Chernobyl (2019) miniseries review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

“We live in a time where people seem to be re-embracing the corrosive notion that what we want to be true is more important than what is true.” 

— Craig Mazin, the writer and creator of Chernobyl

This is what it took to claw my attention away from a board game I’m designing.  After being convinced to give it a watch by The Critical Drinker from cocksucking YouTube (and I will continue to use some derogative adjective, even a half-assed one that might not even be considered an adjective, to describe that site until things change or until it burns to the ground to pave way for better sites like BitChute or DailyMotion or something), I gave it a watch.  I can recommend it, but with some serious caveats.  Hey, if they want to make something based on a true story, they’re going to eat a serious shit sandwich from me, and approved by Jill Valentine, for anything not historically accurate about it that ticked me off.  Especially from an event as big and serious as this, which had the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise spawn from it, both the film and the game series, let alone Metro 2033.

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Critique of Black Pilled’s video regarding Arbuckle, and the sexual nature of films.

I gave Black Pilled an opportunity to respond to my comments on his video.  He hasn’t.  It could be because he gets so flooded with comments he doesn’t have time to read them all (understandable), or that he doesn’t care enough, not even on Gab.com.  I said I would post my youtube response on my blog site if he didn’t respond.  So that’s what I’m doing.  The below paragraphs were the comments I left on his video.  I primarily critique the first 8 minutes of the video, “Pawnbreaking Our Culture.”

This is the first video you’ve made that I take issue with, particularly the righteous attitude that, while admirable at points, can become misguided. I challenge your standards of decency.

First off, the whole thing about sexual situations being alluded to in the 40s, and even in the 50s, rather than being shown. This statement seems to be made under the assumption that these sexual situations weren’t anymore explicit prior to that time period. This is not the case. In 1915, that is when the first stag films were being made. Granted, it was more of an underground market where you had to go to “gentlemen’s clubs” to see them, but they were there. And they continued to be in circulation all the way through the 1960s until porn decided to go a little more mainstream in the 70s. There’s always been an audience for it. It was only inevitable that audiences would want to see this sort of thing in more mainstream films. The problem was that, back then, there wasn’t a rating system. There wasn’t anything to give warning as to what they were about to see at the cinema. It wasn’t until the MPAA was formed in the 60s that a rating system was setup.

And that whole thing of child porn as you call it, with 1978’s “Pretty Baby,” which I haven’t seen yet (but thanks for giving me knowledge of another film to check out), you also went too far down the road for when this was a thing. There is a film called “Child Bride” from 1938, which beat out Pretty Baby by 40 years. And it did so under the guise of being an independent “educational” film to warn of the dangers of child marriage (which was still sort of a thing back then in some areas). The film shows a girl swimming completely nude, with not much left to the imagination (you see tits and ass in all their glory). The actress, Shirley Olivia Mills, was also 12 years old at the time the film was made. And in her later years, people were coming up to her asking about her being exploited for that film. But the thing is, to her dying day, she claimed she never was, and never felt exploited, at all, during the entire filming endeavor. Not even during the controversial swimming scene. In fact, she felt she was getting more harassed and exploited by the people who wanted her to admit she was exploited during filming. In any case, that kicks you theory of women and girls being “exploited” during the 60s and onwards at the latest right in the keister.

It also doesn’t seem like you’re too familiar with the time period that many would call the Jazz Age of cinema (let alone some silent films like Intolerance which also had its fair share of topless women), which was basically between 1927 and 1934, when sound went mainstream. There were several films that not only went a bit far with female nudity (the last one of the era likely being 1934’s Tarzan and his Mate, which also had a nude swimming scene, shot underwater), but also had films about women using their sensuality to exploit men. The main example of the latter can be found with the 1933 film Baby Face, which is all about a woman sleeping her way to the top of the corporate ladder with the goal of gaining wealth.

And when Will Hays (who’s arm was basically twisted by Joseph Breen, and the government along with religious groups) finally got the Hay’s Code to be enforced in 1934, those films depicting women who were capable of doing that largely went away. That subject matter was off-limits. And plenty of films suffered for it because that subject matter was too risque. For example, 1932’s Rain had Joan Crawford’s character criticizing the nature of the Catholic church, how they’re too narrow minded and not as caring of what other people feel as they claim (in that they rely too much on the “my way or the highway” mentality without taking other factors into consideration; it’s an argument for how context can change the appropriate answer/response). The Hay’s code prohibited more than just sexual decency and dress codes and foul language, it prohibited forms of criticism.

And newsflash, an argument can be made for pornography being a form of art. An easy example to support such an argument can be found in the film Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, starring Michael Fassbender, from 2011, about a man whose sexual addiction harms his ability to connect with others on a deep emotional level, making him incapable of forming a bond that can lead to love. And this is shown through the sexual acts, how he is disconnected from such relationships during those acts, contrasted with the one time where he tries to have a serious relationship with someone during the act of lovemaking. Sex scenes, when filmed correctly, can be used as character and plot development, let alone for metaphorical/thematic purposes. It’s no different than the argument that a film like The Passion of the Christ can use acts of violence (which many would dismiss as torture porn) to make such points. The way some cause violence, how some enjoy it, how some are revolted by it, how the blood symbolizes the washing away of humanity’s sins, and thus much must be shed in order to cleanse the world of those sins. It’s all about the context, and a simple dismissal of the idea that porn (either sexual or violent) should never be allowed because it has no artistic merit and will lead to a degeneration of society is complete and utter bullshit.

This isn’t to make an excuse for cast and crew who acted depraved behind the scenes by sexually exploiting some member of the cast. Of course those people should be decried for those acts. Of course some form of punishment should be had towards them for doing that. But that doesn’t mean that automatically applies to every cast or crew member of every film that has “pornographic” depictions. As much as you would hate to believe this, sometimes these films are made without any ruckuss or unwanted exploitation behind the scenes. But many wouldn’t want to accept that possibility, which is why this whole Michael Jackson “Leaving Neverland” condemnation is a thing, which is literally kicking a dead horse. Go watch Razorfist’s videos which debunk that bullshit.

This isn’t a shift in the culture, this is culture being let loose from restrictions and letting people have what they want on the big screen. Considering how much the mid-late 30s all the way to the early 60s deprived audiences of stuff they were starting to get during the pre-Hays code days, it’s no wonder this whole “pornographic” era as you call it of the late 60s to the 70s exploded when it did. People were sick of being hindered. It’s especially infuriated considering how often the Catholics, those who called for decency in cinema, were the ones banging the kiddies behind the scenes (roughly 18% of Catholic priests from what I understand). Society didn’t become depraved, it was always depraved. And if that’s not enough of a reality check for you, consider that the legal age of marriage during the 1880s was as young as 10 years. That’s right, during the 1880s, it was legal to marry a 10 year old.

