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About Sgt_Markoff

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  1. Sgt_Markoff

    From the Last 18 Years

    I don't understand the topic of this thread at all. Culture output is not demarcated by dates, calendars, numbers. Just look at the Beidermeir Era in Germany. Do you think that people stopped every year and counted on their calendar, how long the mediocrity was lasting? No. They were simply in a trough. In our country, it suffices to say that everything after the 1970s is merely self-conscious, juvenile twaddle, aping and playing catch-up to timeperiods of real importance and pioneering.
  2. Sgt_Markoff

    Any suggestions for Nazi movies?

    "Die Brucke"
  3. Sgt_Markoff

    Overrated Noir

    'In a Lonely Place'. Much to my nausea and regret, saw it on the big screen. My god. What listless, limp, reeking, offal. I wish I could rinse my brain out after viewing this putrid carcass. Utterly clownish unconvincing drivel and rot. Almost hilarious in the degree of how incompetent it was.
  4. Sgt_Markoff

    Where's CaveGirl?

    What flooding?
  5. Question, where did you learn to type? The KGB? Anyway I don't lend much credit to allegations of Woody's misbehavior, myself. It's not for me to say one way or the other. Even if he committed some of the mis-deeds attributed to him, I'm fairly forgiving in such matters. Let it go. His list of fave movies seems rather bland though. All the standard stuff. The big debate of course, is betwixt him and Joan Didion. Who was right? I lean toward Didion; but I think he responded well and bettered himself after her tirade. It's a colossal battle. Reprinted at link below. What is extraordinary about it is that today all these barbs fall flat. We are all indemnified with what Didion is accusing Allen of. Bravo to her for raising a ruckus at all, by the way. She's my favorite American essayist. But we're all guilty now. Is anyone today free of 'detachment' and 'remoteness'? Isn't the very idea, a scream?
  6. Sgt_Markoff

    Military Themed Comedies

    'King of Hearts' starring Alan Bates. It's not a Criterion release for nothin' 'The Americanization of Emily' starring James Garner, script by Paddy Chayefsky. 'A Bell for Adano' with John Hodiak. Source novel by John Hersey is so funny it put me in a laughing fit for five minutes. 'Catch-22' by Mike Nichols. Almost a classic. It did save the B-24 however. Dr. Strangelove. What can one possible say? The Private War of Harry Frigg. Starring Paul Newman. The Private War of Major Benson. Stars Charlton Heston. Teahouse of the August Moon. Glenn Ford and Marlon Brando.
  7. Sgt_Markoff

    MAP: The most and least tax-friendly states

    p.s. military spending in Red states The 'Retro vs Metro' website has mostly been castrated but a few elections back it was the hottest website in the country for the way it summed up the new cultural split emerging in the USA. The maps from this site went round like wildfire and basically started the trend of new ways of red/blue mapping.
  8. Sgt_Markoff

    MAP: The most and least tax-friendly states

    You can summarize my initial post yes, by phrasing it as 'money transferred' from more wealth-generating, higher-taxed Blue states to larger-land-area, less-dense, poorer, emptier, rural Red states where taxes are lower. The difference between state property tax and federal tax is a very interesting one and could be discussed at length. One thing oft-overlooked during furious tax debates (these, usually spurred by businessmen eager for lower business taxes) is that local property taxes are very stable over time. Certainly, high property tax results in richer school districts. The feds sure don't give money to K-12; (they bend over backward NOT to). That role falls to the state. So how else might the state go about it? Its pure capitalism. If you're wealthy you live in a nice house and you send your kid to a good school. p.s. Baran & Sweezy point out that not only this, but America's higher education system is traditionally a hidden check/balance for keeping the wealthiest sector the better educated. But at least its a direct cost/benefit: the issue with federal taxes is that the federal govt takes our money but gives us no clear product in return; sending our money overseas or for 'bridges-to-nowhere' (pork-barrel). The heart of the social contract is something I don't feel we inherently disagree with: "okay, tax our salary but provide service in return". The state does that, but the feds don't.
  9. I have a 'pet theory' that the decline of comedy--mirrored by the decline in good crime films, good dramas, etc--matches the retreat-away-from the former sternness in our public institutions like law, military, government, homelife, religion, and education. This is no longer the era of the draft, the electric chair, the exam. As we have moved from a 'strict' society (the 1950s) to a soft one, (one less striated by classes and authority-figures and hierarchical rules); the 'nervous system' of society becomes slack, listless, and torpid. Laughter springs from tension; as does drama. Stiff, rigid, authoritarian societies not only have the most vigorous artistic spirit, but the hardiest overall survival skills, too (versus their lazier, more decadent neighbors). Whereas in an overly-free, lackadaisical, and permissive culture, nervous reflexes wither. As HL Mencken was fond of pointing out, more equality and more democracy leads to more mediocrity. Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well, famously observed this. Look at the career of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor and George Carlin. They had forces against which to rebel. But in a sense, they were doing really no more than the Marx Bros did. Kafka's 'Penal Colony'--another poignant example.
  10. "People don't tell jokes like they used to You don't hear many down at the mall No one sits around joshing at the 7-11, You can't repeat the ones on the men's room wall People don't tell jokes the way they used to We used to sit and tell them every night Looked forward each month to Reader's Digest Everyone now's all so self-righteous, I think that's why" --Garrison Keillor
  11. Sgt_Markoff

    Sears bankruptcy and decline of retail

    And yet giddy, short-sighted fools always embrace all this 'convenient' (digital) technology which 'makes life easier' but which employers clearly only use to eliminate jobs. It's been going on not just since the 1950s (reported in detail by Harry Braverman) but since the 1769 Spitalfields district riots in London. Marx called this hideous aspect of capitalism out for exactly what it was. Then as now, it is the long-term killer of jobs. (One measure to take against it is of course, unions--but unions have been thoroughly discredited, haven't they?) (NYT article)
  12. Thanks for the compliment. By the way, I'm wondering how Ray Milland supposedly pricked Brian Donlevy with a prop sword which wouldn't have had any point on it. It's mentioned in the, 'I just saw" thread as well.
  13. What do you mean by 'they don't have the writers'? I would think that comedy writers today struggle for lack of material. Popular culture in America romped when the nation was still young and undeveloped; when there was still elbow room and the order of things was not yet settled into a rigid pattern. When most Americans still lived in cities; things were different. The persistence of humorous traditions from the age of vaudeville and Broadway, the influx of humor which came with European immigrants; (Marx Bros for example) the ramshackle days of the early melting pot; everyone working together to build skyscrapers and subways--that was the era that was shoved aside by the onset of automation in the 1950s. We matured overnight. Modern culture today is stagnant in comparison; people stay at home with television sets. Its hard to find genuinely funny individuals --rebels--anymore. Just thinking out loud here.
  14. Sgt_Markoff

    Noir Alley

    Just skimming the page above. Lots of good stuff. One comment to make; 'hard-boiled' isn't usually noir. Noir usually takes 'average joe' type characters and thrusts them into difficult situations. Detectives are 'hard-boiled' because they're trained to be; they get that way from experiences in the course of their jobs. They hardly ever crack-up or get shaky; they've seen it all before; its all routine for them.
  15. What happened? Well...the Korean War, Vietnam, Watergate, suburban sprawl, the oil crisis, interstate highways, television, drugs, Bay of Pigs, sexual revolution, women's lib, the corporate revolution, recessions, product obsolescence, mass-market consumerism, answering machines, voice-menus, elevator muzak... It's naturally hard to find anything funny in today's America.

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