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Category Archives: Politically Incorrect

The Fizz think their 1981 performance would be "too politically incorrect" in 2020 – ESCXTRA.com

Posted: March 5, 2020 at 7:01 pm

When talking with the British tabloid Daily Star, the members of The Fizz say that their winning performance would be too politically incorrect in todays contest. They also have different views on if United Kingdom should take part in the contest or not.

As Bucks Fizz, the trio, Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston and Mike Nolan, along with former member Bobby G, won the Eurovision Song Contest 1981. Back in 2011, the group got into a legal conflict with Bobby G and later started performing under the name The Fizz.

At the interview, Mike Nolan reckons that the skirt-ripping routine would be too much for the contest today.

It would be too politically incorrect to rip the skirts off todaythe crap they come out with. I think the whole thing has got out of hand now. You cant even tell Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman jokes any more. Get a life! Get in the real world.

Jay Aston also feels some of the best British qualities are being ruined by the political correctness culture. She says that the British sense of humour is what makes this country great.

The three members of the group share different views on if United Kingdom should still take part in the contest. Mike says that the country should pull out of the contest.

Pull out it, it costs us a flaming fortune to enter to come down the bottom. Even if we have the best song, well never win because they just dont vote for you.

The two women of the group disagree and believe that the country should put on a good show to win the contest again. Jay says that instead of sending someone who stands there with a mic, they should do something very radical, put a show on.

Next year it has been 40 years since the group won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Making Your Mind Up. Cheryl Baker says that they are planning some big things for the anniversary.

Next year is 40 years since we won so we are planning big things. We should go back to Eurovision as guests or to sing.

Would you like to see The Fizz back in the contest? Let us know below or on social media @ESCXTRA!

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week roars with lots of great fun, entertainment – Bonner County Daily Bee

Posted: at 7:01 pm

Bonner County Daily Bee - Entertainment, week roars with lots of great fun, entertainment '); $(this).addClass('expanded'); $(this).animate({ height: imgHeight + 'px' }); } } }); }); function closeExpand(element) { $(element).parent('.expand-ad').animate({ height: '30px' }, function () { $(element).parent('.expand-ad').removeClass('expanded'); $(element).remove(); }); } function runExpandableAd() { setTimeout(function() { $('.expand-ad').animate({ height: $('.expand-ad img').height() + 'px' }); }, 2000); setTimeout(function() { $('.expand-ad').animate({ height: '30px' }); }, 4000); } function customPencilSize(size) { var ratio = 960/size; var screenWidth = $('body').width(); if (screenWidth > 960) screenWidth = 960; $('.expand-ad__holder').parent('.ad').css('padding-bottom', (screenWidth / ratio) + 'px'); $('.expand-ad__holder').css({ height: (screenWidth / ratio) + 'px' }); $('.expand-ad').css({ height: (screenWidth / ratio) + 'px' }); $('.expand-ad img').css('height', 'auto'); $('.expand-ad embed').css('height', 'auto'); $('.expand-ad embed').css('width', '100%'); $('.expand-ad embed').css('max-width', '960px'); } function customSize(size, id) { var element = jQuery('script#' + id).siblings('a').children('img'); if (element.length 960) screenWidth = 960; element.css('height', (screenWidth / ratio) + 'px'); } (function () { window.addEventListener('message', function (event) { $(document).ready(function() { var expand = event.data.expand; if (expand == 'false') { $('.expand-ad__holder').removeClass('expand-ad__holder'); $('.expand-ad').removeClass('expand-ad'); } }); }, false); function loadIframe(size, id) { $('.ad').each(function () { var iframeId = $(this).children('ins').children('iframe').attr('name'); var element = $(this).children('ins').children('iframe'); if (element.length > 0) { var ratio = 960 / size; var screenWidth = $('body').width(); if (screenWidth > 960) screenWidth = 960; element.css('height', (screenWidth / ratio) + 'px'); } }); } })();

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Opinion – Evening News and Tribune

Posted: at 7:01 pm

Educators do deserve better, and heres how

I am not an educator but my daughter earned two degrees in education and is a National Board Certified Teacher in elementary in Kentucky.

When educators lament their jobs are not from 7:30 to 2:30, they are absolutely right! They grade papers, prepare lesson plans, provide data for report cards, attend meetings and have professional development criteria that is required. These are AFTER school hours and sometimes in summer recess. Many times I tease my daughter about all the overtime/bonus pay she will earn. Sure, right!

Teaching can be rewarding but is also demanding, unsupported and stressful, more so than yesteryear. Many retire around age 55 and too many quit within five years. Others say Not for me after student teaching. When they want decent pay raises the taxpayers clamor. Their raises typically run from 0 to 2 percent, and too often 0 percent. The UAW won great concessions from their vehicle manufacturers. So who do you think pays for those? The buyer, of course these are buried in the vehicles costs. But folks pay and go on.

Besides teaching the mandated subjects, teachers bring much more to the classroom. They instill respect, politeness, patriotism, confidence, controlling behavior, compassion, dont give up, anything is possible, following rules/instructions and much, much more. These are worthy virtues that will follow one through life. These were not college courses, but values the teachers learned from their parents and teachers. Most teachers are parents, too, and want their students to also succeed.

Standardized tests: Too frequent and ever changing. Select one and use it several years to collect data and see the trends. The SAT/ACT tests have been around for decades and have masses of data. Refine if necessary, but not replace (If it aint broke, dont fix it!). When the line marker keeps moving, no one can ascertain good comparisons. And the tests should NOT be tied to educators performances. Too many variables. Kids are not equal in abilities or home environments. And not everyone is a good test taker. Tests can be mind-numbing with loss of concentration. Let teachers teach and NOT teach to tests.

Educators can find hidden abilities or talents which may make a difference in ones life. They fascinate, intrigue, and hone. I fondly remember my teachers and always respected them. One was an 8th grade science teacher who intrigued me in the science of chemistry. As a result, I earned a degree and had a 46 year career in chemical engineering.

Educators are due the respect of students, parents and the taxpayers. And those who control the purse strings need to loosen the strings more. A recent MSN online commentary by Gabrielle Olya is titled, Dont Waste Your Money on These 26 College degrees 7 of which are education related! [It is] based on mid-career salaries with 10+ years experience (extracted from PayScales College Salary Report).

