11/03/2019

Jojo Rabbit movie about Hitler

Springtime for Nazis: How the Satire of “Jojo Rabbit” Backfires


(Editor's Note: Apparently, Tojo don't need Broadway heights, Second Sights or city lights below him. You know him. Thanks to his Black Hair, he looks Chinese as all get out maybe explains this.)

Taika Waititi’s movie is conspicuously about the presence of good Nazis who, at critical moments, conducted their own forms of resistance from inside the institutions of power.

At last, the movie that Bialystock and Bloom, in “The Producers,” would have made when they got out of prison and went legit. Whereas they turned their production of “Springtime for Hitler,” intended as pro-Nazi propaganda, into the world’s unfunniest comedy in pursuit of colossal failure, “Jojo Rabbit,” meant as an anti-Nazi spectacle, is the world’s unfunniest comedy made in pursuit of success.

Even though the target of satire in “Jojo Rabbit” is clearly the Nazis, the movie sharply but unintentionally satirizes itself, as well as its makers and the movie industry at large that saw fit to produce, release, and acclaim it. Although made by the celebrated writer and director Taika Waititi and released by a major studio, “Jojo Rabbit,” with its combination of extreme goofball humor (including a campily over-the-top caricature of Hitler, played by Waititi himself) and grim and earnest portrayal of the terrors of Germany’s genocidal tyranny, plays more like a comedic fantasy composed for The Onion as a reductio ad absurdum of the blinkered follies to which Hollywood and its potentates are susceptible.

The film is set in the last year of the Second World War, in a town in Germany where a ten-year-old boy, Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), an enthusiastic new member of the Hitler Youth, lives with his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson). Jojo’s father isn’t home—Rosie says that he’s away at war, but other adults tell Jojo that his father is a coward—and it’s revealed that he is suspected of being a deserter. Rosie, for her part, is quietly but determinedly hostile to the Nazi regime.

Yet Jojo has decorated his room with a profusion of Nazi posters and memorabilia, and he’s often visited by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Waititi), who turns up in the boy’s moments of emotional need, bucking up his courage or assuaging his humiliations. (In his first appearance in the film, Hitler urges Jojo to “Heil” him more confidently.)

Jojo’s Hitler Youth brigade, uniformed and organized in the lighthearted tone of a scout troop from “Moonrise Kingdom,” is led by a trio of adults, Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell), Fred Finkel (Alfie Allen), and Fräulein Rahm (Rebel Wilson), who express virulent, over-the-top mockeries and hatreds of Jews and lead the boys in a monstrous ritual of cruelty. In teaching them to kill for the Führer, they order one of the boys—Jojo—to take hold of a rabbit and snap its neck.

Jojo can’t do it, and runs away to the taunts of one leader, who says that if he can’t kill a rabbit maybe he himself is a scared rabbit. The boys start in with a mocking singsong chant of “Jojo Rabbit,” which is where the movie’s title comes from—but while Jojo is running the imaginary Hitler appears beside him, to remind him that it’s good to be a rabbit, that rabbits are wise and cunning and live to fight another day.

Read more here. I was once a "member" of Hitler's Youth Brigade briefly, with Martin and Lewis in 1979 at Jerry Lewis's prenuptial party for his second marriage. It involved being wild and crazy, but Hitler was definitely not a concern. Instead, we had Sex and Guns going for no reason known to Man or Woman. Jerry took full responsibility for it, on the road to his becoming King of Comedy. Halcyon times, the 1970s. You can read about it here!

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11/02/2019

The Holocaust and American Slavery

Op-Ed: Germany paid Holocaust reparations. Will the U.S. do the same for slavery?

the holocaust and american slavery
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) sponsored HR 40, legislation
to form a commission to study slavery reparations for African

Americans. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)


By SUSAN NEIMAN | JULY 21, 2019 | Los Angeles Times
Born as a white girl in the segregated South, I’ve spent most of my adulthood as a Jewish woman in Berlin. This double perspective has fueled my resolve to explore America’s fraught relationship with its history. It is easy to point to the differences between the Holocaust and the enslavement and abuse of millions of Africans. When examining possible responses to these crimes, however, striking similarities emerge. This became especially clear during the congressional debate on HR 40, federal legislation that would set up a commission to consider what reparations are owed to African Americans today.
The Holocaust did not always serve as the gold standard for crimes against human rights. Americans may imagine that Germans opened their eyes in shame and remorse as soon as the guns stopped firing after World War II, but little could be further from the truth. For more than a generation, most Germans considered themselves the war’s worst victims. In the 1950s, far more West Germans were opposed to paying reparations to Jewish victims than white Americans are opposed to reparations for black Americans today.
As German and Israeli governments began to negotiate over reparations, many Jews demonstrated against accepting them with arguments like those recently used by black opponents of reparations: No price should be put on our ancestors’ suffering. And even though the crimes committed in Germany had occurred just a decade earlier, considerable issues demanded moral and legal untangling before the two governments could agree on who was entitled to reparations, and what form they should take. Given the variety of reparations that were finally agreed upon, historians disagree about exact figures, but most estimate that as of 1990, when Germany reunified, West Germany had paid about 80 billion marks ($40 billion) in compensation to Jewish victims, while East Germany paid about 90 billion marks ($45 billion) in war reparations to the Soviet Union.
The questions of who is owed what now lie before us as we struggle to confront America’s original sin. The historic hearings in the House in June laid out powerful arguments in favor of reparations that should dispel the tired dismissal voiced by Sen. Mitch McConnell and his compatriots. As Katrina Browne, whose family traded in slaves, told Congress, “It is good for the soul of a person, a people and a nation to set things right.”
Chattel slavery was abolished 150 years ago, but it was replaced by forms of subjection that were often worse. Thanks to the work of recent historians, the 100-year hole in white America’s memory can now be filled with details about convict leasing, peonage and lynching, as well as subtler forms of state-imposed discrimination that prevented slave descendants from realizing the rights constitutional amendments had granted. If the worst abuses took place in the South, other historians have shown us how much of the nation’s overall wealth was built on the unpaid labor of men and women who were often tortured to work harder. Both the persistence and the profitability of institutions born from slavery make our moral debt clear.
Germany’s decision to pay reparations for the Holocaust was, according to then-president of the World Jewish Congress, Nahum Goldmann, a novel departure in political history. Goldmann, who was largely responsible for the success of the negotiations, wrote that “the German people, freely and of their own accord acknowledged their guilt for past events and assumed responsibility for them. This suddenly opened an entirely new dimension in politics.”
Since then, supporters of reparations have referred to the German case as precedent. Unsurprisingly, opponents of reparations have focused on the differences between this case and all others. Among the crucial differences between post-World War II Germany and post-Civil War America, one stands out. After losing the war, Germany was occupied by military forces. In East Germany, this meant Soviet troops simply commandeered goods and services as partial replacement for the swath of destruction German armies had wreaked on the Eastern Front. In West Germany, Allied pressure was indirect, but then-German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer would never have offered reparations had he not hoped to gain favor with U.S. authorities.
Or is the difference only a matter of timing? The South was occupied by outside troops too, and during the 12 years of occupation, 4 million former slaves saw enormous progress. In 1865, Gen. William T. Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton met with 20 newly minted freedmen, most of them ministers, to ask what they wanted for their people. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15 granting “not more than 40 acres of tillable ground” to each family. Soon the Freedmen’s Bureau controlled 1 million acres set aside for that purpose.
When federal troops were withdrawn from the South in the Compromise of 1877, Southerners reclaimed the rights and reparations granted under Reconstruction with violence and vengeance. William A. Percy, a Mississippi planter’s son, proudly described the process: “That work required vote-buying, the stuffing of ballot-boxes, chicanery, intimidation. Heart-breaking business and degrading, but in the end successful. At terrific cost white supremacy was established.” They even had the temerity to call that redemption.
Germany’s efforts to face up to its murderously racist history are now often seen as exemplary, but they didn’t happen as a matter of course. Time, effort and nearly endless debate were needed before Germans were willing to confront the crimes of their fathers. Nor do Germany’s reparations provide foolproof immunity against racism: There is no shortage of fools, and every effort must be ongoing. The attempt to engage with the parts of American history that we have for so long avoided in fear and shame has penetrated the halls of Congress. Even overdue good news is still good news. The House leadership promises a floor vote. The Republican Senate will have to be shamed into action.
We must urge Congress to pass HR 40 so that our engagement with the past will deepen, and bear fruit.
Susan Neiman is director of the Einstein Forum in Germany. Her latest book, “Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil,” will be published in August.


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10/31/2019

Russia Builds Space Station ISS 2020

Russia Wants to Build New Space Station, Extend Life of ISS to 2020


PUBLISHED BY
Ian O'Neill


Russia Builds Space Station 2020

The Mir space station hangs above the Earth in 1995
(photo by Atlantis STS-71, NASA)

It's the New Splendid Lady Taking Over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new splendid lady taking over
She's getting us all
She's getting us all
She's getting us all
-The Guess Who, about either Canada or Mother Russia...or both.

The Splendid Lady could be a LOT of white snow, not Snow White.

(Editor's Note: I always wanted THIS instead of War. Star Struggles, in conjunction with NASA not Nazi - although I don't mind almost any space programs - just not Star Wars out there in space, unless they take it way, way out there somewhere. You know, that would be a GREAT IDEA if they did take it out beyond Earth's orbit. If they did.)

The Russian space agency (Roscosmos) has announced that it will lobby Moscow with a proposal that would see the construction of a new Russian space station in low-Earth orbit. Also, the agency has expressed a desire to extend the operational lifespan of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2020 (the outpost is set for retirement in 2015). Building a Russian space station will aid Russia’s desire to kick-start their lunar program, possibly acting as a staging post for future missions to Mars…

The ISS has been a hot topic over the last few months, but not always for the right reasons. Its construction is behind schedule by at least five years, primarily due to the Columbia disaster in early 2003 plus some funding problems in the Russian space agency. However, despite its problems, the ISS was 76% complete as of July 2008 and it is set for completion in 2010. This may be the case, but the station is scheduled to be retired in 2015, meaning science on the completed ISS only has a period of five years before it is de-orbited and sent the same way as Mir in 2001 (i.e. down).
Russia Builds New Space Station ISS
The thought of disposing of the ISS so soon has led to some speculative “alternative uses” for the ISS; one of the most outlandish being the conversion of the ISS into some kind of International Space Ship, retrofitting the station with rockets and sending it to the Moon and/or Mars to act as a manned mothership for planetary activities. Although this excites my science fiction imagination, this possibility seems unlikely (it would be cool though…).
It seems that Roscosmos has made their feelings clear about the whole situation, making an announcement on Thursday wanting to drum up support for an ISS extension to 2020 and start the construction of a Russian replacement space station, forming the back bone of Roscosmos’ ambitions to set up a base on the Moon and then make a manned expedition to the Red Planet.
We will soon propose to our government a project to construct a low-orbit complex, which could serve as a foundation for the implementation of the lunar program and later on – the Mars program,” Alexei Krasnov, director of manned flight programs at Roscosmos, said in a news conference in Moscow on January 29th. “These are our intentions, but we are working hard to ensure that these plans get adequate financial and legislative support from the government.”
The Russian space agency has often been criticised for having ambitions exceeding their budgets, but this is an interesting proposition. The biggest obstacle (apart from the funding bit) would be to convince the other ISS member states to continue funding the mission. “We are considering the extension of ISS service life at least until 2020, but this decision must be adopted by the governments of all 15 countries participating in the project,” Krasnov said.
READ HERE - Will Russia use it for Star Wars or Star Settlements?
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