (December 17, 1974)) to its conclusion in #22, although that’s of little relevance in debunking the claim that the Man-Thing was a rip-off of Swamp Thing).

“Black Brother” is a political thriller in which the governor of Potonga, in the fictitous newly independent African nation of Orbia, known only as Joshua, is set up by his wife, Belle, another gold-digger to be photographed with a white woman posing as a reporter who assaults him to make it look from the photos like he was assualting her. It was written by Denny O’Neil under the alias Sergius O’Shaughnessy and drawn by Gene Colan. Of itself, it’s not bad, and probably deserved to be continued as intended, but packaged with four other stories involving similar betrayals by dissatisfied women–in this case, one who has what most people would consider a luxurious lifestyle, it’s like being sledgehammered with misogyny. I was more interested in the subplot in which oil interests were harming the fishing industry that Joshua considers the key to his people’s financial independence. I’m not sure what motivated O’Neil to use a pseudonym for it despite my finding it sexist viewed through 2022 eyes.

Finally, we have a Ka-Zar story that later appeared in Astonishing Tales #14 in a censored and colorized form. This is also by Stan Lee, and drawn by John Buscema. The cover says “Ka-Zar Kills!” but it doesn’t say what. It’s a “longtail,” a Tyrannosaurus or other therapod dinosaur. Zabu kills a giant snake whose teeth seem too big for the constrictor-type it probaby is. This is about another gold-digging woman, Carla, who hates her husband, Ralph, who has been chronically poor. He is attempting to steal vibranium to make his fortune. When Carla sees Ka-Zar, she thinks he’s a “real man” and attempts to seduce him after he has just given her a still-relevant lecture on war and pollution that humans outside the Savage Land are committing. She taunts Ka-Zar as though he is afraid of her husband, even though he is clearly rejecting her on the moral stance that she is committing adultery. She intentionally pulls away from him when her shirt is in his hands, exposing her chest to him. He then shows her women bathing in a waterfall and ridicules her attempt to seduce him. This portion was censored from the code-approved reprint. Nine panels on pages 57-58 were omitted, and the text in the surrounding panels was altered to clarify the point about the poisoned ring, and the art altered to show Carla’s blouse still closed. The top right panel on page 55 had her shadowy nipple bump smoothed out, and ripped clothes were drawn on her in the third from last panel on page 62–her being nude face-down in the water implies that the hairy men raped Carla before murdering her, one of the few attempts at realism marred by the toning-down of the story. At the end of the story, Ka-Zar tells Ralph that he came to the Savage Land a weakling, and needs to leave as a man. With all the toxic masculinity on display in this issue, one wonders what he might mean, although his other portrayals, and his comments about the barbarism of “civilization” lead me to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Like I said, it is the cumulative impact of these stories, particularly tainted by the Femizons story, that give this issue the feel of misogyny and toxic masculinity. The art, I must stress, is top-notch. The main problem is with the narrative trops and some of the speeches, for which the writers must accept most, if not all (the Marvel way, which was the Stan Lee way encouraged or imposed on other writers, was for the writer to plot the story, the illustrator to draw it, then for the scripter (the writer unless plotter and scripter get separate credits, which may have been the case for The Man-Thing, but not for any of the others) to create the final text), of the blame. Conservatives whining about “woke Marvel” probably won’t be bothered by any of this and may wish Marvel would go back in this direction. While Stan Lee denied in one of his “Soapbox” columns that anything Marvel published had intentional political leanings, Sean Howe‘s  Marvel Comics: The Untold Story notes that in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Marvel bullpen was pretty much all left-leaning except for Steve Ditko, who was an Ayn Rand devotee, but he was never allowed to write, only draw, at this point in his career, and he had been away from Marvel for five years when this was published. While Conan, Man-Thing, and Ka-Zar collectors will want this book, I would recommend not reading the five stories all around the same time if one doesn’t like to be sledgehammered with tropes of gold-digging women and love of patriarchy.

View all my reviews

Another Ludicrous Facebook Suspension

I should never have accepted an add from someone calling themselves Azazel Acheron (after a demon mentioned in Leviticus and a river in the Underworld in Greek mythology).

Someone posted this screen grab on my profile calling him “butthurt”:

It wsas a follow-up on this, for which I was temporarily suspended, but unsuspended after I reported the “goyim aren’t people” comment as hate speech:

Seth Barron of The New York Post wrote this to me: “you do understand that Kristian Schüller is just an antisemite, not a pro-Israel activist? He thinks he’s being clever”. I wasn’ sure. I didn’t see anything suggesting either way on his post, although I did see some sexist posts there.

If you notice in the first image, the excuse they gave here for suspending was “hate,” but this one got overturned, and they admitted they “got it wrong.” The one that stuck has no stated excuse. I reported it a couple of times when I couldn’t post saying that it’s simply describing limitations I would impose on a theoretical military maneuver, but, they have yet to lift the suspension.

Gheyth Mahmoud, a Palestinian who currently lives in the United States, pointed out that Israelis are required to serve in IDF, which makes them all culpable. There are exceptions to this, including a number of Hasidic groups and Arab-Israeli groups, as well as people who come there later in life. It’s true that most people there are complicit, but I think there are better ways for dealing with Israel than bombing it.

I imagine it’s perfectly acceptable to say “Bomb Russia” right now, but I couldn’t find examples for an idea to bomb Facerbook with reports because there are too many news items that use those keywords for me to find them with the weak search tools Facebook has, and I’m not going to incorrectly report random people for posting news stories that are clearly not inciting violence.

Ironically, last night in one of my dreams I was working in an office in France with a lot of Jews with a Nazi boss, and everybody was resisting the Nazi boss (which sounds like it would be suicidal) but the Jews taught their allies, of which I was of course one, their prayers (although my knowledge of Hebrew prayer is pretty much limited to Bobbie Horowitz’s annual Chanukah presentation at Unity of New York) so we could pray as a protest together, which I guess was inspired by a friend who keeps talking about being in a very religious (Christian) workplace and finding people resenting him because he doesn’t partiicpate in prayers. It’s an engineeiring firm, and in the dream, I was doing paper-pushing for an engineering firm.

Facebook Lies Through Their Teeth to Prevent Me from Sharing

I can currently post original content, but I am prevented from sharing or lining anything anyone else posts on the grounds that this falsely claims that Gaddafi predicted coronavirus, which it doesn’t say.

This appears to be an alterate translation of a quote they present in the “fact check” as:

Today there is swine flu. Perhaps tomorrow there will be fish flu, because sometimes we produce viruses by controlling them. It is a commercial business. Capitalist companies produce viruses so that they can generate and sell vaccinations. That is very shameful and poor ethics. Vaccinations and medicine should not be sold.

The substance of the two quotes is the same. Facebook’s allegation that this post claims that Gaddafi predicted coronavirus earns a ruling of “Pants on Fire!”

Facebook is now outright lying in order to censor people.

Gargoyles (1972)

Monster Zone

The lead gargoyle!
The lead gargoyle!

Dr. Mercer Boley teams up with local cops and some dirt bikers in the southwestern USA to take-on cave-dwelling gargoyles to save his kidnapped daughter (Jennifer Salt) and prevent all the gargoyle eggs from hatching, which could mean them spreading around the world.

DVD cover
They’re coming for you!

GARGOYLES was originally broadcast on Tuesday, November 21st, 1972 in The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies slot.For a made-for-television production that runs a brief 74 minutes, it boasts lots of on-screen time for the creatures, which were created by Ellis Burman (who designed and built the lead gargoyle), Stan Winston (who did all the background gargoyles) and makeup supervisor Del Armstrong (who oversaw everything).

A gargoyle lurking at the bottom of the bed!
A gargoyle lurking at the bottom of the bed!

Gargoyle vs biker!
Gargoyle vs biker!

The winged leader
The winged leader

The gargoyle creatures are a varied-looking bunch: the leader and his queen have wings, the others don’t, and they have different…

View original post 407 more words

It’s Official: “Useless Major” Is a Term Used Only by Idiots

There are literally no fields now where college gradiates are not struggling to find work, even in the most supposedly in-demand fields, but the right is stll, “Major in something you suck at because demand, then blame yourself when you fail.”

More Evidence Cops Are Lying, Fascist Scumbags That Should Be Abolished

This is clearly a department-wide conspiracy to make excuses for killing a black man that are refuted by video evidence. The entire department is corrupt and needs to be eliminated. There is no reason an unarmed man should be executed just for driving without a license. This is Nazi-type shit right here.

Landlords Deserve to Be Homeless

Anyone who profits from making people homeless deserves to experience same.

Louise Carpino: “If You’re Not an Addict, Why Are You Homeless?

Even in Buttfuck (excuse me, Bozeman), Idaho, the mayor is saying that it’s OK for teachers and nurses, both jobs requiring a college degree, to live in tents. This is why 100% of rational, ethical people recognize that capitalism is theft and that student loan debt needs to be forgiven.