My son and daughter were educated in the NAFCS. I was always pleased and had the utmost respect of their teachers. Both were well prepared for their studies at Purdue.

Teachers do make a difference and deserve better!

Robert Tylick

New Albany

I am as politically incorrect as anyone I know, to which this article will attest. The founding fathers clearly intended that service in the House or Senate be of a temporary nature; whereby an elected official would serve a term or two and then return to their private line of work. His or her time in office would be dedicated to ideas or bills that benefit the constituents back home, as well as the Nation as a whole.

Instead, our system has created a new occupation, that of a professional politician. Instead of serving a limited period of time and returning to private life, a person can at present spend 30, 35 or 40 years in government, preventing new people with new ideas from presenting them for that entire period.

Almost everyone I have contacted believes in term limits for both houses of Congress; even the president is limited to two terms, why should Congress be any different? Trying to get a bill through Congress in favor of a constitutional amendment would be hopeless, for obvious reasons; therefore the matter can only be solved by the people in an election. That is why I suggest the issue be put on the ballot in the form of a referendum in a national election. The terms could be worked out later if necessary. Failing this, and perhaps a better idea, is an amendment eliminating the retirement system for congressman, and putting them on Social Security, which would in effect ensure term limits, as most of them would want to go back to their professions in order to build up their earned retirement.

No other temporary job that I know of provides for ones retirement. Whoever heard of retiring from a temporary job.

John Kettler

Greenville

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The Call of the Mild – Anderson Valley

Posted: at 7:01 pm

The problem with Jack London has always been that while he was a compelling storyteller with a vivid imagination, he was also a racist, or at least a writer who embraced racial ideas about the superiority of Anglo Saxons and the inferiority of African Americans, Asians and Latinos. Most of the racism thats embedded in The Call of the Wild, Londons 1903 best selling novel, has been expunged from the latest cinematic version starring Harrison Ford as John Thornton, the prospector in the Yukon who cares more for the wilderness and dogs than he does for gold.

Indeed, the 2020 film, which has a computer-generated canine hero, is as politically correct in its own way, as Londons story is politically incorrect at least by todays standards. Still, no criticism of the movie will prevent London fans from watching it and raving about it, flaws and all. To the faithful, London can do no wrong. He might have clay feet, but hes still their god.

I saw the movie in Sonoma, California, where London is a local hero and can do no wrong. Not many members of the audience had read The Call of the Wild. Also, they dont know much about London himself, but they think they know that he was a great writer.

This is not the first time that The Call of the Wild has been transposed from the page to the big screen. The 1935 version stars Clark Gable, Loretta Young and Jack Oakie. The 1973 remark features Charlton Heston. The 1996 version has a voice over by Richard Dreyfus and stars Rutger Hauer. Each movie carves out a territory of its own, and reflects the era in which it was made. None are true to Londons Weltanschauung, which he forged from his own rough-and-tumble life in Oakland and from his reading Nietzsche, Darwin and Marx.

The latest version offers a fairy-tale for our own era of global warming and environmental disaster. It describes a world with near pristine wilderness, the abundance of wild species, and little if any degradation of the natural world. Its unreal. In the Yukon in 1898, London witnessed the wanton destruction of the landscape by mining and miners digging, tearing and scouring the face of nature. At the same time, London argued that the Yukon offered unparalleled opportunities for capital and labor to work together to create wealth and jobs.

Screenwriter Michael Green and director Chris Sanders are two savvy moviemakers. While their version is a remake, its also a critique of The Call of the Wild.In the novel, Indians kill the prospector, John Thornton. In revenge, Buck kills some of Indianshes an Indian killerand enjoys the slaughter. Monsieur Perrault, the French Canadian mail courier, has been turned into a jolly African-American. His female companion on the trail looks like she might be a Native American, or at least a half-breed, as London would have called her.

In 50 books, London never created an African-American character, though an African-American ex-slave raised him and he called himself a white pickaninny. He was cheeky.

On screen, Harrison Ford looks and acts like an old explorer. Hes no longer a youthful voyager in outer space, nor an intrepid archeologist. As John Thornton, he plays everyones favorite uncle who spouts words of wisdom. Youre not my pet, he tells Buck. Do what your want.

Teddy Roosevelt, who was no fan of Londons work, would probably be bored out of his mind with the latest movie. More than a century ago, he accused London of faking it as a nature writer. London took the bait, rose to the occasion and defended the veracity of The Call of the Wild and White Fang.

I endeavored to make my stories in line with the facts of evolution, he insisted. I hewed them to the mark set by scientific research. While he staked his career to pseudo-science, he also touted empire and fumed about the savages of the colonial world. Mark Twain and William Dean Howells, formed The Anti-Imperialist League. London never joined. Others founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). London insisted that colored people had never advanced, that African Americans were closer to apes than humans. 1903, the year that saw the publication of The Call of the Wild, also saw the publication of The Souls of Black Folk in which the author, W.E.B. Du Bois, observed, The problem of the twentieth-century is the problem of the color-line.

Ironically, though London is best known for his embrace of the wild, he lived like a highly civilized country squire with servants and field workers on a vast estate he called Beauty Ranch where he ruled the roost paternalistically. In an essay titled The House Beautiful, he argued that he had to have servantsthey were a necessity but that their rooms would have light and fresh air and not be dens and holes. He added, It will be a happy houseor else Ill burn it down. It burned down, anyway, either by accident or arson. By the age of 40, London had burned himself up, but not before he made a fortune as a writer and became world famous on the back of the dog, Buck.

No twentieth-century American fiction writer poured out prose more beautiful than London, and no writer was more attached to the notion that someone had to be the top dog. No wonder that his own daughter, Joan, thought that if he had lived into the 1920s he would have become an admirer of Mussolini. The London faithful will have none of it.

Screenwriter Green and director Sanders have made a beautiful movie, and, though its not true to Londons political and social ideas, it does honor the spirit of adventure that pushed him to the Arctic and the South Seas. Moviegoers might enjoy the scenery and the special effects that make Buck look and sound like a real dog almost.

(Jonah Raskin is the editor of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution, and of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsbergs Howl and the Making of the Beat Generation.)

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The Fizz insist their 1981 Eurovision routine would be too risqu for today’s audience – Irish Mirror

Posted: at 7:01 pm

The Fizz have insisted that their 1981 Eurovision routine would not go down well with today's audience.