Regarding the alleged rape of Virginia Rappe by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, you appear to state that incident under the impression that that is exactly how it happened. And I call bullshit on that too. There are at least 2 books written on the subject that go in-depth with the coverage of all that, along with the historical context surrounding the incident. “The Day the Laughter Stopped” by David Yallop (1976), and “Room {1219}” by Greg Merritt (2013), which lay out a convincing case that Arbuckle didn’t rape Virginia, that it’s far-fetched at best that he did. Considering how Virginia’s “friend” Maude Delmont was the main person who made that claim in the first place, and has been known to blackmail rich men in the past for their money, and likely made that claim for the sake of blackmailing Arbuckle, and considering the prosecution didn’t think her a solid enough witness to have as a witness during the 3 separate trials (the first 2 were mistrials, the 3rd had Arbuckle acquitted), that’s already enough to cast doubt on the whole incident. And when Arbuckle was finally acquitted, not only did the jury acquit him, but they also wrote a statement which basically stated that “Acquittal is not good enough for Arbuckle.” In that he deserved more than acquittal. He deserved apologies from everyone involved, and maybe even compensation for having his name and finances dragged through the muck during this whole ordeal, especially by both the papers (mainly by William Randolph Hearst) and the religious organizations. But he didn’t get that. Even during the time of the trial, Hollywood was looking to make an example out of Arbuckle to sooth the mobs who wanted something done about the controversies that were coming out about Hollywood at the time. Which involved deaths, murders, drugs, orgies, and booze (which was outlawed due to prohibition at the time). And after the trial, they made Arbuckle’s life hell. He couldn’t get any real acting gigs after that, and his career was finished, despite the not guilty verdict. Quite the justice system we have hear, especially when someone like you, in this day and age, is still willing to give the dead guy shit about it when it’s more likely he didn’t do it. Do some friggin’ research before making statements like that why don’t you? The only people who were bribed were the studios and William Hays, who was approached by some executives from Paramount studios to get him to announce Arbuckle being blacklisted from Hollywood.

As for the religious organizations bringing pressure on Hollywood to force them to implement the Hay’s code, it’s not that simple. You’re leaving out a huge chunk of context. The Great Depression was in swing during that time period, leaving many without much cash in hand. Hollywood was able to keep afloat of this for a while, but eventually even they started to feel the financial burn, with less people (and thus less cash) flowing into the cinemas. Combine this with the fact that the Supreme Court ruled, unanimously, in 1915, that films were not protected by the first amendment, and Hollywood would be under pressure not just from religious organizations for alleged moral reasons, but also from federal and state forces which could shut them down at their leisure. Especially when many in government were of a religious influence and had connections with these religious groups. So it wasn’t just the pressure from those arguing for morality, it wasn’t just pressure from federal and local governments, it was also the pressure of losing money by having less customers who were less willing (if not altogether unable) to shell out cash to see films because there wasn’t much cash to go around during the Great Depression. Not to mention the guy who was putting pressure on Hays himself to implement this code, Joseph Breene, who arguably had more influence than Hays did in his position, was a religious person himself who was practically in bed with the religious organizations. Hay’s didn’t force the film industry to follow the code because most audiences demanded it, Hay’s convinced them to do so in order for the film industry to survive. It was for both monetary reasons, and to avoid the risk of the government coming in and regulating films themselves, which they attempted to do at earlier points in history.

Bottom line, both the Catholics and Jews are assholes. It was just the Catholics who were assholes first.

Home Alone review

Rated 4 / 5

The film starts off with an eerie title sequence, beginning with a full moon with some dark clouds around it, which disappears as a lone blue 2D drawn house comes into view along with the title words “Home Alone,” as the single window of the house lights up. It emanates a light creepy and paranoid vibe, with a sense of isolation, a lone individual surrounded by the darkness. If I didn’t know any better, I would say this is setting up for Night of the Living Dead or some werewolf movie. The HOME ALONe title only has the lone letter “e” not capitalized, intentional to foreshadow that it is a young immature individual who will be isolated rather than all the mature people who are capable of being independent and looking out for themselves. A line is underneath these words and the house to give a comforting ground to stand on, but soon disappears at the same time as the title, leaving the house alone, as it grows smaller and smaller within the surrounding darkness. It wouldn’t take much to convince audiences that this could be a slasher film, like this:

Thankfully it gets more cheerful right away, showing a well decorated and lit house. With a cop inside trying to get anyone’s attention. On the one hand, this could be seen as a way to show that (spoilers) villains won’t disturb this family’s fun/holiday. But on the other hand, at least one of the adults could have noticed that a POLICE OFFICER was in the house, which is something that demands attention.

“Kevin, out of the room!”
“Hang up the phone and make me why dontcha?”

The appropriate response would be, “Hang on I’ll call you back,” and then start smacking the shit out of that little asshole so he can learn some discipline and respect his parents, so that he doesn’t grow up to be an even bigger asshole. But that doesn’t happen. Even his dad doesn’t provide any sort of discipline, and it becomes obvious that Kevin is a spoiled brat with irresponsible parents.

“All kids, no parents! Probably living in a fancy orphanage.”

More indications on the theme of parents being around for their children, to raise them/discipline them properly. Or a lack thereof in this case. All the children in the household are living breathing walking representations of the result of irresponsible parenting, and because of that they are selfish with no thoughts of helping others, because their parents never acted accordingly towards them. This is indicated even later on when they’re on the plane to France, where the parents are all in first class, but all the kids are in coach. Only Kevin’s mother questions this, though to be fair first class tickets are expensive, but on the other hand the family seems to be fairly wealthy, what with all the items they have at their house, and that they can even afford to take such a large trip with so many people. The kids are being setup to be the next Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

The first individual seen outside of the household is Marley, a man dressed in black, including black rubber boots, who is shoveling snow off the sidewalks and sprinkling salt so that they won’t be slippery. One of the on-looking kids states, “Maybe he’s just trying to be nice,” which is exactly what he’s being. But Buzz, the owner of the tarantula and BB gun in the house (symbolizing his fascination for things that are creepy and dangerous) builds up paranoia for the two kids looking on the man, including Kevin, by telling them a false urban legend about him. This unfounded gossip builds up an unnecessary sense of dread, which makes them want to keep themselves isolated from the dangers that lay beyond the familiar, a callback to the title screen earlier with the lone house and the darkness surrounding it. Therefore the darkness can have 2 meanings in this case, a sense of dread, or a sense of comfort. There can be nice things, or bad things, in the dark unknown. There are some things to be afraid of, but it’s no good having paranoia add to the legitimate fears, especially when they’re misplaced, such as with the crook disguised as a cop at their house.