Ban Health Insurance Companies

Health insurance CEOs should be locked up, and their wealth redistributed. Charge them with profiting off wrongful deaths. When they get out of prison, they should have to spend a minimum of 99 months in homeless shelters like I had to. They do nothing but enrich themselves at the expense of the public, and their entire contribution to society is a net negative.

Richsplainers Think They Have Greater Expertise on Homelessness Than Me

So, it starts with comments on a sponsored ad from PragerU with false information about critical race theory being taught in K-12:

So first she accuses me of being a bot, then when I continue the conversation, she says that if I don’t have children in school, I can’t possibly know what is being taught. Then, after seeing that I do public relations for Picture the Homeless, she changes the subject and asks my opinion on homelessness, assuming that I will agree with her.

So she picked up that I volunteer at Picture the Homeless but missed that I’m in New York City and am in the Green Party.

So she laughs at me for saying that housing is the solution to homelessness, attacks me because I’m not in California when I never claimed to be, laughs at me for my organization’s T-shirt openly declaring “Housing Not Shelters” as policy, then denies I sent links about what the organization has done even after being shown a screen shot proving that I had. “WHY TF ARE YOU ARGUING HOUSING FOR OUR HOMELESS?” shows her sick-fuck paternalistic mentality.

My one error here seems to be that I didn’t attach the white paper on The Business of Homelessness but thought I had–it turns out I posted it in the wrong place, in reply to Mary Akins rather than in reply to Linda Mock ( She exits the conversation rather than admit she has been caught lying, and it’s back to more idiocy on Critical Race Theory.

This next one actually blocked me even though I never insulted her or used harsh language, although I managed to get some screen grabs:

So first, she claims that I had said elsewhere that 1/3 of homeless people are addicts rather than 1/5 without citing and kind of source for that allegation. Then she essentially says, “if other people got section 8, why can’t you?” when the fact that there is an extremely long waiting list is a widely reported fact (example:, then she straight-up insists that I’m an addict and am just taking it as a slur after being told twice that I became homeless because I couldn’t afford housing and because Social Security does not consider limitations in one’s ability to do certain kinds of work “Disabled,” but needs you to be completely unable to work. Whether one is getting interviewed for work one is physically capable of doing is out of their purview. It’s a basic concept that too many people simply fail to wrap their head around–“can’t do a job that requires prolonged standing or physical labor” is not the same as “can’t work.” It’s similar to the people who can’t tell the difference between “refuses to work” and “potential employers refuse to respond to job applications.” There are elementary school concepts of “who, what, when, where, why, and how”–things I recall being taught in Mrs. Sorrell’s 2nd grade classroom when I was sent there from first grade in a trial for potentially skipping ahead a a grade before I transferred from Nora Elementary School to Grandview Elementary School, where they broke people into smaller groups to be taught at their skill level without skipping a year of schooling–things some people don’t seem to be able to understand, especially those who harass me on my blog and social media.

My Mom Pushed Me to Do This; So Glad I Didn’t

The more I learn about South Korea, the less interested in going there I am. It was officially fascist until the 1980s and clearly still is.

They were forced to do work that will exacerbate my medical conditions that have nothing to do with teaching English, and there’s no money to even pay for storage because it all gets eaten up by living expenses.


Capitalism Is Nothing More Than Allowing the Upper Classes to Engage in Quasi-Slavery and Theft

100% of Rational People Consider Capitalism Theft

Why 100% of Rational, Ethical People Want to Overthrow Capitalism

When people say that they want to eliminate minimum wage laws, what they really mean is that they want to legalize wage theft, which is already the most common crime in America. We need to release non-violent drug offenders and put wage theft criminals in prison for long sentences because they have no real deterrents. Punishing wage theft with fines is encouraging it because the fine is usually lower than what is owed.

Twitter Needs to Be Found in Violation of Its Terms of Service

Twitter’s policy is quite explicit that incitement is a violation of Terms of Service that will get you banned, yet I was permanently suspended for insulting someone calling for violence against me.  Now people are calling for targeted attacks of comedians on Twitter.  When is Twitter going to be held accountable?  Violating their own Terms of Service is breach of contract under the law.

Will Smith Is a Violent, Cowardly, Unhinged, Entitled Narcissist

As Dore points out here, Michael Moore was forced off the stage during his acceptance speech for saying that the United States government had committed war crimes, but they’re not even playing music to tell Smith that his time is up the way most winners are when they get too long-winded. Here, he’s just allowed to make excuse after excuse why he has to use violence as a God-appointed defender of women from words.

While I agree that Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski did worse things than Smith to deserve having their Academy Awards revoked, the people praising Will Smith for using violence in response to words as “chivalrous” are dangerously unhinged. The person who punches first in a verbal argument admits that their opponent has a better argument. I hope many directors will see his assault of Chris Rock in this light and refuse to work with him as too volatile to feel safe around. Many cowards have found my behavior horrifying, to use “Realty Check”‘s words, such as when I was arrested for yelling at the HRA office, but even when I was being violently assaulted, I knew better than to punch back because I knew I was being watched on surveillance and that there would be negative consequences for me had the beating turned into a fight. I also agree with the point that this could be considered workplace violence over which the Academy has direct supervision and responsibility, which was not the case with either Weinstein or Polanski. Do we really want to go back to the days when Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s films were preemptively destroyed before he was acquitted of a rape and wrongful death charge?

Reverend Paul James Tenaglia mentioned playing Tony in a touring production of West Side Story noting that a method actor had gotten so deeply into the role of Bernardo that he was hitting people, and the producers had to fire him. Smith wasn’t even method-acting here. He was showing his true violent colors, making excuses for them, and crying for sympathy.

The scene was entirely censored in the network broadcast, apparently being on a several-second delay. Last I heard you needed to have a subscription to a streaming service to watch it online, so I watched it on TV At first, I thought something had happened to the reception because I didn’t see the slap, and Smith’s initial rant was muted. I quickly figured out that Smith was spewing obscenities, and they were silencing him, but I didn’t know he had hit Rock until the recap in the nightly news following the Academy Awards broadcast, which made the significance of a lot of his comments in his acceptance speech unclear to me until I saw it again.

LinkedIn Reveals Why They Suspended Me. They’re Still Wrong.

My response to them: “And did you also suspend Robert Congdon, who was spewing continuous lies to which I was responding? Context is everything.”

Clearly, this is a battle over ideology, not conduct.

Reference # 220324-013162Status: ClosedView your case(s) on our Help CenterYou may reply to this case for up to 14 days

Response (03/29/2022 08:15 CST)

Hi Scott Andrew,

Thanks for your patience in the matter.

Please find the violating content below you requested for:

Content Creation Time: Thu, 24 Mar 2022 06:46:26 GMT
Bob Killmer We don’t need pathological liars like you who don’t even know how to spell “loser.”

Mar 20 22 01:46:30 UTC
Leslie Fox Look in the mirror.

Content Creation Time: Sun, 16 Jan 2022 17:39:50 GMT
Robert Congdon You are such an elitist pig. Smearing the labor class as drugged up and lazy is proof of it. You believe in twisted, evil myths that the wealthy are virtuous and the poor are not. Who do you think controls the narrative, if not the wealthy? This is an issue of greedy employers, pure and simple. In light of your response to this article– –you are demonstrating what a bloody disgusting hypocrite you are. By saying that businesses have a right to demand more for goods strictly to increase profits while condemning people who demand higher wages as lazy and drug-addled just shows how much of a hypocrite you are. Wealthy people are far more lazy and drug-addled than the poor because they have the least need to work and the most disposable income. I knew a singer who went to a party at Oscar Hammerstein III’s mansion who said it was time to leave when Oscar brought pout the “nose candy.” Apparently, he had nothing better to do with daddy’s money. You seriously need to read Moshe Adler’s Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science that Makes Life Dismal. Adler is a professor of economics at the University of Tel Aviv.

Content Creation Time: Sun, 02 Jan 2022 03:27:14 GMT
Robert Congdon You’re a liar. You like the idle rich living off the labor of the workers because you’re pro-slavery trash.

Content Creation Time: Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:19:41 GMT
You are one really sick f— projecting your own greed onto everyone else. I know first hand that the “personal responsibility” cult is the greatest lie ever foisted by the rich onto the poor. It’s mind-boggling what a thieving mentality you have. Also, learn how to use apostrophes. Watch this and understand why everything that you’re spewing is utter garbage:

Due to continued violations, your account will not be restored.


LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant

Member (03/28/2022 15:02 CST)

I’m still waiting for an explanation of what my violations were, Was it because I said that Madeleine Albright is a child murderer? It’s no less true than what you’re allowing people to post about Putin. It says “you may reply to this case for 14 days,” but that’s a lie because you won’t let me reply without logging in, and you won’t let me log in.

Member (03/25/2022 13:59 CST)

Since you won’t even tell me what I specifically did that was in violation, I can only assume that this is not being honestly handled.

