“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Rebel

tn_rebelex3stallone“Thanks for the poncho.”

We associate Sylvester Stallone with the ’80s, right? Sure, it was ’76 when he blew up with ROCKY and the ’90s by the time he did CLIFFHANGER. But it was the ’80s when he became Rambo, and RAMBO FIRST BLOOD PART II was the height of his worldwide icon status, it seems to me. The one that inspired a thousand ripoff VHS covers and parodies and was quoted by President Reagan. To people who aren’t into his type of action movies he’s a symbol of Reagan era war-mongering and media violence. To us he’s on the Mount Rushmore of the most prolific and larger-than-life era of the genre we love most.

For all these reasons it’s weird to see him playing a lefty student radical, as he does in REBEL (filmed as NO WAY OUT). Released in 1970, this was his second real movie role, the first being the softcore movie THE PARTY AT KITTY AND STUD’S. This time he plays Jerry Savage, an anti-war activist who’s grown tired of useless campus protests and wants to do something that will make a difference. To that end he’s gotten involved with a Weather Underground type group that’s planning a bombing to protest a popular kitchenware company that’s making a side business of manufacturing tiger cages, “animal cages to hold people” that they prove are not only being used cruelly in ‘Nam, but are also being set aside for future use at home.

While they bring in a legendary black militant lady with bomb expertise, Jerry struggles. They break in and steal documents about the cages, which he thinks they need to expose before the bombing to win the propaganda war, but the others don’t think it matters. He hangs out with a couple different women who philosophize with him. One is a hippie-dippie chick who hates the city, takes him to her commune out in the boonies, and loans him a poncho. He likes that it’s quiet out there and you can get lost in thought, but she keeps jibber-jabbering about being one with nature and God and the universe and shit. She tries to push him toward pacifism, but he gets mad because he doesn’t think he can change the world that way.

mp_rebelThe other girl is one of the militants, who seems like she’s lived a harder life that won’t allow her the luxury of those hippie ideals. She says “I want to show you something” and does a sexy bellydance to bongo music. Also she tells him an emotional story of reproductive horror.

It keeps switching back and forth between the militants and the authorities who are onto them. The FBI, a reporter, the CIA, who actually have an undercover agent in the cell, even though they’re not supposed to be involved in domestic matters.

I believe the movie’s sympathies lie with the anti-war movement, but it does that thing of making the larger issue be “these protesters are going too far” instead of “this company is making money putting human beings in cages!” It’s a classic divide-and-conquer technique or self-defeating-short-sightedness, take your pick. We spend our energy on the side issue, nitpicking the protesters and ignoring the worse thing they’re protesting. “Sure, I’m against the war that’s causing the deaths of thousands and will have repercussions for generations to come in their country and ours, but more importantly these guys are dicks!”

It’s kinda like this thing that’s going on in the news in Ferguson, Missouri. A cop shot an unarmed black teenager several times while he had his hands in the air in surrender, killing him. Later there was a vigil for the kid and police showed up in riot gear with German shepherds and started shooting tear gas and rubber bullets, and made the press leave. There will be many debates about whether to believe the eyewitnesses or the anonymous killer. We will wonder who started it, the people with the candles or the guys in the scary armor and masks marching in and pointing the rifles at them. Either way something is very wrong here, something is broken in our country, in race relations, in law enforcement, in the justice system, in the trust between citizens and authorities.

But it will be broken windows that will dominate many discussions on both sides. In a city under military occupation by their own police department, of course shit is gonna get crazy. It turned into a riot and some assholes started smashing, stealing and burning shit, so THAT’S the story now. We’re all gonna take a stand on that. We are against looting and rioting. We are non-violent. Protest should be peaceful. Let’s make sure the next protest is peaceful. Oh good, the next protest was peaceful. Okay, we did it now. Problem solved! Wait a minute, what ever happened to that cop who killed the kid for not being on the sidewalk, did they ever figure out how to prevent that from happening again? I’m not sure. Oh well.

Fuck you. There are assholes and psychos in every walk of life. They are not the main issue here. Keep your eyes on the prize. The cops can worry about Jerry but we should be worried about these fucking tiger cages!

When we first see Stallone as Jerry it’s just like when we first see John Rambo: walking along a country road with a bag over his shoulder. The giant, goofy hat he’s wearing makes a big difference, though. I always thought it was weird in FIRST BLOOD that he’s assumed to be a hippie when he walks into town. His hair’s not that long or anything. But in 1970 it made sense. Here he is on the actual tail end of that era, when the ’60s attitude was still in full effect, not just leftovers. The opening and occasionally other parts of the movie splice in real footage of student protests, the March on Washington, Country Joe McDonald and Joan Baez singing.

