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Rachel Maddow: ‘Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming’

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I don’t imagine listening to a smirking lib’brul lezbean school them is exactly what distraught reichwingers want to hear right now, but Rachel Maddow’s post-election wrap-up rant is a stone classic:

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing! And Benghazi was an attack ON us, it was not a scandal BY us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as Communism.

Listen. Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons. But it was also, possibly, a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two party system, in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas, from both sides, about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed, door locked, spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived, as a nation, of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them, in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they’re going to secede, they’re going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside, if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I’m sure, but it will be good for the whole country - left, right, and center. You guys, we’re counting on you. Wake up.

There’s real problems in the world. There are real knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there. If the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation. And in that spirit, congratulations everybody. Big night.

Here are some interesting election factoids: Romney predominated only among older white men; Obama won 55% of womens’ votes, 93% of African Americans’, 71% of Latino ballots and 60% of voters ages 18 to 29.

The GOP is fucked. Well and truly fucked. It’s only going to be worse for them in 2016 as more of the old farts who make up the Republican Party shuffle off this mortal coil and more and more young Latinos join the voter rolls as Democrats.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
What’s Wrong With Mabel?: John Cassavettes’ ‘A Woman Under the Influence’
11.08.2012
09:11 pm

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Movies

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Unrelenting. That is one of the first words that comes to mind when talking about the work of John Cassavetes. Few filmmakers were as willing to not only open a vein but then deny their audience any easy answers about said act as Cassavetes. A Woman Under the Influence is a supreme example of this, standing as one of the most honest and quietly uneasy films that have emerged in the past fifty years. How uneasy? Well, it made Richard Dreyfuss physically ill after watching it…..in a good way. (Yes, even vomiting can be a compliment when done correctly.) That reaction sounds completely over dramatic, but when you see the film, you can understand why Dreyfuss or anyone else, would have been so gut punched by it.

Woman stars Gena Rowlands as Mabel, a middle-aged mother of three precocious kids and wife to Nick (Peter Falk), who is a gruff but warm blue collar man. She seems high-strung at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that there is something not right. Everyone knows it except her husband, with even some of his co-workers asking about her health. Nick’s the kind of guy who lives in denial for the reasons most due in such situations; out of love and out of an inability to deal. But much like in real life, it takes a series of events to bring everything to a simmer and after one particularly ugly and intense intervention with Mabel, her doctor and Nick’s stunningly irritating mother, he has his wife committed.

It is in her absence that he is confronted with the fact that he is not only been out of touch with his wife, but with his children as well. The only time we get to see him bond with the kids at all, is when he gets them unwittingly snockered on cheap beer after a dreary trip to the beach. Two months later and Nick plans a huge welcome back party for Mabel, but then quickly scraps it in favor of a more intimate family gathering. But as she arrives home, looking heavily sedated bordering on shell shocked, it becomes apparent that there are no easy fixes, especially for a family that is so steeped in simply not dealing.

Woman Under the Influence is a film that not only confronts its characters’ issues but a larger issue looming ahead. Mental illness, along with addiction, are two of the most misunderstood and often mishandled issues. It’s true now and it was true then, especially when you are talking about a time when electroshock therapy was common, a procedure Mabel mentions receiving. There’s nothing like someone leaving a facility worse off than they were beforehand. (For more info on this, just listen to Lou Reed’s song “Kill Your Sons”, which references Reed’s own experiences with electroshock.) Often, families’ ways of dealing with mental illness is to not deal with it all until it becomes the loud and at times, dangerous elephant in the room. Even then, there is an undercurrent of resentment there, something that comes out especially from Nick’s mother, making an already dicey situation worse when her son is finally trying to help Mabel.

Even Nick, who clearly does love his wife, is still impotent in his ability to even truly empathize with his spouse, including slapping her around a few times to calm her down. He’s not a villain just someone who is rendered useless by his unwillingness to try to understand, but also by the fact that he was never raised to see his partner as a full fleshed human being and an equal. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that gender roles have hurt Nick and Mabel. In one scene, she tells her kids that “I never did anything in my whole life than make you guys.” She’s not trying to make them feel bad or anything, but it is a loaded statement because it’s clear that she has been relegated her whole life to the categories of “wife,” “mother” or “daughter.” There is nothing wrong with any of those categories, but every person is more than just a label put on them. The whole being gets neglected, along with any troubles they may have. This applies to Nick too, because men often get a whole other set of baggage to deal with, so you end up with a whole generation of individuals who are not equipped to fully deal with one another.