This isn’t the first time Buzz has made Kevin terrified of something, as the scenes in the basement show later, where Kevin imagines the radiator as a monster.

“I don’t want to see you again for the rest of the night.”
“I don’t want to see you again for the rest of my whole life, and I don’t want to see anybody else either.”
“I hope you don’t mean that. You’d feel pretty sad if you woke up tomorrow morning and you didn’t have a family.”
“No I wouldn’t.”

The way Kevin is acting, this could be attributed either to a light abusive family, or a lack of discipline making him spoiled, or a combination of both. Then again, there are other films and real life scenarios that have kids who act the same way, even if only for small amounts of time. For example, Tree of Life. Either way, the problem’s with Kevin’s attitude can be associated with the parenting. And once he gets his wish for not having any parents around, getting his wish, he celebrates, doing whatever he wishes around the house, having a ball.

1990. Back then, airport security wasn’t too bad, because you could drive from your house, and get to your flight within an hour in that amount of time. Also, plenty of groceries only cost less than $20 bucks, which can get someone by for at least a week. And this movie was made. God the 90s was so fucking awesome.

The film Kevin watches, “Angels with Filthy Souls”. Right after that scene ends, we see Kevin’s dad on the plane reading the book “Nobody’s Angel”. I believe this implies that many children, Kevin included, are angels, but they are naughty on the inside. They are capable of doing much good and providing much love, but Kevin at the start of the movie is dirty on the inside. Watching this film makes him shocked and scared at what he sees, a reflection of later when he realizes how terrible he has been to his family. And the father, well, I guess it’s implied that there’s not much left to him. And let’s not even get started with the uncle.

Eventually Kevin’s mother is the first to realize that Kevin isn’t on the plane with them, after a long amount of time, an unusual amount of time. It soon dawns upon her that she’s a neglectful parent, just like her husband. But she is now in a situation where she may have realized this too late.

As for more consequences of neglect and fear, this is exemplified by Kevin unintentionally stealing a toothbrush from a store. He accidentally stole it by running out of the store with it because of his unjustified fear of Marley, thanks in part to Buzz. There is a twofold message here. One is that paranoia can cause one to do bad things that they normally wouldn’t do if they weren’t afraid. The second is an indirect reference to parental neglect, how that can drive a child to a life that is not respectable, such as a life of crime. The latter scenario is not something that is a plot point or direct lesson in the movie, but simply a subtle lesson within the movie that can be found if one looks hard enough, like the adult humor in an episode of Freakazoid. Or with Marv stating, “We’re the wet bandits.”

Despite how much of an asshole Buzz is, he does have a point when he says that Kevin could use a couple of days in the real world, implying that this would be a way for him to learn some self-responsibility and be less helpless. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens to Kevin through the ordeal. He learns how to run the house responsibly, go shopping (without stealing), become less afraid of the outside world (and the basement), and learn to appreciate family as the loneliness gets to him.

“Have you been a good boy this year?”
“Yeah.”
“Swear to it?”
“… No.”
“Yeah, I had a feeling. Well, this is the place to be if you’re feeling bad about yourself.”

The scene in the church, where Kevin confesses his faults to the man he had been afraid of the entire film, even on how there are times where he says he hates his family, even thinks he hates his family, but really doesn’t. Every child tends to have moments like that during their life.

“You can be a little old for a lot of things. You’re never too old to be afraid.”

And that’s the thing. Fear of the unknown isn’t limited to criminals and monsters. It’s also about what could happen with relationships, if they could get worse, or become irreparable. The fear that you could lose what hope you have left of reconnecting with someone and become more alone than you were before.

I have to admit, for a kid who didn’t know how to pack a suitcase, he sure does know how to lay traps for the burglars. And that’s the part of the film everyone remembers. And it is glorious. The stuntwork combined with the hilarity. That said, this movie is responsible for spawning the terrible kids films that would follow suit for the rest of the decade. The 90s were full of children’s films that had bumbling criminals/jerks who are outdone by kids or animals and their ingenious methods. And they all had the same thing in common, they had some dumbass fucks who are much more stupid then the protagonist(s), and/or the protagonist(s) were ridiculously smart. The 90s had the worst of it. Unfortunately, the 2000s weren’t exactly victimless of this either, but at least less and less of them made it to theaters. This includes Home Alone 4 and 5 (I can’t believe they made that many of these fucking unnecessary sequels).

One other thing. Is that “M” on the doorknob a tribute to the movie M?




 

Now, I believe I’ve got a critic’s review that I near to tear to shreds. I’m talking about Aaron and his negative review of this movie. He had this to say:
“Home Alone is terrible because it is a mean-spirited film populated by nasty people that emotionally manipulates its audience in the most cynical, unconvincing ways possible. It is a misanthropic hatefest masquerading as a jovial holiday jaunt.”
Alright then, show me.

“The McAllisters, we may stipulate, are awful people. [] They treat each other deplorably with little-to-no regard for the impact of their actions on others.”
Well, yeah, especially the uncle and Buzz. But you may be exaggerating that a bit.

“This creates several problems for Hughes’ and Columbus’ goals. For one, little Kevin is supposed to be the put-upon youngest child, alternately pestered and ignored and viewed as a burden, such that he has our sympathies. But little Kevin, disrespectful budding sadist that he is, is no more sympathetic than his self-absorbed, hate-filled relatives. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too harsh toward Kevin—after all, he has learned his behavior from a pack of howling mongrels—but a child who says to his parents things like, “Hang up the phone and make me, why don’t you?” and “I am upstairs, dummy,” is not some meek, beleaguered urchin. He is a child who has willfully entrenched himself on the naughty list and deserves at best a stocking full of coal (or perhaps hot manure), not our rooting interest.”
Most children who get raised like this do turn out this way. But I would say it’s too early to be rooting for Kevin. More importantly, the intention was to have the audience shocked at the current relationship between Kevin and the family. It’s not until later in the movie when he learns to take a look at himself and realize how terrible he has been, and tries to be better, starting with taking some responsibility.

