Sunday, February 24, 2013

America Reality Check And Will Night at The Oscars Be Without Controversy Or Will Tarantino's "Django" & Other Political Films Stir Things Up

First up a Reality Check for Americans
America is not Number 1

US Worst Place To Live?
The greatest nation on earth exposed as among the worst in the West... on all life indicators.
Posted February 24, 2013

Marlon Brando's Oscar® win for " The Godfather"

Sacheen Littlefeather refusing to accept the Best Actor Oscar® on behalf of Marlon Brando for his performance in "The Godfather" - the 45th Annual Academy Awards® in 1973. Liv Ullmann and Roger Moore presented the award.

This speech about the rights of Native Americans at the Oscars in 1973 as part of Marlon Brando's reasons for the refusal to accept the Oscar was a matter of Brando using his name which he had every right to do to defend a cause he believed in.

Many in the audience booed the speech which they had a right to do and many in the media then as now get upset by anyone using such an awards ceremony for what Americans consider to be partisan political reasons .

But issues such as human rights for American citizens and the human rights of the peoples in foreign countries should not be seen as a political partisan issue.

Quentin Tarantino's film Django re-examines slavery and creates a fantasy revenge film in which a Black slave becomes the unlikely hero .
The film deserves praise for its depiction of the real horror and gruesome and ugliness and inhumanity of slavery . Will the film help to stir things up or will be treated as if it were just another piece of fluff .
We can hope that many Americans will be able to enter into discussions about slavery and how America as they say has had to undergo vast changes over time to create a better nation.
As film it is a marvel and a delight while being intense and profoundly disturbing. And it deserves a few awards.

According to American conservatives who believe the US Constitution is unchangeable a sacrosanct document written in stone .
For more reasonable Americans the Constitution is a guide to creating "a more perfect union" . What was acceptable to the founding fathers in their views about right and wrong and about who is to be granted rights and who is not are issues constantly up for new debates , Slaves were not able to vote or do just about anything of their own free will because they were somebody's property. The pro-slavery faction also used a form of psuedo-science to prove the non-existent differences between races especially in differences of intelligence and of creativity and so forth. These defenders of these racist views have continued on since the end of institutionalized slavery to contend that white Americans are superiour to Black and other non-white Americans.

What should follow such discussions is discussing the injustices downe to Black Americans after slavery was outlawed. Millions of Blacks in America were oppressed in various ways by the Jim Crow laws and the denial of legal and human rights such as permitting the use of Lynchings which was legal up til the 1940s.
But besides Lynchings and Jim Crow there were also the White Supremacists including the KKK which for a century terrorized Black Americans in parts of the USA.

And recently we have come across the historical reality of Bondaged slaver which included several million Black Americans mainly in the South. For Blacks to work in factories or plantations Blacks were held in bondage and were not permitted to leave the area where they were residing whether in small shacks or barracks style living quarters and if a Black American were to leave he would find that no one else would hire them since they were still bonded to their former employer . The conditions of Black Americans being held in bondage was not much better than the conditions of slavery.

And now since the end of the Civil Rights era Black Americans still in large numbers are treated as second class citizens and as being more inclined to criminal acts and so not to be trusted and so America continues to fill its jails and the police forces across the US seemed to be given the green light to harass, abuse, beat up, or shoot Black Americans without repercussions.

We can hope that eventually Americans will speak more freely about the injustices done to not just Black Americans but to other Americans in its history such as women ,children , Native Americans , Asian Americans, Catholic Americans Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans and to Gays and others.

Just recently a bill was to be passed in the Congress which would put into law more justice and more resources for physically or sexually abused women but the Republicans didn't want this bill passed for whatever reasons such as that they believe women are not equal to men and shouldn't have their rights protected or because it just a big deal made about something they consider trivial as we saw during the run up to the 2012 election in which one GOP candidate said when a woman is being raped she should just lie back and enjoy the ride or another said women who are raped can not for any woman who is pregnant and says she had been raped was ipso facto not in fact raped. .

But once the bill seemed to be assured passage the Republicans decided to take out any provisions for helping women who were Native American or Lesbians or undocumented immigrants so for a portion of Americans they still don't see women being abused , beaten or sexually assaulted is such a serious matter which should be addressed by the US government.

