Does Andrea Arnold’s experience on Big Little Lies suggest that auteurs are doomed?
Danny Leigh, © The Guardian
July 18, 2019

The first episode in the second season of Big Little Lies was more tellingly titled than most of us could know: What Have They Done? Still, there was high excitement around the show’s return. The previous series – in which a murder elegantly bled into a group portrait of five complicated women in Monterey, California – had been an award-winning slice of golden age TV, a show with the cast of a movie, led by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Giddily, for season two, they would be joined by Meryl Streep. And there was another intriguing coup. The whole series was to be directed by the Oscar-winning British film-maker Andrea Arnold. Kidman spoke on behalf of the production. They were, she said, “in the hands of [a] visionary”.

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"An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead. "
––Carl Jung

Hitler, tweets and Trump: What do they have in common?
Robert Fisk, © The Independent
July 14, 2019

Sefton Delmer used to be a hero of mine. As a cub reporter on the Sunday Express, I read this veteran Expressman’s account of interviewing Hitler in the burning Reichstag and running a “black” radio station for the Allies during the Second World War. I still have a letter from the great man – sent to me in 1969 after I’d written about his wartime work and sent him a bottle of champagne (paid for by Beaverbrook) for his help – in which he curses then TUC head Vic Feather for claiming that while Swedes and Germans respected the law, the British worker did not.

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"Basically, there can only be two answers. One is to overcome separateness and find unity by regression to the state of unity which existed before awareness ever arose, that is, before man was born. The other answer is to be fully born, to develop one's awareness, one's reason, one's capacity to love to such a point that one transcends one's own egocentric involvement, and arrives at a new harmony, at a new oneness with the world."
––Erich Fromm

Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
by PAUL STREET, © Counterpunch
July 12, 2019

Alongside and consistent with other privilege- and power-serving missions, so-called mainstream corporate media’s role is to keep the populace focused as best it can on relatively trivial matters and diverted from the most urgent topics of our time.

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"In order to be profoundly dishonest, a person must have one of two qualities: either he is unscrupulously ambitious, or he is unswervingly egocentric. He must believe that for his ends to be served all things and people can justifiably be shifted about, or that he is the center not only of his own world but of the worlds which others inhabit."
––Maya Angelou

Oil Is Driving the Iran Crisis
By Michael T. Klare
July 11, 2019

It’s always the oil. While President Trump was hobnobbing with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit in Japan, brushing off a recent UN report about the prince’s role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Asia and the Middle East, pleading with foreign leaders to support “Sentinel.” The aim of that administration plan: to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. Both Trump and Pompeo insisted that their efforts were driven by concern over Iranian misbehavior in the region and the need to ensure the safety of maritime commerce. Neither, however, mentioned one inconvenient three-letter word—O-I-L—that lay behind their Iranian maneuvering (as it has impelled every other American incursion in the Middle East since World War II).

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"When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor. "
––Basil the Great