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Opinion | The World According to Mad Magazine
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Kreider. Mr. Kreider is an essayist and cartoonist.

The announcement last week that Mad would cease monthly publication of new material made me sad in the far-off way you feel when you hear that a celebrity you didn’t know was still alive has died. I was a regular reader of Mad in the 1970s, when the magazine was at the height of its popularity and influence. I learned many things from Mad: who Spiro Agnew was, the plots of R-rated movies like “Coma” and show tunes like “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’,’” which the writers of Mad evidently assumed would be familiar enough to 10-year-olds of the ’70s to parody — “I Got Plenty of Muslims,” sung by a black militant. I also learned about black militants.

I also learned from Mad that politicians were corrupt and deceitful, that Hollywood and Madison Avenue pushed insulting junk, that religion was more invested in respectability than compassion, that school was mostly about teaching you to obey arbitrary rules and submit to dingbats and martinets — that it was, in short, all BS. Grown-ups who worried that Mad was a subversive influence, undermining the youth of America’s respect for their elders and faith in our hallowed institutions, were 100 percent correct..........By the time most of us hit adolescence and learn that the world is unfair, exploitative and brutal, and that most people in it live in shocking poverty and squalor, and that we’re all somehow implicated in this even though it wasn’t our idea, plus there’s no God and we’re all going to die and the grown-ups have been secretly having sex the whole time, you feel ripped off. You feel lied to.

So you turn to art that rips the facades off everything, exposing adults and their institutions as swinish and rotten. Humor is adolescents’ reflexive defense against all the unpleasantness they’re confronting for the first time. It’s a distinctively adolescent form of humor we now call “snark” — irony, sarcasm, satire and parody — whose agenda is to mock and tear down and caper gleefully upon the grave of everything sacred and respectable.

It’s no coincidence that Mad reached its highest circulation in the era of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the “credibility gap” — the collapse of public faith in the integrity and honesty of our government. It was a healthy antidote to earlier generations’ automatic deference to an authority that too seldom deserved it........Adolescents are also scarily passionate absolutists, and there is, behind all parody and satire, a moral agenda; people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert aren’t America haters but closet patriots and true believers. Mad’s ethos was essentially conservative: its all-fronts, iconoclastic assault on bigotry and hypocrisy was a tacit appeal to good old-fashioned decency and integrity. Mad made good enemies: The Ku Klux Klan once demanded an apology and threatened to sue over what it considered a libel against its organization.......Mad’s influence is ubiquitous now. The glut of satire and subversive comedy we all now consume daily is created by kids who grew up on Mad or on humor inspired by it: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Simpsons,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and The Onion are all in one way or another the spawn of Mad. . But in the end, the magazine largely obviated itself as a cultural force by becoming the dominant mode of humor in America.
'70s  anti-Establishment  cartoons  comic-books  farewells  golden_age  humour  magazines  op-ed  parodies  satire  subversion  youth 
july 2019 by jerryking
What Keeps Xi Jinping Awake at Night - The New York Times
By Chris Buckley and Paul Mozur

May 11, 2018

The recently released 272-page book of Mr. Xi’s remarks on “national security” includes previously unreleased comments that give a starker view of the president’s motivations than found in most Communist Party propaganda. Here is a selection.

Winning the Technology Race
The recent trade dispute between China and the United States has brought new attention to China’s zeal to become technologically self-reliant. The book shows that Mr. Xi was determined that China master its own microchips, operating systems and other core technologies well before this recent quarrel.

Taming the Internet
Since the introduction of the internet, Chinese Communist Party leaders have worried about its deployment as a means of subversion and spying. A speech on propaganda that Mr. Xi gave in August 2013 suggested he was alarmed by the United States’ surveillance capabilities that were exposed by Edward Snowden.

Racing for a Military Edge
China has been spending heavily to upgrade its military. In a December 2014 speech, though, Mr. Xi warned Chinese military officials that they risked being eclipsed technologically by the United States.

Hidden Financial Risks
China’s leadership has become increasingly forthright about the need to defuse financial risks from growing debt, and comments Mr. Xi made in December 2016 explain why.

Unrest Over Pollution
Mr. Xi has stepped up the Chinese government’s efforts to reduce smog, soil contamination and other pollution. Remarks that Mr. Xi made in May 2013, when China was in the midst of a smog crisis, showed how alarmed he was about public anger and protests, which Chinese officials call “mass incidents.”
Xi_Jinping  China  China_rising  threats  Edward_Snowden  security_&_intelligence  self-reliance  books  Chinese_Communist_Party  financial_risk  subversion  semiconductors  operating_systems  pollution 
may 2018 by jerryking
For Putin, Disinformation Is Power - The New York Times
AUG. 5, 2016 | The New York Times | By ARKADY OSTROVSKY.

Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,”...During the Cold War, the Kremlin interfered in American politics for decades. The K.G.B.’s so-called active measures — subversion, media manipulations, forgery and the financing of some “peace” organizations — lay at the heart of Soviet intelligence.
disinformation  Vladimir_Putin  history  anti-Americanism  subversion  Donald_Trump  security_&_intelligence  Kremlin  WikiLeaks  propaganda  cyber_warfare  Cold_War  triumphalism  narratives  Dmitri_Medvedev  KGB  information_warfare  destabilization  deception 
august 2016 by jerryking
'Not Fade Away': The Making of a Killer Soundtrack - WSJ.com
December 6, 2012 | WSJ | By STEVE DOUGHERTY.

The Making of a Killer Soundtrack
David Chase, creator of 'The Sopranos,' and Steven Van Zandt, of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, used dozens of 'needle drops' in the new movie 'Not Fade Away.' How it stacks up against the great rock-'n'-roll movies of yore....[the] use of recordings by name artists—called "needle drops" in the trade—is nothing new...the first one was in a James Cagney movie. But nearly half a century after the Beatles stormed America, needle drops are still used somewhat sparingly; they are the exception in Hollywood, not the rule. Finding the right songs is time-consuming and expensive. A conventional film score, perhaps with a couple of single songs thrown in, is far easier to construct, and adapt to plot situations.

Steven Spielberg, for one, works almost exclusively with his "Lincoln" composer John Williams. "Songs are great and they can have huge emotional impact, but they're not flexible," says indie film composer Jonathan Hartman. "Scores are like tailored suits—they're custom-made to precisely fit."...It's still a bit daring and subversive to buck this tradition, and some critics are likely to chide Mr. Chase for putting more care into the music than the character development. By filling the soundtrack with nothing but actual songs, he joins a small group of filmmakers who are upending the way movies are made.

"The right song can evoke a time and a sensibility and an entire world," says composer Alan Silvestri, whose collaborations with director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump," "Flight") avidly mingle rock songs with original music.

Idea for Sunny Zaman
filmmakers  movies  music  rock-'n'-roll  songs  soundtracks  subversion  television 
december 2012 by jerryking
New Year's Resolution 2002
1. Resolve to stay brutally optimistic.
2. Resolve to identify the most powerful benefit you offer to the people around you and then deliver it. (See below)
3. Resolve to pump up your personal vitality. How do I retain personal vitality?
[Personal vitality measures overall health in four key areas:
Physical
Mental
Emotional
Purpose – INTERESTING! (I believe that having a sense of individual life purpose is absolutely fundamental to personal happiness and contentment ]
4. Resolve to be habitually generous.
5. Resolve to go on a mental diet.
6. Resolve to be a global citizen, fully open to the cultures and influences of others.
7. Resolve to take control of your destiny.
8. Resolve to increase your human connectedness. Network.
9. Resolve to increase your creativity by letting go of the familiar. If innovation is everything, how do I institutionalize it in my personal life? Innovation ==> change strategy ==> succeed because they are subversive. Be a heretic!!!
10. Resolve to be you because others are already taken.

Practice adding value to things--ideas to make things worth more.
Practice adding value to people--what can I do to help my colleagues become more effective?
Practice adding value to myself--what can I do to make myself more valuable today?
heretical  inspiration  motivations  fitness  indispensable  serving_others  value_creation  resolutions  unconventional_thinking  JCK  affirmations  optimism  authenticity  generosity  Communicating_&_Connecting  subversion  purpose  networking  creative_renewal  personal_energy 
august 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: Facebook's Dubious New Friends - WSJ.com
MAY 2, 2011 WSJ By L. GORDON CROVITZ. The company will
launch in China under Chinese rules.
Facebook has been banned in China since 2009. Its executives are annoyed
that Renren, a mainland knock-off, plans to go public in New York at a
$4 billion valuation. But as the trusted home to more than 500 million
users, how Facebook re-enters China will test the trust people have put
in its services—and in social media generally. By agreeing to operate
under Beijing's rules, Facebook is forcing this hard question: Will
people remain as relaxed about divulging personal information and
beliefs for the social-media benefits of connecting with others if those
others include representatives of police states?

Facebook reportedly will have a mainland partner such as search engine
Baidu. This partner would be the censorship cutout, enforcing domestic
laws and government mandates to turn over information about online users
that has led to many arrests for subversion.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Facebook  censorship  China  hard_questions  subversion 
may 2011 by jerryking

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