This is a powerful film, and I was only about a minute or so into it, when I realized that it reminded me of a film that I saw in the early 1970s. I will explain at the end of this post. Here is what Vimeo includes about The Exit Room:
Starring: Christopher Abbott
OFFICIAL SELECTION 2013 @ Tribeca Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, Aruba International Film Festival and many more.
SYNOPSIS: It is 2021, and imprisoned journalist Joseph Michaels faces government execution as he contemplates a desperate escape attempt in order to return to his wife and new-born in The Exit Room.
Director: Todd Wiseman Jr.
Producer: Ariel Elia
Cinematographer: Milos S. Silber
Co-Producer: Tyler Ben-Amotz
Editor: Brian Denny
A house on North Limestone purchased for $35,000 and offered for $120,000.
Gentrification is the ugly downside to urban development. Beginning in December, I attended two publicized meetings on the topic by an urban-identified at-large council member. At the informal meetings, I was struck by how little some representatives knew about gentrification. Some cited it as an inevitable and also somewhat positive process.
One way these positive testimonies for gentrification have occurred is by segmenting the process away from its underlying drivers. In the meetings, most of my attempts to discuss gentrification in the context of city subsidies for projects like 21C and Rupp Arena–or the city’s current disinvestment in many poor-trending suburban and near-urban locations–fell on deaf ears. The consensus was that such things occurred in separate spheres with little practical connection to our topic.
OK. everyone who had to read Hemingway in school raise your hands…
Fidel Castro and Ernest Hemingway
That’s about what I thought. Most of us had to read at least one or two of his books during high school or college or both. I would wager, however, that few of us have ever read much of his writing outside of the classroom. I may be an exception as I know the first Hemingway I ever read was The Old Man and the Sea which I picked up from the local library when I was eleven or twelve.
Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.
So that’s a total of ten novels, ten short story collections, and five non-fiction works. Yet, Goodreads.com lists fourteen pages of Hemingway works. That’s a lot of collections and groupings as most Goodreads.com “pages” list about thirty books per page.
After Hemingway’s death in 1961, the New York Times had a short paragraph on Hemingway from many of the world’s then top writers as a part of his obituary. In 1999, The Atlantic did a “flashback” to reviews of some of Hemingway’s works from over his full career and after death as part of the centennial of his birth.
Hemingway’s IMDB shows 71 different films and TV shows based on his work. There have been a lot of short films from his short stories that have been produced in this century. A Farewell to Arms starring Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes was the very first production of Hemingway’s work in 1932. Cooper also starred in For Whom the Bell Tolls with Ingrid Bergman. Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and Ava Gardner were in The Snows of Kilimanjaro. To Have and Have Not starring Bogie and Bacall got its title and many characters from a Hemingway book but according to wiki, was otherwise quite a bit different than the original storyline.
The New York Times wrote in 1926 of Hemingway’s first novel, “No amount of analysis can convey the quality of The Sun Also Rises. It is a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame.” The Sun Also Rises is written in spare, tight prose that influenced countless crime and pulp fiction novels and made Hemingway famous. In 1954, when Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, it was for “his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.” Paul Smith writes that Hemingway’s first stories, collected as In Our Time, showed he was still experimenting with his writing style. He avoided complicated syntax. About 70 percent of the sentences are simple sentences—a childlike syntax without subordination.
Whatever his style, whatever his writing faults, Hemingway is undeniably one of the literary giants of the last century. And he really should not have needed all of the high school English teachers around the country to explain that to us. He told his tales well.
In August 2009, former madam Dalia Dippolito conspired with a hit man to arrange her ex-con husband’s murder. Days later, it seemed as if all had gone according to plan. The beautiful, young Dalia came home from her health club to an elaborate crime scene, complete with yellow tape outlining her townhome and police milling about. When Sgt. Frank Ranzie of the Boynton Beach, Florida, police informed her of her husband Michael’s apparent murder, the newlywed Dippolito can be seen on surveillance video collapsing into the cop’s arms, like any loving wife would—or any wife who was pretending to be loving would. The only thing missing from her performance were actual tears.
