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Time for a new Dune movie

The 1965 book Dune was to a great extent the basis of most futuristic science fiction books and movies that followed. Star Wars is based on Dune, even beginning on a desert planet where the hero, Luke Skywalker, has been tested and hardened into a ready warrior by the harsh landscape around him, like the Fremen of Dune’s desert planet Arrakis.

“Dune” author Frank Herbert was an eclectic guy, a deep and creative thinker. One might say he was unusual, even by modern terms.

He was against racism but believed in the importance of human genetic improvement through select breeding. Focusing on the importance of tribalism, Herbert nonetheless elevated the self-reliant individual as the highest achievement a person could aim and hope for.

He was for the concretely purposeful use of mind-expanding drugs, such as religious experiences, saw warfare and killing as hardly noticeable inevitabilities in a well-ordered human universe, believed in God and the power of prayer, supported the ongoing evolution of technology, but then elevated the supremacy of human evolution and the human spirit, including personal fighting skills, over that same technology.

If his amalgamation of nearly all current religions on Planet Earth into one or two future strands of religious thought is any indication, Herbert is suggesting that all religions pretty much point us in the same direction, though some are scarier than others.

Herbert was firmly against artificial intelligence and the delegation of human decision making to machines. In Dune, it is the ‘Butlerian Jihad’ that wipes out most computers and all AI, leaving only those computers that could perform the basic elementary functions in lieu of humans, after a close call where AI and its robots nearly took out all humans. On this subject, it could be said that Herbert was prescient and, like many other sci-fi writers, ahead of his time. Even now we childishly rush into AI as if it is just a silly game, when in fact it could quickly kill every human and every other life form on Planet Earth.

In 1984 director David Lynch produced a pretty good movie that captured a lot of the book Dune. No small feat, as most great books result in terrible movies. The David Lynch movie was good because it embraced the book and did not try to dance around it. Its acting was mostly excellent, and some of the scenes are perfectly gritty. But in other ways the 1984 movie is very weak. Its special effects are almost sad, even by the standards of that time. Very 1950s.

A miniseries was attempted years later, and many Dune devotees believed it was a failure in every way. Lacking even the punch of the 1984 movie, it certainly was not what people had hoped for or imagined.

We need a new, updated Dune movie. No, we demand one. A Dune movie that is absolutely true to the book, that has the same quality actors as the 1984 version, and which has updated technology, sets, and special effects. It will have to be long, three hours, to capture the most important scenes and subtle nuances that make the Dune story so powerful.

C’mon, Hollywood, do something good for once. Give us a new Dune movie that is worthy of the name and the book.

Movie review: “White Tiger”

When we think of Russia today and now, our mind might wander off into brutal poisonings of ex-spies across international borders, brutal assassinations of journalists inside Russia, brutal repressions of Chechen independence movements, brutal invasions of South Ossetia, Ukraine, and Georgia (THAT Georgia, not our Georgia), poorly chosen relationships with Iran and Syria, and the current czar riding around bare-chested on a horse with a rifle slung over his back.

Perhaps it was always thus. But if we think and search back a hundred years or more, we will stumble upon buried treasure in the farthest reaches of Russia.

Yes, it is true, Russia was not always just a military force to be reckoned with, it was also a significant cultural center of the very highest magnitude, the very highest achievement. World class music, literature, arts and crafts, poetry, ballet, and so on all were major hallmarks of the Russians.

Not of the oppressed Soviet satellite states, but the actual Russian people themselves.

Rachmaninoff, Dostoyesky, Faberge, and so on, so many great minds contributing in a singularly unique way, native to Russian culture.

Russians had this knack for art that you would not necessarily see if you looked at the simple surface of their culture or landscape. Behind the eightball on technology, Russian writers and poets and musicians bedazzled Westerners with their brilliance and inspiration.

That all started to die in fits and starts after the violent 1917 revolution led by the Democrat Party of that day and place, but nonetheless art persisted until the 1950s, when Soviet socialist control firmly held every thing and every person in its crushing grasp.

