Market Experts Weigh in on the Next Major Mergers & Acquisitions in Media – Observer

AT&T and Time Warner, Disney and Fox, Comcast and Sky. Which conglomerates are on the hunt for major mergers and acquisitions? Pixabay

A food chain is defined as a hierarchical series of organisms dependent on the next as a source of food. This suggests that the entropy of the unchecked wild is merely instinctual, natural order masquerading as chaos. Sharks eat minnows, lions eat gazelle, and the whole world keeps on turning. We understand that the natural world is governed by such linear survivalism, but rarely do we acknowledge that the unnatural world we createdthe one of business and economicsis also dictated by the same Darwinian laws.

The strong prey on the weak, or, at the very least, eye every conceivable opportunity to grow strongereven at a cost to others.In the media and entertainment landscape, this is regularly accomplished through mergers and acquisitions. AT&T acquired Time Warner in a landmark $85 billion deal; The Walt Disney Co. gobbled up 20th Century Fox for $71 billion; Comcast dropped $39 billion on Sky; and Viacom and CBS re-merged to form a new company valued at roughly $30 billion. Scale in media is purely carnivorousone company feeds on another. Its almost Shakespearean in its lethal simplicity.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood Is Running Out of Room, and It Might Be Hurting Your Favorite Movies Most

While major dominoes have already fallen, there is undoubtedly more still to come. A tiger cant change his stripes, after all, and the increasingly volatile entertainment media industry cant be satiated in a time of conglomerate hunger. So we talked to a handful of industry experts in an attempt to identify realistic potential mergers and acquisitions on the horizon.

Mary Ann Halford, a former Fox EVP and senior advisor at OC&C Strategy

Halford believes the first question to tackle under this umbrella topic is identifying the major players who are still left in media and entertainment. To her, that list that includes AMC, Discovery, Lionsgate, Sony, Imagine Entertainment and MGM Entertainment.

Of course, regarding Discovery and Lionsgate, Liberty Media (controlled by John Malone) has a significant interest, which could make for interesting dealmaking, Halford said.

Steve Birenberg, Founder of Northlake Capital Management

An expert in the financial field, Birenberg is eying Lionsgate for an acquisition. Im not exactly sure by whom, he says, but ViacomCBS makes the most sense if and when they prove their merger is working and their stock prices is way, way up from here.

Despite ongoing speculation throughout the industry, Birenberg does not believe Apple will acquire a studio as he doesnt deem it necessary to further their product services priority. If Apple were to acquire anything, I think Roku would be the smart move, he noted.

Similar to others quoted here, he views Discovery Communications as a prime target, thanks to its high floor non-fiction strategy and healthy balance sheet. While no obvious partner comes immediately to mind, there are non-traditional alternatives that Discoverys unscripted content lends itself to.

Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst for Comscore

Dergarabedian believes we are witnessing the greatest amount up upheaval in the media industrys history. From a practical perspectivebecause there is so much content that it can be overwhelmingthe future may revolve around consolidation, he says. The question on his mind is: How do we get all of this content in one place?

Outside of Roku and Apple TV housing streaming apps for several services, the competitors are not concerned with making it easy for consumers to access a wealth of content. The sheer volume of options may be the primary barrier of adoption for some.

Future merges will be dictated by technology with unexpected players that may not even exist yet driving the industry, he predicts. We need to open our minds to the intersection of technology and content. Sony was a tech-first company when they acquired Columbia Pictures; Netflix began by selling DVDs and is now a full-blown studio. If we travel 20 to 30 years back, we couldnt have envisioned the entertainment industry of today with streaming and everything. So the future will likely be a manifestation of what were not even aware of yet.

Mark Williams, Chief Revenue Officer, Americas, for Merrill Corporation

Williams notes that merger and acquisition deal-making in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector remains healthy, with $324.2 billion in 2018 and growth expected to continue in 2019 and beyond. As we discussed in our recent Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) M&A Spotlight panel, this is a result of technology being so embedded in the business world, that the M&A opportunity lies not within technology or a specific industry, but at the intersection of them both, he said.

Based on discussions from Merrills(TMT) M&A Spotlight panel, interactive content such as video gaming may provide the greatest growth potential within TMT moving forward. This lane is expected to emerge as a long-term catalyst for M&A deal-making, Williams explains.

Gaming has evolved, becoming very social, multi-player, and online driven. This shift can be attributed to technology itself. People tend to start playing video games on their mobile devices, and in time, as players become more committed to gaming, they often subscribe to cloud-based platforms.

Dock David Treece, Senior Financial Analyst at

On Disneys earnings call earlier this month, CEO Bob Iger said the company was not looking to add any major pieces following the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox over the last 15 years. But how long will this stance hold, especially with Iger stepping down in 2021?

It makes sense that Disney would slow down merger and acquisition activity in the near future as it tries to absorb Fox, but this break will likely only be temporary, Treece said. In the meantime, I think we can look for additional acquisitions from Netflix, which has only dabbled in acquisitions today.

Treece expects Netflix to target smaller production companies and minor streaming services that offer technological innovations that Netflix would like to own. He also pinpoints Discovery as a potential mover-and-shaker.

Each of these companies has net revenue over $1 billion annually (about 10 percent of Disneys net earnings) and will likely try to take advantage of Disneys slowdown to grow strategically to compete with the new giant of Disney-Fox.

Sam Williamson, Founder of Streaming Movies Right

Williamson highlights a specific niche that Apple should target if it is indeed hunting for an acquisition.

What weve noticed is that horror is where Netflix have a clear advantage over Disney, and many people love the horror content that Netflix puts out, he said. So if Apple want to enter this horse race, the next big acquisition we may see could be Apple attempting to acquire one of the more successful horror studios so they can place more horror content on their platform.

Williamson notes that Netflix is producing at least one decent horror film per month while Disney has a bank of horror films to last them for a while. Though Apple has signed a multi-picture pact with indie studio A24, the latters production cycle generally produces three horror movies per year. I dont think that output would be enough to draw people away from Netflix, so theyll likely have to step up the production of content, he says.

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Market Experts Weigh in on the Next Major Mergers & Acquisitions in Media - Observer

A brief history of John Krasinski’s transformation into a guy who absolutely loves the CIA – Business Insider

For a long time, John Krasinski was America's boyfriend. His most famous role Jim Halpert on "The Office" became his de facto identity, and he appeared to shareJim's defining character traits: sensitivity, intelligence, humor, unabashed Snow Patrol fandom.

But as you and I both know insert a knowing look at the camera here nothing gold can stay, and now Jim Halpert is waxing poetic about the CIA.

The interview went viral on Twitter yesterday. While the clip itself appears to be from 2018, when "Jack Ryan," Amazon's splashy show about Men Who Blow Things Up, initially premiered, it elicited a strong reaction for good reason: Listening to Jim Halpert talk about how he "nerded out" when he got to the CIA and how we should "be saying thank you every single day" to the organization is an incredibly jarring experience. (The endless stream of Jim Halpert reaction gifs in the replies doesn't hurt, either.)

As MEL's Miles Klee argued, "one can no longer deny that Jim from 'The Office' is a cop." Judging from the responses on Twitter, many people were surprised by Krasinski's transformation. But this is merely the latest chapter in Krasinski's curious journey from lovably rumpled sales guy to special-ops acolyte.

In 2016, he starred in a movie about Benghazi directed by wait for it Michael Bay, which was criticized for, among other things, being inaccurate. (He also got buff.)The same year, he also talked about how he almost played Captain America, the ultimate stars-and-stripes macho man.

In 2018, he directed and starred in "A Quiet Place," which centered on a family that must remain silent lest they tip off the murderous aliens inhabiting the planet. Though it was generally well-received, it was also deemed a "fantasy of survivalism" with questionable politics by The New Yorker. Some criticized its gender dynamics, while others wondered about its ostensibly pro-gun messaging. It also featured Krasinski in a familiar role: bearded white patriarch fighting back against "foreign" enemies.

Yet nothing has done more to solidify his patina of red-blooded Americana than his role as Jack Ryan. The first season of the series, which is based on the novels by Tom Clancy, was described as a "patriotic nightmare" by Vanity Fair, and focused on Ryan's hunt for a terrorist named Mousa bin Suleiman. The second season hasn't fared much better: It's been criticized for its muddy and one-dimensional portrayal of the region's politics, and for its conflation of American intervention with American heroics.The trailer even drew outrage from Venezuela's culture minister Ernesto Villegas, who called it "crass war propaganda disguised as entertainment."

Meanwhile, in a different interview about the show, Krasinski claimed that many people who work for the CIA are "apolitical," which seems questionable given the group's history in several different countries, but who's counting?

Anyway, Jim Halpert is gone, and now we have a veritable Abercrombie model devouring a piece of steak with his bare hands instead. You win again, 2019.

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Richard Tobin of Brooklawn accused of conspiring to initimidate minorities – Courier Post

Retired Cpl. Joseph Logue talks about receiving a mortgage-free home in Collingswood on Wednesday. Adam Monacelli, Cherry Hill Courier-Post

CAMDEN A Brooklawn man whose computer allegedly held a video of a white-supremacist attack set to music faces a federal charge of conspiring to intimidate minorities.

Richard Tobin, 18,is accused of directing members of a racially motivated violent extremist group to vandalize synagogues in two Midwestern states, according to a criminal complaint filed in Camden federal court.

The complaint does not name the group but describes it as a self-styled white protection league that promotes an extreme form of survivalism and preparedness.

It alleges Tobin and other members engaged in online discussions in September that focused on recruiting prospective members, promoting the creation of a white ethno-state and encouraging violence against minorities.

More: Police: Shooting at Camden High football game tied to Atlantic City dispute

More: Public's help sought as probe continues into kidnap-murder of Curtis Jenkins III

The complaint accuses Tobin of no violent crimes, but alleges documents in his computer showed how to make plastic explosives and how to arrange barrels inside a rental truck to be used as a bomb.

In a recorded interview, Tobin described once being enraged by the number of black shoppers at a Central Jersey mall, FBI Special Agent Jason Novick said in an affidavit accompanying the Nov. 12 complaint.

A Brooklawn man is charged in Camden federal court with conspiring to intimidate minorities.(Photo: Jim Walsh, Courier-Post)

"That day, he had a machete in his car, and he wanted to 'let loose' with it," Novick said.

Tobins computer, seized during a Nov. 8 raid at his home, held numerous photos, videos and Internet activity which reflects an obsession with neo-Nazi propaganda, terrorism and acts of brutal and mass violence, Novick said.

