Now That’s Rich

From The New York Times:



We need to pinch pennies these days. Don’t you know we have a budget deficit? For months that has been the word from Republicans and conservative Democrats, who have rejected every suggestion that we do more to avoid deep cuts in public services and help the ailing economy.

But these same politicians are eager to cut checks averaging $3 million each to the richest 120,000 people in the country.

What — you haven’t heard about this proposal? Actually, you have: I’m talking about demands that we make all of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for the middle class, permanent.

Some background: Back in 2001, when the first set of Bush tax cuts was rammed through Congress, the legislation was written with a peculiar provision — namely, that the whole thing would expire, with tax rates reverting to 2000 levels, on the last day of 2010.

Why the cutoff date? In part, it was used to disguise the fiscal irresponsibility of the tax cuts: lopping off that last year reduced the headline cost of the cuts, because such costs are normally calculated over a 10-year period. It also allowed the Bush administration to pass the tax cuts using reconciliation — yes, the same procedure that Republicans denounced when it was used to enact health reform — while sidestepping rules designed to prevent the use of that procedure to increase long-run budget deficits.

Obviously, the idea was to go back at a later date and make those tax cuts permanent. But things didn’t go according to plan. And now the witching hour is upon us.

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Watching Godard Films on a Saturday Night

Last night we watched Jean Luc Godard’s film “Masculin, féminin” A film about the children of Marx and Coca Cola.

So 1960s. so reminiscent of my first love affair and the time we spent in Northside Cinema and the Telegraph Repertory Cinema.

Françoise Hardy had a cameo in the film.  The lead character played girl singer much like Françoise Hardy

D.I.Y. Music Labels Embrace D.I.Y. Film

If any reading this remember my apathetic response to “Ticked-off Trannys With Knives” then you might remember that while I thought the film demeaning and degrading I wasn’t in favor of censoring it and I felt that picketing it and making a big scene about it was giving it free publicity.

But there was another suggestion…  Make our own films, books, music and buy it ourselves as well as market it to the world beyond our various subcultures (although if you include the full range of the queer alphabet defined people you are talking major subculture/alternative culture)

Therefore I am fascinated with Blogs, “zine, independent publishers, independent musicians like Ani diFranco etc…  Use what is out there.  Back when I was young and a hippie left wing radical we had a saying “If you don’t like the news, Go make some of your own.”

The following was in today’s New York Times:

August 20, 2010

D.I.Y. Music Labels Embrace D.I.Y. Film


ON a midsummer night a few dozen people, many in glasses and with messenger bags, gathered at Zebulon, a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to watch a new low-budget movie called “The Builder.” The story of a contemplative Irish immigrant, it moved slowly, driven by atmosphere rather than dialogue, but the audience watched patiently at small candle-lit tables, beers in hand. It was the antithesis of a typical summer-movie outing, but that was sort of the point.

“It’s just great to see people with drinks and candles,” said R. Alverson, the film’s director. “It’s so much more personal than seeing it in a theater.”

Everything about “The Builder” seems personal. Mr. Alverson, a musician-turned-filmmaker, made it with friends and untrained actors for $5,000, including the cost of camera gear. To release it, he turned to Jagjaguwar, an indie rock label in Bloomington, Ind., whose roster of musicians includes Bon Iver, Okkervil River and Mr. Alverson’s former band. Jagjaguwar put “The Builder” out on DVD, organized a few screenings and hoped for the best.

“As a film distributor, we have no experience,” said Chris Swanson, who helps run the label. “We’re approaching it the same way we did music, like, find a nice room and put the work on display in a dignified manner.”

The audience was small, but Jagjaguwar had already agreed to finance Mr. Alverson’s next feature. It views him as an artistic investment: helping him develop his oeuvre is akin to supporting a band from the release of its first seven-inch.

“I realized his artistic voice is far more conducive to film, and if he had a continuum of work, it would have real meaning,” Mr. Swanson said. “And our audience knows how to take it in.”

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