08-08-08 Links

Just in case you need something to distract you from the breathless coverage of John Edwards here are some links:

  • Amy Sullivan has probably the most thorough coverage I’ve seen of McCain’s “The One” advertisement and its highly dubious use of coded language to associate Obama with the Antichrist, including some insightful comments from progressive evangelical Tony Campolo–by far the most memorable speaker I saw during my days at an evangelical college–connecting the imagery directly to the apocalyptic Left Behind book series. Scott McLemee has some insightful observations about “The One,” as well, as does Maud Newton. I’ve suspected for a while that the Obama as Antichrist meme would resurface from time to time, so I think it’s important to address–and challenge–these messages whenever they appear.
  • As an antidote to “The One,” here is some (incredibly geeky) political humor, McCain Portrait, done in the style of Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.” Wonderfully devastating stuff. Thanks to Professor B for the link.
  • I don’t write about music very often here, but I totally dig the new Gnarls Barkley album, and this video is terrific.
  • My North Carolina readers might be interested in knowing about the “Mixed-Tape Film Series” sponsored by the guys behind the terrific The Movie Show, which I’ve had the chance to catch on podcast a few times. Kind of reminds me of Girish’s cool idea of calling for double bills. Off the top of my head, one double bill I’d love to program: Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil followed by Jem Cohen’s Chain.
  • Some interesting discussion regarding the state of the box office: Via Sharon Waxman, a WSJ article arguing that people are seeing fewer movies, using as its basis a survey by the group Interpret. Wired, however, did some digging and found that box office receipts are actually up slightly in 2008. That’s probably partially due to increased ticket prices, but as I argue in my book, surveys asking people to describe their moviegoing habits can be unreliable. I don’t think movie theaters are going to be extinct anytime soon. That being said, with the continued emphasis on Hollywood franchise pics, they might be less likely to show the movies that I want to see.
  • Bad Lit has an interesting post about a new player in the online indie distribution scene: IndieRoad. I haven’t had time to investigate the site as fully as I would like, but it looks like a promising new resource for filmmakers and indie film fans alike. I’ll try to write a longer post once I’ve had the chance to check out the site in more detail.
  • While I’m thinking about it, I’ve been watching the documentary, Mardi Gras: Made in China.  I don’t know that I’ve been surprised by any of the revelations in the documentary, but it offers a really powerful metaphor for thinking about the use of underpaid labor in producing US consumer goods.  The film cuts from people literally throwing away the beads they’ve purchased to the workers who make only a few dollars a day, while working shifts that often run twelve hours or more, to make them.  Well worth checking out.

Just wanted to add that I’m finding the nonstop Edwards coverage a bit nauseating.  Yes, it’s got all the makings of a great scandal: sex, hypocrisy, falls from grace, etc.  And I do think it was incredibly selfish for Edwards to risk sacrificing his principles to run for president when he knew that news of the affair would likely come out.  But shouldn’t we devote at least a couple of minutes of the news to the fact that Russian tanks are in Georgia?  Or that Olympians have been banned from China for speaking out on Darfur.  Or even if you want to talk about the election: the dubious contributions that rolled into the McCain campaign from Hess executives.


  1. Chris Said,

    August 8, 2008 @ 8:28 pm

    But shouldn’t we devote at least a couple of minutes of the news to the fact that Russian tanks are in Georgia?

    I second you there. I know the Edwards thing IS a big story – my jaw dropped a little to read it – but it’s almost as if the news outlets were relieved not to have to talk about a complicated, far-off war.

  2. Chuck Said,

    August 8, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

    To be fair, I was paying attention mostly to MSNBC, and their shows are incredibly election-centric (especially the terribly-formatted Race to the White House), but I think I heard maybe 1-2 mentions of the Russia-Georgia war over the course of 2-3 hours.

    That being said, that’s par for the course when you think about how Afghanistan and Iraq have been covered over the last year or so.

    The Edwards story is pretty big, even if it’s been simmering for a while, but yeah, the coverage is excessive.

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