(The hitchhiking scenes also reminds me of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. And the radio voices in this sound alot like the one at the beginning of that movie. I looked it up though and it’s not the same guy.)

This 24 year old Sly is the introverted Sly. Quiet, pouty, droopy eyes. Kind of seems like a lunkhead, kind of like a dopey male model. Stiff but with a slight hint of the deceptively thoughtful dude later nominated for an Oscar. But I don’t think it would’ve been easy to see this and guess that he’d be a star.

Without his presence there’s no god damn way I woulda made it to the end of this thing. I gotta offer the usual poorly transferred, panned and scanned VHS disclaimer. I’m sure the real thing looked better projected, but note that cinematographer Marty Knopf only has a couple other credits, and one of them is BLOWDRY, a porn ripoff of SHAMPOO. Not that I’ve, uh, seen both of those to really compare. I have seen one of the two, I won’t say which one. But I don’t think they were looking for the greatest possible craftsmen to work on this one.

REBEL doesn’t have particularly good filmatism on display, and not a very involving story. I did get a kick out of some of the music (credited to one-timer Joseph Delacorte), because it’ll be this folksy guitar and then suddenly a girl runs from the cops and it switches to funky wah wahs and gurgling Moog basslines. Only 1970 and it’s already the seventies.

There’s one cheap moment that’s surprisingly effective: rather than using pyrotechnics, you just hear an explosion and the camera jerks a little bit, as if the ground shook. Then the next shot has a bunch of smoke in it. Somehow it works. But I can’t really say that for the movie as a whole.

vhs

 

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 1:37 am and is filed under Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

58 Responses to “Rebel”

  1. Glad to see Spike Lee’s message got through to at least one person.

    Also, I’ve befriended a few male models. Every one of them is highly intelligent. Down with stereotypes.

  2. Vern, come on, you sound like one of those “Zero Dark Thirty is pro-torture!” people. “A city under military occupation by their own police department….” What? The Ferguson police are perhaps not a sterling example of law enforcement at it’s finest, but at least get the facts straight. They didn’t just march in and start tear-gassing a candlelight vigil. Looting and rioting broke out on Sunday night; the police didn’t deploy all the tactical gear until Monday night. If you start a riot, the riot squad will show up. It’s pretty simple.

    That being said, if your police department is something like 97 percent white men, patrolling a community in Missouri that is something like 85 percent black, and a cop shoots and kills an unarmed black teenager who has his hands in the air, a lot of people are going to get extremely angry. That’s also pretty simple.

  3. Zero Dark Thirty is pro-torture. It made up, out of whole cloth, a scenario where torturing a guy worked. A scenario that didn’t happen in reality. That’s pro-torture. Making up a scenario where torture is crucial to get Bin Laden is glorifying torture. Whether that bothers you or not is up to your own personal morality, or lack thereof. After all, “we tortured some folks” and most of America didn’t give a shit (as long as it wasn’t the Kardashians, I guess)

    Ferguson police are, in fact, militarily occupying Ferguson. They are preventing people from entering their own homes, they are firing tear gas onto citizen’s private property, they are corralling peaceful protesters while screaming at them for being “fucking animals” they have deployed in full body armor, with assault rifles and APCs, they are clearing the streets of protesters by firing wooden discs and rubber pellets at them at high velocity. There’s not a single report of any cop breaking up any “riot” on Monday night; there’s a lot of reports of them completely surrounding protesters, telling them to go home, and then not letting them break police lines to actually comply with the order and instead blasting the fuck out of them with the aforementioned wooden discs/rubber bullets.

    Even the mainstream media is now waking up to the fact that the police are utterly and completely militarized and view themselves as soldiers “at war” with “the enemy”; cops refer to the public as “civilians” on their special little cop-only message boards. Fergurson is just a symptom of the growing cop military mindset. If it’s not stopped, it’s only going to get worse.

    Cool review, btw, Vern.

  4. Anybody else weirded out that Stallone’s armpit gets equal space on that VHS box, like it’s his co-star or something?

  5. HardlyWalken? Hardly thinking either.

    Sources for reports of Monday night riots: The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times.

    Anybody who starts in on the “police militarization” rant can safely be dismissed as an idiot. Take your little anti-police-libertarian-anarchist-blindly repeated propaganda back to the Facebook comments where it belongs.