The successful band insist that they would not be allowed to perform their risqu set today, due to the fact it would be too politically incorrect.

The British pop music group formed in 2004 as a spin-off from the original group, Bucks Fizz.

The core group members, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, put on one hell of a show at the 1981 Eurovision awards, and ended up coming back to the UK with the winning title.

With the hit 'Making Up Your Mind', the trio left audiences across the world with their jaws on the floor as their rather raunchy performance raised a few eyebrows.

In the middle of the set, Mike and Bobby tore off Cheryl and Jays maxi skirts to reveal much shorter and sexier versions underneath.

Speaking to The Daily Star, Mike admitted that whipping off a girls skirt on stage in today's society would be taken seriously.

"It would be too politically incorrect to rip the skirts off todaythe cr*p they come out with".

The singer insisted that 'things have gotten out of hand' in this day and age, and jokes are no longer tolerable as there's always one individual that takes offense.

"I think the whole thing has got out of hand now. You cant even tell Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman jokes any ore. Get a life! Get in the real world."

Jay also feels that people today take life way too seriously, and are simply waiting for a reason to be offended by something

She tells the publication: "People are scared to say things in case it offends someone. Its eroded our humour."

The line-up of the group has changed a number of times over the years, most famously when Jay Aston quit the group in 1985 and was replaced by Shelley Preston.

The Fizz - now perform under that name after a legal wrangle with original member Bobby G - are back with a whole new album Smoke & Mirrors which is out on Friday.

Today, two versions of the group exist: a version which includes original member Bobby G, and a version comprising the other three original members - Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston under the name The Fizz.

The group went on to have a successful career around the world, although they were commercially unsuccessful in the United States, but the UK remained their biggest market.

Bucks Fizz had three No.1 singles with Making Your Mind Up, The Land Of Make Believe and My Camera Never Dies.

They quickly became one of the top-selling groups of the 1980s.

They talented group also had UK Top 10 hits with Now Those Days Are Gone and When We Were Young.

Bucks Fizz have sold over 15 million records worldwide.

The group are eagerly awaiting this years UK performance in the Eurovision as James Newman heads on a quest to win the title with his track My Last Breath

The United Kingdom hasnt had much luck at Eurovision in recent years, with 2019s entry Michael Rice coming dead last with his song Bigger Than Us.

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Saved by the Book – Patch.com

Posted: at 7:01 pm

Is it wrong, that for me, the Dodgers' last World Series Championship seems like yesterday? Well, it doesn't. I'm a Giants fan.

But, in 1988, I saw a film that couldn't have possibly been released 32-years ago. And maybe that's why most of my dental co-workers and youngster patients under fifty don't know what I'm talking about when I reference Hannah and Her Sisters. These days, I tend to minimize writer/director/actor Woody Allen because he's done some questionable stuff off the screen for the past three decades or so (although today, it wouldn't necessarily disqualify his hypothetical presidency.)

Anyway, in Hannah, Woody's hypochondriac character (Mickey) goes in for a routine medical exam, volunteers a history of occasional ringing in one ear, and winds up experiencing every conceivable clinical test short of exploratory surgery. Leading up to medical judgment day, Mickey's convinced he has a brain tumorbut the news is good. The favorable diagnosis leads to celebration, then a mortality accounting, and finally the pursuit of a religion with the best afterlife option.

The romantic comedy is complex; it deals with every combination and permutation of infidelity involving three sisters and their families during the span of consecutive Thanksgivings; the movie questions relationships and life itself. But when all is said and done, Mickey takes his favorite niece to the movies and a revival showing of the Marx Brothers in the farcical film, Duck Soup. Mickey has a breakthrough. While sharing the laughs and appreciating Groucho and his brothers, Mickey discovers the meaning of it all. Life is to be enjoyed, not understood.

And, what does all this Hannah stuff have to do with me? Everythingbut with no infidelity and only a few medical tests.

The past year has been a challenge. Still not Grand Marshall of the Camelia Parade; but there's more. I went to renegade USC. And I own a small business. Hear me whine. And it's confounding that even when you love your family and love serving people you see as family, life can still get in the way, cause distraction, and inspire reflection (for me, very hard work.)

Because my own family and aunts and uncles are no longer with me and even though my co-workers didn't apply for the job, my dental team is my family. Two of my family (who combine for about 40-adoption years) have been missing in action for around 70% of the time over the last 15-months; we've missed 'em.

And then there's the outside stuff and the usual suspects. Because of a lesson my dad taught me about saying something good or nothing at all, I won't identify our property manager. Underwriters regrettably remain part of my life. VP Pence is the new Epidemiologist in-Chief, but he believes in shock therapy, not science. And a viral plague is killing people, investments, and maybe even economies (btw, the masks are for sick people.) I've seen every recent movie except Little Women. Sometimes the stuff you can't control can get you a little down. Saturday morning, I took a call from my ace dental assistant; and on hello, she wondered if I was doing okay.

Does anyone else out there ever have an occasional It's a Wonderful Life George Bailey moment?

But, last night, an exceptional woman next door (no nieces) and I toured Downtown LA on foot, enjoyed a meal, and joined a full house that was roaring with laughter at the Ahmanson, watching the hilarious and totally politically incorrect Book of Mormon (coulda been Duck Soup.)

I've been an oral health care provider for a few decades; I do know a few things. I appreciate smiles are a gift and I realize laughter is powerful medicine. And our practice's purpose will always be making dentistry funno matter the usual suspects.

And yeah, life is meant to be enjoyed, not understood.

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White Working-class Men May Be Just The Voting Bloc To Help Defeat Trump | Rob Okun – Bainbridge Island Review

Posted: at 7:01 pm

Working-class white men supported Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by 71 percent to 23 percent Why?

Robert D. Francis, Him, Not Her: Why Working-Class White Men Reluctant About Trump Still Made Him President of the United States in Socius journal, 2018

Theres an underappreciated voting bloc that could help to unseat Donald Trump in November: white working-class men. Many white male voters chose Trump in 2016 because they believed his campaign promises to revive the coal industry and to jumpstart U.S. manufacturing. Once in office, he broke both of those promises.

