Star Wars and the Death of American Cinema



‘Star Wars’ is a simple story, simply told, of good versus evil, light versus darkness, and freedom versus tyranny. In other words it is the story of America’s struggle to preserve democracy and civilization in a world beset by evil and ‘evildoers’.

Movies and political propaganda have long walked hand in hand. Indeed if ever a medium was suited to propaganda it is the medium of cinema. And if ever an industry could be credited with creating an alternate reality so pervasive it has managed to convince generations of Americans and others around the world that up is down, black is white, and left is right, that industry is Hollywood.

George Lucas, the creator of a Star Wars franchise which, including this latest installment, has churned out seven movies since the original appeared in 1977, is along with Steven Spielberg a child of the reaction to the American counter-culture of the sixties and early seventies.

Though both products of the sixties – a decade in which culture and the arts, particularly cinema, was at the forefront of resistance to the US military industrial complex – Lucas and Spielberg came to prominence in the mid 1970s with movies which rather than attack or question the establishment, instead embraced its role as both protector and arbiter of the nation’s morals. The curtain began to come down on the most culturally vital and exciting and cerebral period of American cinema – responsible for producing such classics as ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, ‘MASH’, ‘The Last Detail’, ‘The French Connection’, ‘The Wild Bunch’, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Apocalypse Now’ – with Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ in 1975, followed in 1977 by Lucas’s ‘Star Wars’. The former frightened America, while the latter made it feel good about itself again.

Both movies together spawned the high concept blockbuster, wherein audiences were invited to feel rather than to think, allowing them to suspend disbelief and escape reality instead of sharing the experience of confronting it via stories in which alienated characters expressed the angst, frustration, anger, and disaffection which they themselves were experiencing in their own lives, thus inducing a sense of solidarity.

It was the era of the anti-hero, main characters for whom the system and conformity was the enemy, and who ploughed their own furrow regardless of the consequences. The questioning of authority and its received truths reflected a country whose young and not so young were hungry for radical change. The war in Vietnam, Watergate, the black civil rights and nationalist movements had shaken up American society and, with it, its culture and cultural references.

But by the mid seventies, with the end of the Vietnam War, and with the counter culture running out of steam, the time had arrived to box up all that alienation, anger and rebelliousness and allow the mythology of the American dream and democracy to reassert its dominance.

In his peerless history of this vital period of American cinema – ‘Easy Riders, Raging Bulls’ – author and cultural critic Peter Biskind writes:

“Beyond its impact on movie marketing and merchandising, Star Wars had a profound effect on the culture. It benefited from the retrenchment of the Carter [President Jimmy Carter] years, the march to the center that followed the end of the Vietnam War.”

This march to the center became a march to the right under Reagan, which manifested in Hollywood as artistic and cultural stagnation, wherein directors such as Spielberg and Lucas became less concerned with story and character and more focused on spectacle. Bigger, louder and richer was the mantra as two dimensional characters and plotlines that your average ten year old with a set of crayons and an imagination could come up with predominated.

Biskind writes:

“Lucas knew that genres and cinematic conventions depend on consensus, the web of shared assumptions that had been sundered in the ‘60s. He was recreating and reaffirming these values, and Star Wars, with its Manichean moral fundamentalism, its white hats and black hats, restored the luster to threadbare values like heroism and individualism.”

In this latest Star Wars movie, directed by J J Abrams, Lucas makes do with a writing credit after selling the franchise to Disney in 2012 for $4.05 billion. Yes you read that right; he sold it for $4.05 billion. That kind of money will buy you a lot of light sabres.

Disney and Abrams have reached back in time in order to refresh the franchise, returning it to its roots with the return of Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and the old iconic favourites Chewbacca and R2D2. For Star Wars buffs there’s even the return of Han Solo’s iconic spaceship the Millennium Falcon. The movie’s antagonist, its Darth Vader, is named Kylo Ren, played by Vladimir Putin…sorry Adam Driver. With this character lies the one interesting twist in the plot. Mind, having said that, we’re talking ‘interesting’ relative to the rest of the plot. We’re not talking Roman Polanski and ‘Chinatown’ here.

There are also major roles in the movie for two relative unknowns, both British: Rey, through whose eyes the narrative unfolds, is played by Daisy Ridley, while Finn is played by John Boyega.

For all the hype surrounding its release, and the rave reviews it has garnered, the latest instalment of the long running and inordinately successful Star Wars franchise – ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – is so embarrassingly and toe-curlingly clichéd it’s impossible to walk out afterwards without limping.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the movie is not the battle of good versus evil it portrays but the fact that Harrison Ford was reportedly paid 76 times more than newcomer Daisy Ridley to star in it. The 73 year old’s financial package comprised an upfront fee in the region of $20 million plus 0.5 percent of the movie’s gross earnings, which are projected to reach a whopping $1.9 billion.

It is proof that the story of America is not good versus evil or light versus darkness at all. It is instead the story of the super rich versus everybody else.

California Politicians Could Soon be Forced to Wear Logos of Top Corporate Donors

I’m all for transparency. 🙂

Tales from the Conspiratum

With your help, a new law requiring politicians to wear the logos of their corporate donors will be on the ballot in 2016.

Source: California Politicians Could Soon be Forced to Wear Logos of Top Corporate Donors

Carey Wedler
December 28, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Popular memes calling for politicians to wear the logos of their corporate sponsors have circulated the internet for years, but the suggestion may soon be a reality for California legislators. In the next week, a potential ballot measure, submitted to the Office of the Attorney General in October, is expected to receive title and summary for the 2016 election, meaning its advocates will be able to collect signatures in order to secure its official place on the ballot. The proposed law would require legislators and candidates to sport the emblems of groups that donate money to their campaigns.

As the advocacy group that…

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Come Again? State Department Claims It Brought Peace to Syria in 2015

Clearly we must appreciate our Emperor’s New Clothes?

Tales from the Conspiratum

Mind control jackass person of the year: John Kirby.

Phew, I am so glad the US brought peace to Syria and all other countries in the area. Thank you USA!

State Department spokesperson John Kirby is raising eyebrows after he released a recap of 2015 “success stories.”

Source: Come Again? State Department Claims It Brought Peace to Syria in 2015 | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Tuesday, December 29, 2015
"The United States and many members of the international community have stepped up to aid the Syrian people during their time of need," wrote State Department Spokesperson John Kirby. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

“The United States and many members of the international community have stepped up to aid the Syrian people during their time of need,” wrote State Department Spokesperson John Kirby. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

State Department spokesperson John Kirby is raising eyebrows after he released a recap of 2015 “success stories” in which he credits the United States for bringing “peace” and “security” to Syria and “stepping up”…

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9 Signs the World’s Insane War on Drugs Is in Serious Collapse

Tales from the Conspiratum

As the year comes to an end, there is reason for cheer on the international drug reform front.

Source: 9 Signs the World’s Insane War on Drugs Is in Serious Collapse | Alternet

Photo Credit:

The global anti-drug regime has been in place for more than a half century now, but the prohibitionist consensus has been crumbling for at least 20 years, and the decomposition continued apace this year.

The international treaties that make up the legal backbone of international drug prohibition still stand, but they are under increasing attack at the United Nations, which will take them up again next year. They are increasingly being breached (especially by marijuana legalization at the national and sub-national level) and nibbled away at around the edges by moves like drug decriminalization and some harm reduction measures such as supervised injection facilities.

The Western…

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How Earth Shift Report Was Born + 2015 Bestseller List

Happy New Year Lada! Keep up the great work, looking forward to your next report.

Futurist Trendcast

The Earth Shift Report (ESR) idea began when the first two FREE ESRs were released in 2014. It quickly became clear that Earth Shift Reports didn’t fit into the usual FuturisTrendcast format, going far beyond any of my usual articles in scope, idea and size. They were simply too big and too involved for the blog. Each report was more on par with the scope and feel of a book, simultaneously being much more current than any usual book could possibly be.

This is understandable – any published book often requires years to get published. I didn’t have this luxury: my reports had to be substantially more relevant to the fast-evolving global situations, which were the target of my writing.

It was clear that getting bogged down for years in order to release books on these important subjects would defeat the immediate urgency of what needed to be said – and…

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When feeding the homeless becomes an act of civil disobedience, Americans have been asleep for far too long.

Luckily, however, there are still good people who are willing to defy such arbitrary and ill-conceived laws and ordinances.

The folks over at the aptly named organization Don’t Comply, took to the streets just outside the Austin Street Shelter in Dallas this weekend to perform, what has now become a revolutionary act – feeding the homeless.

“We are not complying with a bad law today,” Matthew Short, PR director of Don’t Comply said. “Evidently the city of Dallas believes that it’s wrong, or bad, or unlawful for us to feed more than a certain number of people at a time. But, during Christmas, we want to show love to our community and give these people a chance to survive the winter, whether it be with blankets or coats, or just giving them a holiday party like today with all kinds of cookies, and goodies, turkey and dressing, and the whole nine yards.”

Last December, the Dallas city council enacted Ordinance No. 29595, which makes it illegal to serve food to the homeless without jumping through a statist myriad of bureaucratic hoops, including a fee, training classes, and written notices.

One should not need to file multiple forms and pay a fee to obtain a permit to give food to those in need who are willingly ready to accept it. The folks at Don’t Comply know this.

According to Brett Sanders, hundreds of homeless people showed up to not only enjoy a fantastic array of food, snacks and beverages – but there was also an assortment of winter clothing that was donated as well.

“All of the homeless people that I talked to during the event were extremely grateful for the support and there was a sense of humanity that is indescribable.  Interacting with other human beings whom most consider to be living life at rock bottom will likely alter your perspective on the world around you,” explained Sanders.

The event went off without a hitch, even after code enforcers showed up. Lead organizer of the event, Murdoch Pizgatti was confronted by the enforcers who told him to file the proper paperwork upon the event’s conclusion to which, Pizgatti politely replied, “no.”

“We’ve already had to speak to the police, they’ve already come and delivered code to us,” said Short, explaining what happened when the code enforcers showed up. “But, after shaking hands with them, they realized we’re all armed – and we’re gonna do what we’re gonna do because it’s not an immoral thing that we are doing.”

Below is the powerful video shot by Brett Sanders showing the powerful effects of such moral civil disobedience.

H/T Brett Sanders

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We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).

Contributed by Matt Agorist of The Free Thought Project.

After All These


chester maynes

And there were days full of tears.
And there were hours in many years.

Time ticks and leaves histories.
Changes you, changes me.

Then comes the unexpected.
Then the wrongs are corrected.

Things have valid reasons.
Hatred is difficult to control.

But one begins and one ends.
But sometimes we miss the good one.


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♪Mozart – Serenade No. 10 for 13 Winds in B-flat major, K 361/370a “Gran Partita” (1781-82)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Serenade in B-flat major {[Bb-dur]} no 10 for woodwinds
Danmarks Radio SymfoniOrkestret – Ivan Meylemans – Grand Partita er skrevet for 2 oboer, 2 klarinetter, 2 bassethorn, 2 fagotter, 4 valdhorn og 1 kontrabas. © Danmarks Radio
*Grand Partita is written for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 basset horns, 2 bassoons, 4 french horns and 1 double bass

1. mvt. Largo. Allegro Molto. 0;41
2. mvt. Menuetto. Trio 1. Trio 2. 8;22
3. mvt. Adagio. 18;17
4. mvt. Menuetto. Trio 1. Trio 2. 25;22
5. mvt. Romanze. – Adagio allegretto adagio. 30;06
6. mvt. Tema con variazioni. 37;30
7. mvt. Finale Rondo Allegro molto. 46;56
Read in Danish about naming which key is played in: H / B / Bb / Ais / B flat Major

List of Performers:
Oboe – Stephen Taylor (principal) & Melanie Field
Clarinet – William Blount (principal) & Daniel Olsen
Bassett Horn – Gary Koch (principal) & Mitchell Weiss
Horn – Stewart Rose (principal), Scott Temple, William Purvis, and Russell Rizner
Bassoon – Dennis Godburn (principal) & Marc Goldberg
String Bass – John Feeney

“The Serenade in B-flat major for 13 wind-instruments, K. 361, is far from an arrangement. Mozart had begun it in Munich at the beginning of 1781, at the time of the performance of Idomeneo, and completed it in Vienna, at the time of his most strenuous efforts to escape from the bonds of Salzburg. In composing it he probably had in mind the excellent wind-players of Munich, as well as the intention of once more trying to insinuate himself into the favor of Carl Theodor by means of an extraordinary piece. We have no evidence that the 13 players ever actually came together in Vienna; there  exists an arrangement of this work for the four customary pairs of winds (K. Anh. 182), which may very well have been Mozart’s own idea. The contra-bassoon is not named in the autograph: Mozart calls for a double bass. But this in no way contradicts the ‘open-air’ character of the extraordinary work, which, in any case, rises above any question of purpose into ideal regions. Whether the title Gran Partita, which perhaps hints at performance in the open, was affixed by Mozart himself, is uncertain—the authenticity of the handwriting of this title in the autograph is doubtful.

“The fascination of the work emanates from its sheer sound. There is a continuous alternation between tutti and soli, in which the part of the soli is usually allotted to the two clarinets; a constant reveling in new combinations: a quartet of clarinets and basset horns, a sextet of oboes, basset horns, and bassoons over the supporting double bass; oboe, basset horn, and bassoon in unison, with accompaniment—a mixture of timbres and transparent clarity at the same time; an ‘overlapping’ of all the tone-colors, especially in the development section of the first movement. No instrument is treated in true concertante fashion, but each one can, and strives to, distinguish itself; and just as in a buffo finale by Mozart each person is true to his own character, so each instrument here is true to its own character—the oboe to its aptness for cantabile melodies, the bassoon likewise and also, in chattering triplets, to its comic properties. The two pairs of horns furnish the basic tone-color; but the fact that Mozart uses only the first pair in the first slow movement, a Notturno, is an indication of his supreme taste and skill: this is a scene from Romeo under starry skies, a scene in which longing, grief, and love are wrung like a distillation from the beating hearts of the lovers. The counterpart to this lyricism is found in a ‘Romance’ whose sentimentality is carried towards the point of absurdity by means of an oddly burlesque Allegretto, an ‘alternativo.’ A third slow movement, an Andantino with variations, has an episodic effect, each variation, however, offering new evidence of mastery. The same is true of the two Minuets, the second Trio of the one being in G minor, and the first Trio of the other in B-flat minor, and all the sections differing in character. A somewhat noisy Rondo forms the conclusion; one might call it a Rondo alla turca, for the theme of which Mozart seems to have recalled the Finale of his youthful four-hand clavier sonata. The Theme and Variations are taken from the Mannheim Flute Quartet K. Anh. 171—if this movement is authentic. But it probably is; very possibly, after the exertion and outpouring of invention of the first five movements, Mozart was willing to permit himself a little relaxation.” – Alfred Einstein


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Tubes!
Thanks for trying to explain US Foreign policy via black hole physics. Lest you forget black holes actually serve a purpose in the scheme of things, creating matter and energy in other dimensions/universes.
US foreign policy serves no one except for short sighted psychopathic elite… a snake consuming it’s own tail.
Ultimately we just need more eggnog and good cheer to survive this geopolitical hangover.
“A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”


Tube heading kickback

Tubularsock is going to have to pull out some information from Tubularsock’s almost, pretty close best seller, SPOOKY GEOMETRY  so as to explain American Foreign Policy.

Tubularsock knows that many are frightened of SCIENCE because as a student you may have had been forced to dissect a dead frog. Well, this is not “dead-frog-science”!

No this is WHAT-THE-FUCK science and once you understand this nothing will be too great for your new formed intellect.

Let Tubularsock began from the simple to the complex.

The United States is practicing BLACK HOLE foreign policy. This is obvious to the casual bystander but often is cloaked in a huge pile of bull shit, that American Presidents have preached over the years, saying that it doesn’t stink.

But YOU know it does. And Tubularsock will show you why ……….

A Black Hole is a geometrically defined region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational…

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Why Russians celebrate the New Year, and not Christmas, with New Year’s Tree? The Origin of ‘Calendar’ and Christmas/New Year’s Forbidden History

S NOVIM GODOM!!! С Новым Годом, Lada! Thanks for sharing the linguistic and cultural origins of this Christmas season. I really enjoy the spirit and good cheer amongst ppl 🙂

Futurist Trendcast


Why Russians celebrate the New Year, and not Christmas, with New Year’s Tree? 

That’s because the tradition of celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of the next with a decorated and lit up green tree, symbolizing the new growth and new prosperity is a pagan tradition that by far predates Christianity. Much later it was adopted by Christianity to coincide with the designated birth of Christ – Dec. 25. In fact the Western Christmas continues symbolizing death and rebirth. The year’s shortest day is around this time of year, during Dec 22 Winter Equinox. After this the day again begins getting longer, thus denoting rebirth of the new year and new hope. The tradition itself predates any cultures and any religion known today – it was born in the days when humans were still united.

The proper Russian Orthodox Christian Christmas (Rus: Kreshchenie) is celebrated one week…

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