Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan: A Novel.
The planet has become radioactive. Humans — or, the creatures that were once humans — live on a shelf suspended above the soil, their skin nearly translucent and tattooed with the literal stories of their own existence. There is only one person who can save them from a brutal overlord — a child soldier, destined to become a martyr to the cause of existence. This is her story; this is The Book of Joan (source).

Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution

At Amazon, Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776.

Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

This is a great book, out in a special edition.

At Amazon, Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.

Brooke Shields for #LOVE18 (VIDEO)

I haven't seen much of Ms. Brooke in some time.

I always thought she was classy.


Senator John McCain Returns (VIDEO)

This is the state of our discourse.

Worse than ever. Simply no decency left in American politics.

At Twitchy, "‘I hope he dies right now’: John McCain returns to Senate following cancer diagnosis, begins The Triggering."

Look, he's long been the bane of conservatives, but I don't see folks on the right cheering his brain cancer.

Here's the full speech, "McCain returns to Senate floor."



John Lukacs, The Duel

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, John Lukacs, The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler.

Amazon Best Sellers

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Hannity: 'Time for the American People to Draw a Line in the Sand...' (VIDEO)

Time for Americans to push back against the leftist fake news media onslaught.

You can see why leftists are desperate to take him out.

And like I said, leftists take notice. They tune in Hannity, especially on big breaking news days. They want to see how he's pushing back against their fake news memes, and they can't stand it.

From last night's show:


'Dunkirk' Booms at the Box Office

And that idiot sci-fi flick "Valerian," with top-model airhead Cara Delevingne, bombed.

At Deadline, "‘Dunkirk’ Takes Box Office by Storm With $55.4M No. 1 Spot for $105M+ Global Opening; ‘Valerian’ $23.5M Start – Int’l Box Office," and "‘Dunkirk’ Takes Warner Bros Past $1B; ‘Girls Trip’ Record Opening for Malcolm D. Lee; Reasons Why ‘Valerian’ Crashed."

Also at Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Dunkirk' Heads for $50M U.S. Debut; 'Valerian' Bombing":


Elsewhere, Universal's femme-centric 'Girls Trip' nabs a coveted A+ CinemaScore. And on Saturday, 'Wonder Woman' will overtake 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' to become the top-grossing domestic title of summer.

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk easily won the Friday box-office battle with an estimated $19.8 million from 3,720 theaters for a projected $50 million debut, the best opening for a World War II movie in recent memory.

Dunkirk is getting a wide berth in Imax theaters and on 70mm screens (Imax's Friday share was a hefty $4.7 million). The critically acclaimed film, from Warner Bros., earned an A- CinemaScore and currently sports a 91 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Nolan's last film, Interstellar, debuted to nearly $50 million over the long Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, including $47.5 million for the three-day weekend. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was his biggest opening ($160.9 million), followed by 2008's The Dark Knight ($158.4 million), 2005's Batman Begins ($73 million, including a three-day weekend of $48.7 million) and 2010's Inception ($62.8 million)...
More.

Go see this movie --- it's freakin' spectacular. And make sure you see it on IMAX 70mm. The critics are right: This film was made for viewing in the old fashioned way: A big screen, candy, popcorn, and a soda. You're on the edge of your seat through most of it. It's just phenomenal.

One-Time Cost of the Border Wall

Via Cousin Odie, at Woodsterman's, "L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-Libtard."

 photo Lib1_zpsmjp49f2z.jpg

'Despite heavy censorship by the hopelessly ‘progressive’ government in Sweden the world has learned about the rape epidemic that is being enjoyed by their Muslim immigrant population which has earned the Scandinavian basket case the dubious title of rape capital of the world...'

At Cambrian Dissenters, "American Girl Has a Message for Muslims and the Women of Sweden."

Identity Politics, Equality and Marxism (VIDEO)

Here's the Roaming Millennial. She's a cool chick, lol.
Yes, social justice is cancer, and here's why. This video explains what social justice is & breaks down the problem with identity politics & the concept of justice vs. equality. Also SJWs are commies. Yeah.



Dodgers Need to Make a Move

Clayton Kershaw went on the DL this weekend, after his lower back injury flared up.

This could dampen the magic at Chavez Ravine.

Here's Bill Plaschke, at the Los Angeles Times, "With Kershaw on the shelf, it's time for Dodgers management to make a bold move":
With his best player hurting and the future of this special season teetering, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts initially claimed Monday that he was not going to lobby management to make a move to prop up Clayton Kershaw’s aching back.