For another, this deplorability makes the entire goal of the story—the reuniting and reconciliation of the McAllister family—an impossible proposition to desire.
Or to see that at least some members of the family learn the neglect is not a good trait to have. The biggest problem is lack of discipline, which we never see any parent do. Well, not do well enough, as the worst they did was a “Go to your room!” type of line, but even then Kevin had to be escorted there. That’s not just a fault of the movie, but I feel a fault with society in general. When’s the last time you’ve seen a children’s film where the kid gets punished, a film made within the last decade? At least A Christmas Story kept that element in, and used it well.

Even if one overlooks the thorough reprehensibility of the protagonists, contrivances and inconsistencies of convenience abound. The McCallisters, for example, apparently live on the only street in America where every single family (save one deus ex old man) leaves home for Christmas
Well, 5 families. But for a film with a concept like this, there’s going to have to be some contrivances. Hell, I can find a bust-load of contrivances in the Kill Bill films, that doesn’t make them terrible (at least not for you).

And not only is the street deserted, but it has no small amount of bad luck, what with power and phone outages that are, incidentally, central to the film’s plot– [] We need the McCallisters to seem like concerned parents, after all, even if nothing that goes before would so indicate. And we need Kevin to be phoneless so as to make the central dilemma harder to solve—until, of course, Kevin needs to demonstrate what an “adorable scamp” (read: entitled enfant terrible with unchecked anger issues) he is by ordering a pizza solely for purposes of torturing the delivery boy. How, with no phone and no internet, does Kevin order that pizza?
Good point. Only thing I can say in the film’s defense is that the phone lines were repaired at that particular time, and the parents never bothered to call back when the lines were repaired, because they assumed they would be down for the holidays. Even so, you could argue for another contrivance, which again is one that a film like this needs in order for the concept to work. Otherwise, the concept would either have to not be tried at all, or the film would need to be set back a century or two, back in the day where if there were robbers, the kid could probably easily get a hold of a gun his papa taught him to use and blow the crook’s heads off if he didn’t kill them with bear traps first. As for the pizza thing, I think he just wanted pizza, and figured he could do so with help from the video tape, and thought he mine as well as have fun with it in the process. I mean come on, you have to admit, that would be really tempting for anyone age 13 and under. People do pranks like that (or worse) all the time, even people who are older and more mature than Kevin.

Even worse are the character inconsistencies. Granted, Home Alone is not intended to be King Lear (though its implications are just as tragic), but requesting some sort of plausible character arc is not exactly asking for the moon. At the beginning of the film, Kevin is presented as something of a dullard (what the French might call les incompetents), so thoroughly inept that he is panic-stricken at the thought of having to pack a suitcase. Yet once left to his own devices, Kevin becomes something of a wunderkind, able to leap tall plot contrivances in a single bound. As Roger Ebert put it, Kevin “single-handedly stymies two house burglars by booby-trapping the house. And they’re the kinds of traps that any 8-year-old could devise, if he had a budget of tens of thousands of dollars and the assistance of a crew of movie special effects people.”
That part can’t be defended. I wouldn’t exactly call being able to lay such elegant traps a character arc so much as a flat out impossibility for a kid that age in that time period to do without the aid of the Internet. I certainly wouldn’t call it a character arc, it’s a skill capability. The character arc of him turning from asshole to less of an asshole, on the other hand, was handled well.

“Kevin needs to hate his family? Eh, sounds good. Now Kevin, for no apparent reason, sorely misses them? Great, alright, swell. [] But Kevin’s wild veering from ill-tempered holy terror to wise-beyond-his-years lover of family is so obviously driven by cynical plot manipulation that it rings utterly hollow.
I wouldn’t say it’s wild, but it is cynical plot manipulation. I’ve seen the same type of arguments made against just about every Steven Spielberg movie ever made, and especially against Forrest Gump. When it comes to this, it’s more a matter of personal taste. What some may find cynical, others may be ok with, and vice versa. But I can see where you’re coming from with this, such as when he sees a family in a house all happy and celebrating. Or when he’s at the church. That said, it is not for no apparent reason that he misses his family. The first indication is when he shouts for his mom after watching that scene from that movie. The second is when he’s watching television, again, but is starting to get bored with it (and at the same time is starting to do less and less crazy “freedom” stunts because after a while the excitement is bound to wear off), and he starts to get lonely. So no, it isn’t for no apparent reason. It’s due in small part to fear, in large part to loneliness.

“But the mercenary emotional contortions of Hughes’ and Columbus’ story and its myriad gimmicks wouldn’t grate so intensely were it not for the mendacity of their true (not pretended) central thesis: That how you treat others doesn’t matter”
On that I disagree. Kevin eventually realizes that he treated his family like shit, and his mother realized how far she has gone with her negligence. Both make a journey to fix these flaws in their traits. I doubt either one has fully succeeded in completely fixing these flaws, but they’re not as great at the end of the film as they were in the beginning.

Guess I didn’t shred the review as much as I’d hoped I would, but I do believe I’ve left some scars.

 

The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017) review/critique

Remember the tagline “There is no single truth in war” for later.

Rated: 2.5 / 5

The Vietnam War.  Probably the most controversial war America has ever gotten involved in that has people bickering about it to this day.  Why did we go in there?  Was it ever winnable?  Should we have ever gone in there?  What were our initial intentions, and how did they change?  What were the intentions of each individual high-ranking official in a position of power to influence the war?  Do we have that much of a right to judge those who were involved when we are incapable of experiencing what they have experienced?

So I became interested with Ken Burns in particular after seeing his incredibly well-done Civil War documentary series from 1990.  Both that miniseries and this Vietnam one were done on PBS.  So I ended up getting this at Best Buy as an impulse buy.  And for the first 7 episodes, despite a few slow bits here and there with emotional reflections put on by veterans and family members of dead veterans, I thought it was pretty good solid stuff.  Like the Civil War documentary miniseries, it covered a good amount of historical ground, with events going as far back as 1858 leading up to the war, to the retreat of the French only to be replaced by the U.S., the political plays and disasters done by John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon, stories of the soldiers on the battlefield including Vietnamese from both sides, and so on.  I felt I was getting my money’s worth…

… at first.  But the thing is, when it comes to documentaries as ambitious as this, especially with Ken Burns involved, and with the tagline on the poster, my expectations tend to be high.  And when they are high, I make double sure about the quality.  And when it comes to documentaries, I am much more picky than normal about biases and context.  There were a few things that I found a tad questionable, in that it seemed like some detail was being left out.  For instance, the protests and calls for ending the Vietnam War in the United States, with many people, especially college and high school students, protesting the war, but not much given for those who protested against the anti-war protesters.  The Kent State incident, how it seemed like there was more to it than the documentary was letting on (similar to how some details of Abraham Lincoln’s surprise re-election during the Civil War were left unsaid in the Civil War documentary).  The testimonies of some Vietnamese, but not as much from the Southern side.  The portrayal of Ho Chi Min as a saint who had no ill intentions whatsoever.