One video showed a man using a shotgun and assault rifle to kill worshippers at a mosque, while a soundtrack played Another One Bites the Dust, the affidavit says.

It notes the video was made on March 15, 2019, the day a white extremist attacked two mosques, killing 51 people, in Christchurch, New Zealand.

According to the affidavit, Tobin and group members communicated through encrypted messages, chat rooms and online platforms between Sept. 15-23.

It says a swastika and a three runic symbols used to identify the group were found painted on a synagogue in Hancock, Michigan, on Sept. 21. The temple on Michigan's Upper Peninsula is almost 1,200 miles from Brooklawn.

Similar vandalism was found one day later at a synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin, about 850 miles from South Jersey.

Tobin admitted his role in the vandalism, which he described as Operation Kristallnacht,according to Novick.

Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, was the name originally given to the widespread destruction of Jewish properties in Germany in November 1938.

Representatives of the targeted synagogues said the bigotry had brought their communities closer together.

This really is not in line with the character of this community, David Holden, president of Temple Jacob in Hancock, said in an online statement. What is more in character is the responses not just of kindness, but actual engagement by numerous people who saw what had happened and acted.

He said people with no connection to the temple pitched in to help paint, scrub and power wash."

I would like to thank the thousands of individuals who showed their love and support, Rabbi Martyn Adelberg of Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine posted at the temples Facebook page.

Tobin described different emotions in an FBI interview, Novick asserted

According to the affidavit, Tobin reported that he experienced depressed feelings for the last three years, and had thoughts of suicide by cop or becoming a suicide bomber regularly."

Jim Walsh is a free-range reporter whos been roaming around South Jersey for decades. His interests include crime, the courts, economic development and being first with breaking news. Reach him at or look for him in traffic.

Help support local journalism with a Courier-Post subscription.

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna by Kate Boyes – Locus Online

Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna, Kate Boyes (Aqueduct 978-1-61976-159-9, $20.00, 312pp, tp) July 2019.

Every once in a while, a novel seems to drop in from out of nowhere, with little to go on but a promo letter and in the case at hand the reputation of the publisher. Aqueduct Press has earned a reputation not only for promoting feminist speculative work, but for discovering distinctive new voices. Sarah Tolmie (The Little Animals) and Isaac R. Fellman (The Breath of the Sun) are are two fairly recent examples. So its not too surprising that Id never heard of Kate Boyes, whose biographical note in her first novel Trapped in the R.A.W. tells us that shes a playwright and writer of travel and nature essays, but mentions no prior published fiction at all. This is surprising, because, despite an unpromising title (the full iteration of which is Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna, With an Afterword by Pearl Larken and Appendices Compiled by the We Survived Series Group), the novel demonstrates a impressively assured voice, an ingenious, casebook-like structure in which the journal of the title is supplemented by several appendices written years later, and an equally creative use of illustrative material, drawn mostly from 19th-century books and the illustrations of Walter Crane. All of this creates the initial impression that this might be a sort of alternate-history period piece, like the variations on Wellss The War of the Worlds that have appeared more often than necessary, but in fact its a near-future alien invasion tale set mostly in a university special collections library and told mostly in the form of the journal of Kaylee Bearovna, who barricades herself inside during the first couple of months of an inexplicable invasion that nearly wipes out the global population. The R.A.W. of the title comes from the librarians nickname for the collection rare and wonderful.

Alien invasion apocalyptic dystopias, of which there are many, tend to align along a spectrum, with brutalist survivalism at one end (think of Cormac McCarthys The Road) and elegiac humanism at the other (one of the best examples remains George R. Stewarts Earth Abides). Boyes lands firmly in the latter camp, not only celebrating the value of libraries and the preservation of culture, but also focusing far more on character than spectacle. Kaylee hasnt had a particularly easy life she was horribly betrayed and abused by a professor some years earlier, and has lost touch with her beloved daughter but her quick-thinking response to the sudden invasion marks her as a classically competent SF hero. When she hears the screams of the dying and sees hundreds of odd figures in faceless brown outfits slaughtering people with a single touch, she barricades herself in the library and immediately begins sorting the details of her survival, from securing food and water, to such mundane details as toilet paper (which creates an almost comical dilemma in a rare-books library). Her journal makes for compelling reading, detailing her failure to save another survivor who makes it to the library door and eventually describing her tentative relationship with one of the invaders, whom she comes to call the Tall Man. When she decides to leave the library, she leaves the journal behind.

This leads to Boyess neatest touch: the journal is discovered decades later by an expeditionary team, resulting in a series of documents, mostly trying to discover what happened to Kaylee. Our new narrators include the editor of the published version of the journal, the leader of the expeditionary team, a contemporary friend of Kaylees who also survived, an academic cultural historian, and an anthropologist who presents interviews with other survivors who might have known Kaylee or her family. Boyes doesnt always fully differentiate these voices (several sound a lot like Kaylees original journal), but the effect is unarguably moving, as we watch Kaylee transformed from a desperate and lonely figure into a kind of librarian legend, whose story only becomes richer as we piece it together from these later documents. There are plenty of unanswered or inadequately answered questions about the invasion itself, the aliens, and their own motives and social structures (though Boyes does think up an ingenious explanation as to how they could mate with humans), but thats not really the point of a novel such as this. In a few pages you can wipe out most of a civilization with disease, war, alien invasion, or natural catastrophe, but it takes a deeply humane novel to convince us that continuity and community can be built from the ashes.

Gary K. Wolfe is Emeritus Professor of Humanities at Roosevelt University and a reviewer for Locus magazine since 1991. His reviews have been collected in Soundings (BSFA Award 2006; Hugo nominee), Bearings (Hugo nominee 2011), and Sightings (2011), and his Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature (Wesleyan) received the Locus Award in 2012. Earlier books include The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction (Eaton Award, 1981), Harlan Ellison: The Edge of Forever (with Ellen Weil, 2002), and David Lindsay (1982). For the Library of America, he edited American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s in 2012, with a similar set for the 1960s forthcoming. He has received the Pilgrim Award from the Science Fiction Research Association, the Distinguished Scholarship Award from the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, and a Special World Fantasy Award for criticism. His 24-lecture series How Great Science Fiction Works appeared from The Great Courses in 2016. He has received six Hugo nominations, two for his reviews collections and four for The Coode Street Podcast, which he has co-hosted with Jonathan Strahan for more than 300 episodes. He lives in Chicago.

This review and more like it in theJuly 2019 issue of Locus.

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna by Kate Boyes - Locus Online

Surviving Survivalism | Commonweal Magazine

The book-blurb version of Educated ends here, a Hillbilly Elegy-meets-Pygmalion tale of an improbable intellectual coming-of-age. However, Westover digs deeper in this memoir. She wants to tell the story of her soul, not her accomplishments, and she writes surprisingly little of her life at Cambridge. Instead, like a tongue probing a sore tooth, her narrative returns to Bucks Peak, where her identity still lies. How can she break from her family without losing herself?

The answer does not come easily. Throughout her teens and into her graduate-school years, Westover suffers tremendous physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her older brother Shawn. He rages violently, and when Tara starts to wear makeup and date, she bears the brunt of his manic outbursts, which often leave her with broken bones and bruises. Westovers encounter, in college, with early feminist thinkers like John Stuart Mill and Mary Wollstonecraft, gives her a language to understand this experience. When she brings the abuse to her fathers attention, however, he refuses to acknowledge it, and eventually, the entire family, except for one brother, turns on her. Isolated and on the verge of psychological collapse while on a fellowship at Harvard, Westover begins to doubt her own memoryperhaps she imagined the abuse?

If we are made to mistrust our memories, how do we know who we are? Westovers entire memoir wrestles with this question. In doing so, she follows the lead of the Wests first autobiographer, St. Augustine. In Book 10 of the Confessions, he ties memory to identity and, specifically, to language:

[W]hen a true account is given of past events, what is brought forth from the memory is not the events themselves, which have passed away, but words formed from images of those events which as they happened and went on their way left some kind of traces in the mind.

It is fitting, then, that writing in her journal saves Tara Westover. After one particularly humiliating incident that involves Shawn dragging her through a parking lot, she decides, for the first time, to record the abuse in her journalnot just in the vague, shadowy language she usually uses to conceal the abuse from herself, but in terms of what actually happened. This action, she later writes, would change everything.

Even when it occurs in a private journal, writing is a communal activity, for the simple reason that language itself is. Putting her private experience into language enables Westovers subjectivity to become objectivity; she cannot erase its meaning, no matter how much she would like to. Writing the truth helps her realize that her voice might be as strong as the other ones that had narrated her life to that point.

Honesty defines Westovers voice, and redeems her book from occasional lapses into clich. When she recounts scrawling verses of Bob Marleys Redemption Song into her notebook for inspiration, readers are tempted to roll their eyes (attending a college party or two has a way of removing any illusions of Marley as a prophet). But to Westover, for whom the singer is an unknown until that point, Emancipate yourself from mental slavery is as fresh and charged with meaning as any line from Locke, Hume, or Rousseau. And though she has every reason to turn her family into villains, she tempers their faults with genuine affection, even for Shawn, whose violent paroxysms were often followed by moments of poignant tenderness.

For the ancient Greeks, education implied much more than our modern conception of receiving information or gaining experience. It meant entering into the patterns of the larger community, so that one becomes an individual only by learning from others and from the past. The Greeks called this process paideia, and it is precisely this concept that Homers Cyclopes lacked. Their caves may have granted them autonomy, but they were not individuals, because they lacked culture and community.

Educated is Tara Westovers account of becoming an individual through paideia. She ventures out into the world to discover her identity, and finds it only by making herself vulnerable to the truth, no matter where it lies or how painful it is. Her memoir provides a captivating account of her gradual discovery of an essentially Catholic truththat we exist in relation to others and to the world around us.

EducatedA MemoirTara WestoverRandom House, $28, 352 pp.

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Surviving Survivalism | Commonweal Magazine

Life Legacy – Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre

Let Us Pause To Honor the Memory of Mr. Taylor Robert Wingham

Mr. Taylor Robert Wingham, age 20, of Madison, Indiana entered this life on December 9, 1997 in Madison, Indiana. He was the loving son of Randall Lee Bowling and Bobbi J. Sage. He resided all of his life in Madison and was a 2016 graduate of Madison Consolidated High School with academic honors. He worked the production line at Arvin Sango in Madison. He was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church and participated in their youth activities. Taylor enjoyed shooting, target practice, playing the guitar, playing video games and survivalism. He was a loving son, brother, grandson and friend. Taylor died on Sunday, February 18, 2018, at 4:33 a.m. in the Emergency Room at the King's Daughters' Hospital in Madison, Indiana.

