Oliver Stone had a relatively quiet decade after his nuclear bomb directing style in his 90s movies.
Gordon Gekko has been lying low. Biding his time in sing-sing away from the dollars and the greed and the sub-prime madness; he’s been plotting his come back with a Machiavellian precision as cold blooded as his lizard namesake. After-all “Money Never Sleeps.”
Armed with a cell phone the size of an ICBM, Gekko suffers the humiliation of being jettisoned from jail without so much as a rented limo to give him a ride – even rappers ride stretch these days. (more…)
The poor are specifically marketed high-interest loans that are beyond their ability to pay.
The term ‘debtors’ prison’ immediately conjures images of the mid-nineteenth century, when both men and women were locked in prisons until their families could afford to pay off their debt. For some, it will bring up images of a city like Dubai, where a form of debtors prison exists today. Overall, the idea of being arrested because of debt — or having your property seized –is quite unfathomable to most Americans, and yet it is happening around the world on a daily basis.
How long will the American electorate allow business and government to ignore their interests without reacting violently?
A clip on Rachel Maddow’s show Thursday showed that the oil leak still pouring into the Gulf of Mexico bears an uncanny resemblance to one from 1979. Each one of the failed containment plans (top hat, top kill and junk shot) was tried unsuccessfully in 1979; indeed, both platforms were owned by the same company–Transocean Ltd. Maddow points out that only relief wells eventually plugged the 1979 leak.
Yet the oil spill also obliquely recalls in form the global financial crisis of 2008. In particular, it demonstrates the inability of lawmakers to learn from the mistakes that lead to the crisis.
The first repetition is the unwillingness of American lawmakers and regulatory bodies to regulate private industry. The beginnings of the economic crisis undoubtedly lie in the easing of banking restrictions by Congress in 1999, and the subsequent failure to regulate the arcane and risky derivatives market. Similarly, the Deepwater Horizon was given a “categorical exclusion” from the National Environmental Policy Act. (more…)
Diversity isn’t just a catch-word.
Rand Paul claims to represent the Kentuckian masses and their disinterest in the political status quo: both with the Obama Administration’s policies on everything from the bailout to punishing BP for destroying the Gulf of Mexico and with the typical politician’s willingness to allow political pragmatism to trump ideology. Paul’s certainly showed, since his election, a willingness to let political ideology trump both political considerations and practical experience, but Kentucky voters are hopefully now asking themselves if that’s maybe not as good a thing as they’d originally thought. (more…)
The supposedly decadent arts were co-opted into New Labour’s post-socialist agenda.
Art is in crisis – again. No, it’s not a fight between alter-modernism and post-modernism or any other art world tussle. This time it’s all about the money.
Governments across Europe are threatening to slash arts funding in response to the recession, most notably in Britain and Ireland where culture has always been subject to a strange use-value equation. (more…)
The Internet did not kill journalism—profit-seeking did.
Let me be the first to say this to you: Welcome to the American working class.
That was Barbara Ehrenreich, addressing the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism this year. In a country where daily newspapers are in what one of my own graduate journalism professors called a death spiral, laying off thousands, and TV seems to have given up the idea of doing journalism entirely, Ehrenreich’s warning might even sound overly optimistic. (more…)
There are at least two verses in the Koran that sanction the notion of arbitration and mediation.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in the Arab world have been growing hand in hand with the resurgence of various countries as members of the fast growing club of successful emerging markets. The flexibility of arbitration, mediation and other ADR methods, as well as their speed, efficiency and confidentiality, have made them more attractive to investors and parties in contracts of an international nature. Consequently, a significant number of Arab countries have been busy updating and enhancing their laws and regulations on arbitration and mediation in particular. There is momentum behind ADR in the region. (more…)
A survey noted that while 96% of U.S. respondents thought art was valuable, only 27% of them valued the artists who make it.
In my recent piece on activism as labor, I briefly touched on the connections between art and street activism, and promised to get back to that soon. I do think that in a discussion of art as labor, we need to look at other purposes art is supposed to serve and ask if that feeds Western culture and especially the United States’s devaluing of art as vocation.
Earlier this year, the second target of FOX News pundit Glenn Beck’s modern-McCarthyist campaign against Obama staffers was Yosi Sergant, director of communications at the National Endowment for the Arts. Sergant came out of the Obama campaign and was responsible for the Shepard Fairey HOPE poster and many other collaborations with the campaign and young, hip artists. (more…)
China, like Russia under Putin, is a bogeyman figure for liberal Westerners.
The latest move by internet search behemoth Google is to pull the plug on its Chinese operations. The tech outfit had a hissy fit when it discovered the Chinese government had infiltrated its servers – fair enough, but Google’s complaints might be easier to stomach if the company showed some respect for its users’ privacy in the first place.
The fact that the Chinese government took an interest in the communications of dissidents is hardly surprising – states significantly more liberal than China, such as the United States and United Kingdom have been known to monitor the messages of their critics, both domestic and foreign. (more…)
You cannot buy your way out of the climate crisis one Burt’s Bees product at a time.
Has the old battle cry “The personal is political” been taken too far or perhaps, too literally?
More importantly, have our politics descended into a form of narcissism, of trying to purify ourselves so that we can look down our oh-so-enlightened noses at everyone else? (more…)
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