The final straw that made me want to take a look outside of the box came when the whole Jane Fonda thing happened, where it showed how she was not only against the war, but seemed to hold a hatred for American troops yet had sympathy for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops.  Yes, it did highlight her voiced opinions on the matter, and how some (if not all) veterans felt betrayed by her (and rightly so in my opinion).  She also called the POWs liars for claiming they were mistreated by their captors.  However, there was/is a rumor that she did more than that, that she shook the hands of some of the prisoners, and one of the prisoners handed her some small paper scraps with the POW’s social security numbers, indicating that they wanted her to take the papers back to their families in the U.S., to let them know they are alive.  But she ended up giving the papers to the prison guard instead, who then severely beat the POWs.  Now, from what I’ve researched, this rumor is false, but it was one of the things that made me want to take a closer look.  Sometimes, what a documentary shows is all there is, and the rest is baseless conspiracy theories.  Stuff I’ve been careful of ever since wising up about 9/11 truthers.

However, there is stuff the documentary did leave out, that did really happen.  First, Ho Chi Minh.  The documentary portrays him as a somewhat peaceful man who desired a united and independent Vietnam country, and even quoted the Declaration of Independence by the United States.  It states that he admired the message of the U.S., of their desire for all countries to be free and independent.  How he didn’t really want a war, but it was really more of the prime minister’s doing for instigating the conflict in Vietnam,  Le Duan.  It basically puts Ho Chi Minh in a similar light as Gandhi, yet he was also a rebel when he needed to be, helping the Vietnamese against the French armies.  However, the documentary completely overlooks how repressive his regime came during the mid 1950s (after successfully driving out the French, but remaining in the North half of Vietnam, similar to how there’s a North Korea).  How due to the state of that portion of the country, he asked for assistance from communist Russia and China, began agricultural reforms, and became more brutal and oppressive as a result (Source).  How brutal and oppressive?  How about being responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of his own people (perhaps even hundreds of thousands)?  In a Soviet-style land-reform campaign (Source).  The fact that this was left out is unforgivable for a documentary series like this, especially when its tagline claims to be going over multiple truths in the war, indicating that it will highlight many of the grey areas.  Besides, whenever anyone is portrayed as purely angelic or as pure evil, I become skeptical.  I believe they should be portrayed as they were, as human.  And humans are flawed beings, with some good things about them, and some bad things.

Doing a little more research, I’ve also learned of incidents leading up to the first Indochina War (prior to the U.S. involvement).  A good amount is covered, but a few significant events were left out.  The miniseries did not cover France granting Cambodia independence in 1953 (Source), which at the very least portrays the French as less assholish and authoritarian-like when it came to their Asian involvement (though that doesn’t mean they should be left off the hook, it’s just better to have more facts like that to give more food for thought).  Little to nothing is said of the Japanese involvement as well (and there-bye completely overlooking president Truman’s involvement in the war), which is something fascinating in of itself, that America would entrust Vietnam to the Japanese for a brief period of time within a decade after defeating them in WWII.

The documentary covers the riots and protests not just in the U.S., but also around the world; though it’s very frustrating to show the international riots yet give no mention as to what they were about or why they were happening; you know, for those of us not as well educated.  International rioting aside, not enough detail is given regarding the U.S. protests when it came to the organized groups, like the Black Panthers or the Weather Underground.  Since the documentary indicated it was going to show not just how the Vietnam War affected things culturally, but also how a wave of civil rights was going on at the same time within the country, you would think details like that would be a bit more important than another 5 minutes of some soldier reflecting on some emotional moment in his/her life (there’s more than enough of that as-is).  Giving details as to what these organizations were, what their goals were, and some of the stuff they did.  No mentions of blowing up buildings or shooting people, thus indicating these protesters did bad things outside of just trashing streets and destroying cars and damaging property (by breaking windows).  Seemed too much in favor of the protesters.  The film is very much on their side when it came to the anti-war portrayal.  Hardly any time is given to vets and/or citizens who were against the anti-war protests, and thus not shedding any light on the perspectives of those who voted on certain gallup polls (which were mentioned) which was split on the protests, or mostly against them.  If nothing else, I would go so far as to say there’s a hint of contempt for that majority who voted as such in those polls.  The closest that I can remember regarding an alternate view is some woman saying something along the lines of, “I respect your right to protest, as that’s your free speech privilege.  But if you come knocking at my door again, I’ll blow your head off.”  And that’s it.  Every other interview ranges from support of the protests, to “It’s amazing that this is happening.”  That’s because virtually all the Vietnam vets that are interviewed for the documentary were a part of “Vietnam Veterans Against the War”.  I sense bias.

Then there’s the Kent State shootings in May 4, 1970, where National Guardsmen opened fire on the students in the parking lot, killing 4, wounding 9.  The documentary portrays it as a random act, letting the footage imply the guards turned and fired suddenly, as if alerted to something going on behind them.  But other than the footage speaking for itself, the narrative seems more on the side of the protesters, implying that the National Guard was in the wrong, and that this was a sign of the government forces turning on civilians, calling into question the purpose of the government being for the people by the people, and asking what exactly were the soldiers in Vietnam fighting for if all this was going on.  But the film never really goes into detail about the incident, such as how the National Guard felt they were in danger, becoming surrounded, cut off from escape by both the protesters and a fence, that several guardsmen had rocks thrown at them, and they felt firing was necessary because they felt they were threatened.  The documentary also doesn’t mention that several of the guards fired into the air to scare off the campus protesters, while others actually fired into a group in the parking lot, thus indicating there was confusion amidst the chaos (Source).  But the documentary did bring up an interesting point about how the burning of the ROTC building at Kent State by protesters, combined with the fact that the National Guard were anything but anti-military, implied that this created enough tension as-is, making a disaster like this borderline inevitable if the protesting continued on.  Still, would’ve been nice to have more detail and grey area shown, which wouldn’t have been difficult if more narration was provided over the footage.

The documentary also doesn’t mention the Hmungs, among others, who also fought alongside U.S. troops to combat the North Vietnamese.  It also doesn’t mention the atrocities committed against the Montagnards, Hmung, and Nungs after the war ended.

