Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

“So I got to make the song cry”

Abba's video for "The Winner Takes it All" works where Mamma Mia doesn't because of the tremendous blankness of the singers. I had no desire to see Mamma Mia! which in a way is odd as I like both Abba and musicals. But a friend prevailed on me to see it last week, and it turns out my initial instincts were correct; it’s not a very good film. Indeed, being a musical and using Abba songs are precisely where the film doesn’t work.

All the reviews I’ve seen have mentioned Pierce Brosnan’s terrible singing, but I haven’t seen  much criticism of Meryl Streep’s performance, which is much worse, and also does more to explain what’s wrong with the film. Read more↴

Adbusters: Pawn of capital

Some classic Adbusters stupidity:

Hipsterdom is the first “counterculture” to be born under the advertising industry’s microscope, leaving it open to constant manipulation but also forcing its participants to continually shift their interests and affiliations. Less a subculture, the hipster is a consumer group.

The boring point is that this is, obviously, false. The idea of a counterculture arises from the same mid-20th century economic and social changes that lead to consumerism and the modern advertising industry. Hipsterism’s close relationship to the advertising industry isn’t something new at all. What is interesting, though, is how this spurious account of hipsters shows Adbusters‘ characteristically paranoid relationship to consumerism. Read more↴

Ideology critics are a superstitious, cowardly lot

Two bad reviews of The Dark Knight: bad in the sense that they’re poorly executed reviews, as well as being highly critical of the film. There are a number of annoying things about John Pistelli’s review, but the politically important one is the claim that:

Batman, operating outside the law to protect the defenseless people, represents a kind of Bush/Cheney figure, doing what he has to do for the good of the homeland.

He seems to have somehow forgotten that George Bush is the president of the US, and so he can hardly be said to be “operating outside the law”; indeed, the Bush administration’s particular mode of employment of the law is one of its distinguishing features.

Lenin’s review also struck me as kind of wrong, but it took me a while to figure out why. Read more↴

It’s time for a serious third-party ticket

Spears-Hilton in 08! Campaign slogans include: