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Holden, the line for such a film would have stretched around

April 2005 Archives

In 2001, when the “rolling blackouts” doused the traffic lights in my cheap jordans sale part of Los Angeles, I was amazed at the behavior of the drivers. East Coast motorists would have cut directly to Demolition Derby. But not those Californians. Even at cheap adidas the major intersections, they spontaneously slowed down and began to take turns. It was enough to restore my faith in human nature.

Of course, if those polite Golden Staters had been able to hear the cackling of the Houston hyenas who were messing with their power grid, they might have raised a posse and headed straight for South Texas. For the scavengers of Cheap jordans Enron were not only ripping off the whole state, they were joking about how much fun it was to gouge the old, the sick, and the poor.

cheap jordans for sale free shipping The main thing you need to know about “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” is that it is NOT a film by Michael Moore. It uses some of the same tricks, such as a soundtrack full of sardonic counterpoint (for example, a clip of President Reagan extolling “the magic of the market” is followed by footage of a natural gas facility, accompanied by the song, “That Old Black Magic”). But the tricks are in service to a solid indictment, not a half whacked conspiracy theory. cheap jordans for sale free shipping

Some have criticized “Enron” for cheap jordans for sale being too admiring of Head Hyenas Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Andy Fastow, and Lou Pai. And yes, it does drool a bit over their bad selves. Of cheap yeezys all the people interviewed, only one man speaks for the 20,000 employees whose cheese disappeared into the cheap jordans in china pockets of “the smartest guys in the room.”

It is worth noting that while three of cheap air jordan the Head Hyenas wait to have their wrists slapped by Blind Justice, the fourth, Lou Pai, turns out to be the smartest guy of all. After helping his subsidiary, Enron Energy Services, lose $18.8 billion and put 5,500 people out of work, Pai made off with $270 million. Then he divorced his wife, married his favorite stripper, and bought a 77,5000 acre chunk of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in southern Colorado.

cheap jordan shoes for women To be sure, Pai later sold the property when it looked as though the locals were going to win a lawsuit over water and timber rights. But he did OK, I’m sure. You won’t see him on BET any time soon, but the man is a https://www.cheapjordanssvip.com “playa.” cheap jordan shoes for women

cheap jordans 20 dollars Unseemly though it is, the aforementioned drool is what makes “Enron” convincing. The whole country thought these guys were “smart.” And the last I checked, the popular definition of cheap jordan sneakers the word has not changed. For too many Americans, “smart” still means, “Screw you, I’m driving my armored Hummer right through the intersection.” cheap jordans 20 dollars

Finally, what everyone hasn’t been waiting for: a character driven XXX rated art film. Reports Stephen Holden of the NY Times, this year’s TriBeCa Film Festival will include two screenings of “9 Songs,” a 70 minute indie about two nice cheap air force people who while not in love regularly take time out of their busy schedules to make the funky monkey.

cheap retro jordans size 9 It’s all perfectly normal, except for some kinky maneuvers at the end. And of course, that clever little camera showing us stuff that not even the lovers can see (because their eyes are located on their heads). cheap retro jordans size 9

cheap jordans 20 Years ago, observes Mr. Holden, the line for such a film would have stretched around the block. But today, why bother? It’s so much easier to stay home and watch tumescent organs flail away on your computer. cheap jordans 20

cheap jordans 11 low The “9 Songs” gimmick is to combine porn explicitness with conventional narrative. But as Holden notes, this makes the viewer feel like a voyeur. cheap jordans 11 low

Now, a defender of “9 Songs” might say that’s exactly the point: to discomfit us by connecting the action below the neck with the action above. And who would argue against such a connection? Real sex with a real person is presumably what most of us seek.

But usually this search does not entail spying on others. What’s weird about this movie is that its starting place is not sex in the world but porn on the screen. The guests of the TriBeCa Film Festival will decide whether that is worth lining up for.

cheap jordan shoes free shipping There are few cliches sturdier than the one about TV encouraging “passivity” and “mindlessness.” Whether stated simply by a frustrated parent or elaborated upon by a communications theorist, this cliche basically boils down to the idea that it is more cheap jordans free shipping of a workout, cognitively speaking, to read print than to watch a screen. cheap jordan shoes free shipping

cheap jordans 35 dollars An interesting challenge to this idea can be found in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, in which Steven Johnson argues that today’s most popular and sophisticated TV shows have a much more complex and demanding structure than the leading shows of just a few cheap jordans china years ago. cheap jordans 35 dollars

cheap jordans 45 dollars The truth of this will be driven home if you’ve ever watched “The Sopranos” or “The West Wing” with an octogenerian: the multiple plots, the references to previous episodes, the use of dialogue not as meaning but as “texture,” the withholding of detail to tease the viewer such devices only confuse people whose viewing experience was shaped by the regular pace and clear exposition of programs like “Gunsmoke” and “Perry Mason.” cheap jordans 45 dollars

This stuff is fascinating, and I agree with Mr. Johnson that it refutes the cliche about “passivity.” But I disagree with his conclusion that newfangled TV “makes us smarter.” For one thing, as he notes, many of these devices come from soap opera, a genre known to be addictive but not especially educative.