Richard Nixon is definitely portrayed as a worse individual than JFK and LBJ, despite the bad/stupid shit LBJ did (JFK though, if anything, was slightly overdone with his role in sinking the U.S. further into the war; yes, he did the stuff shown in the documentary, but it’s left unsaid some of the other things he did trying to prevent the U.S. from sinking so far into it).  Look, the bottom line is that all politicians are assholes, they all lie, but they also try to do some good things too, even if that’s ultimately secondary to staying in power.  This is more of a nitpick than anything else compared to all the other faults in the documentary, but it’s clear that Burns and/or Novick has it in for Nixon, going a bit beyond just stating facts when it comes to showing his faults (and very little of his successes, and even then underplaying them).

The infamous footage/photo of that guy getting shot point-blank in the head and dying, it highlights the reaction, viewing it as a terrible thing, yet fails to mention why the guy was getting executed.  It was because he killed the wife and 6 children of a police officer.  No single truth in war, remember the tagline!?!?

While the miniseries does show the instance of that Vietnamese girl getting burned by napalm in that famous photo, and stating that she lived and later moved to Canada, it failed to mention that she moved to Canada to escape from the Communist regime of Vietnam, because they wouldn’t let her attend school or get a real job because they were more interested in using her as a propaganda piece.

There isn’t enough information given regarding the disparity of U.S. troops, as in how they acted.  Not all U.S. troops acted as despicably as those in the My Lai Massacre, not all U.S. troops treated the Vietnamese like shit.  There was a decent number of troops that acted as respectful as one would expect and hope, especially back in the day when we had this naive belief that we could do no wrong.  On that note, and I believe I’m repeating myself a bit here, the documentary doesn’t really mention much of anything regarding how similar atrocities were done by the North Vietnamese (or the Viet Cong).

There is no mention of the role opium played.  The only indication of opium is that a decent number of U.S. troops got addicted to it.  There was more to it than that (something hinted at in the more recent TV show Quarry).  That opium was utilized in Vietnam by U.S. forces (I would assume the CIA) to help finance not just the Vietnam war, but also the Korean war.  And this financing eventually led to its spread into the United States (it wasn’t just the Colombians helping Americans getting hooked on that shit).

And lastly, the documentary doesn’t cover anywhere near the level of atrocities committed by the Communist regime after the war in Vietnam (or hell, even during the war; there’s more focus on the atrocities committed by the U.S. troops and by South Vietnam).  The only implication we get is that they got a hold of classified information regarding those who helped the U.S., and thus created a “blood list,” a list of those for the Communists to hunt down and kill.  It doesn’t mention anything beyond that implication, just that the war ended, China invaded briefly, and they suffered from trying out Socialism for 10 years with disastrous results before recovering and turning into a decent country.

This documentary is selective in its focus, lies by leaving out important details, and without a doubt has a bias extreme enough to cause a very tiny alarm in my head to ring at me when I saw that it was made by PBS.  “But the Civil War documentary was also made by PBS,” I said to myself.  “But that was 1990, not 2017,” I should have responded to myself.  A lot can change in 27 years.  The details it leaves out are focuses in a few specific areas, and the fact that they are focused in what is left out confirms my suspicions.  It leaves out much of the atrocities the Communists wrought upon the Vietnamese (it’s mentioned to a small extent, infinitesimal compared to how much is focused regarding the amount of atrocities committed by the South Vietnamese and the Americans to the Viet Cong and civilians).  It leaves out much of how North Vietnam and the Viet Cong were still able to function so well and in an organized matter despite the losses they were taking (such as by being supplied by the Chinese and Soviets).  Most importantly, most of the Vietnamese that are interviewed are of Viet Cong or North Vietnam origin.  The only bits dedicated to the South are of how corrupt their government has become, how poor their military conditions were, how much they disliked the Americans, and so on.  Nothing is ever really mentioned of the “victories” the U.S. and South Vietnam achieved during the war (such as the Battle of Dong Ha Bridge); it paints a grim picture of constant ambushes and inability to hold taken ground without showing hardly any evidence to the contrary (aside from coverage of the battle portrayed in the film We Were Soldiers, and holding out against the Tet Offensive), plenty of which does exist.

This documentary is a glorified rehash of the defeatist zeitgeist of the 1970s.  It paints the picture far too heavily on the traditional, “America fucked up by getting involved,” narrative without clearly displaying the fact that other countries were clearly involved as well.  In essence, it was a sort of proxy war between the U.S. and the Communists, a proxy war we lost thanks in part to having no clear strategy other than body count, bad intelligence, bad military decisions made by politicians and due to pressure from anti-war protesters.  That doesn’t in any way take away from the blunders and atrocities and levels of hypocrisy done by U.S. soldiers/generals/politicians, but it does show that this was a picture far less simple than the documentary lets on.  On top of all that, the documentary from the very beginning is clearly on the side of the message that states that Vietnam was a war the U.S. had no chance of winning, a message many disagree with; it never even considers the alternative that there may have been a way to win the war, even when there are some books written on that very idea.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they were right, but concluding from the start that the war was unwinnable leaves their opinions out of the picture, opinions that I believe are worth pondering.  The fact that it is dedicated to its very core towards keeping the picture so simple is a shame.

To quote an Amazon.com review of the film:

A veteran is quoted at the end of the film saying, “We have learned a lesson…that we just can’t impose our will on others.” While that daffy aphorism sums up the documentary, in real life the opposite is true. Alexander imposed his will upon the Persian empire. Rome indelibly imposed its will upon Carthage. After the Civil War, the Federal government imposed its will upon the Confederacy. Following World War II, we imposed our will upon Nazi Germany and bushido Japan. In 1975, the North Vietnamese Stalinist government imposed its will upon the South Vietnamese. — Joshua Welte

If they really wanted to do a good job covering as much as possible with the war, it needed more focus.  Part of that focus should have included what life was like for various Vietnamese in the North and South, before, during, and after the war.  How their lives changed, what hopes they had at various times, if America was affecting those hopes in a positive or negative way, how they viewed Ho Chi Min and Russia and China.

There is more that is left unsaid with the documentary that should’ve been covered at least for the sake of trying to be fair and balanced, but I’ll leave that for those who want to research further into the subject.