To dissent from all that big government with a pink pussy hat or with a snarky hashtag was unthinkable. Not that people wouldn’t try to do it, but the Soviet thought police, much the same as our own politically correct thought police in America today, would catch the thought crime even before it had taken physical form, and, as our own thought police openly wish they could do, WHOOSH, off to a starvation diet in Siberia went that ‘evil’ free thinker.

I am not sure that the Soviets used the words “sexist,” “racist,” homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” and other overdone American generalities meant to crush dialogue and debate, but if they could have used these terms, they would have. Different words then, but the same anti-democracy process then and now.

So for the past seventy years Russia has had an especially harsh Russian winter, art-wise, because of the Soviets and then their control freak successors, whatever Mr. Putin’s political party is named.

To be an artist in that Russian cultural winter was to walk around every day muzzled, daring not to say much less think your own creative thoughts. Too much was at stake.

But somewhere, somehow, that beautiful old Russian voice began to quietly break through the repressive walls. Finding acceptable subjects and means to convey them became a new form of creativity in and of itself.

Nationalism, patriotism, history are all legitimate subjects of artistic creativity, and so Russian artists have adapted. Very, very well. Albeit with throwback Soviet-style imagery, which is lamentable. Gosh, if the Russians could only be our friends…the things we could achieve together.

And so here we now have a truly artistic Russian movie we can all be proud of, in the mould of the old-time Russian artistic capacity. It is called White Tiger and debuted about 18 months ago. I have been wanting to write about it since watching it back then, but as we know, the past 18 months in America have been pretty intense.  Every time I thought I could breathe again, some new issue would pop up. There was more compelling competition for writing space and creativity of my own.

At least this is how I have experienced the past 18 months.

If you are afflicted with a love of liberty, as I am, then you have shared my somewhat anxious condition as the American “deep state,” or Obama holdovers, or career bureaucrats, or whatever you want to call them, have attempted to reverse the outcome of a presidential election they thought they would win and still cannot stomach the thought of losing, by any means necessary. Which means illegal, unethical, immoral, un-American, anti-democratic means.

That all seems to be unwinding now.

And so now, for this moment, I get to bask in the glow of art, thanks to the Russians. And I really mean it, thank you. Seeing this movie took me way back in time to when my own mind was creative and artistic.

Dear Russians, I lift my glass to you: Tvoye zdorovye!

White Tiger is on its face a war movie set in World War Two. It is about Russians versus Germans, good guys versus bad guys, the Eastern European version of cowboys versus Indians. It is also about tanks and heavy armor, about technological superiority versus the grass roots spirit to survive, and history. Lots of history. And lots of action.

At its core, this movie is mythological and Darwinian, with a lot of symbolism, not the least of which is the theme music, an artfully done refrain of Wagner’s pilgrim’s chorus.

If you care to pay careful attention, and walk a mile in a Russian tank tread, you will end up being impressed by this low-budget, high-performance film.

Briefly summed up with no spoilers, the unlikely (and yet so likely…there’s that symbolism thing) Russian hero is reborn, a plausible enough biological fluke consistent with species adapting.

He goes on to learn his enemy’s ways, to anticipate his next moves, and in the end, he goes on a ghostly chase into both past and future, bound up in one of Russia’s most enduring identities: Not German!

And speaking of German, Germany, and World War Two, no better representation of Adolf Hitler has been captured in cinema than the movie’s very last few minutes, where Satan’s boots on the ground has a heartfelt confession with his sponsor, who sits patiently listening in the shadow.

White Tiger.

And as an aperitif, try this Russian music to settle your soul before bed time.

NFL – “No F@#*n Loss”

As part of the entertainment industry’s decades-old war on American culture, ESPN and now the NFL have joined the politically correct pile-on.

Hollywood has led the way, surely, with its movies’ power of suggestion.

That Hollywood increasingly excretes unvarnished political activism in the guise of children’s movies as well as rated R adult movies is a thing of pride to that city; no one there even denies it. Hollywood is really just a communication propaganda arm of one political party.

But you cannot discount the increasing effects of ESPN reporters who now openly write that President Trump and his supporters are “white supremacists,” among many other examples of overt daily political activism by ESPN staff.

When I write “effects,” I mean the boomerang effect, which is where the intended results of one’s actions negatively rebound and injure the person who started it. These are ironic consequences, the best, most well-earned.