… And the only thing missing from the murder scene was an actual murder.
Tipped off by one of Dalia’s lovers, an undercover detective posing as a hit man met with Dalia to plot her husband’s murder while his team planned, then staged the murder scenario—brazenly inviting the reality TV show Cops along for the ride. The Cops video went viral, sparking a media frenzy: twisted tales of illicit drugs, secret boyfriends, sex-for-hire, a cuckolded former con man, and the defense’s ludicrous claim that the entire hit had been staged by the intended victim for reality TV fame.
In Poison Candy, case prosecutor Elizabeth Parker teams with bestselling crime writer Mark Ebner take you behind and beyond the courtroom scenes with astonishing never-before-revealed facts, whipsaw plot twists in the ongoing appellate process, and exclusive photos and details far too lurid for the trial that led to 20 years in state prison for Dalia Dippolito.
After receiving her juris doctorate from Loyola University School of Law in 1998, Elizabeth Parker began her career as an assistant state attorney in the Palm Beach County Florida State Attorney’s Office. Since then, she served consecutively as the deputy chief of county court, the chief of the county court division and the domestic violence division. From January of 2009 until August of 2011, she held the position of chief assistant state attorney, in which Parker litigated high-profile cases. She has appeared on Dateline, Snapped, Sins and Secrets, Nothing Personal, and In Session for her role as the lead prosecutor in the Dalia Dippolito case. Parker opened her own victim advocacy and criminal defense firm in Palm Beach County, Florida, and has appeared on Nancy Grace and In Session as a legal analyst.
New York Times best selling author Mark Ebner is an award winning investigative journalist who has covered all aspects of celebrity and crime culture for Spy, Rolling Stone, Maxim, Details, Los Angeles, Premiere, Salon, Spin, Radar, Angeleno, The Daily Beast.com, Gawker.com, BoingBoing.net and New Times among other national and international and internet publications. He has repeatedly positioned himself in harm’s way, conducting dozens of investigations into such subjects as Scientology, Pit Bull fighting in South Central Los Angeles, the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, celebrity stalkers, drug dealers, missing porn stars, sports groupies, mobsters, college suicides and Hepatitis C in Hollywood. (BenBella Books)
A friend of mine just told me about a friend of his who, for the past several years, has had to spend every single weekend of his life cooped up in jail. Every single weekend, week in and week out, this guy goes to jail — with free room and board provided at the taxpayers’ expense. “But, why?” you might ask. Because the guy steadfastly refuses to pay that portion of his federal income tax that goes toward unnecessary wars.
But on the other hand, many huge US-based multi-national corporations also refuse to pay any kind of federal tax at all. So shouldn’t their CEOs be spending weekends in jail as well?
Taxes are supposed to be a way that all of us Americans can pool our money together in order to buy all that expensive stuff that we couldn’t afford to buy individually. For instance, I alone cannot afford to purchase good roads, education for my granddaughter, police and fire protection, etc. all by myself. And neither can most of the rest of us either. And for this obvious reason I approve of taxation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_pR6fcELU
PS: At last month’s Berkeley-Albany Bar Association luncheon, our guest speaker told us all about the latest changes that have been made in federal tax law. I madly scribbled all this stuff down on some paper napkins and here it is. Hopefully I got most of it right:
“The IRS budget for 2014 was slashed by $526 million. It now has 8,000 fewer employees — but with a much bigger workload. Last year there were 3.5 billion dollars in fraudulent tax returns. And the IRS admits that it conducted 18 percent fewer audits of major corporations last year.” Told ya.
“Not many tax laws were passed last year.” Hell, not many of any kind of laws were passed last year by this do-nothing Congress — except for a whole bunch of laws sending Big Government into our bedrooms.
“The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), passed in 2013, permanently extends a lower tax rate on individuals with incomes of $400,000 or less. It also provides for a new 39.6% marginal rate for income in excess of the above thresholds, as well as a higher rate for net capital gains and qualified dividends. And for a phase-out of personal exemptions and itemized deductions for higher-income individuals. But even with these new increases, US tax rates are still quite low in comparison with other countries.”
“Regarding foreign income reporting, there is now a Form 8938 which requires that specified foreign financial assets must be reported.” About time for that to happen! “And the penalties are stiff if you fail to file an accurate 3938.” Good. “And there are no statutes of limitation here either. Pursuit of US taxpayers with foreign financial accounts continues to be one of the IRS’s highest priorities.” But the IRS is also trying to extend its statutes of limitation in other areas too. So be aware of that.
Regarding gay marriages, “Same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriage, will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes.”
And apparently America’s fourth-largest tax preparation firm just got busted for fraudulent and deceptive conduct and isn’t gonna be allowed to prepare our taxes ever again. “One of the more heinous acts committed by the owner involved forging customers’ signatures on duplicate refund checks, causing collection proceedings against the customers, who knew nothing about this.”
Also, when filing out your 1040, make sure you check “child support” and not “family support” because spousal support doesn’t count as child support and apparently doesn’t get as many reductions.
“The IRS assessed FBAR penalties against a taxpayer for willingly failing to report the existence of or the income from a Swiss bank account.” And the IRS has taken a very hard line regarding overstated charitable contributions too. And California taxes its residents on their world-wide income as well.
“S corporations have done well under the new tax act — exempt from healthcare taxes, etc. They won’t be going away any time soon.” No idea what an S corporation is but apparently it is a good thing to have if you are going to pay taxes.
“And roll-overs are tricky. Be very careful. You only have 60 days.” And home offices aren’t so much the audit-trigger that they once were under the new safe harbor rule — as the IRS attempts to codify repairs and improvements to small businesses.
And then the speaker also explained a lot of stuff about ObamaCare and its effects on our taxes — but I got distracted by the cheesecake for dessert.
(Picture courtesy of Serguey at wikipedia commons.)
Today we celebrate the beginning of the American Revolution, as April 19th was the date that the British came to ‘every Middlesex village and farm’, after Paul Revere rode to warn the colonists in Lexington and Concord, MA, where the townspeople fought back. A symbol associated with the Revolutionary War that followed is itself a work of art, while representing our nation’s original rejection of tyranny from the king that ruled Great Britain.
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today theWhitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was cast with the lettering (part of Leviticus 25:10) “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.
No immediate announcement was made of the Second Continental Congress‘s vote for independence, and thus the bell could not have rung on July 4, 1776, at least not for any reason related to that vote. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. After American independence was secured, it fell into relative obscurity for some years. In the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol byabolitionist societies, who dubbed it the “Liberty Bell.” It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century—a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief JusticeJohn Marshall in 1835.
The bell became famous after an 1847 short story claimed that an aged bell-ringer rang it on July 4, 1776, upon hearing of the Second Continental Congress‘s vote for independence. Despite the fact that the bell did not ring for independence on that July 4, the tale was widely accepted as fact, even by some historians. Beginning in 1885, the City of Philadelphia, which owns the bell, allowed it to go to various expositions and patriotic gatherings. The bell attracted huge crowds wherever it went, additional cracking occurred and pieces were chipped away by souvenir hunters. The last such journey occurred in 1915, after which the city refused further requests.
The Pass and Stow bell was first termed “the Liberty Bell” in the New York Anti-Slavery Society’s journal, Anti-Slavery Record. In an 1835 piece, “The Liberty Bell”, Philadelphians were castigated for not doing more for the abolitionist cause. Two years later, in another work of that society, the journal Liberty featured an image of the bell as its frontispiece, with the words “Proclaim Liberty”. In 1839, Boston’s Friends of Liberty, another abolitionist group, titled their journal The Liberty Bell. The same year, William Lloyd Garrison’santi-slavery publication The Liberator reprinted a Boston abolitionist pamphlet containing a poem entitled “The Liberty Bell”, which noted that, at that time, despite its inscription, the bell did not proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants of the land.
The Whitechapel Foundry still is making bells in London, England, and makes its own statement about the bell.
At a meeting of the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania on or about November 1st, 1751, the Superintendents (Isaac Norris, Thomas Leech and Edward Warner), were instructed to procure a bell of about 2,000 lbs. weight from England. This instruction laid down the prophetic inscription that was to be placed on the bell and stipulated that it should be delivered before the scaffolding around the building in which it was to be hung, was struck at the end of the following summer. Thomas Lester of this Foundry and in these same premises was the Founder chosen, and in September 1752, the bell is recorded as having come ashore in good order. A report dated March 1753 states that after hanging, it became cracked at the first stroke. They endeavoured to return it to England by the same ship, but the Master of the vessel was unable to take it on board. Thereupon, two “ingenious” workmen, Pass and Stow, both of Philadelphia, undertook to recast it. On breaking up Lester’s bell, they pronounced it too brittle and modified the alloy by adding 1½ oz. of copper to every 1 lb. of Lester’s bell.
They did not appreciate that bell metal is brittle, and relies on this to a great extent for its freedom of tone. They made a new casting which was not successful and, in their second recasting – having learnt the lesson – they restored the correct balance of metal and this is the bell that now hangs in the Liberty Bell Center, directly across from an earlier home, Independence Hall.
Later in 1753 some further dissatisfaction was expressed and negotiations were made with Thomas Lester to recast it for a charge of 2d. per lb. This, however, never materialised and Pass and Stow’s second recasting was finally hung in the State House Steeple.
While the bell can be visited in Philadelphia today, it was during the British occupation there hidden away to prevent its being melted and used for British bullets against U.S. revolutionaries. It has been rung in celebration of our Independence Day, July 4th, but developed a crack and has been kept silent so that it would stay in one original piece.
Because so many nutjobs have used Patriots’ Day to commit atrocities, such as the Oklahoma City bombing, very few celebrate the day in ceremonies and Patriots’ Day marathon has been moved to another date in Boston.
Lexington and Concord still observe the day, itself, as part of their tradition as where the Revolutionary War began. This year, ‘due to budgetary constraints’, the ceremony has been called off. Backpacks are not allowed, either. Some re-enactments will take place.
“The U.S. State Department will…extend the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, likely postponing a final decision on the controversial project until after the November 4 midterm elections,” Reuters explained.
Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama have final say over whether the pipeline will be built because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border.
Reporters learned of the decision after a call between high-level congressional staff and State Department officials.
“The justification is the need to wait on continued litigation over a Nebraska court decision earlier this year, which threw part of the project’s route in doubt, two sources said today after a call between the State Department and congressional staff,” reported Politico.
In the end, the decision came down to politics, according to Politico, though there are no shortage of climate change and ecological concerns for the prospective pipeline.
“A delay past November would spare Obama a politically difficult decision on whether to approve the pipeline, angering his green base and environmentally minded campaign donors — or reject it, endangering pro-pipeline Democrats,” they reported.
Proponents and Opponents Respond
Twitter has been abuzz since rumors of the announcement started swirling and many prominent individuals with a stake in the fight have already chimed in.
“Keystone XL delay further proof that State Department has bungled this process and has no business overseeing environmental reviews,” tweeted Friends of the Earth Senior Campaigner Ross Hammond.
It’s as if our leaders simply don’t understand that climate change is happening in real time–that it would require strong, fast action to do anything about it. While we’re at it, the State Department should also request that physics delay heat-trapping operations for a while, and that the El Nino scheduled for later this spring be pushed back to after the midterms. One point is clear: without a broad and brave movement, DC would have permitted this dumb pipeline in 2011. So on we go.
Elijah Zarlin, CREDO’s senior campaign manager, said: “It is deeply disappointing that Secretary Kerry and President Obama can’t yet muster the courage to stand up to the oil industry and reject Keystone XL. Still, this is yet another defeat for TransCanada, tar sands developers like the Koch Brothers, and oil-soaked politicians. No doubt, the nearly 100,000 people who have pledged to risk arrest to stop Keystone XL played a key role in pushing the administration to more accurately consider the full impact of this project – which must clearly result in rejection. No delays will diminish our commitment to stopping Keystone XL.”
For his 2011 short, Xemoland. Daniel paints a portrait of a young boy who just wants to be as cool as his older brother, but whose older brother’s sole goal is to not give a shit about him. The older bro and his best friend spin tales to the seven-year-old Corey about Xemoland, a magical place where parties can be ‘cut short by an angry mob of gaylord Einsteins chasing David Hasselhoff on a hoverboard.’ As much as the young boy tries to fit in, his brother’s desire to torture rather than nurture him keeps getting the better of him.
Katz’s cartoon-style animation is simple but expressive. The characters live in a nostalgic paradise filled with real-life posters and scenes from Terminator 2, the Doors, Sonic Youth, and Back to the Future.
This movie, if anything, proves that the main thing about being a younger brother is that you’re never going to be the older one. You’ve got to realize that he treats you like his little brother because you are, and will always be, behind him. He’s going to try drugs, see R-rated movies, and watch porn before you, and that’s cool. But you still really need to pretend there are places like Xemoland out there, where every wish you have can come true. That’s what being seven is all about, and being seven is kind of badass.
Xemoland reminded me of “The Guy I Almost Was,” a classic from Electronic Sheep Comix. In addition to the obvious 1990′s nostalgia, despite the gap in ages of the protagonists, both yearn for a better world that seemed right around the corner in that pre-millennial moment. This slice-of-life style seems more commonplace in independent comics than in animation, for whatever reason.
Update: Vice credits the cartoon to Daniel Katz, but other sources say the correct name is Daniel Cardenas. I’m unsure at this time!
While hilarious and improvisational, Rick and Morty maintains an internal consistency and even a continuity from episode to episode that makes it seem meticulously plotted compared to Adult Swim’s stoner alumni like Children’s Hospital or Aqua Teen Hunger Force — with a few exceptions, the humor comes primarily from carrying a premise through to its extreme, yet somehow almost logical conclusions.
The final two episodes of Season 1, “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind,” and “Ricksy Business,” are beautiful examples of that of that principle of taking hilarious concepts and following them through to their utter extremes. Having cleverly established the multiverse in which the show exists, it unveils a bizarre “Council of Ricks” from alternate dimensions in episode 10.
The final episode throws an incredible party with cameos from the entire season and a few unforgettable additions like Bird Person and Abradolph Lincler. And then ends as only Rick and Morty can: with a giant, wonderful, “fuck you!” (link contains spoilers for final moments of the final episode). The episode also highlights the importance of big sister Summer’s familial relationship with Rick, which became more important as her character gained depth in season 1.
With a consistently funny and clever first season completed and season 2 in our future, you’ve got every reason to seek out this cartoon if my first recommendation wasn’t enough. I hope all the characters continue to gain depth in season 2, particularly Jerry the dad. Right now he’s mostly the butt of jokes, though I enjoyed his relationship with the stupid Rick in episode 10. Much like Archer’s Cyril Figgis, also played by voice actor Chris Parnell, I hope he becomes more complex with time.
Seen any good cartoons lately? What are you watching these days?
Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.
What’s on your mind tonight? Got Firedoglake questions? The watercooler is an open conversation.
MyFDL is the community site of progressive political blog Firedoglake. Anyone can participate by writing a diary, commenting on others’ diaries, or joining groups to find other people in your area. Content posted to MyFDL is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to Firedoglake.