    The fact that this guy also thinks Zero Dark Thirty is pro-torture pretty much confirms he has no credibility. They did not make up those scenes out of whole cloth. They’re based on two very real Al-Qaeda agents who were brutally tortured by the CIA, and the film’s script specifies that the agents don’t learn anything until they change tactics. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  6. You’re right. I’m not credible. So here’s my extremely credible source about Zero Dark Thirty making up the torture scene that helps capture Bin Laden: It’s Mike fuckin’ Morrell, the head of the fuckin’ CIA:

    https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/2012-press-releasese-statements/message-from-adcia-zero-dark-thirty.html

    “Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. ”

    As for the “police militarization rant”, well you can just Google “police militarization” and click on the Images tab. I think you’ll find “your eyes” to be extremely credible. Have fun!

  7. With apologies to whole cloth, *all* of 0DARK30 is made up out of whole cloth.

    Way to dodge my controversial #NotAllMaleModels claim by diverting to a less substantive matter, guys.

  8. You’re right, of course, Mouth. Apropos of nothing: I’m acquaintances with a couple of Male Models and they are very nice guys and not dumb at all. Infuriating, honestly.

  9. 1. Wow, the CIA is distancing themselves from torture? What a shock. I can’t believe it! Yet you believe everything they say. When the fox tells you it wasn’t in the chicken coop, you must believe it too. Besides, that qoute just confirms what I already said, which is that you don’t even understand the movie, because the CIA guy doesn’t either. His non-denial denial is based on the idea that Zero Dark Thirty depicts torture getting the information that finds Bin Laden. The film very specifically over and over again depicts torture failing to find Bin Laden. The guys they torture never give them anything while being tortured.

    2. I bet you spend a lot of time Googling “police militarization” and being outraged after seeing pictures on the internet. As in, you look at pictures of SWAT teams and armored vehicles and have your hysterics: “The scary body armor guys are coming and they’re gonna take my drugs!” Hey, keyboard warrior, try spending a little time with actual police departments. Try getting to know a few real SWAT teams. Try talking to cops. Try listening to cops. Try getting off your ass and off the internet, and attempt to confirm this stuff out in the real world. But, that would require actual effort, and then you couldn’t sit around googling stuff and being arrogant and pretending you’re this heroic member of the anti-militarized police resistance.

    But, you’ve already demonstrated that you’re ignorant and gullible. Keep on Googlin’.

  10. Wait a second here. Why are you guys acquainted with intelligent male models and I’m not? That is the real argument.

  11. Mouth, I specified that he looked like a dopey male model, as opposed to a regular one.

    JD, please don’t be insulting to other posters. And I just don’t know how to even respond to your idea that only an idiot would think the police were militarized. That’s not an anti police statement, it’s a “the sky is blue” type of deal. They march in with armor and masks and shields, even tanks, shoot percussive bombs and gases into crowds and into people’s homes. Even when using these tactics more responsibly than in Ferguson it is clearly a “militarized” form of policing. And having been tear gassed and aimed at by snipers myself for legal, peaceful activities I can attest from personal experience that it does not make you feel safer or more trusting of authority, even minus the very important factor of race and death that makes this case so much more tense. I agree with you that this approach is exacerbating a big problem and I will add that it’s also intentional, because they’re not fucking stupid, they know what happens when you march in and terrorize angry, emotional, scared, innocent people.

    Sorry guys, I knew I was playing with fire by going off on that tangent. I don’t like starting political fights here but I also feel like a chump ignoring that this is going on right now, so I thought it should be mentioned. Please try to keep it civil.

  12. Okay, I am at peace with everyone here.

    But the real issue is, why do people still choose to live in Missouri?

  13. They aren’t choosing.

    If you’ve never been poor this may not be obvious but here it is: if you’re really poor you can’t move away from your family. They are there to give you a ride when your shitty beater car craps out (and help you fix it, too). They are there to watch the kids when you need to pick up another shift. They are there to hang out with and shoot the shit about the neighbors, because you’re poor as fuck and don’t have any money to go anywhere or do anything.

    Poverty is a prison.

