Saturday, August 11, 2018

PBS airs "Documenting Hate: Charlottesville", Part 1



PBS Frontline is offering the first half (55 minutes) of its film “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville”, directed by Richard Rowley, produced and narrated by reporter A.C. Thompson from Pro Publica and CBS.


The documentary shows that the violence aggravated by the original demonstrators was much more intentional than generally believed. 

Later Thompson tracks down several individuals associated with the event, some of them from extremist groups in southern California.  The locates Sam Woodward, now facing trial for the murder of gay student Blaze Bernstein and eventually establishes a connection.  He also implicated a defense contractor whom Northrup-Grumman fires, and a Marine Corps soldier as organizers.  The Marines discharged the person.

The film also documents the “Rise Above Movement” or RAM.  The violent nature of the movement has become much more apparent since Trump’s election.

At the end of the film, on of the subjects whom Thompson investigates tries to "bargain" with Thompson on the phone about having his back later in life when he (the journalist) will need to "make money" again.  That is, of course, a stab on journalistic objectivity. 

The mentality of the groups remind one of Timothy McVeigh and all the militias from the 1990s documented after Oklahoma City.  Some people don't learn how to establish their own individual identity very well in our kind of world without associating with group values -- which here include "masculinity", and warrior culture. 

The first episode was aired Tuesday August 7 and a second episode is due in September.

Friday, August 03, 2018

"Cute Boys" video makes a major statement about the political consequences of body fascism, probably unintentionally



I won’t embed this R-rated soft core video (“Cute Boys in Love”) but I link to it to make a philosophical point.  Sometimes porn really does make important political statements about values. 

Two men meet in a bar.  Alex, the shorter blond man, is physical and assertive enough, but is quite overwhelmed by the physicality of Josh.  The dialogue starting at 0:46 gets more critical.

What’s at issue is what Alex wants to have a “peak experience”, something he will involve himself emotionally with.  Ordinary people he encounters in his life just won’t be good enough anymore to have any meaning.

Then we can get into a debate on individualism v. tribalism, and being willing to center one’s identities with the needs of the group (as in Storr’s book “Selfie”) which I’ll come back to later (Books, July 19).
  
We can ponder body fascism, and the idea of how it can ultimately invite political fascism.
  
Picture: Penultimate night at Town DC, June 29, 2018.