Response (03/25/2022 08:12 CST)

Hi Scott Andrew,

Thanks for contacting us.

Your account was previously restricted for violating the LinkedIn Terms of Service by posting content that has multiple violations of our Professional Community Policies. Sharing unprofessional content that harasses or bullies others goes against our policies. In order to reinstate your account, we had asked you to review and agree to comply with our User Agreement and Professional Community Policies.

• User Agreement:
• Professional Community Policies:

Due to continued violations, your account will not be restored.


LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant

Best Films I First Saw in 2021

I remember a film critic, possibly Roger Ebert (Google is not helping) say that it might be better to say what the best films we first saw in a given year were rather than the films made that year. I saw few films made in 2021, but I still saw a lot of films. I’m not including television episodes (I did see excellent episodes of Doctor Who, Once Upon a Time, and Bewitched, however), but am including short subjects, documentaries, recorded plays, and TV specials. It took me forever to rank these, which just seemed overly nitpicky beyond the three categories. The plan was to post in early January, but after I failed at working them into a ranking, I pushed it back to Oscar night.

With a rating of 10/10 (masterpiece):

The Spiral Staircase (Robert Siodmak, 1946)
O Lucky Man! (Lindsay Anderson, 1973) 
Mr. Freedom (William Klein, 1968)
Baron Prášil/The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Karel Zeman, 1962)
Macbeth (Orson Welles, 1948)
Rachel Luann Strayer’s Drowning Ophelia (Grant Williams, James Leagre, 2021) [play viewed live over Zoom and recorded–not a reading]
기생충/Kisaengch’ung/Gisaengchung/Helminth/Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019)
Émotion (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1966) [short]
Maleficent (Robert Stromberg, 2014)
Solace (Afonso Poyart, 2015)
The Hole (Joe Dante, 2009)
Federico Fellini – un autoritratto ritrovato/Federico Fellini’s Autobiography: Clips from His Life (Paquito del Bosco, 2000) [documentary]

With a rating of 9/10 (excellent):

Peace on Earth (Hugh Harman, 1939)  [animated short]
Riti, magie nere e sgreta orge nel trecenta…/Rites, Black Magic and Rough Orgies in the Fourteenth Century…/Black Magic Rites/The Reincarnation of Isabel (Ralph Brown [Renato Polselli], 1973)
Edward II (Derek Jarman, 1991)
if…. (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
True Stories: A Film About a Bunch of People in Virgil Texas. (David Byrne, 1986)
Welt am Draht/World on a Wire (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)
One Foot in the Past hosted by Tony Benn (2Enertain, 2008) 9 [short]
La Strada [The Road] (Federico Fellini, 1954)
Night of the Living Deb (Kyle Rankin, 2015)
オペレッタ狸御殿/Operetta tanuki goten/Operetta Tanuki Palace/Princess Raccoon (Seijun Suzuki, 2005)
Dave Made a Maze (Bill Watterson, 2017)
Red Riding Hood (Catherine Hardwicke, 2011)
Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
Liliom (Fritz Lang, 1934) 
Supernatural (Victor Halperin, 1933)
Через тернии к звёздам/Cherez ternii k zvyozdam/To the Stars by Hard Ways/Humanoid Woman (Richard Viktorov, 1980)
情癲大聖/Qíng diān dàshèng/The Great Sage of Love/A Chinese Tall Story (Jeff Lau, 2005) 
Planet of the Humans (Jeff Gibbs, 2020) [documentary]
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marc Webb, 2014)
Gycklarnas afton/The Evening of the Jesters/Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman, 1953)
Королевство кривых зеркал/Korolevstvo krivykh zerkal/The Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors (Aleksandr Rou, 1963)
La Lune à un Mètre/A Trip to the Moon/The Astronomer’s Dream/The Man in the Moon (Georges Méliès, 1898)
La frusta e il corpo/Le Corps et le fouet/The Whip and the Body/What (John M. Old [Mario Bava], 1963)
Takeover (Pamela Yates, Peter Kinoy, 1991) [documentary]
Britannia Hospital (Lindsay Anderson, 1982)
Sometimes a Great Notion (Paul Newman, 1971)
Dark Waters (André De Toth, 1944)
X: First Class/X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn, 2011)
Tangled (Nathan Greno, Byron Howard, 2010)
Filmový dobrodruh Karel Zeman/Film Adventurer Karel Zeman (Tomáš Hodan, 2015) [documentary]
Starcrossed: The Musical (Emily DeSena, 2021) 9 [45-minute Zoom condensation]
From Erased to Self-Empowered: Celebrating BIPOC Composers & Librettists (Kelly Kuo, 2021) [concert]
Night of the Living Deb Bloopers and Improv and Weirdness and Car Troubles and Non-Zombiefied People Walking All Over the Damn Place (edited by David Meiklejohn, 2015) 9 [short]
Wotan Assembly (Dan Hall, 2008) [short]

With a rating of 8/10 (“la tradition de la qualité”):

Tableau Vivant of the Delirium Constructions (Sarah Small, 2011)
Kaleidoscope (Len Lye, 1935) 8 [animated short; new score by Remo De Vico (2021)]
Doctor Atomic (Peter Sellars, 2007) [filmed stage production]
Show Boat (James Whale, 1936)
Carousel (Henry King, 1956)
Give Us the Moon (Val Guest, 1944)
Premature Burial (Roger Corman, 1962)
Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (Saul J. Turell, 1979) [documentary short]
Mayor (David Osit, 2020) [documentary]
The Beast Must Die (Paul Annett, 1974)
ཕོར་པ།/Phörpa/The Cup (Khyentse Norbu, 1999)
OzLand (Michael Williams, 2014)
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (Steve Wermers, Kevin Deters, 2017)  [animated short]
The Lottery (Daniel Sackheim, 1996)
I coltelli del vendicatore/The Knives of the Avenger (John Hold [Mario Bava, Leopoldo Savona], 1966)
Boom (Joseph Losey, 1968)
Fassbinder’s World on a Wire: Looking Ahead to Today (Juliane Lorenz, 2010) [documentary] 
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1947)
Bell Book and Candle (Richard Quine, 1958)
Making Woodshock: A Mental Landscape (Trailer Park Content, 2017) [documentary short]
Wakefield Express: The Portrait of a Newspaper (Lindsay Anderson, 1952) [documentary short]
Is That All There Is? (Lindsay Anderson, 1993) [documentary]
The Young Racers (Roger Corman, 1963)
Passion & Poetry: Sam’s Trucker Movie (Mike Siegel, 2013) [documentary]
Inside The Cup (Isaiah Seret, 2007) [documentary short]
Dragonslayer (Matthew Robbins, 1981)
The Power (Byron Haskin, 1968)
Annie Live! (Lear Debessonet, Alex Rudzinski, 2021) 
Lindsay Anderson: Lucky Man? (Becky Brazil, 2014) [documentary short]
HollywoodBaum (Nate Barlow, 2008) [documentary short]
O Lucky Malcolm! (Jan Harlan, 2006) [76 minute version on O Lucky Man! DVD]
A Christmas Carol (Edwin L. Marin, 1938)
The Revenge of Frankenstein (Terence Fisher, 1958)
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (Ken Annakin, 1952)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Joachim Rønning, 2019)
Frankenstein (J. Searle Dawley, 1910)
The Haunted Curiosity Shop (Walter R. Booth, 1901) [short]
Le Raid Paris à Monte Carlo en Deux Heures/An Adventurous Automobile Trip (Georges Méliès, 1905) [short]
Zulu (Cy Endfield, 1964)
Woodshock (Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy, 2017)
Hocus Pocus (Kenny Ortega, 1993)
La Maison Ensorcelée/The Haunted House (Segundo de Chomón, 1908) [short]
Convoy (Sam Peckinpah, 1978)
Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (Arthur Rankin, Jr.; Jules Bass, 1977)
A Miser Brothers’ Christmas (Dave Barton Thomas, 2008)
Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games (Curt Geda, 2012) [animated short]
Santa Claus Conquers the Devil (Daniel Griffith, 2011) [documentary]
This Is the Making of Dave Makes a Maze–What’s It Called? (John Charles Meyer, 2017) [documentary short]
Wicked in Concert (Baayork Lee, 2021) [concert film]
Night of the Living Deb: Behind the Scenes (David Meiklejohn, 2016) [documentary short]
Children of the Atom: Filming X-Men: First Class (2011) [documentary short]
Turns on the Carousel (Keith A. Cox, 2005) [documentary short]
Visions and Voices: The Making of Solace (2015)
Tout en haut du monde: Le Making Of/The Making of Long Way North (Robin Pfrimmer, 2015) [documentary short]Solace (2015) [short documentary]

LinkedIn Permanently Suspended Me

They didn’t even specify why other than claiming that I broke their Professional Community Agreements. My previous post about this made an assumption. They wouldn’t specify which agreement I violated nor what it was I posted that did it. I wrote back that their unwillingness to disclose this reeks of dishonesty on their part.