But unfortunately even with a black president Blacks and other minorities are still waiting for Obama to attack racism in its various forms from Ghettoization to Black and Latinos being harassed and abused by local police forces including rough and physical brutality and the shoot to kill attitude of police when it comes to visible minorities.
There is also the questions about why Blacks and Latinos in America are disproportionately represented in America's racist prison system and how this is a result of a racist society and a racist judicial system .

When for instance police forces across the US carried out an unnecessary brutal crack down on the Occupy Movement the Obama administration was silent as was the Mainstream Media and Hollywood. When the alleged crooks in the financial industry committed crimes they were not investigated thoroughly let alone charged with fraud or what have you let alone hauled off to prison and put on trial for their crimes instead they get a free pass while some teenager who is black or Latino can be shot dead by police for stealing a couple candy bars from a store or be shot for being a visible minority in an all white neighborhood so where's this justice and "rule of Law" Obama speaks about . His actions as president has been to ignore "The Rule Of Law" just as George W. Bush did.

But the same people see nothing wrong with promoting films which act as propaganda for American domestic and foreign policies and films which merely defend the status quo.

So Hollywood and the media in general are now all for films defending the persecution of Whistleblowers and the abuse and torture of POWs(detainees) or anyone the government contends is an enemy of the state ; targeted assassinations of foreign leaders or alleged terrorists; renditions of alleged enemies , atrocities committed in America's name in foreign nations; or America bombing and killing hundreds of thousands non-combatants.

Tonight at the Oscars more than likely the only political statements allowed will be in support of President Obama and support for America's domestic and foreign policies. During the years of the Bush presidency every self-defined liberal or progressive were all too willing to speak out against the policies of George W. Bush but now these same people have become champions of the most egregious policies of Obama's presidency and are determined to safe guard the status quo and to defend the corrupt elites in America.

Meanwhile the drones keep flying and bombing weddings and funerals and murdering civilians and first responders while Obama prepares the nation for an offensive against Iran .

Meanwhile the citizens of Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia continue to suffer under oppressive regimes supported by the USA and other Western Regimes with aid money and with arms for these Regimes to use against their own citizens .

While the USA, Western Regimes and the Media attack Bashar Assad for his brutal crackdown on Syrian citizens they ignore the oppression going on in other nations which are viewed as friends of the USA and fiends of the Saudis .

So while the fighting in Syria is characterized as pro-reform pro-democracy rebels fighting the evil Assad Regime the pro-reform pro-democracy protests in other countries against their governments are ignored, dismissed out of hand or characterized as sectarian conflicts or that the anti-government forces are being used by evil countries like Iran.
So America and the West has double standards when it comes to its friends and enemies.

A regime which is considered a friend and ally can get away with denying its citizens their right to protests, the right to freedom of speech , the right to a free press , the right to due process , the right to a fair trial, the right to religious freedom.

A country considered a friend and ally to the USA and other Western nations can literally get away with brutal crack down on protesters and putting citizens in indefinite detention and to torture, murder, assassinate whomever they wish. If America can do these things and deny citizens their rights the logic is why can't other countries do the same.

There have been a number of films over the years up for Oscars that actually challenge the status quo .
For instance the Costas Gavras film Missing in 1982 was up for only one Oscar in the 1980s but it won one for screenplay but should have been up for Best Film, Editing ,Cinematography , Best Director . And we would argue that Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek both deserved at least to be nominated for Oscars for their performances. This is among one of Jack Lemmon's best performances and a best for Sissy Spacek but because of the subject matter Hollywood hated it the film and because it was a film by a controversial film maker. The film was great and its difficult to find any major flaws in it. It is only those who disagree with the message of the film see it as flawed in other words it was just much truth for the Hollywood money machine to deal with.. unless one is inclined to focuses on the story itself .

But these days such this film might not fare much better and possibly worse since the the jingoistic patriotic Americans see any criticisms of American foreign policies as being unAmerican or even anti-American. The film was an attack on some of America's foreign policies which have had disastrous results for the citizens of other nations that USA has interfered with such as Chile , Gautemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq , Bahrain,Yemen,Kuwait, Egypt,Afghanistan, Pakistan and so on..
Americans and its mainstream media prefer propaganda and lies and disinformation fed to them by those in power in support of America's projected image as opposed to the unvarnished truth .