Perhaps the pinnacle of this boomeranging political activism is the anti-America statements by NFL players. Taking a knee and not standing during the national anthem wasn’t enough. Now some NFL players are making political videos that are shown at the game opening, or at half-time.

Well, removing the ESPN application from my iPhone was easy. There, ESPN, I am done with you. You are out of my life. See ya!

Over the past few years, ignoring the latest crop of poorly acted, poorly scripted, CGI-heavy Hollywood movies was a little more difficult, because Saturday night out at the movies with ice cream afterwards is a regular family thing. Even a lame movie would nonetheless entertain us and provide food for discussion later on. Like, was the movie’s symbolism consistent with its message? Did the message flow, or did acting anomalies and hiccups sidetrack the message? Was the message worthy, or was it muddled, or even negative?

These kinds of conversations with our kids were always stimulating, because as parents we enjoy watching our children grow. Nonetheless, unless a movie is exceptional in every way, we now decline to spend our money on a product from Hollywood, because that city is constantly at war with our values.

Now we have the National Football League, the NFL, getting all poseur-like. The NFL, too, is starting to see a substantial decline in business income. Why?

Illiterate men of the NFL, who have earned tens of millions of dollars in a few brief years’ time simply for running up and down a field, are out complaining about their station in life. You cannot make this stuff up. We indeed have phenomenally successful young men from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose wealth is largely accumulated from admirers of a different skin color, now claiming discrimination. And therefore, they take a knee during the American anthem.

In short, they tell their audiences and fans to go to Hell.

I don’t deny these guys have a right to stage their silly protests. But I have no duty to watch them, or to listen to their nonsense. And I have the right to stop watching their football games altogether, which is what I have now done.

This past January I called the NFL headquarters in Manhattan. Sharing my opinion of the league’s unwillingness to bring the football games back to being just about the games was the goal of the call. But, try as I might, finding a live human being was impossible. The phone menu just kept rotating through, taking me back to the beginning each time.

So I just started punching random numbers in to the phone.

Next thing I know, I was into the voice mail of a young NFL staffer, whose name I do not recall. But you know I took that opportunity to leave a detailed message on his voice mail.

My message to him was simple: Since I was eleven years old, I have looked forward to new NFL seasons. I always enjoyed watching NFL games.  But that enjoyment has diminished lately because of all the fake moaning, fake victimhood, fake whining by these anti-America grandstanders on the football teams. And so I kindly asked the league to give players a simple choice: Dear employees, play, or leave, but no more political crap on someone else’s dime.

Unsurprisingly, I did not get a call back from anyone at the NFL. The organization seems to take people like me for granted. At their own peril.

Well, I did not watch one single NFL game last year, and I will not watch one single NFL game this year, either. And I will keep spending my time on other activities until the NFL gets its players to commit to just playing the game, and to stop insulting good people who have not had a racist thought in their lives. Or perhaps the time I free up that I used to spend watching NFL games on TV will become better spent, irrespective of the political landscape.

Yes, I know, it is common now for people to assert that disagreeing with them on policy issues automatically means you or I are “racist.” The contrary facts do not matter to them. As a result, nothing has done more damage to the battle to end discrimination and racism than this constant crying wolf by crybullies and rich crybabies.  I am a very good person, I am not a racist, and I am tired of being told I am a bad person because I do not share some silly ideology.

Guys, just play ball. OK?

I have now arrived at a place where the NFL has taken on a new meaning: No F@&#’n Loss to me. I don’t miss it.

 

Google, Facebook, COSTCO – each trying to suppress your free speech

If you think that social media sources like Google and Facebook treat everyone equally, you are wrong.

If you think that COSTCO treats everyone equally, you are wrong.

All three have been documented in recent days to be in an aggressive war against your free speech opportunities, and against your ability to access information that the owners (of Google, Facebook, and COSTCO) do not like.

The owners of all three institutions are liberals.