So my job search just got much harder, and it’s entirely because of the stupid choices of other people.

How to Get Professionally Published 101: Be a Clown-of-the-Earth Sycophant

Despite the blowback, it seems unlikely that the controversy will do anything but help Teresa Ghilarducci’s career. I Googled her. She is an economics professor at The New School. This makes them look bad, too. She’s a boomer (64 years old), and her Wikipedia article doesn’t say anything to imply that she’s this stupid. I wouldn’t be interested in her book after she wrote an article this stupid.

LinkedIn’s Sick, Twisted, Evil Community Policy

Making up lies about someone and posting them on LinkedIn is perfectly acceptable, but calling someone who does so “liar” gets your account restricted. No rational, ethical person agrees with such a policy.

Typical HR Suckage

On June 17, 2011, I was interviewed by Sibyl Zhang in the Human Resources Department at Sinopec USA, Inc. with regard to a position as a senior executive assistant, which was to consist of a great deal of writing as well as traveling to Beijing. She noted that my resume first caught her eye because she had attended Purdue University to study human resources, and my bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and communication is from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, so she believed that I was “an outstanding candidate in [my] peer group” for the position.

She had me provide a writing sample on what oil companies should do in the case of events such as the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Spill, which was a big news item at the time.

Here it is:

An Effective Approach to Disaster Management

By Scott A. Hutchins

When a disastrous event such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurs, the most important public relations move that an oil company can make is to acknowledge that it happened and take responsibility without making excuses or becoming defensive. The public wants to have a sense that the company takes responsibility for everything to do with its operations. The Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Inc. has done similar studies involving hospital accidental death procedures and has found openness about error to be more effective than concealment.1

In the case of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, British Petroleum did eventually admit that a mistake had been made when an engineer misread a pressure reading;2 however, the admission came four months after the spill and significant bad press, especially from online sources, and the company admitted responsibility only after a memo was leaked to the public. BP did not admit anything until they were forced to do so, while Transocean and Halliburton were both unwilling to accept responsibility for any aspect of the incident and accused the president’s commission of ignoring evidence that they had provided.3 When such claims are made, the public tends to be less willing to accept them.

The company should discuss strategies to prevent future incidents from occurring. The more details that the company can provide that shows that it has a handle on what went wrong, the more the public can accept that an accident of that kind or magnitude is less likely to occur.

This is not just a public relations issue. A 2010 study by the University of Michigan Health System shows that admission of responsibility can significantly decrease the monetary and temporal cost of litigation—UMHS cut its litigation costs nearly in half when it implemented the procedures of complete disclosure and taking responsibility.4 This replicates the results of a 1999 study done by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, whose risk management policy has been one of full disclosure since 1987.5 They found that admission of the error and the assistance of patients with their claims diminished anger and made patients more willing to negotiate for a settlement.

One of the most common things one hears about major corporations in lawsuits is that they “admitted no wrongdoing” when accused of doing something wrong. When something as undeniably wrong as a major oil spill occurs, the public is not willing to accept this as a response, and those with an interest in suing are likely to fight for maximum damages. The truth almost always comes out, and the empirical evidence shows that it is best for all involved if the corporation is the first to do so.

1Boutelle, Clif. “Preventable Hospital Deaths Can Be Reduced by Encouraging Error Reporting” 2009. Accessed June 17, 2011

2 Bates, Daniel. “BP Accepts Blame for Gulf of Mexico Spill After Leaked Memo Reveals Engineer Misread Pressure Reading.” 30 August 2010 Accessed June 17, 2011.

3 Mufson, Steven. “BP, Transocean, Halliburton Blamed by Presidential Gulf Oil Spill Commission.” January 6, 2001. Accessed June 17, 2011.

4 Pittman, Geneva. “Admitting Errors doesn’t Increase Lawsuits: Study.” Reuters. August 17, 2010. Accessed June 18, 2011.

5 Kramman, Steve S., and Ginny Hamm. “Risk Management: Extreme Honesty May Be the Best Policy.” Annals of Internal Medicine, December 21, 1999. Accessed June 18, 2011.

I was contacting Ms. Zhang every few weeks after that about the position, but kept getting told that the hiring managers had not read any of the candidates’ writing samples or made a decision. I was going through housing court at the time, and this was the first interview I had been invited to in quite some time. By this point, even temporary agencies were demanding online applications, with walk-ins and call-ins not accepted. (Someone at Axelon was particularly rude to me in on the phone once when I admitted I had not been called in to register with them.) E-mails to a number of my friends, including the late Arje Shaw, indicate that I was feeling quite on edge. My last e-mail from her was on June 30, with no decision having been made. The last e-mail I sent regarding the position was sent July 21 (although I made an inquiry again on May 10, 2012, the day before I became homeless), and my e-mails to others indicate that I last spoke to her in October 2011, presumably as it was becoming clear that Motéma Music, which had previously operated on a staff of three, did not have enough work to keep a fourth person employed. The last I spoke to Ms. Zhang on the phone, I was told that no decision had been made regarding the position.

Obviously, Ms. Zhang did her job professionally, although the fact that she admitted that she contacted me because she saw “Purdue” says a lot about how human resources departments work, or rather don’t work. The problems I’m talking about clearly happened higher up with people who had not met me, nor according to Ms. Zhang, anyone else, five months after my interview was conducted. These days, the fact that she contacted me with a Gmail address would have been a red flag that this was a scam, but my interview was held in Sinopec’s offices at 410 Park Avenue, so that’s unlikely. More likely, it was just an example of what is shown in the above video, only I wasn’t the candidate that they selected after six months (or more) of deliberation, or they put the position on hold and hired no one.

Progressive capitalism – an oxymoron

A perfect summation of why capitalism must end.

Michael Roberts Blog

Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel (Riksbank) prize winner in economics and former chief economist at the World Bank, as well as an adviser to the leftist Labour leadership in the UK.  He stands to the left in the spectrum of mainstream economics.

He has just published a new book called People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent, in which he proclaims that “We can save our broken economic system from itself.”  He is very concerned about the rising inequality of incomes and wealth in the major economies, especially in the US.  “Some 90 percent have seen their incomes stagnate or decline in the past 30 years. This is not surprising, given that the United States has the highest level of inequality among the advanced countries and one of the lowest levels of opportunity — with the fortunes of young Americans…

View original post 1,068 more words

MSNBC Is Far-Right Extremism

People who think MSNC is on the political left are fools.

Alec Karakatsanis’s comments are precisely why all rational people support defunding the police.

What Businesses Mean When They Complain About a “Labor Shortage”



9 hours ago You missed “give this candidate our ‘case study’ (our current business problem), string them along, and use it as free consulting and tell them we hired internally”


Mike S

Mike S

10 hours ago One mistake: HR uses application tracking software so they don’t have to manually filter through resumes. It lets them knock off early after taking a long lunch.




11 hours ago (edited) You forgot the part where picks up the phone and hires his cousin Phil who doesn’t have a degree, training, or any experience.




10 hours ago….plus coming in at a smooth $100k+, right? 🙂


charles Bauer

charles Bauer

10 minutes ago So True!

Today in the subway I saw an ad for a luxury condo that said “expereince” in the blurb. So they hired Cousin Phil who doesn’t even know how to use spell check to do the advertising copy over people with degrees, training, and experience.

If You’re Focused on Putin and Ignoring Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, You Are Racist as Fuck

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks vol. 76: Golden Age U.S.A. Comics vol. 1

Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age U.S.A. Comics, Vol. 1Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age U.S.A. Comics, Vol. 1 by Stan Lee, Basil Wolverton, Syd Shores, George Klein, Mike Suchorsky, Ed Winiarski, Al Avison, Al Gabriele, Phil Sturm, Arthur CazeneuveCharles Nicholas Wojtkoski, Mike Roy, Frank Giacoia, Carmine Infantino, Pierre Rice, Louis Cazeneuve, Howard James, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Sam Cooper, Al Fagaly; Introduction by Michael J. Vassallo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shockingly violent collection of lesser-known Golden Age Marvel characters with original cover dates of August 1941-May 1942, although only the fourth issue seems to have been readied after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prior to this book’s 2007 publication (appropriately, the 76th Marvel Masterwork), the best known were the Whizzer and Jack Frost, both of whom appeared as members of the Liberty Legion in Roy Thomas‘s Invaders and Liberty Legion stories. Other characters who appear here would reappear after this volume was published, such as Rockman in The Twelve, Rockman, Jack Frost, Major Liberty, Vagabond, Defender, Young Avenger, and Captain Terror in Avengers/Invaders, and Major Liberty in All-New Invaders, where he was killed off. While The Angel and Namor got less violent and less lethal as their Golden Age adventures proceeded, U.S.A. Comics, the tenth title from Marvel (which according to the indicia was now calling itself U.S.A. Comic Magazine Corp. rather than Timely Comics, Inc.) and the last (in terms of original chronology) of the Golden Age titles to be introduced in Masterworks, seemed to get more violent as it proceeded, with the fourth issue having the Defender intentionally drown the villain, the Vagabond stabs him with a knife intended for the hero, Rockman throwing the villain down a fissure, Jack Frost freezing them to death (in the previous issue, he deliberately made the villain’s car go off a cliff), Captain Terror returns a torpedo to the Nazis, destroying their ship (more normal turnabout for this era, just as lethal but less personal) and perhaps most shockingly, Major Liberty grabbing his foe’s machine gun and killing all of his henchmen with it like he’s the Punisher. Even the Laughing Mask, who murdered criminals who begged for mercy, didn’t use automatic weapons. No wonder comics were so controversial in the forties! If they were between different covers and not marketed as kid-friendly, they could have saved a lot of headaches for the industry.

Shores’s Major Liberty (Mister Liberty in his first appearance) is reminiscent of Kid Eternity, who would first appear from Quality later that year (later acquired–some would say strongarmed–by DC), but isn’t nearly as interesting. He uses his ability to summon spirits of the American Revolution only in issues #1 and #3, and the latter is Paul Revere again (Revere, Ethan Allen, and the Green Mountain Boys appeared in #1). In issues #2 and #4, he’s just another vigilante, a history professor with the unlikely name of John Liberty (MyHeritage has three John Libertys, so it’s not totally ridiculous).

The Vagabond is Pat Murphy, who is a deputy district attorney who disguises himself as temporarily embarrassed millionaire Chauncey Throttlebottom III, whom it’s hard not to imagine speaking in a foppish British accent. As someone who spent 99 months living in homeless shelters and continues to be an activist for the homeless, it is mildly offensive, but Ed Winiarski’s art is some of the best in the volume, and unlike many of the other characters, the stories all feature recurring supporting characters: two more deputy D.A.s named Kelly and Grogan. Kelly’s dialogue tends to contain dialect markers while Grogan’s does not, although all three characters have Irish names. The Vagabond started riding the rails in a story in Golden Age Young Allies vol. 1 (issue #4 before migrating into Comedy Comics (which continued where Daring Mystery Comics vol. 2 left off)), but in these stories, he lived on a town called Middleton, which expressly prohibits vagrancy on its town sign.

Middleton is also the setting of the fourth Defender story. The twist here is that the villain just happens to be the first scientist that the Defender consults for help. The Defender and Rusty are blatant knockoffs of Captain America and Bucky, only they’re Marines instead of Army men and the Defender’s pants are pinstriped like the Vagabond and the Destroyer), and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo (a dentist, not a Ph.D.), in his introduction, believes that the earliest story was a redrawn Captain America story. Unlike the other characters’ first stories, the splash panel says “once again” as though we are already familiar with the characters. Dame Kackle, the villain, looks far more interesting on the cover than she does in the interior, where she looks simply like a spry older woman (although honestly, without the text I would have assumed she was a man) dressed as a pirate. His stories get better further on, when Vassallo believes that George Klein contributed to the art.

Bill Bryon, the Young Avenger, may be the first comic book hero to live with his parents (only his mother is shown, but a reference to “waking the whole house” implies he has other family. The character has “tremendous strength” and can fell his foes (Nazis) easily with one punch. Vassallo assumes this strength to be superhuman, but if he is anything more than a highly athletic vigilante, it’s neither stated nor implied by this story, which Vassallo considers weak, and the editor justified in axing the character from further appearances. The story is signed by Michael Robard. Vassallo says this is Mike Roy, and that the credit to Howard Purcell (who co-created the Gay Ghost and the Enchantress for DC), which appears in the table on contents, is an incorrect conjecture by Jerry Bails. He appears in the illustration for Stan Lee’s text story in issue #2, but he is not mentioned in the text at all, and next appeared in 2011’s All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes.

In this text story, the heroes gather much like the Justice Society, and promise that the best story of the adventures they will tell at the meeting will be the text story in the next issue, but that didn’t happen, even though Lee also wrote it. The text story in issue #3, “Quicker than the Eye!” is one of the better ones, not to mention longer ones (the text is much smaller to make it fit on the allotted two pages, and it has no illustration). It deals with carnival magician Paul North captured by Lew Jorden, the head of a rival company. Jorden puts North in a tiger cage, but he is able to protect himself from the tiger by baffling it with his sleight of hand skills. The description and characterization are much stronger than usual in these generally pulpy and forgettable stories. Lee seemed to have a penchant at this period for having villains die of cardiac arrest, as happens to Jorden, as well as to Silky Kirby in the second Whizzer story, although it’s unsigned and may not have been written by Lee.

The Whizzer was actually one of the more disappointing offerings despite the excellent art by Al Avison in the original story, which actually plays out contrary to more contemporary descriptions. First of all, Bob Frank gets a fever, during which he is approached rather unrealistically by a cobra (luckily for ophidiophobes like me, it’s shown only two panels, and in long shot. In the second panel the cobra is attacked by a mongoose, which kills the cobra off-panel. It’s clearly stated that Bob is saved from the cobra by the mongoose, but I changed it on Wikipedia, and it’s still up on Wikia, that he was bitten by a cobra. Dr. Emil Frank, Bob’s father, gives him a blood transfusion from the mongoose (it’s not clear if the mongoose lived, but one would hope so given Dr. Frank’s gratitude), which is said to give him the mongoose’s super-speed. This is unrealistic on multiple levels. It’s highly unlikely that a venomous snake would intentionally wander up to an unconscious human and bite them, at least not in the African savannah. I think this may have been inspired by stories of rattlesnakes in people’s boots or tents in deserts of the American southwest, where nights are cold, and rattlesnakes seek warm shelter and will bite a human if they’re afraid. Then, mongooses avoid cobras despite mythologies of the two being archenemies. Their legendary ability to kill cobras has some truth to it, but only because cobras are slow-witted. Jack Kirby’s stories as writer-artist often included the phrase “with the speed of a striking cobra,” so I don’t know how true this is or if Kirby knew what he was talking about, and being an ophidiophobe, I don’t want to look up cobras, especially so soon before I go to sleep. I do know that mongooses against pit vipers was a popular bloodsport, at least at one time, and one that mongooses typically lost. The ridiculousness of the mongoose’s blood giving Bob superspeed was so ludicrous that he was later retconned as having a mutant ability that caused it to happen. In this well-constructed debut, the Whizzer’s destiny as a crime fighter was a given once he got his powers. A criminal named Granno brings a man named Jennings to his office, ostensibly for to Dr. Frank to treat. While Dr. Frank is operating, Granno pushes his arm, killing Jennings. Granno’s henchman, Spike, is prepared to testify that Frank killed him, so Frank follows Granno’s advice to take his adult son, Bob, whom, Granno punches out, out of the country to avoid being prosecuted. Dr. Frank dies of “strain” very soon after administering the transfusion (what is it with these things?) Bob returns to the States, beats up Granno’s mob, and leaves a note at the D.A.’s office about Jennings (would that really work?), and in the clever final panel, complains about a crowd moving to slowly. This story is excellent, but the most interesting thing about the tired race-fixing plot of the next one is Bob running the shot jockey, Earl Sikes, to the hospital, and bringing the doctor’s tools to push him harder to treat Sikes as an emergency. After Whizzer’s bowing out of the next issue, the next Whizzer artist, Howard James, also uses another race plot (groan), in which the Whizzer replaces a lost wheel on the car to help his friend, Jere Kenny, win the race. In the Silver Age, superpowered heroes in sports was considered cheating, but in the Golden Age, both Superman and Captain Marvel helped underdog football teams win games, and in Flash Comics #1, the whole school knew Jay Garrick was the Flash and was happy to have him help the school win record trophies. A strong start for the Whizzer, then lackluster and uneven. So far, the best Whizzer story after the first is the one by Lee and Mike Sekowsky in the prison, which is found in Golden Age All Winners vol. 1.

I particularly liked Powers of the Press, another Ed Winiarski tale, which replaces the Whizzer in issue #3. This story involves a journalist, Tom Powers, and a photographer, Candid Kenny Roberts, their crusty but compassionate editor, Cupid “Kewpie” Cueball (whose bios, as if in a newspaper, begin the story), along with Detective Clancey Mullaney, who has a strong rivalry with Powers, but not so much that he doesn’t acknowledge his help. The villain of the piece (spoiler) is bankster “P.J. Organ,” which helps it hold up, and Kenny whacks him with his camera. Unfortunately, this feature must have seemed to readers too much like Superman without the superheroing (Clark Kent, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Sergeant Casey), and the feature never appeared again.