“I can’t put the pressure on, I’m not going to put the pressure on,’’ he said.

But, then, boy, did he put the pressure on.

I had posed a question about a possible trade. The question did not include the name of a certain Texas Rangers pitcher who could be on the market before Monday’s trade deadline. Yet Robert brought up the name himself.

“Every team in baseball would like Yu Darvish,’’ he said during his pregame news conference. “Whether it happens or not, I just can’t speculate. It’s a fact we would be better with him, as would 29 other teams. If it happens or not, we’re still going to keep winning baseball games.’’

Roberts couldn’t have been any more clear if he had stuck his head out of the Dodger Stadium dugout, stared up into fifth-floor office windows and shouted, “Help!’

He wants it to happen. He wants something to happen. The feisty leader who epitomizes the Dodgers hustle and work ethic is unabashedly hoping that Kershaw’s strained back will lead baseball boss Andrew Friedman to acquire more pitching.

I’m with him. I’m with the idea that, after this hard-charging group of players has spent four months carving out what could be the greatest season in Los Angeles Dodgers history, management needs to finish the job.

They can’t let Kershaw’s back blow this. They can’t count on his return carrying this. They can’t believe that their team’s marvelous depth is deep enough for this. They’re going to have to be willing to dig deep into their crop of minor-league prospects to fix this, and it’s going to hurt, but it won’t be nearly as painful as watching an October crushed under the weight of a potentially unsteady star.

When Kershaw walked off the Dodger Stadium mound Sunday, the future of their joyous season dramatically changed. Their brilliant blueprint blew up. The magic paused. The nausea hit.

“Any time when something happens to Kersh, you’re going to feel sick in your stomach, that’s how I feel, I guarantee all the other people feel the same thing too,’’ said reliever Kenley Jansen...
More.

Nina Agdal Takes You Behind the Scenes of Her Dangerous Photoshoot in Mexico (VIDEO)

I think she's still my Number 1, lol.

Lovely.

At Sports Illustrated:


Kendall Jenner Poses Fully Nude Smoking Cigarette on Instagram

And this is causing a backlash?

At Harper's, "KENDALL JENNER POSES NUDE WHILE HOLDING A CIGARETTE IN HER LATEST INSTAGRAM POST."

And at London's Daily Mail, "Holy smoke! Naked Kendall Jenner poses under a chandelier while holding a cigarette (but insists doesn't have a nicotine addiction)."

But see Shape, "Kendall Jenner's Artsy Nude Photo Is Sending the Wrong Message About Smoking":
This black and white image makes smoking look sexy, and this dangerous habit is anything but.
And at Fox News, "Kendall Jenner's nude photo sparks backlash over 'glamorizing' smoking":
She just can’t keep away from controversy.

Kendall Jenner stripping off on social media is just another average day for the Victoria’s Secret model, but her latest shoot has raised eyebrows for the wrong reasons — because she posed with a cigarette.
Causing controversy is what these people do. Kendall is hot. But she's gotta keep it interesting by foisting all the faux controversies onto the social media-glamming public.

I just think she's a hot chick, lol.

Golfer Paige Spirinac Hits Back at New LPGA Dresscodes for Trying to 'Eminate' Cleavage

She's on Twitter.

And at Daily Mail, "'This edict was put into place to eliminate cleavage': Professional golfer who was 'slut-shamed' by the LPGA hits back at the decision to bring in stricter dress code rules which bans plunging necklines and shorter skirts."

Alexis Ren Causing Outrage on Instagram

She's on the cover of Maxim for August, "Instababe extraordinaire Alexis Ren is Maxim's August cover girl."

And at the Daily Star, "Alexis Ren causes OUTRAGE among fans after grinding against her own reflection: A SERIOUSLY hot Instagram video featuring a nearly nude Alexis Ren has had viewers getting hot under the collar," and "Instagram vixen oils up bare boobs in topless rooftop tease."

More, at Drunken Stepfather, "ALEXIS REN’S CASUAL INSTAGRAM PIC OF THE DAY."

ICYMI: Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie

At Amazon, Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.

Ashley McGuire, Sex Scandal

At Amazon, Ashley McGuire, Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female.

Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men: The Transformation of Higher Education into Hateful Indoctrination.

Donald Trump's Boy Scout Speech (VIDEO)

Yawn.

This is an organization that's caved to the leftist homosexual agenda, even after winning at the Supreme Court way back in 2000 (Boy Scouts v. Dale).