It's like how the American public, media and government ignored or chastised the Occupy Movement and by so doing gave through their misscharacterization of the movement or their silence and indifference the go ahead for police forces to treat all who took part in the Occupy protests as UnAmerican and anti-Americans who deserved what they got . People in general as they say do not want to be taken out of their comfort zone or their bubble of self-delusion.

would be lucky if American theaters actually played it or that anyone would fund such a project in the first place . Now it would be pegged by the Obama administration, the Media and Hollywood as a blatant anti-American propaganda piece even though the film is factually based . As we know the USA was heavily involved in the ousting of Allende of Chile and aided the coup and helped with the killing of thousands of unarmed political dissidents .

Now in 2013 we get films that are either pro-torture or ambivalent about the efficacy and morality of torture.

So here's a clip from Costas Gavras ' powerful and difficult to find film "Missing"- some Americans and even some Canadians didn't like this more accurate & realistic portrayal of America & its military & the C.I.A & their dirty tricks & brutality. I guess many people are like Peggy Noonan they don't want to see the atrocities of which they cold- heartedly approve.

“ Missing ” 1982 starring Jack Lemmon & Sissy Spacek is about the American backed bloody Military Coup in Chile of 1973 which overthrew the legally elected President Allende who led a coalition government & who unfortunately wanted to improve the living conditions of the people of Chile & so was not a friend of the rich & powerful in Chile who were supported by the Americans & especially the large American corporations which had vast investments in Chile. The film centres around the true story of the disappearance of an American Charles Horman who disappeared like thousands of Chileans who supported President Allende

In this scene the formerly true believer patriotic American Mr. Horman (Jack Lemmon)finally realizes that the US Ambassador in Chile and other US officials have been lying to him all along and that the US military & C.I.A. etc. were deeply involved in the coup in Chile & approved the Kill order issued against his son because they feared he knew too much.

Missing (part 12)- the rest is available at YouTube

Missing By Costas Gavras with Jack Lemmon & Sissy Spacek

also see:

Obama Denies Detainees Their Rights & C.I.A & Dick Cheney Still. Lying & Gen. Mc Chrystal Of The Darkside Ratcheting Up The War, Gord's Poetry Factory, May 22, 2009

Former vice-president Dick Cheney claims the use of torture was legal & prevented attacks. But there is no evidence that torture prevented any attacks. But if you keep repeating Cheney's Talking Points that torture was legal & prevented attacks eventually many citizens will begin to believe that this is the truth even if its not. Meanwhile the American conservatives & their Media Echo-chamber will repeat it til many Americans take it as a fact.

Cheney naming names as he goes after The New York Times for reporting on the abuse & torture of detainees & on illegal wiretapping . So the reason the War on Terror has not been going as well as it should have is that the UnAmerican Liberal Media helped to sabotage the Bush/Cheney policies & actions . So according to Cheney and the conservative Echo-chamber there is a fifth column in the US which is working against the US military & the US government. So it has all been a conspiracy to tarnish the reputations of Cheney ,Bush et al.

President Obama by refusing to go ahead with investigations & indictments this seems to give tacit approval of Cheney's position & policies when he was Vice President.Cheney in one sense in creating this narrative is just appealing to the real American Patriots who believe that whatever the US or its military or the C.I.A. does is for America's benefit that is to keep America secure by any & all means necessary. Based upon the belief in American Exceptionalism & that who ever is President & Vice President is not merely a matter of votes but is rather an issue of Divine Providence therefore whatever America does this is part of Divine Providence. The more secular belief is that America is superior to all other nations and its system of government is the best in the world & again superior to all other nations therefore America can do no wrong.

Anyway part of what I have been discussing for your consideration is the rather shady and bloody history of the C.I.A. Given their notorious history it is not surprising that they agreed to abuse & torture prisoners for Cheney & Bush or that they were willing to force false confessions out of tortured detainees.

The C.I.A. over the last fifty years has been involved in various criminal activities such as overthrowing democratically elected governments . They have used various means to accomplish their goals from using assassinations to death squads & backing military Coups which have led to the deaths of thousands as in Chile , Iran, Iraq etc.

also see my discussion of films by Costas Gavras at my website

and see : US Militarism Continues Unabated : Torture& Abuse of POWs & Bombing Innocent Villagers! What ? For Their Own Good ? Gord's Poetry Factory, May 25, 2009


40 years After US Financed And Engineered Coup Killers Of Chilean Songwriter and Activist Victor Jara Finally Facing Trial at Gord's Poetry Factory, Feb. 11, 2013

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