The “Diamond of Juba” story is a South American adventure story about white imperialism and entitlement, which is not to say it’s not played in earnest–there’s even a reference to the missionaries making the “Intec” (spelled “Inter” the first time) people “modern,” i.e. Christian and not polytheistic. At least the fiancée got to participate in the adventure. It’s fairly long, too, with a small font and no illustration, and reads like a bit more care went into it than usual. “The Haunted Fireplace” by Arthur Cazeneuve is the least interesting of the four text stories, particularly owing to its similarity to the third Major Liberty story, a villain faking a ghost for an inheritance.

Captain Terror, by Mike Suchorsky (NOT the aforementioned Sekowsky) is like a seafaring version of Batman–millionaire playboy Dan Kane’s friendship with Navy Admiral Leete is reminiscent of Bruce Wayne’s friendship with James Gordon, although my biggest question is how he was able to convince Leete that he has a “weak heart” that doesn’t allow him to enlist. In the story in issue #3, he battles gypsy (the word used) Nazi ally Black Carlo, who is even featured on the cover (editorial was clearly enamored with Captain Terror despite being axed after three appearances). It’s weird seeing a Roma allied with Nazis, given that they were the second (chronologically) group Hitler tried to eliminate after the communists and the first based on ethnicity. There is a sort of “gypsy queen” character (unnamed) who at least makes clear that her people are afraid of Black Carlo. A whole troupe of Roma allied with Hitler would have seemed much more implausible than one sellout–recall the Jewish sellout in Schindler’s List and how poorly things turned out for him. In the first story, the villain, Black Claw (not to be confused with Black Talon, Captain America’s foe), is directly tied to his origin, in which we’re told that Captain Terror was a hero of the Spanish-American War who disappeared, although it’s clear that Kane was not the Captain Terror from back then–he’s of course, too young, probably in his twenties like most superheroes.

Jack Frost, whose first story was by Stan Lee and whose third story was the earliest work by Frank Giacoia and Carmine Infantino, is one of the more interesting characters. As a force of nature, one thinks of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, although Jack Frost is much more clearly in the superhero mode. The cops are frequently after him because of a frame-up, and in the fourth story, the villain even uses that fact to further frame him. It seems like he wastes too much time taking off the red business suit he wears in an attempt to hide his icy appearance, as no indication of super-speed is given. Of all the features, this one has the strongest sense of continuity between episodes.

For serial feel without any continuing thread, there is Rockman. Basil Wolverton’s detailed but rather wacky art style was mimicked for the third (which was by Stan Lee) and fourth stories, Wolverton himself having abandoned it after two issues. Rockman is known by no other name apart from his “Underground Secret Agent” subtitle (Vassallo suspects he might be the character advertised as “United States Man” in one of the earliest house ads that are printed un the back), and is the ruler of Abysmia, an underground kingdom–another of the house ads calls him Abyssman: Underground Secret Agent. Zombo, the villain of the second piece, is classic Wolverton. It’s unclear why another artist did the splash page for the first one, clearly with Zombo (looking more gruesome than he did in the story)–Vassallo notes that the artist even got his headgear wrong, and it wouldn’t be the first time, either, as that headgear pops up in the header illustration for the #2 text story and #3’s story. Lee’s story is particularly bizarre and feels like something out of a chapter play serial of the time with a fairy tale twist–the King of the Pixies kidnaps Princess Alecia of Jugoslavia [sic] to be his wife. The Pixies are described as natural enemies to the Abysmians, and in the end, after dispatching with their king (characteristic of Lee, with just a knockout punch, not a killing, as in the other three stories) and saving Alecia, he puts his unidentified prime minister in charge of them. One wonders how well they would have taken to that. It’s a shame that Lee, who admitted to a bad memory that he used as an excuse for giving his recurring characters alliterative names, had forgotten Abysmia when he was reviving Namor’s Atlantis, but this volume does give you the complete appearances of the character (whose name sounds pretty uninspired relative to the material, especially after all the apparent waffling prior to publication) up to the time it was published. Of course, if he had, the Mole Man would be lucky to have survived his first appearance!

The final new feature is the uninspired Corporal Dix, the only character to return in the next issue, promoted to Sergeant Dix (The Whizzer would continue, but his appearances were inconsistent). In this brief story, Jeff Dix uses his time off to go home to his mother and brother, Joe, only to discover that Joe has been hanging out with gangsters. Jeff tries to get Joe to join the Home Guard, but only when Joe is forced to choose between Jeff and the criminals does he (spoiler alert) join the Home Guard.

While an uneven collection, the art and storytelling have, for the most part, improved substantially from Marvel’s earlier flop anthologies, Daring Mystery Comics and Mystic Comics (I can’t comment on Red Raven Comics, which lasted one issue and has not been reprinted in its entirety–hence why only nine titles were included in the Marvel Masterworks Golden Age collection, while this is the tenth series Marvel published). Marvel did publish a second volume through issue #8 (in #6, Captain America was added as a feature, presumably to boost sales), with nine more issues remaining to collect. As with other Golden Age volumes, the indicia and house ads are all included. The limited edition of the dust jacket even included an American flag as the backdrop. One suspects that Marvel took some pride in publishing this reprint volume and must have been disappointed with the sales.

View all my reviews

Another shitty reason I can’t post on Facebook

They didn’t even give me an option to contest it.

I found a group making fun of right-wing memes called “So this is the right’s fabled memeing ability.”

I posted it like this, captioned, in quotation marks:

“God, forgive me for all the n******s I’m about to shoot just because they scare me.”

The worst part is that they aren’t giving me any option to contest it, nor are they telling me why they’ve suspended me beyond not following community standards. It’s normally much more specific, but if they did it would be ludicrous. With the n-word censored with asterisks, they can’t justify calling it “hate speech.” With the quotation clearly ascribed to the cop, they can’t justify calling it “incitement or violence” because we all know cops shooting black people and claiming that they feared for their lives is a common occurrence, one that’s actually increased since the public has expressed its outrage. Finally, because the meme doesn’t identify the cop in question, and his badge is blurry, he stands in for police in general, so it’s clearly not about bullying or smearing the specific cop in the photo.

Yet another example of Facebook censoring material they can’t possibly justify. The last one they allowed me to contest, and they overturned it within a day. This time I can’t even tell them that they got it wrong. Even if they disagree with me, I should at least be able to complain directly to them that they made a mistake.

More Proof the Mainstream Media Is Far-Right Propaganda

Indisputable Proof MSNBC Has a Far-Right Agenda

Never trust anyone who claims that MSNBC is left-wing media. Such people are either ignorant or lying.

Yesterday I was at an anti-war protest organized by Veterans for Peace, the Raging Grannies, Blacks Against Imperialism, and others. WPIX11, which is affiliated with The New York Daily News was there, but the story they put together was pro-war propaganda that discounted our assertions that the U.S. was siding with Nazis:

Here, Saagar Enjeti criticizes mainstream media’s dishonest attempts to equate Putin with Hitler:

The United States is a fascist oligarchy that ignores the will of the people. Over 80% of the country wants their tax money going for universal health care. More than half the country opposes war with Russia, yet even after allegedly pulling forces out of Afghanistan (while leaving it full of mercenaries), Congress voted to increase “defense” spending for precisely this purpose. The United States cannot rationally be considered a representative republic, let alone a democracy. The Republicans may be more obviously moving the United States toward autocracy, but the Democrats are doing so more insidiously. There are so many people who need to be removed from office for treason, including much of the Georgia state legislature:

Facebook Is Run by Lying Sacks of Shit

According to Facebook, this has been “fact checked” by AFP, which is a division of the American Enterprise Institute, which is a far-right organization that denies climate change. Facebook is pushing propaganda and burying the truth.

May Mercedes S. Johnson Have to Spend the Eight Years Homeless that She Deserves

Film Review: Cimarron (Wesley Ruggles, 1931)

I had been wanting to see Show Boat (James Whale, 1936) ever since seeing Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon, 1998), in which James Whale, as portrayed by Ian McKellen, has that recurring line, “I made Show Boat!” but for the longest time I had been unable to find it. All that seemed to be available was George Sidney’s 1951 version starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel. In 2020, The Criterion Collection released a two-disc DVD edition of Whale’s film, which I viewed in September. In addition to being the first time I saw a performance by the legendary Paul Robeson (I had seen Ossie Davis’s play, Paul Robeson: All American, at Indiana Repertory Theatre and created the Wikipedia article on Lawrence Benjamin Brown, Robeson’s usual accompanist, at an Edit-a-thon at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture), the supplements are pretty extensive. The only parts I didn’t get to before I returned it to the library were the radio play versions, and that was because those portions of the disc were damaged, shutting off near the beginning of each. The supplements approach the film from multiple angles, including issues of race and racism, adapting musicals to the language of cinema, and the novelist Edna Ferber, who made her acting debut in one of the radio versions in the role of Parthenia “Parthy” Hawks, mother of central character Magnolia Hawks.