Now, with that being said, all those bits of historical facts that are absent from this documentary series isn’t enough for me to completely hate it.  There’s still plenty of good stuff to be had here.  Like showing how Nixon secretly went behind many people’s backs to prevent a peace meeting between the North and South Vietnam from happening so that he would have a better chance at winning the election, something LBJ was aware of, and could prove it, but wouldn’t do it because he had acquired this information illegally.  The documentary also goes into nice detail (albeit briefly, but justifiably so) of Vietnam’s history with the French leading up to the 1960s-70s war (though leaving out the bits with the Japanese).  Despite the bias, I currently agree that this was a war America should never have gotten into, as it did much more harm than good (though some still debate to this day if it was winnable or not; though I wouldn’t deny that any chance of victory for the South was fucked from the start due to political corruption and dumb political decisions from both the South Vietnamese government and the U.S. government), it just didn’t need to be so biased and anti-war to get that message across.  And it has a decent epilogue regarding the Vietnam Memorial (and how it came to be), and how our relations with Vietnam have improved since then, as we learn to make peace with the past.  Regarding that last sentence though, it showed Bill Clinton going to Vietnam to instigate peace, and it showed Barack Obama doing the same, but skipped over George W. Bush making the visit during his term in 2006 (Democratic bias much?).  So it is worth watching, but with a large grain of salt and with a critical eye.  Don’t be fooled in to thinking this documentary gives enough perspective to be considered satisfactory.

While there is enough information in it to make it worthwhile despite the bias, I just can’t in good conscience give it more than a 2.5 / 5 score, considering the flaws.  That being said, I’m going to search for another Vietnam documentary series that is less biased than this, and has more in-depth information.  A few films aside, this search has led me to an old 1982 documentary series titled Vietnam – A Television History.  Now while it has gotten a DVD re-release courtesy of American Experience, it has a serious problem.  From what I’ve gathered, it trims down on the fucking interviews!  It censors the original version and throws in more advertisements!  And I fucking hate censorship!  So now I have to track down a fucking VHS collection of the goddamn thing, watch it that way, likely download it onto my computer through Pinnacle/Dazzle (and I’m all ears for a better alternative than that software), and then put it in a safe storage space online somewhere so that it doesn’t get lost through the ravages of time.  The censored American Experience (there’s an ironic name for a company in this context if I ever heard one) version can currently be viewed on youtube, but I’m sure as shit not watching it that way.

Other sources:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/29/veterans-angry-disappointed-following-pbs-vietnam-war-documentary/

https://www.peakingat70.com/lets-talk-america/2017/9/13/burning-history-ossifying-the-false-narrative

http://thefederalist.com/2017/11/03/vietnam-war-vet-critiques-ken-burns-new-pbs-documentary/#disqus_thread

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/burns-vietnam-documentary-promotes-misleading-history_us_59bf4922e4b0390a1564df2b

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/167046

https://www.therussophile.org/what-ken-burns-left-out-of-the-vietnam-story.html/

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/09/vietnam-war-ken-burns-us-imperialism

PS: For a fascinating yet gut-wrenching case study that gets right down to the horrors of war, atrocities committed by Americans at My Lai and how the effects carried on after the war, I know of two things I can recommend watching.  It will show soldiers who have regret, and will make you wonder if they can be forgiven, when they can’t forgive themselves, and have instilled a permanent hatred amongst their victims.  It is raw and powerful stuff, and I recommend watching them in this order: My Lai (by American Experience; yes, I’m recommending a documentary done by them after bashing them for censoring a previously made documentary), and Four Hours in My Lai (hosted by a show called First Tuesday).  Back-to-back, it becomes more clear as to how decent American citizens can devolve from being decent soldiers to being capable of committing some of the most atrocious acts imaginable.

Edit: Ok, so Ken Burns is definitely a leftist, as made clear with a speech made at the 2016 Stanford Commencement Address, which is hypocritical of him giving the context of the rest of the speech, not to mention flat-out lying with some of his statements.  A pity too, because he makes some really great statements in the speech.  Guess it sums up some of the pros and cons of his more recent documentaries in a nutshell.

Also, a Vietnam vet blog entry worth reading: https://colemanluck.net/2018/01/08/vietnam-1968-some-personal-thoughts-about-ken-burns-documentary-and-my-own-experiences/

Beauty and the Beast (2017) review, and thoughts on subliminal messages.

Rated: 2/5

I had to take a shit after watching this movie.  That ought to let you know what my thoughts are about it if the rating wasn’t enough.  But first, the positives, while they still linger in my mind.

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“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump vs. Truth” 2-12-2017 critique

Mr. British Left “Because Time Warner Pays the Bills” Winger is back. And as spiteful of Trump as ever. Time to critique. And don’t worry, I don’t plan on making a weekly thing of this. I’m planning on making stuff like this just a once in a blue moon deal, because politics is stressful and anyone talking about it will make anyone listening to it stressed out. That and I don’t want to give his youtube vids too many views, so I’ll just stick with 1 video.

Now to be fair, he does bring up good points. How Trump continually exaggerates things and makes up some bullshit to make him seem grander than he really is. His narcissism is greater than most, if not all, presidents from the past. I’ll agree with that. But the disagreements begin 45 seconds into the video.

0:45

“He said the election was marred by mass voter fraud with no real proof of that.”

No evidence of voter fraud. John, I expected better from you, considering how in the past you tended to go the extra mile in digging up facts on things that actually matter, and voter fraud matters. But you are likely someone who will never go into that sort of thing, mainly because of Time Warner, but also probably because of your personal preference on believing the Democrats more than, well, anyone else, Republican or Independent. For starters, you never bring up the Project Veristas videos, where they show how voter fraud can be done and more than likely has been done.

Plus, you remember when Jill Stein tried to get a recount done in 3 states, but only succeeded in making that happen in Michigan, where it was discovered that “voting machines in one-third of the election precincts counted more ballots than the number of people recorded as walking in line to cast them.” Not to mention that an illegal alien in Dallas, Texas actually did vote in the election, but was found out and arrested and sentenced to 8 years in prison. Of course, in at least one case, a Trump supporter was also found guilty of voter fraud via voting in two different states.

Plus there’s also this study by Old Dominion University and George Mason University.

My point being that there is evidence of voter fraud. So do some better fucking research John Oliver! And don’t just rely on PolitiFact. Speaking of which:

2:17
Trump lies 69.9% of the time.

Now, honestly (I guess that’s a pun in this case), I don’t know how exactly Politifact determines these statistics, but I would say that there’s no real way to determine how much statistically a president (or presidential nominee) lies. But I can state that this statistic can’t be relied upon when you consider the other examples. Politifact states that Obama lied only around 25% of the time, and Hillary Clinton lied around 26% of the time. You have got to be fucking kidding me. The woman who lied about how sick she was until video footage showed how sick she was, when lying wasn’t of any benefit to her at all in that situation indicating just how much of a pathological liar she is, plus all the other times she lied which can be shown easily with any quick Internet or video search (Benghazi, Keystone Pipeline, emails, etc). PolitiFact says she only lied about 26% of the time. Yeah, you know what, PolitiFact is full of shit.

But don’t get me wrong, I know Trump is a liar (pretty easy to tell when he’s lying too, which honestly I’d say is a pro for the American people, not that he lies, but that you can easily tell when he is). As John said, all politicians are liars. What is important is what they lie about. So far from what I’ve seen, Trump tends to lie about petty stuff much more often than he does the stuff that matters. Besides, if he does lie about something important and significant, which shouldn’t be difficult to catch him on if he does and if he lies as often as PolitiFact says he does, he’ll be caught and impeached easily enough.

3:50

“How did we get a pathological liar in the White House?”

Pretty sure we were in a lose-lose situation in that regard with the 2016 election.

4:49
Trump lied about Obama’s birth certificate. Or so John Oliver says. If I recall correctly, he didn’t lie. He said he hired some experts to check to see if Obama’s certificate is valid. Granted, it ended up being a waste of time (as many rightly stated from the beginning), but I don’t believe Trump ever just flat-out said, “His birth certificate is a fake and I can prove it.”

That aside, John does call bullshit on various things that Trump should be called out (and even made fun of) on. It’s nice that Oliver makes the connection between cable news on television and Trump’s tweets (8:33) The problem is that Oliver is stating that certain issues that Trump is raising are also lies, when in fact they’re not.

10:41
Breitbart headlines pointed out, stating that they’re bad, and that Steve Bannon is bad, and that makes Trump bad for using them as a source of information. Well, I decided to take a look into those pages (and I usually don’t read Breitbart).

Headline #1: Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy
The article basically states (with sources from sites such as TheHuffingtonPost, EurekaAlert, LiveScience, and CBS News) that some birth control pills can cause women to increase in weight, gain an unsexy voice, jiggle wrong, choose the wrong mates, makes women sluts, makes men unmanly, gives you fat thighs, and destroys the institution of marriage (the latter subject of which is highly questionable considering it has no source nor any indication of how it got the statistics for the graph they use). Since the article has sources and makes some points (albeit in a blunt politically incorrect and borderline trolling fashion), I’d say it’s up to each individual to go to the site and decide for themselves if Breitbart (or at least the author of the article Milo; yes, THAT Milo) is full of shit or worth considering. Either that or take the time to go into the article in detail on the show and point out why exactly it’s a bad article. And stating that the headline is offensive isn’t good enough you cheeky bastard.

Headline #2: Racist, Pro-Nazi Roots of Planned Parenthood Revealed
Ok, yeah, I find some of the connections this article is making to be a stretch. Something about how the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a Nazi supporter in 1938, supported the idea of creating a superior species in that those who are “unfit” should be sterilized so that they do not make children of their own, and that somehow this belief still lives on in Planned Parenthood to this day. Consider me skeptical, at the very least, of this.

Headline #3: Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage
Ok, I’m not too keen on the idea that one should be proud to hoist the confederate flag (even though that wasn’t the official flag symbol among several others used during the civil war). That just doesn’t seem right considering that the flag tends to be a symbol of racism and pro-slavery. That being said, the article does make some good point on how ridiculous censorship had gotten (at the time the article was written, 7-1-2015). To quote from the article:

Google blocked digital ads that showed the flag and manufacturers pledged to stop producing it. But Nazi and Communist flags continue to be marketed on many American websites. At the outer fringe of irrationality, film critic Lou Lumenick, in the Washington Post, made a scathing attack on Gone With the Wind, the most iconic American film of the first half of the 20th century. It also resulted in the first award of an Oscar to a black actor. Lumenick did not, as some people stunned by his diatribe assumed, call for a ban on the film. But the attempt by the left to deride people who thought a ban was coming ignored the fact that any liberal denunciation of a cultural work almost routinely leads to a prohibition, so the reaction was perfectly logical.

Flags, statues, church windows, street names, films, novels, even an elementary school in California named after Robert E Lee – all are threatened with being swept into oblivion by a tsunami of destructive liberal triumphalism. The object is to disinherit and eradicate the historical memory and distinctive culture of millions of Americans. It is a second scorched-earth devastation of the South, cultural this time rather than material. This is Obama’s March to the Sea.

Plus the article points out that many people look at the flag considering things other than slavery. The confederate flag means more than that, or something other than that as some would argue. And the hypocrisy of allowing other flags to still be sold out there, flags which promote an idea much worse than the confederate flag does, but not sell this flag. It’s an interesting think-piece, with some caveats.

11:06
To further hit on Breitbart and Trump for using Breitbart as a source of news, John Oliver points out that Trump stated that there were swarms of muslims on rooftops celebrating the 9/11 act soon after it happened, but that Bill O’Reilly stated that isn’t factually correct, and then Trump bring up a Breitbart article that supports Trump’s claim. Now, I can’t say for certain of Trump is right or wrong on this, but there were plenty of news sources during that time period which supports this idea, all of which are cited by this article. Sources such as CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Post, CBS, and a former NYPD commissioner. So if you’re going to bash Breitbart, you’re going to have to bash those sources as well.

12:03
Ok, yeah, I fully support making fun of Alex Jones from InfoWars. Holy Christ is that guy entertaining for all the wrong reasons. That guy deserves the bashing he receives here on John Oliver’s show, and more. And I do find Trump’s association with that guy a bit worrisome.

14:30
More on John Oliver stating that the whole illegal voting theory is BS. I’ve already said my peace on that, and Oliver does nothing to put a crack in any of the sources I cited above. That’s part of the problem with John, there are some sources on some issues that he either just flat out ignores, or seems unaware of, the latter of which seems impossible considering what Oliver’s show has been able to dig up in the past.

18:25
John Oliver is apparently under the impression that the mainstream media is more reliable than Trump claims. Nevermind that Wikileaks has shown how far media bias had gone during the 2016 election, nevermind that I’ve pointed out John Oliver’s bias in the past, and nevermind that Time Warner, who owns HBO which thus owns Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, is a Clinton donor and thus a Democrat supporter. The media is biased, whether it be John Olover’s program, Fox, CNN, Breitbart, Democracy Now, and whoever the hell else is out there. Every news/entertainment media outlet is biased to some extent. It’s in my opinion that anyone and everyone should listen to several sources which have different opinions, and make up their own minds with logical reasoning. John Oliver seems to promote this idea, but pretty much implies that you should check every news source, check to see if they’re reliable, but avoid what Trump and Breitbart say at all costs.

That’s all folks.