These men are still on the outside looking in their noses pressed against the bakery window of the American dream betrayed, watching as one-percenters gorge themselves on tax-break goodies. Are they beginning to realize that theyve been scammed?

Although there are millions of these men to reach out to, theres a, well, elephant in the room. Progressive activists, so quick to empathize with the struggles other groups of voters, usually fail to include working-class white men, callously generalizing that men dont have problems; they are the problem, as journalist and historian Andrew Yarrow has said. We cannot afford to leave these men on the outside for another day.

When the modern-day antisexist mens movement (composed of mainly privileged white men) began working to transform men and manhood four decades ago, many began by acknowledging reluctantly at first that conventional masculinity unfairly advantaged men. When it came to men who liked their masculinity just-as-it-is-thank you, we had a huge blind spot. While we began rejecting our own male socialization, we were intolerant, arrogantly characterizing these men as unenlightened. Indifferent to their struggles, we were self-righteousness and judgmental more than empathetic and compassionate.

Dont get me wrong. Men who stubbornly refuse to give up unearned privilege must be challenged. At the same time, if we cede hurting males to the mens rights movement then these men will likely continue to vote against their own self-interest. It has always been important to reach out to these men; in 2020 its imperative.

Years ago I led groups for men acting abusively in their relationships. Our philosophy was based on compassionate confrontation yes, we would hold you accountable for your behavior toward your partner, and yes, we would treat you humanely as a person. No shaming; no humiliating. If we write off 2020s alienated working-class men, we are missing an opportunity to connect with their humanity. We can simultaneously demand more of these men and empathize with their reality especially the emotional toll the economic strain theyre under has taken, especially on those unable to adequately provide for their families.

White working-class men deserve a place in the tent of the marginalized. Once inside its possible they will become part of a grassroots movement working for the disadvantaged. They can simultaneously be empathized with and challenged.

Yarrow wrote:

Helping all people in physical, socioeconomic, and psychological distress should be a defining characteristic of a humane, caring, and democratic society. However, in our bitterly divided times, these foundational goals have been politicized: Many on the right have drawn attention to mens problems, some thoughtfully but more often to bash feminism and women, while many on the left are silent because they are implausibly unaware of such issues or, more likely, that highlighting them would be deemed politically incorrect. This failure of liberals is not only morally wrong, but it also hurts their own prospects of winning broader support among men.

While many white working-class male voters still condone Trumps unethical, illegal actions, is their support for him unshakable? It is possible that as more revelations of his malfeasance come to light not to mention being reminded of how he abandoned them some may begin to desert him. And their numbers could snowball.

In Chinese there is no equivalent for the word crisis. Rather, there are two symbols, one above the other. The top symbol means danger; the bottom opportunity. In considering the plight of white working-class men, we have to recognize the danger inherent in leaving these men outside the big tent of change, and the opportunity if we invite them in.

Rob Okun (rob@voicemalemagazine.org), syndicated by PeaceVoice, is editor of Voice Male magazine and of the anthology, VOICE MALE: The Untold Story of the Profeminist Mens Movement.

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It’s Not Bernie But the So-Called "Moderates" That the Democratic Establishment Should Be Freaking Out About – Common Dreams

Posted: at 7:01 pm

The day after Bernie Sanderss big win in Nevada, Joe Lockhart, Bill Clintons former press secretary, expressed the fear gripping the Democratic establishment: I dont believe the country is prepared to support a Democratic socialist, and I agree with the theory that Sanders would lose in a matchup against Trump.

Lockart, like the rest of the Democratic establishment, is viewing American politics through obsolete lenses of left versus right, with Bernie on the extreme left and Trump on the far right. Moderates like Bloomberg and Buttigieg supposedly occupy the center, appealing to a broader swath of the electorate.

This may have been the correct frame for politics decades ago when America still had a growing middle class, but its obsolete today. As wealth and power have moved to the top and the middle class has shrunk, more Americans feel politically dis-empowered and economically insecure. Todays main divide isnt right versus left. Its establishment versus anti-establishment.

Some background. In the fall of 2015 I visited Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina, researching the changing nature of work. I spoke with many of the same people I had met twenty years before when I was secretary of labor, as well as some of their grown children. I asked them about their jobs and their views about the economy. I was most interested in their sense of the system as a whole and how they were faring in it.

What I heard surprised me. Twenty years before, most said theyd been working hard and were frustrated they werent doing better. Now they were angry at their employers, the government, and Wall Street; angry that they hadnt been able to save for their retirement, and that their children werent doing any better than they did. Several had lost jobs, savings, or homes in the Great Recession. By the time I spoke with them, most were employed but the jobs paid no more than they had two decades before.

I heard the term rigged system so often I began asking people what they meant by it. They spoke about the bailout of Wall Street, political payoffs, insider deals, CEO pay, and crony capitalism. These came from self-identified Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; white, black, and Latino; union households and non-union. Their only common characteristic was they were middle class and below.

With the 2016 primaries looming, I asked which candidates they found most attractive. At the time, party leaders favored Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. But the people I spoke with repeatedly mentioned Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. They said Sanders or Trump would shake things up, make the system work again, stop the corruption, or end the rigging.

In the following year, Sanders a 74-year-old Jew from Vermont who described himself as a democratic socialist and wasnt even a Democrat until the 2016 presidential primary came within a whisker of beating Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucus, routed her in the New Hampshire primary, garnered over 47 percent of the caucus-goers in Nevada, and ended up with 46 percent of the pledged delegates from Democratic primaries and caucuses.

Trump, a 69-year-old ego-maniacal billionaire reality TV star who had never held elective office or had anything to do with the Republican Party, and lied compulsively about almost everything won the Republican primaries and then went on to beat Clinton, one of the most experienced and well-connected politicians in modern America (granted, he didnt win the popular vote, and had some help from the Kremlin).

Something very big happened, and it wasnt because of Sanderss magnetism or Trumps likeability. It was a rebellion against the establishment. Clinton and Bush had all the advantages funders, political advisors, name recognition but neither could credibly convince voters they werent part of the system.

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A direct line connected four decades of stagnant wages, the financial crisis of 2008, the bailout of Wall Street, the rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy movement, and the emergence of Sanders and Trump in 2016. The people I spoke with no longer felt they had a fair chance to make it. National polls told much the same story. According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who felt most people could get ahead through hard work dropped by 13 points between 2000 and 2015. In 2006, 59 percent of Americans thought government corruption was widespread; by 2013, 79 percent did.