Cassavetes handles all of this brilliantly, which is no shock for anyone familiar with the man’s work. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to simplify everything. Have Nick be a total bastard or pure doting husband and Mabel just be a misunderstood eccentric or a total psychopath. Not to mention the last 20 minutes, which mirrors Cassavetes equally sublime Killing of a Chinese Bookie, both in terms of open-endedness but even with the main character’s blood on their own hand. (The latter may or may not have been on purpose, but it’s interesting nonetheless.) It’s that gray-area borderland of no easy answers that permeates this film, making it all the more uncomfortable but all the more honest. Cassavetes is a director that not only loves his work enough to be real but his audience as well. This is an artist that respects you enough to never bullshit you. That alone makes me a fan for life.

The acting in Woman, especially where our two leads are concerned, is flawless. Watching Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk together is one blue spark of a gift, with the both of them being equally compelling and heartbreaking. In fact, Rowlands won the Golden Globe for best actress and was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in this film. But enough praise cannot be heaped upon Falk, who’s at his zenith here. While most are familiar with him as TV’s lovable Columbo, Falk was a red blooded actor’s actor. How many can boast about not only working with Cassavetes but also Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) to boot? Not many, but Falk was a special breed of character actor and it’s hard to think of someone who could pull off a guy like Nick, who is both likable, sympathetic and at times, a total ass.

Woman is an incredibly uncompromising work that at times is too close for comfort, but in a way that is needed. There’s a truth to this film that has not faded with age. Illnesses get ignored, families repeat dysfunctional patterns and miscommunication is bred in a hothouse of forced gender roles for all involved.

Luckily for us, the British Film Institute (BFI) have done a wonderful job of presenting this film, both on DVD and Blu Ray, for European viewers or anyone who happens to have a Region 2 (PAL) player. (Never fear, North Americans, for Criterion’s Region 1 release of it is still in print and also available as a part of their John Cassavetes Five Films box set.) This is a loving release, with a 30 page booklet, the original trailer as well an alternative one that features footage which is not in the final cut, an archived interview with Peter Falk and an interview with Elaine Kogan, Cassavetes’ long term personal assistant. It’s a supremely fine release and a great tribute to the man and his work.

A Woman Under the Influence is brilliant and like many a great piece of art, it may bristle and worm its way in your skin. It’s a near flawless film that gives you no easy answers because it does not and will not play you for a fool. (Though do try to ignore the awful bit of weird Dixieland music that pops up at the very end. Not sure what that was about but it’s a minor quibble.)

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
Facebook: Enemy of the Internet
11.08.2012
05:09 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Pop Culture
Stupid or Evil?

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Mark Zuckerberg with TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington in September.

The popular Silicon Valley blog TechCrunch—which is owned by AOL—published an article by a fellow named Josh Constine that puffed its own chest out, and purported to be a “factual” take-down of my FACEBOOK: I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK post that went viral a few weeks ago.

I skimmed the article, titled “Killing Rumors With Facts: No, Facebook Didn’t Decrease Page Feed Reach To Sell More Promoted Posts” noted that Constine’s definition of a “fact” appeared to be something that someone working for a big corporation had told him and mentally filed it under “TD:DR” (“Too Dumb: Didn’t Read”).

To me, it smelled of “damage control” and appeared to be a story that didn’t originate in an editor’s assignment, but from a suggestion from a Facebook publicist.

Read his article and draw your own conclusions about the motivation(s) behind it. Constine never even bothered to email me, but he sure seemed eager to hear what two Facebook representatives had to say.

His article also made a curious point of insulting TechCrunch’s competitor, the Ars Technica blog, by implying that it was beneath them, or was somehow naive, for Ars Technica to have written in a neutral tone of my viral Facebook “rumor,” as he put it (Casey Johnston, the Ars Technica reporter who wrote the piece has a degree in Applied Physics from Columbia University, whilst Josh Constine has made a career writing about Facebook professionally from what I can tell).

Frankly, it didn’t really hold my interest enough for me to do much more than just scroll to the end and click it off.

My wife isn’t like that and she seemed upset by the TechCrunch article. That is until she noticed that, by a rather wide margin, the commenters were calling “bullshit” on Constine so vehemently.

Some samples—they’re cherry-picked, sure, but not unrepresentative, I don’t think—starting with the highest up-voted comment which has been “liked” 156 times. It’s from user “Beware of Images” who has Magritte’s pipe as his avatar. There’s nothing worse than when the first commenter burns your logic to the ground in a just a few short, sharp paragraphs:

OK Josh, if I understand correctly, I should dismiss my own experience, as well as that of all my admin colleagues because you’ve posted some graphs?