Click Here for Tribute or Funeral Service Video

A LOVING FAMILY Taylor will be missed by his loving mother, Bobbi J. Sage of Madison, Indiana; his loving sister, Chloe Sage of Madison, Indiana; his maternal grandma, Ruth Johns Witt Sage of Madison,, Indiana; his paternal grandma, Ernestine White of Austin, Indiana; his aunts, Venita Sweeney of Garner, North Carolina, Mona Lanzoni of Madison, Indiana, Veronica Martin and her husband, Gregg of Southlake, Texas; his uncles, Ray Bell of Madison, Indiana, Thomas Bowling of Scottsburg, Indiana; several cousins, great aunts, great uncles and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his father, Randall Lee Bowling, died July 8, 2002, his maternal grandpa, Robert William Sage, died January 12, 2005, his paternal grandpa, William Thomas Bowling, his cousin, Timothy Axl Lanzoni, died October 5, 2010.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE CEREMONY Celebration services will be conducted Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., by Pastor Dennis Ingle at the Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, 325 Demaree Drive in Madison, Indiana. Taylor will be laid to rest with his father in the Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Austin, Indiana.

VISITATION Friends may call Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and Thursday from 12:00 Noon until the time of service at the Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, 325 Demaree Drive Madison, Indiana.

MEMORIAL EXPRESSIONS Memorial contributions may be made to the Taylor Wingham Remembrance Fund. Cards are available at the funeral home. Online condolences,

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Survivalism (song) – NinWiki

"Survivalism" is the third track and the first single from the 2007 album Year Zero.

Survivalism is the belief that one must be prepared to survive a major catastrophe by stocking up on food and weapons. A survivalist therefore is a person who anticipates and prepares for a future disruption in local, regional or worldwide social or political order. Survivalists often prepare for this anticipated disruption by learning skills (e.g., emergency medical training), stockpiling food and water, or building structures that will help them to survive (e.g., an underground shelter).

On March 13, the source files for the song were released in GarageBand format at "Survivalism" is the third NIN song to be officially released as source files"Only" and "The Hand That Feeds" were previously released.

Found on Year Zero as well as the Survivalism single and promo. Characterized by much synthetic layering and a consistent eighth note drum machine pulse, matched by a single note bass riff that begins on the second eighth and ends on the eighth before repeating. This gives the song an apparent metric shift one eighth note forward, though the first downbeat of each measure is actually in the space between the stop and start of the bass and guitar riff. The chorus features many layers of group vocals, including some by Saul Williams. After the final chorus, a new guitar riff leads off a coda that builds in layers of drones until suddenly stopping and leading into "The Good Soldier."

Running Time: 4:30

This unmastered vocal-less mix was released by Reznor through his account.

A radio-friendly edited version that is found on the Survivalism promo. The word "whore" is edited out.

Running Time: 4:19

Included on the Survivalism single and Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D, this remix was created by Williams and Thavius Beck. The music isn't as guitar-driven as the album version and the chorus consists of Reznor's vocals with Williams' vocal contributions reduced significantly. The breakdown repeats the lyric "All a part of this great nation." There is also hand-clap percussion over pulsating beats and some distortion on Reznor's vocals at some points in the song. Although it may not seem as heavy as the original, it's still heavy in terms of percussion.

Remix: Saul Williams, Thavius Beck

Available on the UK 9" Vinyl Survivalism single. This remix, also by Williams, features him incorporating new lyrics into the verses and delivering them with more of a spoken word/hip-hop flow. Reznor's vocals become backing vocals on this track, allowing Williams to come to the front. The music is very similar to that used in the "Tardusted" version. The new lyrics sung by Williams are as follows:

The spoken word rhythm of this remix has a strong resemblance to Williams' song "P.G." from Saul Williams.

Running Time: 4:32

David Andrew Sitek is member of TV On The Radio, who opened for Nine Inch Nails during the With Teeth tour. This remix was originally available as a UK-only iTunes download. It came as a free bonus track packaged with the full album download of Year Zero. It is alternatively available on the Capital G single. It is akin to the original song sound-wise, but features a heavier and more plodding drum line. Additionally, it enhances Williams' back up vocals and makes them more prominent than in the original. The structure and length of the song remains relatively unchanged.

Running Time: 3:37

This is a remix by deadmau5, originally released through his official SoundCloud account in 2012, then commercially on his album while(1<2).

On 3/13/07 Garage Band files for Survivalism were released on Along with Survivalism, there was another file called Survivalism Our End Trip with some weird sounds. After rearranging the file through a spectogram, this was found. The following case number for Judson Ogram was found:

Filming for the "Survivalism" video began on February 5, 2007. It was directed by Alex Lieu, Rob Sheridan, and Reznor, and produced by Susan Bonds. The video was "leaked" to the internet via flash drives found dotted around the venue by people attending the Nine Inch Nails concert in London on March 7, 2007.

SPOILERS BEGINA wall of surveillance monitors details the activities of several people in an apartment building. A group of rebels is creating stencils and spray-painting the "Art Is Resistance" logo on walls. In an apartment, a pair of gay lovers share an intimate moment. In another dwelling, a young asian woman stands topless at her mirror doing her hair and applying make-up. Elsewhere someone is high on drugs, while a couple just sits on their couch in their home. A man is seen on a computer with several photos and news clippingsbehind him. Another man is seen on camera eating his dinner. Seen on several monitors is Nine Inch Nails playing the song in what is assumed to be their practice space. Intercut with these scenes is footage of armed soldiers, dressed like SWAT members, moving in on the building and one of the spaces in the video.

At the end of the video the people in the other monitors seem to respond to an ado in one of the spaces seen on the monitor wall. The space where NIN was playing has its door busted in and a pool of blood leading out, while all of the other cameras trained on the band have gone to static. At the very end a body is seen being dragged around a corner, leaving a trail of blood. Presumably the body is that of Reznor, as it wears the same scarf that he is seen wearing throughout the video.END SPOILERS

The video has aired on MTV2, but in a censored form. The screens with the woman at her mirror and the gay lovers have been replaced by a white screen bearing the seal of the US Bureau of Morality and the phrase "CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION." This is not unlike the use of SCENE MISSING screens in the "Closer" video. Interestingly enough, the word "whore" and the screen depicting the girl using opal are left intact. Even the ending scenes of the pool of blood in the band's space and the body getting dragged off are retained.

"Survivalism" was played live for the first time at the Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Spain, on February 19, 2007, and since then became a staple song for 2007 performance and all tours that followed. [3]

Here is a video of the performance in Barcelona.

During the Tension 2013 Tour, this song featured backing vocals by Lisa Fischer and Sharlotte Gibson.

However, the last lines of the third verse are changed to the following on the actual recording:

Originally posted here:

Survivalism (song) - NinWiki

Internal Authority vs. External Authority | Alligator …

Internal Authority vs. External Authority

The first concept to discuss is that anyone and everyone has it within themselves to find happiness by fullfilling their own individual needs. This means you are competent to fill your own needs and I am competent to fill my own needs. The spark of the divine is within our hearts and can guide us in the fulfillment of our needs if we will listen to it.

This spark of the divine has been called the Christ Spirit, God/dess of our hearts, the Master Within, our conscience or even the still small voice. It is an internal authority and not an external authority. The true path to mystic power and enlightenment is when we follow our inner authority above all others.

This inner authority knows and understands our True Will and reason for living in this lifetime. By being free to act according to our own true nature we will do what is best for ourselves and by doing the best for ourselve, we will at the same time benefit the rest of humanity. In becoming who we are truely meant to be, the entire world benefits. There is no need to conform to the demands of any external authority.

We must be free to act according to our own nature. Turning to an external authority such as government or religion or the law to solve our problems and fulfill our needs will never work. We cant allow ourselves to be forced or intimidated by any external authority.

We must remain true to our own Inner Self at all cost. We must not give our power away to others. This is what it means to be an Anarchistic Knight. We have each made a personal choice to follow our own inner authority above all others. OAK:Modern Survivalism is Todays Leader in Modern Survivalism. Who knows why one person gives up and dies while another struggles on through overwhelming odds and comes out on top? We all want to survive. But are we willing to do what needs to be done?

Anarchistic Knights-a serialadventure is a fiction story based upon survivalism values and principles. Survivalism is not fiction! It is real and the challenges we face in todays world require self empowerment training.

OAK:Foundations-a serialadventure gives the basics for modern survivalism and self empowerment techniques. Empower yourself today!

Anarchistic Knights Fan Site is where readers can share reviews and comments about Tobal and his friends. Comments are always appreciated. Check it out! Read what others are saying!

OAK:Tarot of Love and Romance is about the energy dynamics of love and human relationships. Why love sparks and why it sometimes dies. Can any of us really survive without love?

OAK:Magister Templi shows how modern science and chaos theory are compatable with advanced metaphysical concepts. Science is not in conflict with paranormal and supernatural activity.

OAK:Magick,Mystery and Madness is my own personal book of shadows. If you are interested in magick and energy work this is the place!

Alligator Alley:Modern Survivalism places the ancient knowledge of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons into modern context. Universal truths can be restated many ways but remain valid.

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Doomsday Desperation – Southern Poverty Law Center

According to the girlfriend, Mineo requested her to shoot him in the forehead at point-blank range. Police say Mineo and his girlfriend, both conspiracy theorists and doomsday preppers, were ostracized by an alien conspiracy cult that embraced apocalyptic biblical themes from the Book of Revelation. Fearing the coming end of the world, Mineo was overcome with despondency leading up to his death wish.

Last summer, fearing the end times, another prepper killed three men near his fortified compound in Great Cacapon, West Virginia. Erick Shute, who was also a sovereign citizen, says he shot the men with a .223-caliber rifle because they were cutting wood and trespassing on his land. Doomsday preppers often emphasize living off the land or off the grid and in isolation. Investigators found the tell-tale signs of a doomsday prepper when they searched Shutes property stockpiles of food, a cache of guns, and ammunition hoarding. There was also concern that Shute had placed land-mines on the property to protect its perimeter.

The murders in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are just the latest in a long string of brutal murders and suicides among those prepping for the end times. A year earlier, Michael Augustine Bournes murdered his wife and three children at their cabin in a remote Montana forest. Bournes, then set his house on fire and committed suicide. Neighbors describe him as a survivalist who lived off the grid.

On January 17, 2015, David Crowley, an aspiring conspiracy filmmaker and screenwriter, shot and killed his wife and daughter in their home in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He then committed suicide. Crowley had been working on a feature film project called Gray State, with a storyline that revolved around a coming police state after societal breakdown.

In September 2014, Benjamin and Kristi Strack of Springville, Utah, murdered three of their four children, with a poisonous cocktail of cold medicines laced with dextrorphan and doxylamine. They then killed themselves. Authorities later learned that the parents were worried about the evil in the world and wanted to escape a pending apocalypse. Family and friends reported the Stracks wanted to move somewhere far off the grid.

A few months later, Veronica Dunnachie was charged with the shooting deaths of her estranged husband and stepdaughter during a domestic dispute in Arlington, Texas. Both Veronica and her husband were members of the 3%ers Texas, a militia group, and had an affinity for prepping and learning survival skills. There are other murder/suicide cases (ie, Shane Franklin Miller, Jimmy Lee Dykes, and Peter Keller) that demonstrate the dark side of doomsday prepping.

Doomsday prepping has been an American subculture since the 1950s. During the 20th century, preppers fed on American fears in the aftermath of World War II, the nuclear arms race, civil unrest, and economic volatility. Similarly, the 21st century has brought new uncertainties, including Y2K, weather disasters, the Mayan end calendar, global terrorism, and more civil unrest. In light of these disastrous events and predictions, doomsday preppers emphasis on preparedness appears to make sense. Family preparedness may even be advisable. Nevertheless, beyond a few legitimate reasons, doomsday prepping, for the most part, represents a dark worldview that combines, to varying degrees, end-times apocalyptic views, an obsession with firearms (and other weaponry), conspiracy theories and too often an anti-government sentiment. When combined, these radical views become toxic and lead unsuspecting followers down a funnel of despair, which perpetuates fear, paranoia and extremism.

Preppers are best known for stockpiling supplies (e.g. food, water, medicine, fuel, etc.) and building bunkers in anticipation of an impending catastrophic event, such as a war, terrorist attack or disastrous natural occurrence. Prepping can be embraced both by individuals, who emphasize surviving alone, and groups which emphasize communal living. Examples of prepper communities include the Citadel project in Benewah County, Idaho; the Trident Lakes subdivision in Ector, Texas; and Ft. Igloo in Falls River, South Dakota.

Since the 1950s, Preppers, also known as survivalists, have spread their ideology and tradecraft through preparedness expositions, gun shows, literature, and religious institutions such as Mormons, Baptists, and cults. These trends continue today. Since 2008, the Prepper Movement has steadily increased membership and grown in both sophistication and creativity. Companies specializing in making bulk emergency supplies, like ready-made meals and water purification systems, have attested to this steady rise in popularity due to sales increases. Much like the 1990s, preparedness conventions continue to attract thousands of people at each event throughout the country.

The 2008 Presidential Election, coupled with the 2008 stock market crash, marked the beginning of the prepper renaissance. However, new factors have emerged that have influenced the recent popularity growth of doomsday prepping. In 2016, Donald Trumps election further stoked the fires of fear and paranoia within the Prepper community and far right extremists with his rhetoric concerning Muslim terrorist threats in the Homeland, nuclear threats from North Korea, criminal threats from immigrants and other security issues. As a result, the Prepper Movement remains popular and supply companies within the U.S. continue to report growing sales. For example, an Idaho-based emergency supplies company, called My Patriot Supply, doubled its online sales during the week of Inauguration Day compared to the same week in 2016. Georgia-based Doomsday Prep also noticed sales spikes on both Election Day and Inauguration Day. Since the 2016 election, it has seen more than a 15% growth.

Cable television shows, such as National Geographics Doomsday Preppers, Discoverys The Colony and Survivorman, have mainstreamed, and even glorified, survivalism and end times prepping. The advent of the Internet has also given preppers a new tool to recruit members and supporters, teach tradecraft using YouTube videos, as well as create entire online marketplaces for purchasing and selling prepper-related gear and other supplies. While there are various theories about what causes the world to end, Preppers are unified on the core beliefs that society is on the verge of collapse and the last days are near.

Besides spreading fear and paranoia and preparing for the end times, the Prepper Movement provides a gateway to more radical ideologies and extremist movements, such as militia groups, white supremacists, and sovereign citizens. Of particular concern, the Prepper Movement has experienced a disturbing trend of murders and suicide over the past four years.

As prepper deaths continue to mount, rumors have circulated on survivalist forums and other far right extremist websites about secret government hit lists or death lists targeting them. They claim that this trend of murder/suicides within the Prepper Movement is the work of a sinister government plot to get rid of them. They falsely believe these deaths are evidence of the Illuminatis existence and its activation of the New World Order plan to take over the world. In reality, these violent incidents are manifestations of how mounting anxiety, fear, and paranoia can lead to deepening depression and acts of desperation that, too often, leads to violence and lawlessness. Sadly, there are even more criminal incidents and arrests related to doomsday preppers.

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Doomsday Desperation - Southern Poverty Law Center

‘American Made’ Review: Tom Cruise Flies Between Comedy and Tension, Missing Both – TheWrap

Tom Cruise trashes his flashing-teeth hero image to play, if not a bad guy, then certainly a naughty one in the jaunty drug-running caper American Made.

Re-teaming with his Edge of Tomorrow (a.k.a. Live Die Repeat) director Doug Liman, Cruise plays Barry Seal, a real-life character who ran drugs, guns and money between Central America and Arkansas in the late 1970s and early 80s, while also working for the CIA.

Seal, a family man who started out as a pilot for TWA, eventually became embroiled in what blew up into the Iran-Contra scandal, as well as being a trusted delivery boy for the Medellin cocaine cartel lead by Pablo Escobar. He also earned himself millions of dollars in cash for his troubles.

Watch Video: Tom Cruise Is Back to Flying Planes in 'American Made' Trailer

Cruise slips into the role with a mischievous grin, although hes not exactly playing totally against type the way he did in, say, Magnolia. The idea is that his Barry is a slippery customer and a great pilot, more son-of-a-gun than Top Gun. With the first of several nods to Goodfellas, Cruise narrates the movie himself, although his to-camera testimonies are designed, we learn later, to incriminate his various employers.

Barry initially stumbles into the part but like a good American opportunist, he learns to game the system, using his CIA-sanctioned cover to become the gringo who delivers for Escobar and his henchmen. He comes home with suitcases stuffed so full of cash the green stuff practically falls out of the bedroom closets.

See Tom Cruise's latest POWER MOVE.

As director, Liman (whose father investigated the Iran-Contra affair) has covered the shaky moral ground of Langley in his Bourne franchise, and hes at it again here, while also trying to cram in and explain away some real political history. The film features three U.S. presidents: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and, as Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, as well as figures such as Oliver North and General Noriega. Even Nancy Reagan pops up to tell us again: Just Say No.

Liman is to be commended on not stooping to a mere 80s nostalgia fest, at least not too ironically (he offers a Rubiks Cube and couple of power ballads but, hey, everyone needs context), using the Cold War politics of the time rather than any awkward fashions or pop. I wonder, though, if he was tempted to show someone watching an early Brat Pack movie on VHS?

The problem is that Cruise, even when trying to cut loose, is always so tightly controlled that we never truly feel the reptilian survivalism of Barry Seal, nor does it feel like anyone on screen is actually enjoying themselves despite the repeated tequila parties and mountains of cash.

Also Read: Don't Tell Dwayne Johnson He Runs Like Tom Cruise

Earlyish in the picture, when Barry finds himself in a Colombian jail following a police raid, theres a bit of business around him having a tooth knocked out, a clear indication that Cruise knows hes denting his trademark choppers here. Interestingly, the movie never suggests Seal (or any of his pilot cohorts) got high on their own supply; he may want to play with his image, but dont think for a minute youll catch Tom Cruise snorting coke.

Limans tone, channelled through Cruise gently straining to deconstruct his own iconography, achieves neither real comedy nor actual tension. The movie feels lightweight, even while pointing fingers at the American governments meddling foreign policy and lies. The sense of the eras political absurdity goes missing. Maybe politics, no matter how ridiculous or how distant, just isnt a laughing matter any more.

Strangely, for a Cruise vehicle, American Made takes a while to get going, and, having never quite started, it doesnt really know when to finish. Theres a terrific climax involving the CIA, DEA, FBI and a bunch of other acronymical forces except it isnt the climax, and the movie drags on for quite a while after, forgetting that we really dont care much for the underwritten storyline of Barrys family and his wife Lucy, gamely played by Sarah Wright (Marry Me) in that increasingly thankless position of girl in Tom Cruise movie.

American Made isnt exactly an American Dud, but it is too self-conscious to be as fun as it wants to be. Its professional, slick and not terrible, as youd expect from, well, slick professionals such as Liman and Cruise. It looks vibrant and verdant (shot by Uruguayan DP Cesar Chalone, who did City of God), but for the gringo movie star who always delivers, it comes up a little short.

Tom Cruise wasn't "Born on the 4th of July," but he was close. The actor turned 55 Monday. We ranked hisfilms, from the so-so to the phenomenal.

41. "Cocktail"

Cruise's Type-A, adrenaline-fueled drive serves him very well in movies where the stakes are high. But Cocktail is just "Top Gun" behind a bar. The work-hard play-hard clichs at work here threatened to make Cruise the role model for handsome, affable, lame guys you swipe past on dating apps. Cruise smartly swiped away from roles like this.

40. "Endless Love"

Tom Cruise has a tiny partin this Brooke Shields melodrama, his first ever on-screen role. He stumbles off a soccer field, goes shirtlessand shares a story with the protagonist about how he almost burned his house down. You were probably sold at "goes shirtless."

39. "Legend"

Whats sillier: Tom Cruises unicorn or his hair? Legend was a lavish, fantastical adventure that turned out to be a massive box-office misfire from director Ridley Scott and Cruise.

38. "Austin Powers in Goldmember"

Cruise makes an amusing cameo as Austin Powers in a fake trailer for a movie-within-the-movie called Austinpussy. But this opening to the third Austin Powers is its only highlight.

37. "Far and Away"

Ron Howard directs Cruise and his then-partner Nicole Kidman in this romance between a wealthy landlords daughter and a poor Irish street fighter.Cruise's accent isn't great.

36. "Knight and Day"

Wacky, screwball action-comedies almost never work, and in James Mangolds Knight and Day, Cruise and Cameron Diaz werent exactly Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade." But the movie has its passionate fans.

35. "Interview With a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles"

This is probably the movie where you're most aware Cruise is acting. After all, hes playing a vampire. This showy, flashy role wouldve been better suited for someone like Johnny Depp. Cruises Lestat doesn't feel as hungry as most Tom Cruise characters, just thirsty. For blood.

34. "Losin' It"

Thankfully Cruise graduated from 80s teen sex-romps like this, but Curtis Hansons Losin It has some charm with Cruise running through Tijuana with a young Jackie Earle Haley, John Stockwell and a housewife played by Shelley Long.

33. "Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back"

The sequel to Jack Reacher was a rare, mediocre step back for Cruise.

32. "Rock of Ages"

Cruise doing his best Axl Rose impression as the rock-god Stacee Jaxx is the best part of this cute, harmless stage adaptation. He commits.

31. "The Outsiders"

Francis Ford Coppolas The Outsiders wasnt well reviewed at its time, but its a great time capsule of Cruise in a small part of a gang of other teen heartthrobs of the day, including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez. Many who grew u with it consider it a classic.

30. "All the Right Moves"

In one of theearly teen roles that would define his hard-driving persona, Cruise contends with a football coach played by Craig T. Nelson in a classicandwell-meaning but clichd sports movie.

29. "Days of Thunder"

Its Top Gun on wheels, with Tony Scott reuniting with Cruise as an up-and-coming racecar driver and pairing him for the first time with Nicole Kidman, as well as Robert Duvall. But by this point Cruise had already played the young hot shot too many times.

28. "Lions for Lambs"

Robert Redford aimed for intellectual pedigree with his political drama starring Cruise and Meryl Streep, but it mostly high-minded, overly-polished lecturing.

27. "Valkyrie"

Cruise plays a German officer who conspired to assassinate Hitler and assume power. We all know how that went. Thankfully, Cruise doesnt belabor a phony German accent, but Bryan Singers drama is mostly historical set dressing.

26. "Taps"

In just his second on-screen role, Cruise plays an unhinged military cadet who goes to extreme lengths to protect the academy when its threatened by encroaching condo developers. He almost steals the show from George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton and a young Sean Penn.

25. "Vanilla Sky"

Vanilla Sky contains a risky, very underrated Cruise role. Cruise goes from playing the cocky, unstoppable Cruise archetype to a deformed, defeated man trying to figure out what matters. Cameron Crowes remake of a Spanish-language film shifts genres stunningly, and its proved a polarizing movie in both Cruise and Crowes catalog.

24. "The Mummy"

From TheWrap's review: "Its the same loud, excessive strain of blockbuster thats cursing multiplexes, barely qualifying as horror, adventure, fantasy, thriller, or even Tom Cruise vehicle."

23. "The Last Samurai"

John Oliver has made The Last Samurai infamous as a prime example of Hollywoods Asian whitewashing. But Cruise is good enough to make it almost work. Its a solid samurai epic with Cruise fighting out of his element, playing an American Civil War official overseas as a dynasty comes to an end.

22. "Mission: Impossible II"

John Woos hyper-stylized sequel has Cruise free-hand scaling a massive, remote cliff, only to put on a pair of sunglasses and watch them explode. It all feels very '90s.

21. "Mission: Impossible III"

J.J. Abrams was brought in to reboot the franchise, so to speak, and he brought his signature lens flares, humor and gritty realism to the property. The films high point isnt Cruise, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the villain.

20. "The Firm"

Tom Cruise + John Grisham + Gene Hackman + Sydney Pollack? The Firm shouldve been a slam dunk, but its not even Cruises best courtroom drama.

19. "Oblivion"

Joseph Kosinskis Oblivion is visually stunning and finds Cruise tidying up Earth after the battle for humanity has ended and the planet has been evacuated. The sci-fi premise has promise but loses steam as some of the Morgan Freeman-delivered twists and parables start to come out.

18. "Jack Reacher"

Lee Child described Jack Reacher in his book as being 6 foot 5 inches tall, up to 250 pounds and having a 50-inch chest. That aint Tom Cruise. But Christopher McQuarrie extracts from Cruise a grizzled, angry action hero. Plus having Werner Herzog as your movies villain doesnt hurt.

17. "The Color of Money"

This was the movie that won Paul Newman his Oscar, a swan-song sequel to The Hustler by Martin Scorsese in which Cruise may as well be type-cast as the new arrogant upstart. But Cruise captivates with that infectious, cocky glint in his eye as he whips his cue around, knocking em dead to the tune of Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon.

16. "Tropic Thunder"

Cruise is hilariously unrecognizable beneath a balding wig, caked on makeup and some added pounds as Les Grossman, a raging, foul-mouthed studio exec. His fuming anger and profanity in this cameo makes him a pimple ready to burst, and his best dialogue isnt even fit to print.

15. "Rain Man"

Rain Man may actually be one of the more overrated Best Picture winners. Barry Levinsons film is just a road trip movie with a showy Dustin Hoffman performance at its center. And yet Cruise revealed an untapped tender side.

14. "War of the Worlds"

Critics were torn as to whether Cruise made a convincing father figure in Steven Spielbergs adaptation of the famous H.G. Wells story, but thehuman element elevated this already tense sci-fi thriller.

13. "Mission: Impossible"

The original Mission: Impossible benefits from Brian De Palmas homages to Hitchcock and other spy genre films, includingloopy twists and laughably great gadgets that explode fish tanks or transform peoples faces. But its rightfully famous for Cruises balletic, expertly executed heist as he dangles from the ceiling and tries not to break a sweat.

12. "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"

Five movies into the franchise, and Christopher McQuarries film was the first that suggested a future for this franchise beyond Cruise, taking the best elements of each subsequent M:I film and making them gel. It culminates in a slick assassination inside an opera and a standout new foil for Cruise in Rebecca Ferguson. And Cruise is just awesome in it.

11. "Collateral"

Cruise never gets to play the bad guy, but hes excellent at it. Michael Mann transformed Cruise into a mysterious silver fox and silent killer, toying with his hostage Jamie Foxxs mind and morality until the two form an unexpected bond.

10. "Top Gun"

Thirtyyears later and we still feel the need for speed. Theres still no better popcorn movie that flaunts 80s nostalgia, jingoistic Americana and hyper-masculinity than Top Gun. Plus that gloriously homoerotic volleyball scene.

9. "Risky Business"

When Tom Cruise slid across that wood floor in his underwear and a white dress shirt to the opening riff of Old Time Rock and Roll, that was it; a star was born. The movie as a whole channels everything that made Cruise a star, includinghis hot-shot attitude and smirking charm. But he alsosubverts and challenges other teen films.

8. "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

Brad Bird brought some of the cartoonish charm from Pixar over to the fourth M:I film, but he also staged one of the best action set pieces of this century. Yes, that really was Cruise dangling off the side of the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, and it paid off.

7. "Edge of Tomorrow"

Edge of Tomorrow is the kind of action movie that reminds you why Cruise is so reliable in his heroic roles. Cruise plays a captain in this sci-fi who sells a war to the public, but is privately a coward. When hes killed in battle and brought back to life in an endless vicious cycle played for pathos and some laughs, he regains composure. Emily Blunt gives a fantastic, hard-edged performance as well.

6. "A Few Good Men"

Cruise displays youthful goodness, decency and spirit in the face of juggernaut Jack Nicholson. "A Few Good Men" hasexactly the sort of rousing emotion Hollywood needs to tap into again to find morehit dramas for adults.

5. "Eyes Wide Shut"

All anyone wanted to talk about with Stanley Kubricks final film was the chemistry between Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman, or the lack thereof. But that icy demeanor in what presents itself as an erotic romance amplified the surreal mystery of the film and made Cruise vulnerable and human.

4. "Jerry Maguire"

The quintessential rom-com, Jerry Maguire is timeless yet also perfectly '90s. Cameron Crowes endlessly quotable screenplay wouldnt be quite the same without Cruises comic timing as he bellows Show Me the Money and lampoons his own hot-shot persona.

3. "Born on the Fourth of July"

As a crippled war vet in Oliver Stones Vietnam drama, Cruise turns from a starry-eyed, clean-cut soldier to a vocal, harried Vietnam protestor. Its a rebuke to the blind patriotism flaunted in Cruises own Top Gun and is one of Stones best films.

2. "Minority Report"

Steven Spielbergs sci-fi has aged beautifully, in part because Silicon Valley has borrowed so muchfrom it. Cruise looks so cool manipulating video in the Pre-Cog crime lab, he practically invented touch screens. Spielberg bakes endlessfun and invigorating, futuristic chase sequences into a screenplay that contemplates big questions of fate and free will.

1. "Magnolia"

Not only is this Paul Thomas Andersons magnum-opus, an epic, surreal character drama of love, family and the meaning of life, its Cruise at his most unhinged and commanding. He plays a vile, lascivious mens right advocate named Frank T.J. Mackey, whose mantra isrespect the cock. Cruise made it possible to dislike, even loathe one of his characters, and yet hes chillinglycharismatic.

Happy 55th birthday, Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise wasn't "Born on the 4th of July," but he was close. The actor turned 55 Monday. We ranked hisfilms, from the so-so to the phenomenal.


'American Made' Review: Tom Cruise Flies Between Comedy and Tension, Missing Both - TheWrap

Oregon ‘Hate Map’ Reveals 11 Racist, Separatist Hate Groups In The State –
Oregon 'Hate Map' Reveals 11 Racist, Separatist Hate Groups In The State
Based on the blog Donovan writes, the Wolves of Vinland Cascadia espouse masculinity, tribalism, and survivalism. Northwest Hammerskins The Hammerskins are an unapologetic racist skinhead group with chapters established across the continental ...
Hate MapIntelligence Report
Top three states with the most hate groups: Guess where Florida ranks?Miami Herald

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Oregon 'Hate Map' Reveals 11 Racist, Separatist Hate Groups In The State -

North Korean Tensions Are Spurring Doomsday Survival-Goods Sales – Fortune

Emergency preparedness and survival products are seeing a rise in sales and interest as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea mount. Though information is still anecdotal, several retailers speaking to the New York Times say theyve seen customers stocking up on emergency food supplies and other survival gear. Sales at the Emergency Essentials retail chain in Utah, for instance, were more than double their usual amount in the days after President Trumps fire and fury comments last Tuesday.

Google searches for terms including prepper and survivalism have also risen significantly over the last week. But theyre still well below all-time highs that came after the 2012 Presidential election win by Barack Obama, and not all preparedness retailers speaking to the Times have seen sales rise.

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Obamas election and re-election also triggered a sharp rise in gun sales. Thats partly because of fears that Obama would push through tougher gun control laws. But the rise in survivalism was also fueled by right-wing conspiracy theories , which sellers said had receded somewhat by 2013.

But the usual buyers of dehydrated food and camp stoves have much more faith in the Commander in Chief than they did his predecessora recent poll puts the Presidents approval rating among Republicans as high as 82%. With conservative politics such a major driver of the preparedness market, and despite fears over North Korea, the Trump presidency could wind up offering modest growth for the industry.

Responses to both North Koreas tests and Trumps bellicose language have been tepid more broadly. U.S. stock markets, usually hypersensitive to rumors of global war, dropped only 0.2% on the day of Trumps statements.

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North Korean Tensions Are Spurring Doomsday Survival-Goods Sales - Fortune

For Doomsday Preppers, the End of the World Is Good for Business – New York Times

Clearly, when something happens in the world like North Korea right now, it is on peoples minds, Mr. Sullivan said. It just causes them to rethink where they stand in the event of war, in the event of job loss, in the event of a natural disaster.

Not every company in the prepper industry has seen an uptick. Joe Marshall, managing editor of Survival Life, a website that supports an online retail operation and the Banana Bay Tactical shop in Austin, Tex., said it was too soon to see an impact on sales.

The truth is, theres been some chatter, he said, but for most of our people, theyre already preparing.

Google searches for prepper hit their highest level in a month on Tuesday, while searches for survivalism neared a high last reached in July, according to Google Trends, a site from the technology giant that shows what users have been researching.

Keith Bansemer, vice president of marketing at My Patriot Supply, which sells bulk food, water devices and seeds, said customers have started snapping up the companys six-month food supplies. They wanted to do something to feel more secure, he explained.

By prepping, youre actually alleviating fear, Mr. Bansemer said.

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For Doomsday Preppers, the End of the World Is Good for Business - New York Times

Film Review: Good Time – Consequence of Sound (blog)


Ben Safdie, Joshua Safdie


Jennifer Jason Leigh, Robert Pattinson, Barkhad Abdi

Like some of the best films about New York City, Good Time ably captures the constancy of movement at all hours of the night. Much of the films action takes place in half-empty hospitals and apartments and an amusement park after closing hours. Yet, in every case, somebody is still pulling a graveyard shift, getting high, looking out for their own, or just trying to get paid. That last bit is integral to Joshua and Ben Safdies harrowing single-night odyssey: were all hustling, in one way or another, all the time. Some are just a lot better at it than others.

Early on, it seems like Constantine Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) could be among the best. A straw-haired degenerate in an oversized hoodie, with wild eyes that exude canny survivalism and junkie panic in equal measures, Connie has bigger plans for himself and his brother, Nick (co-director Ben). An unnerving early sequence watches Nick, captured in the Safdies already-signature nauseating close-ups, as he attempts to work through a behavioral therapy session. Nick deals with some sort of neurological disability, but Connie refuses to allow his brother to be put through sessions that he finds both demeaning and upsetting to his brother. (For his part, Nicks difficulty with regard to even basic questions suggests that he absolutely should be getting more help than hes evidently had.) As Connie tells him, Its just you and me. Im your friend. Alright?

And then Connie and Nick don facial prosthetics and stage one of the more exhilarating bank robberies in recent cinematic history, made all the more so by the matter-of-fact staging with which its delivered. Good Time is a wandering film, and not all of its many digressions land. But the best ones, starting with the robbery and its screw-tightening aftermath, offer the kind of pure cinema capable of sending even the most jaded critics and audiences into fits of white-knuckle panic. Connie is simultaneously more shrewd than his wiry appearance would suggest and tragically over-convinced of his own genius. Soon an unexpected paint bag is triggered, Nick ends up in police custody and sent off to await trial on Rikers Island, and Connie is left to somehow obtain $10,000 for Nicks bail before things can get any worse.

Over the course of a night bathed in neon, pitch-darkness, and depravity, Connie encounters a number of fellow strays on his way to save Nick from the kind of hell that Connie himself has created for his brother. Good Time recalls the wearily hallucinatory qualities of other one-shot stories like Night on Earth and After Hours, but what the Safdies and co-screenwriter Ronald Bronstein accomplish here is a film of a distinctly filthy ilk. The Safdies exceptional 2015 feature Heaven Knows What displayed a similarly keen eye for the rituals of the day-at-a-time criminal, but where that film took a borderline anti-narrative approach to its travels alongside an unrepentant heroin addict, Good Time functions on more of a rail, albeit a ferocious one.

Good Time takes an episodic approach to Connies journey, and those episodes are consistently engaging, even as some of them occasionally threaten to leech away at the films breakneck momentum. One vignette involving a siege on a hospital leads to a remarkable gallows punchline. Connie finds a moment of respite with Crystal (Taliah Webster), an underage girl who recognizes Connies need for shelter as both suspicious and not worth causing too much trouble over. A security guard at that aforementioned theme park (Barkhad Abdi) finds himself with the severe misfortune of happening onto Connies barreling path. Some leave more of an impression than others; an encounter with a beaten parolee (Buddy Duress) leads to an onscreen digression so lengthy that it at once fits well within the films anything-goes rhythm and brings it to a near-complete halt. (Its nevertheless a damned funny few minutes of filmmaking, in a vacuum.) Connies frantic appeals to Corey (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a well-off but unreliable lover, feel equally at odds with the films central story, even if Leighs nervous performance serves as one of the films many deft methods of creating absolute unease.

The Safdies build a world of constant paranoia in every way, from the shaky handheld photography to the endless parade of strangers existing as possible would-be hazards. But the most exceptional method is the rattling, sumptuous score by Oneohtrix Point Never. That its easily the best compositional work to grace any 2017 film to date is secondary; this is one of those rare film scores that emerges as its own character, as integral to the success of Good Time as any of the films impressive performances. As the Safdies race from one stunning image to the next (a zoomed-out crane motif framing Connie as a constant rat in an overwhelming maze, a dark room lit solely by a grainy television), OPNs endless cycles of oppressive synths and dissonant electronic sounds conjure unease even in the most straightforward moments of respite. The score is a faithful mirror of Connies psyche, all panic and terror and fleeting instances of stoned, euphoric grandeur.

Good Time is a film of trembling anxiety, and while the score and the Safdies terrific direction both aid this, its Pattinsons outstanding performance that pins even the most outlandish occurrences to a deep sense of emotion. The actor, having long abandoned the days of stiff paycheck roles for increasingly ambitious fare, delivers a feral star turn that should more than silence any remaining skeptics. Like an animal, Connie simply reacts with an alarming lack of forethought, and Pattinson almost appears to be piecing each scene together as he goes along. But this is a meticulous performance; his slow crescendo of harrowing desperation builds to one lingering shot that builds a wealth of meaning out of the actors tightly framed visage, defining the entire film before it in a single image of Pattinsons face. In a world of near-anarchy, its Connie who holds it all together.

At one point in his journey, Connie asserts that something is happening to me tonight, and I feel like its deeply connected to my purpose. Its a purpose rife with drugs and exploitation and an inexplicable allusion to Pepe the Frog that will undoubtedly spur on many an addled debate in the coming weeks, but its a purpose that Connie pursues with alarming velocity. In its immersion in a world full of scrambling and sweat and constant alarm, Good Time observes something primal about the worlds that exist beneath the worlds in which so many other movies are made and viewed. Theres no time for thinking and even less for processing. You simply react until you cant any longer.


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Film Review: The Glass Castle Fails on Almost Every Level – Splice Today

In The Glass Castle, the charismatic, larger-than-life father of a huge family drags his brood across the country, defending his unconventional worldview and nontraditional parenting methods against a skeptical world. This was also the premise of another movie, Captain Fantastic, which came out a year ago, featuring Viggo Mortensen as a very similar father, raging all film long about the failures and corruption of the square world. The Glass Castle, despite some good performances, mostly fails for the same reason Captain Fantastic did: It gives its father character a redemption, and a canonization, that he doesnt deserve.

The Glass Castle is based on the bestselling memoir by Jeannette Walls, who was a magazine gossip columnist in 1980s-90s New York City, and a sometime MSNBC fixture. Brie Larson plays Walls, and the book tells the story of her very nontraditional upbringing, in which Walls and her three siblings were herded around the rural West and South by their parents (Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts), as their neer-do-well dad fled creditors, pursued one failed scheme after another, and drank a hell of a lot.

Walls fathers worldview isnt that far off from Mortensens in Captain Fantastic: a combination of vague political leftism, paranoia, and off-the-grid survivalism, although The Glass Castle version combines this with crippling alcoholism and a failure to ever follow through on any of his big plans. His oft-mentioned, never-realized plot to build a glass-enclosed dream home gives the memoir, and film, its title.

The Glass Castle toggles back and forth between Walls childhood and her adulthood, as a rising gossip columnist wearing Working Girl-style fashions and preparing to marry a finance guy (New Girls Max Greenfield, playing the part not nearly as Scaramucci-like as he probably should have).The flashbacks, over and over, show Harrelson as a caring but largely out-of-control dad, seemingly not allowing his children to go to school or see doctors, and exposing his family to all sorts of horrors, up to and including leaving them in the care of a relative who, its implied, is a known sexual abuser. Watts plays the mom as more of a space cadet, a much more natural use of the actress talents than the Twin Peaks revival has shown us so far.

But then the film, in its third act, pivots and makes a hero out of this drunken man, through a couple of strategically inserted flashbacks. It also concludes with a rather ridiculous either/or: Be a soulless 1980s Manhattan yuppie, or buy in to the Rex Walls Way. There are no other options for how to live ones life. This pivot all but ruins the film because its so unearned.

The Glass Castle was directed by Daniel Desson Cretton, whose previous film, Short Term 12, was one of the best films of 2013 and among the best indie movies this decade. It also starred Larson, as a counselor at a group home, and cemented her as an actress of the top tier; that performance was much more deserving of awards attention than her part in Room, which won Larson a Best Actress Oscar two years ago.

Crettons new film, unfortunately, is a big step down, and the filmmaking isnt all that impressive either. One scene, in which Harrelson repeatedly throws a young Jeannette into a pool, is painfully on the nose even before Harrelson explains afterward that its a metaphor for life itself. Another big weakness? The film barely touches on Walls work as a gossip columnist, or how her unconventional upbringing led her to such work.

Harrelson has been on something of a roll lately. His Kilgore/Kurtz routine in this summers War For the Planet of the Apes was the best thing about that film, and he gave a stirring, quietly against-type performance in last years outstanding The Edge of Seventeen. Here, though? His performance as Rex is a lot of scenery-chewing and overacting. Larson is better, but shes starting to get typecast as a young woman coming to turns with victimizationwhich was a revelation in Short Term 12, but at this point shes repeating herself. Fans of the book, and Walls other writing, may appreciate the film version of The Glass Castle. But otherwise, theres not much reason to see it.

Whose Streets? Is an Illuminating Look at Ferguson Protests. B

Whose Streets? is part of a burgeoning genre of on-the-ground documentaries about the Ferguson protests and other recent major demonstrations against police brutality. Craig Atkinsons Do Not Resist, last fall, got there first, with a more overarching look at how law enforcement culture led to those events.

Directed by Sabaah Folayan, Whose Streets?, a Sundance selection from January, focuses more specifically on a handful of protestors who were on the ground in Ferguson. It follows a few protesters over the course of about a two-year period, through some raw and often uncomfortable stuff. Its infuriating, but very well done. The challenge with any film like this is that a lot of similar footage was shown on the news, for hours, every night for weeks and even months, back in 2014. Folayans film meets this challenge by going in-depth with several people, the most compelling of which is Britanny Farrell, a nursing student who at one point faced jail over her role in the protests. We also see one of those block-the-highway protests, from the standpoint, for a change, of the ones doing the blocking.

There are some egregious sins of omissionthe film mentions the Department of Justice report about systematic bias in the Ferguson Police Department, but leaves out the other DOJ report, from the same day, that sided with Darren Wilsons version of events. But overall, Whose Streets? is a compelling, nerve-wracking, and illuminating look at a fraught subject.


Film Review: The Glass Castle Fails on Almost Every Level - Splice Today

What I Learned From the Neo-Nazi in My Prison Book Club | The … – The Marshall Project

By Karen Lausa

Perspectives from those who work and live in the criminal justice system.

This article was published in collaboration with Vice.

My heart was beating fast. I threw off my sweater suddenly I was feeling very warm. And then I read this line in my students essay: Mein Kampf was my go-to book.

I facilitate the Words Beyond Bars book discussion group, which meets in a cinderblock classroom in Colorados largest prison facility. Its a bi-monthly education class, and the final book we read last semester was In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson. A psychological history of U.S. Ambassador William Dodds tenure in the early, developing years of Nazi Germany, it ignited a discussion that ranged from world politics to the end of German cultural enlightenment to Hitlers early bedazzlement of his nation.

But even volunteering in prison, I didnt expect to read an essay like this one.

I hate government and nothing good comes of it and most people in it are vile, wrote my student, who is serving a 60-plus-year sentence for an assault conviction. There was a time when Hitler was a glorified word, and he was considered Uncle Adolf by me and those I lived around.

His words forced me to check my own mantra, one Id had to hone in order to work in a prison: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, their own story. The question I now had to ask was whether knowing this mans views was a game-changer for me more so than knowing what his crime had been. Did I suddenly dislike him now?

The 25 participants of my class a racially diverse group of black, white, Latino and Native American inmates are required to submit reflection papers after completing each book. As their facilitator, I critique their writing after I return home, frequently impressed by the deep thinkers and their attention to plot, character and setting.

In this case, the plot included the nonfiction extermination of the Jews.

Was this book a poorly considered selection? A lifer in the last group had written me a kite in prison lingo, a written request touting it as a favorite, and it had five stars on Amazon. So why not?

In our discussion about Larsons book, the questions ranged from, Why did everyone hate the Jews so much? to, Does anyone notice how Hitlers timing was as perfect as Donald Trumps? At one point in the conversation, I shared that my own parents had fled Germany early on, reviled for their religion as early as 1933.

But this essay was the first time a student of mine had exposed me to his race-related beliefs and the mantra of white survivalism. Almost worse, he was sharing his views quite respectfully, almost eloquently hes not a bad writer. Hed been a book group participant three sessions in a row and had devoured everything we read with perceptive and illuminating observations. He was an asset to the program and generous with praise to othersId really liked him.

I just didnt know all that was inside him. I didnt realize that the man clad in prison green sitting across from me had been raised in a family for which National Socialist ideology was the gospel.

I read on through his confessional paper, sipping my coffee in silence. As I absorbed his remarks about the demise of white culture in our country today, I felt hoodwinked, foolish for ever believing that our book discussion group could be as transformative as I passionately insist it is. Interacting as a small community of readers is the model for this program, never mind that each person who enters the room committed a felony and is guilty of a serious, often violent, crime. We sit in a circle to symbolize equality. I absolutely believe these men are more than the thing they did, often decades earlier.

Why, then, was I questioning this man, whom I know and respect? Who was the hypocrite here? I was not being duped by this mans story he was stating his truth. I felt misled, but by myself: accepting these men as long as they didnt cross my boundaries with their beliefs. Or maybe Id been romanticizing my ability to heal them with the right book.

Could what a warden once suggested to me be true that the guys show up in my class just as a diversion, to get out of their cells and hang around a woman?

My student admitted, toward the end of his paper, that he was apprehensive to share his background. After explaining that it was how he was raised, he confided, I have not totally given up on it, but I have backed way away from much of the extreme hatred that is carried with the Nazi party followers.

Returning to the subject of the book discussion group, he began a final paragraph with, I found a way to break free from those suffocating bonds. I joined Words Beyond Bars, a book club. It helps people open up and look at things in a different light. Expanding your mind and being around people you normally wouldnt talk to.

I came to this work as a way to thread together my love for literature and my desire to nudge the culture of mass incarceration toward a less punitive, more humanizing system. The men are, in general, polite, grateful, engaged, and desperate for more education. They long for validation and a way to retain their individuality in a grey landscape of sameness, day after day.

The closing of the paper was both moving and disturbing. The writer concludes, Id do anything to be a productive member of this society. In doing so I have begun to change. The confines of prison have led me to a certain degree of personal freedom. Freedom in prison what a concept.

By the time I get to the end, gone is my sense of being misled. I no longer question my book choice for the discussion group. And I have reached an understanding about this man, one of many.

Karen Lausa is the developer and facilitator of Words Beyond Bars, a book discussion group held in Colorado correctional facilities.

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What I Learned From the Neo-Nazi in My Prison Book Club | The ... - The Marshall Project

Noir Thriller Wind River Examines An Ignored America – Willamette Week

Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation is as sprawling as it is empty. It's prone to blizzards except for when it's too cold even for snow. It's a hell of a place to examine an ignored America and a fitting setting for a noir thriller.

In the directorial debut from Taylor Sheridan (writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water) a game tracker (Jeremy Renner) discovers the frozen body of a young Native woman. A hardscrabble investigation unfolds, and the tracker joins forces with an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen), the tribal police chief (Graham Greene) and myriad snowmobiles.

Sheridan excels at simple turns of phrase and leading us into a rat's nest of violence. But Wind River meditates on loss more than it burns through plot, and it occasionally feels heavy handed. We get itRenner's character has a backstory that makes this crime personal. There are constant references to predators and prey, and it's fueled with male aggression and female pain.

But while those pitfalls are common, Wind River's unexplored geography, depth of spirit and honoring of survivalism are not.


Rated R. Bridgeport, Division, Tigard, Vancouver.

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Noir Thriller Wind River Examines An Ignored America - Willamette Week

Naked – slantmagazine

Based on a Swedish film that itself was branded a shameless rip-off of Groundhog Day, Michael Tiddess Neflix production Naked feels stiflingly plastic-wrapped and freeze-driedan example of an elevator pitch literally becoming an elevator pitch. Beyond being retrograde, its anachronistic in the context of its distribution format. If streaming services offer the opportunity for filmmakers to explore their own freaky muses free from the expectations of mass crossover appeal, why does everyone here feel like theyre stuck on an assembly line? Sure, its a thematic mirror of the main characters plight, but that only makes the audiences journey toward the final credits feel as interminable as the main characters struggle to break his time loop.

Rob Anderson (Marlon Wayans) is a part-time English teacher at a swank prep school, asking his students to choose between The Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies because he knows his students are far more likely to identify with the highly entitled form of rebellion of Holden Caufield than admit to wanting to kill Piggy, and loves throwing Lord of the Fliess island survivalism back in their faces. And yet, he doesnt have a thing in his life in order other than the fact that hes heading to the altar with Megan Swope (Regina Hall), a successful pediatric doctor with a formidable business-mogul father, Reginald (Dennis Haysbert), who, needless to say, looks at Rob like something sticking to the bottom of his shoe. Megan heads out for a day-before-the-wedding bachelorette party, and Rob and his best man head out for a quick nightcap. Then Rob wakes up naked on the floor of an elevator.

Right from the very beginning of Robs cruel cycle that sees him repeatedly returning to the floor of that elevator every time the church bells at his wedding begin to ring, Naked besmirches the reasons that Groundhog Days Mbius-strip construction worked. The 1993 film laid a trap out of mundanity, not extraordinary circumstances, highlighting the silently crippling weirdness of modern lifes patterns. Or, if youre particularly high on Groundhog Day writer-director Harold Ramiss intentions, it represents the spiritual journey toward the ultimate goal of self-transcendence in the Buddhist sense. Naked, on the other hand, doesnt suggest purgatory so much as hell, with Rob being punished by the universe and being forced to decipher the reason why.

Actually, its not even that abstract. Its rapidly clear that Rob needs to solve a mysteryhow did he end up naked on the floor of an elevator?in order to stop ending, as per the unofficial theme song from special guest star Brian McKnight, Back at One. And so, in contrast to Bill Murrays Phil Connors, Rob isnt tasked to become a better version of himself. Hes challenged to be the person his fianc and father want him to be, and the universe itself wont let him explore the very real possibility that he may simply be in the wrong relationship. Then again, in a world in which McKnight is the supreme muse, who are we mere mortals to question the vagaries of true love?

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Naked - slantmagazine

Silicon Valley luminaries are busily preparing for when robots take … – Mashable

Image: tristan quinn / bbc

By Jamie Bartlett2017-08-06 16:55:52 UTC

Until a couple of years ago, Antonio Garcia Martinez was living the dream life: a tech-start up guy in Silicon Valley, surrounded by hip young millionaires and open plan offices.