That brings me to Cimarron, also based on a novel by Edna Ferber. I had been looking through Phil Hardy‘s The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: The Western and had consciously decided to watch more Westerns, a genre that has never been a particular favorite of mine, and thought that this Oscar-winner and Ferber adaptation ought to be one of the first I take a look at (although I got to Ambush at Cimarron Pass (no relation to this film), Across the Wide Missouri, and Pursued before it). Partly due to starting up too late in the evening to start a film over two hours, I was at maximum renewals on the copy I got from the public library before I watched it. Cimarron and Cavalcade are the lowest rated Best Picture winners in the Internet Movie Database. I saw Cavalcade (Frank Lloyd, 1933) a number of years ago and was pleasantly surprised by it. I remember in the 1990s at a mall bookstore seeing a book where a critic was arguing films that should have won Best Picture. He thought that King Kong should have won for 1933 (it wasn’t nominated), but he had no disagreement with the previous two years’ winners, All Quiet on the Western Front and Cimarron.

Cimarron definitely deserved to win Best Picture, although I think the film’s brilliance becomes clearer in the last third. Whereas the male lead in Show Boat, which is similarly a family saga set over more than forty years, was a lout, Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix) is a progressive anti-racist hero who converts his wife, Sabra Venable Cravat (Irene Dunne, who would go on to play Magnolia Hawks in Whale’s version of Show Boat) to his point of view such that she becomes the first woman to represent Oklahoma as a member of Congress. The one Academy Award of the eight that existed at the time for which it was eligible but not nominated (it was ineligible for original screenplay) was sound recording, which wasn’t good. It sounded like it was raining all the time. Usually films of this period that are this high profile have noise reduction and restoration work done. This film deserves to be better known than just for being on the list of Best Picture winners. It also won Best Writing, Adaptation (Howard Estabrook) and Best Art Direction (Max Rée). Ruggles, Dix, Dunne, and cinematographer Edward Cronjager also received nominations,

According to Wikipedia, more recent critics have declared Cimarron a racist film. The second scene in the house of the Venables, a prominent Wichita family to whom Yancey is son-in-law) is quite off-putting because it has a black kid, Isaiah (Eugene Jackson, whose career lasted until 1993, when he appeared in the television series Picket Fences), in a hammock above the table fanning the family as they eat dinner, and that his mother is an obese “mammy” type. I mean, my reaction to that was pretty negative, too, but the Venables are a foil for Yancey Cravat, who speaks up for the rights of the indigenous in the very same scene, to the ire of everyone else, including his wife, and later tells her that the Venables are exactly the kind of people he doesn’t want to be, derisively comparing them to vegetables in a simple play on words. Yancey’s treatment of Isaiah is very different from how others treat him, much more like the child of a family friend than a servant. It appears we’ve become so used to casual racism in 1930s media that we write off any depiction of racism in this period as the point of view of the filmmakers. You’ll recall in the previous paragraph that I described Yancey as a progressive anti-racist. The Criterion edition of Show Boat contained a documentary produced by Abby Lustgarden, Recognizing Race in Show Boat, interviewing professor and author Shana L. Redmond on that film’s complicated relationship to race. The audio commentary, recorded in 1989 by Miles Kreuger, a historian of American musical theatre, stated that Show Boat was the only film in the 1930s to even mention “miscegenation,” let alone make it a major plot point–Krueger notes that the 1929 version, twenty minutes of excerpts from which are included as a supplement, had eliminated it entirely and replaced it with Parthy being jealous of Julie’s materteral relationship Magnolia.

Yancey runs for governor with the Progressive Party in 1909, several years before the party was actually formed historically. This is a notable part of his character. He’s quite vocal about the theft of indigenous land. When called upon as a learned lawyer to give a Sunday sermon because the fictional boomtown of Osage, Oklahoma (there is a real town by that name but its population is under 200), where most of the film is set, he tells the indigenous people in the back not to participate in the collection because the land has been stolen from them. In the film’s climax, he is approached to screw over the oil rights of the indigenous in a racket, which he not only opposes but exposes in an editorial despite Sabra’s insistence that he not do so believing it will get him killed and that she will lose her place among the society women because of such an unpopular position–I certainly wouldn’t expect a film of this era, a Western in particular to lionize crushing an attempt to paternalistically steal oil from indigenous people couched as “bookkeeping” matter. The first newspaper man to come to Osage was murdered by Lon Yountis (Stanley Fields), who takes his chance to kill Yancey during the Sunday sermon, but Yancey is a quicker draw, and a skilled enough shooter that no innocents are hurt. Yountis and his gang frequently brutalized notions seller Sol Levy (George E. Stone), a small Jewish man. Yancey comes to his defense and makes Sol his lifelong friend, even choosing an Old Testament scripture for the sermon after allowing Sol to sit in the front row. Perhaps this is somewhat paternalistic and part of the reaction to the film as racist, although I think the point was to show that Yancey rejects anti-Semitism, a theme particularly important for the 1930s. Yancey tells Sabra that until it’s her name on the masthead (she was acting publisher while he was away during the war with Spain) she is not going to stop him from publishing anything she thinks is too inflammatory and that in the future his editorial will someday be the proudest moment of the paper, and at the end of the film, she, again as acting editor when Yancey has left for the oil fields, wants it reprinted for the newspaper’s 40th anniversary issue. Their printer, Jesse Rickey (Rosco Ates), already has the article bookmarked in the paper’s bound archive copies expecting this moment.

Probably done with rear projection, but still effective.

In the film’s impressive night scene of the Cravats’ arrival in Osage felt to me as palpable as night scenes of 1970s New York City often are. A particularly effective shot has a distraught Sabra waking in the middle of the night to find Yancey not in bed with her, and seeing the gambling den of Grat Gotch (uncredited William Orlamond), which is still just a tent, as are many of the main street businesses at this point) through the window (without a cut) and wanting to return to Wichita. Earlier Sabra had been upset that a furniture store was also an undertaker’s, and Yancey notes that in a new town many businesses will be doubled-up out of necessity. While Yancey’s career as a newspaper editor is emphasized through the early part of the film, in a number of shots, another sign on the building saying “Yancey Cravat, Attorney-at-Law,” is clearly visible, setting up a much later scene in the film.

The film’s much-lauded opening scene shows the Oklahoma land run (which was used as stock footage for many other Westerns), in which the Oklahoma Territory (formerly called Indian Territory), is opened up for white settlers as noon on April 22, 1889. Thousands of people are ready to stake their claims on land in the new territory. It includes people on foot, people on covered wagons, people with the framework for cover wagons but no cover, and even a guy on a penny farthing bicycle. In this scene, Yancey meets Dixie Lee (Estelle Taylor), who, like him, is prepared to enter the territory on horseback and alone. There is a lot of noise during their opening conversation, not jut from the film’s noisy sound recording, but from the crowd noises. Their conversation is intelligible, but you do have to concentrate a bit in the manner of a Robert Altman film, which gives it a more naturalistic feel. Yancey accepts her on her own terms and avoids the sexism one might expect of the period, even if others don’t think it’s an appropriate place for an unaccompanied woman. They do end up rather near each other as they charge into the territory, but in their haste, in which the camera appears to be undercranked in a holdover of silent tradition, her horse breaks his legs. She asks Yancey to shoot her horse. She walks out of the shot, and we expect it’s because she doesn’t want to witness the mercy killing, but she quickly mounts Yancey’s horse and speeds off, but she is soon off the horse. I thought it had started to rain at this point, but given the sound later in the film, I wasn’t sure. Anyway, in the scene immediately following, the Venables are deriding him for allowing a woman to take his claim. He says that had she been a man he would have shot her, but he wasn’t willing to shoot a woman. They think he should have. When the Cravats arrive in Osage, Yancey is surprised to find her living there, and though their conversation is merely cordial, Sabra immediately dislikes her. When he returns after being gone several years, he finds that Dixie is to be jailed for being a public nuisance (presumably this means prostitution, but there is nothing in this “pre-code” film to suggest it to an untrained eye). Sabra raised the charge, and he sees Rickey ready to print the article stating that she is going to go to jail. When Sabra tells Yancey that no one is going to defend her, he comes out of unofficial retirement to defend her, which Sabra finds outrageous.

The prosecutor, Pat Leary (uncredited Robert McKenzie), is so overacted that one is almost taken out of the film until Yancey describes him as the only man who can strut sitting down. (Pursued also had a courtroom scene, something I wouldn’t think would be all that common in Westerns given the typical use of gunplay to solve problems.) That Yancey’s approach to the case is progressive and not at all about an inappropriate interest in Dixie Lee is clear when he has her take the witness stand and explain how she was orphaned at 15, took up a job as a a librarian and was tricked into a bigamist, unlawful marriage. Numerous attempts to set up in new towns had failed once people learned of her past. Leary objects, and the judge sustained it. Even so, Yancey manages to convince the jury that she should be set free. More importantly, at home he is able to convince his wife that she doesn’t really have anything against Dixie Lee, that her complaint is really against “the social order” that doesn’t give someone like Dixie Lee a chance to have success in life. While the Venables are disgusted with Yancey’s attitude toward the rights of minorities, which they consider low class, he obviously has enough wealth to build a shopfront home soon after his arrival in Tulsa, and to pay others to do much of the physical labor, as Rickey is the one shown putting up the sign.