If your logic was true, this should have been a gradual phenomenon. In the case of my page, and those of the admins I know, it happened just as FB released Promoted Posts. And it was not subtle either, I was reaching 4-5 times more page members previously. Of course that number is deceiving, since that was when the page had 30,000 fans, compared with 136,000 today.

So you’re telling me that 100,000 new fans plus 3/4 of my original fan-base all suddenly found my posts spamy? I find that hard to believe, especially when my page is educational and does not promote any commercial service or product.

Also, your logic is not sound. Feeds have a limit, and if you allow Doritos, Axe, m&m’s, Coke… to spend on Promoted Posts, someone else’s posts are being pushed out. Most likely the posts of community and educational pages that can’t afford to pay.

By the way, after several attempts I did get a reply from Facebook. You know what? they did’t tell me I was being spamy, or that it seemed that my 136,000 new fans were all adding new pages like crazy so there was more competition (both pretty absurd assertions). No, they suggested I spend money on Promoted Posts. Go figure!

Sorry, but the map is not the territory, so faced with my own experience and reality, I’ll choose it over your graphs.

Open Letter To Mark Zuckerberg

TAKE THAT, WIZARD GLICK!!!

Ouchy and if that wasn’t enough, there’s more…

Nyah Wynne: I don’t buy it either. During the same timeframe I noted a—severe—dropoff in the number of articles I got from my page-likes. Including when I used the ‘most recent’ rather than the ‘top stories’ feed. It’s fairly obvious that Dangerous Minds has noted a real thing, and Facebook is merely hiding the change.

Chase Buckner, Co-Founder/Owner at White Bulldog: Horseshit. Just about everyone I know who manages business pages has seen a massive decline in post reach. For example, just this week I saw one client (local restaurant in a tourist town with very high post engagement) go from a weekly average reach of 300k+ down to less than 10k now - a drop of -98.47% according to Facebook. Please explain tome how/why that would occur basically overnight…

Cendrine Marrouat, Journalist, Blogger: Interesting how some are always bent on defending Facebook no matter the kind of murky excuse the company uses to justify what we have known all along. Meanwhile, these same people spend their time discrediting everything else.

Rick Hans,: “The launch of Promoted Posts had no impact on the news feed reach of the average Page”. Wow it was just an amazing coincidence that every one of the many pages I admin all dropped views at the same time. Gosh, it sounds like me, and a few million other page admins around the world just got unlucky at the same time!

Brandon Wirtz: Well glad TechCrunch is so easy to game. They clearly didn’t test this. I have a sand box of pages that only imaginary users are friends of. I can confirm that Pages got a steep drop in their appearance in news feeds, AND in apps that show all news via the API only certain types of posts are now showing.

If FB told it to you, it is probably untrue.

Chandy Bing, Founder/Writer at Xamable: The article is not bad at all, but the analysis is partial so biased. First, Trying to see the issue only like a rumor was a wrong start. In fact, at some point, you should consider the user experience. I manage many Facebook pages and so do many people. We got graphs and facts too. Since FB released promoted posts, there is a significant traffic drop. Obviously, there’s a causal link.

lixoaqui: So… your data is better because you asked and they said No? Everybody else that is showing their numbers are just idiots? Nice “journalism” mate: I’m always right!

Just a small doubt: if FB really changed edgerank to sell more would they ever admit it? Yeah… right…

This commenter used our FACEBOOK: I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK graphic:

I Want My Friends Back: It was difficult to hear what this article’s author was saying with his lips wrapped so tightly around Facebook’s sex organs. But it still sounds like B.S.

You get the picture, the poor guy was just shit on... mocked mercilessly and repeatedly for his pro Facebook Kool-Aid drinking nonsense (and by people who actually know what they’re talking about—what a novel approach—because they maintain Facebook fan pages themselves). So much for young Mr. Constine’s “myth-busting” prowess, eh?

Within those arch comments, however, my eagle-eyed wife found a fascinating article about the deeper motives behind Facebook’s recent policy changes, a beautifully argued smoking gun, if you will, put together by Kartik Dayanand, a New Delhi-based social media consultant, that laid bare Facebook’s plans for world domination in such a profound way that you REALLY need to read it if you’re interested in this space and in the future of free speech and the Internet itself. (I was pleased to see that Dayanand also was inspired to compare Facebook to a James Bond villain as I did in my own (later) article.)

I’m not overstating the case, this puppy is a MUST READ.

But first, the author’s post on the TechCrunch thread:

Kartik Dayanand This post is like saying MURDER did not take place on the day everyone is saying it took place, instead it was a MURDER that took place even before anyone knew about it, so it is fine.

This is a very illogical article esp when the writing is so clearly on the wall, Facebook needs to make money, there is no free lunch here and Facebook pages and users have definitely been taken for a ride.

