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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

watch it: the 12/12/09 weekly address from President Barack Obama


Obama’s got nerve telling us that “common sense doesn’t always prevail in Washington.” He’s the one who has loaded up his advisory teams and key positions with people from Wall Street, who have continued the business-as-usual crap that got us into this mess in the first place. He’s the one who refused to push for universal single-payer health care when the evidence of every other industrialized nation on the planet shows that it saves money — the fact that it also produces better outcomes for everyone is just a bonus (except for the heartless politicians of every ideological stripe who really don’t appear to want to give American citizens the better health that universal single-payer produces; I guess keeping people sick and worried and in debt is more important than saving money).

Bastards. Every single one of them. Fuck them all, and fuck all the corporate lobbyists they’re in the thrall of.



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  • Keith

    My sentiments exactly!

    The financial crisis was caused by both too easy lending and people borrowing beyond their means. However, it’s only the borrowers who are suffering. The people who made the policies of too easy credit still have their jobs (though many of them should be in jail for fraud). It’s just the common people who are losing their jobs and their houses.

    We have plenty of rules and regulations now which aren’t being followed by the financial industry. Existing agencies like The Fed haven’t been discharging their duty. How are we supposed to believe that this new regulatory organization is supposed to be any more effective?

    This mess was caused by members of both parties over the last couple of decades. Pointing fingers at the other party is just a distraction from the real issues at hand. There is too much outstanding debt in the country. The ratio of debt to GDP (gross domestic product, which represents the total of a country’s output) is higher than it was prior to the Great Depression, currently about 370%. No true economic recovery can be made until this ratio comes more into balance. Funny how this part isn’t being mentioned in the meainstream media.

  • Well, too many people out there make a living by encouraging people to live beyond their means. And it’s gotten to the point that I feel more sympathetic to my ultra-frugal relatives who generally preach financial self-restraint because they grew up in a world of poverty than I do those fellow Americans who act like anyone who doesn’t own an I-phone or a big-screen TV is virtually subhuman. Okay, I’m obviously exaggerating that last part but not by much.

    And here, I thought American Beauty and Fight Club put paid to all this materialism nonsense…

  • Jolly

    While I’m reasonably sure I detect irony, the following came to mind:

    What we see in films like American Beauty and Fight Club is not actually a critique of consumerism; it’s merely a restatement of the “critique of mass society” that has been around since the 1950s. The two are not the same.

    http://www.thismagazine.ca/issues/2002/11/rebelsell.php

  • Thank you for posting that link, Jolly. I found that article to be quite informative. And I’m not saying that to be ironic or sarcastic. That article really did help explain a lot of contradictions in modern society for me.

  • chuck

    Bastards. Every single one of them. Fuck them all, and fuck all the corporate lobbyists they’re in the thrall of

    I agree, likely for different reasons, but agree anyway.

    And since we have the lube out and are fucking people, let’s not forget a good portion of the fourth estate who depending on their personal preferances often leave out the detils of who our elected leaders really are. It’s a sad state of afairs when comedy skits often have more truth that the news. For instance –
    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/clips/china-cold-open/1178451/

  • amanohyo

    In response to the SNL skit chuck linked to, The content is fine and I know I’m a little oversensitive about this stuff being asian and all, but getting a white dude to play Hu Jintao by making random “Chinese” noises is not cool. Maybe there aren’t any southeast asian SNL cast members (I wouldn’t know), and I understand that memorizing the speech in Mandarin and delivering it intelligibly would be virtually impossible, but there had to have been a less offensive work around than this. The translator is forgivable since she’s asian and nothing says that the translator has to be Chinese anyway, but yellowface? In 2009? New Yorkers should know better than that.

    Seriously, Lorne, all the actor had to do was stand and talk and bend over a couple times. Tradition be damned, would it have killed you to get an actual Chinese american extra on the show for one skit? There are dozens of asian actors in New York who would have jumped at the chance. Extremely disappointing for me, although there are many people who are were not offended and give some valid reasons for their reaction. Realistically, it’s tough if not impossible to perfectly match the actor and the role when it comes to nationality and ethnicity. I get it that in some cases (Obama) it’s ridiculous to expect perfect correspondence, but this is not a difficult match to make in New York city. Lazy, Lazy.

  • Bluejay

    I see what you’re saying, amanohyo. To add another complaint, he’s referred to as “President Jintao,” which would be equivalent to saying “President Barack”; it should be “President Hu” since Chinese surnames come first. Ignorant mistake.

    To be honest, though, I tend to feel more like the blogger you linked to, who was not offended. Maybe I’m just relieved that they didn’t do the full Mickey Rooney as I feared. And more importantly, the point of the skit was not to make fun of the Chinese but to mock US policies. It would have worked just as well if the US owed billions to England and it was the British PM bending over.

    I do agree they could have done it better.

  • Bluejay

    @Jolly: Yes, thank you for the link. It does make a lot of things surprisingly clear.

  • Pollas

    Comedy is not meant to be taken too seriously, not in the details. So they didn’t have an Asian person play the Chinese president. Get over it. It’s not a big deal. If you’re going to be offended by that, you’re just looking to be offended.

  • Pollas

    Don’t forget Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with Barney Frank. The wreckers of the housing market.

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