The title of the film is explained as meaning “wild.” says that it means bighorn sheep. It is also the name of a county in the Oklahoma panhandle, an area that was once part of the Republic of Texas that it had to give up in order to maintain slavery on becoming a state, although there is no indication that this film is set in the panhandle. That the Oklahoma Wigwam‘s offices are in a skyscraper at the end of the film (which in 1929, a year before the film was shot) is suggests that Osage is a stand-in for Tulsa or Oklahoma City, not the panhandle. (Are we going to say that the film is racist for not showing the attack on Black Wall Street?) Cimarron (shortened to Cim–Kreuger tells us Ferber invented the similar name “Kim” for Magnolia’s daughter in Show Boat) is also the name of Yancey’s son (played by at various ages by Douglas Scott, Junior Johnston, and Douglas Dillaway, all uncredited). His role in the film is not large, but it’s crucial. Sabra hires a house girl, Ruby Big Elk (Gloria Vonic and Dolores Brown, neither credited and both in their only known screen appearance) the daughter of an Osage chief. It’s clear in their childhood how much Cim likes her just from the few interactions we see between them. Sabra is trained to be a racist, distraught at any contact between Cim and the indigenous population. An elder gives him a set of feathers as they are moving into their new home in Osage, and Sabra takes them away. When Cim tells Sabra that he is going to marry Ruby, she is angered and tells him his father won’t approve, but he tells her that he already has. By the time of her luncheon celebrating her election to U.S. Congress, Sabra is clearly enamored of her daughter-in-law and grandchildren, while her daughter, Donna (Helen Parrish (uncredited) and Nancy Dover, later known as Judith Barrett) showed little growth–petulant and her father’s failure to strike oil, she refuses to continue attending school in New York City and married a wealthy, much older man, Louis Hefner (Robert McWade). Cimarron seems to symbolize growth, change, and acceptance, while Donna seems to be carrying on in the tradition of the Venables. She may love them both, but she seems more proud of her son and his family, who are given more screen time in this scene. While Redmond criticizes Magnolia’s cultural appropriation of African-American culture in Show Boat, suggesting that her dances with Joe and Queenie (Paul Robeson and Hattie McDaniel) are parodying the way African-Americans dance, she and Kreuger do find it more complicated than that, as Joe and Queenie are pleased that a white person appreciates their culture, and that over the course of the film she abandons blackface performance to find her own style that nevertheless takes the African-American styles as an influence, this film has an approach to race that is just as complicated, and is certainly well-meaning in a time when overt racism like that of the Venables was rarely treated as an issue. and it’s nonsense to write it off as racist the way one can so easily with a film like D.W. Griffith’s massively overrated, bloated, and dull The Birth of a Nation.

I don’t think it’s racism that compels critics to dissuade people from viewing the film. I think it’s because it invites us to embrace Yancey’s left-politics against establishment figures like the Venables and Mrs. Wyatt (Edna May Oliver). The film portrays Yancey as a hero to the very end, even though he does, as one might expect in a Western, kill a few bad guys along the way, softened by the fact that they are usually people he would rather not have had to kill. And yet, Yancey is not a sheriff nor anyone attempting to preserve social order on authoritarian grounds. His concern is always for justice, never for expediency. It may be expedient to denounce the film as racist, but it is neither just nor honest.

“Fact Checkers” Have No Qualifications and Should Be Homeless

And people are going to have tantrums about my headline just like Politifact did in the above story. So getting a job in journalism is dependent on willingness to push a Koch Brothers narrative, not ability or credentials. The headline is based on people telling me that I deserve to be homeless because I won’t take jobs that my physical disabilities make unsustainable. If that means deserving to be homeless, people who are paid to lie to the public most definitely deserve to be homeless.

More Thieving Capitalists Masquerading as Non-Profits and Exploiting Homeless People

Candace Owens Needs to Experience Homelessness

She’s not even comparing it to slavery in the way I have in that they coerced labor out of us at 29 cents an hour. She just wants to criminalize being homeless.

How does that even square with this in her lunatic mind?

The reality is that she is a crook who is being rewarded for her misdeeds.

Paul Begala Deserves to Be Homeless!

I need to clarify my title because many of my friends in private e-mail as well as Julie on my blog have objected to me saying that others deserve to be homeless. No one deserves to be homeless. However, we live in a system that has declared me unworthy of having the basics in spite of eight years of higher education including six years in undergraduate earning two majors and attempting a minor that didn’t work out, causing me to live 99 months in homeless shelters and to continue be dependent on the city government for the basics of existing. I also deal with constant social media trolling that flat-out lies regarding my efforts to obtain employment in order to fit their narrative that I’m somehow lazy and/or incompetent, and I’ve been told that I deserve to be homeless far more than once for refusing minimum wage employment that conflicts with the advice of a multitude of doctors.

When people like Paul Begala, who are likely set for life, share these imbecilic takes and are presumably well paid to do so despite their obvious incompetence, I do have a right to question their worthiness under the system and want to see parity. And yes, I’m well aware that some people (e.g. Candace Owens and pretty much anyone on PragerU) are deliberately paid to say stupid things to seduce the gullible, but I just can’t fathom this nonsensical strategy that clearly isn’t helping the Democratic Party in the polls. This is just another perfect example of the anti-meritocratic nature of the capitalist system.

Capitalism Rewards the Lazy and the Evil

An Action in Albany

I went up to Albany with Housing Justice for All to protest the evictions. We barricaded the doors on one side of the Capitol. Cops or security tried to come out, but couldn’t, but they didn’t bother with the other doors. We put two small U-hauls full of old furniture up there along with boxes with stencils of the governor’s face. I obviously didn’t do much of the heavy lifting. Despite only a dozen people on the bus, we had well over 50 people and probably at least 15 doing the civil disobedience. I did grab a table that was a cube on casters and shove it in the revolving door. Even with people linking arms in front of the door, no cops showed after an hour. It was so cold that people were hoping the arrest would be immediate. Then we carried a bunch of furniture into the street and blocked it. State troopers and Albany police set up roadblocks to protect us, but wouldn’t go anywhere near us, even with the civil disobedience team again linking arms and sitting in the crosswalk.

I think we came to the conclusion that they wanted us to freeze. I was definitely getting concerned about how my feet were holding up, and other people actually brought it up and said they noticed a lot of us were walking oddly. I had handwarmers but not foot warmers, and I was drumming a bucket, pulling my fingers out of the glove fingers so they could warm each other and moving around the hand warmer a lot when it didn’t get hot. The package has clear warnings that it can burn, which definitely made the drumming a challenge. As with a lot of advanced singers, drumming doesn’t come too easily for me other than to replicate the exact rhythm of my voice, but it felt like I was improving.

We protested for over two hours when the food came, so we left the furniture in the street, had lunch, and came back to NYC. One of the tables was extremely nice at one time. It was a small, round table with a stained glass flower design, but it was shedding broken glass, so it was no longer safe to use.

It Is an Objective Fact that Facebook Is Run by Imbeciles Who Deserve to Be Homeless

According to Facebook, this post endorses a prohibited group. 30-Day Suspension, No one who agrees is competent enough to have a job.

Boomers Brag About Bullshit

Let’s say she graduated in 1975. That would be $3,874.74 adjusted for inflation. The average cost of public colleges in the United States is $9,970 for in-state tuition and $25,620 for out-of-state tuition, not including room and board. So basically she is bragging that her tuition was only a third of what is currently average. Unless you were able to get that rate now, that’s nothing to brag about. Boomers bragging about how easily they paid off their student loan debt have nothing to brag about, and Joe Biden is a scumbag for unconstitutionally making student loan debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Joe Biden: Far-Right Lying Sack of Shit

It’s extremely obvious that Joe Biden is doing everything he can to ensure that Donald Trump pulls a Grover Cleveland, which is terrifying.

Absolute Proof Twitter Is Guilty of Selective Enforcement

If Twitter allows Keith Olbermann to post smears calling people “whore” for debunking lies, they cannot possibly justify their deletion of my account.

I Spoke About Homelessness on a Panel

Optimum’s service is again atrocious. I called them eight times today alone, which they will probably deny, so it was hard for me to comment on a conversation I largely hadn’t heard, although I wasn’t the only one who was having the same problem.

I forgot to mention it, but I’ve seen a PSA that say one in five New Yorkers has mental illness, which makes it the same as the homeless population, in spite of media stereotypes. They keep bringing up Lyndon Larouche, which is no surprise because it’s Howard who got me onto the panel.

More Evidence the Mainstream Media Is Far-Right

The mainstream media all made that the fraudulent claim that Daniel Ortega imprisoned his opponents in the Nicaraguan presidential election. The people he imprisoned were never on the ballot but attempted to overthrow the government.