Trump galvanized millions of blue-collar voters living in places that never recovered from the tidal wave of factory closings. He promised to bring back jobs, revive manufacturing, and get tough on trade and immigration. We cant continue to allow China to rape our country, and thats what theyre doing, he roared. In five, ten years from now, youre going to have a workers party. A party of people that havent had a real wage increase in eighteen years, that are angry. He blasted politicians and financiers who had betrayed Americans by taking away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families.

Trumps pose as an anti-establishment populist was one of the biggest cons in American political history. Since elected hes given the denizens of C-suites and the Street everything theyve wanted and hasnt markedly improved the lives of his working-class supporters, even if his politically-incorrect, damn-the-torpedos politics continues to make them feel as if hes taking on the system.

The frustrations today are larger than they were four years ago. Even though corporate profits and executive pay have soared, the typical workers pay has barely risen, jobs are less secure, and health care less affordable.

The best way for Democrats to defeat Trumps fake anti-establishment populism is with the real thing, coupled with an agenda of systemic reform. This is what Bernie Sanders offers. For the same reason, he has the best chance of generating energy and enthusiasm to flip at least three senate seats to the Democratic Party (the minimum needed to recapture the Senate, using the vice president as tie-breaker).

Hell need a coalition of young voters, people of color, and the working class. He seems on his way. So far in the primaries he leads among white voters, has a massive edge among Latinos, dominates with both women and men, and has done best among both college and non-college graduates. And hes narrowing Bidens edge with older voters and African Americans.

The socialism moniker doesnt seem to have bruised him, although it hasnt been tested outside a Democratic primary or caucus. Perhaps voters wont care, just as they many dont care about Trumps chronic lies.

Worries about a McGovern-like blowout in 2020 appear far-fetched. In 1972 the American middle class was expanding, not contracting. Besides, every national and swing state poll now shows Sanders tied with or beating Trump. A Quinnipiac Poll last week shows Sanders beating Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania. A CBS News/YouGov poll has Sanders beating Trump nationally. A Texas Lyceum poll has Sanders doing better against Trump in Texas than any Democrat, losing by just three points.

Instead of the Democratic establishment worrying that Sanders is unelectable, maybe it should worry that a so-called moderate Democrat might be nominated instead.

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It's Not Bernie But the So-Called "Moderates" That the Democratic Establishment Should Be Freaking Out About - Common Dreams

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For the Lulz: The Politics of 4chan | by Hari Kunzru – The New York Review of Books

Posted: at 7:01 pm

It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump Into Office

by Dale Beran

All Points, 279 pp., $28.99

Sometime in the autumn of 2006, a friend sent me screenshots of a chatroom in Habbo Hotel, a social network for teenagers. Someone had flooded the space with avatars of identical black men with Afros in suits and ties. In one picture, the men were blocking the entrance to a swimming pool, stopping other users from coming in. In another theyd arranged themselves in the shape of a swastika. My friend, an activist, thought this was sinister, particularly since it was happening in a space aimed at young people.

Habbo Hotel looked pretty slick for the Internet of 2006, with public spaces like nightclubs and coffeeshops and private rooms that users could rent and furnish with virtual objects. It was cheerful and brightly colored. But due to a programming glitch, if an avatar blocked a doorway or a corridor, it was impossible for another to get by. Whenever kids asked one of the men what was going on, they were told, Pools closed due to AIDS.

The raid was juvenile and offensive, which was the point. Around that time, there was a fashion for posting Rules of the Internet, expanding on the famous (and profound) Rule 34 that states: If it exists, there is porn of it. One widely circulated list had as Rule 42 Nothing is Sacred, and as Rule43 The more beautiful and pure a thing is, the more satisfying it is to corrupt it. The organized invasion of a cheery and wholesome space like Habbo Hotel obeyed these axiomsthe humor of the lists was that they were not so much rules to follow as descriptions of norms, observations about Internet culture. The combination of homophobia, Nazi imagery, and what amounted to blackface was impressively unpleasant, given the constraints of a graphical user interface that had to be delivered at the speed of the 2006 Interneton average about a fifth as fast as it is today. Managing to be offensive at such low resolution, using imagery constructed of simple pixillated blocks, was an achievement of sorts.

I was inclined to take the raid less seriously than my friend. Id been digging around on the Internet since the early 1990s, and I thought of myself as a grizzled veteran of online culture. Another rule of the Internet was Nothing is to be taken seriously. Still, I decided to see if there was anything organized behind it, any politics beyond teenage trolling.

This was how I started spending time on 4chan, a message board that had played a part in the organization of the raid. 4chan was a site with a barely designed front page and a list of image boards designated by uninformative letter codes, a format copied from a Japanese site called 2chan. Most boards on 4chan turned out to be devoted to some aspect of Japanese pop culturepictures of giant robots, cosplay (dressing up as a character from animations or computer games), and so on. There was also a lot of gross-out porn and a persistent ironized flirtation with pedophilia, mostly in the form of pornographic anime and winking memes of a character called pedobear, who popped up in all sorts of contexts, lusting after delicious cake. Pedobear imbued a cute cartoon bear with disturbing significance, allowing an innocuous image to signify something transgressiveto those in on the joke. This ambiguitythe wish to defy norms (and their upholders, the normies) while maintaining plausible deniabilitywas a hallmark of 4chan, particularly of a popular board called /b/, a bin for anything that didnt fit the remit of the others.

/b/ had huge traffic, many thousands of posts a day. It was a place with its own highly evolved subculture. Its denizens, who are (according to 4chans advertising page) overwhelmingly young and male, called themselves b/tards, reveling together in an arms race of awfulness, in which everybody and everything was reduced to its most base and abject form for the entertainment of the mob. The raids on Habbo Hotel were an eruption of the culture of /b/ into an unsuspecting normie settlement. On one of the many websites dedicated to archiving the doings of /b/ and its offshoots, you can find a definition of the formation of black avatars Id seen on screenshots of the raid: A SwastiGET is a formation done by Nigras while raiding Habbo. Nigras strategically line up to form a Swastika for shock value and lulz. The fashion for raiding Habbo in blackface even spilled out into the real world, when young Finnish men in suits and Afro wigs marched to the headquarters of Habbos parent company in Helsinki and formed a SwastiGET in front of the building.