  14. I never said it’s exacerbating a problem. The police response is the solution to the current problem, which happens to be rioting, destruction of property, guys with bandanas pointing guns at cops (which led to another young black man being shot and killed by police), oh, yeah and a whole bunch of local vigilantes arming themselves with assault rifles, preparing to shoot any rioters and looters they see. The police are trying to restore order, and prevent more loss of life and property.
    But, the SWAT and RRT teams wear body armor and gas masks and have a Lenco Bearcat, so let’s hijack this for the stoner-libertarian-anarchist-occupier-cop haters so they can scream about “militarized police”. Which is a horseshit concept that means whatever people want it too.

    I’m not denying Mike Brown’s death was at the very least an unjustified use of lethal force; it’s probably going to turn out to be first degree murder. I’m also not pretending the black community in Ferguson does not have very legitimate gripes with, like I said, an almost all-white, all-male police force. I support the protests. I’m glad the FBI are investigating this. But this “militarized police” stuff is idiotic. Vern, the police don’t have tanks. They don’t just march in without warrants violating property rights shooting off “concussion bombs”. They do deploy equipment like armored personnel carriers, body armor, and tear gas, in the event of extreme circumstances LIKE A RIOT. There’s nothing inherently “military” about any of that. “Military” would, I suppose, be an airstrike followed by artillery followed by rules of engagement permitting combatants to shoot to kill. Meanwhile, when a gas station is burned down? The authorities are gonna show up and say party’s over. If you don’t like that, too bad. People wanna riot, break windows, burn things, loot stores, hey, they can go right ahead. Sometimes, like in LA in 1992, it’s necessary and righteous. Just understand that no functional society in human history has ever responded to that any differently then America is now, and they never will.

  15. Hey, Hardly Walken. I know people who came to this country with nothing. They left entire continents of poor people. Poverty didn’t stop them. And they lived in East Coast ethnic ghettos, and moved out when they made some money, and now they’re the ones helping poor people by hiring them.

    Poverty isn’t a prison. But that way of thinking sure is.

  16. One more thing I wanna say here. Vern, sounds like you’ve had some bad encounters with police. I’m guessing the Battle Of Seattle? Well, I’ve taken part in protests too. I’ve never been tear-gassed. I’ve dealt with police who were rude and aggressive, and been shoved around, and insulted.

    I’ve also worked on a lot of movies about cops. I’ve spent a lot of time on set with cops and listened to their stories. (When you’re locking up a location for eight hours and your only company are the detail officers, there’s nothing to do BUT talk.) The precious movies you guys endlessly carry on about here, most of them literally could not exist without the police. They could not be made without assistance from law enforcement. And if all people know about cops are what you see in movies and on Google Image searches, and from being on the receiving end of tear gassing during a protest? Then they don’t really know anything about modern law enforcement at all.

  17. I love the police and all that they do and I won’t hesitate to call them if the need arises,
    but my first several personal interactions with American cops

    [age 16 (city violation, paid a small fine, released after 3 hours),
    17 (same) (drunk in public at Myrtle Beach),
    20 (bogus misdemeanor, cop perjured himself in court, 40 hours community service, then expungement),
    21 (auto collision where I was not at fault and cop reluctantly unhelpfully presided over the sharing of insurance info)
    27 (bogus charge eventually dismissed (because it was fucking bogus))
    29 (speeding ticket) (okay, this one was not undeserved)]

    were horrible. Based on my not-small anecdotal evidence, cops are assholes. Most of the ones I’ve met up close were clearly losers back in high school, and now they’ve figured out how to exert some unearned authority to get back at the world for their loserdom.

    Those cops probably think I’m an asshole, too. First time I ever entered a full-sized jail in handcuffs, there was a comically obese policewoman behind the desk. She wasn’t capable of rising from her wheeled stool. I probably didn’t engender any good will when I proclaimed, “Jesus, don’t you have to pass a physical to be a cop these days?” as I stared at her incredulously.

    Also, tear gas isn’t that bad, in my opinion.

  18. JD – if you can’t see that there’s a problem with the modern police force then you must really have blinders on, I think the fundamental problem with police today is the attitude they have, basically the belief is “better a citizen dies than a police officer”, they seem to have the attitude that their lives are more valuable than me or you’s, so why take any chances? shoot first and ask questions later

    to me that seems to be completely backwards, as a public servant they should lay their lives on the line for the citizenry same as rescue workers like firefighters do, don’t like that risk? then don’t do the job

    and things like SWAT teams and riot police are obviously a necessity, but they also should be a last resort, any time you use things like that you instantly escalate the situation and the problem today is the police are far too quick to use them, basically any chance they get is when they whip out the SWAT teams and riot police (you can draw a parallel with that to what Bush did after 9/11, how he made a bad situation even worse by escalating it with things like the Iraq war)

  19. Mr Subtelty – Stallone inadvertently sparked the hairy armpit modelling craze which caught on in the 80’s – see Madonnas nude spread in Playboy for proof.