For another, the skills involved observing a large number of people, keeping track of their doings, basically getting the goods on them are ancient and universal (another name for them is “gossip,” or perhaps, “politics”). And while these skills are vital to success in any age, they do not add up to what is currently defined as “smart.” In the higher reaches of the professions and the workplace generally, “smart” still refers to what is learned in school. And, like it or not, at home when the TV is turned off.

cheap jordans australia In my last entry I judged “Downfall” to be a superior film on the strength of one character, Magda, the stern wife of Josef Goebbels. Of all the characters in the film, cheap jordans on sale she is the one who conveys the difference between ordinary and extraordinary evil. cheap jordans australia

Where did I get this standard? From “The Wansee Conference,” a 1984 German TV film broadcast on PBS in 1989. (It is not available on DVD but can be rented or bought on VHS.) Based on the research of a Prussian born Israeli, Manfred Korytowski, this German Austrian coproduction recreates in real time (85 minutes) the clandestine 1942 meeting that set in motion the last phase of the “final solution.” The script is taken directly from the notes of that meeting, and there is no music or other add ons. Just brilliant acting and direction.

best cheap jordans website Present at the Wansee Conference were the top brass of the Party and SS, assorted military men and bureaucrats, a note taking stenographer (the lone woman), and Reinhard Heydrich, head of the security police and golden boy predicted to succeed Hitler. Like Magda, Heydrich (played by Dietrich Mattausch) is not an icy robot or a snarling wolf but something worse: an elegant, arrogant human being with a silver tongue and a winning sense of irony about the difficult task ahead. best cheap jordans website

For example, at one point Heydrich indicates on a map how the remnants of European Jewry are still “scattered all over like fly specks.” Just back from heading the “murder battalions” that killed more than a million Jews cheap jordans shoes in occupied Soviet territory, Heydrich informs Rudolf Lange, the Gestapo chief for the Eastern Territories, that he will soon be receiving more “shipments from the Reich.”

cheap jordans that are real When Heydrich first arrived, Lange greeted him a heel clicking cheap adidas report, “Estonia, Jew free!” But now we see Lange’s hands trembling at the news. “We didn’t really plan on starting up again,” he protests feebly. Richly amused, Heydrich orders cognac and starts to flirt with the stenographer. cheap jordans that are real

cheap jordans near me Do not for a moment confuse this film with the HBO film “Conspiracy” (2001) starring Kenneth Branagh as Heydrich. “Conspiracy” is standard Nazi movie fare, with a bunch of English actors looking severe and repressed, like a public school headmaster about to cane some boy’s bottom. cheap jordans near me

cheap jordans with free shipping “The Wansee Conference” is different. The actors speak German, for one thing. But more important, they remind us that the Holocaust was not designed by cartoon bad guys but by proud, intelligent human beings at the peak of their capacities including the capacity for evil. cheap jordans with free shipping

Can any movie capture the massive evil of the Third Reich, or has the whole business become a self referential media cliche? Every time another earnest, gloomy film about World War II and/or the Shoah is released, a little voice in my head says, “Dollar for dollar, your Nazis are still your best entertainment bargain!”

cheap jordan trainers But “Downfall” (“Der Untergang”) provokes no such voice. For one thing, it is not a self congratulatory American film but a self lacerating German one. For another, it is not about the victims but about the victimizers. By focusing tightly on Adolf Hitler and his inner circle, hunkered down in the “Fhrerbunker” while the Red Army blasts its way into Berlin, this film depicts the Nazis not as Them but as Us. cheap jordan trainers

cheap jordans for sale mens Naturally, this disconcerts some people. For example, when “Downfall” premiered in Germany, it was sharply criticized in the highbrow weekly “Die Zeit” by the eminent director Wim Wenders. By portraying Hitler on cheap Air max shoes a human scale, Wenders argued, the film effectively denies the global scale of his wickedness. The subsequent debate has been over whether cheap jordans online it is acceptable to portray Adolf Hitler as human (which the fine Swiss actor Bruno Ganz definitely does). To that question the answer is easy: Yes. It is not only acceptable but necessary to portray Hitler as human. Had he been a demon, then humanity would be off the hook. cheap jordans for sale mens

But the real question is one of scale. “Downfall” focuses on four sympathetic characters: Tarudl Junger, Hitler’s naive young secretary; Peter, a 13 year old boy trying to be a war hero; Dr. cheap nike shoes Schenck, an army medic harrowed by the suffering of ordinary Berliners; and Albert Speer, high toned architect to the Fhrer. To foreground the plight of these four is to background the horror being done in their name. If that were the sum total of “Downfall,” then Wenders would be right.

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