Their advocates criticizing the president can suck it.

The full speech is here, "Trump speaks at Boy Scouts gathering (full remarks)."

And at U.S. News, "Former Boy Scouts Condemn Trump Jamboree Speech: Some want a formal apology after the president delivered a politically tinged speech to the Boy Scouts":


A number of former Boy Scouts are blasting President Donald Trump following his speech to nearly 40,000 young members of the organization on Monday, branding the address as classless and nauseating.

President Donald Trump spoke to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia, and while he opened with a pledge to avoid partisan Washington politics, Trump delivered the crowd a healthy dose.

"By the way, just a question. Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?" Trump asked of his predecessor at one point.

Former President Barack Obama was not a Boy Scout, but was reportedly a member of the Indonesian Scout Association. He recorded a video message for the jamboree in 2010.

Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were Boy Scouts, joining a number of other commanders in chief. Trump was not a member of the organization.

Trump's speech went on to echo his 2016 presidential campaign, criticizing Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton and boasting of his victory.

The Boy Scouts of America released a statement late Monday to a BuzzFeed News reporter asking about the political nature of Trump's speech. The organization, leadership said, is "wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy."

"The sitting U.S. president serves as the BSA's honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. President to the National Jamboree," the group said.

But Trump's speech broke from a long-standing presidential tradition of delivering remarks tailored to themes of citizenship and service. The teen boys gathered to hear the president, though, did not seem to mind. The group reportedly met Trump with chants and cheers, and the president drew supportive boos from the crowd at his mention of the "fake media" and Obama.

The president's comments, however, did offend some. Current and former Boy Scouts – ranging from lawmakers to concerned parents – condemned Trump's speech on social media, and some went as far as to criticize the organization itself...
More.

Also, at the Hill, via Memeorandum, "Boos for Obama as Trump speaks at Boy Scout jamboree." And at the BBC, "Trump boy scout Jamboree speech angers parents."

Still more, at New York Magazine, "The 14 Most Inappropriate Moments From Trump’s Speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree":
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” President Trump asked the 40,000 people gathered in Glen Jean, West Virginia, on Monday for the Boy Scout Jamboree.

The answer is President Trump. The event, which occurs every four years, was attended by about 24,000 boys, ages 12 to 18, but Trump treated it like a raucous campaign rally. During a rambling, 35-minute speech, he playfully threatened a member of his cabinet about getting the votes to repeal Obamacare, recounted his election win in great detail, and attacked President Obama...
I can dig it, lol.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Movie Studios Won't Make Many More Films Like 'Dunkirk'

Or, maybe they will.

Perhaps the astonishing Christopher Nolan epic convinces producers to invest in more magisterial movies such as this.

But see Megan McArdle, at Bloomberg, "'Dunkirk' and the Great Films That Won't Be Made":

Studios' big productions are so expensive that they are rarely risky. Or interesting.

I was perhaps unreasonably excited to see "Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan’s new movie about the evacuation of British forces from a French beach during World War II. The historical event on which it is based is astonishing: unable to get enough warships close to the beach to load their fleeing troops, the British government mobilized a flotilla of small private craft, which ultimately helped evacuate more than 330,000 soldiers ahead of the German army. I was eager to see what one of my favorite directors would do with the story.

He did not disappoint. This nearly flawless film put me on the edge of my seat for two hours. It is the best thing I’ve seen about war since the stunning opening of "Saving Private Ryan" -- and Nolan, bless him, is not prey to Steven Spielberg’s compulsion to mar his creations by slopping them over with speechy goo.

As with all of Nolan’s films, it’s emotionally distant from its characters. Cillian Murphy plays an officer credited only as “Shivering Soldier,” and none of the characters have much in the way of backstory or goals, other than survival. Matt Zoller Seitz calls it an “Ant Farm Picture,” a portrait of society in which individuals are almost incidental. That’s rather the point.

A lesser director would have given in to the temptation to make this a story about the righteous crusade against the Germans, men fighting other men, but Nolan shows us a world in which the enemy is a plane, a torpedo, the water and the flying bullets, and men are reduced to little more than their rage to live.

The result is less a war film than a disaster movie. An exquisite disaster movie. I didn’t expect such a vivid and visceral illustration of how quickly a ship can sink, or just how difficult it is to hit a target in the sky. I left the theater almost too overwhelmed to talk.