    (I’d post a picture but the mags got trashed ages ago.)

    ps – whoever mentioned ZD30 around Mouth deserves to be waterboarded. I warned you muthafucka.

  20. Stallone shows his armpits more than any other actor. He’s always throwing his arms up in the air with no shirt on, like “Hey! Get a load of these armpits!” He is so famous for showing his armpits, they made a statue of him showing his armpits. Thousands of people walk by that statue every day, and every single one of them is looking at Stallone’s armpits. Let’s face it, those armpits are his bread and butter. I bet he has ’em insured.

    Armpits.

  21. “see Madonnas nude spread in Playboy for proof.”

    I’m assuming it isn’t, but that just makes imagine modern old lady Madonna nude and showing off her armpits and that just makes me go ewwwwwwwwww

  22. He’s just looking for fresh angles to show off his tris, bis, and lats. And all those totally natural bulging blood vessels.
    As one does.

  23. “Sly’s tri’s & bi’s” should be the name of his next art exhibit.

    Anyway, the important thing is, I want MaggieMayPie to find happiness.
    There’s a bright Calvin Klein spokesbody somewhere out there for you, babe.

  24. *For adult and armpit enthusiasts only.*

    I fuckin warned you all…..

    http://www.voy.dk/madonna-nude-photos-1985-photoshoot-lq/

  25. oh, well she’s actually pretty hot in those photos, nothing gross about that at all, it’s just modern “hulk hands” that scares me

  26. Please don’t speak unkindly of Madonna, Griff. Yes, she is older than you now and a little older than a woman you would prefer to have spend the night in your queen-size. That’s how the concept of time & human biology works. Happens to all of us, unless you Jim Morrison/Jimi Hendrix/Janis Joplin on us early.

    That doesn’t make her a human being who deserves “ewwwwwwwwww” comments [she’ll never read] thrown at her.

    That woman is a wondrous gift from the gods. Hell, based on her work in the ’80s she might actually be Aphrodite.

    She’s the first person I ever envisioned naked in the shower and the first person I ever stayed up real late to see appear live on tv.
    Madonna also plays the first conflicted badass I ever thought about after the movie was over (in DICK TRACY).

    I didn’t know I was a Madonna superfan, and maybe I’m not, but she hasn’t done anything to earn such disrespect. She’s pretty goddamn great.

  27. *it’s just modern “hulk hands” Madonna that scares me

  28. Mouth – I just think that when a woman (or even a man) reaches a certain age she shouldn’t pretend that she’s not actually that age, you know what I mean?

  29. No, fuck that. If she’s still sexy & wealthy enough to get play from impossibly sculpted music video backup dancers of her choosing, then there’s no reason she shouldn’t. If Stallone can still pluck a mean bow-&-arrow and shoot Burmese shitheads in the face, then I don’t care that he’s 60+ years old. If Woody Allen can write & direct himself in the 1970s as a guy who attracts Muriel Hemingway and Mia Farrow, then so be it.

    Age is a stupid thing to examine. Self-confidence is beautiful. Some people have earned it.

  30. JD, if you don’t want to consider batalions of police in armor wearing masks marching in formation and shooting chemicals at me and other innocent people to be “militarized” then that’s fine, but you obviously knew what I meant so don’t call me an idiot just because you have different semantics from the rest of the world. Of course I didn’t mean they were doing airstrikes and nobody would misinterpret me or your stoner anarchists as saying that such a thing happened.

    If I used the wrong term I apologize but by “concussion bomb” I meant the things that they shoot into crowds that explode loudly in order to scare people into running in different directions. I don’t know if they’re using them there but they used them in Seattle in ’99.

  31. Mouth – I’m not saying she should stop making music, of course not, just that does she really need to wear skintight spandex?

    I love this place so much though, in the same thread we can argue about the American police state AND old lady Madonna

  32. by the way, I have a morbid fascination with riots and civil unrest, I know it’s a bad thing, but there’s something about people taking a stand and tearing shit up, sending the message to the powers that be that everything is not ok, that I gotta admit gets me kinda pumped up

  33. Part 2 (sorry, I wasn’t done reading all the comments when I wrote that). JD, you obviously took me as insulting police in general which was not my intent. Of course I want SWAT teams responding to shootings to be well equipped. But sending them to menace protesters is another story. I’ve seen and you’ve seen and we are clearly seeing in this story how wrong-headed it is to send in a bunch of troopers to face off against protesters who aren’t doing anything. It brings out the worst in both sides. In many, and I would guess most cases when riot troops are used there was no riot and wouldn’t have been violence if they hadn’t been there. And often all of the violence comes from them.