On 4chan, threads that received replies were bumped to the top, and old threads were deleted automatically as new ones were posted. There was no archive, no memory. Everything vanished. On high-traffic boards like /b/, the result was a sort of productive churn, a memetic primal soup that spawned jokes and fleeting crazes and outbreaks of unsettling behavior. Other than 4chans sitewide ban on actual child pornography, in 2006 there was no content moderation, at least none visible to the human eye. Posters could remain anonymous, and almost all of them chose to do so, to such an extent that 4chan users termed themselves Anons. This turn toward a collective identity would later drive /b/ and its successor /pol/ into the realm of real-world politics, a wild history that is meticulously and grippingly detailed by Dale Beran in It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump Into Office. As the books subtitle suggests, 4chans future lay far closer to the White House than any reasonable person would have predicted.

One day in 2007 I was (still) on /b/ and came across an image of two crude-looking homemade bombs, with a message saying that they would be detonated the next morning at a Texas high school. Promptly after the blast, wrote the poster, I, along with two ther [sic] Anonymous, will charge the building, armed with a Bushmaster AR-15, IMI Galil AR, a vintage, government-issue M1 .30 carbine, and a Benelli M4 semi. The replies were mostly devoted to best wishes for the projects success and a critique of the choice of bomb-making materials: WTF are you using PVC for a pipe bomb? I looked at the timestamps and realized that I was, remarkably for 4chan, reading a thread that was many hours old. It was so popular that it was still floating at the top of the page, instead of falling down into oblivion.

Gradually, I pieced together what happened. Within fifteen minutes of the initial post going live, an Anon had extracted metadata from the pipe bomb image that included the name of the owner of the camera. Later, a fifteen-year-old boywhod borrowed his dads camera to stage the picturewas arrested as he was getting ready to go to school. The bomb, as the skeptics on /b/ suspected, was fake.

/b/ was split on whether possible lulz (a corruption of lols, itself a corruption of LOL or laughing out loud) had been squandered by the boys arrest. The absolute fungibility of lulz was the driver of /b/s cynical economy. It didnt matter where the lulz came from. If they derived from besmirching some other subgroups special sacred thing, they were particularly excellent. During the period I was lurking on /b/, lulz were being extracted from harrassing the friends and family of a Minnesotan seventh grader who had committed suicide after being bullied at school. According to a New York Times report quoted by Beran, the dead boys family received a stream of prank calls that went on for more than a year.

I found /b/ a depressing place, and there was an element of self-hatred in the way I kept returning to it, forcing myself to look at its bleak picture of human nature. It was, as Beran puts it, like drinking from a concentrated font of misery. But I didnt see evidence of far-right political organizing there, and eventually I drifted away to other things.

I next paid attention in 2008 when all of a sudden my Internet was full of Anons in Guy Fawkes masks protesting the Church of Scientology. This was more than a change in tone. It was an evolution, as if, in my absence, cells had begun to divide in a petri dish left overnight on a lab bench. /b/ had, as Beran writes, accidentally discovered agency.

A battle between Scientology and /b/ was undeniably an interesting proposition. The two were highly asymmetric and oddly complementary, the tight geeky hierarchical organization and the loose geeky distributed network. The Church of Scientology had been at war with the Internet for years. Scientology zealously maintained that it was a religion, while equally zealously maintaining that its scriptures were valuable intellectual property, and that the practice of keeping them secret from outsiders, revealing them to subscribers in a sequence of paid-for initiations, was in no way a multilevel marketing scheme. It was the kind of religiontransactional, based on science fictionthat might have appealed to Anons had it not breached the fundamental rule of the Internet, the old Whole Earth Catalog rule out of which all the other rules sprang: Information wants to be free.

The importance of freedom of information on the Internet was just about the only ethical principle that the fractious populace of /b/ could agree on. Scientology had a record of aggressive action against its critics. It didnt want its information to be free. It wanted its information to be controlled and expensive. The casus belli had been a video of Tom Cruise, in which he appeared to claim to have special powers as a result of his practice of Scientology. To /b/ (and much of the rest of the Internet), Cruises messianic confidence was bizarre. Anons found it lulzy to mock him. The church didnt like being mocked. It attempted to suppress the video. It attempted to take lulz away from /b/.

As an opening salvo, Anons uploaded a video in which what sounds like a text-to-voice program reads out a threatening letter to Scientology, over images of scudding clouds: For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoymentwe shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form. It signs off with one of the most memorable slogans of the 2000s Internet: We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us. With this, the online activist tactics pioneered in the 1990s by artworld-adjacent groups such as Critical Art Ensemble and the Electronic Disturbance Theater erupted into the global public sphere. In the subsequent decade these tactics have been deployed to all manner of ends by organizations of every size and political persuasion, up to and including nation states.

In the action they called Op[eration] Chanology, Anons had access to a software tool called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (named after a particularly destructive weapon in a science fiction war game called Command & Conquer). This allowed them to sit in comfort in front of a nice dashboard and conduct a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, flooding Scientologys servers with requests and causing them to crash. Anons (now calling themselves by the collective name Anonymous) also held real-world protests in dozens of cities around the world, bringing several thousand people onto the streets wearing Guy Fawkes masks, which were being produced in large quantities to promote a film adaptation of Alan Moore and David Lloyds V for Vendetta, a graphic novel about a masked vigilante. Video of the New York protest shows a happy crowd chanting, Dont drink the Kool Aid, and (obscurely to anyone not on the Japanese cat Internet), Long cat is long.

Anonymous didnt dismantle the Church of Scientology, though they dented its public image, and opened the way for legitimate criticism that had previously been stifled about the veracity of its teachings, its aggressive behavior toward its critics, and the exploitation of its adherents. The Low Orbit Ion Cannon was then deployed in support of WikiLeaks, a group that, like Anonymous, had inherited the techno-libertarian ethos of early West Coast hacker culture. At the time, WikiLeaks was an organization with a high reputation among journalists, having published credible information about a number of matters of public interest, including corruption in Kenya, toxic waste dumping off the coast of Cte dIvoire, and the revelation that some prisoners at Guantnamo Bay were being kept hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross. When WikiLeaks started posting the highly consequential series of Iraq leaks and became the target of sustained US government pressure, Anonymous retaliated, turning the cannon against banks and payment entities that were throttling the ability of WikiLeaks to fundraise. As Beran writes, this turned Anonymous against the same countercultural enemies as the 90s hackers: the institutional powers of corporations and the state.

