Trumpland: The Beginning of the End?

I am not a fan of apocalyptic rhetoric. We have had far too many private and public citizens welcome the idea of Revelation occurring in our lifetimes. Mostly, this nonsense was brought on by Barack Obama being in the Oval Office. His very existence was taken as a sign that America as we knew it was coming to an end. In some ways they were right. His election to the presidency was a seismic shift in the power structures of the United States, ending a centuries long monopoly on power by white men. But where one side saw his election as confirmation that the United States was a nation that embraced its future, others saw the change as a threat. The horrible words that were showered on the Obama administration for the last eight years by the ignorant, the racist, and those who sought to manipulate these groups, has been a constant shame for America. No other president since Lincoln was met with such hate by the opposition, and for what? Continue reading “Trumpland: The Beginning of the End?”

Empty Balcony: Alien Nation

There is a nasty amount of racial tension in America right now, accentuated by President-elect Trump’s impending inauguration next month. I hate that current events are affecting my perception of Alien Nation, the 1988 sci-fi film from director Graham Baker and screenwriter Rockne S. O’Bannon, but they are. Really, the filmmakers bear most of the blame, here. A huge part of the fictional universe Graham and O’Bannon crafted deals with refugees assimilating into American culture and having an effect, both positive and negative, on native demographics. Boy, I really need to find a way to flip off the politics switch in my brain when I’m watching movies. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Alien Nation”

Half-Baked Ideas: Congressional Reapportionment

There aren’t enough members of the House of Representatives here in the United States. I know that the idea that there are not enough politicians in Washington is anathema to the current American condition, but as the House is currently apportioned, some states have disproportionate representation. Continue reading “Half-Baked Ideas: Congressional Reapportionment”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape from the Bronx

Can lightning strike in the same place twice? Yes, it can! Escape from the Bronx, a.k.a. Bronx Warriors 2, a.k.a. Escape 2000, is the wonderfully shitty sequel to 1990: the Bronx Warriors. Coming back from the previous film are producer Fabrizio de Angelis, director Enzo G. Castellari, and star Mark Gregory as Trash. The gang’s all here! Well, almost. The Bronx Warriors was such a success for de Angelis and company that it appears he reduced the already miniscule budget for this film in order to generate a higher profit margin. At least, that’s what I would do. The Bronx Warriors had a larger entourage for Trash, and more above scale talent than Escape. Gone are Vic Morrow and Fred Williamson, replaced by one of the most recognizable That Guy faces of the 1970s and ’80s — Henry Silva. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape from the Bronx”

Missile Test Predicts! The 2016 Results

Holy fuck, America. We did it. We actually voted into the Oval Office a man who didn’t know, until he met with President Obama last week, that all the staffers in the West Wing are Democrats and will have to be replaced. We voted into office a man who hired, as his chief strategist, a white nationalist propagandist. We voted into office a man who, during the campaign, could be relied upon to disqualify himself from said office at least once a week, either through word or deed. But most importantly, America’s voting public went with most of my 2016 election gambling picks, thereby ensuring my Loyal Seven readers, who faithfully follow my advice, early and prosperous retirements. The results are below. My picks are first, with the winner in bold. Continue reading “Missile Test Predicts! The 2016 Results”

Empty Balcony: Rollerball (1975) & Rollerball (2002)

Alongside post-apocalyptic films, there exists another popular nihilistic genre of film — the dystopian tale. Civilization doesn’t have to have collapsed into a dense ball of suffering for the dystopian film to work. Rather, current mores and politics just need a little bit of tweaking and society becomes unrecognizable. Indeed, in some dystopian futures, it could be argued that humans are thriving. What is common in dystopian films is that some eroding of freedoms has occurred, brought on usually by technology, capitalism, communism, post-industrialism, or a conglomeration of every fear we have about the role of individuality in the future. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Rollerball (1975) & Rollerball (2002)”

Election Day: 12:12am

The most amazing thing about Trump’s performance tonight is how much it was missed. Right now, whole piles of electoral votes east of the Mississippi are still up for grabs, after midnight. Clinton is still mathematically in this, but nothing has broken her way tonight, and there’s no reason to expect things will all of a sudden win her victory.

Was Clinton really despised so much that she couldn’t beat Donald Trump? Was the conservative disinformation machine that effective that voters could not make a fair comparison between her and Trump? Did people place far more weight on the email scandal than was deserved? Did James Comey deliver the election to Trump?

Or was this truly a populist rebellion? Has government gotten so out of touch with a majority of American voters that our representatives missed an underlying current of dissatisfaction? That’s a legitimate question. When the economy is doing well and unemployment is low, the temptation is to say that there is no big problem in the country. Apparently, there are other concerns than the economic that can sway the electorate. Figure out what that is, please.

Election Day: 11:41pm

I could not be more surprised at Donald Trump’s success tonight. For one, the polls were only fleetingly in Trump’s favor, and the electoral models even less so. When I look at this outcome, all I can see is a failure on the part of the American voter to do an honest comparison between the two candidates. There was an equivalency in voters’ opinions that had no basis in reality. Despite Clinton’s flaws (many of which are imaginary), nothing should have been sufficient to disqualify her compared to Trump. Donald Trump is not just unqualified for the presidency from a professional perspective, but from a temperamental one. Yet there he looks to be, occupying the same office as true giants of American, and human, history. It will be a tall order, indeed, for the United States to recover from a Trump presidency. The future of our country has not been this uncertain for a very long time.