    But honestly we agree on most of this stuff and on the important stuff so I’m going to stop doing what I was complaining about in the first place. Rioting and “rioting” are side issues here. I hope we all get a chance to live in a time when black men in America don’t have to fear being harassed, beaten or killed by police. But we haven’t come far on that in my lifetime. If we did we wouldn’t have as many police on protester smash ups to argue about.

  34. For the record I am not in favor of hairy armpits on women, but I will grant leeway to those affected by environment – Innuits, Siberians etc. I understand and appreciate the need for warmth and comfort. Western women have no excuse, really.

  35. She’s given so much joy to my [eye]balls already. Her line of goodwill credit is really really long. And that’s irrelevant; she doesn’t deserve all this doubting. She’s brought so much pleasantness to our world, and much of it has been photographed for our permanent retrieval & recollection, thank Buddha. This is cause for infinite gratitude; this is the stuff of a lifetime pass.

    The minute society decides sextagenarian guys aren’t allowed to wear tank tops or star in GRUDGE MATCH, you can start mandating what pop-fashion icon Madonna is allowed to wear or not wear. I dare you to walk through the average Georgian strip mall and find more than 2 people who are in better physical shape than Madonna.

    Until then, (no easy way to say this) you’re being kind of a misogynist.
    You don’t realize it, but that’s what’s happening.

    Or:
    “Ewwww, Robin Williams has hair all over his body. He should just stay inside 24 hours a day.”

  36. Why male models?

  37. This conversation is covering a lot of ground.

  38. “I dare you to walk through the average Georgian strip mall and find more than 2 people who are in better physical shape than Madonna.”

    uh, good point

    “Until then, (no easy way to say this) you’re being kind of a misogynist.”

    oh come on now

  39. I don’t get why – and this isn’t directed at anyone in particular, so nobody go off on a rant – the supporters of…uh, hard hitting men in uniform even bother to debate this. We’re moving so quickly towards the kind of society we know from movies like ROBOCOP and ELYSIUM, where big, private firms govern both the politicians, the police and the armed forces, that they don’t need evidence or even good arguements. They can just sit back and watch the world go to hell, knowing that it’s the rest of us who will get teargassed.

    As for hairy armpits on women. Those who sport that look always seem to have a certain style that I find kind of hot.

  40. pegsman – that’s exactly why this stuff is happening, there’s a lot environmental and economic concern about the future, heck isn’t it pretty much a guarantee now that the entire east will eventually be underwater? so the powers that be have armed out the police force into a second military in order to ensure that if the average American finds themselves and their children starving, there’ll be piss all they can do about it

  41. America at this point is pretty much nothing more than a playground for the wealthy

  42. Griff, I read a very interesting article that essentially said that drones are a paradigm-shifter in the same way that guns were. Like, the aristocracy and war were permanently changed when some dirty-ass peasant could take his boomstick and blow a hole in some charging knight like it ain’t no thing. And this article argued that drones are basically the reverse of that. Now the aristocracy can blow a hole in the dirty peasant by using his robot in the sky to deliver a missile (or shotgun blast – I recall that some enterprising American company was going to offer law-enforcement a surveillance drone with a single shotgun shell in it and had branded it with the cool-ass moniker of The Blade) without any fear of retaliation. Scary stuff. Like the new Robocop pointed out, pretty soon you don’t need a human police force to keep the rabble in line.

    Unfortunately I can’t find the link right now.

    I can give you a link to a very good Washington Post article about the police actions out in Fergurson, featuring interviews with police chiefs and such. I hope you will enjoy it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/08/14/after-ferguson-how-should-police-respond-to-protests/

  43. That’s a lot of information to get in one discussion. All right. Mouth, thanks for the vote of confidence I will one day find an intelligent male model. Honestly, I would feel way too self-conscious to date a model.

    To wit, I think if a woman had confidence and a bold personality, she could pull off hairy armpits. Honestly, the maintenance required of women is just exhausting. Griff, it’s misogyny because, even though you’ve probably never seen, okay, maybe you’ve seen one or two, women in real life with hairy armpits the mere idea of it grosses you out, but how many guys have you seen with hairy backs and never thought anything about?

