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Joker is what happens when Charles Bukowski Grabs a Gun

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Two police officers stood tensely near a movie theatre tucked away near a food court at the Palms in Las Vegas, where I risked being the victim of an “incel mass shooting” by watching what was described as the most dangerous film of the year. I sat down in my reclining chair for this moment. Joker.

Set in late 70’s / early 80’s New York, the scenes are grimey. Trash bags frame many of the early scenes. One gets a look at life pre-broken windows policing. The music is dark and draws out your emotions.

Joker is Arthur Fleck’s origin story, and Fleck’s relationship with his mother foreshadowed a film more Norman Bates than Patrick Bateman.

Fleck’s relationship with his mother was a central theme of the film that most critics have missed. The trope tossed out is that of loser men living at home in mom’s basement. How many of those men were manipulated as young boys into fawning over a dramatic and needy and sufficating mom?

Did Fleck live at home because he was a loser, or because his mom was? That’s a question one dare not ask in today’s society, and the meme was hidden from view until a psychologically devastating scene in Arkham later in the film.

While watching Joker I expected some critics to see a racial angle although the film wasn’t racial. Richard Brody of the New Yorker gave us the predictable hot take, noting Fleck’s encounter with many black characters. Brody sees race where others who don’t live with Brody’s all-white neighbors see class. Of course Fleck, the abused son of a mentally ill single mother, would live around other poor people in New York. Check the demographics as to who the working poor are.

Brody also sees race in the subway scene, although his understanding of violent crime is inverted. For all the annoyances Wall Street bros are guilty of, they aren’t playing the knockout game. The subway scene was counter-factual absurdity.

What Brody and others in his class don’t see, perhaps because it’s hard to see your own privilege, was Joker’s post-racial critique of capitalism.

Fleck, the poor white man, was told by the black social worker woman, “They don’t give a shit about people like you,” before recognizing that they don’t give a shit about people like her, either.

Stefan Molyneux didn’t enjoy Joker, which he called “agony, murder and horror with no redemption. The nihilism of a world without God or good.”

Molyneux and I have different aesthetic preferences. He prefers the shiny and optimistic. (My wife sent me a text with his Tweet, as Molyneux put into words her own sentiments after watching Joker.)

What Molyneux rejected in Joker is what made the film compelling. Joker wasn’t a film about beauty or hope or redemption. Joker was a film about the beginnings of a broken man.

“God is dead, long live the Joker?”

Arthur finds meaning and his character arc is complete as he transforms fully into Joker.

Joker is driven by its score, and as Fleck walks down the stairs, the music changes. He is full and complete in and of himself.

One may not approve of what he’s become, and one’s approval is irrelevant. Joker isn’t Sunday Service or a motivational speech.

Joker is despair. Charles Bukowski grabs a gun.

P.S. If you enjoyed this review of Joker, watch my own film, Hoaxed.

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Culture

Is “Kung Flu” the latest Media Hoax?

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Several White House reporters confronted Trump regarding his decision to call the coronavirus (or COVID-19) the China Virus.  One reporter asked him about a White House administration official who is alleged to have called the coronavirus Kung Flu.

When the reporter was asked the name of the official, the reporter said she didn’t know.

The original claim regarding Kung Flu comes from CBS reporter Weijia Jiang. On March 17th, she Tweeted:

This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.

Ms. Jiang has not identified the official.

One reason could be because this official does not even exist.

Under American defamation law, you can lie all you like.

You can’t lie about a person by name.

If no White House official called the coronavirus Kung Flu, or if there is some important context missing, then Jiang could be sued.

You can watch the Kung Flu exchange in this video here:

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The Stafford Act Text Message Announcing an Emergency Quarantine is a Hoax

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By now you or someone you know has received a hoax text announcing martial law. With some minor variations, the texts all read the same:

  • In 48 to 72 hours the president will evoke what is called the Stafford act. Just got off the phone with some of my military friends in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing. The president will order a two week mandatory quarantine for the nation. Stock up on whatever you guys need to make sure you have a two week supply of everything. Please forward.

 

The National Security Council issued a rare public statement warning the public that the Stafford act text was a hoax.

How can you tell the Stafford Act Text is a Hoax?

Even if you refuse to accept the NSC’s word on the matter, the text message has some telltale signs of a hoax.

First, the text promises secret insider knowledge. “Just got off the phone with some of my military friends in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing.” This is a vague enough proclamation that it sounds plausible.

Second, no specifics of these friends are given. Who are these friends? Why did they call this specific person?

Third, the hoaxers ask you to spread the message. Why would anyone acting in good faith want to incite a panic?

If an emergency quarantine were able to be declared, the plan would be Top Secret. No one’s friends would just get out of a briefing and start alerting people. THEY WOULD GO TO PRISON FOR LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

If such an emergency plan were in the works and higher command wanted the story to get out, they’d leak it to a credible outlet. Not share chain-letter style text messages.

There’s also tradecraft involved in sharing classified information.

None of the telltale signs (and no I won’t share how to leak classified secrets here) were present in that alert.

UPDATE: Other outlets are now reporting that the Stafford Act text is a foreign disinformation campaign:

The Trump administration is alleging that a foreign disinformation campaign is underway aimed at spreading fear in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, three U.S. officials said Monday. On Sunday, federal officials began confronting what they said was a deliberate effort by a foreign entity to sow fears of a nationwide quarantine amid the virus outbreak.

Agencies took coordinated action Sunday evening to deny that any such plans were put in place, as they tried to calm a nation already on edge by disruptions to daily life caused by the virus.

 

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Read More about Mike Cernovich here.

Who is Mike Cernovich?

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Culture

How Trump Drafted Google into the War Against Coronavirus

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Elvis Presley served in the Army after he was drafted, and in American history it was common for celebrities to serve their country during times of national crisis. Noblesse oblige, or the duty the noble and rich owed to society, arouse perhaps out of morality or maybe simple self-preservation. If you’re getting while the getting is good, giving something back goes a long way to avoid class resentment.

Those thoughts were perhaps on Trump’s mind (or more likely his instinct) when he announced that Google was taking massive action to help America fight the coronavirus.

Google at first pushed back at the suggestion that it, a nearly trillion dollar mega-corporation, actually doing something to help the users it profits from.

Why should Google help save lives? Why should Google do anything other than operate as an amoral, blood-sucking corporation that violates user privacy and exploits children?

The media bros were quick to rush to save Google. Poor Google! They were being bullied by the ORANGE MAN BAD.

Google’s media errand boys like Jake Tapper and others were quick to publish stories attacking Trump for suggesting that Google actually do something.

Some like your humble correspondent Mike Cernovich saw right away was Trump was doing.

Trump was drafting Google into the war against coronavirus.

Google, whatever its motivations, answered the draft.

Public pressure must intensify.

The corporations make billions of dollars a day by spying on users.

The least they can do is use that data to find out where coronavirus hot spots are, share that information with the CDC, and get information shared with the sick.

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