Monday, October 28, 2019

Trailer Park Torah Talk: The Flood

Reading from Genesis 6.9 to 11.32
"Individualism and the Western Tradition" by Kevin MacDonald, (2:15:44)

New York Times article on Proud Boy convictions:

Macabees's 1:
 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled away by reason of them, and the city was made the habitation to strangers, and she became a stranger to her own seed, and her children forsook her. Her sanctuary was desolate like a wilderness, her festival days were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach, her honours were brought to nothing. Her dishonour was increased according to her glory, and her excellency was turned into mourning. 

Psalm 135 "Slavite Gospoda", Serbian Orthodox Singing Society
"Antidotum Tarantulae", Marco Beasley
"Sona a Batente", Pino de Vittorio

Tarantella del Gargano, L'Arpeggiata, Christina Pluhar, Lucilla Galeazzi, Marco Beasley
Album: La Tarantella: Antidotum Tarantulae

Friday, October 25, 2019


The Joker is outperforming the spandex movies at the box office:
Our sources say the Joaquin Phoenix pic is poised to make at least $464 million after global theatrical, TV and home entertainment windows, and it could be more if the worldwide box office for the Todd Phillips-directed movie exceeds $900M. That amount of profit isn’t that far from what Avengers: Infinity War racked up last year in black ink: that pic made a half-billion dollars but was more expensive, with a production cost and global P&A of … a half-billion dollars.
This is despite a deliberate effort to sink the film for straying off-Narrative. At one point the New Yorker had two reviews running, one denouncing its sympathetic portrayal of a bullied white loner and another asserting the film's irrelevance. The politically correct assumed a two-part strategy with unthinking habit, casting the film as immoral (non-woke, or awakened to the wrong realities) on one hand and not worth your time (despite all the time the intelligentsia were investing in it) on the other; don't see this film was the shrieking subtext.

Of course all of this added up to the best promotional campaign a movie could ask for (I haven't seen it yet).
Joker‘s profit is also not that far from Black Panther‘s $476.8M, and way ahead of Aquaman‘s $260.5M (which at combined budget and P&A of $348M was 83% more expensive than Joker), Venom’s near $247M and Deadpool 2’s $235.4M.

Global theatrical rentals for Joker are figured at $421M. With the DC brand having stumbled after Justice League, Joker continues to show the Burbank, CA lot’s resilience with its feature comic book brand after Aquaman, their highest-grossing DC title ever at $1.15 billion, as well as its glass-ceiling crasher Wonder Woman ($821.8M, another film that Joker is besting in black, after she lassoed a profit of $252.9M).
Pro-regime propaganda like Wonder Woman and Black Panther benefit immensely from the voluntary hype of an approving media. These are movies already employing the broad appeal of bombs and bruised balls to give them legs globally. Remarkably, Joker is on track to surpass these films without even getting released in China:
Joker, given its oppressive society tone, isn’t expected to get a release in mainland China, meaning all of the pic’s offshore territories have been released.
Note that it's the white supremacist adjacent (or something) Joker that is censored social commentary in an authoritarian nation, and the most pc fare is waved right in.

For Joker to present itself as a brooding piece of social commentary and (word has it) not particularly entertaining, yet yielding so much better on investment than these films is remarkable and maybe a little scary to the people who wanted it to fail for the same political and social reasons they want Wonder Woman and Wakanda to succeed.
Production costs after New York City tax credits were $70M (though some say it’s lower in the $60Ms, we heard it’s higher) and global P&A is at $120M... 
Joker, meanwhile, is putting a few pics this autumn out of business, i.e., Gemini Man, and cutting into the ticket sales of others.
Like the Joker character, Joker is causing problems for the other scoundrels.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Brothers From Other Mothers

Corey Booker really, really wants the Jews to know he is, well if not one of them at least one of theirs:
When President Donald Trump suggested earlier this year that American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal, one 2020 Democratic presidential candidate chose to respond in Hebrew. 
“I know Jewish values,” Senator Cory Booker told a group of reporters. “Tzedakah, chesed” he said — “those are ideas about justice and decency and kindness and mercy. We need to get back to those values.” 
He then went on to quote a prayer said during the Jewish High Holy Days to further make his case. 
“Ki beyti beit tefila yikarei l’kol ha’amim,” he said in slightly Yiddish-inflected Hebrew. “‘May my house be a house of prayer for many nations,’ that’s what is said at the most important time of year, that’s what we need to get back to.”
A "house of prayer for many nations" remains very Jewish everywhere except Israel. They must not have a Lubavitch chapter there.
Corey Booker was recruited by Shmuley Boteach at Oxford:
Not long after he arrived at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1992, Mr. Booker met Shmuley Boteach, an American rabbi who had been sent to the campus as an emissary for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, which places an emphasis on outreach to nonpracticing Jews.  
Mr. Booker eventually became a president of the L’Chaim Society, a Jewish campus group that Rabbi Boteach created, which functioned as a kind of salon and dining club for students. 
“To say that we were close is really an understatement,” Rabbi Boteach said in an interview. “We were the way two brothers are,” he added. “He was an uncle to my children, he was my confidant.”
Chabad-Lubavitch stresses its outreach to non-practicing Jews, but seems to do a lot of cultivation of ambitious and rootless wannabes like young Corey Booker.

And, as is typical of his aw-shucks shallow enthusiasm for things other people have told him, he's fairly comic in his earnest mimicry:
“There’s a twinkle that’s coming from his soul,” said Rabbi Shmully Hecht, with whom Mr. Booker worked to create a Jewish group at Yale. 
He also criticized Mr. Booker’s vote on Iran, but considers him a steadfast supporter of Israel. “When you see him talking about Jewish things and Israel things, it’s extraordinary.” 
Rabbi Menachem Genack, who leads the kosher certifying division of the Orthodox Union and lives in Englewood, N.J., met Mr. Booker through Rabbi Boteach more than two decades ago and has considered him a friend ever since. Rabbi Genack, who published a book of his letters to former President Bill Clinton, said it is often Mr. Booker who brings up Torah in their conversations. 
“I go to his office and I start talking Abraham Lincoln and he starts talking about the parsha,” said Mr. Genack, using the Hebrew term for the weekly Torah portion. “I say: ‘Cory, what is wrong with this picture?’ and he just laughs.””
No, Corey, the Jews aren't laughing at you behind your back. No one is. Totally not.

I can't say if Ed Begley's character in A Mighty Wind was under the same spell, but it sure seems like it:


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