    JD, not everyone who is in poverty can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and better themselves. That’s great that you know people who have, but I would bet that along with their hard work, they had a few breaks go their way. The number one reason people declare bankruptcy in America is due to medical debts. Think about that. Not only are those people shit out of luck in the money department, but they’re also either sick or injured.

    I recently have made some changes in my life. I knew that if it didn’t work out (it didn’t) I would have support from family and friends. I moved a couple of times and changed jobs a couple of times. It’s all good now, but there were times when my mom had to give me grocery money. Also, my brother paid for a moving truck, drove it to another state, loaded up all of my stuff and then took it to his place to hold it for me when I was just going to get rid of everything. And a couple different friends let me stay with them rent-free. I can’t imagine that without knowing I had this kind of support that I would have ever gotten up the courage to let go of my stable, but crappy situation and try to find something that would actually make me happy.

    I was in the Northeast for 6 months looking for work and got bupkis. I’m an educated person with a good work history and I was still only 1 out of hundreds applying for the same job. Hundreds, within a day or two. I can’t imagine people that don’t have any education or work experience being able to get a job that paid more than minimum wage, which is, honestly, not a livable wage.

    And that’s not even taking race into account. It was also an eye opener living in the Northeast because for the first time I was in an area where sometimes I would be the only white person around. I looked around and thought, “Huh, so that’s what that’s like.” And despite a momentary jolt because I was the “other” in these situations, once I told myself to calm down I never once thought I was in any real danger, especially not from the police.

    I’ve met asshole cops and I’ve met good cops. You get good and bad, just like any other people. It’s a flawed system that is leading to tragedies like what just happened in Missouri. We can support the men and women who make up the system and still question it and demand improvement.

  44. oh man, just look at this shit http://abcnews.go.com/US/photos/powerful-scenes-ferguson-missouri-24953212/image-24979950

    scary as hell, for fun try to imagine how frightening those images would be to someone 20 years ago, it would seem like something out of a dystopian sci fi film

    “To wit, I think if a woman had confidence and a bold personality, she could pull off hairy armpits. Honestly, the maintenance required of women is just exhausting. Griff, it’s misogyny because, even though you’ve probably never seen, okay, maybe you’ve seen one or two, women in real life with hairy armpits the mere idea of it grosses you out, but how many guys have you seen with hairy backs and never thought anything about?”

    I didn’t really say anything about hairy armpits, did I? all I said is that I don’t think Madonna at her age should be acting like it’s still the 80’s, that’s all

  45. Griff, the fact that you think you have the right to an opinion on how a grown-ass woman should comport herself is where the misogyny comes in. You no longer want to have sex with her, ergo she should start acting like a grandma. That is not your call. Madonna is under no obligation to be attractive to you. That’s just male entitlement fucking with you.

  46. it’s just an opinion, obviously I can’t force her to do anything, but why shouldn’t I have an opinion? it’s like saying “I don’t think that dress looks good”, why is that so controversial? why is it now whenever a man has any negative opinion about any woman at all that’s “misogyny”? yeah, no, I don’t buy into that kind of stuff, sorry

    but honestly, I’m tired of talking about it, I just don’t care that much really, there’s more important things going on than what Madonna is wearing

  47. also, I’ve been suffering from a cold for the last few days and have been a little bit out of it, so forgive me if I’ve been more cross than normal

  48. Those photo’s from Ferguson are pretty scary. And from what Maggie said about her being on the bread-line during her crisis makes makes America sound like a pretty messed up place to be living at the moment, racially and economically. Man, makes me feel that we take a lot for granted, living in what we call “The Lucky Country”.

    Its all a bit of a bummer, so can we get back to armpits now please?

    Armpits.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/celebrities-hairy-armpits-julia-roberts-3269001

  49. “Those photo’s from Ferguson are pretty scary. And from what Maggie said about her being on the bread-line during her crisis makes makes America sound like a pretty messed up place to be living at the moment, racially and economically. Man, makes me feel that we take a lot for granted, living in what we call “The Lucky Country”.”

    you have no idea…

  50. I’ve actually wondered about the race situation in Australia, Darren. Do you see a lot of problems? I am asking because a little while ago a co-worker was telling me she had a terrible time in Australia when she visited back in 2001. Her friend is half black, half white and they experienced terrible discrimination. They had trouble getting service in some restaurants and some men even verbally harassed and then spit on her on the street. Maybe my co-worker is full of it, or misread some of the situations or maybe they just had a freakish and uncommon experience.

  51. As much as I love Australia, we have a history of racism that makes the situation in Ferguson look downright progressive. As for economics, we’re just lucky we’re sitting on a fat pile of resources that foreign-owned mining corporations can dig up and sell to China. The phrase “The Lucky Country” originates from a quote in Daniel Horne’s book of the same name: “Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.”

  52. Well, we were fucking over our indigenous Aboriginal people for quite a long time. Breeding them out, splitting up families. The Stolen Generations. It was only less than 5 years ago that our then Prime Minister stepped up to officially say “sorry”. A bit late motherfucker. But appreciate the sentiment, hope the election goes well…oh shit, it didn’t, you got replaced by a woman in your own party. Long story.

    I don’t see rampant racism that leads to rioting or protests and stuff. I think racism here is more insidious. Example – I work for a small company with about 20 employees, mostly men, mostly white, save for a Sri Lankan, a Tibetan and an Iragi guy among the group. One of our older white salesmen, lets call him Bob, has a seemingly good working relationship with the Sri Lankan guy, lets call him Fazmir.

    So one day, Bob’s in a shitty mood after a bad morning on the sales floor and Fazmir says something to him, harmless from his perspective, and out of nowhere Bob cuts loose on him with a tirade of “black this”, and “black mother that”. We were all like “Holy fuck Bob, where did that shit come from?” Anyway, Bob humbled himself and apologized, and they went back to being good mates.

    But shit. Where DID that come from? Is it cultural conditioning, stereotyping the Sri Lankan guy cause he’s a Muslim(and possibly a terrorist!!), or just ugly human nature? I don’t know. I do think racism is a universal human condition, the ugly side of our nature that fears what we don’t understand, or we look down on because of status. Whatever, it’s fucked up.

    Yeah Maggie, I’m sorry to say some Australian’s can be racist arseholes. As for your friend’s experience, holy shit. For that, I am very fuckin sorry.

  53. “I don’t see rampant racism that leads to rioting or protests and stuff. I think racism here is more insidious.”

    You don’t remember the Redfern riots in 2004 or the Cronulla riots in 2005? Palm Island in 2004? You’ve got openly racist stuff like the White Australia Policy and the One Nation Party leading up to the more coded racism underpinning asylum seeker policy.

  54. Yeah true, but nowhere near as frequently as in America and some other countries. Perhaps that why those riots didn’t come to mind straight away. It’s the daily “off the cuff” racism that stands out the most. Since those riots you mentioned, the last one was about 2 years ago in Sydney with the Islamic kerfuffle. And most Australians with half a brain saw that Pauline Hanson and One Nation were a bunch of rednecks.

  55. Wow, this escalated quickly. As an australian, we DO have a history of incredible racism and ignorance, and in my opinion; it only getting worse. Lines are being drawn in the sand right now. Unfortunately laws are also being drafted by our neo-conservative government that are intended to remove any semblance of a democracy that we might have passed for. I am afraid to live here and have an independent opinion, to be honest.

  56. I’ll just refer people to this June 2014 ACLU report on police militarization, documenting how he surfeit of equipment from the Afgan and Iraq wars has been donated to state and local police forces: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/jus14-warcomeshome-report-web-rel1.pdf

    Also relevant filmatism is ICE, a 1970 joint about radicals resisting a future war and practicing the art of revolution in the United States. Hard to find, but worth it if you do. http://arthurmag.com/2006/07/23/ice-1970-dir-by-robert-kramer/

  57. so I guess people’s fears that Bush was going to turn American into a police state happened after all, just in a roundabout way, thanks Dubya

    and fucking shame on Obama for not lifting a finger to stop any of this

  58. Fellow country-man Don – Fear is not an option. Our founding father Captain James T Kirk…er Cook, did not sail from England on the SS Enter..fuck it, HMS Endeavour, battling scurvy and the inconvenience of quill pens, to give in to fear.

    We do have a torrid history of racism and ignorance, and yes to a point it has gotten worse(I’m gonna throw in an “Especially since 9/11”, as one of the reasons…cause its true) but I would like to suggest that fear itself is the root of ours or anyones racism and ignorance. Fear of government, which is what you are talking about, is obviously a bit different. I don’t know if were quite at that state of government, but there is definetly a wider chasm appearing, between the haves and have-nots.

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