J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-08-2018

The Good, the Bad and the Exaggerated in Michael Moore’s New Film, ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’

Michael Moore’s new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, doesn’t pull any punches in its depiction of capitalism as the monster that is destroying America. Moore’s villains range from Wall Street bankers to Wal-Mart to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, while capitalism’s victims include those who are losing their jobs, their houses and, in some cases, their faith in a system that is supposed to reward hard work and playing by the rules. So Michael Moore scores some points there, although he was very selective in the way he did it. I don’t believe in the level of redistribution that Michael Moore would believe in – unconditional, not based on effort. At the same time, Michael Moore’s conclusion isn’t that we need to have more regulatory reform, especially to protect consumers, which is something I think we are in great need of – or that we simply need some more redistribution, which I also agree with if done smartly. 

Michael Moore was right that the mortgage area needs serious regulatory reform in order to make mortgages very transparent. A lot of people wanted something more than they could afford. So we have a lot lower prices than we had. It’s a lot cheaper to fly and there is a lot more competition. The problem is we have a lot of people who really enjoy flying. 

We all value art, but [because] a lot of people want to be artists, they don’t get paid [much]. No occupation pays well when a lot of people enjoy doing it – unless we simply tell some people that they can’t do what they love. In the mortgage field, a lot of people weren’t making well-informed decisions. 

Keywords: [“Moore”,”people”,”lot”]
Source: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/the-good-the-bad-and-the…

Jeri Hogarth: Jessica Jones & Female Capitalist Success

I’ve loved Jessica Jones’ ruthless lawyer, Jeri Hogarth, since she debuted in the first season. I thought it was a brilliant switch to make the comics’ male Jeryn Hogarth into Jeri Hogarth, but still imbue her with all the callousness, drive, and selfish confidence that we associate with high-powered corporate lawyers. That’s because Jeri’s queerness is never the source of her evil; wealth is. Jeri is a powerful, driven career woman, but the things that make her so powerful-buying into the corporate game, shameless self-interest, and a confidence that being smart and rich gives you the right to control other people-are also the things that so often make her evil. As the second season opens, we find Jeri doing much of the same. 

Jeri is rude to the sex workers she hires; she ogles her yoga instructor. Jeri is, as she’s always been, a woman who likes a little indebtedness in her romantic partners, her associates, and her friends. Her growth here was getting back to being Jeri even in the face of something she couldn’t control-something that, in its power over her and in the way it leads to her humiliation, could have made her not feel like Jeri anymore. In all her many facets, Jeri captures my incredibly complicated feelings about women like this. With Jeri Hogarth, Netflix is exploring those contradictions of female corporate power. 

We see Jeri’s admirable tenacity, intelligence, and confidence in a world that tells her to shrink herself. Jeri is a powerful, successful queer woman in a world that makes it really, really hard to be such a thing and still be decent. 

Keywords: [“Jeri”,”power”,”she's”]
Source: https://www.themarysue.com/jeri-hogarth-jessica-jones-season-2

Why Intellectuals Hate Capitalism

Mackey, 62, continues to set the pace for what’s expected in organic and sustainably harvested food. Because of Whole Foods’ educated customer base and because Mackey is himself a vegan and a champion of collaboration between management and workers, it’s easy to mistake him for a progressive left-winger. A high-profile critic of the minimum wage, Obamacare, and the regulatory state, Mackey believes that free markets are the best way not only to raise living standards but to create meaning for individuals, communities, and society. Conscious Capitalism, the 2013 book he co-authored with Rajendra Sisodia, lays out a detailed vision for a post-industrial capitalism that addresses spiritual desire as much as physical need. Reason: You believe capitalism is not only the greatest wealth creator but helps poor people get rich. 

John Mackey: Intellectuals have always disdained commerce. You might say that capitalism was the first time that businesspeople caught a break. Mackey: It’s sort of where people stand in the social hierarchy. Mackey: I don’t know if it’s a psychological switch so much as that they weren’t necessarily grounded in the philosophy of capitalism. They’re attempting to not fall, so they try to rig the game, and we have crony capitalism. 

Mackey: The impetus behind so many of these types of regulations in the workplace is, in a sense, to shackle business again-to get it back under the control of the intellectuals. It’ll stifle the dynamic creative destruction of capitalism. 

Keywords: [“Mackey”,”capitalism”,”business”]
Source: https://reason.com/archives/2015/10/27/why-intellectuals-hate-capital

Antonio Gramsci

Brecht’s key debate was class equality, where the influence of Karl Marx, Louis Althusser and Antonio Gramsci’s theories were and still are evident in Brecht’s plays. The Threepenny Opera: The Ballad Opera and the Socio-political Criticism and Change Bertolt Brecht’s aggressive political idealism and determination in using art to pose challenging questions about the conflicts between society and morality generated intense controversy throughout his lifetime. Brecht offers alternatives in life rather than Gay’s mocking characters that just make the viewer laugh 19 PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www. The problems stem from the fact that when Brecht wrote the play he was only beginning to explore Marxism and he did not yet identify with the class struggle. Brecht’s final goal is that he wants the audience to leave his play with a logical desire to change society. 

Brecht is trying to make people think about the play rather than feel emotions. Brecht’s use of songs does not represent any attempt aiming at intensifying or heightening the conflict of the play. The songs in Brecht’s plays deserve some discussion because they are as famous as the play itself. Brecht exposes his understanding of death penalty in the play. The story of the play is dramatized by Brecht from an old Chinese parable. 