Liberalism went from a demand for fairness to an overarching totalitarianism in a few short decades.  While many people say now and said back then that the socialist and communist roots of liberalism indicated that liberals were never interested in fairness, being open-minded, or tolerant, I grew up surrounded by liberals, and it was not until the last decade that I witnessed what looked to me like a transformation.  They went from representing opposing views to crushing opposing views, terminating dissent, as soon as they had the opportunity.

For example, the gentle “peace”-loving pacifists <ahem> were on the war path at Chautauqua Institution, a place long known for providing a platform for different ideas and views.  Suddenly authors like Andrew Bostom were shut out of week-long discussions where Islamic terrorists had the stage, as though they could not possibly be balanced by another opposing view.  And it then dawned on me and many others that liberalism is just one more tyrannical, evil, cruel, divisive, phony movement designed to create winners and losers by any artificial means necessary.

Like all totalitarian movements, liberalism must be opposed in the name of freedom.  Let people make up their own minds.

If you want to see how liberals have been shutting down your free speech opportunities this past week, visit these links:

http://youngcons.com/21147/

http://www.dineshdsouza.com/news/wnd-costco-removing-dsouzas-america-shelves/

And simply use BING to search for examples of how Facebook has artificially shut down and hindered conservative Facebook pages, including our own Josh First for PA Senate.

UPDATE: How could we forget to mention that Google removed the Gates of Vienna blog without any notice to the owners, thereby violating the very terms of service that Google themselves had required. The Gates of Vienna blog is a well-known source for history and updates from around the world. But the Left, ah, the Left, they cannot tolerate dissent. So, Google, run by liberals, tried to destroy the blog. But it survived. Use BING to look up the story.

Good movies hard to come by

Zero Dark Thirty takes its name from the old saw that military duty usually begins at some dark hour long before dawn, when most people are fast asleep in cozy beds.

The movie by that name contains the same message: Americans live comfortably, while brave warriors place themselves at great risk for the greater good, often without thanks or recognition.

It’s certainly a timely message, as our current president is reluctant to lead or give credit to those who do. Americans are in grave danger around the planet, and thankfully we have citizens who still believe in the greater good, even if their current political bosses do not.

Like the movie Act of Valor, Zero Dark Thirty gives a glimpse into the harsh reality of battlefields far away from daily American life, but without which our happy existence would not be possible.

A good message, a necessary movie.

America, You’ve Got a Problem…

How does this happen? Do Americans believe this is funny? Is it funny if a white supremacist says it?
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/12/10/jamie-foxx-jokes-about-killing-all-white-people-his-new-movie

Benghazi: The Twelve Dollar Word for Screw-Up

Benghazi: The Twelve Dollar Word for Screw-Up
By Josh First
September 20, 2012

Benghazi is the Libyan city where America maintained an embassy. By long settled international law, an embassy is sovereign soil, an inviolate extension of the nation that owns it.

So the recent attack on the United States embassy there was an attack on the United States. All-out wars have begun over similar incidents. It is as serious an international incident as can happen.

So what happened after the attack? Our current government blamed a United States citizen who had exercised his First Amendment right to make a purported expose movie about Islam. That is, although the attack occurred on September 11th, an important American holiday due to catastrophic Muslim attacks against American citizens, our elected officials (Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice) continue to ignore the evidence.

And the evidence is now clear that the attack was planned long in advance by heavily armed terrorists, one of whom was released by the Obama Administration from Guantanamo Bay prison.

Because bigger political purposes are served by blaming America’s free speech rights, these elected officials continue to ignore the evidence that undermines their public statements.

If lying to the public got Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton impeached, then why isn’t Obama in hot water? Obama is not getting heat from the mainstream media, because they agree with his blame-America thinking. His contempt for American freedoms is on display. His willingness to use the office of the presidency to name and abuse individual citizens for political gain undermines the office he now holds, but in the interest of expanding government power, his friends in the mainstream media will always look the other way.

Benghazi is now a twelve dollar word for a screwed up situation, both abroad and at home, and nothing is a bigger screw-up than a lying, deceitful president who undermines the Constitution he was elected to uphold.

www.joshfirst.com and on Facebook

Reporter Christine Amanpour: America is Extreme, Not the Muslims

Gotta read it to believe it: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/09/13/Christine-Amanpour-Thinks-West-Extreme-Not-Islamists