The result was a number of arrests, and a split between the hacktivists of Anonymous and anons, who began to use lower case to distinguish themselves from the political faction. The anons went back to the traditional business of 4chan, forming romantic attachments to My Little Pony figures and yelling plot spoilers at children lining up to buy the latest Harry Potter book. Anonymous, meanwhile, accidentally pulled on a thread of scandal that only began to unravel when the Cambridge Analytica affair broke several years later, revealing in early 2018 that the company had used the personal data of millions of unwitting Facebook users to microtarget voters with inflammatory and potentially misleading messages. In 2010 a security consultant named Aaron Barr was foolishly trying to drum up corporate and government business by claiming to have infiltrated Anonymous. He severely overestimated his skills and found his company servers and backups wiped and 68,000 company e-mails dumped on the open Internet. This (Rule 26: Any topic can be easily turned into something totally unrelated) opened up questions about the work Barr and other contractors (including Peter Thiels Palantir) were discussing in those e-mails, and the use of private security consultants by governments and corporations to engage in dirty tricks and criminality against their critics.

By 2010 4chan was one of the most popular sites on the Internet. Its owner, Christopher Poole, known as moot, then a gaunt twenty-two-year-old, gave an awkward Ted talk in which he emphasized the fun-loving and socially responsible side of /b/, showing slides of cute memes and the Scientology protests and receiving applause from the attendees of the Davos of the mind as he told a story about /b/ doxxing (publicly identifying) a man who had posted a video of himself abusing his cat. This was probably the reputational high-water mark of the chan culture.

Beran recounts the confluence of circumstances that led to 4chans lurch to the extreme right the following year. Though the chans had spawned all kinds of scenes, the incel (involuntarily celibate) subculture that took hold on parts of 4chan was particularly bitter and violent, incubating a vicious misogyny that came to wide attention, in 2014, after a twenty-two-year-old who called himself the perfect gentleman drove around with a gun near the UC Santa Barbara campus, shooting at young women like those he felt had rejected him, killing six people and wounding fourteen others.

A population of thwarted, angry young men was ripe for radicalization. After Anons raided the leading neo-Nazi site Stormfront, various curious fascists had become converts to 4chan, andproving my activist friend right and me wrongwere organizing on a board that moot had created as a news section for 4chan. Moot deleted it, but the Nazis just relocated to the international (/int/) and weapons (/k/) boards, and finally he decided to corral all the extremists into a new board he called /pol/ (politically incorrect). This was a fateful decision. As Beran writes, the board didnt get crowded out in the marketplace of ideas. Rather, 4chans new neo-Nazi section thrived.

Then came Gamergate, which to an outsider looked like just another one of the plagues or manias that occasionally burned over the chans. Billed by its zealous converts as a crusade for ethics in computer game journalism, it started as revenge against a female game developer by a jilted ex. The avid gamers of 4chans /v/ board (inevitably known as /v/irgins) joined with the fascists of /pol/ and self-identified subhuman robots from an incel board called /r9k/ to unleash a slew of threats and harassment against the woman, Zoe Quinn, whose crime was to have created a well-reviewed game called Depression Quest. Quinns game used the medium to simulate the experience of depression, precisely the real-world state that anons were trying to escape by playing games. They interpreted the lack of high-definition escapism in Depression Quest, according to their limited aesthetic standards, to mean that it was objectively bad; thus the only sufficient explanation for its favored status among the media gatekeepers had to be corruption. Soon Quinn was being accused of trading sexual favors for positive reviewsthe sort of cynical power move that incels suspect is going on among the sexually active, proof of the worlds unfairness and fuel for their sense of otherness and resentment.

Gamergate gathered steam and acquired additional targets, moving across the Internet like a relentless misogynist jackal pack. Someone dropped a trove of celebrity nudes on /b/ (an event known as The Fappening, after the fap fap sound effect that indicates masturbation in manga), and the combined legal wrath of dozens of Hollywood stars started beaming down on moot, who had become increasingly alienated from his horde of anons. Once hed been their herothey even hacked a Time magazine poll to put his name at number one. Lately theyd turned on him, accusing him of being a hated SJW (Social Justice Warrior), no better than the various women who were ruining gaming. Rule 30: There are no girls on the Internet.

Moot dealt with the situation by banning all discussion of Gamergate sitewide. Outraged, Gamergaters defected from 4chan and looked for other homes, eventually reassembling on 8chan, launched as a free speech alternative. Along with Reddits r/The_Donald, 8chan and /pol/ became major drivers of far-right content into the mainstream media. After Trayvon Martin was murdered in 2012, a user called Klanklannon hacked the dead teenagers e-mail and social media accounts, changed the passwords to racial slurs, and posted a set of slides to /pol/. These slides showed proof of the hack and doctored screenshots of Martins messages, under titles like Trayvon Martin Was a Drug Dealer and Trayvon Martin Used Marijuana Habitually, fueling a narrative that percolated up through the right-wing media ecosystem. During the Black Lives Matter protests, /pol/ produced a constant stream of memes framing the protests as if they were a race war. Like a bolus of food passing through some awful human centipede, the notion of a great replacementthe conspiracy theory that white Europeans are being deliberately replaced with a nonwhite population through mass migration and a declining white birth ratehas made its way from the salons of the French far right into the chans, and out again to Fox News, informing the Trump administrations staging of the so-called border crisis (a term that is often enough repeated uncritically even by members of the so-called fake news media). Fox host Tucker Carlson was, according to a study by the monitoring group Media Matters, mentioned over 19,000 times on the chans in the first seven months of 2019, with many proposing him as a presidential candidate.

Of course, fascist radicalization on the chans is not just a question of a battle of ideas. The manifesto of the Christchurch mosque attacker, who murdered fifty-one people and wounded forty-nine in March 2019, blends 8chan in-jokes with material that reflects exposure to European far-right thinking. In his last message posted to 8chan, he wrote, Time to stop shitposting and make a real life effort post. Then he began to livestream his attack, wearing a tactical vest bearing a patch of the Sonnenrad, or black sun, an occult Nazi symbol. His weapons were painted with a palimpsest of names and references, many of them to historical figures associated with the Crusades and other Christian wars against Muslims.

The descent down the golden escalator of the orange-hued candidate whom /pol/ dubbed God Emperor was the catalyst for the underemployed proto-fascist Gamergate army to form itself into an effective political force. As Beran writes, to the cynics and self-identified losers of 4chan, Trump embodied their beliefs in how the world workedas a series of flickering, promotional lies. He was a losers bitter caricature of a winner, a boorish, brash serial liar, a holder of grudges, proof that you could run for the most powerful political office in the world and still be a small man. He was, in effect, a human shitpost, calculated to stir up trouble among the normies. His opponent was symbolically (and literally) a mom. Electing Trump would annoy Mom and bring on race war. So Trump became the candidate of the chans.

The story of 4chan is often treated as a sort of grotesque sideshow to the growing populism of recent politics, but Berans book shows how central it was to the changes that have taken place as Internet natives reshape political discourse. Stephen Miller, the thirty-four-year-old white nationalist who runs US immigration policy, is clearly a product of the chan culture. The recent chaos at the Iowa Democratic caucus was exacerbated by eager Anons responding to a 4chan call to clog the phone lines, making it difficult for precincts to report results. The origin of Pizzagate, the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta were running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, D.C., betrays 4chans longstanding compulsion to make jokes out of child pornography (or cp). Denizens of /pol/, Beran writes, saw references to cheese pizza in Podestas emailand noted the initials of Comet Ping Pong, the rest of the tale wrote itself.

During the 2016 election campaign, the raiding party of hyperactive anons found it all too easy to sow panic among a demographic new to the Internet, older people who lacked the skills or discernment to assess the sources of the news they were consuming. Research has suggested that older Internet users are more likely to get trapped in filter bubbleschains of websites that prevent them from seeing opposing viewsand this tendency made them perfect targets for disinformation.

The question of causality preoccupies anons, many of whom believe they were instrumental to Trumps victory. /pol/ promoted Trump relentlessly, never missing an opportunity to go on the offensive against his enemies. On October 13, 2015, Trump acknowledged his far-right fans by tweeting a picture of himself as their cartoon alter-ego Pepe the Frog, a louche figure whod been appropriated from a comic by Matt Furie, and had been through a complicated life as a meme, ending up as a vehicle for jokes about gas ovens and SJWs being thrown out of helicopters. Now Pepe was going to be president, and the scent of lulz was in the air.

On election night in 2016, I had /pol/ open on my phone. I found the anons professing to believe (ironically, of course) that through meme magican occult system elaborated with a theology incorporating an ancient Egyptian frog god and a 1980s Italian synth-pop recordthey were actually willing into being a Trump victory. Many posts were variants of God Emperor take my power!, as if we were in the final scene of an anime whose heroes channel energy into some cosmic weapon or vessel. When Trump did in fact win, there was a moment of stunned incomprehension at this unprecedented intrusion of the real into the world on the other side of the screen. Or was it vice versa? Then the board set about celebrating by memeing pictures of crying Clinton supporters.

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For the Lulz: The Politics of 4chan | by Hari Kunzru - The New York Review of Books

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The Way Back Review – Flickreel

Posted: at 7:01 pm

Ben Affleck has gone through a fascinating evolution over the past twenty-five years. He came from humble beginnings with indie films like Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Good Will Hunting, the latter of which made him the youngest screenwriter ever to win an Oscar. As Affleck went Hollywood with films like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, though, he became blinded by the limelight. By the time he starred in Daredevil, Gigli, and Surviving Christmas, it seemed like Affleck was destined to live out the rest of his career as a punchline. Once Affleck got behind the camera, however, he pulled off one of the industrys most impressive comebacks with Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo. Afflecks acceptance speech when Argo won Best Picture remains one of the most uplifting moments in Academy Awards history, reminding us that anyone can find their way back.

Whether it was intentional or not, The Way Back is an eerie reflection of Afflecks highs and lows, both as an entertainer and as a person. Affleck plays Jack, a former basketball player who everyone thought would go the distance. Somewhere down the line, however, Jack lost himself to the bottle. When he isnt at the bar, Jack is emptying a fridge full of beer at home. Hes grown distant from his family and has been separated from his wife (Janina Gavankar) for over a year. Jacks life is given purpose again when hes asked to coach his old high school team, which hasnt made it to the playoffs since he was a student in the 90s. While the team doesnt look like much, some tough love from their new coach just might take them to the big leagues while giving Jack a shot at redemption.

The Way Back does admittedly sound familiar on paper. The setup is not only reminiscent of other sports dramas, but another movie starring another Affleck: Manchester by the Sea. In that film, Casey Affleck also played a depressed loner whos driven away from his wife and finds new meaning when hes asked to care for a teenage boy. Theres even a revelation in the second act of The Way Back that ties into the central theme of Manchester. For all the familiarity, though, there is a fair deal that sets The Way Back apart from the rest.

Its refreshing to see a sports drama that was made for adults. Jacks players dont talk like the sanitized teenagers youd see in a Disney sports movie. They talk like the foul-mouthed, politically incorrect teenage boys youd find in any real high school. Jack isnt afraid to speak their language either, demonstrating that he can trash talk as well. Its not the excessive swearing that makes The Way Back an adult sports movie, though. The screenplay tackles serious issues, from alcoholism to loss, and much of it rings true. Every time it seems like the film may cop out with an inspirational sports clich, it rebounds with a brutal dosage of reality.

Although Jacks life improves through his coaching duties, winning a few games cant erase the sins of the past or the demons within. The ending in particular is far more bittersweet than triumphant. That may be the best way to describe Affleck right now. While Affleck has come a long way as of late, hes still had the occasional professional setback like Live by Night and Batman v Superman. Hes also endured his fair share of personal struggles, finalizing a highly publicized divorce in 2018 and opening up about his history of alcoholism earlier this year. Affleck draws on much of his own experiences here, but not to the point that it becomes self-indulgent. This is an emotionally raw, deeply personal performance from Affleck that ranks among his absolute best. Whatever lies on the horizon for Affleck, The Way Back is a testament to how far hes come as an actor and leaves us all feeling more optimistic.

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The Way Back Review - Flickreel

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