Brecht’s attitude towards war is derived from Marxism. Brecht should have something rather than cause and effect to connect the separate parts of his play. 

Keywords: [“Brecht”,”play”,”war”]
Source: https://www.scribd.com/doc/82102711/Bertolt-Brecht

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

Skepticblog » Capitalism-A Propaganda Story

First, let me confess that even though I have disagreed with most of Michael Moore’s politics and economics throughout his career, I have thoroughly enjoyed his films as skilled and effective works of art and propaganda, never failing to laugh – or be emotionally distraught – at all the places audiences are cued to do so. With Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore’s propagandistic props are so transparent and contrived that I never was able to suspend disbelief. One family filmed the eviction process themselves and sent the footage to Moore in hopes he’d use it, and the other was filmed by Moore’s crew. Two, because the economic crisis caused solely by said bankers has made it impossible for families to make the payments on those subprime loans they were tricked into taking by those same bankers, who themselves were suckered into a Ponzi-like scheme cooked up by Alan Greenspan and his Wall Street/Federal Reserve buddies to take back the homes fully owned by the elderly and the poor. In the fine print that the bankers carefully slipped past the elderly and the poor for these second mortgages and subprime loans, the contracts said that the rates on variable rate loans could go up, and that the house was collateral for the loan such that if the loan payments are not made the home is subject to foreclosure and repossession by the bank. In Michael Moore’s worldview, a goodly portion of the American people are ignorant, uneducated, clueless pinheads too stupid to realize the fundamental principle of a loan: you have to have collateral to secure the loan! No collateral, no loan. I looked into securing a second mortgage on my home in order to build a second home on an undeveloped portion of my hillside property, and then selling it to turn a tidy profit. What could go wrong? Well, for starters I thought, what if it takes longer to build the home than I projected? We all know how slow construction projects can be. What would happen if I couldn’t make the payments? The answer was obvious, and it wasn’t in the fine print: I could lose my primary home. Now, I’m not really a risk-averse guy, but even I could see the inherent risks involved when the home you live in could be taken away. Uh? Replace an economic system with a political system? Even the über liberal Bill Maher was baffled by that one when he hosted Moore on his HBO show. Capitalism: A Love Story, ends with a remarkable film clip that Moore discovered of President Franklin Roosevelt reading from his never proposed second Bill of Rights. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; The right of every family to a decent home; The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; The right to a good education. There is one question left unstated: Who is going to pay for it? If there is no capitalism, from where will the wealth be generated to pay for all these wonderful things? How much does a “Decent” home costs these days, anyway? So does Michael Moore, who elsewhere in the film longs for the good old days when the “Rich” were taxed 90% of their earnings.

Keywords: [“Moore”,”home”,”bank”]
Source: http://www.skepticblog.org/2009/10/13/capitalism-a-propaganda-story

Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society

Scholars debate how much children’s actual emotions have changed in the last five hundred years of Western history, yet all agree that the nature and extent of cultural interest in the emotional lives of children has shifted dramatically. Whether children’s souls were viewed as stained with sinful passions waiting to be cleansed, their hearts regarded as empty vessels ready to be filled with finer feelings, or their psyches seen as the seat of complex emotions ripe for discovery and discussion, over time the emotional life of children has been the focus of ever-increasing levels of adult attention. Emotional History in Context: Scholarly Debates about Historical Change The first contemporary historians of emotions found fewer differences between the emotional lives of early modern adults and their children than between early modern and modern adult emotional attitudes. Even as recent historians have largely come to agree that loving relations between parents and children were likely quite prevalent throughout the early modern period, they have also come to a renewed appreciation of the fact that-whatever the continuities of the currents of subjective emotional experience-there have been marked changes in the kinds of ideals espoused and the extent of emotions expressed by and about children in past times. For parents and children, this meant that one of the primary obligations of family life was to teach children to conquer their passions. From infancy, parents began to discipline their children’s emotions, meeting cries and tears with the switch and schooling their children to contain their emotions at all costs. Because the writing of political history usually precedes social and cultural history, and because Western European history has long predominated over that of other areas, it is clear that much remains to be discovered about the contours of the emotional lives of children outside those of the white elite. By contrast, the emotional lives of NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN and of AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN, whether free or enslaved, would have been markedly different from the European patterns just described. Native American children in North America would most likely have been raised in matrilineal households where cooperative work habits would have ensured young children great amounts of time with their mothers and female kin. It is a testament to the relatively pleasant emotional lives of Native American children that many European-American children so adopted were reluctant to return to the homes of their birth, even when offered the opportunity. Like Native American children, most African-American children lived with their mothers in matrilineal family groups. The parents of African-American and Native American children were not only excluded from the formal rights of citizenship, but actually denied recognition as adult members of society. Southern slave masters likened enslaved adults to children and referred to “My family black and white.” President Andrew Jackson, architect of Indian removal, referred to Native Americans as “My red children.” When these white male leaders spoke of their paternal affection for their “Children,” the centuriesold link between family feeling and public power continued to evolve. From Cherokee children forced west on the Trail of Tears, to African-American children sold south in the service of King Cotton, many children never experienced the cozy security of the republican fireside. The emotional lives of children continue to change, as do attitudes towards children and emotion itself.

Keywords: [“children”,”emotion”,”emotional”]
Source: http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Co-Fa/Emotional-Life.html