Having recovered, I began to wonder why we can’t have more pictures like "Dunkirk." The easy answer is, of course, that there is only one Christopher Nolan, and only so many people willing to give him $150 million to spend putting thousands of extras and some World War II-era ordnance onto a French beach. But the easy answer is incomplete.

It is getting rarer for a genius like Nolan to be given substantial sums of money to put their vision on the screen. Instead, the substantial sums go to “franchise films.” The pursuit of blockbuster movies is becoming less of an act of creation, and more an exercise in brand management. Franchises generate box office revenue, merchandising revenue and what economists call option value: "Furious 7" does not simply bring ticket revenue for the studio, but also the ability to make more revenue through Fast and Furious Episodes 8, 9, 10 and onward to "The Fast and the Furious 987."

Naturally, such valuable properties cannot be left to the quirky whims of some individual; studios have intervened more and more heavily to ensure that no director goes too far off the rails. As with other markets where mass franchises have taken over, the result is a sort of flattening of the available quality: There aren’t so many truly awful blockbusters being made anymore, but there aren’t so many truly great ones either. Indeed, there aren’t so many big movies being made at all, because studios find it much more attractive to rake in cash off of a predictable comic book film with a big global audience than to make risky bets on greatness.

In some ways it looks like a return to the studio system of yore, with its factory-like control over every aspect of production. But in the old days, the studios were mostly making lots of cheap films fast. The studios could afford to permit a little more variance, a little more creativity and serendipity, because the bets were reasonably small, and even an oddball picture might find an audience somewhere. But if the old studio system was a well diversified industry placing lots of bets -- the cinematic equivalent of an index fund -- the modern system is looking more and more like a hedge fund taking a few giant positions. When all the bets are potential firm-killers, the investment committee is going to want to oversee every detail, leaving less room for genius to emerge, much less thrive.

One reason "Dunkirk" is such a joy is that here is a film in which the deadening hand of the committee is nowhere evident...
More.

Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk

At Amazon, Walter Lord, The Miracle of Dunkirk: The True Story of Operation Dynamo.

Max Hastings, Inferno

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Max Hastings, Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945.

Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945.

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Far-Left Democrats Attempt 'Better Deal' Rebranding

This is so stupid.

The Democrats don't care about the white working-class. It's a far-left identity-driven party now. Even Bernie Sanders is out of sorts with large segments of the Democrats' radical base.

This is showboating for the elections.

At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, Chuck Schumer, "A Better Deal for American Workers."

And at Scared Monkey, via Memeorandum, "Democrats Launch Economic Agenda Ahead of 2018 Campaign … Better Deal, More like a RAW DEAL":
After getting thoroughly whipped in the 2018 elections and proving no message to the American people except “resist” Trump, Democrats now claim they are going to launch a new economic agenda ahead of the 2018 midterm elections called … a Better Deal. WOW, did they stay up all night thinking about this one? Who honestly thinks that Democrats believe or will provide this so-called “better deal?” This is just a lame attempt by Democrats to lie to the blue collar, working, middle class of America, naming in the blue-wall states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that they lost in 2016. This is yet another attempt by Democrats to try and show that they have not become the Socialist party. With the stock market at all-time highs and jobs being created under Donald Trump, what are they talking about, a better deal? All the lame GOP controlled House and Senate has to do is pass real tax reform and the economy will heat up like never before.

The Democrats have long forgot the hard working, blue collar workers of America and they know it. No cute lie is going to work now. This is a completely contrived attempt to fool voters into thinking the Democrats actually side with workers. So to understand the Democrats, are they saying that the 8 years of Obama was an economic failure? Maybe Democrats should not have passed so may regulations that destroyed business.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will unveil a broad economic agenda Monday, hoping to unite the disparate wings of their caucuses and win back working-class voters who fled the party last year.

The party’s messaging strategy is the culmination of months of internal meetings and polling after a disappointing 2016 election that left Democrats reeling and many complaining they had no message to offer the public other than being against President Donald Trump.

“The number one thing that we did wrong is we didn’t tell people what we stood for,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

To fill that void, Democrats are adding pitches aimed at battling corporate overreach to an economic platform that already includes a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and paid family leave. Party leaders are also proposing a new independent agency to oversee prescription drug prices similar to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched by Sen. Elizabeth Warren as well as an independent “competition advocate” that would police corporate mergers.
More at Pirate's Cove, "Dems Settle On New Slogan: 'A Better Deal' Or Something."

William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

At Amazon, William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany.