Saturday, March 1, 2008

Economists Are Suck-ups!

Economics is not a science. It’s obviously not a physical science, though economists flatter themselves by talking about their own objectivity, mathematical rigor, and predictive value. It’s not a social science either, since economists pay as little attention as possible to real inter-actions among people, preferring to make extrapolations from statistics which are already extrapolations.
Economics is simply the art of rationalizing whatever our rulers want to do to us. Since Reagan was first elected president in 1980, economists have been telling us that lowering taxes will increase revenues, that raising the minimum wage will increase inflation, that globalization is a wonderful thing for everybody everywhere, and that deficit spending is disastrous (except when W went to war, when they prudently fell silent).
These things are exactly what the bankers, investors, and corporate executives who run our economy want to hear, and economists are rewarded for saying them. Economists aren’t really concerned when the facts don’t bear out their theories, because the theories themslves are so beautifully consistent, and because the theories are just a pretty window dressing to conceal what is really going on.
Shakespeare was wrong. The first thing to do is kill all the economists… and then the lawyers.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Nashville sucks!

I just finished watching Robert Altman’s Nashville, forcing myself to sit through the whole thing because he’s a Great Director and this was a declared a Great Masterpiece by all the critics. Well, not by me. I declare it total garbage.
Two hours and forty-five minutes is a long time to sit through a movie, and when the movie is as dull and boring as this one it becomes an ordeal that I can only describe as torture. It’s all endless, pointless, plotless wandering around, closing with an assassination attempt that I suppose was intended to make the preceding nonsense seem somehow Politically or Socially Significant. Well I call bullshit on that!
I know the critics are all in awe of Altman’s subtlety and mastery of technique, of all the clever references and foreshadowings and nuances and callbacks that I’m too much of a clod to get, and that a great Masterpiece like this cannot be grasped in all its manifold greatness in one sitting and that I must watch it again and again to appreciate all it has to offer.
I’m sorry, but clod that I am, there is no power on earth or in heaven that could compel me to waste another three hours of my life on this drivel.
Oh, there was that old lady who worked for the Kennedys – that was a foreshadowing of the big assassination climax, wasn’t it? And David Carradine’s song “I’m Easy” is about a shallow dude, which oh-so-subtly underscores what a shallow dude his character is. Get the picture? Yes, we see… If this is the kind of thing Altmaniacs are impressed by, I remain unconvinced.
And the music is lousy. It’s not even country, except for a few seconds of Vassar Clement’s fiddle. They went all the way to Nashville to shoot on location in the Capital of Country Music and these were the best songs they could get? What a waste.
This movie is so bad it makes me angry. Angry with myself for wasting a whole afternoon watching it when I could have been doing something more fulfilling, like my laundry. Angry at the critics who praised this piece of crap to the skies and persuaded me that it was not just worth seeing, but worth making a point of seeing. Angry that Robert Altman is dead, because I want to track him down and slap him silly for making this nonsense.