He'd sold his online ad company to Twitter for a small fortune, and was working as a senior exec at Facebook (an experience he wrote up in his best-selling book, Chaos Monkeys). But at some point in 2015, he looked into the not-too-distant future and saw a very bleak world, one that was nothing like the polished utopia of connectivity and total information promised by his colleagues.

"Ive seen whats coming," he told me when I visited him recently for BBC Twos Secrets of Silicon Valley. "And its a big self-driving truck thats about to run over this economy."

Antonio is worried about where modern technology especially the twin forces of automation and artificial intelligence is taking us. He thinks its developing much faster than people outside Silicon Valley realize, and were on the cusp of another industrial revolution that will rip through the economy and destroy millions of jobs.

"Every time I meet someone from outside Silicon Valley a normy I can think of 10 companies that are working madly to put that person out of a job."

Antonio estimates that within 30 years, half of us will be jobless. "Things could get ugly," he told me. Its very scary, I think we could have some very dark days ahead of us."

Think of the miners strike, but in every industry. People could be be driven to the streets, he fears, and in America at least, those people have guns. Law and order could break down, he says, maybe there will be some kind of violent revolution.

So, just passing 40, Antonio decided he needed some form of getaway, a place to escape if things turn sour. He now lives most of his life on a small Island called Orcas off the coast of Washington State, on five Walt Whitman acres that are only accessible by 4x4 via a bumpy dirt path that just about cuts through densely packed trees.

Instead of gleaming glass buildings and tastefully exposed brick, his new arrangements include: a tepee, a building plot, some guns, 5.56mm rounds, a compost toilet, a generator, wires, and soon-to-be-installed solar panels. It feels a million miles from his old stomping ground.

Former Facebook executive Antonio Garcia Martinez at his remote island hideout, ready in case automation causes social breakdown

Image: tristan quinn / bbc

Antonio isnt the only tech entrepreneur wondering if were clicking and swiping our way to dystopia. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and influential investor, told The New Yorker earlier this year that around half of all Silicon Valley billionaires have some degree of apocalypse insurance. Pay-Pal co-founder and influential venture capitalist Peter Thiel recently bought a 477-acre bolthole in New Zealand, and became a kiwi national to boot.

Others are getting together in secret Facebook groups to discuss survivalism tactics: helicopters, bomb-proofing, gold. Its not all driven by fears about technology terrorism, natural disasters, and pandemics also feature but much is.

According to Antonio, many tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are just as pessimistic as he is about the future theyre building. They dont say it in public of course, because whats the point. Its inevitable, they say; technology cant be stopped. Its a force of nature.

Even just a couple of years ago, this would have sounded like just another exhibit in the long-tradition of American dystopian paranoia. But the robot jobs apocalypse argument is starting to sound more reasonable by the day.

"Ive seen whats coming, and its a big self-driving truck thats about to run over this economy."

The Economist, MIT Review, and Harvard Business Review have all recently published articles about how the economy is on the brink of transformation. President Obamas team suggested driverless cars would dispense with 3 million jobs pretty soon. According to the Bank of England, as many as 15 million British jobs might disappear within a generation.

I blame Hollywood for our lack of preparedness. Thanks to Blade Runner, Terminator, Ex Machina and the rest, artificial intelligence is now synonymous with sentient robots taking our jobs, our women, or our lives. Forget all that.

The A.I. revolution comes in the less sexy form of machine learning algorithms, which essentially means giving a machine lots of examples from which it can learn how to mimic human behaviour. It relies on data to improve, which creates a powerful feedback loop: more data fed in makes it smarter, which allows it to make more sense of any new data, which makes it smarter, and on and on and on.

Antonio thinks were entering into this sort of feedback loop. Over the last year or so, various forms of machine learning technology, teamed up with robotics, are making inroads into brick-laying, fruit-picking, burger-flipping, banking, trading, and driving. Even, heaven forbid, journalism and photography. Every year will bring more depressing news of things machines are better than us at.

New technology in the past has tended to increase markets and jobs. In the last industrial revolution, machinery freed up humans from physical tasks, allowing us to focus on mental ones. But this time, A.I. might have both covered.

Machine learning can, for example, already outperform the best doctors at diagnosing illness from CT scans, by running through millions of correct and thousands of incorrect examples real life doctors have produced over the years. Potentially no industry will be untouched.

Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, 27 year old founder of Starsky Robotics who are using $5 million of investment to develop self driving trucks.

Image: tristan quinn / bbc

The latest wave of machine learning is even smarter. It involves teaching machines to solve problems for themselves rather than just feeding them examples, by setting out rules and letting them get on with it. This has had particularly promising results when training neural networks (networks of artificial neurons that behave a little like real ones), using an approach called deep learning.

Recently, some neural network chatbots from Facebook were revealed to have gone rogue and invented their own language, before researchers shut them off. These simple chatbots were given a load of examples to spot basic patterns in human communication, and then conversed with themselves millions of times in order to figure out how negotiate with humans. What followed appeared as a stream of nonsense:

Bob: i can i i everything else.

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

No human, with the possible exception of one Chuckle Brother, talks like this. But the failed experiment proved an important point. It seems these chatbots had calculated, within the parameters of their task, and without human intervention, a more efficient way of negotiating. This is the essence of deep learning: coming up with new ways to tackle problems that are beyond us.

In the same week, Elon Musk (who believes A.I. is a great threat to humanity) and Mark Zuckerberg (who does not) got into a public row about the risks of letting A.I. like this loose. Zuck said Musk was irresponsible. Musk said Zuck's understanding of the subject was 'limited.' But this misses the point.

A.I. is not about to go Skynet on us. These chatbots hadnt developed some sinister secret language. But mega-efficiency or neural network problem solving might be just as disruptive. True, some of the recent fear about the coming age of the robots is probably overdone. Were not all about to be turfed out by bots. And weve always had disruption: people were warning about a jobless economy 50 years ago too. Weve always found new jobs, and new ways to entertain ourselves.

Around half of all Silicon Valley billionaires have some degree of apocalypse insurance.

Let's not forget the wonders of A.I., such as dramatically improving how doctors diagnose, which will certainly save lives. It will stimulate all sorts of exciting new research areas. Replacing people with machines will have other benefits, too: driverless lorries would almost certainly be safer than exhausted driver-full ones.

The most likely scenario, reckons Antonio, is a gradual dislocation of the economy and an accompanying escalation of unrest. David Autor, an MIT economist, reckons we could be heading toward a bar-belled shaped economy.

There will be a few lucrative tech jobs at the top of the market, but many of the middling jobs trucking, manufacturing will wither away. They will be replaced by jobs that cant be automated, in the low paid service sector. Maybe there will be new jobs who imagined app developer would be a profession but will they be the same sort of jobs? Will they be in the same places, or clustered together in already well-off cities?

Drivers alone taxi or truckers make up around 17 percent of the U.S. adult work force. Taxis are often the first jobs for newly arrived, low-skilled migrants; trucking is one of the reasonably well-paid jobs for Americans that are not highly educated. What are they going to do instead? Are the cashier operators, and burger flippers going to retrain overnight, and become software developers and poets?

At the very least it seems economic and social disruption and turbulence as we muddle through are likely. The whole shape of the economy could change too. Some worry about the possibility of growing inequality between the tech-innovators who own all the tech assets and the rest of us. A world where you either work for the machines or the machines work for you.

What does that mean for peoples sense of fairness or agency or well-being? Or the ability of governments to raise taxes? The Silicon Valley survivalists fear that, if this happens, people will look for scapegoats. And they might decide that techies are it.

Jamie Bartlett outside Apples new $5 billion HQ

Image: Tristan quinn / bbc

One of the questions I asked as part of this programme is whether we are prepared. We dont even know how little we know; and our politicians seem to know even less. I found one mention of artificial intelligence in the 2017 party manifestos.

When asked recently about the future of artificial intelligence and automation, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin replied that its not even on our radar screen and that hes not worried at all. A couple of months back his boss climbed into a huge rig wearing an I love trucks badge, just as nearly everyone in Silicon Valley agreed that the industry was about to be decimated.

Antonio told me in the race between technology and politics the technologists are winning. They will destroy jobs and economies before we even react to them.

Still, guns and solar panels? Survivalism seems like overkill to me. "What do you have?" Antonio asks, fiddling around with a tape measure outside his giant tepee. "Youre just betting that it doesnt happen."

Before I can answer, he tells precisely me what I have: "You have hope, thats what you have. Hope. And hope is a shitty hedge."


Silicon Valley luminaries are busily preparing for when robots take ... - Mashable

Webster – Soundblab

In town for the Panorama music festival, Nine Inch Nails decided to drop by Webster Hall with Tobacco, fill it with fog, and slowly asphyxiate everyone inside with heat and punishingly loud music. While the size of the venue made it the definition of intimate (about a 1200 person capacity), it was more than that; Reznor forewent the subtle costuming from the festival shows and, right before introducing the band, stated you know who they are. And that was true. The show was announced on the Nine Inch Nails Facebook page eight and a half hours before doors, with tickets only available to fans who had a password or to those loyal store patrons via an email from the band.

The show featured the live debut of Shes Gone Away* and a few welcome surprises in the form of the tour debut of Sanctified, 1,000,000 and Somewhat Damaged, that last as the opener. Then there was the odd inclusion of about thirty seconds of How To Destroy Angels The loop closes. Since all of HTDA was there and on stage except for Mariqueen Maandig, the crowd was expecting a rare treat, but before everyone could really grasp what was happening, they stopped playing it and moved onto the next track. Gave Up, Reptile and Burning Bright" were devastating in the confined space and the addition of Survivalism had people screaming along and pumping their fists like protestors. The moment when all the lights went out during Burn" was truly terrifying; I thought Robin Finck was going to leap off the stage and stab me to death with a shard of shattered guitar, which, admittedly, would have been a pretty awesome way to die. Proximity, energy, and setlist aside, my absolute favorite moment of this evening was that, for the first time since I started seeing Nine Inch Nails almost twenty years agothey did not. Fucking. Play. The Hand That Feeds. The simple lack of that overused, cookie-cutter, threadbare-kitchen-rug of a song made this show stand out more than anything in recent memory. I am truly grateful. And spoiled.

Nine Inch Nails plans to tour in early 2018 in support of their trilogy of EPs, the third of which is slated for release in late 2017 / early 2018.

* From that episode of Twin Peaks.

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Webster - Soundblab