This was all just the appetizer to get you worked up for the main course:

Not the government, not some anonymous hacking group, virus or terrorist network; the greatest threat to the internet as it exists today is from none other than its biggest site, Facebook!

“Meet The Enemy of The Internet” by Kartik Dayanand

Follow Dangerous Minds on Twitter, on G+ or sign up for our daily email newsletter (see top toolbar for sign-up widget).

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Drunk woman on YouTube pissed over Obama reelection (now with orchestra!)
11.08.2012
04:19 pm

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Amusing
Politics

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The meme is strong with this one.

The evil genius behind this is Ethan Persoff.
 

 
Via WFMU and Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Krent Able’s new book is deliriously fun
11.08.2012
03:56 pm

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Amusing
Art
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

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Krent Able’s Big Book Of Mischief is a devilish mix of rock ‘n’ roll satire conjured up in wonderfully wicked graphics and text. Able’s visuals remind me of S. Clay Wilson, a darkly hilarious blend of diabolical images combined with the kind of precise, scalpel-like dissection of pop culture banalities we expect from R. Crumb.

From Lou Reed and Iggy to Nick Cave and Justin Timberlake, no one is spared Able’s poison pen. It’s a lovely bunch of nastiness and you can buy it here.
 
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Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Brian Jonestown Massacre live in Germany, May 2010
11.08.2012
03:13 pm

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Music

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Brian Jonestown Massacre performing in Germany on May 12, 2010.

The band is in good form and the video and audio are terrific.

Setlist:

Wasted
Got My Eye On You
Here It Comes
Let Me Stand Next To Your Flower
Servo
Anenome
When Jokers Attack
Sailor
Jennifer
Cabin Fever
Prozac vs. Heroin
Nevertheless
Wisdom
Going To Hell
Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth
Who
That Girl Suicide
Hide And Seek
Whoever You Are
Oh Lord
Satellite

Anton Newcombe – guitar, vocals
Matt Hollywood – guitar, vocals
Ricky Maymi – guitar
Frankie “Teardrop” Emerson – guitar, backing vocals
Collin Hegna – bass, backing vocals
Rob Campanella – keyboards, guitar
Dan Allairé – drums
Joel Gion – percussion, vocals
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Reason to Believe: Rod Stewart cries tears of joy when Celtic beat Barcelona, 2-1
11.08.2012
02:29 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Sports
Superstar

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Real men do cry, as the legendary Rod Stewart proved last night, when he burst into tears after his beloved Celtic F.C. beat ‘the world’s best soccer team’ Barcelona, 2-1, at their stadium in Glasgow.

While some wags thought Mr. Stewart must have lost his wallet to elicit such a response, I can attest, as a fellow Celtic supporter, tears of joy were more than understandable after such a tense and exciting, Champions League game. Now, here’s to the next one.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
White People Mourning Romney: The Tumblr
11.08.2012
12:48 pm

Topics:
Amusing

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Here are a few choice selections from the Tumblr, White People Mourning Romney.
 
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Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Math You Do As A Republican To Make Yourself Feel Better’

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“Yes, last night, tragically, there was an avalanche on Bullshit Mountain, ladies and gentlemen.”

Jon Stewart dissects five minutes of Fox News election night coverage that will become immortal on The Daily Show last night.  

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Hell Night at Fox News     
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Roy Wood & Phil Lynott: As probably the Greatest Pub Rock Band in the World?
11.08.2012
11:03 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music
Television

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It’s Roy Wood’s birthday and to celebrate here’s a little curio from 1983 of probably the greatest pub rock band in the world, The Rockers.

The Rockers consisted of Roy Wood, Phil Lynott, Bev Bevan and er, Chas Hodges from Cockney knees-up duo Chas ‘n’ Dave. They released one single “We Are the Boys (Who Make All the Noise)” this time with Status Quo’s John Coghlan on drums. Here, that number tops and tails a fine medley of Rock ‘n’ Roll standards as performed on O.T.T. - the late-night version of kid’s Saturday morning classic Tiswas, both of which were hosted by Chris (Who Wants to be a Millionaire?) Tarrant.

(A quick aside: As also noted by m’colleague Marc Campbell, last month Phil Lynott’s mother strongly objected to Republican ticket Romney and Ryan using Thin Lizzy’s song “The Boys Are Back In Town” as their ‘theme tune’, saying Phil would have been against their sexist, anti-gay and pro-rich policies, and would have voted for Obama anyway.)

Meantime, a very Happy Birthday to Roy Wood!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Roy Wood: The talent behind The Move and Wizzard


The rocker, the legend: The Phil Lynott Story


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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